Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Update

As some of you know, and many of you don't—as I never updated here that I was even pregnant —I lost my daughter, Grace Evangeline Young, in my 38th week of pregnancy on November 4, 2008. She died in the night while I was sleeping, due to her umbilical cord wrapping around her body and cutting off her oxygen supply. I will never quite understand why *I* had to go through such a tragedy, but I do know that God's will is perfect, and his design for my life is beautiful.

It has been more difficult than I could ever express in words these past few months, and on some days, it seems like this happened only yesterday.

But I will continue to search God's plan for my life, and give Him all the praise I can muster.

(photo courtesy of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep )

Here is the eulogy my husband, Jeffrey, wrote only 24 hours after Grace was born.

On Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:40am, Grace Evangeline Young was born. Her umbilical cord was wrapped three times around her leg cutting off oxygen to the rest of her body—causing her heart to stop beating. Heather felt her regular playful kicks all Sunday evening. On Monday morning, Heather went through her regular routine of preparing breakfast for them and stopping to tell Grace that she loved her. That morning, Grace did not respond with her usual kick. We had our scheduled doctor visit that morning and they couldn't find Grace's heartbeat or see it fluttering on the ultrasound. Grace was induced at the hospital and delivered 24 hours later.

It is imperative to us that you all know Grace. Grace came to us 2 weeks early as a seven pound baby, twenty-one inches long. She had her mother's feet, already measuring over three inches and primed to play piano with her toes. Her hands are long and angelic, like her mother's. She has her father's large bottom lip and meaty earlobes. She has long thick locks of blond hair. She is adorable. The most perfect baby you have ever seen. In the womb, Grace loved music. As soon it came on, her rump would instantly start moving to the beat. Completely opposite her daddy, Grace has rhythm. She loved going into church and hearing the worship music. Like her dad, Grace is a morning person; she woke her mother up every morning. Grace is very active, she was active very early. Heather felt her kicking at just sixteen weeks. She is more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

Right now, everything reminds us of Grace. We are doing our very best to welcome it. We want to remember everything about her. We are desperately trying not to be consumed by the tragedy that so quickly ended her life, but to remember her life and the joy she brought to everyone all nine months of it. We praise God for those nine months with our child! We wanted more time, we wanted to see her smile, we wanted her to stare at us with her big blue eyes, we wanted her to hug us back, we wanted to see her kneel down at her bed and pray to God, we wanted to hear her sing in front of church, we wanted to watch her walk down the aisle at her wedding. We were just given nine months and we are going to cherish and honor every millisecond that we were blessed with.

On November 4th, I saw strength in my wife that could only come from God. With Heather's strong faith and so many people praying for us, she made it through the unimaginable. Heather endured the pains of labor to deliver a child that she knew would not cry when she came outside her womb. Heather held Grace adoringly—telling everyone that her daughter is so adorable, that Grace is perfect. Heather is a mom, which is everything God designed her to be. Her daughter, Grace, LIVES in heaven. Grace's brothers and sisters will understand heaven a lot more easily as the place they will see their Savior and their big sister.

We have received an overwhelming amount of correspondences and massive amounts of prayer. Thank you. It is a blessing to have you all supporting us. Everyone is asking how they can help. There is one thing every one of you can do. You can honor Grace. Honor her by calling and visiting every loved one you have. Hug them, tell them that you love them. Life is so fragile. We let it slip by every day—taking it for granted. Grace has brought so much joy into our lives, recognize the joy in yours.

As this is a blog about design, I have to also mention God's creativity when He chose where Grace would be laid to rest. My parents decided that Grace would be buried on their farm, and so on the evening when they went out to search for the perfect spot, a rainbow appeared over the most gorgeous part of their fields. They knew without a doubt that this spot was where God wanted us to place her body.

6 comments: Maegan said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I could never imagine going through something as painful as that. I don't think I would make it through. You are a brave and strong woman.

heathergyoung said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Maegan. This is definitely by-far the hardest thing I have ever endured.

Mandi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
heathergyoung said...

woops, I deleted your post!

Well I was going to say to you, Mandi, that I'm thankful that you contacted the NILMDTS photographer. She did a wonderful job and we're really glad we did that so we could have closure. It helps now to look at photos of our baby girl and think how beautiful she was.

Shana said...

I've thought about you and your loss ever since I ordered the holiday cards from your etsy shop. This post is the perfect tribute to your sweet little daughter and to your unbelievable strength.

heathergyoung said...

Thank you for thinking of me, Shana. And thanks for your holiday card order -- it was great to be able to do work and get my mind off of my grief for a bit during the Christmas season.