Monday, August 25, 2014


I've wanted to write this post for months, but until now I wasn't sure what I wanted to say, and frankly just wasn't ready to write it.  The experience Matt and I had with Owen the day he was born was so personal and so heavenly that it's not something I knew how to share or if I even could.  From the first days of finding out about Owen's condition we felt deeply that he was special, that he was important and it was a great blessing for our family to have him.  That feeling grew as we got closer to his and Edith's due date and the day we held him it was overwhelmingly confirmed to me that this was an incredible son, not just ours, but an incredible son of Heavenly Father first and Owen was fulfilling his work by coming briefly on this earth and then he was on to do more work.  I love that little boy more than I can say.  

Matt and I prayed for a miracle when we learned that Owen wasn't going to survive, but I felt throughout this experience that we were receiving miracles, all along the way, and in the end, they were somehow even greater miracles than the one we had been hoping for, even though I don't fully understand it.

My mom told me about a devotional address she read recently that she thought I would like by Dallan R. Moody, and it said some things about his own son that I felt were completely true in my own situation.  

"What struck me was that 'the absence of the miracle' could actually be a 
miracle in and of itself—the premise being that as God’s ways and thoughts are higher than man’s, at times the Lord may choose to provide a 
miracle counterintuitive to what we may want, knowing full well His own end purpose. Because of the absence of the miracle fixed in our minds, 
He is better able to help us grow and thus become happier than we ever could have been had we received the desired miracle for which we had 

And that point he made at the end is exactly how I feel about my experience with Owen.  I don't feel deprivation of something I should have received, a hole that my baby should have filled, but I feel like I have been stretched and have grown so much from this experience that I am a different person than I was a year ago, better, and it was because Owen did come, he was here, and is my little boy forever.  And because of those truths I feel like my happiness has grown and my ability to love has grown.  I feel the importance of life so much more, especially when I hold Edith and think about how lucky I am to have her here.  She has been our other little angel.

Owen was here 7 hours, the most perfect and complete 7 hours of my life.  He passed away before most of our family could make it, though most of them tried.  My sister Monica got to hold him while he was still here which I'm so grateful for.  When we got to the hospital everything happened so fast.  The first plan was to try to hold off the delivery for a week, and then all of a sudden we were being prepped for my c-section.  We had just enough time to tell our parents that it was happening within the hour so they and some of our siblings all hopped on a plane or in a car and got here as fast as they could.  It was so good to have them here and meant so much to us to be surrounded by them.  They along with our amazing friends carried us through this experience.  What could have been a lonely and scary time became bearable because of them.  They put together the most beautiful memorial here and in Utah.  I was literally overwhelmed with love when I walked in to see all they had done the day of Owen's memorial and to see how many people showed up to support us!  So many people helped in so many ways, big and small.  They brought us meals, "heart attacked" Edith's NICU room, sent us sweet cards and messages of love and support, came to show their love at his memorial, and the list goes on and on.  We were filled with a sweet gratitude that was healing.  

It's always enlightening to look back on an experience after things have settled.  You're able to see even clearer the ways God orchestrated things to your benefit, usually through the kindnesses of other people.  Looking back I can see more clearly His hand in every detail and can feel His incredible love for us.  I know that Owen came for a purpose, I know he is my little boy forever.  I know that even when THE miracle that we want sometimes doesn't happen, if we turn to God in faith He will still provide miracles in our lives and they can shape us into better people.  I know that if you are struggling with something similar (or completely different), that struggle can become a stepping stone, if you let it, to becoming better and happier, even when it seems nearly impossible.  That's what Jesus Christ can do.

So to sum up my experience with Owen in my arms I will use Dallan R. Moody's words:
"Though his 
body was misshapen and broken, his spirit was whole, noble, and great. Being in his presence was healing and heavenly. I thank Heavenly Father for making the time with Owen not only possible but powerful. It was indeed heaven on 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Celebrating Every Week

I have meant to update our blog multiple times but just haven't done it yet.  I'm 32 weeks already and feel enormous!  I've had so many things on my mind lately, so many things I've wanted to say, I guess I just couldn't find the right time and way to do it.  Many weeks have gone by since our last post (which if you haven't read yet, this post will make a lot more sense if you read that one first) and we've had such an amazing response of love and care from so many good friends and family members it's been overwhelming, in a very good way!  As I was talking to one of my sisters today she said something that made me so happy.  She told me that she feels like she already knows Owen, more so that you typically feel about an unborn baby.  I feel the exact same way.  That's what we wanted so badly from this was to be able to bond with Owen as much as we can while he's here with us, even though I know the bonding in some sense will still continue even after he's passed away.

We've been overwhelmed by all of the seen and unseen help we've had from so many people.  We know all of the prayers have helped us in more ways than we even know.  It's amazing how much situations like this bring out the tremendous good in so many people that remind you of how great people really are.  I just love the unity that I've felt with so many acquaintances that have become friends and so many good friends that have become great friends.  I can't thank Owen enough for that alone, for feeling this kind of love from so many people!  I've wanted to say thank you to everyone in so many meaningful ways and I feel like no matter how I say it it won't express how overwhelmingly thankful I really am.

One of the things that Matt and I have been most grateful for are my coworkers.  Helping Hands is where I've worked for almost 5 years and I have made amazing friends that I miss seeing everyday.  I always knew I worked with wonderful people but Matt and I have been blown away by all that they've done for us during what could have been a very difficult pregnancy.  A couple of friends got together and decided that they wanted to help us celebrate Owen every week that he's with us so they did something that we never could have done for ourselves and we will be forever grateful for.  They made a list of themes for each week of my pregnancy, starting with week 20, and different groups of my coworkers each took a week and got together secretly to put together something special for us at the start of that week.  I was completely oblivious until the third or fourth week when I finally clued in!  So literally every week since then we've received some pretty generous and exciting gifts, some for the babies, but most for us to find ways to be happy during that week and feel the joy of this experience.  I can't tell you how much it has helped us feel excited and grateful and loved while teaching me the incredible goodness that is in my sweet coworkers and friends.

Here's a few of the fun gift baskets we received!

My amazing friend Rachel brought me a fruit "cake" to celebrate the twins 1/2 birthday at 20 weeks!

Week 23: A winter basket filled with fun wintry things, including tickets to see Zoo Lights.

Week 25: For Christmas week we got fun Christmas pajamas, a gingerbread
house making kit, and a sweet ornament with Owen's name on it.  

Week 26: The Music Therapists gave me all sorts of fun musical things.

Week 27: A cute picture frame with one of my favorite quotes and a Color Me Mine gift card!

Week 29: A "date night" basket.  We actually used the Build-A-Bear gift card to buy recorders and recorded Owen's and Baby Girl's heart beats to put inside of the bears, something I've wanted to do for a long time now!

Week 30: My birthday week!  My cute friend Sara actually contacted my sister and she sent birthday
memories of me from my sisters and parents that Sara recorded in a journal.

This isn't even half of the amazing gifts we received.  Others included a prenatal massage, awesome seats at the OSU basketball game, restaurant gift cards, a necklace with charms that will remind us of sweet Owen.  While the things were all wonderful in and of themselves, really it was the love we felt from all of my coworkers that made this experience so sweet.  It truly has helped us celebrate every week baby Owen's with us.