Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mommy's Letter to Chloe

Dearest Chloe Faith,

Precious baby girl, oh how the thought of you makes my heart smile and overflow with love and joy. Hearing, writing or speaking your name reminds me of the treasured gift you are.

Chloe, I have dreamed of being your mommy my whole life. I've never wanted anything more. I don't understand why our time together was so short, yet I value every moment. I know you are in a much better place. The best place you could be - in the arms of Jesus and my mom. Yet, we miss you so and long for the life we missed out on. Hearing you laugh, seeing you sleep, smile, play, dance - live.

Everything is different now that you are gone. Nothing will be as we planned - Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas or September 4 when you were due. We are different now because of you. Our lives are forever changed. Our hearts are marked with your hand and foot prints forever.

Thank you for the way you touched our lives and the lives of so many. Chloe, people have been praying for you all over the country. That such a tiny little girl could inspire so many people to pray and show acts of love to us is amazing. You have touched so many people Chloe, and I know your story will continue to inspire.

My friend, Lynne, had a picture of you in Heaven. You were walking with Jesus and picking out your future brother or sister. And Jesus just looked at you and smiled as you walked along. Was it like that, Chloe?

I picture you walking with Jesus holding your left hand and my mom holding your right hand. You are beaming and laughing as you take quick little steps and they lift you in the air to swing from their hands. You giggle and glow and want to do it over and over again. And Jesus and mom love you so much and take such good care of you that they just keep walking and playing. Is it like that Chloe?

I want every moment for you to be filled with joy, wholeness and giggles. And that's exactly how I imagine it is. I know you are in the right place because your life on Earth wouldn't have been like that. I don't know that I'll ever understand this side of Heaven why it had to be that way. But I trust God and know He loves you even more than we do and knows what is best.

Ask Jesus to tell you all about your Daddy. Chloe, he is so funny. And it means so much to him to be your Daddy. He has been waiting a long time to be your Daddy too. He light ups when he talks to you or about you. He couldn't wait to meet you and take care of you. He is such a joker that I know you would have had such fun together. You are his precious baby girl and your bond with your Daddy is more special than I can even fathom. But I see how much it means to him every time he talks about you. It touches my heart so and makes me love both of you even more, which doesn't seem possible, and yet it is. Chloe, our hearts have grown because of you. We can love more because of you.

I can't wait to see your face - here on Earth and in Heaven. You are 100% restored and healthy in Heaven and that is a picture my heart longs to see. In the meantime, we will treasure the short time we still have with you here. Making memories every moment.

We love you sweet girl. Thank you for changing our lives forever.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Chloe Faith Arrived!

Chloe Faith arrived Saturday night, April 19, at 9:40 pm. We had an excellent doctor and wonderful nurses who were kind, compassionate and skilled throughout our stay at Kaiser. Chloe was 7.6 ounces and she was 17 cm long. They were able to get precious little feet prints for us to take home. Jose' and my Dad were there when she was born. Jose's mom, Frances & David, Benita, and Jeff & Jenifer came back to the hospital as soon as they heard she was born. Everyone got to spend special time with Chloe, and Jose’ and I had private time with her to hold her and say goodbye. Jose’ stayed at the hospital all night with me - he was so amazing!!! We were discharged Sunday at 10:00 am and have been taking it easy at home.

It has become clear that Chloe's life was intended for much more than her physical body. Her purpose was far greater. Her name says it all, "Blooming Faith." God has been with us each step of the way and He has provided blessings, protection and peace during unfathomable circumstances. And we pray that faith (“unquestioning belief and complete trust in God”) will bloom in all who hear her story. Chloe is alive, whole and restored in Heaven - things can't bloom unless they have life. We are so comforted to know that she is in the best possible place and that we will see her again.

We will have little Chloe cremated to give her a respectful farewell here on earth. We are pleased to have found a local mortuary through our friends at Perinatal Hospice. We are not sure what we will do with her little remains, we may spread them at our local beach or just keep them at home. We will not have a service but plan to have a website that shares the story of Chloe so that families who experience this type of loss will know they aren't alone and find the resources that made such a difference for us.

The doctor has told us that we can try to get pregnant again after 2-3 normal periods. We need time to grieve the loss of Chloe, but once we are ready emotionally, we look forward to having another child. In a best case scenario, if we are ready, we could have another child before next Mother's Day - what a concept!! Who knows what God has in store, but we trust that He has the best plan for us.

Thank you again for supporting us and loving us over the last few weeks. Your prayers have meant more than you will ever know. Thank you for being part of our journey, for reading the long emails and reaching out with words of comfort and support. We are blessed beyond words by our friends and family!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Update about Chloe Faith

Today Chloe Faith is restored in the arms of Jesus and her Grandma Carmen. She is whole, healthy and able to dance around the way that all little girls should. We are happy for her, but sad for us. We treasure the short time we had with her, but of course wish things could have been different.

On Saturday I will be admitted for the induction. They are going to insert a laminaria on Friday that will help my cervix soften and make the induction easier. It should be relatively smooth and painless since Chloe is so tiny.

We had a really special day today. We went to breakfast at one of Chloe's Daddy's favorite restaurants. Then walked on the beach and took pictures of my belly with a pink bow and our feet in the water for Chloe's first time to the beach. It was a treasured experience.

Last night Jose wrote this beautiful letter to Chloe:

My baby girl, how I love you. How I dreamt of holding you and watching you grow up. I will miss the opportunity to chase little boys off when they come over trying to sneak a kiss from my baby girl. I will miss watching you ask your mom to comb your hair. How I will miss showing you how to pray. If and when you leave us here on earth, your Grandma Carmen will be waiting for you to introduce you to all the Saints. You will then be skipping and running on the streets made of gold. Do not worry because Jesus and Grandma will be there to pick you up when you fall. You have brought a new meaning to my life. For instance, I would be so angry or frustrated with some person or something, but you have brought perspective to what it means to hold on to life. You have shown me how to love your mommy more and more every day. Thank you my baby girl for showing me how big and loving God really is. I love you and cannot wait to see you once again in Heaven.

Your Daddy

Jose' (and I) wanted to say thank you for your calls, emails and prayers. It makes us feel like we are not alone. You'll never know how much your support helped.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's a Girl!

We received the final amnio results today - and it is the best news considering our situation. This was a chromosomal fluke as opposed to a genetic defect. There is no reason that we shouldn't be able to have healthy pregnancies in the future.

We also found out the baby is a girl. We have named her Chloe Faith. Some of you know we were unsure about finding out the gender of the baby. Many people have prayed for us this week and those prayers were answered. On Wed. night when I couldn't sleep the name Faith came to me as a middle name. Faith is what has seen us through this and by faith we know that we will be reunited with our daughter in Heaven one day. I wondered about the first name and out of the blue came Chloe. Then I as I started to think of boy names the thought hit me, 'you don't need boy names'. And from that moment I've known we are having a little girl and her name is Chloe Faith. God certainly answered our prayers, gave us peace about the decision and gave us the name. We didn’t know what Chloe meant when we named her but looked it up and found it means “blooming.” Faith “…denotes unquestioning belief and complete trust in God.” Blooming Faith. How perfect.

Our next ultrasound is Wed. Our prayer now is that God would give us a little more time to enjoy Chloe Faith. My birthday is next Tues. and I don't want to be in the hospital or have the dates overlap with Chloe's day. If we could have her for at least another week, it would be a blessing.

In addition to the prayer support that we have received, I have to mention Perinatal Hospice. If you ever hear of anyone going through an experience like this I hope you will pass this on and give them my contact info. It is a relatively new program that helps couples deal with and prepare for late pregnancy loss and stillbirth. Two friends referred me to the local group in our area and I can't tell you how much of a difference it has made for me. The website is http://www.perinatalhospice.org/. The compassion, experience, researched-based information, and support have been invaluable to us.

Thank you again for your constant prayers and support. We are doing well considering our circumstances and appreciate your continued prayers. I'll send another update after our appointment on Wed. so you know how Chloe is doing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

April 4 Baby Update

The baby is holding on with a normal heart beat at this time. The fluid surrounding the heart and other areas of the baby is increasing. The Specialist thinks that the baby may be able to hold on for up to two weeks - there is no way to know for sure. Eventually, the fluid around the heart will cause the heart to collapse.

Our next appointment is April 16 for another ultrasound. The final results of the amnio should be in April 14. The preliminary results show that the baby does in fact have Down syndrome and they believe it is a fluke, the final results will tell us more about the chromosomal abnormalities with the baby.

There is no danger to me if the baby passes prior to our next ultrasound. Neither of the options they have given us - a D&E nor inducing labor is pleasant. For us, a D&E is not an option so we will wait until the baby passes and then they will induce. I am praying that the baby will pass sooner rather than later and without complications. It is pretty scary to be waiting in limbo like this.

We appreciate your continued prayers. This road is so long. We are hanging in there though. Thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Preliminary Amnio Results

Since I mentioned that we would have preliminary amnio results today I wanted to give you an update. The preliminary results show that the baby has Down syndrome. We will need to wait for the final results - around April 14, to know more about the chromosomal abnormalities. If the extra chromosome is independent it means it was a fluke either in my egg or Jose's sperm prior to conception. If the Down's chromosome is linked to other chromosomes then it could mean that we would have a higher than normal likelihood of having a Down's baby in future pregnancies.

On Friday we have another ultrasound at 11:00 to monitor the heart beat. I'll send another update after that.

We appreciate your continued prayers. We had thought today would have been a little more conclusive. It was still the best news that we could have received given the situation.