The Macs

Monday, August 17, 2009

what a day

Today has been an emotional roller coaster. 
But I think it is a perfect picture of how our lives feel right now.
Constantly going back and forth from joy to sadness... 
and trying to function amidst it all.

The day started off with our sonogram. That's right! I am half-way through this pregnancy and we are getting closer to meeting this sweet little baby that will be joining our family. We can't wait!

My doctor sent us to a specialist for the sonogram. As far as we know neuroblastoma is not hereditary. They are not treating this as a high-risk pregnancy. But, after everything we went through with Cora my doctor wanted to do everything possible to give us peace of mind right now.

The doctor's office we went to today was right across the street from the hospital where we spent 17 days with our sweet Cora. It was so hard to even see that hospital building again. We were thankful the sonogram wasn't actually in the hospital. I don't think we could have handled walking through those doors again.

Today we are thankful for good news. We were so thankful to find out that Baby Mac is healthy. Everything looked great! What a relief. But then it was back to reality as we had to answer tons of medical history questions and explain to the specialist Cora's brief battle with cancer.

The doctor was so kind as we struggled through all the answers. The tears were coming. After talking with the specialist we feel pretty confident that there isn't too much to worry about. I will have two more sonograms throughout this pregnancy with the specialist. Again, just to take every precaution and for our own peace of mind. We are thankful for proactive doctors who are trying to make this as easy as possible on us.

And in case you are wondering--which I'm sure none of you are...
We are not finding out if Baby Mac is a boy or girl. 
It will be a surprise to us all. 
Cora was a surprise too and we loved it that way.

Well, if that wasn't enough to handle in one day, there was more. 

Joel and I still have not purchased a gravestone for Cora. I don't even know if gravestone is the "correct" word. I just know that I hate even saying gravestone or anything like it. 

We should have done this a long time ago. But it has been too hard. It is just one more thing we have to do to make Cora's being gone all the more real. But today since Joel was already gone from work--which is hard when you are a farmer--we decided we needed to just go and do it.

It was just as horrible as I expected. I wasn't sure if I could even walk into the place without falling apart. But, I made it through without even a tear (I fell apart when I got home instead). I don't think I could cry because I was just so mad that we were even there.

I was mad that the salesman was showing us clipart pictures to put on the stone to represent our daughter's precious life. How can we choose a clipart picture to represent how much Cora's life meant? I was mad that we were trying to decided how to write Cora's name on a gravestone instead of writing her name on nursery name tags, birthday invitations, and play group lists like my friends are doing with their kids. And I was mad that my daughter's name was going to be in a cemetery--even though technically it is already there. It just seems so wrong. So final.

We were there a little over an hour and that was all we could handle. We probably will have to go back to make the final decision, but at least we made the first step.

Maybe it was a mistake to do all that in one day. But really, our days are filled with those extremes of emotions quite often. It is just our reality right now. And although we often don't know how to deal with these emotions all at once, the Lord knows every little thing that we are feeling. And He cares about us more than I can even comprehend.

I am so thankful that Cora's life does have meaning. I am thankful that we can look beyond her gravestone and see the hope of eternity. And although walking this road really stinks, I am thankful for this new eternal perspective the Lord is giving to me.

Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
1 Peter 1:3-4


Blogger ........ said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new layout! She really is such a doll. Whether here or in heaven she is such a beautiful baby! Trust that you are still prayed for as well as your new little one. May you be blessed with health and peace...

August 17, 2009 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger wicker0407 said...

I love the new look of the blog Cora was such a beautiful little girl and she remains a part of all of the lives she touched. I hold a special place in my heart for her. Even though I do not know you I always keep you all in my prayers and I hope in time your grief may get a little easier. God knew what he was doing when he sent this new baby I am sure litle Cora is looking down from heaven so happy and proud of her parents. God Bless Summer & family in California

August 17, 2009 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Trisha Larson said...

We haven't purchased a marker for Nate yet either. I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I read about so many other moms that get them right away. I felt like the only one that didn't. It's been 16 months. We need to go and order one. I just know that it will send me over the edge and I never want to go there.

So glad to hear the good news about the healthy baby. Nate (also born 3/5/08) was a surprise too. We're STILL trying to get pregnant again. I hope that someday I can be in your shoes.


August 18, 2009 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

The new pictures are beautiful. Truly gorgeous. I smiled looking at them. Prayers for you from Australia.

August 18, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

You are amazing to me. Your are always in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray total peace over you guys.

August 18, 2009 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

I'm sorry you had a rough day. You have every right to be upset and angry. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
I'm glad to hear that the baby is doing well! How exciting that you're waiting to find out the sex! We waited with both of our kids. Not many people do!

August 18, 2009 at 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Christina said...

What a long and hard day-the truth is I can't imagine it, and I hesitate to say how heavy-hearted it makes me to see and hear all that you have to go through because I just don't know those feelings first hand.
But, praise God for a healthy baby! A life, this miracle that you get to participate in...may it be a blessing to you as the days pass. I pray that God will not just walk beside you but will carry you.

August 18, 2009 at 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your new layout!

And those photos of Cora are perfect! Praying for you guys. Always.

August 18, 2009 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Candice said...

I'm so glad to hear baby Mac #2 is healthy. Hang in there girl. We can't imagine how hard this must all be for you, just know we're praying for you!

LOVE the new blog layout.

August 18, 2009 at 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying with you every day.

August 18, 2009 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Hello. I love the new blog layout. And I just love your sweet spirit. My heart hurts for you and is excited for you all at the same time. I think it's neat that you aren't finding out the gender. I'm thinking about doing that next time myself. i love your family and remember you in my prayers.

August 18, 2009 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I loved visiting the blog today and seeing those beautiful pictures of Cora - the new layout is fantastic! Praying for you, Joel, Cora and Baby Mac!

August 18, 2009 at 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know I found your blog through Kelly's Korner a while ago and I have been regularly praying for you & your family. I am so sorry for you & I will continue to pray that God will bring comfort & JOY to your family.

August 18, 2009 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Joyce said...

I've never commented here but I wanted you to know that I keep you in my prayers.

So glad your new baby is growing well.

August 18, 2009 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

My goodness, what a day. :( Reading this made me cry and wish I could hug you.

I just keep reminding myself that God is good. All the time.

August 18, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) said...

Love the new blog look, Jess! That Cora is a cutie pie! And boy oh boy what a day! To go from such joy to such profound grief all in one day is so very hard and is such part of the human condition. The pain in your heart of Cora's lists....*sigh*. I can only imagine the parties she is having in Heaven that someday you will get to hear all about. And the fact that Baby Mac has a wonderful big angel sister looking our for him or her....what a blessing. Our thoughts and prayers are always with you and Joel and the little bambino you will welcome into your home. Take care!

August 18, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

I love your new blog layout! Cora looks just so precious up there.

I love it that you are not finding out what you're having. We didn't find out with either of our boys, and we're not finding out with this baby either!

Still praying for you; I can't imagine what you've been going through.

August 18, 2009 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

Thank you again for sharing this journey with all of us. I know you don't have to do that. I appreciate your honesty SO much!
What a bittersweet day. Joy and tears for you this morning.

August 18, 2009 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Beckypdj said...

I really like the new layout of the blog.

Before Peyton went to Heaven, I didn't give headstones much thought. Then I had to pick his out. Sitting there looking at the computer screen trying to find something that would "represent" his life, I realized this would be the last thing I would buy for him. I hated it and I hated it even more seeing it at the cemetary.

Cora's pictures are so precious and I know you miss her so much. Having a child in Heaven does make us so eternally minded. Congratulations on your new blessing. Hugs to you and your family.

August 18, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

I love the new layout and the pictures. And I am so happy to hear that Baby Mac is doing well! We will all be excited to see what Baby is when born! At the same time my heart hurts for what you went through yesterday. I can't even imagine how hard each of these steps are. Cora, you and Baby Mac are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

August 18, 2009 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

So happy to hear that baby Mac is doind well. What a bittersweet day, *hugs* I can't even begin to imagine the pain you go through daily living life without your sweet Cora. I think of you so many times throughout my day. I have my "Thank You" for Cora's Playground propped up on my desk here at home and I see your smiling faces every day and am reminded of how precious life is and how amazing and strong you are. My prayers are always with you.
Hugs and prayers,
Heather~ On the Homefront

August 18, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

I LOVE how the pictures keep changing on your header! What an awesome way to remind us how sweet and beautiful Cora is!!

I'm so sorry about your day. I hate that you can't write her name on nametags. Aching for you!!

August 18, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oh and forgot to say that I absolutely LOVE the new layout!
Heather ;-)

August 18, 2009 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Micah said...

I'm so thankful to God for the good news, and so sorry for the sad way your day had to end. Don't be overwhelmed by what you will have to do in the future. Just remember that God gives us just what we need to get through one day. I hope today is a good day.

(I am totally loving the new look!)

August 18, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the new look! Love your blog, it's real and honest...I have a Cora Mae who is 5, we pray for you often. (I also have Grace-7, and Olivia-2) My name is Tressa Elvehjem, we live in Minnesota, and found you early on...Consider yourself {{hugged}} from "friends" in MN. :)

August 18, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Karina said...

I always loved your blog, one of the reasons being it was so clearly laid out and easy to look at. I never thought it needed improvement, but WOW, it is even more beautiful now!

I just love seeing pictures of Cora. She is such a beautiful baby.

What wonderful news that baby Mac is doing well! I admire your patience in waiting to find out if it's a girl or a boy. I never could stand to wait, and always found out about half way through the pregnancy (I have two boys and a girl).

I am so sorry you had to go through yet more pain in dealing with the headstone. When I picture Cora, I always picture an angel and can only imagine an angel statue in her honour. IF you could only find one as cute as she is. HUGS

August 18, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger A said...

I love the new look, too! I have been praying that your new baby Mac will be healthy and happy, and I was so glad to read that it's true! I will continue praying :)

My heart goes out to you with regard to picking out a marker for where Cora's earthly body lays. I can't even imagine the task. I know that she is beautiful and healthy and whole in Heaven, and I'm sure she is looking upon you with love and comfort these days.

I know I haven't commented much, but I left you an award on my blog. Your posts really uplift me, even though we struggle with different crosses. You are such a beautiful daughter of the King!

August 18, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Kristin Stegent said...

Made me cry! I cannot imagine having to go near the hospital and definitely can't imagine what it would be like to have to pick a gravestone! Seems aweful!

I absolutely love your new blog header!

Can't wait to see what gender you have! I am due in a couple months with a girl. :)

August 18, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Lane said...

Great new layout! Thanks for the continued updates--you all are often in my thoughts and prayers!

I know one of the prayers often on my heart for you and Joel is that as you prepare to welcome this new baby, that the healing of the Spirit would continue to the point that never once do you see Baby Mac #2 as a replacement or second version of Cora. I can't even imagine being in your shoes, and I'm so excited for you to be welcoming another little one!

Thank you for continuing to shine the light of the Lord and to proclaim his providence and hope through this road!

Here's a great song by Ginny Owens

August 18, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I know Cora is up in heaven right now telling everyone how excited she is about being a big sister! I'm so glad everything went well at the ultrasound.

And I love the new layout. Such a sweet, precious tribute to your sweet, precious girl.

Continuing to pray for you all, Shannon

August 18, 2009 at 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Alicia H said...

I love the new layout of your blog!! its simply beautiful.. I continue to pray for your little family.

August 18, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

I love all the pictures of Cora!!! She is too cute!! I will continue to pray for you and Joel, and baby Mac.

August 18, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Lacie and Stephen said...

*sigh* I remember picking the gravestone out for our daughter. I have to say it was different for us, but that was probably because our daughter never lived outside of my womb. It felt GREAT to tell people who she was and that she had an impact on the world even if she never took a breath of air on this earth. Don't you just love it when doctor's are proactive just to make you feel better? Mine was that way in my second pregnancy and has said he will make sure we see the specialist for any subsequent pregnancy as well! I don't remember how many sonograms I had just to ease my mind! I came in countless times as a nervous wreck! Congrats on being halfway through! Woo Hoo! Cora's life HAS left an impact not only on you and your family but on your countless blog followers as well!

August 18, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

I didn't realize the pictures changed...even better!!! =)

August 18, 2009 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Joanne : The Simple Wife said...

Sending love,

the Heim girls

August 18, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I love you guys, love the new blog design, love baby Cora. I cry as I type this to you.

August 18, 2009 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Chelsa said...

i understand what you mean! i think sometimes people think just b/c i'm pregnant again that i've forgotten about Andon, or at least that the pain isn't there anymore... that is soooo far from the truth.

August 18, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger 123 said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings. Your honesty about Cora's death has probably helped more people than you can imagine. I love the new layout by the way.

August 18, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Tabitha said...

Pretty much not a day goes by that you and sweet Cora don't cross my mind. Continuing to pray for comfort for you and Joel. Also praying for a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby. Love the new blog look! Thank you for being so open, honest and humble. God has used you in my life.

August 18, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

My heart ACHES for you...I'm so so sorry you have to go through these things. Cling to Him, just as you have been.

P.S. Love the new layout! Absolutely beautiful. :)

August 18, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

first of all, your new layout is adorable. the page looks great. second, i'm so happy everything is looking great for your new little one (and yes, i actually was wondering if you were finding out what you're having lol). i know that brings peace of mind to you! and third, i cannot even begin to imagine how hard your second part of your day was. you are both so strong & brave. i pray peace with both of you!

August 18, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Audrey said...

Love your new layout.

Praying for you, never ceasing. God holds every tear in His hand.

August 18, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger  The Morris Family said...

the blog looks so nice and peaceful! cora is so sweet and her parents are clinging to their HOPE, Jesus.

Its been 2 1/2 years for our little joel (NB) and we still do not have a marker yet, your right, as in all you said, I feel the same.

i think of your hearts often, we have much in common, sad to say, but the greatest thing we have in common is Jesus......who is our Help in this trial!


August 18, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I can't even imagine the emotions you are feeling but so thankful there's a God that can help you through them and process them all!!!

August 18, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God always give both of you the comfort and peace during your difficult days. May He also give you joy and happiness as you continue on your journey to meet Baby Mac #2.

Love the new blog look! Thank you for being an inspiration!

August 18, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Ethansmom08 said...

I am so glad to hear that Baby Mac is doing great...I am praying for a healthy, happy baby!

LOVE the new blog is so precious and Cora is SO beautiful in all of her pictures.

God Bless,

August 18, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like so many previous posters, I LOVE the new layout. All three of those pictures of Cora are absolutely adorable! I'm glad to hear (read) that the baby is healthy. My heart rejoices and weeps with you. You and Joel are still constantly on my mind and in my prayers. Your precious little daughter and your hope and love for, and in the Lord has forever changed my life. (((hugs))) to you and your family.

August 18, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my..I have to learn not to read your blog at work...tears streaming down my face...wish I could say something to help but I feel the same as you and I have never stood in your shoes..Your beautiful Cora's short life impacted some many and continues to do so..what brought me to your blog many many months ago and still does..You continue to amaze me. Your faith, your words..straight to my heart. I am so sorry for your hurting heart..
Love the news that baby Mac is doing ask, ask, ask all the questions you need to Momma.

You are in my thoughts and prayers EVERYDAY.


August 18, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger LeAnne said...

I love your new layout for your blog! I check in with your blog often and have prayed for you and your family a lot. I appreciate your honest writing. I hope you don't mind if continue to "pop in" on your blog now and then to check in. I am happy for great news on Baby Mac!

August 18, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your journey, especially your raw emotions. You remain in my prayers. I am so excited for your new baby and saddened that Cora isn't here.

August 18, 2009 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Missy said...

I wish I could give you a hug right now! A lot to process in one day. I do believe your heart is in the right place. You are allowing God to mold you through this painful process.


August 18, 2009 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Jenni said...

I have never posted on your blog, just secretly followed your story- I'm not sure how I fell into your blog but ever since the day I did - I have been praying for you and your family. I can not imagine being in your shoes - but the strength you have to put one foot in front of the other is amazing. I love the new layout and Cora's Pictures. Absolutly BEAUTIFUL! Congrats on Baby Mac- and here's to a happy and healthy rest of your pregnancy.

August 18, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Trasie Bressler said...

First of all I love love love the new blog look!!!

I can't imagine your pain, I can't imagine your loss, but I do know that I am a better Mom because of you and your life story. You keep looking beyond that grave because my friend that baby is dancing in Heaven and she has touched more lives than you and I can ever imagine!

That baby Mac is blessed to have such amazing parents and blessed beyond measure to have the big sister that he/she has.

You are amazing people and I am blessed every time I read your blog and am reminded that God knows all of our pain, all of our struggles, and he will never leave or forsake us. We are Blessed!!!!

August 18, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Todd and Courtney said...

I love the new layout ya'll!! Not sure if you read Katie and Jason's blog but they just lost their little girl, Reese. You all would probably enjoy talking to one another. Thinking and praying for you every single day.

August 18, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I absolutely LOVE your new layout!! Even though I never had the chance to meet sweet Cora, seeing her face on here just made me smile! She's such a beautiful baby! I'm glad everything went well with your ultrasound. I think it's great that baby Mac will be a surprise! Both of my babies were surprises too...although I had my motherly instincts and new what they were! ;) I'm sorry it was such a rough day for you. To go from extreme happiness to extreme sadness in one day can't be easy. I continue to pray for you and Joel everyday. I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through. No parent should ever have to buy a headstone for their child. But I pray that someday your pain will ease a bit more.

Keep us posted with the pregnancy! Oh...and where are your belly pictures??!

Praying in Nebraska

August 18, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

Praying for your ups and downs.....and peace in between.

p.s. love your new page!!

August 18, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BELLY PICTURES! I love the new look of the Blog Cora is SOOO beautiful! I can't wait to meet the new baby mac...who will no doubt be just as beautiful (or handsome). God Bless you guys...

August 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

LOVE the new layout. You are always in my prayers.

August 18, 2009 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Jane In The Jungle said...

Girl, Cora's life has meaning here and Above! That for me, would have been maddening also, the "what should be happenings", not what is happening. I do not know if this will help but it makes so much sense for me. I have a friend Kori, whose husband only has a few weeks left to live here. Back in May he said these words to her, "this life here is temporary. I can't even begin to fathom what it's going to be like in Heaven and to see our Maker's face. How wonderful it will be". Temporary. And just think, Jesus gets to see Cora's smiling face wonderful for Him.

August 18, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have had an ultrasound right around now, too, but I miscarried the baby that was due about the same time as your new little one. As I often think of my baby in heaven with your Cora, I'll be praying that your new little one is healthy and has a long and healthy life here with you on earth until we can all be together in heaven some day.
God bless you and your amazing testimony for Jesus Christ.

August 18, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Marlene said...

I just want to let you know I haven't stopped praying for you! I continually feel so heartbroken for these experiences that happen with the constant reminders of Cora. Just know that you are being thought of and upheld in prayer! You guys are so special!

August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Acy said...

Saw this new Selah song 'Unredeemed' on Kelly's Korner and made me think of you. Still praying for you guys. Enjoy this song, it's beautiful.

Jennie in CA

August 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Heather @ Life Made Lovely said...

I know that I have no idea what you are going through because each experience is so personal and different, but I just wanted you to know that you aren't alone. I also live in the same "world" you live in where grief and joy hold hands and play together on the playground.

My son Samuel died at 6 weeks old from a devastating form of bacterial meningitis. We went on to have our third child earlier this year. I can relate so closely to what you have described in this post.

Your faith is amazing and is such a gift to have with you for all the days ahead.

If you ever wanted to chat I'm just a blog away....

August 18, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love The New Layout ....Cora is so pretty my preys our with you and your family to make this a little eaiser ...Hoping and preying for peace for you and your hubby

August 18, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Townsendpartyof5 said...

Man... how can your brains comprehend all of that emotion in one day? I am amazed at your strength once again! Thank you for continuing on this journey with all of us. Our prayers continue for you and Joel and BabyMac.
I was just thinking, maybe you can quickly follow-up the decisions you made for Cora's marker with a beautiful plaque to go on Cora's playground... You know, her playground will be a place of joy and laughter for so many because of Cora... Maybe soon you'll be able to pour positive words, and Cora's name, and picture on the entry to this fun and meaningful playground. Maybe that will represent a happier site for her name and picture.
Your faith encourages me to continue on my faith journey. Thank you.

August 18, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

I love the new look! I am so sorry that you had to do all of this today. I completely feel your pain. It is a hard step to make but you will be happy when whatever you decide is there and a tribute to Cora. Keep leaning on the Lord and know that Cora is always a HUGE part of your family.
Courtney Mayfield

August 18, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger LakeLady said...

You can make your own design for you baby's resting place. I decided that I wanted a picture of Jesus holding a lamb as I felt Mark was a precious lamb to Jesus. They did it without any problem. We chose a granite marker which is the kind that could be made with a custom engraving.

Dear Jess, you are on a roller coaster of many feelings and emotions. I hold firm to the promise that someday, each in our own time, this ends and life settles. Please Jess, acknowledge this is a slow process. This is the territory of child loss. You are just fine. You are OK. You are where you should be right now. You will be so happy at the birth of little MAC, but you will still miss Cora. Everything that is worth doing well, takes time. You mothered Cora well, accepting and adjusting to her loss will take time and maybe...lots of it. God bless you, sweet little Mama. No one want to see you suffer, but during the grief process, this is what happens. You are suffering the loss of your Cora. Sweet Jess, this is normal. You are normal. (hugs))

August 18, 2009 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Squirpy Momma said...

I love the new look too!!! That WAS quite the ride for one day! Prayers for you guys. I thought I'd try and post a link to my blog post with a pic of our baby's grave marker. You are not alone and the Lord will carry you through every ounce of your grief, he's promised and he never fails!


August 18, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Danyele Easterhaus said...

a few things...first, i'm so glad you all had the joy of seeing new baby mac together...and that you were received by loving and faithful doctors. second, i'm in awe of you guys...i am mad that you had to get a gravestone...i hate that.

August 18, 2009 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never comment but I read your blog daily, since I discovered it about two months ago. Many of my friends and I keep you all in our prayers and really love you so much. You are so precious and BRAVE! Oh mygosh. Anyways...I really just wanted to say, WOW I totally LOVE your new design! It's great! I was shocked when I opened your page! Beautiful! Great job...praying for the Macs.

August 18, 2009 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

So glad to hear about the good news on baby #2 and the care God is surrounding you with.

I so want to provide some word of encouragement on this equally tough day, but everything seems so inadequate. The only thing that God brings to mind is about the memorial stones He had the Israelites put up when they crossed over the river (the name escapes me right now) just before the battle of Jericho. Maybe check out that passage in Scripture and see if God brings you an encouraging word through those passages?

Praying for continued healing and good health.

August 18, 2009 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

What a day is right! I am sorry you have to go through this. hugs!

BTW- I LOVE the new layout!!

August 18, 2009 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

I am so sorry that you had such a rough day. I have been following your blog for sometime and have been praying for you and your family daily. I feel like I can relate to you and how you are feeling because I too have a little girl in heaven. I admire your strength and courage! I wish that I would have been able to carry myself in the same manner as you are now. Hugs from another Kansas mommy :)!

August 18, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're always in my prayers- for comfort and healing for you and Joel, for a healthy, happy pregnancy and baby, for continued strength and love to support you.
God bless you.

August 18, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Falling Around said...

Oh, Jess...

My love, heart, and prayers go out to you.

The new design is wonderful. Cora is so beautiful.

August 18, 2009 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Paula Aspacher said...

God likes when you vent!!! Vent away and get mad, He can take it!

August 18, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Misty Rice said...

I am sad that you too had to have such a rollercoaster day. Not fun. Its rips my heart every time. I am glad to hear that all is well with the new baby and I love the new looks of your blog also. Danielle ROCKS at blog makeovers, she had done all of mine.

God Bless.

August 18, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Oh, Jess. My heart just breaks for you and Joel. I am lifting you up in prayer, praying for you to have something to smile about at this exact moment on this day. Even if it is just a silly little commercial on TV that makes you laugh.
I love the new layout. I find myself stopping by more often, just to see Cora's sweet face at the top.
Praying for you EVERYDAY!!
Love and Hugs to you both.

August 18, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Les Y said...

When we had to pick out our daughter's headstone it just seemed so unnatural. It took us a year, but now her "grass" has a beautiful marker which is nicer to visit than the temporary plastic marker. I am so happy to that baby #2 got such a great report. The new layout is beyond gorgeous. Cora is such a beauty! Best wishes.

August 18, 2009 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Oh goodness. Yes, highs and lows. I know those "details" are so hard to take care of -- nothing feels right since you were never prepared to be traveling this road. But the Lord will give you the perfect thought to make sense of this miserable "detail."
I remember the man helping us pick out the stone. He would point to Mickey Mouse or soccer balls and ask what we thought of it. Goodness. Those things have absolutely zero significance for me. It simply was all about Jesus. Nothing else mattered. Jesus would carry us through. And he is. Saying many prayers for you all!

August 18, 2009 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

It is such a rollercoaster ride isnt it?! And you are right, it is how your life is, dealing with our "new reality". It is not enjoyable by anymeans. We have not picked out Emma's gravestone either, it does seem so final. So I am not at that point yet.

I am so happy to read that baby Mac #2 is healthy and all is looking well.

I am so glad for our faith in God, that we will see our baby girls again in heaven someday soon.

Praying for you tonight and in the days ahead.


August 18, 2009 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Cristy said...

(((Hugs)) today Jess, to you and Joel both. I am sorry.

August 18, 2009 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Praying for you tonight.

August 18, 2009 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Trinity said...

My heart goes out to you on this. My family just buried my grandfather on 8/5. He was like a father to me.

I am thankful that little Cora's name is engraved in Heaven.
"--rejoice that your names are written in heaven" Luke 10:20

August 18, 2009 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

This may sound weird, and I'm sorry if it does . . . but I love your family. I have been following your blog since right after Cora became ill (one of my facebook friends asked for prayer for Cora on her profile). I am so happy for this new life coming to your family, but I also cry along with you every time I read something sad. I won't pretend I know what you're going through. No one could unless they went through it. Please just know that I wish strength and lots of hugs on both of you.

August 18, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger bagfashionista said...

I don't know what else to say other than God bless you and your family, and little Cora who's up in Heaven.

And a big virtual hug as well

August 18, 2009 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Definitley not easy picking out a headstone for your child. Children weren't meant to have those. Thinking of you.

August 19, 2009 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

I really LOVE your new layout! It is just awesome. I am so glad Baby Mac is doing well and I am so sorry that you had to make that step. I can't imagine how difficult it was. I am glad you did it - but I wish you didn't have to and I know you do, too.

Take good care.

August 19, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I LOVE the new layout, Jess! Beautiful!

And what a perfect verse you ended this post with... what a wonderful Promise from our Savior.

And Cora Paige's life DOES have meaning... great meaning that we probably cannot even comprehend right now. Her life has touched many, and your faith and example have brought many closer to Christ.

I think about you, Joel, and Cora every single day. I lift you up in prayer all the time.

August 19, 2009 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger drea :: dre of white stables said...

I'm so happy that everything looks great with BabyMac. I can't imagine and won't try to act like I know what you're going through, but I still pray for you. I rejoice with the new life you're carrying, yet pray for your strength and peace as you walk this hard road. ((hugs))

August 19, 2009 at 8:44 AM  
Anonymous heather said...

Thank you again for the reminder that our treasure is with the Lord, that this is not all there is, we have eternal promises waiting for fulfillment. Your daughter is beautiful.

August 19, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Love the new view! So cute! We went to Canada two years ago and I think didn't pretty much the same trip you just did minus seeing your relatives. It was nice to relive it again through your pictures - it is so beautiful up there. I wish my babies had been surprises - my husband desperately wanted to know so I agreed, hoping the kids would have their legs crossed. They both wanted to show the world their were little boys - typical huh? I'm sorry for all you're going through. Everytime it seems I'm on a rollercoaster I think of a line from the movie parenthood where the grandma is explaining that to have ups you have to have downs to make it exciting or you can just ride the merry go round, but it's boring and doesn't do anything and you're stuck going in circles.

August 19, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

You have me crying again, LOL. Actually it is 3 yrs today since we lost our son and I seem to be on that rollercoaster ride today myself. I don't share my feelings well with others and you seem to capture exactly what I feel a lot of the time. I was very angry this weekend for the same reasons, my son was not with us on vacation and I am not watching him tear into a birthday cake today but visiting his "tree". He was buried under a tree and I can not call the site what it is...grave. It seems so, cold and sad. I attempted to express myself on my blog today but I know it was not done gracefully. Anyway, thank you for sharing with us. I am so happy that baby Mac is healthy. As always you are all in my prayers. Much love, Emily

August 19, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Toni :O) said...

Love your new blog cool to see all those cute pictures of sweet Cora. I'm sorry you had such a difficult day. Continuing to pray for you...glad to hear all is continuing to go well with Baby Mac.

August 19, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't seem to read your blog without shedding tears. I can sit here and tell you I feel your pain after reading it, but the truth is I don't know entirely what you are feeling not having lost a child. You're right in having faith and knowing that Jesus is carrying you and Joel through this. But please remember that Jesus' mother know EXACTLY what you are going through having lost her only child in such an awful way. But after the gloom and dispair she suffered through arose our Saviour Jesus Christ! I pray that Mother Mary can help you through this hard time as well. God Bless You!

August 19, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger sarahross said...

It's all part of the journey.
My prayers continue...

August 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Alexa said...

sending you a giant hug & a million prayers!

August 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Such a beautiful little girl and she remains a part of all of the lives .
Reading this made me cry ...such a beautiful baby...we are remembering you in prayer...thanks for sharing...
Get easy cash at your door step

August 20, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

I just wanted to thank you. My husband is in the hospital recovering from brain surgery. It was difficult to get through, but I kept remembering how strong and steadfast you are in your faith. I was and am trying to be like you. Thank you so much for your inspiring words. I know you struggle, but you have helped me more than you will ever know. Thank you!

August 20, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger texasinafrica said...

"Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you."

We continue to pray through all the ups and downs.

August 20, 2009 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I don't even remember how I found your blog, but you inspire me! I'm 30 years old and my first husband was tragically killed. I've married again and have 3 little boys, but I the grief almost destroyed me as I did not run to my Heavenly Father as you have. May God bless you, heal you and lead you as you walk this road. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

August 21, 2009 at 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only imagine the parties she is having in Heaven that someday you will get to hear all about.She really is such a doll. Prayers for you from Australia!!!
Home Security Systems no CREDIT CHECK everyone is approved

August 21, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Susie said...

You don't know me but I've been following your blog for quite some time. Months ago, I bought a blanket made by Meg for Cora's etsy shop and when it arrived in the mail, it included a picture of Cora. I just wanted you to know that I keep that picture displayed in my room. Such a sweet little baby - she most certainly has meaning.

August 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Heather C said...

That playground is fantabulous!

Continuing to pray for you all. It must be such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. May the Lord cover you with His feathers that you might find refuge under His wings... and His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. :)

August 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

To Cora's dear mom and dad

I haven't posted before, but have followed Cora's blog for a while since she was ill. We had a little boy who died from a birth accident. So I wanted to share something about gravestones you might not have been aware of as it's not common. We had one hand-carved. We could design it ourselves, no "clip art". I don't know how hard it would be to find a carver in the US. I did search once and found a few but I lost the information. We were in England where there are a lot more of them. Here's what I mean (my blog post today about it has a picture and what we did)

Thinking of you at this hard time.

August 22, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger laney said...

...not a grave stone...a love stone...for that is where you keep your hearts...blessings ane prayers for you and baby mac to be...

August 22, 2009 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

It does stink...a lot. And more than I know.
Still praying for all of you.

August 23, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger The Busscher Family... said...

I feel God has lead me to comment today, I have been following your blog since Cora's passing and my heart has been ripped apart as I travel that with you. I say with you as my husband and I lost our little 18 month old girl Grace, last August...also our firstborn and I could just sit for hours and cry and talk with you I think as I relive so many of the emotions I feel and felt. Anyway, I just wanted to comment about the headstone, I STRUGGLED so hard with doing that....first of all we shouldn't be doing it not at our age, second of all just facing the reality of having to pick a headstone is SOO HARD. We waited a good six months and now Grace's stone is in place and I feel very at peace with the design. Just for an idea you may look at it on our blog

We too are expecting once again and cannot wait to have that JOY back in our lives, ours also is a suprise and due in 8 days!! God is good, and though I'll never understand his ways here on earth, I praise him for continuing to be our GOD and for walking thru each day with us both the horrible and the wonderful. Take care and know you are in our prayers! -Kathy

August 23, 2009 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am another blogger that doesn't know you in person, but that has been following your story since you found out Cora was sick in January. Every time I read your blog I am in tears, yet at the same time I see how you are glorifying God and I am simply astounded. You have had so much taken away, at the same time I feel like God is going to give you SO much for being faithful! Cora will always hold a special place in my heart. Her pictures remind me of my own daughter at that age. When I heard that you sang Blessed be the Name of our Lord at her memorial I was blown away. My relationship with God has taken on a whole new meaning since following you and Joel in a time of such darkness. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a glorious celebration in heaven the day that you are reunited! God bless you both and Baby Mac.
Ashley in Phoenix

August 24, 2009 at 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a stranger who is drawn to Cora's story and therefore the story of your life. Forgive me for treading where I have no right, but I have this thought about Cora's marker/stone. Thinking about this new baby and how Cora will have such a special place in this child's life.....take a moment and reflect on this as a place not just for you both, but for Cora's siblings to celebrate and honor her.

Blessings to you.

August 31, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger ~C~ said...

Love the new layout!

My best friend Danae lost her daughter 2 weeks before her due date so a funeral was held and little Allyson was burried in our small hometown's cemetary. That was 5 years ago, almost 6, and just this past spring they found the strength to get a headstone for her grave. It wasn't that they didn't care, it tore them up to know that there was just a temporary marker with a label on it, but to get a marker made it final, made it real. I pray you find peace, and are able to stand firm on your faith during the storms that come and go. Praying for Baby Mac, and I just know Cora is looking down and can't wait to meet him/her either.

August 31, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Ruth H. said...

I just came across your blog, after stumbling upon Meg's "Whatever". Your postings have really touched my heart. My little daughter, Lily, died a year ago, just a month after her first birthday. She was born with multiple serious birth defects, and we were blessed to have her with us as long as we did. Even though we have experienced so much love and support, sometimes it feels strangely isolating to be the only "young mom" who has buried her child. Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts. And congratulations on the wonderful playground in Cora's honor. I'm sure Cora is proud to be part of such an amazing family.

September 22, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

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