Not in our arms but in our hearts

May 9, 2010

Mother’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 8:57 pm

Tim worked so hard today to make a good day for me.  He let me sleep in this morning and he got up with Josiah.  He made me breakfast and had a wonderful present to me which included a handmade card from Josiah.

Unfortunately, I had a really rough day today.  This morning I had a dream about the baby–that she was in the casket and was alive–a wonderful thing of course but not so wonderful when you wake up and it isn’t true.  I spent a large portion of the morning with tears running down my face.  We were planning on going to church and then going to the cemetery but decided that would be too much for me. 

We had a really nice lunch together and then got some flowers for Virginia’s grave.  We just wanted some pretty flowers to put on her grave so hopefully we will be able to put those there this week.  Tim and I enjoyed playing with Josiah outside today too.  It was so fun to play baseball with him and help him “run the bases”–his giggle is just priceless. 

Tonight he woke up crying and while I was rocking him back to sleep I started to reflect on how our lives have been turned upside down in the last month.  I should be still pregnant and feeling the baby move inside of me.  I should be wearing maternity clothes instead of being back to the regular clothes.  I should still be taking my pre-natal vitamins instead of not caring too much about what I am eating or drinking.  We should be talking about what we are going to name the baby.

Letter to Virginia

Filed under: memorial service,Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 6:16 pm

To our sweet little angel Virginia,
We miss you so much already and can not believe all of the things that we are missing with you.  We wanted you to meet your big brother and all of our family and friends but instead you are walking streets of gold.  We wish we were putting you in your going home outfit rather than deciding on a burial outfit for you.  We should be publishing a birth notice for you rather than placing an obituary in the paper.  We wish that you were here on earth dancing to Elmo’s theme song with Josiah but we know that you are dancing with the angels.  We wish that you were here playing with your cousins Bekah, Evan, Kruesie, Austin, Daylia and Kaitlyn but we know that you are playing in heaven with Matthew, Jeremiah, Brianna, Grace, Joshua and so many other babies who have left this earth too soon.
Even though we are missing you so much here on earth we are thankful that you are completely whole and perfect in heaven.  Daddy & I will continue to tell others about you and how you fought so hard to survive.  We love you so much and even though you are no longer in our arms you will forever be in our hearts.

The Story of Virginia

Filed under: memorial service,Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 6:14 pm

We wanted to tell you all a little more about Virginia Rae.  We found out that we were pregnant with her on December 23rd and knew that this was the best Christmas gift for us.  We had been trying for a year to get pregnant and were so excited that Josiah was going to be a big brother.
The pregnancy was pretty uneventful except for the fact that I was a little bit more sick than I was with Josiah and more tired.  We continued to pray for this little one as she grew inside of me.
On April 3rd we had our 18 week ultrasound and our biggest concern was that we could not find out the gender.  Just a few days later we were in a fight for her life.  We know too that Virginia was fighting because most babies with these diagnoses pass away much earlier in the pregnancy.  We sought help from geneticists, obstetricians, hospice workers, friends, family, etc.  We wanted those in the medical field to value the life of the baby regardless of her diagnoses.  We wanted to see ultrasound pictures of her and know everything about her.  On the ultrasound we saw of her alive she had her hand by her mouth just like Josiah.
Tim and I celebrated around this time that he was also able to feel the movement of Virginia.  What a miracle it was to feel the baby moving and share that with Tim.  It was also at this time that we finally decided on a name.  We wanted her to be named after a woman who followed after God in every aspect of her life.  We decided to name her Virginia after her great grandma Ida Virginia .  We prayed that our Virginia would also be used by God to witness to other people whether through her life or her death.
On April 21st I felt a little bit different and called the doctors office.  I went in for a heartbeat check and they were unable to find one either on the doppler or through the ultrasound.  What a heartbreaking feeling it was for me to see my baby on the screen and know that the baby is no longer alive.  We were so sad that our time with our baby here on earth had ended but knew that she was perfect in heaven and for that we were grateful.  Our first induction was not successful and we were so disappointed.  We did not like the next procedure that was to be done on the baby but were given no other choices.
Thankfully God provided an answer to our prayers through a wonderful Christian obstetrician, Dr. N.  He came alongside of us in our darkest hours and provided Christ’s love to us when we were so broken emotionally and physically.  He offered to give us a second chance on the induction.  After much prayer we decided to have another induction that was scheduled for May 3rd.  The day started a little slow but started to pick up at about 4:30 pm.  The next couple of hours went by rather quickly as we were preparing to meet our baby.  We gave birth to our baby, Virginia Rae at 9:13 pm.  She weighed in at 8 ounces and 6 inches long.  We are so thankful that we were able to deliver her naturally.  We were honored that Jeff could baptize her surrounded by our family.  We were also thankful that our family members were able to come and meet her here on earth.  We enjoyed spending time holding her and talking to her on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Even though our prayers were not answered in terms of Virginia being restored to health here on earth we know that she has been restored to perfect health in heaven.  We also know that God provided such an answer to our prayers in Dr. N. and his associates and the staff at E.  Hospital.  God allowed him to come in to our lives when we were at our lowest point and he was able to foster an amazing birth experience.
We were lovingly embraced by so many people who have unfortunately been on a similar road as ours.  We are so thankful to those of you who have come alongside of us and shared your suffering with us and helped us along our journey.  It is our prayer that no one else will have to walk a similar road but we will be here for anyone that needs us on this road of loss.
We don’t know why God allowed Virginia to have so much fluid throughout her body.  We know that Virginia’s life has a purpose and that it is the responsibility of Tim and I to ensure that she is not forgotten.  Even though she was only alive for twenty-one weeks we loved her from the minute we knew that she was inside of me.  We were so eager to be pregnant again and were looking forward to seeing Josiah playing with his sister.  We thought about this baby so much over the 21 weeks of her life and prayed for her so much.  We can’t wait to get to heaven and see her again.

Virginia’s slideshow

Filed under: memorial service,Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 6:08 pm

This is the slideshow that we showed at Virginia’s memorial service on May 7, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3xoyTYXe44

May 7, 2010

Virginia’s burial and memorial service

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 11:25 pm

Today we had Virginia’s burial.  It was so difficult to see the coffin that contained our little girl.  We were able to spend a couple of minutes talking to her and introducing her to Josiah before we went out to the cemetery.  Tim was able to carry the coffin to the car and then from the car to the graveside. 

Pastor E. did a wonderful graveside service that meant so much to both of us.  I was able to read a short letter to Virginia expressing some of the things that we were missing so much with her.  Afterwards we each released a pink balloon into the air.

We had a short break before the memorial service so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went back to the funeral home.  It is so weird to have a memorial service for your own child.  Since the casket was already buried in the ground we had a beautiful angel sit where the casket would have been.  The angel had been delivered to us earlier in the week from Tim’s work.  It is sooooooooo beautiful and reminds us so much of our little girl.  Tim’s work also sent a lovely bouquet of flowers.  We had that bouquet of flowers and the roses from Tim’s parents on both sides of the angel.  Then we received some beautiful bushes from Tim’s parents and from Jeff & Lisa which sat on the pillars. 

It was so wonderful to have so many people support us on such a difficult day.  We also met a couple of new friends who have come alongside of us and shared their stories of the loss of their babies.  My brother, Jeff, also led the memorial service and did such a wonderful job–we are so thankful that he could minister to us and our friends and families in such a personal way. 

Here are some pictures from the day:

May 4, 2010

Good-byes

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 6:52 pm

Today was a hard day.  Tim’s parents came up to meet Virginia.  While they were there, Dr. N. came up and spent some time with us and prayed with us.  He is such an amazing doctor and we are so blessed that he came in to our lives.  We will be forever touched by his kindness and compassion to us in our darkest hours.  After Tim’s parents left, we spent some time talking with Virginia.  We discussed with her how much we would miss her and also talked about who she was seeing in heaven.  Here are some pictures that we took from this morning:

Virginia’s outfit

Filed under: ministries,Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 6:25 pm

This is a picture of the outfit that Virginia wore when she was born. 

This outfit was sent to us by this wonderful organization– http://www.marymadelineproject.org/ –The Mary Madeline Project takes women’s wedding dresses and makes them into beautiful outfits for families who have suffered the death of an infant.  They send these outfits to families free of charge and they are absolutely beautiful.

May 3, 2010

She has arrived…

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 9:41 pm

It is with great joy and sadness that we’d like to announce the birth of Virginia Rae.  She came into the world at 9:13 pm and weighed in at 8 ounces and 6 inches long.  The delivery was an awesome experience and I was so thankful to be able to deliver her naturally.  My brother, Jeff, was able to come down and perform the baptism services–my mom and grandparents were also able to watch the baptism.  Here are some pictures:

April 21, 2010

Dancing with the angels

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 11:00 pm

Today was another very difficult day.  I felt a little bit “different” today so I called my doctor’s office and explained what I was feeling.  They humored me and allowed me to come in for a heartbeat check.  Two nurses tried to find the heartbeat with the doppler and were unable to find the heartbeat.  Dr. S. came in and did an ultrasound and she was unable to find the heartbeat.  It was so difficult to see my baby on the screen and know that he or she is no longer alive.  I think that Josiah knew something was wrong too because as he sat in his stroller–all he could do was cry.  The doctor wanted me to go to the hospital and have a second ultrasound.  After I left the office I called Tim and my mom.  My sister ended up picking up Tim and bringing him to the hospital.  Lisa took Josiah back to our house to be cared for by my mom.  We went over to the hospital to have the second ultrasound.  Unfortunately the hospital would not let Tim come in to the room with me for the ultrasound.  The technician was hiding the screen and I told her that I knew that the baby had passed–the ultrasound was meant to confirm the doctor’s findings.  Then she let me see the screen and said that the baby had no amniotic fluid.  She said that could not determine the sex.  She also said that the cystic hygroma was down the back.  The doctor called after the ultrasound and confirmed that the baby had passed away. 

She said that we would go in to the hospital that night for the induction but there were a couple of things that needed to be discussed.  The first thing that she told me was that the baby had to be delivered vaginally and we could not have a c-section because the baby was too little.  The second thing she said that the placenta may not come out during delivery and that I may need a D & C after the delivery.  The third thing that was a complete shock to us was that there was a possibility that the baby could not be delivered and we would have to go up north to have a procedure done. 

I was terrified about these things since they had not been discussed with me two weeks earlier.  At that time the only thing that was discussed with me was that I would deliver vaginally or through a c-section.  I think this was a terrible time to find these things out.  Thankfully God provided a phone call as we were leaving from a wonderful Christian friend who had no idea what was going on but prayed with me on the phone.

We went home and got everything ready to go back to the hospital.  I was soooooooooooo nervous and trying not to be upset in front of Josiah. 

When we arrived at the hospital, we found that one of our favorite nurses was working–she was with us when we were delivering Josiah.  Dr. T. came in and calmed our fears.  He said that he was not worried about a uterine rupture and did not think that there would be any complications.

Here is a picture of me and our nurse:

April 13, 2010

4 D Ultrasound

Filed under: Uncategorized — lkrooswyk @ 6:34 pm

Today we had another ultrasound.  The purpose of this ultrasound was purely to have another picture of the baby.  We were able to get one good picture of the baby.  He or she had his or her hand right by their face just like Josiah always did.  So sweet!!

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