Ella slideshow

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Introducing Eli

     Ella is now the big sister to her brother, Elijah.  Eli was scheduled to be born by repeat c-section on November 29th.  But he was too excited to wait.  I went in for an ultrasound and nst last friday.  I was getting them twice a week because of the gestational diabetes.  Eli had been having a high heart rate during the nst's for weeks.  But his baseline was okay and he was usually really active.  I had been to labor and delivey twice for monitoring because of his heart rate.  But it would always come back down and they would send me home.  Friday his heart rate was extremely high, going up to 220.  It was staying up even though he wasn't as active as usual during the test.  My doctor told me it was time to get him out to go straight to L&D.  So I rushed to L&D, scared to death that something was seriuosly wrong.  Three hours after my appt was scheduled that morning, Eli was born at 12:15 on 11/11/11.  He came out screaming and screamed the whole time they worked with him.  It was the biggest relief and the most amazing sound.  I was sobbing and laughing at the same time.  Eli had no problems with his heart rate after he was born and no problems breathing even though he was a few weeks early.  He weighed 6lbs 9oz and was 20 and a quarter inches long.  He looks like his daddy and his big sister.  The first time they showed him to me I couldn't believe how much he looked like Ella when they handed her to me.  Up until the moment we were able to put him in his carseat and take him home, I still had a hard time believing this was real and he was going home with us.  The last week has been crazy.  Taking care of a newborn has rocked our world!  I never imagined a little baby could keep you so busy.  But we are so thankful for each feeding, wet and dirty diaper and cry.  Everyone keeps telling me that this stage will pass soon.  And even though we are so tired, I don't want it to pass soon.  Eli is such a sweet baby.  He is very laid back for the most part- he gets that from his daddy.  We stare at him all the time and still can't believe he is here.  The only thing that could make us happier would be if his big sister were here too. 

I love you Ella and Eli!

Here he is!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall again

     It is fall again.  This was always one of my most favorite times of the year.  But now, when the air changes to cooler and wind starts blowing, my mood seems to change some too.  The new crisp air and the cloudy days bring me straight back to fall two years ago, and make me think so much of Ella.  That was the time when life changed forever and we went from so excited to devastated in an instant.  It boggles my mind that was almost two years ago. The last two days have been the cloudy cool days- the same exact way I remember the weather the day we found out about the anencephaly.  I guess those feelings will always come back with the change of the season.
      Today was my growth ultrasound.  I love seeing Eli again, but I still have some anxiety everytime we go in for an ultrasound.  I found out about a month ago that I have gestational diabetes and have since started insulin.  We were worried that he may be too big, but he is actually measuring on the smaller side.  He is now 3lbs 15oz.  He has hair:)  He gave us a smile.  I think he knew that we needed to see that today.  It melted my heart.  We scheduled the c-section today.  I can't believe if all goes as planned, we will meet our little man in seven weeks.

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much.

I love you Eli!  Can't wait to meet you.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

An emotional week

I haven't posted much lately.  I am just in a place where it is hard to put into words how I am feeling.  This week has been an emotional one for me.  Wednesday was the due date of the baby we miscarried in December.  It was a strange day, full of mixed emotions.  Of course, I still grieve the baby we lost and love that little one.  I know that I will see him or her one day, just like I will be reunited with Ella.  At the same time, I know that if everything had gone fine with that pregnancy I wouldn't be carrying Eli right now.  I had a terrible nightmare tuesday night about a tornado chasing me and my baby.  It was the kind of nightmare that you wake up sweating with your heart pounding.  I think that started my day off weird.  I thought I would be okay, but I was really emotional and cried in front of a lady at work for the first time in awhile.  Since I am obviously showing now, I often get the question "is this your first?"  I have gotten strong enough to answer that question truthfully without having a breakdown now.  I usually just say no....and hope the conversation ends there.  But it almost always turns into how old is your other child?  Is is a boy or girl? ect.  That is what happened wednesday.  When I told the lady no, it is not my first.  She went on with the questions and I had to tell her that I have a daughter who passed away.  I held it together until she told me that was a pain she couldn't imagine and that no baby would ever replace her.  I know that of course, but I just started crying.

I wish I could have all of my babies. We are so excited to be preparing for Eli.  But it is always in the front of your mind.  It is hard undoing what we did for Ella or doing things that we were never able to do for her.  Like repainting the nursery we painted for Ella before we found out, or packing all of her clothes into her chest to make room for all of his things.   He is going to be a well dressed little man.  Between us, my mom, my sister, and Jon's mom...he has a closet full already.   And to end on a positive note, I am to the fun point in my pregnancy.  Eli is very active and I feel him moving around all the time.   I couldn't sleep the other night, so I got up and drank some apple juice.  Well at about 3:00 am, he became the karate kid and was moving like crazy:)  Jon has felt him move three times this week.  He loves it too.   It is so bittersweet at times.

I love you Ella!

Monday, July 11, 2011


      We went on our summer vacation last week.  We spent the week at Mexico Beach, Fl. with Jon's family.  It was just what we needed.  It felt so good to relax, especially after the good news we received earlier in the week (the good ultra sound results).  I enjoyed it so much more than last year.  I can still remember how miserable I was at that point.  It was around six weeks after we lost Ella.  I thought getting away would help some, but it really didn't.
      Vacation was great this year.  But I still miss her so much.  I don't think I will ever go on a vacation or enjoy things with family and not think that someone is missing.  There were families all around us again with their little girls.  That always gets me.  I guess it always will.  The second I see a Dad and a little girl, I think I wish I could see Jon with Ella playing on the beach, and the same with mom's and their baby girls. I will never not think about Ella at those times.  Oh, and once again we saw a dragonfly on the beach almost everyday. 

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

An update

     We had our big ultrasound yesterday.  I have to say that I was so nervous that I was sick before my appointment.  Being at the same point in the my pregnancy when I was told we wouldn't get to keep Ella was so difficult.  But, I am so happy to report that our baby boy looks wonderful!  I think he was asleep when we started the ultrasound.  But he woke up a few minutes into the scan and was moving like crazy.  I am already feeling a little movement almost daily, which I love.  He had his little feet crossed like he was sitting indian style...too cute:)  We saw a beautiful skull, his spine, a four chambered heart, a stomach, a bladder, and two kidneys.  And he is still a boy.  He is in the 62% growth wise and weighs in at 7oz.  My doctor said everything looks great and he is right where he should be.  I did have the blood work to tests my risks for spina bifida and down's syndrome and they told me those results won't be back for a few days.  But the scan looked good.  It felt like a million pounds was lifted off of my shoulders after we heard that.  Praise be to God!  I want to thank all of you who had been praying for our baby.  Jon and I have decided on a name for our baby boy.  It is Elijah Harley.  I know I have already posted his picture, but I had to add an updated one.

I know that Ella is looking out for her baby brother.  I love you Ella! I miss you so much.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Little Brother

Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. We had our ultrasound today.  It was too early to see all the kidneys and get a good look at the other organs.  I was so hoping to hear that everything looked great.  We are scheduled for a repeat ultrasound in 2 weeks.  But we did find out that Ella will be the big sister to a little brother!  He wasn't shy at all about showing us that.  I guess a mother's intuition is usually right.  I knew Ella was a girl from the beginning and I had a feeling that this little man was a boy.  Please continue to pray that everything looks good in two weeks.  Here is our little man....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prayer Request

     I am asking for prayers again.  Tuesday I am scheduled for the anatomy scan.  I will only be 15 weeks 2 days, but my doctor said we can do it early and hopefully relieve some anxiety.  It may be too early to see everything, but he said if it is we will repeat the scan in a couple of weeks.  We have already had a lot of ultrasounds, since my baby decides to hide from the doctor every time he tries to get a heart rate on doppler.  And so far the baby has looked great.  My doctor has already told me that the baby has developed a skull, so anencephaly can be ruled out.  That was such a huge huge relief.  But, being part of a community of women who have lost their babies has made me very aware of all of the other things that can be life threatening. 
      It is hard not to go through this pregnancy and not think about how it was when I was this far along with Ella.  We couldn't wait for the anatomy scan, so that we could find out if we were having a boy or girl.  There was always worry in the back of my mind, even with Ella.  I always had this nagging feeling that we would find out something was wrong.   
     This time we are excited to find out the sex, but of course that is the least of our worries. Please keep us and our baby in your prayers.  I really feel positive right now, but I do have moments when the scary thoughts creep in.

I love you Ella!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A sweet story

I am resposting a story I read on a friend's blog.  It brought tears to my eyes and made me think of Ella so much- I had to share.

                                     The Brave Little Soul

Not long ago in heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however, the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked, "Why do bad things happen, why is there suffering in the world?"

God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people's hearts."

The little soul was confused. "What do you mean?, he asked.

God replied, "Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences, and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone." The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, "The suffering soul unlocks the love in people's hearts much like the sun and rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their hearts, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine free, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this, it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer, to unlock this love, to create this miracle, for the good of all humanity."

Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could not hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, and bounding up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, "I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into this world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people's hearts! I want to create that miracle!"

God smiled and said, "You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave, you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond others. They have already chosen a name for you."

God and the brave little soul shared a smile, and then embraced. In parting, God said, "Do not forget little soul, that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed.

Thus at that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God's strength he unlocked the goodness and love in people's hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy, found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, some regained faith, many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives were changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle happened. God was pleased.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Ella

     Happy Birthday my sweet baby girl!  I can't believe it has been a whole year since I held you in my arms.  Although at times it feels like an eternity.  It has been way too long.  I have been thinking about you all day and the things that we were doing with you this time last year.  About this time last year, you were about to eat for the first time.  I wish I could relive those moments with you.  I wish I could hold you.  I wish I could kiss your sweet lips and touch your soft skin.  I remember your sweet baby smell so well, and I promise I even smelled it again one time today. 
     Daddy and I decided not to have a party or a cake.  It just didn't feel right to us without you here.  But everyone brought you presents.  Leaving them and the cemetary today felt so wrong...even though I know you aren't really there.  I know you are having a better birthday in Heaven than we could ever give you here.
     I just want you to know that you made me the proudest mommy ever.  I miss you and love you more than I could ever say.

Love you,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My first Mother's Day without her

     Last Mother's Day was my last full day with Ella safe inside.  We were past our due date, it was the thursday before.  I am so thankful I went past my due date and got to spend one mother's day with her with me.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  We went to church that morning, I definitley wanted to be in church that day.  Mother's Day is the day that they do baby dedication at my church.  I remember bawling my eyes out as we watched the families dedicate their babies, knowing that I wouldn't get to do that with Ella was heartbreaking.  It still is.  I didn't go to church today, because I knew I wouldn't be able to hold it together through that.  Then we visited with family.  Then we went home.  We got everything together and tried to get some rest-that didn't happen.  I got admitted to the hospital that night at midnight for my c-section the next morning.  She was born at 8:11 the next morning.  Holding her in my arms was the best Mother's Day present I could ever ask for.
     I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband.  Last year for Mother's Day, Jon gave me an emerald ring; Ella's birthstone.  This year he surprised me with the most thoughtful gift.  He had Ella's blog made into a book.  It is emerald green. He has pages of her pictures in there.  I think it is the most thoughtful gift I have ever recieved.  I will keep and cherish it forever.
     I haven't announced it to everyone yet, but I am 10 weeks pregnant today.  We have had three ultrasounds, and so far the baby is doing great.  Of course it is too early to check for neural tube defects or anything.  Please keep us and our baby in your prayers.
     So, today is so bittersweet.  I am so thankful and happy for this baby.  But I miss my daughter so much. 

I love you Ella!  I am so proud you made me a mommy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

less than two weeks

Two weeks from yesterday will be Ella's birthday.  It really hit me yesterday that it is right around the corner.  I can't believe that this day is approaching so quickly.  I am already struggling with it and it isn't even here.  I am so torn about what I want to do for Ella's birthday.  I want to celebrate her life, but I don't know how I want to do that.  It will be such a bittersweet day.  I just don't think I can have a cake or anything that would be like a party.  I just think it will be too hard for us.  Because I know all I will be able to think about is how bad I wish she were here for her birthday party. Why does every decision have to be so hard?

I can't believe it has been a year since we were preparing to meet our sweet baby girl.

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ella's Easter Basket

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Waves of Grief

     I know that people always use the phrase "grief comes in waves."  That is exactly what it is like.  I feel like it comes over me like a tidal wave.  I feel like my grief has been pretty constant, but there are times when it hits you and washes over you and you feel covered by it.  I have experienced quite a few of those tidal waves lately.
    I have been out of town at a work conference for a few days.  I went three days being away from Jon, away from my family, away from home.  It was the first time I have spent the night away from Jon since Ella was born.  I was dreading being apart that long.  But, the trip went well.  We had a good time.  I held myself together the whole three days.  Three days without crying is a long stretch for me still. 
    Even though I enjoyed the trip with my coworkers, I was so ready to be home.  So, yesterday I came home.  I was happy to be back home with Jon and with Max and Millie.  They were so excited to see me and I was so excited to see them.  But, within an hour of being home I was hit by the tidal wave.  I was overwhelmed by sadness, and missing Ella, and how much I wish life were different.  

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Always on my mind

      Ella has been on my mind so much lately.  She is on my mind everyday, but the last few weeks have been intense.  I think it may be the time of year again.  Spring is coming, and it is getting sunny and warm.  I think the change in the air triggers all the memories and feelings I was having this time last year.  Last year at this time, I was big and pregnant, and Ella was so busy and safe inside my belly.  I loved that part of my pregnancy.  When I could feel her move all day and even see it because she would move so much a tidal wave would flow across my tummy.  I loved that Jon could see and feel her moving too.  I remember going in for a doctor's appt around this time.  My doctor put the doppler on my stomach to try to get her heartbeat.  Ella started moving like crazy.  I think she was kicking and punching the doppler.  He smiled and said "she is really active."  I think she surprised him that day. She surprised a lot of people. We got to see her beautiful little face and watch her move around on 3D ultrasound around this time last year.  We got to watch her suck her toes and fingers and purse her sweet lips. I wish I could relive those moments again.
     Don't get me wrong, it was a very hard time in my life.  For a  few months after we found out that Ella had anencephaly, I tried not to think about what was coming.  I just felt like I couldn't deal with it, and I would tell myself I had along time before I would have give birth and have to face everything. But once I was in the 30 week area, I knew I was running out of time.  And it was so hard.
      But we decided we were going to prepare like she was coming home with us from the hospital and hope and pray that she would.   We bought her clothes and tons of sweet little hats.  We already had a stroller and car seat that we had bought a couple of weeks before we found out.  We bought a bassinet.  I don't regret buying any of those things for her, even if we didn't get to use most of them.
     I have been dreaming about Ella a lot lately.  Most of the time, I don't really remember exactly what I dreamed.  I just remember that she was in it.  Last night, I dreamed that she was here with us.  She still had anencephaly, but she was doing great.  She was the age she should be now- around ten months old.  I don't remember much about the dream.  But, I do remember we were going somewhere and I was putting her in her car seat, and putting her stroller in the back of the car.  I just remember feeling so happy and proud in my dream that she was doing good and we were able to have her with us.  I so wish that were true.

I love you Ella!  I miss you so so so much!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Love You

I feel like I am at a loss for words lately.  I find it hard to blog.  Today is Valentine's Day, the day that love is celebrated- what a great holiday.  I am so thankful for the how blessed I am with so many people who I love and who love me.  I have the best family and husband I could ever ask for.  And now, I know a love that is so different.  The love that I have for my daughter.

Happy Valentine's Day Ella!  I love you so much!

Valentine Flowers from Aunt Lorrie

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Time has been such a strange thing the last eight and a half months.  There have been so many moments when it has felt like the world has stopped turning or time has stood still.  Like on May 10 at 8:11 am when Ella was born.  I remember her crying, I remember someone saying she was born at 8:11 (I don't remember who said it), and I remember her doctor bringing her to us.  I remember seeing her beautiful face for the first time, I remember holding her for the first time. But it is almost like I am remembering from an out of body experience-if that makes since.  It was just like the world had stopped turning at that moment.  And it felt like time continued to stand still as we spent the day with our precious baby. I am so thankful for that time and the memories we got to make with Ella.  No amount of time could ever be enough, but I am so thankful for the time that we got to hold her and love her and kiss her.  I am so thankful that she got to meet her grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and feel their love for her too.

Then after Ella passed away it felt like the world was turning, but we were standing still again.  I remember moments when I would look around me and be shocked that people were going on with everyday life.   I remember one moment so vividly.  Jon had gone inside the hospital to get my paperwork to turn into the insurance company so they would approve my fmla time.  It was so sunny out and I was sitting in the car.  I saw a lady jogging by, and it just blew me away for some reason.  I just couldn't understand how the world was still turning even though for me it felt like it wasn't.

Now time is passing so fast.   It seems like it has been a eternity since Ella was here with us.  I don't like that feeling at all.  They say that time heals all wounds-but I don't agree with that.  No amount of time could heal the wound of losing a child.  And no amount of time will erase the memories we have.  When the gap from when we were with Ella on earth widens I have to keep reminding myself that the gap between now and when we see her again is getting smaller.

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much baby girl!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Hold Fast"

Please scroll down and pause playlist before viewing

Have you ever heard a song and known that it was exactly what you needed to hear at that moment?  That happened to me yesterday.  The song is called "hold fast" by Mercy Me. I don't know if it is a new song, but yesterday was the first time I have ever heard it. I felt like I should share it.  I know one of the feelings I have felt so often lately is hopeless.   I guess that feeling is just part of grief.  But, I know that the truth is that there is always hope in God.

To everyone who's hurting

To those who've had enough
To all the undeserving
That should cover all of us
Please do not let go
I promise there is hope

Hold fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast

He's come to save the day
What I've learned in my life
One thing greater than my strifeIs His grasp

So hold fast

Will this season ever pass?
Can we stop this ride?
Will we see the sun at last?
Or could this be our lot in life?
Please do not let go
I promise you there's hope

Hold fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast
He's come to save the day

What I've learned in my life
One thing greater than my strife

Is Your grasp
So hold fast

You may think you're all alone
And there's no way that anyone could know
What you're going through
But if you only hear one thing
Just understand that we are all the same
Searching for the truth
The truth of what we're soon to face
Unless someone comes to take our place
Is there anyone?
All we want is to be free
Free from our captivity, Lord
Here He comes

Hold fast
Help is on the way
Hold fast
He's come to save the day

What I've learned in my life
One thing greater than my strife
Is Your grasp
So hold fast

I love you Ella!