I Have a Date

On June 12th, 2012, I have a very important date. This is the day that I will get to meet my daughter, Annie Rose, and also the day that I will most likely be saying good-bye to her. I am joyful and anxious, excited and sad; the day will be bittersweet. It will be a big day for Annie – she will get to meet her daddy, her big brother and sisters, her Oma and Opa, and many wonderful friends who will make the trip to meet her. She will meet the team of medical and palliative care professionals who have been so thoughtful in helping us to prepare for her birth. They have valued her life and shown great compassion to us, her family.

Most importantly, Annie will be surrounded by a cloud of prayer on the day of her birth. These prayer warriors will be near and far, and they have been supporting us all for the past several months since Annie’s diagnosis. Their earnest prayers, along with the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, have protected us from despair, strengthened us when difficult decisions have had to be made, and allowed us to love Annie as a precious gift to our family from our loving Father.

I am anticipating many things about the day of Annie’s birth. I know that the presence of loved ones will strengthen and encourage our family, and that the prayers of those not physically present, but just as truly present as far as I’m concerned, will affect many miracles for us on that day. I have explained to our children, who have been praying for a miracle, that God works many unexpected wonders in our lives, ones that we never even knew to ask for. He may not work a miracle of healing, but I have no doubt that He will surprise us in many other ways, just as He did when Lucy was born.

I am anticipating that saying good-bye to Annie, and watching our children say their good-byes, will be terribly difficult. I also know that great sorrow and great joy are two sides of the same coin, and that in our grief we will catch a glimpse of the eternal in a way that we never have before. We have cried many tears over the past few months, but we have also cherished our blessings and experienced joy in new and unexpected ways. We know that there will be tough times ahead, but we also trust that there will be many wonderful ones as well.

There is much more to write, but it is late and my pregnant brain is moving slowly :) Please continue to pray for us, for our children, and for Annie Rose. We will take many pictures on the day of her birth, and will share them when the time is right. Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us!

  • KD

    Continued prayers for you, Annie, and your family. Thank you for sharing Annie’s upcoming birth day. I will hold you all in my prayers especially on the 12th. May God’s grace give you strength and peace.

  • Kellie “Red”

    We can’t wait to see you and we are honored to meet Annie and celebrate her precious life. We continue to hold all of your intentions very close to our hearts.

  • Saoirse

    I want to say thank you. The story of your family has touched me. You have set such a beautiful example of putting it all in God’s hands. I pray He continues to give you the grace and strength you show in your writing.

  • Kathy

    Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your daughter. My heartfelt condolences as well. Thank you for sharing your story. We will remember all of you in prayer – especially on the 12th. Annie will share a birthday with my mom and brother-in-law.

    I wish that there were some meaningful words to write to help you with this event. Please know that where words may fail – my prayers are there.

    I will ask my daughters’ classes to pray for you. They love to help people through prayer.

    May you have an easy delivery and speedy physical recovery. Keep us posted when you can.

  • Juris Mater

    Kat, I have nothing to say but thank you. You heart is so, so big and your faith is unforgettable. Thank you for sharing Annie’s life and your family’s joy and suffering with us.

  • JMB

    I don’t know what to say other than I’m praying for you and your family. God bless you.

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Kat, you are beautiful and your love for Annie is just breathtaking. What a sweet angel baby, so lucky to be born to a family who cherishes her so. We are wrapping our arms around you from Virginia. Many, many prayers, friend.

  • Steph

    Your family has been on my mind and in my prayers since you shared the diagnosis. Thank you, from the depths of my heart, for sharing your story. You all are such a shining example of God’s abundant grace. We will continue to pray.

  • Amy Bates M.

    Thank you for sharing Annie’s birthday with us in advance so that we can all be praying for you from now until then, and especially on that day. Please know that your community of love spans a very large number of people, near and far, including many who will never meet you but are moved by your story. May God bless you and keep your family close!

  • Donna

    This is a beautiful post. I would like to join the prayer warrior team that will support you on June 12th from afar. Your faith and hope are a blessing to us all.

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

    I think you are so wise in the way that you have explained to your children that the miracles and blessings of that day may not be the one miracle that they are really hoping for. We all have to learn in life that there are great mysteries and that our prayers, though they may seem unanswered, are not unheard. While I am sad that your children have to learn this in such a difficult way at such a young age, they are blessed to have parents who can guide them through with such sensitivity and grace.

  • Carrie Altman

    Your family has been on my heart for the past few months. Thank you for allowing us to share this special day with you, and please know that you will be covered in prayer from our family. I pray that you feel God’s loving arms around you this week and that your children will experience Him in powerful way. I pray for God to bless your family in the ways that only He can. Much love to you all.

  • Helen

    Katrina: prayers for you, your family, and little Annie. I was thinking about your situation as I was trying to get to sleep last night and praying for a miraculous cure. But, if it’s God’s will that Annie returns to Him, what a blessing to know you have a saint in the family! I am sure, too, that your example of love of unborn life in the face of such difficult circumstances will be a powerful witness of Christ to your family, friends, and the medical staff you come across. God bless.

  • Lisa

    Dear Katrina – Please know that you and your family have been in my prayers since I read your “about me” profile on this patheos site, and you mentioned you’re expecting a 2nd baby with a neural tube issue. How I hoped that I misread/misunderstood your blurb, but when you clarified in a post about your precious Annie, I saw that I’d read correctly and you are indeed on this journey. Your grace-filled writing is beyond beautiful. I’ve loved hearing about your beautiful daughters, and I’ve also very much appreciated the practical, logistical advice you’ve shared, including resources that exist to help families in these situations. I am so grateful that you’ve shared so much information with us – when a friend of mine experienced a similar loss, I was able to forward links to your posts, I could share information about the photography service you’d written about, etc. Please know that your family is in my prayers – and the prayers of so many. God bless you.

  • Karen

    Praying for all of you!

  • http://thisaintthelyceum.org Kelly Mantoan

    Katrina, my husband and I have been praying steadily for you and Ed, as well as your children. We will remember you all especially on the 12th. I know our children have always surprised us as we dealt with our own family tragedies. I think yours will come through this in ways you cannot predict, good ways, that will help you and Ed through your own struggles.
    May God grant you comfort, strength and peace as everything unfolds in the coming weeks,

  • Eileen D’A

    You’re in my prayers.

  • Elena

    Katrina, your tender love for Annie and Lucy, through the Cross, emanates from all your posts. God has certainly blessed these souls to be received by a self-giving family like yours. Please be assured of our prayers for you all. May Our Lady always protect and comfort you.

  • http://www.graceinmyheart.blogspot.com graceinmyheart

    Prayers and hugs.

  • Mrs Gregory

    Praying for a peaceful day, and lots of healing for you.

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  • http://www.newmanbiography.com Juan R. Velez

    Dear Katrina and Ed, I have been praying for you and Annie Rose every day. One day in Heaven, when God will be all in all, you will see how your love has lifted up the world, and rejoice for the love of having brought Annie Rose into the world. Shortly after her Baptism on the 12th she will be fully united to the Blessed Trinity.
    With prayers for Kat and others who are suffering like you, Fr. Juan

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  • Kayte CookWatts

    Oh this breaks my heart. I will say a prayer for all of you. Beautiful post.

  • BKBurger

    I am praying for Annie Rose and for you and her Daddy and siblings and family. I am praying in JESUS’s name for her healing (whatever is God’s will in this matter) and for comfort for you all and that you will have the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ through your grief and sorrow. May the presence and peace of Jesus be in you and radiate though Annie to all of her family.

  • Amanda Neelley

    We met and said good-bye to our son, Jacob Ben on April 28, 1994. I will never forget or be the same. The gift of his few minutes was a love note from my Abba father. You are in my prayers and may your day be precious.

  • Christy

    I don’t know if yesterday was the day, but praying for your family all the same. I am the aunt of a sweet one who had anencephaly, and we made the trip to meet him on the day of his birth like so many family members. It was an amazing day, a holy day with the veil of heaven pulled back just a little bit for the several hours everyone was able to spend with him. There was sorrow, of course, but there was peace that day beyond what you could comprehend. I hope and pray that your family has many memories to hold onto from the day of her birth, trusting that God can exponentially multiply those experiences to last a lifetime. Bless you and your family for being willing to take on this journey and show her how much you have loved her! I pray the day of her birth and the days following are joyful and peaceful for you in ways that you can’t understand. And, know that many years from now, your extended family will not forget her, and will always hold a very important place in their heart for her.


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