Friday, January 9, 2009

Gabriel Joseph

Well friends, there has been a dark cloud over our heads here since October 14, 2008.  So dark in fact, that I considered stopping this blog all together.  But one of the things that I like best about this whole bloggy world is the transparency that comes along with it - to a certain degree anyway.  I know that the bloggers I feel the most inspired by and connected to are the ones who lay it all out there.  When tragedy struck me was I going to run and hide, or be honest about it and maybe, just maybe my experience might be able to help others?  

I decided that I would keep the blog going, and I know that it will be a good tool to help me deal with the hardest loss I've ever had to face.  Bear with me dear readers, I will fill you in with segments on the journey that Joe, myself, and our precious son Gabe went through the past 2.5 months and how God has been mightily at work in our lives in a seemingly hopeless situation.

For now, I will tell you that on December 30 at a routine Dr's appointment, they were not able to find Gabe's heartbeat, and that he had passed away due to heart failure - I was 6 months along with him.  Prior to that in October we had received the devastating news that he had a random chromosomal disorder (Trisomy 18), which was basically a fatal diagnosis.  We were hoping that he would make it full term... here's the email we sent out after the doctor's appointment on 12/30/08:

Friends and Family,

Kate and I found out today at our Dr's appointment that Gabe passed away due to heart failure.  We were hoping for him to make it to full term (he was at 6 months now) and get to at least share a few moments if not days to hold and interact with him, but it wasn't meant to be.  The next step is we will call tomorrow morning to schedule an appointment in the following few days to induce labor.  Please pray that the labor goes smoothly and for strength for Kate during the labor and delivery which the Dr expects to last 24-36 hours.  One thing that we praise God and are thankful for is we got the results of the amnio, and Kate and I are not genetic carriers, so there is no increased risk for a Trisomy 18 baby in future pregnancies.

As King David said when his and Bathsheba's son died, "I will go to him" looks like we'll get to go hang with Gabe in eternity.  Its a comfort to know where he is and that he already has a new body and is not feeling any pain or suffering.  Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and prayers throughout this journey.  Look forward to seeing all of you soon and we covet your prayers and our relationship with each and every one of you.  Your support during this time has meant the world to Kate and I.


Joe and Kate

"Gabriel" means God is my strength....  Psalm 18:1-3 conveys it well:  "I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call to the Lord who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies".

So I was induced on January first, and after 22 hours of labor delivered our sweet boy, Gabriel Joseph, on the 2nd at 1:21pm.  He weighed 1 pound and 7 ounces and was 12.5 inches long, with dark hair.  I came home the following day, and now am trying to recover.  It is hard to have the remnants of pregnancy to have to heal from and deal with, and not have the baby.  But God is so good friends.  And do you know, if I had to do it all again, I would.  Now, that is not saying that I want another Trisomy baby or anything like that... but if it was between having Gabe in my life or not, I would definitely choose to carry him all over again.  I am amazed at how God used a little boy who didn't speak a word or even open his eyes to change me and Joe and all who heard about our situation and in the process, to reveal Himself to us.

Be patient with me.  This whole time has been filled with some good days, some bad, and that is still the case.  Don't be offended if I don't read your site right now or don't comment... I will eventually.  But in this healing process, I need to protect myself too, and for whatever reason, there was a large group of us in the blog world who were all pregnant at the same time, and that is just too hard to deal with right now, though I wish you all nothing but the best.  And my own posting about how all the events unfolded may be rather slow... as my body mends and my head clears I will try and get back into the swing of things.  I know it will come.


lorieloo said...

oh dear friend. it is as I feared. We hadn't heard anything in so long. My heart is broken for yours today.

May God continue the work he began in you and Joe.

Rest. Pray. Reflect. And you're right, treasure the time you had with him, knowing that you are stronger, wiser, and blessed because of Gabe's little life.

hugs to you

Olive Oyl said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss... I can't even begin to fathom what you are going through right now. But I am amazed at how strong you seem to be, even if it is mixed with times of sadness and despair as well.

Take the time you need to heal... and for Joe to heal too... we are all thinking about you and I am praying for God to use this in a powerful way in your life. You have been blessed by this little boy of yours, and even if your time with him was short, no doubt he was and will always be loved by an amazing mother.

hang in there.

Candace said...

Kate, you continue to be on our hearts and in our prayers. When in prayer for you, this whole time, the Lord has told me multiple times that he will make this right, he will redeem this. I don't know what that means on earth, but it has been made right in Heaven. I look at you and Joe and in the midst of this storm, your faithfulness has not waivered. You have been such a testimony in a situation that I don't think I would have been half as faithful to. You are certainly storing up treasures in Heaven.

We wait with you for the day when you will meet your perfect Gabriel, completely whole and clothed in His righteousness. Until then, may God be the God of comfort and healing to you and Joe and may you feel his presence and his peace more now than you ever have before.

marisa paige henry franson said...

kate, i am so proud of you for writing this blog-i know it must have been incredibly hard, but i am glad that you shared with us and also that you have this as an outlet.
we are so sorry for the losses you have suffered, and truly pray for both you and joe daily.
thank you for being my friend-you are an inspiration as well. i love you!

The Thompson Family said...

My heart is breaking for you, and I don't even know you. You faith and trust in God is so evident in this post, even in your darkest hour. I pray that you will continue to turn to God as you and your husband heal from the loss of your precious son. I will be praying for your sweet family.

Randi said...

Kate~ I am beyond behind on reading blogs so when I got this update my heart broke in two for you. I am SO sorry for this horrible loss.

I can't even imagine what you and Joe are going through right now. But my heart finds comfort that God is doing something wonderful in your hearts, and is helping you find His strength and peace in this difficult situation. Your faith in Him will inspire so many.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Hugs to you dear friend, many many hugs.

Momma D said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart hurts for you in a way that only a mom who has gone through the same thing can know. I do know what you are going though as we lost our sweet Derrick Allen at 5.5 months.

We induced labor and delivered our sweet angel with dark hair, who was 11 inches long and 1.5 lbs after 17 or so hours of labor.

Carrying him and knowing he was ill (encephalocele) was the hardest thing in the world for us.

Traveling to the hospital and delivering him was surreal. This that should have been one of the most joyous occassions for my dear husband and I was so sad. Leaving the hospital with empty arms it truely hit us.

Healing came with time. The entire process brought my husband and I closer as we sorted out our feelings and clung to each other.

I know that right now, even months after the delivery, you think that your heart will never heal. I promise you it will.

We made it past Derricks due date, then his birthday and this weekend will be one year from his due date. We're not totally healed, thinking of what we have missed hurts, but we know he is whole and with God.

My heart aches for you and your husband. Even though I don't know you, I know what you are going through. I pray for your continued healing and for the day that you can look at your rememberances of your sweet angel and smile instead of cry.