Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
I will start off saying that this year’s letter might be a bit different for us, so please hang in there through the end! 
 We announced to the boys In March that the arrival of a baby brother or sister was due November 13th.   They could not contain their excitement!  To be big brothers…what a boon!  They debated about whether it would be a boy or girl.  They argued where he or she would sleep.  They guessed at different names at the dinner table.  They debated whether it should be a “J” name.  They battled with us constantly to find out what sex we were having, even though I stubbornly refused to find out.  The dust settled when the school year ended, and the family was excited to enjoy the preparation of the nursery over the summer.   Oh the bliss!
On June 24th, our lives were forever changed.  We received the worst news a parent could ever imagine to hear.  At our routine ultrasound, they discovered there might be something seriously wrong with the baby.  After an amniocentesis, a fetal MRI, numerous high level ultrasounds, countless appointments with doctors and specialists, the verdict was given.  Our baby had a lethal skeletal dysplasia, or in layman’s terms, a fatal dwarfism.
 Despite recommendations, we decided to hold onto hope that he or she would have a “normal” dwarfism and give the baby the best possible chance and carry to term.  As the weeks went by, it became increasingly clear that our hello would also be our goodbye.  We instead changed our course to prepare for the worst and hope that we would at least not lose the baby before the delivery.  We gathered our courage and strength, and hoped that we could celebrate this child’s life, as short as it would probably be.
We planned all that we could to make sure we had a professional photographer, a special outfit, and a plan of care for comfort.  We also decided to wait for the surprise of boy or girl, since it would be one of the only things we could be excited about.  The baby went to most of big brother Butter's tennis matches.  There was wiggling and squirming while listening to Bean's guitar.  We endured the ferocious Houston heat while watching little, big brother Bunny's play in summer baseball tournaments.  Never was there a more active baby to remind us of its presence.  And every night, we settled to sleep after a nightly hug and kiss from Bunny and sometimes a lullaby from mommy. Despite the baby’s failing health and mine, we were able to make it a couple days shy of 36 weeks.  It was decided that a cesarean section would be the best way to deliver, due to both baby and my health complications.
On October 14th at 7:39am, Jamie Lynn entered this world with the tiniest cry. Like her brothers, she was nice and hefty at 5lbs, 4oz despite being four weeks early.  She was a mere 14.5 inches long from her perfect head to her perfect little toes.  With her too small limbs, and chest too tiny to survive this world long, Daddy quickly baptized her with the healing waters from Lourdes, France gifted to us by Father Drew.  After a short snuggle with me, he swept her away to be introduced to her big brothers.  A short time later, which felt like an eternity, we were all reunited as a family.  We were able to dress her in clothes washed and smelling like home.  We exclaimed over her shocking full head of the whitest blonde hair.  The boys declared her “cute”.  We adored her tiny hands and her, oh so perfect, feet.  Aaron was enthralled with his sweet baby girl. 
We were together as a family, as she drifted away, her perfect little footprints etched on our hearts forever at 8:54am.
Her immediate family arrived to celebrate her life at a memorial Funeral Mass on November 14th.  With Father D__ presiding, Mary T__ singing solo, and family gathered round, we said our final goodbyes and wished her well on her journey.  As Father D___ said during his homily, if we had opened the funeral to all family and friends, it would be a packed house indeed.  He couldn’t have been further from the truth.
And this brings me to the conclusion of our letter.   It has always been clear to us in the past, but more so now, that we are loved by the outpouring of prayers, thoughts, and letters from so many near and afar.  We are heartily thankful to all those who made donations to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization that provided us with the most beautiful photos of her.  To those who are just getting this news, we apologize.  This has been the most difficult burden to bear, and even more painful to share.  I apologize for not delivering a more traditional G_ Family Christmas Letter.   However, to not tell Jamie Lynn’s story, would be to dishonor her life and her memory.
For our family, the year of 2009 belongs to Jamie.  And always will….
Mommy, Daddy, Butter, Bean, and Button

"An Angel in the Book of Life Wrote Down our Baby's Birth,
And Whispered as She Closed the Book,
Too Beautiful for Earth."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Signs of Joy?

The other day I was wondering what I would name a little girl if we were blessed to concieve again and also have a girl.  All I could think of was what a joy it would be to be able to have a girl.  Joy....  Joy....  I wondered if this would fit the criteria:
1. Starts with a J 
2.  Means something
3. A biblical name.

I frowned...No not biblical.  

 Then I went to church the next day with the family.  The neighbors front yard had a huge sign with JOY.  At the advent mass, Fr. Reggie said the word Joy at least 20 times.  For the past week, I will hear the word Joy at least 2 times a day, sometimes more.  Yes, it is the Christmas season, but I have never heard it this much and I am not looking for it.  It usually catches me out of nowhere and reminds me.

Then today, I was listening to the Catholic Channel on my satellite radio.  The priests homily was speaking of St. Paul and a writing he did about finding Joy in everyday. Not happiness, but joy.  Joy does not mean happy.  Joy means thanks

So the criteria: 
 1. It does start with a J like all of my children. 
2. It means Thanks.  If I had another child, never would I be more thankful. 
3.  It isn't a biblical name, but isn't it written all over many books in the bible?

I think it was a sign from Jamie.  Is Joy coming to us next year sweet angel???  But what if it is a boy....I guess I might just call him Joy, too.  Okay, maybe not. 

But I sure would be filled with JOY!!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Faded Fuzzy Colored Glasses

The world is moving faster than a high speed train.  I am moving in slow motion.  All is clear right in front of me, but the edges of life are fuzzy at best.  I can't make myself cry.  I can't make myself scream.  I can't make myself sleep.   I can't make the world slow down.  I can't bring my sweet baby girl back.  I can't control it.
The pressure cooker is building...When am I going to explode?
Only God knows....just another way of Him reminding me that He is in control.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I TOLD you so....

I told you...that you needed to meet my OB doctor this time.  You went through three pregnancies and only to 4 total doctor visits.  I told you that I wanted you to meet my new OB before you met in a emergency or later at deliver.  You ended up having to see him one to two times a week.  I told you so.

I told you...that the sex of the baby didn't matter.  All I ever cared about, after working as a nurse in L&D, was that I made it to term with a happy and healthy baby.  We found out at her 19 wk ultrasound that she might have a lethal condition.  I told you so.

I told you...not to leave me with the boys during the ultrasound to race to that meeting.  I hadn't seen the radiologist yet.  You left and then had to race back after I cried on the phone that there was something wrong.  I told you so.

I told you...that if the amnio results were normal, that there might be something seriously wrong still.  We found out that she had a dwarfism, possibly lethal.  I told you so.

I told you...that I didn't want to call the perinatologists office to nag for results from the fetal MRI.  I found out on the phone from a uncaring nurse who had no idea what she was reading to me, a nurse, who understood that our daughter had the main diagnosis of lethal dwarfism.  I told you so.

I told you...that if there was no growth at the 28 wk ultrasound, she would not make it.  You worried that she might be a child that stayed in the hospital for the remainder of her life.  You thought she could possibly ruin our lives financially and destroy all that we saved to send our boys to college.  She didn't have any growth, which meant she wouldn't make it and be a burden.  I told you so.

I told you...that I was meeting with Fr. Drew, the spiritual director at church, and the funeral home.  You thought it was jumping the gun.  Fr. taught me the exact steps for baptism and gave me a vial of healing water from Lourdes, France.  You used it to baptize your daughter before she passed.  I told you so.

I told you...that I bought an outfit and memory box before her birth. I wanted to wash her clothes so they smelled like home.  She would have been wrapped up in a hospital blanket, naked.  Instead, we were able to dress and undress her as s child we loved.  I told you so.

I told you...that I set up Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer to take photos.  You didn't want a stranger coming.  Thank God she came.  They were the photos we used for her funeral.  I told you so.

I told you...that I wanted the boys to be at her birth.  This would be concrete evidence that she was here.  They were able to hold her. They were able to kiss her.  They were able to see our love as parents for her.  They love her.  I told you so.

I told you...that I was sorry that she wasn't perfect with her small arms, small legs, and too tiny chest to survive this world long.  Only one hour and fifteen minutes. Not long enough. 

YOU told me that our daughter was absolutely PERFECT in your eyes. 

You told me so.  Thank you.  I am so glad you did................

Friday, November 13, 2009

Butterfly's Due Date

Wishing you were still in my tummy.  Wishing you were here with that gurgly sweet sound a newborn makes that we mommies pretend is your laugh.  I think of how cute you would have been if you could have breathed with that tiny chest.  You would have been daddy's REALLY little girl, but he would have spoiled you to know end.  He spoils you and you are not even here.  He is planning to buy you flowers today for your funeral tomorrow.  I told him to pick whatever flowers he would buy for his daughter, not me, but his little girl.  He was quiet on the phone, but I could tell he was going to find the BEST ones for you.  I can't wait to see what he picks.

The boys tried to make me happy by singing my favorite song, Brown Eyed Girl.  I was wondering today if you had them too.  I think I will just say you do.  We can share the song together.
The cardinal that was tapping at our window the day before you were born left us about a week ago.  I was sad because we thought it was a "sign" of you from God.   Guess what, he came back this morning tap, tap, tapping.  It made me happy.

JJ and I said that we loved each other forever this morning.  He added that we would see each other in heaven some day and still love each other.  I said that we would finally get to spend time with you.  He agreed, but he said he didn't want to come until after he had children and after I went up there first.  I told him that was fine because I want to spend some time with you before they all get there.

Love you baby doll! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jamie Lynn

Announcing the birth of our daughter….

  We were blessed to spend a little over an hour together as a family. She is now a beautiful angel in heaven watching over our family.  We thank everyone for their kind words, thoughts, and prayers through this difficult time these past few months.   In lieu of flowers or gifts, we would appreciate donations to the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Organization that sent a volunteer professional photographer to take photos of Jamie at no cost to our family, for lasting memories.  Donations can be made at in her name. 


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