Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Makes A Mother?

I know I haven't written in quite some time..I apologize. Scott and I are doing good. He is eager to get pregnant again, though I don't feel quite ready for that yet. Hopefully some day soon, though, we will try again. I think about my little girls every day. They mean the world to me. I've been browsing through other stories similar to mine, they are all so touching. It always takes me back to the days when I was pregnant..I'll never forget that feeling. January 29th would've been Chloe's second birthday. We had a small get-together with the family for her. And Scott and I went to their graveside and released balloons for both of them. Hope would be one in July. I can't help but wonder what all they'd be learning and doing if they were here, and how much different our lives would be, but I know they are in a wonderful place and they are grateful to us for the home we've given them in Heaven.

Leslie Harley was a great help to us during our pregnancy. She is with a group called Families for HoPE, trying to raise awareness for children with Holoprosencephaly, she too had a little boy named Sammy that was diagnosed early on, but lived a wonderful, though rather short, life with his parents. Even though this is so hard for us, I've noticed every one of us is grateful somehow for our children, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It's amazing how things like this can change your perspective. Anyhow, you can see more about Families for HoPE here:

And here's a wonderful poem I came across that really touched me...


"What makes a Mother?" I wondered as I thought of you today. I closed my eyes, I prayed to God and I could hear him say...

"A Mother has a child, this you know is true."

I asked "God, can you be a mother...when your baby's not with you?"

"Yes, you can." He replied with confidence in his voice.
"I give many women babies, when they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime, others for a day, some I send to feel your womb, but
with no need to stay."

"I just don't understand this! God I want my baby here!" He took a breath and
cleared his throat, then I saw a tear...

"I wish that I could show you, what your child is doing today. If only you could
see your child smile with all the other children and say"...

"We go to Earth to learn our lessons of love, life and fear.
My mommy loved me so much! I got to come straight here!
I feel so lucky to have a mom, who had so much love for me...
I learned my lesson quickly and then my mommy set me free!
I miss my mommy, oh so much but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep at night, on her pillow is where I lay.
I stroke her hair, I kiss her cheek and whisper in her ear."
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I am here..."

"So you see my dear sweet one, your child is okay.
Your babies are here, in my home, and this is where they will stay.
They'll wait here with me until your lessons on Earth are through.
On the day you come home, they will be at the gates waiting for you."

"Now you see what makes a Mother, its the feeling in your heart.
It is the love you had so much of, right from the very start."


Monday, October 5, 2009

A Poem From Mommy

So, I've had a few people ask if I had written the last poem I put on here, well, I didn't, but it got me thinking and made me want to write one. I've never written one before, but this one just seemed to come to me. So, here it is:

Our little baby Hope,
Oh how we miss you.
I'm learning how to cope,
But how I long to hold you.

You had your mommy's toes,
But you had your daddy's too.
Now only God knows
what is best for you.

I love you more than ever,
I love your sister too.
Just can't figure out whether,
I'm okay without you.

I loved your little kicks,
Always knew you were there.
Though sometimes it makes me sick,
when I remember you there.

I always feel your presence,
I know you're watching over me.
Just can't wait to be there since,
Heaven's forever where you'll be.

I love and miss you both more than words can explain.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Headstones are Here!

So, I just got an email that the headstones made it in on Friday. I haven't been able to go see them yet, because it's pouring rain, but will definitely be heading out there today and will make sure to put pictures of them up. I've been impatiently waiting for them to get here, though they actually got here faster than they were supposed to. I think about little Hope often. Friday was an especially hard day for me, seeing as it had been 3 months since we had her. I think about that day all the time. Sometimes I wish I could go back and live that day all over again. Though it was the hardest day of my life, I'd give anything to be with her again. I try not to think about the things I should be doing with her right now. She'd be 3 months old now, and I always wonder what she'd be like if she were here. But then again, I try not to think about that, 'cause it only makes it harder. I know she's better off where she is. Just can't help but wonder sometimes...

I apologize for not writing in a while. It's just hard to know what to say anymore. It used to be all about Hope, and now...well, it's just hard to find the words, but I'm definitely going to try and get up there and get the pictures posted for everyone to see...

....So I made it out to Memory Park to see the headstones. They're precious. The rain didn't look like it was going to stop any time soon, so I decided to go out there anyways. It was nice to finally see headstones there this time. They're in a section called "Babyland." I think about Hope and Chloe all the time. I've noticed some people don't really know what to say to me, or are scared to bring them up, but I wish it wasn't that way because I'm very proud of my little girls and I love talking about them...


You never said I'm leaving
You never said good-bye
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knew why

A million times I've needed you,
A million times I've cried.
If love alone could've saved you,
You never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place,
No one else will ever fill.

It broke my heart to lose you,
But you didn't go alone.
Part of me went with you,
The day God took you home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I know I haven't written in a while. It's hard to find the words lately. Scott had to go back to work today. We've been dreading this day. I'm handling it better than I thought I would, though. We all went to church yesterday morning. The church has been so good to us. Everyone has. I never realized just how many people care about us and are there for us when we need it. We plan to try and get pregnant again in about 6 more months. Probably in January. I just pray we have another little girl, because between Chloe and Hope, we have everything we need for a little girl, but nothing for a boy. My doctors have a whole plan laid out for me, they are very determined to help us have a successful pregnancy. I have to stay on folic acid and baby aspirin from here on out. (I have a disorder called MTHFR that puts me at high risk for blood clots.) And they want me on heparin shots as soon as I found out I'm pregnant, which will be inserted straight into my stomach every day of my pregnancy. Yuck! It'll be worth it, though. We love and miss our little Hope every day, but we know where she is and we know we couldn't have given her a better home. It's just like the Pastor said at church, she wouldn't come back for anything. She's in heaven with her big sister now. We love and miss you both...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bereavement Announcements

I had some bereavement announcements made for Hope. I couldn't choose between the two, so I just got some of both. We have decided to put "Our Hope Is With The Lord" on Hope's headstone. If anyone would like to send us your condolences, our address is in the link to the right under Hope's Memorial Fund.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We'll Miss You Hope

Hope's memorial service was beautiful. It was raining all morning before it started, but then the rain cleared just long enough for the service. Pastor Dewey Mars said a few words. It was pretty hard doing that all over again. It seems like just yesterday we were doing this for Chloe. We were able to get the spot right next to Chloe's grave, so we were happy about that. Mrs Becky set up a dining area at the church which was also beautiful. This morning I found myself very upset. I have my good days, but then I have my bad ones. Thanks to my mom and sister, though, I was able to get out of the house and do some more things for Hope. Scott and I both feel like we're just in a dream. He's been so great through all of this...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Memorial Service

So today we went and set up all the final arrangements for Hope. For anyone that doesn't know yet, it's going to be held at Memory Park at 10 on Tuesday under the gazebo. Everyone that would like to join is more than welcome to. Her obituary is going to be in the Press Gazette on Wednesday. There's also a memorial fund set up for her to help with funeral and gravestone costs. You can see all the details by clicking the link to the right. Flowers can be sent to the Lewis Funeral Home.

I was able to finish her scrapbook and will probably bring it to the service so that everyone can see it. It was such a pleasure putting something together for her. We have a busy day today, we are about to go see about getting a flower arrangement for the casket. Thanks again to everyone who's been helping us through this. Hope to see you all tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jacqueline Ward Images

So this morning I found myself really eager to see the pictures we had made of Hope right after she was born,so I emailed Jackie and asked her if she could send me just one of them so I could get a sneak peek. They're not supposed to be ready for 3 weeks but by tonight, she had already sent me three! This one was my favorite. We are so grateful that there are organizations like Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that do this for people. Nothing means more to us than to have these wonderful memories of our beautiful little girl. You can see Jackie's website by clicking on the link to the left.

Tomorrow we're supposed to go to the funeral home and make all the arrangements. We are not looking forward to this, as this was one of the hardest things we had to do when we lost Chloe. But we are getting a lot of help from the church with the service. I want to thank Mrs. Becky for everything she's doing for us. She's supposed to go decorate the gazebo for us, and she made arrangements for us to have a gathering at the church afterwards. We have had so much support through all of this, it really helps a lot knowing we have so many people there for us. My poor mom, we've been running her ragged. She's been busy running all the food over here that people are making us, and picking up pictures for us, and really whatever we need. Thanks Mom.

Everyone is still invited to the Memorial Service being held at Memory Park on Tuesday at 10. Thank you again for all the prayers and support. Tomorrow's going to be a rough day...

Celebrating The Life Of Little Hope

So today I've spent most of the day doing stuff for my baby girl. Scott, my sister and I all went to the store and had all 150 pictures of Hope printed out, and I also got a beautiful scrapbook and photo album for her. I find myself dealing with this loss the same as I did Chloe's. The only thing that keeps me going is doing stuff for her. I have had so much fun working on her scrapbook. It's so amazing to me how we grieve sometimes. I would think that I would just be depressed and crying, but out of nowhere I find so much strength and I'm able to deal with this better than I thought. For now, anyway. I find myself celebrating her life more than I do mourning her death. We have a service set up for her Tuesday at 10 a.m. We have decided to let everyone that wants to be there come. We have had so much support through all of this and we feel like the least we can do is let everyone come celebrate her life with us. It's going to be held at Memory Park under the gazebo. There is going to be a fund set up for us, so anyone that wants to help out with the funeral and gravestone costs can. I'll have more information about this on Monday. I want to thank everyone that's sent us food. It's been a great help. Everyone has been so great to us and we want you to know that it does not go unnoticed. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Precious Moments With Hope

So, I assume that by now everyone knows that our little Hope has went to be with her big sister Chloe in Heaven. We were praying and hoping that she would make it here with us, but unfortunately that was not the case. She was definitely a fighter, though. She defeated the odds just by making it to full term. It was the saddest day of my life, but also the sweetest day. We didn't spend much time with Chloe after she was born due to the trauma of the situation, but we were able to go into this labor prepared and made the best of it. I kept little Hope for 22 hours! After the family went home, and we were moved to a recovery room, just me, Hope and her daddy, I was able to settle down and just be with her for as long as I wished. So, I slept with her all night, well 'til about 4 when I couldn't sleep anymore, then we kept her all day until we were discharged. I spent most of the day lying in bed just staring at my baby girl, and the rest of the day taking tons of pictures of her and just cherishing her very presence. Words can not explain how it felt to spend that precious time with her. Everyone at the hospital treated us so good. I had a nurse that worked overtime just to be the one there with us when she was born. She arrived at 7:28 p.m. (Chloe was born at 7:26 p.m.) weighing in at 5lbs. 11.8oz. and she was 21 1/4" long. She had the longest arms and legs I've ever seen on a newborn! And she had big feet and hands. Just like her mommy! She was more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

I want to thank everyone for all the support and prayers we have been getting. It helps a lot to know that there are so many of you there for us.
Little Hope is in Heaven with big sister Chloe. We are sad, but we know that all things still work together for our good and God's glory. Please keep Ruth and Scott in your prayers in the days ahead. Thank you for caring and for praying.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hope's Almost Here

So, tomorrow's the big day! Scott and I are just sort of in a daze right now. We went out to dinner earlier tonight and have been rushing around getting everything ready all day. I can't believe we finally get to meet our little girl tomorrow. My mom just called me and told me they had a special prayer for Hope tonight at church. And she's getting some help with starting a prayer chain for us. We can't express how grateful we are for everyone's support and prayers. I hope everyone will praying especially hard for us tomorrow. Right now, I'm okay, but I know I'm going to be a wreck in the morning. I don't think it's really hit me yet that this is all finally happening. I'm too tired right now from everything we've been doing today. I think I might actually be able to get some sleep. I know I need to before our big day tomorrow. So, you probably won't hear from me for a while, but my sister is going to try and put an update on here tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thursday's The Big Day!

So, Scott and I got back from the doctor a little while ago. She said she wants to go ahead and induce me Thursday morning. I go in at 7, and they're wanting to do the fluid extraction at 9, then induce me afterwards. So please keep us in your prayers. We don't know what's going to happen now. We're just leaving it in God's hands. We are very nervous and scared and anxious all at the same time. I just pray our little Hope makes it here with us.
Update: Ruth and Scott are at OB doctor's office as I write. Baby's head is very large, so Ruth might be hospitalized today or tomorrow. We'll keep you posted. Thanks for all the prayers. Will try to post again later today. So thankful that God is with us and for us!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Big News!!!

So, I went to the high risk doctor today and got an ultrasound. Seems like Hope's coming even sooner than we expected! Her head is reading at 44 weeks, and they were very worried about me going another week. She's gained 2 pounds in a month! She now weighs about 6 1/2 pounds! We were shocked! They want me to go this week. I almost thought they were going to want me to go right then. They tried to call my normal doctor to see what she wanted to do, but she apparently had a sudden death in the family, and we're unable to get ahold of her right now, but she originally wanted me to go tomorrow. So, as soon as she gets back to us, we'll be having Hope! Probably Thursday or so...? Not really sure. But they definitely wanted me to go this week! We can't believe it. My mom and sister were so happy they went to this appointment. They said I was pale after hearing the news. It was a big shock at first. They also want to do a procedure where they would extract some fluid from her brain before I have her, so that natural birth would be easier. They're not sure if I'd be able to have her vaginally otherwise. We're not sure yet if we're going to allow this or not. Everyone please please pray for us and Hope. I've added my mom as an author to my blog so that her or my sister can update everyone while I'm in the hospital.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goodnight, Ruth, Scott and "Hopey." See you in the morning. Love and prayers, Mom/Gamma

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Doctor Update!

Well, I don't have much time, but I really wanted to let everyone know how it went at the doctor today. I am 2 cm dialated! I know, it's not much, but I am very happy my body's getting ready by itself and I don't have to go to the hospital a night early. We're supposed to be at the hospital at 5 in the morning on the 7th! I won't be sleeping that night. Only 11 more days! Words cannot explain how we are feeling right now. Everyone please keep praying for us as we get closer to this day. I go back to the doctor one more time next Thursday. And we of course go to the high risk doctor on Monday morning and I'll get an ultrasound then. Everyone pray Hope is in position by then, because she's not right now. We'll get an estimate on how much she'll weigh too. My guess is around 5 1/2 pounds.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two More Weeks!

So today I find myself anxious, nervous, and all kinds of other mixed emotions. (just like every other day:) 2 weeks from today, we get to meet our little girl. Scott and I don't really know what to do or say to eachother anymore. I get more and more nervous the closer it gets. I've been trying to get hospital bags packed. I swear I've packed every single outfit I think will fit her when she's born! :) I'm so scared I'm going to forget something. I'm taking two diaper bags, plus my bag. Regardless of which way it goes, I'm still going to be dressing her in her cute little outfits and taking tons of pictures of her. I go to the doctor Thursday afternoon to get checked to see if I'm dialating any on my own. Hopefully I am or else I have to go to the hospital the night before the 7th just to get the process going. Then, Monday, Scott, me, my mom and my sister are all going to meet with the neonatologist again for our final appointment and to make our final decisions, which we still haven't made yet. We are totally torn with all the decisions that need to be made. I don't think we'll really know until the time comes. I keep trying to tell myself to just relax and enjoy the rest of this pregnancy, because I know in two weeks time, my life's going to be turned upside down no matter what happens. But I still find myself complaining because I'm so uncomfortable and anxious for the day to arrive. I can't wait to meet my little Hope.

I'd like for everyone to keep praying for Hailey's mommy, Rachelle, as she is going through some rough times right now. I'll make sure and update everyone Thursday after my appointment!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Praying For Hope Badge

I've had a couple of requests to make a button/badge that people can use to post on their website. So here it is! Just copy and paste the code on the right under the small picture like this one in your blog and there you go.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hope's Coming Sooner Than We Expected!

Just wanted to give everyone an update on Hope. I went to the doctor today, and we've decided to get induced at 37 weeks. They were wanting to induce me early so that I won't have to have a c-section due to the size of her head. I assumed it would only be like 2 weeks early. Well, she wanted me to go at 36 weeks, but I told her I'd rather go a little later. So the new date is July 7th! So soon! Only 3 weeks until we meet our little angel! If I'm not dialating on my own in 2 weeks time, I'm going in on the evening of the 6th so they can start softening my cervix, but the official induction date is the 7th. I've asked my mom to keep everyone posted while we're in the hospital. Of course she will. We're asking for no visitors as of now. If all goes well, I told my mom I'd let her know when we're ready for people to come see her, but while it's all happening, we prefer it be just us. Those of you close to us though, I assure you my mom will be letting everyone know the progress. So everyone please please pray for us and Hope. This is definitely sooner than we expected, and we're just in shock now. I feel like I have so much left to do.

Also, I'd like for everyone to pray for little Hailey. She has holoprosencephaly and trisomy 13, and her mom's going to the hospital tonight to have her. You can see her page here:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Holding On To Hope"

So, I am 32 weeks now. Hope is now 4 and 1/2 pounds! We didn't know if she'd ever get this big, but she's growing at a normal rate. Also, up until now, we've been seeing a pretty large growth on her face next to her nose. The doctors never could tell us what this was, or what caused it, but we don't have to worry about that anymore, b/c on today's ultrasound, it was gone! Yes, just gone! He couldn't really explain it, but it definitely wasn't there anymore, and her legs and arms are reading at almost 35 weeks! She's got her mommy's legs! I swear she hates these ultrasounds, every time we get one, she kicks the probe the whole time! The girl that was giving it to me couldn't believe it.
So today we spoke to our high risk doctor, genetic counselor, and a neonatologist. We thought we had our decisions made, but they gave us so much to think about. They were wanting to know what we wanted them to do for her, and we realized, we weren't quite sure yet. One thing we need to decide is if her heart rate starts dropping, do we want an emergency c-section. I hadn't thought of this, and am torn about what to do. They were explaining to us that if I did, I wouldn't be able to hold her, and I'd be really out of it, and probably wouldn't remember much of her delivery at all. Due to this, I'm pretty sure c-section is ruled out. I can't imagine missing her only moments alive, or not being able to hold her as soon as she's born. I wouldn't even be able to get out of bed and go to the NICU to see her if that were the case. Vaginal delivery is very important to me, but they're not sure if I'll be able to due to the size of her head. (it's reading 34 weeks) One suggestion was to get induced a little earlier, so that her head wouldn't be as big as it would be if I waited. I just pray everything works out as far as this goes, I would hate to miss the experience of a normal delivery.
Now to our biggest decision, do we want her put on life support if need be? This is where we're really torn. According to the neonatologist (NICU worker) if she's not already breathing on her own and they put her on breathing tubes, it would only be prolonging the inevitable. We'd either have to turn around and take her off of it, or she'd probably never be able to breathe on her own. He said usually the only reason they would put a baby on life support is if they think they can somehow change the outcome or help the baby by doing so, but in our case, he doesn't think it would help matters, however if that is our wishes, they would do so. He said he anticipates her being able to breathe on her own, then the only issue would be feeding, due to the clefting. He said they'd put her on a tube for the time-being, just until we could hopefully get her to take to a special feeding bottle. He said that usually if baby's lungs are formed properly, which hers are so far, they don't have problems breathing. So hopefully, feeding will be the only issue. But we have to make a decision as to whether to put her on life support if things don't go well. We thought we had already made this decision, but after all we heard today, we are torn. Scott said these appointments take so much out of him, and it's true. So here we are, approaching our due date, praying for wisdom to know what to do for her. I hope everyone will keep praying for us as we try to come to some decisions, pray for little Hope to keep doing good, and feel free to let me know how you feel about all this.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maternity Photography

Scott and I went and had our pictures made on the beach. We want to cherish every moment with Hope the best we can. Thanks to Lindsey Tomlinson at Serendipity Photography we now have beautiful memories of this wonderful pregnancy! We can't even express how much this meant to us. You can see all the pictures by clicking on the link to the left "Serendipity Photography."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our Journey to Chloe

My name is Ruth Weeks and this is my journey through 2 pregnancies. I guess I'll start with the day I found out I was pregnant. Scott and I went over to my sister's house to take it, and of course, it turned up positive. All I remember is seeing my hand start shaking, and I took it out and showed them and just cried. No one knew what to say. I was definitely not ready for this is all I could think, but believe it or not, by that night, we were already excited about having a baby, and I remember me and Scott sitting in Taco Bell wondering if it was a boy or girl and already talking about names! It was unexpected but we couldn't have been happier about it. The pregnancy went great! No morning sickness or nothing. In December, right before my birthday, we found out it was a girl! It's what I had wished for and we already had a name picked out, Chloe Larissa Weeks. Well, come one day in January I didn't feel her move all day, so I called my doctor and she said to drink orange juice, lay on my left side, and if she still didn't move, go to the hospital. Needless to say, she didn't so there I was laying on the hospital bed just dying for them to get a heartbeat, for a second I thought they did, but it was just my heart beating so fast. Chloe was born the next day January 29th, 2008 weighing only 1 lb. 11.6 oz. She was so beautiful. We got to see her and hold her, she was perfect! She had my long fingers and my little curled toe. :) We had always wondered whose toes she would get, cause her daddy has a boss toe, well, she got both. When I was first asked if I wanted to see her I thought it sounded insane, but as time went on, I was dying to see what she looked like, especially after Scott's only reaction when she came out was, "She's Beautiful!" She was! She is now in heaven with the angels, and we can't wait to meet her. We had a wonderful funeral for her and she will be forever missed and loved by her mommy and daddy and a big group of family and friends.

I love you so much Chloe, and even though I miss you dearly, I know you're in a better place now....

Hope Elizabeth Weeks

I am now pregnant again! We found out back in November. This one was a planned pregnancy. My husband and I couldn't be happier! We just know this one's going to work out. It can't happen twice right? Well, unfortunately we already have some major complications. At only 12 weeks pregnant, we had an abnormal ultrasound. The doctor said it didn't look like the brain wasn't forming right, so we went back in two weeks for another to be sure, and sure enough, he was right. She has a brain malformation called Holoprosencephaly, where the brain fails to develop into two hemispheres.She has the most severe form: Alobar. We're told there's only a 3% chance of her making it through labor, if she even makes it full-term, and she'd live in a "vegetative" state if she did survive. We were urged to terminate. This was the hardest thing I've ever been faced with. I'm ashamed to say we actually debated whether or not to terminate, but I knew there was no way I could. We've wanted a baby for so long! Needless to say, we didn't. We're just taking this pregnancy one day at a time hoping and praying she makes it here with us. I've asked the Lord to at least let me meet my little Hope. We have the highest of hopes for her hence the name. I am now 6 months pregnant and still going strong. I swear she hardly ever sleeps, she's always kicking :), which I can never get enough of!

Our last ultrasound showed a growth on her face right beside her lips, our regular doctor thinks it is a growth due to clotting, that could easily be removed.I have a disorder called MTHFR (a folic acid deficiency) which puts me at high risk for blood clotting, which they think is what caused the HPE, they think she had a stroke early on due to me not being on Heparin. Well, the high risk doctor tried to say that the growth is a cleft lip, but I've had a 4d ultrasound done on her face and they didn't seem to think she had one. We have no faith in the high risk doctor, he's wanted me to terminate from day one and gives no extra time to this baby. I am currently in search of a new doctor to look at this for us, I've also emailed the pictures to Leslie at the Carter Center to see if she can have someone look at it. Regardless though, we're still going to love her no matter the circumstances. We go for another ultrasound on Monday, I'll make sure and let everyone know how she's doing. Last ultrasound she was 11 oz.

We have a wonderful support group and are just praying that our litlle Hope gets to be here with us soon. Everyone please keep us in your prayers and I will make sure and keep everyone posted on our journey.

April 13th, 2009

So I went to the doctor today. Where to begin?... I always find myself discouraged when I leave there. Good news is she's growing at a normal rate. She is now 1 lb. 14 oz! That's bigger than Chloe was when she was born. Bad news is her head is reading 2 weeks bigger than it should, which means she has excessive fluid buildup in her brain. He thinks this could cause complications for delivery. I may have to have a c-section b/c of the size of her head, or he said he could go in with a needle and extract the fluid, but this didn't sound safe at all to me. He doesn't think a c-section would help her chances at all. He doesn't think she even has a chance. She also was showing a severe cleft lip/palate, which is one of the reasons he thinks she's not going to make it. Babies born with this can't breathe or eat on their own. I find it so hard to find strength sometimes. I always tell myself I'm not going to get discouraged when I go to these appointments, but after hearing all this, I can't help but be. We're still going to get another doctor, but I'm afraid we're just going to hear the same things. I wonder how all the mothers going through this or that have been through this stay so strong. It gets so hard sometimes. All I want is a beautiful, healthy baby to bring home with me. I've wanted this for so long and sometimes it seems like it's never going to happen. I just have to keep going, trying to be strong, and one day, I know I will get my wish. I hope everyone will keep us in your prayers. For now, I just want to go curl up with my little girl and go to sleep. Maybe tomorrow will be better....

May 4th, 2009

So today we went to a new high risk doctor. I must say he was much better than the last doctor we were seeing. Although, he didn't have much hopeful information to give us, he was much more caring about our situation. She now weighs 2 lbs. 9 oz. She is still growing at a normal rate, which is good news. He doesn't recommend a c-section, and they don't think she'll be able to breathe on her own when she's born. She does have clefting, but also has a growth beside her nose. The last doctor thought that the growth was part of the clefting. He's starting to get worried about me going into labor early, or her passing inside me, due to the fact that only 3% of babies with holoprosencephaly survive to birth. So, I am constantly tracking her movements! So far, she's very active every day. At our next appointment, we're going to talk to a neonatologist and come up with a birth plan for her. We're not quite sure yet what this will include, but we think that if she can't breathe on her own, we don't want any kind of life support for her. We just want them to give her to us and let us spend every waking moment she has surrounded by her family, not with strange doctors and tubes. They said they could help her to breathe with life support, but she would most likely never be able to without them. However, if she can breathe on her own, we want them to do whatever is possible to help her with any other problems she may be having. We just don't want machines and tubes to be the only thing keeping her alive. We're going to leave it in God's hands, not the doctors. If she goes to be in heaven with her sister, at least we know she'll be in a much better place. This is hard to accept sometimes. All I really want is for her to come home and be with her Mommy and Daddy, and somehow this makes me feel selfish. People wonder how I'm so strong and taking everything so well. Well, I don't feel that way. Ever since we found out the diagnosis and decided not to terminate, I just prepared myself for the worst. However, I am definitely praying for the best. For now, I just try to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I can, because I have faced the scary fact that this time with her inside me is probably the only time I will ever have with her. I made the decision a long time ago that I was not going to go through this whole pregnancy depressed. All I can do is enjoy her every movement and every ultrasound. I think I'm prepared for what's to come, but when the day comes for me to have her, I know I won't be as strong as I am now. I am terrified for that day. Especially as I near 30 weeks. I should still have another 2 months with her, but I know anything can happen any day. I urge everyone to keep praying for us and for our little baby Hope as we get closer to this fast approaching day. We really appreciate all the support from our friends and family.

Maternity Photos By Lindsey Tomlinson