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!
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!
Calvin James Frado
February 24th, 2016
10 lb. 1 oz.
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.