"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2009 and Joy Michelle

That morning Janie Beth's hands had loosened up. I thanked God so much because I was able to get her prints and trace her hands and feet. I think I almost cried! It was a special morning just Joey, Janie, and I. I gave Janie Beth a bath and then rubbed her with lotion. I used the lavendar scented wash and lotion from the NICU. I now keep lavendar germX at home because it reminds me of Janie Beth. :) There are times I want to smell her or be reminded so I go GermX my hands. She was dressed in the dress that Katie Jo picked out and wrapped in a pink blanket.

We had a wonderful nurse that day. She asked questions about Janie Beth and genuinely cared. I loved that she wanted to know! We even joked a little before we left.

The thought of calling the funeral home and having them come get Janie Beth wasn't sitting right with Joey and I. It was a call we just couldn't bring ourselves to make. Thankfully, someone told us that we could transport her ourselves because she was so small. There was peace in that decision.

While Joey loaded the car, I sat with Janie Beth and sang and talked to her. I cried more than I had the entire stay at the hospital. I wanted those moments to last forever; to soak her in completely.

I was allowed to carry her out to the car. I walked instead of riding in the wheel chair. The nurse did have us go down the staff elevator. I kind of felt for the food guys in there, but they already knew because they were the ones that brought me my food earlier. It felt good to be holding her and carrying her. We even freaked out a lady when I got in the car holding her in the front seat. :) The security guard had to tell her it was ok. That brought laughter to Joey and I.

I am thankful that we got to take her on her first car ride. We still got to do "firsts" with Janie Beth, just not in the normal way.

Then, we pulled into the parking lot of the funeral home. We drove around back. Joey came around the car to get Janie Beth. I hugged her so tight! I held on a bit longer. This was it; the last time I would hold my precious baby girl. As I watched them go inside I just cried. I held my pink lamb and cried. Joey carried her in and laid her on the gurney himself. He said it was one of the hardest things he has ever done; that and being with her when she was disconnected. He came back to the car and we cried together.

We both had on shirts that we had put Janie Beth's footprints on. We went to Arby's to grab a bite before going to pick up the other kids. I wondered if anyone wondered. Here we were with shirts that had footprints and no baby. I am not sure if we talked much while we ate or not.

Even though the day was really hard, it was filled with peace. The peace that only God can provide. He was in control. We let Him guide our steps, and He blessed our time with her! I am so thankful!!!

I put "and Joy Michelle" in the title of this post. I put it there because this day a year ago is affecting me with Joy Michelle. You see, I have not left her with anyone except Joey while at home, or once now at my mom's on Christmas when Joey and I went to the cemetary. I feel like God is calling me to the choir at church. I have peace that that is His desire. I love to praise the Lord in song!! I have missed singing.

But, in order to do that, Joy Michelle will have to stay in the nursery. Now, I have never had a problem with this with any of my other children. I was the nursery for the older 2, so I didn't deal with this, but Eli did stay in the nursery. Everytime I think of leaving her I want to cry. I know she will be fine and that they will take great care of her, but I still want to cry. I realized a week or so ago that the last time I left my baby with someone other than Joey or my parents was at the funeral home. I feel as though this is another step God wants me to take in my healing. A hard step, but a step nonetheless. I will start in a week or 2 and leave her only during the worship service. She will continue to stay with me during Sunday School at first. I would gladly sing in the choir with her strapped to me. ;) But, that might be a bit distracting for me and others. I know that God will give me strength for everything that He calls me to do, and I am excited to see the blessings He will bring through this, but for now I am praying for God to prepare our hearts for leaving her for that short little time.

This day was a blessed day last year, and it will be a blessed day spent with family today. We are  stepping into a new year. We are leaving behind the first year of Janie Beth. It hurts! We are stepping further away from her memories. Yet, we are stepping closer to seeing her again. It is bittersweet.

I am excited to see what God has planned in this new year of 2011. 2010 wasn't all bad; Joy Michelle joined our family, and God has done amazing things in our hearts. I know God has some big plans, and I am just going to hang on and enjoy the ride! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little Footprints

A friend made the picture of the lamb. One day I hope to matte and frame these two pictures together, the lamb on top and the feet below.

Little Footprints
How very softly
you tiptoed into my
Almost silently,
only a moment you
But what an imprint
your footsteps have
left upon
my heart.

December 30, 2009

I remember going to the NICU as soon as it opened up at 8:00am after the shift change. Jennifer came with donuts. My next memory is Dr. D coming in and telling us that Janie Beth did indeed have TD. Then, came the decision that we would take her off of the ventilator later that day. The morning was full of visitors. Joey brought each one in to visit Janie Beth. I went and saw her a couple of times, and I sat in my room and talked with people. Most everyone stayed in the NICU waiting room because it was bigger. Starting at 3:00 I sat by Janie's bed until every person had come in and said their goodbyes. 

When I got there, she opened her eyes and looked at me. :) She held my finger the entire time I sat there. God answered my prayers!! I wanted more than anything for her to squeeze my finger. Kelly told me that she opened her eyes more when I came in then she had the entire Kelly had been there. I had some time with her just Joey and I before the others came back.

The kids came in and we all sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her. I sang as much as I could through my tears. Katie Jo is the one that started the song. She loves Janie Beth so much! It still breaks my heart to see the progression of pictures with Katie Jo because you can see her excitement that Janie Beth is there, and then the pure sadness when we tell her she will go to Heaven later that day. In the NICU and later in room 310, Josiah took each part of her in. It was like he was trying to engrave her in his mind, such care and love! Eli didn't want to have much to do with her at that time, but he definitely talks about her a lot now. :)

Many family and some friends came back to visit. Janie Beth touched so many lives in her short time here.

Once everyone had their turn, Joey and I sat there a bit longer.

I walked by myself back to the room while Joey stayed with Janie as she was un-hooked. He said it was one of the hardest things he has ever done, but he wanted to be there for her through it all. It is hard for me to see the pictures of her after being taken off when she is crying because I know that there was no sound even though she was trying so hard. 
Joey wrapped her up and carried to room 310. Kelly even caught Janie Beth looking up at Joey as he walked through the hallway. It was the last time she opened her eyes. She was/is so proud of her Daddy!!!

Joey and I had some time just the 2 of us with her in the room for a while. She took some squeaky breathes for a few minutes. Her heart stayed beating until about 7pm and she was taken off the ventilator at 5:30.

The kids came in the room first and had some time with Janie Beth. Then, the others came in. We took pictures and everyone who wanted to go to hold her. We made imprints of her hands with each of the kids. (I plan on painting those in the next couple days.) It was a special time, a surreal time.

Everyone left, and Joey and I worked on molds. We had to get the NICU charge nurse to help us. She was amazing!!!! I remember being upset because she was getting hard and I was having trouble getting prints. We decided to take a break and get some sleep. It was a long day, but a blessed day. It went the way God had planned.

I wish I could put up every picture that was taken!! It is so hard to chose. There are pictures with each person that came to the NICU and to the room. Kelly will forever hold a special place in our hearts!!!!!

Today we went and released 22 pink balloons. I tied a card to them and Katie Jo made a picture we tied to them. I have pictures of them in the car but not in the air because we video taped that part. :) I lit some candles for her last night and I will again tonight. One of Janie's pink roses stands in the middle. God has graciously brought us through, and He will continue to do so.

We wish she was here with us, but I would never want her to leave Heaven! One day we will be there too. While God carries her in His hands, we carry her in our heart! We love you, Janie Beth!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grave Stone Pictures

Joey and I were able to go see Janie Beth and get her pictures in the snow on Christmas Day. The last time we had snow on the ground on Christmas Day was 1989. It was magical! Today we went and put out the things Janie Beth got in her stocking as well as a balloon. Tomorrow we will go back and release 22 balloons for the 22 hours she lived.

The cemetary was beautiful in the snow!

 Built her a snowman. :)

Here are her pictures from today...
Her windchime

 Balloon from Nana

 Looking good!

December 29, 2009

What a day it ended up being. I woke up feeling fine, but it wasn't long before the contractions started up again. They had started after my doctor's appointment the day before and hadn't really let up at all until I was asleep. I decided to do some cleaning. I remember cleaning the kitchen a bunch. LOL I was mega cleaning it, I guess. I am sure I cleaned other parts of the house, but I just do not remember. I am sure I washed clothes too since I usually wash on Monday and I went to the doctor. After cleaning all morning, I decided to shower and see if that helped stop the contractions or if they would keep going. I always took my time in the shower when pregnant with Janie Beth (some would say I still do LOL). I would sit on the seat, think, and try to feel her.  I put on my black skirt with a red shirt that had black stripes.

The shower didn't stop the contractions. The contractions themselves weren't bothering me, but the pressure they brought was another story. I decided about 2:00-2:30 to call the doctor's office and see what they said. The nurse told me that Dr. F didn't think I would make it to the next week. (Thanks!) They told me to go the L&D and see what was happening and that Dr. N was on call that day. We called my mom to leave work and head to the house. We called my step-dad to come down to the house and be with the kids. I will never forget the excitement of the kids when we told them. It broke my heart! The picture of them waving to us out the door as we left will forever be engraved in my mind. It brings tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart because they wanted Janie Beth to have her miracle here on Earth just as we did. Josiah even commented one day that it would be really cool to see a miracle happen; to watch Janie Beth's chest pop out and be bigger were his words. Katie Jo mentioned to me while I was packing my bags just a couple days before how she thought Janie Beth would live. (She did live, just not for as long as we would have hoped. This is something I hadn't realized until just now. God did answer our prayers for her to live; He just planned her life to last only 22 hrs.)

As you can imagine, we had a lot of stuff! We had the bag with all the things in it to create lasting memories and the various things we may want to use. We also had the boppy to use to take pictures. I had a boom box and my pillows; I guess I am a pillow snob. :) We also had the laptop. We left the bag with our clothes and things in the car. We look as though we were moving in!

The waiting room was packed! We got there around 3 or 3:30. Joey and I stood by the receptionist and talked to her. She was a blessing! We waiting for 30 min or so.

We then went to LDR 6. We had 2 nurses. One had just moved over from OR. They were really sweet. We gave them our birth plan and explained what all was going on. They checked me and I was 6 cm and 80% effaced. I wasn't going anywhere. They called the doc. I do not remember time wise how the evening went. They gave me my epidural and my blood pressure plummeted! They squeezed the fluids into me, and they had already given me quite a bit before the epi since I had trouble with the last one I had. They gave me meds twice. It stayed low for quite some time. (I didn't feel normal until some time the next day.) It was a scary experience and I was ready for them to turn off the epi, but they wanted me to be able to enjoy the evening since we weren't sure what would happen.

There were many family and friends there in the waiting room. Some came back and visited before the issues with the epi. We were very blessed!

Dr. N came around 7:30 or so to break my water. It was like a dam had broken! I could see the water shoot up from my lounging position! With a child that has thanataphoric dwarfism, the mother has an excessive amount of fluid! The doc jumped back and went for the door saying we needed help. LOL Joey and the nurse both told me that it was nasty. They used blankets to wipe up the floor and then had to come in and mop. I do not think Dr. N will ever forget that! :)

They got the room all ready for delivery since my labors tend to be quite fast once you break my water. Around 9, I felt Janie Beth drop. It was a feeling I didn't have with the first 3. We got the nurse to come. I was ready and Janie Beth was right there. They called Dr N and the neonatal doctor (we love him!). Dr. D (the neonatal doc) was 10 min away. Are you kidding?? Even with the epi, it was hard to not push. I was holding the side bar and pulling up like that would help. LOL

Dr. D got there and I got to push. She was out in 1 contraction, at 9:20pm. No sound.... They brought her over to the baby bed to see how she was. Joey came over and told me that she was fighting and they wanted to take her to the NICU. A glimpse of hope. Joey went with her to the NICU. I am very thankful for the pictures Kelly took since I didn't get to follow.

A large group of folks came in the room once they went up to the NICU. I cannot tell you who all was there because I am sure that I do not remember everyone. The kids got big sibling pins and the grown-ups got pins too. We were all hoping for a miracle here on Earth.

I know Joey and Dr. D updated while still in L&D, but exactly what they said, I do not remember. The only update I remember is when Dr. D came to my recovery room and told us that he believed she did indeed have TD, but we would't know for sure until morning because there wasn't a pediatric radiologist there that night.

They wheeled me to Janie Beth's bed on my way to my room. Oh, how I wish I had stayed there a while. I want so much to be back there beside her bed feeling her and talking to her. I miss you so much, Janie Beth!!!!

That is all I have in me to write at the moment, so here are some pictures from that special day.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY Janie Beth!!!!!!!

I am so thankful that God called me to be your Mommy!!! This morning I am full of gratitude for your sweet life. I know the day will bring many emotions, but for now I am smiling at the thought of your sweet face. I have a feeling tomorrow will be harder to bear. I love you, baby girl! I miss you an incredible amount. I hope to type later about this blessed day one year ago! But, for now I wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know you are having an AWESOME time with your Savior today! :)