Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I met with one of the nurses/grief counselors from the hospital this morning because she had a few things that she needed to get to me. I sat and talked to her for almost an hour over a cup of coffee about grief and just about how I was doing. She handed me an envelope that contained Aubree's official pictures from the hospital that all babies get done, but mine were complimentary. I guess that is just one of the perks of not bringing your baby home. If you get to bring your baby home you have to pay for the pictures. Sorry...just a little sarcasm even if I do appreciate the pictures. I also got a "birth certificate" for her baby book. It isn't real because I only get a real death certificate due to the fact that she was stillborn. Anyways. I didn't want to look at the pictures or the birth certificate until I was at home and all alone. When I opened up the envelope a gasp escaped..She was my beautiful baby girl, but I saw her so differently this time. I was able to see what I couldn't see up until now. Her ears really were low on her head..She wasn't perfectly formed like I originally thought, and she looked pretty bad in these pictures. I know she was not living, but the fact that you could see death all over her was astonishing to me. I just can't believe it. I will put these in her baby book with pride though because she is mine even if she looks a little rough from the circumstances. It is just so funny that the love that I have for her has made me forget that there was ever anything wrong with her. She was so perfect in every way in my mind, and seeing those pictures reminded me that she died because of her "imperfections." I just sat on the back porch with tears streaming down my cheeks onto those pictures because that is all I have..I want to hold her again, kiss her cheeks, dress her in something more beautiful then the white doll dress she had on, sing to her, dance with her like I did while I was pregnant, etc. I try so hard to keep it all together all of the time, and to just be me for the sake of everyone around me. I am tired of being so strong, and I am tired of acting like I am ok. I miss her..I want her back..I wish this never happened to us...

I have made a big decision though. I have been wracking my brain for a way to honor her and to help others. As I was talking to the nurse this morning I was reminded of the wonderful book that helped me so much through this process, and I think I would like to donate a bunch of Angie Smith's books to the hospital so they can give them out to all families who have lost a baby. I can only hope that Angie's words can bring them comfort like they brought me. The nurse said it might not be appropriate to give them to all families because it might not be taken well..I'm not really sure about that. What if Angie's book brings them into a relationship with Christ that they never had before? God works like that, and you just never know what He has in store for you until you allow Him in..I don't usually advocate books that much, but this is a worthwhile read for anyone because it allows you to understand what those of us who have lost a child are feeling. It sort of brings you into our won't be an easy read, but it will help you to be a little bit more compassionate about what we have gone through..In will just make you more compassionate period..

You can buy the book at any bookstore online at this point..not sure if they have them in the stores just yet since it was just released on May 1st of this year. I am enclosing a link to buy the book if this is something you feel would be a worthwhile read.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prayer Request

My heart is breaking for a girl that went to school with me..her 5 month-old baby girl was just diagnosed with AML Leukemia. They will be at CHOP for six months..this little baby will be in the hospital for half of her first year of life..Please just pray for the entire family and for the baby. The mom and dad's names are Rob and Jennifer, and the little girl is Meghan. May God's grace be shown to this family..


I have been battling a bad case of poison ivy on my arms and on my neck..I have been trying several different things to try to dry it up so I can be a little more comfortable. The part that drives me crazy is that I got it from my dogs. If I could just be a normal person and not sleep with my dogs all cuddled up in my arms on my pillow then maybe I would be able to keep from getting it! I just love my dogs way too much for that I guess. I have heard to try wiping them down with a baby wipe so I might try that to help get the poison ivy oils off of them when they come inside. I am just so darn itchy! I can't wait until it all goes away so I can just get it again..:)

I have been feeling sort of "itchy" in other ways too. I have such an itch to have another baby because I miss having a baby around. When I get to hold another baby I love it, but I hate that I have to give them back. I want my own baby to hold. I know that I might not be ready just yet emotionally or physically for a baby, but I can't help but want one. Babies are so precious and they depend entirely on you for everything. I love feeling wanted. With that said, I can't imagine how God feels...How fulfilled He must be when we depend solely on Him for our needs. I have been trying so hard to just trust that God will provide for my needs, and that He has my best interests at heart. I know that there are times that I have questioned Him because I just don't understand why I wasn't able to keep Aubree or why she had to be sick at all. I think back to where I was last year at this time, and I wonder if I would even recognize myself. I do believe that I have grown in my faith (you sort of have to in order to get through each day), and I believe that I am a different person as a result. I am learning to not care about the things that don't even matter or to worry about things that aren't worth worrying about. Sometimes things are thrown our way that we can't do a darn thing about. I feel like I learned that the hard way, but I have learned what is really important in life. I just hope that Aubree is proud of how her mother is handling things...I would hate to let her down since I couldn't help her while she was with me.

Oh yeah..supposedly poison ivy is aggravated by coffee..I'm not THAT "itchy." :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Do you ever wonder why you were dealt the cards you were? I have been thinking so much about that today for some reason. I'm not sure why that is, but I feel like we have been dealt some pretty rotten ones when it comes to our kids in some ways. I would love for my kids to just have a normal childhood. I feel like I robbed Carley of that in some ways because she has been asking some very grown-up questions these days apparently. My little sister is pregnant and she asked her if her baby was sick like That makes me so sad because it means she is associating pregnancy with sick babies..She should just be thinking about the wonderful things that come out of pregnancy instead of thinking about never meeting that baby because they were sick. My sister says that her thinking is really normal, and I shouldn't worry about it...I can't help it. My three year old wonders if all babies are going to turn out like Aubree. I would hate if she asked some random stranger that just because she was about scaring someone! I just don't want her to be thinking about it..I want her to just enjoy life and not wonder about what really happened.

I think about how my kids are normal, healthy kids for the most part, but I also think about the things that just aren't "perfect." I drove by the Meadows today which is an ice cream parlor that is always packed in our little town because they serve custard. I am not a big fan of it, but we have gone a few times over the years because they are always changing their flavors. Anyways. I simply thought about how we never get to get ice cream because Carley is severely allergic to all dairy products. Why? Why does Parker have skin that feels like sandpaper and he reacts to different things all of the time? Why are they both tongue-tied? Why did Aubree have Trisomy 18? When do I get a child that doesn't have any issues at all even if it is just something simple? I would love to just have one child that I didn't have to watch like a hawk when you went anywhere because you just never know what they might eat without you watching. I realize that our problems are minute compared to what many other people face, but it is just so frustrating that I don't have one child that doesn't have something going on...It just doesn't make sense to me when I see people who have a million kids with no problems at all..Why does that happen?

We went to a family reunion yesterday for Mike's family. It was nice to see people that I haven't seen in a long time, and it ended up being quite an adventure for us because I left the kids suitcase in Carley's closet...I had to run to Wal-Mart for some supplies and then to The Gap so they had something to wear. I tried to find some clothes at Wal-Mart for them, but they didn't have anything that would fit Parker since he is so darn small. Anyways. I did get lucky in that everything was an additional 25% off the sale price so I got some good bargains regardless. Mike's cousin and aunt asked me how I was doing..I just said that I am doing good..I am really doing good. I don't know what else to say because it's not like I can crawl into a hole and die. She wasn't my only child. I have to keep on going for everyone else's sake. Everyone keeps saying how strong I am. I really don't feel that strong. I feel in denial...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Four Months..

Today marks the four month mark since Aubree went home to be in the place that I long for at times just because I get to be with her. It is on days like this that I think of what she would be doing at this point..rolling over, smiling, cooing, sleeping through the night maybe, etc. I just can't believe it has been four months when I feel like she was just with me yesterday. I seriously believe that my heart has bubble wrap around it at times to keep it from breaking into a million pieces. How else am I surviving without her? God keeps reminding me of the little things that I need to be thankful for in small ways, and I am very thankful for all that I have. I spent so much of my morning smiling at Parker because of what he says to me or because of the beautiful smiles that always light up his face. I see sunshine when I look at him. He makes me "forget" what happened sometimes..

I ordered Carley a Baby Be Blessed doll today for her birthday in September since the lead time on them is about 10 weeks and they aren't even taking orders for personalized items in July or August. I put the scripture verse "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 on her doll because I have felt that this verse has really been speaking to me lately. I hope that she can read it every time she looks at her doll and know that she is loved by someone much greater then me. When you love the Lord the pieces of your life just seems to fall into place..they may not be the way that you thought would be best for you, but you must trust that He knows what is best. I hope that both of my children grow up loving the one who ultimately created them..

Today is going to just be another day without Aubree. I miss her every day, and I am finding it easier and easier to talk about her. I did find that my heart rate goes up when I talk about her though. I was laying on the table on Friday during my procedure with a device on my thumb that was monitoring my heart/pulse, and when the one lady asked me how many kids I had I watched my numbers increase drastically. I never want to not acknowledge her again so I made sure and told them three even if my heart was pounding out of my chest..why..I have no idea. I just hate the sympathy at times. I hate that I have to get sympathy. I should just be excited about talking about my kids instead of telling people about my baby. The look that people give you is horrible, and I really try to avoid that at all costs but I will not keep her a secret. She is my daughter, and she will be my daughter for the rest of my life. I love her, and she is worth talking about. I am sad because I have spent four months without her, but I am happy because she has spent the best four months of her life in a place where there is only peace..

Saturday, June 19, 2010

EVLA is done!

I had my vein procedure done yesterday in Fox Chapel at the Circulatory Center. I got in last minute with a cancellation so I was pretty excited about that being that the timing was great for me! I decided to do the main procedure before even thinking about having another child because they said it would help with my pain and it would help to prevent Phlebitis or anything like that. When I got there I happened to notice that everyone in the waiting room had gray hair..hmm..I am only 30..I guess that is just how the gene pool works..Oh well. They were all really nice there, but no one told me about what to expect. I guess it is sort of like when you have a baby..if you tell someone they might not do it! I was given these lovely disposable shorts that looked like clown shorts and was told to take off everything..everything? After they cut my shorts pretty much off I began to wonder why I had to wear them in the first place..I had to lay there in front of a million different people that I have never seen before with my bottom half bare..I thought I was getting a procedure on my leg! Oh is over with now. They basically just told me what would happen and then we were on to the procedure room. I had a nurse draw a wonderful black line down my leg with a permanent marker first so that they knew which vein to go into. The doctor gave me some preparation before he stuck me with the needle to insert the laser. It was such a strange feeling to feel that laser being threaded up my leg. It didn't hurt at all though. After they had the laser in place he had to numb my leg the entire way up into the area where the vein meets the main veins of your leg which is basically the entire way up into my groin area..Anyways. He said it would be 2-3 minutes of pinching..10+ minutes later they were putting giant sunglasses on me so they could fire up the laser. As they fired up the laser I began to smell and taste this horrible taste. Apparently the burnt smell/taste is normal because they are burning my vein that is not working properly. It was all over and done with in about an hour. After they finished the procedure it took 3 nurses to put the lovely stocking on that I have to wear for 48 hours nonstop and then for 7 more days afterwards. I can take it off to shower and sleep after the 48 hour period..but after seeing them struggling to put it on I'm not sure that looks like a good idea!

After the procedure was over a nurse came in and went over my instructions and gave me my prescription for Vicodin..huh? I must have not heard that this was going to be painful! Anyways. I haven't gotten it filled and will not get it filled because I am managing the pain with the 600 mg. of Advil/Motril that I have to take round the clock for at least 7 days. I guess it helps to prevent Phlebitis and to take down the swelling too. Apparently I have to walk at least 20 minutes three times a day for the first 3 days and then at least 20 minutes four times a day after four one told me any of this before! Actually..the walking isn't really that big of a deal. I walk that much usually either exercising or just chasing the kids around. I don't sit still for very long these days! I am in a little bit of pain, but is not horrible at all..just some throbbing and aching of that vein that is slowly dying. It is amazing that they can find the right vein with as many veins that you have in your leg. I am excited to have the puffiness gone and to not feel any more pain in that leg! I hope that when/if we do go on to have another child it is a much more enjoyable last pregnancy. I certainly didn't enjoy my last pregnancy at all in any way unfortunately. The only thing I did enjoy was feeling her move around and spending the time that I had with her..I loved her....just didn't like the pregnancy part because it was so hard on my body. off to walk!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tree #4 and Some Beautiful Purple Flowers

This weekend has proven to be very busy for us even though we didn't really have that many plans. It was a nice weekend full of wonderful family time. We did our first ever "camp out" in our living room to see if the kids would be able to do camping..Parker talked until almost midnight and refused to stay in his sleeping bag. He eventually crashed, but I am thinking that we might need to hold off on the camping outside for now. We did get to watch Toy Story 2 though as a family. I forgot how much I loved that movie! We did not get much sleep on Friday night, but I still feel like it was fun family event for us. We also got to see my grandparents from Florida and my aunt too on Friday night. It was nice to see them since we haven't seen them since Christmas. They also have given us a tree to plant for Miss Aubree. I have included that tree in this post. It is one of my favorites because it is very unique. It is a Serpentine Weeping Snow Fountain Cherry. There aren't that many around so that makes it all the more special. This tree blooms in such a beautiful way every year, but the blooms are gone just as quickly as they is the perfect tree in that it represents Aubree's life so perfectly. So..a big thank you to all of my aunts and uncles and grandparents on my dad's side for giving this tree to us as a way to remember my angel. If you look closely there is a turtle under the tree for her from my grandparents. My kids have named the turtle "Oscar."

We spent the day in Ringgold on Saturday visiting with my cousin and her four kids from Florida. It was so nice to see them, and my kids had a blast swimming and just playing with them! I think the dogs even had fun! We did make a stop before we got there at Aubree's grave so I could plant her purple flowers. The flowers are so beautiful, and Mike found them for her at Wal-Mart of all places. I have been looking for this flower for my yard for so long now, and I haven't had any luck! He bought some for her, and he bought some for me so I have some too! This flower is called a Foxglove. I just love them, and they are perennials so they will bloom year after year for her and for me hopefully. We put some bark mulch around her grave and made it look so much nicer. My mom and dad had stopped yesterday to see her too, and they left her a beautiful stained glass angel. It is so fitting of her. It was just as hard to go to her grave again. I just feel so drained after I go there, and it feels like it takes me a while to gain back the energy. I am just really happy with how her grave looks now because I think it seems more like her..

Today was spent with the family again, and it was so nice. We went for a bike ride this morning, and then we spent the morning playing outside. When I went to the grocery store today I found myself smiling at strangers and saying hello again..I haven't felt like doing that in a long time. I feel like maybe I am slowly working through some of the angry feelings now. I am looking forward to what this week will bring..I am really hoping for more and more sunshine!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I am just so tired of "perfection." I swear it is all that I see all around me. I am tired of the "perfect" families, "perfect" kids, "perfect" timing, and just plain "perfect" lives. I am sure that those families are not really "perfect" once you look deeper, but in my head they seem to have it all..I just feel like there are so many things in my life that have not gone in a way that I would have wanted so why should some people be able to get everything they want in the way that they want? It just doesn't seem fair! When I complained about this to my therapist, and went on to say that I'm sure they will face some sort of heartache at some point in their life she told me that wasn't necessarily true..There really are "perfect" people out there! Of course they aren't truly perfect because there is only one person who ever was..I have so much to be thankful for and so many people kindly remind me of that, but I also have one big thing in my life that is not really something that I want to be thankful for. I am allowed to be mad about her dying, and I am allowed to wallow in self pity sometimes just as long as I don't do it all of the time because that is certainly not how I want to live my life. I guess I just know way too many people who have drawn really great cards in life. I guess you could have said the same about me pre-Aubree..There really isn't an answer to why some people never have to face heartache, but I guess I just need to accept that because life is unfair. I think of all of the families who have had it tens time worse then is that fair to them? I remember feeling guilty for being upset over how long it took us to get pregnant with Carley because there are people out there who never get pregnant or that it took them over 10 years to get pregnant..I realize how "perfect" my life is in many ways, but it is still really hard to not feel like it could have been so much more "perfect..." It's been a rough week..

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"You're Not Shaken"

I am sinking in a river that is raging
I am drowning, will I ever rise to breathe again

I want to know why
I just want to understand
Will I ever know why
How could this be from Your hand

When every little thing that I have dreamed would
Just slips away like water through my hand
And when it seems the walls of my belief are
crashing down
Like they’re all made of sand
I won’t let go of You now, because I know
You’re not shaken

I’m trembling in the darkness of my own fear
All the questions with no answers still grip me while
I’m here

And I may never know why
I may not understand
But I will lift up my eyes
And trust this is Your plan

When I am in the valley of the shadow of death
You’re not shaken, You’re not shaken
You’re right here beside me and You have never

You’re not shaken, You’re not shaken

This pretty much sums up my feelings today..Phil Stacey's song spoke to me this morning while I was listening to a free cd that came along with one of my other cd's. I have listened to this song over and over again, but I never really listened to the words until this morning..

Saturday, June 5, 2010


This song has been on my heart all day, and I wanted to share a portion of the lyrics since the chorus makes me think of Aubree. I believe this song was written for her in my mind..I do know it was written for the band's daughters so I am sort of lumping her into their group..:)

"You're beautiful. You're beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this. You're beautiful. You're beautiful. You are treasured. You are sacred. You are His. You're beautiful."

She Was made for so much more than all of this..This is one of MercyMe's new songs...

Just Another Rainy Day

Today started out really well because I got to see one of my good friends from college at her bridal shower. She had no idea that I was going to be there, and she was so excited to see me! I couldn't wait to see her myself since I hadn't seen her for a little over a year. She just recently moved closer to me so I am glad I will get to see her more often! I had some shopping to do while I was down in Monroeville so after the shower I ran my errands. One of the stores that I needed to visit was Baby Gap since my friend just had her little girl. I went into the store and went straight to the baby girl clothes. I did notice on my way there that the little boy clothes are absolutely adorable this year too..why are they so much cuter now then when I had Parker? Anyways. I found this really adorable outfit for her, and then I found this little orange and white romper. I am really into bright colors so this bright orange and white romper drew my attention right away. I kept looking at it and looking at it just wondering who I could buy it for. I ended up putting it back for someone else to buy for their little girl or as a gift. I was about halfway home, and I couldn't stop thinking about that outfit..It is something I would have bought for Aubree, and I just couldn't stop picturing her in it. I sobbed the rest of the way home because I couldn't get that picture out of my head. I would have loved to have bought that for her, and I would have. I even thought about buying it to dress her in digging her up and dressing her in it..the problem would have been that it would have been giant on her. I hate when those sick ideas pop into my head. It just makes me remember that she is dead, and I can't dress her in anything anymore. I can just picture her in it though just smiling at me staying nice and cool in this warm weather. Today is just another "rainy" day I guess..I am just really missing her today for some reason.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tree #3

We planted tree #3 last night, and I am really excited about this tree. It is called a Limelight Hydrangea Tree. It goes from white flowers, to a bright green color, and then finally to pink in the fall. It blooms that long! I will be able to see the beauty of the tree for the whole summer! That is really exciting to me because every time I look at the tree I think of her and of how beautiful she was. This tree was a gift from a wonderful woman that I am so glad to have in our lives. She is one of those women who truly cares about you, and she would be there for you when you called. So thanks to Sharon for this wonderful gift!

When I met with my therapist yesterday she asked me a very interesting question..she wanted to know where I thought Aubree was right now. I of course answered immediately that she is in Heaven and that God is holding her since we have no one else there to take care of her. She then went on to ask me if I thought she might come back to me in some way in another body. I said no, but I have been thinking that maybe just a portion of her would come back to me in some way or another. I do believe she is everywhere..she is in the air around me, she is still teaching others, and she is still very real to me. I had a friend from high school write me a message on Facebook because she thought it was such an interesting story..Her little girl who is not quite two just yet is apparently delayed in her speech. My friend was looking at pictures of Aubree on the computer because she was looking for a good cause for the youth at her church to donate money to after a summer of raising money for that organization. She thought of my family and the organizations we are supporting. Her little girl came over and sat on her lap and as plain as day said, "Angel." Her mom was shocked because she has never said this word before and they had been just getting her to try to say "baby." She IS an angel, and if one little girl can see her then I'm sure we are all seeing her in one way or another... I am so glad she shared that story with comforts me even more to know she is reaching out to others in some small way..What a beautiful little girl..

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