Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sweet Caroline

I do not know why I have hesitated to post this update on Caroline, but for some reason it has been really hard for me to sit down and write about her. There are so many sweet family members and friends who are truly concerned for us, and are lifting us up in prayer daily, and for that we are soooo very grateful! Your sweet cards, emails, messages, and texts have meant so much to us over the last several months. Dealing with Caroline's prognosis is by no means easy, and my heart breaks for my precious baby girl, but we are taking everything one day at a time. The fact that God has a plan for her, He has from the beginning, and the assurance that he makes no mistakes, is helping us tremendously. I am treasuring every moment of my pregnancy with her! She is a very active baby, and is always on the move.

We had a cardiac echo last week.....a procedure that allowed the specialist to look in greater detail at her heart. Unfortunately we did find out that she does have some significant cardiac anomalies. Basically there is a large hole between two of the chambers of her heart, and two of the major vessels in her heart are reversed; which will eventually lead to an insufficient amount of oxygenated blood in her body....making breathing impossible for her. In a "normal" baby this would be a complication that would be treated with surgery, at some point after birth. The main concern I have had is that I do not want her to in any way suffer. My sweet doctor explained how death typically occurs in babies with conditions similar to hers, and she assured me that they typically just drift off to pain or suffering. What a relief to hear! We could demand surgery for Caroline, but after much prayer and talking, we are not making that choice for her. We know that with her brain malformation alone, her prognosis is very poor, and we have chosen to do nothing "selfish" and try and postpone the inevitable. We know that God has her precious life in His hands, although we do not know why He has chosen this for our family, we are trusting that He will provide all we need. The doctors can "predict" how long she can live with this condition, but our doctors have been honest...saying they really do not know, and admit they are not God, and DO NOT want to guess. We know that she will probably not survive for more than a few days to weeks this way. As difficult and heartbreaking as this news is, it is somehow peaceful. We have known for several months now about her diagnosis, but not knowing what to expect has been the hardest thing to deal with. Having somewhat of an idea about the length of her lifespan has given us peace over the "what-ifs".

It is our prayer that we can surround sweet Caroline with happiness, peace and love for the length of her life. We want her to feel the joy we have for her, and know that we love her. It is hard for me to picture how the days in the hospital will be, and if we do come home with her for a short time, but I do know that I want to have every opportunity to love on my baby girl. We are greatly saddened and heartbroken for our sweet Caroline, but it is our desire that her days here on earth will be filled with happiness and smiles, not sadness and tears. We want to rejoice in her precious life, and the amazing gift that she is. It is our prayer that we can be with our little angel when she is welcomed into Heaven. Rhett and I are talking a lot about what we want to happen at the hospital, how we will handle family and visitors. We have so many decisions to make, and we just ask that you pray for us to have sound judgement and clarity when making all of these difficult decisions.

The good news is that she is now head down, and is swallowing like a "normal" baby. Apparently these are two things that are uncommon with babies with her diagnosis. The fact that she is head down is great news, as we are hoping to not have another c-section. When babies are not swallowing well, the amniotic fluid greatly increases, putting the mom at risk for excessive amniotic fluid. This causes a lot of discomfort for the mom, as well as elevated blood pressure, etc. Thankfully, we are not being faced with any of theses situations!

It would be super easy for us to just be mad, angry, and have a major pity party. This Christmas season, I am daily reminded of how blessed we are. Just last night Rhett and I were talking about blessings and the many wonderful things God has given us. I started thinking, and we both agree that there are probably a lot of people that would choose to be in our shoes, other than the situation they are in. As hard and trying as this is for us, there are so many other people in this world who are suffering much greater than we are. I am so thankful to our God for blessing us with an amazing marriage, fabulous children, a strong faith, and hope for the future. Don't forget to thank God for all you have been given, when you start to think about is so much, and can put so many things into perspective. We hope your Christmas is very Merry, and let us all remember the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas!!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit".

Romans 15:13

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fantastic Charity!

If you are looking for an amazing organization to donate to this Christmas season......we have the perfect place!! Almost 3 years ago, we were greatly blessed with the adoption of our precious Wesley! He was hand picked by God for our family............and as always, it has been PERFECTLY WONDERFUL! He is an amazing little boy, and truly brings us so much happiness and joy. He lived in an orphanage, Eagle's Nest, in Guatemala, for the first six months of his life. Unlike a lot of orphanages, Eagle's Nest is a great place. They absolutely love the sweet babies and children there and they provide wonderful care for all of these precious children. Rhett and I will forever be grateful to them for taking such amazing care of our sweet little boy, and for loving him when we could not. I remember like it was yesterday, the first time we met him, and were able to hold him. It is because of the fabulous care from the staff and nannies there, that Wesley was so healthy, and adjusted so well to us. We could tell how much the sweet nannies really loved him, and that warmed our hearts! Unfortunately, due to the legal systems, adoptions in Guatemala have stopped, but there are still many children there that need homes. It is because of great places like Eagle's Nest, that these children have a place to call home. We all know how expensive raising children can be, and it is no different for Eagle's Nest. I know it would be a huge blessing to them and the precious little ones there if we could all donate this Christmas Season. Christmas is about giving.....that is what God did for us, He gave us His Son to save us! Join us in helping to save the sweet children still without loving parents and homes!!`There is a link to Eagle's Nest on the top right side of our blog. Thanks to any of you who are able to donate to them, if monetary donations are not possible, please pray for them and all of the sweet precious children! THANK YOU!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

So Long!

It has been a long time since I posted anything!! We have been busy around here!

We had a great Thanksgiving week! We travelled to my parents last Wednesday night, and we were all so glad to be out of the car!! Davis has always had ENOUGH when we have about 30 minutes to go, so I spent the majority of that time turned around in my seat, feeding him snacks, and trying anything to make him happy (very safe, I know!). Wesley travelled really well, and was super excited to watch his new Thomas and Diego Christmas movies, SEVERAL times!! We went to Rhett's parents Thursday morning, and had a great Thanksgiving Day lunch with his family. We enjoyed getting to visit with every one, and Wesley and Davis had a fun time with all of their cousins. Wesley even decided to take a swim in their goldfish pond......always an adventure! We went back to my parents that afternoon for a Thanksgiving Day Dinner! Again we enjoyed a fantastic meal prepared by my mom, and had so much fun with my brothers and their families. Wesley and his cousin Maxwell played non-stop! We originally planned to stay until Saturday, and were going to fun Christmas light display with my parents, but sweet baby Davis started running fever late Thursday afternoon. So, we headed home early Friday, in order to see our pediatrician that afternoon. Thankfully he has just had a bad sinus infection, and after four days is FINALLY feeling better! We had a quick trip, but we had a wonderful time with each of our families.

In spite of everything, we know how much we have to be thankful for. God has richly blessed our sweet family, and continues to do so daily. Even through all of the struggles, pain, sadness, and fear, HE provides for us more than we could ever deserve, and we are SO VERY THANKFUL! With each day that passes, we realize even more how much we have been given, and we praise God for that! We are so blessed with: salvation, faith, forgiveness, freedom, a wonderful marriage, health, family, friends, a nice home, food to eat, our precious boys, our journey with sweet Caroline, and trials that make us stronger. God is GOOD ALL OF THE TIME!!

We are now in full Christmas mode at our house! All of our decorations are up, and I LOVE IT! Thanksgiving and Christmas are my most favorite times of the year! Wesley and Davis had so much fun "helping" us decorate the trees, and we had a blast decorating with them. Davis loves "un-decorating" the trees, and Wesley is ever so helpful to tell him how that is not right, and is a big "no-no"! I frequently hear from Wesley..."I think Davis has an urnament, mama,.....and he always does!!" I love it; they are so funny!! You will see in the pictures below, that they had the most fun on the ladder with their daddy, and yes I do realize how "un-safe" it was, but their Daddy promised me they would not fall! For those of you who know my sweet boys, you know how much they love to climb, so this was right up their ally! They make everything so magical! We are truly a blessed family

Monday, November 9, 2009

It Is Well With My Soul

Yesterday in church, we sang one of my all time favorite hymns--"It is well with my soul". Ironically, this song has been running through my head for the last several weeks, and has been the "lullaby" for many of Davis' rockings. It is also one of the songs I have written down to possibly be at Caroline's memorail service, whenever that may be. I absolutely love the sweet words in the hymn, and the promises given from our Heavenly Father. The storm we are in is truly "well with my soul". I can not explain it any other way, other than the fact that my God is providing for us, and He has prepared us for whatever He has in store for us, our amazing little boys, and our precious little Caroline.

"When peace like a river, attendeth, my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, It is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, It is well with my soul.

Though Satan, should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my sake.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, It is well with my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, It is well with my soul.

And, Lord hast the day, when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is wel, It is well with my soul."

Horatio G. Spafford

Thursday, October 29, 2009


These are the verses that I have been repeating these last few days, and my sweet precious Wesley is learning them too...........what a blessing!!

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again REJOICE!! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts, and your minds in Christ Jesus".

Philippians 4:4-7

It is not hard to rejoice in this storm we are having. We have so many things to be thankful for. I am rejoicing in the fact that I have a Saviour who loves me so much, and cares for me, that He is giving me an un-explainable peace. So many people do not understand why we are really okay, when we say we are okay. It is not a front, it is not fake. I am okay, because I get my hope and my strength from my heavenly father. In the beginning of this journey (and it still is), my prayer was for peace and comfort. God is daily providing that for me. I have a huge peace in knowing that the life of my sweet precious Caroline is in his perfect hands. God loves her so much more than we ever could, and He will hold her in his arms every day and love her for me. I have peace in the fact that when she does go to Heaven, she will be made whole, never suffer, never be in pain, and will have an eternity of happiness. What a joy, as her mommy, to know that she will FOREVER be happy and healthy!!

I also rejoice in the fact that we have such a wonderful support system. Our family, friends, church family, and people we do not know that well, have shown a tremendous amount of love and support for us. We are so grateful for all of the prayers on our behalf and our sweet little Caroline's----prayer is the best thing any one can do for us! Thanks to all of you who are praying for us, we definitely feel it!!

My wonderful boys bring me so much joy and happiness! I thank God for them, and although they do not know it, their sweet smiles, beautiful little faces, contagious laughs, big hugs and sticky kisses are tremendously helping me. When my mind does drift months from now, and I think about the things with Caroline that won't be, they help me. I know God is using them to help us make it through the toughest times. What a gift God has blessed us with in our amazing little boys!

I will admit, I am anxious, and it is a daily struggle not to be. I am anxious to hear the official results of our amniocentesis. I am also anxious about the unknown. Will I carry her to term, how her birth will be, will she survive birth, how long will she live, where will we bury her, how will we tell Wesley and Davis??? All of the unknowns are constantly running through my mind. Fortunately, I do not have anxiety from this, but I am anxious to know the answers. I have searched the internet for other cases like Caroline's, asked my awesome doctors their opinions, but I know there is only ONE who knows the answers. God has so gently reminded me this week, that He has a plan. It is not for me to know, or worry about, it is my job to cling to Him, present my requests to Him, and He will give me a peace in everything! He has already provided such peace for Rhett and me. I know I have to give all of the "what-ifs" to Him, and that I am in control of NOTHING! Rhett and I say all of the time, as sad as we are about our Caroline, not knowing what to expect is the hardest part. This is my test of faith, to truly let go, and give it all to God. So, I am going to ask that you join us in praying for peace over the "what-ifs", that I can just give it over to God, and let him be in control of EVERYTHING!

Again, thanks to every one for caring about us and our precious little family! God has blessed us so much, and is providing for us daily!

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Blog

Okay, so here is our new blog! Hopefully I will do a better job at updating this one! We have many upcoming changes at our house, so we needed a new blog to go along with all of our changes! This will be the EASIEST way for me to keep our family and friends updated over the next several months.

First, we will no longer be a family of boys....our upcoming arrival is a GIRL! We are thrilled to be adding sweet baby girl, Caroline Elizabeth, to our home, and are praising God for the road He has chosen for us. We do not understand everything about the journey God has planned for Caroline and us, but we are embracing His plan for each of us, and seeking to give Him the glory He deserves.

Now, I am sure I have confused a lot of you, so I will start from the beginning. When Rhett and I found out this past July, that we were expecting baby # 3, we were thrilled, SHOCKED, but thrilled. Davis was a mere 9 months old, and still breastfeeding, when we saw those two beautiful pink lines at 4 AM, but we were so excited, and just could not stop laughing! We were positive we wanted more children, so adding a new baby was fabulous news for us! The next four months would go by without any problems, a little nausea here and there, but nothing to really complain about. I absolutely LOVE being pregnant, and fortunately God has blessed me with "easy" pregnancies. When I went for my regular 16 week checkup, on October 15th, I had no idea how my very "normal/easy" pregnancy would soon change. Rhett was out of town (something that never happens), and my mom came to keep the boys for my appointment. I had plans to go and do some Christmas shopping after my appt., you know, have a little ME time! My appt. with my wonderful doctor was uneventful, and everything was great! I decided to go ahead and get the H1N1 vaccine. As I was waiting for the required 15 minute stay after the shot, the sonographer asked me if I wanted her to take a peek, and see if we could confirm pink or blue! Well, of course I said YES.....we could not wait to find out what our precious new baby was! During the ultrasound our sweet little one was very un-cooperative! She did some measurements, and noticed her head was a little small. She ran it by my doctor, who thought it best that I go and see a maternal/fetal medicine doc.......RIGHT AWAY! I was SCARED, and WORRIED, and ALONE! I thought about just being really brave, and doing it all by myself, but I was really scared for my sweet baby. I called my best friend, and asked her to start praying, and she immediately left her very busy job, and came to meet me. I am so grateful for my dear friend Carrie, and all of the love and support she has given me. I am so thankful for her and her sweet family! They were with us through our adoption journey with Wesley, our pregnancy with Davis, and now this journey with our sweet baby Caroline.

As I was leaving my OBGYN, I immediately called Rhett (in Oregon). I could not figure out how to tell him that our sweet baby could possibly have something terribly wrong. I knew he would feel completely helpless, since he was all the way across the country. I told him what I knew so far, and his words to me were, " No matter what, we will be okay". I am praying for you and our baby right now. Call me as soon as you can". I am so blessed to have such a wonderful Godly husband, and father for my children. I was scared to death, but also worried for him, because I knew he just wanted to be there with me. The ride to the maternal/fetal doctor was long and I was SCARED, have I told y'all I was SCARED, and SHOCKED!! Sweet Carrie was there with me, and did all she could to give me support, and courage while we waited for OVER an hour to see the doctor.............that was a really long hour! Rhett called several times during the wait, and it was wonderful to be able to talk to him.

The next few hours sort of run together. I had an ultrasound, and saw our precious baby girl, and her very normal body. When the sonographer got to her head, that is where the problems were. Basically in early gestation, like weeks 3-4, parts of her brain failed to separate and develop normally. So, while her body measures right on time, her head measures about 1 1/2 - 2 weeks smaller. This is not something that will change, or get better, and may possibly get worse. She does have some parts of her brain that are normal, but the majority of her brain is not correctly formed, thus leading to the words no parent ever wants to hear "incompatible with life". Hearing those very grim and hopeless words is the hardest thing I have ever had to endure, and then telling my sweet husband was even harder. Rhett handled it so well, and was such a huge support for me, even over the phone. He spent the next 12 hours changing his flights, rushing to make flights, and flying all night, so he could be home with me. I hated for him to have to cut his trip short, but I was so thankful he was on his way home. Once again, I am so very thankful for my best friend, Carrie. She was by my side the entire time, throughout the ultrasound, talking with the doctor, and she is still walking this journey with us. I don't know how I will ever thank her for rubbing my head, holding my hand, and experiencing this storm with me. She is awesome, and such a blessing from God.

While I liked the specialist I saw, he was not very encouraging. He really wanted me to go ahead with an amniocentesis, to check for chromosomal abnormalities, that very day, at like 6 at night. We are pretty sure his choice of treatment for us and our precious Caroline is: medical termination. I had just heard the most terrifying thing about our sweet baby girl, and now he is telling me that "killing" her would be the best thing for me, that we could get on with life faster. I was shocked, and could only say the first thing that came to mind (thank God), "I am a Christian, and that is not an option for me". He said he understood, and that they would support whatever decision we ultimately chose to make. I decided to wait and do the amnio once Rhett was home, and could go with me. I left that clinic that day terribly sad and scared, but with a peace that could only have come from my heavenly Father. This is the verse that popped into my head,

" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".--Jeremiah 29:11

With that wonderful and encouraging verse running through my head, I left the clinic, and headed home. I thought about God's words as I drove home, and prayed to God for peace and comfort. I had no idea how I would handle the days and months to come, but I knew the only way was to cling to God, and rest in his grace and peace. I know that God does everything for our good, and that he has a plan for us that is so much better than anything we could ever imagine. I want God to be glorified through our sweet baby girl and her life. I decided that while this was the saddest thing I have ever endured, I had a choice. I could either be depressed, mad, angry, question God's reasoning, isolate myself from family/friends/reality, and just give up---or I could rejoice in the fact that God chose this path for us, our family, our baby girl, give Him all of the honor and glory he deserves, and be so thankful that I will look back and see how He carried me through this. I chose the later. No matter how terrible this storm is, and how sad and scared I am, I am still a wife, mommy to the two most wonderful little boys, daughter, sister, friend, and mostly child of God. I know there will be some really tough days (there have been many), and there will be some days that are easier. I am reminded constantly that God understands what we are going through, he lost his baby boy-----to save the world from their sins!!!

It is our hope and prayer that no one feels sorry for us. We do not feel sorry for ourselves, we are extremely sad that our little girl will have such a short life, but we know that God will bring much good out of this. We are putting our hope and faith in our God, and we have the ultimate peace that He will provide for us, and carry us every step of the way. We are focusing on our pregnancy, and enjoying every moment we are given with precious Caroline. I talk to her, read to her, and treat her just like I would any baby in my belly. Rhett and I are joyfully looking forward to meeting her. We are striving to create as much normalcy for our sweet boys as we can, and also include them in the joy of their baby sister. Please join us in prayer for our family, our precious angel Caroline and the road that awaits us.

"But my God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in Glory, by Christ Jesus!!!"
Philippians 4:19