Sunday, February 27, 2011


I was reading a dear friend's blog this afternoon and she was talking about rain and that rain brings rainbows. It got me to thinking that the rain from the sky and the "rain" (tears) from our eyes.
  • Tears are healing. I think in the midst of our tears we don't think that there is healing, but we are healed through our tears.
  • Rain makes things new. Sometimes rain destroys things, but once the rain has subsided, new life regrows, and people rebuild.
There is something comforting thinking about what comes after the rain: rainbows, regrowth, healing, life.

I am glad for the thought of the comfort of what comes after the rain and the tears, but right now my heart is broken and I am sad. I never thought that I could hurt so much. Having to see a child die is a pain that is not even comprehensible, it is not even close to anything that I have ever experienced before.

As I am writing this and listening to praise music I had this thought. It was like the Lord was saying to me "I watched My child die, and I could have done something about it, but I knew it was for a greater good. It was to save the world. I understand your pain. I cry with you. Come to me and I will comfort you."

I do wrestle with the fact the Lord could have allowed Emily to live. He could have kept me pregnant longer, He could have healed my body. He could have intervened and done a lot of things. But that was not in His plan. I wish I knew what His plan was, but  since I don't I can take heart in these verses.

Proverbs 3:5-8
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

My life right now is full of rain and tears, and sometimes I wonder how I am going to make it to the next hour, let alone the next day; but I have God's promise that He loves me and holds me in His arms.

I am emotionally drained after writing this post. I am going to end this with a song that I was just introduced to. This is where I am today.

Our First Sunday Back

We went back to church today. It is the first time we have been to church since Emily died. The last time I was at church on a Sunday I was still pregnant. The morning, before we left for church, was very difficult. I kept thinking it would be easier to stay home and maybe all the issues we were having would just go away. But I also knew that one reason for all the issues this morning was that we needed to be at church and evil one was doing what he could to distract us from what we really need to do.

We made it to church. Just guess what the service was on today? DEATH!

Yes, you read right, it was on death. Ron and I both looked at each other and considered leaving right then. I mean, our first Sunday back to church and they have to cover the one thing that has been keeping up from church up to this point. We decided to stay. One thing that kept going through my mind was, this is no accident that we are at church on this Sunday, of all Sundays. We were meant to be at this church service on February 27th.

The title of the sermon was "Jesus is Bigger than Death." The passage was Mark 5:21-43.

One thing that really struck me during the sermon was that even though Jesus brought people back from the dead, they did still die again later in life. Our life on earth is fleeting, we have the hope that our life in Heaven is Eternal.

"Death will come but we needn't be afraid of it because Jesus is bigger. There's a day coming when: "Death itself will be swallowed up in victory!" 1 Corinthians 15:54" - Pastor Joshua

At the end of the service we were encouraged to connect the sermon to our life:
  • Do we really believe that Jesus is bigger than death?
  • Reflect on the lives of one or two loved ones who have died in the Lord
  • Proclaim the truth that Jesus is bigger than the death of a loved one.
I cried through most of the service, but I also left with a hope in my heart. I do not miss Emily any less and I am not any less sad. But I have the promise of the Lord that she will rise again, and I will see her again one day. This is the hope that we have. We do not understand why she was taken from us so soon, but He will be our comfort in our time of grief.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dearest Friends and Family

I have been thinking about posting this letter for awhile now. I wrote this letter early the morning after Emily died. I have been told many times over the last few weeks how much this letter has touched people. I truly believe that the Lord gave me the words to write the letter. If it was not the Lord, I doubt that I would have been able to write the whole letter. With tears streaming down my face I was able to share with everyone who had been praying for the last week what had happened to Emily and how much her short life has affected people.

I still cannot read this letter without crying, so be warned that you may need a tissue.

Dearest Friends and Family,

It is with a breaking heart that I write these words to you. Our beautiful Emily Faith died tonight. We are so blessed to have gotten to spend the time we did with her. She is such a miracle, even during her short life. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, pray and support from each and every one of you. So many of you did not even know us, but got on your knees to pray for our precious family.  Emily passed away around 9:30pm on January 26th, we were with her at the time and were able to hold her and say goodbye. The doctors tried everything to give her a chance, but the truth is that she was just too early to survive.

We don’t understand why this had to happen, but what I do know for absolute certainty is that her short life had already and will continue to have kingdom impact. Emily Faith is with her creator, she is in Heaven and there is no more pain for her. We rejoice in the fact that one day we will get to see out little girl again, and she will always be in our hearts.

For those of you who only know bits and pieces I would like to share part of Emily’s story with you. Emily was 23 weeks and 2 days when she was born on January 26, 2011 at 12:10pm. The fact that Emily made it through the delivery process was the first miracle. She was born fully enclosed in the amniotic sac so this cushioned the delivery process. The Lord was gracious to me in that the delivery was short and with very little pain. Once Emily was born the doctors got her stable and brought her to see us before taking her to the NICU. Shortly before 3pm we were told that we needed to come be with her because she was not going to make it. I was trying to get out of bed to go see her when Ron came back and told me she had passed. We decided that we still needed to see her, so I got in the wheelchair to go. Then the doctor came walking in and was smiling. He told us that they had tried to resuscitate her but it had not worked and they had turned all the machine off when Emily began to breathe on her own. They got her stable at that point and we got to go and spend some time with her, it was very special. After all our friends and family had left for the night Ron and I went to spend some more time with our baby girl, it was during this time that they had to resuscitate her several times and we realized that she was working harder and harder with less and less results. We made the decision that we wanted her to be in our arms so the doctors put her on my chest and I got to hold out baby girl in the last moments of her life. I have to say it was the most special thing that could have happened. The three of us getting to spend those precious moments together and say goodbye. I know in my heart that we made the right decision to let her go peacefully, but it does not hurt any less.
We have come to find out that we have prayer warriors around the world that were interceding on our behalf during these last few difficult days. I cannot tell you how much you have all meant to us. So many of you we will never know, until we get to heaven. Please feel free to share this with anyone that you know was praying for us in the last few days. 

I would like to share one final thing with everyone. Many years ago a song was written by Twila Paris that I think fits what we have just gone through and I want to share the words with you. It is called “A Visitor From Heaven

A visitor from Heaven
If only for a while
A gift of love to be returned
We think of you and smile

A visitor from Heaven
Accompanied by grace
Reminding of a better love
And of a better place

With aching hearts and empty arms
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we're so glad you came
We're so glad you came

A visitor from Heaven
If only for a day
We thank Him for the time He gave
And now it's time to say
We trust you to the Father's love
And to His tender care
Held in the everlasting arms
And we're so glad you're there
We're so glad you're there

With breaking hearts and open hands
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we're so glad you came
We're so glad you came

Thank you once again for all your prayers,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding Laughter

I have discovered that laughter helps the healing process. It is important to find things to enjoy and even laugh at in life, even when we are hurting. I was thinking that I wanted to focus on laughter today. I remember the first time I actually laughed after Emily died; it was about two weeks after her death. It was a YouTube video of all things. Here it is for you to enjoy.

It is the small things in life, like people's crazy answers to innocent questions that should be enjoyed. Or the cute things that a child says or does.

What is something that has made you laugh recently?

I hope that you too can find joy and laughter in the simple things in life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crazy Brain

I am not superstitious and have never put much thought into dates and numbers. However, the other night I was feeling particularly sad and missing Emily and let my thoughts go wild and started to think about dates and numbers. These are some crazy correlations, but this just goes to show you how crazy a grieving woman's brain can be.
  • Ron and I were married on the 23rd of February
  • Emily was due on the 23rd of May
  • I was only pregnant 23 weeks
  • Emily was due three months from the 23rd
  • Ron and I are celebrating our 3rd anniversary on the 23rd
I know that these are crazy correlations, and there are correlations in anything if we look hard enough. These are just the crazy musings of a grieving, hormonal woman. I don't actually put any validity behind these crazy correlations. This is just one of those posts that really does not make any sense, but just gives you a look into my crazy brain.

One Month

I thought I would feel different today. I thought I would focus on Emily more or be more sad, but today has been like many of my other days in the past month. It is strange to me that so far my worst days have not been a day I would consider significant.

My worst days have been just random, ordinary days. Today also happens to be mine and Ron's three year anniversary. I had initially thought that I did not want to celebrate today. We had talked about it and decided to go out on Saturday instead, but then this afternoon we were talking and decided that we should go out to dinner, just the two of us TONIGHT.

I think that in the midst of our sadness and grief it is still important for us to make sure we are focusing on our marriage, and February 23rd was the day that we started that marriage. I am kind of excited to go out tonight. It is not very often that Ron and I get to go out by ourselves and have a nice dinner. We are going to one of our favorite restaurants, Thia food, yum!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The whole world of blogging is very new to me. I have been reading blogs for awhile now, and it always amazes me that people can write and that people actually will read what they write down. Now I am blogging too.

Today I was reading a blog post about hope. Hope is such loaded word, especially for someone who feels like they have lost the hope they once had. Franchesca at Small Bird Studio started a blog hop for people to share about hope. She posed this question: "What small {or big!} miracles have brought you hope lately?"

This question got me to thinking about hope and if I have any right now. I know that I have hope in my Saviour and that even through this difficult time He is still my Comforter and Healer. But what miracles have I seen lately that have brought me hope?

One thing that comes to mind that brings me hope is seeing the new life happening around me. While it is still winter (and we had snow this morning) it has been warm enough that one of the trees in our back yard has started to bloom. This tree, that has looked dead for months, has new life. The Webster Dictionary defines hope as "to cherish a desire with anticipation." The desire I cherish with anticipation is the renewing of life with the coming of Spring. What a great reminder that all things will be made new. We see this each year with the coming of Spring.

I also have hope for all the new babies being born around me. I though after we came home without Emily that I would not be able to see a pregnant woman or new baby without crying or getting angry at God, but the reverse has happened. I find my smiling at the thought of brand new babies, and praying for the women I know who are pregnant, that their pregnancy will continue to go well and that they will have a safe delivery. I pray that they will never know the heart break that I do, AND I look forward to meeting all these new little ones in the coming months.

I also take great comfort in this verse. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
The Lord has not been surprised by any of what has happened to our family. We do not always understand why things happen to us, but I know that the Lord has a plan for my life and that of our family and I can have
HOPE in that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Seeing the Doctor

This morning was my postpartum appointment. The doctor in Seattle told me that I needed to be seen about 4 weeks after my delivery rather than the normal 6 weeks. I think they want to make sure that I am healing both physically and emotionally. I am hoping to get some answers today. Not all of the answers have to do with why Emily was born early, but also a few other things.

Today was harder than I thought it was going to be. Driving to the clinic, sitting in the waiting room, and even being in the exam room were hard. I tried not to think about the fact that the last time I had done all these things I was still pregnant. Our doctor was very understanding and tried to answer all the questions that we had.

I learned that our local hospital does indeed have an organization that supports famlies that have lost a baby. Hopefully in the next week or so I will get a call from one of the nurses that works with the organization. I am thankful that our hospital does ensure that memories are preserved for the families that suffer a loss.

We also talked about possible causes that led to the placental abruption. I had blood drawn and they are going to check for several blood disorders to see if you have any of them. In some ways I actually hope that one test comes back positive becuase then at least we would have a medical reason for why we lost Emily so early. I have not really thought about how I will react if they all come back negative and there is no medical reason for what happened. I will cross that bridge if we come to it.

Praise You in the Storm

I have been given links to many songs and videos since Emily died. I have cried listening to several of them and others just give me such a peace. The song Praise you in the Storm by Casting Crowns has such a wonderful message. It is a gentle reminder to continue to praise the Lord even in the storm.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Lord's Plan...Not Always Ours

Today I was doing some reading and I came across the Scripture 2 Samuel 12:15b-23. This is the scripture about King David's son dying. I have read this scripture many times over my life, but I have never really paid much attention to it before this. I found this Scripture interesting. Before I share what I thought of the verses and what I found in a commentary about it I thought I would post the portion of scripture for you to read as well.

2 Samuel 12:15b-23

Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David, so that he was very sick.
16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them.
18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!”
19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”
20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.
21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.'
23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

David realized that while his child was alive he could pray to God and plead with Him to save his child. But once his child died, he got up, got dressed, and ate. David also realized that his son was dead and nothing he did was going to being him back, so it was time for his life to move on. I think of it like this, David put his life on hold while there was a chance that his son could recover and once he knew there was no chance he moved on with his life.

The verse following this portion says "Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon." The Lord did not answer David's prayers the way he wanted them answered, but the Lord did give David many blessings later.

From the moment that Ron and I learned that I was having problems with the pregnancy we had been praying that the Lord would heal me and protect the baby. I also had one other prayer and that was; that the Lord's will be done. I knew from the beginning that our prayers might not be answered in the way we wanted them to be, but that He would give us an answer. I can't tell you how much I hoped that my body would heal itself and that I would be able to carry Emily to full term. But the Lord still had a hand in everything that happened. And I realized that even when God answers our prayers with a no, He has other plans.
The Lord had other plans for David's life and how his life witnessed to those around him. I see this the same for our family.

The Lord had a plan for Emily's short life. For me, sometimes I wish I knew what that plan was right now. It might make losing her easier. Then I think about the fact that we may never know the whole impact Emily's life and death had on people. We may not know until we get to heaven. Like I said in the letter I sent out after Emily's death, her life already has had Kingdom impact and will continue too. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

99 Things

Recently I read this post on a blog Butterflies for Alexandra and thought it was a very cute idea. It is a bit different post from what I usually do and it will also give you a chance to get to know me a bit better.  
Here are the rules: Bold the things you’ve done and post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightening storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

I have done a lot of the things on the list and many more are things that I would love to do in my lifetime, but there are a few that I hope never get bold.
Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What Was and What Is

Today as I put my oldest daughter down for her nap, I had an overwhelming desire to look at Emily's things. I do not have very many things that belonged to Emily, she was only in this world for 10 hours after all. When we left the hospital the NICU nurses gave us a box that holds Emily's things. Inside are several pictures that they had printed for us, the thermometer that was used to take Emily's temperature, her blood pressure cuff, the two hats that she wore, a little gown that she would have worn if she had been alive longer, a small blanket, a little tiny diaper (just like the one that she wore while she was alive), and a piece of paper with her hand and feet prints. I also have the pink blanket that she was wrapped in. These are the only things that are Emily's.

We had bought some clothes the week after we found out we were having a girl, but in my mind they are not really Emily's. Emily never came home, we had not yet set up "her" room. Yes, there are things in the room that we had decided would be the baby's, but since we never brought Emily home, and we had never gotten "things ready" I do not think of it as Emily's room. It is just the place where we are storing all of Maddie's old baby things. The clothes that we bought for the new baby have not been washed and still have the tags on them. I had thought about taking them back to the store, but have decided instead to just fold them and put them away with the other clothes in that size.

As I read back over what I just wrote, it sounds a little sad and depressing, but I think this is how I cope. One of my first thoughts on our way home from the hospital was about the baby's room, I wanted to make sure that door was closed, so that I would not have to look inside and see the baby stuff that was in there. I am so thankful that my mom had closed the door before we got home.

The door stayed closed for about a week and then I decided I wanted to go inside and look. It was not as hard as I though it would be. Like I said before most of the stuff was Maddie's so it all has a positive thought behind it. Yes, we had planned to use it for the new baby too, but it was never used. Even looking at the clothes we had bought for the new baby was not as difficult as I had though it would be. One reason I think this was the case is that none of the clothes were for a newborn. I had purchased clothes for when she got older.

The door to the room now stays open. Basically the room is still the way it was when we left for the hospital that Saturday morning. I imagine that the room will stay the way it is for many months to come. There is really no need to do anything with the stuff that is in there right now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part VIII

This the final part of Emily's story. Writing this was very hard, but it was healing at the same time. I have also included a few pictures of Emily.

Tuesday night I started to contract and bleed again.
About 5AM on Wednesday January 26th, the contractions began to get stronger. I called Ron at 6:30AM and told him that he should get ready and come over. He got to my room at about 8:45AM. The actual times are kind of a blur for me, but I do know that at some point the doctors came in and did an exam and ultrasound. It was determined that I was 10cm dilated, but they could not determine the position of the baby or if my bag of water was still intact. So the doctor did another digital exam. The pressure from this exam was so intense that I passed out.
When I was conscious again and the pressure was gone I felt better. Right after that, around 10AM, I was moved to a L&D room; my 4th room since arriving at UW. From there I met with the anesthesiologist about an epidural because I had decided that I did not want to deal with the pain. But they had to wait for some blood work to come back, and by the time it came back I had talked with Ron and my nurse and decided that I really did not want the epidural. During the entire labor I had a lot of pressure but I never had any pain. I remember right before I actually delivered that the contractions started to be spaced a bit further apart and between each one I almost fell asleep each time. I think it is that little bit of rest that got me through the rest of the labor. I really think the Lord was gracious in saving me from the pain of delivery.
Emily Faith was born at 12:10PM.
At only 23 weeks and 3 days, Emily was born enclosed in a fully intact amniotic sac, which cushioned her during the delivery. The fact that she made it through the delivery process was the first miracle. Once she was delivered the doctors ruptured the sac and took Emily into another room. They had her stable and brought her in so I could see her before taking her to the NICU. My first thought was that she looked like a little elf. She was so small, but so perfect. She weighed 15.3 ounces and was 13.4 inches long. She was actually smaller than they had thought she would be based on the ultrasound from the day before.
After Ron was sure that I was okay from the delivery and our friends John and Jaime had arrived, Ron went to check on Emily. He came back a bit later and told me what was happening with her. He told me that she had a strong heartbeat, but had to be intubated for oxygen. They also placed two lines in her umbilical cord to give her meds and to be able to draw blood. The umbilical cord has two veins and an artery that can be used for medical treatment. However, to test her blood sugar level they had to prick her heel every hour, and then give her insulin as needed. This is because premies have a hard time regulating their blood sugar levels.
 A bit later he and John went back to the NICU to see Emily while Jaime stayed with me.
Shortly before 3PM we were told that we needed to come be with Emily because she was not going to make it. Ron ran out of my room and down to the NICU while the nurse helped me get out of bed.  I was still trying to get out of bed when Ron came back and told me she had passed. He told me that he watched the doctors try to save her, but she just did not respond. When they turned the machines off Ron came to tell me. We cried and then I asked if I could still see her. As I got in the wheelchair to go, the doctor came walking in and was smiling. He told us that they had tried to resuscitate her but it had not worked and they had turned all the machine off when Emily began to breathe on her own.
What a miracle.
Since I was already in the wheelchair, we went over to the NICU so I could visit Emily Faith for the first time.
It was so hot in the NICU and with everything that had happened, I almost passed out again, so I had to leave. Once we got back to my room, they decided to move me yet again. Five rooms in three days… seems a bit crazy to me.
When one of my friends from Wenatchee heard that I was going to deliver, she decided to bring Maddie to Seattle to be with us, they arrived in at the hospital at about 4pm. I am so thankful she did it because Maddie brought so much joy into the room amidst our sadness and worry over Emily’s condition.
The rest of Wednesday was spent in the NICU spending time with Emily and in my room spending time with our friends, my dad and Maddie.
My dad took Maddie to a hotel that night and Ron stayed with me in the hospital room. Once everyone was gone for the night, around 8PM, we decided to go down and spend some time with Emily. When we got down to the NICU the doctors were working on Emily because her stats were dropping. We spent a lot of time talking with the doctor about what we wanted to do and for how long. We told them to do whatever they could to save our little girl. I had the chance to touch and talk to Emily, and the nurse even let me help take her temperature.
We had to watch the doctors resuscitate Emily one more time while we were in the NICU. Then, about 20 minutes later her stats started to fall again and the doctor told us that she was needing more and more help to just keep her alive, and the meds were not helping to improve anything. A few minutes later her stats started to drop again and we decided that it was time to stop trying. We realized that she was going to die and we wanted to be able to hold her before she died. So the doctors disconnected all the wires and tubes and gave Emily to me. She was still alive and breathing when she was placed on my chest. She actually took a few more breaths while I was holding her.

I am so thankful that Ron and I had that time with Emily before she died. I have to say it was the most special thing that could have happened; the three of us getting to spend those precious moments together and say goodbye. I know in my heart that we made the right decision to let her go peacefully, but it does not hurt any less.
The nursing staff was wonderful and very respectful of our time with Emily. They took a bunch of pictures that I am so grateful to have. Ron also had a chance to hold Emily. It was a very special family time.
Emily died at 10:30PM.
Emily's perfect little feet

We spent a bit more time with her and then left her with the nurse. It was such a hard thing to do… give our baby over to an almost stranger. I am so thankful that we got to have that time with Emily. As hard as it was to let her go, we both know that Emily Faith is in a much better place, with no more pain, and one day we will see her again.

I was discharged from the hospital the next morning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anger and Other Thoughts

I got angry for the first time tonight. Why God, did Emily have to die? Why could I not have an uncomplicated pregnancy? So many women have such easy pregnancies, and never have a second thought to what complications could occur. I do not wish these women unwell, I am so thankful that they do not have to deal with everything that we have had to deal with. Part of me wants to scream and just get mad at any and everything. Maybe that would make me feel better, but I doubt it.
I know that this may seem strange, but my anger did not last very long, it was almost like the thought was there and then after a few minutes it was gone.
My next thought was how can I take the tragedy that our family has suffered and help others. In the last few weeks I have discovered so many families that have taken their tragedy and turned it into a chance for them to help other families who also have suffered a loss of a child(ren). I have been praying that the Lord would show me how the loss of Emily can help me to bring healing and help to other mothers. I am not sure what this looks like for me and our family, but I know that in time I will find what it is that I can do. I have a few ideas that I want to look into and I will share them in time. But for now you can be praying that the Lord will show me how to use my loss to help others.

Emily Faith's Story Part VII

Once at UW on Monday, January 24th, I was put in an antepartum room and began to meet doctors almost immediately. The first thing the doctors wanted to do was get an ultrasound. To do this, I needed to move to an exam room, but when the nurses got me into the wheelchair I passed out. They think that passing out was the result of the Magnesium, which opens all the blood vessels, and because I had been flat on my back for almost three days. Because I passed out the nurses wouldn’t let me go to the restroom by myself for the next 24 hours.
The doctors told me that there was no reason to keep me on complete bed rest because no studies showed that bed rest actually improves the chances of a preterm delivery. In fact, getting out of bed to go to the bathroom was helpful in reducing blood clots in my legs. So they removed the catheter.
Once I was feeling better after passing out, I was taken to get the ultrasound. During the ultrasound the doctor discovered that I was at least 1cm dilated and that part of the bag of water had slipped down, creating an hourglass effect. The doctor seemed a bit worried, but also said that this did not mean I was going to deliver soon. The doctors really tried to reassure me, but I knew they were concerned because I was moved to an L&D (Labor & Delivery) room and placed back in Trendelenburg as soon as the exam was done.
Ron finally made it to UW around 5pm. By then I had met with just about every doctor that would be treating me for the next several days. Over the next day Ron also met all those doctors.
Tuesday, January 25th was a good day. No contractions and very little bleeding. We were very encouraged and began to think maybe this pregnancy would last for several more weeks. Around noon Ron sent a text to our family saying, “Update… Today has been a good news day. Baby is no longer Breech. Rachel’s bleeding has slowed down and she has not had any contractions for over 13 hours! Thank you for all your comments and prayers!”
In the evening I was transferred from L&D to an antepartum room. I joked when they were wheeling me into the room that I wondered where I would be tomorrow since I had been in a different room each day since I had been hospitalized.
Our wonderful friends, John and Jaime, spent the evening with me while Ron left to take care of some business.
When Ron got back I told him that we needed to pick out names before he left for the night. So we talked about names for the next two hours. We already had several names we liked but as we were talking he suggested Emily. We looked it up and found out that Emily means “to strive or excel.” We both thought that was the perfect name, but we kept several other options, just in case. I truly believe the Lord gave us this name for our daughter. It was so perfect, Emily Faith.
Reflection: Ron told me later that it was like I subconsciously knew that our daughter was going to be born the next day. The nurse told me later that she had a feeling, based on what was happening with me, that I would deliver within the next 24 hours.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Grief of Others

It has now been almost three weeks since Emily's death. In that time I have gone through a lot of emotions. This morning, for the first time I did not really feel like getting out of bed. If I could have, I would have rolled over and went back to sleep and maybe slept for most of the day. But then Maddie woke up and I HAD to get out of bed. Once I got up and took a shower I felt much better and am functioning rather well this morning. I am sure there will be more days like this morning, but I know that I can get through them as long as I just take it slowly.

The above is just an update on how I am doing, but the purpose of this post is much different. I think that when one has a tragic event occur, such as a loss of a child they become very "self-absorbed." I don't say this as a negative thing, just a statement of fact. I personally have been very focused on my needs and that of Ron and Maddie and have not thought much about how the loss of Emily has affected anyone else. I think this is completely normal and how could anyone expect someone to think about others after something so tragic had occurred.

Recently though, I have had several conversations with people and have begun to see that Emily's death has affected them and many other people as well. Initially I was thinking how could her death really affect them; I mean they did not carry her inside their body, they did not hear her beating heart, they did not see her in the ultrasound, they did not see her in the NICU and they did not hold her. How then, could they really be affected by her death, other than being sad that they never met her or sad for our family because we are going through this awful pain?

Then I realized that just because they did not have any actual contact with Emily does not mean that her death does not have an impact on their life and that they need to grieve in their own way.
For my immediate family, they already loved Emily even though they had not met her. They were looking forward to having another little girl in the family and getting to love her as much as they do Maddie.
For friends of mine the loss of Emily affect them in many different ways. Some of them realized how precious life is and not to take the moments they have with their children for granted. For others it brought up memories of their child(ren) that are in heaven and caused them to have to deal with renewed grief. Even perfect strangers, people who we have never met were affected by Emily's death and are grieving in their own way.
I am sorry to everyone that I discounted your grief. This realization has given me a new understanding of how grief is different for everyone and that each person needs to have the freedom to experience that grief in a way that is right for them. It amazes me on a daily basis that Emily's life and death has already touched so many lives.

I want to share a verse with you that I found this morning.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
I pray that through my grief, as well as yours, that we can be comforted so that when others need comfort when they are suffering that we can offer the comfort we received to others.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part VI

On Sunday morning (January 23rd) I was doing so well that they removed the catheter and allowed me to get up and go to the bathroom. The doctor had even talked about letting me go home that afternoon. But after some discussion she agreed to let me stay until the morning and get my weekly shot before letting me go home.
I am so glad that she listened to me and let me stay because things got crazy after that.
By 4AM Monday, January 24th, I was contracting and bleeding again.
Quick Reflection: Every time contractions started it was always early in the morning.
The doctor came in about 7AM and we began to talk about what needed to happen. I had another ultrasound and it was discover that my cervix had completely thinned. He said he would call the University of Washington Medical Center and talk to the Chief Doctor and see if they would consider taking me. Normally a transfer is not approved until 24 weeks. At this point I was only 23 weeks. The doctor at UW agreed to take me and so the arrangements were made to airlift me to Seattle that morning.
The next few hours were crazy. I was started on Magnesium Sulfate, which stops contractions and helps to protect the baby’s brain. The side effects were horrible. When they first start the drug it was like I was having an intense heat flash all over my body. Then the nausea started. Once they turned down the dosage I felt a little better.
They also put in another catheter for the transfer and because they did not want me out of bed again. The transfer team showed up at the hospital about 11:30AM Shortly after than Ron left to take care of a few things before driving over to Seattle (so he would have a car to get around).
I was taken by ambulance to the Wenatchee airport and put on a small jet plane. The actual flight only took 20 minutes. When we arrived in Seattle I was placed in another ambulance to be taken to UW. The flight nurses were wonderful and had, at one time, worked at UW.  They assured me that I was going to the best hospital possible in Washington.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heaven's Playgroup

Have you ever stopped to think how big heaven is? I mean think about it, if you only consider all the babies that have gone to be with Jesus since the world began, that is A LOT of souls in heaven. Then there are all the adults and children, since the world began, that have also gone to be with Jesus. That is A LOT of souls in heaven. When I think in terms of earthly beings and how many humans that would be it just blows my mind. I am sure that what people look like in heaven is so different than on earth, but in my my mind that is all I can comprehend. Heaven must be massive. I know there is Scripture that helps us to understand bits and pieces of heaven and I will share some of those over the next few weeks; but something just struck me this morning about how many souls are in heaven and I was just in awe thinking about it.
This whole thought process started this morning when Maddie pointed at my belly again and said baby. I said the baby is not in mommy's tummy any more, she is in heaven and Maddie pointed up and said sky.
We have told Maddie that her sister Emily is in the sky because that gives her a physical place. As Maddie gets older what we share and how we share will change, but right now, for a two year old, saying Emily is in the sky with Jesus fits with her understanding. Then she ran off to find her "baby."
As she was running off I smiled and started thanking the Lord for our two little girls. I thanked Him for the joy that Maddie brings to our life and I thanked him for giving us Emily, even if only for a short time. It was while I was praying that I got this image of Emily running and laughing with all the other babies that are in heaven with her and that is when I thought about how many babies that really is. WOW! I don't say that last statement as a sad thought, but as an incredible thought that one day we will get to see Emily again and get to meet all her friends in heaven that she plays with everyday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part V

On Tuesday night, January 18th, I felt like I had horrible gas.  I decided that was what it was and went to bed.
By 4AM I realized that I was having contractions. I started timing them, hoping they were Braxton Hicks contractions and would go away. But they didn’t.
At 8AM I called the doctor’s office and by 9:30AM I was at the doctor’s office. They did an ultrasound and determined that my cervix had thinned from the last ultrasound. The doctor put me on a med to try and stop the contractions and sent me home.
I took it easy the rest of the day. The contractions stopped for a while but by the next morning (Thursday, Jan 20) they were back, so we went to the hospital.
We got to the hospital about 5AM and saw the doctor at 7AM. During the time between they tried to monitor the baby, but it’s hard to keep a 22-week baby on a monitor because there is so much room for the baby to move. They also had me mark when I was having a contraction.
Once the doctor came in, I was started on Ibuprofen to stop the contractions. It worked and I was sent home after 6 hours, with instructions to rest, but not to take anything. I spent the rest of Thursday and all of Friday resting, but by Friday evening the contractions had returned. I spoke with the doctor on call and he told me to take more ibuprofen and see if that worked. It did work for a while but at 5AM on Saturday I woke up with bleeding so we got dressed and went to the hospital.
I was monitored in the ER first because there were no beds available in Labor and Delivery (L&D). In the ER the doctor did an ultrasound and discovered that my cervix had shortened even more. I went from 4cm on January 10th; to 2.5cm on January 19th; to 1.3cm on January 22. We had been told that 4cm was normal; 2.5cm was border-line and 1.5cm was a concern. As soon as the doctor knew the cervix length he said I could not get out of bed and immediately put in a catheter. Not the most fun experience in the world, but they thought it would help.
Within the hour I was moved to L&D and put into Trendelenburg, which means I was flat on my back and my legs were positioned higher than my head. The goal was to take the pressure off the cervix and buy more time. The side effects are: really bad heartburn and a lot of pressure in the sinuses.
They also started me on an antibiotic in case I had an infection, Ibuprofen to stop the contractions and Zantac to help with the heartburn. After 24 hours on the Zantac with no relief I asked for Tums, which did the trick. So the doctor agreed to let me take that as needed and discontinue the use of the Zantac.
The plan was simple: see what would happen over the next day or so. I responded well to the Ibuprofen so I was moved to another room that was less busy and they continued monitoring me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Life or Something Like It

It has now been two weeks since our little Emily went to be with Jesus, and other than a moments thought at about 11am on Wednesday (the day Emily was born and died) about the fact that I gave birth two weeks ago in about an hour, I did not think about it much.

It seems strange to me that I did not take more time to think about Emily and all that happened that day. But then I find myself thinking about Emily at odd times, and being affected by strange things. Like yesterday, I was catching up on one of my DVR'ed shows, The Bachelor (can you believe that I admitted that I watch that crazy show?) On a side note it has struck me lately that The Bachelor seems more like a soap opera than a reality TV show.
Anyway back to how The Bachelor affect me recently about Emily...On the show there is a girl who's name is Emily, and the bachelor often calls her Em, when I heard that I got really sad thinking that we will never get to call our little girl Em, which I think is so cute.

Then the other evening, Ron, Maddie and I were sitting on our bed reading books before bed and I started thinking that we would never do this with both of our daughters. Ron had to finish reading the book to Maddie because I was crying, and when I cry I cannot talk (though it is a talent that I would like to aquire, it would make my life a bit less complicated).

It is the little things that I think will always keep Emily in my heart and mind. It would be so easy to just sit at home and think about Emily all the time, but life continues on and I have to figuare out how to be part of it again.
So far I think I have done a pretty good job. I get up every morning, mostly because a 2 year old does not understand Mommy's need to stay in bed and sleep for a few more hours; I take a shower and get dressed and feed both me and Maddie breakfast. Then we attempt to have a "semi-normal" day, which includes some type of cleaning and an attempt at dinner.
So I have begun to get back into life and find a new normal for our whole family.

One Day, One Hour, One Minute

I had intended to write a much different post today; but then today happened. In the last few weeks I have learned to just live one day at a time, one hour at a time and one minute at a time. It amazes me the things that happen and the interactions that happen when I am open to them.
Today was such a blessing to me.
First, in the helpful spirit of our 2 year old. She has so much energy, and she wants to help with everything. I often have to tell myself to slow down and let her help if she wants to; to foster her helpful spirit and not to crush it, even if it takes me twice as long to get something done. The most important job I have right now is to raise our child and help her build traits that will last her lifetime.
My second blessing today was in the form of my friend Melissa. Her love language is coffee (I know that is  not really a love language, but if it was it would be hers), so I took her a coffee this morning just because. I then spent some time visiting with her which was so good for my soul.
A third blessing today came in the form of Megan and Sarah; they came over for lunch and Megan brought sandwiches (one of my favorite foods). We spent the next two hours talking and sharing. They were such an encouragement to me.
Then I received a fourth blessing tonight in the form of Kelley. She brought us dinner tonight, and stayed to chat for awhile. I had a chance to talk about Emily and everything that has happened in the last month and just share with her. She is such a sweet woman.

In addition to the blessings of today, we have been blessed by so many people in the last week with meals. Thank you so much to each one of you. We have truly been blessed that you care so much for our family.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Peace & Comfort

Over that last week I have spent some time reading other blogs, written by women whom have also lost a baby. Some of them are so sad and these women have no hope. But the other night I was up really early (2am) and I found Loving Audrey a blog written by a women who has such an amazing faith in God. I do not believe I found this blog by accident, I think that the Lord led me to this blog that other night. I was so encouraged and blessed by what Michelle has written. Since beginning to read her blog I have found two other blogs from women with incredible faith. When I read what they have written about the loss they have suffered I see such a peace from them. Each of these women have good and bad days, but in their hearts they know that God has a greater plan in mind for each them.
I cannot begin to understand why God chose to take Emily from this world and from our family. But despite not understanding why, and being mad at God, and wishing our baby girl was still in this world, I have a peace about all the happened from the beginning. I want to know what the greater plan is now so that I can say, "this is why it had to happen," but I understand that God's timing is not my timing.

I know that in the short time Emily was alive she touched many lives. The fact that Emily stopped breathing and the doctors had given up and turned off the machines and then she started to breath again is amazing. I thank God that we had that extra time with Emily. One thing that stands out to me right now as I think about that night in the NICU was Emily's doctor, Dr. Andy.

Dr. Andy was not the doctor who delivered Emily, but he was the doctor on duty when she took her last breath. We spent a lot of time talking to him about the choices we needed to make and how long we wanted them to try and keep Emily alive. Dr. Andy was so sensitive to our feeling and I am sure he had to explain some things to us several times, but he was never frustrated or flustered by anything that happened. He took everything in stride. At one point I remember him asking us if we were believers, to which we replied yes. He told us he had a feeling but wanted to make sure. Then he asked us if he could pray with and for us.

In all honesty I do not have a lot of experience with doctors, but I am sure this is not something they do on a normal basis. I truly believe that Dr. Andy was there to be a comfort to us and to be an instrument of God. Based on everything Dr. Andy told us he would have kept working on Emily until she just could not take any more if that was what we wanted. But he told us that her little body was not responding to the additional life saving measures and if we wanted, we could spend the last minutes of Emily's life holding her and then let her go peacefully.

I am so thankful for the wonderful nurses and doctors in the NICU that night. They showed us such love and support in such a difficult time. I am so sad that other than Dr. Andy I do not remember any of their names, but despite that I will be forever grateful to them for everything they did for Emily and for our family on January 26, 2011. And I thank God for placing those nurses and doctors in our path that night.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part IV

On January 10, 2011, at 21 weeks, we had the ultrasound where they measure everything to see how the baby is growing and to check for any problems. Everything looked good, but they thought that the baby was smaller than expected, so they suggested that my due date might be May 25 instead of May 23. They decided that it wasn’t that big of a deal so they didn’t change my due date.
We also found out we were having another GIRL. We were so excited. Two girls was going to be so much fun. We had a great week and weekend with no spotting or bleeding.
Monday, January 17 I went for my weekly shot and Tuesday we had Maddie’s 2-year checkup.
 Everything was fine and I began to look forward to my monthly doctor’s appointment the following Monday. I loved the chance to get to hear the baby’s heart beat and wanted to talk to the doctor about all the spotting in the past few weeks.
We never made it to that appointment.

I Have Two Children

I was asked the question yesterday, "How many children do you have?" I actually thought I would have longer until I had to answer this question. This exact question is maybe one reason why I have avoided having conversations with strangers, and especially strangers who have children. Because when women talk it is generally about our children. Yesterday while at MOPS I was talking with a mom that I did not know and we were of course talking about children, and she asked me how many children I had. I paused for a second before I answered, not really sure how I wanted to answer. The truth, I have two children. But that takes a lot more explaining than just saying I have a 2 year old daughter. But after a pause I told her that I have two children, one here and one in heaven, and then I shared with her a little about Emily. It was hard and I cried. But I am glad that I was able to share about the existence of Emily in my conversation with someone.

Several days after Emily died I was talking with a friend who has also lost a child. In the conversation she mentioned that the question of how many children you have will come up and you will have to decide how to answer. I am so thankful that we had that conversation because in a way it prepared me for how to answer. While consciously I never came up with how I would answer, it was at least something in the back of my mind. There may be times when I don't answer the same as I did yesterday, just to avoid having to explain further, but at least I have encountered one more tough situation and survived.

I was reading another mother's blog tonight and at the bottom of one of her posts she had this verse, "For I know the plans I have for prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. I think this is a wonderful verse full of promise. The one thing that I keep thinking is that none of this has caught God by surprise. He knew before the beginning of time...And He has a greater plan in all of this than we can even imagine. So I will take comfort in the fact that He "knows the plans He has for give me hope and a future."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part III

Here is another installment of Emily's story:
During the first 15 weeks, there had been some minimal spotting, but it had always been really light and only lasted a day or so. So, when I started spotting two days after my first progesterone shot and it went on for several days I began to get worried. When I went in for my shot at 16 weeks I mentioned the spotting and the doctor saw me that morning. He was not sure what was happening, but did not seem concerned. The spotting stopped that day and was gone for several weeks.
Then, the Saturday before Christmas I started spotting again. It was heavier and so I called and talked to the doctor on call. He did not seem very concerned since I was not having any contractions. He told me to wait until Monday and mention it to my doctor. By Monday the spotting had stopped, so I mentioned it to the nurse and let it go at that.
The next few weeks were fine, nothing happened and I began to think maybe everything was fine and it had just been my body adjusting to being pregnant.
Then on Saturday, January 7, 2011, I noticed some spotting and decided that I would take it easy the rest of the day. By 11am I was actually bleeding and had passed a blood clot. This really worried me and I called the doctor on call. The doctor didn’t seem very concerned about my bleeding since I was not contracting, but he told me if I wanted to come in and be seen it was up to me.
So, we went to the hospital. We were there for 4 hours, during that time they put me on a fetal monitor, did an ultrasound, and ran a urine test to see if I had a bladder infection (which I did not).
They had a hard time keeping the baby on the fetal monitor because she was so small. But since the doctor could not find anything wrong they sent me home and told me to follow up with my doctor. By the time we got home from the hospital the bleeding had stopped. I took it easy the rest of the weekend.
Reflection: During the ultrasound the tech measured my cervix. We found out two weeks later that the cervix measured 4cm. 4cm was a good place to be at 20 weeks.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part II

Here is part two of my pregnancy with Emily Faith.

At 10 weeks (October 25, 2010) we had our first official doctor’s appointment. The doctor did another ultrasound to confirm my dates, and we got to see our baby’s beating heart again.
At this appointment we talked to the doctor about our concern over having another preterm birth. Maddie was born at 35 weeks and we never had any indication that I would deliver early. No contractions or preterm labor of any kind. My water simply broke at 35 weeks, which meant she had to be delivered.
The doctor told us that I fall into a category of 10% of women that they have no explanation for why they deliver early. It is not very comforting to have your doctor tell you “we don’t know why it happened and we don’t know if it will happen again.” However, the doctor told us that research suggested that a weekly progesterone shot, starting at 15 weeks and continuing through 35 weeks, helped prolong pregnancy in over 50% of women. Ron and I decided that we were willing to do what we had to do to make sure our baby had the best chance possible.
So, beginning at 15 weeks (November 29) I got my first shot. I got my last shot at 22 weeks (January 17).
Reflection: Looking back, it seems to me that November 29th was when we began our up and down journey of emotions, doctor visits, and hospital admissions.

Good and Bad Days

Lately I have been thinking about each day in terms of was it a good or bad day. Today, so far is a good day. I woke up ready to get things done, and I feel like I have actually accomplished something today. Yesterday was a bad day. I cried for more of the day than I did not. I could not really pinpoint one thing that started the tears, but I have decided I don't need a reason. Just the fact that I just had a baby and that baby died, is reason enough. There was some fun yesterday though, I watched the Super Bowl with just our family. It is the first time I can remember that I did not go somewhere or have people over to watch the Super Bowl, but that was just fine.
Friday started as a bad day, but ended  as a good day. I started crying in the morning. One reason for this was that I had just finished writing out Emily's birth story and so I had gone back over all the details, and to top it off Ron had to go out of town for the day and would not be back until Saturday sometime in the afternoon. This was the first time he was going to be gone for any length of time since we had come back home over a week ago.
I did have plans for the day so I decided to keep them, even though my eyes seemed to be "leaking" without warning. Maddie and I left the house with me somewhat under control and then I drove by the cemetery, they were setting up for a burial, and I lost it again. Just thinking about someone else having died broke my heart again and made me think about Emily. I did make it to my friend's house and proceeded to cry as I talked to her for awhile. But she was wonderful and just let me cry.
Then that night another friend came over to just be with me and she brought a bottle of wine. I had told her that now that I was not pregnant that I really wanted to have a glass of wine, so she indulged me and brought the wine. It was so nice to just spend time with a friend and have some wine.
So far the last two weeks most of my bad days do get better at some point during the day. But the same can be said of my good days; some of them do end on a bad note. But I guess this is to be expected. I have come to the realization that I just need to take one day at a time and take that day, one hour at a time and I will make it though this time in my life.
I know that some of my family and friends are worried that I am handling all of the grieving "too well," but I want to assure you that I do indeed have good and bad days and I am trying to just go with each day and with each emotion.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part I

I have wanted to share about my pregnancy and Emily's birth for the last few days so I began to write, with the intention to share it with you. After several days of writing I have six pages worth of information. I am going to share most of it with you, but I promise to do it over several posts so as not to overwhelm anyone with too much at once. 

The Beginning:

We took a pregnancy test on September 14, 2010, and it was positive. I had been feeling more tired than usual, to the point where I almost fell asleep at the first MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting. Even though we had been trying to get pregnant, it was still a bit of a surprise. We were thrilled to be expecting our second child.
From the beginning, the pregnancy was very different from when I was pregnant with Maddie.
At five weeks (September 20, 2010) I started spotting. The doctor’s office got me right in to see the doctor on call. They did an ultrasound and said everything looked great. Seeing that little beating heart for the first time was such a reassurance. There was no reason they could find for my spotting and told me that it was probably just “old blood.”
Reflection: We continued to hear the phrase “old blood” many more times during the rest of the pregnancy. The way the doctors talked about the “old blood” always sounded like an okay thing.  At least it was not “fresh blood.” When I think about it now, I think blood is blood. During a pregnancy it is not supposed to be present.
To be continued...

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Tuesday marked one week since Emily was born and then went to be with Jesus. The morning I was released from the hospital two of the nurses from the NICU brought down a box with some pictures, a CD, several things that had been Emily's, and a card with her footprints on them. They told me that the CD had pictures that had been taken of Emily during the day and that night before and after she died. I am so glad that we had the chance to get pictures of just Emily, but also so pictures of both Ron and me holding her in the last minutes of her life. Once we got home I decided that I was not ready to look at the pictures so I had just out the CD away. But on Tuesday night I decided that I wanted to look at all the pictures. I put the CD in my computer and began to look through the pictures. It was not long before I realized that there were only about 30 pictures on the CD. I knew that the nurse had taken a lot more than that, in fact there were no pictures of Ron and me holding Emily. It was in that moment that I began to panic. How could they have not given us all the pictures that were taken? I look over at Ron and said we need to call the hosptial right now. My wonderful husband called right then and there and talked to one of the nurses in the NICU. She told him she would have to send an e-mail and would get back to us. About 20 minutes later she called back and informed Ron that there was indeed another CD and the social worker should have told us that it would be mailed to us in a few days. Apparently the pictures needed to be converted to black and white and this has to be done on a computer. I am so relieved to know that our pictures did not just get lost.

I will be sharing photos of Emily Faith slowly over time. Here is one of my favorites.

Holding Mommy's Hand

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Very Special Gift

Several years ago when Ron and I moved to Washington we were introduced to a couple through a mutual friend. The friendship with the mutual friend has ended, but we have remained friends with the other couple. John and Jaime live in Olympia, not far from Seattle, where I was in the hospital. We were so blessed to have them in our life. They took time out of their busy life to come and visit me in the hospital on Tuesday night. Then when they heard that I was going to deliver on Wednesday they came right over to the hospital. They arrived about 20 minutes after Emily Faith was born and the spent the rest of the day with us. They had a chance to meet Emily and just be a support for both Ron and me through the whole day.
Today in the mail I received a package from Jaime. Inside was a little jewelry box and a necklace. On the necklace is a cross and an engraved circle with Emily Faith on one side and Forever and Always on the other side. I cried when I opened it, it was such a perfect gift. Here are several pictures of the necklace and the little box.
Emily Faith

Forever and Always

jewelry box and necklace

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You Would Never Know it Was 20 Degrees Outside

For the last several days we have been spending a lot of time at home. This means that Maddie has developed cabin fever and has been asking to go outside. I have been telling her no since it has been so cold; but today I decided to let her run around for a little while. She had a blast despite the fact that it was only 20 degrees outside today. Despite the cold, it felt wonderful to be out in the sun for a few minutes. So glad we were able to get our vitamin D for the day, now I would be happy with a bit more snow. Here are a few pictures of Maddie enjoying the sun.

I asked her to smile and this is what I got

She is just too cute

A very nice smile

Pushing her dolly

Looking over the wall

I love the light and her sweet smile
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