Friday, March 26, 2010

Fridays are Donut Day & Purple Day

Eden Joy (3.5 yrs) with me Every Friday we get donuts in honor of Kara Faith. We started this tradition when she was 1 week old and still in the NICU. We would celebrate each week she was with us with Krispy Kreme Donuts. Yum! Also, since her color is lavender/purple we like to wear it on Fridays. Kara Faith was born on a Friday and went to Jesus on a Friday, so it's a pretty special day around here!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

17 Hours

03.26.2010 1 month ago today…

I held my baby girl in my arms for the last time. I rocked her and smelled her little smell. I touched her sweet little head and hands. I kissed her fingers and held them. She gave us an amazing last 17 hours and I wanted to tell that story…

Thursday, February 25th, 2010, we knew that Kara wanted to go home to be with her Big Daddy. Both of us knew. Stu took a shower and put on his date clothes—jeans, oxfords, and a button down shirt. I took a shower and tried to get comfortable after days of hardly any sleep. We called Celeste and told her to go get Jamie at the high school. We had decided that we wouldn’t bag her anymore if she had another apnea episode. We did so for the last time at 1:55 p.m. as the big kids were pulling into the drive-way to say good-bye to their baby sister. We were all here with our nurse, Loretta. We didn’t think Kara Faith would last long because she had been having breathing episodes at least every hour or so and sometimes more. I remember that I couldn’t get that heart/apnea monitor off of her fast enough. I practically threw the thing down and ripped the tight band that encircled her little chest off. I got to hold her without SO many things attached. It was glorious! Kara was on oxygen and had a humidifier. We didn’t take away anything that she needed. (We did turn off the crazy loud humidifier later in the day.) All afternoon we passed her around to all the children and we rocked her and rocked her. We took pictures. Lots of people from Hospice came. Friends from church came. We sang and sang to her. We were going to sing her right into heaven. Meanwhile, she looked lovely. She enjoyed us and it SO much. She cried a little and we fed her. I changed her diaper, her clothes. I remember the chaplain from Hospice came, Father Ralph, and he was moved to tears because he had never seen anything like what we were doing—singing and all of us around her and just enjoying the fellowship, worship, and a tiny baby. Our pastors both came. Friends brought dinner. My brother, Jamie, drove 750 miles and showed up at my door around 9 p.m. to a room full of people singing to a little baby. It was truly amazing!! Our friend, Teri, finally left near 1 a.m. Our nurse, Pat, had come on around 10 or so. Yet hours later, Kara Faith was still here with her family. Finally, it was Stuart and I rocking her alone in the night without any confusion from a busy day. Pat was close encouraging us. Kara started to run a temperature from all of the holding. She had problems regulating her temps anyway, so I was watching it very closely to try to keep her as comfy as possible. I had her wrapped in a blanket that my friend, Teri Garard, made for her. She was wearing a little onesie with purple flowers on it given to her by her big sister, Celeste.

Around 3:40 a.m. I could not physically stay awake anymore. I handed Kara Faith to Stuart in the rocker and Pat watched on. She promised me that she would come at get me as soon as something happened. At about 4:15 a.m. Pat ran into my room and awoke me and said she thought it was time… I awoke FULLY from my sleep and rushed out. Kara had stopped breathing in Stu’s arms, I fell to the chair and layed over her in Stu’s lap and wept. Pat listened to her heart and said it was still beating. Then I asked for my baby. Stu handed her to me and I wept some more. Then, right there, she started breathing again. (By this time I believe it had been a few minutes without breath.) It was like she was just waiting for her momma to get there. Then we thought that maybe she was waiting for her birthday. She turned 7 weeks old at 6:42 a.m. that morning. She gave us almost three more hours to enjoy her sweet spirit. As the sun rose on a new day at 7:00 a.m. Kara Faith took her last breath here and went to be with Jesus. It was a quiet moment. Her daddy was holding her. Then he handed her to me and her heart stopped beating in my arms. So we both held her in that last moment. We both loved her with a fierce kind of love that only a parent can have. I can ONLY imagine how God loves us if we love our children this way. When I received Kara Faith’s diagnosis back in August 2009 I knew that it would never be enough. That I would never have enough time with her. I also knew that God had numbered her days perfectly. So after 45 days in the NICU and 4 days at home, our sweet baby girl got to go Home. Kara Faith gave us that last 17 hours to truly enjoy her. She possessed the sweetest spirit. We were truly given a GOOD gift. I will NEVER be the same…

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Taking Refuge

Kara Faith's Temporary Marker
(Many thank you's to the City of Newberry and North FL Monument!)
I can still feel her in my arms when I look at this...

Feelings are pretty rough over here. It is a true effort to rise each day and do all the "normal" stuff we are to be doing. God gave me Psalm 16 last night when we were praying...

"Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing." (verses 1-2)

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;

even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me.

Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." (vs. 5-8)

Friday, March 5, 2010


This morning was just like last Friday morning when Kara went to Jesus--bright, clear, cold. I awoke at 6:57 and watched the clock turn 7:00. I tried to remember every moment. I rocked her in the chair for 1 1/2 hours after she died. I didn't want to put her down... Stu held her for awhile and then Teri, Jeanie, and Pat fixed her up. I gave her a bath and dressed her in her polka dots. I wrapped her in a blanket and then I rocked her some more before Ashley Milam came. I walked her out in the winter cold and sunny bright to the van. I gave her to her Daddy one last time. He placed her on Ashley's lap in the waiting van at 11:00. It seems like forever ago...

I wish I could feel the weight of her precious body again. I miss her so much! I can hear her little squeaks when she cried and her breathing. I can feel her fingers wrapped around mine. I loved her yawns, her sweet toes, and her smell. I mourn with HOPE as I know she is with my Savior and I will see her again. Someone recently told me that a baby in Heaven doesn't fill empty arms. So true...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kara's Celebration Slideshow

(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page and pause Kara's music to watch the slideshow.)

I love you, Peanut!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the precious gift of Kara Faith! My arms ache for her, my soul cries out for her, but I rejoice in her now being with You. Truly, I have heard her tiny voice whispering in my spirit, “I love you, Mommy.” I love you, too, little peanut. I love you, too...


I wanted to say...

Months ago, as I was searching for information on HPE online, I decided to start a blog for Kara Faith. God led me to tell her story to encourage others who may, in the future, go through similar trials. In my wildest dreams I never imagined what impact Kara’s little life would have on so many people! Only God could do that! I am so humbled to have been part of God’s plan. I feel so blessed to have had the privilege of being Kara’s mommy and to be able to share her story. My sincerest hope is that Kara Faith has inspired hope and increased the faith of many. Our tiny baby has strengthened my marriage, grown my own faith in Jesus, and has shown me how completely in control God is—and it is good! There is no need to waste time on fear for He has ordered everything down to the last detail. Remember this, in Psalm 139 it says that God has gone before you and behind you and knows all of your ways.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Little Treasure

I washed her beautiful little body with baby soap.
I dressed her in the polka dot outfit her sister bought her.
I wrapped her in a soft blanket that was a gift from a dear friend.
And I carried her out to the waiting van.
I will never hold her in my arms here on this earth again.
Oh, how I miss my little peanut...

Today, I will see her little body again...
but it won't be the same.
My little treasure is in heaven.
Tomorrow, we celebrate her life!