Monday, August 27, 2012

Mini Journey's with Joy

A few weeks ago Justin and I had our first meeting with Angel Watch, a support group affiliated with the hospital. Just before that meeting we realized that we were getting more and more emotionally drained from the events that lay ahead. It felt like every day was a count down. Up until that point it almost seemed like this was how our family was going to be for a long time. It didn't seem real that the time would come that she would be born and also return to our Father. Our family seemed so complete at the time and we both felt a sense of peace that our family was all together, here.
Eventually we realized that we would need to pick out a plot and a casket and a funeral home and a head stone and decide how we want to have her program at her services. We had known for a time where we wanted to bury her but the rest just seemed to be the things we could wait on. And now the time had come that the list needed some check marks by it and we couldn't wait any longer.
After the meeting we felt like we had finally found some help that we really needed. They have helped us answer so many questions and if they couldn't then they find the answers. We felt inspired that this last month should not be like the way we were feeling. We wanted Joy to be able to do all of the fun family things that we love to do. We really didn't change much this summer so we have done a lot of things, but now they had a purpose. Now we could do them with Joy and for Joy and be able to love every minute she is with us and get the peace back that we so desperately needed. We sat down with the boys and made a list with them of all the things we like to do as a family. We still haven't figured out how Joy will be able to rock climb with us but we will get her up there. That is an important family tradition that we haven't been able to do this summer yet but we will find a way :)
The next day Justin and I went in to have our much anticipated ultrasound to see if we could see how severe Joys anencephaly was, but mostly just to get another recording of her and the chance to see her beautiful little self. We got there at 11 and I was told that my appointment was at nine and that I was marked as a no show. I still do not have words for the way I felt, crushed, stupid... they come close but not right on. I had received the recording the day before but was in the middle of a conversation with a friend and didn't even listen, just pressed 1 saying that I would be there. I felt completely silly but at the same time I was confident that the time I set up was not at nine but at 11. Later I even found the print out they made me that said 11 on it and I remember going in to check my labs from the previous appointment and looked to make sure I had the time right in my phone.
This was no ordinary appointment. This was a highly anticipated appointment, more so than any of my other ultrasounds and now I could not be seen. My emotions were already at the surface in anticipation, that I could not control the water that was starting to pool in my eyes. I texted Justin, who was sitting down waiting, that we missed our appointment. I couldn't even talk because I knew I would lose it if I did. He came over and I left to go and sit down to try to gather myself while he was trying to figure out what was the next step. Clearly he was also emotionally spent. He tried everything to get us seen that day but there was no way. We also found out that we were not scheduled to do the ultrasound in medical imaging where they are able to record it. Something that was so priceless to us. When I was able to regain my composure I went over to relieve Justin. When I got there you could tell that he was about to collapse emotionally. I don't thing I have seen him physically shaking so bad. The poor receptionist was really trying to do what she could with her limited knowledge of what was supposed to happen. The next day we had planned on taking the kids to the zoo with my mom and brother and his family, but when that was the only day open for the rest of the week we said of course. Fortunately they were able to get us in at 8:30 but still without the recording.
After that we left and made it to the car feeling similar emotion that we had felt the day we found out she had anencephaly. We needed an out. So we decided to go buy her some letters that spell Joy and we could use them in pictures of the places we go with her. Justin drove to Hobby Lobby. When we walked in the doors I already felt a little better ;) We found her some letters that we liked and a few other things like an ornament and some beads and charms to make her and I a bracelet. Totally therapy shopping but both of us felt better afterwards.
Now all we had to do was start. Here are a few fun things we have done with our Joy.

 So we can't hold her letters while we play rock band, but I know she had a great time :-)

Joy and I at 32 weeks :-)

The next day we did make it to the Zoo. We had to take a picture in all the "traditional" spots

 I love this picture because they look like they are having so much fun ha. I also love Jenston in the background. 
 This one is my favorite picture. We were really glad we had a uv filter on our lens when it got sprayed by the elephant. It was so funny because this was one of the last pictures of the day and Justin had been helping the kids know when the elephant was going to spray but wasn't paying attention. I just wish I had a picture from one second after this!

 The next day was Jaxon's birthday and we threw in a party with his friends then cruised up to Bear Lake to my parents (they would want me to say our family's) cabin. It is actually my late grandma and grandpas house and my dad bought it and he has been fixing it up. We love going up there! The first day we were up there we went to the beach but Justin got stuck at work and wasn't able to meet us there. I was too busy enjoying my kids and totally forgot to take a picture. I know Joy had a lot of fun though! That night after Justin got there we played night games and got out the glow sticks. I couldn't believe the boys could hold still enough to get this picture.

The place to get pictures ever since I was little, on the front porch.

We have had a ton of fun with our Joy! So glad we get to do all of these things with her.


  1. Love your pictures!! Those are so special and such a great idea. You'll treasure them forever!

  2. It is 2 am in the morning. It is one of those nights when sleep is not an option right now. Your blog has been better than sleep! In my New Testament lesson today, I made a comment that I have never even thought of before. We were reading and discussing what the Virgin Mary had told Luke about the birth of her First Born, After the shepherds visits to the stable, Luke recorded "'Mary kept these things and pounded them in her heart.". Impulsively, I observed to the students, "wouldn't it be nice to read Mary's journal. Wouldn't it be nice to know what thoughts, feelings and sentiments she had as she contemplated the SHORT life of her child". As I read your precious blog, I think you andJustin are not much different in your life, JOY, concern, and present and anticipated heart ache than Mary and Joseph. Thank you for sharing publicly your deeply personal and very meaningful journey. It is simply INSPIRING. So many draw wonderful strength from the strength, and courage of your journey. How precious it is to be a small part of that journey. Love to you, Justin, Jaden, Jaxon, Jace, and Jenston!