New Normal

January 5, 2011 by Scott · Leave a Comment 

New Normal


In an earlier writing I mentioned we are living a “new normal”.  A counselor mentioned this term during one of our grief sessions.  It is a vague yet dynamic term that could mean so many different things to different families.  This was difficult for us to initially define.  We asked all kinds of questions; what would it look like?  How soon would it set in?  Would I embrace or fight it?  All good questions to ask then, but it took some time uncover the answers.   


Upon leaving the counselor, I remember talking with my wife about this term.  Neither one of us could grasp it at that time.  I think we may even have said something sarcastic like, “Gee, that was a good use of our time.”  Over two years have passed since we lost Katelyn.  I really didn’t know how I would change, I just knew I would.  Today, I have new normal pretty well defined.  My attitude, emotions and compassion toward others are the areas of my life that were most noticeably changed. 


So many things just don’t register like they once did.  I still focus on only the areas of my life that I can control, but I tend to ignore most of that.  Many things just don’t seem too be that important, and there is certainly no need to get all fired up about anything.  Once I start to analyze the situation and break things down, I can justify why it is something I need not concern myself.  I look at all sides objectively and seldom introduce any emotion into decision making.  My easy-going personality is now in over-drive. I am beyond easy going!


I seldom get excited about things.  If someone says something like, “hey try to control your enthusiasm”, I will respond that I am not the excitable type and I don’t get excited.  I then mention that we lost Katelyn.  I’ll draw their attention to our Cradled in Heaven wrist band that I wear everyday in her memory.  The real truth here is their perception doesn’t even matter to me.  I was excited about our pregnancy.  I then quickly learned all plans can change.  Losing her took that emotion out of me.  I was excited about an event that didn’t happen and it hurts.


Next, I find my heart more tender to those folks truly in need.  I will volunteer my time when appropriate.  God has provided me so much and I want to give back and help others.  I help family and friends without hesitation.  Not everyone I know understands that, but it now makes up a big part of who I am.  I used to be much more selfish.  Now I think I rank 4th on my own list of what is important to me.  I am also involved with a national mentoring program and currently looking into volunteer opportunities at our church.   


Finally, I am truly blessed to be the father of the cutest little boy on the planet.  As we go through the process of getting him ready for bed, I’ll hold him in front of the mirror and brush his hair.  I make sure we say good night to Katelyn.  We want our son to know he has an older sister.  I’ll say, lets give her a big huge and kiss, and tell her we love her.  I want him to look up and see her photograph.  Once he does look, I kiss him twice, one kiss is for her and the other is for him.  I’ll then say my own good night to her. 


Maybe you’re still struggling to define your new normal.  I encourage you to seek out other fathers who have suffered a loss.  Talk to them.  I only wish I would have taken that advice and talked to other fathers about their new normal as I was trying to define mine.  Maybe you went through a similar change as described above.  My hope is you continue to talk about your child with their mother.  It is important to the mother.  My wife and I still talk about Katelyn whenever we can.  For me, what few memories I have of her being active in the womb and holding her on the day she was delivered are moments still very important to me.  I am happy to have spent that time with her.  All I can do now is keep her in my prayers and ask God to remind her that she is loved. 

A Loss Without a Loss

March 29, 2010 by Audreys · 6 Comments 

When we first launched the Cradled in Heaven website in late 2008 after losing Katelyn Grace, our number one focus was on stillborn children.  It was a loss we had never experienced before that August, and something we have prayed unceasingly to never have to experience again.  We had no idea that God had a much larger purpose for Baby Angel Grace. 

The need to deliver Katelyn Grace without life just 2 weeks before we had planned to bring her home safe and healthy was gut wrenching.  It was hard to imagine any pain that could even compare to leaving her alone at the hospital until someone from the funeral home came to pick her up. 

We were beside ourselves, to say the least.  Not knowing anyone else who had to deliver a baby who had already passed made it even harder.  I remember the following weeks and hearing stories about parents losing their babies shortly after the babies were conceived, and I just could not relate.  In my mind they were in another “group” which made their loss seem less significant to me.  God quickly started to change my heart though, and my first instinct to separate myself from people with other types of infant losses faded away.  Over the next few months, we extended the posts to include stories and information about miscarriages.  Early infant death came next, then most recently toddler losses. 

There is another type of loss that never crossed my mind until it happened to me.  First, I should give you a little background.  God blessed us with a little boy named Blake, born in August of 2009.  I remember struggling with my faith on and off during the entire time until I held him in my arms for the first time.  I could not imagine, nor could I have emotionally survived another loss.  Each and every day I look into his eyes and thank God for this precious gift he has given us.  I still do, even with recent news that made me feel like I did when we were first told that Katelyn had died.

There were no complications with Blake’s birth, and yet following his birth, I have had 3 surgeries and was told last Monday that we cannot have any more children as a result of medical ‘mistakes’ made in the procedures.    There will be no more losses, because as the medical community has told us, there will be no more chances for children.

As I write this post, I have to admit I have tears in my eyes; mostly because a choice to have more children has been taken away from my husband and me, but also because I never included this type of a ‘loss’ on the website.  This is a loss without a loss.  It is a loss of hope for children, a loss of a choice, a loss of what many people long for and never experience.  Children change us and, as I have quickly noticed with Blake, soften our hearts.     

I feel I need to apologize to all of the mothers and fathers who have received the same news my husband and I have.  By not even mentioned this type of a ‘loss without a loss’ I have inadvertently excluded it from the losses we write about. For that, I am truly sorry.

It has been a week now since we received the news, and I am still struggling with it.  At the same time though God keeps reminding me of the beautiful little boy I have at home.  He has also brought to mind (as have several people) the story of Abraham and Sara.  When Abraham thought all was lost, God promised him that he would have a son.

“But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”  Genesis 15:2-5 (ESV)

What a promise!   The only problem was that Abraham’s wife Sara did not believe God’s promise and decided to take matters into her own hands.

 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.” Genesis 16:1-4 (ESV)

Suffice it to say, God kept his promise.  As we learn in Genesis 21:1

“The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.”

Even though I have not completely come to terms with this recent news, I now understand a little more about why it happened.  Even though there is no ‘tangible’ loss when someone is told they cannot conceive, there really is ‘a loss without a loss’ to mourn.  The good news?  God is bigger and more powerful and more faithful and more everything and nothing at all is impossible with him.  All we have to do is believe and trust in Him, and He will be with us every step of the way.  

I am putting my faith and trust in the only true God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and believing in a miracle.

Baby Angel Grace/Cradled in Heaven

January 25, 2010 by Audreys · 1 Comment 

In an effort to provide a forum setting for parents who have lost babies to talk/ask questions/provide insight to other parents/etc., we decided it would be a good idea to create a page for the Baby Angel Grace site on Facebook.

You are probably wondering why we use both Baby Angel Grace and Cradled in Heaven.  Even if you are not, I feel the need to explain. 

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my husband Scott while standing in our kitchen a few weeks after Katelyn died.  After searching online and in the library for any information on stillbirth, we came up empty.  The only library books available were on Miscarriage and Abortion, and the only online resources didn’t give any helpful information for grieving parents.  Sure there is some ‘medical information’ out there, but if you are like us and have been told that there was no ‘medical reason’ for your baby’s death, then that information is pretty much useless to you as well.

We knew that we couldn’t be the only parents alive who suffered the loss of a child, so it was at that moment that we decided to create a website in Katelyn’s memory with the intent to share our story and with the hope that we could help other parents who also had a loss.   

To make a long story short, we bought the domain name of Baby Angel Grace from one provider, but the site was limited in functionality.  In the meantime, 2 wonderful men in our church volunteered to perform the initial set-up of the site with their company.  The only problem was trying to get the URL back.  So, we created  Now, we have both of them pointing to the same site. 

My point in telling you all of this is that we would feel privileged if you would not only become a fan on the Facebook page, but also if you would share your story and your baby’s birth date so that we can remember them on the special day they went to meet Jesus each and every year.  

I would like to leave you today with a verse that came to mind.

In John Chapter 16, verse 33, Jesus gave this promise to His disciples “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  

Time spent with Katelyn - Video

January 23, 2009 by Audreys · 1 Comment 

Ways that You Can Help

December 17, 2008 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

1. Pray that God uses us beyond our human capabilities to share His saving grace with others who are grieving the loss of an infant

2. Pray that the brokenhearted turn to God so that He will rain down His grace on them

3. Share Jesus’ unconditional love to each grieving family, whether it is a child who lost a sibling, a grandparent who is grieving for their son or daughter who lost a baby, or even other close relatives.

4. Pray for peace for those couples trying to conceive.  Pray that God grants them patience, knowing that everything happens in His time, not ours.  

5. Pray that we continue to put God’s will before our own.

6. Forward this website link to anyone else you know who is grieving the loss of a child

7. Let us know if you have found any other information useful that we can add to



By God’s Grace…we are able to give it all to God

December 15, 2008 by Audreys · 4 Comments 

We have to be completely honest with you; there are moments when our faith wavers in and out.  During those moments, wallowing in our grief, we have come to the realization that our anger, our hurt, our tears, our upside down emotions are all the result of our focus being on what we wanted, not necessarily what God had planned for Katelyn.


We wanted to be a family.

We wanted our little girl no matter if she was healthy or not.

We wanted to protect her from all the bad things in life.

We wanted to be a Mom and Dad to Katelyn.

We wanted to raise our little girl to love Jesus.

We wanted to watch her make angels in the snow.

We wanted to swing her around in our arms as she giggled and her long, black curls bounced around.

Most of all, We wanted to tell her how much we love her. 


It is a daily struggle and it is so easy to fall into a state of anger, of denial, of hurt, of loss, of emptiness all within a period of a few minutes, or even seconds.  We know, because just out of nowhere something will trigger a thought and it will become an emotional battle to avoid breaking down.  It is natural to grieve, but we have to make sure that grief does not turn into hopelessness.  It is also natural to experience a plethora of emotions after the loss of a sweet, innocent child.  If there is one piece of advice we can give you, it is this – give it all to God.  Take your grief, your hurt, your pain, your anger, your hopelessness, your tears and give it all to God.  Lift your hands and let Him ease your pain.  We are not saying that the pain will go away completely, because it won’t.  You will never forget your precious baby and all the dreams you had for him or her.  Just know that when you give it to God, He will share your pain and comfort you.  Even Jesus wept after His friend Lazarus died. (John 11:35).  So, just as Jesus wept for Lazarus, so we weep for our losses.  Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead to live with Him in eternity, so He has brought our babies out of darkness into the light that only He can shine. 


God has shown us that we need to trust Him with our whole hearts, not just part of them.  We now understand that the first words out of our mouths each day need to be “Lord, thank you for staying with us.  Thank you for comforting us in our grief.  Thank you for taking care of our little baby Grace.  We just ask you Father for enough grace to get us through today and enough strength to face any adversity that may come our way.”


We have to admit that it never crossed our minds to blame God for what happened to Katelyn.  God did not cause her to take her last breath before she was born, He was just there waiting to hold and comfort her when she first opened her eyes in Heaven.  His heart goes out to all of His children.  He did not take our babies away from us.  We just hope that everyone else who has lost a baby can come to understand this.  Some of you may know the exact reason why your baby was born without life.  Others, like us, will never know until we meet up with Jesus in Heaven.  We receive the same answer over and over again from every doctor we have seen; there is no medical reason for Katelyn’s death.  With this, we have a choice to make – keep chasing down the “Why?”, knowing we will never receive an answer, or accept the fact that there is no “Why?” that can be explained here on earth.  We have chosen to accept that she was cradled in Heaven and wait on the Lord until that day when we meet up with Jesus and Katelyn as she stands nearby waiting for us. What a blessed day that will be for us.