Thursday, March 29, 2012

Family Update - March 29, 2012

Dear Family & Friends,

Today proved to be yet another amazing day! Actually, this has been quiet an amazing week. We have had so many "firsts" and often I have to just sit and cry as I think about how blessed we are and that this is reality not just a dream anymore.

As reported earlier in the week, Alexis was released to come home from NICU Sunday (3/25) and yesterday (3/28) she had her first set of professional photo's taken, then today (3/29) she had her first doctor's appointment today with our family doctor. He was in awe and so excited to meet her for the first time. She received a great check up and has grown tremendously. She now weighs 5lbs 4ozs and has grown a 3/4' in length (now 18 1/4"). She is still in the lower 5th percentile on the growth charts but with gains like this she will not be there long.

These photo's are from her session yesterday. I know I'm a proud Mommy, but I have to say, she made a beautiful model and was so easy to work with. She has the best personality already!

These photo's were taken by Amy Shepherd Photography - if you need pictures taken I highly recommend her. She is amazing to work with and is awesome with babies!! She was kind and gentle with our little angel and has a tremendous amount of patience. I am excited to see what the rest of the pictures look like.

I would love to report that every day gets easier since we buried our precious Bridgette, but that would be a lie. I have faith that it will get easier, but right now I am still dealing with such raw emotions as this is only day 12 since we laid her to rest and it simply seems like it was just yesterday. I just keep reminding myself "....the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). But I am also reminded that the Lord blessed Job beyond measure because he stayed faithful to Him - "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy." (James 5:11) I believe that everything happens for a reason and I strongly believe that because we have stayed faithful (even through the trials & losses) that is why God has blessed us with such a bundle of joy - Alexis Elaine. When we met with the doctor today (for Alexis' follow-up appointment) there was an intern present with him, it was touching to see our doctor give the student an overview of our history. You could hear the passion as he told our left me in awe to just listen. I think because I am the one that is always "telling" the story so to hear it replayed back was touching.
I firmly believe that our little Alexis is going to touch many people's lives. I've said it before... but I really think it's time to start writing that book... now if only I could get that financial break-through so I could be a stay-at-home mom and writer it would certainly make it easier....(big smiles)!

As always, we will continue to keep you updated and all we ask is that you simply keep us in your prayers.

"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Ryan, Candye, Alexis (& Bridgette 1/4/12)

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Chapter - Family Update 26March2012

Dear Family & Friends.....

And so the story continues.....

There's so much to document since our last blog. Ironically, today was originally the day we were scheduled to have the c-section; instead this is the first full day we have spent with our little girl in our home. Just amazing and still in awe - it's hard to believe even though we can see her. We were released from NICU Sunday (3/25/12), which marked a full day of "firsts" for our family. Our little girl took her first elevator ride yesterday, she took her first car ride in Daddy's truck, and we brought our little Princess home to start our new family and life together.

As you can tell, she had no problems sleeping her first night at home. She is sleeping in the same bassinet that her Daddy slept in as a baby - which I think is so neat. (Thanks Grammy for keeping it for all of these years). We feel so blessed because she is such a happy baby and only fusses or cries when she has the typical baby issues (a dirty/wet diaper or is hungry); otherwise she is so good and smiles or sleeps the rest of the time.

Due to the fact that she was born so early (34 weeks, 4 days) the doctor has advised us that it is in her best interest to not have visitors for a while. They recommend at least waiting until she would have been 39 weeks gestation; which is in two weeks. We are going to adhere to that timeline as we feel it is in the best interest of our little girl. When we look at her it is so hard to believe that she is technically supposed to still be in my belly (well, actually was supposed to be delivered today) because she looks so full-term. (I say that not because I know what full-term is supposed to look like, but because that's what the doctor's all said). Still, she is perfect in our eyes.

I had a post-delivery appointment today and as I waited in the room to see my OB/GYN I reflected on the last time I was there. It was such a scary day - one that will forever be embedded in my memory. It was funny how I could overhear our doctor telling the lady in the next room that she would go to weekly appointments starting next week. It just brought back a flood of emotions knowing that it seemed like just yesterday she was telling me the same thing. I often wonder why we had to deliver so early and go through all we've been through; but just as the thoughts entered my mind - they escaped just as fast as I was comforted by the facts that the early delivery brought us many new friends from the hospital and relationships we will forever cherish, and blessings beyond measure; even with the burial of our precious Bridgette.

In a nutshell, I can tell you - this is just the beginning and the best is yet to come....

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)

As always, we'll continue to keep you updated, and all we ask is that you please continue to keep us in your prayers.


Ryan, Candye, Alexis (& Bridgette, RIP 1/4/12)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Family Update - March 22, 2012

Dear Family & Friends,

Well, it's been a long 14 days since we were wheeled into surgery to start this new chapter in our journey. It's never easy to sit in NICU but let me just tell you it is a blessing to look around and see what all God is doing. Our first family photo was taken the day we laid our little Bridgette to rest. It was such a hard day but we were so blessed to have such amazing support of the most wonderful family and friends surrounding us and helping us through the day. Little did we know that we would find such joy in a memorial service. I know it may sound crazy - but I think Bridgette would have been so proud if she could have seen such an amazing out-pouring of love and support offered on her behalf; and I believe Alexis will look back and be proud to see how we honored her baby sister. We're still in awe at the impact of such a little girl that no-one really got to meet, yet she touched the lives of so many in just a short while. I cannot lie, every day is hard - and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her and thank God for her. But I also know that God blessed our lives with another little angel, Alexis Elaine, and we are forever grateful for her. She is simply amazing. I would have never dreamed I could love someone so much but I do and it's beyond what words can ever explain or describe.

(Poem from the funeral)
Daddy please don't look so sad, momma please don't cry.
Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.
Please try not to question God, don't think he is unkind.
Don't think he sent me to you and then changed his mind.
You see I'm a special child, I am needed up above.
I'm the special gift you gave Him, a product of your love.
I'll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night.
Look for the brightest star and know that's
my halo's brilliant light.
You'll see me in the morning frost that mists your window
pane. That's me in the summer showers; I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a gentle breeze from a gentle wind that blows,
Know that it's me planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing and your heart feels a tug,
Don't be sad mommy, that's just me giving your heart a hug.
So daddy don't look so sad and mommy please don't cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies!

A nurse in NICU told us that the blond streak in Alexis' hair is where an Angel kissed her. I told my husband, that's where Bridgette kissed her before she passed away & comforted her to let her know that she would be watching over her from above. It's hard not to cry as I write this blog but I think it's important to share our story so maybe it'll continue to touch others...

I'm sorry I have not been able to return everyones calls. The reception in NICU is not the greatest on my phone and sometimes I get texts or voice mails and sometimes I don't get them for a couple of days. I promise to let everyone know when we get to take our baby girl home and you're all more than welcome to come see us then.

As always, we'll keep you updated and all we ask is that you continue to keep us in your prayers.

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10)


Ryan, Candye, Alexis (& Bridgette RIP 1/4/2012)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Family & Friends,

It has only been a couple of days since my last blog, but it certainly feels as if it's been a week as so much has happened. Little Alexis was moved into a regular crib yesterday, which was yet another huge stride. It is awesome to see her out from under the lamps and more paraphernalia removed so she is able to start this new life on her own. I know it seems as if I only post about all of the wonderful things, but I will not lie - it is extremely taxing and very scary for me, and some days I feel as if I am running in circles; but she is really doing very well considering the circumstances. We have obstacles to overcome with her being so early but we also have so much to be thankful for.

Yes, as you can tell by all the pictures... I am trying to document everything. From strides in her health-care to the family that has been able to hold her. I want to try and capture as much as I can for her so she can look back and see just how much support she had/has. I have always heard people make statements such as, "When they're your own -- you'll think they're the most beautiful thing even if they're not". I used to laugh and say - "not me... I'll admit if my children are ugly"... yeah right! I definitely think my baby girls are THE MOST beautiful girls in the world and I doubt anyone could dispute it... (lol - true words from a new mother)

As you can see -- I'm spending all of my time with her and cannot stand to leave for even sleep; however, I am making it a point to step away long enough to eat and (by force) sleep. (big smile). I will not tell you it has been easy and chipper the last seven (7) days because that would be a big lie. However, I will tell you that God is good and he continues to give me what I need and to show his mercy and grace daily in our Angel. She is a preemie so she has her own struggles, but every day that I look around and see all of the other children in NICU that are struggling and fighting for their lives I cannot help but weep for them too and pray for God's healing touch on their little lives too. It certainly can put things in perspective and give you a reason to be so grateful for all that we are blessed with - even if we cannot bring her home yet at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel....that's a lot more than some that have been there for months on end fighting and praying.

As you can tell, Daddy is not afraid of the dirty diapers... He's going to rock as a Dad!!

I'm very sorry that I have not been able to keep up with emails, texts and return some calls throughout the day. When I'm in the NICU unit our cell phones are not allowed but they typically do not say anything about limited texts so I'm trying to be good (and for those of you that know me.... know that's a challenge... smile).

As always, I'll try to keep you updated as we have progress, and all we ask is that you please continue to keep us in your prayers.

In You, Lord my God, I put my trust (Psalm 25:1)


Ryan, Candye & Alexis (& Bridgette, RIP 1/4/12)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Journey....

Dear Family & Friends,

I do not really know where to begin. It seems like the last five (5) days have flown by and carried with it an flurry of emotions. As most of you know, we took that journey down a long hallway (pictured on left) to the surgery room that awaited us to bring our girls into this big world. It was a walk that (for starters) we never thought we would get to take, but certainly were not planning to take it in the form of an emergency c-section. Little did we know that on the other side of the surgery doors would await a whole new journey.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you" (Jeremiah 1:5)

At 4:19 pm, on March 8, 2012, Alexis Elaine was our first miracle that breathed life (pictured to the right). She weighed 4lbs 10ozs and 17" long. When my husband laid this little miracle in my arms I cannot begin to tell you the feelings of joy and overwhelming excitement and anxiety I felt. I was scared, happy, and knew was soon going to face being sad as we would deliver our precious Bridgette Dean at 4:21 pm, March 8, 2012, weighing just under 3ozs and 7" long. She was perfect (to say the least). Again, the emotions that were cascaded upon us both are beyond what words can express.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above" (James 1:17)

As they wheeled Alexis to NICU I was left to hold Bridgette which was a priceless moment in time. My heart ached because I could not be with Alexis but at the same time it was aching because I was holding the shell of a daughter we only had the opportunity to meet while in the womb. But do not weep for us because she was such a gift and a joy that we cannot explain and although we have to say good-bye for now, we know that we have just added to the span of Angels in Heaven watching over our family.

"From the fullness of grace we have received one blessing after another" (John 1:16)

Just five short days later, our little bundle of joy, Alexis, is showing so many improvements that it's hard to describe and most of the NICU doctors are in awe at her rapid improvement. She has been removed from all oxygen and is breathing on her own; her IV was removed today and she only had to spend 24 hours under the "lights" for her jaundice.

Again, another miracle God has bestowed upon our newly created family that we are forever grateful for. She is doing amazing and we cannot believe the progress. They thought for sure we would be in NICU for at least 4 weeks but at this rate they're already talking about releasing us by early next week.

Yesterday, she was eating on her own and was taking the bottle and starting to show that her sucking and breathing coordination was rapidly improving as well. We are simply in amazement at God's mercy and grace. He continues to bless us through all the trials and shows his love though our trials and tribulations as well as in our triumphs.

"We prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him" (1 Samuel 1:27)

We finalized the funeral arrangements for our precious Bridgette today. We will have a service for her at The Ark Church (5501 N. Maize Road, Maize, KS) at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 17th, 2012. As previously announced, we have opened the church service to all who desire to come share in our good-bye for our Princess. Although we know we'll see her on the other side.

We are forever grateful for your continued support and prayers.... this is truly a journey that just continues to get sweeter and sweeter as the days go by....

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I will praise him" (Psalm 28:7)


Ryan, Candye, Alexis (& Bridgette, RIP 1/4/2012)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Message

You have a Picture Mail from



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Send and receive Pictures and Videos through Picture MailSM. For more information go to
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Alexis Elaine
4lb 10oz
March 8, 2012

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family Update - March 7, 2012

Dear Family & Friends,

Our little girl was on the move today and it was evident with her little heart beat of 178bpm. I'm not sure where she was going but her little feet were moving like crazy, and still up above her head. It looked like she was trying to suck on her toes again.... she definitely has a personality all her own.

In our last report we bragged that we had graduated from seeing our fetal specialist - well, looks like we get to visit them again tomorrow. Our wonderful sono-tech today (Ramona) identified that the amniotic fluid was down from just a week ago. We're not worried because we know God is in control, but we will go in tomorrow morning to have another check done and just be on the safe side.

As always, we'll keep you updated as we know more and all we ask is that you continue to keep us in your prayers.

"We prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him" (1 Samuel 1:27)


Ryan, Candye, Alexis (& Bridgette, RIP 1/4/2012)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Still Believe!

This link will take you to where miracles still reside..... How Great Is Our God!!

Monday, March 5, 2012


It's so hard to imagine that we officially have 3 weeks from today! I cannot even begin to explain how anxious we are growing. We are trying to put the final touches on Alexis' room and finishing the organization of everything - but I have to be honest.... her room simply is not big enough to hold all of her "stuff" already! Guess that's a typical girl for ya... and I only speak from experience...(big smile)

It was picture time yesterday for the family - marking week 34. For the record, it's official - I can no longer see my feet and I have cankles... (lol). Ironically, I don't mind at all... it's the greatest feeling in the world to know that we have an amazing little girl that is about to change our world forever; and I cannot help but get teared up knowing that our prayers have been answered after 18 long years.... guess it may sound silly to some, but until you know what it's like to desire something so bad and be so close and yet so far away guess it simply will not make much sense.

Our next appointment is Wednesday, so we'll keep you updated as always - and we only ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7 NIV)

We prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him (1 Samuel 1:27)


Ryan, Candye, Alexis (& Bridgette RIP 1/4/2012)