Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Talk about getting kicked while you're down. Sheish. This month has been rough, if I may be so honest. Sunday night at about 1AM (Monday morning) I found myself starting the 8-hour grueling yo-yo pattern of bed-bathroom-bed-bathroom. Ick. Nate was an incredibly patient husband and took very good care of me.

Now I'm home for the second day- trying to keep crackers and gatorade in my system. Ironically this all started just hours after writing in my prayer journal about the struggles of slowing down. I like to stay really busy so that I don't have to think about the reality of life. Slowing down gives me more time to think and more time to process and inevitably, I become sad and emotional. It's easier to ignore and keep moving. God has a funny sense of humor. "Here Heather, here's the flu. Why don't you just sit for a couple of days, talk to me, listen- stay home alone, lay on the couch and just BE." Agh. Fine.

So, here I am.

This past week has been the hardest of them all. I'm hearing from some reliable sources that hormones take a few weeks to get back to normal. I feel so unlike myself some days. Postpartum? Maybe. A sad mama? Very possible. A "mom" who doesn't feel like a mom because there isn't anyone to show for it? Yes. Everything inside me knew I was a mom- but now....he's not here. Babies should either be IN their moms or close enough that mom can hold them. I've got neither. And that's hard to understand and hard to process through.

I know that women go through this all the time. But you don't think about it being this hard all the time. Deal with it and move on.

nice try.

One of the hardest things is seeing other people "deal with it and move on"- which is exactly what they should do. But I can't seem to get there. I can't deal and move because I think about it all the time. I miss him all the time.

I know it takes time. I know that it's OK to take everything one day at a time. Some days will be good, some days will be a lot harder. I know that it's OK to be sad and to cry. But I'm tired of crying and I'm tired of being sad. The very selfish mother in me wants to hold onto God by His shirt collar and scream at Him, "I WILL be a good mother. Nate WILL be a wonderful father. You WILL give us this child and we WILL take incredibly good care of him!"

But the sane person in me trusts that God's plan is far greater. Oliver may never have developed into a full functioning child. God may just have saved us some unimaginable heartache. He has a story for us and one day we will look back and see how this fits perfectly into the story with a beautiful ending. Right now in this season, this is hard.

Thanks for all your prayers and encouraging words. It's so nice to not feel "forgotten" even as the rest of the world moves on. We feel lifted by your prayers and we know that we're being supported by friends all around the world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oliver Richard Eigsti

We've decided to name him. This baby was as much a life as any other child- we saw and have video of his heart beating and his little body moving around from last Monday. How quickly things can change...

The name we chose is Oliver Richard. We like the name Oliver because it is a form of "Olive tree" and when we thought back to what the olive trees symbolizes, we were reminded of the flood and Noah who sent out a dove to find land. The dove came back with a branch from an olive tree which was a sign that God takes care of us- even through storms, that He fulfills the promises He makes to never leave us and that He will always pull us through the "floods" of life with His mighty hand.

The name Richard is in honor of Nate's grandpa who went to Heaven a few years ago. He was a faithful prayer-filled man who loved the Lord and was admired and respected by his family and friends. We take comfort today knowing that Grandpa and Oliver get to take care of each other until we get there.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dad's point of view

Here's a copy of an email that Nate sent out to family and some of our close friends Wednesday evening. I thought it would be good for you to hear his point of view. It's beautiful.

Wanted to give you all an update on how things are going. It’s funny how quiet our home seemed when we came home from the hospital yesterday. Just knowing that our little guy (we’re pretty sure he was a dude) was no longer growing from the size of one fruit to another every week. It just seemed quiet. How can we miss a little guy that we only saw on the ultrasound once? It’s been tougher than we could have ever imagined. But, we are clinging to our faith and the God that gives and takes life. We don’t understand…we hurt…but we have faith in God’s plan.

Last night and this morning were both really hard in preparing for the surgery where they take our little guy’s body from Heather’s womb. Something about that surgery seemed so cold and invasive. As a father and a husband, it broke my heart to see Heather wheeled away this morning. I couldn’t hold her hand or even be with her as they performed the surgery. But I was comforted by the doctor’s remarks that it was a successful surgery and everything on the inside looked very normal and healthy. Outside of what appeared to be a chromosome mismatch, there is no reason the baby would not have survived. The environment in the womb is very healthy and had been progressing as it should. He didn’t see any reasons that we would have complications in the future. Heather was a trooper – she went through three nurses (two students and then one seasoned veteran) to get her IV in. Both hands now have some major souvenirs. The right hand has eight visible “attempts”. Heather is doing well this evening; a few cramps, but relatively well.

We were incredibly comforted to know where our baby is going to be laid to rest. The hospital will bury our child in October in the Lincoln Cemetery with other little babies that have not made it this year. We will be able to participate in a walk with other parents and see where his physical body lies.

I cannot tell you how loved and encouraged we have felt by each of you. Your thoughts, prayers, calls, texts, visits, etc. have been uplifting and a breath of fresh air while we mourn. We don’t feel that we are in this alone. Last night we were talking about how blessed we are with the friends and family that have supported us. Not only that, but also the many encouragements to keep our focus on how God is and has been taking care of us. A dear friend sent us the following song to offer comfort:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FobeElssLCs (we can’t find a clear version- but this gives you an idea) “Glory Baby” by Christy Nockels of Watermark

Brings us to tears, but gives us comfort. Also, Amy Grant’s latest song was a favorite of ours before the events of this week. The lyrics have taken on a whole new meaning after this week:


And so many verses:

Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Psalm 139: 13-14 (NIV) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV) "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"

So we rejoice with many tears in our eyes. Somehow. We don’t understand, but we trust. After all, that’s what faith is, right? We are moving forward a few steps at a time, hand in hand. For any of you that have children or will soon, please do not feel that you need to refrain from sharing stories, joys or challenges with us. We love each of you and your children the same today as we did three days ago. We would never feel offended, jealous or hurt. No need to walk on eggshells with us - so please share the stories and let us laugh, cry and support you as you have us.

We love you all and appreciate your prayers and support. If I could ask one thing I ask that as you continue to pray for us as we grieve, that you also pray for our parents and siblings. This was the first grandchild and nephew on both sides. They are grieving – as their hearts have also been broken. They don’t get the same attention and prayers as we do. So please pray for them.

Nate & Heather

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Eigsti

I've been avoiding this post. Mostly because I'm not sure where to start. I've been looking forward to sharing our news for over a month- well, since we found out on February 28th that we were going to be the proud new parents of Baby Eigsti- arriving in November 2010. We. were. elated. We immediatly told parents on both sides about their first grandbaby, we sent our siblings cards addressed to "Aunt Emily" and "Uncle James"...phone calls were carefully made to those we wanted to be praying for us and our new family. And over the Easter holiday, we decided we were "close enough" to week 12 to share with any extended family that was there. Everyone was so excited.

Nate and I both took a half day on Monday this week to have our first ultrasound at 10 weeks. We saw a strong heartbeat, and our sweet little miracle on the monitor and tears streamed down both of our faces. He really was there! That was the first proof we'd had that our assumptions and positive home pregnancy tests weren't just a mean trick- we really were pregnant! And there he was!

We were then met with the words, "I have some concerns" and from that point forward our world seemed to quickly spiral down with information we didn't really understand and complications that we couldn't control. They sent us to Methodist in Omaha the following morning for a "second opinion" and by the time we got there, the baby's heart had stopped and we were looking at a time to schedule a D&C back in Lincoln. How quickly our dreams were stomped out; this option had never crossed our mind- we were now parents with a child in Heaven. The concerns had been over the amount of fluid that was on Baby E's brain. We were ready to parent a child with some mental instabilities. We were scared and unsure of how to tackle our new role as "parents of a child with special needs"- but we were going for it. The fact that we might go there that morning and find a dead baby were not options in our minds. We had never even considered that possibility. We were ready for some hard news- but not that hard.

My mom had driven to Omaha that morning to be with us at our appointment. I wanted her there to ask parent questions that we wouldn't think of on our own. Her being there for that hard news was vital. She called all the family on that side so we didn't have to. And there's nothing like a mother's hug when the world drops out from under you.

The surgery to remove Baby E was yesterday morning. Everything went fine. I hated going there. I hated knowing that we were going with our baby but would have to leave without him; that we would come home and he would stay there with all the other little babies that haven't made it. The doctors said everything looked really good and there was no reason other than a chromosomal mismatch that would have caused a baby not to survive in my womb. I think I'm supposed to be comforted by this. Right now, I'm not. I wanted that baby. I wanted a November 2010 birthday. I wanted to go to Jazz in June in tank tops and skirts with a cute little baby belly. I wanted to wander the farmers market in my flip flops and dresses- baby belly and Nate in tow. I wanted that baby.

What Nate and I are holding onto now are the promises we know to be true. God's timing is far greater than anything we can see or imagine. He knows what is best. HE knows what kind of life Baby E would have had. He knows how hard it might have been for us to struggle as parents to a child who could never have lived a full functioning life. We rest assured that God made a very difficult decision for us and that He ended this life in His timing so that Baby E, Nate and I would not have to suffer so much. Right now, we lean on those things.

We've had a revolving door of people we love stopping by to visit, phone calls, texts, emails, cards, etc. We appreciate them all. I default to "hostess" when people stop by. I pull myself together and act as if everything is OK. On the phone, I can give the facts, I can talk about any of it, I can quote the Bible verses we're holding onto. But late at night when the house is still, early in the morning while we're lying in bed unable to sleep, in the shower, on the couch staring out the window, when Nate sits next to my curled up body- those are the moments I'm caught off guard. Those are the times when I break down and simply can't bear the thought that he's not here anymore. And then I have to dream of Grandpa Eigsti or Ann's dad playing with our little one- people we knew and loved who are in Heaven- they must be taking care of our little guy. They loved us, they must love him too. And I'll always know that Jesus loves the little children and has already welcomed our little guy with His loving arms. I just wanted to hold him too. We both did. And some day we will- but we'll have to wait for a while to do that.

So, that's what's happening in our lives. It's been a really hard week. Your prayers are much appreciated. We love all of you and know we have lots of love and support from family and friends. That and our faith is what is getting us through this.