Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday

To our Virginia,

Daddy and I can not believe that it has been 2 years since we have held you in our arms. The day that you were born was such a mixed bag of emotions as we grieved over your death but also grieved the fact that the disease that took your life also did a number on your physical appearance. We were saddened that we did not have the pictures that we so desperately wanted, the footprints, the lock of hair, etc. We are thankful that we do have some pictures of you and that a dear friend of ours that also lost their little girl at the same age as Virginia shared a set of her footprints for us to have.

We rejoiced in the fact that I was able to deliver you naturally--what a special gift that was for me. They did not think I had to dilate very far because you were so little but you stayed in the water bag and I dilated to 10! We were so thankful too that we were able to meet such a wonderful Christian MFM dr. in Dr. N. who spent so much time with us on the phone before your delivery and at the hospital. He was such a blessing to us. In fact when Grandpa & Grandma K. came to visit the next day he came in and prayed with us. We are so thankful too that we had the chaplain in the room with us praying during the delivery (We were about 2 hours from our family so we were not sure if my brother would be able to come out and baptize Virginia so we called the chaplain just to meet her ahead of time just in case. All of a sudden while she was talking to us the labor progressed quickly. She quietly stood in the corner and prayed for the delivery--what a gift)! We were so thankful too for the family members that drove out late that night to be with us and to hold you. It breaks my heart to look back on those pictures and see the sadness in their eyes but ... It was such an honor to have Uncle Jeff baptize you and share in the joy that you are now in heaven. (Jeff preached at the memorial service a wonderful sermon that can be found here)

We were also so blessed in the days after your death to be surrounded by so many family and friends to encourage us and to be the body of Christ to us and to our family.

You were named Virginia after your Great Grandma Ida Virginia and she even at 84 years old is such a wonderful Christian woman. We wanted to honor her by naming you Virginia because we knew that whether you lived or you died that God would be glorified. Your life (and your 2 siblings) even though they were so short has slowly started an amazing ministry. In the last couple of weeks we have been able to deliver packages to other families who also lost their babies. We are so thankful that your life can be a source of ministry to other hurting families.

We have been talking quite a bit about your birthday with your big brother Josiah and he wants to make a card for you which we will be doing. We will also be celebrating by having a birthday cake. Josiah said that you would be having cake in heaven but you won't be blowing out the candles because you're a girl :) He also started singing today, "I love Daddy, I love Mommy, I love my little sister". Virginia, we all love you and miss you very much!

Daddy, Mommy & Josiah

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crocheted Gown

I saw a post on facebook with a list of websites that had free crocheted patterns for preemie items. Now mind you I am not an expert at crocheting so I went and took a look around at some of the sites. I found this one and I figured that I might be able to make it. I was able to make the gown pretty quickly and I think it turned out pretty good. I'm not sure what size baby it would fit because I only have one sized needle but ...

Hopefully I can make a couple more of these for our hospice in different sizes since we do not have any more gowns. I plan on trying to sew some more gowns at some point in time too--hopefully I can find some easy patterns to make.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I read a book when I was in the hospital the first time trying to deliver Virginia (I was in April 21-24). I received it from dear friends of mine called A Symphony in the Dark by Rebecca Mutz. She shares the story of her daughter Molly and it was so heartbreaking yet so encouraging the faith of this young couple. Some time later I found her blog on the internet and continued to be so encouraged by her. One thing that she talked about in her blog was that she did not call Molly's grave a grave but instead a "doorway". She did that based off of this poem:

By: Calvin Miller

"I once scorned ev'vy fearful thought of death,
When it was but the end of pulse and breath,
But now my eyes have seen that past the pain
There is a world that's waiting to be claimed.
Earthmaker, Holy, let me now depart,
For living's such a temporary art
And dying is but getting dressed for God,
Our graves are merely doorways cut in sod."

I think the poem is pretty special because it just reminds me that this life is so temporary and is preparing us for eternity. We need to share God's love with others so that they can join us in heaven. While I can't hold Virginia--she is being held by Jesus and this brings me such comfort.

We have never been the type of people to go to the cemetery to visit loved ones who have died, but since our daughter is there we try to go out at least twice a year. I figure that it is our only way on this side of heaven to take care of her. I know she is not there but for me right now it helps.

Here are some pictures of Virginia's "doorway" and Josiah :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Glory to God

It was 2 years ago today that we received the dreaded words that Virginia was no longer with us but was instead dancing with the angels. You can read more about that here.

Last year we announced on facebook and shared with family and friends that we wanted to do a donation to the Haven Network. We were so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from family and friends as they were able to bless so many families with their donations. You can read more about that day here.

We were not sure what to do with this date. April 21st for me is such a hard date because that was the day that I knew that all hope for a miraculous healing for our baby was indeed gone. It was also scary because I was not sure how my body would respond to labor (which it didn't do very well). I was really struggling with some pretty serious anxiety a couple of weeks ago and asked for prayers from people who have been on a similar road and this last week has been so much better. We are so thankful for the prayers.

I talked to my mom and said that we really want to bless other people and we were talking about giving a donation to The Haven Network or Sufficient Grace Ministries. My mom reminded me that we should save some of the stuff for our hospice (it is taking a little time with the hospital and the OB). Little did I know that God had another plan and that we would unfortunately have to use some of our supplies. Within the last week we have given out two packages for families in the area who have lost their babies. We are so thankful that our donations can be used in memory of our children in order to bring glory to God. We continue to lift up these families in our prayers as they mourn the lives of their daughters.

Friday, April 20, 2012

If I could turn back time

I would love to go back 2 years in time. I do not remember the specifics of the night (even though when I looked on fb it said that Josiah helped me clean the toilets and that we watched The Blind Side) but I remember Virginia moving around a lot that night. Josiah often liked to kiss my belly but we were never able to get a picture--he was just under 2 and moved A LOT. That night was the only time that we were able to get a picture. I think it is the sweetest thing in the whole world--one of my most treasured pictures.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I have been struggling with a little bit of anxiety recently with so many memories of Virginia flooding in and we were in church on Sunday and this is the song that we sang:

I absolutely LOVE IT--I was singing it all night at work and it made the night so much more tolerable. I'm so thankful that God reminded me of that song on Sunday at church.

We have been trying to start our perinatal hospice and it has been taking a little bit of time. On Friday morning, I was contacted by a friend who had someone who was in the midst of a stillbirth. We had the privilige of driving up to the hospital and dropping off a care package for them at the front desk. Then on Sunday the pastor mentioned a family that is facing end of life issues with their unborn baby. I was able to talk with them after church and plan on bringing them a package as they prepare for her delivery this week. We are so honored that the lives of our 3 children are allowing us to minister to other familiies. Please continue to keep both of these families in your prayers.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


It was 2 years ago today that we went to the University of Chicago for our follow-up ultrasound. We knew that there was fluid in the belly but we did not know of any elsewhere. I had read the word hydrops and saw some mention of Down Syndrome. We knew that if the baby was born with Down Syndrome we would love him or her the same. I have worked with people with disabilities in the past and they are some of the most beautiful people in the world.

In an ironic way, Jeff and Lisa (my brother and sister in law) were also at the same hospital having weekly checks for their twin daughters who had TTTS. We were very concerned for their safety and they were born healthy except for a few minor health issues.

We went back for our ultrasound and we thought that our baby looked absolutely beautiful. The technician did not say a lot but explained what we were seeing. The ultrasound lasted about an hour and again we thought everything was fine.

In just a few short minutes our world came crashing down. The genetecist and someone else called us back to a room and asked what we knew about the baby. She said the baby also had fluid behind the neck. She explained that the baby had hydrops (fluid in the chest, skin, abdomen, etc) which is really bad with only a 10% chance of survival. (OK--that's fine--we'll fight for this baby is our thinking). Then, she says but the even more concerning thing is the fluid behind the neck which is called cystic hygroma which has a 0% chance of survival (why wouldn't you just say this in the first place instead of giving us a chance of hope?????) Then she gave us the option to abort which we were not interested in and once we decided that it was like ok see you later.

This was one of the worst things that I have to say about that hospital. There are many more options than abortion and it is a major hospital located in Downtown Chicago. They should have a list of perinatal hospices as well as other specialists for the different disorders to give people a second opinion. Also, I should have had a chance to meet with a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician who would lovingly show me the ultrasounds (which I could keep if I wanted to) that explained exactly what they were seeing. Once they decided that my child was not "viable" they gave up and forgot that the baby was precious to our family and should be given the respect that every other baby received. This is one of my biggest regrets. I wish that I would have demanded to see a MFM and also receive a DVD of the ultrasound and printed images of all the pictures :(

In that small consultation room it did not really hit until we went out in to the waiting room and we started making some phone calls and then it all started caving in. We could not believe that this child that we had prayed so much for would not be a part of our earthly family.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Showers

I knew that April 3rd comes after the 2nd but I seriously gasped when I looked at my phone this morning and saw that it was the third of April. You see April brings back so many bad memories. In fact, I would say that April is a month of "showers of tears" for our family. April 3, 2010 was the day that we went for our routine 18 week ultrasound. Tim's parents came out to watch Josiah so that we could have our undivided attention on the ultrasound. We continued to fall in love with our baby as we saw her (even though we didn't find out her gender until much later). We thought she was absolutely beautiful and could not wait until she would join our family. The ultrasound was on a Saturday and then on Monday morning as I was on my way to do a job with the census we got a call that we needed to go "up north" for further testing because there was fluid on her abdomen. They kept pushing for an amniocentisis (which they knew there was fluid behind her neck which they didn't tell us at the time) and we didn't understand what their insistence was (until later when we realized that this fluid was A HUGE DEAL). The next day 30 days were a whirlwind of emotions as we tried to set up a plan if she lived, if she died, what memories we wanted to create when she was delivered. Then after she died and we were unsuccessful at our first delivery we went through an even greater loss as we tried to create a new plan--if we would be able to hold her and create memories or if it would be more of a surgical procedure with no closure. This month is one that I wish we could just take off of the calendar but we press on