One Red Balloon by Angelie Casey

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Our first baby is in Heaven with Jesus. 

I was so ecstatic to find out we were pregnant. Then days later to find out we lost our baby was devastating. It was the hardest thing for me. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. 

 

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This past year God has been working on my heart and teaching me and my husband so much. To lean on Him, to trust that His plan is for our best even though it may not feel like it at the time. To believe His promises and trust that He is faithful. And to sing His praises even in the midst of the storm. Then God blessed us with Kaleo Asher. That's ultimately how his name came to be. Kaleo means song/sound in Hawaiian, and Asher means blessing. He is a testament to God's faithfulness. He is our song of blessing. 

 

This month has been a bit tough for me. My heart has been heavy and I've been very emotional. I just blamed the wacky hormones not being "normal" since pregnancy, labor, all that jazz. Then I found out October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. It still didn't really affect me until our last MOPs meeting. Nicole shared a bit of her story and how she will never forget the day she miscarried. While she was sharing I was hugging Kaleo so tightly and crying to myself. . . It's the same for me. 

 

I will never forget that weekend. I will never forget how excited I was to share with my family-in-law. (Little did I know I would miscarry before my husband and I got to tell anyone) I will never forget how scared I was when I knew something was wrong. I will never forget how heartbroken I was when I knew for sure I'd miscarried. I will never forget crying on the bathroom floor alone while simultaneously trying to keep quiet because others were sleeping. I will never forget how scared I was to wake my husband up to confirm our loss. I had been crying to him all day about what I thought was happening, and now I had to say it did. I will never forget how hard I tried to keep it together. We were there to celebrate a graduation not mourn a loss. I will never forget coming back home and telling my family. I will never forget how much my mom and I cried together. It was a heartbreaking loss I have never known before. 

 

At MOPs, they had a special time set aside to remember those little ones we've lost. It was beautiful. After MOPs, I've been thinking about it all again and felt like I should share my heart; the brokenness and the pieces God has put back together. 

 

Months after we lost our baby I began to feel a peace and comfort from The Lord. He was reaching out to me. Calling me to be with Him in my sadness. That even when I felt alone I never truly was. I wanted to do something as a symbolic gesture of my "letting go" and give that baby back to God. A funeral of sorts. I felt as though it may help me heal. 

 

So I decided I wanted to hike Mt. Bierstadt. It would be my first fourteener. My plan was to hike the fourteener with a balloon and when I got to the top to set it free. Let it go, and give that beautiful little soul back to Jesus. So my husband and I hiked. We nearly made it to the top and the balloon popped. (My spacey self forgot to account for altitude pressure) I cried. I did all this to try and have a nice ceremony and it doesn't go according to plan. Thinking about it later I felt kind of silly. I was so upset that my plan didn't work the way I wanted. Somewhat angry that God didn't let me have the funeral service I wanted, and then I got it. We have these specific plans for our lives, but God has a plan too and it doesn't always match ours.

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For instance, I found out later that I was 4 weeks pregnant when I did this hike.

 

The other day someone said to me... "I'm confused. Why are you still sad? You have a son now." And I replied, "I am so thankful and grateful to God for my little man. I love Kaleo with my whole heart! But even though I'm blessed with him, I will never not miss my first baby." Some days are still hard and I still cry, but I know that God is always with me. He is holding me in my sadness and I can still have peace and joy in Him. 

 

Having a child has helped me begin to understand The Father's love for His children. How much more does He love us when I feel like my heart will overflow and burst with love for my son? 

 

This may seem silly but I feel like God opens your eyes to things sometimes when you least expect it. Kaleo has been sick this week and we've had to give him baby meds, suck boogers, and wipe his face a lot. He's absolutely hated it! He screams and cries and will do whatever he can to stop it. Francis and I were talking about how we wish Kaleo could understand. If only he knew that what we were doing was to help him get better. It may stink, and he may hate it at the time, but it's ultimately for his benefit. 

 

I wonder if that's how God sees us sometimes. He gives us something difficult, or He allows something tragic to happen and we don't always handle it gracefully. He gives us things that are meant to grow us, to strengthen us, and to draw us closer to Him. It's ultimately for our best we just might not see it or understand it until later. 

 

We lost our first baby May 13th, 2016. 

God blessed us with Kaleo on May 12th, 2017. 

God is so good. 

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