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Thursday, August 2, 2012

For this Child we prayed (and we know you did too)

The title of this post is exactly what we put on our birth announcements. We know so many of you prayed for our child and we can't thank you enough. Our hearts are continually, daily blessed by each of you.

On Friday, June 8th my body started labor and on Saturday, June 9th, our little girl's due date, she punctually arrived at 1:28pm. Miss Emery Frances Martin joined our family and we were so overcome with joy to come face to face with the sweet little one that we had been feeling, been praying for without ceasing and the one who made our hearts desires come ever true. She was (and still is) more beautiful than we could imagine.

The labor wasn't as easy as we had hoped but ever so worth it and we haven't thought twice about it. We were just beyond excited to have her here and to have her healthy. So many folks told us how "safe" she was growing inside of me, and while that is certainly true, that was so so hard to grasp considering all we had been through. Also, to my surprise, the emotions of losing Reese were ever so present , specially the first few weeks of Emery's life. I even found myself almost calling her Reese several times, it was odd to me, that I had these feelings. I knew Reese's memory and sweet life would never be forgotten but I had hoped and prayed our sweet Emery would help heal so much of that hurt. And she has. God is good, He has heard our cry, He heard our prayer and He granted us our hearts desire (Psalm 37:4). He is faithful, and let me tell you, He is doing some a-mazing things in our little family of 3 already. He is moving in ways we can see and so many blessings have been bestowed on us this year, we have had some incredible things go on and so many prayers answered. So many prayers have been answered, and not only for our healthy little girl. We are in awe.

We are also still in awe of you. The sweet comments, cards, texts, e-mails and special gifts have overwhelmed us beyond what you can imagine. We are blessed by each of you every single day. We have yet to cook because so many of you have been selfless enough to provide meals for our family, we have been blessed by help and blessed by continued prayers. We have been blessed by SO many of you remembering sweet Reese during this time. Thank you for not forgetting our firstborn. Thank you for loving on our sweet Emery. Thank you for loving on us. The old proverb of "It takes a village to raise a child" we are BLESSED by the village you all are to us. We just love our life with our sweet little Emery and all the blessings she has been to us. We can't get enough of her sweetness.

              We stand in amazement by it all. Lots of miracles, along each step of the way....

And here she is....a miracle....our newest member of our family.......and our pride, joy and delight!
                                                Miss Emery Frances Martin








Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rebecca Reese Martin



One year ago, on May 15, 2011 at 8:45 am we met our sweet little girl, Miss Rebecca Reese Martin.
Sweetly called "Reese." Her birth story is here if you'd like to read it.

We had prayed and prayed and had thousands of prayer warriors praying for her healing from our 12 week diagnosis. God's plan was different, He gave her the life of no pain, no suffering, knowing no sin and living in complete joy for all of eternity, straight from the womb.

Our hearts have suffered, our tears have been plenty, but we remember how much this little life touched our lives in the 28 weeks we were blessed to have her.  It has been a long year, full of every emotion one can imagine. Pain, grief, hope, joy, and an abundance of blessings. We are carrying this sweet girls's sister and will be 37 weeks Saturday with all healthy reports. We cannot wait to meet her. We are so blessed to have her joining our family, and we feel so honored God chose us to be her parents. Even with this newest blessing bestowed on us and the joy we've had from it, our hearts do ache and miss sweet Reese everyday, more than you can imagine. It's not been an easy year of  "firsts" not having her for holidays or things we thought we'd be doing with her. But with each sadness, it has been so bittersweet to feel each kick from her little sister letting me know she is there.

As a rememberence of our sweet little girl and all the lives she touched and the amazing things that happened here is a short video made by my sister, of just a glimpse of the blessing she has been.....

(You may want to stop the music to your left in the music box on the blog to enjoy the music that goes w/ the video. Click on  Rebecca Reese Martin right below to watch the video)

Rebecca Reese Martin

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14


http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&e=1337022978&f=hyv1GHxj0QOjFY3Hx1BMHA&d=275&m=b&r=360p&volume=100&start_res=360p&i=m&options="> name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&e=1337022978&f=hyv1GHxj0QOjFY3Hx1BMHA&d=275&m=b&r=360p&volume=100&start_res=360p&i=m&options=" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="432" height="240">
Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Updates!

First of all, our sincere and utmost gratitude for all of you continuing to follow us on this journey and lift us up with various scripture, texts, emails and cards of encouragement and special "surprises" that continue to show up. You all are dear dear friends, we are blessed again and again by you.

We are so excited to share that things have been going well at visits! We've been seeing our regular OB and our specialist every 2 weeks or so, between them both (1x mo) and everything has been going well! Praise the Lord!
But today, our greatest news yet....we are released from the specialist!!! We cried tears of joy. We have grown to love and appreciate them so so so very much throughout this time but we are thrilled to be released! We will continue to see Dr Bardwell, our OB, starting every 2 weeks now until delivery. I cannot believe we have come this far! We will be 30 weeks tomorrow and our sweet girl weighed in at 3lbs 2oz today-right on target! I am reassured and so very thankful by the amazing amounts of movement I feel with her. Jimmy has enjoyed feeling her a lot too. We have about 9 weeks left and it's amazing to think we'll get to see her in that short of time!

This time of year and this season has brought back so many memories of being pregnant with Reese and re-living so many of those hard hard days. It makes me ever so grateful for such a blessed, wonderful pregnancy now, but our hearts still ache so much for our loss of our sweet girl. I know many think it's easy to say "well you're pregnant now, that's the best, this is the present and what a blessing" so so true they are, what a blessing, but nothing, nothing ever can take away from our loss of sweet Reese. As I have said before, she is our firstborn and always will be. It was such a hard time this time last year with the unknown, the appointments that never seemed as hopeful as we wanted and then preparing for the surgery that was needed. I remember it all as if it was yesterday, even though touring Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for surgery was a year ago. It's all still a bit fresh. We have tears of joy in excitement and amazement of this gift God has bestowed on us now, with another sweet girl and wonderful appointments, and then the next minute, we may have tears of sorrow for what we have lost. But we are forever thanking him for the blessing of both our girls. We see so many positive things that came from Reese and her story. We of course wish we had her here with us so so badly, but seeing so much good from her precious life is refreshing to our thirsty souls that long for her.

As I said above,this time of season-early Spring brings me back to last year and memories of being pregnant, also being at 30 weeks tomorrow, the last few weeks were rough and a bit scary to me,becauase we lost Reese at 28weeks. We are reminded of the time we spent praying over our sweet little girl. Little did we know then that God had other plans for her than we had hoped for. But we know He is faithful and true. We still remind ourselves of that daily, to help us through each day, the good and the bad. Last year I was more than hesitant to register for gifts, despite everyone being hopeful and wanting us to, I was never comfortable with preparing a nursery, so we never got that far, I just really felt that wasn't for us at that time. Not in a negative sense but we had "bigger fish to fry." Sure, I was hopeful, and I prayed over and over for her, and we had so many prayer warriors praying too but something just didn't quite feel right with moving forward on those things (I attribute that to the holy spirit). I can tell you this time, my 'human' being of me wants to worry, and I've done my fair share of that. But I've also had a peace since early on about this pregnancy. I know things can change at any moment for anyone, but that's the key and something I've learned-for anyone, none of our days are guaranteed. We can't live in fear, a huge lesson for me I've heard and heard for 33 years but never "felt" like I do now. I do know that no matter what may come that God is faithful and true, He has been that way for us, every step of the way. I can't begin to tell you the peace that has filled our home since we first got the unthinkable diagnosis with Reese, the struggles during pregnancy, the grief of the loss, the mourning after, and the days to get through the next ones, the worry of another pregnancy, the fear for this sweet girl's health and every step, good or bad, He has sustained us. There is no other explanation. Our strength you see and talk about is HIS strength. We can't convey that enough. We are blessed and humbled by the peace that surpasses all understanding and the amazing love shown to us.
So with this peace and with the anticipation of seeing this sweet little face we so long to meet, we continue to pray without ceasing and trusting the Lord in all that He has planned for us and this sweet life. With this, we also begin to celebrate......the nursery is coming along, and the showers begin tomorrow. What a true honor and experience to celebrate in love, good health, and joyful, hopeful reports. Thank you sweet friends for your love you've shown to us during this pregnancy and your continued sweet remembrances of Reese as we come into the season we met her face to face.


Much Love, Hope & Faith,
Jennifer & Jimmy

-A new post below too on a fun night out :)~

Atlanta Heart Ball~2012

Atlanta Heart Ball-Ritz Carlton Buckhead, 2012

Jimmy & I were so excited when we received tickets from our dear friends at the Cobb AHA to attend this year's Atlanta heart ball. This is a wonderful black-tie event held each year to raise money for the AHA. Many surgeons and specialists attend as well as those of us touched by the AHA and its cause. We got all "gussied" up :) and headed to the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead where the event was held last Saturday night. Everything was amazing and absolutely stunning. The evening started with cocktail hour and silent auction bidding. There was an entire conference room full of amazing items. Over 18 TVs alone, not to mention the many FABULOUS trips being offered and much, much more, so much more you can't even begin to imagine. I've been to a good many fundraisers and I've never seen this many items and this many BIG items (Disney Trip, Colorado Ski Trip, Various Beach trips, Paris trip) not to mention the other items (Tiffany & Co necklace, jewelry galore, Big Green Egg, Masters and sports memorabilia galore...and a sweet Baby Benz.) It was just wonderful to see all these items donated. The greatest thing is every couple was given an ipod (yes an ipod) with BIDPAL and it monitored your bidding and showed you all the auction items that you had bid on or wanted to bid on, so once we sat down for dinner you could monitor and raise bids all night. Thanks to my husband, we left with a new HDTV for our bedroom. He didn't seem to like the one I had from college years (literally 15 yrs ago this fall!)
Dinner was served and it was scrumptious and guest speaker, Mike Smith, coach of the Falcons spoke and was terrific. After that the live auction began, I wish our pockets had been deep enough for some of those fabulous prizes, such as a week at training camp with the Falcons, box seats, limo service and golf with Coach Smith & Matt Ryan. It sold for a mere $9k. The other live auction items brought in $5k and more! All for a fabulous cause! The event raised ONE MILLION DOLLARS just that evening in auction items! We were all so touched by this. We were also touched by the guests of honor this year, a family of 4, who had a little boy 9 yrs ago born with a heart defect. They were given the option of hospice at the time of birth which they took and began to prepare. But low & behold by the grace of God and some fabulous Doctors, he started to eat and regain strength at just a few days old and was big enough to endure heart surgery and now is a healthy 9 yr old boy. They were an amazing, humbled and sweet family, it was so touching to watch their story. Hard for Jimmy & I to watch their video with a newborn and know what its like to select a grave site and make plans, but God had other plans for them and their little boy, who was also there and he was remarkable!
The evening carried on with dancing by a wonderful band until midnight. We were just touched and honored to be a part of such a wonderful, equisite evening for such a worthy worthy cause! We enjoy fundraising events we get to attend throughout the community, but this was an extra special evening, seeing so much raised for a cause so dear to us.



Monday, February 6, 2012

Continued Blessings

Thank you all for your cards and texts and messages on our appointments. We were actually so lucky and fortunate to get into the cardiologist early! My sincerest apologies for not getting to this earlier! We had GREAT news at the cardiologist! He said it all looked great and his words were "couldn't look better." He assured us too that we were sent based on our past history only, not due to any indicators from this pregnancy. We were actually in good spirits when we went. We loved this Doctor & his staff from our appointments with Reese. They remembered us and remembered so many personal and specific things about us, it made us feel so blessed to have such caring Doctors. We left so excited and like a weight of the world was lifted off of us. We know no ultrasound or Doctor diganosis is 100% but after all we went through with Reese and the continued appointments, we learned a lot, and in that we learned to rest in the goodness. So, as a big of a struggle it is for me not to worry (story of my life for 33 years) :). I am resting in the goodness of our appointments. We are beyond blessed and thrilled. Thank you for your love, support and ALL your prayers.

Being pregnant again has brought back the feelings I had during pregnancy with Reese from last year. I was noting our appointments on our calendar and I noticed the week we had the good 20 week scan (the "big" scan) that I posted about, was the same week, almost to the exact day in January 2011 that we were given the poor diagnosis for sweet Reese and I wrote you all on this blog.  We stand amazed, heartbroken but ever blessed on the last year worth of entries.
 It's been a long and hard year, but we are so excited for what this year brings. Being pregnant again has been worrisome, and some days a bit terrifying, dreading appointments and what's to come, but it's all been worth feeling her litle kicks, having her scanned more times than 'normal' and knowing God has once again blessed us with a child. The feelings and the look of a swollen belly are extremely wonderful, but also a bit sad remembering the last time I was pregnant and the emotions I felt which only lead to us longing for her more. It's been so hard losing Reese, nothing will take her place as our firstborn and sometimes thats hard to explain. It's hard to accept and realize this pregnancy is different than Reese's but we again, choose to rest in the goodness, God's goodness, with His faithful hand on us, and soak up every ounce of this pregnancy and what it will bring. We are 22 weeks now and as much as I am ever thankful for normal appointments, and good scans, I am learning some patience too....... we don't have another appointment with our OB until Feb 23 and our Specialist Feb 27th! If you can pray for us during this 'waiting' time we'd be very thankful.
We are still amazed by each of you and the blessing YOU are to us.

I have started the post on our memorial we had for Reese and will publish it soon. How sweet of you all to reach out about that sweet day, we are very very touched by each of you.
~Phillipians 1:3~

With much love, faith and hope,
Jennifer & Jimmy

Monday, January 16, 2012

A joyful day!

Hello sweet friends and prayer warriors!

We had our appt today with the specialist. (We changed it to today because Jimmy was off work and it worked great for us to go this morning).)
We had our big anatomy ultrasound and all looked GREAT! The specialist was very reassuring and our little girl was measuring on time and all appeared to be normal! This was music to our ears to say the least! Because of our history with Reese, he did suggest we see our pediatric cardiologist Doctor (who we love) in early February, but he saw nothing wrong or abnormal with the heart today! JOY! Our hearts sank a little bit when he said he was going to send us there, we were so afraid we were facing another difficulty, but he quickly assured us (before we could even ask) he was sending us there before he had even walked in the room today or before he had seen any ultrasound pictures. Our scan was reasonably short considering all the long scans we had with Reese. We are grateful for those and thankful our Doctors are so thorough! We feel so good today and we are 19 1/2 weeks. :) We are at the halfway mark Saturday! Praise the Lord for great news and good health!

We see our regular OB next week and see our cardiologist February 6th. If you can be in prayer for those appointments and for our peace that would be so appreciated.

Many of you have asked about our memorial we had for Reese December 31st and I'll be sure to post about that later this week. The day was very special and a sweet remembrance. We miss her everyday but we are so ever thankful and grateful we are carrying her sweet sister today.

We are absolutely resting in the goodness of today's news and appreciate the texts, cards, calls and emails. You all are more than wonderful. You are precious to us and we appreciate your continued love and support.

With hope, faith and love,
Jennifer & Jimmy