Friday, May 26, 2017


This isn't real. It can't be. How can time be up so fast?

Normally you anticipate the day you get to have your baby. You can't wait, such an exciting time! I feel so opposite, I don't feel like it has been enough time. I am still waiting to wake up from this terrible dream and have everything be okay. But its not. It wont be.

We have less than a week. That is 6 more days of having Eva kick and move around,6 more days  before we have to say goodbye. I don't try to make this all sad because Eva's journey has had some really great joyous moments. But....I am so sad. Sad that her journey here on Earth is ending. I wont have a physical reminder she is here with us. No more having her all stretched out so I cant bend down at all. This. This is hard.

Just an update from my last appointment:
My wonderful friend and Douala, Teri, the kids and I packed up to head into our last ultrasound to see Eva. The kids have been so excited and want to go see and hear her heartbeat daily. So I didn't want them to miss seeing their sister one last time before she arrives.

As the wand moved to show Eva, the kids were so excited! Corbett gets so happy and normally screeches her name because he is so happy. Marley loves to watch her move around. My kids know who Eva is. They know her. When we look at our maternity photos they get so excited to see my belly because they know Eva is inside there moving around. This brings me happiness, because they know their sister.

Eva was stubborn as ever and we were trying so hard to get a profile picture of her. I mean this is the last visit and I would love just one more of her sitting all cute with her hands up to her head. Nope, that isn't Eva. Eva had her butt up and face in my back! We really tried to get a good one but I just had to roll my eyes a bit on how stubborn this little girl is. I love her so much, even with her stubborn personality. I know that is something we would have clashed about one day, but she would be such a daddy's little girl because TJ just has that magic way with stubborn people ;)

When we went into meet with our doctor we had lots to discuss. Eva's kidneys and heart are working great and she has a full bladder but I have double the amount of amniotic fluid of a normal pregnancy. Which just means I am super uncomfortable and also had to change a few plans with our birth plan- nothing ever goes the way you exactly plan. But I left that conversation feeling it was the best- and it is. It gives us the best option to be able to meet Eva.

There are a few other things that are a risk with having this much fluid but it just pertains to me, so I am confident that my doctor knows the best way to handle and go about the situation if it comes up.

Then it was time to hear her heartbeat on the Doppler. I never thought the kids would enjoy it but boy, was I wrong. My doctor is so wonderful. She lets the kids do the work. From putting on the gel to using the Doppler to find her heartbeat. I love the look on their faces because they are so excited to be doing something so cool and yet so important. These are memories I will be able to cherish forever. I wish my doctor knew just how amazing she is for allowing them to be apart of this as much as possible.

Eva is weighing about 5 pounds right now from the measurements we can get- so still tiny but she has surpassed my weight guess so that makes me happy.- see another stubborn move on her part, she wont let me win ;)

The next time we go back is the day before we deliver, just to go over last minute things and preparing for the next morning. Which brings me back to the hard part....time can't be up already.

The past few days I have enjoyed just looking at my belly and seeing, physically, her moving across my belly. To see her wild jabs that push my belly out so far and her sweet little movements that are barely visible.

I have had such phenomenal friends in my life that have come to the rescue and have helped so much. I am to the point where I am getting contractions daily -I am thinking they are just braxton since its my first time ever experiencing this. So these wonderful women have helped me prepare my house and help with my kids. I can never thank them enough.

I never knew what it meant to feel like I 'belonged' in a certain place. Like knowing we are meant to be where we are at. I thought we just moved to Watford for a job. But I was proven wrong. We are meant to be here for something so much more important. The wonderful people we have met are our family. Friends just doesn't cover it. I am so blessed to be in such a wonderful place with wonderful people. And really, this would not have been like this if it weren't for Eva. She helped bring us here. And that is something I will never forget about her. As much as she is stubborn, she has helped guide me into the place I need to be. Physically and spiritually.

I love my little girl so much, and I am so sad to be nearing the end of our journey and have to say goodbye. It just doesn't seem real. I still can't wrap my head around that. But she has taught me so much. She has taught me to be less stubborn and accept help and love from others (I know this one is kicking me in the butt already- laugh away, ladies ;) ). She has taught me to cherish my children more. To sit and just hold them. Kiss their little heads and smell them. Hug them tighter. I know right now I am not the fun mom and can't play with them but I am committed to jumping with them, chasing them around the house and hearing the laughter that will only soothe my broken heart. I have learned the best way to help go forward is them. They are my everything.

Because of Eva, I have changed too. I have learned so much about what is really important to me. The year 2016 was about me gaining self confidence physically with myself. I feel like 2017 has helped me realize I need to rely on others, and to have a greater knowledge of my Saviors love for me. I have learned to be less stubborn. I have learned to not take anything for granted. Find Joy in my journey.

Everybody is going through something in their lives. It may not be physically apparent but it is there. Be kind and loving to everyone you see. Because you don't know the battles they are facing. Eva has humbled me a bit and to just love.

I hope that Eva will be close by with us even after she leaves this Earth. That our children will remember what a special girl she is. I hope that I can still witness the ripple affect she has left and be able to smile and feel that joy she has left.

Eva means life. I will live for her. I will have joy for her.

I love you with everything I have, Eva Carolyn. You have taught me so much about life and I am forever grateful.

Pictures of our maternity session in Utah done by Shauna Eskelson of Eskel Photography
Thank you again for helping us have everlasting memories of our sweet little Eva 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Finding Joy

Just yesterday a friend tagged me in a comment on Facebook. I normally ignore things when I get tagged a bunch of times because honestly it always involves the same story. I used to be so....upset because I felt like I was letting other people down. People have come to me and have told me what a blessing I am giving, donating Eva's organs. Well sad news, we are unable to donate due to many circumstances. One being our hospital does not harvest organs and two, Eva has more than just anencephaly to worry about. She has an unknown genetic disorder. We have come to terms with this decision and are okay with it. We get to spend invaluable time with our little girl and know she is making a difference still.

This one post got to me though. It asked about finding joy in trials. What? At first I wasn't going to respond. I wasn't mad but I thought to myself, how can I write about joy right now when I don't even feel strong? How can I see joy right now? I decided to just kind of blow it off like it was no big deal. 

I got a message that evening from this friend saying they appreciate my blog and hearing my testimony during our hardships. So, what the heck....I decided to go for it and I am glad I did.

I sat down at the computer for an hour or so just pouring out my feelings. And instead of sadness and heartache I was feeling, I felt joy. So I figured I would share with you.

My name is Sadee Carney. I am a mom of two crazy little kids with one on the way. This is my story.

My husband and I were in a hard spot this time last year, with just a recent job loss after 4 years of diligent service. We didn't know what our next step was, and as my husband searched for jobs I attended the temple one day. I asked if we were meant to add any other children to our family and let God know that we were willing to do His will. Well, I kept getting strong promptings every time I went that we needed to have a baby. I knew it wouldn't take us long because we have been very fortunate to be so fertile. I was so scared, we couldn't even pay our rent, let alone add another baby to the mix.
But we were diligent and decided to go forward with this new trial. This was just the beginning. When we got pregnant my husband had been accepted into school and had a job that could work along with his school schedule. BUT we were still struggling to pay our bills. So, we tried another job. This job was complete opposite of what we were looking for. Like, he had a desk job at a tech company for four years and all the sudden we were looking at manual labor, working in oil business. Plus it was a cross country move! We felt like it was the right move and everything lined up for us to move within a week. My husband left first and we joined him a month later. 
By this time we were getting close to finding out what we were having. Mind you, not a soul knew we were pregnant ( I was lucky and didn't have morning sickness or really show at all until I hit 20 weeks but that was well after we had moved from all family and support). We went in to meet our new doctor and we did the basic overview of this pregnancy. We then went in for our anatomy scan when we learned the devastating news. Our baby girl had a fatal diagnosis of anencephaly. Anencephaly is where the brain and skull do not fully form, meaning that she would not be a viable baby. We also learned along with anencephaly she had other genetic issues that we could have been at fault for. My husband immediately told me, this pregnancy was still a trial of our faith. I was so....scared, sad, name it and I probably felt it. How, if we were listening to the Lord and doing what he had asked, why would he allow this to happen?

I immediately started talking to moms on Facebook and looking for support groups. There are two women that really stuck out. One had already lost her son over something else, and the other was a mom of one-soon-to-be-two angels. Her little girl had the same diagnosis and she was much further along. I saw that even through all this hardship, she was so full of light! She is religious but not LDS, and she had such a strong light about her that I wanted to befriend her so I could feel that warmth.

We had a ton of family and friends and strangers praying for us, and those prayers brought such comfort during the hard days. The days I didn't feel like I could even get out of bed or see because my eyes were so tear stained. 

I had moments of joy though. Because I knew that my daughter was so special that she didn't need to stay on this Earth long to gain a spot in the celestial kingdom. The first mom I mentioned helped me with the eternal perspective on things. She mentioned that our sweet babies already were so perfect and as parents our goal is to raise our children so they can too obtain a celestial being. How great it is to already have one waiting there! This has helped me on my hardest days, because I have come so close to angels who are building me up daily, and holding my hand, walking me through this. I am so important and special because my daughter chose our family. She chose me to be her mother and to carry her so she could gain a body. That is all she needs, and then she will be on the other side waiting for us to come be with her!

Through such sadness and difficulty with going through loss, there is joy. And The gospel brings me joy in knowing that this life is so short and this is not the end. We will get to raise our daughter, we just need to be worthy. So in a sense it makes the celestial kingdom more tangible.

I find joy in my two kids. The sensitive sweet spirits they are and the knowledge they have about the gospel. We have really good days and then we have hard ones. On the hard ones they let me know how much they love me with their funny personalities and tender hugs and kisses, wanting to just sit and snuggle and talk to their little sister. They know that she is going to die. But they also know that Jesus will take care of our little lamb just like he the picture by Greg Olsen. 

I am a firm believer in the ripple affect. I find such joy when I hear how Eva's journey has helped another family come closer into the gospel. My cousin recently told me that she has had such a strong desire since Eva's diagnosis to get herself and family ready to have a temple/celestial marriage because she doesn't want to leave this world and not be sealed to them.
So yes, this journey has been hard and I know as I approach my due date and prepare to say goodbye to our sweet little girl, I know that goodbye isn't forever. Weatherford Clayton spoke about death on the Saturday morning General Conference session this past April and it hit me hard. I will get to witness such a special sweet peace as we say goodbye to this world and as angels welcome her into heaven. It's hard to say that I look forward to that day, but I do. I want to feel that my baby won't hurt. She wont be in pain, she will be welcomed by the family that have been walking me through all this hard times. I know that my Great Grandma Eva has been with me during all the moments, and she will be there for our sweet little Eva, and welcome her home. And Jesus will be there to take care of her just like her big sister says.

Heavenly Father does not send us on trials to be mean or cruel. Because honestly, this is a hard trial, and it is unfair anybody has to endure child loss. He does this to strengthen us and make us better, so we can return to Him. So I can return to my daughter and raise her. I never regret this decision of getting pregnant and carrying her to term, because I know she is forever mine, and there is no 'death do us part'. That is Joy. So here I am struggling to say I am the mom of three beautiful children, but I think it is so joyous to know that Eva has a mission, and to know that her mission isn't just on the other side. It is on this side as well, I have had many people tell me how Eva has changed their life as well, for the better. To me, that is joy.

My name is Sadee Carney and I am a mom of THREE beautiful children. 

There were many things I wanted to add but I figured short and simple was the way to go.

I continue to find joy in the little things daily and I hope that when our journey with Eva comes to its closing for this time on the Earth that I can reflect on all the joy I have felt. 

It is hard to find joy in the journey but it is possible. How have you found joy in your journey? 

Monday, May 1, 2017


One month.

That is all we have left with Eva. This is hard to accept in many ways. I don't want this time to ever end, and yet I know it is going to come too soon. I am getting uncomfortable with all the extra fluid I have and I have my days where all I can do is cry because the pain hurts that bad. (Imagine when you are swollen and your skin hurts so badly because it is being stretched out and then add pressure from a baby kicking that extra tight swollen isn't a walk in the park). I cry some days because the pain hurts and I know it will end....sooner than I want. I want the pain to stop, but the same time I don't. Because once that pain stops and goes away, so does Eva.

When I go back to my 'normal' body -as Marley refers- I will only have the left over baby pooch with no remainder of Eva, no more kicking or rolling like the ninja she is. It is hard to admit that I will be, in a sense, okay with it because I will finally be able to fully grieve. Right now, I still grieve but I know it is different from what it will be. I grieve everyday knowing there is an expiration date. That we are one day closer to saying goodbye, but also the unknown knowing that we may only have this day with her as she could go at anytime. I have been blessed that I have been able to carry Eva this long and I am just hoping and praying so much that she will hold on for a little while longer. Long enough to deliver her and have her be alive.

Oh, that is my greatest wish, I hope that she survives labor and delivery and we can have her grasp onto our finger. I hope that she can feel the warmth of our skin as we hold her so close.

As we are nearing our time, I have written up our birth plan. It has been painful to type it out. I can't believe when I have to type out the words do not resuscitate. It is unreal. As a parent, you only want to protect and have the best for your children, and here we are in the position that we just have to watch and wait as she dies. Those moments of waiting will not be wasted, but it will still be hard to know that it could happen potentially at any minute.

Things I don't want to forget about Eva:

  • She loves to roll, she doesn't necessarily kick me often but she is a little tumbler and loves to roll all around. I wish I could put into words what this feels like so I can remember too. Because these feelings will soon be memories and then faded ones.  
  • She loves her big sister so much, and I know she loves Corbi as well; but every time Corbi sits on my lap she kicks him like crazy. I  guess its pay back for all the times he tries to wake her up with his violent pushing on my belly ;) 
  • We have gone through an array of sweets that have sparked her interest and she enjoys but the biggest thing that has stuck has been her love for hamburgers. I could eat one once or twice a day and I don't think she could get enough. I have had cravings for them since we found out we were expecting.
  • This pregnancy has been such a huge trial of my faith. I have learned to really rely on the Lord and His plan. Even before we found out she had Anencephaly, we were nervous to even try for another baby due to lack of steady income and then a huge move. Every day I feel so much love.
  • I breath and I get heartburn....not the greatest thing to remember but it is something that I will always remember. I only get heartburn during pregnancy, but this time....oh boy, its been different.
  • Something else that is different, the way she moves. She is constantly kicking, even when I sleep. I move to my back to my side and she is up. TJ even gets to feel how active and crazy she moves just laying next to me in bed. I will truly miss what a crazy moving dancer she is.
  • I had a grilled cheese the other day for the first time and she went nuts over it! She is a true member of our family with her love of cheese. 
During this time, I have formed relationships I didn't think I would be able to form and strengthened other relationships. I have learned what has been truly important and who is really there. I have been grateful for those who are compassionate and have learned to let my pride step to the side and have help. I think it was something I truly needed to learn, to accept help from others, and that it is okay.

I have felt such a closeness to my great grandma Eva, and have learned so much about her. I never knew her favorite color was blue. When I was trying to find a color for Eva, TJ and I both were drawn to the color blue. Never knowing exactly why, I tried to brush it off and think of pink (for girl) but the color blue was so persistent in the back of my mind. I was speaking to my mom about it and mentioned that I kept thinking of the color blue. My mom mentioned that blue was Grandma Eva's favorite color. It was such a confirmation that my little Eva is already so close with my grandma Eva. 

When my great grandma died, I was really young (like 3) but I remember that day. I remember going to the hospital to say goodbye as we knew she was not to last long, and I remember I was so excited to show her my sparkly barbie. Even on her death bed, she still had a beaming smile and patiently listened to me talk about my barbie. Not long after we left my mom got a phone call saying she had passed away. I surprised my mom and myself that I remember that. But I guess it has to do with my special connection with my Eva's.

I got a text the other day of a picture of my Great Grandma Eva holding me. The way she was looking at me while on her emotional. I can see the love she has for me and I know that that love has not left, as I know she will be there when my Eva goes to help welcome her into Heaven. And she will keep her safe, loved, and taken care of until the day I can take care of her. Such a special thing to know that I have someone that loves her as much as I do to take care of her.

Until Heaven, Eva Carolyn

Update: 31 weeks

We have had a very adventurous last few weeks that I figured I would do an update from us and what we have been up to.

The beginning of April we headed out to Utah, the kids and I, to spend some time with family and friends while TJ was off on hitch (work for two weeks straight). We really hesitated on going out before we found out because we knew we had big expenses coming with the birth of a baby. BUT we decided we wanted to create these memories with Eva and have others get to meet who Eva is- even though she is just a blob of belly attached to me ;)

We arrived and already were so so busy with going to places. One of the big things Marley wanted to do was to go see Beauty and the Beast, go to Costco, and visit Ken Garff our car dealership while we were in town. (I know, two out of three are super odd- but she is 3) I am happy to report we actually made it to all three things! The first day we were there we had purchased the tickets to see Beauty and the Beast but she fell down the stairs and no longer wanted to go. She said the only thing that would cheer her up was to go to Costco. So we canceled the tickets for that evening and went to Costco instead! Ha, for real....she was so thrilled. I am glad that Eva gets to know that Marley LOVES Costco and that it really cheered her up. She must thing Marley is one odd duck ;)

I made it a priority to make sure that Eva got to attend a Jazz game. Being a born Jazz fan and coming from a Jazz fan family, I knew it was important she got to experience a Jazz game. What a game to attend too! Oh goodness, I knew she was extremely excited like the arena because she would just not sit still! The kids are true Jazz fans as well and enjoyed each moment. Corbi is SO intense and loves the enthusiasm. He even would yell "Go Jazz!"  a ton when things were getting so heated from excitement. It was so nice to have this special experience with not just my kids but with my siblings. It meant so much to be able to have these special memories. Even the kids will get to remember this event and they got to share it with Eva as well.
 Marley is way into the silly face game right now. And if you can see all three of the kids were enjoying popcorn! (Marley wanted to make sure Eva got to try the yummy game popcorn too, which is very sweet of her)

The next night we had a VERY special dinner put together for Eva and I. I wanted to find a way to celebrate Eva's life while she was still with us. I have fun memories of baby showers for my kids and I wanted to have this special time to create the memories I needed (along with the kids) to remember Eva and all the people that love her dearly. It was such a lovely dinner and I felt so much love and I know Eva did too.  I have such amazing family and friends who made the sacrifice to take a night out of the week to come help celebrate. I wont go into the thank-a-monies but I am so grateful for so many amazing women in my life who have helped me so much along the way.
I am very grateful that we have so many fun and crazy memories of this in picture form too, because I will cherish them all for the hard times to come.

We spent the rest of the trip being super busy and making more memories with loved ones, it was a very delightful time and I am so glad we have these memories to cherish.

When we got home it was time to have another check up on Eva. This time the kids got to come along with TJ and Kimber! She was being stubborn and didn't move around much in order to get a good picture of her. She has grown another pound or so and is almost up to 4 pounds! This might mean that I might have another big baby like the other two. Which is super funny because some babies only get up to 5 pounds or so. I was so worried she would be too tiny for things we have for her but if she is anything like the other two-and she is- than she is going to be a big chunk. As odd as that is to say, I want to be as normal as possible and having the possibility that she will weigh more than 5 pounds is exciting for me.

I am starting to get more uncomfortable and swelling but it is different from the previous two, and when we did the ultrasound, Kerri found that I have extra fluid; not enough to be of a big concern yet but its enough to start the discomfort. This can be normal with these babies due to not being able to have proper organ function or other things wrong with them. We already knew that Eva has something wrong that doesn't allow her to swallow. Last appointment she was doing so good and this time something is a bit off. Her kidneys are still working and she has a full bladder but beyond that we have no idea why I am retaining more amniotic fluid. The doctor mentioned that she could be struggling on the swallowing again.

After all the checking and discussing on how the ultrasound went we started getting into the talk of induction. What intervals we wanted to do monitoring, and the date, etc. This was really hard as it really set in with me, discussing the monitoring meant we were not going to be monitoring the full time, but trying to determine how often and the unfortunate discussion of if we want to know if she passes before birth. It never gets easier. Its always hard to think when her last moment of life will be, and I pray that it wont be during the laboring process- but every moment I have had with her has been a blessing in itself so I am grateful for this time. So if that means she needs to go before we actually get to meet her, then so be it. But I think I carry enough stubborn genes that she has some in her too to hold on and make it to birth, because she has her daddy and brother and sister who are so eager to get to meet and know her, even for the short time in this life.

Its become more real as we have finalized the date and time to start our final journey with Eva. Her birth and death. We have had this date in mind and spoken it a few times but to actually have it in a computer system in the hospital is.....too real. Because I know the only remainder of Eva after that day will be in our hearts, no more rolling and moving inside of me, no more kicking her brother when he sits on my lap, no more belly kisses from my sweet Marley. We will only have the memories, and I pray that the kids will have a memory of their sister even for being at such a young age. I hope that she will visit them and remind them of her, just like we will. I know this day was bound to come, but it has never made any of this easier.

I know that Eva has made an impact on my life and the life of others, it always helps me to hear that Eva has changed others as well, because it means that for whatever purpose we have to go through this, there is a ripple effect.