So the doctors have told us that they think Blakely will pass away during birth due to certain brain structures not being fully formed that release hormones that keep the baby’s heart rate elevated during birth. They think that if she lives past birth that she will pass away soon after due to her brain not sending correct signals to her heart and body to function. If Blakely does live through birth and if her heart rate does strengthen we will intervene and do whatever procedures necessary for her to live well. We would then likely take her home with hospice care and take it day by day.
Right now our hearts hurt and we are experiencing new levels of the grieving process – to elaborate on an idea from the movie Shrek – it feels like an onion with a new layer every day being pulled back and revealed. We know that Blakely’s Birthday will likely be a very hard day but yet still a good day. A day to experience the profound impact of life to its fullest and to look upon my daughter for the first time and to kiss her lips and to hold her tight. This is not how we would have written this story but it is the story given to us and it is a gift. Emily and I have been changed and it has been good. It has been a long, exhausting and hard process filled with a trail mix of emotions (yes we have tasted the M&M’s in this mix and they have been sweet). Emily and I, all in one feeling look forward to Blakely being born but at the same time do not. We are struggling with this feeling. We feel excited and we feel sad all at once and in different moments of the day this feeling rises and falls. There are parts of us that just want this to be done and over and then there are parts of us that want to stay in this moment with our little girl forever. We feel lost in these feelings and are sitting in them as I write these words. Thank you for letting me share.
I want to take a brief moment and confess and say that I have been wrong. Early on in these emails I wrote about Blakely and about God and I was angry, bitterly mad, frustrated, sad and rocked to my core. I talked about God as if he was a villain and I talked about Blakely as if she was unlovable. God, Blakely and you guys have humbled me and have shown me that the Gospel is real and that God cares and that God loves me and that God loves Blakely. God has shaped the way I see my little girl. He has shaped the way I see my family. He has shaped the way I see the church and the way that I see myself and the way that I see him. Now I can’t imagine life without Blakely. I want her, I love her, she is beautiful, she is mine and I am her daddy. All I want to be is her daddy. So please forgive me and know that God has touched my heart through Blakely and has performed a miracle in me – a miracle that I think happens in all parents. It is a mystery but it has been good.
On last Sunday night our friends threw us a huge celebration. It was wonderful. I got to share and testify how God has been working and our community in St. Louis prayed for us. It was so good for our hearts. It was a gift and Emily and I will never forget it. Also this coming Sunday our church is doing a party for us as well. Gosh we feel so loved and cared for and blessed. The bride of Christ has been so sweet to Emily and I. We are so thankful for God’s people and for everyone of you guys. You are all invited to get as messy as you want with us during this time. You guys have walked with us so well and we still need your prayers. Pray for healing, pray for God to do his work and for him to do what he must. Emily and I are at peace with what God has to do. Pray that we will keep the faith and walk in his ways.
Michael, Emily and Blakely