Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dearest friends and family...

Well...where do I start?

I've been thinking about this day for weeks, and I guess the only way to get through it is to get to the point.

I've spent past 7 months watching others get pregnant and having healthy babies. I've seen their posts about their pregnancies, or their cute announcement pictures, and have gotten invitations to baby showers...needless to say, that has been difficult. I do find happiness for them, because how can I not, being pregnant and having children is amazing, and how grateful I am for those to recieve that blessing! But...once has been difficult.

When Michael and I started thinking about getting pregnant, I made a decision...

I know there are many Mothers who have struggled to get pregnant, can't bear children, have lost children, or have had many difficulties while pregnant. My heart aches for them, and even if I'm not that close to them, they all have a special place in my heart. So, in honor of them, this is how I have chosen to make my announcement. Nothing cute or creative picture, or something written on a chalkboard, or a funny little comic posted on my facebook. (And I do NOT judge those that do that...I'm just taking a different route) So, for those of you reading this, who have experienced the pain of infertility or loss, know that my heart goes out to you, and that I hope you may find peace and faith.

I am currently 11 weeks and a half weeks pregnant...I am so grateful to be pregnant. We have seen the heartbeat twice, and the last time we saw "baby", it was seriously dancing and wiggling around in my womb. I can move like that and you barely have any limbs?! haha I was in awe by the strength it already had being only 10 weeks old...

I know that some of you are wondering and have even asked me how I feel with this pregnancy. Well, I am sad to say that when I first found out, I didn't cry tears of joy...I felt numb. I felt like I couldn't be happy or sad. About a week after we found out, I went to the doctor, but the day before I spent a lot of time crying. I was scared. The hardest part is knowing that even though I am pregnant again, it doesn't mean that I'm going to get back what I lost. I want so badly for the baby to be Elle, so I can have the chance to be her Mother here on Earth, but that is a desire that I'm going to have to live with the rest of my life...

Being at the doctors office was the hardest part. The second I got back to the exam rooms, I just started was in that very room that we found out that she had passed away, it was in his office that I cried my heart out as I talked to him about everything. I felt like it was too soon, and that we maybe should have waited...

But then, I saw the heartbeat.

In that very moment, I knew that my Heavenly Father was there. I found peace, there were tears of joy, and all I could think was, "Alright little's you and me now. I'll take care of you." And I have felt like that ever since. I still have my moments, and fears, but even if something happens again, at least I will know that while I carried this child, I was able to find joy and I am so happy to once again be a Mother to one of Heavenly Fathers children. goes!! I'm ready for this journey, and I can't wait to hold this baby in my arms! Once again, thank you to everyone who has been there for me as I've gone through the loss of little baby Elle. I am forever, ever, ever grateful for you!! I know it's something that I will never truly get over, but in time, my heart will heal more and more, and we will all be in Heaven together before we know it!

Love Always, Rosalie and baby Mastaler #3 (boy or girl?? Hmm...we'll find out soon!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Due Date June 12th, 2012

Well, yesterday was my due date...I'm guessing that she would have come by now since Hunter came a week early.

It is painful to think that I would be holding my little girl in my arms right now if she would have made it. I have been dreading my due date for weeks, but I am grateful that it has finally passed. I feel like I can somehow find the little extra comfort that I need as I let go of the feeling that "I should be pregnant right now". There were times when I would even bend over, and it was like I still felt pregnant, and I would think, I shouldn't even be able to bend over because a little (or big) baby bump should be in the way. I didn't think that I would be affected physically, as well as mentally, but it has been a difficult journey up to this point.

I wanted to post some pictures to honor my little baby Elle. Although she never came to us here on Earth, she will always be in our hearts and a part of our family.

So, join me as I reminisce...

This was when I announced that we were expecting a new little bundle of joy. We were at Knotts Merry Farm. I had seen the heart beat twice by this point...I remember how excited we were and how I thought about how I was going to protect the little growing body that was inside of me. The caption on the picture read:

"This year I asked Santa for a REALLY special gift...and today I saw the heartbeat of that amazing gift. (="
Dec. 6th 2011

When I first looked at this picture, I thought, gosh, I kinda look chubby, but really, it was Elle making her debut in NYC. For those of you who have been to New York, know that the food there is AMAZING, so we ate a LOT haha therefore, my baby bump was really starting to show in this trip, and I even remember when I got home Michael saying something like, "Hey where did that come from!?". I also bought her this little onsie and Hunter a matching one. It's safely put away inside my special "Elle box". I had my doctors appointment about one week from when I got home from NY...that was when everything started to happen...

A few days before I delivered her, I wanted to take a picture...when I asked Michael to take it, he asked me  "Why?" I told him that I wanted one last picture with her...I didn't know that I was going to deliver her only a few days after this picture was taken, but I will always look back at this time, and think about my daughter, and how even though I knew she was going to pass away, I wanted to cherish every single moment that I had with her.

Here is her tiny, tiny, feet prints. The condition of her body was so bad that they couldn't get anything but these tiny prints, but I hold these small, little prints so close to my heart. I remember, so vividly, what she looked like. Something that will always stay with me was the weight of her little body in my arms and sometimes I can take myself back to that very moment, and remember exactly how it felt to hold her. At first it was hard to look at her, and Michael even told me to look away, but when they placed her in my arms, all I wanted to do was look. Although her body had been so completely consumed by the disorder, and did not look anything like a 22 week old baby, she was perfect to me, because I knew that she was perfect in Heaven.

This was the sign they put on the door and the little box they gave me.

Gifts...I received a pink tulip necklace that a mother of one of my students gave me, some yummy treats, which I obviously already ate, cd's, a star to name after her, flowers, letters, books, and a bracelet to put where her ashes are, (which I'm going to keep in case I have another girl...that way she can wear her sisters bracelet...and if I don't have another girl, I will take it to the cemetery) Now, I don't want to brag about all of the material things I received, but, I just wanted to show how grateful I am...because I truly am grateful...

There were many wonderful people who got me flowers and cards...I was SO grateful for them. My counter has been filled pretty much since the week that I delivered. There have been times that I have told myself that I should take them down, get some counter space back, but I could never bring myself to do it. I finally decided that on her due date, I will take them down. So, the day came, and I couldn't do it. I couldn't let I asked Michael to do it when I wasn't my counter is empty...but I did get some flowers from a good friend, Michael, and my brother in law, so they will ease the empty space for a little while.

One last picture before they came down...

On Easter Sunday we went back to the cemetery for the first time. I cried and cried as I was in disbelief that this was my life...I never, ever thought I would lay flowers on a place where it was my child...I thought about what her life would have been like...we were about to leave after we visited Michael's best friends grave who isn't very far from Elle, and I saw someone that I recognizedq. She had lost her daughter at the age of 11 (approx.) and she talked about how grateful she is for those 11 wonderful years. It was a true inspiration...although I won't be able to say anything like that, I know that no matter what, I'm always going to be grateful for my daughter and she will always be a gift to me. Here is the spot where we laid her pink tulips. This spot is where the hospital lays all the baby's ashes when they are under 24 weeks or if the family decides to not have a their own designated plot. I loved seeing all the things that the other Mommies and Daddies brought to their little ones. It made feel like I wasn't so alone, and that all these other babies were loved just like our little Elle.

Here are two recent family pictures of us (May 7th The LA zoo, to celebrate Mother's Day and Easter and don't mind Michael's facial's for work) We are all smiles, and we are making it through...Michael has been my rock, and although his heart is broken too, he has let me cry, listened to me talk about my feelings and thoughts, and has given me inspiration to move forward. I am so grateful for him and I love him so much. This has brought us closer, and although we will always mourn over our lost baby, we have found joy together as we've grown closer as a couple, and to our Heavenly Father.

My last picture is of my favorite person in the whole wide world (next to Michael of course). This little guy is definitely Heaven sent...I think about how he's going to be an amazing big brother, and my heart aches for him as he doesn't know what he's missing out on right now, and how he should be playing with a little baby. A few days before Elle passed away, Hunter was laying in bed with me, and all of sudden, he just started giving my belly raspberries, and giggling and laughing, it was like he knew his little sister was in there and he wanted to play with her before she would go away. It was the funniest thing, and I will never forget that moment. He's such a sweet, happy, and friendly little boy. I know that he's the special one to help me get through this. He always puts a smile on my face and reminds to me to slow down and enjoy life. I don't know how I would have done it without him, but because of him, I'm a Mom, and I couldn't ask for anything more.

It has been about 18 weeks since I delivered. The road has been very up and down...recently, there have been a lot of tears as the days have been bringing me closer to my due date, but I've managed. What I would give to hold my little girl in my arms right now. I looked in the mirror the other day, and I cried and cried as I looked at myself and my features, and wondered what she would have looked like...would she have her Daddy's eyes and Mommy's hair? Maybe she will look like Hunter, or completely day we'll know.

I definitely know that before everything happened I took being happy for granite. Happiness is a choice...You know how when you write someone a txt message, and to be friendly you put a little smiley face, it's something I always used to do...always...and now, whenever I put it, I think to myself, am I really happy? And for a while I couldn't even put it, because I felt like it was in's obviously gotten better, but I never thought my life would ever change so much that I couldn't even smile in my text messages. I am now grateful for when I am happy, because when something like this happens, you can't just be happy, you have to choose to be happy, and you have to figure out how your going to find that happiness. I know that a little part of me will always be empty, but I also know that my daughter is waiting for me...

I know something magical didn't happen on my due date and that it won't all of a sudden make things better, but I knew it would be a turning point. My cards are put away, I've shared pictures, I went to the cemetery and I'm moving forward. I know that I've been blessed with strength, but sometimes I do get a little upset and ask my Heavenly Father why He took her away from me, but those feelings never last for too long, and I'm so grateful for my knowledge of eternal families.

Lastly, I once again want to thank everyone for their sweet thoughts and prayers, for the messages, the phone calls, and most of all their love. How grateful I am for those who have reached out to me. This is definitely a time when I've needed others to just make the first step and put in an effort...and they have made a difference. Saying thank you will never be enough, but know that I love you and am grateful for you.

So, here's to my due date being long gone. I hope you all enjoyed the pictures. And even though my sweet Elle's life was very short, I hope that you will all remember her and will think of her up in Heaven, watching down on all of us.

Love, Rosalie

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to me...


Last weekend was my birthday, and it was also the day that I came to a harsh realization...

I spent the morning crying as I thought about what I wanted for my birthday.

I wanted...want...and will always want in my arms...I want to see her grow, smile, it's probably something I will think about every birthday, and probably every Christmas, but being that this is my first of those occasions, I took it pretty hard. I thought, how can I ever go on with life as happy as I was before when part of my heart will always be broken? I thought to myself, "Heavenly Father, why would you give me a trial that will forever make me desire something that I can't have...

I will always want her...and although I know I have her eternally, I have to learn how to be patient...and that word seems so negative, just seeing it there in black and white...sure, I'll try and gain patience, but as a mother, how does one wait a lifetime to see her child?

Alma Chapter 34

41 But that ye have apatience, and bear with those bafflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.

Part of me wonders if I allowed myself to get too attached to her once I knew that I was going to lose her. I remember we didn't even know it was a girl when we first found out, and then when we did, she became so real. She got the name that we had picked out, (the only name we had picked out...we didn't even have a boy name) and it seemed like we knew that it was her from the very beginning...although I do wonder if I am too attached, it is how it is, and my desires to have my little girl are what they are. I wonder if it's because I never wanted a girl, and now that I had one, I want her more than ever. I know that part of it is a pure longing for a baby, but at the same time, she seems so real. It's almost like I can picture her in Heaven...Oh, how I miss her. I know that some people may think that I didn't even know her, so this shouldn't be so hard for me to deal with or it's something that I can just not dwell upon, but as most women understand, before they are even born, you know your child more than anyone can ever comprehend . I can honestly say that it's a blessing Heavenly Father has given to us women.


A few days before my birthday, on March 6th, Elle's ashes were laid to rest. Behind the wall on the right is a large rock/urn, where the remains of my little baby, along with other special little babies, are put. Here is the description of the area...

"Located adjacent to the waterfall and ponds of Sunset Hills are the Sacred Falls Niches. This is a place of peace and solitude overlooking the entire valley."

I remember my Bishops wife telling me that it's like you never you want to leave California because a part of you is always there, and she is very right. I will go back to this spot on her due date and leave her pink tulips...and maybe a baby doll.

The memorial was difficult, but comforting. Although it was not of mine and my families faith, it was a beautiful memorial that I shared with a few other mothers. We put her name on a little quilt that they had made for the mothers to sign. Hunter wore his Lightning McQueen and Mater shirt so he could show Elle his favorite characters.


One of the first things that someone told me when everything started to happen (that I unfortunately have found to be true), is that people that love me will unintentionally hurt me. Although I know that the times I have been hurt have been unintentional, part of me really wishes that when people are dealing with one going through an excruciating tragedy, that they would think before they speak, listen to the spirit, and understand the meaning of compassion. I want to be careful when I bring up this subject, because I don't want it to seem like a guilt trip, because it's not, but I've tried to take this experience and help others so that when they have to possibly deal with someone else who has gone through something tragic, that they will have gained experience. One big thing that I have to tell people is, "TRY". You may think that they want space, or already have tons of people visiting them or whatever it may be...but it's not always the case...don't just assume. Some people don't have a lot of family around, or even friends for that matter. It's not necessarily anyone's fault, but when you know someone is going through a trying time, even though you have no clue what to say or do, just TRY...oh, the BEST thing to say is simply your condolences...don't try and give them advice on how to get through it, unless you have been through something very similar. Don't just let them know that you are there for them, show them...leave a note, bring by a treat, a flower, yourself...The word "space" has a whole new meaning...I think some people think, oh they probably need their "space"...but then I think, what will space do? All we have are each other, and I'm sure when Christ saw someone in need comfort He didn't give them space..."Comfort those in need of comfort"...Looking back, and even now, I will be honest in saying that I do wish I had more visitors, yet the few that visited me make me even more thankful for them. I think that sometimes people don't realize that small gestures go a long way. With that being said, although I have felt hurt when it comes to this, I know it wasn't intentional, (I'm hurting no matter what so it's kind like the whole "Adding insult to injury" situation) and once again, thank you to those who came to visit and wrote heartfelt messages. I'm so grateful for those who have helped take little steps forward and have brought comfort to me. It's SO hard to not make life all about yourself when it comes to something like this..."it's all about ME"... and as I come out of that and gain better perspective, I hope and know that I will be there for someone else in need and will be more empathetic because of my experience.


A few weeks after we lost Elle, we ran into someone who had recently almost lost her husband, and without any details, he was granted a miracle...along with MANY other things in life, my perspective has severely changed...I think...miracle...and I know I have talked about this before, but the natural man inside of me thinks, "Why couldn't we have been granted a miracle?". The answer is simply because it wasn't our Heavenly Father's will. This has taken and will always take so much faith...

Here are some passages from my favorite chapter in the scriptures about faith...we all need constant reminders and this will always be mine...

17 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us aasign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.

18 Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to abelieve, for he knoweth it.

42 And because of your adiligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the bfruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

43 Then, my brethren, ye shall areap the brewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth cfruit unto you.

With that being said...luckily my birthday was on a Sunday and the scripture was given by a primary child that basically said, "Misery loves company". I automatically understood, that while I sulk in the misery of my trial, it is not feelings from my Heavenly Father. Even though, for the first time in my life, I've had to earnestly search for happiness, it is there and I'm finding it as each day goes on. Some days are definitely better than others, but Heavenly Father want us to be happy...after church my birthday turned around and it was a "Happy Birthday" (as happy as it could be haha). My birthday dinner was surrounded by family who loves me and my Heavenly Father who loves me once again brought me tender mercies.

I must say that I am in continual gratitude for those who have reached out to me, prayed for me, and have just cared about me. One day I will sit down and write you a personal, heartfelt thank you...I owe you that much.

Love, Rosalie

p.s. In honor of St. Partick's Day (yesterday) here are the lyrics to one of my all time favorite songs, Irish Blessing...

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again.
May God hold you, May God hold you
Ever in the palm of his hand.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I can't even describe to you how I feel...but I'm ready to share the story of when I laid my little baby down to rest...

Monday morning I spent about one hour on the phone with my insurance, and then my medical group, and then Loma Linda hospital. It was all kind of frustrating, especially since I didn't get to go see my specialist in the morning, but we were told that we could go see my OB in the afternoon.

Dr. Moneke didn't get in the office until 2pm and the hours leading up to that 2 o' clock hour were soooo long. I remember looking at the clock and just watching the minutes go by...I was so nervous, and I knew that there was a very good chance that we would soon have to say goodbye to our baby Elle. Even though I knew that time was going to come sooner or later, I knew very well that there wasn't going to be anything to prepare me for that moment. I was going crazy waiting and waiting and I tried to find little things to take up time...


Just reading the words the "last" ultrasound puts me into tears...that was it...her heart could no longer handle her physical ailments....

The last time I got an ultrasound I couldn't bring myself to look. I can't linger on the fact that that would have been the last time I would have seen her alive, but I decided that no matter what, the next time I got an u/s, I would look. So, when we get into the exam room I asked my doctor if I could look at her before he told me whether or not her heart stopped. I looked...and even on a little screen, in black and white, she was beautiful, and she was mine.

Finally, I told the doctor that I was done and I waited for the news...I laid there...and waited and waited while he searched for her little heart beat. The week leading up to this moment I thought about how she can probably hear my heart beat and how I wish she could take the strength from mine, and just keep holding on. I thought...just listen to mine, and follow it, and you'll be okay...

The doctor was silent while he looked, and I'm sure he wished he could tell me that he could find it, but when I looked up, I saw Michael's face, and he shook his head, "no". He could see that there wasn't anything there, and the moment finally came that I never, ever thought would come. A little bit of peace came over me, knowing that she was home in Heaven, but unfortunately that peace can't even surpass all of the other feelings of knowing that this little girl wasn't going to ever come home with me. I laid there and cried...

We decided to go straight to the hospital, and I just have to share that before we left the doctors office, Dr. Moneke gave me a hug and reassured me that he would be there for the delivery. How grateful I am for my doctor...although this whole experience has been a nightmare, there have been little reminders that my Heavenly Father still loves me, and the blessing of my doctor is one of those tender mercies that I am very grateful for.


I don't know why I thought that being induced with a 22 week old wouldn't take very much time, but by the time everything was done, it was the length of an actual labor...and it was absolutely horrible. For those of you that know me, know that I have a huge phobia of needles. I can't even look at them without shuddering, and even more, I just can't stand anything medical done to me. So, I'm sure that you can imagine that going through labor, and not getting the prize at the end, was incredibly...insert every horrible word you can think of. It started with getting the stupid I.V., which hurt so bad (I do NOT remembering it hurting so bad when I had Hunter, so I wasn't just being a wuss) and that was the first sight of pain...I sobbed while she stuck me with the needle, partly because it hurt so bad and because I knew what everything was leading up to. I remember looking into Michael's eyes, and I know that he could see, not only the physical pain I was feeling, but that my heart, at this point didn't feel just felt shattered, and completely dead...a piece of my heart died with hers, and although Michael felt pain too, from the look in his eyes, I knew that he wished he could take away all of my pain...

Once they got my I.V. in, they had to do some lab work...and as the lab tech. watched me cry I'm sure the last thing he wanted to do was poke me with another as he gently prepped me, he quietly asks, "So, what are you having, a boy or girl?"...I knew she was a girl, but what do I say???? "She would be a girl..." He gets quiet and I could tell that he realized why I was so upset. When he finished he looks me in the eyes and says, so sincerely, "You take care, okay?" Thank you again for another tender mercy...

After being admitted, there was a shift change and my new nurse walks in. She was young, and seemed very sweet. I could tell that there were tears in her eyes, and as she introduced herself, she tells me that she's sorry if she cries all eyes well up with tears, and I thank her for crying, because it shows me that she cares. She assured me that she did care, and once again I knew that I was being watched over.

Looking back it all kind of seems like a blur...but I want to tell you something I clearly remember, and that I will always remember for the rest of my life. Once I was admitted, and had a few quiet minutes, I decided to gain some comfort amid the chaos, and I opened up a random scripture...I love reading the four gospels, so I chose something out of there and I was lead to Matthew chapter 8.

2 And, behold, there came a aleper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was acleansed.

I know, without a doubt, that miracles happen everyday. People are saved, healed, and are able to escape death, but only when it is our Heavenly Fathers will...I remember when my Opa died, and my Oma was so distraught, and wondered why Jesus Christ didn't save her husband. She would say, "He healed those people, so why not Opa?" My answer, during that time, was that it wasn't His will for Opa to be healed. I laid in my hospital bed and read about our Saviors power to heal, I knew that my Baby Elle was healed. She was in Heaven with her perfect little body and she would be waiting for me. How grateful I am to know that...because when I finally got to see her, and see the absolute distress her body was in, amidst all the heart ache, I was able to be grateful that she was healed...

After about 8 hours of being induced, the time finally came to deliver her. I decided to not have an epidural because I wanted to be completely aware of everything going on, physically and mentally. The second she started to crown, how grateful I was for when I got an epidural with Hunter, because that did NOT feel good...she was right there, and the doctor wasn't there I couldn't even push, so I tried to hold her and I was shaking, and it hurt, and I couldn't think. For those of you that have gone through labor, know that small moment of when everything just doesn't seem to make sense, you feel pain, you have all these emotions going through you, your adrenaline has kicked in, and then it finally happens...those few seconds when you go from being not...once I felt her leave me, I cried the most depressing tears I have ever cried in my life...she was gone...I didn't have her inside of me anymore, I could no longer carry her, I couldn't look down at my tummy and think, "It's okay...Mommy has you safe and sound". At that moment all I wanted was to maybe hear a cry, or something, just to tell me that she was alive...because that's how it's supposed to be, you have a baby, the baby cries, you get to hold the baby, you nurse her, hold her, feel her heartbeat...Once again, I can't even describe the feelings I felt...

Dr. Moneke finally got there after I delivered. (It happened so fast he didn't even make it in time) I had a few big fears going into labor...the side affects of being induced (I was induced with cytotec) nausea and diarrhea (sry...tmi) and my placenta not coming out...I did NOT want a D and C. I also had a big fear of going into labor at home when Michael wasn't around...Heavenly Father knew my fears, and once again, I was taken care of. None of my fears became a reality.

Once everything settled down...Dr. Moneke talked with me...he is a very quiet and meek man...and you can tell that he thinks about every word he says. He asked me if I had held her yet...if I named her, told me that I need to heal not only physically, but emotionally, and that they can take pictures...etc. Before he left he gave me a hug, and how I grateful I was for his compassion...He was also told me that I had to stay in the hospital for 12 more hours...luckily they didn't put me in postpartum, but those 12 hours of just laying there were sooo long. I couldn't sleep, even though I had just been awake all night, and there wasn't anything I wanted to do but just go home. I did have some visitors that brought some joy to my day...thank you Julie for bringing me goodies, and a friendly smiling face, the Gonzales's for making me feel special, my Aunt came too (before the delivery) both parents stayed all night through the long process, and Michael's whole family came the next day and brought the best visitor of all, my little bug. Oh, how I love him...when we first arrived at the hospital, I thought about the last time I was there, and the joy we experienced bringing our first baby into this world...what a difference of emotions...but I was able to hold on to some of that joy, and know that no matter what, I still had my sweet child to come home to when this was all done.

After Dr. Moneke left, it was now time to hold my little 14 ounce, 8 inch little baby girl...At this point I hadn't even looked at her yet...Michael saw a lot more than I did. I remember looking at him, and he had tears in his eyes, and I asked him if she was beautiful, and he smiled, and said, "yes". I vividly remember the feeling of holding her...I think about that time a lot...I can feel the weight of her in my arms...she didn't look anything like what a 22 week old baby should look like. They gently wrapped her up in a blanket because of how fragile she was. Michael was the only one that got to see her whole little body...Both of our Mom's were there, and also Michael's Dad...we passed her around, and we loved her. We could see the large cyst on her neck, her body was swollen, and was so swollen that her skin didn't even look like skin...they couldn't even get a hand print...but I was able to get foot prints, there were probably only one inch long. My poor, poor baby girl...but as I looked at her, and all of her Earthly imperfections caused by the severeness of her disorder, I remembered the scriptures that I had read...she was healed...she was perfect. I know that if she looked like what she should have, it would have been difficult to understand why she didn't make it, but because she looked so sick, how grateful I was that she no longer had to struggle for life.

Leaving the hospital without a baby was so sad...and it was only a foreshadow to the sadness that I would experience in the days ahead.


Where do I begin...first of do NOT realize how much baby stuff there is out there...EVERYWHERE...until that's all you're thinking about. Ya, I thought about baby's ALL the time when I was pregnant, or when I had my little guy...but...well...I'm sure I don't really have to explain. I get headaches when I'm out in public, I don't want to be social, I hardly talk on the phone (big shocker...I know), I don't even know what I want. I had a special friend come visit me a few days after everything had happened, and she had recently lost her Mom. She said it perfectly when she talked about how it's almost like I have to live a different life from the one I did's so true. I think about one little thing, and I start crying, I look down, and realize there's no baby bump there anymore, I think about what my life was going to be like, on, and on, and on. You don't really realize how things will affect you until you are going through them. How I felt before is so different from how I feel now. I think about those days leading up to the one day when she passed. Even though they were pure torment, I took everyday and became more and more attached to the baby I carried inside of me. As each day went on, the more and more I didn't want to lose her. Someone told me that they were praying, that if it was Heavenly Father's will, that I would have her for just one more day...and now there isn't one more day...and it's been days since she's been gone. I didn't know her, I didn't get to hug and kiss her, or sing to her, and I didn't realize that I would miss, so badly, something that I never even had. I think about her name...and how we had her name picked out before we even knew that the baby was a's like she was really meant to be our baby Elle Carmela...

The other day one of my friends asked me how I was doing? I honestly told him that I'm the worst I've ever been in my world seems so out of place...but...and yes...luckily there is a but...I am learning. Learning to find joy, trying to move forward, and trying to remember all those tender mercies that I have and am still being blessed with. On Tuesday I went to the temple, and being there gave me just enough courage and faith to move on. I know that the temple is the House of the Lord, and I knew that if I went I would feel close to my baby girl. There is joy in righteous's amazing how you can live life normally, and then something happens, and you have to actually search for joy and peace. I've been searching, and trying so hard, and although it's little by little, I find what I'm looking for. I rely on the gospel and my faith, and the word "rely" is an understatement.

How grateful I am for the prayers of others that have helped me through this difficult time...I've gotten flowers, mostly pink tulips...which will forever be Elle's flower, sympathy cards, dinners brought to us, CD's with inspirational music, Mickey ears from Disneyland that say, "Baby Elle 1/31/12" and someone even bought me a star named after Elle so that she will always be shining down on me. It's been hard with most of my close friends living so far away, but they've been there to listen and cry with me. I've missed my students, and was glad to start teaching again this week, and I've been able to slowly move forward...

I've been putting off writing this, because I knew that it would take a lot of heart to get through it, but I'm doing it...

Lastly, I just want to say how grateful I am to know where my baby girl is, and to know that she is waiting for me. There's hardly one second that goes by when I don't think about her. I know that she will eternally be mine, and that Michael will always be her Daddy. We look forward to being with her...and who knows if I will be blessed with another daughter, but how grateful I am to know that my first daughter was too special to be here on Earth. I have found joy in her, and she has already made me a better Mom.

Love, Rosalie, Michael, and Baby Elle

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

There's honestly not very much I want to say right now...

As of right now...I already miss being pregnant...I miss it soooo bad and I'm heart broken...I miss the baby girl that I had inside of me...

Monday, at about 2pm we didn't see that flickering light on the ultrasound screen. Out of the options that were given, we decided to take the one that put us in the hospital right away...after a long and painful process I delivered my baby girl at 3:55 am on January 31st. She was 14 ounces, 8 inches could tell that her poor little body had been in so much distress and she didn't look anything close to what a 22 week baby would look like.

And I held her, and loved her...and although there are no words to describe the heart ache of that brief moment I felt peace knowing that she was healed...she was in Heaven with her Heavenly Father.

There is much more I want to share...but I want to end with saying thank you again for your prayers, love and support.

Sincerely, Rosalie, Michael and Baby Elle

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"I'll try again tomorrow..."

14 Days...

It has been 14 days since I was told that I was going to lose my little baby...everyday I wake up, and I think about this gift that is inside of me, a little baby who's heart beat is still hanging on. My morning thoughts have pretty much been the same for the past 14 days...I wonder if today will be the day that I have to say goodbye...and I wonder how I'm going to do it. I don't know how many more days there will be when I have to wake up and ask myself that question but part of me is okay with it, because then that means that I don't have to say goodbye to this precious life that I carry inside of me...but I know that she needs to go home to be with her Heavenly Father.

It has been 20 days since my doctor first saw something...never did I think that that little check up would lead us to where it has today...

It has been about 105 days since we found out that our little family was going to be expecting a new little bundle of joy...and it has also been about that many days since we saw that little flicker of light on the ultrasound screen...a little heart beat...a heart beat that has forever changed our lives. I think about those days a lot...I remember the happiness I felt when I saw those two little lines, and when I heard that tiny heart beat. It has been quite the journey.

Yesterday, I finally got around to checking my voice messages, and I had a message from Dr. Brar's office saying that they have to cancel my appointment (it's tomorrow, Monday) because I have been transferred to Loma Linda hospital...I was very confused and shocked. I thought to myself, only people in serious conditions usually have to go there (unless there insurance is originally there of course)...and that can't be me! Of course I couldn't even call my insurance to figure out what I needed to do, and the maternity clinic was closed, so that meant that I'd have to wait...I was fine with the doctors I had, I was okay with the plan that we had for me, I was even more okay with delivering at St. Mary's because it's 5 minutes from Grandma and Grandpa's house where Hunter will most likely be, and it's where I know my surroundings and feel comfortable. Luckily, I got a lot of comforting and encouraging words from a lot of wonderful people, which gave me some peace, yet I still have fears. We are now going to get a second opinion and I'm worried that it could be different, and although we are ultimately in control, I don't want to be confused or have to make any different decisions. As the days pass, I wait for my Monday morning appointment, and tomorrow we would have been able to find out, first thing, whether or not her heart had stopped and if our loving Heavenly Father had decided to take her home. I've decided that that's how I want to find out...I don't want to all of a sudden go into labor, or start bleeding, or possibly have my water break, etc. Who knows where I would be when any of those things could happen, Michael could be down the hill at work, I'd most likely have Hunter with me...etc. So, ya, if you can't tell, I'm kind of scared about how everything's going to happen, so I wait and wait for my ultrasound and I really hope I'll be able to get one tomorrow.

I can honestly say that I've never felt so broken down in my whole entire life, but somehow I make it through each day, and everyday I discover something today I realized while I was taking to a very dear friend, that because Heavenly Father knows what you are about to go through, He will prepare you. Today, I had questions for my dear sweet husband, and while I asked through all my tears if maybe we are going through this because we need to be prepared for something else, he replied, "Or maybe we are going through this because we are strong enough." Although I don't feel strong enough, I've been able to do some soul searching that I never would have done if it wasn't for this trial, and I have to remind myself and realize that I am getting through there has to be some strength in there somewhere.

I am still waiting for when, "This too shall pass..." and although I have many fears and worries, I will always know that time will always move forward, and we have to move forward with it.

Yesterday, I saw the picture below...and it sums up everything right now...tomorrow I shall try again, because as of right now, that's all I can do, get through this day by day. For the first time in my life, I've really had to think about what makes my first I thought crafting and creating could help...and then it didn't...and then we went out for sushi (I've always felt like sushi can cure anything) and I was ready to go home before I was even done eating...I watched American Idol...I just kind of fast forward through...I've been able to teach a little bit...and it helped a little...I've thought about Disneyland, or taking a trip, which can always make me happy...and even the thought of it doesn't really help. This is honestly a very, very sad time for me...but I hold tight to the gospel and my family, I constantly listen to hymns and uplifting music, and I find courage to endure through this trying time.

Once again, thank you for your kind words, thoughts, prayers...I have been amazed by those who have taken the time to really reach out to me. Thank you doesn't seem like enough, but know that I am sincerely grateful for you.

Love, Rosalie, Michael and baby Elle

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day by Day

Monday January 23rd

Early morning appointment with Dr. Brar...on our way to the doctors Michael and I talk about how it was only one week ago that we found out that we were going to lose our baby. Usually, weeks go by pretty quickly, but I can honestly say that this has been the longest week of my life. Time just seems to be moving so slowly, but a part of me is grateful for that, because it means that I get to hold and carry my sweet daughter for just that much longer. On the other hand, at first I thought that time would help me to cope and get better...then I started realizing, more and more, that the more time passed, the closer I was getting to the inevitable...I have often asked myself, how does a mother endure this torment?

They started off with an ultrasound at Dr. Brar's office...Michael is able to see all the images and he said that even after one week, he sees more cysts around her body, the ones she already had were bigger and the swelling was worse. He said that it was hard to even make out any images of what a normal baby would look like...somehow her heartbeat is still normal...the nurse told us that there was more fluid around her heart. When she asked if I wanted to look, all I could do was cry, and I quickly said, "no". Next week, I'm going to prepare myself to look, and I kind of wish I had today. The doctor predicted that she could pass anywhere from days to weeks from now. I will now be monitored weekly...

A few hours later we went and saw Dr. Moneke for the first time since we found out. Bless my doctor and his compassionate heart... He listened so intently and we could really tell that he cared. We told him our decision to let our daughter pass in our Heavenly Father's time and he told us that he will stand by whatever decision we make. When I asked him if he had seen other cases like this, he said that he had, but the majority of the mothers had decided to terminate. He was very good about answering all my questions and I'm so grateful that he will be there to help deliver my baby. Unfortunately, he will be leaving the country for two weeks in February, but I hope that he will be around when I need him. One of my fears right now is having to go through all mother's know, it's not easy, and although I wouldn't be delivering a full term baby I do not look forward to experiencing any physical pain...the pain of having Hunter was very worth it, because in the end I had a baby to take home...when I asked about an epidural my doctor said "Absolutely, why should we make you go through pain when you don't need to." That eased my worries a little bit.

Once again, I would like to thank all those who have sent their condolences, prayed for us, and just told us that they are thinking about and love us. I've had some mothers share their stories with me, and that has meant a lot. I have been amazed by the compassion of not only long time friends, but people who have only known us for only a short time. I know that I am very quick to tell someone that I am praying for them, or thinking about them, and never did I think that I would be on the other side. Thank you for your empathy...After today, we feel a little bit closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, yet nothing about this feels easier and there isn't anything that will help us to feel peace except to stay close to our Heavenly Father and have faith in His plan.

Sincerely, Rosalie, Michael and baby Elle

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Days of Carrying Baby Elle Carmela

Monday January 9th
18 week appointment with Dr. Moneke…I was told that he only gives ultrasounds 15 weeks and earlier and wasn’t planning to give me one (at this point I had already had 2 and the baby was perfectly healthy). I asked him if he would give me one so he could try and identify the gender, and I’m sure that he could see how anxious I was because he kindly agreed to give me one. He wasn’t able to see the gender, but he noticed two large black circles behind the baby’s head, and he was also a little concerned about how large the baby’s legs looked. He told me to get it checked out ASAP and a few hours later I received a more detailed US, once again the gender wasn’t determined, but the US tech saw the same thing he did, but we’d have to wait for the final results…

Wednesday January 11th
Consult with Dr. Moneke to receive my results…he reads them under his breath, I hear him say something about cysts…but that was about it. I anxiously waited for answers, questioned him the best I can, but am only told that I needed to go see a specialist. He said that he didn’t trust results, and didn’t want to tell me anything…I am told that I needed to get looked at ASAP and being that the Dr. that he wanted to send me to was only in the office on Mondays, meant I’d have to wait for a few days to get more answers.
In the meantime…I’m not too worried…the baby was very active, had a strong heart beat and by the looks of it, it didn’t seem like we had anything to worry about. When Dr. Moneke was giving me my US I felt the baby kicking where he was pushing, and it felt so good to feel the baby inside of me. Everything seemed okay…

Monday January 16th
A day I will never forget…I receive an US from Dr. Brar…although he was speaking so fast, and using so many words I didn’t understand, I was able to understand when he said that our baby’s heart will fail…It all seems like such a blur, and Michael was much better at internalizing the information while I sobbed and wept over the bad news. I tried my best to understand, but the large circles behind the baby’s neck are pockets of fluid connected to the baby. They baby is absorbing the fluid which is causing the body to swell, and soon (I say soon not really knowing a real timeline) the fluid will reach the heart which will cause it to fail. We are told that baby most likely won’t survive much longer, and that if it makes it to term, the baby would only be able to survive for a few days.
I replay the doctors words in my head, and although I know it’s a reality, there’s still a part of me that doesn’t feel like it really happened and that we are really living in the reality of losing our baby…

Tuesday January 17th
A genetic counselor calls to give us the results of our amniocentesis test (where they draw fluid from the amniotic sac). We are told that our baby has Turner Syndrome…a few hours earlier I made the decision to know the gender of our baby…I knew that I wouldn’t be carrying this baby for much longer, and I wanted to try and be as close to my baby as possible. I hoped that this decision would give me some comfort or closure and at this point I was searching for any way possible to find even a little bit of peace…One of the first things the genetic counselor asked us was if we wanted to know the gender. I was not expecting this and how grateful I am to know that I was prepared to know whether or not we were going to have a son or daughter…sadly, Michael shook his head “no” but as the counselor proceeded to tell us that she will be able to better explain the defects he accepted the fact that we had to find out. Before I talk a little bit about Turner Syndrome, let me remind you that before our doctor even knew that she had TS he was able to predict our baby’s life JUST by her condition. Unfortunately, TS has caused life threatening symptoms which will cause our baby to pass and not have a life here on Earth…No…we are not God, nor is our doctor, we cannot know without a doubt what is going to happen, but through prayer, acceptance, the priesthood, and the reality of the situation, we know that our sweet little daughter will return to our Heavenly Father. I want you to know that I also have faith in miracles…they happen every day…but, I have to know that no matter what, our daughter is a miracle, me staying healthy and then being able to get pregnant again will be a miracle, Hunter is a miracle, and although she may not be healed to have a full healthy life here on Earth, she will still and always will be our little miracle…I’ve come to accept that sometimes we have to change what we want our miracle to be…There are females who have TS and are alive and living healthy lives, but every case is very different and unfortunately the cards that we were dealt don’t give us any hope of that being our case…If it was supposed to be that she had a chance, I’m sure that the doctor would have given us different answers.

Wednesday January 18th
Only two days had passed, and I felt like it was the first time that I was able to face the day with somewhat normal activities. With that being said…I want to tell you what my biggest struggles were…when we found out her life threatening condition at Dr. Brar’s office on Monday, the option of terminating the baby came up…this is something that as a mother you would never, ever imagine would even have to think about…then there was the option of possibly being induced very early…some other things that I had to think about was that after 20 weeks of pregnancy it is usually considered a still born, not a miscarriage, (I will be 20 weeks on the 25th) and then after 25 weeks you are required to bury your child and last of all…if we decided to wait it out, and go to term (38-40 weeks) how will my body be able to deliver? What are the risks with all these options? Is my baby in pain? How will I emotionally be able to hold on to my baby if she is strong enough to make it to term? I am in complete limbo. I cannot yet grieve the loss of my baby, so I continue to protect and love her the best that I can while she is a part of me. The hardest part of this all is that we don’t know what lies ahead…we just know that no matter what we will have to face it and get through it…

Thursday January 19th
We meet with our Bishop…after his counsel and guidance we feel that we should give our baby every chance to live that we can…we wait and let Heavenly Father take her when it’s her time…It is that night that I am blessed with health and we are told that our daughter will eternally be with our family.

Friday January 20th
Today…I wake up thinking about the decision that we made… this decision means that we would be about five weeks from knowing whether or not we will have to bury our sweet daughter. No parent should ever have to see the grave of one of their children…I’m still in awe and disbelief that this has happened to us. The days go by very slowly and I look forward to when “this too shall pass”. We meet with Dr. Brar and Dr. Moneke on Monday. It will be nice to get some more answers and feel like we are moving forward. Aside from those updates, I’ve discovered that creating (crafts), and being productive is helping me to cope. I’ve been able to get back to teaching a little bit…it helps take my mind off of everything…but I’m afraid that there’s going to be those days where I just won’t feel like doing anything…it’s hard for me to accept that not only has this tragedy happened, but I have to allow myself to figure out how to cope, grieve and find peace. I want you to know that I appreciate all the support that we have gotten so far. Parents of my students have been so wonderful and understanding, my close friends have been an amazing listening ear and have cried with me, our parents have been there every step of the way, I’ve had numerous people tell me that they are or already have put our names in the temple and our wonderful Bishop is going to ask the ward to fast for us this Sunday. This is a very tragic and devastating time, but we feel the prayers and love of everyone who is there for us. It means more than you know. I will do my best to keep everyone updated…Thank you for your sweet messages, and prayers.

Sincerely, Rosalie, Michael, and Baby Elle Carmela