Thursday, December 2, 2010

A thankful post

It is hard to believe that it has already been a month since Ella was born. It seems like the past month has flown by and that makes me really sad. Every day that goes by feels like a day that is farther away from her. But I guess I shouldn't look at it like that. I keep trying to remind myself that it is a day closer to when I will see her again. :-)

All in all I think we are doing pretty well. I think I was able to do a lot of my grieving during my pregnancy. I am so thankful for that time. Although I miss my daughter terribly it's not quite the same devastation I felt the day of her diagnosis. I am so thankful that I had those 17 weeks after we found out to process it all. On Ella's birthday there was no devastation or even disappointment. I was able to just love her for exactly who she was! I was able to soak up every second with her. I was able to have pictures taken, make hand and foot molds, and cut a tiny lock of her hair.

I am so thankful for the technology we have today that could tell me at 16 weeks pregnant that there was something wrong with my daughter. Had I given birth to her 30 years ago I would have never had an ultrasound. I wouldn't have know anything was wrong until she was born. And things like this were handled much differently back then. As soon as she was out and the doctor's realized what was wrong they probably would have whisked her away and given me something to knock me out. When I woke up they would have told me that my baby had died and it was better if I didn't see her. They would have told me to put this behind me, that I could have more children.

Thankfully that is not at all what Ella's birth looked like. My doctor's and nurses were amazing! We were given as much time as we needed to make memories with our daughter. Our children got to hold their little sister. Our friends and family got to meet her and love on her. We had an amazing photographer, Traci Branscum, who came and took beautiful photos of our daughter that we will treasure forever! I am so thankful that Ella was born in 2010!

I am thankful that I carried her as long as my body would allow me to. When we first got Ella's diagnosis I didn't know how I was going to carry a baby that I knew was going to die. I just knew that there was no way I could terminate. If I had terminated, Ella's cause of death wouldn't have been anencephaly, it would have been me. I have no right to say when someone's life should end. Her life was just as valuable as anyone else's. Even if she wasn't perfect. God worked through her anyway. I learned so much from her in her short little life. I look at the world much differently than I did 6 months ago. Carrying Ella was one of the best things I have ever done. I am not going to say it was always easy but it was far easier than I ever could have imagined back in July.

I am so thankful to my God! I can honestly say that we felt God's presence through every step of this journey and we were never alone. And he is still with us on this side of the journey as I carry Ella in my heart instead of in my belly. :)


  1. Your words are so touching and so true - thank you for sharing Ella's story and her gorgeous photos <3

  2. Every choice and every decision that you and Jacob made as Ella's parents affirmed that Ella was more than a fetus, she was a beautiful and special person created in the image God, who carried His imprint on her from the moment of conception.

    You chose to glorify God through accepting His will for Ella by loving her so completely and thoroughly during her very short time on this earth.

    Some day you will enjoy and live with her forever in the presence of a God, who love us more than we can even imagine.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and Ella with me and others. I have been enriched and touched in ways that I cannot express.

    God bless you and your family.

  3. Ella definitely changed the world...thinking of you. love, Stacy

  4. Dear Courtney,

    Thank you so much for sharing, especially your faith in our Lord and shepherd!

    Ella is just so sweet. I like the T-shirt "little sister" very much!!!

    The day, she was born, my sister put a candle in our chapel in Germany. I know, we already told you. But I want to repeat it, so that you know, that people care for you and your little daughter Ella, who touched our hearts. The candle is still there...

    I am terribly sorry for your sadness and grief. We don´t know each other and I am afraid, my english is not so good, but I want to encourage you to take all the time for grieving you need.

    Sending you warm wishes from Berlin, Germany.

    Auntie Lolo