Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Little Blessings

When we found our we were pregnant with Justin we decided to not to let everyone know for a few months.  Looking back on it now, I wish we would have shouted it from the rooftops as soon as we found out.  I'm not sure why we didn't tell people right away, although I think it was just being worried about what people would think.  Here we were trying to start fresh right after graduating college, moving into a new home, with only one income, no teaching jobs in sight, and on top of other things we decided to have another child.  I could only imagine what people were thinking.  I'm not sure why it bothered me, but it did, so we kept it a "secret," well as long as we could anyway, it's not something you can hide for long. 

That is why with this baby we decided to tell people right away, I left balloons on Ryan's truck with a note and the test, he came home from lunch, he called his people, I called mine, :) and then we told the world via facebook and the blog. :)  All in all it took about 3 hours for EVERYONE to know.

 We are excited, just as we were excited when we found out we were pregnant with Justin; and we were going to shout it from the rooftops this time.  There may be some people out there that think it is too soon for us to have another baby, or that we are trying to fill the void of losing Justin by having another one, or just that we are being completely ridiculous in ever having another considering the circumstances that happened last time.  It's okay that people think that, I won't lie, when we were thinking about taking no preventative measures as far as getting pregnant, a few times those same thoughts crept into my mind.

 I just pushed them away, prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and put my trust in God's timing.  If He wanted us to have another baby we would in His time.  Don't get me wrong.  There were a few times, I would break down, trying to get people to understand how empty my arms felt.  Empty arms is worse than baby fever! I'm not even sure how to explain it. 

There is no way anything, even a new baby, could fill the void that was left after Justin's passing.  Justin has his own little space in our hearts, his own memories, his own smell, his own way.  Justin was, and will always be, a one of a kind baby that we were blessed with, even for only a short time.  But with that being said, sometimes it feels like he was physically stolen from my arms, and at those times, I just want to hold a baby, our baby.  Does that make sense? 

I know I will not be able to hold Justin again until God calls me home.  This baby is not Justin.  We are not filling Justin's spot with another baby. But to be honest, I cannot wait to feel the weight of baby in my arms again, a baby God made in the "secret place" just for us, a baby that was kissed by Justin before ever being revealed to his/her mommy and daddy.  Our baby.

We are all very excited about another little blessing, and as always I am once amazed at God's timing, grace, and mercy. 

Psalm 139:13-17

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Birthday Surprise

Last night Ryan and I were both having a hard time.  Niether of us talked about it, but it was just something that seemed to hang above us.  We knew today would be hard. In fact as I'm typing this we just met our little boy only minutes before this, last year. 

This morning I was prepared to be crying, quiet, and distant all day.  I was not looking forward to spending Justin's Birthday without him. 

Ryan and I have decided not to prevent another pregnancy, but not to plan or try for another baby either. Don't get me wrong though, my arms were feeling awfully empty quite a few times.  We have been off of birth control for quite awhile and I didn't understand how I could have two big surprises, (Riley and Jacob) and yet we were doing nothing to prevent a pregnancy and still were not being surprised.

I took a pregnancy test the other day and it was negative, but it was a pack of two. I was waiting to just hear a still small voice telling me that it was time to take another one again.  Every morning since, I forgot to take the test.  This morning I woke up and for some reason, other than it being Justin's birthday that was first thing that popped in my mind.  Since I still had the second one left I figured we'd just see.  I really figured it would be negative, considering I had just taken one...but it wasn't.

It may be Justin's Birthday but he gave us the best present ever.  Thank you so much sweet baby, and I know you gave this baby a big kiss from his/her older brother.  Thank you sweet Lord Jesus. Thank you, thank you.  Happy Birthday our sweet little Justin!  We love you so much!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

So Much

Obviously this weekend  a lot harder, on everyone than we ever expected it to be.  With Justin's birthday party, Mother's Day, and his actual birthday.  Everything just seems to hit hard.  A lot of us, myself included do not handle this stress, or this pain very well. I have to be sorry for things I have done and said, and I need to realize that people don't understand our pain.  And I am thankful that they don't, I am grateful that they didn't have to experience that, I truly am.  And with that, I don't understand their pain either.  I don't understand Ryan's pain, I don't understand a grandparents pain, and sadly focused on myself, I think because I didn't know how to be strong enough for them also.  I felt broken down, defeated.  I didn't know how to handle it. 

I realized the other day, just how often I push back some of those feelings because they are too hard to deal with at times.  My sister and I started talking about the day that Justin passed away.  All of a sudden I felt sick to my stomach, my throat felt swollen, my chest was tight.  I didn't want to talk about it, and realized I have not talked about it, especially in detail, since it happened.  I have written "that dreadful day" in Justin's Jesus, but I don't talk about it, I don't like to, and I didn't know how to react to that.  I changed the subject of course, but it just stayed in the back of my mind.  I couldn't get the feelings to go away, or get myself to think of anything else.  I felt helpless and lost.  Because I couldn't do anything about it, because I was dumb enough to let myself go back there, I was angry; at myself.  That anger wouldn't leave.  I was angry that I was reacting that way, I was angry that I couldn't do anything about.  I was angry that I thought it wouldn't hit me that way, and I was angry that we even had to experience that day.  I was just angry at everything.  Because I couldn't get over this, I was miserable and wasn't good for anyone.  If you are happy you spread cheer, if you are angry you spread hurt.  I did that. I was already very fragile, and on the verge of a breakdown anyway, the smallest thing, would and did set me off.  Don't get me wrong there were big things too, but I have to keep in mind that those people are going through this all too, and I don't know their hearts or their pain.  I probably should have just locked myself in my room, and prayed, and prayed, and prayed.  I know that the Lord will carry us through the next few days, I just need to allow Him to do what He does, and don't doubt His power....oh and keep my mouth shut.  Yeah something I am, have, and will always struggle with....obviously. I'm still learning...quite a few things.

So please bear with me on this.  Especially the next few days.  I am over my anger, thank goodness, because that just eats away at me.  It makes me miserable, good for no one, and makes everyone else miserable, and then I can't be there for anyone else either.  Please, if you would, say a small prayer for our family tonight, as all of this is just sooo much, too much for us to do alone, and we know the power of prayer is amazing and that the Lord will hold us all up.  Thank you all for the support and prayers.  And thank you also to those of you that helped celebrate Justin's Birthday, either with us, or on your own.  And to all our mommy reader's I hope you had a VERY BLESSED MOTHER'S DAY! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Planning a "Party"

Justin's first birthday is just around the corner...6 days and counting; and we wanted to do something for his birthday.  We didn't want it to just get swept under the rug, or not acknowledged because he isn't able to celebrate with us.  We didn't want it to be a day filled with sorrow and mourning.  It's his birthday, it is a day to celebrate his life, a day to celebrate the first time we met him, held him, snuggled him; the very first day that God placed him in our arms. It was a joyous day, the very first time we got to see our beautiful, perfect little boy.  We were not worried about SIDS that day, we were not worried about waking up to find our baby lifeless, we were not worried.  There was nothing about the day that was anything less than joyful; (other than throwing up because of the pain meds the first time I was able to stand up and see him in the "special" nursery) :) He did have to go to the "special" nursery, but being 5 weeks early that was kind of to be expected, but either way it was a very joyous occasion, and that's what we want it to remain. 

We want to think back on the day of his birth, with pride and joy, not with sorrow and heartbreak.  If Justin was still physically with us we would have been planning a big first birthday party, so we decided to do the same anyway; he will just be looking down from Heaven, instead of smashing his face into a cake :)

This morning I was getting frustrated, ready to give up on the party, nothing is going as "planned".  I get like this for EVERY birthday party, this really is nothing new.  I am not a very good planner, and especially when our families are so far away it is sometimes hard to accomodate to everyones schedules and their own busy lives, generally we end up leaving a few people out, unintentionally of course.  We just both have rather large families, with lots of kids and it's hard to keep up. I was starting to feel like I was in over my head, too many people got too busy, (I'm not complaining it is very understandable, life gets busy whether we want it to or not), I don't have everything planned out the way I wanted it to, (my own fault, time got away from me). IT started to feel like it was more work than it was worth.  should I really be planning a party for a baby that isn't here?  Should we really take all this on? And for what? Once again, this really is nothing new, different thought process of course, but either way, even with Riley and Jacob's parties, I still get stressed out and frustrated, and come to the same way of thinking that parties are just too stressful! They always end up working themselves out, the boys have a great time, and everyone leaves happy, (I hope).

I'm sure this party will be the same, and once I calmed down, and got back to my non-stressed mind set; I still do want to do the party.  I would regret it if I didn't. We are going to try to keep it simple...it's a first birthday party, shouldn't be too complicated anyway. :)  We will all have fun, release balloons in honor of his birthday, and just have friends and family together to remember the sweet little baby we welcomed into our family, and into this world, even if it was for a short 89 days, we will celebrate the very first of those blessed 89 days we had him with us.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All in God's Time

I am so amazed by our God, His love, His plan, and His timing daily; daily He amazes me! I fully believe that God revealed things to me on His time and His alone.  He knew that I would not be able to handle this information, even just a few months ago, and He kept it from me, because He knows my heart.  He also knew that once I was strong enough, had that unshakable peace that only He can provide, and trusted in His plan enough to not allow this to hinder my faith, that that is when I would be ready to handle things like this.  I am not saying that getting Justin vaccinated is what caused his passing, however I believe with all my heart that it played a major role in his short little life.

With that being said.  I am not questioning God on why this happened; nor am I questioning myself or my parenting as to why I didn't know this information before.  I trust him! I believe in His plan, and I know that all of this has been according to it.  I am not beating myself up over vaccinating Justin, or the other boys, I am just so thankful that He has allowed me to learn from this.  Through this information and God's timing of when I would receive it, we will be making quite a few positive changes in our lives, that we really need to make in order for our kids to have the healthiest life possible; starting with not just "following" along with what we are told to do, as far as worldly concerns go.  Meaning that I am not just going to allow my children to be injected with things that I have not first read about, learned about, and know the facts of.  I will not just follow the pack and do what we are supposed to do.  I will do what is in the best interest of my children, my family, and with a lot of prayers and trust in God, I know that He will guide me to make the right choices. 

Not only was I not looking for answers when I stumbled across the vaccination/SIDS correlation information, I wasn't expecting them.  I was, and am, at peace with what God has planned for all of us, and I believe because God knew that I would trust Him, no matter what, and because I was still, He revealed this to us at the right time. Along with not injecting our children with toxic chemicals we are also looking into things we subject them to everyday.  I know that some of you are going to think I am being extreme, and that is okay; it is something we need to do for us.  We needed a change of lifestyle anyway and this brought us to it.  We really did need to start eating healthier, and we knew that, but never really had the motivation to get the ball rolling on it, until now.  We also started looking to things we use every day such as toothpaste, cleaners, and other household items, and realized we really don't know what we are using everyday.  I am not saying that every child who uses fluoride toothpaste is going to get brain damage, or get Alzhiemers later in life.  I am not saying that at all, but with my grandma having dementia, I am not willing to add extra factors into it that could increase the risk.  We are starting to do things, use things, that are a little more "old-fashioned" a lot of the stuff we are looking into is not just healthier, but cheaper as well, and with the economy in the state it is in, we could all go for something a little cheaper.  So we will be making our own laundry soap, (this we were planning on doing anyway due to the cost benefit), we also will not use fluoride, (thankfully we were already using fluoride free water), now we are just adjusting our toothpaste.  We are planning on growing a small garden so that we are eating fruits and vegetables that don't have the pesticides that are put on larger farm products.  We are just taking baby steps, right now.  Just to live healthier.  On a more extreme matter, we have decided we will NOT vaccinate anyone in this house ever again, especially with Dtap, and with that I really do encourage all of you parents out there to do your own research on these vaccinations, and make your own educated decision on what is best for your children.  I am blessed with the fact that, if need be I can homeschool my children, and also if we have more children, since I am home they aren't exposed to as many germs and viruses as they would be around children in daycare.  I understand that not everyone has that option, or enjoy their job outside of the home, and that is okay too, and something that would definitely be a factor in the decision making process; but either way, please read up on some of this so that you feel good about your decision either way.  Don't just follow the crowd.  We took our kids in, not even thinking about it, it was just their "two month shots" "four month shots" etc. never once thinking twice about what was in those shots, or the fact that the number of shots has over tripled in the last two decades.  So please, just take a little time to look into it before you take your children to get "their shots".

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 8:6 For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man's misery weighs heavily upon him.
Romans 11:33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!