Monday, January 30, 2012

Prayers for Dalton!

Dalton is on his way! Kara is getting induced today. Please say a prayer for them. This is Kara's first delivery! I am excited for them to meet their little boy but I know she's having soooo many emotions right now. We love you already Dalton.

Thank you!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

These days

This month I've had so much help. Thank you for the meals, the house cleaning, and for Bella and Farrah's wonderful teachers that provide such a cool environment for them. The girls have been going to "school" almost the whole month. (Minus some sick days last week). I was hesitant about this at first, because what was I going to do by myself all month??!? My girls are my "job!" And I love my job. But Chris & friends kept reminding me to take time to physically heal and just take advantage of the time alone while I have it. I guess a month in the scheme of things isn't that long. Even though I have missed them! But I've enjoyed doing some house projects, a few lunches, starting a new women's study and napping. :)

What I didn't do until this week was start to get my head back in the game. I'm still kinda floating at times it seems. Not so much sad, just floating. So I appreciate not having to do as much of my "job" lately - I haven't cooked, deep cleaned much, etc. It's amazing with all of that being done for me- that I can still feel "busy." My body isn't always moving, but my mind is always racing.

I'm doing well, though. I want you to know that. I think I'll always have a part of my heart missing. There are times when I go through short times of anger or longer times of sadness. It will come out of nowhere, of course, just like you hear grief does. For example, I passed by my beta fish "Goldielocks" last week and found myself angry. Angry that this stupid fish has been around way longer than beta fish are suppose to be around. Why that fish is living and why my daughter isn't doesn't make since to me. It's not fair. But life isn't fair. But God is bigger than the fish and bigger than Hallie and bigger than me. And I think that the fact that I can say that and have faith that our God is BIG is what protects my heart in so many ways.

Honestly, like I've mentioned many times before - I have always been afraid of losing a child or a loved one and wondering how I'd ever survive!! I didn't think I could. (Like, this was a fear that would keep me up some nights.) Fear like this is not from God, by the way. So the fact that I've actually survived and doing alright is even astonishing to me sometimes. Because I never had faith that I could make it, much less that God would carry me through it. I can't believe I am ok. But the fact is, I survived. And so I know in my own heart that I didn't get through this alone. Because I know left to my own devices, I could not have. I feel like God is so much more real to me after going through this. God not only got me through it, but blessed me so much in the process. (Weird to say I feel blessed, I know! But it's how I feel and I'm so glad I am able to say that.)

I also pleaded with and told God early on in finding out about Hallie having Trisomy 13 (at 14 weeks) that I "could handle a miscarriage right now, but please don't take me all the way to the end of this pregnancy only to loose a baby!!" Of course that changed around about 18 weeks maybe... when I could feel life moving around in me. Then it became, "Oh God, please let me make it to the end of this pregnancy and let me meet her!!" And although I am extremely thankful that I was able to meet Hallie and hold her, I also have to remind myself that He still would be good if I hadn't gotten to. That kinda rocks my world when I think about it. There are plenty of women who don't get time with their babies. Or there are women who get many more days with their babies than I got. When you lose a baby, no time is ever really enough.

There just IS a peace that surpasses all understanding. I intimately know that to be true now.

Please keep Kara and Jonathan in your prayers this weekend as they get ready to welcome baby Dalton into the world on Monday!! I am excited for her to meet her first born; her sweet baby boy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Many people ask me how Farrah and Bella are doing (since Hallie). Thank you for asking! I thought I'd write and tell you that they are doing well. And, this gives me a chance to post a couple of pictures of them with Hallie.

Bella is doing great. The morning after Hallie died (and can I say that that word is hard to say... but "passed" doesn't feel right either... I don't know when I'll get used to saying either of those words)... anyway... the next morning, Bella came bouncing in our room as usual and looked in the bed between Chris and I for Hallie. She asked, "Where is Hallie?" Once I told her that Hallie had died, she said, "Already?" (She knew from previous talks that this would happen.) Chris said, "Yes baby, but she's with God." and almost before he could finish that statement, Bella says "I know!" sweetly but also matter-of-fact and bounced right back out of the room. She's since asked a few questions, but overall her heart has been protected from much of it. She knows it's ok to see us sad and she feels comfortable asking questions. But mainly, Bella and Farrah are just great medicine for her parents!

Bella was so sweet with Hallie. She's always been a "little mommy." She asked to hold her and feed her so often. I wish she could have done it more, really. But she was always around. She watched with curiosity as Chris and I listened with a stethoscope to make sure her feeding tube was in her tummy. Then we'd fill up the bottle and hold it up, or let Bella hold it, to let Hallie be fed through the tube. Chris even brought home the girls their own yellow stethoscopes.

This picture is the morning of the 23rd. The only "morning" we had at home with Hallie. It was a pretty calm morning compared to the night before. Almost like a normal morning here in the house, except with a precious addition to the family. Bella was holding Hallie with my mom beside her. I asked her if she wanted to sing to her. She sang "Jesus loves me" in the sweetest, softest voice. (a different version of the song that has "hallelujah" in it...perfect.)

Farrah knows Hallie's picture and I encourage her to say her name as much as possible. I don't think she'll remember Hallie really, but I do want her to know her name and be comfortable asking questions when she is ready.

When we arrived home from the hospital Thursday night, it was a little crazy at the house. Well, maybe not, but it felt like it. We drove home at rush hour in a torrential downpour AND through Christmas mall traffic. At the first cry that Hallie let out... I was holding her. Yes, I held her all the way home. There was no way I was going to let her be in distress and not able to breathe good ... and I couldn't sufficiently comfort her with my c-section by leaning over the carseat. She was so small in there I couldn't get to her. So I held her. And it was great. (I told you she was held her entire life!!) :) Not to worry, traffic was literally NOT MOVING. It was pouring out and Chris and I rode almost in silence the whole way home. It was VERY hard to leave the hospital with the nurses that had become like family. To hug all of their necks as each of their shifts ended. To be putting Hallie in a carseat knowing it would probably be the only time I would get to do so. It was such a whirlwind of a day/night (or really, 5 days!) But we didn't know what the future held - we were still in awe that we were getting to bring her home! It is what I ultimately really wanted and I was thankful for that, even though I was really sad, too. Crazy how I could feel such big and different emotions simultaneously!

When we arrived home, we surprised the girls who were with GG. They didn't know we were coming home yet (or that Santa was going to be coming that night, either!) We quickly had to jump in and learn how to use our oxygen machine from the hospice equipment guy that was there. Then it was time for another feeding.

During a quiet moment after that, Farrah walked up and gave Hallie a little doll. Such a quick but sweet moment.

... there will always be a sister missing. We love you and miss you, Hallie!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hallie's Memorial Video

Here is Hallie's memorial from January 7th - for those of you who could not attend and for those of you who want to hear the awesome music from our friends again.

So many emotions come in seeing this for me -- the service was just so nice and was such a good healing thing. I love ALL of the music and I will treasure the video at the beginning forever. But it also makes me miss Hallie - seeing her move around and in my arms. It was so real when she was here and it feels so weird to be moving on - day by day, week by week without her.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of those who helped make this service so excellent for us. It means so much.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Doing well

I've sat down to write several times but not sure what to say. At least with my "weekly pregnancy updates" I had categories to fill out and something to go by. There is no handbook on how to go through grief or a loss. Well, I guess there are books... but no one certain way to go through it nor the abliity to know how you are going to handle it yourself.

Because, like I've said several times, I thought I would SURELY fall over and die if I were to go through a big loss such as this. So there have been times when I was perplexed at why I am OK. I'm not totally fine all the time, but for the most part (like 95% of the time!) I function just fine and can laugh, carry on conversations like normal, and enjoy life.

One of the reasons why I thought I was doing well is that I have been in safe groups. Everywhere I've gone, I've been around people that already know our story. So not only do I know that these people have been praying for us, but I also don't have new people asking me "So.. how many kids do you have" or those hard questions. Meghan said it so well in this post. I have read this a few times and thought, "This is so true!" Especially the part about being out and about and you don't understand why people don't see that you're not a whole person; that a part of you is missing.

Some of the other local women I've met through my pregnancy who are walking the same "Trisomy" road got together last night (and the husbands this time!) It's so nice to be with people who just get it. I know I've said that before, but it's so true. These women are walking right ahead of me or right behind me in this journey and we can easily talk about things that others just don't understand. And we can encourage and help each other. Such a blessing. Kara and Jeannie both have started blogs recently... would you pray for them? They are due with their little boys (Dalton and Porter, respectively) in the next couple of months and could use prayer & all the encouraging words that you all gave me!

Here's a picture of our big group Saturday night! Aren't these some pretty ladies!? Their faith is even more amazing.

I continue to also be so encouraged by Sandra (on the far left) who had her daughter, Holland about 4 months before Hallie. She said something Saturday that I hadn't thought of before. She 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. (I think Sandra needs to start a blog, because she just says great things!!)

Another thing someone said is that when you lose a baby, it's not so much that you grieve the memories like you with other losses, but you will grieve the milestones of where that baby would be. (For instance, first days of school, first birthdays, etc.) And I see that. Right now, Chris and I find ourselves just feeling like something is missing in our family. Like we "should be" rocking and putting three daughters to bed, not just two. And that hole will never be filled.

Anyways... those are some of my thoughts right now. Know that we are doing pretty well and thank you so so much for the prayers throughout all of this! They have meant so much.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Memorial Service Thank You

Thank you all who came to celebrate Hallie's life with us Saturday! And also thank you to those who couldn't be with us but have been praying for us.

The service was just beautiful. I cannot believe the amount of people who helped make it happen. Chris' friends/co-workers, volunteers, friends... it was so amazing. We felt so loved. Thank you for even making the stage look pink & girly. We will never forget that day. So many friends around. It was healing for both of us. I wish I could have hugged all of your necks!! I got a good bit of hugs in, but I know I missed a bunch of you, too :) The FIRST thing Chris and I did when we got home was go through the guest books and read all of your messages. It just felt good to be so loved on, in so many ways.

I had planned on writing more tonight, but I was distracted and now my brain won't turn back on :) We are doing well and adjusting to our new "normal" ... and I'm trying to wrap my brain around what all Hope From Hallie can do! I do have things I'd love to blog about, so check back soon. We'll also have a video of the service up in a day or two. 

I'll leave you with a picture of my sweet baby! I cherish every picture & video I have!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Santa Comes to Town

(Chris writing)

Many of you now know about the amazing Santa that visited us from Bass Pro Shop to bring Christmas cheer to our family (if not, scroll down the page). Luckily, I had the presence of mind to capture most of the visit. I put a video together, so we can remember it forever.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Hallie's memorial service & thank you!!

Hi friends!

We will be having a memorial service on Saturday, January 7, at 10:00am Buckhead Church in the main auditorium. The church is not GPS/mapquest friendly.. so go here for directions: can type "1 Buckhead Loop, Atlanta, GA 30326" into your GPS, and you'll find us.

We love you guys and invite you to join us as we celebrate Hallie's sweet little life.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice, or to Hope from Hallie (see below).

A couple of my friends Rachael and Kelly and Emily set up a Hope for Hallie fund on their blogs when Hallie was first born. They so thoughtfully set it up to help us get a few things to memorialize and remember her by. They also set up Hope for Hallie page on Facebook and you will never know how much that meant to us to see you all posting messages and pictures on there. Some nights, I just go through these posts to see how much you cared for us and Hallie. Little did they expect, because of your generosity, they were going to be given so much in donations. Saying "thank you" to you all seems inadequate.

As I've mentioned, one HUGE encouragement to me through this journey has been other Trisomy and infant loss mothers. They just understand and make me feel normal. What I would love to do is help other families like we were helped. So Hope for Hallie is being turned into Hope from Hallie!! So, thank you all for already helping me carry on Hallie's legacy. I think this is going to be a great way for me to "pay it forward" to other moms, and help me heal at the same time.

My words are not coming out great right now. I miss my sweet girl and it feels weird that she has already been gone longer than she was here with us. I feel like her scent is fading in her baby blanket. But yet I still have a crick in my neck to remind me of her - from basically sitting in the same position for 5 days staring at her. Bittersweet. :) I do look forward to celebrating the impact she had on us at her memorial AND carrying on her memory with Hope from Hallie.