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 ...

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.


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.


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


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


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.