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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One Day at a Time

I've tried several times to write over the past week, but every time I tried my thoughts and words would get jumbled up and I just couldn't do it. And though it's still hard for me to find the words to suit my feelings I figured I'd give it another try.

It's been over a week now since Hailey's birthday, and a week since we commemorated her new life in heaven. I can't say that I know exactly where the time has gone since then, and to be honest I think I've spent a great deal of it exhausted and in a fog. During this time I've also struggled with what it is exactly that I'm supposed to be doing, because what I'm supposed to be doing right now I can't, and that really hurts. There are times when I'm doing the littlest things around the house that I'll stop and cry because it just doesn't feel right. And then I begin to think about all the other things I should be doing at that moment. I see myself feeding Hailey or changing her diaper, or simply holding her in my arms. I see myself doing all those things that a mother should be doing after just giving birth. I guess I just get lost sometimes, and I suppose that's a normal part of the grieving process as you adapt to change and adjust to a new way of living without holding the one thing you want most in this world.

I didn't know quite what to expect in this chapter of healing, and honestly I tried not to give it too much thought. But I've found it has definitely brought with it a few surprises courtesy of God's love and comfort. One of my fears has always been the emptiness that I was sure to feel the second I stepped foot outside that hospital without my baby. The emptiness of my arms that would resonate to my heart. But to my surprise that feeling didn't exist for me then and it still doesn't. My heart was so full of the life and love I had just shared with my little girl that made it impossible for me to fill empty. She is too much a part of me and who I am to feel like there's nothing there, like she's not there. And while my arms didn't hold Hailey anymore, they still held the other gifts in my life, my son and my husband. Blessings that I will never again take for granted. Please don't be mistaken, leaving that hospital was the second to the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, but I knew I still had Hailey with me. I had her with me in a new way now. A way that we're not use to having people in our lives because we're human and we need and want things that we can see and touch. I don't think we always realize how much we live our lives with our minds instead of our hearts. Now we are having to adjust to Hailey living in our hearts instead of by our mind's sight. It will take some time, but I believe once we do that, we'll find her presence is just as real, and even greater, than it was when I held her for those 42 minutes.

Something else that has surprised me is feeling like a family of four. Of course I knew that I would now have two amazing children, and I would tell people that if they asked, but everywhere we go I always see us as a family of four. It's difficult for me to explain what I mean by that but when Tim, Ryan and I are all together, Hailey is always there too. Even when I look at Tim and Ryan, I instantly feel Hailey, and that feeling is just as real to me as anything my eyes can see. We've embedded her so deeply in our hearts that she will always be with us wherever we go, and she is and always will be part of our family. In a way I think that right there might be some proof that we are learning how to live on with Hailey.

To describe loosing a child...Looking at your child's face for what you know will be the last time...I'm not even going to try because there's no words to describe it. You know it only if you've experienced it, but what I can tell you is that sting of pain you felt as you read those words is only the tip of the iceberg. So what do you say, what do you do after holding your child's life in your hands? It's different for everyone, but as I laid down on the night of June 12, I found I didn't know quite what to say to God. But on that night, and every night since, I have prayed the same simple prayer that holds every thought and every feeling; "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you." In that prayer I thank Him for Hailey, and for choosing me to be her mommy. I thank Him for the time I had with her, and that He is taking care of her now. I also thank Him for my family, and for all the blessings He continues to send my way. I also thank Him for dying on that cross for me, and preparing a place for my family to be together again without ever having to say 'good-bye'. And then I cry. I cry because I miss my little girl, and I cry because I can't believe how blessed I am. My tears are of joy and sorrow, never one without the other.

I've found the best guideline on this part of our journey is to walk with God and simply take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Letter from Mommy

My Sweet Baby Girl,

For 42 minutes I held your life in my arms. And it was an experience that I have never, and will never in my life know again. There are no words to describe the strength of our time with one another. I was so captivated by your presence in my arms that all words escaped me. I simply didn't know what to say to someone so perfect. But what needed to be said was said, and what needed to be felt was felt. Everything was already there between us, as they have been from the beginning.

As I looked upon your beautiful face, I knew I was looking at the face of an angel...our angel. I was looking at the little girl that has changed my life forever, and you did so without ever having to say a single word. You have changed everything about me through the kicks and movements we shared, through the steady sound of your heartbeat, through the smell of your skin and the touch of your hand. You have taken me on a journey unlike any other. On a journey that shook me and woke me to a life unlived and a woman unknown. You've saved me with your strength and your courage, and by the unconditional hope you've given me. You've shown me what it means to appreciate life, and what it means to live life with unwavering faith, hope and love for God. And all this is because of you, my angel, of our unexpected gift from above.

Today my heart is complete yet broken, but that's because my heart has never loved like this before. And though the pain of losing a piece of my heart is great, the joy of knowing you and loving you is so much greater. Mommy is going to miss you so much, but my heart is comforted knowing that you are safe in God's hands, and that you are home.

We love you sweet girl, more than words can say or the heart can feel. We love you for all that you are and all the joy you've brought to our lives. And I can rest assured knowing that the plans God has for me will eventually bring me back to you.

Until that happy day, baby girl, hold on to that piece of mommy's heart that's yours so that you always remember the precious time we've shared, and how much you are a part of me and who I am.

I love you so much baby girl!

Love Always,

Mommy



This is the letter that was read at Hailey's memorial service yesterday. There is so much that I want to share, and I will, but this week may be a little slow. But I'll just say that yesterday was perfectly amazing in every way! Our family is doing pretty well, and we greatly appreciate the continued prayers as we embark on this next chapter of healing.

God Bless!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Announcement



Hailey Marie Glavin was born Friday, June 12, 2009 at St. Mary's Health Center in Jefferson City.

Hailey spent her life cradled in the arms of her loving parents. In 42 minutes, Hailey's life was complete as she peacefully went home, but not before leaving her footprint in this world and in the hearts of many.

Twenty weeks into life, Hailey was diagnosed with trisomy 13. Her condition was said to be "incompatible with life," but Hailey proved otherwise. Although her life only lasted moments, they are moments that others will live and experience for a lifetime.

Hailey's proud and blessed parents, Tim and Rachelle Glavin, and big brother, Ryan Glavin, survive at their home in Jefferson City, MO.

Her loving family also includes maternal grandparents, Nick and Rita Carey Gerhardt of Jefferson City, MO.; paternal grandparents, Ralph and Jean Glavin of Frankenstein, MO.; aunt, Jamie Glavin of Linn, MO.; uncles, Zach Carey and Toby and Laura Glavin, all of Jefferson city, MO.; cousin Lexi Glavin; and great-great grandmother, Ada Croy of Centertown, MO. Great-grandparents include: Jim Croy of California, MO., Pat McDow of Jefferson City, MO., Dorothy Mudd of Jefferson City, MO., and Catherine Kever of Loose Creek, MO.

Hailey is welcomed into heaven by uncle Benjamin Carey; maternal grandpa, Perry Carey; and great-grandparents, Andy Croy, Liz Croy, Garland Farrington, Francis Kever, and Wilma and Felix Glavin.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 15, 2009, from 2-3 p.m. at Capital City Christian Church, 1512 Swifts Hwy., Jefferson City. Memorial services will follow at the church at 3 p.m. with Rev. Troy Easley and Rev. Gary Baker officiating. Interment will follow in California City Cemetery at California, MO.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the March of Dimes.

Arrangements are under the direction of Houser-Millard Funeral Directors, 2613 West Main St., Jefferson City, MO.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Hailey!




Hailey Marie Glavin

Born Friday, June 12 at 6:03 a.m.

Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz.
Length: 16 3/4 in.

She had ten fingers, ten toes, and was perfect in every way! She embraced us for 42 miraculous minutes before going home.

Hailey's visitation and memorial service will be held on Monday, June 15 at Capital City Christian Church located at 1512 Swifts Hwy, Jefferson City, MO. This is an open invitation to rejoice in God's greatness, and celebrate Ms. Hailey's life. Visitation is from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. with the memorial service immediately following.

I will write more soon, but please, please know that your prayers were answered for our family! Thank you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Journey of Hope

“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.”

This is our journey. Our journey is of the plans God has for us, and part of our plan was Hailey. Our precious little girl sent to prosper our hearts and give us hope and a future that has forever been changed for the better.

“Then you will call upon me, and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 29:11-14

Now as we approach the day when we meet our angel baby for the first and last time, we call upon the Lord and pray for His comfort and love to embrace each one of us. To give our hearts the strength to focus on the joy of this special day, and to heal when the day is done. We know He is listening, and we have found Him. We reached out to Him with our whole heart, and He is right here with us with us every step of the way.

Monday, June 8, 2009

3 More Days

It's Monday night now, which means we only have three more days until Tim and I head to the hospital. It also means we're that much closer to meeting our little girl!

I truly believe that we've made a wise decision in planning for Hailey's birthday. We've found that we are better prepared now that we are focused on that day with a date intact. I'm also relieved that I don't have to worry anymore whether or not everyone will be able to make it for her special day. Dr. Dodson will be there when we go to the hospital and when we deliver. Our amazing photographer and friend, Amy Knollmeyer, has graciously cleared her schedule to capture every moment of Hailey's life. Our church and the funeral home know the game plan now. There was just so many things that I was worried about, things pregnant mommies don't expect to worry about when they're about to have a baby. I know I've had four months to adjust to all the planning and preparing, but sometimes it gets to me that I'm planning a birthday and funeral all at the same time, and it's stressful. But my worries are no more, thanks to the wonderful people who have made themselves readily available for us. Now I just get to concentrate on the amazing day that lies ahead. I especially think this time has been beneficial for Tim and Ryan. Over the past four months, I have had Hailey to remind me of what is and what is to come. But for them, they've only had my big belly to look at. Now I think they are both in the zone, and it's all coming together, as we look forward to meeting Hailey in just a few short days.

Of course Ryan is very excited to finally meet his baby sister. We've talked about it quite a bit over the weekend, and when I asked him questions he knew the answers. He knows that Hailey is going to live up in heaven with Jesus. We talked about her birthday party, and he knew what he was going to help with - which is everything. He's in charge of giving the presents to her, helping her open them, blowing out the candles, and eating the cake. He also wants to play his guitar for her which will keep us all entertained. I think he understands how special that time is going to be with her, but I know that there will be times when he questions why she's not with us. Tonight he asked me if she was going to sleep on the couch or in her bed. He was so serious that I just had to smile.

Thursday I plan on taking Ryan with me to pick out a little birthday cake and some balloons that he will bring to the hospital on Friday. That evening we are going out to eat with our family to have a pre-birthday party. I've been hooked on McDonald's and McAlister's this pregnancy, and since I've had more than enough McDonald's to last a lifetime I think we'll be eating at McAlister's...although...I could fit McDonald's in for lunch! But that will be a good time, and I'm looking forward to it. We also plan to take Ryan along with us so he can see the room where Hailey will be born. That way when he comes back on Friday he will be a little more comfortable with everything.

Well that's all the updates I have for now, but I want to thank everyone so much for the extra prayers this week. I believe it's giving us the strength to focus on the joy of Hailey's birthday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hailey...Coming Soon!

Over the past week I've been juggling this thought that our meeting with Hailey was coming soon. Yesterday that feeling was so strong that it couldn't be ignored. So I did a lot of thinking and praying. I've always thought that I would continue on through the pregnancy until Hailey let me know it was time. I would wait until I went into labor, or alternatively, until my inner being lay quietly at rest. However, that plan was challenged as this tugging on my heart and mind grew more intense. I questioned where this second opinion came from, but after much prayer I believe it was God nudging me to get ready, to be prepared.

So we've decided that next Friday we will take the first step towards meeting our daughter face-to-face. We will go in Thursday night and induce then on Friday morning. At that time she will also have defied the odds and the 3% chance that was given for her to survive to term. Her strength and love has endured! So during this next week of anticipation, we will be packing our bags and preparing our hearts to spend the most precious time of Hailey's life. And if Ms. Hailey decides to greet us sooner, then we will be ready.

I can't tell you how nervous I am, and maybe not for the reason you're thinking. I am nervous because I'm going to finally meet the person who has forever changed my life and who I am. I've never asked myself this before now, but who would you like to meet most in this world? Who do you look up to? Who inspires you? Who's made you think about the depth, the reality, the truth of life? For me, that person is not a world leader or missionary. It's not a famous activist or saint. It's not a celebrity or sports legend. It's this itty bitty gift inside me who enjoys keeping me up all night and sharing my energy all day. It's a little girl with a face that reflects pureness and beauty, and a heart that displays strength and courage. It's my angel baby! And soon I'll get to meet her and hold her in my arms. I'll be speaking my first words to her and spending her whole life with her. What an honor, what a joy that will be! *Side note: Of course the ultimate being I'd like to meet, and that I plan to meet face-to-face someday is and always will be my holy father. The One that created me, died for me, and blessed me with the most amazing gifts life has to offer.

So that's the headline: "Ms. Hailey Marie Glavin...Coming Soon!"

We will keep you posted on when our angel is delivered into our arms and into God's hands.

With all our hearts, we thank you for sharing your footsteps on this journey. We thank you for your love and support. Your prayers have made it possible for us to embrace another day.

In God I Trust,
Rachelle
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