Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Angel!

In just a few minutes it will be Annabelle's 5 month birthday. I woke up thinking about her this morning and how just 5 short months ago I was sitting on an operating table getting my spinal tap put in and being asked over and over "are you okay?". I answered "yes" many times but I was so afraid. I knew what she faced as soon as she was born. The medical team was ready in the next room to begin inserting her lines and I would be lucky to see her that day. I cried on the way to the hospital and told Scott that I was glad he was driving. I would have turned the car around and headed back. I didn't want to face that day. More than that, I didn't want Annabelle to face that day and the days ahead. She was so happy in the womb. She kicked all the time and we knew that it was her way of telling us that she is a fighter. She knew the moment that Wyatt layed on her which began even before I knew that I was pregnant because he kept telling us that he wanted a girl because she would have her own toys. Scott could be sitting clear across the room and watch her move in me. She was already so much a part of our family and it didn't seem fair to me to change the comfort and love that she felt. Ultimately, I knew that this day, her birthday, was coming and we had to go through with it.

God had given us a daughter with half a heart. We had prayed for a miracle in utero but it wasn't His plan. We had prayed for a miracle upon her birth but it wasn't His plan. We had prayed for a miracle on the day of her surgery but it wasn't His plan either. I sobbed many times begging God to spare her from all that she faced and make her heart whole. I prayed that her left ventricle miraculously grow and function and that she be proof of His power and complete faith in Him. He answered the prayers that we had, just not the way that we thought He would. Her little heart just couldn't do it any longer and He chose to answer our prayers to make her heart whole.

Annabelle's 5 month birthday had always meant her second heart surgery to us. We knew to expect it around 4-6 months and my goal was to have it in June and be home by the 4th of July to celebrate. I saw a baby the other day who was about the same age as Annabelle and that baby was just starting to eat rice cereal. I told Scott that it never dawned on me that she may be trying solid foods now. Her timeline represented so many different milestones. The one thing that I never imagined 5 months would hold for her is the delivery of her plaque on her special place. I never wanted for her to have a special place. It never crossed my mind, even with all that she faced. Her plaque was hung this week and as I went out to see it I couldn't help but feel anger. As I stood back and observed it among the others I felt my chest grow heavy. Annabelle shouldn't have the newest and shiniest plaque. She should have other new and shiny things. Not a plaque.

I struggle every day with learning to live with and without her. If you've lost a child or a close loved one, you understand. I will always hold my daughter in my heart and in my mind but I know that she is no longer with me physically. The balance between those two is impossible at times and, at other times, impossibly simple. She is and will always be an integral part of our family. Wyatt talks about her all the time and told my sister just yesterday that only he, Annabelle and Daddy can curl their tongues. (Yes, in only 8 weeks we learned that about her, too.) Apparently, our children take that ability from their father.

The finality of her receiving her plaque scared me the most. The truth is that it is beautiful. We chose to have a picture of Jesus holding little children put on there and an inscription below her name of "Our Angel Baby". It turned out perfectly for our perfect baby girl.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us and letting us know of your visit to our daugther's blog by leaving comments. Scott and I still check it daily and love to see how God is working in your lives. I have wondered time and time again if I should continue to keep it up or just put posts for the Annabelle Baskets. After speaking with a few people, I truly believe that God is still using us to bring Him glory by sharing our story with you. Thank you for listening and may you be as blessed as we are!


Anonymous said...

You have written so perfectly the feelings that I have about Luke each day. I am not looking forward to the day that his plaque is delivered as there is a certain "finality" in that action. I always enjoy reading about your feelings and your faith. I love how you wrote how difficult it is to grasp at times, yet how simple it is other times. I know exactly how you feel. Please continue to post about your journey, because Annabelle is still with you, just in spirit. Take care of yourself on this day. God bless!

Bernie Haberman

The Simmons Family said...

I have tears rolling down my eyes as I read your blog. I too have said many prayers to fix Owen's heart...i just wish he could become perfect. He seems so perfect and healthy on the outside, but we know how hard his little body has to work with that 1/2 heart and how many meds are required to sustain him. We cherish every moment with him and pray that we never have to say goodbye! I can't imagine how hard it is for you and the heavyness you feel in your heart. You have amazing faith in knowing that Annabelle's heart is WHOLE and she is a perfect angel watching over you. One day, you will be with her again! The most important lesson I've learned from Owen is to cherish life, find pleasures in the simple things and to love a little more each day!

You are an incredible family!!

Happy 5 months Angel Annabelle!!

The Mason Family said...

Your words are so beautiful and your faith is inspiring. I look forward to reading your updates and hearing about the things that you are accomplishing in Annabelle's memory. Sweet Annabelle has touched so many lives...mine included. Best wishes and Happy 5 months Angel Annabelle.

Shannon Mason

Linda said...

Just wanted you to know that I am still thinking of and praying for you. I check the blog periodically. Give my love to the family,
Linda Green

Johanna said...

Oh please please continue to post! I still check it every single day and love to hear what wonderful things God is teaching all of us through sweet Annabelle. You are a blessing in my life and your strength is such an inspiration to me and to so many.

Johanna said...

Oh please please continue to post! I still check it every single day and love to hear what wonderful things God is teaching all of us through sweet Annabelle. You are a blessing in my life and your strength is such an inspiration to me and to so many.

Anonymous said...

Always thinking and praying for you and your family. Annabelle's story has touched our hearts and we are so amazed at the strength you have. Thank you for sharing your story. Love - from Utah.

Julie Miles said...

Thanks for continuing to post Rebecca. I still check your blog daily to see how God continues to work in your life through Annabelle's story and your basket ministry. I can't imagine the pain of losing a child. Despite her short time on this earth, Annabelle has touched MANY lives and continues to be an inspiration to many!

Thank You LORD for healing Annabelle's heart, even though it wasn't the way her parents had originally wanted. We know it's what was best for her, even though it's hard for us down here on Earth. Please continue to give Rebecca, Scott and Wyatt lots of good memories about her and give them strength to press on. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys...Keep doing what you feels best for you. God will keep pointing you in His direction. The thought of losing a child terrifies me. I hope that writing this blog brings you some comfort in giving you another outlet to express yourself outside of family, friends, etc...It helps a lot of people whether you might think so or not.


Anonymous said...


God has gifted you with the perfect words of expressing how you are feeling and what He is doing to sustain you ... you are such strong woman of faith. Your words are so encouraging and they help many more people than you realize. Many are experiencing the loss of a child and may have just found your site ... please don't stop posting.

God bless you and your family!

colquitt5 said...

I do not know your family but I happened to see your blog through Gracie Gledhills. What a beautiful post. Your baby is a choice spirit and you should feel so lucky that our Heavenly Father trusted you with such a choice spirit. That has to say something for what kind of person you and your husband are. Just think of the joyeous reunion you will all face some perfect day. Remember time is all relative and when you meet sweet Annabelle again it will be as though it was yesterday she left this earthly world.
Our prayers are with you and your family.

syracuse utah

The Hardy Family said...

Happy 5 month birthday, Annabelle!
Your posts are always such a blessing to me and speak to me in so many ways. You are continuing to touch so many lives through it so I hope you will continue to post as you feel led.
This one about Annabelle's 5 month birthday has me sobbing but it reminds me of how only God knows what our lives hold and we must trust Him every step of the way. You are an amazing testimony to that. I continue to pray for you!
Love you,

Mimi said...

Precious Rebecca~
You are never far from my thoughts, and as I read your blog I find myself once again amazed at the strength of your incredible testimony. Annabelle has touched countless lives through her short journey on this earth and through the beautiful words that you continue to share with all of us. Thank you for allowing each of us to see how God continues to use your family each day exactly as He has planned.
Continuing to lift you up~
The Hogues

Anonymous said...

Your emotionally raw and intimate posts are quite amazing and humbling. I have neither the courage nor the writing skill to communicate as you do. The fact that you are not anonymous makes it even more incredible. Peace be with you.

Lee Wilkes said...

I just wanted to share with you again how you continue to touch my family. My four year old, Parker, was looking over my mom's shoulder as she read your blog. He persisted in asking lots of questions and she told him Annabelle's story and related it to Mary Clare and my neice, minutes he was sobbing for sweet Annabelle. He then found joy and excitement about the butterflies and wanted to go outside to look for butterflies. At such a young age my little Parker was touched by her. Please continue your journey on this blog if you are able. It is a true gift and blessing to all who read it.
Many blessings,
Lee Wilkes

♥ Michele ♥ said...

I continue to think about you and your sweet little family. I hope that time will heal your broken heart. I can feel how much you miss her through your blog. She was lucky to have you as a mother.

Gracie's mom

Staci Klotz said...

I encourage you to continue writing as long as it continues to help you heal. I am drawn to check Annabelle's blog almost daily. I have noticed that many people seem to be drawn as well. Your family has touched our hearts and lives in such a special, close way that is hard to explain. I know you struggle at times and that is okay. It would be abnormal if you didn't. We don't always have to be so strong every second of every day. (We are weak yet He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me...) Take time for yourself as you journey through the healing process and remember to just breathe! Continue to take it one day at a time and God will always be right beside you for each step along the way. I continue to pray for your family.

Staci Klotz, RN
Palmetto Pediatrics

Staci Klotz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Your blog is a wonderful tribute to your precious Annabelle, and a shining example of your faith. I found your blog as I did my almost daily check on "Lindsay's blog". I read your comment, then followed the link. My heart goes out to you in your time of loss. Heaven has gained two little sweethearts up there this spring. Maybe Lindsay and Annabelle have met already. God bless you.

Mary C.