09 April 2009

Alright, y'all.

It's late at night and I've been back and forth about sharing this all day. But I really feel like, as personal as it is, as much as I feel like this is my story and my baby, it's God's story and He is writing it so beautifully in our lives. We don't know how or where this story will end, but we know that when God is the Author of our lives, there's nothing we need to hide. I am sharing with you all a very precious part of my life with you tonight.

One year ago today I gave birth to a baby girl. (I know this because there are honestly days where I think to myself in a panic - "I gave birth to a baby girl three months ago- where is she??" or I'll wake up from a dead sleep panicking because I'm sure she's still alive and I forgot to bring her home from the hospital.)

She was already in Heaven when she was born.

This is hard for me to wrap my mind around compeltely. I honestly wonder in a non-sentimental but practical sense whether she watched from Heaven as her Mom and Dad held her still little body in the hospital that day.

I wonder what she knows about us. The sentimental side of me wants her to know how much we loved her - how we praised God for every day He blessed us with her. How I'm actually a pretty fun, albeit far-from-perfect Mom.

Evie, I want you to know that no one is better than your Daddy at bedtimes - he'll sit with you forever and stroke your forehead or rub your back until you fall asleep. He'll even sing the Doxology for you 10 times in a row if you ask him. He's also really good at lining up cars and building tall towers, and I'd bet he'd even be willing to learn to play dolls with you if you asked him to. Your big brother is a wild man but has a special, protective place in his heart for the little girls in his life. He would have given you a hard time, be sure of it, but he would have protected you fiercely if anyone ever gave you trouble.

I sure do miss her today.

And, I wish we had a little cupcake with a candle in it today. But that's a different (much less lovely) post all together.

Hm. How do I transition from that to this?

In this video are the photos of my labor and the two hours we spent with little Evie Grace.

I've mentioned her many times before as our photographer but also as a now dear family friend: Claire Wise is a Nashville area photographer that volunteers for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. She spent two of the hardest days of our lives with us, and the beautiful thing, is that we hardly noticed she was there. These photos are what I would grab if our house was on fire (assuming that Ryan and Oliver are already safe!) - they are our proof that Evie was here. They are our memories of her. They are so personal, so beautiful, so honest, and most of all, evidence of God's presence bringing peace into that place. We did not do this on our own.

About 3 minutes into the video is when it was time for me to deliver Evie. You'll see my family gathered around me, Ryan leading us in a prayer for grace and strength. That was a weighty moment. One that I had not fully prepared myself for. When I gave birth to Oliver, pushing him out meant "hello". It meant that I would finally meet my baby and begin a life as this child's mother. Delivering Evie meant "goodbye". She was leaving me. The Lord was good to us in that moment. He gave me the strength to do what I honestly didn't think I could.

I want to prepare you that this video may be difficult to watch. Don't feel badly if you choose not to watch it. I just want to make it available to anyone for whom it may be helpful. You'll notice that Evie had some deformities. Her ear was low and underdeveloped. He little leg was turned. These were not surprises to us. We love these things as a part of how God made her. She was so, so beautiful to us. She had my mouth - my big lips. And, in a few shots you'll notice her white swirly crown of hair - just like Oliver had. She was ours.

This video is a part of our testimony. We share it with you today, not only in remembrance of our baby girl, but in gratitude to our Father in Heaven for his tender mercies to our family - for his faithfulness to us in this year. We serve an amazing God. Nothing surprises Him. He is a masterful Creator. He does not make mistakes.

Join us, as you watch this video, in worshiping the Creator of Life, the Great Physician, the Comforter who reminds us this Easter weekend that death is not the end! He has risen - and in Him, we too can live forever!

(If your computer can handle it, you may want to click to view this full screen.
Otherwise, I'm afraid it may be difficult to read some of the text.)


Anonymous said...

I literally stumbled across your blog tonight and I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Your baby is so precious and the video was an honour to watch. Thank you for sharing it. I don't know if you know about "Whispered Support" but I would love to put a link to your story up on our site to help other mamas who endure a similar loss. Please let me know if that's ok. Much love to you xxxx

Christine said...

I was hoping you would post this. I'm so glad you did. Her little hand and her face with her mouth open just break my heart. She is so beautiful. And today I rejoice that she is in heaven! What a fantastic promise!!

Oh, and I just saw my favorite one, of you curled up with her head underneath your chin. Her face is just precious. And you're right, she's got the Raechel lips. Divine.

I'm glad that then and now you were/are surrounded by family and friends. Even from afar, we love you. We're pouring our prayers on your heads.

Claire Wise Photography said...

Thank you for sharing - and I am so pleased you made this video (more on that in a quick email)

I thought of your family so much yesterday. It was a hard day - beautiful yet painfully sharp like that flower.

Your family never ceases to amaze me.


Susan said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm so glad you have these beautiful images to supplement your heart full of memories of your little girl.
Happy Birthday to you and little Evie. And if "happy" seems a bit much this year, then a Peaceful Birthday.
Thanks again for sharing Evie's story--and your precious memories of her--with us.

Tara said...

Rae - Thank you for sharing this video. I feel blessed to be able to see this and share in the life of your Evie. I love you all so much and am keeping you in my prayers. Thank you again for sharing. Lots of love.

Tracy said...

Raechel- what a beautiful video. Thank you so much for sharing your precious daughter with all of us.

Thinking of you.

Much love,

God's girl said...

Wow...it's a good thing I can write here instead of speaking, because I would be babbling through my tears. That was a beautiful video and this is a beautiful blog. The many lives you are going to touch through your story will be amazing. Thank you for sharing such an intimate and personal part of your life.

Michelle said...

I am speechless! Thank you!

Tammi said...

Hi. I came across your blog through a comment you left on April Rose's blog.

I had no idea by clicking on your profile that I would be touched so deeply. This video is precious, beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring, God glorifying...and more. Thank you for sharing such a intimate, painful part of your life.

Grateful to have "met" little Evie Grace today,


Roxanne said...

I just found your blog the other day. For as long as I can remember, any time I've been around you you have been happy, laughing and cheerful. Any time my family has filled me in on the things that you have been struggling with, I think to myself, "I don't know how she does it. How is it possible for her to still be laughing?"
Of course I know it is because of the Lord's strength in you, but I feel honored and humbled to get a peak into the not-so-cheerful side of you. Not because I WANT you to be depressed...obviously...but because it gives me hope to know that even in SPITE of the depression and sad days, you CAN and DO find joy. And that's encouraging to me in my dark days.
I hope that makes sense.
I'm thankful that you're sharing the good, the bad, the ugly AND THE BEAUTIFUL.
I cried buckets for you (and possible with you) today. I just think you are wonderful. And Ryan, too.
Thank you for being such a precious example of faith to me.
May you find unending amounts of joy in our Lord and with your precious family.
Love you,

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand sharing this with strangers... I guess everyone mourns differently and maybe it'll launch you into some friendships with other moms going through it or have gone through it. I really hope you have another child because it seems to be the greatest part of your definition as far as reading your blog. I don't think God intends for us to go through this kind of heartbreak but that it's part of being on the earth. I do believe He uses things like this for good in our lives but is not the cause. Just my belief. I hope Easter for you is new hope and laying to rest all the pain and other things that go with this pregnancy/birth. Not that I'm saying to forget her at all or to continue to share things like this to the world, but new hope in that God uses things for His glory and that we don't necessarily know how or can even define it... perhaps EVER in our lives.

I hope you are surrounded by friends with little girls that would have been her age to celebrate with them... I hope that one day you are able to celebrate the birth and hello of a little girl rather than this sad goodbye you have chosen to share with the world.

Don't let this mold you into someone that ignores others with healthy children and no issues with miscarriage/loss. Believe me.. I've been there. I just haven't shared it yet because it's very private and not sure what my motives would be... worried that it would be about my blog traffic and not for the Glory of God.

God bless!

Melissa.M.Loss said...

Hi,I found your blog through twitter and B's blog. I just wanted to say this tribute to your daughter is Beautiful and Evie is Beautiful. I to lost a daughter to a chromosome disorder(Monsomey 21) though she was only 18 weeks but I still loved her more then life its self.

I to after I lost Sonya can never go through another pregnancy with Joy I have had a son since I lost her and the whole pregnancy I was scared out of my mind never was there a day that I was purly happy because I always wondered if it would be my last with him I was told 3 times I would lose him that there was no hope and he pulled thourough!

I am praying that some how some way you get the family you want.

I am crying for you right now because it is heart breaking when any one loses a child.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with us all.

~~~~~ The House of Big Cheese~~~~ said...

I lost my daugter to a complete trisomy 8. I was just beginning the second trimester so I didn't get the delivery experience.

I know it would have been so hard as your pictures show I kind of wish I had had it.

I just wanted to say Evie was beautiful.

Maybe they are buddies in Heaven :)

Bethany said...

I followed a link from MckMama.

There are no words to express the sorrow about the recent situation. I've followed it for months, and was duped, but the way you must feel is incomprehensible.
The way you were taken advantage of is unspeakable.

The video is amazing. Beautiful. Stunning. Thank you so much for sharing.

Bethany in Louisiana

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this video and all the beautiful pictures. You and your family have been through so much. Your strength and courage is amazing. That you hold faith and joy even during these dark moments shows how much you believe in Spirit.

I am so sorry you lost your little girl, but am happy you are able to believe she is happy and healthy on the Other Side.

Your post made me cry many different kinds of tears and I thank you for this.

Love and Light, Kelly

Samantha said...

this was so beautiful... i just lost my son at 36 weeks (6 weeks ago)-- i don't know why, but reading the words, seeing the pictures, of a sister who understands is so comforting...

bless you--

natalie eve said...

she is a beauty queen. i am so sorry for your loss. i am starting at the top and reading backwards so this is the first Evie Grace post i've read. the video is amazing. i am typing through tear filled eyes. our firstborn, our son, Allen Michael, was born stillborn just shy of 37 weeks. one night he just stopped moving. we went to the hospital in the morning and there was no more heartbeat. to read a part of our story you can check my post on what would have been Allen Michael's 3rd birthday this past November at - http://threeheartscreated.blogspot.com/2008/11/three-years-ago.html
i'm also wondering if you've read the book - Born to Fly by Cindy Claussen - it's terribly sad was also a balm to my heart when i received and read it almost a year after Allen Michael passed away. loving on you from far away. please pass on my sympathies to your husband as well. i know my Allen (hubby Allen) hurts so much over this, even now, but doesn't have the same outlets i do to share and grieve. i don't want this daddies to be looked over. ~natalie eve

Shannon said...

What a beautiful slideshow! I am so sorry Evie isn't in your arms.

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing Evie Grace with us.

Brittanie said...

I don't think that anyone can understand the beauty of an angel more than one who has held their own angel child.

She was so beautiful. I know she is more beautiful now.

There is such love in every one of those pictures. So loved. So cherished. So missed.


RD said...

A precious child who looks like she has such loving parents.
Thank you for sharing those special moments with us.
Will pray for you and your husband.
God bless.

Genie Marie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sweet little girl Evie Grace. Just stumbled across your blog....so glad I did. Thank you for your testimony!

Deborah said...

Feel my arms around you, lifting you up to God. I am weeping for your loss, and I weep now for my own lost babies all those years ago. Seeing Evie's face was like seeing the faces of the two I never knew. My children here on earth are now grown. Thank you for sharing that Most Holy Moment...and uniting my heart once again with my little ones in Heaven. May God bless you abundantly with your new pregnancy. All my love to you,

rebekah robson said...

i started visiting your blog the other day from a link in facebook about rebecca's adoption info. and i loved your blog and just kept reading :)
i am amazed by your story. i knew you guys had lost a baby, but i didn't know you personally. i just wanted to say to you, after reading or blogs about the loss of little evie, that i am just so touched and encouraged by your testimony. i am going to remember your words and your faith when i'm going through trials, any kind. i know the loss of a child is every mother's worst fear, and i hope i never have to go through it. but i hope that if i do that i have one ounce of the grace and faith that you guys did. i have some friends who've gone through miscarriages and i'm going to refer them to your blog for encouragement.
thanks for being so open about your story, because i truly believe this has the capability of really helping other people. we tend to break down when anything goes wrong, and it's a real blessing to witness, through your blog, what God can bring us through!
i'm so glad that even though she can't be here with you that your baby girl will be waiting in heaven for all of us to meet :)

Erin said...

Hey Girl -
I don't know how I have never seen this video but it touched me so much to watch it this morning. I have tears in my eyes and I thank you for sharing. This video and the images are indescribable. They are truly amazing. You are such an amazing person and the love that you and your husband show in this video makes me want to love my husband that much more. Evie is a lucky little girl and I can only imagine she was watching down from up above. Now I just think about your sweet little Hazel and how lucky you are all.

Thank you again for sharing!