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, April 6, 2009

My Other Half

I wouldn't say he's my 'better' half per se, although he may argue otherwise, but he compliments me well. Either way he's definitely my other half and where I leave off, he picks up!

My husband, Tim, and I have have been married for almost four years now, (Honey, this is a friendly reminder it's coming up soon!) and they have honestly been four wonderful, yet very short, years! It amazes me how time flies when your young, in love and starting a family.

I must admit that I am a lucky girl to have found such a great guy! I can't say enough good things about him. Anyone who knows Tim knows what a hard worker he is; he reminds me a lot of my dad in that way. Tim serves in the Missouri National Guard, and just recently started working for them full time. He also has his own lawn mowing business, which Ryan is REALLY looking forward to helping with this year. I'm pretty sure Ryan's first love is to mow grass. I'm telling you, he could circle the house 80 times with his little lawn mower and not get bored! It is serious business to him, "I need to mow grass. Just two more minutes." But up until recently, Tim's life had always been working his full time job at the bank, serving in the National Guard, mowing grass for the majority of the year, going to school full time, and being a full time husband and father. Another thing I admire about him is that he never says 'No' to someone in need. You could always count on him to be there when you need a ride, or you need help moving, or when you need a buddy to go to the game with. He never complains, he just does it. Let me be clear here, his wife does not fall into this category! Apparently I am not someone who is ever in need of anything important. Now what was I saying...ah yes, it just amazes me how he found the time to do all that and still be there for his family. He's never been anything less than a good provider, a wonderful husband, and an excellent dad! I truly mean that.

I must admit that I was a little frustrated after Ryan was born. He always carried around this "I have no idea what to do with a baby" face on and it bugged me. I so badly wanted him to do something and help, but I didn't know what it was I wanted him to do. And every time he tried to help, like change a diaper, for some reason it was never quite right! Poor guy. I gave him such a hard time. It's just a simple fact that guys take to babies differently than women do. They like to ease their way into it; no rush. And when the diaper comes off, they're standing on their own two feet, and they're starting to talk back to mommy, then they come in; full steam ahead! (Ok. Maybe not quite that way, but you catch my drift.) It really didn't take that long before Tim became comfortable with Ryan. The idea of becoming a parent was exciting yet terrifying all at the same time for both of us. We were so excited to be parents together, and to experience life's most amazing miracle, yet we were terrified of failing. But we eventually tamed that fear as much as a parent can. We knew we could and would always provide Ryan with all the love and care he, and every child, needs and deserves. I knew that Tim was going to be a one-of-a-kind dad, and he is!

There is no one else I would rather have by my side through all the good times and hard times. He was my rock and saving grace when my dad passed away. I don't know how, but he just knew what I needed through that time, and he was always right there. I can't convey just how grateful I am for everything he did. Now, only a short time later, we found ourselves embarking on another difficult journey, one that we didn't expect and we're unprepared for.

I don't know exactly how all this has impacted Tim. I know that he has obtained a deeper understanding of life, faith, love and hope, just as I have, but I'm not sure how this has affected him as a father. He was in shock over it all for longer than I was, wondering how things could have changed so drastically in one day. I think that's why he was hesitant to share our story at first. I was ready, but it was too soon for him because he still hadn't figured it all out yet. Like any good dad, he was trying to fix it and make it all better, but he couldn't. He realizes now that this is our time and our life with our daughter. From now until that day is everything we will have to remember and cherish the new and precious life we've been waiting for. We also know that Hailey has so much of life to give, not just for us but to share with everyone.

This experience is a little different for me than it is for Tim. I get to experience Hailey first hand everyday. I get to feel her kick, stretch and move; a connection that he doesn't have with her. I think that makes a difference now, because while I get to focus and concentrate more on her being alive, he is left with thinking about that day. That day he gets to meet his daughter. That day when he gets to hold her for the first time and last time. That day he thinks he has to hold it together for everyone. When Hailey is born, and Tim gets to see her, hold her and talk to her, I know that my experience with her now won't be any different than his experience with her then. He will instantly have that special connection that exists between father and daughter. The one I've always wanted him to experience. And we will both incur the same feeling of hurt and pain a parent suffers when losing a child.

There are many reasons why I know that everything will be okay, one of which is that I have Tim. I am blessed that he is my husband, the father of my children, and the man who is always standing next to me. I love you, babe!

FYI...I would have wrote about Tim earlier this week, but he's kept me busy playing his nursemaid. He's been sick with some kind of virus for over a week now. I've never seen him this sick or for this long. But where he leaves off, I pick up... and he leaves off quite a bit when he's sick! :)
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