Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome home Anna Kathryn BoDi Kovach!

Here they are....the pictures tell it all. We had an amazing night/morning. They finally arrived home at 12:30am today after almost 30 hours of travel! It was similar to a wedding...takes a lot of prep and planning, then the actual moment is just that, a moment. But what a beautiful moment!

Here are a few picture for you to drool on. We are drooling on her.

Anxiously Waiting!

AK, Kimmie, me and Alie (you can't see her in the sling but she is there)

AK checking Alie out...I think they like each other!

Nana, PopPop, and Emily greeting AK.

Welcome home baby girl! We love you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brutal Honesty

I am sad tonight. It has been a rough day. It has been 11 months since I held Natalie, fed her, slept with her cuddled up next to me. This is not easy. And, of course, it is windy and cold and will rain for the next several days.

But I do have the love and fiestiness of my Emily to keep me on my toes. And I have a daughter who only wants to nurse and cuddle today. Alie is pure bliss right now, knowing that I just need to cuddle too.

She needs me now and I need her too. So I will post what is in my head soon...but for now, I leave you with glimpses of my beautiful family. Enjoy!
It's Alabama Football Season!

Feeding Alie her first bottle. Yes, she actually drank it!!

Cuteness at its best today!

Josi the cat is actually bigger than the baby...what is wrong with that sentence?!?

Big stretches after a good nap cuddling with Mommy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

the nakedness of my words...

I was first exposed to childhood death 4 years ago. After Emily was born, I became a member of an online group of people with children born at the same time. That May I learned of a family whose firstborn little girl was diagnosed with Leukemia, AML to be exact. Her prognosis was grim, but her mother was determined to help her baby girl, love her, and give her the best life possible. And she chose to share it on the internet with those of us that had begun to follow the story and begged for updates. Every day, when I would get to work, I would check for an update from Jenny, hoping they had a good day and night, hoping for good news, and hoping that things had turned around for this baby who was only 9 weeks older than my sweet girl. I prayed diligently for Jenny, praying that she would not have to endure the loss of her baby. That was unimaginable to me. Sadly, Jenny lost her daughter four years ago this past Saturday. Her baby was 8 months and 27 days old. I cried over her loss. I could not imagine how she could possibly make it through something so devestating. I thought that I could never survive something that tragic. On Saturday, she posted that she was having a bad day. If I knew her personally, I would have tried to help in any way I could. I would have brought dinner, sent flowers, called her just to say that I missed her too. But I only know her over the internet. Although it feels as though we have been friends for years, I only know her through her words, her honesty and nakedness that she shares on her blog.

Now here I sit, facing the same emotions, thinking that I cannot imagine coming upon the day we lost Natalie four years later. Honestly, I cannot imagine the day that 14 months and 13 days passes since we last kissed Nat Nat. Then, she would have been gone longer than she was with us. It will happen in January and I am sure that it will not be a very good day for me. I never thought that I would know first-hand what it was like to bury my child. Now, I know exactly how Jenny feels, how she felt. Her posts make so much sense to me. Not only can I imagine her daughter looking and acting similarly to Emily, but I understand the emptiness and grief that she faces everyday. Today, I learned of another mother who lost her son, born just 8 days before Alie, to sepsis after severe kidney problems since birth. I am grieving for her tonight. I am hopeful that she knows my God, the One who has carried our family through this, the One who has given us peace and understanding. Her name is Tina, I do not know where she lives, but I know our Lord does. And I am sure He is holding each tear that falls in the palm of His hand, just as He has done for me.

Can you tell I am struggling? Can you tell I miss her? Can you tell that I want nothing more than to have her home with us? Yet I know that she is so happy right now. I know she misses me too. And I know she watches over us daily, from the moment we lost her. I know she shows us that she is still in our hearts, loving us. I know because I feel her presence, from ladybug sitings, to Anna Kathryn’s birthdate, to the amazing way that Alie tugs at my heart by making some of the exact same faces that Nat did. Alie and Nat look so much alike. It is wonderful and hard all at the same time.

This past week I had to start the hard task of changing Natalie’s room into Alie’s room. It will always have pieces of Nat in it, but it needs to be Alie’s space as well. Two of my sweetest and best friends helped me with this chore. I know it was hard for them as well. I would not doubt that they each went home and cried after leaving my house. But I am so grateful that they could help. I am still not ready to take Nat’s clothes out of the closet. Or take her calendar off the wall. It still shows October. It seems so definitive then. And I fell apart after they left. Her room is not complete. There are things that I want to do to make it Alie’s room. And Nat’s clothes are out of the dresser, but there are some still in the closet. I have to finish that task. But I know that I will make it through this as well. I know my Lord will carry me, Bryan, Emily and Allison through this journey. We will never get past it…we will simply journey through it.

This month marks 11 months since we lost our Nat Nat. This month also marks the day that Kimberly and Mark bring home my niece, Anna Kathryn. Right now, they are preparing to meet AK for the very first time, hold her, hug her, and express the amazing amount of love they have for her. They will get home during my “hard week”. And we will be standing at the airport. All of us will be there. I know Natalie will be there as well. She and my lord, my comforter, gave us Anna Kathryn…making her the perfect match for our family. And I will praise Him. Even when I am hitting the bottom again, wondering still why this all happened, I will praise Him. Because I know He will catch each tear that falls, He will mend my heart a bit more, and He will show me the perfection of His unconditional love. You see, God is good, all the time. And I will remember this, praise him for this, and lean on it each time I begin to doubt. Because I know He will show me the way back up from the bottom. He gives me the gift of being able to express all that I feel through writing here. I don’t think I could do it without Him.

Good night all.
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, our angel baby Natalie and Allison

Monday, September 8, 2008

An eventful week and counting...

It has been a rough week and a half. Our delivery was perfect. Alie is beautiful. Emily is adjusting so well that I often wonder if it should be this easy with her. But my recovery...that is another story.

I have had 3 c-sections now. I know the list of complications. I understand what each means. But I managed to get the one complication that was NOT on the list and I was not prepared for. I knew something was wrong when I was still counting the hours until the next motrin and strategically spacing my tylenol apart from it so I would not have to take any narcotics for pain. I knew that my pain level should have been so much better. But I was not really sure there was a problem until this past Thursday. I woke up and realized that my incision was bleeding, alot. I was very scared and waited for Bryan to come back into the room where he confirmed what I thought. We had a problem.

I had one of my best friends check it out for me (don't worry, she does this for a living) and she agreed that I had to be seen by my doctor. Somehow I managed to get into my doctor within 2 hours of calling and we got the news. I had a hematoma. It was not good. It had to be drained. They had to reopen my incision. It was going to hurt. I was scared. I am a wimp when it comes to pain. I knew this was not going to be pretty.

Then we were told that I would have to have home health come and pack it twice daily through the weekend. Yuck. And I was not allowed to go anywhere or do anything. Yuck, again! It was gonna be a long weekend.

Today, I went back to my doctor to decide what we would do next. I told her I had to be able to travel in 2 weeks. So she closed my incision back up. Again, I do not like pain! And that hurt. I am back on day one healing wise instead of day 11. And I still can't do anything. I never thought I would look forward to vaccuuming or doing the laundry or cleaning the bathroom so much!

Hopefully, this is the last of the difficulties and I will be healed quickly so we can get on to the next event....Anna Kathryn's arrival! Yes, Kimberly, my sister, and her husband Mark will be traveling to China this Thursday to meet their baby girl! My parents are meeting the 2 newest grandbabies within a month of each other. We are all ecstatic at the baby growth our family is having. So, on September 27th, we will all be standing in the Charlotte Airport to greet Mark and Kimberly and Anna Kathryn! I cannot wait!!!! Emily is excited, Bryan is excited, and I think even Alie is excited. She will be keeping a log of their trip and you can follow her story here .

Emily also has had a great week. She had her first day of 4 year old preschool last week and her first day of ballet this week. Want to see how cute she is? Here you go!!

That is all for now....we are getting by. I am amazed daily at how much Alie looks like Natalie. And she has so many of the same facial expressions. I think Nat is saying hello everytime Alie gives me one of those looks. I can certainly hope that she is checkin out her sister over my shoulder.

Goodnight all,


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, especially our angel baby Natalie, and Allison

Friday, September 5, 2008

More pictures of the girl

So, I had to share more...we are so enjoying our girls right now. Alie had her first checkup today and is doing wonderfully. She lost some weight in the hospital but is back up to 8lbs 6ozs. She is a happy girl, except for when she wants to eat. Then she gets pretty bossy. Like right now....gotta go, but here is a bit more eye candy for you to love on!

Daddy and his daughter watching Alabama beat Clemson...Roll Tide!!

Good night all,


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, especially our angel baby Natalie, and Allison

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Baby Alie is here!

Well, after months of anticipation, Alie is here! She arrived on 8/28/08 at 8:47 am. She is absolutely perfect in every way! She was 8lbs 15.4ozs, our smallest baby yet!! She is 20.5 inches long. She looks just like her sisters. We are so in love with her, enjoying every sleepless moment of our nights. Emily adores her, kissing her as much as possible and being so helpful. I have to admit, it is hard. She looks like Emily and Natalie and it is difficult to know that Natalie is not here to enjoy her as well. I held it together for the last 6 days, but tonight it got the best of me. Bryan had to just hold me and listen to my random momentary issues.

But through all the difficulty, through all the memories...we have a beatiful baby girl. Please welcome our third daughter, Allison Hope, to your lives, your prayers, and your hearts.

Good night all,


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, our angel baby Natalie, and Allison