Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A bit more about Isabella...

Almost as soon as I could begin processing all that happened to my family after Teagan died and the reality of our situation began to sink in, I started to pray. I prayed ferverently; sometimes I asked God to wake me up in the morning and give me back the life I once knew, before all the bad stuff happened. Sometimes I prayed for Him to give me Teagan back. When I realized that my reality wasn't going to change the way I wanted it too, I started to pray for something simple. I didn't pray for understanding or for my pain to go away, or for the world to make sense to me again. Nope. I simply started praying for joy. I asked God to give me joy in my life again. I had no idea what it was going to look like, or how it was even possibe- I just left that up to Him and trusted that He could make it happen.
If you knew the extent of my injuries (muscle, leg tissue and nerve damage, plus traumatic stress syndrome) and Chip's injuries (8 fractured ribs, injured spleen, 3 chest tubes, 80 stitches to his face, pneumonia and other bumps and bruises), you would question, as I did, how it was even possible for us to get pregnant at that time in our lives. That's how I knew God was in control. It was the last thing we were thinking about in our lives, and totally unexpected when we found out. I joked that we were the last people on earth that needed a baby in our lives. I joked that if we were to attempt adoption we would be denied in a heartbeat. We had "issues" that didn't exactly qualify us as the best persons to take on the responsibility of a newborn.
I guess I should have thought through what I was praying for. To top it off, when I saw the doctor, we were told our expected due date was the day Teagan had died- one year earlier. It gave Chip and I chills when we heard that date. I remember feeling overwhelmed. In the span of one year, I would experience the death of one daughter, and the birth of another. It was very surreal, and I was a bundle of emotions- as you would expect. Ups and downs are common in pregnant women...throw in my emotional/physical and mental state, and it's a wonder that Isabella arrived into this world perfectly.
Well, not exactly perfectly, as we had some last minute trauma in the delivery room. When I was nearing the end of my labor, there was suddenly no heartbeat found. It was scary and nerve-wracking, mostly for the doctor and Chip. They knew I would be a mess if I were to have more tragedy in my life at that time. Anyway, Isabella came into this world with a little bit of drama and the realization to me that even after all I had been through, I wasn't given a free "get-out-trouble" card the rest of my life. It was a reminder, once again, to appreciate my life every minute of everyday. Nothing is guaranteed to us beyond this moment in time.
I treasure everyday with Bella. She certainly has brought joy to my life, even when I felt like I didn't deserve it or even want it at that point in time. Isabella was the bright spot in our lives as we approached that first anniversary of our tragedy. I couldn't help but think that maybe she and Teagan got to be friends before God sent her into our lives. It just seemed to me there was a connection between these two sisters- even though they wouldn't grow up together. We named Bella, Isabella Teagan, so that she would always know that Teagan was a part of her life too.
Here are some more pictures of Bella totally enjoying her day. Not really anything extraordinary, just making faces with her sisters, dressing up and playing in her new Hello Kitty castle tent, and not being scolded for jumping on the bed. Life is good when you're four. At least it should be!

6 comments:

annette said...

You are so awesome...God has given you the ability to 'love your way ' through this life...I do not know the pain of losing a child but I do know the joy of loving one...Bella is your joy...the joy you prayed for...God is sooo good.

Steph said...

I remember driving all the way to Michigan, and getting to hold Isabella on the day she was born! I can't believe that was 4 years ago. Happy Birthday, Bella! I know you've been looking forward to turning 4 for a long time, so enjoy every minute of it! Love Aunt Steph (and birthday hugs from Cousins Aly and Luke, too:)

dede said...

well i don't know how you do it, actually i do. i want you to know you bring me joy! and peace. sometimes when i'm here i'm searching for something, and find just what i need without knowing i needed something. you bring me the possitive outlook you have. thanks for sharing, your thoughts, your faith and yourself with all of us!! i am praying for peace for you over the next week!!

Cris said...

I guess you could say that this falls into two catagories. 1.) Be careful what you wish for, (LOL :P) and 2.)(which is more important than the first) God always seems to know exactly what we need when we need it. Even if we don't really see that at first. That was a really beautiful blog you shared with us. I am sure that Isabella will love to hear why God blessed you with her when she gets older, and may God continue to bless you.

Laura said...

every little bit of your story gets more and more amazing as you share it! thanks for letting us all be a part of the beauty, sorrow, joy, and wonder in your life.

StefyB said...

Well.. I've just read ALL your posts and want to thank you as you've make me see the value of life. Thanks for sharing your life and your faith.