Friday, June 23, 2017

Baby Girl

I've been thinking about blogging quite a bit as a I near my due date with baby girl. We have been so busy preparing for her arrival but I wanted to share with you some thoughts and emotions as we continue through this journey of pregnancy after loss.

On Saturday I will be 37 weeks pregnant and will most likely be delivering at 39 weeks if she hasn't come already! At our last ultrasound she was measuring average size and healthy in every way. About 2 weeks left, we are so ready! I say "ready" as in "I'm ready to have her here," but I would be lying if I said I wasn't at all nervous. Through this whole journey we have put our trust and faith in God. That He would restore our hearts. Everyday I pray that this is the child that will get to be here with us on Earth. Selfishly, I pray that prayer knowing that Calvin gets the best life of us all. As someone who has a strong faith in the Lord, I'm also not naive to how powerful He is. Yes, I believe and have hope that God is going to bless us with this little girl, but I also believe that He already has a plan and I don't know what that is. I prayed every day for Calvin as well and fully trusted that he would be here with me, but God had a bigger plan for him. Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." It's hard to accept that God's plan is much more important than our own desires, but I had to learn that at a young age. As sinners we aren't deserving of anything, God doesn't owe me anything. He has already promised me an everlasting life in eternity with Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I have made my requests known to God and he knows my heart. He has also given me peace and comfort through this pregnancy so that I am able to enjoy every moment carrying our little girl. It's difficult to not be anxious as I near my delivery day. For me this will be monumental for obvious reasons and I know that it will be very emotional for James and I, and our families. I know that many of you have been praying for us and we truly appreciate it. I'm asking that you pray for health and a safe birth no matter when or how she decides to come!

So, to say we are excited is an understatement, but a little anxious as well. As Father's Day was Sunday I was thinking about how amazing of a dad James will be and already is to our two babies. He has been right by my side holding my hand and being brave with me. Oh how I pray our children get his selflessness, sweetness, hardworking, strong, and loving traits that he acquires!

I also have to thank everyone for the prayers and kind comments that I have received throughout this pregnancy, they keep me going. Also, to my amazing coworkers and friends who threw me a baby "sprinkle" and other's who have showered little miss with gifts and love. It doesn't go unnoticed and we are so very grateful for you.

Love,
Jordan

Calvin's Love update:
This past Thursday my mom got to speak at a Vacation Bible School to Pre-K through 6th grade kiddos about the Bibles for Babies ministry, and trusting and loving God even on your "bad" days. I love when my mom gets the opportunity to spread Calvin's Love and God's Word!! We have given out over 1,500 bibles! If you have or know of an organization or church who would like to partner with us and keep this ministry going please contact us and/or visit our website calvinslove.com



 This was taken at 26 weeks with our little love. I have been trying to share more of this pregnancy as I know not to take a minute of it for granted.

 My perfect little girl at 32 weeks :)


I was so grateful to be showered with girly things for baby!

Pregnant with a best friend due only 1 day apart! I'm also pregnant with another best friend and sister-in-law, and we are all having girls! It's been a joy to be able to talk and relate with these girls throughout this pregnancy. 

We went to our family's lake house for our "babymoon!"

35 weeks pregnant

At a friend's wedding, 36 weeks pregnant!

I can't get over how much I look like I swallowed a basketball. We are so close!






Saturday, April 8, 2017

Calvin's Birthday & Baby #2

Wow, where did the time go? I can't believe it's already April and I have been thinking for awhile now how I haven't posted about Calvin's birthday event or an update on baby #2!

Calvin's First Birthday

February 24th, 2017- seems like forever ago now. SO much was built up for that day, so many emotions and a lot of work for the event. The day after the event was literally a relief with so much weight lifted off my shoulders. I should have blogged right then but I was so ready to give this baby their turn. The Calvin's Love event/celebrating Calvin's 1st birthday was a huge success! There were about 150 people at the event consisting of family, friends, and some strangers. The silent auction was amazing, and the raffle was a great success. I had a cake made for Calvin's birthday, probably the only "normal" thing at his first birthday. But nothing about our situation is normal. The hardest part of the night by far was when James and I spoke about our story up on stage in front of everyone. I knew I had to do it, and I wanted to do it, but I really wasn't sure how I would handle it emotionally. Well I lost it...the whole way through I believe. But that's ok. People saw a very raw, real, side of me that they probably have never seen before. Usually I can smile through the pain and not let others know what I'm feeling on the inside but that day, that moment, was completely different. It was his birthday, I relived the day he was born over and over again that day. Once I let all of it out and people heard the truth of the grief we had and are still going through, I felt such a relief. I knew his birthday was the perfect day to tell our story out loud and to honor him in the best way we knew how. With that being said, my birthday wish for Calvin was to raise enough money to give away 500 more bibles to children...well we DOUBLED that and raised enough to give away at least 1,000 more!! We were completely thrilled with the outcome and all of the support we had. I never dreamed his birthday and the event would be that successful and I could not be more grateful. Since his birthday we have been continuing to give the bibles away where needed. So thank you to all who came, donated, prayed, and supported us!

Baby #2

Like I previously said, after Calvin's first birthday I felt such fulfillment in honoring him and I knew it was time to give this baby the attention they deserved. Not that I don't still think of Calvin everyday but I felt like I gave him my every minute of life for a year and it was his sister's turn for some love. Yes, you heard it, his SISTER :) We are thrilled to announce we are having a little girl if you didn't already know! I am 26 weeks along today and I will say that we are so ready for her to be here already. We found out on Valentine's Day at my 18 week anatomy ultrasound that she was a little Miss. If you read my previous posts, we were a little nervous to find out the gender. We kind of felt like baby was a girl and were preparing ourselves for that. Of course, above all we wanted a healthy baby and that is what she is right now. But, I would be lying if I said the news didn't shock us a bit at first. It wasn't disappointment in any way, it was more the realization that everything would change. Our nursery, the clothes, and just the thought of having a daughter. It's crazy because I've always wanted a daughter, but after losing our son...it was just confusing. Like I said before, even if we had found out we were having another son, I really don't think it would have changed our feelings much. Calvin will always be our first born son, but he will never be here with us. We will always have that grief no matter what. Over these last 8 weeks we have gotten really excited about having a daughter. We've bought a few things for her and the nursery, friends have bought her things, and we have had fun imagining what she will be like. I truly believe God wanted us to have a daughter and I am so thankful for that. One day I will look in her eyes and think "If it weren't for Calvin, we wouldn't have this beautiful girl." It's hard for me to imagine that now...but I know it will happen. I have been very surprised at how much peace I've had in this pregnancy. I was very worried that it wouldn't be an enjoyable pregnancy because I would be so anxious but that isn't the case. I am trusting God in every way and I know I have so many people praying for my peace and comfort. I truly believe this little girl will be here with us on Earth and am grateful for that hope. 2 Corinthians 1:5 "For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."

Two days ago I started a new bible study with a group of ladies on 2 Corinthians and because of a random snow day off of work, I was able to start my homework! As I started reading I felt it was speaking straight to me. I have been thinking about this blog for awhile and how my grief has really changed. I am in such a better place now and am proud of the person Calvin has changed me into. I still have my moments and feelings of sadness but it isn't near the depth it used to be. I feel like God is restoring our hearts in a new way and making me grateful for the positive things Calvin has brought us. Although, I know I don't blog as much as I should, I have received so much feedback from others about how my writing has helped them in either a similar situation or just simply inspired them to become closer to God. That was my whole intent with this blog, as well as an outlet for my feelings through this journey. I would like to think I am accomplishing both. I want to share this verse because it describes this aspect of my life so well. I have never been able to empathize with people going through loss and now I embrace it hoping to help them along the way. 2 Corinthians 1:4 "He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with comfort we ourselves receive from God."

On Calvin's 1st birthday I decided it was time to share his picture. I don't know why I was so hesitant to do so before, he was a perfectly beautiful baby but I think a part of me was guarding my heart.  At his birthday we had a slide show of pictures, a baby book that I made for him, and one my best friend made for me. I felt comfort with the positive response I received from people for sharing his pictures. 

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Love,
Jordan


Calvin James Frado
February 24th, 2016
5:28am
10 lb. 1 oz.
20.5 in.




                        I wanted to be a normal mom for a moment that day and write it down.


James and I visited his grave the week of his birthday for the first time since his service. I've never been one to go to the cemetery for connection, I feel I can talk to Calvin anytime anywhere, and I do. We bought him a birthday arrangement of flowers and took it there together. It was difficult and surreal to be standing there together again but we felt a sense of peace and comfort knowing that he is in such a better place with our Father.

You hold it all, Lord.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February. Calvin's Birthday Month.

Well, February is here. I can feel my emotions becoming stronger and stronger as it gets closer to Calvin's first birthday, February 24th. I can't believe a year as came and gone. How have I gotten through a year of life without him? It's been rough, but I have had a lot of help. I remember sitting in the exact spot I am right now in the first month of Calvin being gone and just thinking to myself "I can't wait till more time goes by and this gets easier." As I sit here today I am able to say, it did get easier. Though, not as much as I would have hoped. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him. I wouldn't want to not think about him though. But, I also relive the day of his birth over and over and over again more times than I could ever count. I don't know that I will ever stop doing that, or will ever stop asking "How? Why?" Like every other mom who has lost a baby, you have some sort of guilt. "Was it something I did? What should I have done differently? I should have said something!" I don't experience this guilt anymore because I know deep down it wasn't anything I did. Of course you still go through everything in your head and manage to be upset with yourself for something you had no idea was even happening. Stewing over what happened and asking these questions doesn't change what happened. I know this. I just can't help it sometimes. Every morning I listen to worship music while I get ready, it's my time with God. At least once a week a song gets to me and I break down and cry (usually right after I put my make-up on- perfect timing). I think that's okay though. I need those moments with God, and I do still hurt. It's always the songs about praising God in the storm and needing Him. Boy have I ever. I am so blessed to have this ministry "Calvin's Love" that I know will keep Calvin in everyone's life forever and that he will never be forgotten. The fact that he is changing so many lives is also amazing. We are holding a big event for his birthday celebrating him and our ministry but I have been thinking about what else I want to do that day to honor his birthday. Some people release balloons, or write a letter. I'd love to hear anyone's ideas. Maybe a tradition to start?

Celebrating Calvin's Love
Many of you have already seen that we are holding a big fundraising event for Bibles for Babies called "Celebrating Calvin's Love." This is on Calvin's actual first birthday where we will be celebrating him and our new ministry. If you haven't heard of this you can learn more on our website at www.calvinslove.com I would like everyone to know that we have given away over 500 children's bibles to families so far!! We have given them away to clothing banks, pregnancy centers, churches, health departments and are working on preschools, hospitals, and more. I just get chills thinking about the single struggling moms who are going to these places just to get diapers or formula for their babies and are handed a free children's bible. Something they maybe have never had or would ever buy for their child. Calvin is changing lives! Many friends who have gotten a bible for their own babies/toddlers have told me how much their child LOVES the Bible. It warms my heart to know they actually enjoy reading it and looking at the pictures instead of an ordinary bible that just sits in their drawer. My wish for his birthday is to raise enough money to give away 500 more! If you would like to help me reach my goal you may donate or buy tickets by going to the website above.

This Pregnancy
I am exactly 17 weeks today and feeling good. I am so thankful for everyone's prayers of peace with this pregnancy because it is working! I won't say I don't ever get worried or have moments of doubt but I have really been able to enjoy most of this pregnancy. Whenever I start thinking "what if" I quickly stop myself before I get worked up. I have felt the prayers calm me and allow me to be excited for this baby. James and I are so excited, but we both agree it is going super slow! July needs to get here so I can hold this peanut. I am believing that God is going to allow us to have this child here with us on Earth. I pray it everyday, and I believe it everyday. I imagine the birth of this baby a lot. I mostly picture myself holding this child against my chest after birth and just crying and crying. Crying because I'll be so over-joyed but also because I'll be so overcome with the emotions of what I missed with Calvin. It is going to be one emotional day.

One thing is for sure, I popped out way more quickly with this pregnancy. Everyone says you show sooner with your second and that is a definite. I didn't tell the world I was pregnant with Calvin until I was 12 weeks and didn't even begin to show till I was 14. I swear I popped out around 8 weeks with this one. I was wearing flowy shirts to work everyday and decided I needed to tell at 10 weeks because I was running out of loose clothes! I had told my first graders shortly after and I said "you'll see my belly get bigger and bigger" and one student shouted "Yeah I already have!" Children are priceless. I also was a lot more nauseous with this pregnancy than with Calvin. With Calvin I was only nauseous for maybe 4 weeks in the evenings. With this one I was nauseous from week 5-week 13 and then randomly would get spurts of it. I'm happy to say I haven't had any nausea the past couple weeks! However, I was so thankful to feel that nausea every day knowing it was my little babe forming healthy inside me. I was also extra exhausted by the end of the day with this pregnancy but I know that it is because I had been working all day. With Calvin, my first trimester was in the summer when I was off from school so I was able to sleep and relax whenever. I haven't felt baby move yet but didn't with Calvin till 21 weeks. They say you feel it sooner with your second because you now know the feeling. I'm hoping to soon! We are so excited to find out if baby is a Mr. or Miss on Valentine's Day at our 18 week anatomy ultrasound. So far baby is as healthy as can be :)

As excited as I am to find out the gender, I'm nervous too. We haven't changed/moved a thing in the nursery since it was set up for Calvin. It's even hard to call it "the nursery" and not "Calvin's room." I have been in there, sometimes to read or pray in the glider chair. I was in there the other day looking at his clothes in the closet and that's when it hit me. If we have a girl, I am going to have to take all of this out and that made me sick to my stomach to think about. I don't want to change a thing. Even if we have a boy, will I want him to have all of the same stuff? Calvin didn't use any of it so why would it matter? Will it make me upset? Should I give this boy his own theme? Either boy or girl, it is going to be difficult to go into the nursery and go through the items. I really am dreading that day because I know it will be very emotional. I know there isn't a right or wrong way to do this. I wish we didn't have to do it at all. But I do know, God will be with us on that day just like He has been with us on every other day through this journey.

This song I have posted is one that breaks me down every time it plays. As soon as it starts playing I tear up and can feel the presence of the Lord. It is such a powerful song about the Holy Spirit being here with us. People are afraid or ashamed to talk about the Holy Spirit, but it is real. I long to feel it because it gives me peace and a reminder that He is right here beside me. I hold onto the words "A miracle can happen now for the Spirit of the Lord is here."



                                                        "Here As In Heaven"

The atmosphere is changing now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

Overflow in this place
Fill our hearts with Your love
Your love surrounds us
You're the reason we came
To encounter Your love
Your love surrounds us

Spirit of God fall fresh on us
We need Your presence
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
Here as in heaven

A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

Lord, we need Your presence. I pray that you all seek it. 
Love to you all,
Jordan