Friday, June 22, 2007

The after days

The sun rises and sets.

Days pass.

Life goes on.

I know life must go on, but it just feels wrong to 'go on'. Somehow it just feels wrong to go back living life as if a beautiful life didn't just briefly enter and leave our family.

My uterus is shrinking back to it's proper size. I lay on the bed and feel my stomach. It reminds me of a bag that carried a precious treasure, but the treasure is gone and all that remains is the crumpled, empty bag. The memory of what once was.

My breasts are no longer painfully engorged with milk, which also makes me cry. Just a week and a half after I gave birth, even my body must go on as if nothing happened.

Of course we all know something happened. Isabel made her brief appearance on this earth. We were able to hold her, tell her we love her, and then stand aside as an angel carried her to Heaven.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A dark day

"A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths."
- Sarah Edwards' comment at the news of her husband's death

Four dozen roses for Isabel.

The night before the funeral.

My aunt and cousin made the flower arrangement for Isabel's casket.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Our Sweet Baby Girl

Late Sunday night I started having some contractions. They sporatically continued into Monday. We checked into the hospital Monday afternoon around 1pm.

Isabel Hope was born early this morning at 12:50am. She weighed 3 lbs. 12 oz. She lived approximately 30 short minutes. She didn't appear to struggle or be in any pain.

My parents and sister brought our children to the hospital a few hours before Isabel was born. The boys were able to hold their baby sister.

It was obviously a very painful experience. We ask for your continued prayer support.
Our only comfort is in knowing our sweet little girl is with the Lord, free from the earthly limitations that were imposed upon her.

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord."
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job 1: 20-22

Articles of note:

In the Shadow of Death – The Little Ones Are Safe With Jesus

What happens to Infants When They Die

Monday, June 11, 2007

Latest completed items.

Friday, June 8, 2007

What do I say?

My sister talked to a friend of hers who has lost a baby. Here was her advice...

The advice I have is to let them totally grieve. Let them be angry and don't say things like well at least you have 3 other kids or God only gives you what you can handle. I think those were the worst things I heard when I was going through it all. Tell them this all just sucks and it is awful because it is. I know I didn't want to hear the "oh time will heal" and all that supportive stuff for awhile. All I can say is it is the WORST of the worst. It is the most painful grief of all. I know you grieve when your grandparents die but you know that is the cycle of life and you can kind of make sense of it but it just doesn't make sense when a baby dies. It took me probably a good 18 to 24 months before I felt like I could go on with my life. That first year I seriously cried everytime I had to drive on the route we took to the hospital. It is just going to take a lot of time to get through this. And as I am typing this memories are coming to me and I remember how horrible it was going to the funeral parlor and making those arrangements and then walking into that room to see the tiny little casket. That killed me. So just be sensitive to all that when the time comes and give her lots of support even just being physically with her but maybe not saying anything. She just needs to get it all out. My heart totally aches for them and I can physically feel their pain for them. I will pray for peace for them. This will never make sense to them but I pray they will be able to get it to a place where they can manage it. I am so so sorry for them. I wish no parent ever had to go through the death of their child.

I totally agree with her dislike for comments like
“God won’t give you more than you can handle” or
“God knows you are strong enough” or
“Because you are strong, God knows you can handle this” etc.

I’ve had a few of those comments, I don’t really think that it’s a Biblical comment. I think people confuse that idea with what the Bible says about temptation:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

I do know that God’s grace is here for us to help us in times of trouble, but I don’t think he allows tragedy to come on someone just because they are ‘stronger’ than others. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. It’s like the song about the house on the sand or on the rock. It rains on all of us, but depending on where you build your house dictates if or how you live through it.

Knowing that Isabel won’t have to live through this life with all it’s hardships and she will be assured eternity in Heaven is not really a comfort to me at this point. Of course, I want her to be in Heaven someday, but I want her with me now.

I think through this I realize how many times I have said the wrong things in the past to others. When something bad happens to someone, you want to comfort them, and give them a reason. I know I did. I would make some attempt to make sense out of it. But now I realize, that’s not what people want to hear. Because we are all just human, we can’t possibly know or understand the mind of God. How could I possibly know why this happened? The grieving person doesn’t really care what my thoughts are on it. The bottom line is it doesn’t make sense to us now and it probably never will this side of eternity. It's just awful. Period.

I appreciate those who let me say things without correcting whether they are rational or not. To try to make it make sense doesn’t help, because it just doesn’t. It’s just hard and something we wish we didn’t have to go through. In the end, I think the best thing to say is "I'm sorry. I'm praying for you." and a hug. What else can anyone say? Nothing.

If the Lord does take her, I do ask the Lord to let her know how much we loved and wanted her and how much we so desperately wanted to keep her.

Why do I knit?

Why do I knit? I have been knitting quite a bit lately. And the worst part is...I don't really know how to knit. Okay, I'm making a real effort to learn right quick.

Somehow it makes me feel like I can show Isabel that her Mama loves her by knitting something for her. That she won't be wearing generic socks from Target or something that just anyone can buy for $4.99. Something made especially for her. It's something I can actually DO while waiting for this dreaded event to take place.

Why can't I stop at just one hat or one pair of socks?'s hard to decide what the one pair of socks should be that your baby will ever wear. Actually, it's torture.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Knitting for Isabel Hope

Socks under construction. #2 Double pointed needles.

These socks are on my fingers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

May 21st update

We had another appointment with the Perinatologist today. We had another ultrasound too. The newest news is that now they believe Isabel has Bilateral Renal Agenesis also known as Potter's Syndrome. It just means that they don't see any kidneys at all. At one point, someone thought that there was one multi-cystic kidney, now they believe her kidneys never developed at all. She has no kidneys. They also say there is no amniotic fluid at all. She is also still in the breech position. No one expects her to move, with no fluid. She doesn't move very much, just little small jerks or shudders. It's sad.She has grown steadily from the last time we had an ultrasound, so they question my due date. I know when I had my LMP and I also know when I had the positive pregnancy test, but going by her measurements, they say my due date is August 17th. My original due date is July 14th. This was also depressing news for me, as I now get to be pregnant an extra month (possibly), not to mention the torture of drawing this whole thing out even longer. They say that if she truly was growth retarded, she wouldn't have grown much in the last 3 wks. It's confusing. I don't really understand what is going on.I also have developed gestational diabetes, so if she grows into a large baby, which is what they often do, that would pose more of a problem with labor, being that she is breech.It was a tiring day.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Renal Agenesis

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Though the earth be removed, and though mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Psalm 46: 1-3

We have recently received some devastating news about our baby. We had an ultrasound on Friday, then had another more extensive ultrasound on Saturday to confirm what Friday’s had found. I am 29 weeks along. The baby shows severe growth restriction. It is only measuring 23 weeks 4 days. As far as they can see, the baby only has one kidney, and this one is filled with cysts (multi-cystic) and therefore only working just a bit, if at all. The doctor cannot find a bladder. Since there is no / very little kidney function the baby is unable to pee, therefore there is almost no amniotic fluid. They usually see 10-26 cm of fluid, I have 1cm. Since there is no fluid, the baby’s lungs have not been able to develop. The baby’s movements are very limited also because of the lack of fluid. The doctor said this is just 1 in 4,000 and we get to be the 4,000th.

The prognosis is very grim. Aside from a miracle from God, there is nothing they can do to help the baby and told us it will certainly die either in the womb or within minutes of birth. After receiving this news, we wanted to know what the sex of the baby is, but since there is no fluid, it’s very difficult to see clearly.

The options they gave us were pretty horrible:

  1. “Terminate” the pregnancy – By a ‘D an E’, (Dilation and evacuation) this would be an abortion.
  2. “Terminate” the pregnancy – by inducing labor and then injecting the baby with a drug to stop it’s heart BEFORE it is born.
This one was unbelievable. Since the Supreme Court recently ruled Partial Birth Abortions illegal, apparently they just go around that in this way. Since they would be inducing labor early (too early), they would have to kill the baby before it leaves the womb then it wouldn’t be a live birth, and NOT a partial birth abortion. The perinatologist wouldn’t really go into detail, but they were clear that they would not induce me and let me give birth to a live baby, they would HAVE to inject it with this drug to stop it’s heart before it was born.
Clearly these are not options we were interested in.
We have decided to do nothing except pray and wait. The baby could die in the womb, or I could carry it another 11 wks to term. I should be able to have the baby vaginally either way.
Obviously, we are so sad at this news. We’ve had a lot of tears here and I don’t see them stopping anytime soon. When Sophia sees me crying, she comes up to me with a Kleenex and a kiss saying, “Oh honey…honey…happen?” or “Mama sad?”
We know God is in control. We would appreciate your prayers.
Here is a little hat I've made for Isabel.