One year ago. One year ago- I woke up highly anxious. We had our BIG ultrasound. We were going to find out if we were having a sweet little girl or another precious little boy. Craig's bet was on girl. Mine was on boy.
When you first find out you are pregnant, you are thrilled! And you automatically start praying for a healthy baby. Its sometimes something you take for granted. Now that all of my friends are at the "child bearing" years, and with the help of social media.. I think the reality of having a non- healthy child kinda sinks in. You begin to realize that really, having a healthy baby is 100% a miracle. But in the back of your mind- you kind of think- "i really cant imagine what they are feeling..it cant happen to me.. of course MY babies are going to be healthy"
On February 7, 2011.. one of my worst nightmares happened. My baby was not healthy. We were told, through tears in our doctors eyes, that our baby was really sick. And it was a big deal. I remember feeling numb on one hand, and then on the other hand feeling like I might throw up. I remember feeling an intense pain that I can not even begin to describe, and one that you would not even be able to understand, unless you have been in a similar circumstance.
We moved from my OBs office to one of the greatest high risk doctor's in OKC's office. I remember laying on the ultrasound chair feeling like I needed a trashcan next to me the entire time because I did not know how long I could stay well. I remember the ultrasound tech taking her time looking at our McKinley. I remember noticing her organs floating outside of her body. I remember sitting in consulation with Dr. Stanley and him explaining that he was not sure if our baby girl had gastroscesis or an omphalocele. It didnt really look like either.. but he was leaning towards an omphalocele. I remember him giving us the option of an amnio.. and both Craig and I automatically said that an amnio would make no difference in our decision. This was our daughter.
I remember driving to my moms to pick up Jackson-- feeling like I was in a complete fog. I remember my phone ringing off the hook. And millions of encouraging text messages. I remember avoiding one of my very best friends phone call, because I just knew she knew EXACTLY what our journey was going to look like. And knowing I wasnt ready for that yet. Then when I did finally talk to her, it was such a peaceful conversation. I also remember her making me say the word "omphalocele" several times until I got it right. According to her, I need to not just continue to call it the "o word". She was right.
I remember feeling so loved and encouraged. Yet feeling so alone and scared.
I remember crying ALOT. I remember getting annoyed at well intending people telling me "they knew so and so that had just what McKinley has and they are fine".. I remember thinking "first of all, they probably did not have what McKinley had and secondly, your situation has nothing to do with mine" And then I remember getting frustrated at myself for getting annoyed at people who were only trying to help.
I remember learning alot about grief. And learning alot about what to say to someone who IS grieving. I remember getting a card from one of my friends from high school and it meaning SO much to me. I remember running to the other room to Craig and saying "now THIS is what you say to someone who is hurting". I remember calling my mom and reading her the card and telling her the same thing.
I remember that even though the entire process was overwhelming, I knew that MY GOD chose ME to be McKinley's mom. What a blessing. HE CHOSE ME. I was going to be strong. Craig and I would do what we needed to do to make sure that our daughter had the best medical team waiting for her in OKC. We prayed for God's healing hand. We didnt know what that was going to look like... we knew that it might not look like how we hoped. But we prayed for 100% healing.
I remember being surrounded by people who loved us, and prayed for our daughter. Here are some of the prayers that we received the days after finding out about McKinley's diagnosis.
- Auburn Hutson
I just read your blog post. I'm so so sorry to hear about your little one. Doesn't it make all the difference to have such tender-hearted, gentle, nurses and doctors? We will pray for you and your little babe tonight!! Much love.
i say a prayer every second that i think about baby #2 and your family, which is a lot. i know it isnt easy but keep remembering kari jobe singing...
"i believe, your my healer, i believe you are all i need. I believe, your my portion, i believe there's more than enough for me. Jesus your all i need".
Sarah Van Syoc Nadeau
Prayers for you and your family from Florida!!
Lisa Templin Hale
Love you friend:)
Kelsey Laine Jennings
praying for your family Danielle
- Tonya Fasgold
Praying for your family!
Amber Cook Metz
Praying for you and your family!
Emily McMains Freeman
Isaiah 26:3-4 is my favorite verse and the one I meditated on when we were in the hospital with Trey. "He will keep in Perfect Peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him, because he trusts in him. Trust in the Lord your God...for the Lord is an everlasting Rock." Danielle, when the circumstances in our lives shift drastically, we can remain firm if we remain on the Rock. I can understand, to a small degree, what you are feeling..and wishing somehow you had some control over the situation....Being in a position to look back, I will tell you that the times in my life when I was forced to depend soley upon Him were the times He gave me more peace than I can now fathom. I know it does not make it any easier walking through it and I will be praying for you, Craig, and your family every step of the way. You are loved!!!
- Cynthia Nichols
Praying for you, your little family, and Baby #2.
MelissaJoy Mj Cox
Hi friend~ I just read your blog. Being a NICU nurse, I have seen both gastroschesis and omphaleseles. I have incredible friends that work at OU in the NICU, who treat these GI anomalies almost every week. If I can do anything for you from their end, please let me know. The Pediatric surgery team there is top notch! Please let me know what I can do. Praying a wave of peace that surpassess all understanding be over your house tonight.
Jennifer Willey Brantley
Praying for you and your family and baby #2.
I will not quit praying & believing for the healing of your precious one or for the comfort and peace for you and your family! Love you friend. So thankful for a healing & faithful God!
- Lauren Willey Maggio
Stay strong and know that you are being prayed for around the clock. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Julie Rhoads Haines
Danielle and Craig, I just read your blog post and I am so sorry. Please know that Tommy and I are praying for you guys and your little one during this time. We love you guys and will lift you all up in prayer fervently!
Just read your blog post, praying for you and Baby #2. I LOVE DR. STANLEY!!! He was my perinatologist and I can't speak highly enough of him. Dr. Mirabile is also excellent. As far as NICU's go, I know of a set of triplets born at 23 weeks in November at Baptist and their parents love the NICU, they speak of how important it was to them that the NICU staff is very prayerful. If you want a link to their caring bridge site I can get it to you.
Tre and I are sending hugs your way, buddy! Love You!!!!
Sarah Fisicaro Ellis
We will be praying for you!!
- Holly Hunt Morgan
Will pray for this precious Baby Smith #2 and his wonderful parents!
Praying for you and your family. Thanks for letting us go to the Father on your behalf.
Danielle, I told my daddy about your prayer request. He stopped right where he was and we said a prayer for you. He remembers you well, and will be doing some major praying for your little family.
Praying for you, friend.
Angela Shakley Wilcox
Praying for ya'll!!!
Prayers going up.
Pat Hensley Ervin
We heard today in SS about you and your baby girl..know that Doug and I are praying for healing and safety for all...
What wondeful news!! As soon as you share her name... she will be prayed for over and over again... and then over and over again!! Congrats!!!
Marin Hutton Chastain
Sweet Danielle, praying fervently for God's protection and care with this precious baby. Please let me know if there's anything more that we can do. All my love to you!
- Katie Box
Laura Gruel Reeves
Lifting you, Craig, Jackson, and baby up in prayer now and always trusting in God's faithfulness.
Amanda Douglas Harrington
Praying for you.
Praying for you and Craig now, Danielle. Keep us posted.
Karla Crawford Prewitt
Jessie Nicole Prewitt
That was February 7, 2011. February 7, 2012 is going to be spent rejoicing in what we have witnessed. My daughter has experienced 100% healing! We are going to celebrate her life. We are going to continue to daily thank God for his tremendous grace and mercy shown to our family in this past year. We are going to be thankful for the HUGE support group we have that continues to love our family. And continues to pray for our sweet McKinley in her journey. And we are going to spend alot of time praying for other families of sweet omphalocele fighters.
Thank you friends for your love and support over the past year! Celebrate with us! WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES!