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. 

There Are No ‘Maybes’

May 24, 2010 by Audreys · 13 Comments 

Each of us who has experienced the loss of a child found out in a different way. Some of us knew ahead of time that our baby would not survive life outside the womb, others were told the baby’s heart just stopped and he/she would be born without life; still others gave birth to a living baby whose heart stopped during birth, or minutes or even hours after birth.  Whenever the news came, though, our own hearts stopped beating for a moment.  As mothers, many of us were quick to blame ourselves. Recounting those long, restless days right after we lost Katelyn, we desperately searched for a reason; something we did or didn’t do that caused our baby to die. 

At times I struggle with thinking that if I listened hard enough, and spent more quiet time with Katelyn, maybe I would have been able to tell something was wrong.  Maybe there was a sign, something that I missed.  Maybe, just maybe, her death could have been prevented if I had done something differently.  That begs the question, what could have been done differently? 

By far, the worst ‘maybe’ of them all that I must confess crept into my thoughts on more than one occasion was that maybe her death was a consequence of a past sin.  It is when thoughts such as this come to mind that I remember 1John1:9 “If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is that promise that I keep close to my heart.      

Remember that God sent Jesus, His Only Son, to die on the cross for our sins.  If we believe in Him, accept His will for us, and repent of our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us. 

Coming to terms with a loss does not always mean thoughts of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ just disappear.  So for any of you who struggle with the belief that your baby’s death was a judgment from God, I encourage you to pray and ask God to guide your thoughts back to Him.  His grace will comfort you and give you a peace you will never be able to find anywhere else.

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.”  

Mother’s Day

May 10, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

Just thinking about Mother’s Day brought some sadness with it because Katelyn was not here to spend the day with us.  At the same time I felt some joy in my heart because I was given the gift to become a Mom.  Sure we lost Katelyn, but we had the joy of meeting her, and were given the promise from our Father in Heaven that we will see her again. 

Never forget that you became a Mother when you first found out you were having a baby. 

Never forget that you became a Mom when you shed your first tear in excitement as you watched your baby move on an ultrasound, or heard his heartbeat.

No matter what anyone tells you to the contrary, you are a mother and a mom and you will always be.

So I pray that all Mothers whose babies were born in Heaven have a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I pray that when people ask you if you have children, that you respond similarly to how I have (based on your situation).  “Yes, I have a daughter, but she did not make it home from the hospital.”  I will always be a Mom, so will you.


Katelyn was stillborn but she was Still Born.  Whether your babies were considered a miscarriage, stillborn, or went to Heaven soon after birth, they are all precious in Jesus’ sight.  They were all Still Born.  Never forget that.   

A Father’s Pain

April 11, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

As I reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus years ago, I wonder how God must have felt when He offered His Son to die as payment for our sins.  Indescribable is the only answer I can come up with.  First because we do not have the capacity to even imagine how God works, and second because we have not experienced what He has.  We lost our daughter Katelyn, and that was the most painful thing that Scott and I have ever experienced.  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if she suffered first.  We can rest in the comfort, though, that she never felt pain.  She opened her eyes for the first time and saw Jesus. 

I have heard many people ask “How could such a Holy God stay silent as His Son was brutally tortured, shamed, beaten, and killed?” Because He knew it was the only way the relationship would be restored between Him and all of humanity.  Sin separated us from God, but through the blood of Jesus Christ, we are offered the gift of eternal life.

John 3:16 tells it all. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

If it was not for Jesus offering His life as atonement for our sins, we would not ever be able to be restored to our Father in Heaven.  “And being found in human form, he (Jesus) humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Phil 2:8  

Every time I think of how brutally Jesus was tortured and killed, though He was (and is) pure amd innocent in spirit, tears well up in my eyes.  These tears are of shame for my sin that He bore on the cross, and tears of joy that I have been forgiven.  I would be nothing without Him.

This unconditional love of our Father is such an amazing blessing.  More and more each day I want to be more like Jesus.  I trust that He has Katelyn safe in His arms, and I no longer need to need to know why Katelyn went straight to Heaven to be cradled by Jesus, rather than growing up with Scott and me.  I rest in the peace that He is in control of our lives, and we need to trust in Him.

I recently found a verse that I now hold close to my heart as we remember Jesus’ resurrection on Easter.

“…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

If it was not for Jesus’ sacrifice, we would never see our precious Katelyn  again.  Through Him, we know that we will.  Crying out to Jesus for his comfort, thanking Him for each and every breath we take, and letting others know how much He has changed our lives and continues to work in us is our one desire.  Call to Him and He will give you rest.  

Praise be to our God.  Thank you Jesus for the cross.

Pray For Those Left Behind

March 21, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

After Katelyn went to Heaven, we received many cards and letters from family members, friends, church members, pastors and even people we barely knew.  Just simply knowing that so many people had us in their prayers made each day a little easier.  We could never have endured our loss without the prayerful support of those close to us.

We also received more than a few cards from people with notices that money was donated so that Katelyn would be part of a Mass or a Service conducted to pray for the dead.  There are many groups and churches that claim to be Bible-based and Christian, but I can say with true certainty that Katelyn doesn’t need our prayers, and neither do any of the other babies who were born without life.  They are with Jesus, so what prayers could they possibly need?

Growing up in a strict Catholic church and school, I remember days when as a class we would pray for our loved ones who had passed since they were supposedly in a place called Purgatory.  We were taught that when people die, they go to this place and are basically there waiting for enough people to ‘pray’ for them so that they can gain passage into Heaven.  So what about the people who choose Jesus and yet have no family or loved ones to pray for them?  Do they just stay in limbo for all of eternity?  Absolutely not. Why? The answer can be found in the Bible.  Simply put, there is no mention of ‘Purgatory’ in the Bible.  Jesus never taught about a place such as this.  He did not offer us the gift of eternal life with the stipulation that we would only see Him if enough people ‘prayed us in’.  We either choose Jesus and follow Him, or we don’t.  There is no gray area.  If you need confirmation, read John 3:16: “For God so Loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus died for our sins so that we could be forgiven if only we ask this of Him and repent.  Again, we have a choice – choose Jesus or choose the world. Period. 

Have faith that our babies are with our Heavenly Father.  It is only through God’s grace that we have the choice to follow Jesus and live for Him, knowing that we will see Him one day and our babies too.

 So, though we appreciate the gestures of these kind souls, we want them and everyone else to know the truth.  Heaven is the only place these babies ever knew or will ever know.  They are with our Heavenly Father.  So do they need our prayers? Absolutely not.  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 18:3 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.”  

So who needs prayer? The families of these babies.  They are the ones feeling the loss.  Their babies were Still Born, just in Heaven, not on earth.   

A Loss is a Loss

March 16, 2009 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

I finally made it to the point where I was beginning to heal enough so that I could talk about Katelyn without crying and bring her up in ordinary conversation with a smile on my face.  I would try to imagine how much fun she was having with all of the other babies that were born in Heaven, and try to imagine how Jesus was holding each of them at once.  I was healing.  But yesterday morning, for the first time in a long time, a wave of grief hit me so unexpectedly that I was unable to cope with it on my own.

Yesterday marked 7 months since Katelyn went to Heaven to meet Jesus.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t paying much attention to the dates until it hit me right in the middle of a church service yesterday morning.  It was a family-centered service where the children who normally went off to classes stayed with their parents for the service. Surrounded by children, and watching some of them run up to the stage to volunteer to sing in a special ‘volunteer choir’ and listening as they sang their hearts out brought tears to my eyes.

Toward the end of the service, there were a few guests who spoke about adoption and how God placed a desire on their hearts to adopt one or more special needs children.  The one couple spoke of a very early miscarriage (after just a few weeks) and how devastating that was for them.  I then thought to myself, how can a loss that early on be nearly as devastating as losing a child who is within days of being born. I admit I was ashamed at my thoughts, because a loss is a loss, but I have trouble relating their situation to ours since we were within days of holding our newborn baby girl and then her little heart stopped for no medical reason at all.

I just sat for the remainder of the service weeping.  I was emotionally spent and feeling very guilty about my thoughts about the other couples’ loss.  I took one look at Katelyn’s picture that was in my Bible and tears started to stream down my face.  I honestly could not have stopped them on my own.  Sometimes people may say I am too sensitive and emotional, but I would rather be able to show my emotions than keep them to myself.

So what helped? Praying for God to forgive me for my thoughts and asking one of the pastors at Harvest to pray for Scott and me.  I felt as if we just lost Katelyn yesterday; the sadness was that overpowering.  After he prayed with us, I felt completely covered with such a peace that I can’t even describe it.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because even though Scott and I launched this website to help other parents of stillborn babies, we still struggle ourselves.  After all, we are only human.  Our strength comes from the Lord.  The only way we will get through this is through Him.  He loves us so much, and holding on to His promises keeps us going every day.   

So, for those parents who have suffered early miscarriages, late miscarriages, stillbirths, and early infant death, I want you to know that God loves you so much that He was there with open arms when our babies took their last breaths.  And I learned a valuable lesson yesterday; no matter when our babies died, we all suffered, and one loss is not greater than another.  Know that my prayers are with you, even though we have never met.         

Time spent with Katelyn - Video

January 23, 2009 by Audreys · 1 Comment 

Starting 2009 with God’s grace

December 31, 2008 by Audreys · Leave a Comment 

Tonight we will be going to sleep to wake up to the New Year.  It is with both tears of joy and tears of sadness that I look back upon 2008.  There were so many victories, yet so many trials; so much laughter, yet so many tears.   But you know what?  I made it through everything thanks to Jesus.  I was never alone.  He steadied me when I was so grief-stricken that I couldn’t stand on my own; he comforted me during those first minutes, hours, days and months without Katelyn.   I can honestly say without a doubt that I could not have made it without Him. 

All within a year and a half, I changed jobs, bought a new car, moved residences, got married, went on a honeymoon, bought a new house, moved again, and just when things started to calm down, I gave birth to my daughter already knowing that her heart stopped beating and she would be stillborn.  Things slowed down quite a bit after that.

If I have learned anything through this, it is that things that once seemed important really aren’t that important anymore.   Situations, tragic or otherwise, make us stop and re-evaluate our priorities.  I realized that there were times when I put other people and things before God even if each time was unintentional.  I am now more in tune with making sure God is number one in my life always, because when you think about it, without Him there is no hope, there is no salvation, there is no peace.  So do I have all my priorities in order? Absolutely not, but I am working on it. And through the grace of God, I will.

What will the New Year bring?   Only God knows for sure.  But there is one thing I am certain of, and that is that there will be more joy in my life than in 2008.  Not because of circumstances alone, but because God has shown me that through Him I will have peace, joy and love that is just overflowing. 

My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed. Psalm 71:23