Sunday, December 30, 2012


It's December 30th. We only have 1 last day of 2012. I have listed a few goals as a wife and mommy for 2013. I mean, this is what we all do right? But I can't help but look back at this year as I think about 2013. If I could sum up this year in one would be, "blessed." I was so blessed.

The first week I started singing in church with our worship team after we lost Ezekiel. We sang the song, "Blessed Be Your Name." We started singing it with the bridge: "You give and take away, You give and take away, My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name." I sort of balled when first started singing it. I thought I was prepared after we had practiced (twice) before the worship service...but I wasn't. It hit me hard. God had chosen to take away Ezekiel. But I must choose to sing, "Lord, blessed be Your name." It isn't easy to grieve. Every time I meet someone new I want to tell them, "I have a baby in Heaven." I want them to know that the 2 kids they see aren't my only children. It hurts. Reality hurts. There is no escaping the hurt. But it says in Job, "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away: blessed be the name of the Lord." It doesn't say anything about not giving God the glory in all that He does. We're supposed to rejoice in what God has done in our lives. Even in the hardest circumstances. That worship service was good for me. It reminded me that in everything, I must CHOOSE to glorify God.

This afternoon I went on my first run since losing Ezekiel. I knew it would be sort of emotional to go out and run, not pregnant. I always listen to music when I run. Today, I chose my regular worship running music. I smiled and cried when I heard what the first song was, "Blessed Be Your Name." I truly believe God wanted that song to be the first song I listened to today. It made me think about all the things the Lord has blessed me with this year. Both the easy and the difficult things. Things weren't always easy, but I can look back and think, Blessed be Your Name. How refreshing. How do people get through each year without Him?

This year is hard to look back at at times. But I'm beginning to appreciate all of this year. Yes, I had to bury my son. I never got to meet him. But I am so so blessed. And I can't wait to see what 2013 brings. No matter what happens, I hope I remember that I must choose to say, Blessed Be Your Name.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Cookies and Moving On

This is a hard post for me to write. I've been attempting to write it for 2 weeks. It's hard because once it's posted, Ezekiel's story is covered up. It means we're moving on with life. Life without my precious third child. But life has to go on here. We have to move forward, no matter how much it hurts. God is good. Ezekiel's life is so good now. I know that he would want me to keep living life to its fullest with his brother and sister that are still here with us. So here goes.

It's Christmas, which means it's time to make Christmas cookies. I am afraid I have a confession. I don't like sugar cookies. Last year we made sugar cookies and well, I just didn't like them. So this year we made peanut butter cutout cookies. They were much much better. The kids loved them and they were super easy to make. Here are our pictures from our fun night together as a family.

I think it was good for our family to focus on being together and just enjoying life that evening. Jewell is definitely aware that the baby is with Jesus in Heaven. She loves talking about Jesus and Heaven. So even though we never got to play with Ezekiel, he's very special to Jewell. She loves knowing that her little brother is in Heaven with Jesus. What an honor! I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ezekiel's Story

This is a difficult post to write. How do you write a post explaining that your baby was stillborn? With God's strength I believe.

Many have asked what happened that caused Ezekiel to pass into Glory before he was full term. I decided I needed to finally let people know.

On Sunday the 18th I felt my baby move more than he ever has. I turned 25 weeks that day. Matt even took pictures because I was so excited at the movement he was making. I could tell he had discovered his fingers. I had been feeling him for 9 weeks, but I could tell he was getting much stronger. It was exciting.

On Monday the 19th I noticed he wasn't moving as much. I figured he was tired since he moved so much on Sunday. I did feel him move a bit though when I sat down, so I wasn't worried. I had very busy Monday and didn't sit down until 10:30 PM. I didn't feel him move much, but I wasn't worried because I didn't even feel Jefferson move until 24 weeks. And they don't ask you to count kicks until at least 28 weeks.

On Tuesday the 20th I woke up and I felt different. I had an appointment that morning so I just didn't worry about it. I even told Matt, "This is my favorite day of the month, I get to hear the heartbeat!" For some reason, I felt like I should ask him to go with me that day, but I figured I was just overreacting and decided not to.

When I got to my appointment I drank the glucose drink and then waited for Dr. Binette. The nurse gave me the kick counting sheet to start at 28 weeks. I almost asked if it was okay that I hadn't felt him move that morning. But I decided against it and figured I'd ask the doctor after he did my checkup. When Dr. Binette came in, he couldn't find a heartbeat. I knew it then, I knew why I felt different that morning, my belly was lifeless. Dr. Binette said we'd do an ultrasound because he was just making me nervous. But I knew before the ultrasound. I go to the best OB in our town. If he couldn't find a heartbeat, there wasn't one.

We went into the ultrasound room and he asked me when I felt the baby move. I told him all day Sunday, but only a little on Monday. He then did the ultrasound and said, I'm so sorry. I couldn't believe it. I lost my baby. My baby that I had felt for 9 weeks. The one they said had no problems when I got my ultrasound at 20 weeks. My baby that moved more than any other baby. I immediately said, "I've been taking a Robitussin DM" to the doctor. He said there was no way that caused this. I then panicked and said over and over, "I have to call my husband, I have to call my husband." The doctor had me sit down and he said, "There is no way you could have caused this. It just happens." I looked and said, "I have to talk to my husband." He let me call him. That was a hard call to make. I lost it on the phone. Matt was shocked. Dr. Binette came in once Matt was on his way and assured me that even if I had come in last night when I thought he wasn't moving as much there would have been nothing he could do. He then explained that I need to go give birth to my stillborn baby.

When I got to the hospital I met my husband and I balled. We both cried. We lost our baby. We were in the "safe" part of pregnancy. You weren't supposed to lose your baby at 25 weeks! Everyone we met kept saying, "This was not your fault" and "We probably won't know what caused this." I of course kept thinking, "I'm the exception" every time they said that. I didn't believe that it wasn't my fault until we left the next day.

The doctor gave me a medicine to induce me a little after 12. He said the labor would 12 to 18 hours. He came to check me at 5 and I was a 0! So he gave me more medicine and said he'd have the nurse put more in at 8, 12, and 4. He said it would be a really long night of contractions with no progress for a long time. I decided to take a bath at 6. When I got in the bath I was really shaking and I thought there was no way I could be starting to go into transition. I got out at 6:40 or so when some friends came to see me. That's when it really hit me. They gave me medicine in my IV because they didn't think I was dilated yet so I didn't want an epidural. But the contractions wouldn't stop. I finally sent my friends out of the room because I was starting to scream. I didn't know what was going on. Finally, the nurse said, "Do you think she's complete?" I said a few things that gave her a big warning sign that I might be. She then checked me and yelled, "Call Dr. Binette! She's ready!" I told her I couldn't wait and I pushed my beautiful 1 lb 10 oz baby out." That was at 7:45. My doctor was shocked. I went from 0 to 10 in less than 2 hours when it was supposed to take me at least 12.

I can't begin to explain what it's like giving birth to your lifeless baby. He was breached when he came out, but so beautiful. They told me he was a boy. My heart sunk. I wanted a boy next so Jefferson could play baseball with him. We were able to hold him and look at how perfect he was for hours. My friends came back in the room and prayed with us. Matt and I help him for hours. Just adoring him. It just didn't make any sense. The doctor came in earlier and asked if there was a cord issue and there wasn't. He explained that they probably won't know what happened even after all the tests that they will run. I still figured it was my fault, but I didn't tell him. He told me I was brave what I had just done. That meant so much to me.

After we took pictures and cried and cried, we said goodnight to our sweet Ezekiel Ray. We named him that because Ezekiel means "God Gives Strength" and Ray is after Matt's Dad who is already in Heaven.

The night was a blur. I fell asleep because I asked them to drug me. I did wake up in the middle of the night and I just felt, numb. Like what just happened couldn't have just happened. But it did. My baby was with Jesus. My doctor came to check on me later in the morning and he again told me, "This was not your fault." He also said, even though we are running tons of tests on you and the baby, we probably won't ever know what happened. I just looked at him, shocked.

We said goodbye to our precious Ezekiel that morning. Leaving him at the hospital was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. You're supposed to take your baby home with you. You aren't supposed to deliver a baby still. Your baby isn't supposed to kick like crazy for 9 weeks, only to pass away in the womb. I felt like a failure. I wasn't mad at God. I knew it was in God's plan. I knew he was God's before he even asked me to carry him for 25 weeks. But it still hurt.

That night, Matt emailed his sister who is a doctor and I finally started to believe that it wasn't anything I did that caused my baby to pass away in the womb. Most of the time, it's a chromosomal problem that is unseen. So my baby was perfect on the outside, but something on the inside kept him from surviving the pregnancy. I finally admitted it. That was huge. I also learned that stillbirth is much more common than we realize. 1 out of every 160 pregnancies end with stillbirth. I was shocked.

So now you know the story. We probably won't ever know what caused it. We just know that God was and is in control of it all. His plan is perfect. I'm getting to know God in a way that I never have before in my entire Christian life. And I am so thankful for Tom Farrell continually telling us at camp "God is Good ALL THE TIME!" Because He is good. He took my baby Home to Him so he could stay perfect. He never has to decide whether or not he will follow Christ, because He already is. God will love him so much more than I ever could. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ezekiel Ray Slocum

Ezekiel Ray Slocum
"God Gives Strength"
November 20, 2012 - 7:45 PM
1 lb 10 oz; 13 inches long

We are sad we never truly met you Ezekiel, but we love you so much. God loves you so much that he chose to take you home before you could ever feel any pain. We love Him for loving you that much.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Update

We've been sick. There really isn't a good way of saying that :). We caught a cold that seems to linger past the regular 7 to 10 day mark. Every time we think we are almost better, it hits us again. Of course, Jewell hasn't displayed one symptom. So I'm assuming all those sicknesses from daycare are paying off. However, it has made it difficult for her to understand why Jefferson and I don't want to go outside and play in the cold. Poor Jewell. So this last week we've spent quite a bit of time indoors. Of course, we should all enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving, we hope :).

Yesterday, I got the privilege of staying home with Jefferson from church since he was still sick. We enjoyed some Mommy and son time for a few hours before he went down for a much needed nap. After Daddy got home from church we decided to watch the Broncos game! I of course had to dress the kids up.

Matt: She's showing her tummy already! She's a little young... Haha.

Yesterday also marked my 25 weeks mark with this pregnancy. I'm starting to get anxious about finally reaching the 3rd trimester too. It just seems so far away. Things look good so far, but I really just wish I could stop eating Swiss Cake Rolls. I have my glucose test tomorrow so hopefully that will go well. I will be sure to take my nausea medication before I drink that stuff :).

25 weeks

Well, that pretty much sums it up :). We will just do our best to get better so we can  enjoy a nice Thanksgiving. We have many fun things planned to do with the kids this next weekend. I hope everyone has a great time with their families.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Trains

I woke up today with a cold. I was sort of bummed because my kids have had to stay home most of the week since they had HFMD. So I drugged myself up as much as my little pregnant self could and took the kids the Barnes and Nobles to play with the Thomas Train set. The kids were ecstatic. Unfortunately, someone had stolen most of the Thomas trains that they have for the kids to play with there. So we had a total of 3 trains. Which came to be an issue when other kids came to play too. It made me want to buy them a train set for home. But I hear that if you do buy one, the kids don't really play with it that much.

It was actually sort of neat to see the differences in my kids personalities while at the bookstore today. Jewell was more into reading than playing with trains. Jefferson was more interested in climbing on the train table to play with the trains as much as possible. Jewell did like the trains, it just didn't keep her interest as much this time because she saw princess books.

"Once upon a time there were 2 princesses..."

Did you kids play with their trains sets after you got one for your home?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

23 Week Update

I am now 23 weeks pregnant. I actually remembered to take a picture this week, so I thought I'd do a little update so I can remember it.

I'm doing pretty well with this pregnancy. I'm definitely a bit more tired during nap time, but I'm learning to rest or read for a little more of it than I usually do. I'm also learning that I can't clean up the toys 3 times a day like I'm used to. I'm just in too much pain at the end of the day if I do. So it has taken some getting used to recently. I can definitely say that after lifting the kids all day and cleaning up after them all day that I understand why my doctor has warned me that I'm going to beg him to induce me.

I think I've only gained about 10 lbs so far. I'm starting to sleep just a little better which I'm happy about for sure :). I'll take anything I can get. So far, I've stayed strong and not begged my doctor to give me an extra ultrasound so I can find out what the baby is. I'm still excited about not knowing. I think we have narrowed down a boy's name, but not really a girl's name yet. Seeing that we have 16.5 weeks left, I think we're doing okay.

Jeffers was very excited that Daddy was taking my picture.

23 weeks!
That pretty much sums up my 23 weeks :). I'm finally starting to fill out my maternity clothes which is sort of nice. But, I am still wearing my regular pants and skirts :). Yay for only gaining 10 lbs so far :).

Painting Pumpkins

We've been stuck at home this week due to Hands Foot and Mouth disease infecting our dear little children. I do not recommend catching this virus. It can make for very fussy toddlers. Poor kids! We have done quite a bit of walking in the neighborhood and projects at home to keep our germs to ourselves. Although I did find out that kids catch it from other kids before anyone shows symptoms, or through spit when they have the sores in their mouths. So sorry if we saw you at Harvest Festival!

Yesterday, we painted pumpkins and went a for Fall walk. As usual, the painting fun ended with a very needed bath :).

Very upset that I took the paint away :).

"Mommy! You can clean me in the bath now!"

The finished product.
Earlier in the day we found some leaves to play in on our walk. The kids had a blast! :)

Despite needing to stay home most of the week, the kids are having a pretty good time. Now to make their little mouths feel better. All fevers are gone now! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpking Carving and Harvest Festival 2012

We have had a great Autumn so far with the kids. We aren't big into Halloween, but we do get a little festive :). We made a Smiley Pumpkin together as a family, and we enjoyed a great time of fun festivities with our church at their annual Harvest Festival. Jewell dressed up as a ladybug, and Jefferson dressed up like a lion. They were soooo cute! We can't wait to go next year! Hopefully the kids we actually understand the games better.

Jefferson decided to throw the guts of the pumpkin back into the pumpkin.