I now know that when I get the same question asked several times, it is best that I address it to all.
We were told that Gabe's diagnosis of Bilateral Renal Agenesis (aka, Potter's Syndrome) was a fluke. Not due to something I did. Not due to genetics.
Sometimes, infants are born with BRA and it is then discovered that one or both of the parents only had one kidney, and never knew it. However, because we have Joel, who is 100% healthy, we know that we can produce a child with kidneys.
Also, the reoccurance rate for having another Potter's baby is approximately 3 percent. So, there you go...
I have added more info on Potter's under the "Information" tab above.
Good morning! I still have lots to say about reaching our six month angelversary, but for now I only have time to tell you about the March of Dimes.
The oldest, and first, walk is called March for Babies. I am going to be participating this year, on April 24th at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds. I am asking for help, whether that be donations, or to volunteer to be on my team, which is called "Honoring Gabriel." Please consider helping me in some way. Even a $5 donation, instead of getting coffee two days this week, would help me reach my goal. Please know that 78 cents of every dollar raised goes directly back into support and research for the cause.
What's the cause? "The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality."
Also, don't forget, some of my dearest friends are organizing a Gabriel Memorial Walk to be held in October. Look forward to more details about that!
Thank you so much! Here's the link to my personal website through March of Dimes. You will be able to give a donation, join my team, add banners and Facebook Apps. http://www.marchforbabies.org/meghankelsey
Hello followers! The website had about 200 views one day this week. (This is significant considering you can't find this website using google - it costs more!) I am always so thrilled to think about how many people look at this website. My husband and I prayed so much that Gabe's life would bring others closer to Christ and I was reminded again today that this website, and his story, have done just that.
I try very hard to stay positive and think about all of you who thank me for my "transparency" and my "vulnerability," but just know that it does not come easily. And I have had my words used against me. So, the positive affirmation does help.
I know so many of you look at this site anonymously, but I am asking that if reading about Gabe has helped you in anyway, please let us know. I started a Word Document entitled "Gabe's Miracles" months ago, just time lining all the people who have come to Christ or renewed their relationship with him since reading about Gabe and our family. I would LOVE to add to it!
Here are a few anonymous miracles:
From a pastor: "You have changed me by changing my perspective and encouraging my own journey of faith. Thank you so very much.”
From a dear friend: "I know that because of you, God has touched my life. I was unsure, and wanting to believe, but now, today, because of you, Kyle, Joel and Gabe, God is a part of my life.”
A friendly acquaintance: "Reading your website was like reading a message from God straight to me."
A family member: "My life will be forever changed."
An old friend: "I just want you to know that your family's story over the last year or so...has made a huge impact on me. I was kind of lost from God for awhile for many reasons...and I remember thinking when I saw your website for the first time that I wanted to be able to trust in him like you and your family did and still do. So, I just wanted to let you know that your website isn't only helping other families who have angels up in heaven, its helping everyone who reads it."
Relationships have been mended. Spirits have been lifted. Faith has been restored. Share!
I have been having a few sad days recently. The kind of sad that you can't really pinpoint. But, it's there. I had a playdate yesterday with a new friend and she asked about Gabe. It was wonderful. And, as I talked about him, I didn't even come close to crying. This, I know, is a great thing - a sign of how much better I am doing. But, I couldn't help but to feel guilty the entire rest of the day, upset that talking about my son had not brought me to tears. This might not make sense to those of you who have not had a loss, but I know some of you will understand.
But, I was able to go to our Bible Study last night and be around my amazing God-loving girlfriends and my strength was restored. My faith and hope in God was ignited. My heart was comforted. I was listened to and understood.
Friends are so amazing. Just this morning, another friend sent me a link about a Hillsong singer. I really wanted to share it with you all, because it explains how I feel about my relationship with God so much. The beginning is the interview and then it goes into the song. Below the clip you will see the lyrics to the song.
I just want to thank my friends for being there for me. Thank you all for thinking about me, asking me how I'm doing, sending me encouragement, talking about my son, and for loving me unconditionally. You are teaching me so many lessons about how to treat others. Thank you.
Hello followers. Just having a really sad afternoon and decided to blog in hopes of feeling better. My mom got me the newest Steven Curtis Chapman CD, Beauty will Rise, which he wrote after losing his daughter, Maria. For those of you who don't know, in May of 2008, his teenage son accidentally ran over his adopted daughter in their driveway. She was five years old. The cd is amazing, but I bawl the whole time I'm listening to it. My favorite song has to be Heaven is the Face.
You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9JTwJ_1lzE
Heaven is the face of a little girl, with dark brown eyes that dissapear when she smiles. Heaven is the place where she calls my name, says, "Daddy please come play with me for awhile."
God, I know, it's all of this and so much more.
But, God, you know that this is what I'm aching for.
God, you know, I just can't see beyond the door.
So right now, Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep, lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing. And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms, being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams.
Heaven is a sweet maple syrup kiss. And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone. Heaven is the place where she takes my hand and leads me to you and we both run into your arms.
Oh God, I know, it's so much more than I can dream.
It's far beyond anything I can conceive.
So, God, you know, I'm trusting you until I see Heaven in the face of my little girl.
I literally feel like God took his daughter so that he would write this music - to comfort and bless people like me. Now, I'm really sad that that had to happen to him, but it helps make sense of his loss.
I've been spending my afternoon with my boys. Kyle on the floor playing legos with Joel Bee. Me making dinner and listening to this cd, watching the gorgeous snow falling outside. And, it's all really nice. But I miss my son. I'm sad that I'm not holding him as we watch them play. I'm sad that I can't see Joel interact with him. I can only pray that God will bless me again with another baby to love.
Hope you're all enjoying this weather. It's certainly causing us all to spend a LOT of time with our families! Little shout out to my MIL, Dawn, who took care of Kyle and I this morning when we came to visit her. It was so incredibly nice to be served lunch, sitting on the couch, not having to move a muscle. Thank you...
Today is my birthday. It took me a few hours until I remembered that I found out I was pregnant with Gabe this day last year. Suddenly, I'm wisked back into the past. Remembering walking dowstairs to tell Kyle that "we" were pregnant again. Seeing the huge smile come quickly on his face.
Thinking about the day we were told our tiny baby was "incompatible with life." Recalling what it was like to have to tell family and friends. Thinking about how their faces dropped as we shared our news. Remembering what it was like when we held our son for the last time.
I'm driving and crying alone in my car. But, it's okay. My baby is happy and healthy and loving life up in Heaven. I have so much to look forward to. There are hard moments, but I know that I will see him again soon.
This month will mark six months since we met and lost Gabriel. This day marks a new beginning for me. The year I was 27 was the year I lost my son. 2009 was the year I lost my son. I'm starting over. New year. Positive thoughts!!! :)
Quotes from fellow Potter's Mommas:
"I really don't know what I would do without being able to read your words.... I see them as my future and you really give me hope that this will get better--- slowly, maybe, but progress can be made!"
"I know I've said it a hundred times, but I need to say it again: I can never express to you how much... you helped me in guiding me through what to expect..."
I love you, girls!