Monday, May 9, 2016


Hello lovely the last year has been an up hill battle, but we have survived, even thrived a bit.  We miss our sweet girl daily.  She is a part of our everyday conversation.  Kye even asks to go and see her.  And whenever he asks we go...its interesting trying to explain to a 3 year old the concept of where she is buried verses where she really is...Heaven! He does ask to go to heaven sometimes.  Wish we could sweet boy, wish we could.

On another note, our sweet family has been blessed with another life on the way!! 

Coming 12/1/16 is our rainbow baby. At first, Josh and I were not sure about the name "rainbow" baby...implying that our Aubrey was a terrible storm.  She was not a storm...her story may have been.  But SHE was a light in the darkness, a beautiful life.  Her story has provided hope, faith and grace to people across the nation, the world. And as much as I miss her everyday, I wouldn't change her story. Her witness. 

But then we remembered WHY God sent the rainbow: 
“13I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember  the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:13-16

This does not mean we won't have trials, but that God promises he is with us through all of them, that there is hope everlasting after a trial.  That he will walk with us.  So...our rainbow baby ☺️

Oh...and it's a Boy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Aftermath

Tomorrow Aubrey would have been 2 months old.  In some ways, 2 months has simply flown by, like nothing has changed, nothing is different.  In other ways, each day has been an eternity, a struggle to move through, like walking through quicksand.  We also are approaching the 6 month mark of when my whole life forever changed, the day we found out about Aubrey's diagnosis.  Six months.  Now that for sure seems like a life time ago.  I don't even recognize the pre-Aubrey me.  She is a foreign person to me.  The Talia before we found out God's plan was buried with Aubrey.  And in someways, I like the "new" me.  I think its made me a better doctor.  I think its taught me about true loss.  I have learned to cling closer to my God.  But for the most part, I don't really understand who I am now.  I don't "fit" anywhere.  With my friends, my family.  I feel out of place almost everywhere I go.  It very hard to describe.  The only place I feel like I can function 'normally' is when I am with Kye and when I am at work.  Maybe its because there is purpose in those two places.  Maybe because being a mother translates above all else.  Maybe its because the girls at my office walked through every minute of this tragedy with me.  I don't know.  All I know is that I am forever changed.  Part of it is because, I think, that I am a little angry.  Not at God, or Aubrey, or anyone specific, just angry.  Angry, disappointed, frustrated that my life is never going to be the same.  Is not what I planned it to be.  I had "planned" two beautiful children, 2.5 years apart.  I got icing on the cake when my plan turned out to be one boy and one girl!  Then, it feels like, that was "ripped away from me".  But that was not God's plan for us.  It was not ripped away, Aubrey was never mine to begin with.  Nothing in this life is "mine" - it all belongs to our Heavenly Father...I keep trying to remind myself of that.  Picture perfect earthly family is not what we will have, that won't be our story.

 I don't understand all of these emotions very well yet.  For those of you that know me, I am the furthest thing from an "angry" person that you will ever meet.  I have been praying for God to help me let go of this anger, this disappointment.  I need to let go of the "I" and cling to the "Him."  I KNOW with 100% certainty that this was God's divine plan for Aubrey, for us.  I know that he is faithful, has a purpose and I believe those things.  However, each day the anger sneaks in.  That's sad to say, but its true.  You think the devil would leave well-enough alone when we are at our worst, but that for sure is where he thrives.  Where he seeks to destroy.  Read Job.  You'll see. I have been trying to allow my inner-Job come out.  To praise Him in this storm.  To allow God's grace, mercy and light shine through me in and throughout ALL things.  But that is easier said than done.  Prayer.  There is another thing that I have gotten better at.  I cling to it.  Because really, I don't feel like I can actually talk to anyone BUT God. 

As far as all that has happened since Aubrey's birthday:
Aubrey's service was beautiful.  It was a grave side service with just family and very close friends.  Her uncles were the pallbearers. My father-in-law spoke.  What he said was perfection.  We sang "Because He Lives" at the end.   And we laid her body to rest at a beautiful place not far from our home.

I never really thought I wanted to bury her, to have her body in a permanent place.  But I have really enjoyed going there.  Its very peaceful.  Although I know her soul isn't there, its nice to sit, be still and think about her. 

Eating ice cream with my girl

Afterwards we had everyone at our house, including more dear friends.  It was a celebration and we enjoyed it so much. 

I took about 4 weeks of maternity leave.  While I was "off", I did do a couple of surgeries and deliveries.  It felt good to work some.  Josh and I took a short trip together to New Orleans, saw Garth Brooks in concert and spent some great time with close friends.

I am back to work full swing now.  I am dieting.  Trying to exercise.  I got a FitBit.  Kye started a new school year.  Josh got a new truck and is as busy as ever.  I am studying to take my OB/GYN Oral board exam in November. Basically we are trying to get back to life.  But there is like a giant, Aubrey-size hole that nothing can fill.  Moms who have been through something similar tells me it never goes away, but that the edges get healed over, become less raw.  That life gets easier.  Time heals all things, so they say.  I constantly feel like I forgot something huge, like that feeling you have when you left the stove or curling iron on.  Like something major is missing.  I guess because it is. 

But through it all, God is faithful.  I still laugh, still smile, still find joy in this life.  People have been SO good to us.  Friends, family, co-workers, strangers.  Thank each of you for your meals, your gifts, your thoughts, your prayers and your love.  Not a single thing goes unnoticed. 

Please continue to pray for our little family.  I am blessed to have the love of an amazing man and one smart, funny little boy.  They are why I get up in the morning.  We will weather this storm.  Aubrey will always be a part of us.  She just gets to live in heaven, instead of in Jasper. 

Love to each of you.  To God be the glory. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Aubrey's Birthday!

Aubrey Lea Gates was born June 12, 2015 at 6:51p via a vaginal delivery.  She lived for 49 minutes and went to be with Jesus at 7:40p.  The following is an account of our day...

We got to the hospital at about 4:00a.  The original plan was to not have her heart beat on the monitor, so we wouldn't make any decisions that would compromise me based on a "bad strip" or drops in her heart rate.  But I couldn't do it.  My life is spent in and out of L&D suites, and coupled with being in those rooms is the constant, beautiful sound of the babies heart beat.  It was way to quiet in our room without her heart beat.  So I said, leave it on.  I left it up to my capable partners to know if and when to turn it off. **SPOILER ALERT** She looked awesome!! Picture perfect strip the whole labor. 

I got one dose of cytotec to kick the process off.  That stuff (if you get the good batch...tehe) is legit!  I was contracting and hurting within an hour.  So I went ahead and got my epidural.  God bless those of you who do this without them, but God also bless modern medicine.  And Robbie, the CRNA who put in my epidural and Steven, the CRNA who managed it all day. 

At around 8a, Bridget, my partner, came to break my water.  This was one thing that was making us both nervous going in to my induction.  For those of you who AREN'T Ob/Gyns, when you have a large amount of fluid, when your water breaks you are at risk for things such as placenta abruption, cord prolapse or the baby flipping positions.  None of these things would be good...however, I trusted Bridget totally so I wasn't worried in that moment at all.  She made a very small hole with a spinal needle...and the river flowed!!!!  Apparently there was a lot of fluid :).  But sweet girls head came right down, no cord, no abruption, no problems.  Good work B! 

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur with visitors and slow labor progress.  We had so many sweet friends and family.  It was perfect.  My mind was kind of going crazy, so I was happy for the revolving door of people.  I would even take a snooze while listening to everyone talk around us.  I loved it.  Jen (my best friend) and Josh put a stop to it at some point, so I would sleep ;).  I didn't sleep too much though....Didn't want to miss a moment of my girls birthday. 

Kye was a rockstar all day.  My dad kept him at home in the morning and he came to visit me around lunch.  Wasn't even phased by me in a hospital bed.  That's the kid of a doctor for you.  He has rounded with me numerous as far as he was concerned it was just another day at mommy's office.  Fil (my father in law...John to most of you) took over at nap time and took him to my in-laws where he always sleeps like a boss.  He showed back up around 5 (after he finally woke up!) and was a total champion through the rest of the process. 

I am not a fast laborer, apparently.  With Kye my water broke at 330a, started Pitocin at 8a and I did not deliver him until 11:23p that night.  With Aubs, I started the process at 5a and didn't deliver until almost 7.  So much for being more speedy with the second.  It was a long day, and for a little while, I think we were all worried she was not gonna fit.  Her sweet head took a while to descend.  But at one point, Cindy (my amazing sweet nurse and friend) checked me and said with so much joy and honesty, "Talia, your 8! and I can feel all the way around her head...I think she is gonna fit!  She is gonna fit!"  The next time B checked me, she agreed.  Finally, at about 5 or 530p, I was complete! Time to push. 

Pushing her out, I can say without a doubt, was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I had epidural issues all day (not because of placement, because of some crazy anatomy I have), but it was working great at time of pushing and I couldn't feel to push her.  So I (micromanaging my own care) had them back off on the rate of the epidural.  BIG MISTAKE.  I started to feel it alright! HA!  About 30 minutes later I was begging them to turn it back up! My mind kept saying "don't do it! don't push her out, just keep her inside! she is safe there" but my body was in so much pain, only relieved by pushing.  I was fighting for every push.  At some point, I really didn't know if I could do it. Bridget and Lorissia, both of my partners were right there encouraging me.  Josh was amazing, so strong.  My nurses Cindy and Lauren were total cheerleaders.  I couldn't have done it without each of them. Turns out she was OP (sunny side up) which makes it much harder to push out vaginally and her final head circumference was consistent with a 41 week size head (she was only 36 weeks).  I needed an episiotomy, but finally, at 651p she came out.

She was ALIVE! Reese handed her to Josh so he could finishing pulling her out.  Josh put her on my chest.  And Aubrey cried!! SHE CRIED! We were able to hear her sweet voice. And then even more beautiful, she opened her eyes and looked at us.  Perfection.  At that moment, all I felt was peace.  True peace that I hadn't felt since I realized her legs weren't growing back in February. 

Josh was truly in-tune with her from the moment she was born.  She would just gaze into his eyes.  Her tiny hand grabbed his huge finger.  A true daddy's girl :).  He somehow knew we wouldn't have much time.  Not long after she was born, he said "We have to get Kye!"  He ran out of the room and got Aubrey's big brother.  Kye was also smitten.  He climbed right into bed with me and said "Hey Aubs!" He then sang her Happy Birthday.  Sweetest sound ever.  She also gazed into her big brothers eyes.  He loved on her, kissed her and was SO happy to be with her.  I will forever cherish that moment that we were a family of four here on earth. 

Josh then brought Kye out and said we had to get our parents.  All four of Aubrey's grandparents came in and saw their beautiful granddaughter.  They each got to hold her and see her open her eyes.  I am so happy they got to meet her!   

Josh and I then had our moment alone with her.  Everyone left the room, on Josh's wise request.  We then just held her and told her how much we loved her.  At 740p with her earthly daddy holding her, she went to be with our heavenly Father.  It was the most beautiful 49 minutes of my life. 

After she passed away, our brothers and sisters that were there came in to see her.  My best friends Sheena (who got there right as she was born), Sashi and Jen were all there too.  They each were so supportive and patient all day.  I am glad that they got to see her. 

We then got her foot and handprints, bathed her and put her sweet clothes on.  We went to our room, were she stayed with us.  This was made possible by HALO (Hope After Loss Organization) and their donation of a cuddle cot, which is a cooling blanket, allowing her body to stay with us overnight.  This may seem weird to some.  But it truly eased the transition for me.  And I could still hold her, memorize the weight of her in my hands.  Memorize her sweet little features. 

Some fun tid-bits of the day.  My sweet friends Sam and Andy Byars brought our whole crew lunch, so no one had to leave.  Thanks friends!  Several people (Paige and Crystal) brought Kye toys which was so sweet and amazing.  It was 4 week old Charli's longest time away from her momma, Reese.  She didn't like it.  Ha.  Paige, Ashley and Kayla, some of my sweet office girls, stayed with Charli until Aubs came in the world, allowing Reese to be there to deliver me.  My dad sat outside the labor room listening to the whole pushing process.  He ran to the waiting room after she was born and said "She's here! I heard her cry!" (He was right outside my room for Kye this was very special and sentimental).  At this point everyone came to stand outside the room to listen.  Many heard her cry.  Jen said when she heard my voice, it was the first time I had sounded like myself since we found out her diagnosis.  As I said earlier...peace, peace that passes all understanding.  

This post will only be about her birthday.  Highlighting her beautiful, perfect day.  I will post soon about all the emotions that have surrounded all of this.  I just wanted y'all to hear her birth story.  Thank you for all of the prayers.  The day could not have gone better or been more perfect.  We got everything that we could have wanted.  Of course I wish she was laying beside me right now, but that was not the story that God had for her. 

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful!" Hebrews 10: 23

"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say 'It is well with my soul'."

It is well sweet friends, it is well.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nearing the End

Hello sweet friends. Since we have last talked, I have had two MFM appointments in Birmingham and little has changed.  The biggest thing is that Aubrey's head size as started to increase as babies heads with TD will do.  This happens because the bones fuse before they are suppose to, a component of their skeletal dysplasia.  This past Friday, I was 35 weeks and 2 days and her head was measuring 41w1d (a week bigger than a full term baby).  Friday, we had a very frank discuss with our MFM about the risks and the benefits of staying pregnant.  Frankly, I think everyone is a little surprised that Aubrey girl and I are still hanging in there :).  I know that is because I asked everyone to pray for more time and God has been so faithful.  What Josh, Dr. B and I discussed was that there was no added benefit to prolonging the pregnancy much further.  There is not any added benefit to her, in fact the risk of still birth for her starts to increase, and the delivery starts to be riskier for me with her increasing head size.   Dr. B felt if my cervix was favorable (dilated and inducible for my non medical friends) that our chance for a safer, vaginal delivery was good and that we shouldn't wait too long, letting her head continue to grow.  He told me to discuss it with my partners (friends and doctors) and to let them make the call.  So, we checked my cervix Monday and its very favorable, Aubrey's head is engaged in my pelvis (that would explain the watermelon-coming-through-my-vagina feeling I have been walking around with).  My last day of work was yesterday and Dr. Bridget Brunner and Dr. Lorissia Autery, my partners, friends and doctors, scheduled my induction. 

This has, no doubt, been the hardest part.  I NEVER wanted an induction with her.  I feel like I am ending her life before we are both ready.  This is where being a doctor AND being her mom is really hard.  I feel like I know too much.  If I was just a patient, my doctors told me the safest thing was to induce, I feel it would be easier to let go.  This is why I made Bridget and Reese pick the date for me.  So I wouldn't have to choose that day, that time.  Choose the end of our time together.  The medical side of me knows that its the right call.  We are constantly weighing risks and benefits in medicine.  Its how we make most of our decisions.  And here the risks have certainly started to out-weigh the benefits.  But the mom side of me cannot stand it. 

She is so happy inside of me.  Moving more than ever lately.  So much personality.  She stuck her tongue out at us the other day on ultrasound when we were trying to get her to roll over.  Literally, she turned her head, looked right at us, stuck her tongue out and rolled back over where we couldn't see her.  Then yesterday, while we were ultrasounding her, I said "Dr. B says she probably cannot close her  mouth because of her bone structure of her jaw".  Aubrey promptly looked at me, mom and Dede (our ultrasound tech), and CLOSED HER MOUTH.  As if to say, "I heard you mom, don't tell me what I cannot do!" 

But it is time.  Its time to begin the process of saying good bye to our daughter.  Plans have been made, dates and times set.  I will tell you, it is surreal to walk through a graveyard, picking a spot for your daughter while she still kicks inside of you.  Thankfully, Josh has taken most of the burden of planning THAT part off of me.  He is so strong for us.  I don't know what I would do without him.  My mom and dad are here.  They rented a house for a month on the lake and I am forever grateful.  Josh's parents are here already.  And the rest of the friends and family that we need are beginning the trek to be here with  us. 

The most amazing part of this pregnancy is the realization and confirmation of how much life truly does begin IN the womb.  The moment of conception.  Aubrey and I have had a life together.  I wouldn't trade they last 36 weeks for anything.  I wouldn't give up one minute. 
Psalm 139, again, says " For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you for I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me..."

Thank you so much for all the love, prayers and support.  Please keep it coming.  We will need it now more than ever.  Please pray for a safe, vaginal delivery.  Pray Aubrey girl arrives alive.  Pray Kye enjoys meeting his sister and is not overwhelmed.  Pray that between now and my induction date, MAYBE she would just come on her own to ease my mind.  (I realize I asked you all to pray for MORE time last time and that is totally how I have made it this far...thank you)

I am still feverishly praying for a miracle by our earthly standards.  That she could stay with me, Josh and Kye.  However, to paraphrase what a new friend of mine who has been through this exact thing wrote....whether by MIRACLE or DEATH, on the day of her birth, Aubrey will be restored.  Praise Him for this.  Do not forget to praise Him for her life. 

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Too Blessed to Be Bitter

So the title is a bit of a cliché', however it is a saying that has been ringing in my head over and over for the last several weeks.  As hard as all of this has been/will be, God has truly blessed me with a beautiful life.  I have an amazing family who loves and encourages me.  I have friends that have been there for my every crazy though and moment.  I have an amazing job with co-workers who have become my family.  I have a beautiful home with beautiful land. Really, I would kinda be annoyed with me if it weren't for everything surrounding my Aubrey-girl.

Kye is just so full of life. He is starting to have full conversations with me everyday.  He loves to play.  He loves to love on me and his sister.  I cannot imagine going through all of this without him.  Somedays, he is the ONLY reason I get up in the morning.

I have an amazing marriage with a man who is a leader, God-fearing, and my best friend.  He loves his kids and is the best dad that was ever made.  He supports me fully, in everything I do.  He is the hardest worker I have ever met.  He makes me proud to be a Gates everyday. 

The other day Josh and I asked each other how we could be so happy and so sad at the same time.  The next Sunday, Tim, our youth pastor preached on Romans 5.  This verse, I realized, is the answer to Josh and my question.

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5

So, I am focusing on REJOICING in this suffering, knowing that God has prepared this path specifically for us and for HIS glory.  It is not always easy though.  I feel the end is nearing.  Although I am not due until July, expert opinion seems to think I will likely deliver around 34 weeks (give or take a week).  I am 32 weeks now.  My fluid is now 34 (upper limits of normal is 23).  My uterus is measuring the same size as a 39 week, or term, uterus.  Frankly, I look pregnant with twins.  NOPE, just one tiny little Aubrey :).  It is funny kind of...everyday some random stranger says to me "Your about to POP, when are you due?" My response "July"...their response is usually just a confused look on their faces.  Haha. 

I was blessed this last week with going to New Orleans and seeing everyone that I went to residency with and to spend a day with those who trained me.  It was wonderfully peaceful to spend a 36 hour period with some of those who know me best and ALSO know this field the best.  I didn't have to explain anything, I was just able to BE. The reality of my situation is beginning to weigh even more heavy on me these days.  I realize that as I near the end of my pregnancy I am nearing the end of her life on this earth.  That has made me very sad and very anxious.  I am trying to give it all to the Lord, but some days I cannot find peace.  It was during this trip to New Orleans that I was able to have a very meaningful conversation with one of my mentors and one of the men I respect the very most, Dr. Robichaux.  He reminded me of something I had forgotten...God asked Abraham to give his son back to him as a sacrifice.  Abraham, although broken, was more than willing to do this.  What a beautiful reminder that Aubrey is not mine and Josh's.  She is God's.  And I have to be willing to let her go. 

I see my MFM next week.  I will try to post an update soon afterwards.  Thank you all for your sweet prayers, thoughts, notes, gifts, flowers, etc.  Each mean SO much to me and Aubs.  Please pray for peace and pray that maybe I could have 3 more weeks or so with my girl :)


Monday, April 20, 2015


I know its been awhile since I have posted...but you know how life goes!  I promise to stay more in touch.  Since my last post, we have had another appointment and we have gone through the Easter holiday (already my personal favorite, but especially special this year).  Also, I am now 28 weeks pregnant...almost to the third trimester.

At our appointment we learned that, basically, all is going as expected.  Aubrey is still happy in her little home.  Her legs, arms and chest haven't grown at all since we last saw the MFM. Her chest is now less than the 5th percentile.  Her heart, although it is taking up most of the space in her chest, is still going strong and looking good.  Very little lung tissue is still able to be seen, but there still is some!! Her head has gotten a bigger (measuring 3-5 weeks ahead) but all brain structures still look great.  Macrocephaly (big head) is not uncommon in TD.  It has something to do with their bone structures.  The only concern with this would be that she wouldn't fit for a vaginal delivery, but Dr. B says that her head isn't large enough yet for that to be a concern.  Also, my amniotic fluid is on the high end of normal at 23 (normal is 5-23), which is to be expected with Aubs condition.  Amniotic fluid is circulated by babies swallowing and breathing it in and then urinating it out.  As her chest gets proportionally smaller, it gets harder for her to breath and swallow, therefore leaving my fluid high.  The concerns with this are preterm contractions, preterm delivery, early rupture of membranes (water breaking) and just general discomfort for me.  All in all, things are progressing exactly as the MFM anticipated.  Same prognosis, and even each time he see me, he is even more confident of the diagnosis.  But she was rocking and rolling in there and gave us some great looks.  Little girl is super photogenic, looks so much like her big brother and is always opening and closing her mouth.  I guess she has lots to say. ☺️

The third trimester had brought some interesting challenges emotionally and physically.  I feel like I am nearing the end, which is usually exciting, but for us it is simply terrifying. We are trying to cherish each moment, every kick.  She kicks the very most when Kye is talking to her and when her Granddaddy is preaching.  Kye is also very into all of the pregnancy and loves to come and see his baby sister at my office. 

Also, she has me WILDLY uncomfortable.  Usually, as an OBGYN, I encourage mommas through this part with "but it's all worth it in the end" or "but look at the reward!"  For us, it sure is hard to take that same perspective.  I guess, if I have been angry at all, it's over this fact:  That all this discomfort, sleepless nights, reflux, loss of appetite, weight gain, stretch marks...I feel like it's not worth it.  I know in my head that her life already has meaning.  And I love her to pieces.  But, I have to constantly remind myself that it is ALL for Gods purpose.  If even not in the conventional sense of having her grow up with me.  I guess the best way to describe it is that I feel like she is on loan, like I have to give her back as soon as I see her.  I keep telling Josh "I just want to keep her!"

That brings me to Easter.  Our little family had a blast.  We did the church Easter party and egg hunt with Josh's whole family and my partner and her kiddos. Everyone really enjoyed being together. Kye really got into the games and hunting for eggs.  He also loves being with his cousins and his friends.

But more than anything, Easter was a beautiful reminder that Jesus conquered death.  He CONQUERED it!!  When he died on the cross, Death lost its powers. Death is not to be feared by us as believers.  He said "It is finished".  And that was it! Both physical and most importantly spiritual death (separation from GOD) were destroyed with those three words.  WHAT FREEDOM! As one chorus states...

"No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand."

Also, I had never heard...or closely listened too...this particular verse of this popular hymn but it is perfect. 

"How sweet to hold a newborn baby,

And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives."

And life is worth the living...JUST because he lives.  What a beautiful reminder that I need everyday.

Happy late Easter yall.  He is risen.  He is risen indeed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Update on our girl

On Friday, we went back to Dr. B, the high risk specialist.  He measured all of Aubrey's bones.  Her legs, arms and chest had not grown since the last visit.  This means that she is basically done growing in her long bones.  Her chest is now at the 10th percentile.  If you remember from my first post, less than the 10th percentile was what he said would basically guarantee this would be lethal.  Also, he stated that her humerus and femur were more bowed than the last time.  All other systems, including her heart and her head, look great.  He was even more certain this time that she has TD (Thanatophoric Dysplasia) and not another type. 

So what all of this means is that we are now very certain she will not have enough lung tissue to be compatible with life. Josh and I have always been on the same page with what to do if that were the case.  We have decided to give Aubrey only comfort care when she arrives.  "Comfort Care" is the medical word for no intervention and just keep her happy and comfortable.  We will just love on her and meet her and wish her Happy Birthday.  In some weird way it actually feels good to have a plan.  It most certainly is NOT the plan or the path we wanted.  But, being able to know what we are dealing with for certain and to know how we are going to move forward gives this control freak some sense of calm in this crazy situation we find ourselves. 

My biggest fear at this point will be getting her here alive.  I just want Josh and Kye and others in my family to be able to meet her too.  I get her all to myself right now, which is such a precious time.  People who are moms know that you already have such a special bond with the little one before they even get here.  She is such a ham already too.  Every time we see her on ultrasound she is opening and closing her mouth, like she is talking.  Also, she flips and flops all the time.  Specific things she likes are music, her brothers voice and her granddaddy's preaching.  She also ALWAYS move if I start to cry over she is saying "Mommy, I am just fine.  Don't be sad." 

The reality of her never coming home to her earthly home is starting to set in though, and it hurts almost more than I can bare.  The other day out of the blue, Kye said "Where's Aubrey?  Aubrey come home to Kye's house!"  All I could do is cry.  But we are all trying to enjoy her as much as possible.  I try to bring everyone to my office to see her on ultrasound.  My parents came the other day and she was being so sweet.  Kye talks to her all the time and loves to love on his baby sister.  Josh talks to her and made her a music playlist that we listen too most nights. 

This song by Shane and Shane that my friend Josh sang at church the other day really hit home.  It is based on a verse from Job 13:15 "Though he slay me, I will hope in him."


Another verse that I have been meditating on is one that my friend Laine sent me in a sweet card
2 Corinthians 12:9 "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so Christ's power may rest on me."

Thank you for all your kind thoughts, cards and words.  Mostly thank you for the prayers.  Please keep them coming.  We need them. 

God Bless. XOXO