Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swinging at Mimi and Papa's House

These pictures were taken on January 4th when Magdalena went to spend a little time at her Mimi and Papa's house. You can tell Magdalena was not sure about this little bouncy seat at first, but she only cried for a second because Mimi bounced the seat for her and she realized that she liked it! No tears in the second picture! That little picture of her crying always makes me smile because I remember she always cried with her eyes shut and they looked like an upside down smiley face.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learning to Live a Different Way

Yes, I have been changed in so many ways, and I feel like God has changed me through life's circumstances. I have had a broken heart, lived outside the country, and now, I have lost a child. I used to be that person. Dramatic. Little things in life seemed to be a huge ordeal. I really noticed this change at work because it would take a meteor to really get me stressed out. Life has put everything in perspective. I know this is good, but it has become a negative too. I have become hardened to so many problems that someone may have because they seem so petty. They could possibly change a person's life, but I think how much worse it could be. So many people, some younger and some older than I am, have been left on what a consider to be a calm river of life. I pray that I will become more considerate of others, their feelings, and all that life gives them.
I am learning to live in a different way. One where I am a mother without a child to care for in my arms. This world is harsh, and people choose to kill their babies while their hearts beat. It makes my heart ache even more to have Magdalena back with me. Any child that God blesses me with I will love, but no child will ever replace my sweet Magdalena. She has changed me. She has changed the way I live, and she would never want me to be so inconsiderate and weird socially as I am now. I used to be so focused on all of the wrong things, and Magdalena taught me how to enjoy the important things in life, how to appreciate them, and how to live better. I am learning to live in a different way in which I can show others how truly big and awesome a God we have through her sweet life, even when some may consider it a huge tragedy. She was not a tragedy, but a miracle. A modern miracle. I have wondered about the past miracles that we have read about in the Bible, and why God doesn't reveal himself in these ways. He does. He revealed himself in Magdalena. When she should not have lived as long as she did, had rosy cheeks, been alert, mimicked by sticking her tongue out, SHE DID! That is a miracle, and it could only have been given by God. May God heal our hearts while we miss our little miracle so much!

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul
1. Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

2. But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee Though prostrate in the dust

3. Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner's prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

4. Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet
©1998, Kevin Twit Music. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 20, 2009

To be Truly Loved

In so many of the sweet emails and comments that I have read, people have spoken of their children loving Magdalena. For the longest time this baffled my mind because I wish that I could keep the pain of losing someone from an innocent child, and I wondered how parents explain this to someone so young. Even though my nieces understanding of death should have clued me in on why it is easier for a child to accept death than an adult, it took some time for it to truly sink in. Certain days, Caroline may want to hear Magdalena's song (made by "Songs of Love"), but it is just too hard. I just can't do it. And I realized that they may miss Magdalena, but they only think about how happy she must be in heaven, and every time they think of her they immediately have heaven thoughts. How amazing! I know that their hearts don't feel heavy, weighed down with the tears, because their faith is that God is amazing and Magdalena is with Him. As an adult it is much harder to give my baby up that easily some days. But God loves us more than we love our own children, a love too great to truly understand.

Many mothers who have lost a child know this song, but it truly is a good reminder that God is there in our grief to comfort and love us. He shall not leave us.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOufqWodFNo




Isaiah 49: 13

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Magdalena Pulls Out Her Tube

I really try not to have any regrets with how I did things while we had Magdalena with us, and so many times I have internal arguments with myself. I know that I can't change anything now, but when I think about Magdalena, some little thoughts seem to creep their way in there. I pray that God will allow me to rest in that everything happened the way it was intended. I know that will be a continual battle. Back in December, I was set to have Magdalena's picture taken as we were doing each month, but the night before we were to do it, Magdalena pulled her tube out. Replacing the tube was always an ordeal. She hated it, and that slippery little tube just did not always go in immediately. This is why we took pictures the day we would replace the tube for the "one" time each month. It kept her from having to do it more than necessary. Well, once she pulled it out, I cancelled the picture session trying to limit the number of times we would replace the tube. Well, I hate that we didn't take those pictures. As you can see in the video during this time period she was really showing her personality more than she ever had. The morning of this video she never cried because she was hungry. She just played and played. Noah and I were really confused by this because she just had fun. The reason I regret this so much is because it seemed as though every time we would have Magdalena's picture taken, she had her eyes closed...those beautiful big blue eyes. I am so glad that we continued to flash our camera like crazy, and look at this camera. And here she is just happy to be hanging out. You can see that she was beginning to teethe because she was sucking on her gums. So, no regrets. We have so much to be thankful for that finding a regret with anything associated with Magdalena would make me spoiled.

Monday, February 16, 2009

First Doctor Visit

Our first appointment with the doctor was supposed to be last Tuesday, and there were no other available appointments since we were going out of town. I really thought that I was going to lose my mind. Going to the doctor, hearing the heartbeat was going to be me some sort of peace of mind with the world spinning around us. There was no appointment available for a FULL week! Then, I tried to call the nurse Monday morning to see if I could just come in that day to hear the heartbeat, but I was told that it wasn't clinic policy to allow that to happen without a doctor's visit. Then, around midday Dr. C called to explain to me that it was too early to hear the heartbeat, and with that information and kind phone call and a deep breath, I finally got it together. I made it through one more long week, and FINALLY it was time to go see the baby! If I had known that this would be a "real" visit and not just a meet the baby visit I might not have been so excited, but ignorance is bliss...I guess. Noah and I got to discuss this pregnancy with the doctor, or as much that can be discussed to help us get ready. We didn't know until our 20 weeks with Magdalena that there was a possibility of a chromosonal defect, so we have a good 13 weeks before evaluating the situation. This is scary-the wait to see if God will lend us this baby for a longer period of time. I don't know if I could handle the pain of losing another child, especially after meeting her/him today. At a little more than 8mm, the sight was beautiful. I wish we could show Magdalena, and I wonder if she looks down with her big blue eyes and looks at that itty bitty baby like she used to look at the fan on the ceiling, with amazement. Our next doctor's visit is in five weeks but until then, please pray for patience and a peace of mind while we wait for God's plan to unfold.
(The little round part is the yolk sac, and the line shows the size of the baby.)
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day

I realize now why parents appreciate days to sleep in, and there were so many days last fall that I was just asking for a few more minutes. My incredible husband always gave me Saturdays to sleep while he loved and took care of Magdalena. Today, Valentines Day, as we were lying in bed talking I was just couldn't help but think that we would not be doing this if Magdalena was with us. Or Magdalena would be in the bed with us like on Christmas Day. It was such a bitter sweet moment for us because we enjoyed our time together but it is just a reminder of what we miss so much. While Noah was still resting with his eyes shut I just kept picturing my sweet baby and her kissable cheeks.
I had been thinking that each holiday we would put flowers or decorations to celebrate, but I just haven't been able to go see her grave, yet. Noah and I are going to go together for the first time, and because I have just not been ready we haven't gone. I want it to be a place where I can go and "talk" to her, but right now I am too focused on that being her there when really it is not. I know that she is dancing around with Granddad right now, and she would not want me to forget that.

This is a picture Caroline drew. It is heaven where Magdalena is with Jesus.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

March of Dimes

Don't forget that we are still raising money for the March of Dimes! Our team, Magdalena's Feet, is walking in March for Babies is May 2nd, and I am looking for people to sponsor me! Go to
http://marchforbabies.org/julieroberts to donate money to the March of Dimes!

Pink for my Sweet Baby

We are amazed and humbled by all who sent us pictures of themselves honoring our sweet baby, Magdalena. Thank you! There were a few I couldn't get in here for some unknown reason, but know that we have them and they are greatly appreciated and adored by us. Also, thank you to all of you who sent emails and letters of words of encouragement telling us how Magdalena impacted your life. I hope that over my lifetime I can write you back with appreciation. I never read one without crying. They mean the world to me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Child's Innocence

Yesterday was very difficult for our family. The smell of flowers, a funeral home, and having to say our last goodbye to someone we love was still fresh in our minds, so having to do it again made us so weak. We are all emotional tired that it seems as though we are just trying to move in the motions of daily life.
We were blessed to have so many people drive to Grenada from different places to love on our family and say goodbye to Granddad. My mom, who missed her calling as an interior decorator, had lots of old pictures framed, and Grandmom told us when and where each one was taken. He owned a TV repair shop for many years before retiring. He would pick up and return the TV to its owners, and just seeing a picture of that big, white van brought back so many memories for us. I could remember the squeaky seats and the smell of parts. Granddad and Grandmom spent a lot of their early marriage being an army couple, and we were moved to have the National Guard come and respectfully honor Granddad, who loved his country.

But the most honest person at the funeral was Emma who in her innocense expressed her feelings about Granddad. Before the funeral Lori (Magdalena's Loli) had explained to them that Granddad was in heaven with Magdalena now, but when they went through the line and saw Granddad lying there, it was difficult for her to understand. She touched his hand and asked "Will I wake him up?". Then, she lightly touched him again and said, "I don't feel his heart beat.". Lori and Stephen continued to explain to her what was happening, and she was old enough to understand it but not so old where she understood it in its entirety. Throughout the visitation she would go in there and look at Granddad and innocently trying to wake him up. Then, on the way home Caroline and Emma discussed how Dr. Seuss was in heaven with Granddad and Magdalena. (Where did this come from?)
They had never seen Granddad when he was not in his wheel chair, but once when watching a family video they saw him as a younger man, and Caroline exclaimed, "Granddad is walking!". And I let Caroline know that Granddad would be more like the man in the video not as they remembered him because he would feel much better.

Psalms 16:11
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore

Monday, February 09, 2009

Making the Decision to Not Make the Decision

I get the question, "Are you going to have any more kids?" asked often. Since finding out Magdalena's diagnosis it was always a tough question to answer. We had always envisioned ourselves with multiple children, but there was always the lingering thought of having to endure this difficult situation again. Although it is less than a one percent chance that we would have another child with T18, the percentage still exists. When pregnant, I said multiple times that I couldn't do this again and my mom constantly reminded me that it is not always that difficult. Being pregnant was physically uncomfortable, but I was referring to the constant emotional exhaustion.
As Magdalena continued to do well, Noah and I weren't sure when to begin thinking about other children. Noah and I discussed that I would work really hard at losing my weight, but I was willing to be five pounds more than what I was originally. People poked fun at my not eating Magdalena's birthday cakes and being picky, but by December I lacked seven pounds to return to my original weight. And because I didn't get to exercise much, I was amazed that it was possible and I know that God really gave me the willpower to do this. In December, Noah and I rediscussed other children. It was just a difficult issue because I didn't know if I would have the strength to do it once Magdalena passed away, and she was doing so well at the time! I struggled with the idea that my other children would not have any connections to Magdalena. They would never know her on this earth. Knowing how close my sisters and I are, I really had a hard time thinking on this. I thought that even if Magdalena met her brother or sister while in the womb there would be a connection. I remember being pregnant with Magdalena, and every time I held Landon she would squirm like crazy. I loved that. Also, I really began to think of how much fun it would be to introduce my pregnancy to the world by Magdalena wearing a big sis shirt, just as her cousins had done.
So Noah and I made the decision not to make the decision. We would not determine for ourselves when the best time would be for us to have other children. We just knew that God would give us another child when He thought we were ready. I then decided that I would go ahead and order Magdalena a big sis shirt (it was impossible to find a small one for her). I tried never to put anything off, and I ordered it immediately. I wanted to at least get a picture of her in it so that even if she wasn't with us, I had her wearing it. The day before Magdalena went to be with Jesus I picked up her little onesie from the store where I had ordered it. Magdalena just didn't feel well that day, so Lori and I decided to wait until she felt a little better before taking pictures. Lori has a really great camera so she was going to be the photographer. Magdalena passed before we got that picture taken. I don't regret not taking it, though, because she didn't feel well, and I would have hated to put her through that knowing how awful she was feeling. I don't regret paying too much for this little bittie outfit because I get to look at it and hold it.
A week after Magdalena's celebration I took a pregnancy test without telling Noah. The line did not immediately appear, but then, I saw it. I ran downstairs yelling "Noah!" and asking him if he saw the pink line too. After getting over the shock of thinking he saw one, he realized, like I did, that there was a line. Ok, so, we might sound crazy, but we thought that we might have been crazy. I remembered that there had been a free digital example in the box that I bought, so I took it for a clearer answer. And this is what I got...Noah and I were definitely sure then, and we hugged and cried, and we realized happily that Magdalena did get to meet her little brother or sister.
Along with all of these ecstatic emotions comes many fearful ones too. It is so early right now that there is a possibility of a miscarriage and of other things happening. How ever long God should ordain this pregnancy to last, Noah and I will not be unaware and ignorant to the possibilities of losing this child. And we are praying that God will let us keep this one. We have known since before our DC trip, but I have been hestitant to tell people. Noah is supporting me in telling when I am comfortable, but today I realized that I am far from being comfortable telling people. But with all that is happening in our lives, our family needs to be able to share in a little joy. A hope that God will give us this new life to us while He calls others to be at home with Him.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Today

Right now my family is full of mixed emotions. My granddad passed away this afternoon. There is a part of all of us that are happy that he is now praising God in heaven and no longer has earthly pains. And I know that he was ready to get up there and have a chance to snuggle with Magdalena. There is a wonderful image that comes to my mind when I think about that. The other part of us feels are open wounds burning with pain. We still haven't had a chance to heal a little bit from Magdalena's passing, and now our family is trying to cope with my grandfather's passing.
I am not looking forward to saying goodbye again to someone I love. I don't like the feel of a funeral...the sadness, gloomy faces, etc. We don't feel as though it is completely sad because we know that he is in heaven, but everything funeral related leaves little room for a celebration. This is such a difficult time for our family, especially Granddad's junior high sweetheart, Grandmom. Please pray for our family. That we will be able to celebrate Granddad's life as he lived it here on earth and his new life in heaven. Pray that we will be able to do this despite our pain.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

6 Months

6 months ago today Magdalena and I were celebrating her being with us. Yesterday was so hard. I think that it was the hardest day that I have had to deal with since Magdalena left us. On my way to work I tried to get all of the tears and feelings out of my system. I waited until I got to work to put on my make-up so I wouldn't have to worry about messing it up. It just didn't stop there. I knew that I was physically going to need to do something, like I was doing something for her. I left work a little early and made chocolate cupcakes with a pale pink icing. They were hers. Although I am not a baker, I thought that they were perfectly made just for her. Oh, my sweet girl! We miss her so much!
Noah and I went to dinner and a movie last night. It was a good time for us to get out of the house, and the movie kept us laughing. "New in Town" was so funny!

After the movie we found out that my grandfather's health is worse, and he has returned to the hospital. He has lived an amazing, godly life. I wrote a post on my grandparents earlier last fall because I was so excited that Magdalena was able to meet granddad. It made it even more special because he was having such a good day that he knew he was holding something special. Please pray for my grandmother. She has been "dating" my grandfather since junior high. Please pray for our family.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Home

We arrived home safely last night. As soon as we got inside I started a load of laundry. I was completely surrounded by everything that I have been neglecting to do since before Magdalena left us. So we are attempting to clean and get organized, but it is definitely not going to be something that happens at a rapid pace. While trying to put everything in its place I run into something that belongs to Magdalena. Formula, syringes, etc. just remind me of what I miss doing. Just a few moments ago I was putting a blank DVD in the cabinet, and there were all of her feeding things. I just sat and stared. I cried, and for a second I thought that I should put all of it away. I am just not ready to do that, yet. Something about it being there comforts me. I like being reminded of her, even if it does make me cry. I don't look at it all of the time, but I don't forget that it's there.

Just taking it one day, one cleaning, one step at a time.