Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Vows

5 years ago tonight, this great guy I now call my hubby and I were preparing for our wedding vows.  We had such a fun rehearsal.  Our silly groomsmen found the closet full of costumes for church plays and sported all kinds of wigs....even a blue one!  We made had home made soups for dinner in the foyer of the church and played games while we waited on everyone to get there who had to travel. 

Then, 5 years ago tomorrow, we made our vows.  The mood was just as joyful then.  We laughed at my hubby when about 2 hours before the wedding realized he didn't bring his shoes and had to run to the store and buy some.  We giggled as we talked on our cell phones in the church making sure we wouldn't dodge around a corner and (gasp!) see each other!  I mean, who wouldn't be excited?  We were about to get married!  But, even while we felt the joy and excitement of this time, we also knew the seriousness of the vows were preparing to make.  We studied them together and did our pre-marital counseling lessons.  But.  There is no way we could really imagine what our marriage would withstand in just the first five years.

How could we know the depth of the vows ..."in sickness and in good times and in joy as well as sorrow...until death does us part?"

The deaths we have experienced have not been our own, but the deaths of two of our children.  If any pain can separate a couple, it could be this.  Men and women grieve so differently.  We have had to guard our marriage, protect it as something precious.  Because that is what it is.  Precious.  While we grieve differently (which is very, very hard at times...I'm not going to lie) we both know we love each other and we love our babies.  Period.  Bottom line. 

If I haven't said it before, (prepare to get mushy) I love him so much.  He is my rock.  The amazing things he does is a whole post in itself!  But for now, I will just say...



I love this man.


I used and the winner of the daily planner was Heather!  Please go visit her and send her prayers...her beautiful rainbow Liam will be arriving any day now!!!

Here's to a blessed 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HOPE for the New Year Giveaway!

(Edited to add...this is my 200th post!)

2011 is upon us and to spread a little hope and joy, I wanted to giveaway this beautiful leather debossed planner from Christ.ian Art Gifts. 

I know HOPE means a lot to me.  The very word is inspiring and encouraging. 

This giveaway will only be open until Thursday, December 30 at around 9 am est.  I will get it out in the mail that day to the winner so they can get it as close to the first of the year and get the full use out of it!  I love this daily planner!  There is daily scriptures and monthly inspirations. 

To be entered to win this giveaway, just leave a comment about HOPE. What that word means to you.  What is your favorite HOPE-filled scripture or quote?  What do you HOPE for in 2011?  Anything HOPEful!

You can also get extra entries by  (1) following my blog and (2) "like" Beauty will Rise on Just leave separate comments for each.

I'm hoping you all had a peaceful Christmas and I can't wait to share photos from ours!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On my Tree

I just wanted to share some of the beautiful new additions to our tree this year.

This first one is of the ornaments given to us by our funeral home.  The Joy ornament was actually from the remembrance service last year and has Shyla's name on the back (I love that it says JOY on the front!).  The other dove is from this year's remembrance service at the funeral home.  It has Jakin's name and birthday on the back.

These two were given to us by a friend of Ethan's.  A sweet almost 4 year old boy that Ethan loves to play with (and we love to hang out with his parents as well!). The heart for Jakin, the dragonfly for Shyla.

This one is not really new, but when I was unboxing ornaments, I found it.  I must have gotten it last year as a gift, but I cannot remember by who!  I love that I unexpectedly found it, still in the box and that there is a little heart on it...

After we saw Jakin's heart stop beating, we actually stopped a few places to try and find some clothes or a blankie for him at a craft store.  While we were there, I found this angel holding a tiny heart and I knew I had to get it for my heart baby.

These beautiful pewter ornaments are from Jill.  She was a secret pal from an exchange I was a part of.  They are beautiful!  I LOVE them so much!!!

This is Shyla's ornament for 2010.  I love the girly pink dragonfly!

While doing some Christmas shopping, we found this little crocheted lion.  That is something else that reminds me of Jakin.  Our little lion heart survived for so long with his heart beating so fast.

These beautiful block ornaments are from Bree and Sarita!  Aren't they just SO adorable?  Thank you ladies so much.  We really love them!

And lastly, this ornament from a dear friend I went to college with.  She and I were dorm neighbors for two years and she was the one that introduced me to the church where I met my hubby.  Eventhough we dont live close to each other, we still keep in touch (thank you!).  It means so much when anyone includes ALL my children together!  I love this ornament!  It is SO special to see them all together!

Thank you all for blessing me and my family so much this season.  We really needed the extra love.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Bill of Rights

Below is the Holiday Bill of Rights for the Bereaved that I received from our funeral home at the Christmas remembrance service that was held a couple of weeks ago.  I just waned to share.  I hope you all are having a peaceful Christmas season. 

Holiday Bill of Rights For the Bereaved

1. You have a right to say TIME OUT! Anytime you need to. Time out to let up, blow a little steam, step away from the holidays, have a "huddle" and start over.

2. You have a right to TELL IT LIKE IT IS. When people ask, "How are you...?" you have the right to tell them how you really feel, not just what they want to hear. (You also have the right to smile and say you're fine because telling them how you feel isn't worth your time-some people will never understand anyway.)
3. You have the right to SOME BAH HUMBUG DAYS. You dont have to be "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" all the time. You are not a bad person just becuase you dont feel like singing Christmas carols all day.

4.  You have the right to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.  There is no law that says you must always do holidays the same way.  You can do 10 cards unstead of 100- or no cards at all!  You can open presents at somebody else's house.  You can have pizza instead of turkey!  The list is endless...

5.  You have the right to BE WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.  Be at home or with the relatives.  Be in any city, any state you choose!  Nobody said you have to have snow during the holidays!  There is no law that says you must stay home!

6.  You have a right to SOME FUN!  When you have a day that isn't so bad and you feel like doing something just for fun, then do it!  Don't be afraid of what someone else will say if they see you laughing and having a good time.  Laughter is every bit as important as tears.

7.  You have the right to CHANGE DIRECTION MID-STREAM.  Holiday grief is unpredictable.  You may be all ready to go somewhere or do something and suddenly be overwhelmed.  When that happens, it's okay to change your mind.  There's plenty of time in life to be predictable.  Exercise your right to change when you need to.

8.  You have a right to DO THINGS AT DIFFERENT TIMES.  Go to religious services at a different time.  Open presents at a  different time.  Don't be chained to the holiday clock.

9.  You have the right to REST, PEACE, AND SOLITUDE.  You don' need to be busy all the time.  Take a nap whenever you need one.  Take time to meditate, to recharge your strength.

10.  You have the right to DO IT ALL DIFFERENTLY AGAIN NEXT YEAR.  Just because ou change things one year does not mean you have written it in stone.  Next year you can always change it back or do it a new way.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Follow Up

"Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill?  This can be nothing but sadness of heart?"
Nehemiah 2:2

I had my post-partum appointment with my regular OB today.  He is always so sympathetic and kind.  He spoke softly about our plans for the future and asked what we were thinking.  I shared with him our thoughts and that while we are no where near ready at this moment to expand our family again, we think *maybe* someday we will be. 

He could barely look me in the eye when he said, with my history, he really doesn't recommend that.

Honestly, I was a bit shocked.  My high risk OB tried to assure us on the day of Jakin's death that it was unrelated to Shyla's and that the odds of it happening to us again are very, very low.  Now my doctor, who I respect and have trusted since I began my journey as a mother is talking to me about permanent birth control.

I'm only 27.

Again, not that I am ready at all to be pregnant again right away, but someday, I thought we would feel led to expand our family.  I never thought I would be looking at never being pregnant again.  Even with two babies in Heaven, I still have hope it is possible to have a healthy baby at the end of a pregnancy.  It took me by surprise to say the least and I have been very teary since. 

After I left the Dr I had a few stops to make and I had to do them today.  In between stores I sat in the car and cried.  The people in the stores I spoke to and stood in line with had no idea the battle I was facing and the thoughts going through my mind.  Everyone was in a hurry and I'm sure with all they had on their own mind didn't notice the tears in my eyes.

Please remember to be kinder than necessary as you wrap up your Christmas shopping and are out and about.  You never know what the cashier or the person you are in line behind is facing.   

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Basket Days 10, 11 & 12

On Day 10 of Advent, the gift from our anonymous friend was this snow globe:

And the verse was Psalm 51:7

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than SNOW."

Psalm 51:7

I love the thought that we are washed white as snow.  There is nothing whiter than snow and its not only white it is glistening and so pure.  I love the glowing look snow has.

Day 11 held this little rock star...

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the ROCK eternal".

Isaiah 26:3-4

Ethan loved this.  He had a special place for it and there it has stayed.  When I moved it to take a photo, he got mad and put it right back.

Day 12 was this beautiful cross and verse...

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Galations 2:20

I love this verse.  It reminds me that no matter what my burdens may be, no matter my cross, Christ lives in me and he was crusified for me.  I have been given a great trust.  As Christians, we all have.  We no longer live for ourselves, we live to spread the news of his love and grace and let others know Christ died for them too.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

After the ice and snow from yesterday, I was concerned about Hubby driving into work this morning, so I have him about 30 minutes then called him to make sure he got there safely.  While we were talking, I noticed an odd sound in my ear, but I thought that it might just be my hair rubbing against the phone or maybe static from the cell phone.  As soon as I got off the phone, I got all my hair away from my ear and the sound got louder.  After just a couple of seconds of me thinking," couldn't be....I'm hearing things...maybe..."  I came to the conclusion that...


I freaked out a little and called my hubby right back asking for help...ok...begging and crying like I was being tortured.  And he was quickly on the way.  He told me to try to flush my ear...

I ran to the bathroom and began pouring water into my ear....while I was bawling...I was frantic, disgusted and pleading with God to get whatever it was in there out of there and give me peace.  "You CAN do this!"  I screamed in between tears.  It seemed like I was there forever.  I stopped with the water for just a minute and could still hear it in there...crawling around on my ear drum (EEEWWWWW!!!!).  I started crying again and then started worrying about Hubby driving those icy roads again.  So, back under the sink I went.  At least the sound of the water dulled the sound of those tiny little feet crawling around in there...(again, eeewww!)

Ethan's bedroom is directly across the hall from the bathroom and of course his crazy mama's cries woke him and he came out of his room confused and a little scared.  He asked where daddy was.  I, with my head in the sink and still crying a bit, told him Daddy had gone to work but was on his way home to help Mommy with something...Mommy has something her ear...

At this point he began crying from being woken up to such a scene and still wanting to be asleep.  I asked him to go lay on the couch and wait for Daddy and when Daddy gets home tell him Mommy is in the bathroom.  He calmly did what I asked and just a few minutes later Hubby got home (Praise GOD!)

He came in the bathroom with a flashlight and began looking in my ear.

"Well, let's go to the hospital..."  He said matter-of-factly.

"Noooo!!!"  I cried, I really, really did not want to have to go to the hospital for this!

He asked if I had tried a q-tip and I told him I was afraid to damage something or to just push the little thing back in there further.  So, he grabbed one and gave it a try. 

"I see it!"  He said.

I lost it.  Crying like a big baby.  Oh my goodness, this was really happening.  Something had crawled in my ear.

He did a little manuevering with that q-tip and then I heard..."I got him!"

I almost collapsed.  Silly, I know.  But until you've had something clawing at your ear drums...don't judge me :)

He showed me the end of the medical device that saved my life (aka the q-tip) the creature that nearly brought me to my knees.  An itsy bitsy tiny ant...that's right.  One about the size of the letter "A" on this screen. So eventhough we have not seen another ant in this house, I demanded we get some ant immediately...before I go to bed tonight...

So imagine me sitting in the bathroom floor crying tears of relief and still disbelief that this happened and my loving hubby standing over me kind of giggling...

Before he went back to work, we were both laughing.

I mean who in the world gets an ant in their ear in the middle of an ice storm in December...and where the heck did that little guy come from anyway???

Sheesh.  Gimme a break!


So after an occurance that could be used as an anology for a sermon, Hubby sometimes says, "That will preach"...meaning the event could teach a valuable lesson.  If anyone can think of how this mornings adventure could "preach"...please let me know...right now I'm still in shock that it all happened. 

But, at least we can laugh about it now, right?

Whew, what a morning!

(I was trying to figure out how to "label" this post...but I don't think I have one for "when random insects enter your body".  Probably not many people will be scouring this blog trying to find this post, so maybe I just won't label it...)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beauty Will Rise

So, how does everyone like the new look?  A big thanks to Franchesca at Small Bird Design for redesigning this blog for me.  And a special thanks to my good friend Tammy for the photography you see included in the design.  Tammy has walked with us through some hard times and some beautiful ones.  She took our wedding photos actually.  She was also there when Shyla was born and her first birthday as well as Jakin's funeral.  I am blessed to call these two ladies friends!

I had first called this blog "Creative Joy" because that was the meaning of Shyla's name and I knew I would be looking for ways to creatively bring Joy back into our family.  Now that Jakin is in Heaven with Shyla, I needed to do something different in this space.  This is no longer just about me missing Shyla and finding ways to remember her.  This blog is now about how a family of five survives when two of its members are in Heaven.  Its about how my family is going to navigate this temporary home with our hearts halfway to our permanent home.  This blog will also help me keep family and friends updated on what is going on in our family.  I can't say that we will never have anymore children.  As a matter of fact, I feel very strongly that our family is not complete.  But how and when God chooses to bless us and grow our family is a big fat question mark.  Until then, this blog will chronicle our journey and how God is allowing Beautiy to Rise from these ashes of grief and brokeness. 

Part of this journey is living life with our son Ethan.  If you have been following this blog for long, you know I don't keep quiet the fact we have a living child.  While many loss parents choose not to blog about their kids on earth, I find I must.  To not mention him, for me, is to ignore part of my grieving and the blessing he is.  I know if I did not have him, my grief journey would look much different.  This is just my choice, others need to choose what is right for them.  I hope my mentioning of him does not hurt anyone and I understand if you choose not to follow my blog because of it, and thats ok.  We each have to do what we need to so we can navigate this life. 

Now the name of this blog will be "Beauty Will Rise".  One of the reasons is that I fully believe that from everything we have been through in the past 15 months that something beautiful will come.  Lives will be or have been touched and changed by God through the lives of my babies.  Beauty Will Rise.  The song, "Beauty Will Rise" by Steven Curtis Chapman has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it.  He wrote the song after his daughter, Maria, went to Heaven.  Below are the words.  I hope they bless your heart the way they do mine.

Beauty Will RiseBy Steven Curtis Chapman

It was the day the world went wrong

I screamed til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
came crashing down
Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
and sift through the ashes that are left

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
we have this hope:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning, beauty will rise

So take another breath for now,
and let the tears come washing down,
and if you can't believe I will believe
for you.

Cuz I have seen
the signs of spring!
Just watch and see:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning...

I can hear it in the distance
and it's not too far away.
It's the music and the laughter
of a wedding and a feast.
I can almost feel the hand of God
reaching for my face
to wipe the tears away, and say,
"It's time to make everything new."

"Make it all new"

This is our hope.
This is the promise.
This is our hope.
This is the promise.
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that's been made
out of the ashes...
out of the ashes...
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that He's made
out of the ashes...
out of the ashes...

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of this darkness... new life will shine
and we'll know the joy is coming in the morning...
in the will rise!

Oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, Beauty will rise

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Celebrating Special Days

Coming Soon

If you would like to share ways you celebrate or just survive special days, please leave a comment.  If you would like, send me a link to posts that describe how you get through holidays, birthdays, angel days and any other special event and how you remember your baby during these times, I would really appreciate it.  You can email me at the address in the sidebar.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I just had to share how honored I am to know such amazing people.  Online and in person.  One family that I am honored to know is Lori's family.  We attend church together and she is an amazingly crafty lady.  She designs stamps and makes the most beautiful creations!

Lori's daughter, Hannah, has followed in her mom's footsteps and has started designing digital stamps as well.  And I am honored to share the most special one of them with you...

Jakin and Shyla are their names :)

And there's more!

Hannah said she wanted to name the stamps in honor of Jakin Isaac and Shyla Joy and give the money she makes from them to the March of Dimes in memory and honor of Shyla and Jakin!

How beautiful is this young lady's heart!?  I think she gets if from her Mama!

I forgot to mention, sweet Hannah is just 14! 

Please head over to Lori's blog and send her some love and hugs for raising such a sweet, precious girl!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Coming Soon

I am working on a list of things we can do in memory and in honor of our babies.  From seeing their names written hundreds of different ways, to lighting a candle, to releasing a butterfly.  There are so many beautiful ways to remember our babies.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

treasure from my heart

calvin's cupcakes


Songs that Touch My Heart

About Loss, Grief, and Pain

Beauty Will Rise - Steven Curtis Chapman

Beauty From Pain - Superchick

Before the Morning - Josh Wilson

Bring the Rain - MercyMe

Broken Hallelujah - Mandisa

Glory Baby - Watermark

Faithful - Steven Curtis Chapman

God is it True (Trust Me) - Steven Curtis Chapman

Held - Natalie Grant

Homesick - MercyMe

How to Say Goodbye - Michael W. Smith

I Will Carry You - Selah

I Will Trust You - Steven Curtis Chapman

Jesus Will Meet You There - Steven Curtis Chapman

Just Have to Wait - Steven Curtis Chapman

Missin' You - Chris Rice

Olivianna - JJ Heller

Our God is in Control - Steven Curtis Chapman

Questions - Steven Curtis Chapman

SEE - Steven Curtis Chapman

Spring is Coming - Steven Curtis Chapman

Still - Gerrit Hofsink

There Will Be a Day - Jeremy Camp

With Hope - Steven Curtis Chapman

Your Hands - JJ Heller

Songs About Love

I Will Be Here - Steven Curtis Chapman

We Will Dance - Steven Curtis Chapman


Haven't Met You Yet - Michael Buble

When Love Takes You In - Steven Curtis Chapman

Our Story

Ben and I met in February 2004 on Valentine's Day.  We were both single and volunteering to decorate a church for their Sweetheart Banquet they have to raise money for missions.  We were both in college at two different schools and we hit it off right away.  We had a few mutual friends and got connected online. We talked on instant messenger a few times and he came to visit me and I him.  We decided to start "courting" in March and the next day I left for mission trip to Texas.  When I got back to college, I took him home to meet the family.  On the way back to campus, I met his family.  We decided early on we didn't want to date if we weren't serious about it.  We courted for about 13 months and on April 3, 2005, he proposed!  We had a short engagement and were married December 31 of that year!

We didn't have a lot, but we were happy. 

Ben got a job back in my hometown and we ended up moving there right before our wedding.  I was still a full-time college student and I started subbing at the local schools.  We enjoyed doing stuff together and spending time with our family and friends.  We prayed that God would expand our family in His timing and in the way he wanted.  We both loved kids and had served with children in a mission capacity and talked about someday adopting.

After being married for around 9 months, we found out we were going to have a baby!  We were SO excited.  Many of our friends were already blessed with a little one and we both were just so excited to start adding to our family!

Ethan Uriah was born the end of May and weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds and 14.5 ounces.  The only issues during the whole pregnancy was him being breech and requiring a c-section!  He was SO beautiful!

In May of 2008 after only *six* years...I finally graduated with my Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and our precious one year old was there to celebrate with us!

I began working as a school social worker and love being around kids and love the school I work for. Preschool through 12th grade all under one roof, around 900 kids.

In March of 2009, we were surprised to learn that our family would be expanding!  The same week my application to grad school was approved, we got a positive pregnancy test!  I attended orientation, but we decided it was best to put off grad school and focus on our family. 

Everything about this pregnancy was different than my first.  I never felt sick with Ethan, but I couldn't even drink water without feeling sick during this pregnancy.  Ethan was such a strong mover, but when I did feel this little one move, it was so gentle.  On July 9, we learned why it was so different...the baby was a GIRL!  We decided to name her Shyla, which means "Creative" and we were right on track for our Thanksgiving Due date.

On August 31, I was really concerned because I couldn't recall the last time I really felt her move.  Sometimes that was hard just because she moved so gently and not very often.  I called the Dr and we decided it would be good for me to go to L&D "just to be safe".

I will never forget this night and have written about it in detail already on this blog, but this was the first time I heard, "I'm sorry, but the ultrasound confirms..."  Our baby girl had died sometime in the days before.  We weren't really sure when, but she had been gone for a couple of days.  I was 28 weeks pregnant and I would deliver our daughter, our second child, by c-section on September 2, 2009.

After all the many tests, we learned that I am positive for Factor V Leiden and MTHFR c677t.  Blood clots had formed in the placenta and/or the cord that caused our daugter's death.

Of course, we were devastated.  Our Shyla Joy was gone.  We would not get to see our girl again until Heaven.

I was shocked by the lack of resources and support in our area, so after much research, we started a support group for parents who experience the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.  We started making care packages for parents who deliver their baby stillborn at our local hospital and we first delivered those on the day Shyla was scheduled to be born.  We also served as the ambassador family for the area March of Dimes March for Babies in 2010 to raise awareness and support for pregnancy and infant loss.

We talked with each other (a lot) about our family and our vision for the future.  Adoption once again entered our vocabulary and we agreed that we both felt God leading us in this direction someday.  But after talking with the high risk OB and seeing how the risks on myself and future children go up with age, we decided to try to expand our family biologically at that time.

In August 2010, we learned we were being blessed with our 3rd child.

August 31, 2010, one year to the day we learned of Shyla's death, we had our first ultrasound for our rainbow baby.  As soon as the ultrasound machine came on, I knew I didn't see a heartbeat. The doctor searched and searched, but all we could see was the gestational fetal heartbeat.  The Dr said he was sorry and they drew blood to check my hCG levels.  We waited a week and we prayed. 

We celebrated Shyla's life on her 1st birthday in Heaven while not knowing if we would ever meet the little one inside me.

We decided to call this baby Jakin which means "God Will Establish".  We knew God would establish this baby!  We went back a week later and heard the most beautiful noise ever!  A healthy heartbeat and a baby measuring 2 days ahead! 

I started my blood thinner injections and my bi-monthly visits to the Drs.  Everything seemed to be going great.  On November 11th at a regular OB visit, we learned that we were having a boy!  Unfortunately, we also learned his little heart was beating way too fast.  The regular OB called my high risk OB.  He asked that we come in the next morning.  So we did.  He diagnosed Jakin with Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT).  His heart was beating really fast (280 bpm) then it would stop for a second then restart at that super fast rate.  He started me on a blood pressure medicine to cross the placenta and sent me to a pediatric cardiologist the next week.

The pediatric cardiologist (PC) didn't think it was actually SVT, but more of an atrial issue.  She said that is generally easier to correct and pointed out that some of the fluid from the last week had already gone away and his heart was starting to correct itself (going from 123 to 280 and back).  He was still experiencing some tachycardias, but they were hopeful the addition of a Digoxin (a heart regulating medication) to my regiment would help correct this issue.

One week later, November 23, we went back to see the PC and have another heart ultrasound.  I was nervous all the way there that day, which was a two hour drive.  As soon as the image came up on the screen, I knew there was a problem. 

The extremely fast flickering was no longer visable.  They said the only heartbeat they could find was only 40 bpm and in not as many words said our little Jakin was dying before our eyes.  They cried with us and prayed with us and sent us across town to the high risk OB.  We were quickly ushered into another ultrasound room where the OB confirmed (I still can't believe I heard these words again) "the ultrasound confirms there is no longer a heartbeat". 

I was 18 weeks 5 days pregnant.  We saw our baby's heart stopping on that screen.  The OB said we were too far along for a D&C and not far enough for a repeat c-section, so he recommended being induced as soon as we were comfortable.  We decided to go back home, to our local Dr and the one that had delivered both Ethan and Shyla. 

November 24, 2010, the day before Thanksgiving,  Jakin Isaac was born.  After 7 hours of labor he quietly entered the world.  We spent time and took photos just like we did with Shyla and spent the evening holding him and memorizing his tiny little features. 

We began the journey of being a family missing another peice.  I feel at times that I have one foot in Heaven and one foot on earth. 

Although we have our "bad" days as well as our "good" we will never feel the same and we will never feel complete until we are all in Heaven together.

We know that we know that Beauty Will Rise!  We know that God will use this to turn hearts and minds to Him and that while two our babies lives were short, their legacy is wide.

After Jakin was healed and went home early, adoption once again entered our vocabulary.  Ben gave me three very sweet gifts for Christmas and we began the process of reviewing agencies and countries.

Our hearts kept leaning to the east and we started getting "God Winks" that led us to finding a peice of our heart in South Korea.

South Korea began making lots of changes to their adoption program.  Much longer wait times, much older children, higher fees, longer travel times, and even the possibility of the country closing to international adoptions has been rumored.  Two days after getting an email explaining this, we were contacted by a family member about a friend of hers who had decided to make an adoption plan.

Less than two months later, he was in our arms.

But, at 6 days old, his biological mother decided to parent and we handed him back to her on March 15.

We currently have no idea what God has in store for us.  We are just trying to wade through this grief again.
Each book below is linked to a place where the book can be purchased.  Also, books that I have read will include my review of the book (after I have typed it on this blog).

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Infant Loss

A Guide for Fathers: When a Baby Dies
By Tim Nelson

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby DiesI flipped through this book, but felt like I was intruding on a private code for I handed it to my husband.  He read it and said I must include it in the care packages we take to the hospital.  I think it is something most people look over, the grief of a father, so this is a much needed resource.

An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination
By Elizabeth McCracken

Excat Replica of a Figment of My Imagination [EXACT REPLICA OF A FIGMENT OF]

Surviving the Death of Your Baby
By Deborah L. Davis 

By Sherri Devashrayee Whittwer
Gone Too Soon: The Life and Loss of Infants and Unborn Children

By Kathe Wunnenberg
Grieving the Child I Never Knew

By Jack Hayford

I'll Hold You In Heaven: (Recover/Revision)This was one of the first books I read after Shyla went to Heaven.  The words that the author uses are comforting and helped to relieve the guilt I felt as a mother of a stillborn baby.  Mr. Hayford also uses scripture to support that we WILL see our babies in Heaven again as long as we have asked Christ into our hearts and are living as Christians.  The scriptures he uses supports that we will know our children in Heaven and that they are safe and pain free in the most wonderful place imaginable. 

I highly recommend this book.  That is why I include it in all the care packages I take to the hospital.

By Debbie Haydrick

I'll Hold You in Heaven Remembrance Book

By Angie Smith

Angie and Todd Smith are both blessed with so many talents.  He has an amazing voice and sings in the Christian music group, Selah.  Selah sings Audrey's song, also known as "I Will Carry You".  Angie has the talent of writing.  During Angie's pregnancy of their daughter, Audrey Caroline, they were told their precious daughter was "incompatable with life" and would not survive long after birth, if she was not stillborn.  Angie's book is an amazing testament to her faith, God's love, and the beauty of every life, no matter how short.  She gracefully speaks of the moments in her pregnancy where she would fight with the diagnosis and cry and beat on the steering wheel of her car after attending a baby shower for a friend.  She tells how she stood over the plot she was picking out for her daughter while she felt her wiggling around inside and the thoughts that went through her mind.  You can go click here to read my full review and experience with this book. 

I had read this book after Shyla went to Heaven and before I was pregnant with Jakin.  When we got Jakin's heart dianosis, all I could pray was the words Angie echoes in her book from the sisters of Lazarus..."Jesus, the one you love is sick." 

By Dawn Siegrist Waltman

In A Heartbeat (Faith Parenting Guide.)

I read this book shortly after Shyla went to Heaven.  It resembles a journal kept by a mother after loss.  It includes the thoughts and feelings we go through as we go through the first year after loss.

The author does a good job being true to the emotions felt by a parent at this time, but she also offers lots of hope and encouragement.  I enjoyed reading this book.

By John MacArthur

Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven About the Death of a Child

Books for Siblings for when a Baby Dies

By Marilyn Gryte

No New Baby: For Siblings Who Have a Brother or Sister Die Before Birth (Nnc)

By Pat Schweibert
We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead

Books about the Loss of a Child of any Age

By Mary Beth Chapman

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope

I just love this woman.  She is honest and doesn't try to hide the pain of loss.  During the course of this book, I laughed as much as I cried.  She has had some very hilarious experiences in her life; she has also struggled with anxiety, grief and fear.  The book shares her experiences as self-conscious teen, the wife to Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman, the process of adopting three precious girls from China, and the grief of one of those daughters being taken to Heaven as a result of an accident in the driveway of their Tennessee home.  

The truth and honestly Mary Beth shares in this book is beautiful.  I highly recommend this read!

Grieving Forward
Embracing Life Beyond Loss
By Susan Duke

Grieving Forward: Embracing Life Beyond Loss

Books about Grief and Loss in General

A Grief Observed
By CS Lewis

A Grief Observed

21 Reasons Bad Things Happen to Good People
By Dave Earley

21 Reasons Bad Things Happen to Good People
I really learned a lot from this book and recommend it to anyone going through a trial.  To read my full post about my views of this book, click here.

Disappointment With God
By Philip Yancey

By Granger E. Westburg
Good Grief: 50th Anniversary Edition

I read this book shortly after loosing Jakin.  It is a good book, especially for some one who hasn't firsthand expereinced grief themself.  It explains the different "stages" of grief and that the feelings grieving people have are normal. 

To read my ful review of this book, click here.

By Monica Novak

The Good Grief Club

By Philip Yancey

Pregnancy After Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss
A Guide to Pregnancy after Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death
By Carol Cirulli Lanham
Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death

By Pat Schwiebert

Still to Be Born