Friday, March 21, 2008

A few questions answered

**What happened when Joshua's cele ruptured? What was left that we covered up?

I did not see it rupture, and I didn't look much afterwards. However, it seems that a bit of the membrane ripped or burst on the top of it (the end opposite to his skull). It was empty in about 2 minutes, and it was just a watery fluid. It wasn't sticky or coloured. I did not look at the cele much until the day after it burst. It was like looking at a placenta. I know that sounds gross - but the others words that are popping into my head are much worse and I can't write them down... I can't handle it. If you've had a baby and been curious enough to look at your placenta, you'll know what I mean. It looks strangely coloured, with white cheesy stuff, and its a bit floppy pancake. Well, to be brutally honest, it's about what Joshua's cele looked like. Not that large - about the size of my hand (fingers included). It was empty, except a small portion of brain that was still enclosed.

**What did we lay him to rest in?

I hesitate to say, only because I haven't told the people involved. However - Bryce and Christina - we used your outfit. Sorry to tell you on the blog.
It was very important to me that everything he ACTUALLY wore stay with me. But I wanted to put him in something special. So the week before he passed away our friends Bryce & Christina visited and brought him two gorgeous outfits. One was the Little Captain romper, which is my favorite of all his clothing, the other was a blue and yellow striped polo onesie with yellow pants. They said Dino-something or other and had a blue dinosaur on the knee. They were too big for him, so I folded them over about 2 or 3 inches in the back and safety-pinned them. The onesie was just too long, so that was ok. I sent a new diaper and white ankle socks with Kevan the funeral director. I also gave him a pair of blue booties (from yarn the Christina sent - just thought about that...) that I made. I had made two pairs of booties from the yarn and the pair I sent were the ones he wore a lot, but they'd gotten quite beat-up in the washer, so I liked the others (a bit bigger) better and decided to keep them. He wore a white hat I'd made for him (it's sort of off white - in the pictures of him laying on his tummy) that was too small for him when he had his big cele. It was something I knit for him, but I made it faaar too small, so it fit him after his cele rupture, just perfectly.
I wanted him to have something special to wear. But not something so special that I'd be heartbroken if I didn't have it with me. The outfit I sent was very very special to me, because it was gift given specifically to him (a lot of stuff was either used or ebayed or hand-me-downs) that outfit was one of very few things given brand new to him. But he didn't wear it before he passed away, so it was easier to let them go.
He looked pretty good - but it wasn't the little boy I was used to holding. And that made it easier to say goodbye, because I didn't feel like it was the Joshua I nursed. I mean, it was him, but not him as I remember him. I didn't need to linger at his casket, because I knew the little boy I wanted to remember was on those videos and pictures at home. I didn't want to paste dead-Joshua in my mind, because that's not the little boy I want to remember. The little boy I want to remember is in that video.

Please feel free to continue asking me questions. Honestly, this blog is an outlet for me. It helps me to process my feelings, and it's so nice to know that you pray for us. :)


  1. It is truly amazing how through all of your sorrow, and all of your pain, you can answer such questions. You and your family are truly an inspiration. I pray someday I will be the woman of God you are.

    Thank you, for bringing me closer to God, and giving me a reason to believe again.

  2. Susie,
    Thank you for sharing with us! Your maturity at such a young age amazes me. We continue to pray for your family as you seek a new normal. I've been following the blogs of several T18 families and you. My sister lost her little girl to Potter's in 1981. They didn't do ultrasounds back then regularly and they had no idea there was a problem until she was born. She lived 3 hours. In the 26 years, I've never seen a picture of her. I don't think they thought to take them. (I'm so glad you have lots to keep Joshua close at hand!) Today (and for the past 20 some years) she runs a pro-life organization in CA. I've not been successful in getting her to visit any of the blogs. I think it is too painful for her.

    On another note, Oceana looks just like my daughter at that age. Every time I pull your blog up, I see Sarah staring back at me! Today she is 10!

    Praying for you!

    Lisa in NC

  3. Susie,
    I came across your blog a bit over a week ago, just a few days before Joshua was promoted to heaven. I want to let you know how truly sorry I am for your loss, and I have shed many tears reading about your little boy, but I rejoice in knowing that he is now in heaven with Jesus! You are truly an inspiration to so many people, and I am glad I found this blog and got to know about Joshua. Thank-you for your honesty and openness. God bless you and your family as you are going through this very difficult time.

  4. I can't remember if I sent you this or not but, the message board on has been an amazing support to me as a greiving parent. I send you and your family my deepest sympathy & prayers. May God bless you and keep you on your long journey.

  5. Oh, I am praying ... I feel compelled to check on you guys several times a day. I don't even pretend to have any idea the pain you're experiencing, but I know it must be enormous. I pray that you are experiencing the love of God in new ways every day and that the miracle of Joshua's life will continue to point people toward the Give of all life.

    May His peace flood your heart today ...

  6. Thank you for being so open and honest. Joshua was such a beautiful baby...the picture of him in his Dr. Seuss hat, where it is tightened down is really cute. I am continuing to pray for you and family. Lifting you all up daily and asking for comfort and peace for you and your family. Joshua was certainly strong and courageous, and I am pretty sure that he inherited that from his mommy! Is there anything specific that you would like us (people in blogland :) to pray for?

  7. I just want to say again, you have inspired me as a godly wife, thank you!

  8. What can we SPECIFICALLY pray for for you and your family?

  9. Oh, Susie... thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    A question (feel free not to post this comment, if you'd prefer).

    I know Heather adored Joshua. I assume it was she who was there with Joshua's 'cele burst. And I know that she's a nurse, etc., but I've wondered over the last few days... how is she doing?

    And we do pray for you. All the time.

  10. Wow, Susie, you are so open about it all, I think that is wonderful. I do have a couple of questions, one just being, How are YOU doing? I can see you write about all the legistics of it all, and packing away his things, but emotionally, are you holding up? How about Oceana? Has she asked where Joshua is? I am praying for you and your whole family.
    Another question, did you have an open casket at the funeral? Just curious, it seems like that would have been hard. Did Oceana go to the funeral?
    And lastly, where are you moving to? Are you going far, like back to the U.S. or just to another home close by?
    ok, one more, do they have MOPS groups in New Zealand? Thanks you are truly an inspiration.
    Mashel Hall

  11. Question:
    His cele in pictures looks pretty big.. Was it the pictures that made it look that big? I hope this question is ok to ask.

  12. Your candidness (is that a word?) is refreshing. Better than any grief counselor I could have gone to, my blog has been for me in my grief process since our baby girl went home to Jesus almost nine months ago. Let it flow. Process it all. Purge. And be refilled with something more beautiful and sacred than you could have ever known without Joshua as your teacher. God is good, all the time. :)

  13. Susie - what a woman you are. God is faithful to us young mothers in ALL circumstances. I am proud to call you friend.


  14. Susie:

    Again, I am amazed at the maturity you show for your age. I appreciate the candid way you are sharing with all of us. I really think it will be a huge help to those who have or will walk a similar path. I would only imagine your feelings will be all over the map especially with all the other things going on in your life. So go with it, you seem very normal and healthy in your grieving. What a special boy you have in heaven!

    Sandy M.
    Plano, TX

  15. wow... i feel VERY honored that he wore our little outfit... little things like that reallly make me/us feel so apart of his life. Even the fact that he wore knitted booties from the yarn i sent, makes my heart feel warm. Thank you for allowing us to love him and be apart of his life, what an honor!!!!!! If you need anything, you know how to reach me. Have a wonderful Easter Sunday with your family.

  16. I am so moved by your descriptive writing, Suzie. Thank you so much for sharing your momma's heart with us.
    Please, please write that book soon, so that we can share it with others we know.
    I am a Chaplain's wife in Washington State. We are in the process of getting seminary finished and back into the army. There is a whole feild ready for harvest and I'd love to have your testimony in book form to share with those I may meet down the road.
    I love you for sharing, thank you.