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.