Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On Rachel's Birthday

Well, it's officially December 3rd.  And I've already cried most of it away.  I need to get to bed, we have a big day planned for today, but I thought I'd share the responses I got to the "Can you take me back?" post...  Thank you to everyone who took the time to write - it was emotional reading some of this, but I needed it so much. I know that if you remember where you were when you first heard about her, then the moment must matter in your heart and that means a lot to this mama at this point in the journey when she feels so far away.

So here they are.... What Rachel's birthday was like for you....

"I don't remember what page I saw it on but December 2, 2010 sometime around 11 p.m. I saw a post asking people to pray for the Aube family. They were preparing to meet their baby girl the following morning and they were told their precious baby girl would most likely die shortly after she was born. I followed the link to your blog and I spent the next several hours reading, praying, crying, praying some more and wondering how Rachel's birthday would play out. I checked your blog about 20 times throughout the day hoping for an update and praying for good news...not really even know what to consider good news. I just kept praying that you would get the chance to meet her alive! I prayed for peace in your heart and mind. That evening you posted about her birthday and I remember smiling when I saw her picture and feeling so happy for you guys that you finally got to meet your girl! She was beautiful! My heart was bouncing back and forth between be being happy and excited for you guys to an overwhelming sadness for you. I wanted to know more about her and her amazing family so I kept checking in and I was overcome with emotion reading your heartfelt words for your girl and our God! I am so sorry that I had to find you this way but I am so thankful to Rachel and God because our paths have crossed and I have found a wonderful, best friend that I love and cherish with all my heart! I love you and your girl and I always will!"  -Lisa

"I don't know when I first followed Rachel's story. But I read that you had a birth plan all set up. And found a team at the hospital who would respect your decisions. I was at my brother and sister-in-laws house and asked if I could use their computer. My SIL asked "Why?" I told her I wanted to see if the baby had been born. She asked "Whose baby?" And as I opened my account, I told her the story of you finding out at your sonogram that Rachel had anencephaly. Then i had to explain that to my SIL. I opened the page and saw beautiful little Rachel Alice and was thought of how happy you must be holding her. But then it hit me that she was not in your arms. I had to quickly read on and cried and cried. My SIL cried along with me. Rachel touched everyone who "met" her. I rationalized that she was with Jesus. But it hurt. It hurt me that you didn't get to hold her longer. 43 minutes didn't seem like enough. I guess I knew that you were "prepared" or as much as a family can be when the outcome that they were told about comes about. But I was deeply sad. Sad because I knew that you weren't anywhere near as prepared as people would expect you to be. How could you be? Holding that precious little baby and saying goodbye. It took me days to come around to thinking that you met her in your heart and you held her and saw her after birth. She was and IS alive in Jesus. Though only temporarily "living" in this world. I believe she wanted to tell you "Thank you Mama. Thank you for loving me so much that you saved my life."  -Chris

I found your blog when a friend posted the link on facebook. It was probably mid September when I started reading, and I went back and caught up on the posts from the start. I was in my bedroom in my mom's house, and was taken aback by your honesty and courage to share your pain so openly to the whole world. I've since checked your blog regularly for updates.

That fall I was going through the pain of a broken heart from the ending of a romantic relationship and your words of constant hope through your heartbreak lifted me. (Silly, I know, but I truly loved the guy as evidenced by the fact that we're now married.) 

December 3rd, 2010 was the day I took my Utah state American Sign Language interpreter written certification test. It was the first step to becoming legally able to work in the profession I had fallen in love with. As you counted down days to the meeting your daughter, I counted down days to testing. 

All through the morning of my test, Rachel's birthday, I kept thinking of you. It was impossible not to as the two events, my test and her birth, had melded in my head. I remember looking up from my exam and thinking "I can't wait to get home and check Stacy's blog." 

I think of you often on different dates that are significant to you, as many of them are somehow significant to me as well. It's kinda weird, actually.

I don't know what my future holds, or how many children I may have, but God has used your blog to open my heart to the possibility of having a disabled child, either by birth or by adoption. I've also been made more aware of the pain and grieving that goes with losing a child: something my mom didn't experience so I didn't see growing up.
You and Rachel are always in my thoughts."
"Hi Stacy,
I still have a pretty vivid, almost tangible memory of the day that Rachel was born.  I have never experienced someone else's grief so profoundly as I did that day or in the days that followed, nor have I since.  I remember that the memory verse for my homeschool kids that week was Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." All day long as I waited for an update I would think of you and picture meeting and losing your child all in the same day and I would pray those words for you, because I had none of my own.  As I prayed those words I would literally picture God piecing your broken heart back together.  The other word I repeated over and over to the Lord was  "joy".  It was all I could say but God knew what I meant.  That in the midst of this you would somehow have joy in meeting your beautiful daughter.  And in the midst of such deep sorrow I know that you did and that is beautiful, she is beautiful."
"Hi Stacy,
I started following you when I read about you in the Fosters. I followed your blog every day, and today still check daily to see if you  have written anything.
I have to say that at first, I would read your blog as I drank my morning coffee before getting ready for work. But as her birthday came closer, I had to switch to afternoons when I got home as I would cry so hard my eyes would be swollen. I prayed for you and Rachel and Matt and the kids daily. 
The day she was born, I sobbed .  My heart broke for you. I couldn't even imagine the pain you were in . It was amazing though  to see the grace and strength that God gave you through it all and still today as well. It was amazing to see how far your story went across the world, all the red dots that symbolized people that were reading about you  and praying for you and Rachel.
You are an amazing woman that has opened her heart and pain to so many people! You may have felt alone in the hospital or even today, but I can assure you, that you are not, at least in spirit. People following your blog may have dropped off, but I have no doubt at all, that Rachel has not been forgotten. To this day, when I see a daisy, I think of her (and you). I don't think that will ever change with me, and I am sure that will never change with others."
"Hi Stacy,
I wanted to share with you my story about the day Rachel was born.
I started following your blog after the story in the Fosters about you and your uncle Dale.  I found that the more I read the more I wanted to read, the more my heart seemed to be connected.  For some reason I almost felt like I shouldn’t be reading it so much, like it was so personal and I didn’t know you that it was like reading your diary.  Except I knew that you put it online for a reason…
The day you were due to deliver Rachel was marked in my calendar at work (since that’s where I’d be at the time), but I didn’t need the reminder.  I checked the blog all morning waiting to get some news and praying you would get to use that car seat.  And when I finally got the news of her 43 minutes, my heart sank.  It was so crazy how invested I felt in you and your baby girl and your story but it really touched my heart, even though I had never met you.
Thank you for sharing Rachel with all of us.  You (and Rachel) have made a difference in the world and have helped BLMs like me and also helped us reach out to other BLMs.
Keep me posted if you do something on her birthday."
"I was at the Nutcracker...Natalie was a bon bon. I was checking the computer as much as I could for an update (in between dances!) . I told another Mom the story..she had lost her son to cancer a few years ago. She was checking the blog too. I found out when I got home. I read your post and bawled my eyes out. I was so glad she was born alive. I had hoped for more time for you guys. But was glad for the 43 minutes you had with her."  - Jenn
"Dec 3rd, I remember all the waiting of that day. Praying all day long, not even knowing what to be praying for. I remember I spent a lot of time holding my daughter Bella (who to this day is still very aware of who Rachel is) I must have checked the computer 100 times, praying was all I could do. Stacy I prayed for you not just as a person but as a mother! Rachel did and has over the 3 years changed me as a person ,wife and especially a mother. Forever in my heart! Sweet precious little girl!"
Love always Elisha.

"I was at work, working in the Neonatal step down unit, night shift. It was 2011. A girl who is friends w/ Jill (not sure her new last name) told me your and Rachel's story. I felt drawn to read your blog, and when I saw the picture of your side profile, pregnant with Rachel, I remember thinking how beautiful that pic. was. I wanted to know your whole journey, and it truly changed my life. you and your girl."  - Lori

"I was in the waiting room at Maine Med with other family and friends who had gathered to support you and Matt. I remember walking around a lot. There's a lot of snapshots in my mind from that day. Your dad showing Jailyn and Desirae some game on the computer. The clock on the wall that seemed to move too fast and stand still all at once. The helicopters taking off and landing - wondering about the peoples who's lives were changed / saved by those whirlybirds. My bag packed with a weeks worth of "safe foods" for Sam. The clock again. Eating pizza in the cafe with Kim. The huge kick Rachel gave my hand just as you were being wheeled out of your room. Matt smiling through tears. The clock.......... Finally Meagan is there in the middle of the room. You could only have one other person in the O.R. with you and you chose her to share this moment with - not knowing she would be the only person other than you and Matt to meet Rachel this side of Heaven. She would bring the news we hoped to never hear. Looking flushed, sweaty & speaking fast as if the words hurt her tongue - she said Rachel was born alive but had already gone. I don't remember the rest of what she said. I was so sad I didn't get to hold her. My heart broke and I'm not sure I will ever be the same."  -Mom (Rachel's Nana)

"I remember my heart breaking into a million pieces again and sobbing in my living room. I know I don't stay in touch very well but you are NEVER far from my thoughts."  - Dorie

"I didn't hear about Rachel until I read it in Focus on the Family Citizen magazine in Februaryish (I think) 2012, a few months after my daughter passed away. And I wouldn't have been able to make it through 2012 without you and Rachel! " - Kelli
"I was with you and disappointed you didn't have more time but 43 has come to have such meaning-I can only believe in god's will. I never imagined I would meet such a wonderful family and make such a good friend that day. I love how many lives she has helped you touch!"  - Kim  (our nurse)

"I found out about Rachel shortly after I lost Hope, when a facebook friend commented on a photo of newborn Asa and you had posted "I Just Want Her too". I shed so many tears reading that, it was so beautifully out and poignantly eloquent and beautiful. I was only just beginning to realise how many other people had lost babies, and reading about Rachel and how God carried you through I was, and continue to be, inspired by the promise of seeing our babies again"  - Chloe

If you remember where you were when you either heard of Rachel or found out that she was born and lived for 43 minutes, feel free to share about it in the comments below, I'd love to hear about it...


  1. Stacey,

    I learned of your web site probably mid-September 2010 through Kelly Roy's web site. She is married to my cousin Jean. I was first captivated at how beautiful your beach pictures came out that she took...then followed the link to Baby Rachel's Legacy and began reading...from your first post on 8/8/10 on. I was at work and would read during my 'down time' when I had some. It's where I was when I first heard of you and Rachel and it's where I was when I first got the news of her arrival. I would (and still do!) check in daily...sometimes multiple times daily...anxious for your next post. You have during this entire journey...had such a special way of sharing your heart, Rachel...and your entire family with us in such a loving way. You are ALL beautiful!Thank you so much... Much love...

    France <3

  2. Hi, Stacy. I feel odd commenting, but I was touched by your story.
    I'm a Brazilian author currently working a novel in which the lead character carries a baby with anencephaly to term. Your blog is the best source I've found in months of researching. I first found the post "The Truth about Anencephaly" less than a week ago and spent hours reading almost everything. You inspired me and I couldn't help but get anxious to come back here on December 3rd to see how things are going. I wish the best to you and your family, and I'd like to say this blog is an inspiration.
    All the best,

  3. I don't remember exactly how I came to find your story, but what I do remember is sitting at my computer for hours that night reading through every blog you had written. I remember crying, praying, and feeling so moved by everything you had been through. I remember smiling at the pictures of sweet Rachel, and being amazed by the strength you had. Even though I've only known about Rachel for a few months I find myself thinking about her and your family and saying a prayer when I do. I woke up this morning thinking about it being Rachel's birthday. I may not know you personally but your journey has touched me, your faith in God has inspired me.

  4. Hi Stacy,

    Even though we've never met I am thinking of you on this special day for you. Your beloved girl has touched many, many lives and you should hold your head high and be proud. Rachel Alice lives on in us all. Peace & Love, Nancy xo

  5. I remember Elisha posting for prayers for the Aube family the week before Rachel's birth. I clicked on your blog and began reading... my heart broke as I saw that sweet baby Rachel was not expected to live...but I prayed that week for a miracle...for your time together to go slow and the be extra special. On December 3 I spent all day holding my sweet for and praying for your family. When I read the Rachel had come and was now in the arms of Jesus my heart broke for your family... but I celebrated for she was now in her Father's arm. I told my husband all about your story that night and together we prayed for you and your family. You and Rachel l have made me appreciate my children more and have made me a better mama. THANK YOU RACHEL AND STACY FOR CHANGING OUR LIVES!!


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes