Friday, September 24, 2010

Way Too Long

It's been way too long since I have written anything.  Just wanted to let everyone know things are going great and I have another appointment this week. 

I'm busy planning a service for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and have two more speaking engagements lined up. 

God is blessing us much more than I could have ever known.

Thank you all for your love and support and constant encouragement!

Friday, September 10, 2010


So here is our little miracle!

On Tuesday we went back to the doctor and he said, "Well, your numbers didn't double, but you've had no other symptoms...Let's see what we can see..."

This is what we saw...

A healthy baby with a strong heartbeat of 167 bpm and measuring a day ahead!  Praise God for his love, mercy and grace and his indescribable gift!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shyla's Life Celebration

September 2nd was Shyla's birthday.  It was a whirlwind day and I tried to get as much as I could photographed to share with all of you.  First we worked on some of the treats for her celebration and then headed to my OB's office for my 2nd blood draw to compare hCG levels of our rainbow baby, Jakin

We picked up Ethan from my Mom's house and let him take his nap then went to the cemetary, which he affectionately calls "Shyla's".  We let Ethan take her a birthday balloon and just enjoyed a few minutes of the beautiful day outside.

Then we went to get the HELP Center decorated and ready for Shyla's Life Celebration.  A wonderful friend came to help us photograph her day!  Some of the photos below I took, but the really good ones were by my dear friend, Tammy.

Some of Shyla's things were displayed on this table to share with others.

This book was made by my brother and sis-in-law and sent from Oklahoma.  I love it!  It has some of her ultrasound photos, pregnancy photos, and photos of her name in it.

I had two scrapbooks I have been working on there, but since I didn't ahve them done, we also spread out all the photos we have of her name written around the world.

We also had Shyla's Stocking there still stuffed with all the random acts of kindness done in Shyla's memory around Christmas time.

This is another dear friend looking through Shyla's scrapbook.

And, of course, there was food...

...and pink punch!

We were blessed with many family and friends that came to celebrate and remember Shyla.  I wish I could have had photographs of everyone, but I don't.  But I did have a guest book and beautiful memories!

One of my favorite things about having her celebration at the HELP Pregnancy Center was the fact that the Center was the first place we were able to make donations in her name.  While planning her service, we decided that in leui of flowers, we wanted people to make donations to the new crisis pregnancy center.  There are still a few of the items donated in her name there, and they have her name still on it!

We are so proud to be her parents!

I went to buy some pink daisies to have that day and for the first time in months they didn't have any...but I did get these beautiful roses...they were perfect!

At the end of the evening, we cleaned the center and headed to the cemetary for a balloon release.  It was getting dark, but I think it was just beautiful.  As soon as we got there, Ethan ran to "Shyla's" and got squated down in front of her stone.  Only he and God knows what was going through is mind and heart at this moment.

And we still got some photos of the release.

Then, later I was so blessed by the cards and donations from our friends and family to help with the care packages we take to the hospital for parents experiencing stillbirth.  I am left in awe of God;s goodness and the truth of the photo above.  There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The numbers are in!

I was supposed to call my Dr's office today after 1:30 to get the results of my hCG draw that was done yesterday, but my wonderful nurse, Melissa, didn't want me to worry allday, so she called thismorning as soon as she could call the lab for the results.  Here it is...

Tuesday's blood draw showed my hCG to be 48,000+.  My blood was drawn in the afternoon.z

Thursday's draw showed my hCG to be going UP!!!  Praise God!!!  They like to see the numbers double every 48 to 42 hours and they weren't there at the time of the draw which was in the morning (less than 48 hours after the first draw).  They were 50,000+ though!

Keep praying!  We need these numbers to go up and to see a heartbeat at Tuesday's appointment!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Today is Shyla's first birthday.  We were surrounded with family and friends.  I will have photos and a complete post later.  For right now, I just want to say...

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

I love you more than words can say!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reflecting on One Year

I've been thinking back to what I was doing this time last year.  Not that I am living in the past, but just reflecting.  I didn't have this blog yet and I still feel like part of the story should be told.

August 31, 2009 is the day we heard that Shyla's heart had stopped beating.  I think I had known in my heart something wasn't right for a couple of days, but was in complete denial.  We went home that night and cried, notified people that we worked with that we would not be back for a while, called family and friends.  After we put Ethan to bed we collapsed into our own and the tears came harder than they had yet.  We held each other and let out the soul wrenching cries of a parents broken heart.  I did not sleep much that night.  I got online, searching for anyone who had been in my shoes.  Looking for info on stillbirth, support groups and what my daughter my look like being born at this gestation (28 weeks).

September 1, 2009 we went to my OB's office for another ultrasound to take measurements of her and to see what information we could get.  My Pastor Mark and Pastor Chris met us at the office and prayed with us before we went in.  As soon as we walked in the door, we were ushered to lab to wait in privacy.  They brought me kleenex and held my hand.  Dr. C talked to us about planning her funeral and he was as gentle as we could have asked him to be.  He told me he would order the bloodwork and I would need to go to the hospital to get it done.  But...I hadn't eaten anything yet that day, unsure if I needed to be fasting before the bloodwork.  He told me to go eat lunch then get the bloodwork done.

We called Pastor Mark and he wanted to eat lunch with us.  I still don't know how in the world I went to a public place and ate any food at all.  We ate at Penn Stat.ion (Ben's favorite) and talked and cried with Mark.  I couldn't eat the entire sandwhich, but I did eat and drink some.  It was sometime during this conversation Shyla's middle name was born.  Joy.

We then went to the hospital to get our bloodwork done.  We first had to see someone who would take our insurance and make us sign papers saying we promised to pay them.  We also did my pre-admit paperwork.  The lady behind the counter was less than cordial, and when she finally looked at my paper work, she said something about us not looking very excited...I had to tell her no...our daughter would be stillborn.  She said nothing else the entire time...
Then on to the lab for bloodwork.  That nurse also asked if this was our first, where we nervous or excited...I then told her no, we have a son...and our daughter would be stillborn tomorrow...

We left the hospital and I got a mocha from the Bax.ters in the lobby and we drove to a funeral home to make arrangements.  The funeral home was so wonderful to us.  They paid for everything.  The only thing we ended up paying for was someone to actually dig at the cemetary.  My grandmother was so helpful and called who needed to be called to get the plot near my grandpa reserved and that end of things taken care of.  We got back to my mom's, picked up Ethan and went home.  The calls, emails, texts and facebook posts kept coming.  Full of love and prayers for us and our family.

I went to bed that night not believing what the past 24 hours had been like.  That was the first night I remember ever reading a blog.  Especially a blog about stillbirth.  I tried to hold on to every hope that I could that the next day when we went into the OR, they would find a heartbeat and everything before was just a bad dream. 

I prayed that God would give my husband peace and give us both the wisdom to know how to help our son, who was just a few months past turning 2 understand why his sister would not be coming home with us. 

I was exhausted and I felt defeated.  I just didn't understand all that was happening.  The next day, my daughter would be stillborn.  I would hold her in my arms for the first and the last times on this earth.  I tried to wrap my mind around this, but it was almost too much.  I did finally sleep that night.  The exhaustion caught up with me.

Tonight, I think about tomorrow.  The day I will try to honor my God and remember my daughter and all the things that have happened because she lived.  I will have faith that all things are possible with God and I will trust in him.

Understanding Event

Yesterday was the event that has been in the works for two months!  I think it went really well.  We had about 40 people total there and they were from various professions.  We had nurses, social workers, hospice employees, health department HANDS family service workers, counselors, a hospital chaplin, representatives from two local crisis pregnancy centers and, of course, a few people that love me.  We also had three other mothers who have experienced losses themselves to be a part of the parent panel.

Here are a few photos from the day.  I should have more soon.

This was the registration table (after most had registered).  It had sign in sheets for their CEU's, folders with info in them, Shyla's footprints, March of Dimes Brochures and an example of a care package.

This was during the presentation by the my state coordinator for the March of Dimes.

This is one of the posed photos we took at the end.  In this photo are the hospital's Health Ministries Coordinator, a HANDS nurse, me, a hospital chaplin and the director of the local crisis pregnancy center.

Ben and I at the end of the event with Shyla's footprints.

All in all I think the participants learned a lot and above that, their hearts were touched.  I saw so many tears as the other moms and myself shared our stories and our babies.