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
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.
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)