Forty-two minutes...a lifetime of love...

God's Gift...Our Angel Baby

Twenty weeks into life, Hailey was diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE). Further testing showed that she had full Trisomy 13, also called Patau syndrome. Trisomy 13 affects about 1 in 16,000 babies. HPE affects about 1 in 10,000 babies and of those only 3% survive to delivery. With the severity of Hailey's condition, she is given little chance of surviving to term. But our family was dedicated to giving her that chance, no matter how small, and she gave us every hope for the future.

On June 12, 2009, our angel baby was born and delivered into our loving arms. There is where she spent her life and gave us the best 42 minutes of ours. Our journey led us to this moment in time, the moment we met our little girl face to face, and the precious time we shared with her. Now Hailey is safe in the hands of God until we meet again.

God has blessed our family in ways we didn't understand at first. But through our faith and trust in Him, we came to realize just how much purpose Hailey's life serves on this earth. Hailey has unlocked the deeper meaning of faith, hope and love, and has forever changed the lives of many. We are blessed to be part of such an incredible life and incredible journey.

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Letting Go...

I'm not sure where to even start with this one...

I know that what lies ahead is going to be the hardest thing I will ever experience in my life. Last night I think I was able to pinpoint the exact moment when it's going to be the absolute worst..letting her go.

Here is a rough draft of what I picture happening in that hospital room.

Hailey's strength endures the delivery and she is immediately laid in my arms. I feel her warmth. I kiss her dark mess of hair and hold her close. I admire her beautiful face. I wrap her hand around my finger. I inspect every inch of her and she is perfect! My first words to her are, "Hi, my baby girl! This is mommy!" I go on to tell her how much I love her, how proud I am of her, and how honored I am to be her mommy. I let her know that her big brother Ryan says "Hello. He loves you and he can't wait to come in and meet you". I tell her "We did it!" That she is so strong just like her daddy, and she conquered the odds. I am blissfully happy. I got to meet my little girl. I got to hold her and love on her. I get to celebrate the life Tim and I created together, and that God blessed us with. Then I tell her everything is going to be OK. She is going to live with Jesus, and everything will be OK. Mommy and daddy will catch up with her soon, but she will never be alone. We won't leave her until Jesus comes to take her hand.

When my time is up, I cry. But I hold her close and continue to kiss her head, her cheek, her hand, and I never stop telling her I love her. I love her, I will always love her, and I will never ever forget her. She will always be with me.

Once I've gotten it together a bit, we bring in Ryan. Tim is sitting down holding Hailey. Ryan comes to sit on my lap and we talk for a minute. I read to him the book I made beforehand that explains perfectly how Jesus made Hailey extra special, an angel, and that she is going to live in heaven with Him. {I don't have the book made yet, but I'm working on it. I'm still searching for the right words.} Then we take him over to hold her hand and kiss her head. He talks to her and sings her a song. After we've had our family time, we ask for our parents to join us. I picture our moms coming in with tears rolling down their faces. They each hold her and love on her.

To lighten the mood, Tim and Ryan get the small cake we brought to celebrate Hailey's birthday. Tim lights the candle and we sing to her. We let Ryan blow out the candle since Hailey's too little, and she needs her big brother to help. What's a birthday without gifts? Ryan gives Hailey her birthday present; the 'cute boo' that he picked out for her. It's a very special gift from her big brother. Today is also a special day for Ryan because he is a big brother, and Hailey got him a little something too; a matching 'boo' in blue. Of course Ryan loves it and couldn't ask for anything better.

We laugh. We cry. We couldn't imagine trading this day for anything else in the world. We get to hold, and touch, and kiss one of God's own miracles. An angel. My baby girl.

After our parents say their 'good-byes'. Tim, Ryan and I are left alone. Ryan kisses her one last time and gives her a big hug; probably never knowing that it will be his last. Our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer is there to capture every minute we spent in that room with Hailey. Every minute that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. Ryan leaves, and Tim and I are left to say whatever is in our hearts to say to our beautiful daughter. Our amazing little girl that came and left this world all too soon. A precious and perfect gift that has changed our lives forever. An inspiration that will leave a legacy to outlast our own.

Then comes the worst part. The part that breaks me and tears me into a million pieces. The only thought of this whole day that had me crying in Tim's arms last night.

Letting go...

Hailey leaves my arms. My whole world is stripped from my strangers. I hand her over to strangers; to never set eyes on her beautiful face again. They turn their back on me and carry my little girl away. My heart is gone. The torture and devastation we felt on the first day our journey with Hailey began, returns...multiplied by every blessed day we traveled on this journey since then.

What happens next is a blur. A whirlwind of treasured memories mixed with pain and sorrow.

I know that I will see Hailey again! I will find comfort and peace in God. He will take care of me, just like he is taking care of Hailey. She couldn't be in better hands than in the hands of God.

I will see my daughter again!

I will just have to wait.


"'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." - Psalm 147:3

"'Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.'" - Matthew 5:4

"'I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'" - John 16:33

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." - Hebrews 13:5
But Jesus said, "Let the little ones come to me, and do not keep them away; for such is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 19:14