Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of the year thoughts

Tonight should be an interesting night as our church, Orland Park CRC, always tolls a bell for each person that has died this year. I asked our pastor about a month ago if Virginia was going to be included or not because I wasn't sure but he said she would be. I looked in the bulletin already for the service tonight and her name is listed. How sad it is to see your baby's name listed as one who has died this year. This is the one service that I really wanted to go to (we have been going to a church closer to us) and then of course I get put in nursery, but I actually think it might be for the best because I am going to be in the nursery with another mom who has also lost a baby (in fact Virginia is buried next to her son) and I figure if I start bawling she will understand :)

I have a lot of emotions too because I am taking a huge step for our family. We have been struggling financially and I have been applying for jobs for a while and could not find anything. I decided to apply for a full time third shift job thinking that I would never get the job and of course I got it. It is going to save us a ton of money on health insurance in addition to the income. I am so thankful that I have been able to stay home with Josiah for 2 1/2 years but am also sad because I wonder if he will be our only child here on earth and don't want to miss anything. I also know though that hopefully this extra income will maybe allow us to be able to try again to have another baby. I believe that God opened this door for our family and that He will allow each of us to adjust accordingly.

This year has been one of the most difficult for me personally, which is saying a lot, but I know too that God has carried us through this incredibly difficult time. I'm so thankful that He has provided such wonderful family and friends to walk alongside of us in the trials of life.

I always like to end a post with a couple of pictures. These are a couple of things that we received for Christmas from family members. It meant so much to us that people remembered that we are still grieving the loss of our babies.

This is a little hard to photograph but it says, Our baby in heaven, Virginia Rae, May 3, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Year



This is my journal entry from December 23, 2009:

Wow! What a surprise that we had this morning. I have been feeling nauseous for the last week so I decided to take a pregnancy test. I ended up taking two because the first one seemed to be questionable. It is pretty hard for us to believe it because we have been trying to get pregnant for the last year and so far it hasn't worked. We are so excited and can't wait to meet you! We don't take for granted what a miracle your life is and will continue to pray for you as you grow within me and then later as you grow outside of me. (How sad that she never grew outside of me :( )

How hard it is for me to read those words a year later. As I reflect on last December, I had an appointment with my ob/gyn in the beginning of the month because we were having trouble getting pregnant. She gave us some suggestions and we were elated that we were pregnant just a few weeks later--it was definitely the best Christmas present that I have ever gotten. We were so excited as we told both of our families on Christmas Eve that we would be having another baby. I remember telling my parents that they would need 8 stockings instead of 7 and my mom not catching on right away :) It is going to be soo difficult tomorrow as we go to their house and see the twins who should only be a couple of months older than Virginia and then seeing only 7 stockings instead of 8. This Christmas is so hard for me too because there is no Christmas present that I want--the only thing that I want is to be able to hold Virginia in my arms.

This last year has been very difficult for our family--we have not only lost Virginia but also the loss of our miscarried baby. We also have lost Uncle Mart--who I loved soo much. Also right before Thanksgiving, my two little angels were there to welcome my cousin's son, Kellan, who was also born still at 18 weeks. It's so difficult to understand why this happens to so many people.

I still continue to struggle with so many different emotions regarding the passing of Virginia. It remains difficult to look at the pictures of her from when she was born--it breaks my heart that we don't have the "pretty" pictures of her. It makes me angry that we didn't receive a full explanation of what the dr's were seeing.

The loss of Virginia has been a difficult journey with a wide array of emotions attached to it. We are thankful for the many people that have walked alongside of us. We know that we will remember her and her angel friends every day. I've attached a couple of pictures that another angel mom from Facebook made for us. The butterfly is to signify the miscarriage. The snowman family is being used as our Christmas card--we wanted to be able to include Virginia and the miscarried baby in our Christmas this year.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas--please help

I'd like to be completely honest here. I struggle so much with the Christmas season for the main reason that I find it to be extremely materialistic and that the real reason for Christmas is totally lacking. My idea of a wonderful Christmas would be working at a soup kitchen and ministering to those who are struggling and sharing with them the love of Jesus. I totally understand giving gifts and enjoying the time with family but find at times that it's so much about the presents and making sure to be at every party that I miss the most important part of Christmas.

With that frame of reference in mind, I'm very concerned about Christmas this year. We found out that we were pregnant with Virginia on December 23rd and announced it to all of our families at the Christmas celebrations. I was sooo excited to be able to have a baby along with the twins.

This leads me to my question of what do we do this year to remember Virginia and the baby that we miscarried without being the downers to the parties? I don't plan on doing a lot with the extended family but want to do something special as our immediate family. I'm not sure if we get a present for them and what would be appropriate--if we get an ornament (we do not have "good" pictures of Virginia, we also do not have handprints or footprints due to the severity of her diagnosis and the time inside of me when she was not alive)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

5 months

Today marks 5 months since I delivered Virginia in to the world. We should be talking about first teeth, watching her sit up for the first time and many other milestones but unfortunately we are not. I did finish her scrapbook and it looks really good--we are so glad that we have a keepsake of all of our memories of her.

It's been hard too as my favorite Uncle Mart passed away last week. He was always the life of the party and someone I wanted to be around. He fought lung cancer for 12 years and unfortunately it finally beat him. My favorite memory of Uncle Mart is that he would always dance with us at weddings when we were little--my mom called me within 15 minutes of his passing and I knew that Virginia had saved her first dance for Uncle Mart and at that moment they were dancing away. This image of them dancing brings me such comfort.


This picture is what he always looked like--a smile from ear to ear!
I love you so much Uncle Mart!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recommended Reading

I am reading a wonderful book called Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie. It's a very short book that parallels the story of Job to the suffering that people go through in their lives.

One of my favorite quotes is from page 11--"Our culture wants to put the Band-Aid of heaven on the hurt of losing someone we love...But they don't understand how far away heaven feels, and how long the future seems..." This is so hard for people around us who want us to just "move on". We know that we will not stop talking or grieving over the loss of Virginia and the baby that we lost through miscarriage. We know that both of the babies are in heaven but it doesn't minimize our loss at all.

A very difficult concept for me to grasp is that all of us need to hold on to everything in our lives loosely. We are just stewards of the gifts that God has given us--we are not entitled to them. This is really difficult even though I try to make God #1 in my life--so often I let other things or people come before Him.

Another thing that really resonated with me is that even though I don't want to leave my family here on earth--I have two of my children already in heaven--it gives me yet another perspective of heaven and a yearning to see both of them.

I've really struggled recently with hearing about people talk about having faith for healing. I fully understand that there are parables in the Bible talking about faith the size of a mustard seed moving mountains ... Sometimes I think that God can bring so much glory out of the suffering and the times that the healing does not happen. Yes, I would much rather have everyone that I know and love be healthy and happy but unfortunately there is sin in the world. The author talks about this as well and says that most people pray for the healing and add a ps about if it is God's will and that it really should be the other way around. We should pray that we would allow God to be glorified in our lives no matter what happens (definitely easier said than done) but it's something that we should all strive towards.

I have no idea why we had to lose Virginia and the baby through miscarriage but I know that God will be with us during this difficult time. I've seen so many other Christian people create such wonderful ministries because of the losses in their lives (I definitely pray that we could all help other people without the suffering). It's my prayer that God would use us to minister to people that are also suffering and that through those ministries that the story of both babies would live on.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Due Date

Today was Virginia's due date and was also 4 months since her delivery.

I really had a hard time earlier in the week. We went to church on Sunday and there just seemed to be babies everywhere and there was a baptism which made it even more difficult. On Monday night I cried so hard as I was thinking about what should have been--that was so good for me though as I let go of those feelings.

Tim was able to take the day off of work today which was soo nice. We went out to the cemetery this morning and brought out a red rose for her. We really had such a nice time there as we remembered her.


I was going to try and work on a scrapbook for her while Josiah took a nap--we got all of the pictures separated in to separate pages so hopefully I will be able to get those in this weekend.

We received a lovely delivery too. Joel and Beth sent us a beautiful flower arrangement that really helped to brighten our day. We also received a scrapbook page, a couple of pictures of Virginia and a book from The Haven Network. They did such a great job of photoshopping a couple of Virginia's pictures--they look fabulous. The scrapbook page is soo nice that we made it the first page of Virginia's scrapbook!




We wanted to do a balloon send off for Virginia so we got 5 balloons for each of us and attached a little note to them to anyone that received them (if you did please leave us a note of where you are from). Josiah also colored a picture for Virginia which we attached to a balloon. We have a little garden in the backyard for Virginia which includes a little angel. As we were walking out there, Josiah walked over to the angel and gave it a hug--it was the cutest thing ever! He would have made such a good big brother--it breaks our heart but we pray that we will be able to get pregnant again and have a healthy baby.



We know that this day went so well thanks to the prayers of so many people. We thank all of you for the support that you have given us as we walk this road of suffering. We thank God for His grace that He provides for us and that He provides wonderful Christian people to walk alongside of us.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Walking with me

I just wanted to thank Kelly at Sufficient Grace Ministries so much for posting our story on Walking with You.

This week has been extremely difficult for me. On Monday I received the ultrasound images that I had requested from the hospital and I was so disappointed with them. I only received three of them and they just made me soo sad. I spent much of the afternoon crying and quite honestly feeling sorry for myself.

Monday night I realized that our story had been posted and I received so many words of encouragement on the blog. God knew just when to use Kelly to give us the encouragement that we needed. I appreciate each and every comment that I have received and each of your stories has touched my heart. It breaks my heart that so many of us have been affected by the loss of our babies.

We did receive good news today that we will not need a D&C since the natural miscarriage worked. We are so thankful for that. Our next big hurdle is passing Virginia's due date of September 3--quite honestly I'm terrified of the day and am not sure what to do to remember her that day. Unfortunately my husband can't get out of work for the whole day with all the time off that he took with Virginia so we'll have to see.

Again, I can't thank each of you enough for your words of encouragement--you have been the body of Christ to me and walked alongside of me in my valley.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day of Hope

As many of you know, we suffered the loss of Virginia in May but are also going through a miscarriage now (I would be almost 11 weeks). This has been so difficult over the past couple of months. It's so hard because we want to talk about Virginia and this baby but society some times dismisses these lives because "something was wrong with the baby".


Today has been designated as a Day of Hope (by the people who do To Write Their Names in the Sand). It is a day to speak out about miscarriage, stillbirth and loss of life after birth.


I can't tell you how touching it was to see soo many of my facebook friends change their pictures to remember the children that they have lost. It is so terribly sad but thankfully we now have a day dedicated to bringing awareness that the loss of life no matter how early is awful and should be openly talked about by those around us.

Today, we REMEMBER these little ones and so many others ...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Angels

This week I got a wonderful package in the mail from Pete & Kristi. It is a wonderful little figurine that is called Angels Embrace



It comforts me that Virginia is there to greet her brother or sister but also makes me so sad that both of my little babies are not here with me. (We ask too that you continue to keep Pete & Kristi in your prayers. Pete is a chaplain with the armed forces and just went overseas to minister to the men and women in the armed forces. Kristi is such a strong Christian woman but she remains here in the US with her four children, including a newborn)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My birthday

I celebrated my birthday today even though I did not want to. I'm not that much of a birthday person anyway and then to know that I am waiting on miscarrying our miracle baby seemed like only too much to handle.

We actually went out to my brother and sister in laws to celebrate the baptism of my twin nieces. We did not go to the actual service because it was a little too hard after realizing that we have lost two babies in the last three months but we were there for the celebration afterwards. I really enjoyed seeing the girls again and was able to hold Gloriana for a long time.

After we got home, Tim gave me this beautiful picture frame with Virginia's name drawn in the sand (To Write Their Names in the Sand did it a while ago). It is absolutely beautiful and was the perfect gift for me as I remember my sweet little girl and await the miscarriage.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Untitled

I thought that this week was going to be one of the best weeks in my life. Tim & I had been keeping a little secret--we found out that we were pregnant on July 3 which was the halfway point between Virginia's birth and delivery date. This was also my grandpa's birthday and the baby was going to be due March 12 which is near my grandma's birthday. We thought that this baby was a miracle and that we would have a healthy little baby.

Unfortunately, I had a little trouble and went to the dr. I had to go in by myself because Tim had to stay home with Josiah and the little girl I was babysitting. The dr. finally saw me at about 6 pm and did an u/s but could not see everything and then did an internal one. He and the nurse kept looking at the screen without saying anything. He finally said that he did not see the heartbeat--he said that at 8 weeks he should have no problem seeing the heartbeat. He said that I should get in contact with Dr. N. to see if he thought we should do a chromosome study on the baby. To say that I was devastated would be an understatement--I began crying and continued as I was walking down the hall--the dr. saw me and gave me a hug :)

I started calling people on the way home as I bawled my eyes out--I could not believe that this was happening again to me. We had an u/s at 5 weeks and saw the sac--today I could see the baby (which I could not see last time) so he said that the baby had definitely grown a lot in the three weeks. It also looked like the baby had just passed because it was measuring at 8 weeks 1 day and I was probably about 8 weeks 2 days.

Now we have to try to figure out what to do ....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mourning

Sunday was such a day of celebration as Tim and I enjoyed going to Ignite Chicago and worshiping with so many people. A man named Phil got on the stage and talked about his ministry (Phil's Friends). It is a wonderful Christian organization that ministers to people who are dealing with cancer and I immediately thought of Becky. I was thinking about having someone contact the organization to see if she wanted their support.

Unfortunately on Monday morning I received a phone call from my sister saying that Becky had passed away on Sunday night. This was such heartbreaking news especially for my sister who is the same age as Becky and has kids that are similar in age; they were also friends and enjoyed hanging out together.

Becky fought so hard so that she could spend the rest of her life with her daughters and her husband. She was such a fighter that she did not complain about the cancer and enjoyed every moment with her family. My words are so insufficient to describe how much she was loved by all that knew her. My heart breaks for her little girls who are only 2 & 4.

We felt Becky's generosity for us as she expressed her prayers when we were going through the loss of Virginia. We are heartbroken that Becky has now joined Virginia in heaven. I'm sure that Becky is holding Virginia up in heaven and loving on her for us. We will continue to lift up her family in our prayers.

Marker

This weekend we went to the cemetery because Virginia's headstone was placed this week. Even though we want her to be here on earth with us it means so much to me that the place where her body lays now has a marker. For a while we were not sure if we were able to be able to get a headstone and that just broke my heart. I wanted people to know that visited the cemetery that that was where my daughter was and that she was loved by her family and friends.

I think that I need to go to the cemetery soon without Josiah so that I can really mourn while I am there. It is pretty difficult to go with him because he is all over the place.

Here are a couple of pictures from the cemetery:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

2 months--Halfway Point

July 3 marks 2 months since Virginia was delivered.

July 3 is also the halfway point in between when Virginia was delivered (5-3) and when she was due (9-3). It's kind of a hard position to be in. I'm thankful that we have made it this far but would also like to be past her due date.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sufficient Grace

I found another wonderful resource on-line recently. It is called Sufficient Grace Ministries. This is an organization that provides comfort to families that have lost their child. I received a comfort bear in the mail and a Dreams of You binder to record our memories of my pregnancy, delivery and dreams for Virginia.



It also includes the founder of Sufficient Grace Ministries' story of the loss of her three children and wonderful Bible verses. I can't wait to fill out the information in there but I also know how hard it will be.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I find that when I have been thinking about Virginia a lot that it is harder for me to go to sleep and tonight is one of those nights. (I hope that if I am able to write down some of my thoughts that sleep would come easier)

It seems so much more real that she is not here when we are celebrating a specific event (birthday, vacation, etc). It reminds me so much of what we are missing.

I think of Virginia so much throughout the day. I see other people that are pregnant around the same time as us and I realize all that should be happening.

There are just so many emotions that surround the loss of my baby in utero. I think there is so much shock--even now after almost 2 months it sometimes feels unreal. There is so much sadness too as we reflect on what should have been. There is joy also as we remember the good memories before the diagnosis and those times too when Virginia would kick me. We also rejoice that she is perfect in heaven (although we would rather have her here). We also continue to be so thankful for the wonderful delivery and the medical professionals that supported us at E. Hospital. And of course there is the guilt--I wonder if we did enough for her, if we should have fought for a second opinion faster so that we could have known specifically what they were seeing, my reaction to the delivery, etc. The best emotion is the love that we continue to feel from family, friends and strangers.

It is my prayer for anyone that is suffering through a loss of whatever it may be that they would be able to be surrounded by a wonderful Christian community who can carry them through their trial.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sadness and Joy

This weekend we have had a lot of joy but definitely some sadness. Tomorrow Josiah will turn two. I think that his birthday would have been so much easier for me if I was still pregnant with Virginia. I love the infant/baby stage and Josiah is definitely out of that (even though he is a fabulous cuddler).

While everyone was singing happy birthday to him I started to get teary eyed as I thought about how different this birthday was supposed to be for us. We were sooo looking forward to having Virginia and we miss her so much.

But we are thankful that we have been blessed with Josiah and he is such a wonderful little guy. He did such a great job today even though it's not his thing with so many people over. We love you Siah!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Virginia's name in the sand

When we received the diagnosis on Virginia I looked all over the place for information on hydrops and cystic hygroma. So much of the information on the web is for medical professionals and loses so much of the baby that is in the womb. I was so happy to find a page on facebook that was dedicated strictly to hydrops (many of the women had babies with hygroma as well). It was so sad to read of their stories but it was a comfort to be able to read them as well and know what to expect.

A short time ago there was a post about the organization To Write Their Names in the Sand. This woman takes names of children that have passed away and draws their names on the sand in Mullalo Point in Western Australia. It is difficult to get your name submitted because the website is in such demand. Thankfully a wonderfully woman on the facebook page allowed us to collectively submit our babies names. The woman who drew Virginia's name in the sand did it multiple times because she was not satisfied with the result (we really appreciate the time that she took to do this) and I received a message today that Virginia's name has now been posted on the website. I wanted to share the link for the picture--it is absolutely beautiful and means so much to us!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Random Picture

I was looking through the pictures of Virginia--it's so hard to look at the pictures--I think that this is something that I will be sad about for the rest of my life but ...

I wanted to put this picture up--this is on the night before Virginia passed and this is the first time that I was able to get a picture of Josiah giving her a kiss. I think that he might have known that this was his last time to show his sister some affection. It will always be such a treasured picture for me. Unfortunately he was not able to hold his sister but he was able to give her a kiss before she went to heaven.


(Hopefully my grandma won't see this picture because she doesn't like pregnant belly shots)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Body of Christ

Lately I have been thinking about the body of Christ and how it manifests itself in our world today.

After the loss of Virginia I could see the body of Christ and it was displayed in different ways--here is my interpretation ...

Ears--We have had many people who have come alongside of us and just listened to us without saying anything. This is such a comfort when you are going through a trial just to have someone listen to you without saying much. We know that Jesus would be the same way.

Mouth--There have been so many people who have spoken words of encouragement to us. They have shared their own personal stories (even when it hurts them so much to talk about their losses) and this has allowed us to know what to expect.

Hands--This one has so many references. There have been so many people who have written cards, e-mails, facebook messages etc. to encourage us. We are so thankful for all of these items. We have a whole stack of cards that we received and we will definitely save these. I also have a whole folder in my e-mail messages of e-mails and facebook messages that people sent us and it is so helpful to us. There are so many people that have created meals for us too. It was so hard to cook after I was given the diagnosis and this helped out so that I didn't have to worry about the meals. We have been given other gifts from people too that has allowed us not to worry so much about the financial issues as well. Another thing is the hugs that we have received--these sometimes communicate so much more than words.

Feet--This may be the most important one--so many people have come alongside us and walked in our shoes. They have come in to our lives and shared in our sufferings and have helped to lessen the burden that we have carried. For this we are so thankful.

Maybe you can think of more ways that the body of Christ is seen in the world today, I would love to hear it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Daddy

Here's what I think that our kids would say to Tim today ...

Daddy,
We wanted to say how much we love you. You are such a wonderful daddy who does so much for all of us. You work so hard every day without complaining and then come home and spend so much time with me. I love that you take the time to put me to bed every night and you don't hurry through the bed time routine but instead spend so much time reading to me and praying with me. Thank you too for the patience that you show to me even when I get frustrated. You spend so much time teaching me new things every day and I love that.

I know that it must be so hard for you today that Virginia is not here with us. Mommy says that she would have had you wrapped around her finger. I know that she would have loved you so much. I know that you will tell me more about her as I grow up.

Love,
Josiah


Monday, June 14, 2010

Entertaining Angels

As I was going to sleep last night I was thinking about Virginia's delivery and I thought about the hospital chaplain that came to visit.

She came to visit us because we weren't sure whether my brother, Jeff, would be able to come to the hospital so we figured it would be nice to have the chaplain come over just in case. She must have come over about 8:45 pm--I was just getting a shot of pain medication in the iv and in my leg. We spent a couple of minutes talking to her and then all of a sudden everything changed in terms of the pain and the doctor and the nurse came in and we were in delivery mode.

I had my eyes closed most of the time but I remember opening them a couple of times during the delivery and I saw the chaplain off in the corner by the door watching. After Virginia was delivered she came back by us and said what a great job Tim did as a coach. She also prayed with us because she hadn't done that before. But the next thing that she said struck a chord with me again last night--she said that she was over in the corner praying the whole time during the delivery.

What an awesome thing that God allowed her to come in to our lives right before we were able to deliver Virginia and she was able to lift us up in prayer throughout that time. She was in our life for only a moment but what a lasting impact that made on me. She was also one of four people who was in that delivery room and saw our little Virginia--pretty awesome!!

Six weeks

I can't believe that six weeks has passed since I delivered Virginia in to this world. Right now the emotions seem to be hitting pretty hard (probably does not help that I am over tired).

Last night as Tim and I were talking we said that we only had 13 days with the baby before she passed away. We were given the terminal diagnosis on April 8th and on April 21st it was confirmed that she had no heartbeat (I will say that is a picture that will be forever imprinted on my mind. The first u/s in the dr's office with Josiah crying in the background and the dr. saying that there was no heartbeat and the baby's face looking at me. Then the next one at the hospital again by myself because they wouldn't let Tim in there with me. It is awful to see your baby on an ultrasound and know that she is not alive). It seemed that there was so much time in between the diagnosis and her death but really it was only 13 days. We had 13 days to grieve and make the plans for her. We had 13 days to feel her little kicks and movements. At the time it seemed like it was forever but looking back it was such a short time. I would give anything to feel her kicking inside of me again.

Jealousy

I'm going to be brutally honest here if there is anyone reading this blog...

I remember reading of a mother who had a child who had been given a terminal diagnosis for her baby. They decided that they should terminate the pregnancy. They were able to hold their baby and enjoy their baby.

I am so jealous! I still would not have ended Virginia's life but I wish things would have been different. I wish that I could have held her and seen her little fingers and toes. I wish that her eyes, nose and mouth would have been easily identifiable. I wish that I could have had footprint and handprint molds. I wish that I could have beautiful pictures of her. I wish that our family could have seen her and commented on how beautiful she was. I wish that Josiah would have been able to see her and that we could have had pictures of the two of them.

I wonder too if I would have had an OB who was more aggressive with the Cytotec induction if Virginia's appearance would have looked better. I firmly believe that the ten days that she was inside of me and was not alive made her little body deteriorate so quickly. It just makes me so sad because I was able to identify when she passed away and then I could not get her out of my body :(

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Random

I wasn't sure what to title this post but ....

Today was the most emotional day that I have had in a while. We talked about Virginia a lot at church and while I was talking to one person I got kind of teary eyed (this is really good for me though because I don't cry very often).

We went to the cemetery after church and were able to spend a little time there. I was thinking about Virginia and then I looked and saw Josiah running up and I was thinking about how he would look growing up visiting his sister. I just see him as a young boy coming up to see where his sister is, then as he gets older and doesn't want to come any more and then as he brings his wife and his own family to the grave of the sister that he never knew. It made it even more real to think that this cemetery would always be a part of his life because that is where his sisters body is. A kind of sobering thought but I'm sure that there will be some wonderful conversations there too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Results

Today I went to see Dr. N. for our follow-up appointment. Tim was not able to go with me because he had to work. I was kind of nervous to go by myself because I was supposed to be finding out the results from the chromosome study.

I was able to get in with the dr. right away which I was very surprised about. He confirmed that it was a girl which was very good news. He also said that she did not have a genetic or a chromosome disorder which was also very good news. He said that there was a whole laundry list of other reasons why the hydrops and the hygroma took place.

He said that the good news was that the baby did not have a genetic disorder but the bad news was that we did not have a clear reason to why she had so much fluid in her body. (I personally was all right with this--we would love to know exactly why but in the long run it really doesn't matter).

He surprised me too by saying that in fifty years he does not think that there will be some way to correct this fluid within the baby--he said that the bigger problem is the underlying issue that is causing the fluid. He compared the fluid within the baby to an elderly person with congestive heart failure who has fluid throughout their body.

The good news was that he said that we should be able to have a healthy child if we are able to get pregnant again--he said that there is only a 1% likelihood of the hydrops and hygroma happening again but that is the same for any pregnant person. He also said that I could be seen by a regular ob and gave me the name of someone he trusts. He also outlined a specific plan for what would happen if we are able to get pregnant.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Virginia's Garden

We received quite a few plants and bushes when we had Virginia's funeral. So this weekend Tim's parents came out and helped put them in the ground. I was so thankful that they came out as it was very hard work. We still have a little bit of work to do but here are some pictures.




Monday, May 31, 2010

Change in Priorities

I've been thinking lately that when you lose someone you love--there are several things that change in your life.

I personally have lost interest in the tv shows that I used to love--I still watch them but they are not as important to me as they were before.

I also need to love and cherish those that are around me because I never know how long people will be here for. This may seem a little gloomy but it is true--our life here on earth is so short and we need to savor each minute we are here and love those around us.

When you have been through a loss I think you try not to complain so much about some of the things that happen to you. For example: even if Josiah is awake all night or is extra crabby I should be thankful that I have in my life because there are so many people who want to have kids and are unable.

I think the biggest thing that I realize is that this world is only temporary and that heaven is our eternal home.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blessings

I always thought for some reason that Jeff & Lisa would have the twins on May 17th and ....they were! Jeff called at about 11:15 on Monday night and told me that I was right. At first I didn't believe him but then he started to tell me their names so I figured it must be true!

Belladia Faith was born at 9:50 pm and was 4'11 and Gloriana Joy was born at 9:51 pm and was 2'15. They both are doing really well and will remain in the NICU. Lisa had to have a c-section and thankfully she had the c-section on Monday night because if they waited until Tuesday morning they might have lost both babies. We are so thankful that God provided a safe delivery for both girls and that Lisa is doing so well.

I had the privilege of going out to meet my nieces yesterday while my mom took care of Josiah. It was kind of hard to see them in the NICU but I am so thankful that they are doing well. I was able to hold Gloriana for a long time and talked to her about her "big" cousin Virginia and how much she would have loved to be with the girls. That was a little hard when I was talking with her about Virginia but ... I was also able to talk to Bella for a little bit--hopefully I will be able to hold her next time. I had a hard time leaving them--I would love to just sit there all day and talk to them and hold them :(

I am doing really well with the birth of the twins. It was a little bit hard for me on Monday night--especially since they were born two weeks after our baby. I am just so thankful that they are doing well!
Me with Bella

Me with Gloriana

Monday, May 17, 2010

Memories

While we were in the hospital giving birth to Virginia, we were given this memory box. In there we have some of the things from the hospital. We have some pictures that the hospital staff took of her. They are extremely precious because we can see her face and see her outfit and she is wrapped in the blanket that my mom made for her. We also have a couple of papers including the stillbirth certificate. We also have the little shell that Jeff used to baptize her with. We will always treasure this box that has some precious mementos of our time with our baby. They also included this little saying that is so sweet:

"This Memory Box provides a place to keep special items that you connect with your loved one. To hold, touch, and remember treasured mementos and memories is a healthy part of adjusting to a loss. The box offers a place to go to, to think about the individual, the good times, and the moments shared. What is put inside is up to you...there are no right or wrong things to include, only those things that are special to you and your loved one. Tying the ribbons is a type of closure, to untie them and open the memory box, is to open up oneself to remember that special someone". (Memories Unlimited--Olympia, WA)


The other item that holds so many special memories of Virginia is the journal that we bought for her when we found out we were pregnant. We also kept a journal with Josiah from the time that we found out we were pregnant with both of them. Virginia's is so special to us because it reminds us of the happy times before she passed away. We were sooo excited to be pregnant again after trying for over a year. It also helps us to remember of God's grace to us through all of this as we remember our difficult time with the induction and then God's providence in providing such a wonderful doctor. We will keep this journal until Virginia's 1st birthday--May 3, 2011--and will continue to record the events of the next year and journal our thoughts and feelings as we go through this grieving process.

Set apart

When we were in the hospital giving birth to the baby we had a picture on our door of a leaf with a drop of dew on there. Tim noticed the little sign and we talked about how this must be a sign to the hospital staff that we had suffered the loss of our baby.

Sometimes when we see people that we haven't seen since we had the baby we also feel "different" as if we have some kind of sign on us that we lost our baby.

We want people to know that we love to talk about Virginia--we plan on talking about her for the rest of our lives. We are willing to talk about any question that you have about her.

We also talked about too how we feel set apart because of the loss of our baby and yet in the same way we should feel set apart as Christians. Those around us should see something different about us because of our faith in Jesus. This is one reason that we do want to be set apart!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ten Days

I can't believe that it has been ten days since I gave birth to Virginia. It has been even longer since she left this earth and made her new home in heaven (22 days).

We are adjusting well to the changes that have happened in our lives in the last month. I think that we are still trying to process all that has happened.
-One of the things that I am thankful for is that our doctor's office does an ultrasound at 18 weeks--if we would have waited until 20 weeks we would have not had as much time to process that our baby was going to die (she was 21 weeks when she passed).
-We are still awaiting the results from the chromosome study. The doctor said that we may not get very much information from it because of the baby's condition. We are unsure of how much we want to know. We are hoping that the baby had a chromosome condition and not a genetic condition.
-We are looking forward to the birth of Jeff & Lisa's twins in the very near future and we look forward to rejoicing in their health. We know that this could be extremely difficult for us as well though since our little one won't be here. Our three girls should be close in age and we were looking forward to them all growing up together.
-Emotionally we have been doing well. For me rocking Josiah seems to bring up a lot of emotions thinking about what "should have been". I also find too that songs that I hear on the radio can be especially hard to hear. We are hoping to be able to get to church this weekend and then go to the cemetery.
-We are also hoping to do some gardening this weekend. We have been blessed with so many beautiful plants and bushes--so we are going to make a little garden for Virginia. We also have the beautiful angel statue to put in there as well

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Helpful Resources

We wanted to provide a list of resources that may help you if you find that your baby has been given a fatal diagnosis. We have listed them on the side so that you can get them quickly but I wanted to give a little bit more explanation on all of them.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep This is a wonderful organization that will come to the hospital to take pictures of your baby. This organization will come to the hospital when the baby is further along than 25 weeks

Haven Network The Haven Network is a Christian perinatal hospice out of Rockford, IL. I was connected with a wonderful nurse, Kathy, who has come alongside of us on the telephone since we received the diagnosis. They provide as much support as you are interested in. They would have come out to the hospital and taken pictures of the baby but we chose not to. They are a wonderful organization that provides their services for free. We are so thankful for their support to us

Perinatal Hospice This is how I found the local hospices in our own area. They have wonderful resources on their website as well.

Sherokee Ilse Sherokee is a wonderful person who has come alongside of us and provided valuable support to us on our journey. Pastor E. gave me one of her poems about pregnancy loss and it really touched me so I looked her up on the internet. I found this website and ordered many of her books and pamphlets. They have been extremely helpful to us. She also spoke with me on the telephone a couple of times and through e-mail to encourage us. We appreciate her support so much!

Mary Madeline Project This is also a wonderful resource. They provided us with burial gowns for the baby that were sent to us free of charge. We were able to pick the size and the gender and then we donated the rest of them to the hospital. The gowns are sooooooooooo beautiful and come with a little hat, stockings and blanket. We were so touched by this organization and the hard work of all of their volunteers. My mom is going to donate her wedding gown in memory of Virginia.

Our favorite songs

We have some songs that have really ministered to us in this time of loss.

Dancing with the Angels by Monk & Neagle. Even though this song talks about a person who has been alive for a longer time--we just love the chorus that talks about dancing with the angels. During the twelve days that Virginia was inside of me and we knew that she was no longer alive the chorus from this song would just come into my head and I would reflect that even though her body was still inside of me that her soul was in heaven dancing with the angels--what a comfort that was to me in this incredibly trying time.

A Visitor from Heaven by Twila Paris I love this song and the lyrics are absolutely beautiful.

Glory Baby by Watermark This is Tim's favorite song in regards to the baby. He thinks that it applies so perfectly to our situation.

If you could see me now by Truth I have always liked this song since I heard it about 16 years ago when my uncle passed away. It helps me to have the perspective of where the baby is and that she is perfect and whole now and walking streets of gold.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Tim worked so hard today to make a good day for me. He let me sleep in this morning and he got up with Josiah. He made me breakfast and had a wonderful present to me which included a handmade card from Josiah.

Unfortunately, I had a really rough day today. This morning I had a dream about the baby--that she was in the casket and was alive--a wonderful thing of course but not so wonderful when you wake up and it isn't true. I spent a large portion of the morning with tears running down my face. We were planning on going to church and then going to the cemetery but decided that would be too much for me.

We had a really nice lunch together and then got some flowers for Virginia's grave. We just wanted some pretty flowers to put on her grave so hopefully we will be able to put those there this week. Tim and I enjoyed playing with Josiah outside today too. It was so fun to play baseball with him and help him "run the bases"--his giggle is just priceless.

Tonight he woke up crying and while I was rocking him back to sleep I started to reflect on how our lives have been turned upside down in the last month. I should be still pregnant and feeling the baby move inside of me. I should be wearing maternity clothes instead of being back to the regular clothes. I should still be taking my pre-natal vitamins instead of not caring too much about what I am eating or drinking. We should be talking about what we are going to name the baby.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Prayer Card

This is the front of the prayer card that was given out at Virginia's memorial service. We thought that it was a beautiful picture of a little girl angel in heaven.



The back of the card had this little saying on it:

God needed an angel in Heaven
To stand at the Savior's feet:
His choice must be the rarest
A lily pure and sweet.
He gazed upon the mighty throng
Then stopped and picked the best.
Our child was His chosen one
With Jesus she's now at rest.

Letter to Virginia

To our sweet little angel Virginia,
We miss you so much already and can not believe all of the things that we are missing with you. We wanted you to meet your big brother and all of our family and friends but instead you are walking streets of gold. We wish we were putting you in your going home outfit rather than deciding on a burial outfit for you. We should be publishing a birth notice for you rather than placing an obituary in the paper. We wish that you were here on earth dancing to Elmo’s theme song with Josiah but we know that you are dancing with the angels. We wish that you were here playing with your cousins Bekah, Evan, Kruesie, Austin, Daylia and Kaitlyn but we know that you are playing in heaven with Matthew, Jeremiah, Brianna, Grace, Joshua and so many other babies who have left this earth too soon.

Even though we are missing you so much here on earth we are thankful that you are completely whole and perfect in heaven. Daddy & I will continue to tell others about you and how you fought so hard to survive. We love you so much and even though you are no longer in our arms you will forever be in our hearts.

The story of Virginia

This was read at Virginia's memorial service:

We wanted to tell you all a little more about Virginia Rae. We found out that we were pregnant with her on December 23rd and knew that this was the best Christmas gift for us. We had been trying for a year to get pregnant and were so excited that Josiah was going to be a big brother.

The pregnancy was pretty uneventful except for the fact that I was a little bit more sick than I was with Josiah and more tired. We continued to pray for this little one as she grew inside of me.

On April 3rd we had our 18 week ultrasound and our biggest concern was that we could not find out the gender. Just a few days later we were in a fight for her life. We know too that Virginia was fighting because most babies with these diagnoses pass away much earlier in the pregnancy. We sought help from geneticists, obstetricians, hospice workers, friends, family, etc. We wanted those in the medical field to value the life of the baby regardless of her diagnoses. We wanted to see ultrasound pictures of her and know everything about her. On the ultrasound we saw of her alive she had her hand by her mouth just like Josiah.

Tim and I celebrated around this time that he was also able to feel the movement of Virginia. What a miracle it was to feel the baby moving and share that with Tim. It was also at this time that we finally decided on a name. We wanted her to be named after a woman who followed after God in every aspect of her life. We decided to name her Virginia after her great grandma Ida Virginia . We prayed that our Virginia would also be used by God to witness to other people whether through her life or her death.

On April 21st I felt a little bit different and called the doctors office. I went in for a heartbeat check and they were unable to find one either on the doppler or through the ultrasound. What a heartbreaking feeling it was for me to see my baby on the screen and know that the baby is no longer alive. We were so sad that our time with our baby here on earth had ended but knew that she was perfect in heaven and for that we were grateful. Our first induction was not successful and we were so disappointed. We did not like the next procedure that was to be done on the baby but were given no other choices.

Thankfully God provided an answer to our prayers through a wonderful Christian obstetrician, Dr. N. He came alongside of us in our darkest hours and provided Christ’s love to us when we were so broken emotionally and physically. He offered to give us a second chance on the induction. After much prayer we decided to have another induction that was scheduled for May 3rd. The day started a little slow but started to pick up at about 4:30 pm. The next couple of hours went by rather quickly as we were preparing to meet our baby. We gave birth to our baby, Virginia Rae at 9:13 pm. She weighed in at 8 ounces and 6 inches long. We are so thankful that we were able to deliver her naturally. We were honored that Jeff could baptize her surrounded by our family. We were also thankful that our family members were able to come and meet her here on earth. We enjoyed spending time holding her and talking to her on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Even though our prayers were not answered in terms of Virginia being restored to health here on earth we know that she has been restored to perfect health in heaven. We also know that God provided such an answer to our prayers in Dr. N. and his associates and the staff at E. Hospital. God allowed him to come in to our lives when we were at our lowest point and he was able to foster an amazing birth experience.

We were lovingly embraced by so many people who have unfortunately been on a similar road as ours. We are so thankful to those of you who have come alongside of us and shared your suffering with us and helped us along our journey. It is our prayer that no one else will have to walk a similar road but we will be here for anyone that needs us on this road of loss.

We don’t know why God allowed Virginia to have so much fluid throughout her body. We know that Virginia’s life has a purpose and that it is the responsibility of Tim and I to ensure that she is not forgotten. Even though she was only alive for twenty-one weeks we loved her from the minute we knew that she was inside of me. We were so eager to be pregnant again and were looking forward to seeing Josiah playing with his sister. We thought about this baby so much over the 21 weeks of her life and prayed for her so much. We can’t wait to get to heaven and see her again.

Virginia's slideshow

This is the slideshow that we showed at Virginia's memorial service on May 7, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3xoyTYXe44

Virginia's burial and memorial service

Today we had Virginia's burial. It was so difficult to see the coffin that contained our little girl. We were able to spend a couple of minutes talking to her and introducing her to Josiah before we went out to the cemetery. Tim was able to carry the coffin to the car and then from the car to the graveside.

Pastor E. did a wonderful graveside service that meant so much to both of us. I was able to read a short letter to Virginia expressing some of the things that we were missing so much with her. Afterwards we each released a pink balloon into the air.

We had a short break before the memorial service so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went back to the funeral home. It is so weird to have a memorial service for your own child. Since the casket was already buried in the ground we had a beautiful angel sit where the casket would have been. The angel had been delivered to us earlier in the week from Tim's work. It is sooooooooo beautiful and reminds us so much of our little girl. Tim's work also sent a lovely bouquet of flowers. We had that bouquet of flowers and the roses from Tim's parents on both sides of the angel. Then we received some beautiful bushes from Tim's parents and from Jeff & Lisa which sat on the pillars.

It was so wonderful to have so many people support us on such a difficult day. We also met a couple of new friends who have come alongside of us and shared their stories of the loss of their babies. My brother, Jeff, also led the memorial service and did such a wonderful job--we are so thankful that he could minister to us and our friends and families in such a personal way.

Here are some pictures from the day:



The balloon release
The beautiful angel from Tim's work



Jeff's prayer and sermon

My brother, Jeff, led the memorial service for Virginia tonight. He did such a wonderful job and we wanted to include the prayer and the sermon for those who weren't able to be there.

Prayer:
Lord, we do not understand why this little one
Which we had hoped to bring into the world
Has died before birth.
We only know that where once was sweet expectation,
Now there is bitter disappointment;
Where once there was hope and excitement,
Now there is a feeling of failure and loss.
Nothing can replace this life, this child,
Whom we have loved before seeing,
Before feeling it stir in the womb.
In our pain we look to you, Lord,
To whom no life is meaningless,
No matter how brief or small.
Though our understanding may be limited,
May it not confine our faith.
Draw us close to you and to each other in our grief.
Heal our wounds and comfort our sorrows,
And raise us all from death to life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Sermon:
Based on Psalm 139:1-18
As we gather together tonight, we are here with hearts that are heavy yet full of hope. We are mourning the life of a little girl that was too short in our eyes, yet a life that we know will continue on through eternity. Though we weren’t able to meet Virginia before she went home to heaven, we are saddened because she is already missed. Our hearts are heavy yet full of hope because we know – with the Apostle Paul – that though we mourn, we don’t mourn as those without hope. We have a deep-seated trust that this beautiful girl is already in heaven and already belongs to God – we know with unspeakable comfort that she is not her own, but belongs – body and soul, in life and in death, to her faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. That is our hope and our joy: that before even her first cry, she found herself in heaven, where we know that every tear will be wiped away.

You see, this hope and confidence we have – even in the face of death – comes because we know that God is faithful.

That was the first thought that I had when I came into the hospital room to visit with you on Monday night, the night when Virginia was delivered. You mentioned it in your telling of Virginia’s story, but it’s worth repeating here. After the ultrasound had shown that Virginia had passed away April 21, you braced yourselves for the next step – the induction of labor. You two – by the grace of God and with the prayer support of those around you – were handling it all extremely well. You had come to grips – after the initial ultrasound – that there may be something wrong with the baby. You were shocked by – yet accepted – that your child had two fatal diagnoses that likely meant she wouldn’t live very long. You admirably accepted that she had passed away… yet desired just one simple request: that you might be able to hold her for a while. That you’d be able to gaze into the face of this child that you seen on ultrasound monitors. That you’d be able to take pictures and cherish the time – be it ever so brief – that you would spend with this child on earth.

The induction process started on that Wednesday night, and our family was surprised that the baby hadn’t been born on Thursday morning. The process continued through the day Thursday and into Thursday night. Thursday became Friday and Friday turned into Saturday… finally, after 60 hours of unsuccessful attempts to deliver, you were told to head home and make arrangements for a procedure to take place, one that would likely not preserve the body of the baby, one that would take away the one bit of consolation, the one thing that you still wanted from the pregnancy: a chance to hold this little child.

You – along with many of us here this evening – were crushed. Disappointed is a much too mild word. It was a time of despair, a time of hopelessness, a time when we – out of faith in God – asked, “Why would God let this happen? Why didn’t God answer all these prayers that had gone up to His throne?” Tim wrote on facebook, “We're already spent, I don't know how much more of this we can take.” Laura wrote, “can't understand why this is all happening to us? It's too much for us to handle!”

Little did any of us know that those prayers would be answered not in the way that we expected, but in God’s timing and according to His plan. Incredibly, God hadn’t been saying “no” to our request that Tim and Laura could hold their baby, He was saying “not yet.” Because 12 hours into the second induction process, after Dr. N. took a leap of faith in their case, our prayers were answered: little Virginia Rae was born intact, was welcomed with joy and sadness into her parents’ arms.

That’s one of the reasons we trust in God’s faithfulness and His care for Virginia in heaven – because we’ve seen His care so clearly for Tim & Laura. What we see is what Psalm 139 teaches us – a psalm that we often think about in terms of God’s care for unborn children but one that also speaks of his loving care for us. The psalmist says that God knows us. He knows when we sit and rise, he knows our going out and our lying down, he’s familiar with all of our ways. The gospel says that God knew us and loved us so much that He didn’t spare his own Son for us. So we put our trust in Him, we place our hope in Him – knowing His great faithfulness.

One of the great blessings of your time on Monday night – following the delivery of Virginia – was that little brown box that you received at the hospital. I’m talking – of course – about the memory box. In it you have pictures that followed soon after Virginia birth, you have keepsakes that were gifts from the hospital, and you have the seashell that held the baptism water for Virginia. You give thanks that you have a place where you can keep those reminders of Virginia’s life, of the things you learned during this time, of the way that God answered your prayers to hold her.

But that memory box has shortcomings. It can’t hold the joy you had in your heart when you first found out that you would be having another child. It can’t hold the feeling you had when your hearts thumped along because you heard Virginia’s strong heartbeat for the very first time. It can’t hold the incredible memories that you have of falling in love with your little girl when you first saw her on the ultrasound. It can’t hold the tears that you shed as we remembered – on the night she was born – God’s promises of Scripture for His precious child. It can’t hold the full day of memories that you have from today; memories from the graveside, memories of loved ones visiting with you, memories of loved ones who are here now to hug you, cry with you, and be there for you in the long journey of mourning.
Those are all memories that just don’t fit in a memory box; no, they fit within your heart, and I know they will be cherished forever.

And Virginia, too, will be cherished forever. Though she measured a mere six inches long, she holds a large place in your hearts. Though she weighed only eight ounces, she’s placed a heavy burden on your hearts. It’s incredible to think how someone so small could have such a huge impact on your lives. It’s unbelievable how someone so little could be loved so much already. But even more astounding is that while your love for her is great, God’s love for her is immeasurable. While you have known her and loved her since the day you found out you were expecting, God has loved her and known she was His before the foundations of the earth were laid. While you’ve caught glimpses of her on ultrasound screens, God – verse 13 tells us – knit her together in her mother’s womb. While you heard moments of her heart beating from the Doppler machine, her frame – as verse 15 tells us – wasn’t hidden from God while he made her in the secret place. While you – as every good parents do – made plans for Virginia, God – verse 16 tells us – knew all the days ordained for her, and He wrote them in His book before one of them came to be.

And while we had hoped and prayed and wished and desired that this child would be healthy and strong and well, we see now that God has answered that prayer in heaven. Though we all wanted Virginia to grow with her mommy and daddy here, we know that she’s with her heavenly father right now.

May we all cling to that hope and comfort now – that Virginia is with God right now, that she is whole, healthy, and happy. And may we rest in the assurance that God – whose faithfulness stretches to the skies – is with us, too. Amen.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good-byes

Today was a hard day. Tim's parents came up to meet Virginia. While they were there, Dr. N. came up and spent some time with us and prayed with us. He is such an amazing doctor and we are so blessed that he came in to our lives. We will be forever touched by his kindness and compassion to us in our darkest hours. After Tim's parents left, we spent some time talking with Virginia. We discussed with her how much we would miss her and also talked about who she was seeing in heaven. Here are some pictures that we took from this morning:

Tim's parents with Virginia

Spending a little time with mommy

Daddy's little girl

The bunny and the blanket will be buried with Virginia
The rose was from Tim's parents

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Virginia's outfit

This is a picture of the outfit that Virginia wore when she was born.



This outfit was sent to us by this wonderful organization-- http://www.marymadelineproject.org/ --The Mary Madeline Project takes women's wedding dresses and makes them into beautiful outfits for families who have suffered the death of an infant. They send these outfits to families free of charge and they are absolutely beautiful.

She has arrived!

It is with great joy and sadness that we'd like to announce the birth of Virginia Rae. She came into the world at 9:13 pm and weighed in at 8 ounces and 6 inches long. The delivery was an awesome experience and I was so thankful to be able to deliver her naturally. My brother, Jeff, was able to come down and perform the baptism services--my mom and grandparents were also able to watch the baptism. Here are some pictures:

Great Grandma Ida Virginia with baby Virginia

Uncle Jeff baptizing Virginia

Grandma, Grandpa, Tim, me, Virginia, Mom and Jeff
May 3, 2010

The only picture of the three of us

Dr. N., me and our nurse

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Memories Part II

Today I spent some time talking to our doctor's office. I told the nurse that I felt that their office washed their hands of me when I left the hospital--she disagreed and said that the D & E was my only option.

I called the dr's office in Champaign and made an appointment for Tuesday morning but after researching on their website I decided that I was not comfortable with them so I canceled the appt.

I then swallowed all of my pride and spoke with the geneticist at the University of C. She said that they have a physician that does the procedure and I was a little bit more comfortable with her background. I have an appt. scheduled with her for a consultation on Thursday.

My mom helped out with Josiah today which was wonderful and then the rest of the family came over for dinner and then we took some more pictures.