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February 23, 2011

The follow up...


I woke up this morning with a lump in my throat. Today was a day I have been dreading for a while, because today was my postpartum appointment. It has only been 5 weeks, but this was the day I was scheduled to go in.

I was a mess.

All morning long I kept thinking about walking into that office without my baby. What would I say? How would I react? How would everyone else react to me?

I didn't want to go. I wanted to crawl back in bed and pretend like none of this was happening, and this day didn't exist.

I remembered the other times I had this appointment after I had the boys. I brought them with me and showed them off. They were showered with so much attention and love. For there is nothing sweeter than a brand new baby. I couldn't help but want to have that same experience this time around.

Unfortunately, I couldn't.

I dropped the boys off to Annette and headed over to meet Rick. Thank goodness he was coming with me, there was no way I could've gone alone.

As I pulled into the hospital, I was already crying.

I was flooded with so many emotions and memories...

I remembered walking (no wadling) in the day I was admitted, with my pink suitcase and Maddie's tutu in my hand. Rick and I were excited about what was to come.

My eyes wandered up to the floor where we were when our little girl came into our lives. So many sweet memories, including my "perfect" day I spent with her as visitors came to see us on January the 7th.

Then I thought of the night we were dismissed, and we loaded Madeline's carseat into the van and we headed home with our girl. I had no idea that night what was in store for our lives. I was just happy to be going home with my new baby girl.

What memories...

I loved this hospital, it reminded me of Maddie. Now I had to enter it without her and this was very hard for me to do.

I pulled to a stop, and before I got out of the van, Rick was already walking towards me. I could tell he was dreading this visit too.

He took my hand and led me toward the entrance. My eyes caught the statue of the little girl holding the bird up to the sky. (sigh) A statue that meant so much to me and gave me such comfort before, visit after visit.

Now, I looked at it completly different. Yes my little birdie was okay and this still brought me peace, but she just wasn't with me and this made me so sad.

We went in the doors and made our way over to the office. The moment I walked through the door my eyes filled with tears. I could barely see the sign in sheet to write my name. Ugh.

Rick told the receptionist we were going to wait in the hallway until it was time. I love that man, he always knows what's best for me.

I walked out and gasped for breath as he caught me. I told him I couldn't do it. I couldn't go in there, it was too fresh, to much.

Before I even got it out, the nurse was coming out to get us.

That was the longest walk down the hallway, and I felt like everyone was looking right at me. The nurse caught eyes with me and I started fighting back more tears. I could tell in her eyes she knew. I was a little sad that I didn't get my favorite nurse that day, and I was wondering if she was there or not.

I would always get so excited when I would walk in and see her, but I just figured she was off that day.

The other nurse led us into the room and checked my weight and blood pressure. I have to say, it makes seeing your weight a little easier when you
actually have the baby in your presence. I just have the baby weight and it's a bummer. After she left the room, I looked over at Rick. I didn't have to say a word, it was written all over my face and it was also on his.

I was a mess and he could tell.

Month after month, I came here. Smiling and anticipating, I came to check on my sweet baby. It was here that I heard her heartbeat. It was here that I heard "it's a girl." I hated being there and I was missing her.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. It opened and in walked (my) nurse. She was there that day! This sweet nurse had been there and walked through my entire pregnancy with me, along with my previous misscariage. She always made me smile and encouraged me that my weight gain was "ok", and the baby looked and sounded great. We had many conversations about our boys and being Mom's. I just adore her, she's the best.

She wrapped her arms around me and just held me. We both sobbed and she told me how sorry she was. She didn't even have to tell me, I could feel it and it meant the world to me. She told me about the day my Doctor told her the news and how she couldn't believe it. I still couldn't either. I thanked her for her card and for thinking of me. It was so sad that Maddie's loss had reached even her. She was loved by so many.

She knew how excited I was about my "girl" and I could tell she was heartbroken for me. It meant the world that she went so out of the way to show me she cared. What an amazing lady, and I have had the priveledge to have her as my nurse. It's people like her that don't just do their job, but go above and beyond to make people feel good. She did that day.

After that my sweet Doctor came in.

If you are around me often, you know how much I adore my Doctor and talk of him. We have been through a lot together. He was there through Elijah's pregnancy and delivery. He was there through my miscarriage and he had done my D&C. He performed my Laprascopy procedure, and of course, he delivered Madeline.

You know you have an amazing Doctor when you look forward to going to see them. Even though the circumstances were so sad this time, I felt a relief knowing that I could see him and talk with him.

He asked how Rick and I were doing and went on to comfort us in so many ways.

He talked about Madeline's delivery and how beautiful she was. He told me how all the nurses loved having me as a patient, and how they said I was sweet. He told Rick that everyone around there "loved" me and I brightened everyone's days with my smile. =) He mentioned he didn't like seeing me sad now. He said I'm his happiest patient!(I totally believe this too, because I love being pregnant!) He reminded Rick and I to stick together and stay close through this hard time. We mentioned to him our faith and that God was helping us through this, and he told us he was proud of us. It was precious.

He went on and encouraged us to heal however we feel is best. If we wanted to have another or more babies, we could. He told me that I do beautifully in pregnancy and delivery. =) This encouraged me.

He asked if there was anything he could do to help us and I told him that he already had done so much. Rick gave him a picture of Madeline to keep as a reminder of our sweet girl. He was so sweet and understanding of everything we said. I actually found myself smiling after talking to him.

I walked away from that appointment very encouraged.

A day that I had been dreading, turned out to be a blessing. It was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and it was such a relief. Rick and I left the hospital feeling so much better. I was so glad that God gave me such a good appointment, and I was thanking Him for such an amazing nurse and Doctor.

I don't think they will ever know how much they encouraged me that day.

As we walked to the parking lot, Rick held my hand and told me he was taking the rest of the day off. He wanted to take me to lunch. I just love him!

On our way to Cracker Barrel, I heard a song come on the radio and these were the words...

Love ~ will ~ hold us together
Make us a shelter
to weather the storm

And I'll, be, my brothers keeper
So the whole world will know
That we're not alone

This is the first, day of the rest of your life
This is the first, day of the rest of your life
'Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright, its'gonna be alright

Love, will, hold us together
Make us a shelter
to weather the storm

How fitting?
It was like love was holding us together, and it was the beginning of the first day of the rest of our lives. We made it. We've completed all of the difficult tasks that I have been dreading. We made it through the funeral, the first month mark, the first holiday and now our appointment. Of course there will be many other difficult tasks in grieving our baby girl, but we have made it so far.

Rick and I decided that day, we were ready for whatever road God was going to take us down next. He has lead us along so far, and we have trusted in Him through it all. I'm so thankful for God's love, and I'm so thankful for Rick's love. I'm one lucky girl. =)

We sat down at the table and just talked and shared our hearts with each other while we ate. We were wondering what God had in store for us. We were wondering how many more lives Maddie would touch with this ministry she has given us. We were smiling and we were excited. Finally, we felt like we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yes, we still miss our girl, but it was like finally we knew we were going to be okay. Yes, we will still have breakdowns and "hard" days, but God will help us through.

I know I've said this time and time again, but I have to go to God everyday for strength and grace to get through. And guess what? Day after day he helps me and I'm so thankful for that.

I'm so thankful for such an amazing God! I'm thankful for a wonderful husband, nurses and doctors who are helping me travel down this road. I'm so thankful for family and friends in this wonderful life I'm living.

And even though I miss her more than words can express, I'm so thankful for Maddie Grace and for the grace she has taught me in this life. God's grace is sufficient, always and forever. I'm so thankful for His grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said uto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

As we drove home that afternoon, Rick handed me a little keepsake he had picked up for me in the gift shop.

It read,

Our nest is blessed!

God truly has blessed our little nest.


  1. He sure has blessed your nest Nat!!! I love our doctor, he really is a great friend of the families. I believe him when he says all the nurses love you, it would be impossible not to. Yet another great post to glorify God and talk about Sweet Maddie.

  2. There are not many christian doctors and i would love to know the name of yours! I love seeing Him through your writing and grieving and knowing that Jesus too wept on the account of Lazarus death and watching how Mary and Martha responded. Knowing that we too are no different from those from long ago that He too weeps with us and gives us sisters and brothers to come along side us to weep with us and encourage us. I am so blessed to hear of how your husband is a godly man supporting and being that leader that he was called to be. What a testimony in itself! You must know that when you talked about how blessed you were when you left that doctors office you may not know how you blessed those you came in contact with by your strength that your God gave you and your husband to pick yourself up and move forward.

    7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
    - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

    I bet that whole staff was thinking WOW now there's a strong couple! What is different about her and her husband? Then prayerfully they will see HIM holding you and your husband up. Praising God for who He really is.

    I can express how blessed i feel and though i haven't met your family only through blogworld. One day we will be Praising the Father together!

    April Lyon

  3. Another wonderful blog. Im excited to see what God has in store for your family 2. One day he may allow you to have another baby to see Maddie Grace through =) Our God is so good!
    Praying for your family =)

  4. *tears*...I'm SO glad your appointment went well! I'm sooo thankful for your Dr. & nurse too! Lord bless them! You are a ray of sunshine, Nat, everything he said of how happy you are & make people smile...I couldn't agree more. This post was a blessing to me, my nest it blessed too. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful today! You & Rick are precious...praying for you!

  5. Natalie, I have never met you, and somehow I came across your blog yesterday. I sat at the computer sobbing from your posts! You are the strongest woman I have ever seen! I have two boys and know how much I want a girl! I can not imagine what you have been through! Maddie Grace is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen! I showed her picture and told her story to my husband, he cried too! Bella Baby did my babies pictures too! I would love to know which state you live in! My husband is a youth pastor at a Baptist Church in North Alabama! I want to thank you for your posts! You are so encouraging! Last night I could not sleep, because I was thinking of sweet Madeline! This morning I woke up with her on my mind! I Will never forget your posts and how God is healing you! I will be praying for you and your family! I can't imagine losing a baby like that! Did the Dr. actually know what caused her to quit breathing? I am weeping as I type...I feel for you, I really do! I had a miscarriage right after we got married and I thought that was the worst thing ever! Please write me back! I Will be following your blog daily! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praying for you!

  6. What wonderful nurses and doctor you have! That is just great. I can't imagine having to go to my post partum appointment without my baby. My son died just 2 weeks after mine. The nurse I had at that appointment was amazing, as I had some post partum depression, and she brought me much comfort. I'm so happy you got that comfort during a horrible and difficult time. I think of you daily, from one momma of an angel to another.