Correspondence/ Re: How're you doing?]

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From: Rebecca
Date: 2007/04/12 Thu PM 02:31:48 CDT
To: Brian & Christine Curry
Subject: Re: How're you doing?

You are blessed to have no crisis of faith. Still, the waiting is hard. This whole seeing "through a glass, darkly" thing that the Bible talks about is certainly one of the most difficult things about this life. I guess I'm impatient. Waiting on God's timing and His perfect answers has always been difficult for me. I know in the Bible God says He KNOWS the plans he has for me, and that those plans are for good, and not evil. My human nature sometimes can't help but think that it might be easier on me if I KNEW his plans, too! Still, thank goodness He runs the world with His wisdom, instead of ME doing it. I'm quite certain I'd mess the whole thing up!

Sounds like God is doing a wonderful work in your Spirit. I'm certain with your attitude and focus, you will not be "stuck with this" empty part for your whole life. I know the goodness of God, and I know it's not His will for you to live your whole life with this ache, as He has said his will for us is "shalom", which translates to "nothing missing, nothing broken, perfect peace".

I'll keep you in my prayers and pray for you to allow your will to be conformed to His perfect will. I will pray for you to yield, and wait, and grow in patience. I will pray for your "shalom".

~Rebecca

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Brian & Christine Curry wrote:

How sweet your words are. Thank you for not being 'one of those people';) . Last week was hard. Probably the hardest yet. I (obviously) am not shy about what's going on in my life and I just love and trust you guys so much that I knew I needed to ask for help. I didn't know grief could be such a slippery slope, I hadn't ever had someone close to me die. And honestly, my feelings came outta nowhere. There wasn't one single thing that set my tail spinning, just everything I guess. I was just plain sad.

I have to say though, that through those days, or since Charlotte's beginning, for that matter, I have not (extensively)questioned God. I think there have been other people close to me that have asked: "Jesus, where were you?" and I just don't know what to do with that. It's weird to be trying to comfort and explain things to people who have been so touched by what's happened.But really, I haven't had confusion or anger towards God for what has happened. He so clearly spoke to my heart those months that I know I could trust Him even though I don't understand His plan...yet.

During that time of waiting, I was afraid of one thing. That is: if Charlotte were to pass, I would be "stuck" with it for the rest of my life. I wasn't fearful of loosing her, or having a child with special needs, but of the constant void she would leave. I knew this would be with me for the rest of my life. At that time, I just wasn't sure that I could continue to "run THAT race".

Then, last week I thought about Paul and his thorn. Rather, thorns in general. Why does God allow them? So we will be ever at His side. Constantly going to HIM in prayer to relieve our pain, or to guide us. And that's literally what I've had to do. It honestly can be so tiring at times. That's where my frustration (and sin) come in. I want to handle it myself >>pride<<. I don't want to have to pray and wait. I don't want to have to seek after Him. But really, what choice do I have?

I have full confidence in the sovereignty of God (which is very comforting to me)but that doesn't take away the pain completely. I feel totally blessed to have been "chosen" to carry Charlotte and all that she was meant for. And really, I had an advantage over a lot of parents who do not know that their baby will not come home with them. But it still sucks.

This week is much better. I've decided (like your friend) that I will have some good days. I've almost gotten to where I can speak about her without crying. Not that it's a bad thing to cry, but I am mindful of the joy that she brought to me. No matter how brief. And if God does everything to give Himself glory, then my little girl served Him (literally) with all of her heart! I'm so proud of that...

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for contacting me. Hopefully we can connect soon.
XXOOXX Christine
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From: Rebecca
Date: 2007/04/11 Wed PM 01:48:47 CDT
To: Christine Curry
Subject: How're you doing?

It's been just over a week since you asked the group for prayer. I was just checking in on you to see how you are doing. My friend Michelle lost sweet baby Jack seven years ago. He was perfectly healthy, but breech. She elected to try turning the baby. Somehow during the process the cord got a knot in it. He passed three days before his birth. I saw the stages of grief she went through. I saw her plow through life as usual, just trying to go forward. I saw her wail, "Why Jack? Why us?" I was glad when she and her husband decided that someone needed to watch the kids so they could get away for a quiet weekend together...after a few months of trying to get back to life as normal, she just needed to stop and admit that life was NOT normal.

She came back from the weekend at the beach/mountains (Crescent City) much changed, much calmer. She and her husband went down and ordered a pendant made from the birthstones of everyone in her family, including Jack's, and she wears it so he'll always be next to her heart (kind of like a "mother's ring", only Michelle's not a ring person).

She was pregnant again three months later, so the next year was hard as she did all the same yearly things, pregnant again, only with a different baby this time. The most important thing she did, I think, was to talk with her husband about the fact that 80% of marriages where a child is lost end in divorce. They made a promise right there, right then, that their marriage would not end in divorce. That reassurance helped her.

Why am I telling you all this? To let you know that it is possible to continue. She's still sad every time Jack's birthday comes around. She was weepy the year he would have started kindergarten. But, she does live her everyday life choosing not to be bitter. Not to waste the days she has with her children wishing for the one that isn't present. And she has admitted to me that some days that is a very difficult, conscious choice that she has to make. The pain is dulled, but still surfaces sometimes, even seven years later. Yet, she is happy and satisfied with her life. Perhaps her story can encourage you.

There is a verse in the bible that is famous for being so short. "Jesus wept." It's in John 11, I think. WHY did Jesus weep? Because his friend Lazarus had died, and Lazarus' sister Mary was weeping and grief-stricken. Her grief caused him to "groan within his spirit". Even though he knew he would bring Lazarus back to life, he was still exceedingly saddened by Mary's grief. And this, even after she accused him, "If YOU would have been here, my brother would have LIVED." So if you have had moments where, despite your faith, you have thought, "Lord, if YOU would have been here, my daughter would have LIVED.", know that He is sympathetic toward the grief of you, Christine, His daughter.

I'm so sorry that grieving takes time. I'd speed it up for you if I could, so that the pain would dull from the passage of time. I once again extend the invitation for you to e-mail or call me if you need to talk. I may not always know the right thing to say, but I don't want to be one of those people who says nothing just because I may not get it exactly right. -Rebecca

Journal entry April 28, 2007

Tonight we had to the Mathias to the ER for a couple of stitches. He bumped his head playing around with his big brother...so off we went.

After the Doctor closed him up, the nurse came in to wash his head as best as could be. He had dried blood everywhere, including on my fav white tee, but I don't care. I held him close on the way home and kissed him as gently as I could. I couldn't help but to remember the smell of Charlotte's undershirt the hospital had sent home with us. Mathias' hair smelled just like it. Uck. Hospital smell.

So the past few days have been really hard. I wonder if Hospice Staff or Grief Counselors at hospitals warn parents of the high separation rate of couples who experience the loss of a child. It's so hard because Brian and I are on such opposite ends of the spectrum. I seem to be ebbing and flowing with my grief and he is well, not doing much that I can tell. I would like to think that he is hurting a lot on the inside too, but it doesn't show very much. He told me tonight that he people at his work could give a rip about Charlotte dying and that breaks my heart. He said he only had 2 weeks to mourn her. And it seems like he's done with it. But unfortunately, I'm not. He told me yesterday that I have so much to be thankful for. I know that! But don't tell me that because I have 3 other kids that I should be ok that only one isn't here.

I was pondering on the story of Job the other night. I need to re-read it for all of the particulars, but I was wondering how long he was really going thru his trials. Months, days, years? The answer seems obvious, that it took years for him to be restored, so how long will it be for me then? I know this is brand new for me, but it's very hard. Some days I'm fine, others I'm not.

I was thinking of how the Bible says that God will only give you what you could handle. He will never "overload" you. During my pregnancy with Charlotte, I felt so anxious about what ever was going to happen that I thought each day I had reached the end of my rope. I couldn't take another minute of this agony. But then, God gave me another day. And then another. And then another. Right up until December 7th. That was the day when He said "no more". But I wonder... does He know that I might have been able to hold on for a little longer? Just to have another night with her inside me? Dead or alive. Just to be able to hold her again when she came out. To really look her over, instead of being afraid to look at her because of the condition of her skin. To soak her in...

It's strange to me to be having these thoughts and feelings. I spoke with a friend of mine yesterday and she noted that I may not have dealt with the physical loss of Charlotte yet. I think so too. I'm completely ok in the spiritual area of this loss, but physically, I'm a mess. I didn't know one could come before another in dealing with grief. It's hard to explain. I go thru my day and catch myself thinking about how this is probably the time that I would be nursing her back to sleep or my arms sure would be strong from carrying a chubby baby in a carrier from place to place. Instead, my arms are empty of Charlotte.

When I came home form the hospital, I was aware that my milk would come in and that I would be sore. What I didn't know was the literal feeling of longing and hurting to hold a baby. And not just any baby, but my baby. My arms felt like I was carrying 5 pound weights in my fingertips. Just a long, achy, heavy feeling. Nothing soothed them. The only thing that came close was holding Mathias. I think there is some kind of chemical reaction between mothers and their children and the sense of smell, maybe? It was interesting because the days following Charlotte's birth, I was around little babies. It didn't bother me to hold them, per se, but it didn't help me. The only thing that even remotely made my arms stop hurting was to hold (and sniff) Mathias. My flesh, my bones, my blood. And I seriously mean that they hurt in wanting to hold a baby... like they were bruised on the inside.

I also thought it was so unfair to have these huge breasts so full of milk and no baby to suckle it out. I craved that. But what I had to do was even worse. In the middle of December, when it was really cold outside, so much so that I had to wear 2 tee shirts and a sweat shirt and pants, I had to put huge bags of ice on my chest to lower the fever in them. It sucked that I couldn't even accept hugs from people at her memorial because I was so sore. I was careful to wrap myself tightly during the day and to take only lukewarm showers with indirect spraying on my chest. But the first time I saw milk leak out I cried thinking "what a waste". I had problems with Mathias getting enough and here I am so full with no baby. I had prayed all through my pregnancy to have abundant milk for the baby. Well, my prayers were answered.

Looking back, even while I was transferring over letters and journal entries onto this blog, I was reminded of the goodness and sweetness of God. I have not gotten mad at him for taking "my" baby. But I have wondered a lot of other things.

I skipped over many weeks of journaling, which now I wish I hadn't. Not that anything stands out in my memory to write about, but that I just didn't write period. And now when I do, my thoughts are everywhere on the page.

Another friend of mine said how lucky I was that I hadn't had a crisis in "faith". Reading back on this blog, I can see where I did have a crisis though. I truly wondered if God was doing all that I thought He said He was. I doubted more of my "interpretation" of things rather than Him, personally. And some people just plainly didn't and still don't get it. Which makes it hard to explain how I feel. They think that I was in some state of denial over what truly happened to Charlotte. I like I'm not aware that she had problems and that she's dead. Like I couldn't handle it. Some people think that I was not "ready" to let go when her heart stopped beating because of my feelings. But it wasn't EVER that. I have never before in my life been so clear thinking and understanding of things except during those few months carrying her.

I was ready. I had been ready for quite a while for this to be over. Not for her to be gone, but just to have the situation over. What I was afraid of was the hurt afterward, which is what I'm trying to deal with now. And even if I was grasping for straws, so what? I challenge anyone to go thru this and not hold onto what ever they could. But this is the difference, I believe that God had a plan for Charlotte and that whatever it is, it was for His glory. I may not understand it now. I may not like it. But that's why He is God, and I'm not.

Journal entry Jan 30, 2007

Well, I ran out of time the other night, but it is important that I finish writing what the water guy had said. I was taken aback at what he said. He asked me how I was doing and was VERY intently looking into my face. When I said I was fine, he asked if I was really ok. I said yes again and that's when he told me that my sister told him what happened. Oh, I thought. Well, how much did she tell him? Then he asked me what the baby was/ a boy or a girl. OOhh, so she told you. "Well, she was a girl. "

He said that he was sorry and then asked if I knew what grief turns into. What? Who is this guy? I answered "anger and bitterness". He said: "Over time, mourning turns to grief. And grief, if not dealt with, will turn to sin. Sin will start to question all that God has done and all He has said." I was floored! He addressed all that I had been dealing with the past 2-3 days!

Tears flooded my eyes. He stood there speaking such comforting words. He also said that ..."Under the old covenant, God gave people 30 days to mourn. After that time period, He declared it was enough. Time to move on. He has done what He wanted. It's time to get on with it. (My paraphrasing in that last portion.) He also said that Jesus said (well, maybe not that Jesus said, I kind of forgot) But he did say that "a seed has to die to produce fruit. That Jesus had to die & be placed into the ground to be able to reap His crop". He said Charlotte was also a seed and we need to just be watchful of the harvest the Lord will bring forth through her. He told me he has been praying (since last week, when Jenni told him at my missed appointment) & that there will be people that I don't even know that will come to me to tell me how her life has affected them.

He came full circle as to what I had been dealing with. All of it. Questioning Charlotte's real purpose, my questioning God in the midst of my pain, etc. After he left, I went to my bedroom and dropped to my knees to pray. I thanked God for sending me a messenger directly. One who spoke to my heart- in just the same way that He had been doing over the past few months. The best part was that while I was praying, I felt the "wall" come down. I had been still praying during the past few weeks, but felt as though my prayers had been bouncing off the ceiling. But it was all cleared up. All had been restored.

What really surprises me is how constant my thoughts are of her. I almost feel like I'm on the verge of forgetting her- then I SNAP back into thinking about her. I could be in the middle of a conversation with someone and it's like she's sitting right on my shoulder. No matter what, I'm CONSTANTLY thinking about her. But I've had to ask God to keep her in the proper perspective of my reality. I don't want to be consumed by her. To set her in my heart as an idol. Jesus is so much bigger than that. He deserves to be thought about much more than she.

Tonight Brian verbally said he would like another baby. I tried to contain my joy, I didn't even want him to see my smile, so I turned to the side- I felt such a relief! Not that I'm anywhere near ready, but to know that he would be ok-actually that he would WANT another baby made me smile.

I felt more confidant in that it wasn't my fault what happened to Charlotte. I know it wasn't but sometimes my head keeps whispering ...."I N F E C T E D". Is that Satanic, or what? Lord Jesus, set me free...

Maybe in 3-5 years, maybe longer. I don't know. I just know that I don't want to be scared to be with Brian or to get pregnant. It wouldn't be right to not trust in God's judgment and timing now, after all I've been lead thru. But I would like to let my body rest and heal up a bit. I've had 3 babies in 4 years. I want to strengthen my tummy. I don't want any complications with my health.

But the water guy (maybe prophetically?) said that perhaps the Lord would bless me with twins. HA! At first, my fleshy reaction was "Heck no! Two babies?" But deep down, my heart jumped. Why not? It would be exciting. I've always (secretly) wanted twins. But it doesn't run in my family. Maybe for Airenne. Anyway, it's in God's hands. Maybe we won't ever have anymore children. I don't know, only time will tell.

Another thing that I never admitted to, was that night, when I had my "breakthrough" after reading about Hanna in the book of Samuel, I DID continue to read the rest of the story. Hanna HAD to release Samuel as a child into the ministry to the Lord. At the time of writing the email, I skipped over the relevance of that because I wanted to believe that Charlotte would be whole. And she was. But she was also called to serve the Lord, the way HE wanted, WHEN He wanted. I suppose writing this now looks like I'm flip flopping, but I'm not. I'm not just looking for comfort. But I do need to address all of my feelings. And now I do feel better at least documenting this whole thing.

My comfort/joy comes in knowing my body was used as a living sacrifice as my reasonable act of service to Jesus. I hope He is pleased.

That day, I also prayed for clarity. To still my thoughts. To quell my fears, etc. He has.

He is so faithful.

Journal entery Jan 11, 2007

Writing in a journal is very therapeutic, but also wrought with anxiety. At the end of each of my "sessions" I feel I've relieved a great burden, but at the thought of my next entry, my mind scrambles to find just the right words or phrases. It shouldn't be that hard, but sometimes it is. I want to make sure I document everything just right.

So, there yet again have been a couple of instances where I knew I should write them down, but I haven't until now. Now I'm afraid I've forgotten all of the particulars that made them so meaningful.

Anyway, on Tuesday- 2 days ago- I went shopping with Kim. Eventually, the conversation turned to Charlotte and I began to express my concerns over all that has happened. I wondered out loud if I had really heard from God, or of I made a big deal over what would be "nothing". Did I hold onto what I believed God said because I wanted to believe something so bad that I essentially made it all up? The reason why I ask is because of the abrupt finality of everything. I want to know, "Did I do it right?" So, over the course of our conversation, I said how I felt ok and I wasn't sure if I was normal. Was I in denial, or was I really ok?

Of course, I can conjure up tears- mostly outside of myself, without trying to. (They just happen sometimes). And of course I miss Charlotte and am sad that she isn't with me. But overall, I feel like I'm ok. Kim said she thought it was ok for me to feel like I was ok, and it was time for me to move on (those are my words, not hers) Anyway, when I was driving home, I thought, "Humm..., 'my time to mourn is over'. Maybe I should take off the locket ." But I also I felt that maybe I should wait, like I should make sure I was ready to part with it. So I came home and got ready for Pastor to come over. >>Pastor Johnnie suggested (strongly) that Brian and I should get some counseling and that Pastor H was great at it. I figured he was right and that it would probably be a good idea.<< So, Pastor arrived before Brian got home from work. I was glad though, because I wanted to ask him some questions without anyone around. Now, I wish Brian had been there.

I laid it out and asked Pastor if he thought I had made "something out of nothing" Did I blow this whole thing up myself? Did I really think God was really doing all of these things-why to choose us, why to choose me-why this way? Or was it just a "natural" thing. His answer had me grappling for a few days. He said that (basically) yes, and no, that I made it a big deal.

No, because my faith was real and that it was an example. Even if it wasn't the way I wanted it to turn out. But yes, because the things that I thought I had heard, and from the confirmation of that thru scripture, could not be true; for MY name was not written into the Bible. That basically, I took the stories out of context. Afterall, they were literal things that happened to other people, but not to "Christine Curry" . Perhaps to make them fit into what I wanted/needed them to fit. This hurt so much because I had believed them to be true. The reason I asked was more for a "checks and balances" system to make sure I wasn't "loosing it". But pastor pretty much had said that I'd already lost it. These are my words, not his, but I think I need to speak with him again to get a more clear understanding of what he means. I don't want to end up like an alcoholic that never believes they have a problem. I want to check and balance it out.

Now, I understand the concern over spiritualizing things and taking things out of context, but I thought all my lights were green. Anyway, shortly after Charlotte died, Lori came over and brought up the story of David and the loss of his child with Bathesheba. Once David learned that his son died, he didn't freak out like they thought he would. Instead, he got up, washed his face and went to worship the Lord. It was so comforting to know that it was ok to do that. I felt like I has someone else do it, a Godly man, so it was ok for me too to feel that way. I wonder if people think I'm crazy. Poor Christine, or what? I don't know. Am I doing it right? I just felt like I wanted to do that too. Get up and get on with it. Like I needed permission for it to be done.

So yesterday, the serviceman from the water conditioning company came by. At first I thought he was a little strange. I was a little nervous to be here alone with him, but he turned out to be a really nice guy. Come to find out, my sister had told him the week prior that I lost my baby. I had accidentally missed my appointment, so she offered him that reason. At first I was upset that she opened her mouth, but I realized later that it was ok.






Journal entry Jan 7th

I don't even know where to start tonight. Well, actually I do because I feel like I have a ton of things to unload. I've found that I've begun to get resentful when I want to write down a thought and I can't. Usually I can only journal at night when I'm alone without any interruptions. My thoughts come so quickly that I can't keep track of them and I feel like unless I write them down, they'll vaporize.

I've been thinking that maybe I should seriously consider writing a book, afterall, I have a lot to say. Haha. But how could I if I can't get it all out? Maybe I'm too full of myself.

So today has been one month. Seems that it went by really fast. I actually thought the 7th was tomorrow, which made me feel bad; like I should have been mourning all day or something. So this afternoon, on the computer I began to think about everything and kind of accepted the notion that Charlotte probably had T18. I was online at the Kaiser website and was looking up the characteristics and my sister came in. We spoke for a bit and I told her that I think Charlotte may have had it, then I said I know it really doesn't matter anyways. I felt like I was giving into my flesh needing answers rather than allowing for God to have ALL of the knowledge. Just then, Airenne called and I had to go. I guess there was my answer. "And He shall provide an escape..." I never returned to my search.

So later tonight, I was bombarded with more mental questions. I've found that they come when I'm still. I don't like it. That's when I feel like I should write things down, but I don't then I get frustrated and angry.

I was thinking about how maybe I should, or maybe I just want to, write another email to give an update of how I'm doing. Then I think, geez, how long will this go on? Is it all about me??

That's not what I want, but I feel like I almost owe it to people because I've dragged them through everything else with me. Maybe I'll try to start up a web page, just like the mom of Abigail did. I think that was her name...

Anyway, I read another book called "Silent Cradle". It was written by two sisters one that had lost her third child, and the other helped to write. She also had questions to prompt journaling, which was great. But I couldn't help the feelings I had though. To hurry up and "fill-in" my own pages as there were many differences in our opinions on grieving. I felt like I needed to defend myself or justify my feelings to no-one, or perhaps to everyone.

The book often times referenced being angry at God. But I'm not. I'm not trying to sound self righteous or anything, in fact, I've felt horrible thinking it was ok for Charlotte to die. Was it because of my reluctance of being pregnant or having to raise another child right now? Or was I comforted in KNOWING God is sovereign & providential. Have I been using these ideals as a scapegoat of denial? I suppose even the word "scapegoat" applies---as the priests of the Old Testament allowed for one as a sacrifice, which alludes to Christ--oh,I don't know...that thought was gone before I got it all out!

But has my hope been just a defense mechanism of my heart? I think not. I had BELIEVED things were going to be different. So did a lot of other people. Are they sitting on the same fence that I am right now, questioning what they had believed? I want to clarify that the question lies in WHAT I believed, not in WHOM.

I hope I have not shaken things up for people. Maybe I have. Maybe we all needed it. Sifting.

But I've been questioning myself. Why was THIS pregnancy different? What made me shout from the mountain tops everything that was happening. Why am I so willing to "move ahead" and consider more writing? I need to ask the Holy Spirit to search me. Am I wanting attention? This just doesn't seem to fit in with the other mom's experiences.

Speaking of, the other moms, I mean, almost all of them refer to their babies as stillborn. I've said it a few times but feel guilty for doing it, like it's minimizing Charlotte or dismissing her. I feel like I had a daughter that died, not a "still born". I've even described her death as "her heart stopped beating before she was born" or, "yes, I did have a baby but she passed away". I wonder if these feelings will ever be replaced. Or if I will ever sprout angry roots towards God. I hope not.

I found myself the other day going to the bank to pay for the mortgage. For the last 3 months I've walked in the payment and spoken with the teller who always commented on my pregnant figure. I was actually excited to go in and tell her "Yes, I did have my baby. She was perfect looked like her big brother." Then I knew what the next line would be "...but she passed away." That would make me so sad. So when I went in, I took Mathias...everyone was looking at him so much they didn't even ask about Charlotte. But that was ok. Maybe I wouldn't have been as "up to it" as I thought.

There was something that was kind of funny that happened 3-4 days after she was born. (Goes to show how self centered I can be).... Brian, the boys and I were going to develop the pictures of Charlotte when we saw Bobbi. She was walking to her car and we were walking into the store when I said "hi". Well, apparently, she didn't know anything, because in her big hug hello she asked when the baby was due! You know, my first reaction was "Crap! I still look pregnant?" So I then explained everything and she apologized profusely. Still makes me chuckle.


But as for the Silent Cradle book, I think I'll keep it around. The journaling questions are good. I suppose the biggest difference between the author and myself is her anger towards God and my lack of it. My lack of anything, really.

I don't feel depressed, per se, just more relaxed. The things that used to bug me like the house being messy or whatever, have now taken a backseat. But other things have made me more fearful. For instance, I want Brian around me all the time. Way more than usual. I noticed it in the hospital. He had to go out to use the bathroom and I asked him to hurry up and come back. I was almost scared.

So now we're re-modeling Airenne's bathroom. I thought "what a perfect project" Brian will be at home with me, we'll get the ugliness in the bathroom taken care of AND have a great sense of accomplishment!" I realized that last one after reading that book too. That yes, I do feel like I need to "complete" something. I know Charlotte was not "my fault", but I do have the urge to prove that I can make something good again.

In other books that I've read I noticed that I turned way more to the sections for newborn deaths over miscarriages or stillbirths. How weird that I would even care. But she was my 'baby'. Not 'a' stillborn. I bet all moms feel like that.

This writing feels good. Takes the edge off. But it's overwhelming how suddenly a thought of Charlotte floods my mind and my heart. I've been carrying around her photo album in my purse, just in case I run into someone. At least I have those to share. Can't pass around a bubbly baby; but I do have the pictures.

It's ironic though. The pictures are somewhat ugly. I mean, it's of a dead baby. But I treasure them more then anyone else's. That's all I have now. That and the castings.

Can I make it one night with out crying?? I will try tonight. I've had a perpetual headache for a month. Tomorrow I'll try to get a grip on my fleeting thoughts. I've had a horrible memory lately. I have to literally keep a calendar. I hope that clears soon.

Journal entry Jan 02, 2007

Well, my due date passed, pretty uneventful until later in the day. It crossed my mind only once in the afternoon, then my mom called and asked if I wanted to go to the cemetery. It reminded me that Charlotte was there. Not like I had really forgotten that she was there, but it stung.

Then a few hours later I was clearing out my room and the boy's room and when I opened the door to place the bag of old clothes and toys outside, there stood the Funeral Director. It took me a few seconds to realize who she was/where I knew her from, but then I lost my breath. I didn't know if I should invite her in; it was so strange to see her outside of the funeral home. I knew she lived nearby, but to see her on my porch....

Thinking now, I guess I wished that she came by to give Charlotte back to me, handing her over like we'd made a mistake, but she didn't. Instead, she handed me an envelope with clippings of Charlottes' hair, a paper template of a headstone and her death certificate. I studied that dumb piece of paper for a long time. Each neatly typed box, spelling, noted time, Doctor's signature. Cause of Death. Like there was going to be an explanation or some information I wasn't aware of. The last line said there was multiple cysts on her brain & possible Trisomy 18. Not even a note about her heart problem. I suppose this is a way for Satan to tempt me. Maybe I should've asked for testing or an autopsy. To get more "answers". To not trust God.

When I went over to my mom's she bluntly asked me if the days date was bothersome. Well, gee, not until you asked. I was somewhat surprised that Brian's mom didn't call. She probably didn't want to upset me.

So, in the mail the other day I received a book called "When a Baby Dies". What was so surprising to me was how "normal or "text book" my feelings are. I feel like I'm experiencing them somewhat at warp speed. I guess I somehow thought I was different. I was ( I thought) stronger, more able to deal with it. But I'm right in line with a typical grieving mother. I suppose there is a lot to analyze in that one. 1.) Christ needs to be my comfort and I am beautiful to Him when I have a broken heart & 2.) I need to remove my pride and realize I can not do this alone. Nor am I any different/special that I could ever do it by myself.

A scary thought is that the hard part of this process doesn't usually come until the fourth month after. It is hard enough but now it may get even worse? Another "thing" that got me in the book was the description of a baby's skin after in utero death. It was just like Charlotte's red shiny flesh on her torso where it was starting to pull. Not pink delicate skin. This too reminded me of a "natural process" it wasn't only her that it happened to. But yesterday, as I was cutting an apple for the boys, the skin peeled off in the midsection. There she was again.

The gravity of losing Charlotte hits at the strangest times. I was sitting at the desk, putting things away and realized that I have a baby that died. I've become one of "those" women. Who are they? Now it's me.

Brian told me today that he is depressed and stressed out. I don't know if it's only work or not. I hope he's sad about Charlotte. I hope he never forgets her. I went to the cemetery today with my mom. I was excited and nervous. It almost felt wrong to go with out Brian. So we stopped and got roses. I used a coupon from one of the arrangements that had been sent to us. I felt so cheap. We arrived at the cemetery and I walked to where I thought she was. My mom was not too near me when I spotted Charlotte's plot. I remembered she was next to two "Infant Hall" children. I expected to see freshly turned dirt. I almost missed it. I barely eeked out: "There she is." My mom was talking about something and I interrupted her. I don't even know what we had been talking about , I was so preoccupied with looking ahead of me that I didn't recognize that she lay just 2-3 plots to my right. It felt like the wind was in my face and it took away my ability to speak. All I could say was "there she is"...my mom stopped and asked where and I pointed to the flower can thing. Immediately I started crying and so did she. She hugged me tightly and whispered "I'm so sorry baby." She was hugging me so tight that I thought that I shouldn't move, like she needed the hug too.

So we placed our roses in the can. I noticed how the dirt was pulling/caking around the can. I saw the outline of the grave in dirt, but the rest was grown over with grass. We walked over her area, over to the northside fence. There were a lot of other babies buried there that I hadn't noticed before. Sounds lame, but it felt good to know other mom's and dad's had placed their babies there too. Then we left because it was so cold.

On the way home, I told her how Zachariah woke up yesterday morning. He was all misty eyed and he said he was crying for Jesus. When I asked him why he said it was because he missed Charlotte. That caught me off guard; big time. I told him that it was ok to cry to Jesus and that Charlotte was so lucky to be with him. That was the first time he's mentioned her. I thought maybe "it" was over with for him, but I guess not. Even this afternoon, when we were buying wipes for Mathias, Zach asked if they were for Charlotte too. Later, on the clearance rack, he asked if we could buy some food/formula for Charlotte. What do I do now?

At lunch, my mom asked what we were doing about birth control. I was knocked off kilter when she asked. So direct. But while the boys and I were shopping later that day, I had to pick up a few things and we saw her again at the store. I was worried that she would see the condoms in the basket and ditched the cart. I feel funny talking about sex with other people right now.
Do they think it's too soon? How could I? I keep thinking about what came out of me. A dead baby. The morbidity of it all. I don't want to say too much about that stuff to Brian. Don't want to freak him out. I mean part of me (physically) wants to be with Brian; but another part of me feels guilty. I know that's only a part of my grief, but it's still there.

One of the things my mom said to me was how tiny Charlotte's nose was. That all of her features were so petite and perfect. She says she thinks Charlotte would have looked like me, but with dark hair. Ooh, that burns. Finally, one that could've looked like me. Oh well. She also said she thinks that I'll have one more. I don't know if I even want to, but I can't explain how comforting it is to hear that. Karen said that before too. So warm, can't describe it.

But after re-reading this entry, I see how I can be wrong. About a lot of things I suppose.
But today I asked Brian's mom how her day was on my due date. It was fine. She actually didn't even think about it. Good for her.

[Fwd: RE: Charlotte's Page]

From: Brian & Christine Curry
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 9:18 AM
Subject: Charlotte's Page

Friends and Family,

I finally got around to creating a (rudimentary) Blog page for the emails that I'd sent out during my pregnancy with Charlotte. There are a few quirks to still be worked out, but I like it so far. It's my version of a virtual scrapbook!

There are links to a photo album as well as music clips. (The music link may ask you to walk thru a configuration process, but it's really simple.) The blog posts are a little out of chronological order,but I'll get around to fixing that later.

I will be transferring my journal entries onto this page as well, so feel free to stop by and read them at any time.

Thank you all again for your support.

With love,
Christine

http://www.babycharlotte-4hisglory.blogspot.com/

Journal entry Dec 21

Tonight, Misty the photographer came by to drop off a shadow box for us. The back of the frame has a very nice poem on it, but what was on the flip side took my breath away. It was a casting of Charlotte's feet. I knew that it was done, but to see them in plaster was so beautiful. After the nighttime/bedtime routines were done, I just sat on the end of my bed and cried. I wanted so badly to put that frame down and crash through the glass to get those little feet out and hold them and kiss them. They looked so smooth, just like her flesh did. I just wanted to rub the bottom of her feet. Her little toe looked like mine. Small memories...

So I've been meaning to write in this journal of all of the things, big and small, that cross my mind, but writing these things down is daunting. I want to record them, for what -I don't know. But everyday there's more, and I'm already so behind.

Well, the first one or two days we came home, people started to bring us meals. I went to the kitchen to try to tidy up and noticed that our fridge was full of junk. Jelly jars with only one knife's spread left in them, bundles of ketchup and hot sauce from drive-thrus. So I decided to toss some things out to make more room for all of the chicken casseroles we'd rec'd. So when I came to the vegetable drawer, I saw the cucumbers and the tomatoes that were going rotten. They were still in the clear grocery bags, but very soft and mushy. Some were leaking, some had mold on them. All I kept thinking was that it looked like Charlotte's head. Soft and mushy. I know that's a disgusting thought; but that's all I saw. Bruised.

Another thing was when Brian and I had gone to the cemetery to choose a plot for her. We drove around and found an area that we liked, then we went back to the office to meet with the Caretaker to see what was still available. Brian went into the office ahead of me; I stayed in the car. My sister had given me a "mourning locket" in memory of Charlotte a day or so before. Actually, I think she gave it to me right before we left for the cemetery. Anyway, it's very lovely. Silver, antique. A little larger than what I'm used to. But as I sat in the car, that locket seemed to grow very heavy around my neck. Almost to the point where I felt like it was pulling my body down. It was so strange. I just looked around the office area an thought about how much it reminded me of my great grandparent's house.

I got out of the car because I was tired of waiting and I felt like I needed to see everything that I could. To try to sear it into my brain, every detail. When I got up to the office door, the screen was locked. I felt so stupid because I couldn't unlock it without disturbing Brian and the Manager. when I went inside, I saw a dingy one room office with a bare desk and four shabby upholstered chairs. The office smelled like cigarette smoke and only had a phone and fax machine.

There was a doorway that lead to what looked like a mud room or maybe a laundry room, with a kitchen just beyond that. I wanted to get up and walk thru the house, but obviously we weren't there for that. There was a big black vault that held the diagram of all of the plots on it. Some where handwritten names, some were typed. Very primitive. Nothing was computerized. This diagram was glued to a large piece of particle board.

The man behind the desk was friendly enough, but down to business. He looked like he was average height, and wore a dirty baseball cap or something like it; with an old flannel jacket.
His hair was dingy grey as was his mustache, with yellowing in certain areas. The flannel and pants he had on looked like they hadn't been washed in a very long time, with a large hole ripped in the midsection on the jacket.

A thought crossed my mind of the cemeteries seen on TV that re-use plots, scamming people out of their money. But I didn't care, I just wanted it overwith. So he took us out to the area that we liked and told us how he wasn't going to charge us full price for her plot. I can't remember why. It had something to do with the size or what ever. I didn't care. I considered it a blessing that she would get a large plot to herself.

So we went out amongst the big oak trees. There was one smaller tree in the middle of two grand oaks. That's where I wanted her. Nearest the little tree. It was perfectly shaped and I thought about how shady it would be in the hot summers here.

There were two plots available. One was next to a 2 year old girl, named Katie. And another one next to two infants. For some reason I found it comforting to have her closest to the other babies. I don't know why. But I do know that as we were choosing and talking, Jim the Caretaker kept calling the plots "graves". Oh how it made me cringe! It stung everytime he said it. I know tht that's what it is, but not for my baby, not for Charlotte. I wanted to slap him and tell him to quit saying that word. He told us that because it was for a baby, he would be digging the hole by hand, well, with a shovel instead of a back-ho. I thought that was tender. What a nice thing to say for a Grave-digger to do. After all, if he was gong to put her in a grave, that made him a grave-digger.

So later, at her burial, he was there. Still wearing the same flannel; but this time he had an assistant. A hispanic man, in his 40's. They asked if the family was going to leave before they put her in. But Brian and I said no, we'd watch them put her in. So they took her tiny casket off the table and held it under one arm like a shoe box. It was almost cute. The one thing I noticed though was the cloth they had covering the table was a horrible green with a white cross stitched on the front. Really cheap looking. It was all wrinkled like they wadded it up and shoved it in the spare tire chamber of the hearse. I know, hyper-critical. But it's the strangest things that set me off.

So when they lowered her in, the one man, the assistant, stood on the cement liner and straddled over it. My dad came over and dropped a small golden medallion on top of the casket and that was it. Brian walked over to it, looked into the hole and looked away. I stood ther not knowing what to do. Should I go to Brian, was he ok? Was I brave enough to look into the hole too? Was everyone expecting me to freak out and sob or wail?

All I know is that I didn't want them to place the cement lid over the liner. I knew that three feet of dirt would be piled on top of that; but what if she cried. No one would hear her if she cries.

During the speech that Pastor gave at the burial service, the most precious thing that he said was that there will be a day, resurrection day, when Jesus will come back with Charlotte's spirit with Him and He will stand at her grave and say "Charlotte, come forth." And she will come up to Him and say"Where's my mommy and daddy."

Whew! Just to hear him say "come forth"; how beautiful. It reminded me of what Becky said. She said that when I breathed into Charlotte and called her name, I was putting myself into her and GAVE her name to her. So while she is waiting for me, she will know me. That's why it touched me so much that Pastor said Jesus will call her up by her name.

But that initial visit to the cemetery was surreal. The smaller tree that I liked so much, the Gravedigger Jim said was a flowering photinia. We have that planed in the front yard. Brian and I had talked about removing them because they haven't done much in 2-3 years, but Jim said they are very slow growers. Now I feel like we can't take them out, not even a remote possibility.

So I noticed today that I haven't cracked my Bible open. I don't know why. Am I mad at God? No, not really. A little confused though. I re-read an email I'd sent out and started to feel dumb. Like I sounded like an idiot. Not for, well, I suppose for, believing that I heard from God. I knew at the time that I did. I don't know what I know now. Maybe that's why I haven't read my bible. I'm afraid I'll be wrong again.

Beginning of journal entries Dec 17th

I don't even know what to say tonight. It's Sunday, December 17th. The family is sleeping and I've found myself sitting up alone again going through paperwork and cards. Over the past few days, I've begun to cringe when the mail comes. With Christmas only 8 days away, we've been getting both Christmas and sympathy cards. The envelopes are pretty generic, so I never know what to expect.

Brian and I went to our friends' Holiday Open House this evening. It was refreshing to get out and be among other brothers and sisters, but also hard. Especially when a Pastor and his wife asked how many children we have. I told them that we just lost a baby, but we have three other children. They seemed to know who we were because of the emails. They had pity on their faces, and by the time we left, I wondered if I shouldn't have mentioned Charlotte. I was afraid that I was going to make other people feel uncomfortable, but I couldn't deny her. She was too beautiful.

I miss her so much. Which is strange to say, because I never really got to know her. But she looked like Mathias, and probably would have been just as sweet. There are so many details that I'd like to write down so I don't forget them in the days following December 7, 2006. But for tonight, I'm exhausted. Maybe tomorrow I'll spend some time. I love you Charlotte.

Why I finally went into the hospital



Original email has been modified for public viewing
***************************************************
This is a portion of a letter I sent to my friend as she had a few questions for me. I suspect the same questions are on everyones' mind, so here you go....
***************************************************************************
I went into the hospital on the leading of Brian. To make a very long story short, I have waited for years for Brian to be my leader and spiritual covering. He hasn't really been the "leader" of our relationship or things of that nature (which has been a problem for us... uh, mostly me) which has made it hard for me to be submissive. I know that I have a strong personality and Brian's lack of gumption in decision making and charging really show how impatient I can be. I like to do thinks quick। I almost always take the reins. I somewhat railroad him quite often and do things without his "approval".

Anyway, we had gotten in a pretty big argument on Wednesday and words were not held back. It was very much an attack of Satan and we almost let him win. In the end of it, I really felt that God wanted me to submit to my husband and follow him as to what he thought was best. It was hard for me because I sooo... much wanted my body to go into natural labor,but I was also ready to have someone else "take over". I have become so very weary ..all around. Spiritually, emotionally and physically. Brian was getting very scared that I would get sick and he wanted me to go in. I just wanted to be carried.

The delivery wasn't that traumatic. I had a TON of amniotic fluid that gushed out everywhere. Possibly, God allowed me to be in the hospital when that finally happened because she slid right out. LITERALLY. I weighed 200 lbs going in and came out at 180. She only weighed 4lbs 2oz. That's 16 lbs of water! It spilled over the bed and splashed up on the walls. She tumbled out of me and rolled across the bed 3 times before she stopped. No sound. The room was silent. Everyone held their breath. I begged Brian to put his mouth on her and breath into her nostrils, but he wouldn't. He felt that the Lord answered us in that moment, so I did it instead.

I wiped my face off, wiped her mouth with my fingers, and placed my mouth over her nose and mouth. I breathed into her 3-4 times, but nothing changed.And that was ok. It wasn't like I was preforming CPR, but I had to try.

She was beautiful though. Looked like Mathias. Tiny nose, curly hair. The memory I have of her is not what the pictures look like that we took. The pictures are real, but not pretty. Not what I have to keep in my heart.

Her body was formed perfectly. No clubbing, webbing or malformations. That I suppose is what God healed her of. But He still called her home. It was His perogative to do so. But it still hurts. Brian and I held and kissed her. Airenne was there the whole time and held her a lot. She was very strong. I am so proud of her.

We had a professional photographer there... well, she arrived about 3 minutes after delivery. She took pictures of everything including me breathing into Charlotte and took a casting of her tiny little feet. We should get that stuff back soon I hope. I want to show the pix at her memorial. We plan to have a private burial maybe this coming week with a celebration a day or two after that. We're working out the details and location. Brian and I really want to celebrate Charlotte in honor of Jesus then.

Whew! What a time, huh? The crying comes in waves. But I am ok so far. I thank you for your prayers. I can't make sense of much right now, other than I have been so blessed by this whole thing.

I will write more later. And thanks by the way for calling. And your last note. I didn't want to call your friend who had the baby that had T18 because I truly believe that God had healed Charlotte... Which by the way, He did.

He also sealed the deal to any future questions I might have by not allowing for testing of her for T18 or anything else. I'd asked the doctor and nurses if they were going to send out samples of her blood to be tested and they said there wasn't enough blood left in her cord and her placenta already had my blood mixed through it too much. They said if I really wanted it, they could try to draw some of her blood from her, but I don't want them poking her for anything.

It's kind of like how we (as humans) have learned how to figure out what a rainbow is. An easy explanation we can wrap our limited minds around. Just a bunch of prizms that catch light. But God tells us that a rainbow is a promise. And I choose to believe Him. The view is better from up there.

I love you and I'll keep you posted,
Christine

Email response: Charlotte's Memorial

I attended the *C* family's celebration of life for little Charlotte. The photos taken at her birth was some of the most touching photos I have ever seen. This child was someone real and made such an impact on so many. The service was very sweet and helped to heal the anger some of us are feeling about her death. Some of us expected a full miracle ending with a live child. Confused why God would stop at a healing of her body and not giving her life.

It was proposed to me that maybe Charlotte was given the choice of staying here or being with Christ. Nice to think that this outcome may have been hers, choosing to be with her family in heaven when the time was right. Quite a few people had wonderful comments about Christine and B. Their strength and faith is such an example to me. I want to be like Christine when I spiritually grow up.

I know that they have been so blessed by everyone's prayers and efforts to assist. Please keep in mind that their needs are far from over.

Love and Hugs,
Karen



Message about Baby Charlotte and Christine

I know most of you have been notified about Christine having Baby Charlotte on Dec. 7th. She was beautiful, I have been told, and perfectly formed--a miracle from God.

Sadly, she wasn't appointed more time on Earth for us to hold and love her. She is with our Lord in heaven. I look forward to the day when we will get to meet her. Please continue to pray for Christine and and their entire family. My faith has forever been changed by the faithfulness demonstrated throughout the entire story of Charlotte's life. I will never be the same. We serve an amazing God!

I pray that you will all be held in his comfort and peace and that
your relationship with Him will grow stronger each day।

Celeste


More Results ... (Aug 2nd)

This is another email I sent out which explains more. It's a little

long...Sorry
*****************************************************************
"You have hedged me from behind and before, and laid your hand upon
me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, I cannot attain it."
Ps 139:5-6

Today has been rough. I am sorry to you whom I have not called
privately, but after a couple of explanations I could not bear it
any longer. The sobs on the other end of the phone hurt me like the
sting of my own tears, so for now I can only handle an email.

Brian and I went in for the ultrasound today and received very
disturbing news. It seems as though the baby is showing to have some
problems with her heart. I will be explaining everything here as I
recollect, but please bear in mind that we are stunned and I could
only absorb so much. I am definitely a "glass half full" kinda girl
so I am keeping hope that it will all be worked out. This is not to
say that I am only hearing what I want to, but I have to trust that
the Lord knows what he is doing even if I don't have a clue.

"For you formed my inward parts, you covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous
are your works and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not
hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought
in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance yet
being unformed." Ps. 139 13-16

First of all, there is an issue with her brain. There are areas that
are supposed to be fluid filled, but it appears that there are some
cysts (Choroid Plexus Cysts-CPCs) in there that are pushing the
fluid out. These cysts are not the kind that grow and cause pressure
on her brain, in fact, there is a possibility that they can 'clear-
up' on their own. In sever cases the child will have major
deformities with their hands/arms/legs and feet, looking like they
are all twisted up. Our little girl does NOT have that. The Dr. was
pleased to see that her fingers and toes were as they should be.
There is still cause for concern however, because she has a
large 'hole' in her heart (Tetraology of Fallot-TOF). If these two
issues were independent of each other, it would be a little easier
(as her mom) to deal with. But in this case, because there is the
heart issue, along with the brain issue, the Doctors are concerned
that there could be a chromosomal defect, such as Down's Syndrome or
worse. The 'or worse' is what we do not know.

One way that we could find out if it chromosomal is to have an
amniocentesis. There are a couple of reasons why we are opting NOT
to do this; being: 1.) It's too invasive 2.) It would not change our
love for our baby.

I have a blood disorder, if you will, being Rh-. This means I do not
have a certain protein sheathing my blood cells ( this is not new
information for me, as I've had to take extra precautions during
each pregnancy). But if my blood and the baby's blood crosses, it
could be devastating. An amnio increases that likelihood of it
crossing because a needle would be inserted into my bellybutton and
pierce thru the amniotic sac to collect fluid for testing . Although
the Dr. says it isn't a big concern, I do not want to take that
chance. Also, doing an amnio in general carries a chance of inducing
miscarriage or preterm labor (depending on gestational age) which is
also devastating. But more than anything I believe that she is being
skillfully wrought and that I need to trust that Jesus' hands are
upon her. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't worth the risk
for me. Besides, all it will show is if there is a chromosomal
defect, not the degree of such an issue, so we still would not know
if/ how severe any mental retardation would be. Some of the
possibilities of a chromosomal defect after Down's would be Trisomy
18 or something of that sort. But things that are indicative of
Trisomy 18 include a cleft lip/pallet and more, which I can not
recall. The Dr. has said we do not have a cleft, nor the
abnormalities of the twisted hands etc.

So as to the "glass half full" part of me, I am clinging to the
cysts possibly clearing up and the heart not being as bad as they
think. The genetic counselor says it sometimes happens that things
clear up on their own and babies are born that were once thought to
have major issues in-utero, with no signs of problems after birth.
We are not in denial over this news, but we covet the prayers of
those who are asking for mercy and a healthy baby. God is the God of
Miracles, and he hears YOU!

With the remaining time in my pregnancy the Dr. thinks things should
go as "normal". The team I will be followed by includes my regular
Ob/Gyn, a Perinatalogist (high risk specialist) and a Pediatric
Cardiologist. I have an appointment on Wednesday to see the
Cardiologist who will give the baby an echocardiogram (more fancy
ultrasound) to see the severity of the heart problem. Then, I will
be tracked by the others in Sacramento with more ultrasounds and
things like that. They did tell me that I will deliver in Sacramento
because that is where the best care can be given to us, and more
than likely I will have a C-section because the stress may be too
much on her heart. It's funny (well, not really) that my biggest
fear is to have a C-section and the Lord is asking me to trust him
in this as well. What a test.

Brian in all of this is not doing so great. I know that it is not my
fault, but I kept telling him that I am sorry. After all, she is in
my body, and I can not protect her. He just sat in the chair tonight
holding Mathias and smelling the blankie of Zack. Sounds gross, but
it is a sweetness you can relate to if you have a kid with a
blankie.

Airenne too is shaken. She cried a lot and prayed for mom. That was
nice. Zachariah is wondering why I'm crying, as I don't usually do

it in front of him and Mathias is being the sweetie pie he always is

and busies himself with literally kissing the tears off my face. (I
think he likes the saltiness).
I am in a tail spin as crying has dried me up.

I've looked for some info on the web as to these conditions and was
actually encouraged. But mostly, I am going to wait on Him. Please
pray for our family, for all of us, even baby Charlotte Nicole.
Daddy picked that one.

Love to you all,
Christine


It's a GIRL (July 31st)

Hello all of my MOPS friends! I had my first "real" ultrasound this morning and was very pleased with the results. The tech says we're expecting a baby GIRL!! As most of you know, there is 13 years between this baby and my daughter (with 2 boys in between) so needless to say, we're pretty excited.

I know that sometimes things are too soon to tell and I may have to
schedule another exam in a couple of weeks because everything was
small, but there weren't any "boy" parts yet, and the tech said she
believes she saw 'girl parts'. So I'll hold to that for a while:)

Just wanted to share he good news with all of my friends.
Hope you all have a great week,
Christine


Call from Genetics (Aug 1st)

This is a portion of an email I sent to our family and friends this afternoon. I don't have it in me at the end of today to call/email everyone individually, so I am posting this to my friends in MOPS who can understand a mother's heart... *******************************************************************
SO we went from no news yesterday to some urgent prayers needed today.

As I sat this morning to read the "well wishes" and replies from my
email yesterday, I got a call from the genetics dept at Kaiser. The
conversation started off ok until the woman asked if my Dr has
shared the results from the ultrasound with me. I told her no and
after what she said, well, let's just say I was glad to be already
sitting.

She told me that I need to come into Sacramento tomorrow for a Level
2 ultrasound because there were some things on the first one that
weren't showing as they should. The first is the baby's heart. They
could not make out the 4 chambers and see the flow as they should.
The baby's brain also isn't the size it should be and the fluid
levels are not accurate either. Lastly, there seems to be a lot of
fibroids (cysts) in the placenta. Whew! Between drying my eyes and
trying to accurately pass on the information I was given, I feel
exhausted today.

The genetic tech says we will meet with her first to go over family
medical history and that we will have the results of tomorrows test
before we leave. They will have a specialist there that will review
everything and that can answer any questions we have.

Brian will be taking the day off to go with me (naturally) but he
called on his way home from work today and told me that his heart
hurts. Mine too. So please, pray for God's mercy on our family, a
clear reading of the test and peace for us. There is a chance that
the baby is so small that the initial readings may be skewed. I hope
that is the case. But I will let you know after we get home as to
what is happening.

Love to all,
Christine


Cardiologist Update (Aug 9th)

We had our first meeting with the Cardiologist on Wednesday. All things considered, the information she gave us was pretty much expected. Little Charlotte does indeed have a hole in her heart, which in relation to the size of her heart is pretty large.

The doctor informed me that it is most likely repairable with after birth surgery, which will be done at UCSF. She is confident in the surgical team there and will also work closely with our pediatrician, whom she already knows well.

Upon our introductions, she asked me what I already knew about this
condition. I told her everything I have learned over the past week
(which of course via the internet is a lot!) and that the Genetics
Counselor also made mention of the cysts the baby has in her brain.
I was taken aback when she said that the Counselor told her that she
was concerned about Trisomy 18. I knew that was something to be
considered, but to hear that she was actually concerned about it
scared me. I have been in contact with the Counselor and she told me
that according to the ultrasound the baby doesn't have the other
traditional "markers" or "soft markers" for this chromosomal defect.
These things typically include severe malformations of the
hands/feet, head, face and inner organs not to mention sever mental
retardation. The most devastating facet of this disorder is that the
life expectancy for these babies is 12-18 months. This is what the
first doctor had meant when she said that there was another
disorder 'more significant' than Down's Syndrome.

Things that we are able to "check off" the long list of Trisomy 18
conditions (also called Edward's Syndrome) are: no spina bifida, all
vertebrae are aligned and accounted for, no cleft pallet/lip, no
kidney problems (at least in utero) and her hand and leg movements
are good. I guess that a typical marker is decreased fetal movement
and a drawn up nature of arms and legs, but Charlotte seems to be as
feisty as her siblings! According to ultrasound, her head is also
shaped normally and the cysts are not applying pressure or hindering
her growth or development. At my next Level II ultrasound the
doctor's will be checking to see if the cysts are shrinking, or if
it is actually one giant cyst that is spanning across both sides of
her brain instead of 2 large ones like they initially thought. The
Counselor says that no new symptoms will show up (if she doesn`t
have spina bifida she won`t "get it"), but there may be more visible
signs as the baby grows.

The final words that the Doctor said to me at the conclusion of our
appointment however, have resonated within me. She had to inform me
that if, in fact, the baby does have Trisomy 18, there "isn't a
surgeon in the country that would perform surgery, because the
other problems with these kinds of babies outweighs the benefits of
the surgery". So basically, they would send us home with our sick
baby and only manage her symptoms, but not work towards a recovery.

As I'm sure you can imagine, I have been a little weepy since then.
I am trying to keep my chin up and trust in the Lord, but this is
really stretching me. James 4:8 promises that if I draw near to the
Lord, He will draw near to me. I have felt His presence throughout
all of this, but I do sometimes feel so alone.

Testing for Trisomy 18 won't be until after Charlotte is born, taken
from her blood, and the results can take up to 2 weeks to get back.
The Cardiologist also expects that the baby will be in the hospital
longer than average, at maybe 2 weeks (or more depending on her
health) to be on medication to help her heart valve to stay open.
This presents a tangible challenge as that we will have to
coordinate babysitters for the boys and arrange for hotel stays and
things like that in both Sacramento, where she will be delivered and
San Francisco, where she will have her surgery. It seems surreal,
but for those of you who know me well, I do worry about these things
as I want to plan and be prepared. That seems to be the crux of this
situation, for me at least. I am so intimately involved in this, but
so completely out of any kind of control. All I can do is truly wait
on the Lord to move.

"...I will trust in the mercy of God forever and ever, I will praise
You forever because You have done it. And in the presence of Your
saints I will wait on your name, for it is good." Psalms 52:8-9

I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago and realized what a
privilege this is for me to be in this situation. It is the hardest
thing I have ever had to deal with by far, but to be in a position
to see the glory of God coming is exciting. Of course I would rather
not have to be hurting, I am human and this is my baby girl,
but "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and LOVE
and a sound mind. II Tim 1:7" I'm sure there are some of you reading
that must think I have gone crazy, but I haven't. I am doing the
only thing I can do right now and that is cling to God's promises.

Every day this baby grows inside me and is healthy where she is.
In that, I still ask that you, our friends and family continue to
pray, as that is the only thing that can be done at this point. I
have a while left in this pregnancy and I want to rejoice in it. I
am praying not only for healing, but for a complete miracle. It is
not too small for God to do and He wants us to believe in His might
and power, however he chooses to show it.

Thank you for your calls and emails, I have read ALL of them and I
can not tell you how they touch me. Brian is dealing with all of
this by staying totally busy with work. He is being sensitive and
tender to me and I am very thankful for that. I hope that no one is
taking it personally that we haven't returned phone calls too much.
We are just taking it very slowly. It's emotionally draining to
explain things again and again. Airenne is concerned but looking
forward to school starting as it will help her take her mind off of
it. Zach and Ty put their chubby little hands on my belly and pray
to "take away baby Char-wit's ow-ies." It's really cute.

So anyway, I apologize f these emails are long, but it is
therapeutic for me to write it out. I sincerely thank you for all of
the love given and for the offers of help.

I will keep things updated as I will see the Doc again in 3 weeks.

Ever Hopeful,
Christine


Second L2 Ultrasound...(Aug 29th)

Well, Brian and I just got home from our second ultrasound appointment with more unexpected results.

We had a new doctor come in and he was personable but very frank.
Like our last appointment, the Doctors were able to see Charlotte's
heart problem as well as the cysts. But the cysts are looking like
they are "breaking up" and "taking care of themselves". This is
good news, but what was to come is a little breath taking.

Katie, our Genetics Counselor mentioned last time that
nothing "new" would crop up on this ultra sound, but there may be
other things that did not show earlier due to the baby's size that
they may be able to detect now. That was the case this afternoon.

First I have to say thank you to whom ever must have been praying
for us at that moment (about 2 o'clock or so), because I certainly
felt the "peace that surpasses all understanding". I was a nervous
wreck this morning and found myself lagging in getting ready for my
appointment. The ride there was rough as I felt butterflies the
whole way. The technician even told me to ease my breathing a couple
of times during the test!

It was remarkable because as I sat listening to the Doctor after the test, I recognized that I was not breaking down. It was surreal! I was able to take in the information
and deal with it, but not shatter. In an instant I felt myself come
to my senses, almost like falling and realizing that I would hit the
ground. And in that moment I clearly told Jesus that I was not
letting go of Him and that He must carry me. And I soared up again,
mounted on the wings of eagles.

So the Doctor proceeded to tell us several things. First, he says
that her hands were clenched the whole time which is a typical
marker for T18 (but according to the first doctor, they had been
opened before). The other things are: a small stomach, very deep set
chin/jaw, and her umbilical cord has one artery with a vein instead
of two arteries with a vein. Now if these things were isolated they
probably would not be a big deal but as the doctor explained these
things are seemingly building on top of each other, indicating once
again, Trisomy 18 or now, possibly Trisomy 13. These conditions are
very similar, both with a fatal outcome. Most likely ending within
weeks of birth, if not in utero.

I had a lot of questions about delivery and things like that and I'm
sure the doctor must have thought I was either in denial or not
hearing everything he was saying. When I told the doctor that our
odds are 50/50 he had a perplexed look on his face (I wish I had a
camera). I told him that I understood that, statistically, the odds
were much greater, but in real life, she either has it or she
doesn't. He really seems to think I should elect to have an amnio,
as it would "give me somewhat more 'control' over what to do next", but
Brian and I still say no. We've reflected on the fact that the first
people on the face of the earth wanted to 'know more' as God knows,
and God gave them the liberty to eat of the tree of "knowledge", but
look at where it got them and what blessings they may have missed
out on because of it. I believe the greater the challenge, the
greater the glory!!

He told us that there is still a significant possibility that she my
pass away before birth and/or that if she were in distress at any
time she would have to be delivered by emergency c-section; and to
be aware that there may be severe consequences if that happened
(cutting of my bladder or intestines, greater chance of infection or
even having to have a complete hysterectomy.) I have never had a
miscarriage or anything like that, so I asked what I should expect.
He said that in either case (in utero or after birth) death would
be sudden. The baby's brain would simply stop working. He warned
Brian and I that anything is possible at this point. If she does
have T18/T13 there is a possibility that the placenta could
deteriorate anytime between now and delivery, so be watchful of no
movement or bleeding.

I have not been placed on bed rest or anything like that. They plan
to check on me again via ultrasound in about 2 months. I'm almost
wondering what's the point? We know what they know, and unless there
is stillness in my belly, I won't really get any more definite
answers. God knows what He is doing, He has plans to give us a hope
and a future.

I don't know, maybe I'll change my mind later, but that's how I see
it today. And for today, I think little Charlotte deserves some
chocolate cake.

Thank you for all of your prayers. They mean everything!

Christine

MoM to mOm

Ladies,

First if all I want to thank you for all of your continued prayers and
support during this difficult time for me and my family. The
intersession on my behalf has been phenomenal, I truly mean this. I do
have another request however...

While trying to learn more about my daughter's possible disorder, I
came across a website (more like a chat, message board) where parents
with babies with cysts on their brains come together. I have been
careful not to trust too heavily on the words of man for comfort, but
to turn to our Heavenly Father, the Creator and Sustainer of all things
to lead me in this.There was such good news on this site though that I
was encouraged!

Anyway, long story short, there is a woman on the site whom I have much
in common with. (Her name is also Christine, 4th pregnancy, Doc appt
last week said they found 3 more markers, same due date, etc) But there
are also some differences. She and her husband elected to have an
amnio and it came back positive for T18. She is now considering what
the doc's are calling a "therapeutic termination" to be performed next
week. Oh how my heart aches!

So I am asking you ladies for MORE prayer for me as I try to be a
strong witness for Christ in speaking with her some more. I don't know
her religious affiliation, but I feel like God is using my situation,
yet again, to take a stand for him.

Sometimes I wonder who He has created in me, as I feel so
little in comparison to the things He asks me to do.

So please pray that I will have the right words and the strength to
pray for this other family and that ANY decision made will glorify Him.

Thanks,
Christine Curry


More bummer news w/Letter to Medical Team (Sep. 27th)

I wish that I could say that today was great, but it wasn't. I wish I could say that I still feel great, but I don't. I'm really struggling tonite as I write this email.

I returned to the cardiologist this morning not really hopeful that
things were going to be dramatically different, but hoping that I
could make a dent on the heart of my doctor. So I set out to witness
to her, and feeling bold I spoke openly about Christ which seemed to
actually comfort me. She did the ultrasound for about an hour and a
half and then told me some things I wasn't prepared to
hear....again!

It seems that Charlotte's hole in her heart has become more
complicated by the fact that her valves are also not right.
Corrective surgery for the hole seemed simple, but now there is a
more challenging problem of having to re-direct the valves too. It's
much more delicate than just closing up the hole, it's getting the
valves lined up right and pieced together so there is adequate flow,
keeping in mind not to constrict them or leave them too loosely
open. Kind of a tricky operation. She said Charlotte could not
survive with out the surgery and they try to have it done at about 6-
9 months old, so the baby would be bigger and more healthy.Until
then, medicine would help to sustain her, but she wasn't clear if
she would be allowed to go home from then.

The twist is that because of this "new" finding within her heart,
the cardiologist says the prognosis is 'lining up more with the last
Doctors' suspicions'. Meaning they seem to think she really has T18.
The other thing that shocked me was the conversation we had about
the baby's small chin. The perinatologist had mentioned it the last
visit, but I really didn't think it was anything other than a
facial anomoly that may be kinda cute...big deal, she'll have a
small chin.

But the big deal is that if her chin is so severely pushed back that
it would interfere with her ability to breathe or swallow. It may
require corrective surgery to draw it out more or they may have to
insert a Tracheotomy in her throat so she can breathe and a feeding
tube directly into her stomach, so she can eat. These are not
definite things that are sure to happen, but they are showing up on
the ultrasound. Then again, nothing is sure...right?

You may be wondering "but didn't she give them a letter saying not
to discuss these things?" and yes, I did. But it casually came up
as she thought I already knew about that part of the small chin
problem. Needless to say, my chin was on the floor.

She finished telling me that we should expect to have what they call
a "blue baby" (most notably around her lips and such) and that she
will actually have blue tinting until her heart has been corrected.
This also means that until that time, it will affect her breathing
and she will most likely sound like she's drowning because her lungs
may get wet. Can you believe it? I can't seem to wrap my head around
this one. Especially because if she has T18, they won't do the
surgery anyway. The doctor told me that Brian and I need to discuss
how much intervention we want them to perform when she is born. I
don't even know where to go with that.

I feel like I'm about to fall apart. I don't even know how I feel. I
do not doubt that God can change things in an instant, but I'm
starting to wonder if He will. Just 2 days ago I was on top of the
world, really believing that God plans to heal her completely, now I
don't know what I believe. I KNOW that His will is perfect and
whatever He wants is for my good and His glory, but I feel like I'm
waffling.

A friend of ours has put things into words wonderfully in that I am
in a 'spiritual dog fight'. Right now I feel like I'm getting chewed
up pretty bad. It's almost debilitating. So please in your prayers
ask for mercy for me. And for Brian. This has really done a number
on him. He told me that he is not feeling close to God at all.
Things with his work are getting bad again and I just know that
Satan is using it as a distraction from Brian turning to God. He has
battled depression before and now he's worried that he won't be able
to bear things much longer. I need him to get strong, as I can't do
this alone. He always shuts himself off from things like this, not
letting others in, so please, please, keep him in prayer that he
will grow close to Jesus again and that we will be able to shoulder
this together.

I'm sure that in a few days I will see more clearly, and I am still
seeking comfort from Jesus as I know He is my Fountain.

I thank all of you who have carried me in prayer thus far. Please
keep it up!

Thank you,
Christine

*********This is the letter I gave to the Cardiologist today*******
Sept. 26, 2006


As a patient in what has been considered a high-risk pregnancy, I
wanted to request that any or all future findings that have not been
disclosed as of yet, remain in my medical records, but are not to be
discussed with me, unless there has been improvement from an initial
diagnosis.

My husband and I have been given adequate information as to the
findings of some abnormalities via ultrasound on our unborn
daughter, which have been devastating, to say the least. Her father
and I believe that the healing work that is to be done will be, by
the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ who is tenderly knitting our
baby together in my womb. I was recently told by an associate of the
medical team who provides care for our family that no amount of hope
can change things from what has been found in the specialized tests
performed. But our family and extended network of people in prayer
for us couldn't be more aware that "rejoicing in hope, patient in
tribulation , and continuing steadfastly in prayer" can change
things, if even only perspective of the afflicted.

I would prefer not to discuss any additional findings that would be
disruptive to a harmonious expectancy of a healthy pregnancy and
delivery, however I do recognize the need for medical professionals
to be prepared in the event of an unfortunate situation. I will
allow the skilled professionals of Kaiser Permanente including
Doctors, Nurses and Specialists to treat the remainder of my
pregnancy in the capacities necessary to carry to term and deliver
accordingly, I just ask that I am allowed to have as much joy and
worry-free experiences this wonderful time in my life may bring. I
would like to have a copy of this letter included in my file and
reserve the right to ask questions at any point in time.

Sincerely,

Christine Curry


Washing the windows...

I have to say that the out-pouring of prayers and support is very touching and most sincerely appreciated. Again I have felt myself being carried to the high place because of the intercession of others.

I feel much better today, and thankfully this last "episode" only
lasted a day or so of not feeling so great, I'm almost up to where I
was a few days ago, with much excitement and anticipation over what
will happen next. I am truly in a privileged position to see God's
hand working literally in me and through me, but I can help but feel
itty-bitty in the whole scheme of things.

I'm compelled to write another lengthy note describing my journey,
but I fist have to mention that I spoke with the Genetics Counselor
today and she said that they want to see me again for what is now
a "routine" ultrasound. I mentioned to her that I have a letter for
my file in Sacramento about not wanting to know more discouraging
things. At the end of that she said then there may not be need for
me to come in again until much closer to my due date. I was really
relieved as I didn't want to go again and wonder what was being
seen, even though I said I didn't want to know. I'm a big kid that
way... can't keep my nose out of things.

Anyway, she suggested that I email her the letter today so she can
give it to my Doctor (maybe to add weight to my plea for no more
information?) I was so pleased when she replied back to my email
wondering if I wanted her to put it online, for all providers to
see, as the Sacramento Kaiser has gone techn-o with no more paper
charts. I couldn't have replied faster…YES!! I want everyone to see
in whom I trust! This has encouraged me so much today, I feel
butterflies.

But onto another key point I feel I must tell you. Very few people
have heard me tell this story, but believe me, I knew from day one I
was in for something...What I am going to explain is mostly for
those who are reading that may not see my heart for what it has
become. There are those that knew me "before" and may think that I'm
in denial or not dealing with things realistically, but rest
assured, I have never been more wide-eyed! And even in the midst of
my despair, I have not, and will not blame God or get angry with
Him for this situation. I know in my heart of hearts that whatever
happens, His will is better than what I could ever want and it will
ultimately bring Him glory. Even if I don't understand it.

Here we go…The month before I found out I was pregnant, I thought I
was. I went so far as to purchase a pregnancy test, but on the way
home from the store, I realized I wasn't pregnant at all. I was so
relieved! Dodged that bullet, so to speak. I wasn't ready for
another baby, Mathias wasn't even 2 and how could we provide for
another person... we were just getting on our feet. We have big
plans... Yeah right!

So about 2 weeks later, as I was literally on my knees (washing the
living room windows) I was humming the song "I Surrender All" and
God asked me why I boast in how much I trust Him, but not with
everything. Was I surprised! What do you mean? Of course I do. "Then
why are you so relieved to not be carrying My child? I've told you
that they are a blessing, but you see them as a burden. I told you
that I would supply your needs, but you won't trust Me to do it."
Boy was I convicted. This whole "conversation" took a while for me
to absorb, but I (since being on my knees already) raised my hands
and said I was sorry. I started singing even louder and told God, "I
surrender! USE ME! In what ever way, USE ME. I am so sorry for my
sin of mistrust, if you want me to have another child, I'll do it.
Whatever you want from me, I'll do it." Two weeks later, I found out
I was pregnant. Okay, Lord. Very funny.

In the "hum-drum" of being a stay at home mom, I've realized that I
need to be "here" in this phase of my life. If not, I would be
distracted by work or other pressures of life, but instead I've
come to know so many fundamental truths while washing windows and
dishes. Who woulda thought.

So now this stuff crops up and what am I supposed to do? Trust in
Him, that's what. When Brian and I left the doctor after the very
first ultrasound, all over me I felt "TRUST ME, TRUST ME". I didn't
get it until today why. As I was washing dishes I thought Wow! If I
would have gone ahead with the amnio, I would still have kept the
baby but really had no "hope". I would know the results and my
prayers would have possibly not been as fervent as they are now.
Sure I would have still prayed for mercy and comfort, but I would
not be in EXPECTATION of God doing amazing things. I would have
settled for what the doctors have said. Clearly this points to
Romans 8:24-25..."but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does
one hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we
eagerly wait for it with perseverance." What a promise. That's why
it just didn't feel right to do the test. Thank you Lord, for
keeping me close enough to hear your whisper.

For those who my think that I am bi-polar, having grandiose
thoughts from one extreme to another... I'm not. I just have decided
that I am not going to let the king of liars steal my joy any
longer. Sure, I am still scared in my flesh, as I do not know what
the will of God is, but I do know that we are supposed to live in
expectation of His glory and always by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving and without doubt, let Him know our desires and He will
move mountains!

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. Sometimes I think I
should get a paper journal to keep them privately, but so many of
you respond back to me and it really is comforting. I know I'm not
alone.


Christine


Hannah's Prayer...

I wanted to let everyone know that as of today, no news is good
news.

My last doctor's appointment went well, I am now being seen every
other week. My "specialist" says she's not comfortable in seeing me
for ultrasound check-ups unless she can tell me everything she sees,
and my regular OB/GYN says he's not comfortable in seeing me because
I am high risk. Hummm...I didn't know if I should have been offended
or not, but I look at it as a small victory in that I am able to not
have to go to Sacramento yet and have actually been able to have
some peace about this whole thing. (And really, if they want to know
what uncomfortable is, I can tell them! It's trading in my lap for
swollen ankles and toes! Better yet, it's trying to keep my pants
from sliding off may backside when I walk because my
belly is so round that there is no place for the waist-band to
sit... as I hold a 2 year old in one arm and the hand of a feisty 3 year old in the other...Now that's uncomfortable!

But the last visit went well. The doc says I am measuring
accurately, which is a good sign for baby growth. I have a regular
ultrasound scheduled for the 15th and I'm sure after that they will
want me to start the trek to Sacramento weekly (for "observation").

There has been talk of inducing labor to gain more 'control' over
the situation, but I am asking for prayers that it won't be
necessary. I pray that God will allow my body to spontaneously (but
in time to get to the hospital, as it's an hour away)go into labor
and to deliver a completely healthy baby. I ask that He will prepare
my body for a smooth delivery where the Doctors will not have to
intervene, but will be spectators to an awesome display of His
glory. It's only 8 weeks to go (or less) as I'm sure they won't allow
me to go over my due date.

One night a couple of weeks ago I woke up to find myself whimpering,
as if I were having a nightmare. I recall not knowing what the dream
detailed, but I remember being sad in knowing that it was bad and about
Charlotte. I felt like the Lord was telling me to not rack my brain
in trying to remember what the dream was about and to get up and
take my Bible into the other room, as He had something to talk to me
about.

Well, I laid there for about 45 minutes or so and finally pulled
myself out of bed (it was somewhere around 3 am). I took up my Bible
and went into the living room. As I sat on the couch, I
thought "well, You might have something to say to me, but I also
have something to say to You".... and so I began to pray for
Charlotte like never before. Of course I have prayed for her before,
but really, this time was different.

I asked for healing over her entire body. Her hands, her feet, her
organs and her heart. This was especially hard for me because I know
what the Doctors think they see. I was asking for God to heal what
medically looks like a certainty. And I was earnestly looking for
Him to move. I realized that I have been telling people all about
God and how He is in this situation, but I wasn't telling Him from
my heart that I believed it. I know He is big enough to do this, and
He is still working through miracles. But was this one for me? Is it
real enough for me?

So I continued to pray and weep. And weep some more. I pleaded with
Him to allow my baby to grow up to be a strong witness for Him, to
be a person that would help others to see Him. I promised that I
would bring her up in a way that would be glorifying to Him. Until
that night, I held back in saying that because I know, as a parent
already, I have "consistency issues". I was entering into a covenant
with Him that if He were to allow this thing to happen, that I would
keep up my end too. That scared me. I am now a part of this, not
just a vessel.

So I asked for Him to speak to me through His word and to cause me
to understand it. I specifically asked Him to bind it on my head,
plant it in my heart and write it on my arm. I began to pray in a
way that excited me, but also left me feeling like I needed to take
off my sandals, so to speak. Then, as in my usual manner, after
praying it in the name of Jesus, I (literally) flopped open my Bible
and began to read. I usually do this in trusting that God will
direct my eyes to where they should be. But I knew that I need Him
to make it clear for me, what ever it was that he was about to
tell/show me.

So what I turned to knocked my socks off. It was 1 Samuel 1:1. Now
as I said, I flopped open my Bible, and I was not familiar with the
story. But it read that there was a women that was barren and
disparately wanted a child. She went to the temple to pray and
poured out her soul to the Lord and asked that if He were to grant
her a (male) child that she would in turn give him back to minister
before the Lord. Now I really encourage you to read the story for
yourself, as my para-phrasing does not do it justice. But it goes on
to say that the prophet Eli saw this women and all that she was
praying for and he told her that her prayers were heard and have
been answered. That she was to go in peace and be sad no longer.

I felt as if Jesus himself was sitting on the other end of my couch
with me! He heard what I prayed for and He was there to comfort me.
I began to sob some more and literally laugh out loud. So much so
that it kinda freaked me out. I thought for sure I would wake up
Brian or the kids, but it was such a beautiful feeling! I was
tickled! I had just prayed what Hanna, Samuel's mother had prayed,
with out even knowing it!

I have what I believe, experienced the wonderment of God speaking to
my heart, and confirming it through scripture, that He not only has
heard my prayers, but that He has done it. I now wait for Him to
reveal His power in this situation.

So thank you again for your prayers, I can't tell you enough how
much they mean to me... and to Him.

Will let y'all know how the next appointment goes.
Christine