GIVING JULIA BACK – WEEK 21 (PART TWO)

OUR SWEET JULIA GRACE

Dedicated to my wife, who amazes me everyday with her bravery, integrity and faith …and to the little girl who has changed my world with no words at all.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:25-30

TUESDAY, JULY 19th – ONE LONG SLEEPLESS NIGHT

Julia Grace’s party was very uplifting.  We needed that party even more so than we thought.  Our broken hearts still needed to celebrate her life while surrounding her with prayer after prayer.  I remember how quiet the house got after the guests had all left and the kids were in bed.  This day felt so surreal yet overwhelming knowing that we were at the very beginning of some very tough times.  We finally went to bed around 1 am, both mentally and physically exhausted.  We desperately needed a good nights rest because we had to be up at the crack of dawn in order to make it to the hospital in Fort Worth in time for our appointment with Dr. B, the Perinatologist.  Unfortunately, I would soon find out after my head hit the pillow that a good nights rest just wasn’t in the forecast.  Around 3 am I woke up to the sound of crying.  Kimberly was sound asleep yet sobbing.  Bless her heart, I woke her up and kissed her and just held her until she fell back asleep.  We would drift off and on for a few hours and then do it all over again until the alarm clock sounded.

“The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confronts me.”  Job 30:27

After one long sleepless night, we woke up at 6:30 am and got ready for our three hour ride to the hospital.  Thank goodness our friends, Zach and Meg, offered to ride with us.  At first when they offered to tag along I didn’t want to put them out, but apparently they knew what we needed more than we did at the time.  It would have been an almost impossible trip if they had not been there with us.  Meg rode with Kimberly in the backseat to listen, cry, and comfort and Zach rode with me in the front, helping keep me awake and headed in the right direction.  Every mile we inched closer and closer to Fort Worth, my nerves began to twist and turn a little more.  We arrived ahead of schedule so we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Central Market just down the street from the hospital.  We sat at a table outside with our dear friends and we all desperately prayed for a miracle.  I knew deep down in my heart that there was something obviously very wrong with the pregnancy, but I just didn’t want it to be the fatal Trisomy 18.  To tell you the truth, Kimberly and I prayed for it to be Trisomy 21, which is the condition known as Down’s Syndrome, because then our precious daughter would have a chance to live.  And that’s all we wanted.  How can you want anything less for your child?  Therefore I prayed and tried my very best to stay positive.  In our minds, there was still a glimpse of hope, knowing that Dr. M, the Perinatologist in Abilene, believed we had a 50/50 chance.  So we finished our brunch, loaded up, and drove a block or two and then dropped off our vehicle with the hospital valet.

We checked in at the front desk of the Doctor’s office, sat down in the waiting area, and Kimberly began to fill out paperwork.  A Hispanic family with a little boy in a wheel chair came in a few minutes after we did.  I’m not sure what the little guy’s condition was, but he obviously had very severe physical disabilities.  He had underdeveloped arms and legs and was incredibly small for his age.  He sat in his wheelchair just a few feet away from us and I really got a kick out of watching him play.  He was delightful, funny, and as cute as could be.  That little boy gave me a wonderful feeling of hope deep down inside and I thought to myself, “Lord, we can do this!  We are up to the challenge.  We will love our baby no matter what, no matter the diagnosis, no matter what any doctor has to say.  We put our trust in you, Jesus, because I know that you alone are the Great Physician.”  As I continued to watch the little boy (who was now playing with his gameboy despite his small, underdeveloped hands and fingers), I couldn’t help but smile.  Every time he would successfully win another level on his video game he would let out a big “YES!” followed up with a big fist pump!  Yes, he had visual imperfections and physical flaws, but he was perfect in so many other ways I’m not.  I bet years earlier as his mother carried him inside her womb she was probably told that her baby boy was severely handicapped.  And it probably wouldn’t be a far stretch to say that some doctors may have even suggested terminating the pregnancy.  But thank God his parents finished what they started.  That little boy was precious and so full of life.  Think of all the joy they would have missed had they given up on him.

ROBERT SPEAKING ON MY BEHALF AT THE ACU ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR DINNER

That little wheelchair got me thinking about all kinds of things and especially reminded me of one of my mentors from college.  His name is Robert Reid.  Robert has cerebral palsy and NOTHING has ever come easy, yet NOTHING has been able to stop him.  You see, Robert has a secret weapon, and despite his physical handicaps, he has overcome the greatest of odds.  The kind of odds that would stop a perfectly healthy guy like me dead in my tracks!  Our society has tried to ignore and write off my friend Robert since the day he was born, yet there is no road block or barricade that has been able to stop him or his wheelchair!  He rides around this world as if his small framed chair with wheels is some 30 ton Sherman Tank.  Robert is special.  No.  Robert is a super hero!  Every super hero has his secret weapon and Robert is no different.  Robert’s secret weapon is his love and passion for the Lord.  He has dedicated his life to the Lord and for nearly 40 years has been consumed with his mission work, whether in another country or at your local prison.  The Lord has provided Robert with strength and courage that I can not even comprehend.  He has done well for himself, not to mention marrying a beautiful woman from Portugal.  Not too shabby Dr. Reid.  Not too shabby!  You can’t tell his story in a paragraph, and honestly a book doesn’t even do him justice.  Robert knew Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings on a first name basis and I love hearing his stories about those musical heroes of mine.  But more than anything, I love hearing his testimony and how he has shared the good news of Jesus to people all over the world.  Robert’s life is a testament to the strength of the Lord.

Check out Robert’s book, “Bursting with Life.”  I’ve read it twice!  www.robertreidministries.com/The_Book.html

“The Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  (Paul then writes) Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

HUGGING MY GOOD FRIEND

One time Robert told me with his sweet stutter, “Aaron, I have handicaps that people can see, but we all have handicaps on the inside that only God can see.”  Can I get an Amen?  Robert is exactly right!  We are all handicapped in one way or another.  Most of us, myself included, keep them hidden and out of sight, but they are there, lurking in the shadows; an ever present thorn in our side.  Isn’t it wonderful that we have a Father in heaven that loves us despite our flaws, imperfections, and thorns?  Sitting in the waiting room I was reminded of Jesus’ love, and I knew from that moment on that He would equip me with the strength that I needed to get my family through this ordeal.  Trisomy whatever you want to call it, this is my baby and she will be loved, loved, loved.  Well, after a thirty minute wait in the lobby, they finally called Kimberly’s name and we walked in together hand in hand.

JULIA'S LITTLE FEET ON THE BACK PAGE OF MY BIBLE

A sweet nurse escorted us down the hall to a little room, gave Kimberly a hospital gown, and said she would return in a few minutes.  Kimberly changed into her gown and when the nurse came back in, she rubbed some more jelly on Kimberly’s belly and began yet another sonogram.  Dr. B, the Perinatologist came in and after a very thorough ultrasound had unfortunately discovered even more major complications.  The bad news instantly took the wind out of my sails.  We learned on top of everything else there were also serious heart conditions, one called ASD and one called VSD.  She also appeared to have an issue with her little foot but her daddy was very optimistic, “We can fix that little foot and heart, and if anyone ever makes any rude comments then I will just unleash her big brothers on them.”  As Dr. B reviewed the long list of complications, I couldn’t help but find myself becoming very defensive.  After he finished his sentence, I looked at Kimberly and said, “It’s okay babe, Julia Grace is perfect and beautiful.”  Dr. B looked up at us and smiled very sweetly.

Although our baby had several of the characteristics of a T18 baby, it could only be diagnosed by having an amniocentesis.  Therefore we agreed to have the small procedure so that we could get a definite and affirmative answer on the condition of our daughter.  The doctor was still uncertain of whether it was a chromosomal or genetic issue.  I remained hopeful despite more and more bad news.  Dr. B said if the results come back positive for T18 then we really don’t have any options.  He continued to say that because T18 babies are considered to be “incompatible with life,” many couples will go ahead and terminate the pregnancy because the outcome is inevitable.  He said if the test comes back positive then we could simply make an appointment at the clinic the very next week.  My sweet wife, who had been quiet with her tears, instantly spoke up and said,” terminating the pregnancy is not an option.”  She said ,”Our baby girl has already been dealt a bad hand and if the only time we get to love her is while she is inside me then we will make the most of that.”  Dr. B, a seasoned doctor with probably 30+ years of experience, seemed to be taken back by Kimberly’s words of unconditional love.  After a few moments of silence, he simply said, “Then you will just love your baby until it expires.”  “Expires?” I thought to myself,  “Come on, find a better word!  Milk expires, not a baby.”

After the appointment, the valet pulled our car around and we loaded up.  I looked at my wife and said, “What do you want to do now?  You can have anything you want, babe.  You’ve been thru hell today and I’ve got some money to burn.”  She let out a sigh and simply said that she was “hungry and would like a manicure and pedicure.”  So wouldn’t you know it, my buddy and I managed to find a restaurant and a nail salon near the Bass Pro Shop.  Typical guys, right?

“My God, my God why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me?  So far from the words of my groaning?  O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer.”  Psalm 22:1-2

Oh, and I almost forgot, at the restaurant we had the sweetest waitress in the world.  She was an older lady and there was just something about her that lifted our spirits.  As she brought me my credit card receipt, I noticed that she had written a small message on the back of the customer copy.  As I began to read her words, I became moved by her love and tenderness.  On the note she wrote something like “I usually don’t do these kinds of things but for some reason I felt like God wanted me to write you a message and tell you that everything will be ok and that He is always with you.”  Call it a coincidence if you want, but I believe this was God’s little way of letting Kimberly and I know that he had not forgotten about us.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

LIL' MISS SWEET & SASSY!

We returned home from the hospital around 8:30 pm after dropping off our friends Zach and Meg.  As we walked through the front door, it was like a welcome home party!  It was so refreshing to see Jake, Jack, and Jolee Kate!  They were so excited to see their momma and daddy, but we were way more excited to see them.  We decided to let them stay up extra late that night so we could spend some special time with them.  We made cookies, drank chocolate milk and had a good time in the game room.  Their smiles and laughter was a sweet remedy for our broken spirits.

CRAZY JACK!

That night before bed, Jake asked where we had been all day and why.  I told him that his little sister, Julia Grace, inside of momma’s tummy was very, very sick.  I told him that she had a hurt foot and a broken heart and that we needed to pray for her everyday.  Little brother, Jack chimed in and said that “Julia had an ouchie and that we needed to kiss it and make it all better.”  That night the boys and I prayed for Julia Grace.  Jake went first, and then Daddy and Jack prayed last.  We always make Jack pray last because my little man can say a 20 minute prayer.  My Jack is passionate.  He prays for his momma and then he prays for his momma a little more and maybe prays for more toys and then prays for momma even more.  Oh, and did I mention he is a momma’s boy like no other!?

"BIG BRUDDER JAKEY!"

He prays for his “brudder Jakey” his sister “Dolee Tate” and every animal at the zoo.  And just when we think he is almost done praying, he starts back over at the beginning.  Somewhere before Jack could say Amen, I fell asleep.  I woke up the next morning cuddled up with my two little boys.  This experience has made me cherish my children even more so.

WEDNESDAY JULY 20th – STAYING BUSY

BLACK ONES aka CHOCOLATE DONUTS

We woke up that morning still tired from the trip and fearful of the news to come.  Sitting around the house was driving me crazy so I got my boys dressed and we hit the door running.  First we went to our favorite donut shop.  Jake ordered donut holes and Jack asked for black ones, aka chocolate donuts.  I got two glazed, a cinnamon roll, and three chocolate milks for my boys and I.  We sat down, we laughed, and we made a big mess!  After we devoured our breakfast I asked the boys what they wanted to do next.   They both simultaneously said, “The zoo!”

zoo train and swimming trunks!

We have been to the zoo about a million times.  They know the zoo like the back of their hand, but they were more excited than ever because the zoo had recently added a new train ride.  So off to the zoo we went.  We rode the train and we fed the giraffes just like we always do.  After a few hours, we got a toy at the zoo gift shop and then I said, “Now what boys?”  Once again they simultaneously screamed, “Swimming!”

JAKE!

So swimming it was.  We went over to our friend Tarla’s (aka Karla) to swim and that’s when it hit me.  I was there in the pool with the boys, splashing and having a blast, when I realized that my sweet wife was still at home.  I can get away.  I can distract myself by staying busy with work or with the kids, but she can’t escape this situation even for a brief moment.  Everywhere she goes, Julia Grace goes with her.  Julia is right there with her, kicking and growing a little more every step of the way.  So after a while, I told the boys that we needed to go home.  At first they weren’t too happy about having to go home, but after I explained to them that Momma was sad and needed to see us they quickly changed their attitude.  Despite their age, they knew something was wrong and their compassion left me speechless.  So we decided to call it a day.  On the way home the boys and I went by the store and each picked out Momma a dozen roses.  One by one, we walked into the kitchen and said “Surprise!”  She smiled with tears in her eyes and gave us all hugs and kisses.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 20th BROKEN & SHATTERED – from KIMBERLY’S FAMILY BLOG

My heart has never been as heavy as it is right now.  Our appointment on Monday, July 18th, unfortunately was not good.  We found out that our 4th baby is another precious baby girl, just as I suspected, but there are major complications with her pregnancy, just as an expectant mother always fears.  I can not even begin to describe how we are feeling.  Brokenhearted.  Scared.  Devastated.  Shocked.  Empty.  Speechless.  The past 48+ hours have been a complete nightmare and I want so badly to wake up.

We had an appointment with specialists in Fort Worth yesterday and are waiting to hear back from them.  I can not go into details at this time, but when we get definite answers and diagnosis from the doctors, we will.  We can tell you this though: it is very serious and we desperately need your prayers.  We BEG for your prayers.

Thank you so much for loving us and pleading to the LORD on our behalf.  Please, please, please, please, please pray.  Pray for strength and courage for Aaron and I, but more than anything, for our precious Julia Grace.  We need a miracle.

Love, Kimberly

THURSDAY, JULY 21st – THE DREADED PHONE CALL

We put the kids down for their afternoon nap around 2 pm.  Kimberly said she wanted to rest for a little while.  I told her that I was going to run a few errands and maybe head over to the gun range or the golf course.  This was the day we were anxiously awaiting the dreaded phone call from the doctor to hear the results of the amniocentesis.  The anxiety was really eating at me, and like I’ve said before, I was trying my best to keep busy.  I had been out and about for around an hour when I got a call from Kimberly’s friend who was at our house.  She said that Kimberly was on the phone with the doctor and that she sounded really, really upset.  I was about five minutes from the house so I tried my best to drive safely home without speeding.  I prayed for my baby and my wife.  I looked down and I was going 75 in a 55.

At some point as I was heading home, I remember praying again that instead of Trisomy 18 that it would be Trisomy 21 which is Down’s Syndrome.  Down’s Syndrome children are so wonderful and I’ve never seen a Down’s baby that didn’t fill my heart with absolute joy.  I was hoping, pleading for anything but the fatal Trisomy 18.  For the entire week up until this moment I tried to stay positive, but Kimberly kept telling me the whole time that she just knew in her heart her baby girl had Trisomy 18.  I pulled into the drive, walked through the door just as she was hanging up the phone and she collapsed into my arms and said, “I told you, I just knew it, I just knew it.”  I just squeezed her so tightly and we both just cried.  It was confirmed we were going to lose our precious Julia Grace.

Up until this point we hadn’t shared the news with anyone except for family and close friends from church.  Earlier that week on Sunday, the night before we were to find out the baby’s gender at the sonogram appointment, I did a silly poll on Facebook and Twitter asking for votes on who thought it was going to be a boy or a girl.   But Monday came and went and I sent no news, nor Tuesday, nor Wednesday.  It was time that we shared the tough news.

JULY 24th AMNIO RESULTS  – from KIMBERLY’S FAMILY BLOG

Our hearts have been broken this past week in a way we never would have imagined.  Last Monday, we went in with great excitement, anticipating whether our 4th baby we have prayed and long for was a precious baby boy or girl. And as I suspected all along, they told us it was a girl.  But what we did not expect to hear was that they believed she had a terminal condition called Trisomy 18.

Tuesday we drove to Harris Methodist and met with Dr. B, one of the leading doctors in the country in the field of Obstetrics, specializing in maternal and fetal medicine.  Our appointment was just before noon, and it just cemented what we already feared: that our daughter looked to have a rare terminal condition known as Trisomy 18.  She has Choroid Plexus Cysts in her precious head; her tiny little heart has a hole in the upper chambers, and a missing valve in the lower ventricle; she only has a single umbilical artery when you are supposed to have two umbilical arteries and one vein (she is therefore not getting the proper nutrition); and her size is perhaps the scariest part of it all: at 21 weeks exactly, she measured only 9 oz.  None of that looks good.  Individually speaking, things would look different, but when you add them all up, it’s fatal.  Anyhow, because T-18 can not be diagnosed by an ultrasound, you have to do an amnio to find out 100%.  So, Dr. B did an amniocentesis after taking a long look at the baby, and the results came in Thursday afternoon.  My OBGYN, Dr. T, called my cell and all he could bare to say was “It’s Trisomy 18.” and I fell apart.  I knew that it would come back positive, but it hurt like nothing else to hear it.

The following is copied off of the Trisomy18.org site, and it breaks my heart that our family blog now has this type of information on it.  It just doesn’t seem right.

“Trisomy 18 is a chromosomal abnormality where there is an extra chromosome present in every cell of the body.  This is an example of where “the more the merrier” is not true.  This extra chromosome means that every cell has extra information encoded into it.  The extra information causes confusion in the way that the cells are formed and results in the potential malformation of all of the body systems.  Just like with Down’s Syndrome, there is a wide range of how this condition will play out.  Unfortunately because there is more information encoded on the 18th chromosome, the severity of this condition is greater than that of Down’s Syndrome.  Current studies show that while 1 out of 1,500 children will be diagnosed prenatally with Trisomy 18, only half that number (or 1 out of 3,000) will be born alive at full term.  Of those who survive to birth, only half will make it to two months of age, and only 10% will survive to their first birthday.”

What more can I say?  Your entire life is centered around your children…and we just learned that our child has medical issues that she will not be able to live with.  Heartbreaking does not begin to describe the pain. Tonight, Aaron and I went to Perini Ranch to just get away and have dinner together before he leaves for Europe in the morning (he will be gone 8 days, please pray for the kids and I, but also please pray for him while he is gone, for his mind to be at rest, and for him to be safe).  Anyhow, so we drive out to Buffalo Gap, hand in hand, and hardly say a word to each other.  We’d squeeze each other’s hand as to say, “I love you, I hate this.”  We have a quiet dinner, and of course the food was wonderful, but we chatted very little, and just looked at each other in silence, all the while hoping that the waiter doesn’t ask us about our expectant baby, in fear that we will have a break down right there in the restaurant.  And this is only the beginning.  I am almost 22 weeks now, but the road ahead is long…and it is going to be hard.  Have I mentioned yet that we need prayers?  Because we do, and so very badly.

Anyhow, I didn’t want to get wordy, however I fear I may already be there, so please forgive me.  I also don’t want to bombard you or think that we want pity.  Pity is the last thing that we want; it is your prayers we are begging for.  We don’t know what to think of the coming months.  There is so much uncertainty.  And with uncertainty comes fear, at least for me it does.  I won’t elaborate, but if you are looking for something specific to pray for, pray that our baby makes it to full term.  It is so important that I make it full term because I have had all c-sections, so I HAVE to have a c-section again, and the earlier the c-section the more risk is put on the mother.  So if I can be selfish for a moment, please allow me to ask specifically for that.  Also, as you can probably imagine, the baby has a better chance of being born alive the longer I go.  So please, please, please…please pray for us.  For me, and for our precious Julia Grace.  I beg you.

Love, Kimberly

SUNDAY, JULY 24th – MY WIFE, MY HERO

HONEYMOON BOUND... AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU STILL GOT IT BABE!

Tonight I took my sweetheart, Kimberly, out to her favorite restaurant.  It’s a little steakhouse called Perini Ranch and it’s nestled in the trees just outside the small town of Buffalo Gap, Texas.  At dinner I couldn’t stop staring at my beautiful wife and admiring how pretty she looked in her cute little pregnant outfit.  We didn’t have much to say tonight; we simply held hands across the table, occasionally giving each other these looks of pure disbelief.  Even in her sorrow, I still couldn’t get over how gorgeous she looked.  I’m constantly telling her how beautiful she is and she always reacts as if I’m lying.  Like any other woman, she still holds herself to the same old standards that she did 10 years ago before her four pregnancies.  Now don’t get me wrong, I loved that 100 pound college girl figure, too, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything.  She is 100 times more appealing to me now than she ever was back then, which is saying a lot!  You young cowboys might not understand what I am talking about just yet, but trust me, someday you will.  There is nothing more amazing and miraculous than an expectant mother…especially when that expectant mother is carrying your child.  I’m not trying to win brownie points with women around the world, but seriously, mothers belong on a pedestal high above the rest of us.  They sacrifice so much and put their bodies through hell while carrying and giving birth to their babies.  I have no doubt that Navy Seals are as tough as nails, but even they cringe at the thought of pushing a baby through the birth canal.  And this brings me to another point of sadness; my wife will endure all the hardships and pains of a c-section without the joy of knowing that she will get to keep her baby.  Some might say that she is doing it all for nothing, but that’s not the way a mother sees it.  If at best she only gets to hold her still-born daughter, she will still nurture and love her just the same.   I’ve always admired this love that Jesus has shown us, but rarely do I witness something that reminds me of His love in this world.  However, as I watch Kimberly, I see that same kind of love inside her.  I have the greatest admiration for my wife, my new-found hero.  As hard as these months ahead will be, I know that LOVE will see us through.

THE WATSON'S (ALL 6 OF US TOGETHER) MOMMA & JULIA GRACE, DADDY, JACK, JOLEE KATE & JAKE

I’m sorry if my sorrow seems redundant, but I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around what’s happening to my family.  This should be a time of pure joy and celebration, but instead we are surrounded by this rain cloud of reality that goes wherever we go.  The doctors say it is inevitable that we will soon lose our baby…nothing short of a miracle from God.  We dread that day.  We will drive to the hospital, we will have our baby, and we will lose our baby.  Honestly, the thought of it tears me up even as I type.  And as I wrap this week up, the fact that life goes on slaps me right in the face.  It’s 1 am and I still haven’t packed my bags for my early morning flight to Italy for my week long tour in Europe.  Europe you say?  Yes, I should be excited, it’s Europe!  But I’m not.  My broken heart belongs here in Texas.  The last thing I need right now is to be a world away from my family.  Literally, a world away.

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.”  Psalm 31:9

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Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 9:34 am  Comments (42)  

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  1. Beautiful family with a wonderful faith!

    Jolee Kate ~ what a doll! My Hubby (Joel) wanted to name our now 13 yr old Jolie. I should’ve agreed…

    • I want to start by saying how brave you guys are for sharing all of this. You see when we humble ourselves to share such news, God definitely sees that. I can not begin to understand the pain, hurt, sadness, heartache, and moments of silence you two have had to endure. I can not imagine what you are going through, or have been through. My heart just ached as I was reading this I felt as though I was with Kimberly in this (both being Moms) what a difficult thing. No one is ever prepared to hear this kind of news, how can you be, but God truly has a divine plan for your family. Aaron has a way of telling stories through his songs and you were meant to be a voice. With your amazing compassion all I can say is God bless you and yours and my family has you at the top of the prayer list. For a long time to come. No matter what our circumstance when we rely on fellow Christians and friends we have a community of prayer warriors. May you have peace in you heart, soul and mind. When you need help or comfort may the Lord bring that to you. When Kimberly needs to be held Lord take her in your arms and allow your comfort and unconditional love flow through her till she can be still and calm. Allow her peace in a world of chaos. Allow your love to flow through all of us. Lord you said that we can move mountains. That is what we are asking for today. A miracle is not something we can always see happen, but you can do the unexplainable. Show them your love in this. Hold their hand and their hearts next to yours. Aaron your music married my husband and I (“Next to Heaven”) and your music brings us close when we “Shut up and dance”, so may I just say keep up your spiritual gift of singing and bringing people closer together. I have had the pleasure of meeting you when I worked for you at several events selling merchandise and you truly are a Godly man! You two inspire me to be a better wife, mother and lover. God bless you both. With ALL of my heart! Amen!

  2. Aaron, thank you so much for sharing all of this with us, even though most of us are complete strangers. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Just know that you and your family are a living testimony and that by sharing your story you are touching the lives of many. Including mine. I am 28 and my father was just told that his journey with cancer will not last another year or so and this has been extremely hard for me to swallow, especially since I am the youngest and have not married or had kids of my own and I want my Dad to be apart of all of that but the reality is, he probably won’t. Thankfullly I have my faith and trust in Jesus Christ but none the less, it is still heart breaking and hard to handle. Your words and your scriptures really touched my heart and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story and for reminding me of the Lords promises.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Lacy Nettle

  3. Wow, your and your family’s faith and reliance on God inspires and challenges me! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Such a moving story. It’s so heart breaking and inspirational at the same time. Bless you and your family. I hope that you are finding some sort of healing or closure by doing these blogs. I know it can not be easy sharing so much with your fans. If y’all got through this, I’m pretty sure you and your family can take on anything.

  5. God bless you all! My dear friends also lost a sweet baby, Ronan, due to Trisomy 18. Your blog brought tears to my eyes. Your words so mirror the words of my dear friend.

  6. Your blog is an inspiration. We know the pain of an older child, 20 years of loving and caring, and gone in a blink. Your words were moving and so full of God’s grace as well. We know that it is through Him that we too were able to make it through. Life moves on, the world changes, minutes turn into hours, turn into days, turn into months, into years, but there is always that void, that one thing missing, but also the knowing that you will see your child again one day and they are smiling down on us. Many blessings on you and your family and prayers for comfort and peace in the coming minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

  7. You are an inspiration not only in your music but in your faith. We may not always understand why God takes us through trials and tribulations but just as Job did. Trust in him with all your heart and his light will lead your path.
    Lifting you, your children and your amazing wife in my prayers.
    Thank you for sharing such a personal story.

  8. Aaron, you and your family’s faith inspire me. You are such an inspiration to me. I love that you share this information with your fans. I just loved the part in your blog about the boys praying, that is so sweet. I will contiune to pray for the Watson family. God bless yall.

  9. Aaron,
    This story really hit home to me. Thank you for sharing so we can pray for yall. What a fabulous husband, father and man you are! And what a great family you have! We will be praying for your faith to stay strong and for healing and understanding. God will reward the Watson family for being a testament of God’s love! God bless you and your family.

  10. Aaron,
    Thank you so much for sharing this! You have made me think so much harder about how I think. I am having fertility issues and have had two failed pregnancies and have tried so hard to give it over to God! You & your wife are my heroes because now I realize that I can do this and keep trying and God is in complete control! You guys are wonderful! I am praying for comfort for your family! Again, thanks for sharing your story & your faith!
    Christie

  11. I just wanna give you a big ole hug! Aaron your a great man and we fans love you, I am so sorry this has happened to you and your family..Prayers always….Jeannie

  12. I’m very sorry for ur loss. You have my prayers for peace. And this is just a beautiful blog, I truly love reading it and thank u for sharing it with us all.

  13. I appreciate you sharing your beautiful story with the world. It brought back so many memories for me. I was 24 weeks pregnant when we went into the doctor’s office only to find out there was no longer a heartbeat for our baby. We went to the same hospital to deliver him that we had to deliver our other 3 sons.

    Long story short, it lead us to a wonderful world of adoption that we would have never considered before that point. It took us a long time to make it to that decision so I am by no means trying to predict that this is what is in store for your family but I did want to let you know that because of this blessing, yes, 7 years later we now consider it a blessing, we are in the process of adopting a little girl that has Down Syndrome. So your story of wishing that was what your daughter had was very touching to me.

    I am so grateful for the blessing you were allowed to experience with the birth of your sweet daughter. But very sorry for your pain and grief. I am praying for peace for your sweet family in the coming months.

  14. I can not begin to say that I know what you are going through.. But I will pray for your family and sweet Jolee Grace.. I remember when you played at Wolf Creek Pen in College Station and you were telling all of us about your wife being pregnant.. I felt like a girl on cloud 9 when I seen you walking along side the stage and asked if I could take your picture.. You are an amazing artist and a true man of faith.. I pray for the best for you, your wife, children, family and friends..

  15. I am praying for your family! My sister in law lost a baby to trisomy 18 almost 2 years ago and it was a horrible experience; she was devastated! However look on the bright side of things, God never gives us more than we can handle and your family is very strong and loving! Be thankful for each other now more than ever! She lost her husband last month as well and is now the single mother to 3 children. Even though we don’t understand why bad things happen to good people just remember that god blessed you with Julia grace for at least 22 weeks!

  16. Aaron you and your wife are so full of love for Jesus, I pray that through all your heartache that the Lord will hold you in his loving arm’s and give your family the strength for each day to come. God Bless the Aaron Watson Family…..Sarah

  17. God has blesse you so much with humility and an amazing testimony of strength, faith, and incredible unfailing love! And I know sweet Julia Grace is being cradled in Gods arms looking down knowing she has the most incredible loving parents in the world!

  18. our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. you bring joy and happiness to me and my friends through the gifts you were blessed with and i am so sorry that this is an experience you have to endure. i pray for your wife and beautiful children. may god be with you all in your time of need.

  19. Brother, I am sitting here almost bawling. My wife miss-carried our third child. I cannot imagine what you guy’s have gone through. The Good LORD does work in amazing ways,and through your faith in HIM he will care for you. I am a firm believer that God will NOT lay anything on you that you cannot handle. Stay strong for your family,be safe. I’ll pray that God will heal your heartache.

  20. I have loved you since the first day I heard you. You are an amazing artist, and still sound like such a down to earth husband and father. I am so sorry for yalls loss. Your blog brought me to tears, the more I read to my husband him as well. I don’t think I can listen to your songs again without thinking of this, and were hoping to see you (if money allows) at Billy bobs next weekend, and I’m sure somewhere through your concert I’ll be crying! You are amazing!!!

  21. Oh, Aaron this is a beautiful tribute to both Julia Grace and Kimberly, who amazes me. I delivered my daughter at 17 weeks three Octobers ago. She had Turner Syndrome. My husband is not as blessed as you with words and reading this has helped me see the pain and strength he must have experienced… and still does. I am sorry for your loss and thank you for your gift of words, somg, and faith. My God wrap his arms around your sweet family and bring you all peace.

    • Kristy,

      I am sorry to hear that your daughter was born early with Turner Syndrome. I am blessed to have a daughter with Turners. She will be 10 in December and is a joy and perfect in every way. We named her Claire after my grandmother who was very dear to me, and decided on Adorn for her middle name, which means cherished gift. Girls with Turners that make it to birth are truly a cherished gift from God. My husband too had a difficult time talking about Claire at birth when so much was unknown, because in his eyes she was perfect. She is the most loving, energetic, bundle of giggles wrapped up in a tiny package. She has made me a better mother, teacher, daughter, spouse and friend. I hope that you have found peace. I would love to visit more if you would like…

  22. aaron, this brought me to tears! i respect you so much! i am so sorry you had to go through this. i am praying for you and your family. you and your wife are so strong in yalls faith and that is encouraging! i cant wait to see you again, hopefully it is soon!
    psalm 119:76 “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant” ❤

  23. Yall’s love and faith for God and each other is so very inspiring! I am so unbelievably sorry you had to go through such a tragedy like this but it absolutely proves your strength. I am praying for y’all and your family and your sweet baby girl!

  24. Aaron,

    My heart hurts for you and your family. I don’t know that I would have the strength and courage to deal with this type of situation as you are. You a re an inspiration to me. Thanks again for sharing your persoanl life with us.

    J.D.

  25. Aaron I want to thank you and your for sharing your personal struggles. Your faith and courage is something to admire. You all are in my prayers.

  26. Thanks for exemplifying the strength that only He can provide through our sufferings. I cannot imagine what you and your family have been through with this, but I know you will be blessed abundantly for the way you are glorifying God through this nightmare. Thanks for reminding us that this world is not our home if we have a personal living relationship with Jesus Christ! You are a testament to the power He provides through His Holy Spirit, and it’s my prayer that your voice will continue to be heard at the ends of the Earth and that people will see God through it. God Bless you and your family!

    Lee

  27. I can not begin to fathom the pain and agony that you and your wife have gone through. Hearing about your sweet children praying is so awesome. It shows that you and your wife are training your children in the ways of the LORD. I will be praying for you and your family. May GOD bless and keep you safely in HIS strong arms of LOVE. May HE give you the peace and comfort that only HE can. My words are not much, but my heart is full for you and your family. HE says ask anything in MY name and I will grant it. May HE always be by your sides and keep the faith, look up when you feel down. Reach up when you need a hand HE will lift you up. You and your wifes words have been very inspiring. With all my love a sister in CHRIST.

  28. Dear Aaron and Kimberly,

    Yall are truly inspirational people. Thank you for sharing this part of your lives. Yall’s love of God and your faith are something to be proud of. Take Care and God Bless.

  29. September 16, 2011 … We lost our daughter to Trisomy 18. Her little heart stopped beating at 17 weeks. I can’t begin to tell you the pain we have suffered… And the uttermost feeling of loss that remains in my heart… All of this I am sure you already know… Words alone can not describe the pain and confusion. My husband and I are both young, 30 & 31… We have 2 kids, Hailey & Layla, and our little Alana Claire will be yet another treasure waiting for us in heaven. We live in Rockwall, TX and are strong in our faith. I tell you all this in hopes that all the similarities will help you both feel some sense of comfort in knowing that your not alone. That there are some people out there… That sadly… Share the same grief. I too had a blog. It really seemed to help… I encourage you to keep it up. I have not been able to let my fingers touch the keyboard since I found out that Alana Claire went to be with Jesus. I am praying for the day that I can push thru and write about it. I guess in a sense, your story got me to write again. Just knowing that someone… Not too far away… Knows exactly how we feel. The blog is so encouraging. Notes and prayers from so so many that love you and empathize. But to know that someone KNOWS… It’s just different. I have no words to say that you and your wife don’t already know. All I can say… Is that for some reason, GOD chose us. He knew he could trust us for this exact purpose. That we would not terminate… And THAT alone is a testimony and witness to so so many!! Now we have yet another testimony and story to share. Now you can relate first hand to this deep loss.. And can help someone later down the road in need. Your precious daughters life was not in vain… And neither was mine. They had and have a purpose. They touched more lives without even speaking a word… Than many will ever touch in a lifetime. Have peace I. Knowing that you WILL see her again.. And know her! If your interested, here is the link to my blog. http://standstrong.blog.com
    I will be praying for the God of Peace and Comfort to continue to uplift and USE you, your wife, and that precious little girl in Mighty ways!! God bless you and your family.

    • Thinking and praying for your family, my daughter had trisomy 18 and lived for one week on this earth…one day we’ll meet again. She would have been almost 13 but I remember those moments like it was yesterday…

  30. I understand your heartache. I admire your and your wife’s faith through this all. My husband & I lost our baby when I was almost 4 months pregnant and we know how very difficult and heart breaking this is. No matter what any doctor or any person says, you know that you love your child from the moment that pregnancy test is positive and to this day we still love the child we lost. Though we never got to know what gender our baby was my mother was convinced that it was girl and that God had told her that the baby was to be named Elizabeth. So in my heart I know that for some reason Elizabeth was not to be here with us in this world but that God needed another little angel where He is and so He took her to be with Him.
    I know this just as I know that your Julia Grace is very loved and that God has her with Him as one of His very special little angels. Prayers for you and your family.

  31. Surely!! Goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life! Amen

  32. Dear Aaron and Kimberly,
    God doesn’t give you anything you cant handle. Thank you for sharing this and yes you need to let it out. My prayers go to you and your family, and always remember God is on your side. Take care God Bless and Wish you well.

  33. Love reading your blogs. And as a man that has made a living in the military, I’m not ashamed that I usually need a tissue to dry my eyes when I’m done reading them. Sometimes from the sadness, such as this one, and other times from tears of joy. I am so proud that you have never lost faith in the Lord, and keep Him first in your life. You will never regret it. Hope to catch you on stage in the near future.

  34. God Bless you and your family Aaron….I cried while reading your blog n cant even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. I am expecting my first baby n know what a blessing each n every child is disability or not. I will keep you n your family n baby Julia Grace in my prayers n God Bless you all always n forever….

  35. Today I got to hold the baby girl of a friend who had tried for nine YEARS to get pregnant. I wondered briefly why she had to endure for so long, but despite it all am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason only God knows!

    Our own first attempt ended in miscarriage. At the time it was my husband that wanted to be a parent, I wanted another horse! Now we have three and a half year old twins, who I love immensely despite the stubborn streak they inherited from their father… :0)

    About a year later my sister had to deliver her 16 week old baby. In no way did she deserve what she went through, but I know her future holds happiness!

    My mom had us read Heaven is for Real and there is chapter addressing loss of a baby. The book gave me a new perspective on what we percieve as loss.

    I am sorry about what your family has had to endure and I pray that ya’ll find peace.

    P.S. We are not regular churchgoers but we are believers, and I look forward to the inspiration, laughter and/or tears you blog brings. Please keep up the great work on the computer and on stage!!!!

  36. As I read this tonight my eyes filled with tears. You and Kimberly are such a great witness for Christ. I pray God gives you peace and understanding that he just needs another Angel in Heaven. I pray the Lord will bless you all and give you the strength to carry on and keep being the great witnesses you both are. I ask all of this in Jesus name AMEN. I love your whole family. God Bless All of you. Debbie Procter.

  37. Praying for you and your beautiful family!!

  38. Aaron & Kim,
    Thank you so much for sharing Julia Grace with us. 13 years and 4 days ago I heard the words Trisomy 18 and was given the same odds after an amino test. I carried my Joan Elizabeth and prayed. I was lucky enough to have one week with my beautiful girl (unfortunately it was spent at the hospital -St. Joseph in Bryan and transferred to Texas Children in Houston. Like you I had never heard of T18, so numb I sat in front of the computer and searched. I found a great list serve and met many new friends and was introduced to SOFT (support of families with trisomy). I’ve managed to attend several of the yearly SOFT conferences and meet families in person, meet the kids and the older kids and talk with friends who really understand.

    If you want you can chech out the site http://www.trisomy.org, next year’s conference is in St. Loise…..there’s a welcome dinner/entertainment followed by a few days of workshops/medical clinics (depending on families needs) and a picnic and balloon release for all the angels on the Saturday followed by an auction.

    We were attending the conference in July around the same time y’all learned about Julia having T18, I wish I had been able to offer some support. We also finally saw you for the first time at THOF a few short months ago….we have been fans just hadn’t been able to work it out till then to see you. I know I’m rambling, your family is loved and I know my Joan and other angels welcomed your Julia to Heaven.

    Please if you need to talk know that we are here, God Bless,
    Atousa

  39. Ya’ll are a beautiful couple with three beautiful children. I am so so very sorry that your family is going through something as painful as this. Seeing the pain y’all are enduring, yet watching y’all take that pain and put it in God’s hands is truly an inspiration. Your faith is unfaltering and your hearts are overflowing. I truly admire you and your wife’s strength. She is a strong, beautiful woman inside and out. Your family are in my prayers. God bless.


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