Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to Work

Today was my first day back to work and I'm exhausted!  I forgot how it felt to be on your feet all day without a nap!  Today was much better than what I anticipated.  After a minor break down in the morning (before the kids arrived) the rest of the day went very smooth.  Once the bell rang and kids started flooding the halls I was filled with ease and embraced with many hugs.  That's the great thing about my job... there is no other job that you can return from a horrible experience and see 22 smiling faces and receive 22 bear hugs all within the first 10 minutes of your work day.  I love my second graders they make me feel so loved!  They kept me moving all day long and there was probably not a 15 minute period where I didn't have a little one coming up for more hugs.  I made it through my first day back and yes, I am going back tomorrow!  Thank you to everyone who sent me warm wishes.  Your thoughts and prayers truly helped on this hard day!

And of course this sweet face was on my mind ALL DAY!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Won't Let Go

Today is a tough day.  Today is my last day home before returning to work on Monday.  I'm terrified!  I don't really know what I'm terrified of, but I am so scared.  It may be I'm terrified I won't be as good of a teacher as I was before this nightmare.  It may be that I'm afraid that by returning to work I'm going to have to face reality that I am returning from maternity leave and I don't even have a baby at home.  It may be that I'm scared of the heartwrenching thought that I have to move on with my life.  It may be that I'm scared that I can't remember life before Paige or who I was before I lost my angel.  I'm terrified beyond belief, but I have to make this step.  In a sense going back to work is like going to my second home.  I love my school and the great staff I work with.  They are like family and this morning I was reminded of that.  A dear colleague sent me a song today and reminded me that I wouldn't be alone when I do return on Monday.  She wrote "I wanted to share it (the song) with you because I want you to know that we all are here to help you through this in anyway we possibly can...we will hold on to you and "won't let go". "   Those words meant so much to me because I honestly don't know how I am going to do this, but knowing I have a family at school to help me through is so comforting.  Thank you Kristy for your kind words, here is the song...

Although I do go back to work on Monday, you better believe that this sweet face will be forever embedded in my mind and heart.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

What a blessing!

Yesterday we received the professional pictures of Paige taken the last few hours of her life.  What a blessing!  This photographer was absolutely amazing and so sensitive to our situation.  When going through a nightmare like the loss of a baby the last thing on my mind was getting pictures taken.  Thank goodness for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  This is an organization of professional photographers who offer their services free of charge to families who have or are going to lose an infant.  I am so thankful that the nurses at Childrens offered this to us. When I saw these gorgeous photos yesterday I was overehelmed with emotions.  I am so thankful for this beautiful remembrance of my sweet baby girl.  These photos will be something that Pat and I cherish forever.  Below are a few of my favorites....  don't worry, I'll share more in the coming weeks.

What we would give to kiss our sweet Paige one more time! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mission Complete

It's been a few days since I last posted.  Saturday was a big day for us.  Pat and I went to have our blood drawn for the genetic testing.  We now have to sit and wait for results... we have no idea how long it will be.  After the blood work we went over to the NICU to make our special delivery.  This was a lot harder than I expected.  We haven't been back since January 4th (the day Paige went to be with Jesus) and all of the feelings and emotions came right back.  I was glad to be going there to drop off Paige's Pretties, but boy did I get choked up walking off that elevator.  We dropped off the bows and hats to the charge nurse and before we even got home I had a message that the hats and bows had been handed out to the babies.  Joy filled my heart!  I was even more excited when I received an e-mail from a mother of one of those babies.  She said that her baby girl's Paige's Pretty put a smile on her face.  If I never get another e-mail my mission is complete.  I made another mommy smile who is having to watch her baby suffer.  God bless her baby girl and give her strength to get healthy. 

Emotions have been running high this past week.  I've been overcome with a whirlwind of emotions.  I've been excited to deliver the first batch of Paige's Pretties.  I've been missing Paige more than ever and feeling so much heartache.  I've been hit with a bit of jealousy.  It's hard to admit that but I've been so jealous of mom's with healthy babies.  I've been feeling anxiety as my time off from work is coming to an end.  I've been feeling nervous about the genetic testing and the results we continue to wait for.  All of these feelings and emotions are consuming my days and nights and it's hard to concentrate on anything else.  I know God will give me the strength I need to get through this craziness.  I have faith that He has a plan for Pat and I and that He will get us through this most difficult time.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ready for Delivery

The first batch of Paige's Pretties are finished and ready for delivery to the NICU on Saturday!  I am so excited!  Thanks to my wonderful friends and family for all of your help.  I know that these hairbows and hats will put a smile on the face of another mommy in the worst moments of her life.  Don't worry I didn't leave the baby boys out... they too will be receiving little stocking caps and baseball hats. 

This whole experience of Paige's Pretties has been so theraputic for me.  I wanted to do something in Paige's memory.  When I think of my baby girl I want to think of all the wonderful and good things that came from her life and not just the picture of her hooked up to wires and tubes.  I want the world to know that Paige Steinhoff was loved and she in turn touched the lives of so many.  Yesterday, the first Paige's Pretties was delivered to Cardinal Glennon Hospital to a friend of a friend who's baby girl was born very premature.  Just to think that that mommy can put a hairbow on her precious baby brings so much joy to my hearrt.  I know good things are coming from my sweet Paige!

Here's a look at a few more Paige's Pretties...

And for the boys...

Lord, bless these hats and hairbows and allow them to bring peace, comfort and strength to those sweet babies that wear them.  Bring joy and happiness to their families and knowledge to the doctors and nurses that make them healthy again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I've been trying to write for about a half hour and it's just too hard.  So, today I wll leave you with a sweet picture of Paige that I will always cherish.  Happy Valentine's Day to the two loves of my life, my wonderful husband and my sweet baby girl!

This is Paige's valentine to me!
This picture was taken by the nurses at Children's Hospital... what a sweet gift!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

How God Works

It's amazing how God works!  This morning I woke up in one of my funks.  Sad, lonely, and just wondering how life can go on without my sweet baby girl.  Most mornings are like this for me.  This morning Pat is still asleep (getting his beauty rest) and I got the best gift of the day.  My sweet and dear friend, Katie H., sent me the most amazing e-mail.  She shared with me the most beautiful video about being a mommy.  After watching it I know that God talked to Katie and made sure I was given this video.  If only I could see my sweet Paige in Heaven right now.  I know she is healthy, loved by Jesus and having so much fun.  I will always look forward to the day that I get to see her again.  Although I miss Paige more than words could ever explain I am so thankful she is in the arms of our Father and enjoying eternal life that is painless and truly good.  Mommy loves you sweet Paige!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Paige's Pretties

Not a second goes by that I don't think about my sweet Paige.  I think about her precious face, her soft skin, her unforgettable baby smell and the strong little fighter she was.  I think about her time at Children's Hospital and how she had to fight around the clock during her short life.  Unfortunately, this is a reality for many mommies and daddies.  Everyday there are parents who have to watch their newborn baby struggle for his/her life.  It breaks my heart to know that someone else has to feel the pain that I continue to grow through.  In memory of my beautiful Paige I have started "Paige's Pretties".  This is just a small way for me to reach out to those other parents who are experiencing the biggest nightmare of their lives.  I have begun to make hairbows and hats for the tiny baby girls who enter the NICU everyday.  Afterall... every baby girl deserves to be pretty!  My hope is that when a new baby girl is admitted to the NICU at Children's Hospital her mommy and daddy can choose a Paige's Pretties hairbow for her.  This is just the beginning and I hope to continue Paige's Pretties for many years to come.  Here are pictures of the start of Paige's Pretties!

Paige wearing the very first Paige's Pretties!  This one was made with
lots of love by Mimi!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Will Carry You

Last night I attended my first support group.  Hard step? Oh yes!  I was terrified going in.  Would I be able to talk?  Would I be able to share Paige's story?  Would these other people really understand what I was going through?  YES!  They do, they completely understand.  What a relief.  I want to respect their privacy so I will not share about them, but I can tell you they are all amazing people with tragic stories just like Pat and I.  For the first time in 2011 I felt like a human again.  I felt almost "normal" while sitting in that room.  I am so thankful this group was brought to me and I look forward to my journey with them.

While at the support group we discussed many things.  One thing that came up that I never thought about was that some people may wonder why we are greaving the loss of a child who we never knew.  I never thought about this, but I can answer it for anyone who is wondering.  Pat and I had dreams beyond belief for our baby girl.  I would dream about taking her shopping and brushing her hair.  I could almost visualize her first day of school.  I couldn't wait for her sweet hugs and the first time she said "mama".  I still long to hear her cry, to laugh, to do anything.  Pat was going to teach her how to play ball.  I know he couldn't wait to make a little stud athlete out of her. And if sports weren't her thing he couldn't wait to sit in her dance recitals and be the proudest daddy.  He dreamed of one day walking his baby girl down the aisle.  The list of hopes and dreams that we had for our sweet girl goes on and on.  So yes, we never really knew our baby girl here on earth but we do know that our love for her is real, it is strong and it will never go away.  We will always mourn the hopes and dreams we had for her and that she was not given a chance to be with us.  I don't expect anyone to understand how Pat and I are feeling.  It's a feeling I don't wish upon anyone. 

I truly believe that I was chosen by God to carry Paige because she was so special.  And through this hard time I truly believe that God is carrying Pat and I.  I want to share this song by Selah.  This song shares how we are feeling through this time of grief.

I will always be thankful that I was chosen to carry sweet Paige. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Just when I allowed myself to take a breathe the unexpected happened.  After our positive news from the geneticist last week we thought we were in the clear.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Yesterday I received the unfortunate phone call from our geneticist that more autopsy results were in.  On the 19th chromosone they found a deletion.  This means that part of the chromosone was missing.  This causes chromosone breakage and most likely the reason why Paige had a chromosone translocation with chromosones 11 and 19.  This was not just more information but also the start of tests for Pat and I.  With this deletion brings a cause for concern that Pat or I could also have this deletion.  We will be going very soon for blood tests.  Luckily, the doctor is hopeful that the tests will come back negative.  The doctor said we have to go one step at a time, cross every t and dot every i.  The next step is unknown to me right now because the doctor told me it gets very confusing from here.  Great, as if I'm not confused enough! Anyone who knows me knows that going one step at a time is almost impossible for me.  I like to take leaps and bounds.  So now the waiting game begins.  We go for tests and then wait for the results.  Not a game I like to play.  I continue to pray for strength, but today I think I will also ask for some patience.  If my sweet girl had to fight through this (see picture) to spend time with us, the least we can do is make sure we find out exactly what caused this nasty illness.

Our little fighter

Friday, February 4, 2011


Many of you have probably read the "Footprints in the Sand" poem.  It's beautiful.  I have read it many times even before Paige.  I read it, but I guess I never truly took in the meaning and the message.  Many people have sent us the poem since Paige's passing, however, it wasn't until this week when my cousin and his wife sent me another copy of the poem that I really read it and opened my heart to it.  God is with me everyday helping me through this awful nightmare.  I believe that one day when I get to Heaven I will look back at this time in my life and see just one set of footprints.  There are many days when I don't want to get out of bed, but I know I have to.  Even when it seems impossible I find strength and get myself up.  It's God pushing me and telling me I must be strong!  If you have never read the poem, here it is...

One night I had a dream--
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
"I don't understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child,
I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
"When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

Are these not the sweetest feet you've ever seen?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heavy Heart

I've been staring at my computer screen for almost an hour.  I want to write, but I can't compose myself long enough to get anything out.  The past few days have been so difficult.  Starting with Paige's due date on Friday, getting unexpected autopsy results on Monday and yesterday my baby girl would have been 1 month old.  These are the first milestones we have hit and boy does it sting.  It's hard for me to handle, I'm doing the best I know how.  My poor husband, I've become attached to him at the hip... like a small child to their blankie.  It's pretty pathetic, but he is so wonderful about it.  I have found myself just staring at pictures of Paige lately.  I mean staring!  I can't take my eyes off her.  How could she be so sick?  I know I've asked this before and I'm sure it won't be the last time.  I just don't get it.  I want to hold her and kiss her and see her sweet face.  I just want my baby girl.  I know she never came home, but yet everyday I can feel her absence.  It's a bad feeling... the kind that makes your stomach turn.  How quickly life changes.  My world has been rocked to the core.  Never in my life did I imagine that I would bury a child.  Never did I imagine that my time with Paige would be so short.  Never in my life have I clung to Jesus so tightly.  Although Pat and I are going through the most horrible time of our lives we know that God is good and doing good around us.  We have to believe that because without that faith we have nothing.  Our hearts hurt so deeply every single day.  We miss our sweet Paige desperately.  We know that we can't walk this road alone, we must rely on God to hold our hands and give us strength and take things one day at a time.

I never get tired of seeing her sweet face! Jesus hold her tightly!