Saturday, February 21, 2009


hi baby...

tonight i've been looking at blogs of mama's and daddy's who have lost their sweet babies. this may be a weird letter, but i've been thinking about some things on and off for several months and these blogs made me want to tell you about them now. it won't take very long=) i have been thinking about how, before you were born, i had prepared myself as much as possible to lose you. i was expecting you to go be with Jesus just as soon as you arrived. this sounds like an oxymoron just typing it, but i was "ok" with that. what? no, not ok with it. that's crazy to even say. but that seemed to be reality, and i was as ready as i could be to face it.

and now you're here. and you've been here for 6 months. and it looks like you will stay. we are so lucky. i'm wanting to bust out crying just thinking about it. now that you're here and we know you and you and me and daddy are best friends-i can't even imagine what it would be like if you hadn't lived. ok yes now i'm crying. i couldn't hold it in i guess. just to think about what if we hadn't gotten to know you? sometimes it's hard for me to look at old pictures when you were so sick and swollen or even read old letters to you when we weren't sure how you were gonna do. you are the most precious gift and your smile brightens everything and walking into a room and seeing your sweet legs kicking up in the air represents to me hope fulfilled and faith and joy and it makes me imagine Jesus with a sweet smile on His face watching us play together from heaven...mommy is being gushy and dramatic but i think it's fairly appropriate. i had also been thinking about how for the first 4 months of your life it was normal for you to be in a hospital bed and for daddy and me to leave you every night and go sleep somewhere else. and once we had you home i would think every now and then about how hard i thought it would be to see you back in a hospital. and i was right-it was really hard sweet baby. did i tell you that when we brought you to the hospital a couple weeks ago it took them 10 tries to get an iv in you?? finally they got a nicu nurse to come down and she got one in your head. i'm not faulting them-i think you just have difficult veins. they always had a hard time at uva too, but they usually went for your scalp veins sooner than they did this time. you were so mad about it. that makes sense. it was so hard to watch that, but then i think about how i held you twice while you had lumbar punctures (spinal taps) done and for you to be extubated one time and who knows how many other iv sticks...i guess it just became different once we got you home from the nicu and it really felt like you were ours and you somewhat resembled a "normal" baby. i'm so sad you had to go through all that. and i'm so happy you won't remember any of it=)

and i also think sometimes about something much more fun. why did God let us keep you? i get a little overwhelmed when i think about that. i wonder what we did to deserve that but then realize that's not a legitimate question. we didn't deserve to keep you. it's just the greatest gift that for whatever reason, God decided to give us. and we will never understand why. that makes me cry a little too. i just can't believe we are so lucky. and then there are all these other poor mommies and daddies who didn't get to keep their sweet babies and they no more "deserved" that than anybody else...but for whatever reason their story consists of Jesus taking their sweet ones straight Home. and that is absolutely miraculous in its own way. sweet copeland and poppy and isaac and asher...and so many others whose stories are less well known. precious little ones who get to know Jesus in such an intimate way so much sooner than the rest of us. lucky little things. but oh how sad it is for their parents and the people left here on earth who love them. what a beautiful day it will be when they are reunited in heaven=)

i love you baby. thanks for listening to mommy ramble a little. i want you to know my heart and i think you might be interested one day=) i am so glad you are mine.


Friday, February 20, 2009


hi baby!

i forgot to tell you that a few weeks ago mommy and daddy left you with a babysitter, well, 2 babysitters, for the first time. we took grandmother to church and two of mommy's friends, kristin and becky, stayed with you. kristin is a picu nurse and becky is a pediatric er nurse, so we figured they were as qualified as they come=) it was tough getting out the door-we were an hour late to church=) walking out the door i felt like i was either going to throw up or start crying, but neither happened=) nobody questioned how late we were-i think they understood...and you did great!!! i expected you to fall right to sleep after we left but when i called to check on you they said you hadn't slept a wink but were wide awake and playing and flapping your arms and legs and grinning and laughing constantly at them!!! you had fun=) we are so thankful for mommy's great friends who happened to know a thing or two about kids with medical issues. i think God has been very sweet with that-ok let me explain what "that" is. mommy is in graduate school to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. i actually would've graduated last december but when you arrived and looked like you were gonna stick around, i lightened my class load. so anyway i have no idea what turn my career will take when i graduate or how exactly i'll use that degree, but i think God put me in that program right now for a reason-to meet these people, both friends and pediatricians, who would be so helpful with you right now. there is a verse about that in esther that talks about a woman being in a particular place for a particular reason "for such a time as this...". He is sweet to us and takes such better care of us than we can even imagine or even realize. that's fun to think about-how God is doing so much more for us behind the scenes than we can recognize. i wonder if He'll open our eyes to that when we are with Him in heaven. one day you and i will talk about this and i'll see what you think.

ok so that's what i wanted to tell you-that you stayed with babysitters for the first time=) i love you baby-


Thursday, February 19, 2009

happy 6 month birthday!!!

hi sweet catherine=)

today you turned 6 months old!!! i can't believe it. you've had a very busy couple of weeks leading up to this, your first half-birthday. (mommy likes to celebrate half-birthdays--she learned it from your auntie robyn). you had such a great time with your great-grandmother. the first day or so we could tell you were getting used to her sweet face and curly white hair-you LOVE new people and spend lots of time studying their faces and showing them your smile, but we think that once she was there when you went to sleep and there when you woke up, you realized that this was somebody you needed to get to know. so you spent some extra time looking at her with your serious face. and you did get to know her. the third day she was here you two were the greatest of friends-i have never seen you smile so much at somebody!!!! you loved being in her lap and she loved seeing how you were learning to show what you how you wanted to sit up in her lap instead of laying down all the time. she liked how you seemed to improve with using your hands even during the week she was here. we give her credit;) so on the wednesday she was here, you woke up with a fever. we went to see the doctor and all the tests came back negative-you got a shot of antibiotics just in case and we determined it was just a virus and you came back home. but throughout the day the fever got higher and higher and finally when it was 103.8 and you couldn't hold any food down we called the doctor back and took you to the hospital. i figured they'd probably keep you for a night and give you some iv fluids...but you were there in the picu for 4 days!!! your fever went away by friday night and it appeared to be a gi bug (you were throwing up and had diarrhea too), but they said they couldn't assume with a baby as "complicated" as you that anything was "just a bug". but all the tests continued to come back negative so they slowly worked you back up to taking your normal feeds and we took you back home sunday night. you got to be in the hospital mommy works in. that part was nice. i was just so nervous that you were going to leave the hospital with something much more serious than what you went in for. but no worries-you were all better when you got home and nothing else came of it. (mommy and daddy did, however, get what you got the day after we got home!!! everybody's all better now). and guess what else!? they took advantage of the fact that they could monitor your respiratory status 24/7 and weaned your ventilator much more quickly than we could with you at home. your respiratory rate was set to 35 when you left UVA, and during this hospital stay they were able to turn it all the way down to 15! we see the pulmonologist again this tuesday and i'm excited to see what the next step is for you. we're getting used to lugging your ventilator around everywhere we go, but it sure will be nice when we're done with it, right baby?? i don't think you're gonna know what to do with yourself when you're finally free=)

gigi and grandaddy came to see you last weekend. you had a great time=) they hadn't seen you in over a month and you had changed so much!!! you're lots bigger and doing things like reaching up with both your hands to touch our faces when we lean over you. that's my favorite thing you're doing right now=) mommy's getting very sappy lately...the other day i bent down to kiss your head and as soon as i smelled your hair i started getting all teary-eyed=) and sometimes i get teary-eyed when i look at you in the mornings when we wake up and you smile so big at me with your mouth wide open. you know that you smile with your eyes? that is another one of my favorite things about you. it's actually one of my favorite things about anybody=) when i lay down next to you to read a book, you'll look at the book with me but you always reach out and lay your hand on my shoulder. i love that=)

you are my favorite girl. mommy hasn't worked in almost 3 weeks because first you were sick and then i was, and that has been no fun, but we have had a great few weeks hanging out every day. we have lots of fun=)

i love you baby-happy first half-birthday=)


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

side notes

hi sweet girl=)

there are a couple things i wanted you to know and i couldn't remember if i already told you. sometimes we'll look over at you and you'll be staring at us, and then we smile and start talking to you and you get this big grin on your face and usually poke your tongue out through your smile. we love it=) and also, when you start smiling like this, you have the cutest dimple that comes out just on your right cheek. i don't think i've ever really been close to anyone with dimples before, so i'm loving this=)

you're having the best time with grandmother sweet girl...i'll tell you about it and show you pictures soon=)

love you baby-