Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Gracie!!

We're having a very Merry Christmas. Gavin is really enjoying his new toys that Santa brought. Laiman is keeping me centered on the fact that Gracie is in a better place despite not understanding what God was thinking or what his plan was. Maybe our not knowing is part of what is making His plan work right. I may have to let knowing and understanding go and just rest in the fact that she's in a better place and looking back it will seem like a blink of the eye once we're in heaven with her.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

It means even more to me this year that because Jesus gave his life for me, paid the price for my sin and I accepted his gift of eternal life, I will be able to see my baby girl Gracie in heaven someday. I know my Redeemer Lives!! Thank You Jesus!!!! He brought Faith, Hope and the Greatest Love ever!! Merry Christmas to all!!!

A very precious gift from a wonderful friend.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Emily's tribute to Gracie

This is sweet, Emily, my brother-in-law's sister. She has a miracle girl who almost died at birth, Jaden. It means so much to me that she took the time to remember Gracie, on the beautiful Oregon coast. She says it was a beautiful night out on the jetty.

Balloon Tribute for Baby Blueberry Gracie

This is a blueberry that my friend Kyoko found growing in her garden the day Gracie went to heaven. You may remember me saying this already, that we nicknamed Gracie before we knew that she was a girl, "Blueberry" because when I was having morning sickness I kept having to drink BlueRaspberry Icees to keep from getting sick. December isn't really the time of year when you see blueberries growing. I have to think that this was another way that God was showing me that he is taking care of her up in heaven.

This is our dear friends Kyoko, Brian, Maya and Ani. They let off some balloons for Gracie in remembrance of her. The tribute to her is how God is healing me each day and I'm grateful for their taking time to remember her and share it with me.

I've had a couple of rough days, feeling very blue and low energy. I'm sure it's to be expected. I've been trying to force myself to get into the Christmas spirit, it's a lot easier with Gavin around who can't wait until Santa comes and until he can open presents. I made some Christmas cookies yesterday and some Christmas bars today. Tomorrow I'm planning to make my favorite Rocky Road. My baby comedian, Gavin, cracked me up today, when we were watching Regis and Kelly and Regis was out for a hip surgery. Gavin asked me, "where's Regis?"

The most important part of Christmas this year for me is recognizing what Jesus did for me. His sacrifice made a way for us all to be together in heaven someday.

If I could talk to Gracie right now I would tell her:
Sweet baby girl Gracie you brought more faith, hope and most importantly love to a world that needs it than I ever thought a tiny baby could. We're so thankful for your life. Mommy, Daddy and Gavin miss you so much and can't wait for the day when we will see you in heaven.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Balloon Tribute To Gracie

This is one of the spots where Laiman and I spent our first Christmas together. The first time we were here it was so romantic, it was really cold but it was not raining and it was dark enough for the Christmas lights to be on. Yesterday it wasn't nearly as romantic, it was raining and it wasn't dark enough for the lights to be on yet. One of the balloons wouldn't fly up because it was getting so wet and heavy from the rain. And I felt like I had dragged Laiman and Gavin down there and they weren't in to it. I have come to realize that we all grieve differently and I just need to allow him to grieve in his quiet way. Some of us want closure immediately and some of us need more time.

This is one of our favorite spots to go to on the lake when it rains. Its at the end of our street. This is where Gavin and I go to blow bubbles when it's raining because there's a covered shelter. And this is where I felt a very strong God presence a few weeks ago when Gavin and I were down here. I felt it again today and felt at peace and had some closure knowing that Gracie is being cared for by the best, Jesus, up in heaven. I felt cared for too.

Two ladies were taking there walk right by us as we let the balloons go. A few minutes later, they came down where we were at the lake and said, "we're just dying to know why you let those balloons go. " So of coarse I explained our story and they both gave me a big hug. One of the ladies said her brother had a still born baby. I felt like two angels were there to comfort me.

God is good and he takes care of us.

I don't want to forget what Gavin said to me earlier today. He wanted to see my tummy again and I reminded him that Gracie isn't in my tummy anymore, she's in heaven. Gavin says "with Jesus." I'm so amazed that he understands this enough to remember and repeat what I said several days ago. And then I'll never forget this, he still wanted to look at my tummy and says "another baby?" And I said there might be another baby again someday and maybe next time we'll get to take her home. He seemed very satisfied with this idea.

Another way that God cared for me today was at the grocery store. Many of you know how much of a couponer I am. And there are certain items that I usually can get for free or almost free and then I stockpile them so I don't ever have to pay full price for these items. Well paper plates, bowls and cups are one of those things. And yes, I do care for the environment but sometimes I allow myself the luxury of paper plates so I don't have to do dishes. Well we have been out of paper plates for some time and this month I haven't had the time or energy to put into couponing that it takes to get these items for free. But while I was at the grocery store today, they had Chinette paper plates on sale plus they had a "blinkie" coupon for $1.00 off right next to them. I didn't get them for free but I got them for a lot cheaper than full price and I felt like God was saying you don't need to do dishes for a few weeks, I'm giving you a break.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This is one of those bad days that will make the good days seem so much better.

Hi, Gracie, All I can do right now to keep myself from going downhill fast is to think about heaven and what it will be like when I see you again.

Father God, please help me to grieve well until then. Help me to give you the pain and be comforted. Lord I'm in need of your comfort in every way now. Help Gavin to understand where Gracie is now, help him to grieve well and help Laiman to grieve well too. I don't know how to do this, please show me. God it is so unfair that I didn't get to see Gracie alive, that I didn't get to have pictures taken that show her living, that I didn't get to see her eyes when she was alive, that all I had was her lifeless eyes to look at. I don't understand that now, in fact I'm quite bitter about it and angry that I didn't get to hold my sweet Gracie while she was alive. Why did you let this happen? Help me to accept it and come to peace with it because right now I'm not. I need your help. If you had a really good reason that I can see please show me.

Today I watched Gavin stare at Gracie's stocking and the bear that Jake gave Gracie, stuck in the stocking. He walked up to daddy's stocking and said "daddy's stocking" and then he picked the bear out of Gracie's stocking and brought it to me and said "Gracie's bear?" so I said "yep that's Gracie's bear," he asked to look at my belly, so I pulled up my shirt and said "Gracie isn't in mommy's tummy anymore." "Gracie is in heaven now." Gavin says "heaven" and I said "yep way up in the sky in heaven where Jesus lives." "can you take care of Gracie's bear while she's in heaven." He said "yeah" and seemed very glad to do it, gave the bear a hug and put the bear in my suitcase and wheeled the suit case towards the door, and said "come on lets go" and I said "where ya going," he says, "heaven." We reread the book about heaven and looked at the pictures that showed the heavens above and I told him, see Gracie is up here in heaven and pointed to the picture.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Invitation to Family and Friends:

We would like to invite all of our family and friends who were touched by Gracie's life to share in our celebration of her life. To allow each member of our family to grieve in their own special way, we will be having many special private family tributes to Gracie by floating a balloon up for her. We will attach a message for Gracie to the balloon string. We plan to do this whenever we feel like it's time to take time and remember to stay in the moment and enjoy life. We will take a picture wherever we are and the balloon we send up so we can remember these moments. Whenever we have a special famliy time we want to keep her in our memory and think of her. I'm sure there will be many times when we wish she were here with us and when we feel this way the most, these will be the times we will float a balloon up.
Many of you have asked what you can do for us. What would help us the most is if you would find the joy in every moment and if those who would like to would also send up a balloon when you think of her. If you can, please take a picture of where you are and the balloon you send up and e-mail it to us ( We will keep a online photo journal for anyone who wants to see.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Letter to Gracie Jane Miller from Mommy

To my sweet baby Gracie, you were born early this morning at 12:35, only weighing 1 pound 5 oz, and only 12 inches long and before that you were already in heaven. When you stopped kicking I knew it was time to have Dr. Evans check and see if you were ok and you had already left us. Dr. Libby your dear pediatrican said that it's really amazing that any baby is born and lives with all the changes that the heart and each body has to make to sustain life on their own. It's always a miracle when any child is born and makes it to live. She said that all babies know their mom. She brought us snacks, drinks, soft tissues and a magazine to get us through the night. She said your heart and all the other things that the trisomy 18 did to your body just didn't allow you to live long. I don't think we will ever forget the compassion and kindness that Dr. Libby showered us with.

All the nurses took very good care of us. After you were born, two very special nurses, Denise and Teri helped Auntie Shell make keepsakes for us to remember you by. They were so sweet and tender with your tiny little body. And the clay castings of your foot and hand turned out a perfect models of your beautiful foot and hand. And I am so thankful for these because I can hold them in my hand and remember how precious you are.

Your legs and feet look like daddy's. You've got the same soccer legs that Gavin had when he was born. You're probably up there playing soccer as I write. I remember seeing his legs look so big and strong on his first ultrasound and even as tiny as you were, your legs looked just as strong and muscular. It was really hard to see your body deteriate and not to have seen you in person when you were still healthy. But I know that we all will look like that eventually and then get to have new healthy bodies like you have gotten up there. And I'm willing to trade not seeing you alive for you not having any pain or suffering.

Another very special nurse, Sarah lost her baby to trisomy 18 also, 2 years ago. She bravely came by and shared some tears and a hug with us. We were honored that she was willing to talk to us since it has been very difficult for her to work with other moms and dads that have lost their baby. We will never forget her kind gesture in sharing in this grief that we share.

I'm so lost and sad without you in my tummy I am so thankful that you didn't suffer and that now you're in the best place possible, heaven. I know you love it up there in your beautiful, healthy heavenly body, playing with James, Joel, Issac, Kim, Roland, Owen, Grace, and all the others. And Grandma Wach, Grandma Fortin, Grandpa Miller and Grandpa Calico are taking care of you and playing with you and you're having the best birthday party anyone could have.

And Jesus is loving you with the most pure love you could ever have and you are singing His praises with everyone else up there. It won't be long at all before mommy, daddy and Gavin will get to be with you again and we'll sing God's praises with you. Even though it seems like a long time for us it will be like a twinkling of the eye to you and you won't miss us at all since it will go by so fast for you living in the most wonderful place ever. Last night while I was sleeping God gave me some glimpses of your heavenly body and how beautiful you are up there, I can't wait to spend more time with you.

I worried that delivering you would be painful and extremely hard emotionally, but God gave me the most calm peace I could ever have. Through this time and I had hardly any pain even though you were breech and as I am recovering I hardly have any pain. After all the pain I had after delivering your big brother, I believe it is a miracle that I hardly have any pain. As hard as it has been to let you go I would go through this all again just to share the 26 weeks that we had with you. You brought more hope, faith and love to the world than I ever thought a little baby could.

I didn't know that the hardest part would be when the man came from the funeral home and put you in a sturdy duffle bag. I cried and cried and daddy held me. I had to remind myself that it was just your temporary body they were taking from me and that your heavily body that will last forever is what matters. I can't wait to see you up there again.

We felt very lucky when we came to the hospital that we found a very close parking spot. When we left the hospital we weren't so lucky because our van was covered from front to back in big clumps of white and green bird poop. And when we got home, our furnace broke. Oh how you have changed us, if it's not life or death it's not really a thing to be concerned with, now we laugh these things off. Compared to losing your baby girl it's nothing.

The joy and love I have with you in my life is immense. The suffering and grief of losing you has expanded my joy and I have had more joy than ever. You have taught me to not take life forgranted, to love with God's love, to fight with God's strength and to ask for lots of help. You showed me that God always finds help for us. I feel stronger than ever going through all this and know that I can get through anything now. You have taught me to enjoy every moment that God gives us. You have taught me what's really important in life. My tribute to you is to enjoy every moment I have down here until I get up there with you.

My sweet baby girl, oh, how I love you and miss you. I'm so thankful my new friend Jo reminded me that I can give God this grief and that God will comfort my pain. I believe her because of the losses she has endured. I am so thankful that my friend Kyoko reminded me that I'm His baby girl too and He will take good care of me also. You have had hundreds of people praying for you and our family and they tell me that you have touched their lives. I'm so proud of you.

My friend Lana found this amazing and appropriate quote. The last word in the quote is Grace but it also could be read baby Gracie:

.......To live with the conscious knowledge of the shadow of uncertainty, with the knowledge that disaster or tragedy could strike at any time; to be afraid and to know and acknowledge your fear, and still to live creatively and with unstinting love: that is to live with Grace. AbrahamsPeter Henry

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gracie has gone home to be with Jesus. Please pray for Monica, Laiman and Gavin.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Little Down in the Dumps the Last Few Days

I have to be honest and say that I have been down in the dumps these last few days. It started out as just a numbness but today I feel exhausted, angry, hurt and negative. I don't want to deal with this anymore and it would be nice to pretend it isn't happening but there are too many things that remind me that it is. I want to enjoy Christmas, but I haven't been feeling very well and my back hurts and I haven't had the energy to do some of the fun things that I usually enjoy this time of year.

I ordered some cute things for Gracie, little leggings with ruffles at the ankles, a preemie sized tutu, a blueberry crocheted hat. I couldn't believe I found this preemie sized blueberry hat, handmade, and we have called Gracie "Blueberry" from early on in the pregnancy because I was always sick and had to have BlueRaspberry Icees like constantly. I also ordered little crocheted shoes with a perwinkle flower on them, a headband with a flower that attaches to the headband or can be attached to a hat I also purchased and the flower can attach to clothing, a name bracelet for me that says "Gracie" on it and a matching name bracelet for Gracie that says "mamma" on it. It was so fun to pick these things out but also very hard because this is my first little girl that I get to dress up and I want to keep dressing her up and not ever stop dressing her up. I also fear that these things won't arrive in the mail in time and how horrible would that be if I didn't get to dress up my little girl before it was too late.

By the way if you are looking for handmade gifts for Christmas I highly recommend going to Etsy. In fact I may now be completely addicted to Etsy. It's really hard to tear away from their website just to warn you. It's like a on-line Christmas bizarre or if you're from Eugene it's like the Holiday Market at the fairgrounds, but with way more stuff that is mostly handmade from all over the world!! Tons and tons of cute little girl things that I haven't been able to find at the store and even better than buying from the store where everything is manufactured in China!

I hope I don't drag anyone down by this post but I just felt like I needed to be honest with how things are going.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You Are On Our Side

See a video of Bethany Dillon singing
You Are on Our Side
by Bethany Dillon
The orphan clings to
Your hand
Singing the song of how he was found
The widow rejoices
For her oppressors are silenced now
You sit at the table with the wounded and the poor
You laugh and share stories with the thief and the whore
When You could just be silent and leave us here to die
Still, You sent Your Son for us
You are on our side
The runaway falls at
Your feet
You are what he has searched for
The rich man is broken
When he stands beneath a sky full of stars
You sit at the table with the wounded and the poor
You laugh and share stories with the thief and the whore
When You could just be silent and leave us here to die
Still, You sent Your Son for us
You are on our side
You sit at the table with the wounded and the poor
You laugh and share stories with the thief and the whore
When You could just be silent and leave us here to die
Still, You sent Your Son for us
You are on our side
Still, You sent Your Son for us
You are on our side

This whole experience being faced with the possible early death of our daughter Gracie, has brought my appreciation and gratitude for my salvation to a new level. I do believe that I took it forgranted. It comforts me more than it ever has that Jesus is on our side and his sacrifice for me has new meaning. When I hear the lyrics to this song: "You are On My Side," I'm overwhelmed by his love for me and his sacrifice. And when I hear the lyrics of songs I have heard and sang for years, they have a new meaning for me. And when I read Bible passages I've heard a million times, they have new meaning to me. And when I see people suffering, it has a new meaning to me. Jesus suffered and died so that we all could rise.

I have read of some moms who are going through similiar difficulties, their baby has died and they don't have faith and I can't imagine what it would be like to go through this not finding any comfort from the fact that Jesus paid for our sin so that we all could be with him in heaven someday. Finding no comfort from the fact that there will be no suffering or pain in heaven when we get there. Finding no comfort from the fact that the length of our life on earth is nothing compared to the time we will have with Jesus and the rest of our saved loved one's in heaven. It overwhelms me to know that I get to be one of the one's that understands and has received the gift of eternal life from my Jesus.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

25 Week Check Up

Today's appointment was better than I expected. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS!!! No faux pas comments were made and in fact our doctor seemed very sensitive, warm and caring, even though she called her a "fetus." I guess I should have reminded her of her name "Gracie." I know she probably thinks of her as a fetus to keep herself emotionally protected, and I have to respect that. She actually shared with us that her 12 year old brother, passed away and was on comfort care at our local hospital and she had good things to say about the staff who took care of him. Knowing that she went through this experience gives me some reassurance. She is willing to give us a referral to the perinatologist at Salmon Creek if we decide we're ready to go down there.

I only have gained 1 pound in the last 4 weeks which was a huge suprise to me since I feel like I have gained more in the last 4 weeks than I have in the whole pregnancy. I measured at 26 weeks. Our doctor reminded me that since I have excess amniotic fluid that I could end up measuring ahead of the calendar but said 26 weeks isn't too bad. She said if there were any extreme changes in measurement she would order a new ultrasound.

We found out that there is a place that does 3-d keepsake ultrasounds down in Portland, where they give you a DVD and so we are checking into that. Most medical facilities will not allow video footage of the ultrasounds that are performed due to legal issues. We tried at our last ultrasound but they wouldn't allow video footage.

She did remember to order my glucose tolerance test, I guess 29 weeks is better late than never. I have however performed my own glucose tolerance tests on myself and it came out normal on 2 separate occasions. All my diabetes educator friends will appreciate that. So I'm not too worried about having gestational diabetes.

Thank you for all you prayers, comforting cards, and e-mails. We are grateful!!