Monday, November 16, 2009

Heaven is the Face

This song speaks so dearly to my heart.... Stephen Curtis Chapman is such a gifted writer. What a blessing this song is to me. If you have not yet heard it, you really must.


Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles.
Heaven is the place
Where she calls my name
Says, “Daddy please come play with me for awhile.”

Chorus:

God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for.
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.
So right now...

Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep,
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing.
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms,
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams

And God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m longing for
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.

Bridge:

But in my mind’s eye I can see a place
Where Your glory fills every empty space.
All the cancer is gone,
Every mouth is fed,
And there’s no one left in the orphans’ bed.
Every lonely heart finds their one true love,
And there’s no more goodbye,
And no more not enough,
And there’s no more enemy (no more).

Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone.
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You,
And we both run into Your arms.

Oh God, I know, it’s so much more than I can dream.
It’s far beyond anything I can conceive.
So God, You know, I’m trusting You until I see
Heaven in the face of my little girl,
Heaven in the face of my little girl.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

So long, farewell....

I have been contemplating what to do with this blog ever since Brooks was born. I really wanted to share his birth with everyone I had met while writing. Once I did that I realized a few things: #1 I had no time to write, #2 I don't have much to say any more, and #3 I don't like using the same venue to celebrate his life that I used to mourn hers. I started writing to express my grief during my time of loss and that time is over. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I am over Caroline's death... or that I'll ever be... it's just that I feel like I don't need this outlet any more. I am grateful for all the people I met through writing and hope some of my words were helpful to others in my same situation. I know that I needed this during that season in my life and now that season has passed. I will always miss her, be changed because of her, and remember the lessons I learned from losing her, but it is time to move on.

If you would like to follow our life in pictures, feel free to visit us here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Laughter

Brooks has been laughing outloud in his sleep since right after he was born. Really, he chuckles and his belly shakes like someone told him the best joke ever. However, he has yet to laugh outloud when he is awake. We put this Jumper together about 3 weeks ago and have been trying to put Brooks in it since then. Everytime we tried his feet couldn't quite touch. We tried tonight and he LOVED it!!! We caught his giggles on camera.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Daddy





It was a great Father's Day! We went to church and then to "Gramps'" house for crabs. Since I cannot keep up with the blog as much as I would like to, I am posting pictures here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baby Blessings

First I must apologize for becoming a total slacker at blogging. I keep meaning to write and then... a week has passed and I forget.

Many of my very dear friends have had babies these last months. Shelley, who I have known since elementary school, had her baby boy, Ethan 17 days before Brooks. Cathy had her baby girl, Grace, on May 1st. And yesterday, my dear friend Kelly had a baby girl, Lyla. It is an undescribable feeling to know the same friend you went to Toga parties with, shared your first apartment with, and road-tripped all the way to Key West with will now be on the journey of motherhood with you too. It just makes me so happy to know that we will be able to watch our kids grow up together!!! Thank you Lord for these blessings, these beautiful babies!

Monday, May 25, 2009

We're Back!!!


Remember this post??
Well they are back and this time there are FOUR!!! Pretty cool, huh?!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Great Song

This is such a beautiful song, by Alan Jackson. It makes me think of Caroline every time I hear it on the radio.


Why did she have to go
So young I just don't know why
Things happen half the time
Without reason without rhyme
Lovely, sweet young woman
Daughter, wife and mother
Makes no sense to me
I just have to believe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why
Feeling so lost inside
Anger shot straight at God
Then asking for His love
Empty with disbelief
Just hoping that maybe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
Will always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Don't worry 'bout me
Don`t worry 'bout me

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What a difference...

a year can make. Today we participated in March for Babies (in the pouring down rain). Last year we walked in memory of our daughter and with hope for another baby.

Today, of course her memory was on our hearts as it always is, but we were also able to walk to celebrate the answered prayer that is our son.

Thank you everyone who joined us today and supported this mission.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Before I Was a Mom

My best friend, Lindsay, sent me this today.

Before I was a Mom, I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom, I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom, I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom, I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt!
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom, I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment,
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom ....

Monday, April 13, 2009

It hardly seems real that he is really here. I never knew you could love someone so much! He is such a good baby and we are so blessed and grateful.

Here are a few pictures of his first week:)


Monday, April 6, 2009

He's Here!!!


Wow! What a day.. we are feeling blessed! Brooks Michael is finally here. He weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz and is 20.8 inches long. He was born at 4:08 PM today, just in time for the O's Opening Day! Will post more later.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I am going to the hospital Sunday evening for my induction.
Will update when he gets here:)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Update

At my doctor's appointment today I still had not progressed. The doctor was extremely kind and compassionate. She understood my heightened anxiety due to my history and agreed to schedule my induction. I hope to have the time/ date tomorrow. At the earliest it will be Friday, but could be early next week too. Will update as soon as I know:)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Waiting Game....

So last Friday was my last day of work. So my week has consisted of a lunch date with mom, dinner with friends, a hair appointment, grocery shopping and making some returns. I have stocked the house with literally every comfort food you can think of (think ding dongs and fritos:) and worn in all my comfiest sweats. I have also watched every baby show that there is on the TV. At my appointment yesterday, I was still 1 cm. I expressed my increasing anxieties to the doctor and although she was sympathetic she was also quite candid and realistic about what is likely to happen. Due to the lack of progress and the fact that I have not had any contractions it looks like the waiting game will continue. While you never know what could happen from day to day the doctor said it is likey I will be induced if things do not progress on their own. Oh, and they don't like to induce before 42 weeks! Ugh! That would mean sitting here for 3 more weeks. So 5 more days until my due date and my next appointment. At that time we will see how things are going and if nothing has changed an induction date will be set. I left there with tears in my eyes and a Rx for Zoloft in hand. Nick put it perfectly... Gone are the days that hearing the heartbeat is "good enough". So why am I so disappointed when knowing he is healthy and not 'due' yet should be enough to ease my mind? For me it is the fact that we are soooo close but yet it seems so far away. The hours and days tick by like an eternity. Until I hold that boy in my arms it is still very surreal that this is actually going to happen and that everything is going to be ok this time. God grant me patience...and get this boy to come soon!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Progress!!

I had my 38 week appointment today. I am one centimeter dilated. Tomorrow is my last day of work and then it's all a waiting game from here on out! Will keep you posted!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An article featuring.... me:)

An article from the March of Dimes Maryland-National Capital
Area Chapter's Newsletter
The Power to Help Save Babies is at Your Fingertips

NICU doctors and nurses have tools at their fingertips to help save babies. So do you. The Online Fundraising Tool (OFT) allows walkers to raise hundreds to thousands of dollars—all from their desktop or laptop computer. Jessica Klug of Baltimore, Md., used OFT in 2008 and she raised $1,724. “I think the [OFT] Web site looks great,” she told Jennifer Tarr, community director in the Central Maryland Division office in Baltimore. “That is how I did all of my fundraising last year—online.”

Jessica served as team captain for her first-year family team, Team Angel Baby, which raised $9,832. The team raised more than 60 percent of its funds online.

Team Angel Baby was one of the top teams in the March of Dimes Maryland-National Capital Area Chapter. Jessica shared a few secrets of her success so this year’s walkers and teams could raise much-needed funds and help more babies:

1. “I placed March for Babies widgets and badges on my blog and Facebook page.”
The March of Dimes has developed badges, widgets and banners to help you show your support of March for Babies. These items can be used in your e-mails and on your blog, Facebook page or MySpace page to help promote the event and your fundraising efforts. Even the official March for Babies logo is available for use on your Web site, in personal and company newsletters or on a team T-shirt to help you promote March for Babies. To download these items, please visit http://www.marchforbabies.org/spread_the_word.aspx.

“Jessica did a great job in utilizing the social networking tools provided by the March of Dimes to recruit walkers and inform her team about the walk and the important mission of the March of Dimes,” said Tarr.

2. “I walked in memory of my daughter, who was stillborn in October 2007.”
Jessica told her supporters she was walking in memory of her daughter. Your personal and team OFT pages have space for pictures and text to explain why you’re walking. Perhaps you’re also walking in memory of a child, or to celebrate the birth of a child—one born healthy or too soon. Tell your supporters why you’re walking and that they’re welcome to join you or form their own team.

3. “I had a huge outpouring of support from my family and friends.”
Jessica raised all of her money online. Her donors gave anywhere from $20 to $100. And thanks to OFT, she could reach donors who lived across the street or across the country. Her friends saw her fundraising badge when they read her e-mails and her Facebook and blog visitors saw her March for Babies widgets. The badges and widgets allowed friends and family to donate online effortlessly and immediately. The average walker who uses OFT raises more than double the amount of a walker who doesn’t use OFT.

If you’re part of a family or corporate team, your team captain will thank you for using OFT. Team captains whose members use OFT have less cash and checks to submit on Bank Day or Walk Day, can track all of their walkers and amounts raised, and can communicate easily with walkers about upcoming activities, special promotions and your team’s fundraising goal.

Please visit http://www.marchforbabies.org to register for March for Babies and utilize the OFT to meet your fundraising goals and help more babies.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prayer Request

Dear Lord,
I am growing quite anxious to meet this little one. I know 4 more weeks doesn't seem so long, but each day seems to be dragging on like an eternity. Please help me to be patient as I wait for this miracle to arrive.

Amen

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I know the saying goes...

"April showers bring May flowers." but in my case I hope it is "February showers bring March BABY!!!!"

I am soooooooo very blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. We were truly showered with love!

Monday, February 23, 2009

25/36/35

No those are not measurements of my body by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I would hate to know what my measurements are at this stage of the game! I can barely tie my own shoes and finding a comfortable position for sleeping has become quite the challenge. When I was typing the numbers I had "I like big butts and I cannot lie going thru my head"... pregnancy does strange things to my mind. Lins, if you are reading this do you remember how many times we were forced to listen to that in Jeff's car!?

Anyway.....those numbers do represent how I have spent the last 97 weeks of my life. I don't even know what made me think of it, but I realized that my life has been consumed with having a baby for that long! I was pregnant with Caroline for 25 weeks, not pregnant and wishing I was for the next 36, and then for the last 35 I have been pregnant with Brooks. Up until the last couple of weeks I have felt pretty good, but suddenly I am very uncomfortable and having a really hard time making it thru the days at work without a tear here or there. So...when I look back and think of it, WOW! 97 weeks = 679 days! That makes me realize that the next 37 days should go by pretty fast and who knows he may even come before that!

I tried out a new church yesterday and really liked it. Something that the pastor said stuck with me and I wanted to share it with you. "The same sun that melts wax hardens clay". Think on that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't forget!

Don't forget to sign up to walk with us!!!!
Only 72 days to go...

What: March for Babies
When: May 3, 2009
Where:Camden Yards
333 W. Camden Street
Baltimore, MD (21201)

Sign up to walk with us now! Simply click here to go to our site and click on "walk with me".

Monday, February 9, 2009

Notes from Nick

I got home from my "Stamp Club" to find Nick had been working on this all night.
Check it out...
I will continue to post here too for a while.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Vast and Sudden Sadness

An article from "Newsweek"

Each year thousands of families experience stillbirth. As science seeks causes, parents use photography to honor their babies and cope with their grief.

Claudia Kalb
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Feb 9, 2009
Marirosa Anderson was still sweating from a workout when her cell phone rang at 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 11, a particularly cold night in northern Virginia. Anderson had planned to spend the evening with her husband and two small children. Then she saw the caller-ID number. She took a deep breath, readied herself and answered the phone. Karen Harvey, a labor-and-delivery nurse at Inova Fairfax Hospital, gave her the rundown. A baby was about to be delivered by C-section and the parents wanted photographs. Could she come right over?

Anderson threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, grabbed her camera bag and ran out the door. At the hospital, Harvey led her to a quiet room where Laurie Jackson and her husband, Michael, were waiting. Laurie's pregnancy had been easy and enjoyable, filled with the happy buzz of baby showers and the lovely air of expectation. But during a routine check that Tuesday afternoon—just three days before her due date—the Jacksons were given the incomprehensible news that their baby no longer had a heartbeat. The night before, Laurie had felt the baby kicking. Now she and Michael were confronting the impossible: saying hello and goodbye to their firstborn child at the very same time.

Anderson introduced herself, then took out her camera, turning her attention to a perfect little girl who lay still in a bassinet, peaceful in a white cotton blanket with pink and blue stripes. "She's precious," Anderson said. Then she started to shoot. The baby's face. Click. Her tiny hands. Click. Her little pink feet. Click. Now it was time for the three of them. Laurie cradled her baby girl in the crook of her elbow, Michael leaned in next to her. Together they studied their daughter's face—her mouth resembled Laurie's family, the rest was pure Michael—they whispered to each other, they came together as a family. Their baby girl weighed six pounds, seven ounces and she was 19 inches long. They named her Brenna Rose.

Pregnancy is supposed to be the most wonderful time, brimming with anticipation, kicking with newness and life. But as novelist Elizabeth McCracken writes in "An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination," a recent memoir about the death of her first baby, "this is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending." Stillbirth happens more often than we imagine—10 times more often than sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, a condition most every parent knows about and dreads. Every year some 26,000 babies die during or after the 20th week in their mothers' womb (a loss before that is considered a miscarriage) or die during birth. In at least half of all cases, doctors have no idea what went wrong. The impact is impossible to measure. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends—all must figure out how to absorb the vast and sudden sadness, to grieve and, in many instances, to reconcile with a God who has shaken their faith to its core.

Decades ago, stillborn babies were whisked away from their parents to morgues; doctors and nurses pretended nothing happened, mothers were medicated with Valium, parents suffered their sorrow alone. It was in the late 1970s and early 1980s that the medical and psychological thinking about stillbirth began to evolve when researchers started studying the impact of a baby's death and parents began telling their stories. From silence and detachment came acknowledgment and remembrance. Today nurses encourage parents to hold the babies. Molds of hands and feet are created. Locks of hair are collected. And photographs are taken. Not just the clinical snapshots that nurses have been capturing for years, but striking and sensitive portraits that have burgeoned since the formation of a group called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep in 2005.

Volunteer photographers who belong to the group, including Anderson, take pictures of stillborn babies—and babies expected to die soon after birth—for their parents at no cost. The idea was born from the life of Maddux Haggard, who was 6 days old and on life support in Colorado when his parents, Cheryl and Mike, decided they wanted pictures of their baby and contacted Sandy Puc', a local photographer well known for her beautiful baby portraits. After that photo session four years ago, Cheryl Haggard and Puc' founded Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which has since grown to 7,000 photographers, most of them professionals, across the globe.

Photographing the dead may seem strange, even morbid, especially in our American culture so uncomfortable with death. Those feelings are only intensified when the dead are the newly born or just hours or days old. "We associate giving birth with life, with the future, with the defiance of death," says Irving Leon, a psychologist at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor who specializes in reproductive loss. "To have that smashed, violated so powerfully, it's something people don't want to look at, both literally and metaphorically."

Postmortem photography, though, has a long and treasured past. In the 19th century, when people died at home, families spent much of their savings on expensive silver daguerreotypes depicting their loved ones after they had passed away. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a modern-day incarnation of this "memento mori" photographic genre (Latin for "remember your death"). Memories facilitate grieving, says Leon, which is critical to long-term healing. Holding a baby, talking to her and photographing her—all create memories that help parents cope with a devastating loss.

Parents who are hesitant about holding their babies often change their minds toward the end of a shoot, realizing that they'll have no other chance to embrace their child. And the sessions bestow a quiet time for mothers and fathers to treasure and honor their babies without any interruption from nurses or doctors. In years past, parents didn't expect all of their children to live. Today babies are dreamed about and dwelt on, and the deep attachment that develops between parents—especially mothers—and their unborn children starts earlier than ever before. At eight weeks, a baby's heartbeat can be seen on ultrasound; parents now find out gender and assign names months before their babies are born. All this has intensified the grief reactions many women feel after they suffer not just a stillbirth, but a miscarriage too, says Leon.

Studies show that mothers benefit from bonding with their stillborn babies. Joanne Cacciatore, a researcher at Arizona State University, studied 3,000 women and found that those who had the chance to see and hold their babies had fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. This benefit may be temporarily reversed during a subsequent pregnancy. And nobody should be pressured to hold their babies. But more than 80 percent of women who did not regretted the lost opportunity. Cacciatore, whose fourth baby, Cheyenne, died in 1994, calls this a period of "ritualization," a time for parents to honor their child and to feel some semblance of control during an emotionally chaotic time. Holding a stillborn baby allows women to connect and then separate themselves from their babies after months united in the same body. And it gives parents the chance to create positive memories, rather than live with the unknown: What did she feel like? Whose nose did she have? Was she peaceful?

Doctors, nurses and social workers who encounter stillbirth have come to know this, and their thinking about how to care for patients has evolved enormously. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross's seminal 1969 book, "On Death and Dying," exposed the impact of loss and the long and intricate process of grieving. Parents of stillborn babies started talking about what it felt like to lose their children; physicians and psychologists began challenging the hush-hush approach. Michele Schwarzmann, director of maternal child health at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, can't forget the first stillbirth she witnessed in the 1970s. " 'Michele, you can't cry, you have to be strong'," she remembers her supervisor telling her. A decade later, Schwarzmann says she was finally allowed to express her sadness: "I sobbed for every baby I never got to cry over."

Stillbirth is in many ways a medical mystery. Despite its gravity, it has been largely overlooked. Even today, researchers don't know the true incidence of stillbirth nor do they fully understand why it happens. In some cases, doctors can identify a cause—a prenatal infection that travels from mother to baby, a genetic anomaly, a placental abruption, an umbilical-cord accident. But in at least half of all cases—more than 10,000 a year—they can't pinpoint the problem. "Over the last 50 years, we've put a lot of research and clinical energy into preventing sick babies from dying after birth and a lot of energy into premature babies," says Dr. Robert Silver, an Ob-Gyn at the University of Utah School of Medicine. "We haven't put the same energy into stillbirth."

All that became clear at a workshop held by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in 2001. "We realized that we needed to do a study that was larger than anything undertaken in this country," says Dr. Catherine Spong, chief of NICHD's Pregnancy & Perinatology Branch. With NICHD funding, Silver and other researchers began collecting data on more than 500 stillbirths at five sites around the country. Now they're analyzing the information. The hope is that the new information will help researchers sort out how to reduce a woman's risk for stillbirth, identify problems in advance so that couples can prepare for a loss and, ultimately, save lives.

No matter how good the science gets, however, some number of babies will continue to die and parents will continue to grapple with the shock. Not long after joining Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep in 2007, photographer Jennifer Clark got a call from a hospital near Salt Lake City. The parents, Melina and Tom Anderson (unrelated to Marirosa Anderson), had three other children—a son, Jack, then 6, and two daughters, Amy, 4, and Mae, 2—and they were excited about welcoming their fourth, another girl, named Ella. At 39 weeks, however, the baby's heartbeat started dropping precipitously and Melina had to have an emergency C-section under general anesthesia. Melina remembers waking up and hearing her doctor say, "I'm so sorry, she didn't make it." The umbilical cord, wrapped tightly four times around the baby's neck and once around her arm, had cut off her blood supply. Melina "made the kind of sound you never want to hear," says Tom. "Not really a scream, but almost. A moan." And then she started to cry.

Clark was nervous. "I remember standing outside the door before I went in and I prayed," she says. "I wanted to make photos they would cherish." She also remembers a sense of peacefulness as she worked. It was a sacred time, and she was buoyed by the gratitude shown by Tom and Melina. But she was also profoundly saddened. At times, she had to put her camera down to wipe the tears from her eyes as she captured the images. Amy touching Ella's fingers. Mae, in her pink-and-yellow kitty-cat pajamas, a pacifier in her mouth, peering at the baby's face. Jack, who had accompanied his mother to every doctor's appointment. Tom and Melina looking at their daughter's face.

The next day Tom carried his daughter to a hospital exit next to the ER, far from the place where new mothers are wheeled out with newborns in their arms and smiles on their faces. A mortuary attendant strapped Ella onto a gurney and drove off in a big white van. In the weeks after Ella's burial, Melina suffered both physical and emotional pain. Her breasts had to be bandaged to stop the milk from coming in—a poignant reminder of what should have been. Pregnant women brought tears to her eyes; new babies made her think about the milestones she was missing with Ella. But tangled up in the sadness was the conviction that Ella needed to be remembered. Clark's images allowed Melina to savor a face that was fading from her memory. And the Andersons' tributes to their daughter now assure her a constant place in the family. On the first anniversary of Ella's birth, the Anderson family held hands at her grave and sang "Happy Birthday." Then they went out for dinner and shared a birthday cake.

When Clark first heard about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, she felt a powerful urge to participate, but she never imagined that she'd find herself on the other side of the lens. Last year Clark was overjoyed to discover she was pregnant. Her first three babies were healthy. This time, Clark's fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 18, a genetic disorder so catastrophic that less than 10 percent of babies make it to their first birthday. The Clarks, devout Mormons, never considered terminating the pregnancy. Above all else, they prayed that their little boy would be born alive and that he would live for some time—hours, days, weeks, maybe even long enough to go home.

Connor Clark was born on Dec. 22 at 5:54 p.m. For just over an hour, his parents, his siblings—Ellison, 10, Sydney, 7, and Hayden, 2—his grandparents and some of his many aunts and uncles held him, talked to him, rejoiced in him. Two photographers from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep shot the sobbing and the smiles, the kisses, the hugs, the gentle cradling and the embrace between Jennifer and her husband, Spencer, when they realized they were losing their son. At 7:20 p.m., Connor took his last breath. At his funeral service two days after Christmas, the Clarks showed a powerful video compilation of black-and-white photographs set to music for their family and friends. A life deeply mourned, a life lovingly celebrated.

To learn more about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, visit their website . For additional information on stillbirth and to find support resources for families, visit the M.I.S.S. Foundation and First Candle. LINKwww.firstcandle.org And for more on research conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Development, you can visit their site .

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today you would be 1...

if you had been born on your due date. Caroline, what I wouldn't give to celebrate your first birthday with you today. I'd let you lick all the icing off your first birthday cupcake and make a great big mess! While we sure wish you were here, we rest in knowing you reside in a place better than we could ever imagine. We love you baby girl. Thank you for all you have taught us. Your little brother is blessed with a true angel watching over him.
xoxo,
Mommy


1Peter:6-7 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith‒of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire‒may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brooks in 3D

What a cool experience this was today! (Nick called it "Sears Portrait Studio for the Unborn".) We got to see his chubby cheeks, big hands, and very big feet!











Thursday, January 22, 2009

30 weeks

Only 10 more weeks to go!
We had a doctor appt. today.
The baby is measuring right on track and all is well!:)
Here's hoping time flies! We can't wait for him to get here!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Broken Open

I know many people are not fans of Oprah, but I admit that I am. I DVR it everyday. For 2009, Oprah has started a "Living your Best Life" series. Last Wednesday, she had a guest named Elizabeth Lesser, who wrote the book called Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. She explained that when life hands you something difficult you can either a)break down and be defeated or b) break open and be transformed.

There was also a family featured who suffered the loss of their son. His twin brother spoke about losing his brother and had an analogy that I thought was perfect. (If you don't feel like watching the whole video, the part I am talking about starts at 3:49)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good Comebacks

I got the call today from the nurse at my doctor's office and my glucose test came back "perfectly normal"! Yipeee! I am so grateful not to have one more thing to worry about!

I subscribe to Parenting.com's "Daily Kick" and today the message was so funny and I could SOOOO relate that I have to share. It was a list of comebacks for what to say to people who say "You're so HUGE!" (Which happens to me quite often)

• "Yeah, I'm actually a week late and my water could break at any minute -- stand back!"
• "I know, I gotta start cutting back on the burgers and booze."
• "I'll try to take that as a compliment."
My personal favorite- "Yeah, but I'm going to lose 20 pounds in a day. What about you?"
• "Well, ya know, I'm growing a life. What have you done today?"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Glucose Test & A Great Doctor

Yesterday, I had to go for the 3 hour glucose test because I failed my first test. In other words, my levels were elevated. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this test- you show up and give a blood sample, then you drink a sugary drink called Glucola. Next, every hour for 3 more hours you give blood samples again. They check to see how your efficiently your body is breaking down the sugars. I should have the results by Monday and will repost when I do. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I had to fast from midnight on and thought I would starve, but was really ok until the last 1/2 hour or so. I started feeling like I had just drank 3 glasses of wine. My mom came and kept me company and tried for the 2nd time to teach me to crochet (I stink at it) and the time actually passed quickly. So when I felt woozy at the end, Mom went and got me some Apple Juice and Saltines and that helped a lot. After leaving the doctor's office, we indulged ourselves and had lunch at PF Chang's! That helped alot too!:)

In other news, while at the office, Nick called to check in and see how I was feeling. Although I feel the baby moving often, it is still hard for him to feel him and it is frustrating for him. He suggested asking to hear the heartbeat since I was at the office anyway. I felt kind of embarassed because I didn't have an appointment and the lab where I was getting my bloodwork done is a separate section of the office, but I had a really nice nurse so I did ask her. I explained that Nick was not there with me and was feeling nervous. In addition to the fact that we just got passed the time in my pregnancy when I lost Caroline. So..she snuck me back when the doctor had a break. I think that this doctor might just be the nicest person ever. Before she came in to see me, I got my mom to come back too. After several tries, she couldn't hear the heartbeat very well. You could hear a faint swish, swish, but she wasn't happy with that. (Needless to say, neither was I!) It was scary, but common for me in this pregnancy. I think it has happened at 3 or 4 of my appointments before. She went ahead and put me in the sonogram room and quickly located the little guy. His heartbeat was 144 BPM and he was wiggling all around. We even saw an ear! (And, yes, it did seem to resemble his dad's!) She printed the following pictures for me. The first one is showing his heartrate and the second is of his face, arm, and leg. Thru tears, my mom and I thanked her for making our day.



Thursday, January 8, 2009


My blogger friend, Jenna, just finished this beautiful painting for me. She sent me the picture today and I am so excited with how it turned out that I had to post it. It will hang in our baby boy's room! Jenna is so talented. I told her the colors, the verse, and the name and she created this masterpiece. Check out her work here.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year, A New Perspective

Happy New Year!


As I looked back to the first post I had written in 2008 I found that I had asked for the following prayer requests.
-that God will continue to provide us with comfort and peace
-the strength to 'move on' with our lives
-the blessing of another pregnancy when the timing is right

Wow! How amazing that all of those prayers have been answered. We walked with God in faith and prayed and prayed and prayed for another baby. We tried to put our fears aside and we were blessed with another miracle.

As 2008 closes and a new year is in front of us I am thankful for how far we have come in a year. Looking forward to continued blessings and more answered prayers... and I wish that for everyone reading too!