Sunday, January 22, 2012

McKinley's Friends

I have started a new tab at the top of my blog called "McKinley's Friends"  I copied its contents in this post. 

After receiving the devastating news that McKinley had Trisomy 13, a diagnosis considered "incompatible with life," I desperately starting searching the Internet for people in the same situation knowing that I couldn't be the only one. I had difficulty at first, then a friend connected me to the blog of a family with the same diagnosis. This is how I came in contact with all the amazing women and families I have come to know that have been affected (or are being affected) by Trisomy 13. Now that McKinley is in heaven, this group of women, some I know in person and some I haven't met, have played a crucial role in my healing process.

I saw this done on another blog (Thanks Holly!) and thought it was a wonderful idea. I would like to start a list of babies that have gone to heaven, to hopefully connect other moms/families if they happen to stumble across my blog.

If you have a precious baby in heaven, due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss and would like to be added to this list, please leave a comment on this post (if you don't have a google account, it will give you an option to leave the information anonymously as well) with the following:

-Your name
-Baby's Name (if given one)
-Birthday, Born into Heaven Date, and/or Angel Dates
-Diagnosis/Reason they left us (if you received one)
-Blog Link (if you have one, so that others can find your blog)

**Even if you do not currently have a blog, still send me the other information so we can recognize your sweet baby and have others pray for you. If you decide to start a blog at a later time, just send me your updated information and I will be glad to add it**

Would everyone please join me and pray for these families?

McKinley's Friends

(Click on the tab at the top of the blog to see the ones that have been added)

Friday, January 20, 2012

There Are No Tears In Heaven

"Mommy, Please Don't Cry...There Are No Tears In Heaven"    
By: Linda Deymaz

Mommy, please don't cry... a beautiful angel carried me here!

I met Jesus today, Mommy! He cradled me in His big, strong arms. He made me feel so happy inside.

Mommy, please don't cry... heaven is wonderful! Did you know the streets are made of gold? REAL GOLD!

I have lots of friends, Mommy. We run and play, we giggle and laugh. I can't wait to show you my secret hideouts!

Mommy, please don't cry... when I fall it doesn't hurt! There are no tears in heaven.

I've met a man named Noah. He told me about his big boat, all the animals, and the very first rainbow. Have you heard of Noah, Mommy?

Mommy, please don't cry... we have lots of parties here; with streamers and hats, and the best chocolate cake ever!

When it's time to rest angels tuck us in, I never get scared Mommy, There is no darkness here! Jesus is the light of heaven.

Mommy, please don't cry... the angels are always singing. I love to sing with the angels! You'd be proud of me, I have a pretty good voice. I must have gotten it from you.

There is a river, Mommy, in the most beautiful garden you could ever imagine... and a huge tree with yummy fruit. The angels call it the tree of life. Mommy, it's so wonderful to be alive in heaven!

Mommy, please don't cry... sometimes I just like to be by myself. That's when I think of you.

Someday, Mommy, we will hold each other tight! Then you will cradle me in your arms, and stroke my hair... and once again, our hearts will beat together.

Mommy, please don't cry... I'll wait right here for you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


This week I was asked to fill out a survey for the "Getting to Know You" section of the newsletter for my company.  It's just a random set of questions for the employees to learn new things about their coworkers.  Question #4  "What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?"  Whoa! <Time stood still while I thought about my answer>  My answer would be a close tie between:  (1) carrying my daughter knowing that she would die.  (2) burying my daughter having never seen her breathe her first breath.  So...needless to say, I decided to skip this question... I figured this would be a little way too much to put in a monthly company newsletter.

From the day McKinley was born, I have struggled with the fact that I did not get to carry her to full term and that I did not get to see her breathe her first breath. Some days I feel at peace with this and other days, I really struggle.  It's so odd feeling so thankful and happy for the time I had with her, but so sad at the same time for the lack of time I had with her.  I struggle with the fact that I did not get days, hours, or even minutes with her like I was preparing my heart for in the months leading up to her birth.  I also know that no matter the amount of time I had with her, it would never seem like enough.  So please pray for me as I continue to search for peace in this.

 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The "Club"

Here is a picture of the "club" I wish I didn't have to be in, but that I am so, so thankful for! (One of the many times during this experience that I have dealt with two completely opposite feelings at the exact same time.)

From left to right:  Sandra, Kara (Devotions to Dalton), Jeannie (Lessons from Porter), Katie (the little green family), me, and Shannon
On Saturday night, Jeannie invited us all over to her house for coffee and desserts.  I am so thankful for these women and what they have meant to me over the last several months.  This time when our group got together, we invited the husbands as well!  Here is the "family" shot!

Each of these families have been affected by Trisomy.  We are all at different points in our journey, and even though our stories are very similar, they are very different at the same time.  It was so nice to have the husbands there as well.  The guys sat outside by the fire while we sat inside where it was nice and warm!  Our conversations were so full of faith, strength, and hope. It was so encouraging. Jeannie said it best in her blog, "There is an extraordinary bond and understanding when you have experienced this kind of journey."  This is very true.  Even though we have known each other for a short time, there was so much to talk about and so much love for one another.  Carrying my daughter, knowing that she will die and having no clue how long I will have with her is one of the hardest things I have ever had to experience...these women completely get it...

Jeannie gave each of us the most thoughtful gift--a handkerchief monogrammed with our daughter/son's initials.  I treasure anything and everything with McKinley's name or initials on it.  I absolutely love seeing and hearing her name, so this was such a special gift to me.

Katie quoted something that Sandra said Saturday night that I would like to share.  It brought me so much peace and happiness.  So, I am going to quote Katie since she paraphrased it in her blog:

"She (Sandra) said for her, it was like Holland was never really hers - like she was God's all along. That it was her job and her joy to carry her and be her mom. That when Holland passed, she was just handing her back to the One who made her. So true!! We are just the lucky moms (and I do mean that, lucky!) to have held angels."

At the end of the night, Shannon, who is a little further out in her journey than the rest of us, prayed over the mothers; and her husband prayed over the fathers.  It was so uplifting and special.

So thankful for this amazing group.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Help Wanted

When I was pregnant, and especially early on before I started to show, I had a hard time with the question, "Do you have children?"  I felt like, do I tell them I have one on the way and then dread the "happy baby" comments like, "Do you know if it's a boy or girl?"  "Girls are so much fun!" "I bet you are so excited for your first child!" "Have you started the nursery?" or... would I just simply say, "No, not yet, " to avoid the hurt I felt hearing these happy comments about the future of my baby?  Well, I decided that I would tell people because in fact, McKinley was growing inside me and very much alive, and I was very excited about her even though I knew her fate.  So, I would just smile and say, "Yes, I am very excited," and leave it at that.  This was my answer, especially to strangers that I knew I would never see again. 

Well, now, I thought the hard questions were over...boy was I wrong...

Of course, I still get the question, "Do you have children?"  I spoke in an earlier post, Dear McKinley, about the first time someone asked me this after we lost her.  I am just having trouble with the answer to this question now.  There is one thing for sure, I will never, ever answer this question with a simple "no."  How could I deny the precious life that I held in my arms on November 2, 2011?  God was so gracious to let me borrow his sweet angel here on earth.

I need help coming up with a simple, sweet answer to this question for people who I will probably never see again, that don't need to know the full story.  I want my answer to be something that makes people smile, not feel sorry for me.  I don't want to be felt sorry for.  It is so hard to see the look on someones face when you tell them that you lost a baby.  I absolutely hate using the word "stillborn" as well.  There is just something about that word that is very hard for me to hear or use (I even had the Funeral Home take this word off the Obituary).  I was so blessed with my time with my daughter.  Don't get me wrong, I wish she was still here with Matt and I, but I know that she is happy and very much loved in heaven. 

So, if you have a suggestion for me, please let me know.  I would love some help with this.  Facebook message me, leave me a comment on facebook or on here, send me an email.  I just need help.  How can I answer this hard question with a short sentence that would make someone smile instead of frown?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pure Love

Saturday morning, Matt and I attended Hallie's Memorial Service alongside our friends Kara and Jonathan.  As soon as we walked in the doors, I had to remind myself several times to hold it together because the service hadn't even started!  It was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.  The decor was simple, elegant, and pure.  The service started with a family friend singing a song that he wrote for Hallie called "Hallelujah," which is the meaning of Hallie's name.  Thanks Kara for supplying Matt and I tissues!   It was incredible, and I hope they post it on their blog for others to hear (hint, hint Katie!! :-)  They showed a video of pictures taken at the hospital and also snippets of sweet Hallie just doing simple things like breathing.  The cutest thing I have ever seen was Katie's youngest daughter Farrah who is 2, singing Happy Birthday to Hallie.  After that, I was blown away by the incredible strength and courage of Katie and Chris standing up and talking about Hallie's life.  Hallie knew nothing but love in her short life and it was so very apparent in their voices.  The service closed with the most perfect song by David Crowder Band called "How He Loves."  I have loved this song since the first time I heard it. (This is actually the song that plays on my moms cell phone when I call her!)   One of the most powerful lines of the song to me is "If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking..." I have the song posted at the bottom in honor of the Memorial Service.   Thank you Katie and Chris for sharing with us the beautiful life of your sweet baby girl, Hallie Lynn Green.

On Sunday I attended a baby shower for Kara honoring Dalton.  Even though I just met Kara almost 2 months ago, I feel like I have known her my whole life.  Even our husbands are chatter boxes when they are together!  We were having lunch a couple weeks ago when she so sweetly asked me if I would like to come to Dalton's baby shower.  I felt so honored.  The baby shower was filled with so much love and hope for Dalton.  I just have to say that Kara got the coolest gift ever, a pretty (yes pretty) hospital gown so she doesn't have to wear the dreadful one the hospital supplies!!  One of her friend's mother makes them complete with all the right buttons, ties, and openings just like the hospital ones, just in MUCH prettier and flattering colors!!  I was so glad to meet Kara's family and friends who have supported her through everything.  Kara was asked by the hostesses to bring Dalton's baby blanket and at the end of the shower, everyone gathered around and held part of the blanket and prayed over Kara and Dalton.  It was a time of pure love and I was so thankful to be a part of it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Prayer Requests

One of the many unexpected blessings from McKinley's life has been meeting some awesome new friends.  After we received the diagnosis, one of my dear friends Erin, told me that her sister had a friend here in Atlanta that was also pregnant with a baby with Trisomy 13.   Erin asked if she could give her my email address.  This is how I met Katie (the little green family)!  That very night Katie sent me a very comforting email and I knew her friendship would be a blessing to me. 

Katie's baby girl Hallie, was born on December 19, 2011 and lived a precious and love-filled 4 and a half days. I will be attending Hallie's Memorial Service this Saturday to celebrate her life.  Please pray for this family as they are continuing in their healing process.   The Green family is the epitome of love and life shown through God's unfailing grace. 

From Katie's blog I found Miranda (Annalise Lilly).  Her baby girl was born into heaven on August 19, 2011.  She lost around the same time in pregnancy that I did.  Unfortunately, I have not met Miranda in person because we are separated by 8 hours, but her friendship via blogs and emails has been such a blessing to me.  Pray for Miranda and her husband for continued healing and peace in God's plan for them. 

From Katie's blog I also found Kara (Devotions to Dalton) .  Her son Dalton, has severe partial trisomy 13 and is due in February.  We discovered that its a small world and that her husband and I are from the same hometown with some mutual friends!  Kara's strength and hope through this whole experience has been an inspiration to me.  Please pray for her and Jonathan as they prepare to meet Dalton, and as the unknowns of his medical conditions become known.  Pray for Dalton's physical strength to endure delivery and life outside, and pray for emotional strength for mommy and daddy.  I have great hope in his life.  I am so excited to attend Kara's shower in honor of Dalton this weekend!  I can't wait to meet this precious little boy!!

More recently, I have been in contact with a few more moms going through this journey (you can find links on my blog).  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to get together with 4 other moms (Katie, Kara and 2 others) to Trisomy babies in the Atlanta area.  One of the moms decided it would be good for the husbands to meet so we are getting together at her house for dessert and coffee in a couple weeks. I can't wait for that!

I know that I would be in a very different place emotionally and in my healing process if it weren't for these women and such a great support group. I am so thankful for each one of you!  In a recent post,  Meghan (Quinn's Story) said, "This isn't a "club" that I wanted to join.  I have heard it said that this is the "club" with the highest membership dues."  This is so true.  No mother should ever be told that her baby will most likely not survive.  No mother should ever have to endure the immense grief of burying her baby.  As I stated in an earlier post, even though this is not what I would have ever expected my life to be like, this is My Story, and I serve a gracious God who will help me through it.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Psalm 34:18