Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The LORD brought Jeremiah 33:3 to my mind when I woke up this morning, "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know."
There are many questions, and we will probably never know why Reese was taken from us so soon, yet I am still calling to GOD and know He will answer me. He will somehow someday redeem our pain.
Monday, August 24, 2009
A few of you have asked what happened to Reese, and I do not mind sharing the truth of her life and death. The doctors believe that the infection I had in May led to infection also going through my placenta and affecting her brain. My placenta was 50 % calcified when she was born which means she could not get everything her body needed from me. Due to this, Reese was born with severe brain swelling and could not breathe on her own. Even though she continued to grow inside of me all summer and everything looked completely fine, my placenta and her brain were slowly being influenced.
Know I am reading and so enjoy all of your sweet comments. I am completely amazed at the impact Reese has had on many of your lives. Makes me a proud Mama. ; )
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Jason surprised me by planting five beautiful crepe myrtles in Reese's honor. They are simply breathtaking and look like they were always meant to be lining our driveway. We can never move, and if we do these tree are going with us!
"...to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Reese Catherine Rowe
August 11, 2009 ~ August 13, 2009
Thank you for being here today to support Jason, me, and our families. It means so much to see your faces and know that you care this much to be here for us.
*We are thankful for the time that GOD gave us with Reese. We were so blessed to have her on earth with us for two days. Today is about honoring her and giving glory to GOD for her sweet little life.
*As difficult as it was for us to leave the hospital Thursday night, I will never forget the comfort of going to see Reese, touch her, hold her whenever I wanted – what a gift!
Several verses have gone through my mind this week as I have thought and felt so many things.
I will always treasure our mother ~ daughter moments. Especially late at night or early in the morning.
At night around midnight after everyone went home, I would go up to her room and spend time with Reese. I had so much I wanted to say to her.
I would wake up early around 5 and go up to her room. What a privilege it was for me. The LORD would whisper to my heart Psalm 139:18, "…when I awake I am still with You."
*As the reality of Reese’s situation began to sink in, and my mind drifted to planning her funeral, I thought of how different this would be from mourning a loved one who had lived a full life.
As hard as it is to lose anyone you love, with Reese there are many of what will never be. What I will never have with my daughter. What Jason and Zach will never have with her. Hopes lost, plans unfinished, and dreams unfulfilled.
I want you to stay with me, because if this is all there was and all I believed, I could not be standing here before you now speaking at my own daughter’s funeral.
*Most of you know I was diagnosed with meningitis and encephalitis in May. Throughout my illness, even though I was in the worst pain I’d ever been in, I never questioned GOD, never got angry. I wasn’t bitter. Overall, I accepted it – thankful that Reese was ok, Zach was in good hands, and by leaning on my family’s and friends’ love, prayers, and support GOD carried me through.
With each passing day after she was born Reese showed no improvement, and we knew there was very little hope. It was then that I began to feel my anger rising. I prayed, "GOD, do anything to me – I can handle it. It’s my body. Take away my health, but GOD NOW, you have touched a big nerve. Don’t go there. Don’t take away my baby girl. Do not touch my daughter."
I know we are not immune to any suffering, but I wanted answers. My heart cried, "GOD, you’ve stirred me so. What are we going to do without her?"
In a way I challenged GOD, believing He called me to – not pridefully (I don’t have any pride left) or defiantly. I believe GOD led me to a "match" because He wanted to meet with me in a way He never had before.
The LORD replied, "Katie, give Me what you’ve got. I can handle it."
So I did. Some of the things I said to Him were serious, some on a lighter note. Yet He answered. Through my family, friends, His Word, many of you.
I cried out, "GOD, I have a baby book with blank pages waiting for me to fill!" He said, "All of Reese’s days were ordained in My book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16
One night I went to see Reese, and the nurse had lovingly given her a bath. This meant the world to me. Such a sweet detail. But I said, "GOD, I’m the one who is supposed to bathe her." He answered, "The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21
This same nurse put a tiny bow in her hair. I said, "GOD, I’m the one who is supposed to fix her hair." He replied, "I will you quiet you with My love." Zeph. 1:17
One night I said to Reese, "This is not how it should be. Dad and Zach are supposed to hang out doing guy things and you and me have fun doing girly things." GOD answered, "I will restore the years the locusts have eaten." Joel 2:25
I said, "GOD, I have this precious diaper bag that I picked out especially for Reese. I searched for weeks to find it." He said, "My mercies are new every morning." Lamentations 3:23
As we were preparing to say goodbye to Reese, the nurse helped me dress her. I thought, "LORD, I should be able to have more chances to dress my sweet baby girl in pretty outfits." He answered, "Reese has already obtained an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away…" 1 Peter 1:4
The first morning Jason and I were home we were lying in bed talking about Reese. Jason said, "She should be right here in between us." GOD said, "I hem you in behind and before." Psalm 139:5
I pleaded, "GOD, but I already have a girls’ trip planned with Reese and my friends with their daughters. We were going to stay up late and giggle and paint each other’s toenails." He replied, "The joy of the LORD is your strength and stronghold." Nehemiah 8:10
These are just a few things that will never be with Reese.
GOD was gracious enough to answer me with His comforting words. But really He alone is the answer. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I AM GOD." As my Mom reminded me, GOD is everything He says He is or He is nothing at all. I cannot believe He is nothing. He must be enough.
*Before Reese was born I began praying for her. What an honor to already be praying for Reese! Deuteronomy 30:20 says, "For He is their life and the length of their days." I prayed the day before she was born that GOD would be her life and the length of her days.
GOD used these specific words through me, as Reese’s Mom, to pray over her short life before she was even born. Of course, I had no idea her life would be cut so very short, but GOD did. He knew the length of her days would only be two on earth with us. Yet I also prayed He would be her life, and He is. I believe Reese is with Jesus.
My prayer for us now is Ephesians 3:13 – 21. Ephesians 3:20 – 21 have always been my favorite verses. The following is a summary of these eight verses.
"When I think of the wisdom and scope of Your plan for us, GOD, I fall down on my knees and pray…that out of Your glorious unlimited resources You will give us the mighty inner strengthening of Your Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in our hearts, living within us as we trust in You. May our roots go down deep into the soil of GOD’s marvelous love, and may we be able to feel and understand, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high GOD’s love really is and to experience this love for ourselves, though it is so great that we will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. Amen."
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I wish there was something I could do for everyone who is supporting us through this time! Please know I pray GOD blesses you incredibly for encouraging us with your prayers, words, cards, and Bible verses.
"...devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil."
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This video was shown at Reese's memorial. I love love love it.
Thank you Clint, Zach, Kim, and everyone else who helped put together this perfect video. Jason and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I wanted to share a few bright spots and sweet pictures during these days. ; )
Can this face be any sweeter!?
Reese weighed 6 lbs. 6 oz., 18 3/4 in., and was born at 5:36 pm on Tuesday. We just found out how long she was so I now feel complete about knowing all her measurements. I love baby details like this.
Reese was also a candidate for a heart valve donation, so after she went to be with Jesus this recovery was done successfully. We have been in touch with the surgeon, and now we wait expectantly to hear if a match was found. We realize this could take months (the heart valves can be stored for a long period of time), but knowing that a part of Reese could live on in another baby is unbelievable. There are just no words to describe how Jason and I feel about this. Our baby girl helping some other baby live when she could not.
Our siblings have been amazing.
Andy is a such a great uncle to Zach, and I know Reese melted his heart.
Jason and I love our siblings so incredibly much! Thank you for being here for us every step of the way.
Physically I am doing well. I dreaded having another C-section since the day Zach was born, so my ob and I had decided that I would be under general anesthesia with Reese to hopefully make it somewhat easier on me.
Needless to say, an emergency C-section with local anesthesia was a terrifying thought to me, but of course on Tuesday I just wanted Reese to be born and safe. ; ) Thankfully what most people say about a second C-section is true. It was much easier. I also realize my mind has been only on Reese, but as long as I take my pain meds and take it slow, I am getting around easier every day.
Thank you again and again for helping carry us through this time.
Before Reese was born, I prayed for a peace to settle over us as we brought her home and to have a smooth transition adjusting to life with a new baby.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
I just can't let a day go by without showing some pictures of my sweet baby girl. Every time I look at her I think, "She is just so beautiful!" Tomorrow we will be able to see the professional pictures we had taken of us as a family. I can't WAIT to see them and share some of them with you.
Jason's parents and and mine have been so strong for us. Yet they are real in grieving as well. They haven't left our sides. One moment we laugh and the next we all cry.
The beginning of this week felt like a dream to me, but now it's fully reality. Jason and I have a daughter in Heaven with Jesus. We are devastated but know GOD is still on His throne. I was able to hold and touch her and kiss her before He took her home. What an honor! She has changed our lives forever.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The last few days have been a whirlwind. Saying "thank you" for all of your prayers, calls, emails, and visits will never be sufficient, but that's all we have. Our hearts are full of gratefulness.
A few sweet pics from today ~
Jason amazes me. I am so proud of him and wouldn't know what I would do without him.
GOD was so good to let us be with Reese as she went to be with Him. We are home now and taking life minute by minute. Please know that your prayers carry and cover us.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thank you all very much for your prayers. We desperately need them. I know there is a lot of information about Reese going around right now. I don't have the strength to go into any details, but I definitely want to share pictures of my beautiful baby girl. ; )
Our baby girl
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
So today after church I was walking to my car with Shannon and Cody. Jason (with Z) had pulled the car up to meet me. I felt a sting on my shoulder, and it surprised me. Another sting. I started screaming and dancing around the church parking lot. I knew then that a bee was in my shirt!
I was wearing a few layers (thank goodness!), so we got my t-shirt off (when J and I volunteer in the nursery we wear t-shirts), and with one last sting the bee flew away. It happened so fast I didn't know quite what hit me. Crazy!
I have never been stung by a bee before, and it's just no fun at all. My Mom told me to put a paste of water and baking soda on the stings, and my arm feels so much better. ; )
"Life" happens when you least expect it, so be sure to have a tank top on under your shirt!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
My parents came up for a few days this week to see us before Reese is born. It really hit me that the countdown has begun! The chair I've been waiting on for her nursery came in yesterday, and I love it. Now all we are waiting for is her bedding. ; )