Baby Sophia Carmen arrived on October 2 at 3:16am. She was 9.15lbs, 19 inches with a full head of hair and little dimple on her left cheek. She is healthy, happy and doing awesome. I'm is still recovering and had a few days in ICU but I'm finally home. Being home with Sophia is the best medicine possible. Thank God she is healthy and such a good baby. We are so blessed.
I'll share more when I'm feeling stronger. I need to save my energy for our precious little gift. Thank you for your prayers and for sharing the new chapter our our story. God had been so faithful to His promises and we are grateful. Jer. 29:11
For some reason, maybe because I know it will be so emotional, I have avoided posting about Chloe's 1st birthday. Maybe it makes it more real that it has been 1 year if I write about it. There are times when it is still hard to wrap my head around what we went through last year.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for us on April 19 and the days leading up to it. We truly felt your prayers and God's comfort and peace the entire day. It was a huge blessing.
It was a special day that we spent remembering Chloe and talking about her. We took it easy without any major plans. We were in San Diego so I went down to the pool to be quiet and journal in the same journal that has recorded all of the entries about Chloe. I flipped back to some entries from the prior year, but I didn't read much. It was so raw that I knew I would fall apart if I went back to that place and I didn't want to be a wreck all day. I didn't want to be in a dark place on her birthday - I wanted to celebrate the short life she lived on earth. I wanted to smile because I knew she was smiling and having a great time in Heaven.
We went to breakfast, thought about going to the San Diego Zoo, but decided against it. We drove back home along the coast and just experienced whatever came our way. It was a good way for us to spend the day. The only thing I didn't do, which I'd like to do in the future, is have a birthday cake.
Making it through the 1 year mark was a big deal. Getting through all the "firsts" was a challenge at time. I felt a huge relief on April 20. We had survived an entire year, I felt like if we could do the first year, we could get through the rest. And I was surprised at how I was able to enjoy my birthday on April 22. Last year it was such a blurr.
God really worked a miracle by giving me a grateful perspective on Chloe's birthday. Instead of being angry, I was grateful and thankful for Chloe, even though our time with her was so short. Honestly, I think the fact that we have a new baby on the way makes a huge difference. If that wasn't the case, I think there would be more anger. Instead I can focus my energy on what I'm grateful for - Chloe's little sister and the fact that we will be better parents because of Chloe.
All is going wonderfully with the new baby. Today I'm 24 weeks.We had an ultrasound last week and everything looks perfect. It was hysterical, she yawned and we got to see her mouth stretch wide open. So cute. She is moving like crazy. I love every minute. I never felt Chloe move so each little kick is treasured.
There are still moments of fear, when I think of 100 things that could go wrong. But I try to capture those thoughts and remember that God has a plan for this baby and for us (Jeremiah 29:11). I'm trusting in Him, even when my trust feels shaky. I know He is faithful and loves us.
Thank you for checking in on us and for praying for us and our new baby. We are blessed that people take time to read about our family and pray for us. You are more of a blessing than you could ever know!
Today I woke up sad - again. This whole month has been difficult, and this week in particular. Sunday will be one year since I delivered Chloe Faith. I can't believe it has been an entire year. It is still hard to believe that this is our real life. It still seems so unimaginable. But it did happen. The tears prove it. The scars prove it. The pain proves it.
I was crying this morning when Jose' reminded me of the date. I have been so focused on April 19 that I didn't think about where we were last year on April 16. The minute he said it, I knew where the tears were coming from. Deep down I remembered, but I have been trying to push all those feelings down so that I can get through the week.
Last year on April 16, we found out that Chloe's heart was no longer beating.
We don't know if that is the day she went to Heaven or if she left us before that. But that is the day it became real that she was gone. As strange as it sounds, it was still comforting to know that she was physically still with us. She and I were still connected and I was grateful for that, because I knew it wouldn't last.
April 19 was the day that she was delivered. As we look toward Sunday, I still don't know how to refer to the anniversary. Is it still a birth if it the baby is stillborn? We never received a Birth Certificate - I don't think they issue them for stillborn babies. She was only 20 weeks old - is it still a "birthday"? I don't know the answers and I hate that I even have the questions. No parent should ever have to ask themselves these questions.
I get so frustrated and angry and then I remember, it isn't the answers that I want. I want her. I wish that things could have turned out differently and that we were enjoying a 7 month old baby instead of crying.
At the same time, I realize that we wouldn't have been changed for the better if it wasn't for Chloe and the journey we took because of her. And I'm so grateful for how she changed our lives. And we wouldn't be pregnant with this baby if things had gone as planned.
Grief is such a mixture of emotions. It feels so confusing and overwhelming sometimes. We have made lots of progress, but this is the last major "first" we have to walk through. And it is a big one. September 4 was tough, it was her original due date. But this is different. This is harder.
If you would pray for us this weekend, we would appreciate it. Please pray that we would be able to support and comfort each other as we grieve (sometimes differently). That we would allow ourselves to feel whatever comes up and remember the blessings in the midst of the pain.
We are going to San Diego to get away. It will be a nice change of scenery that will hopefully be peaceful and relaxing.
Quick baby update - I'm almost 17 weeks. The first trimester blood tests came back wonderful! They took the second trimester tests last week. I have a prenatal visit on Monday and an ultrasound on Wed. We are praying that things are progressing well and normally with the baby. And if God wants to let us know what we are having we would be thrilled to know if it is a boy or girl. This week is tough, but we are hopeful that next week will give us lots of reasons to be joyful.
Thank you for your prayers and for checking in on us.
It has been amazing to receive so many emails, comments and well wishes about our pregnancy. It is humbling to hear how many people are interested in our story. Thank you for walking with us through the hard days and now the hope filled days. We are more appreciative than we can express.
It has been a difficult week. Yesterday was 11 months since Chloe was delivered. Wed. was the 24 anniversary of my mom's death. And it was the end of March last year when we found out Chloe was sick. It is a lot all at one time. Anticipating the 1 year anniversary of her death. Remembering. Missing her. Thinking about what the future holds.
There are still moments of fear about the future. I am hopeful, but also aware that things often don't turn out the way I plan. It feels like a jumbled mess of emotions, hormones and tears sometimes. I keep reminding myself that we'll get through it. If we could get through living it last year, we can get through remembering it this year. I'm just sad.
I know that I'll never forget Chloe. But I also recognize that life fills up over time. I miss my mom so much, especially at times like this, yet the pain and the loss are different now than they were 24 years ago. I'm grateful for the healing that has taken place since her loss. But it made me think, what will I remember about Chloe 24 years from now? It won't be as fresh in my mind. I'll have additional Labor & Delivery memories, grown children, grand nieces & nephews...life will look very different. I wonder where Chloe will fit in then?
This is my crazy mind jumping forward way beyond what I can fathom. And it is probably part of the grief process. I remember similar feelings of fear after losing my mom. Will I forget her? And of course, I never could. And I know I'll never forget Chloe. Letting go is difficult. And I guess as we begin to plan for our new baby, I realize that in some ways I will need to let go a little because my focus will be on our new child. It makes me sad - I wish we could have two little ones to care for.
I don't know if any of this even makes sense. It helps to get it out of my head.
Our next appointment is Monday. We should receive the blood test results from the first trimester screening. Everything looked good in the ultrasound, but it will be nice to have confirmation from the blood work.
Thank you for your prayers. We appreciate them!
Hope you like the music - it only took me 11 months to add the playlist. :o)
Thank you to all my sweet friends who have been checking for an update on the blog and commenting that you are praying for us and thinking about us. We appreciate it so much!
I'm not good with keeping secrets, so it was hard to post until now. We are incredibly excited to share that we are 12 weeks pregnant! God is faithful.
There are so many differences with this pregnancy. With Chloe, I felt fear and dread from the very beginning. Even before we knew there were problems, I felt like there was a dark cloud over the pregnancy and that something was going to go wrong. I don't feel that way at all this time. In fact, it is the opposite. I feel peace and assurance that everything is going to be OK. It is strange. Of course, these feelings are definitely not scientific - the only way I can explain the current peace is that it is from God. After what we have been through it is the only explanation.
The other difference is the amount of morning sickness I'm experiencing and how tired I am. Both are more extreme this time. I'm hoping they will pass soon, if not, they'll be gone around September 28 when the baby is due. :o)
To say that there haven't been moments of fear and anxiety would be untrue. Last week was particularly difficult. I had the first trimester screening done on Friday (ultrasound and blood work). This was particularly difficult because this is the test that alerted us to the problems with Chloe. And it was March last year when we found out how sick she was. God's timing doesn't always make sense to me, but I know it is perfect.
The blood work results won't be in for 10 days, but the ultrasound results were good. Really good. There is no cystic hygroma and the thickness on the back of the babies neck is normal (Chloe had both and they are strong indicators of Down Syndrome). We didn't have any reason to believe that there would be a problem, but it is such a relief to know that things look good so far.
The Genetics Counselor that we worked with last time came in during the ultrasound and was happy to hear the results too. It is amazing how many people remember our story - even use Chloe's name when we see them. It is so touching.
I feel pretty emotional most days - the pregnancy, anticipation of the 1 year anniversary of Chloe's delivery, the anniversary of my Mom's death this month and regular life stuff. I find the tears just start flowing. Maybe because of something that is on t.v., but I know deep down that they are tears for much more. It's really hard. I have a lot to be hopeful for, but it is still hard. The positive results on Friday were a huge relief.
The baby is due September 28 - my mom's birthday. Jose's 40th birthday is September 25. And Chloe's due date was September 4. It will be another emotional month - but a wonderful month.
For those of you have have followed our story, you'll remember the moms I met in Atlanta who had also experienced the loss of a child. They were a huge comfort and encouragement to me each step of our journey. They were gathering in June in Atlanta for a Beth Moore conference on the weekend of the 1 year anniversary of Miller Grace's passing. Miller Grace's mommy, Emily, had coordinated the get together and the mommies came together from several states. I happened to be in Atlanta the same weekend and was able to meet the ladies face to face - what a blessing! That is why I refer to it as the Miracle Mommy Meeting. See the picture on the right side of the blog.
It brings (more) tears to my eyes to share that all the women from the Miracle Mommy Meeting are either pregnant or already have a new baby in their arms. It is incredible - it has been less than a year and look how God has brought such restoration. There really are no words to describe how amazing God has been to replace our mourning with joy so soon.
We have been holding on to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." And He has been faithful to fulfill His promise. We have hope for today and a future that includes a healthy baby due in September. We are blessed.
Thank you for your prayers and for checking in on us. You encourage us. The next month in particular will include lots of emotional ups and downs. We appreciate your prayers as we take one day at a time. God bless you!
Even though it’s hard to see now, I trust that God will work something good out of this situation. “And we know that I all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
No matter what “hell” I have to walk through, God will be there with me. He never separates Himself from me. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
God will get me through this. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
God is with me even on the blackest days. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4
God loves me and even though I don’t understand it all, His ways for me are the very best. “All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10
As I am patient, I will see more of God’s helping hand in this loss. “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
As I look to God for Help, He will give me stability, joy, and security. “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure.” Psalm 16:8-9
God will lead us when we make decisions about another pregnancy. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch you.” Psalm 32:8
One way or another God will make children a part of our family and home. “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes of their people. He settles the barren women in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 113:7-9
God is on my side. “The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid…the Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:6-7
God knows me inside and out and accepts me 100% in this miserable state. “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1
The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Psalm 139 is an example of a beautiful prayer that David, the psalmist, wrote to God. When reading these scripture verses and viewing them in relation to recent pregnancy loss; we find great comfort. Be encouraged by the truths set forth:
* God know everything about me and my baby. "...you know everything about me." (Psalm 139:1)
* At every moment, God knows where I and my baby are. "Every moment you know where I am." (Psalm 139:2)
* God's hand of blessing is on me and my baby. "You place your hand of blessing on my head." (Psalm 139:5)
* My baby has not gone into "nothingness," my baby is with God. "I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God!" (Psalm 139:7)
* Even though I feel alone and the blackness of death is all around me, God is as present with me and my baby now as He was when things were bright and cheery. "For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you." (Psalm 139:12)
* God was fully aware of the baby forming in my womb. "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13) "You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion." (Psalm 139:15)
* God was completely aware of the formation of my baby at every stage of life. "You saw me before I was born." (Psalm 139:16)
* God has sovereign knowledge about each person's time for life and death. "You...scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe." (Psalm 139:16) God knew all about the days of my baby in my womb. My baby is a very real person to God.
* God is constantly mindful of me in my suffering and constantly mindful of my baby in His presence. "How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me. And when I awake in the morning, you are still thinking of me." (Psalm 139:17-18)
I'm the wife of an amazing husband the and mother of a precious baby girl, Chloe Faith, who was stillborn on April 19, 2008. I am also a daughter, sister, auntie, niece, cousin, friend, educational consultant, Sunday School preschool teacher and hopeful woman who knows that although Chloe is at the forefront of everything in my life right now, there are many facets to my life.