Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Remembering Faith

Today is one year from the day we met our sweet daughter Faith Marie face to face.

I can still see her little face when I close my eyes and take myself back to that hospital room, Brandon at my side and our close family members surrounding us. I will never forget the love I felt in the room that night. The peace and strength of those around me girding me in prayer.

There is a lot I vividly remember to that night, but not much I will share. Maybe one day. For now they are memories. Some painful, some still heart wrenching, yet others bring me hope and remind me of the new faith that was stirred in my heart in those moments.

My sisters made me a frame with some very special pictures that were taken that night.It is one of the most precious things anyone has ever given me and I treasure it like I do the special frame they made for Grace Ann as well. The frames sit on a window sill in Bella's room. I look at them almost every day. Today, I looked at Faith's a little longer, as I remembered that day 1 year ago.



I would love to tell you about my sweet girl. She had her daddy's lips. She was soft and precious and so innocent and pure. When I held her, she had already left this world to go and be with our sweet Jesus in heaven, but I was and still am, so thankful that I was able to hold her. I remember fighting through all of the pain medication, the aching empty feeling in my stomach, the burning pain in my lower abdomen from where she had been taken, the tears blurring my eyes...to focus. Focus on her, focus on the moment. I wanted to remember it all. I knew I would look back on that time and want to remember the details. I made it a point to look at every part of her. I unwrapped her from her little blanket and studied her feet- she had toes like her Aunt Jacquelin. I memorized her hands and even turned her around to look at her scrawny little butt because that's always my favorite on a newborn baby. She was perfect.

She may not have been completely developed yet, but in my eyes she was perfect. All she had left to do was put on weight, but other than that she was a perfectly formed little baby girl.

I know I leave a lot of blanks in my "story." Many don't even know why we lost Faith at 23 weeks or what happened. I will try to fill in the gaps as much as my heart will allow me to, but that part of my heart is still very much guarded. The details, the memories stay locked away for the most part but today, the day she was brought into the world for just a small fragment of earthly time, I want to talk about her, and to tell her story.

I want to remember her.

We had complications from about 10 weeks on in my pregnancy with Faith. It began with some spotting and we found out I had a tear between the placenta and the uteran wall. The weeks went on and honestly now trying to recall, I can't quite put a specific time line on it all. I just remember going weeks with nothing happening and then suddenly I would start bleeding. We thought the tear had healed, but it hadn't and it was causing my amniotic fluid to leak along with the bleeding, which therefore meant Faith's lungs were at risk to not develop properly. I ended up in the hospital on bed rest at about 22 weeks. I remember the number 24 being this magic number everyone kept mentioning and I wanted so badly to get to that point. At 24 weeks she would be considered "viable" and would have a slightly better chance at surviving on the outside. Although not ideal as the first part of her life would be spent fighting and struggling through every breath.

I was sent home on strict bed rest with the understanding that I would most likely be back in the hospital to stay for as long as I could keep Faith growing. I struggled with this. It was so hard for me to imagine being away from my kids and husband, yet I knew I needed to do it for my little girl. I've tried before to put this into words, but I simply can't. All I know is this was one of the hardest things I've had to face. My heart was at home, being a mom and a wife. But physically my body was in a hospital room being monitored continuously and not even able to get up on my own to use the restroom.

It was humbling, it was breaking and it was life changing. I couldn't do this all on my own. I couldn't be everything to everyone and be perfect at it all. What a lesson to be learned.

The night of August 3rd at 23 weeks, knowing I'd be going back to the hospital soon, I sat in Bella's room, rocking her to sleep...and I prayed. I had prayed continuously though out the pregnancy but this prayer and the heart it was coming from was different. I prayed to God to let His will be done. I told him I just wanted to be home with my family yet my heart was breaking for this little girl inside of me ..that I wanted to hold her in my arms and have everything be ok with her but I was tired and I couldn't fight anymore.

In those same moments I felt a flood of tears come over me. It was overwhelming and uncontrollable. Up until that very point, I was fighting as hard as I could for my baby's life. I was relentless and hardly allowed myself to cry... to show weakness. I felt like it would seem as though I had given up. And so I refused. I would not cry and I would not give up. But that night, as I sat praying, rocking my two girls- one in my arms and one growing inside of me, I cried.

I released it all to God. I gave it to Him. I stopped trying to fight on my own and I let myself cry.

Within the hour, I completely ruptured and began to bleed uncontrollably. Brandon rushed me to the hospital and after discussion and a decision made by the Dr. on call, it was decided I would be taken in to surgery for an emergency c-section. I remember being rolled away, looking back at Brandon and seeing concern and fear, written all over his face. He had been right by my side the whole time. My heart hurt for him. I wanted to keep fighting for him...for her. But I couldn't. I physically couldn't anymore.

I didn't realize the depth of what was happening. I knew my baby was ok, I heard her heart on the monitors, loud and strong. The nurses had reassured me that she was ok. Even as my body was failing me, she was still fighting. I can still hear her heartbeat echoing through the room as people all around me fought to keep us both alive.

Laying in the stark white room, a sheet being draped in front of me, the world fading around me, I felt relieved. My thoughts began to fade, the noise went silent, vision went blank...The decision was no longer on me, the weight was off of my shoulders. It wouldn't be all on me to fight for this little girl anymore.

I didn't realize it was basically inevitable that she would not have much chance to live. Her lungs were not mature enough and I'm told she fought to take a breath but couldn't. Her first breath was in the arms of Jesus.

Faith Marie was born on August 4Th, 2009 weighing a little over 1 pound. She passed away soon after birth. She and her sister Grace are buried in a very special spot. On family land in Seguin, in a place called Sunset Hill. I imagine there are many scenes just like it in heaven.




We will all be together one day. I will get to see her daddy hold her in his arms again and fall deeper in love. I will see those pouty lips turn into a smile and I will catch a peek of her little baby booty again.

Until then I will always remember our Faith.


I don't believe it is by accident or coincidence that I sit here, one year from the day, nearly 23 weeks pregnant with a healthy, kicking, perfect little girl growing inside of me. I cherish the time I have her with me. Sharing it with my two breaths of heaven and the most loving daddy I could imagine.

21 comments:

  1. what an incredible story! thanks for sharing

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  2. Hi Laura,
    I know we don't know each other, but I saw your picture on PPBs Facebook contest. I admire your strength to pull through such a heartbreaking event. I will always remember your story about your precious little Faith. Your trust in the Lord's plan is amazingly inspiring. I am so happy for you that you have a baby girl on the way!

    All my love to you & your family,
    Charrise Cuevas

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  3. thank you for sharing your story, you are strong and your faith in g-d reminds me of my father who passed away from cancer, he never lost hope and when he died we knew that g-d wanted him back in haven.
    god bless you!

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  4. Thank you sooo much. I stumbled upon your blog and read one recent post where you mentioned Faith,and for some reason I immediately started back tracking through your older posts desperate to know about Faith and her story. I sat here trying to read the whole post through the tears welling And through short break down, full out, crying sessions. I too lost my baby girl at nearly 37 wks from a placenta abruption, sept 08. I can't even describe what I went through to get to where I am now...an amazing husband was a large part for sure, but the biggest reason was the comfort and refuge I took in Jesus that I never did before. I was never close to him and he was TRULY the ONLY reason I was able to get through. There are many painfully wonderful memories I hold secretly in my heart and I commend you for having the courage to share your testimony. I too had an emergency c-section and I swear I was reading something I would have wrote when you describe jotting aside your own pain and tears to try to take in all you could. I sat there, wanting and needing to cry uncontrollably as I held my baby girl, looking sooo perfect and healthy and normal and knowing there was nothing I could do, It didn't seem fair that babies who were born with there insides outside of their bodies and babies who were so small and underdeveloped were going to survive and see the outside of that nicu and my perfect baby girl would not. I had to remind myself to try to stop crying so I could see clearly every inch of her body, I needed to memorize ever part so I could remember. First her eyes, then her forehead, ear, nose, cheeks, chin, mouth, arms (oh her adorable squishy arms) and her little hands...my heart aches often when I see her brother (born last year, and the spittting image of her) go through his own milestones, but I am also full of joy that god has blessed us again (and oh man is he the light of my life). I apologize for the rant, but I praise god for bringing me to your blog, in a bigger way then you know, it is healing.

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  5. To Anonymous. Thank YOU for reminding me why I began this blog. It is for people like you that I know God had in mind when he inspired me to begin writing it all down. I am so happy I could offer some joy and healing through my story! Thank you for reading. Please keep stopping by.

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  6. WOW, such a beautiful and inspiring story! You have such a beautiful view of the world and your faith inspires me! I will be sharing your blog with my readers. Your story needs to be heard! I admire your strength more than you will ever know.

    xoxo,
    ashley

    you impress me

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  7. Whew...i don't even know where to begin other than to say, you inspire me and her story and your faith... whew. AND the little miracle growing inside of you... amazing...

    we lost our daughter in september, i know our stories are different, every pain and ache is differnet for one another, but i have to say, i will be lifting you up in prayer in the only way i know how. much love to you and yours. happy birthday baby Faith.

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  8. okay, so I just saw the date. I'm sorry, I thought this was recent. Anyways, I still meant what I said. And your little MIA is so precious! A little miracle baby indeed!

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  9. I can't even Imagine what you went through and are going through. even though we have never met before I want you to know that you are one strong women! and that in general inspires me.

    Jenae *hugs*

    I so admire Your Stregth!
    Your story Touched my heart.

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  10. Wow amazing! My story is so similar to yours. I bleed my whole pregnancy with Harry from day one. I was placed on bed rest in the hospital at a little over 20 weeks and was told they were shooting for 24 weeks. I remember thinking I can do it, I'm here, I'm safe. I hemorrhaged and almost died one night. I was in labor and ere was nothing they could do to stop it. I was having my baby boy at 20 wks and 4 days. I miss him dearly! He was perfect in every way! He would be a little over 2 now. I now have a baby boy named Finn who is 8 months old. It's been so healing. I hope and pray all is well with this baby and your pregnancy.
    If you want you can read harrys story at harrysinheaven.blogspot.com.
    Good luck and peace be with you.

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  11. Hi Laura,

    I found you randomly and you have managed to bring so many emotions out of me! I give you so much credit for sharing such a hard story with the world. But it was humbling...and encouraging. I recently read, "Heaven is for Real" (Todd Burpo) I'm not sure if you've read it...but I'm SURE you would love it after hearing this. It would make your heart sing. :o)

    Thank you for your words! Much love!

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  12. Everything about you is beautiful. Even the way you write about an unthinkable day. Truly inspiring.

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  13. I am sitting here weeping. My heart breaks for you. After losing three babies I had an abrubtion at 35 weeks pregnant. It is only by the grace of God that our sweet girl is alive and well. I have since lost three more babies and the only thing that keeps me sane is knowing my babies are in the arms of Jesus. Thank you for sharing your story. Though our situations are different, I feel a connection with you. Something about knowing another mother has lost her baby.... May the Lord bless you and your family. I am so glad I found your blog!

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  14. Wow, amazing....thank you for sharing. I cried many tears sitting here reading the stories about your two girl in heaven. I have five babies in heaven, there stories can be found here, www.kainyn.blogspot.com Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are a beautiful writer and such a blessing. A baby's death is such a hard, almost impossible valley to walk, but with His strength we can. As sad as it makes my heart to hear of other mama's hearts breaking over their little ones, I find great comfort in knowing I am not alone. Hugs....<3

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  15. i just ran across your blog and am at a loss for words. you are such a strong and amazing person (:

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  16. It breaks my heart that you had to loose you sweet baby girls. Thanks for sharing your story, I've had problems with miscarriage and many complications afterwards this past year. It's always comforting to know that you are not alone. Thank you for sharing!

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  17. So sorry about your two precious daughters. You are indeed a strong person. May God continue to bless you and give you strength, always.

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  18. I will never take my children forgranted again, I do not know this loss and couldnt even imagine it if I tried. Your strength in God is so fulfilling and I know the Lord's blessing is upon you! You have touched my heart so much and you are touching so many people all over the world. I am grateful for your strength! Be blessed dear Laura!

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  19. I read your most recent post today and really have you on my heart. I've not had a baby yet, or even been pregnant, but I have two sweet ladies that have been through similar hard times.

    First there is Vickie. She's always been like an older sister to me. 5 years ago she lost her three month old to Epidermolysis bullosa, a disease that causes bilsters on skin. Then two years ago I met Brooke. After he took his first breath, she was able to hold him for 45 minutes before he took his last breath.

    So even though I can't really completely understand your loss, I do understand your love. I've seen the love through my friends. and I know there is still pain and all those questions of why -why can they can't be running around with your other precious little ones.

    One of my best childhood friends passed away at the age of 16 in a car accident. Nearly ten years have passed and I still wonder "God, why couldn't she have lived? Why didn't she get to go through medical school or buy her black cobra that she always wanted."

    And all those things that everyone always says, they don't really help cope. Sometimes they make it worse.

    I'm not trying to say those things to you. I will be praying for you.

    The sister-in-law of my friend recently read the following blog post and shared. I thought you may like to see it as well.

    http://www.stevewiens.com/2013/05/23/responding-to-tragedy-and-loss/?utm_source=The+Actual+Pastor+Email+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=339d25fa8e-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6beb214c33-339d25fa8e-59251053

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    Replies
    1. and I'm sorry for posting a novel :)

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