Friday, August 19, 2011

in memoriam: Isabella Marie

Tomorrow marks 3 years since we lost our baby Isabella. To celebrate the memory of her short life, I've decided to compile some pictures, journal entries, blog excerpts and emails that I wrote and received during the 25 weeks I was blessed to carry her in my womb.

June 10, 2008
From my pregnancy journal:
Today I found out that you are very sick. They think it is a chromosomal abnormality. That doesn't make you any less my baby. She (the ultrasound tech) said your heart beat is still strong and you are a little fighter for hanging in there so long! We are just praying that you aren't in any pain and that if it's God's will that He will heal you. I finally feel like your mom and cannot express how much I love you!
June 16, 2008
A prayer from a friend:
I pray that Jessi and Ben will just continue to see the Lord's fingerprints in all that they are facing, and see how only He can provide. He is our Heavenly Father who loves them. I pray that they will hold tight to that, and it will comfort them. He doesn't prevent all hardships, but he can grow us and bless us in amazing ways that we can always trust His ways over our own. Lord I just pray for Baby Bridges. We first pray for healing, but if that is not your will in this, we thank you that you have given this child to a mom who loves this child enough to trust you. Lord, we thank you for your Holy Spirit that knows the unspoken prayers and cries of the heart and brings these to you. Help us to remember to be vigilent in our prayers for Jessi. Give us sensitivity in this and wisdom if there is more you want for us to do for this family. Let us be used by you to be prayerful sisters in Christ. You are an awesome God!
June 28, 2008
From my blog:
I know that my God has a purpose for my life and my tiny little baby. That night I prayed for God to heal my baby, but above all, that he would receive all of the glory from the outcome of my brokenness and heartache. He has not left me during this time. In fact, I have never felt more peace about anything in my life. I know he holds the life of my baby in His hands. Psalm 139:13 says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb" and Psalm 139:16 says"...All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." My baby belonged to the Lord before she was placed in my womb. Only He knows when her last day will be. All I can do is be faithful to Him and His plan. So, I will wait on the Lord. Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.
June 28, 2008
From my pregnancy journal:
I received my amniocentesis results from Dr. Vo. I found out that you are a girl! We also found out that you have Turner Syndrome. We named you Isabella Marie this week.
June 30, 2008
Letter from a friend:
I am glad that you were able to get a diagnosis from your amnio. And what a relief that future pregnancies shouldn't be affected. I know it is still very difficult to be going through this pregnancy hoping for a miracle but preparing for the worst. It is a strange place to be. Just remember that God created Isabella just the way she is and knew that he could trust you and Ben to be her parents and love her just the way she is.
July 10, 2008
From my pregnancy journal:
I had an ultrasound today at the Women's Resource Center with Dawn. We recorded it for Ben. I saw Isabella suck on her umbilical cord and wave at me! Isabella is 20 weeks. Her heart rate was 152 bmp (still very normal!).
August 16, 2008
From an email I sent out:
Thank you to all of you who have been praying for my baby girl, for me and for Ben. This past Wednesday I had a routine OB appointment and my doctor was unable to find a heartbeat. We apparently lost her some time last week. Although it wasn't the outcome I was hoping for, this is how God chose to heal her. I know she is with her Heavenly Father and she is more perfect and beautiful now than she ever could have been here with us. Ben will be home tonight at about 11:30. It has been a battle in itself to get him home, but he is heading home. My doctor wanted to wait to set a date for delivery until he knew that Ben would be here with me.
August 22, 2008
A note I received from a friend:
Isabella has known only the most wonderful comfort of this world. The only world she knew here on earth was the warm, protective place from within you. She heard your voice, and was rocked to sleep by your movement. She was kept warm by your body, and was sheltered from all harm. When it was time for her to leave you, she knew no pain, no fear, no sadness. She went straight into her Savior's arms where she is warm and protected. She hears His voice, and is rocked to sleep by His movement. He keeps her warm, and shelter's her from all harm. She will never know pain, or fear, or sadness. She has only known the two most wonderful places, yours and His...
August 22, 2008
From my blog:
Late August 16, Ben arrived home from deployment to be with me during delivery and the memorial service. On August 19 at 7:30 a.m. I checked into St Rose Hospital to be induced for labor. At 5:45ish pm on August 20 I finally delivered. I chose to not see her as my husband suggested it would be too difficult because of her disorder.. so they wrapped her completely in a blanket and I held her for a little while. She weighed only about a pound.

Today we will meet with the funeral home and plan the arrangements for her funeral.

To conclude I would like to quote John MacArthur from his book Safe In the Arms of God:
Every child conceived is a God-created and God-loved person with a God-given purpose and destiny. God created your child. God loved your child and continues to love your child. God's purpose and destiny for your child are fulfilled perfectly, even if the child dies. The reality of that is beyond anything you can know fully this side of heaven.
Or as our pastor says, "no one dies early". Psalm 139 says: All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. If you have experienced the loss of a child, please be encouraged that God is still in control. He is always in control.

My favorite part of that last quote is "God's purpose and destiny for your child are fulfilled perfectly", which is the reason Isabella's grave marker says "All things to the glory of God." I could not have known how much God would use her life, my pain, my struggle, His peace in me and my experience to minister to others in the years to follow.


13 comments:

  1. You are truly a strong person!!! thank you for sharing your story!

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  2. My heart aches for you today Jesse. Bless you Isabelle, I can't wait to meet you one day.
    Love you Jesse.

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  3. Your faith and ability encourage others though your experience of loss is amazing. I am sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your baby girl.

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  4. Iam sorry for your loss and my heart aches for you. Your testimony and faith do bring glory to God.

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  5. Jessi, this is so powerful! Thank you for sharing it. I cannot fathom your experience but am grateful for your example of faith and strength. God bless you.

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  6. tears flowing! i am so touched by your sweet sharing of her memory and her story....it is amazing to see the strength God has given you through this...thanks for sharing friend.

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  7. I'm so sorry you went through this. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. What a beautiful way to share this story, Jessi. Thank you so much.

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  9. Jessi, I am crying right now and I NEVER EVER cry. I want to hug you so bad!! This is such a beautiful post, bringing glory to God Almighty who was and IS and will always be in control of all things. It's so hard to share stories like these...you are so brave! And you are doing it all for His glory which is super awesome.

    That last letter from a friend was so touching. What an amazing (and so true) thought...your dear sweet baby lived a short but glorious life, safe in her mommy's womb. I never thought of such a thing in regards to my own miscarriages... It definitely brings a sense of peace realizing that the babies I lost were blissfully happy growing inside of me until Jesus took them home. And now, safe in the arms of Jesus, they are experiencing more joy than I can even comprehend. Miscarriage is so hard, but realizations like that make it bearable.

    Thank you for this post! Hugs! Prayers! Love you!

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  10. I never did reach out to offer any words of comfort then Jessi. I'm so sorry! I was amazed by your strength and acceptance going through this rough time. I never knew what to say to you :( I felt like whatever I would have said wouldn't help. I also found out I was pregnant 2 months later and now our daughter is named Isabelle (not Isabella) but still. I thought gosh... I don't want to post on the internet! I know it's so close to her name. Your Isabella was taken from the comfort of you and straight into the comfort of the lord. Your friend could not have said it any better. I never knew of the losses you've both went through after your first baby. I cannot imagine the heartache. It was wonderful and such great news to read you were expecting Isaac!! I was so (am so!) happy for you and Ben. Soo soooo happy. I just wanted to post this so you know your baby Isabella is not forgotten <3

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  11. Wow, you are an amazing, incredible woman. I just read this and wow, all I can say is that you and your husband are amazing people. God definitely knew what He was doing when He chose you two to be amazing parents to Isabella. What an amazing story. I love how your chronicled everything... and you definitely have some amazing friends. Thank you for sharing! xo

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  12. so beautiful. thanks so much for sharing!
    praise jesus. xo

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  13. Jessi,
    I had no idea. Tears.
    Thinking of you today.

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