Monday, July 2, 2007

Missing Madeline

I am up late and thinking of Madeline...................

The boys had a great birthday and I am a little saddened that they will soon be in pre-K and are now 4, going on 14. It is always bittersweet when your children get another year older and you feel like you are losing your baby, or in my case, babies. But as Brian reminded me tonight, there are so many more great times ahead for our family.

Which brings me to another thought. The good times will always be tinged with sadness since losing Madeline. We realized this on June 27th when the boys turned 4. We had hoped that Madeline would get to spend their birthday with us but she did not. We realized this again when we watched the fireworks with the boys and thought about how we wished Madeline was with us. I know there will be lots of wonderful times ahead with our family and friends but when I think of these times, a certain dread comes over me because I know little Madeline will never be there to share in this fun with us. A part of our family is missing and can not be replaced. They say time heals everything but no amount of time will totally dimish our loss.

I feel that loss each night (like now) when I am up because I can't sleep and think how nice it would be to be rocking Madeline or feeding her or changing her. I have "empty arms" and long to hold her little body. When I get really lonely for her, I have the little gown she wore and it still smells of her. I have it in a ziplock bag to "save" the smell and get it out occasionally to remember Madeline.

I recently did some organizing and decided to put up the changing table that has been in our room since the triplets were born. On this changing table held all of Madeline's things....her clothes, blankets that friends have made or given me, stuffed animals, books, all pink and hers. Some were things from the hospital like the blankets she last layed on and a box with a lock of her hair and her footprints. It was very hard putting her things away, harder than I imagined. My mama and sister helped me and we all had a good cry. Brian made me a beautiful box out of poplar to keep all of Madeline's things so whenever I need to look at them, I can.

Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Keep praying for us as we heal.



Melissa said...


I continue to pray for you and your family. You are right, time will not diminish the loss feel with not having Madeline in your lives. However, God will give you strength and wisdom. I believe God has a plan for you and Brian. I believe he is already using you in helping others who read your posts. Some who read may be experiencing the same pain you are; others may need to be reminded of how short life really is and how we all need to live each moment to the fullest. You are touching many lives of people you do not even know. You sharing your inner most thoughts with others can make a difference in their lives!

Laurie said...

Dear Mandy and Brian, I am new to your site after finding it posted in the Coble Family Guestbook. Your story breaks my heart, and at the same time blesses my heart to see your deep commitment to each other, your family values, and to God. Your loss is so huge and new, Madeline so small and beautiful, her will to meet her mommy and daddy is such a miracle, and her little life so full of the experiences shared by you. In reading your story, I felt such hope from your faith in accepting the Lord's will, whatever that turned out to be. It must have been so hard to trust, knowing the outcome to be so uncertain. What a precious couple you are and an inspiration for others to follow. You and your family will be in my prayers daily from this day forward and I know in my heart that God will see you through this time as you tenderly grieve your way through to a new normal. Your boys will help you. Madeline was a special angel from the very beginning, experiencing so much love and giving so much back to you while you carried her. She was determined to give you your heart's desire to meet her and spend time, such precious time with her before returning gently into the Lord's loving hands. Hold on together to these special moments with her when the nights seem to be closing in all around you with pain and sorrow and know our Lord collects each and every tear you and Brian shed. He shares your grief and loves you so very much for your faithfulness. He will see you through this and fill your empty arms and hearts again. ~~Much Love to you and God Bless you as your hearts mend in His Love.~~

Cindy said...

I also found your blog from viewing your post on the Coble family website. My heart broke, yet was also encouraged by your blogs about your precious Madeline. I to have a daughter who beat me to heaven on March 4, 2007. She was 6yrs. and 9 mo. and the oldest of our three daughters. No matter when they go, it leaves a huge hole in a parents heart. God has been so faithful through the last four months, none the less grief is a hard journey. Thanks for sharing your heart, I would love to correspond with you more in the future. You can read our daughters story on May God continue to give you grace overflowing to make it through each day!
Only by His Grace,

Dandelion Seeds said...

I came across your comment on Heather's blog and have read your blog with tears in my eyes as my heart breaks.

I am praying for you and your family. I am so sorry, and I thank you for sharing... you have touched this life more than you realize today, and I'm going to kiss my children one more time tonight.

Still Seeking,

Erin said...

I saw your post on Heather's blog and felt led to leave you a comment. Your story touched my heart. It touched my heart for so many reasons. The most important reason is because you have kept your faith in God through this hardship. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

Anna said...

My heart breaks for you, Mandy. Thanks for your post at Especially Heather. You're in my prayers.

Tiany said...

I like Amy, have read through your blog tonight through my tears! I have no words other then to say I have been blessed and encouraged by you and Brian! Cherish those precious boys of yours and look to the day when you will see sweet little Madeline again. Like you mentioned our lives here really are just a vapor in the wind. So short in comparison to an eternity in heaven with our heavenly father and our loved ones!!!

I also have 4 boys; one who’s name is also Ashton!

Mandy I hope you are able to rest tonight but just in case your up please know I am praying for you now and will continue to keep you and your lovely family in my prayers in the days and months ahead!


Kerry said...

I saw your comment on Heather's blog and just wanted to let you know my family & I will be praying for you.

littlebit said...

I'm up late tonight and I found your blog. Thank You for sharing those beautiful pictures of Madeline. I'm glad you had a chance to spend some time with her before she became a saint in heaven. I know my story does not compare, but your story reminds me of my 4th miscarriage. I always thought one of the hardest things about my early miscarriages is that I never had any proof of a child, nothing to hold in my grief. I remember struggling with the Lord about that and during my 4th miscarriage I received a small miracle. Before the heavy bleeding came, I passed a perfectly formed gestational sack. It was perfectly round, and transparent. God granted me the proof of pregnancy that he knew I needed for my grief and spiritual growth. Anyways, that memory was on my mind when I read how Madeline gathered the strength to live for 12 hours. I will pray for you and your loved ones.

Peace In Christ Jesus


Beverly said...

I found you through Heather's guestbook.

Thanks for sharing your story. I know its a difficult one, and probably difficult to share at times, but it touched me.

Rebecca said...

I saw your comment on Heather's blog and immediately started to cry. I can not imagine what you are going through right now and the loss that you feel. I am so glad that the Lord blessed you with 12 hours with your daughter. She was a beautiful girl. I have never lost a child but did lose my mom about 6 months ago, she wasn't 40 yet and it was a violent death. It is always sad to lose someone we love but even harder to cope with the loss when it seems to be before their time. I am glad that you have such special photos of your daughter and the time you & your husband spent with her. I have been told that the loss and hurt never goes away but changes over time. I wouldn't want to ever stop missing my mom as you will never stop missing your Madeline. But over time your heart will heal, the Lord can bring you through this. Now she's dancing with Jesus in heaven and I have a feeling my mom has met her. My daughter was not yet 3 months old when she passed and so loved to hold her. God bless you & comfort you.

Mom of 5 said...

Prayers said !!

Laurie said...

Hi Mandy and Brian,

I am thinking of the two of you this Sunday morning out here in Ca. and wanted to let you know you are in my prayers each and every day since finding your site here. You have shown such Courage and Love throughout this most difficult time in your lives. I read recently that Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the soft voice at the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow." This is the Courage I see in you. I thank God that you know Him intimately and trust Him to carry you through each new day that you face, missing Madeline so deep in your hearts. You and your family will always be in my heart and prayers across the miles. Time will not diminish your loss, but in time, the Lord will replace your sorrow with sweet and gentle memories that won't hurt so much. ~~Many Hugs and Much Love to all 6 of you and your Angel Madeline who plays above with the Lord.~~

Laurie said...

Hi Mandy and Brian,
I continue to pray for you from across the miles here in Ca. Your journey is so new and your pain so fresh. May God touch your broken hearts, healing them a bit each day and replace your sorrow with sweet and precious memories of Madeline. This will take time, I know, but I also know that God is faithful and loving and he will see you through each new day with fresh strength, His strength. ~~Love and Hugs today from me~~

Laurie said...

Mandy and Brian,
Sending Love and Hugs to you today from across the miles. God Bless you as you walk this road together.

Laurie said...

Okay, Forgive all the messages above, though each one from my heart. I was having trouble with this as I am new to it. It won't happen again!
Love you guys.

JennaG said...

We, too, have a sweet little girl waiting for us in heaven. She also only lived for 12 hours. Unlike you, we had no idea anything was wrong until shortly before she was born on July 12, 1995. Fetal/Maternal Transfusion was the problem--similar to Twin/Twin Transfusion syndrome. This sometimes happens when a woman has complete placenta previa--which I did. It is rarely, if ever, detected. She would be 12 this month if she had lived. Please know that joy does come in the morning. We are living proof of that. I am praying for your precious family.