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Ella slideshow

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

So, today is Memorial Day. Today Ella would also be three weeks old if she were still here with us. I can't believe it has been 3 weeks. It is so strange, sometimes I think about her birthday and it feels like moments ago. Other times, that day seems like forever ago. I was just looking through her pictures and remembering that day. I am so scared that I will forget things or details as time goes on-and I NEVER want to forget. I want to always remember her perfect big hands and feet. I always want to remember the sweetest softest skin ever. I love remembering her precious big lips. I know I have talked about her lips over and over, but I love them so much! I remember Joel (my brother-in-law) saying her lips looked like Agelina Jolie's when he first saw her in the hospital. I will always remember those long legs and chubby little thighs. I will always remember the sweetest sound she made after her first feeding, and when she squeezed my finger with her little hand after that feeding. I will always remember her first wet diaper that her Daddy asked to change (and how he didn't know what to do). We changed it together. I will always remember the fine brown hair around the back of her head and her cute little sideburns (she got those from me). I guess I shouldn't worry about forgetting the details...forgetting Ella will never happen.
I am going to my cousins this afternoon. We are going to have a bbq for Memeorial Day. I wish that Ella was here and she was going with us today more than anything, but she will be there in our memories and in our hearts!

Remembrance is a golden chain
Death tries to break,
But all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
Is the greatest sorrow of ones's heart.
The years may wipe out many things
But some they wipe out never.
Like memories of those happy times
When we were all together.
~author unknown

I love You Ella, I miss you so much!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things I am thankful for

Going through all that I have experienced in this past year has made me realize how precious life is and how many things I have to be thankful for. It is really easy for me to get caught up in how much pain I have had to deal with, and how much I have lost. I am trying to think positive, and I want to list all of the things that I am thankful for.

1. I am so thankful that God chose me to be Ella's mom. Even though this has been so hard, I wouldn't go back and undo it if I could. I am so glad that I was the one who got to carry her and hold her. She changed me forever, and I am so proud to be her mommy.

2. I am so thankful that we got 20 hours with her after she was born. I wish that we had a lifetime with her, but I am thankful for the time that we got. There are so many parents of babies with anencephaly that haven't gotten any time with their angels. I thank God for the most precious 20 hours of my life.

3. I am so thankful that I have the best husband in the world. I can't imagine my life without him. He has been so supportive and has been my rock. He is my best friend. He is also the best Daddy ever.

4. I am so thankful for my wonderful family. I have the most supportive mom and sister ever. They have always been there for me. I don't know what I would do without them. They mean the world to me. I also have a great extended family who I love and appreciate so much. I feel like I should list them too (Joel, Joel Michael, Mrs. Nancy, Mr. Buddy, Candy (my cousin who is like another sister to me), Jeff, Parker, Payton, Michelle, Bryan, Tyler, and Travis). I love all of them, and appreciate everything they have done.

5. I am thankful for everyone who was involved in Ella's delivery and our time at the hospital. They helped us make the most of our time with her at the hospital. I am so thankful for Ella's doctor, who is the best and stayed at the hospital the day she was born. I am thankful for my doctor, who helped me make the decision to have a c-section, which I know gave me more time with her. And I am thankful that my doctors never tried to convince me to terminate my pregnancy. I am thankful for the wonderful nurses that took care of Ella and of me.

6. I am thankful for our church family. They have been so supportive and so many people have been praying for us.

7. I am thankful for the great people Jon and I work with. I am greatful that Jon has been able to stay home with me the last couple of weeks because of them.

8. I am thankful for my furbabies (Max, Millie, and Lucky-my 2 dogs and my cat). They love to kiss me and snuggle. They make me laugh when I am sad. (Well, the dogs do...the cat still ignores me as usual).

There are so many other things and people that I am thankful for but I will end there for now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another week has gone by

Another week has gone by since my angel was born. This week has been a long one. It seems like pregnant women are always talking about how they feel like time goes so slow when they are pregant. How they feel like their due date will never come. I remember feeling like that right after we got the diagnosis of anencephaly at 17 weeks. I didn't know how I would make through the next 5 to six months being pregnant and knowing that my baby would die. I was ready for it to be over. But that feeling only lasted a couple of weeks. Then, Ella started moving all around...and I could feel her. It was the most awesome feeling and everything changed. I loved carrying her and feeling like she was happy in my womb. That is when I started wishing I could just stay pregnant, and keep her with me. After I wanted it to slow down, time started to fly. I still can't believe it is all over. I can't beleive that I have already had Ella, and she has already gone to Heaven. Sometimes it feels like the last couple of weeks have been a dream. Now, time is creeping by again. But I know that it isn't really over. I know that I am still Ella's mommy and I will see her again some day.
On a very good note, my husband was baptized yesterday. He has been a Christian for a little over a year, but had never been baptized or joined the church. Going through all of this with Ella has brought us closer together, and closer to God. So, he decided to join the church and get baptized. I know that Ella had something to do with this...and that she is so proud of her Daddy!

I love you and miss you Ella!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

God is still using Ella

Ella has touched so many lives since she was born. Sometimes I have a hard time believing how many people she touched. I had a message from a lady at our church yesterday. She had heard about us and about Ella. She wanted me to call her back. I called her back earlier tonight. Our church is pretty big, and I don't know a lot of people there. This nice lady (Melanie), said that she and her husband(Stewart) had been praying for us. She said that they would like to make a donation to the Gideon's in memory of Ella. I told her I thought it was the most perfect thing I could think of. Bibles will be passed out that were purchased in memory of Ella. How great if someone became a Christian because of a bible that was passed out in Ella's memory.

Thank you Melanie and Stewart!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Having a bad day

I don't want to make Ella's blog sad and depressing. But, today that is how I feel. The preacher told us it is okay to mourn and that even Jesus mourned and felt grief. He said that at Ella's funeral. He said the shortest verse in the bible reads "Jesus wept."
I knew that dealing with losing her would be hard. But, I thought that knowing that we were going to have to let her go for 6 months would make it easier...I guess that we would be prepared. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don't think you can prepare for this.
I would be lying if I said I was at peace with everything during most of my pregnancy. I enjoyed being pregnant with Ella, but I struggled with everything a lot. I felt angry a lot. I don't feel anger anymore. I just feel sad. When Ella was born, the anger went away. I know that God has a plan and that does give me peace. But I still miss her really bad. I will never understand why this had to happen. I guess I am not supposed to understand. Sometimes, I can't help but sit around thinking of how I wish things were. I wish I was so tired from being up all night with her. I wish Jon and I were arguing over who's turn it was to change a dirty diaper. I wish I could dress her up in the closet full of cute clothes that she has. I wish I could smell that sweet baby smell again. I wish she could sleep in her bassinette. I can't help but wish these things.
Anyway, I promise that my posts won't be sad every time. I just feel sad today.

I love you Ella!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I miss you, Ella

I miss her SO much. I have my ups and downs. I have moments to hours when I feel okay. I know that this is God's comfort. Then I have hours when I feel really sad. But, there is one feeling that is always there. I always miss her. It is always the worst when I first wake up in the morning. I always feel empty, like there is a hole in my chest. I miss waking up to her hiccups or wiggling all around after I drank orange juice. I miss my big belly too. We just sat outside and Jon hit the ball to our dog, Millie, like we have done so much in the past few months. We talked about how we missed her being there with us. She was never at home outside of my body...but she was still here with us. We didn't just get 20 hours with her. We got 40 weeks and four days with her.

I just miss her.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A week ago

Our lives were changed forever one week ago. It all started Sunday at midnight. My husband, Jon, and I went in to the hospital to be admitted for a c-section that was scheduled for Monday morning. The last six months had been so stressful and filled with anxiety. I had thought about how I would feel when the time came so many times. I thought I would be so overwhelmed with fear and anxiety that I wouldn't be able to function, but I had prayed that God would give me peace. I was oddly calm as I got admitted and prepped for surgery. We had a night full of IV's, cathether placement, admission questions,etc. It almost bothered me that I wasn't more nervous at the time, beacause it was so unexpected. My husband, on the other hand, said that his legs were shaking the entire time they were prepping me. He is usually really calm. Neither of us slept much that night. I lay in bed thinking that it would be my last night with Ella inside my tummy. That made me really sad.
Our family came to our room about 6:30 on Monday morning to see us before we left for surgery. At around 7:30, the nurses came to take me to labor and delivery. That is when it hit me. I couldn't stop crying as they rolled my bed down the hall. I was so scared that these were my last few minutes with Ella. I was so scared I wouldn't ever hold her alive.
The ceserean was a blurr. I was so overwhelmed and scared that I just remember bits and pieces. At 8:11a.m. on May 10th, 2010, Ella was born. She came out with a strong cry-it was the most amazing sound ever. I remember thinking that maybe the doctors had been wrong. I had prayed that she would be born healthy and be a miracle...but I had also prayed that God's will be done. The crying stopped and we didn't hear or see anything for minutes. It was so quiet and scarey. I kept asking Jon if he could see her?, did she have it?, was she ok? He kept saying he couldn't see anything. Then, after what seemed like forever, her doctor brought her to us. She was anencephalic, but she was so beautiful. We held her while they finished sewing me up. I still feel guilty about those first few minutes. It was such a blurr that I don't feel like I loved on her enough when they brought her to me...I feel like I was out of it. I don't remember everything that happened in those first minutes and I don't know why. I wish I could do that part again. I would kiss her and tell her over and over how much I loved her.
After I was finished with surgery, they pushed us to another L&D room and allowed our family to come meet her. We had the best doctors and nurses we could ask for. I had told her pediatrician we didn't want her to go to the nursery. We didn't know how much time we would have with her, and we didn't want to miss a minute. So, the nursery nurse was in our room with us. Her two grandmothers, her grandadddy, and her two aunts were there to meet her. Her cousin, Candy, came in shortly after. Everyone loved on her and held her. I remember this part. She was So beautifiul. She had the softest skin I have ever felt. She had the most beautiful pouty lips that begged to be kissed. I love those sweet lips. Everyone said she looked like me (my lips and nose). I have never been prouder. But she had her Daddy's big feet. She weighed 5lbs 9.4 oz and was 19 inches long. She had long legs. Her doctor said she was 3 lbs of legs. After we all held her and studied her, the nurse warmed her up. Then her Daddy helped bathe her and lotion her up. I have never been so in love with my husband as I am after watching him with Ella. He was the best dad ever. After her bath, he proudly brought her and showed her to me. She looked so happy and peaceful. She was so pink. Her nurse dressed her up in the clothes and hat that we brought for her. Then they wrapped her in her soft pink blanket and gave her back to me. They rolled me back to post partum with Ella in my arms. I remember rolling down that same hallway that I had been terrified in an hour or so earlier and feeling so much peace and happiness because she was in my arms.
After a few minutes in our room, everything changed. Ella started having a hard time breathing and started getting blue. We put blowby oxygen up to her face. We weren't ready to say goodbye yet. Her doctor went and got our family and told them it was time. Everyone came in crying. I held her in my arms and cried and prayed. This was the hardest part of all. She struggled for about two hours. I couldn't stand seeing her like that. I even remember praying that if it was her time to go, for God to take her. I also prayed that she would know how much we all loved her. It wasn't her time to go. After about two hours, Ella just got better. She was pink and warm again. I know that this was our miracle. Everyone realized how precious each minute was with her. We spent the rest of the day kissing her and cuddling her. She even got to eat 3 times that day. She had a cleft palate. She couldn't suck a bottle. The nurse finger fed her with a syringe while she sucked on her finger. She enjoyed that feeding so much. She even laughed and made the sweetest sounds after she ate.
Our family stayed until around 10:30 that night. Then Jon and I had alone time with Ella. I loved this time. I thought about what it would be like if we got to take her home. I was still hopeful that we may get to take her home. She seemed to be doing so much better. We were going to take turns staying up with her that night, but we had both been up going on 48 hours on top of me going through a major surgery. Not to mention the emotional rollerscoaster we had been on. I told Jon to sleep first and I would stay up with her. After about an hour I started to nod off. I didn't want anything to happen if I dropped her oxygen or something...and we refused to put her in the bassinette. So, my mom came up to hold her for an hour or so. I tried to sleep, but I was so worried about her. I did sleep for a few minutes. Then the nurse came to feed her again. I held her. She cried again like when she was born, and then she stopped breathing again. This time, it only lasted a few minutes and she was gone. It was so unexpected. I thought she was doing so good, even though I knew it was going to happen eventually. I wish I had known. I would have held and cuddled her that last hour. This is the other thing I still feel so guilty about. We got a total of twenty hours with her. I am so thankful for the hours that we got. They were the hardest, but most amazing hours of our lives. I would give anything to go back in time and relive those hours again. I would give anything to hold her again.
It is hard to believe that all of this has happened in the last week. We had a funeral for her on Thursday. It was the perfect service for her. I feel like all I can do now is think about my Ella. Looking at her pictures and remembering her gives me such joy. I thank God for my little angel. She touched so many hearts in her short time here. That is why her name is so fitting. She was surely "a bright light."