Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane - Emma

It's Wednesday, and time to go for another walk down memory lane.
If you would like to know more, click on the link above, join in, or just read other's contributions.

Well, my week of good intentions of keeping my blog updated has once again fallen by the wayside. Sick kids, hubby and oldest son travelling and the usual things of life have once again kept me from the computer! But, there is always a fresh new day to renew my goals and to achieve them! This past week as my 3-year-old has dramatically flung himself from one end of the house to the other, throwing temper tantrums with a ferocity never seen before, I kept hearing my mother's voice in my head. No, not the one that said, "I hope you have one just like you!" I chose to hear the voice that said, "If you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!"
I have debated long and hard with myself about what to share this week in Wednesday's Walk. I don't think it was really much of a debate because I think I have known all along what I was going to talk about today. It is just so hard to talk about at times, especially this week. Sometimes it is hard to even think about.
Tomorrow, 23rd April, our little girl Emma would have been 5-years-old if she had lived.
Emma was a big surprise. We had been trying for 12 years to have another baby. I had finally resolved in my heart that we were only going to have two children. A friend of mine had just found out she was pregnant, and for the first time in recent memory, I didn't get that little twinge in my heart when she announced her pregnancy. The first few weeks were a little rough. Through and ultra-sound we discovered that I was pregnant with not one, but three babies. Unfortunately, a heartbeat was never found on two of the babies and they just gradually faded away each week until they no longer showed on the ultra-sound. Emma continued to grow and thrive. I was a high risk pregnancy - forty-one, diabetic, high blood pressure and overweight. Every week I went to the doctor, tried to do everything they instructed me to the letter. Everything went along great. We chose not to have any of the testing done for birth defects, etc. At 8 1/2 months I went to have a amnio done at the hospital. Emma was measuring over 9lbs, so the doctors thought it might be wise to induce. The amnio was to check her lung development. The day before I had been at the doctors for my usual weekly appointment. I had a non-stress test which was normal. I also had an ultra-sound because Emma had been breech and if she still was, they would schedule me for a C Section the next day. During the non-stress test however, Emma had turned around and was head down.
The next day I woke up feeling extremely nauseated, but thought it was just nerves because I absolutely hate needles. We went to the hospital and there we received the most devastating news of our lives. Our excitement and joy gave way to pain and grief. In a room where the walls were covered with pictures of "miracle" babies - babies that had been operated on while still inside their mother's womb - we were given the news that our little girl had died in the night.
When I was in labor with Emma, it was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced, and it was probably made worse by the emotional grief and pain I was going through as well. I prayed so hard for a miracle, that the doctors were wrong. But, when the doctor placed her in my arms, I knew that my prayers had not been answered and I had not received my miracle. I thought that I had failed to protect my child and wondered how Heavenly father could give me such a wonderful gift after 12 years of trying to have another baby only to snatch her away at the last minute.
The following months were a bit of a blur, I did the things that were required of me, that I had to do, but there was not any joy, just depression. Finally, when I didn't think I could sink any lower, when I didn't think I could bear the pain any longer, I finally prayed to Heavenly Father and asked for the peace that I so desperately needed.
Every night I had been having the same dream over and over. I was sitting on the bed playing with Emma. There was a loud noise, I looked up and when I looked back down, she was gone. I could hear her crying and crying but couldn't find her. Every night it was the same and during the dream i would be saying to myself, "Don't look away, don't look away!" But I always did. One night, shortly after my talk with Heavenly Father, I had a different dream. Our family was walking along a cow path on a hillside. Coming towards us was a man, as he came closer I could see that it was the Savior. As He came closer still, I could see that He was carrying something in his arms. The closer He came, I could see that he was carrying our little girl. Finally our paths met. The Savior placed Emma in my arms. My arms stopped aching, my heart stopped hurting. I have never felt such joy and peace. In one brief moment the Savior’s hand and mine brushed. I had read many times in the scriptures about the women who knew that if she just touched the hem of the Savior’s clothing, she would be healed. That is how I felt. I knew, and know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love me. I felt that love. I knew in that instant that I was not being punished. I also knew that I had been wrong. I had received a miracle. That miracle was the Savior’s atonement. He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane for me. He suffered pain so great that he bled from His pores. He died on the cross for me. I knew in that instant that I would once again hold my little girl, that I would get to raise her and we would all be an eternal family.
I still miss her and cry for her. I still visit her grave and place pink roses there. But the promise of having my little girl with me again makes the pain bearable and gives hope.
We have this picture hanging in our living room. Jim bought it for me the week after Emma died. It is by Greg Olsen and is called, "Forever and Ever."
Our family calls it "Emma's picture."
A friend wrote us a poem shortly after Emma died.
After so many years of waiting patiently,
There was to be a new member of your family.
Though the thought of having her was at first a big surprise,
Over time you imagined her, ten fingers, ten toes, two beautiful eyes.
The perfect little baby, the final finishing touch,
To be a part of this family that had waited long enough.
The things you gathered for her were selected with love and care,
The crib, the bedding, her clothes, and the bows for her hair.
Yet, through a simple twist of fate and touch of the Master's hand,
Sometimes the gifts He has for us are not what we have planned.
You see now the roles have been reversed, she's gone back to Him above,
To look down and watch over you, with her eternal love.
R. Eaton


Aspiemom said...

That was a truly beautiful, altho heart-rending, story, Sally Ann. I'm sure that it was difficult to write, but hope that it comforted you to do so.

That last dream was such a gift and so special!

Tanya said...

Thank you for sharing your precious Emma with us. What a comforting dream the Lord gave you.

Linda said...

Sally Ann, Little Emma will always be a part of you and your family,...and as you said, she will be with you for all of eternity!

I loved the dream where you got to see Jesus and even feel the touch of his hand as He handed little Emma to you. I loved how it brought you peace.

God is our peace. He loves us so much. He allows things that we can't understand sometimes, but He is faithful to bring us through and to be our comfort and our peace.

I am so glad that you love Him and that you have hope in HIM.

You are a special person and a special mommy. And you will see your sweet Emma again,...just as we will see our granddaughter Anna who went to Jesus at 6 years old.

It will be a wonderful reunion!

Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing that memory!

Jared Kraft said...

Beautiful post! Your perspective is truly amazing. Seeing the way your allowed Christ to turn around such a dark time in your life is such a wonderful inspiration.

I can't wait to meet your daughter in heaven!
Thanks for sharing this personal story,
God Bless You,

Kristin said...


That touched my heart so much. For the Lord to give you that dream, for Him to comfort you in that way, is just so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, because it truly did touch me. I wrote a poem the other day from a child's perspective of meeting Jesus if you ever want to read it.

By the way, I'm going to keep the "tie a knot and hang on" quote in my head for next time I need it! LOL

September said...

Your dream with the Shepherd holding sweet Emma was a gift to you. A gift of comfort, and I thank you for sharing it with us. It brought me tears, as I too, miss my little girl. But, you are right, we will be with them forever in eternity. The picture your husband bought you is beautiful.
And, I too, will remember that great advice,, and tie a knot and hang on!! Today was a good day for me to read this!!

The Kirby Family said...

Ok Sally Ann, I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face!

Isn't it amazing how so many special blessings came from such heartbreak?

It really helps put things in perspective..thank you for sharing your beautiful story:)

Lynnette Kraft said...

Dear Sally Ann,
What a touching and beautiful post. I'm sorry that you weren't able to hold on to Emma, but I'm so very glad that you'll be able to live with her for eternity. Praise God! Isn't that a beautiful miracle!!!

I wrote a whole chapter in my book about dreams. Dreams were definitely a huge source of my healing after Anna died. Like some of yours, some of my dreams were dreadful and painful, but there were others that I know God used to bring healing to my life.

I'm so happy to hear that God healed your heart in a quiet moment when he could send a clear message to you. His love is so tender and I'm so grateful for it.

Thank you for sharing with us about your sweet baby Emma. I hope that she has met my children and that they are playing together. :)


Tonya said...

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of your sweet Emma. I'm so glad for the gift of your second dream, and I love the poem your friend wrote. God bless you and keep you close!


Karabeth said...

Thank you for sharing your story. What a wonderful way to celebrate your precious daughter's birthday, even if she isn't here to celebrate it with you in person.

When I think of loved ones who have gone on before me (we recently commemorated the 2nd anniversary of the death of a beloved aunt) I comfort myself with the knowledge that the same omnipresent God who is with me at this very moment is also with my loved one. If He is with both of us at the same time, then are we not together?


Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Sally Ann...that was so beautiful. Your dream...the Savior's comfort. I am so sorry for your pain, but so blessed by the beauty of your words...the beauty of His love and grace. He holds your sweet Emma, and He holds my Faith, Grace, and Thomas...just as He holds you (and me too).

Praying God's continued comfort and sufficient grace for you as you walk this journey...May He wrap you in His love today...

In His Grace,

Parker Family said...

That was so beautiful- all of it! It brought tears to my eyes! I loved the last dream. It must have been so comforting for the lord to give such a wonderful dream! I am glad you found some peace! Thank you for sharing!

Selinda said...

Thanks for sharing that Sally-Ann. I have sadly watched your hearbreak from afar, but have also been reassured as I have witnessed your reassurance. We talked this morning in seminary about Nephi's statement to an angel "I don't know the meaning of all things, but I know that God loves His children." Sometimes that is all we have to hold onto. I'll always remember Emma and her story.