Thursday, July 30, 2009

Walking With You ~ The Ripples Flow to Our Marriage

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more.. This week, we are sharing the impact our loss(es) had on our marriage.

Sorry I missed last week, I was out of town visiting family. Between being pretty busy and spotty Internet service, it was just too difficult to get out.

Mike and I had been married over 24 years when Faith passed away. We have been a through whole lot together. There have been a lot of ups and downs. Our marriage has seemed to have it's ups and downs also. We were Christians when we married, and we have been committed to see things through. Not to say there haven't been a few times in the heat of the moment that I was ready to run. That however is not my heart, just my response when things get really tough. Mike is Mr. Steady and more level headed.

After my first miscarriage I really didn't know how to grieve. I was pretty young, 22 years old. Mike didn't handle it well, and pretty much seemed to ignore it. Mike over the years has felt really bad about this and has apologized way too much. I completely forgive him. I became pregnant two months later and that helped in the healing department even though I was a bit nervous the first half of the pregnancy. This miscarriage was also my very first pregnancy.

My second miscarriage was after I had 3 successful pregnancies. This time it hit me hard. I was a bit older and after experiencing having babies, I think I was more aware of my loss. I also believe that I was grieving for my first loss. I felt like I wanted to withdraw from the world. There was a little tension between Mike and I . It was mostly me though, I just didn't want to deal with it. I must give Mike a great deal of credit here because he was concerned for me and tried very hard to reach out to me. Again I became pregnant quickly so that seemed to help with the healing process.

When we lost Faith we had already been dealing with a great deal of stress. Having 10 living children ranging in age from 22 down to 3 is challenging in itself. Mike and I had thrown ourselves into our children's lives and didn't leave much for ourselves. We were starting to slowly grow apart. We were committed to our family and each other, but we were not as close in our relationship as we had been. The added stress of finding out that Faith had a serious heart condition certainly didn't help. We did however share our Faith in God and we trusted him with Faith's life. We were clinging to God to see us through.

The good news is that since losing Faith, our relationship has grown so much. God has definitely been working in our lives. We both were so brokenhearted that we needed each other. We needed our Heavenly Father in way that we have never experienced before.

I do believe that men and women generally grieve differently. As the mother who carried this child inside of me there is a closeness that is like no other. The Father shares a special bond too, but I believe that they often try to be the strong one, and be the one to try to "fix" the situation.

In the early days I would break out into tears, and Mike would put his arms around me and hold me. Most of the time that is all I needed. He would always ask me if he could do anything. Usually I just wanted him to hold me, sometimes I would want to talk things through. He has been here for me from day one and I am so grateful for him.

It has been over 9 months now since Faith has been gone. Our relationship is growing everyday. We are committed to God and each other, but now we are committed to working on making our relationship grow closer. It is so important to work on. Make it a priority. Yes we still have our share of stress, but we are trusting God in all things.

If I could offer a word of advice to anyone dealing with losing a child or dealing with any hardship really, is to have God on your side. Ask him to help you and give you the strength to do what is required of you. Make your relationship with God your first priority and then your relationship with your spouse next. I really don't know how anyone makes it through the trials of life without God in their life. He has always been there for me even when I have chosen to ignore him. I have to give him all the glory for anything good that has come from my life!



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update on Micah

Micah's Surgery on his finger went well yesterday. The doctor wanted to check and make sure there was no nerve or tendon damage. Praise God there was none. He also needed to squeeze together the broken bone near the tip of his finger. When he squeezed it together it popped back out, so he stitched it together. He also cleaned up the cut itself. It was very jagged so he made it look nicer.

It is so amazing to me how well children can bounce back. He woke up fairly quickly from the Anesthesia. At first he was a little fussy, but once in his Mommy's arms he was fine. He mostly slept on the way home and woke up once we were home. He sat in my lap for a while then decided to play. Within 2 hours of being home he pretty much seemed his old self. I however, needed a long nap. I had to get up at 4:00 a.m. so we could get him there by 6:30. Most of the afternoon I took a nap on the couch.

Micah took about a 2 hour nap late in the afternoon. The rest of the evening he was bouncing off the walls like usual. Hubby and I were a bit protective because we didn't want him to bang his finger and injure it any more. Thankfully all is well and he is doing well today.Thanks everyone for the prayers. They are so much appreciated.

Here is a picture of Micah today showing his "blue" finger! Don't you love the cowboy boots and hat with his shorts?



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

McLinky Blog Hop ~ Favorite Kid Photos

In honor of my youngest son Micah, who had Surgery today and also recently celebrated his 4th Birthday, here is one of my favorite kid photos. One of his Birthday presents was a Spiderman costume. Here he is wearing the costume without the mask while celebrating his birthday.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Prayers For Micah

Hello everyone, yes , I do still exist and I am finally home! I returned from my Mom's late Saturday night. It was so wonderful to visit with family. It is also wonderful being back home with my Hubby, the rest of my children and my own bed! I have been resting and enjoying my family since I have been back.

I was supposed to return on Friday but was delayed due to a little mishap. I had just got finished loading the van when I had told the children all to go back into the house so we could make one last check for anything we may have missed and to say good-bye. My youngest son Micah was sitting in the front passenger seat and was climbing down to get out like everyone else. I was closing up the rest of the doors and as he was climbing down I closed the door behind where he had been sitting.

His finger was caught in the hinge part of the door. Can you say OUCH! The rest of the children were already in the house and I grabbed Micah and ran into the house. After I got in the house and got a better look at his finger I could tell that we needed to get to the ER. My sister was visiting so she grabbed her keys and we jumped into her car and we were on our way.

When we arrived at the ER, a screaming 4 year old got us a quick entry! His finger was cut the whole length of the finger. It was cut deep and after x-rays we also found out it was fractured. He received several stitches and his finger was wrapped and splinted. We were given instruction to follow up with a doctor at home on Monday.

Yesterday I took him to a Hand Surgeon and he wants him to have Surgery. The bone near the tip of the finger needs to be squeezed back together and he believes he can do it without pins. He also wants to check for any nerve damage.

I am asking for prayer for Micah today as we go in early this morning for Surgery. He does not like for anyone to look at it or even talk about it. Pray for him not to be afraid and also Pray that the Surgery goes well and that he will have full function of his finger. Please pray for me as I feel so bad that I am the one who closed the door and as his Mommy, I cannot stand to see him have this injury and the pain associated with it.

I have to run get him dressed to get ready to go, and I'll let you know how things go!



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MckLinky Blog Hop ~ Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Today on the McLinky blog hop we are sharing one of our favorite recipes. This recipe became one of my favorites recently. A friend shared it on Facebook and she got it from Bakerella. It originally came from Betty Crocker. It is so easy to prepare. It calls for using canned icing, but I like to make the chocolate ganache that Bakarella mentions. Be prepared for Yummy Chocolatey Goodness!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

1 Box Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray, or grease with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and 2 eggs. Spread in pan.

2. Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Frost with frosting. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Chocolate Ganache

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

6 Tbsp butter

In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage.
Pour over the chocolate morsels.
Let stand about 20 seconds and stir until smooth.
Pour over brownies and let set before cutting.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Walking With You ~ Naming Our Babies

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more.

This week, we are sharing how we chose the names for our babies and any special meaning behind them.

Mike and I have always taken very seriously our responsibility of naming our children. We usually go through a lengthy process before a name is ever settled. Our first child was named quicker than most of the rest of our children. I remember calling him Jeremy while still in my womb. Many of the rest were not officially named until a few days after their birth.

Mike and I would usually make a separate list of names that we liked and eventually came together to compare lists. There were some names we could automatically cross off of each others list and then some we could take into consideration. We always write down the meaning of each name because that is important to us also.

Before I was pregnant with Faith, I just knew that I would have a daughter named Faith someday. I just loved the name and I really believed that God gave her this name. So I was pretty set on naming her Faith when I found out that she was a girl. Mike wanted to spend more time making a decision. About the same time we found out she was a girl, we also found out that she had a heart defect.It became increasingly more important for me to give her a name. Mike finally agreed we could name her Faith. I loved how everyone, including the doctors started calling her Faith.

Faith means: Belief in God and acceptance of God's will. How appropriate is that? We truly believed in God, and we also felt that God was going to heal her. We also were prepared to accept his will no matter what happened. We sure were not ready for what did happen, but we accept what God has chosen. Someone shared with me that her life and death is going to strengthen our Faith as her parents. I know God is strengthening our marriage and pulling us closer to each other and closer to him.

Evangeline means: Good news; bearer of good news. I originally thought that after we chose this name that Faith was going to be healed and that her healing was going to help spread the Good News of God. Well, after she died I was a little confused. Now I believe her story is going to help spread God's Good News anyway!

Here are the names of my other children and their meanings.

Jeremy: Raised up or appointed by God.

Timothy: Honoring God.

Joshua: God is my salvation.

Rebekah: Captivating, beautiful.

Victoria: Conqueror; victory.

Matthew: Gift of God.

Samuel: God hears.

Anna: Grace.

Luke: Bringer of light, morning.

Micah: Who is like God.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Three Things You Didn't Know About Me

This week on the MckLinky Blog Hop the theme is three things you didn't know about me.

1) I am the youngest of six kids. I actually love being the youngest! I have a good relationship with all my siblings. It seems since I am the youngest, I am a bit spoiled. They have all always looked out for me and while it annoyed me some when I was younger, I absolutely love it now.

2) When I was in High School, I worked as a Dental Assistant. I really liked it and planned on becoming a Dental Hygienist. When I went to college, I was taking general courses until room opened up in the Dental Hygiene school. Well, while I was waiting I met Mike and got married. They called the Summer after I got married to tell me I could start. I decided not to go back to school after that. Now today I couldn't imagine putting my hands in other people's mouths for a living. What was I thinking?

3) I was married when I was 19 years old. I turned 20 about 2 months later. My parents were not real excited at the time, but didn't really object either. They grew to Love Mike and appreciate our marriage. I have always believed that God has put Mike and I together. We had our first child when I was 22. I absolutely have no regrets getting married early.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Walking With You ~ Saying Goodbye To Faith

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more.

I am a little late getting this installment of Walking With You out due to being out of town. I am visiting with family and attended my nephew’s wedding.

When I was released from the Hospital after having Faith, I was told I could take my time on making arrangements for her body. At first I didn’t want to read the information I was given for the options I had to choose from. It took several days before I would even look at them. I knew I wanted to have a Service but it just seemed so very hard to get it together. We also needed to decide where we wanted to bury her.

Faith was delivered on October 28, 2008, and we held her service on November 13, 2008, which was her actual due date. I had originally chosen the 14th, but due to schedule conflicts with both of my two oldest son’s work and school schedules, we went ahead with the 13th.

We had her Service at our church. As we drove to the church I thought I was going to be OK. As I walked in the door I broke into tears. I had to retreat to the ladies room to have a few minutes alone.

We went a bit early to make sure everything was set up. A dear friend helped put together a table with several mementos that belonged to Faith. We also had a large oil canvas of Faith that was given to us as a gift. We put that up near the front so everyone could see what she looked like. We were not able to have her body there because we were having her buried in Virginia.

Many friends from church were at the Service and we appreciate their support so much. We sang 3 songs, Jesus Loves Me, Amazing Grace- My Chains are Gone, and It Is Well.

My daughter Rebekah read a poem written by my sister after Faith passed away. You can see that HERE. My daughter Victoria read a letter that she wrote to Faith that was so very touching.

Mike had put together slide show of Faith that we showed at the service. It is set to the song I Will Carry You, which Angie Smith wrote with her husband Todd after the loss of their daughter Audrey. Todd is a member of the group Selah and they recently released a CD with this Song on It.

Angie gave me permission to use this song for this purpose before it was released. It is quite beautiful and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Thanks Angie a whole bunch, this song means so much to me and I am sure to many, many more. You can view the slide show HERE. You can also see a slideshow there of pictures that were taken at the Memorial Service.

It was a wonderful day as we honored Faith. We cried a bit and laughed a little too. It is hard to say goodbye to your baby daughter. She was with us for almost 9 months in my womb. She became a part of us. We loved her so much already and were looking so forward to meeting her. Now we have to look forward to Heaven to meet her.

We then had to travel to Virginia to have her buried. I didn’t really feel great about burying her in Kentucky. We have only lived here about 4 ½ years and it is just not home to me. We have moved on several occasions and I knew that if we moved again, it might be really difficult to get back to visit .

Mike thought it might be better to have her buried locally so that we could visit anytime that we wanted to. That sounded like a good plan, but it just didn’t sit right for me for the long term.

We found out that we could have her buried at the foot of my Father’s grave, so we decided to do that. I was born and raised in Virginia, and that just seems more like home.

On November 22, 2008 we had a graveside Service with friends and relatives from Virginia. A sweet pastor from my sister’s church conducted the Service for us. It was a sweet time. It was a very blustery day. We had to bundle up to try to keep warm. Just the year before on Thanksgiving it was in the 70’s. Everyone was wearing short sleeves. What a difference a year can make!

Near the end of the Service we released Pink Balloons. Here are a few pictures as they were going Higher and Higher!


If you have experienced losing a child you know the great difficulty that can bring. It has truly been the hardest thing I have had to deal with, and we have had some pretty difficult things along the way. God never promises us that this Life is going to be easy . He does promise to walk with us along the way. I truly encourage you to cling to him in the time of difficulties and learn to Praise Him along the way. He is there and he really does care! He has shown that Love to us and We Praise Him for all that He has done for us! God Is Good!

I recommend as some of the other ladies have mentioned to do what you want to do. This is going to be your memory in the making. There really is no right or wrong way. I was touched by Holly's story how she held her baby through the visitation and during her Service. I did not have that opportunity, but it would have been something I would have been open to. If you are not comfortable with that , then that is OK too. Do what is right for YOU!


My Prayer Request is that since I am visiting relatives in Virginia, I will have a chance to visit Faith's Grave for the first time since November. Her Stone was put up last week and I hope to visit it in the next day or two. We have had a whirlwind of activity since we have been here due to my Nephew getting married. I am in need of the comfort once again as I know that it will be an emotional time. I will try to share pictures soon!

Also please pray for my niece and extended family. Her husband's sister was in a terrible car wreck on Friday morning and was critically injured. This evening ( Saturday) they were removing her from life support. This is such a tragic time for them, so please pray that God will be close to them at this time and bring great comfort.



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Doing the MckLinky Blog Hop Again

There is no Footprint too small that it
cannot leave an imprint on this World!

Today is another Blog Hop. We are to share one of our favorite photographs. It is quite difficult for me to choose a favorite, so I decided I wanted to share one of Faith. She has been a big part of our lives and we miss her terribly.

MckLinky Blog Hop


Friday, July 3, 2009

Walking With You ~ Meeting Faith

Walking With You was created by Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace to help those of us who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words,prayer requests, and more. To join in or to learn more please click on the button above. This week we are to share about the birth of our baby and the moments we spent with them.

Last time I shared about when we found out about Faith being gone. I was in Michigan and decided to come home to deliver her near home with family and friends nearby. I was originally scheduled for a c-section, but since there was no longer any risk to the baby, they urged me to try labor. I was a bit scared and a bit mad. Why did I have to endure real labor? What was my reward for this? My baby was dead! Can't they do something else?

When I arrived home I was instructed to head directly to the hospital to be induced. I was escorted back to a room that was a bit farther away than the other labor rooms. There was a sign put on the door that was for all to know that this wasn't a happy situation. It was late afternoon, but they went ahead and started me on pitocin. By late that night not a whole lot was happening, so they did not up my dosage until the next morning.

When morning came, they came and started cranking up the pitocin. I am all for pain medicine, so I would not refuse it. Eventually I had an epidural and it was wonderful. I ended up sleeping quite a bit the rest of that day. Later in the afternoon I started feeling more pain, so I asked for another dose. That really didn't do much, so they gave me some more. That helped a bit, but soon I was feeling a great deal of pressure. The nursed checked me and said it is time. She called the doctor and started getting things prepared.

The doctor arrived shortly after that and I started pushing. I think that was the best epidural I have ever had! Really the pain was very minimal. The doctor thought that it wouldn't take much to push her out. Well, it wasn't awful, but it took a bit more than she expected. They thought that she was smaller than she actually was. She ended up being 6 pounds 11 ounces.

After she was out, the doctor took a few minutes to clean her up. It was so quiet. It is not supposed to be so quiet when you deliver a baby. I was so eager to see her, but yet so very nervous. I think Mike and I must have been holding our breaths while waiting to see her. As the doctor handed her to me, Mike and I both gasped. The tears flowed . This is not real, this is not happening. They had to be wrong, she is going to cry now. It never happened.

Mike and I were alone with her for a while. Our friend Alison, with NILMDTS came and started taking pictures. Later the nurse came and took Faith to bathe her and dress her. I was given the opportunity to do it myself if I wanted to, but it was too hard for me at that time. Alison went along to take pictures as the nurse bathed, dressed, took foot prints, hand prints, and cut a lock of hair.

My doctor gave me a beautiful dress with a matching bonnet that we had Faith dressed in. One of her patients had hand made the dress with beautiful smocking. This is what she wore the whole time at the hospital. I eventually had her changed into a different dress for burial, so that I could keep the only thing that she ever wore.

When they brought her back to me, my other children had already arrived to meet Faith. We spent a couple of hours together as a family with a few friends. Each one was given the opportunity to hold her. I did not want to force anyone to hold her, but I wanted them to have the chance if they wanted. Most of the children did take a turn. It was a difficult time, but I am glad that we were together. My two oldest were not able to come that night because they could not get off from work.

My nurse was such a wonderful person, and so kind and compassionate. I appreciate her so much and I am so thankful for all that she did for us. I know our circumstance is not easy for everyone to deal with, but she was heaven sent. She actually stayed later than she was supposed to so that she could see us through until I was sent to a regular room.

The nurse that actually took me to my room was not as compassionate. I believe that she was not comfortable dealing with this kind of situation. I had kept Faith with me and I was having her go with me to my room. I was originally told that I was going to be put on the floor with pregnant women that were in the hospital for complications. There were no crying babies, and it would be quiet.

Eventually I was put on the floor that was for women recuperating from surgery. It was the old part of the building and the room was not pretty or very modern. Perfect, a depressing room for a depressing situation. To add to that, the nurse I was given had never taken care of a woman who had just had a baby before. She has a nurse over her that came in at first to tell her a few things to do with me. All I can say is that I am so thankful that I had a baby before and knew what to expect. My great concern was for other women who would go through this same situation, but had never experienced childbirth before.

That sign that had been placed on the labor room door, came along with me to this room too. Let's just say that many people are very uncomfortable with a dead baby in the room. The lady that delivered the meals would walk in and drop the tray and run.

I had kept Faith in the room with me through most of the next day. That night I had her in the bassinet at the foot of my bed while I tried to sleep. The strangest thing would happen. Sometimes I would see my shadow move in the bassinet and for a second I thought she moved. This happened several times.

The next day, my two boys were able to come and see Faith. I was a bit overwhelmed after a while and I was ready for Faith to be taken away for awhile. They told me that I could have her back anytime that I wanted. When Tim and Naomi, his Fiance, came, it took awhile for them to bring Faith. So we decided to keep her until Jeremy came so we wouldn't have to wait. They got to meet her and say goodbye.

Later that afternoon, Mike and I said our final goodbyes and they came and took her away. She looked so much more bruised and worse than she did the day before and we were ready to let her go. We were having an autopsy done to try to figure out more about what happened. They wanted to give us time with her before they did this.

The next day I left that hospital without my baby and with a box of memories. I had her pictures, her dress and blankets, a lock of hair, and molds of her hands and feet. The nurse had taken some pictures also and had put those in the box. This is not how you expect to leave the hospital after just having a baby.

Even though I don't understand why this happened, I know that God loves me. I know that He wants the best for me. I chose to love Him and trust Him anyway. He has been with me through too much and proved Himself too many times, there is no way I could turn my back on Him now. No, I didn't understand but I chose to praise His name anyway.


I know that people handle things differently . My one regret is that I did not at least help with dressing Faith. I recommend for others that will walk this path someday to have lots of pictures taken of your baby. Keep everything that has touched your baby. Anything at all. Everyone at the hospital was so gracious and offered us many things. The first several days I could not look at these things, but later they became of great comfort. You will not have the chance to go back later, so make sure you take every opportunity that is given you.

Another word of advice is that you check into the options of embalming. We were given none. I would at least like to have known about it. It was too late by the time I started asking questions about it. I would have liked to have had the option of a regular funeral. In our state, embalming is optional for a stillborn infant and most people don't do it. All of the details of death and funerals were so foreign to me. I never had to participate in funeral preparations.


My prayer request is that God will restore in me the motivation and energy to do the things I need to do for my family. Running a household of 12 can be a bit daunting at times anyway, but adding the stress of losing a baby and dealing with the grief can be a bit overwhelming. I believe we are doing well and we are healing. I would like to have renewed motivation as we prepare for the new school year coming up in August.



Do The MckLinky Blog Hop

Today I am participating in the MckLinky Blog Hop. I am to share what my blog is about.

I started this blog after the loss of our daughter Faith who was Stillborn. It seems to be therapy sharing her story. It also helps to journal our lives as we go through this process and see God working in our lives. I also share just everyday things including the joys and difficulties of raising 10 children. My sincere desire is first and foremost to bring God Glory through this blog and that maybe my story can help others who are on a similar journey.

MckLinky Blog Hop