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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Angel Baby

Mariah Grace

Early this morning, our seventh child, Mariah Grace, was delivered into our arms stillborn. On Sunday, one week before her due date, I noticed a significant difference in baby movement, though Saturday night, Mariah had been very active. Very early yesterday morning, Monday, Brian and I went to the hospital and they confirmed no heartbeat. We went home to prepare the children, pack a few things, call grandma to come stay with the kids, and receive priesthood blessings by the laying on of hands, then headed back to the hospital to birth our sweet daughter.

Mariah's beautiful little body, 7 lbs 0 ounces, 21 and 1/2 long, was brought into this world at 2:52 am this morning. It was a long and stressful labor, not knowing if we would have a successful VBAC after Rebekah's emergency c-section 6 years ago. The Lord is good, and though things were quite touchy for a while, we were able to birth her without the dreaded c-section. She was born with a very big tight knot in her umbilical cord, and this is no doubt the cause of the problem. We were able to spend 12 precious hours with her, the children were all able to see and touch her, and though our hearts are breaking, there is no doubt that our loving Heavenly Father has a plan for this precious little one, and for us. He will certainly work this difficult experience to our good, and we testify of that truth. He is the same loving God on days filled with joy as He is on days filled with sorrow. We said goodbye to little angel this afternoon, and came home in time for dinner with the children. I count it a sacred day.

Over the last two days, love, faith, and prayer have poured forth abundantly. We can't adequately express our thanks. We have felt your concern and love, appreciated your words of condolence, received of your service, and been strengthened by your faith. We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers. I don't think I have ever walked a more sorrowful road than this evening when Brian and I picked out a grave site and headstone for our angel baby.

For the many of you who have so lovingly offered service, we are so grateful. I wish I knew what to say to each of you, but instead, I ask that you will allow the Lord to direct you in your service, I just don't have eyes to really see clearly what could be done that already isn't. Brian will be home with us for the remainder of the week, and we hope to spend some good family time together, rest, and recuperate physically and emotionally. Again, we would appreciate your continued prayers on our behalf.We know families can be together for the eternities, and we will hold and kiss Mariah Grace again. Mariah's name is a Hebrew form of Mary, meaning "the handmaiden of the Lord". We know that is where she is, with our Lord, serving Him as a faithful handmaiden. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

With Love,Catherine


Dawn said...

Dear Catherine,
I want to give you and everyone in your family a big hug. Thank you so much for posting your sweet pictures. She is so precious and I"m so sorry her time with you was so short (but she certainly was blessed to feel so much love in her short moral life and I know she will have an infinite amount of love through out eternity.)

Lynne said...

If wishes could come true by wishing, I'm positive we all know what it would be!! For now, though, like you, we know the Lord is good and depend unequivacably on the Plan of Salvation and the possibilities to be eternal families!! ALL of us together sharing our love and devotion to our Lord and Savior and to each other. May Father wrap you in His cacoon of peace and warmth and always know WE DO LOVE YOU GUYS ALWAYS!!

Bryan said...

Oh how I love you and again stand in awe of everything about you. Thanks for sharing. Love love love. It's the only word I can think of.... Along with Forever.

Kare said...

To Your Family,
I give you my heartfelt condolences and admiration of your faith. I know now that you cannot think of anything additional that can be done, but please don't hesitate to ask if the need arises. Mariah is absolutely beautiful and in a beautiful place with our Heavenly Father. I pray the Lord wraps you in His loving arms and you can continue to walk in your steadfast faith.

Much love to your family,

leslie said...

You have just strengthened my testimony with your post. I am so sorry for your lost but am too so grateful to know that we can be together with our families forever. Good luck with everything!

Megan and Jonny said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you constantly. She is so beautiful.

Sommer said...

Catherine I love you so much. Lots and lots of prayers are being sent your way. She is absolutly beautiful. I'm at a loss as to what to say, I just pray that Heavenly Father and Jesus will wrap you in the arms of love and peace so tightly.

The Hansen Family said...

Oh Catherine! My heart breaks for you and your family! I cannot even begin to imagine such a loss. She truly is a beautiful little angel!

I know it is such a trying time right now, but I want to thank you for your steadfast and immovable faith in our Heavenly Father. Even through your mourning, your words of faith have strengthened my testimony and helped me to remember what this life is all about. We love you and your dear family. You are in our thoughts and prayers and you will not be walking this road alone.

Lots of love,

Emma (Eliza's sister)

mom2beachbums said...

((Catherine)) and family, I am so utterly heartbroken for your loss of sweet Mariah. I am so very sorry. I want to take your pain away. I wish I could give you a hug. I'm sorry I'm not good with my words here, but know that you are in my thoughts and prayers; praying for our Father in Heaven's comfort to be able to carry you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful baby daughter with us and your amazing testimony. The meaning behind her name is heartwarming & perfect. ((With much love)) ~Carmen & Moy and family

Mhana said...

I will keep you in my prayers and I love you all so much.

Caitlin said...

Mariah is beautiful. Your family is beautiful. It will be a beyond beautiful PERFECT day when you are reunited with her again. I am crying with you. I love you and your family. You give me strength. You are an amazing example and an amazing mother. I will pray for you my dear sister. Many hugs and kisses, and lots of prayers. I know you will heal. The Savior loves you so much, and he will help you.

All my love- Caitlin Rivera

Joanna said...

Catherine, This is Emily's Mom, Joanna. I just thought you should know that although we have never formally met, I feel like I know you and your family well because I know Sarah. She has been profoundly influenced by you and your family, and i think mostly by your faith. You have seen her and loved her and supported her through so much in her short life and as a result, she passes that love and knowledge along. As you know she is such an amazing person and she is who she is largely due to you.
At a time like this, words can feel inadequate but the words that YOU used in this blog about your sweet Baby will help someone else. Your words and feelings and testimony will help others. They helped me understand to a greater degree how blessed we are to know what we know. I know that although you and your dear family have a rough road ahead for awhile, that it is the hugest blessing ever that you understand who the source of all healing and comfort is.
I'll give Sarah some extra hugs for you, you both need them. Love, Joanna

The Days of your Life said...

I will be sending you a blanket. It is all explained on our blog:
I can only hope it brings you as much peace as making it has for me. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Mariah Grace has touched our lives more profoundly than we could ever imagine.
Jenna (Eliza's sister)

Misty said...

We are praying for you. Mariah is beautiful. She is such a beautiful, beautiful miracle.

We love you.

me said...

I have reread your post many times. It is because even as you say that you aren't quite sure what you need right now, and the heaviness of reality clouds and the exhaustion of thought is dimming, it is evident that you truly remind us all of what we always need- faith.

Our Father in Heaven knows our sorrows, for they are the product of our love. We cannot love without mourning loss. He knows the end from the beginning, and yet does not fault us our pain. I have never doubted that at times He weeps as we do and sends His spirit to draw ours close to Him.

Faith is the beacon of light which guides us through these painful times. Your faith is a beacon to all of us. You are right when you say God is Good Catherine. You and your family, especially Mariah, remind us all of how Good He truly is. If you can be this good, how can He not be great? Thank you for your testimony.

All My Love

Jeanne Lawyer said...

Dear Catherine, I wish I could be there and put my arms around you. Mourn with you and support you as you have done so many times with me. Since I can't be there I pray that you will feel the Lords arms around you and your family at this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your testimony. I am so grateful for our knowledge of eternal families and the plan of salvation. May the lord comfort you in ways that no one else can. I love you!

Rae said...

Oh how I love you guys! The wish to be there and wrap you all in a giant hug is greater than ever. Thank you so soooo soooooo much for allowing Eliza, Mom, and me the sacred opportunity of helping pick the clothes to prepare Mariah's little body to meet us all in the resurrection. That was truly a sacred opportunity. It means more than words can ever tell.

I love you guys so much and am thankful to call you family, and to one day hold your Little Angel and get to know her better.

Catherine...thanks for being the tremendous example that you are. I could not ask for a better role model in my older sister. Hugging you from here. See you soon!

sweetkim said...

Dear Catherine,
I know you do not know me, but i happened to come across your website, and I wanted to say that your family is in my prayers. Your little girl was absolutely beautiful :-).

God Bless