Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I have several random thoughts in my mind that I've wanted to blog about, but I haven't found the time yet to sit down and think them out well enough to write about them. However, I did want to give a huge thank you to everyone who voted for me in the makeover contest. While I was not the grand prize winner, I still get some pretty awesome stuff. Next week is my birthday and I'm counting my winnings as part of my birthday celebration! I'm super excited for everything that I won.

I get:

I am so grateful that I got to be a part of this contest. Thank you to everyone who nominated me and to those who voted for me! Also thank you to those who voted for the other contestants as well. Those were some amazing women who also could use some major pick-me-ups. I'm glad we all get to be spoiled! And of course, thanks to TAMN at seriouslysoblessed and the sponsors who donated their stuff.

Okay, basically thanks all around. People really do make me feel so loved and cared about and it is just an amazing thing. From the hugs, to the cards, to the messages, to the goodies and dinners, to the gifts, to the prayers, to everything else. Thank you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Now?

I feel a little directionless right now. Actually, to more accurately describe it I guess I should say that I'm confused as to which direction to take.

I am a young, stay-at-home mother of young children who has just had this life-changing experience by carrying and then holding one of Heavenly Father's choicest children.

And yet, here I sit, a young, stay-at-home mother of young children, doing the exact same things I did before Emma entered our lives. I feel like life should be different. More than that, I think I want life to be different. But I just don't know. Where do I go from here?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I've been feeling extremely grateful lately. Here are some of the things I'm thankful for:
  • an occasionally cramping and sore body - because it means my body is healing
  • drawings on many surfaces in our house - because I have children who are developing
  • a sink full of dishes - because I have food to eat and to feed my family with
  • a tired husband - because it means he got up early with the boys and let me sleep in
  • a flabby stomach - because I am able to bear children
  • endless loads of laundry - because we have clothes to wear
  • falling behind in the makeover contest - because an amazing woman is going to get a much needed pick-me-up
  • hurtful comments - because I live in a country where people are free to express themselves
  • a high heating bill - because we have stayed warm this winter
  • painful trials - because they help me to grow stronger
  • my exhausted body - because I get to stay home and play with my children
  • depleted funds - because it means my husband is getting a good education
  • sore knees - because I have been in prayer with my Father in Heaven
  • a dirty home - because I have children
  • a busy husband - because he is serving the Lord and working hard in school
  • snotty noses - because my children have healthy immune systems fighting off colds
  • awkwardness - because I have people who love me and care about me and want to help

There is so much more that I am grateful for. While the trials have been hard, the blessings have been much greater. I know without a doubt that our Father in Heaven is mindful of us and watching over our family at this time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Little Things

There are a few little things about Emma that I hope I don't ever forget.

1. Her long and slender feet, toes, and fingers. I was amazed at how long and skinny they were. They were so beautiful too.

2. Her hair. Both of our boys were born with heads full of thick, dark hair. I joked how I would one day have a girl that was completely bald. When we found out about Emma's diagnosis, I realized that my joke might actually be true. However, Emma's anomaly was really only on the top part of her head. On the back of her head there was plenty of hair and she had a few little wisps around the top of her head.

3. Her beauty. Others who have gone through similar experiences will tell you how beautiful your child will be to you, but it really is hard to believe until you're in that moment. Emma had the potential to look really weird, yet she didn't at all. She was beautiful and perfect, except for a small opening on the top of her head. I loved holding her and just staring at her.

4. Her little bum. This is going to sound funny, but because she was so tiny, her little bum was so adorable! Tim thinks I should add in the fact that she pooped (which I was surprised about). We had her wrapped warmly in a blanket most of the time, but even through the blanket, I could feel where her tiny little bum was. It was so cute.

5. Her final kick. A little after 3:30 in the morning, our nurse came in because the monitor was no longer picking up a heartbeat from Emma. This had happened several times prior to this point, but she had always been able to find something after she moved the monitor around for a while. This time, however, she was unable to pick anything up. She brought in the ultrasound machine and found Emma's heartbeat. She didn't say anything at that point except that she was going to go get the head nurse to take a look. When the head nurse came in, it was obvious to me (I could see the screen they were looking at) that Emma's heart had little left in it. It was still beating, but at less than 20 beats per minute (normal range was 120 to 180). Not too much was said, but it was decided that we would stop monitoring Emma (with the underlying notion that she was very close to her death). That was at 4:00 am. As soon as they turned the machine off, I felt one last kick. Emma was pronounced dead at 4:01 am. I am so grateful for that last little kick of love that she gave me.

My Musings

I have another blog that I've had for a couple of years that is private. Last Thursday I posted the following on that blog. I was nervous at first how my thoughts might come out, but I think I'm okay now posting my thoughts and feelings to the "public." This was written one week after our Emma left us.

"The boys are asleep in bed, Emma is in Heaven, and Tim is at a basketball game. I'm finally taking some time to think and write out various thoughts. I've been writing a lot on Emma's blog lately and not much on this blog. I originally started Emma's blog so that I could keep family and friends updated on what was going on. Also, because of how devastating the diagnosis was, I felt like I needed somewhere else to talk about Emma. I felt guilty at first having anything happy on this blog that might follow any news/thoughts/updates on Emma. I now feel differently, but I already have the other blog for Emma and I know that people beyond my knowledge read that blog, so I don't want to stop doing it. In fact, on January 15th Emma's blog was visited over 800 times. Wow. There is strength in numbers. And yet, despite the numbers, our prayers were not answered the way we desired.

I've thought a lot on that since Emma's passing. I knew I didn't have enough faith. I gave it my all, I really did, but I still felt like I fell short. But I knew that the combined faith of everyone was enough. My amazing young women even got together on their own and were all fasting for Emma and me. So why weren't our prayers answered? Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt. The fact that I didn't get what I wanted is not shaking my faith. I just honestly want to know why we weren't granted the miracle we desired. I know Heavenly Father could have done it. As usual, I don't think this is coming out like I want it to, but oh well.

After Emma died during labor, I had a whirlwind of thoughts. But right now two are coming to my mind. First of all, I thought of everyone who had been praying and fasting for us. And I thought of all those people who's prayers were not being answered the way they desired. Second, I thought about the fact that her dying inside of me just made this trial ten times harder. At least in my opinion. But maybe Heavenly Father knows me better than I do. Maybe I wouldn't have been able to watch my child die with my own eyes. Who knows. But I've wondered why things had to get harder.

And now my random musings move on. My labor with Emma was miserable. I was in labor for 24 hours and it hurt pretty soon after the start. I was given cytotech to ripen my cervix. Apparently (I didn't know this until in the moment), cytotech can cause constant cramping as it ripens your cervix. And cause it did. And the biggest pain was that there was no relief to it. As soon as Emma passed, I wanted out of that hospital. I was done being miserable, I was done hurting and I just wanted to go home and be with Tim, Peter, Benjamin, and Emma (still inside of me). Unfortunately, it wouldn't have worked out that way. Emma passed away 11 hours in to the labor and so I still had 13 hours to go after she passed. Several times I had feelings of "what's the point?" It was hard both physically and emotionally.

Spiritually? This really hasn't been that much of a struggle for me spiritually. I know this is Heavenly Father's plan. I know that this will make me stronger (yet I think that will take some time to actually come true). I know that families are forever. I know that I have a Savior there for me. And really, as much as I wanted our miracle to be a living and breathing Emma, I know that the miracle is the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the opportunity to be sealed to our families forever.

Tim is amazing. He's not perfect and I'm even further away from perfection than he is, but he's perfect for me and I'm so glad that I've not been alone through this trial. I'm grateful that we've gone through this together. He is wonderful.

And my final musing for the evening? This has been the hardest thing I have gone through in my life thus far and I pray that others don't have to go through similar trials. Yet, I wouldn't change it for the world. Emma has become such a part of me and our family and she has taught me so much and I have learned and grown so much from her and everything else. I love her."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Talk About a Pick Me Up

I've been chosen as a finalist for a complete makeover (hair, makeup, clothes, photo shoot, and a few more things). If you go to, you can see me and the five other finalists. I would like to ask for your votes, but I feel almost guilty doing so because I think the five other women deserve it just as much if not more so.

So if you can stand to not read the other entries, then vote for me please! If you can't resist and you read the other entries, I'm still asking for your vote, but I'll understand if you vote for someone else because those are some amazing women who could also use a good pick-me-up.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day One

I called today day one because it was the first day that I had to be on my own. All of our family that had traveled here for Emma's birth and funeral left at some point yesterday. We loved having them here and were so grateful that they all came, but we were also ready for the peace and quiet in our home to be back (okay, as much peace and quiet as you can get with two little boys running around). However, the hardest part for me was the fact that Tim had to go back as well. Being a student, he was excused from his classes for this, but it still doesn't mean he doesn't have to make up the work. He has to get it all done, so the more he misses, the harder it makes it. And Wednesday is probably his busiest day, so it made sense that he needed to go back.

Since I like to plan ahead, I made sure that I had things to do. I figured I would much rather have my time filled with things and then decide not to do them if I'm not up for them than have nothing to do and sit at home being depressed when I needed to get out. So this morning there was a playgroup that I attended. Things were going great until a mother who I only know a little bit asked me how my pregnancy was going. I didn't even think before I responded, but I said, "It's done. She died last week." And then I started into tears. I felt so bad for the other mother because she felt terrible that she had asked and that I was now crying and what not. I'm hoping that she started to feel less bad after I calmed down. While I know that it's okay for me to cry and be sad, I still don't like doing it in front of other people.

While at playgroup, Tim called to see how I was doing. I was really sad to miss his call, but it meant so much to me that he was checking in on me. I know a lot of people think that they have the most amazing husband and I am definitely one of those. But more than anything, Tim is the perfect husband for me. I missed him so much and couldn't wait until he got home, but I was so glad that he called to check on me.

This evening, I went to a function at our church that was for the women. It was nice to see so many friendly faces there. I did tear up a few times again, but it was also nice to talk to people and to be openly honest with them that I'm having ups and downs physically, mentally, and emotionally. And on that note, I'm glad that I've recognized and am allowing myself to have both the ups and the downs and to be okay with it all. I don't know what the "healthy" way to go is, but for me, I feel like that is working.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In Remembrance of Emma Charity Bishop

We held Emma's memorial service today and it was everything Tim and I could have hoped for and more. We thank all of you that were there and we felt the love of many that weren't able to be there. I know I say this a lot, but the love and support we have received by so many has been such a strength and support to us. Thank you so very much!

There is an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I have a link on the side to their webpage. For anyone who is going through a similar experience, I highly recommend contacting them. They are a group of professional photographers who donate their time and talents to families who have received a poor prenatal diagnosis.

We had the wonderful opportunity to work with a photographer named Julie. She has been amazing to us, despite the own trials she has been facing in her life the past several months. She came and took maternity photos, then came to the hospital to take pictures there, then she worked tirelessly to get us the pictures by Emma's funeral today. She also made a DVD with a song and a slideshow of the pictures she took which we played at the memorial service today. You can see more of her work at The above three pictures were all taken by her. They are priceless and I am so grateful for everything she has done for our family. Thank you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Emma's Memorial Service

We are having a semi-private/semi-public memorial service for Emma. We want to make sure that everyone who would really want to be there will be there, but we don't want to make it a public invite. Unfortunately, we haven't really been able to figure out a good way to go about this.

Therefore, we are planning on having it this Tuesday (January 20th) in the morning. If you are interested in attending, you can email us at and we will give you the information on place and time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Emma Charity Bishop

Emma Charity Bishop was born still at 5:33 pm this evening, Thursday January 15, 2009. She was 3 lbs 2.5 oz and 15 in. She is beautiful.

Tiffany is feeling and doing well. She appreciated her dinner this evening and we have enjoyed holding and seeing Emma.

A short update

We are still in the hospital waiting for labor to proceed far enough for Emma's body to come out. Things are looking good to work out in the next hour or two. Then Tiffany will finally be allowed to eat something after not eating since lunch yesterday.

One More Angel in Heaven

Emma left us this morning. At 3:30 am the nurse noticed the heart rate lower than it should be. She spoke with the doctor and they were going to ease off on the inducing medication. Then at 4:00 she couldn't find the heart beat with the little belly monitor. She brought in the ultrasound machine and found that Emma's heart had slowed to about 40 beats per minute and the beats were only feeble attempts of the muscle to keep going. The pressures of labor were too much for her little heart, and Emma gave one parting kick to her mom.

Tiffany and I are heart-broken but peaceful. There isn't a lot to say, except that we thank our Father in Heaven, who is God of all, for the great blessing it has been to grow up a little with little baby Emma.

We want to thank everyone for their prayers; they are felt. They have not gone unheard or unanswered.

I found a poem the other day, for which I am also thankful, a portion of it I leave here now:

The Earth would be dreary without them,

The world all a desolate waste,

What wonder bright angels about them,

Call home to the Father in haste?

Oh mothers! Your treasures most holy

Which seem not a virtue to lack,

Almost like, “The Lamb” meek and lowly—

What wonder God wishes them back?

What wonder he chooses the purest,

The happiest, dearest, most blest?

In His home all things must be surest—

He wants but the truest and best.

He plans for us Immortal pleasures,

As emblems our babies are giv'n,

He kindly secures us our treasures—

He knows we should want them in heaven.

Oh! The children! Our light and our blessings,

Without them the world would be nought;

Through natures rich chambers and dressings

Would sweetness all vainly be sought:

Our hopes and delights were all riven,

We should know only doubt and despair—

Who would ask for a portion in heaven,

If children were not there?

And this snippet from another poem by the same author:

We can live though bereft of the blessings,

Which seem more than half of our lives;

The babies, the youths and the maidens,

Even parents and husbands and wives;

Our prophets indeed may be taken

And we bow ‘neath the chastening rod,

‘Till the blessed, sweet Comforter cometh—

We can do without all but our God!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In the hospital - by Tim

Tiffany was admitted to the hospital around 5:00 this evening (Thurs). She has been given cytotech to prep things for being induced tomorrow morning. Tonight may not be fun with new doses every three hours, but it seems that things are moving along as hoped. We thank all of you for your continued prayers and thoughts. You mean a great deal to us at this time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

They're Coming!

When my parents first heard of Emma's diagnosis (and we told them soon after we found out), they wanted to be right here with us. Unfortunately, they live a 24 hour drive away. That wasn't possible, and it probably wouldn't have been for the best either. Tim and I needed to cope together. My mom was able to come out a month or so later to just be of help and both of my parents planned on coming out for Emma's birth and funeral.

Unfortunately, my dad (who has had poor health off and on for the last seven or so years) continued to get more sick. To the point where he was hospitalized several times and it was determined that he needed a new liver. He went through all the tests and procedures to qualify and is now on a liver transplant waiting list! Great news! Sadly, it means he can't travel anywhere that is more than 4 hours away from his hospital (24 minus 4 doesn't quite make the cut). We've known for a while that my dad wouldn't be able to make it out here.

My mom has been pretty torn about whether or not she could and should come out. She was originally planning on doing so, but my dad's health continues to deteriorate. Plus, she wants to be there for him when he goes in for his transplant surgery. A while back (before my dad's health got much worse) she bought a ticket to fly out here yesterday. On Sunday she told us that she would not be using that ticket. Then yesterday she and my dad went to the doctor's. While my dad was having a really rough time, they were told that he is dehydrated and that that should help with some of the trouble he is having. They were also told that he is probably a week or two out from being called to get a liver. That was enough positive encouragement for my mom. She quickly started taking up the many wonderful people out there on their offers of help and she bought a plane ticket to fly out today! She won't get here until this evening, but I'm really excited she's coming.

Also, my in-laws are coming to town as well (they live about a 13 hour car drive away (and in the opposite direction as my family)). Tim told me that they were debating between driving up all day Wednesday or splitting the trip into two days and doing part Wednesday and part Thursday. I was really nervous that things would go super well with the prepping and induction and that Emma would be born and pass away before they even got here. I was glad to hear later that they had decided to do the drive all on Wednesday and to get here that evening. Then last night, Tim called them to tell them that my mom was coming after all and they informed him that they were doing part of the drive today (Tuesday) and the other part tomorrow (Wednesday). Meaning they'll get here before I even have to go in to the hospital.

Finally, my sister Erika is flying in on Wednesday late afternoon. The weather is expected to be clear for the next ten days, so no one should have problems due to weather.

I'm so grateful that everyone is coming and that things are working out. I told Tim a couple of weeks ago that one thing I worried about happening to me was not relaxing and enjoying the time with Emma because my anxiety might get in the way of everything being perfect and going the way we want it to and for making sure everyone is pleased. I've been working really hard to do as much prep in advance and then to rid myself of responsibilities once Emma comes so that I really can feel peace and comfort.

I should also add that I have a brother and a sister that live nearby and that Tim also has a brother and sister that live nearby. We're glad that they've been here for us and that they don't have to travel to see Emma!

Monday, January 12, 2009

We've Been Scheduled

I had my last doctor's appointment today before I'm induced. There's good news and not so good news. The good news is that he doesn't think I need a full 24 hours to prep, he thinks 12 hours will suffice. So I don't have to go in until Wednesday evening! The perinatologist told me that I would need 24 hours, so I had been thinking I would need to go in on Wednesday morning, but my OB thinks I'll be fine with going in later. I'm especially grateful because that means that Tim can be there with me! He said he'll decide what they're going to do once I get to the hospital and he checks me. He might do one of three things, only one of which will allow me to go back home before being induced on Thursday. So we'll see what happens.

The not so good news is that my uterus is measuring smaller than it was 2 weeks ago. I didn't even know that was possible. Had we not already been planning on later this week, my OB would have tried to strongly persuade us to induce immediately. I'm 35 weeks and my uterus measured at 26 1/2 cm. Last time I was at 28 cm. As he was measuring, he kept asking me about Emma's movements and I told him that she's definitely still in there and active and as soon as he listened to her heartbeat he was more assured that she's still just hanging out.

I have to add in another note about my doctor. It really lifted my spirits when he was explaining things and he said "we're going to treat this delivery just like any other delivery with a viable baby. The only differences are we won't do an emergency c-section and we'll wait as long as we can to break your water. This baby is just as viable as any other baby." I am so appreciative for my doctor and that he wants to do everything in his power to deliver a live baby. Thank you Dr. G for everything you've done for Emma and I and I pray that angels will attend you as you seek to deliver this baby.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Emma's Prayer Shower

Today was the luncheon for Emma's prayer shower. It was fun to be out with such great people and to feel loved by so many! I'm very grateful to everyone who came and for the gifts I got. They gave me a shadow box to put memories of Emma in, and then a basket full of stuff for Tim and I to use for date nights with plenty of offers for babysitting! I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. The more I think about Emma and the timing of everything, the more I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me. While this has been one of the hardest trials in my life, it's also been one of the times where I've been most supported and uplifted by friends and family around me. You guys are great! Thanks for everything.

A picture of me with the two great girls that organized it all, Jenn and Trine:

A picture of me with my sister Kristen and my sister-in-law Lecia (these two are pregnant with my first nieces on each side!):

Friday, January 9, 2009

Letter to Emma

I started to write a letter to Emma, but I couldn't finish it. It makes my heart ache too much. I am ready and excited to hold her in my arms, yet because I know what her coming out of me means, I am scared and nervous.

I love you Emma.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Look Who's Getting Big!

I'm not going to pretend that I enjoy being pregnant, because for the most part I don't. I enjoy the results of being pregnant - so it's definitely worth it. Things have been a little different with Emma though. I find myself taking more joy in the not so enjoyable things. For example, this past week, Emma gave me my first stretch mark from her! Normally, I would complain. But for Emma, that means that she is growing!!!! Way to go little girl! Here is a picture of Emma and I at 34 weeks (we're looking bigger!).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Prayer Shower

Emma and I get to have a shower still! Some dear and sweet friends of mine said that they wanted to still do something for me to celebrate Emma. So they're going to throw Emma and I a prayer shower.

What is a prayer shower? Whatever you want it to be! We're getting together for lunch and spending good time with each other.

I'm excited and very grateful!