Hello! I’m so happy you are here. Thank you for letting me share my heart about our sweet little Reese. It’s an honor!
I came to know the Lord and accepted Him as my Savior when I was nine years old. I grew up in a loving Christian home. Yet it’s been my daughter’s short life on earth that has tested my faith to the fullest. Reese caused me to stand on what I said I believed all those years.
Not that my life has always been perfect, but I had never before experienced great tragedy.
When Reese was born I was faced with many questions. Did I believe GOD deeply loved me? That He would pursue me relentlessly when I was hopeless, confused, and insecure? Would I trust Him when my life fell apart? When He took one of my most priceless possessions from my arms? When His answer was, “No, Katie. I know what is best and I love you.”
On August 11, 2009, my world turned upside down. I was 37 weeks pregnant with Reese Catherine, our little girl. My husband Jason and I also have a son Zach who was 21 months old.
We had always wanted our children to be close together in age, so we were thrilled when we found out soon after Zach turned one that I was pregnant.
I hadn’t felt Reese move like she had throughout my pregnancy, so I became concerned and went to the hospital to ease my fears. I remember that day like it was yesterday walking into my doctor’s office without a care in the world. I had called Jason on the way to the hospital, and he wanted to meet me. I told him not to worry about it, but he did anyway.
I thought I would hear her heartbeat, and everything would be fine. When I heard her precious heart beating, I was reassured.
However, her heart rate was not fluctuating like it should have been. The doctor on call told us Reese was in some kind of distress, and she was delivered by emergency C-section.
When she was born we immediately knew something was wrong. She made no noise, and we could feel the heaviness in the operating room. The neonatal physician and nurses began working quickly on her, saying medical terms you never want to hear about your child. Over the next several hours our family and friends flooded the hospital in support of our little girl and us.
Reese was perfectly formed but had very little brain activity. All of her other organs were healthy and fully functioning. She weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces and was18 3/4 inches long. Of course without her brain performing like it should over those next vital hours after birth, we knew there was very little hope.
Some physicians link Reese’s inadequate brain activity to my being incredibly sick with viral meningitis when I was 6 months pregnant. I was hospitalized for one week and both of us nearly died. Other doctors believe she suffered some sort of immediate stress that cut off her oxygen supply.
The next two days were the hardest yet most peaceful days of my life. Devastating as the truth was sinking in, but amazing because I was with our daughter.
I went to her room in the NICU as often as I could. Her nurses were amazing and let us hold her whenever we wanted. This was not an easy task because she was connected to so many tubes and machines. I will always be grateful to her nursing staff who took such wonderful care of my baby when I could not. My favorite times with her were very late at night and early in the morning. It was just us.
I had so much I wanted to tell her. How was I ever going to fit it all in? Where did I even start? I stared at her for hours. I just wanted to be around her. She was so precious.
Jason and I made the decision to let Reese go. I will always remember him looking at me and saying, “I want her to be free.” We wanted her to live life to it’s fullest, and Heaven was the only way. Her little body was not meant to live on this earth.
She was just passing through, an innocent presence who changed our lives forever. Jason and I held her in our arms as she went to be with Jesus August 13th, 2009. She was two days old. It’s like my dad once said, “She came in a hurry, as if she had some place important to go.”The LORD gave me the verse Ecclesiastes 3:11 after Reese was born. “He will make everything beautiful in its time.”
Not only was she absolutely perfect and lovely to us, but GOD’s promise was and still is to make something beautiful out of her life. In His way. In His time. I trust this promise. I’m still seeing it happen almost 2 ½ years later.
I see the Lord making something beautiful from her life each time a mother holds her children closer because she realizes how fragile life is.
I see the LORD working when I’m a little easier on Zach because I realize whatever he just did was not that big of a deal.
People have shared with me that Reese has taught them to really pray for someone. Many feel as if they have helped carry our burden, and they have.
Reese made me a better mom.
The rest of the verse says, “He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work GOD has done from beginning to end.” GOD will ultimately make all things beautiful with Reese when we hold her again one day in Heaven. My heart and mind can hardly contain this thought!
I became pregnant with our third child two months after Reese went to Heaven. Now we have a precious 18 month old big baby boy. Colson Allen was born July 13th, 2010, eleven months to the day Reese left this earth.
The LORD has used Colson in a mighty way to heal my heart. He is such a gift to our family. Our “redemption” baby.
Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.”
Just as Jason and I have known deep bitterness, the LORD has also given me the capacity to feel joy like I have not known before. Joy in relationship with Him, my friends and family, and especially our boys.
Thankfully GOD is still writing our story. I miss the countless things that will never be with my daughter. I will always see her when I look at our boys. Her beauty and presence surround our home.
GOD showed up in a magnificent way in Reese’s two days on earth. She fulfilled her life’s purpose in just over 50 hours. I’m proud to be her mom and tell her story that is still unfolding. Thank you for letting our sweet girl into your life!
Special Moments video of Reese