Sharing my Journey

I had the privilege of sharing my testimony at Cedarville University back on the 18th of October. I shared about "Leaving a Wake of JOY" through the storms of life. I'm working on the possibility of posting the video here on my blog, but for now you can click here to go to the university's Chapel Archive. In the search bar type in my name "Kristin Koning" or search for Oct 18 and it should pop up. You can listen to the audio version or watch the video which includes my powerpoint pictures and scripture. I pray it will be an encouragement to you...


October 15th

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

For those of you who are wondering about all the candle pics popping up, today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - No, we Don't need one day to Remember…we remember them EVERY day! But I am thankful this is becoming less taboo to talk about!

I'll be thinking about and praying for the moms tonight who, like me, have loved and lost. We all light candles tonight as we remember. We create a #waveoflight. It's nice to be able to feel we are NOT alone on this journey. We gather. We honor. We remember.

My heart aches for the day I get to see my children again. I saw a quote that went something like, "I miss you with all of the pieces of my heart." Yep, a heart once shattered has begun to heal.

The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn't bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.

The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do

Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

Author unknown


A few peeks...

Here are just a couple pics of the adoring brothers and our sweet little bundle of Joy!

Little Footsies...Precious Wonder!

Can you believe she is Really HERE?!?

One Sweet Sista!

Love at First Sight!


Surprise..."Do you have a name?"

As Mike and I tried to come up with a name...I found it was going to be no small task!  I searched books and websites for ideas. I shared them with Mike and the response was always the same..."I don't really like that."  So when I suggested he come up with some ideas for me to critique...and he couldn't...we finally settled on one that we both thought was OK.  He said more than once, "I don't know what I like, I just know what I DON'T like."  So you can see I had a lot of help :)

The meaning of the name was a significant factor to me.  Many people suggested "Grace" but I wanted something not so obvious...though perhaps with that in the meaning.  I began to search and found that ANNALISE not only meant "graced with God's favor" but it also had special ties to her two sisters, Joanna Claire and Emilie Alyse. (click on their names to read the meanings behind their names)  I didn't think it'd be too creepy or too forced, though I really pondered whether it was the right choice...nope, this was indeed a unique AND special name - with a very special meaning to me...and I liked that we could shorten it to Anna as a cute little nickname.

It was at Mike's prompting that we go with her middle name...JOY.  It not only happens to be my middle name, but I thought it would be a wonderful reminder of the choice we have each day.  What do I want to be "known" for...what characteristics do I want my little girl to embrace and radiate as she lives her life?  YEP, Joy about sums it up!

I've been reading a book throughout this pregnancy that has helped me to be more aware of HIS gifts of Grace each day, to be Thankful for them - recording them or speaking them out load in praise and worship of His love for me...and oh, what Joy that can bring to my heart - no matter my circumstances!!  After all I agree with Joseph Campbell who says, "We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy."

I also came across this verse several times in the last few weeks...it is an encouragement to me as we seek to raise her up to know and love the Lord we have CLUNG to these last 5 years with all our hearts!

Annalise Joy remember that:

"The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."   -Zephaniah 3:16-17



Can you believe I have been "silent" since February?

It's been hard to put everything out there...post all the dr visit updates...my feelings...

I've been doing some paper and pen journaling to record my thoughts this time instead.

Feeling a little more guarded.  Working on trusting the only One who is in Control...protecting myself, and you, from being so invested with all the details.

I know many of you have checked in several times over the last few months... and have found no new posts.

So today, I thought I'd share some of the pictures my friend, Kayte, from Legacy Portraits took a couple weeks ago.

It was one -on a short list- of baby steps I've been taking to "get excited" about nearing the end of my pregnancy and meeting this precious girl!!  I'm thankful for some sweet memories on a very sunny morning :)

Ok, just to clarify, I'm 35 weeks today.  The negotiating of Baby K's birthday has begun with my doc.  I know he will continue to gently push me to make it to 37+ weeks.  He'd like her to be about 6 lbs.  He said at my last appointment that waiting is like shuffleboard...we want to get as close to the edge without going over.  Of course, I've looked at the calendar - full of black ink and orange and yellow highlights- that show all the boy's baseball games, end of school, start of basketball camp, grad parties, family traveling in and available to take care of T & D etc... I think I know when would be ideal...we'll just have to see if baby and my doc and I can be patient enough to continue waiting for the best timing both physically and emotionally.

Meditating on some of these truths lately...

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name." -Ps 33:20

"As for God, His way is blameless...He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock except our God." - Ps 18:30-31 

 "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord."  -Ps 31:24

"This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  -Ps 118:24

 "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb...And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."  -Ps 139:13-16
 {This is the little bear hat I made for Baby Koning...still working on the blanket to match.}

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  -Rom 15:13


Our Times in His Hands...

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand.” Ps 31:14-15a

Yep, that about SUMS IT UP!

His “Plan A” all along.


Haven’t had the eloquence of word flow lately, just processing lots in this crazy mixed-up head.












So when God throws a curve ball –a change up- across my home plate, when I completely expected the straight strike, I haven’t had much time to think…just swing…and trust that my training kicks in. I hope that in the training, I’ve conditioned my muscle’s memory, that my response is fluid, natural, involuntary.

We have been tested, sure.

How much is too much? Can my faith hold…again?








Lots of Prayer.

Back in October, Halloween to be exact, Mike and I learned some news that would stretch and grow us. We were surprised, scared, happy, confused, and needless to say emotional. I couldn’t believe it. The little stick read POSITIVE.

Could this REALLY be happening?

I was so confident so sure that our family was complete when I was expecting Emilie. People had told me “you will KNOW when you are done.”

And, while I was pregnant, I felt D-O-N-E!

But my heart began to change as I sat there on the hospital bed last April…holding the cold body of my baby girl…my beauty for ashes…

Could I be done? Could I be content with this? Was that it for our family?



I turned it over to the Lord. I couldn’t make that decision.

If it was His plan for our family to not have any more children, then He would close up my womb…shut me down…and I was OK with that.

(You See, from some comments we’ve gotten, our culture thinks WE control this, that Mike and I need a reminder from our doctor on how this baby thing “happens.” But, NO child is created apart from God’s Hand!! He is in complete control! It’s not just OUR trying, I have enough friends that try and try and still have empty arms. Ok, stepping down now…)

So, to our amazement, just 6 months after I sat on that hospital bed holding my precious Emilie, God began knitting together a new life in me. With each of our other pregnancies it took at least a year to get pregnant, so we weren’t exactly expecting this to happen…now… But, I have peace…PEACE in the fact that this is HIS PLAN, HIS TIMING.

I have not been overwhelmed with fear or worry. His Grace!!



Not that I don’t have days, but as I REMEMBER His faithfulness and goodness, I give my worries to Him and choose to TRUST. Choose to be thankful in the small. Choose to recognize his daily grace. Choose Joy.



Thankful His shoulders can bear much more than mine!

I’ve seen the doctor about 4 times with ultrasounds each visit. Everything continues to look perfect. Today was my 19 week visit. They took their time looking over every detail of our baby. Measuring…head, abdomen, femur…all 9 ounces of HER. Identifying parts of the brain, chambers of the heart, spine, kidneys, fingers and toes, and the umbilical cord’s 3 arteries/vein. Each precious part knit together as God Himself intended.

Our baby GIRL is wonderfully made.

Yes, just like each one of her siblings.

I swallowed hard -laying there- as the “baby girl” realization hits. “Everything looks perfect,” I hear them say. My mind races back to the moment I hear those same words while expecting Emilie, week after week up until week 37 when I see on the screen that her heart had stopped beating and after receiving the test results months after her body lay in the ground. No explanations…everything looked “perfect.” I thought to myself, “Really? One more detail I have to trust you with, Lord? But, but…I can deliver healthy boys?!”



But…I choose to TRUST again…

He already KNOWS the outcome…He’s with us each step of the way…

However, this trusting thing will be a constant battle of heart and mind, I’m sure…until she’s CRYING in my arms.

Trent and Drew are SO, SO excited! They bolted in the door after school and asked “Boy or Girl, Mom?” I get out the ultrasound pics and show them the black and white type “girl!” Drew said, “That’s what I’ve been praying!” Trent asks, “And she’s healthy?”


They just laugh with excitement!





We’ve been reading with them from The Jesus Story Book Bible. I just love the repetitive description of God’s love for us despite our doubting, our failing, our unbelief, no matter what, time after time, over and over again…God loves us with a “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.”

Let’s all Trust Him…after all, All of our times are in His Hands.

“In [His] hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” –Job 12:10


Quick Baby Update...

It's been a while...I guess I'm going with "No news is Good News!"  Last week at my check up I was anxious/nervous to see if "Baby K" had turned.  She was transverse...enjoying laying sideways across my belly.  The midwife was excited to tell me she TURNED...head down!!  Needless to say, this momma was very happy!  I'm "measuring fine" and baby was happy with a heart rate of 148.  I could never tire of listening to baby's heartbeat...especially since Joanna's was so hard to find, masked under mine, and then just so slow.

I get a small lecture from the midwife each visit about how well this pregnancy is going and that I really can/need to believe that everything is going to be fine.  Most days, I'm totally on board and very excited...it's just that I know too much (of the what can happen's) for me to totally breathe a sigh of relief that everything will be fine.  So, in the meantime, I'm trusting daily that God's plan and timing is perfect...can't wait to meet this little girl!!

I go to see the doctor on Thursday and should be getting a final ultrasound!  Looking forward to one last peek on the black and white screen...will never tire of this pretty profile either...
I'm also looking forward to a couple days of independence...perhaps a pedicure...  Grandma is taking Trent and Drew for a few days of their Spring Break.  Mike and I will add a fresh coat of paint to the office/baby room...mostly because of Drew's lovely black scribbles that grace the off-white walls.  I look forward to my last days of SLEEPING IN...and a much overdue DATE NIGHT with Mike!!

Life is about to get really hectic here in a couple weeks :)  Can't wait...



...Nesting?...Um, yeah...IT HAS BEGUN!

I haven't made any blankets this time...instead, I'm stuck on...


I tried a pattern I found here.  I liked the little bobbles!  CUTE!  UNIQUE! Can't wait to try this one out on my little GIRL!

I also tried crocheting a cocoon...I just used some yarn I had on hand, but I'm planing to make another one...variegated brown, along with a hat with little bear ears and pink ribbons...can't wait!!  I spent an afternoon drooling totally inspired by the creativity of the hats/cocoons I found on etsy...WOW!

Soon, of course, I'll be breaking out the sewing machine to make these peanut shaped burp cloths!  I've stocked up on some fun, pretty, girly, flannel.  I made these for Jen's little girl Evie...thus the "e."

I'll have to save a few back to make later, so I can do a "letter" too.  No news on the name front...I have one I like/keep coming back to, but nothing set in stone yet, having a hard time with a middle name.  We'll most likely keep her name a surprise anyway :)  So, you'll have to wait, oh...11 more weeks or so!!


A Milestone

This last week I made it to 27 weeks.  Lots of emotions as I thought about/compared my pregnancy now with Joanna's - the last week I carried her.  So many memories...

I'm thoroughly enjoying feeling Baby K move and kick, not so much the heartburn, but I'll take it.  Can't wait to see what SHE will look like.  Trent and Drew have indulged me by walking throughout the baby sections of whatever store we happen to be in.  I got a 10 dollar reward from JCPenny and I thought it would be fun to see if we could find a good deal...preferably free.  I haven't allowed myself to buy anything for her yet!  When I commented to Drew that there were just too many outfits to choose from...he gladly took over and picked out a cute outfit set for his sister and it only cost $2!!

I also received my copy of the book A Gift of Time.  Not quite a year after Noah was born I saw on the Perinatal Hospice website that two ladies were asking for submissions to help write this book.  I sent in Noah's story, answering various questions they supplied on a questionnaire.  So, Tuesday I sat on the couch - 3 years later - and just cried as I read several of my very own quotes...bringing me back to those very moments...emotions so raw.  So thankful that Noah's legacy will continue to touch the lives of families that are going through similar situations even now.  I trust this will be a great resource for families to read when given their own devastating diagnosis.  I'll be saving up to get a few copies to give to my doctors office!!  You can read a few excerpts on amazon.com, just click on the book cover.

After the boy's b-ball games, Mike helped me clear out our catch all/office/craft/computer room.  We set up the crib our friend gave us (thanks Ian for moving to your big boy bed!).  One of about the only things that didn't sell at our garage sale was the baby bedding.  So, I just got that out too.  The other half of the room will continue to house my office and the boy's desk/computer.  I organized the closet floor to ceiling with all my craft stuff.  So, needless to say, I'm glad to get this part done while I'm still feeling good.  Want a peek of the work in progress?



Mike and I went into the doctor just before Thanksgiving.  We not only got to see the baby and be reassured that she is growing healthy, we found out that we are having a GIRL!!!!  I'm excited to have a daughter, but a little nervous.  As Mike and I were talking I ask him, "So what are you thinking?  Are you excited?"  He says something to the effect of, "So, when you're gone, I'm gonna have to do her hair??!!??"  I laughed, "That's what your thinking about?"  I love this little profile...


In SHOCK and AWE...

For the last 15 weeks our family has been praying for someone special. The emotions of it all lead to our choice not to share the news publicly...yet. The waiting can be excruciating, and as a mom especially, I felt like I needed to be the protector and guardian until we had more information.

After we lost Noah, we were so excited to be expecting again, and it was devastating to find out, and then have to share, that we would be loosing Joanna too. We just felt so confident that we wouldn’t have to face another loss. Needless to say, we learned that no one gets a free pass when it comes to the struggles and pain of this life.

So this past August when we found out that God had blessed us with another pregnancy, we felt both excited and apprehensive. “Are we really that crazy – to try AGAIN?” I came to a very hard crossroads this last spring and decided I needed to make a choice…to release what control I still thought I had on what I thought my family would be…my dreams, my expectations. It was hard not knowing what the future would hold for the Konings. Could I really spend anymore time wishing for what was lost?  Wishing for more. Could I just be truly grateful for the two amazing boys God has given me? Do I continue to stay home? Do I pursue a full time job? How do I best serve my family? How do I go on, what’s the next thing for me, if we are done having children? It all came to a head when Mike we decided it would be a great idea to have a garage sale and get rid of the baby stuff that sat collecting much dust in the attic. This seemed like an easy decision logically, but it was very emotional for me. Attached were the memories of Trent and Drew using them, yes, but then on top of that were the emotions of the dreams and memories I never got to have with Noah and Joanna, or would/could have with any more babies. Was this REALLY my life? Reality sets in, and friends, it can be brutal sometimes. But I survived, and it really was a process - of relinquishment - that I needed to go through.

Back to August…well, September when I finally got an appointment with the doctor (at 11 weeks, but they thought more like 10). Without me even having to ask, the doctor said he’d get me back to ultrasound and we’d see how things were progressing. We heard a very strong heartbeat that morning, 176. We had crossed the “Joanna hurdle”, but knew it’d be too early to tell about Meckel-Gruber (I was 15 weeks when we found out there were problems with Noah). So, overall it was a good day, but we were by no means out of the woods. I had some emotional days in the next few weeks, thinking of all the “little” things that could go wrong, not allowing myself to get too attached or too excited…just waiting and bracing myself for the bad news to come.
Four more weeks I waited to see the perinatologist, four weeks we waited to see if we could leap the “Noah hurdle” too. Could we even think of having a healthy baby? I questioned in all sincerity, I’m not being overly dramatic here…if you’ve ever lost a baby…then you get it!

You know, after hearing what the doctor said yesterday, I thought I’d be more excited…I think I’ve just met so many moms who have lost babies in various ways and stages that I’m not too naive to think we’ll ever be out of the woods. Like I said earlier…no one gets a free pass. Maybe I’m sharing too much, I sound like such a pessimist, but this is what I’m feeling…no sugar coating! It’s like we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the doctors to say “oh wait, we found something.” It will just take time to process, I think. And no matter what, I DO genuinely believe God is Good.

So yesterday, the u/s tech confirmed, with measurements, a due date of April 28. She got a strong heartbeat again. Though she didn’t give me the #, we commented that it wasn’t 75 (like Joanna) and she gave us a nod. They will check the heart again more thoroughly in four weeks. Baby was just too small to be able to see clearly. I asked specifically if there were any signs of M.-G. - a fluid sac- (like Noah) and she shared that everything was measuring good, no obvious signs of anything wrong, and that they'd look at the spinal cord and kidneys closely next time. The doctor said there was no need to come in “with my heart in my mouth,” (a new phrase to me, but I think I got the gist of what he was trying to say) but that he wanted to check everything again in four weeks before he “was willing to sign off on me” and allow me to go back to my regular OB doctor.
ALL THIS TO SAY, we think we may be carrying a HEALTHY, 3 oz, 14 ½ week old BABY KONING.

And the BIG brothers couldn’t be more excited,

the Grandparents couldn’t be more excited,

Mom and Dad are still in shock and awe…

letting the possibility sink in…

but yes, we are excited too!

We are thankful for the gracious blessing God has granted me to carry for a time…and we longingly await meeting and holding this precious gift from above!!