Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nora Emeline

Do to the fact that my email box is full with questions I decided to do a post about our daughter. The reason that I haven't done a post is because even though this is sad, it's happy too and I want people to focus more on the happy things.

I've decided to just post the email(s) I sent to my family to make it a little easier on me.

Email (1)
We've realized many of you would like to know "the latest" but don't want to bug us, so I'm writing this letter to keep you updated. Please know you can ask us how we are doing without offending us and we'll share as much information as we are comfortable with.

Most of you know we are expecting a baby in March. A week ago we found out that our baby ended up with an extra chromosome (Trisomy or turner syndrome), which has wrecked havoc on His/Her tiny body. This extra chromosome means that every cell in His/Her body has extra information encoded into it. The extra information causes confusion in the way that the cells were formed and results in the potential malformation of all of the body systems. Just like with any Trisomy, there is a wide range of how this condition will play out. Unfortunately, because the heart rate is only at 50 beats per minute instead of the 140-160 range, the severity of this condition is greater. Less 5% of babies with both these conditions will survive past birth.

We have a less than 10% chance of carrying him/her to term and if born alive, we may have 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days.

In The Church Handbook of Instructions it states that abortion may be performed in the following circumstances: pregnancy resulting from rape or incest; a competent physician says the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy; or a competent physician says that the "fetus" has severe defects that will not allow the "baby" to survive beyond birth. In any case, the persons responsible must first consult with their church leader and receive God’s approval in prayer. We have met with our Bishop and we will meet with him again in a few days. We were really struggling with what our answer was from the Lord. Some days we would feel one thing and the next day it was different. Justin and I feel that we know what our answer is, but will not make a decision until we have met with our Bishop and see what his council is. You will all find out our answer as soon as we confirm it with our Bishop. So please be patient with us on that subject.

We love you and are so grateful for your love, support, family fasts and prayers! We truly have felt them.

Email (2)
We wanted to thank you all so much for your words of support and prayers, we have truly felt them.
After our meeting with the Bishop I am glad to say he got the answer we did... not to terminate. Life is a gift, and if God doesn't see fit to grant this pregnancy long term, that's his prerogative. We can't interfere with a little helpless life. It is not our decision to make. We feel like we should do everything we can to get her here, and what ever happens after we try our best, happens. As the Mother and wife, I can't live with myself and wonder if our little baby would have made it to childbirth alive, had we not terminated the pregnancy. That's a sobering concept to live with for
the rest of your life. We've decided to give our little baby every chance to live.
We have learned a lot by reading other people's blogs. They are filled with excellent advice and it also has given us a preview of what we can expect. There is no way to prepare for what lies ahead, but we know we have to do our best. I love carrying this little baby and try to treasure all her movements. Each time she kicks I think, "Kick harder!" We have felt a deep sense of peace and at times are sad and cry, but we are okay. We believe the hardest time will come later. Right now we're preparing to say our hello’s and goodbyes.
I have been wondering about how to pray throughout this experience. Do I pray for her to be okay? Do I just pray to be able to accept God's will? Is praying for her to live and be okay selfish of me? After I thought about that my answer came when I realized that even the Savior asked for the cup to be removed before he accepted and carried out the final act of the atonement. I know that I can pray for my desire, and it IS okay to let Heavenly Father know what I want. I also have the faith to accept His will, and I pray for the courage to be able to endure whatever may come. I feel the peace that I know has only come through the Holy Ghost and I know I will feel the sustaining help of this peace throughout the remainder of this pregnancy. I know this is Heavenly Fathers will, and I have a firm testimony of the power of the Comforter. Because sometimes that's all we get is comfort. Sometimes the trials don't get better, sometimes the ending is horribly difficult, but with the Comforter, I know we CAN do it.

Even though this is hard, Heavenly Father is with us and we feel his comfort. (Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9)

Justin has been the most amazing husband throughout this entire process. Even when I am uncontrollably sad, he continues to get up each day to love me and Beckham. Without this brave man at my side I would not be able to walk this journey. He loves me so well and I can only hope I am loving him well too. We are so thankful for the gift of time we had with our precious baby and look back on this with no regrets. Hopefully someday we will be able to help someone else as they walk the painful journey of saying goodbye to their child….much too soon. In the past year our lives have been filled with such a wide range of emotions. Grief is a process that never really comes to a close….but with the power of the Comforter I know we can do it. I need to just be patient and one day we won’t have this pain. (Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days. D&C 24:8)
We have given our daughter the name Nora Emeline after her great grandmothers Elnora Jean Johnsen and Margie Emeline Pierce. We know that they together, along with Heavenly Father, will watch after our baby until we are with her again. The funny thing is that both grandmothers hated their names Elnora and Emeline. Maybe they’ll like them now. Nora’s name means a lot to us, our families mean a lot to us. Ever since I was little I’ve carried around a blanket that Elnora made. I like to think that she made it for me, but I was still in Heaven when she made it. All my life when I’ve needed comfort, I’d turn to my blanket. I always think that it’s her comforting me. She has been there for me always and I know that she’ll be there for me now when I need her the most, to look out after Nora while we’re apart. I had the privilege to know Margie “Emeline” while she was on this earth. She was someone who could brighten your day just by being in the same room as her. She always put her family first and always had a hug to give you. I’ll never forget the last time we saw her during this life. She was so weak and frail; and I remember thinking that if I hugged her she’d collapse. But when I hugged her for the last time she whispered... “I love you, see you soon” When I had to say goodbye to Nora, I whispered.. “I love you, see you soon” God has a plan for all of us, and even though I don’t fully understand this now, some day I will.

Nora, like a shooting star, you’ve passed through our lives pausing briefly to illuminate our lives. Although you were here but a moment, you have placed a mark upon our hearts that will last forever. Thank you for your courage Nora, the example your short life gave. For the Savior called and you were found ready. Let your example be a reminder to us all.

I know what you are doing... stop crying! Okay, you can do what I do and allow yourself to cry for a few minutes but then you have to stop! You see, we've prayed and prayed over the last 2 years for another baby. With all of our losses I knew that there was another spirit waiting. Nora is an answer to our prayers. Even though we don't get to raise her in this life... we will someday. Even though sometimes I think why me? I'm not strong enough, I will know someday.

We have been blessed with (2) children and I know that we will have more... just need to have faith and patience. Remember that Heavenly Father knows and wants what's best for us. He won't put us through something we can't handle. Even though this is really hard some days.

So on that note... here is the announcement we sent to a few people.


Heather said...

Jamie, I just want you to know what an example you are to me. You have had to go through more than anyone should, but I appreciate the testimony that you have carried with you throughout this process. We love you and your family and I am so grateful for the peace that you are able to feel. Nora is blessed to be apart of such a wonderful family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and testimony with us. We love you!

Amy said...

You are such an example!! Thinking of you and praying for you guys.

DottieLou said...

Jamie, Your testimony is beautiful... read this back to yourself on those really sad days. Take care of yourself.. Thinking of you and praying for your little family .


Brooke said...

Jamie, I am in tears, this is beautiful---your family is so beautiful and your testimony is too. I cannot comprehend what you are going through, but I just wanted you to know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since I heard the news. Thank you for sharing this.

Much love,

Darwin and Kiara said...

Jamie, I am so sorry about your loss. I can see how strong you are through your e-mails, and your testimony is beautiful. I just had a miscarriage in October after trying to be so patient but wanting to be pregnant for the last two years. I was due on Mother's Day. It's so hard to be patient sometimes, but knowing that Heavenly Father knows what is best for us, even if it's incredibly hard, I find comfort in being able to rely on Him in all things. It definitely helps to have the support of an incredible husband and family, and I'm so glad you have that too. You are in my prayers, Jamie. Keep your chin up.

Brock, Heather and Ethan said...

Jamie, What a strong spirit you are! What a beautiful testimony you have. You are such a wonderful example! You have me in tears. Its hard to know what to say when something happens like this, but you said it so beautifully. You know about the Lords plan, you gave your Little Nora the most wonderful gift. A body. She will forever thank you for that.
Love you Jamie!

Brock, Heather and Ethan said...

Jamie, What a strong spirit you are! What a beautiful testimony you have. You are such a wonderful example! You have me in tears. Its hard to know what to say when something happens like this, but you said it so beautifully. You know about the Lords plan, you gave your Little Nora the most wonderful gift. A body. She will forever thank you for that.
Love you Jamie!

jill said...

I just love you, Jamie. Thank you for sharing these moments with your daughter, your testimony and your friendship with me. Imagine me giving you a big hug right now. I will give you one in real life as soon as I can.

Just dandee said...

I love you Jamie. You and Justin are a few of those choice people in this world that are incredibly strong. I so admire you both. Thank You for sharing your experience, thoughts and feelings with us. I have grown from them. I am grateful you both have been able to find peace from our Savior during this time. Nora is blessed to have you for her parents. We love you.

Amy Herzog said...

Lots of tears from me Jamie. I am so sorry. It is appaernt you have an abnormal amount of support from so many around you. Your lucky! :) Take each day slow, love when you can love, cry when you can cry, smile when you can smile and all the memories will soon turn into joyful happy ones that will never be forgotten.
You have a VERY strong soul, and not many people can say that about themselves. I am always thinking of you and your family. Hang in there. LOVES PRETTY LADY!!

Bennington's said...

Jamie, First of all I am sorry to hear for the loss and second I just want to say that you are such a strong women and I look up to you in so many ways. You are so strong spiritually and what a wonderful example you are to me of that. Thank you for sharing this and your wonderful testimony. Your family will be in my prayers. How great it is to know we can return and be a family forever. You are a sweet person I wish the best for you and Justin. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Bleu and Mickaela said...

Jamie, Thank you for sharing your emails through that time. Reading them brings back a lot of memories and feelings. I find it amazing how parallel our thoughts and emotions can be in times like these. I love knowing that my babies are safe and waiting for me, never having to feel the hurt and trials of this life, as I'm sure you do. What a blessing it is to have children always near to lift us up when we fall. I love you, and call me any time.