Layton Caleb Lawson

Hello, crafty friends.  It's been a long time.  All I can say is that there is a very good reason why I took a hiatus from my creative little corner in the paper crafting world.  Very soon, I will be coming back to it.  But first, I want to share someone with you.

This is Layton Caleb.  He is the little guy that I announced being pregnant with in this post on Valentine's Day in 2016.

Not long after that announcement, we found out that Layton had some health issues.  That he would need considerable medical care.  So we transferred care to Minneapolis, MN.  I went into labor with Layton the evening after our first full day of appointments in Minneapolis, and he made his arrival via c-section on June 9th, 2016 at 1:32am.

Layton was 11 weeks early.  So, along with 2 major health issues...we also added prematurity & chronic lung disease to the mix.

For 5 months, I spent most of my time in his nursery, by his bedside.  Holding him if he was stable enough, advocating for him as best I could, and trying to soak up every moment with him that I could.

We knew that he would be a lifelong heart patient.  We knew that he would have a very rocky start.  And although we knew that nothing was guaranteed, we didn't expect to lose him.

Layton passed away on November 17th, 2016 due to a complication from a medical procedure.  The boy who was starting to thrive, and not just survive, was taken from us.

Needless to say, we were devastated.  Truthfully, we still are.  But each day, we find a way to live with the devastation.  We find a way to be sad and joyful at the same time.  In all honesty - we've been doing this since losing Arabella Grace in 2015.

If you would like to read more about Layton's short life here on earth, my husband kept a beautiful Caring Bridge Journal for him.  You have to create a sign-on to access anything on Caring Bridge, but I believe they make it pretty easy - I just used my Facebook profile to create one.  I would suggest reading from the beginning, so when you click into the journal, be sure to change the sort option to "oldest to newest".  There are more photos in each post, as well in the gallery.

Life hasn't been fair to us when it comes to starting a family.  Our hearts have been shattered...twice.  And we've been left to pick up the pieces.  It hasn't been easy.  Especially for me.

After Layton died, I didn't know if I would ever do anything creative again.  I didn't want to be a photographer any longer.  I couldn't look at my crafting supplies.  So, I signed out of my email and closed up my Scrapbox.  And I grieved.

I will grieve forever.  But at the same time, I am healing.  And as I've continued to heal little by little...the side of me that craves creativity is coming back.

Recently I've worked on re-branding my photography business.  If you would like to check that out, here is the link:


And just a week ago, I was able to unpack my crafting supplies.  While I didn't want to look at them anyways, I really haven't had access to my supplies since Layton was born.  We lived in limbo between Fargo & Minneapolis until closing on our home at the end of May.  It is much smaller than our home in Fargo, so finding places for everything to go has been a {welcomed} challenge.  It is a cute little house that is slowly but surely becoming "home".

I look forward to spending some time in my craft area in the very near future.  I need to get updated on what's been going on in my little industry since I've been gone.  So, feel free to share with me in the comments!  Are there any new stamp companies or shops that I need to be aware of?  How about blog challenges?  Any new amazing stampers that I need to check out?  Please share!


And last, but not least...if you find yourself going through something hard like this, please feel free to reach out.  I understand pretty much every aspect of infertility, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, in utero medical diagnoses, prematurity, NICU stays, and infant loss.  And I will stand with you in whatever place you happen to be in.  I won't have words to make it better, because there are none.  But I will listen to you, cry with you and just be present.

Honestly - I have no idea if anyone ever checks on this blog any longer or not.  But if you do, I just wanted to let you know a little bit about our story from the past 15 months.

And I will be back creating very soon.

Comments

  1. Hi Lea. So wonderful to hear from you! I am so sorry for your losses and you are right, words cannot capture what I want to say. Sending you a big hug. If you are up for designing again, let me know. I would love to have you join one of my teams again or just guest! Or maybe just play along!?
    You've been missed.
    Lesley

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  2. Oh lea......I have no words to even make sense of this. I am so sorry for all you've been through, and I'm happy that you're slowly finding your way back to creativity! You are so talented and I hope your crafty life brings you joy and healing! �� So much love to you and your family. ��

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  3. Oh my goodness. What to say. I'm so sorry for your loss and pray that your heart continues to try and heal. I look forward to seeing what you create some time soon.

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  4. Lea, so nice to see you back. No words can adequately say what my heart feels after reading this. I will keep you all in my prayers for continued healing and comfort.

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  5. Hi Lea...don't know you very well but someone linked your blog post on Facebook so I just read your post. I'm so sorry for your loss! Your baby boy is beautiful, and my heart aches for you! There's a young couple at our church who have experienced very similar circumstances to yours, and I know their faith has got them through it all...I pray the same for you!

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  6. Lea, just wanted to know that I'm thinking of you.

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  7. I am so sorry for the devastating loss that you and you husband (and family members) have experienced. Your openness in your blog post will surely be uplifting to others looking for support. My heart breaks for you and there are no words to convey that. But thank you for sharing Layton with us.

    As far as the other, Instagram is a great place to find awesome new stampers. Check out all your favorite companies and see their designers. And then Distress Oxides. MUst have them all :-)

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  8. So sorry for your loss. This quote from Washington Irving has brought me comfort. May it comfort you and your husband. "There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love"

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  9. Thank you for sharing your heart. The Lord has brought you to mind from time to time and I've offered up prayers for you and your husband. Your openness and honesty will be refreshing and a blessing to many I'm sure. Hugs!

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  10. I read your post with tears in my eyes. I am so very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your husband.

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  11. It broke my heart to read your post. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I've had three miscarriages and my son was born 10 weeks early with a grade 3 bleed in his brain. I'm all too familiar with the loss of a pregnancy, but not of an infant. I can only imagine the emotional toll it took on you and your husband's hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

    I went through a divorce, after 15 years of marriage, nearly 3 years ago. I didnt even want to look at my crafty things either. I completely understand how that feels. I think our brains can only handle so much. I'm so glad you hung on to your supplies and are entertaining the idea of being crafty again. I too, just this last month, decided to start blogging again. Your heart and soul is on the mend. Take it easy and don't feel the need or pressure to dive in feet first. You are surrounded by an amazing community of women who will support you and are patient. Welcome back, Lea. ❤️

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  12. Lea-I am so sorry for your loss but we are glad to see you rejoin the crafting world. I hope being creative again brings you some joy and peace.

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  13. It is so hard to find words to offer that truly show the sincerity of how one feels. I hope that many of these words to comfort you, and just know that I am thinking of you.

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  14. Oh Lea... I don't have any words for this. So sorry for your loss. I prayed a lot for you and your family the past year and I will continue to do so. I often wondered how you've been. I hoped to hear another story of course but I'm glad you want to share this with us again. I'll read the blog of your husband in the next weeks. I'm already crying after reading the first couple of posts.

    I hope you can find some rest and peace in mind so you can start to create again. Have you heard of bible journaling? I started to do that in a regular journal some years ago and it can really help me to spend some time with God while being creative.

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  15. So sorry for Your loss. Hope the future will comfort You and bring something good for both of You.
    I´ve been there and I know how empty life can feel, and how hard it is to come back on track.
    I use creativity when my soul needs to relax, somehow it helps me. May You find Your Mojo and spirit in good conditions, and velcome it back in Your life, Sending good thoughts, love and a little sunbeam.

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  16. Леа, у Господа Бога все живы, ваши детки на небесах, в Царствии Небесном, храни Господь вашу семью, вы замечательный кардмейкер, мне очень нравится ваше творчество, черпайте силы в творчестве!

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  17. So sorry to hear of the loss of Layton. I understand the long road of infertility and eventually got pregnant, but lost our son, Christopher David, at 24 weeks. We are blessed with one son, Jeremy, through adoption. My heart goes out to you. Why certain people go through difficult times is a question many wander. I do know that it has made me srronger and more compassionate. I can tell you are a strong compassionate person, too. I do hope that you find your way back to crafting again for I always enjoyed seeing your awesome creations! Please share your creative gift that you have! Good luck with your photography business, too! Take good care, hugs!!

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  18. I'm So Sorry for your loss Lea. You have been on my mind lately, thank you for the update. I can only understand a snippet of what you are going through as I am a "Gramma" to one those heavenly angels. My DD lost her first baby last November.
    Praying for perfect Peace in your grieving heart.

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  19. I have no words. Sending love and hugs to your family. You have been in my thoughts a lot these last years. In fact, I was just coming by today to see if there was a contact on here so I could send you an email. Thank you for sharing your story and putting yourself out there as a support for others.

    As far as the crafty world goes, I suppose there are changes, but it always seems so similar in a lot of ways. I'm glad you are feeling inspired to get creative again. I've always been a fan of your cards and photography.

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  20. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and all that you have been through. I hope you find comfort and some kind of joy in crafting and photography again. Sending thoughts and prayers, Laurie

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  21. You have been through so much and I am so sorry for your loss. I have kept your blog bookmarked and stopped by once in while just to see if you were ok. I am happy to hear you are going to start crafting again. I know some creative time in my studio has helped me through some difficult time. Hugs!

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  22. Sad, so sad. My husband and I have had losses in our family. Each loss needs its own timeline. Shalom, Susan

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  23. Lea, I am so sorry. Just wanted to send you love and prayers as you continue to heal.

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  24. I am so sorry for your loss Lea. But you are very brave. I have recently lost someone important in my life too and I can say that my crafting gets me the motivation on those days when I am down. So don't loose hope and keep coming to your crafty space again and again. Even if you don't make any thing new, just organize, destash , make it look pretty, look at challenge blogs and various company blogs & Pinterest for inspiration when you don't have any in you. And gradually with time you will heal. I am healing too.

    Good luck! May you be blessed with peace and happiness!!!

    Regards,
    Neha.

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  25. Hey Lea... I don't know you but your story broke my heart... It made me cry... No loss in this world is ever bigger than that of losing a child... You are a brave woman... Yes it will take you some time to gather the shattered pieces but please do come out of it... I don't know how... as this situation is completely unimaginable and devastating... God gave you strength for passing through the tough times and brought you till here... He will guide you through it all...
    Lots of love and blessings... May God give you yet another chance... This time a successful one... In the journey of motherhood.

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  26. Sending you hugs as you continue to heal

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  27. Lea, I checked your blog frequently and am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful baby boy. Words can't begin to express how sorry I am for you and your family. May you find comfort and peace in your photography, crafting, and us here in the crafting world. Continued prayers as you navigate this journey.......<3

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  28. You and Josh have been on my mind a lot lately, so I thought I would stop by. I was so elated to see a picture of Layton! And then I kept reading. I have no words except that you and Josh will always be in my prayers and how my heart aches both of you. I encourage you to stay true to your style without all of the new extra stuff.

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  29. I just popped in from today's post. Your story is amazing, but unfortunately not unique. I worked in Labor and Delivery for nearly 25 years. Our unit was designated a high-risk unit, so we saw these stories more than most. I never got over it, and I always appreciated being allowed to be a part of these very personal and painful stories. My personal grief story is not the same, but completely devastated me. I am farther out from those events, and able to see the blessings I could not have appreciated without them. God bless you. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  30. Just found your blog. So good you're back. We all go through different types of heartache and think we will never come back from it but we do. Slowly but surely that need to create comes forth again and it feels soooo good. God is faithful and joy does return. Keep your eyes upward.

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  31. I just came to your blog from the blog hop, and have been reading and crying here for the last half hour. My heart goes out to you, and you and your family will be in my prayers. Your story is such a powerful testament to the power of God's love for us. I am truly blown away by your steadfast faith, and I am certain He will use your story to bring others to Him. (I agree with you that not everything has a reason, but that He can use the worst experiences for His good.)
    Your courage and honesty shine through your writing, and I'm sure your crafting as well. Though I will become better acquainted with that side in the near future, since this is my first visit to your blog. I'm going to stop now as I'm sure you're eyes are tired of reading:) I look forward to stopping by again soon.

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  32. SO HAPPY to see you back in the Crafty World!! I'm SO SORRY for the Loss of your Son!! My prayers are with and your husband!! I think the last comment I left on your blog was shortly after the loss of your Daughter and I had just been diagnosed with a VERY Rare Cancer and given a 50/50 chance of being here!! I'm EXTATIC to report that after a LONG YEAR of treatments I have beaten the odds and I've been in remission for 9 months now!! I look forward to your come back!! HUGE HUGS!!

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  33. Lea, I just came across your blog via the Hero Arts blog hop, and found myself reading back to this post. Your story breaks my heart, and due to our once-close proximity (I'm originally from DL but now further northeast), I am particularly touched. May God bless you and your husband, covering you both and your marriage with His love, tenderness, and compassion. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I pray your broken heart grows stronger with each and every passing day. ♡

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