Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scrapbook Albums

Sometime after we found out about Emma's diagnosis, Tim's cousin Jamie sent us a pre-made scrapbook album. It was adorable and I loved it (still do)! In the hospital, we were sent home with another pre-made scrapbook album (by pre-made, I mean all the pages are cute and decorated already and they are just waiting for you to put your pictures in). We filled both of them with pictures right away and were able to display them at Emma's memorial service. Pictured below are both of the albums, the one on the left being from the hospital and the one on the right being from Jamie.

About a month after Emma left us, we met with the sweet ladies from Angel Watch again. Two of them had already seen Emma (one was our nurse when Emma was delivered and the other one came in afterwards and helped us bathe and dress Emma, took pictures, and did molds of her hands and feet). However, the third lady had not seen Emma and asked if we had any pictures. I brought out these two albums for all three of them to look at. They loved looking at the pictures and both the nurse and Carolyn, the lady who had not met Emma, were astonished at how beautiful they were. I told them that Tim's cousin had made one and that Heather had given us the other one (Heather being the one who helped us bathe and dress Emma, etc.). Heather then explained that a mother had donated about 100 of those albums and she was able to give them out to families that lost their babies or young children, but that she was almost out of them.

I decided to contact several scrapbook stores to see if they would donate any supplies so that I might be able to make some more books like these to pass on to other mothers. I didn't think I would get much of a response, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to at least try. Well, a sweet lady from responded to me and told me that she would love to help. She said that she would put a box of things together and send it my way. I received that box yesterday and was completely amazed! There was probably hundreds of dollars worth of stuff in there! Take a look for yourself at the stuff she sent (and I don't think the picture does is justice because you can't see all of the stuff underneath other stuff). There's tons of paper and embellishments.

So now Tim and I are trying to figure out how to best go about this all. The thing we most need now is albums to hold everything in. We've discussed various ways that we could home-make some albums, and we've looked a little online at albums we could purchase. I'm wondering if any of you have any great ideas of what we should do for albums. We like the 8x8 size, but most of the paper is 12x12 so we could do that size as well. Also, we're totally fine with not having everything uniform. If some are 8x8 and some are 12x12 and some are 6x6 and some are 8 1/2x11, we're totally fine with that. But I'm looking for your guys' input on any ideas on the best way to make/purchase albums.

Next thing we're trying to figure out is the process of assembling everything. We talked of offering it to one of the young men at our church who might use it for an eagle project or working with a young woman on it for a value project or discussing it with the Humanitarian Committee, doing it for a mutual (youth group) activity, or just putting something together ourselves and just inviting whoever wants to come and help to do so. Any thoughts? Would any of you be interested in getting together at some time and helping us? Also, if it's something that we put together ourselves and you're interested in joining us, would some time during the day be best or in the evening or on a Saturday? We were thinking that we might just set up some tables in our church's gym so that we can spread everything out and work on it.

As you can see, we're a pretty indecisive couple. So I'm writing this because I'm way excited for this all to take place and because we're trying to figure out the best way to go about it all.

Also, if you're someone who loves to scrapbook, but have switched to mostly digital stuff, we'd love to take any donations of your old stuff that you'd be willing to give. Or if you're interested in contributing in a monetary way to help us purchase albums, that would be more than welcome as well. Or if you know someone who could get us a discount or really anything you can think of. So if you have any thoughts or comments or are interested in participating or helping out in any way, please leave a comment or email me at (or my personal email address if you have it).

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A week of births

I know of three anencephaly mommies who will be delivering their babies within the next week. Today, Brandy will be induced in Kansas and will deliver baby Francis. On Friday, Holly from Ohio will be induced and will deliver baby Carleigh and next Monday, Jill from Texas will be having a c-section to deliver baby Ellen. They are all in my thoughts and prayers at this time as they prepare to meet their little ones. It is such an exciting, yet frightening time. Feel free to join me in thinking of and praying for these mommies and their families.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thinking About My Angel

I've been thinking a lot lately about Emma dying before birth. I said before that I was struggling with this, and I still am a little, but through the grace of our Father in Heaven, he is helping me to heal, draw nearer unto Him, and to understand His hands in all things.

I received new insight tonight, sadly it is because of my dear friend's loss. My heart is breaking for her and her family. But it made me realize something. I realized that I have been focusing too much on what we didn't have with Emma - a live birth.

But oh what things we did have with her!!!

I got to carry this sweet child for 8+ months. I got to make memories to last with her while she was inside of me. I got to hold her precious body, bathe her, stroke her fingers and toes, and snuggle with her. I have beautiful pictures with her that I can always look at. I got to feel the presence of a sweet, sweet Spirit in my life. I got to hold and see the body of an angel that was sent to touch our hearts and bless our home and family forever.

I can't help but be so grateful to Heavenly Father for all that He has blessed us with and everything we got to have with Emma.

Maternity Shots

Once again, I am so grateful for our photographer and these amazing pictures she took. I do not enjoy being pregnant, but it has been more than worth it for my children and the same goes for Emma. I'm glad we have these pictures to capture me carrying her.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Family Pictures

My NILMDTS photographer came and took maternity shots of me before I had Emma. She came kind of early in my pregnancy (I think it was the last week of November), so I wasn't showing a lot, but I was so nervous of a stillbirth inside of me that I wanted her to get them done before Emma left us. I'm glad we did them when we did because my photographer ended up having to go on strict bed rest for her own pregnancy soon after that up until about a week before Emma was born.

In addition to the maternity shots, she also took some of our whole family. We just got the CD yesterday and I love them! I will post more of the maternity shots later. But for now, take a gander at our family shots.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Waiting Game

When I first got my blood drawn and sent it off to Duke for additional testing on whether my chromosomes are abnormal, I wasn't worried at all about the results that would come back. But I find now, the longer I wait, the more nervous I make myself about what the results will actually be. Hopefully we'll hear back any day now, but it could be a week or more still.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Emma's Middle Name: Charity

1 Corinthians 13

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth...

Moroni 7

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail --

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Baby Faith

I've been reluctant to post this because I have issues. Issues with jealousy and pride (along with many other things). I'm working on them, but I still have a long ways to go.

Faith was born on February 19. She is anencephalic, but is still alive (that makes her 13 days old today). At first I really struggled with this whole story because I felt a little hurt that Heavenly Father would bless Faith's family and friends with this tremendous miracle, when all we were asking for was the miracle of Emma being born alive. I'm still not completely over it, but I am able to take more joy in Faith's life now and realize what a miracle and blessing she truly is.

If you want to read updates on Faith, you can check our her mommy's blog at

Monday, March 2, 2009

Awkward Encounters

After we found out about Emma's diagnosis, Tim and I agreed that it wasn't best to "hide" it from anyone. While we didn't want to shout it from the rooftops, we also wanted people that we knew and would see more than once to know the truth. It made for some awkward encounters all around.

For example, there was the time that we got our flu shots. They asked if there was a chance that I might be pregnant and I said that yes, I was pregnant. Next they asked when I was due and I said January (because that's when we were planning on inducing) and they then proceeded to list all of the great benefits that the baby would have for the first six months of it's life because of me getting a flu shot. Tim and I just smiled and nodded our heads. A little awkward, but not too bad since they had no idea what was going on.

However, there were many other times that friends of ours would ask if we had found out yet what we were having. When we replied that we were having a girl, usually they would be really excited and ask us if we excited to be having a girl. For strangers, we just told them that yes we were. However, for friends we would then explain to them about Emma's diagnosis. It usually made for an awkward situation because then they felt really bad about it and we felt bad that they felt bad and so on.

I definitely had more of these "awkward encounters" when I was visibly pregnant, however, even though you can't see that I'm pregnant, I still have a few of these moments.

Today I had my post-partum checkup. (Has it really already been 6 weeks since Emma left us?) Before I went in to see the OB, his nurse was checking my weight and blood pressure. She asked me what my baby's name was and she asked what her weight had been (she was recording it in my chart). When I told her that she was 3 lbs. 3 oz. she looked surprised and asked how she was doing now and if she had gained more weight. I didn't want to lie, especially since I knew somewhere else on my chart it had Emma's diagnosis, so I told her that our baby had died. I couldn't help but cry. I really don't like these awkward encounters. The nurse felt bad and I felt dumb for crying. Luckily, it didn't last long. And luckily, my doctor remembered me and was very sensitive about everything. And he was kind of glad to hear that Emma's anencephaly was because of a chromosomal abnormality. While he did say that could lead to problems (if either Tim or I have a balanced translocation - hoping to hear back from Duke this week), he said he was really glad and I should be too that it wasn't a nutritional thing that caused Emma's anencephaly and that I could know that I had been doing everything I should have. While I've never felt guilty about Emma's defect being my fault, it's good to know that my OB doesn't feel that way either.

So I've sidetracked. Anyways, twice in the past week I've had people ask me about how my baby's doing and I've had to explain that she died and I've cried. As far as I see it, there's no good way to avoid these awkward encounters. So while I'm glad that they are less frequent now, I find them harder to deal with now that Emma actually has left us.