Monday, October 29, 2012

Joy's Headstone proof

I was very excited to be able to sign off Joy's headstone today. We have been going back and forth for a month now and it is so nice to have it just perfect!
It is amazing how much closure this gives me and how excited I am to get it in the cemetery. We would have never been able to get something so beautiful without all of the wonderful friends and family who have helped us. Thank you so much!!! I am so happy we were able to get a bench. Something that I will be able to use the rest of my life. It will still be a long time before we get to the point where it is set but I can be patient to have it perfect! The proof came on a great day. Yesterday I had a different day. I was having hot flashes and shivers all day and I didn't really have time to eat much before I had to run so I was shaky too. I had grand plans to make dinner and didn't get a chance to prepare anything before and got home later than I planned. Justin had all of the kids at the table with microwave burritos and salad. I have never liked the sight of microwave burritos so much and realized again how much I love my sweetheart. I think that kind of spun me a little and reminded me that my body is still adjusting physically and that I did just have a baby. It seems like it was so long ago that I held her. I hear a lot of people talk about empty arms and I really haven't had that experience but I do find myself wanting to "smell" her. That sounds so funny!! But I just want to smother my face in her neck and kiss her chubby little cheeks.


I have been really slow getting the rest of our birth story posted. I bothers me that I don't have it posted but I want it to really portray the feeling we had there which is hard to describe in words. I also know that it is probably a post I will read and reread my whole life so that puts a lot of pressure on me. I am sure it sounds silly. When I get in the mood to write I need at least an hour to just sit and write and then pull myself back. And that doesn't mean I get a post done. :) I usually just save it until the next chance I get. It is never a negative thing for me to write. Her experience was such a positive one and I love to think about all of those feelings we had of gratitude having her here for so long but it does make me miss her more :-) Seeing her headstone come together so beautifully brings me so much joy and gratitude again to my Father in Heaven for having such a wonderful experience with my baby girl. My heart hurts I miss her so much but there is so much joy to be had here. One step at a time :-)






Saturday, October 27, 2012

having joy is a decision

I went to a great American Mothers mini conference this morning. The main speaker was Sister Elaine Dalton and her daughter Emi Edgley. At the beginning of the conference they asked who had the youngest baby :-) The youngest one there was 7 weeks, Joy would have been 5. I had not armed myself for this conference meaning I had decided last minute to go and had not said my prayers that morning. I let my guard down and for a minute became painfully aware how much I missed my daughter. Here was this fantastic mother daughter duo. Talking about cute shoes and all the fun things that they had done together, and for a moment I was missing everything I would not have the chance to do with my daughter, right now... Right now was the key word for me. There are so many things that I have learned in my journey with my little girl, but one of the main things is to find joy. Once I heard her name referred to in the talk I felt a lot of the pain go away. A lot of their talk was about how we are molded to fit our shoe just perfectly, our shoe being our family, our trials, the list goes on. I have had to tell myself so many times that I can do this trial. I can find joy in my journey. And I find that with the Lords help that I truly can. I am not just telling myself anymore, I am actually making it through. Having joy is a decision and it is a decision that I know my daughter is happy I am making. I came away from the conference with a few goals, a desire to hold my children close, a desire to never go without morning prayer and an affirmation that I am surrounded by amazing women to support and buoy me up. It is so good to have great friends wonderful family and children, and an amazing husband. Thanks Joy for always helping me find joy in my journey.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Joy in Disney

I woke up to this AWESOME picture this morning!! This is what Erin said 
"Hi White family! Just wanted you to know that even Mickey and Minnie have Joy with them! ( if you can't tell we are spelling her name). Didn't have my shirt with me but we were thinking of her even in Disneyland!! Love you guys!"

Love you Erin! Thank you for thinking of Joy!! My kids will think it is way cool having Mickey and Minnie spell Joy's name!! That was the best thing to wake up to :-) 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our BIrth Story {on our way}

* it has come to my attention that some of you may be nervous about our safety recording and the fact that I don't have my seat belt on. I apologize for any concern that may cause you. You may judge as you will but rest assured this is not common practice. I always wear my seat belt. I have reasoning why I don't have it on that morning but like Justin says excuses are like gas... they still stink. Thanks for being concerned. Love you all :-)*

The morning of Septemeber 20, 2012 was a very emotional one. I cannot write it as well as it is documented in our video. Justin grabbed our camcorder and put me on the spot while we were driving to the hospital. I know I look fantastic ;-) and I love having everyone watch me cry but it really sums up our feelings going into the hospital that morning. In total it is 8 minutes long so grab a snack.
video

If you are not really into watching the video I don't blame you... basically Justin asks me what the date is, and what we are doing. We talk about how excited we are to get to see Joy and how excited we are for her to be able to progress in her journey. A couple funny things that happened... Justin majorly needed a haircut but we had been busy trying to make sure we didn't forget anything. I decided last minute that I needed to make another hat for her just to have another size and to even things up at six different hats for her. So I started a new hat and got it to a point where I knew I could finish it in the morning. By then it was about 1 am and we were both still a little wired so I decided we would give Justin a quick haircut. So we started with my clippers and do a few shaves up the back of his head and my clippers totally started fritzing out. It took me a while to get them working again and they were really on edge. I quickly did the bare minimum with the clippers and used my shears for the rest which means I get picky and the haircut is not short anymore. We said prayers and were in bed by 2:30. Joy did not sleep a wink. I loved it for a few reasons 1. because I had a wonderful last night with her just moving and felt her almost to the last minute. 2. because it made me feel like she was really excited to come. The only other night she was up the entire night was the night before Jaxon was baptized. I really didn't have any responsibility for his baptism even all the food was taken care of by someone else so I don't think it was my nerves that kept her awake. Just really fun to think that she was just excited for those very special days. Justin's phone also had a mental breakdown and would not connect to the charger. Justin finally got it connected but it died before the alarm went off. So we woke up about the time that we were supposed to be leaving to the hospital. We hurried and got everything together and called the hospital to make them aware of our scenario. They were super nice and told us not to worry. In the video we talk about how Jaden and Jenston stayed at his parents and Jaxon and Jace stayed at mine. We didn't want to put a huge burden on just one set of parents so we split them up. We talk about how my brother Eric would also be up at the hospital so that he could stay in the room with Jace and Jenston while a lot of the commotion was going on with Joy. We both knew that seeing a lot of people around Joy would make him nervous whether anything was wrong or not. Also if she passed away right after birth we knew it would've been a little more chaotic so it was better for him not to see that. In the video we try to express our feelings about seeing her. Mostly it is a video of two parents trying to find Joy in the hardest time of their lives thus far as parents :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Name Joy

So many things have happened since April 24th the day of our 16 week ultrasound, that I do not remember if I have a few things on record. I wanted to make sure that I remembered how we decided on her name. Ever since I had been a teenager I had wanted to name a daughter Eleda after my great grandmother. She passed away before my grandma and grandpa were married and I had done a "report" on her and loved her stories. Justin really didn't like the name much. We had talked about the name with earlier pregnancies and I remember this from that time.
The funny thing is, I really didn't give it a second thought when we found out our baby was probably a girl. Now looking back I know it wasn't supposed to be her name. On April 26th I remember I was standing by the bathroom sink. Our sink is outside of our bathroom kinda in a hallway type thing. I don't remember what I was doing but I remember I was standing there. I just remember the name Joy coming into my head and LOVING it. I don't even remember if I was thinking of names at the time. I sent a text to Justin "we could name her Joy" and he texted back "love it". That was it. Our conversation stopped there and her name was Joy.
It is so funny that when I thought of her name, I honestly didn't remember ever hearing it as a name. Now I hear it all the time, but I just felt like it fit her so perfectly. We had joked with other pregnancies about naming the girls with b names but all we could come up with was Bertha or Beulla so we scratched that.
Our brother in law has come up with a nickname for our family, Jteam. One of the hardest things about losing a child is not being able to fit their puzzle piece in with the rest of the family. Joy is a huge part of our family and I wanted her piece to fit perfectly so it seemed only fitting to have her name start with a J. I never thought that her name would have such an impact on me. I do not see hear or look at the word joy the same. That word has an incredibly special meaning to me. I even find myself counting how many times I hear it in one day or finding different quotes we could stick up that have her name hidden in it. I LOVE that! So excited for Christmastime!!
The definition of Joy is: a feeling of great delight and happiness. I could not explain her time here in a better way. We were looking at pictures and even Jace my five year old commented on how he missed the days when I was pregnant because they were so happy. Her presence brought with her a constant feeling of happiness.
Her middle name is Marie. It is also my middle name, my mothers middle name, and my grandmothers middle name. I felt like it complimented her first name just perfectly.
When we found out about Joy we felt like it would be easier to wait until all of our decisions were made and that we had our 20 week ultrasound to confirm her gender before we posted anything on our family blog. So a week after our ultrasound I did our first post about Joy titled Sunshine and Rain. At this point we had decided that the best thing for our family would be to attempt to carry her to term and let her and our Father in Heaven decide when it was her time to go. After a few posts I decided that I wanted to have a blog just for Joy. I knew that I wanted our family blog to be able to be private but I wanted people to read her story and I prayed that it would be a positive light for those who could be going through the same thing. When I read the stories on the anencephalie info website most of them were just sad. I prayed that Joy's would be happy no matter how it happened. All of these sweet anencephalic babies are children of our Heavenly Father He loves them. They truly deserve to have all the happiness and joy in their short little lives. I have felt so strongly a number of times that Joy does not want me to be sad. I have felt loving arms around me to comfort and bring me peace. She wanted her life to be a joyful experience and I will always look back at it as one of the most joyful experiences of my life.
I typed the word Joy into the search engine on LDS.org and the talk Joy in the Journey, by President Thomas S. Monson was one of the first ones. I posted the quote that is on the right side of my blog because it spoke just what I was feeling, that we were going to be grateful for our baby girl and for this experience with her was going to be the hardest thing that we have gone through but that we would be able to find JOY and continue on with joy. The impact that quote has had in our Journey with her is much larger then I ever thought it would be. I am so excited that it will also be on her headstone to remind us.
Joy brings me such joy in my own journey. I am so lucky to know that I have my beautiful baby girl that I get to raise in a place where we will have all the joy in the world with no pain or sickness. What an amazing experience I have to look forward to while still finding joy in my journey here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Da... Da da I have more pictures!!!!!!! So Very Happy!! LOVE YOU AMBER
Funny how something as silly as this can make me smile. Seeing her name on the computer screen for our insurance. She really is a part of our family and she counts!! It wasn't just a dream that I got to hold, hear, kiss, snuggle, talk to, and love the most beautiful little girl. She gives me joy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three weeks ago..

Three weeks ago I had the most wonderful privilege as a woman. (at least I think I am considered a woman most of the time I still feel like a little girl.) I held the most beautiful little girl in my arms, my perfect little daughter. She made me, for the fifth time, take on the most precious title of mother. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be her mother. It is so hard not being able to raise her right now and have her to enjoy our time here on earth with us. But I am eternally grateful I have the chance to raise her in the eternities. It makes me have a completely different perspective on life and death. When you lose a loved one you realize in a deeper way how this life is just a stepping stone and some things really are not important. Joy makes me want to be a better mother and has changed the way that our family learns about the gospel. Family home evenings are different and so is scripture study.
Joy doesn't talk much in this video. If you watch closely she moves her mouth and you can watch after she takes a breath she cracks a little grin :-) From the minute she was born until right before she passed away she was taking about 10 breaths per minute. Pretty amazing how her little self fought so hard to stay here. I am still in awe how long she lived. Every minute was so precious.

video

Joy,
 You are such a blessing in our lives. Thank you so much for all you do for our family. I know how much you love your brothers and how deeply they love you, and see your influence in their lives daily. Jenston did his first prayer all by himself yesterday and this is how it went, "Heavenly Father, please bless the food, please bless Joy, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen." He was looking at your picture today and was talking to you. Then he came and asked if you went back in my belly :-) He misses you but I can tell you and him already have a great bond. We went to lunch as a family and Jace was counting everyone in our family and pointed up to heaven to count you. He said that now that you are a part of our family we are a big family. My sweet sweet girl, I miss you, I love you and I will see you later.
Love Mom


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finishing Joy's dress

Three weeks ago today I decided that I better take some time to photograph her dress. I wanted to take pictures of hers with mine. Back when we first found out that she would not be able to be with us for very long my mom mentioned that she had my blessing dress and I thought it would be fun to see if my dress would fit her. When I saw it I knew it would be too big for my Joy, but it was beautiful! In the back of my mind I knew I would want to make her dress. I didn't know if I could do it but I was all for making everything I could for her since I didn't have a lifetime to spoil her. When I saw mine I thought it would be so fun to see if we could make them almost the same so that I could keep mine and remember almost exactly what Joy's looked like. Not that it really matters what the dress looked like because she is what made it beautiful, but it did help me to feel better knowing that if I ever wondered that I would have almost an exact replica. Almost always things are easier said than done. If you have read Joy's blog for a while you will know that we looked for a long time for a pattern that was even close to the same as mine and even still with that one we could not make it small enough. I finally searched and the day before I was supposed to go to my grandma's to start on it I found a couple doll patterns of different sizes that seemed to have a simalar bodice and sleeves. The skirt was way off though :)

I ended up using the pattern on top and hurried and threw a practice dress together to try to figure out how to do the bottom which I have posted about earlier. As far as actually sewing the dress together I did as much as I could and my mom did the rest. Basically I would sew if it was a straight line :-) Joy's dress had an open back to make it easier to put on her after she had passed away, so we just planned to have extra material in the back for a seam allowance. The hand stitching on her dress was my favorite part. I love the color of the thread and the simplicity of the flowers. They really reminded me of the daisy I picked out right after we found out about her. It took a lot more time than I thought it would but it was a good thing for me. I loved spending all my time doing things for her and with her and the last week I really did. My favorite part about making her dress was seeing her little body in it. Every second put in it was worth it when I saw how beautiful she made her dress. It seemed to fit her perfectly and that is just what I wanted. 
Now I know how perfect the Lords plan for us individually is. He knew I would need this closure with her and being able to do things for her helped immensely. Having the time to prepare for her to leave has brought such peace to my life. It has made a huge difference on how I grieve. Knowing that even in utero she could pass away any day made us so grateful for every day we did have with her. Even after she was born the miracle of being able to have her for five hours was such an incredible experience that has given me so much strength. I am sure some times I will be bitter and there are many times when I have wondered if I could really make it. But for now I think I was blessed with the most beautiful six months of my life. How could I EVER question that my Heavenly Father loves me and is aware of everything in my life. He loves Joy and I know that she is with family that loves her. I may not understand how everything works or how often she will be able to be with us but I do have the faith that God does love us and that He does everything with our best interest in mind. Just like I do for my own children (except for God is a perfect parent which I am far from :-)). I know I will have to say it time and time again and I am sorry if I sound like a broken record. It may be the crazy imbalance of everything I have going on right now but I have never felt such intense feelings of gratitude for the Lord blessing us with Joy in our life. 







  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

LDS General Conference

I know that conference has just started having been through only one of the five wonderful sessions, although I have felt an incredible love for my Savior and a Father in Heaven who I know is incredibly aware of me and my family. All of the talks given were, in every detail, related to me and my sweet daughter Joy. I have never in my entire life known with more of an assurance than I have this month, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church on the Earth today. I know that my God is aware of me and everything that is going on in my life, and blesses me with tender loving mercies every day. My heart is full of joy and tenderness when I think of my loving Savior who suffered for my sins, died and was resurrected in Full Glory. Because of Him and through the power of His Holy Temples, I am able to have my Joy, my sweet Justin and my beautiful boys with me forever along with my parents, brothers, and entire family and Justin's as well, which is something that I could never express enough gratitude for. I know my Father hears and answers my prayers, I have no doubt of that. I am so grateful to have the Gospel in my life and to have parents who raised me in love and righteousness. I know that Thomas S. Monson is now a prophet of God and that Joseph Smith the prophet of the restoration. That Joseph did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and did translate the Book of Mormon through the power of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is the most true and complete book of scripture and that when read with the Holy Bible provides a knowledge for us of our Savior Jesus Christ that is complete. My Love for my Savior and Father is so full at this time that I needed to have a record in my sweet Joy's book so that my posterity would know of my deep love and gratitude for this Gospel and that I know that the teachings of this Church are true. I love my Joy, my Family, my Father, and my Savior with all my heart. 
Thank you for reading about our sweet Joy's journey,
Breanne

Here is a link to watch the sessions of General Conference. You can watch completed sessions and also watch remaining sessions live. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Relationships can be strengthened through the veil, Jace love letter and Birth announcements

My sweet visiting teachers came today and brought this wonderful message with them. It is in a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott from last General Conference titled "How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for your Personal Life." Here is a link to the talk.  I loved every piece Sally shared with me and wanted to remember where the talk was and share as well. Gives me a deep warm feeling inside knowing that I can and will be able to strenghthen my relationship with my daughter and that my boys will be able to as well. Elder Scott says:

"Another example of revelation is this guidance given to President Joseph F. Smith: “I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, … how much more certain it is … to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; … their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.”1
Relationships can be strengthened through the veil with people we know and love. That is done by our determined effort to continually do what is right. We can strengthen our relationship with the departed individual we love by recognizing that the separation is temporary and that covenants made in the temple are eternal. When consistently obeyed, such covenants assure the eternal realization of the promises inherent in them."
I also wanted to share a love note that Jace wrote to Joy yesterday. I asked what it said and he said "Sorry I am not nice all the time to my brothers." I don't know why but lately he is writing letters of apology. He is so sensitive and feels bad for the smallest thing! He is a very sweet boy. He also wants to get everything for Joy. Today we were passing pumpkins and he really wanted to get one for her. I had to explain to him that she would much rather have one from his pumpkin stem growing in the garden. That is THE seed he had to buy this year to plant, so glad that we did! I am also grateful for a little boy who helps his mommy remember all the JOY we are surrounded by every minute of every day.



One last thing, I was able to get Joy's birth announcements printed today!! I know it is kind of silly to do an announcement but I really wanted to and I am still really glad I did. I love the picture of Justin's hand by her little foot! She had the most beautiful little toes and that was one of the first things Jaxon wanted to see on her was her little feet. LOVE! I am posting this hoping that anyone who donated to the paypal account or to the etsy shop will leave me an address so I can send you this birth announcement/thank you. If you would please email it to me my email is b_funkydiva@hotmail.com. (silly I know, I have had it since high school :-) Please tell me everyone has one like this!) If you ordered a Joy shirt I will make sure you get a birth announcement too!!
FYI this was made with ipiccy which is a FREE online photo editing tool. :) it is a lot like picnik was



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Joy In Germany


"Although we do not have "Joy in the Journey" t-shirts, we wanted your family to know that we found Joy in Germany!  We felt Joy, saw Joy and were touched by Joy.  Whenever my two older children hear anyone talking about something special or if the word special pops up in conversation- they both say- "Mommy, remember- we saw a very special baby"!  Our home has truly been filled with a Spirit of Joy and tenderness thanks to your family."  

Sometimes the natural morning of a loss of a child is overwhelming.  It is amazing to have a loving Heavenly Father and inspired friends to help when it feels so.  This morning I received the above e-mail that helped remind me of our Joy in our Journey.  We are so blessed to be touched by such a special angel and appreciate all those that opened their hearts to her to enable her to touch and uplift their lives as well.  One of the most amazing lesson Joy instilled deeper into our family is how much God loves us.  That he is mindful of us and our needs.  He knows us by name and knows our challenges and will help us through each one.  He has shown us in more ways than we can count or name how much he knows and loves us.  We are so grateful for inspired friends and family that has helped us feel of their love along with our Heavenly Fathers.  We are grateful for friends that are willing to share Joy with their family and be enriched by knowing her.  These three cute kids, a sign, and a mother willing to take the time and energy to share it with us is just another example of Gods love for us and a reminder that there is Joy to be found in the Journey.  Thank You so much for sharing and Thank You Joy for being a "very special baby"!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Joys shirts

I have had a few people ask about where to get Joys shirt. I am sorry I didn't clarify. If you click on the picture of the shirt then it will take you to the website to order them. Lindsey will place the order at the end of this week so they won't be available after that. If you do buy one please tell us here or when we see you!! Most definitely send us a picture with you wearing it so I can post so my kids can always remember how much fun we had and others had with their baby sister. If you click on "about me" it should send you to a page with my email on it.
Love you all, Breanne

Monday, October 1, 2012

With a prayer in heart

With a prayer in my heart I attended the General Relief Society Meeting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My prayer was that I would find comfort and peace in the words spoken and that I would be able to "fill my cup" for the bumpy road ahead.
The Lord has been so mindful of me and the pain of having her gone is not constant. Looking at her pictures is healing and I have them all over. But there are times when I look at them and the picture does not look like the little girl I remember. She was more beautiful, more precious and more lovely than a picture could ever portray. I was struggling one day sobbing that I was forgetting how she really looked and that I would only have these pictures to remind me. My dear sweet Justin held me tenderly and reminded me that I am bound by a mortal body and that I would eventually forget in my mind and need the pictures to show me. But he said something that I had not thought of and that I needed to hear and that I believe with all my heart. He told me that the reason that the pictures looked different was not because I was forgetting, but because I was communicating not only with her body but with her spirit as well. I have never and probably will never again feel so close to Heaven. Those sweet moments with my daughter were spent with her spirit forming and eternal bond that I will never forget and that is deeply engraven into my heart.
I am reminded daily that I am human and that even though I have the gospel in my life, and I know I will see her again, I desperately want to hold her again, kiss on her warm beautiful cheeks, and relive those sweet, tender moments I had with her. Knowing this, I dragged my family to Salt Lake so I could attend the meeting, and feel of the spirit there, in the same room as a Prophet of God.
As the meeting opened the General Relief Society President spoke of three principles that if written in our hearts will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. The following statements are just snippets of the wonderful talk given by President Burton.
"Principle One: All that is unfair about life, can and will be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ."
"Principle two: There is power in the atonement to enable us to overcome the natural man or woman and become true deciples of Jesus Christ."
"Principle three: The atonement is the greatest evidence we have of the Fathers love for His children."
"That supreme act of LOVE ought to send each of us to our knees in humble prayer and thank our Heavenly Father for loving us enough that He sent His only begotten and perfect Son to suffer for OUR sins and OUR heartaches and everything that seems to be unfair in our own individual lives."
As the meeting continued I was able to find a way that each talk touched me personally and helped me to become a better person, wife and mother.
Even the songs seemed to be catered to me;
Let us all press on
I stand all amazed
I need thee every hour
I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and I cannot wait until this weekend when I get to listen to General Conference and hear Apostles and a Prophet of God speak directly to me. I also cannot wait until I get all of my pictures back from our photographer so I can post more about Joys birth and all the tender mercies associated with it. We finally got our storage system figured out and started tonight downloading some of her pictures and videos. I know I have said this a million times, but I am so very grateful to my Father in Heaven for giving me months to prepare for the birth of my baby girl. Just watching one of her videos having it span across our family and watching half a dozen cameras taking random pictures of events that day makes me so grateful for modern technology and the chance that I have, that many mothers don't, of reliving those sweet hours with her.
To watch the entire Relief Society General Meeting click HERE and the click by watch entire meeting.