Monday, March 23, 2009

She’s Making Lemonade from Pure Crap


When I first met my blogger friend, Stephanie, the baby she was carrying was no larger than a peanut.  I’ve been there with her every step of the way, reading her posts about her pregnancy and general life, swapping emails about same.

Although Steph’s first pregnancy was a difficult one, her one big dream in life is to have a house full of wee ones to love, so she took the chance and planned for another baby.

It wasn’t long into her pregnancy that things started getting difficult and she was put on full bed rest.  Not an easy task when you have a 2-1/2 year old little boy to care for and love.  But Stephanie did so with grace (most of the time) and, always in the front of her mind was the fact that she’d do anything for the little girl growing within her.

A couple of months ago things started to become very worrisome.  Little Ella was not growing normally and it was questionable how long  Steph could stay pregnant to give Ella her best chance of survival.  Over the next months, Stephanie had multiple ultrasounds scheduled per week to determine Ella’s growth pattern and keep an eye on amniotic fluid levels and such.

Baby Ella still wasn’t growing and with each week that went by, Stephanie’s chances of going into labor were increasing.  At 31 weeks, and Ella just about 2 and a half pounds, they gave Stephanie painful steroid shots to help develop Ella’s lungs so she could be delivered safely last week.

All set for her C-section and admitted to labor and delivery, Steph and her husband James were given a shock.  The baby’s lungs had not matured, even with the steroid shots, so the delivery was not going to happen that day.  Stephanie needed to be admitted so that Ella could be monitored constantly.

So laying there in a hospital bed, Stephanie waits.  Waits to see if her baby will grow.  Waits to see if Ella’s lungs will mature enough to come into this world screaming.  Waits for the moment the doctor tells her that keeping the baby inside has become more dangerous than delivering her premature.  Waits to find out why her baby hasn’t been growing.  Because, you see, she’s been given no answers.  They don’t know why Ella is so small, or why her head and torso are growing disproportionately to the rest of her body.  They have ideas, but no concrete answers because an amnio would have been too risky.

And all this time, does Stephanie scream out to God, “Why?  Why me?  Why my baby?”  Well, I’m sure she does at times, but for the most part, she’s been facing this obstacle head-on and with positive thoughts.  No matter what challenges lay ahead for Ella and their family, they will be met with a fierce love that will propel them through any circumstance.


This silly award is what prompted me to write this post.  Stephanie gave me this award, when I think she alone owns it.  Because if anyone is making lemonade out of lemons, (or in my mind, making lemonade out of crap on a cracker) it’s her.


This post also serves one more purpose.  By telling you some of Stephanie’s story, I hope you will feel inspired to pray for my girl Stephanie, her husband James, her son, Josh, and her precious baby, Ella.  I know in my heart that everything is going to turn out fine, but every little prayer sent up to God will pave an easier way for Ella.

And please, if you have the time, stop by Mama Still Wears Gucci and say hello to Stephanie.  She’s got her laptop at the hospital and would love to receive some well wishes, I’m sure.

29 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)

    Awwww! What a sweet post, Justine! Thanks for telling Stephanie's story - I'll keep her and her family in my thoughts and prayers...and I'm heading over to wish her well!

  • Stephanie

    I'm speechless. Which, as you must know, is a foreign feeling to me. Just...thank you. You've been incredible through this whole ordeal.

    Much love,

    -OK, so not EXACTLY speechless...but close:)

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Aw how sweet of you Justine... I guess this is the Stephanie you were talking about the other day. I had no idea. I thought she went to give birth. I didn't realize all the issues involved. I'm sure she will really appreciate this post.

  • Jill

    If I was ever to have to take a journey like her I don't know if I would be able to keep myself together. I know she may fall apart and that part we can't see through emails, but mainly she is a very very strong woman. I am proud to know her. My heart has been with her since day one and will continue to stay with her. I hope everyone goes and says hello to her. I am sure she could use a special hello from everyone right now as she sits in her hospital bed waiting for baby Ella!

  • ~Mary

    WOW! My prayers are with her and her family!

  • roy/elisabeth dean

    I'm going to see Stephanie right now! Thanks for letting everyone know~

  • Mrs. B. Silly

    How sweet of you to retell Stephanie's story to your readers. I already know it though.
    I hope Stephanie is hanging in there and enjoying more of those long showers before Ella gets here.

  • Happy To Be

    Justine what a sweet thing for you to do girl..I will go and say a pray for this whole family..if anyone wunderstand the worry about a child it is me right now with my baby Kyra...thanks girl your a sweet heart...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    I've been to Stepanies blog a few times, particularly when she announced going to the hospital, I had no idea things got so complicated.

    Of course I'll say a prayer for her and her precious baby!

  • Anonymous

    What a sweet thoughts and prayers are with the family!

  • ~♥~ Monica S

    I knew you had it in you Justine! :-) This is such a wonderful and sweet post... Stephanie is lucky to have you to help encourage and back her up! :-)

    Good Luck Stephanie!!!

  • Ginger

    Justine, you told Stephanie's story beautifully. It must be so difficult to keep up the good spirits when you are having such a difficult pregnancy. I will go by and say hi to her right now.

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    I've been following Stephanie's story too and am praying for a miracle! Heaven knows she needs one.


  • Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden

    I hope all goes well for Stephanie and baby Ella!
    Hugs to all!

  • sue

    what a great friend and support you are Tiney! My prayers go out to Stephanie and family, especially baby Ella! It must be so hard to sit and wait and get no answers. You are a sweetie!! xo

  • xinex

    Sad story...I hope baby Ella makes it and Stephanie goes home happy. I will go visit her and tell her I am offering prayers...Christine

  • Paris

    Justiney...what an adorable and sweet post!!! Prayers are going out now to Stephanie and her fam!


  • santamaker

    I don't care what everybody says about you....LOL.. you are one very SWEET girl and a true friend .
    Stephanie, you are inspiring and a trooper. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Philly

    What a nice post. I'm heading over to her site right now.
    You are such a good influence on #1.

  • nikkicrumpet

    Bless her heart...I will for sure keep her and her family in my prayers..and I'll stop over and say howdy. I hate your stupid blog because it won't update on my blog list...and when I click your rotten icon it tells me you don't you know how hard it is to get here lol

  • Traceytreasure

    That was beautiful Justine. Very nicely done!


  • Mariah

    This was great!! I've been following Stephanie's pregnancy too

  • Tootsie

    wow..that is some story! I am praying for her!!! I feel for her...I watched my sister go through something similar 9 years ago...we were pregnant together (as usual) and it was hard to have the healthy baby...
    my heart goes out to her and her family.

    now..the window was put in to see the bed on the side from the bench in the back corner of the garden....

    I cannot get my follower link to your new addy to work! It just reverts to your old one. I am just ticked that I have to wait to see you comment just to spy on you a little bit! I am going to take myself off your followers and try to put myself back in...and it that doesn't work.....I have NO clue what to do...can you help?

  • Tootsie

    it worked!!!!!!!! wooo hoo I can see you!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The fact that you didn't do the stereo typical award post and instead turned it into support for the person that gave it to you speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.


    I had to get steroid shots when I was pregnant with my little boy so they could develop his lungs too. I feel for your friend. It's really scary but you can't lose the hope. It's tough.

  • AndreaLeigh

    lovely post. seriously, it really touched me. many prayers for your friend and baby ella.

  • Swirl Girl

    your a good bloggy friend.

    what a scary time for them!

  • Robin Costello (Delswife)

    Headed over there right now.

    You rock, by the way.


  • Kris

    I will keep Stephanie, Ella and the rest of the family in my prayers. Thanks so much for sharing this story with us.

    Going to visit Stephanie now.

    Have a happy day