Friday, January 30, 2015

Missing My Angel

Seven years ago, about this time, we were driving to our OB's office with our baby boy cozily snuggled in his car seat in the back.  My husband and I were silent, a rock in both of our stomachs, preparing for what we feared the most:  that we had lost the baby I was carrying.

I so vividly remember nearly every moment of those few days.  We were watching American Idol when I felt something strange.  I went to the bathroom to find I was spotting.  My heart immediately sunk.  At that moment I just knew our baby was gone.  I called my OB and she tried to reassure me this didn't necessarily mean anything, but we should come in the next day to see what was going on.

After a restless night of sleep, we took that drive.  I sat in the waiting room hypersensitive to the other pregnant mother trying to distract myself by snuggling with my baby boy. Thankfully it didn't take long to be called into the ultrasound room.  We nervously took the short walk and I tried to mentally prepare myself for the news.

This ultrasound was so much different than the ones I had before.  The large screen was turned off and the monitor was turned away from us.  She didn't cheerfully show us our baby and point to all of their body parts or the beating heart.  There was no beating heart.  Instead, she quickly turned off the machine and directed us to a room down the hall.

It was in that corner room where our doctor confirmed what we already knew.  Our baby was gone. The doctor who we saw that day had delivered our son almost one year from that day.  I remember thinking, "Wow, he has seen us through the circle of life."  With an encouraging smile and a hug we were sent on our way.  The tears didn't come at the doctor's office.  We packed up our son and quietly headed out to our car.

I am not sure if it was shock or denial, but it took a few minutes for those tears to come.  We tried to be brave.  Tried to convince ourselves it was just not in God's plan and it happens to many other people, but once we had to pick up the phone and call our parents the true sadness engulfed us both. The tears finally came and it took days for me to turn them off.

We had made the decision to let nature take its course and hopefully miscarry at home rather than have a surgical procedure.  In the wee hours of the morning nearly two days later it did.  I was not expecting the physical pain to be so intense.  I silently sat through those hours with tears streaming down my face willing for it all to be over.  Once it was, the relief I expected didn't come.  Instead it was just complete and utter sadness.

My mother-in-law had come to help care for our son.  I spent several days lying in bed crying and resting.  I was angry with God and wondered why we had to endure this pain.  I was so very sad and felt so very alone.  It was a very dark time and took a long while before I could see the light again.

That light came 6 months later when we learned we were pregnant again.  It happened to be about a week before our angel baby was due.  It was a bittersweet moment.  I was so happy to finally be pregnant again, but so sad for the baby we had lost.  Getting through the due date was so very hard, but once it passed I was able to nervously embrace my pregnancy.

Thankfully our sweet little girl was born healthy on Easter Sunday.  Looking back I find this day of her birth to be of great significance.  Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead.  A day filled with hope and promise.  A day darkness turned to light.  For us, the light shone so much brighter that day and continues to today.

On that day we lost our baby, but we gained a guardian angel.  I think of that baby often and still struggle through this time of year several years later.  I was nearly twelve weeks into my pregnancy, that so-called "safe zone," when we found out our baby was gone.  For almost two months we were able to rejoice in new life and love our little angel.  While I cannot physically hold and love that baby, in my heart I do each day.

So many people experience the sadness and grief of miscarriages each day.  Losing a child is so very, very hard.  One may think since we were never physically able to hold our child it might be easier, but it is not.  The hope and promise of new life began the day we found out we were pregnant and so did the love we felt for him or her.

Today I will hold my kids a little tighter and thank God for the four blessings he has given us on Earth.  I will thank Him for blessing us with our little angel we affectionately named Peanut the day we found out I was pregnant.  Today I will cry and grieve for the baby we never met, but I know someday I will meet our angel.  Until then I will carry him or her in my heart each day.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I've had this recipe saved in my Pinterest meals to try folder for months.  A few weeks ago we finally gave it a try and it did not disappoint.  My kids loved it, we loved it, and we ate the whole pot!  I made a few adaptations from the original recipe found at Cooking Classy.  The biscuits are a must, so make sure you make them, too!  Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Rotisserie chicken, chopped in small pieces
5 1/2 T. butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion (I used half an onion)
3 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots (3 medium), peeled and diced
1 15 oz. can chicken broth
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
1/2 t. dried parley
1 t. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. frozen or fresh peas
2 1/2 cups milk
6 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 t. lemon juice

In a soup pot, melt 1 1/2 T. butter over medium high heat.  Add in onion, celery, and carrots and saute for 3 minutes.  Add chicken broth, potatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.  Press vegetables down into soup and cover with lid.  Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and stir in chicken and peas.

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 T. of butter of medium high heat.  Slowly stir in flour and and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.  While whisking, slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat while stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream.

Pour milk mixture into soup pot, making sure to stir constantly.  Add lemon juice.  Remove bay leaf and serve with warm Parmesan drop biscuits (recipe below).

Parmesan Drop Biscuits

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
6 T. butter
2 oz. finely shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder for 30 seconds.  Stir in parmesan cheese.  Add butter, and using your fingertips, rub butter in mixture until evenly distributed.  It will come together like the size of peas.  Pour in milk and heavy cream and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.  (Batter should be lumpy and sticky).  Drop using a large soup spoon onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Best when eaten straight from the oven!