My Dearest Lydia
A father's letters to his unborn baby girl with anencephaly.
A journey of a man and His God through grief and mercy.
A journey of a man and His God through grief and mercy.
Every dollar will go towards medical bills and healing.
Monday, November 6, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
We are delivering Lydia tonight. Keep us in your prayers.
8:36 p.m. Lydia was born.
1 pound and 13 ounces.
Lydia is here, and she's beautiful!! We are loving her and spending time with her:) please continue your prayers. She is here with us:)
A look back at Lydia's first two hours...
Tuesday at 6:50 a.m.
Lydia slept through the night on top of her mommy. She kisses her mommy every once in a while and holds onto her hand constantly. So blessed to have these precious moments.
Lydia loves squeezing her mommy’s hands and grinning.
Tuesday at 1:40 p.m.
First feeding times 🙂
Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.
Lydia Dianne McDonald - 1 pound 13 ounces - Born on November 6, 2017
She will be snuggling her mom for the second night at the hospital!!! She loves snuggling into her mom, the purple blanket, smiling and grabbing our hands, formula, and making happy noises.
Please continue to send your prayers her way.
Wednesday at 4:01 a.m.
We are enjoying another blessed morning with our sweet Lydia. I dozed off and woke to her just looking at me cooing. She's been loving having her ears rubbed, so I told her good morning and started rubbing her little ear. She turned her little head and smiled so big!!!!
She has so many likes and preferences! Her right hand has to be out of the covers, she only puts up with anyone other than mommy😍, and she's loving skin to skin care! She's so happy and so sweet. We are so much in love with our tiny daughter, and Whitson loves holding her and talking to her...he's never missed a day telling her how much he loves her..in and outside of my tummy:)
By carrying her and keeping her we did nothing special. We just simply said "yes" to being blessed by this life God gave us. We don't think there is anything heroic on our part. We are lucky to have her, we said yes to God's question, and we are blessed for that. Lydia is the magificant one, the heroic one, the one God shows through. God blessed us.
Wednesday at 10:49 a.m.
Lydia passed peacefully at 8:30 this morning. She was smiling listening to Layne sing, Jesus loves me, all the way to her last minutes. She surpassed all the expectations of the nurses and doctors with her strength and her smiles. Please continue to pray for our family, and thank you for praying through this entire pregnancy and birth.
We know God has her in his arms. Love for Lydia has been shown and received by more souls than I could ever imagine. Thank you for your love, support, and constant kind words. We are a reflection of those that have come before, hold us up, and call us family and friends. I cannot tell you the impact Lydia had at this hospital. It goes too deep; too far and wide here. So, I know her life and Lord has been shown to many, many, many more out of these four walls. May the Lord keep you, too, our friends and family. I could not physically tell Lydia all the people that have called on Jesus for her, like their own. It’s too many names. Funny how we as humans try to measure our grace, mercy and love to hand out at times; Like sand on the sea shore. It’s too overwhelming to think about the mercy (God’s mercy) that comes like a flood - never ceasing. I pray the world knows that mercy - but I think we would call that Heaven. So, because I can’t physically share all of your names and give you what you deserve, I ask that Jesus may sit her on his knee and tell her about our love and all of you - May He say every last one of your names to our baby girl - may He pour out into all of you the unending streams of mercy and hope we have been graced with - may your prayers all go back to you a billion fold. I cannot tell you words to say a correct “thank you” or that “we love you too”. We know she was loved - He was glorified. We know you, YOU reading this, are loved just as much. Amen. Know this above anything else. What you have seen here is Jesus Christ. He is alive and loves you all. If you think you see us doing miraculous acts of love, what you really see is Jesus in us. Without Him, none of it matters. We are never accidents. We are all loved from conception until we see our Maker. No matter what this faulty world says. Love, mercy, hope, and joy to you, forever.
Thursday at 7:33 a.m.
Whitson has returned! He spent the night with his Mom and Dad!!! He has been amazing through it all. Eating breakfast and watching blaze and the monster machines.
For all that have prayed for our daughter:
After Lydia was born, the nurses explained that her head looked much better than it should have and that her head was in better condition than expected. There were many miracles along the way, but this was the beginning of a two-night experience with our baby daughter that changed the lives of those that met her (in life and online). In her 36 hours, she surprised us all with what she was able to do, her personality, and with her perseverance to fight for more time with her family.
When she was born, Layne got her, and she was perfectly happy until she heard my voice. At the sound of my voice, she all but jumped out of Layne's arms to get to me. The Nurses said this was something Lydia should not be able to do - not only the strength of a 1 pound 13 ounce newborn but the sheer will for her to find her mother right after birth. Also, according to the doctors, she shouldn't even recognize my voice.
There were a lot of things we were told along the way (from conception to birth) that just did not happen - She "should have" not been able to do a lot, but it was as if she was prepared for these fleeting moments as well. We were told 1) she would be a vegetable, 2) she would not feel or comprehend, 3) she would not live long (mixed messages on this), 4) and there were various hopeless messages about her condition and how we should prepare ourselves for the "worst". Losing your baby girl is hard enough. Hearing the desperate circumstances made it a sheer emotional rollercoaster of unexpected blessings. Blessed beyond belief with the reality that there were so many things Lydia could do that the Nurses and Doctors just sat back in amazement at, as the parents we sang and talked to her for the whole 36 hours.
We left everything on the table, we spent every last moment and ounce of energy on her, and we loved every last second.
There was one moment where a nurse came in and gave us only one hour to say our goodbyes. Lydia was gasping, fighting, slugging it out with every twitch of her lungs. She fought for an hour, we cried harder than I ever have known, and afterward, her color came back. The nurse gave up and left us alone with our baby who started interacting with us on a level that was said to be impossible with her condition - smiling, cocking her neck at each of us when we spoke, and smiling everytime we sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her. She had been doing a lot of this, but her ability to breath increased dramatically and her ability to perceive what was going on was immense. She kissed all over me, snuggled for two nights, and ever nurse sat in awe that she was interacting with us, knew our voices (we talked to her a lot in the womb), and she moved towards us every time we spoke.
Every time Layne would take her, she would move her head around, cock her neck, and even try to get out of his hands to get back to me. Layne would laugh, and we had a joke that she was a mommy's girl. Layne would sit beside me, talk to her, Lydia was happy to hear him but didn't want anyone but me. She made that well known. Nurses were stunned when they had to take her out of my arms. They gave her right back and were amazed.
When she was in my arms, she would smile, and her coloring would change so quickly. She knew and loved her mommy!
She did not like hats or having her right hand under her blanket. Her favorite things were having her ears rubbed by mommy and singing too by daddy! She would smile and happily coo to us. These are all things that she shouldn't know or be able to do according to her diagnosis! She fought for every moment we got to spend with her, and we were very blessed with 36 hours! It was a miracle; her life was a miracle! In her last moments, she cried for just a second, and then smiled up so big, as if to say that she was sad to leave us but so happy to go with Jesus. Her testimony is her ability to do the impossible, her strength to hold on and give the gift of time with family, and the knowledge that there is peace in passing to the arms of the Savior of the world.
We know there are so many people out in this world that don't think they are worth anything. They are. God looks down on every one of us, smiles at us, interacts with us, and through our time is fleeting here on Earth, we will all go to Him at some point; This is a given; This is a promise to all of us. We have learned that it is the life in your time, not the time in your life that counts. It is the love, grace, and mercy we show to each other that counts. It is the care we give and leave behind that matters.
Layne and I wrote this together. We believe Lydia's life will touch so many lives because we cannot help but tell the love of Christ when we speak of her. She was a miracle in so many ways. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your care. May God give to you what you provided to us. We hope people know the name of Jesus and God's love for us all, through the story of Lydia.
Isaiah 61:3 “…to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
May peace be upon you. Lydia’s testimony in her 36 hours was a flood gate of love and mercy - a peek at what God’s will is for all of our lives - that we my know each other as He knows and loves us. Unconditional. Unfathomable. Unrelenting love for all of us, no matter where you find yourself or how long you may live... or even what you do. God’s love is a flood that we all wade through and are blown away by. It isn’t our job to hand it out in measurements. There is no measurement to a dam breaking. It just takes you away in a never ceasing gushes of mercy. Peace. Peace. May we all find that peace in Him. You are loved. No matter what.
To make a donation to the Lydia campaign, please www.gofundme.com/DearestLydiaclick on the button, or here and donate. Every dollar will go towards helping Lydia and Miranda, and to help the family with preparations for her arrival. This blog will serve as a future testimony of a Father, a Mother, and their undying love for a little girl named Lydia.
Our daughter, Lydia Dianne McDonald, was diagnosed with a terminal condition called Anencephaly. It plainly means she an unfinished scull and her brain damaged, making her not able to live outside the womb. These are my letters to my daughter and how I would try to explain this to her and my own soul. This is my letters to God and my daughter.