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by Joseph Digman
Don't listen to the foolish unbelievers who say forget.
Take up your armful of roses and remember them
the flower and the fragrance.
When you go home to do your sitting in the corner by the clock
And sip your rosethorn tea
It will warm your face and fingers
and burn the bottom of your belly.
But as her gone-ness piles in white,crystal drifts
It will be the blossom of her moment
the warmth on your belly,
the tiny fingers unfolding,
the new face you've always known
that has changed you.
Take her moment and hold it as every mother does.
She will always be your daughter.
And when the sitting is done
you'll find bitter grief could never poison the sweetness of her time.

Faith Elizabeth Moore
August 15, 1997- August 20, 1997

In January of 1997 my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our second child. We were so excited and hoped for a little girl, since we already had our little boy. We had been trying for a year and a half to get pregnat, so this was the wonderful news we had been waiting for.
Things went smoothly for the first three months, then in the fourth month of the pregnancy a routine ultrasound showed that Faith's heart was beating too slowly (55-65bpm). We were sent to Children's Hospital in Omaha to see the Perinatologist and the Pediatric Cardiologist. They saw that Faith had six different structural defects in her heart and they gave us little hope. The worst case scenerio was that she would die in utereo; the best chance (according to them)was that I would carry the pregnancy to the 26th week. We were just devestated. We never in our wildest dreams imagined our baby would be sick.
We went home and told our family and friends. Immeadiately a prayer chain began for Faith. As time went on this prayer chain stretched across the United States, into England, France and Italy. These prayers were what lifted us up and supported us during the uncertain times.
We had to make the two hour round trip to Omaha every two weeks at first, then twice a week toward the end as doctors looked for signs of heart failure. These multiple trips gave us time to get to know baby Faith even more. We already knew she liked spicy food because I always craved mexican food when I was pregnat with her, but every ultrasound and echocardiogram made her more and more familiar to us. Once, the cardiologist couldn't look at her heart because she was holding her hand over it! Even to this day, we laugh about that!
Even though the doctors held out little hope for Faith, we never gave up on her. She was such a fighter and there were so many prayers being said for her that we just KNEW she would be fine! In fact, at one of the many visits, the cardiologist saw that one of Faith's heart defects had healed itself!! He admitted that was unusual and said that he never saw a baby so sick fight for so long as Faith did. That was a confirmation for us that she would be alright. Yes, she would need surgery or maybe a transplant, but we never once thought that she would die.
Finally, on August 15, 1997 (in the 35th week of the pregnancy) the perinatologist saw a build up of fluid in her tummy--a sign of heart failure. He called the cardiologist and preparations began for an emergency C-section. It was kind of scary to see the nurses running in and out of the room, but I was excited to see my baby girl! Faith's birth was her moment of glory! She surpassed all the doctors expectations: she was born alive and CRYING--not limp and unconcious as they had thought--she looked perfect. She was small (3 lbs. 12 oz and 17 inches long) but beautiful. She had black hair and eyes the color of violets. I remember when she looked into my eyes for the first time--it was like she held the wisdom of the universe. She was baptized right away and the priest went to tell my parents how the delivery went and how she cried! She was then whisked off by the NICU team to have an exeternal pacemaker placed through a vein in her leg (much like a heart catheterization). She remained sedated and on a ventilator in the NICU for the next four days while doctors looked her over. We sat by her side, holding her hand, talking to her and when the medications would wear off she would grab a finger or open her eyes. Our son Tommy came up to see her and he would play "This little piggy" with her tiny toes, or kiss her warm little tummy. Once he said "My baby sister is a baby doll!" Even though she was covered with tubes and wires she was perfect to us.

Then one day we had a meeting with the cardiologist. He lowered the bomb that destroyed my world: there was nothing they could do for Faith. Due to the nature of her heart defects, there was no surgery they could do and she wasn't eligable for a heart transplant because her lungs were too small. Her heart had become so enlarged that it filled her chest cavity and left very little room for her lungs to grow. We had two options: leave her on the ventilator until her organs completely shut down (about a week) or remove her from the ventilator and let her die in peace. After much discussion with family and our priest, we decided to let her go with dignity. I'll never forget walking up to the hospital knowing it would be the first and last time (on earth) that I would hold her. My husband, my father and I waited in the "quiet room" while my mom dressed Faith in what was supposed to be her 'coming home from the hospital' dress. It was a lovely peach colored dress with ivory lace, and she wore lacy matching tights. She looked so beautiful.

I remember my dad telling me with tears in his eyes to try and enjoy my time with her--no to let my sadness spoil the special moment I would have with her. I didn't know how I was going to do that, but when the nurse brought her in and placed her in my arms a great sense of peace descended upon me. Her spirit gave me the strength. We all had a chance to hold her, rock her, sing to her and kiss her. We took tons of pictures. Finally, I told her that I was so proud of her for fighting so hard, but that it was OK, she could go home now. On August 20, 1997 five days after her birth, Faith died in her Daddy's arms. Once again, she proved the doctors wrong: they gave her 10 minutes to live off life support. My girl lived for an hour and a half. Even now, her spirit lives on. She is always doing little "Acts of Faith" to let us know that she lives on. My sister gets little tiny white feathers from Faith every now and again!

Since Faith went home to heaven, my life has changed drastically. I used to be a quiet and shy person, but now I am a facilitator for a local chapter of SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group. My love for her outweighs any anxiety I might have. We practice Random acts of Kindness in memory of Faith and decorate her grave. In every possible way, we make the world know that she was here and she was loved. But, as her epitaph reads "This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you." Tommy is now six years old and he has another baby sister, Winter Joy born on February 13, 1999. Winter brings us such happiness and it is such a blessing to see her and Tom play together, but nobody could take Faith's place.



If we, as parents,
waited nine long months for the birth of our baby girl,
would you not expect us to love her?
If we brought our new baby home,
would you not expect us to care for her,
nurture her, and adore her?
Anything less would be considered abuse,
wouldn't it?
But what if she cries only once,
and our happiest memories are of the months she lived and grew within?
What if her baby blue eyes open only once,
and all the pictures in her album can be counted on one hand?
What happens then?
What do we do when the milk comes in,
and no one is here to drink it?
Or we awaken for the two a.m. feeding and rush into the nursery,
only to find it empty?
What happens when my tummy begins to flatten,
and my pregnant body returns to "normal",
and we still have no little one to hold?
Where are the smiles? Where is the joy?
What if morning sickness suddenly becomes mourning sickness,
and postpartum depression occurs in the midst of grieving for a baby child?
And what if the only cries in our house,
are our own?
How do we explain everything nature intended
to happen when a baby is born,
still happens?
Except the most important part!
Apparently, my tummy is empty.
And yet the cradle is empty, too.
My mind can't comprehend this craziness.
What if our love continues to grow as the weeks and months and years gradually slip away,
And our precious little girl....
Never....Comes home?

Please take a moment and sign Faith's Guestbook.

This page was made with love by Erin and Quinn's mommy from one bereaved Member to Another, as a volunteer for My Mom Is A Survivor.
This Empty Arms Ring site is owned by Jennifer 

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