Thursday

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You-Grace

Thanks for joining me today for my little carnival of remembering.  If you want to link up, you can read the details and grab the button here.

This is the first time I've ever written this story.  

For months after my third child was born, I told it over and over to anyone who would listen.  I think I was trying to purge myself of painful memories, doubt and guilt.

Then I read in some parenting magazine that women who tell their traumatic birth stories again and again need to let it go.

And so I did.

Until now.  I stumbled upon this picture the other day (meeting my daughter for the first time) and I want to tell you the story.



After God did a miracle in my marriage, I started dreaming of having another baby.  A third child.  We already had a girl and boy and thought we were done.  

But then, we fell in love again.  And it just seemed right to create a baby from our new union.  

I got pregnant right away, but that precious baby flew to the arms of Jesus.

Several months later, I conceived again.  I was very sick from the beginning and spent almost the entire summer in bed, watching my six and four year old play in the backyard from my window.

My pregnancy was a nightmare.  I faced serious problems throughout from a kidney stone, among other complications.  During my pregnancy, I was seen by 5 specialists, took  14 rounds of antibiotics, and had a medical procedure by a Urologist when I was 27 weeks pregnant without anesthesia.  

At 32 weeks, they diagnosed my baby with a failure to thrive and decided to deliver her.

I went through hours of labor and developed a fever from the infection that wracked my body and she was delivered by emergency c-section.

It was terrifying.  I remember being rushed down the hall and the panic that surrounded me. And do you know how I felt?  Even in that moment of terror, I was simply relieved that my hellish pregnancy was ending.

My hubby nearly missed the whole surgery because he had gone to Walmart for slippers. (Yeah, about six months after my baby was born, we argued about that!)

My tiny daughter was born and whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care because she wasn't breathing well and they were considering transporting her to a hospital downtown. 

I sent my hubby to be with her.  He stayed by her side the entire night, praying.

She was born on Dec. 16th.  Part of her name is Grace, to remind us of God's grace to our marriage. I spent my birthday and my anniversary in the hospital.  She stayed through Christmas and New Year's.

Guilt was my friend during my hospital stay.  I felt terrible for wishing for her early birth and scared that she wouldn't make it because of my body's inability to sustain her in utero.

I could write a post just about holding her for the first time, she was nearly a week old and another post about the NICU experience.

The night that I will remember forever was Christmas Eve.  We were home trying to make things 'normal' for our other kids.  It was bedtime and we got a call from the hospital.  Our baby had taken a turn for the worse and they wanted us to come.

My Mom slept on my sofa and my Dad went with us to the hospital.  

It was the most difficult night of my life, watching my tiny baby stripped naked, hooked to wires, fighting for her life.  My Dad laid hands on her and prayed.

And I cried.

Nothing else mattered at that moment.  Not the car I drove, the decor in my home or the money in the bank.  
It was about life and not losing it.  And about me, giving God my child.

That was hard.

She stabilized and we made it home just in time for Santa to fill the stockings.

I fought back the tears while my children unwrapped presents.  At one point, my daughter said, "Are you sad, Mommy?"

My son piped in, "She's just happy because Santa gave her just what she wanted:  a baby."

I hugged my kids and sobbed.  

We spent Christmas afternoon at the hospital and every day after that until our baby came  home.

We learned CPR and she stayed on a heart monitor until she was six months old.

We returned to celebrate her one year anniversary at the hospital and delivered gifts for the NICU babies and treats for the doctors and nurses (we hope to make this an annual visit).

And here she is today, a healthy handful and a true reminder of God's Grace.



I don't let her cry as much as I should and I spoil her too often.  But when you come so close to losing someone so precious,  it stays with you forever. 

Food for the Soul:
I Cor. 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."

89 comments:

LifeatTheCircus said...

Wow! You do such a good job of sharing your life with us. I can only imagine how painfully difficult that time was for you and am so thankful that your sweet bundle of grace is doing so well now. I have watched and prayed with dear friends and loved ones as they went through similar circumstances. Thanks for sharing about God's work in your life, your family, and your marriage. Your light shines so brightly for Him in this "blogosphere."

Moriah said...

That picture brought back some memories for me - my mom had my twin sisters amid a very similar situation when I was 9. They were monoamniotic and had to be delivered very early because their cords were knotted together several times. We carted around their oxygen tanks and heart monitors for months, too. And now they're in college!

Also - that spaghetti ring picture, well that was just too funny. Hit home, too, because we had spaghetti just the other night and I had a matching bathtub. Only I also had poop in mine.

Gross, I know. :)

Tammy said...

Kristen, thank you for sharing your story. I thank the Lord everyday for having healthy children.

Susan said...

Kristen,

Once again I'm in "awe" of the gift you have to share your many joys, sorrows, and funny glimpses into the lives of your family.

You keep it all so real, and I've come to love you and your family.

I'm so blessed your story had a good ending. Grace is just precious.

I have a daughter~in~love named Kristin, who is now pregnant and suffering with, with KIDNEY STONES! Yikes...

I also have a grand-daughter named Grace. Hmmm...

I truly know what it feels like to want your child to live and not die. My son is a brain tumor survivor.

Blessings to you. One of these Thursday's I'm go to do a post "Fro Me to You".

Blessings♥

Karen said...

God is good. The lessons we learn when we're down on our knees are the ones we keep for life. His grace is more than enough, and your daughter is just beautiful.

Megan said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharinig.

We suffered a loss before Peanut was born, and have had a very serious health scare with him since. My heart just broke to hear your experience and how precarious your daughter's situation was. What an incredible miracle!

Mindy said...

Thank you so much for sharing. We moms needed to hear your story...because it reminds us to be thankful for healthy babies always, and to be aware that God is always present. I appreciate your vulnerability and I praise God with you that your little girl is a healthy thriving handful! :)

The four little penguins say: said...

Awesome story. Thank you so much for sharing. I think, as moms, we succumb to guilt over everything if given half a chance. I have bucketloads surrounding my own little preemie's birth but hearing other mom's stories about God's blessings helps a little bit to remind me that He is the One in control, not me. Thank you.

World's Greatest Mommy said...

What a beautiful post. I can only imagine how difficult that period of your life was. And how precious your little sweetie must be...

Thank you for pouring out your heart to us...

Anooja said...

Thanks for sharing your story..It was touching.I am close to 8 mths of pregnancy and had to have 2 courses of antibiotics in the 5th because i caught a viral fever and throat infection. The two courses itself scare me.
I guess God gave you lots of courage..
Thanks to God for Grace and her good health and her 'bites' :)
Take care :)

CanCan said...

Such a touching story. Thank you for sharing it so beautifully.

Valarie said...

I am so sorry, that you went through all that. God was praised in it all though, and someone saw Him working in your lives. There are no telling how many lives that have been touched by your story, or by watching it unfold.

On a lighter note, if you are going to continue to make me cry on your blog, please warn me somehow so I can get the tissues ready.

Love ya! :o)

jennifer said...

Bless your heart. I fully understand starting motherhood in fear because I had the same thing happen to me, just a bit differently.

But isn't God good Kristen? He certainly is! Praise God for your testimony through your daughters sweet life!

Jennifer

Crayl said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. We would have never known otherwise. Such a cute little blessing.

Ok, Where Was I? said...

Wonderful post and beautiful baby! When did the tears come? That would be when Santa gives you what you want. I'm not only glad to hear she's well, but also that you spoil her. Good for you.

Becky said...

I admire your writing.

Every time I visit your blog, I laugh, I cry, and I internal sigh with an "awwwww."

It is chicken soup for the blogger.

With a big tall glass of diet coke with crushed ice. (Sweet tea to you.)

The Maid

marky said...

Yes it does stay with you forever. I almost lost my sweet 24yo.. He was born by emergency C-section (all 4 of them were sections) but his was complicated, my lungs colapsed and he was born lifeless and floppy (to quote dr.'s) He was immediately lifeflighted to a NICU hospital 300 miles away.. I spent many days sobbing too! I finally made it to the same hospital as him, and got to hold him when he was 5 days old. 2 Days after we arrived home, I was hospitalized again with infection..and gone for another 3 days. Our first month together was mostly spent apart.. I understand the overwhelming surge of emotion.
Praising God that your sweet little girl is healthy today!!! Thanks for sharing your story.

Mandy said...

Thanks for sharing that story. I am sure it was hard to write. Tears were streaming down my face! She is a beautiful little girl and I think I would be loving a lot on her as well.

Mandy said...

Thanks for sharing that story. I am sure it was hard to write. Tears were streaming down my face! She is a beautiful little girl and I think I would be loving a lot on her as well.

Happy Mommy said...

Oh Kristen, I have never felt so close to a blogger or cried so hard as I have this morning! You I'm sure have read some of Twice Blessed Mommy's story, and TBM is my Aunt and best friend and as she delivered her twins at 25 weeks and 5 days our family was completely turned upside down! I prayed like I have never prayed before, I cried like I had never cried before. It was the single most horrible thing that has ever happened in our family short of death.... The fear that they might not make it was unbearable! But God is so good and they are both doing well, sure they are behind in development, but time will heal that. I am so thankful you have Grace! I am glad God restored your marriage, and gave you a child, she is beautiful!

If we have a daughter again someday, she will be named Grace. I love that name and when I do get pregnant by Gods Grace, we will be very thankful and will always remember his Grace to us!

Robin (the PENSIEVE one) said...

What a sweet telling of a painful part of your past. The beauty is in the moments of redemption laced throughout--your marriage, your children's responses, and that smiling face at the end :). You never want to forget this kind of thing--it changed your family!--but you clearly have to move on from the way it can paralyze you. And it sounds like you've come away from it looking forward, not back :).

I linked a post that popped into my mind when I read the guidelines--NOT at all like yours, but one of my favorite stories to tell :).

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing that Kristen. I know how hard those times are. My youngest spent 30 days in the NICU. He wasn't breathing when he was born and the Dr's didn't think he would make it the first 4 hours. We had many phone calls from the Dr's in those 30 days where he would take turns for the worse; I even had my priest come and pray for him. He is doing great now and I'm so happy to read how well your baby girl is doing!
God bless her today and always!

Sarah said...

I have tears running down my face - what a beautiful story!

She is just a beautiful example of God at work.

onemoreequalsfour said...

What a very beautiful story and a very beautiful little girl! God is so good and so full of mercy (and grace). Thanks, once again, for being so transparent!

MoziEsmé said...

Thanks for sharing - she truly is beautiful.

Jamie in Rose Cottage said...

Beautiful story, and what a beautiful little girl!

Niki said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story.

I have to go hold my son now...

Grateful for Grace said...

Thank you for sharing... I have BTDT and it was a very long 16 days in the NICU.
http://gratefulforgrace.blogspot.com/2008/03/surprise-we-had-baby.html

I have always let our babies cry it out as they learn to go to sleep on their own... not this guy. So, when I saw you say, "I don't let her cry as much as I should and I spoil her too often..." I get it. Having a baby on a ventilator does something to a mama' psyche.

Grateful right along with you for her health!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

That was just beautiful. It brought me to tears and gave me chills. What a touching illustration of God's perfect grace.

HRH said...

This is really sweet.

Cassandra said...

And you KEEP on spoiling that baby. Don't you let her cry for a minute! :)

Christie O. said...

wow. what a long and difficult road that must have been. my baby was born at 34 weeks because of preeclampsia and i had a terrible time getting over that pain myself and he was only in the NICU for 9 days, I can't imagine what that must have been like for you. My heart breaks. There is something so wrong and so scary and so awful about having to go home without your baby. but look at her!! she is such an angel! i am so happy she is ok now! it's good that you're releasing your story into the world, it was important for me to write about to try to move on from it too. it really helped. it's also wonderful that you are there for other families with babies in the NICU. it's so hard that no one really understands how difficult it is like a mom whose had a preemie. Blessings to you.

Suzie said...

What a nightmare. You went through such an awful thing. I am so glad she is ok. I cant imagine how anyone could ever get over that. its my worst fear. You are a strong strong woman. Im gald your faith could help you and your family through.

Good & Crazy said...

I am so glad it was a happy ending. You had me there for a minute...I thought the worst.

And oh my gosh she is soooo cute.

Can I add your story to my weekend seen a good thing post?

Well Behaved Krissy said...

Beautifully written all around.

Mrs. N. said...

Wow. What an amazing miracle. Thank you for sharing your heart along with those pictures.

Katy Lin :) said...

what a beautiful testament to God's grace! she's a doll! thank you so much for sharing this!

Jerralea said...

What a great miracle! I love the name Grace, I only wish I had thought of using it when I named my girls. Your Grace is so beautiful!

Bina said...

What a beautiful little girl! And you know what? Go ahead, don't let her cry and spoil her. My 4th and last baby is 5 now and she is a wonderfully spoiled little girl, but I swear to you it has made her more confident, mature and intelligent than the first three. My husband gets mad cause he says I should let her "debate" with me cause she is only 5. I say, "Whatever". I love her, she loves me and she is perfect.

Thanks for sharing your story. No matter how bad some of us think our stories are, there are those that are worse and it puts things in to perspective.

Amanda said...

so glad you shared that. It is a beautiful reminder of Gods miracles and mercy.

Pregnantly Plump said...

That is so scary! I am so glad that you and baby Grace (a wonderful name!) are doing so well now.

Stacey Moore said...

what a great story ~ thanks for sharing it!! i really enjoyed reading it!

Muthering Heights said...

My own Bootsie Baby was a NICU baby...she wasn't breathing at birth, and was rushed away from me. The only glimpse I got of her was her limp, lifeless body flopping down on a table. I seriously thought she was dead!

I can empathize with your pain, the joy surrounding your daughter's progress. Isn't it an amazing thing to be able to lean so heavily on God, knowing His sovereign hand is in all things? Thank you for sharing your story!

Jennie said...

With all the things we praise God for, I sometimes forget the simple miracle of life. Thanks for reminding me.

Kendrawolf said...

Thank you for your wonderful story. My son had TTN (http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/lungs/ttn.html)when he was born and I didn't get to hold him for 3 days. I was a wreck. I can't imagine what it must have been like for you and your family.

Beth said...

That reminds me of my own NICU story, though mine wasn't nearly as traumatic as yours. Isn't it great to be able to look back at those days, when we have healthy, happy little ones now? My heart aches for those whose stories didn't end as happily as ours...

Mom of TWO Princesses said...

What a beautiful post & thank you for the tears! lol She's beautiful!

And your story transports me back to when my oldest was born & spent time in the NICU... it's not a place I hope to ever visit again.

Jamie said...

That baby...she is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story and letting us know how God was at work in your life.

Heather J. said...

Beautiful.
The Story.
The Daughter.
And the Mother.

Mrs. Querido said...

Wow. This post brought back some painful feelings. Before I had Miss Precious, I had a miscarriage. I had only found out I was pregnant and then I started to pass clots. It was the worst week of my life. Eventually I went to the ER for severe cramping and they did an ultrasound only to find that there was no one inside any more. I was devastated. But God is so good and I have a beautiful daughter now--perfectly healthy.
Oh, and the kidney stones..I can TOTALLY relate. Every pregnancy (three full terms total) I had a kidney stone attack (what else can you call them??) The last one with Miss Precious I was in the hospital for a WEEK...I seriously didn't want to go back to the hospital to deliver three months later because I was so sick of being there...loL! And with kidney stones in your medical history, I can only imagine what medical procedure you had to endure WITHOUT anesthesia..OW! The things we do for our children...
Did your doctor ever find out why you had kidney stones? I provided my lab with three stones and they still couldn't tell me why the stones were forming. All I got was "You are too young to have kidney stones!" Tell me something I don't know Doc!
Oh and last but not least...your baby is absolutely darling..Praise the Lord for healthy babies!
I love your blog, it is always so inspiring--be it through humor or poignancy! Thank you!

Blessings!

Mrs. Q

Mrs. Querido said...

Just to clarify...I did have a miscarriage but ending up getting pregnant again three months later. Sorry that was a little confusing the way I wrote it up there!

bunchofbull-ers! said...

I ditto Heather J.
Thanks for always opening up & allowing us to know you from the depths of your heart. Sweet story.

Blessings.

April said...

Isn't amazing what we can overcome with God's help. You have been blessed. Thanks for sharing such a painful experience.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

What a beautiful story! So glad that you shared it with us.

The difficult pregnancy and childbirth, being on the brink of death, lots of tears and prayers, and God bringing her through to the beautiful and thriving girl she is today...sounds just like what your marriage went through, so she is the perfect miracle from your restored marriage.

We all need to go and give our miracles a hug right now!

MOM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Domestic Spaz said...

This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Kristen M. said...

I'm reminded of this verse:

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.

I Samuel 1:27-28

THopgood said...

I love hearing other people's birth stories. That was beautiful!

Twice Blessed said...

Kristen, I just felt like I read my own story. I'm still not able to blog about Tate and Reese's miracle birth. Thanks for sharing such a precious story..Grace is beautiful.

Gotta GROW with it said...

what a beautiful post. it is so comforting to look back at those hard times and remember God's grace huh? i'm so glad He pulled you ALL through. thanks for sharing this post.

Mel said...

You always have such beautiful posts! Thank you for putting yourself out there on your blog and being real. I hope that one day I can be as open with some things as you are. I love reading your blog. You are an amazing women, mom, and wife!!!

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

Is it a compliment that your posts make me cry more than anything I have ever read in my life?....oh she is IS God's grace isn't she?

Janel said...

Oh, that is a precious post, Kristen. Thank you for sharing it.

Blue Castle said...

Your post is truly beautiful. Now I need to find the kleenex......

Susie Harris said...

I just found yall neat thing a ma bob.Fro me to you... I would love to join in next week. Today Im doing a mantel thing. I will have to check back next wednesday and join in... I have plenty stories to tell. Susie H~

Kendra said...

Wow what an amazing story.
Your daughter is simply beautiful.

blessedwith5 said...

She is so beautiful! Our daughter was also in the NICU for a week after birth. She was born at 34 weeks on the nose! She is a precious gift - as is your baby girl!

Darla @ UltraBeautyBoutique said...

Oh wow ~ tears ~ what a powerful story. I wasn't quite expecting that, shoot, there goes the mascara.

Mrs. Querido said...

It's nice to meet you too.
Thanks for your kind comment and for visiting my blog! I feel like a movie star just stopped by..lol! So you totally made my day! :) Stop by anytime!

Blessings,

Mrs. Q
http://
fiveinthepottershand.blogspot.com

Rena Gunther said...

OH Kristen! Thanks so much for sharing this story! WOW!
I have a huge lump in my throat and tears are trying so hard to come!
God is awesome! I don't at all know what it's like to endure what you did. I will say, however, that giving your child(ren) to God, seems to be a constant thing. Over and over again! What I do relate to, is that exact feeling of needing to totally surrender your child to God! Over the past year, I've had to do this with my oldest daughter who will soon be 18. (In smaller ways, the other two as well!) With Cammie, I have literally had to give her back over to God.
I will refrain from sharing the details! Perhaps in a future fro' me to you!
But regardless of the fact that this story is completely different from my experience, I feel so encouraged! Thank you! A million times...thank you!
Rena

lori said...

Alright...I'm LATE, I'm a mess...what an unbelievable post...you know I went through the hellish infertility ordeal....yours my dear was worse...but when you think you can't have it...you appreciate it ALL so much more..not everyone gets that...but you opened yourself up here, AGAIN...and you do....

what a beautiful story...someday she will understand what a beautiful story her mommy has to tell.....

AMEN...now I'm going to wash my face....whew...that was great!!
hugs,
lori

KD-Pie said...

She is beautiful. My heart aches and rejoices for the stories of NICU babies and families. May you all continue with Grace.

Jenn said...

What a hard time that must have been for your family. She is a beautiful little girl and I'm sure an extra special blessing to your family.

Genny said...

What an amazing story of faith and hope. Thank you so much for sharing. It really touched me. What a miracle your little girl is, and what a strong woman you must be for having gone through all of that.

Merrianne & Spencer said...

wow.
i do not know what else to write. i am speechless. That is a beautiful story.

you should submit it to the Engsign!!

Neurotically Yours: said...

What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

As someone who works with pediatric patients, and also a mother myself - my heart goes out to you for that time you had. I'm so glad that your daughter has grown and thrived and is so beautiful :D Thanks for sharing your story.

Joy said...

Let me just wipes my eyes so I can see to type... that was precious and she is SO INCREDIBLY CUTE! You are so blessed. Thank you for sharing your story!

myra said...

you should tell this story. this is one that needs to be remembered and recorded. that you way you will always be reminded of how truly grateful you are for the gift of life. and never take it for granted.

and you're gonna need that when she's 15. :)

Amanda said...

Thank you for your comment on Ella and her heart problem. I completely understand what you're saying when you spoil her a little and don't let her cry much - it's amazing of what it can do when you almost lose your precious baby.

Our story almost started out similar as yours. My husband and I almost got a divorce and when we fell back in love with each other we actually wanted a baby ~ that baby, Mya is in heaven. We only made it half way through out pregnancy. Then a few months later I was pregnant w/Ella.

(((HUGS))) God is wonderful and the blessings he gives us are so great!

Colleen said...

Oh my God - what a story! I am speachless (and that RARELY happens!). Blessings to you and your family!!!

Robin said...

You made me cry once again!!! I've missed reading your blog while we were on vacation. I'm trying to catch up on all the posts I missed!

The Fritz Facts said...

That is a wonderful story, and such a happy ending! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Mama C said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it. Thank you for sharing your story. I saw a comment from you on another blog and was attracted to the name "We are THAT family". I am relating so well with all your stories! We are THAT family, too!

Lilypad Mom said...

She is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this us, LP was only in the NICU for a couple of days, and it was never anywhere near as serious as what you went through, but I still don't think I have been able to completely "get over it".

Liza's Eyeview said...

I took a little break from blogging and now I am back. This is such a wonderful post - a testament of God's amazing love and God's amazing grace.

Thanks again for sharing this with us.

Tausha said...

ok-I had a similar experience-not to the extent, but enough to get a little teary eyed at your words. Sometimes when these little 3 yr olds are doing things like-oh biting-we forget how they got here. We still get upset but a little more love is mixed is, God gave them to us and how wonderful they are. Sometimes!?!

val said...

beautiful

Lynn said...

What a miracle God has given you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of God's grace in your marriage (I, too, loved For Women Only) and in the birth of your daughter.