Porter's Story

In October 2011, Seth and I learned that our unborn son, Porter has a condition called Trisomy 13 or Pateu's Syndrome which is not compatible with life. We chose to let God decide when Porter's life will end. These are the lessons we've learned from our Heavenly Father through the life of Porter Gray.
Isaiah 46:4

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Remembering Porter...

I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people,
the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years. Isaiah 65:10-20

I am remembering Porter today. Actually,  there isn't a single day that goes by that I don't think of him. Tomorrow we would have celebrated his 2nd birthday. Tomorrow we will have an intimate family birthday party complete with a cake and our annual tradition of releasing paper lanterns. I think we'll do one for each year.

Sometimes, I think about him and what he's doing in heaven with Jesus, while other times I'm overwhelmed with sorrow or even just reflecting on our short time with him. Knowing how special it was to get to hear his cry and hold him in our arms.

Those of you who have been loving and brave enough to remember him with me have no idea how it touches my heart when you come forward and say...

...I thought of Porter the other day when...
...sent me a card
...gave me a hug
...a picture of something that reminded you of him

All of those little gestures are exactly what I need when I need it. Like a hug from my heavenly Father saying, he's here honey and he's doing fine.  Even though I may cry because words cannot express how meaningful they are to me, it's like a little hug from heaven and I sometimes can't help but believe that Jesus and Porter and others that have gone before me are up there talking about his mommy and what it will be like when we are together someday.

Happy Birthday Porter! I love you and Cam and Daddy miss you too. We will have a party in heaven one day and we will all sing together and praise the One who made it possible!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Birthdays in Heaven

Healing in Tears
This last week has been an emotional roller coaster. I'm grateful to have been able to turn my attention back to Porter in time for his first birthday in heaven. It was so important for me in terms of healing and "taking care" of his memory to do something special. Thanks to many amazing friends (both here an abroad) we sent our love to heaven in thanks of this sweet life.

Innocence, Grace, and Hope
Most meaningful to me this week were the new opportunities to share our faith with others. Friends who shared with me how they've shared the good news through Porter's life.
There's something special and unique about sharing the love of our Father in an innocent child's life. It's not my testimony, it's His and Porter's. It's not me with all my sin and shame, Porter didn't do anything wrong, yet he was born broken, we all are...and every single one of us can be made perfect in Christ's gift of grace if we choose to accept it. That is love. The most profound love any of us could ever hope for. How can we not share that love and grace with people we care for? I still struggle with being bold but not as much as I used to!

Hebrews 10:14 (The Message) says "It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process."
Porter's Ashes
Thursday, Seth and I took his ashes to be placed in his urn. I've had the temporary box nestled in a blanket this past year because it felt right to me. That day, I cried like I did the day we picked him up from the funeral home. It all seemed so fresh, the ache of not having him with me. The man who brought him back to us after transferring the ashes said, "I snuggled him back into the blanket for you. That is a very special blanket." I cried so hard at the care and compassion from a grown man that was thoughtful enough to "snuggle" my baby in for me. My friend, Rebekah had that blanket made for Porter with the scripture verse on it.

Birthdays in Heaven
Friday, I had some time alone to pray and reflect on that time with him. I found myself wondering what kind of celebration there is when we go to heaven. I imagined how wonderful it would be to have a birthday party for the day we are born into heaven. I'd like to think that would be a nice way to celebrate those we've lost who we know are with the Lord. A born into heaven birthday party!

The lanterns of our friends and family on Saturday looked like stars to me. We sent some kisses to heaven that night, and I am ever grateful for those that were able to join us.

Happy Birthday Porter, I love you with all my heart.

Thank you all for being patient with me and my grief. For allowing me to talk about Porter and share my feelings again as the memories of last year have flooded my heart. You have been kind and brave and loving. I am blessed to call you friends.

Love Jeannie

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celebrating the Life of Porter~First Birthday

Just over a year ago, Seth and I were anxiously awaiting the birth of our son Porter, who was diagnosed with a fatal genetic problem. Many of you were brave enough to come along side us during one of the worst times of our lives.

It’s almost been a year since Porter was born on March 2nd 2012. On this first birthday, we wanted to make it extra special by releasing Chinese lanterns.

Our family will have a small gathering just for those that were at the hospital with us that day, but if there are any of you that would like to help us remember Porter by releasing a lantern with your own family we would love for you to join us in spirit.
We told our son, Campbell, that it’s like we’re sending kisses of light to heaven to show Porter how much we love him and miss him. We’d love for you to send a kiss too.

You can get a lantern from either myself (call or text), or if you are from our Briarlake Church family someone will have them for you this Sunday, and our new Stone Point Church family can get one at the Welcome Desk this Sunday. There is a small note on each one that tells you the day and the time we will let them go.

I will not be able to ship them to out of town friends because I am unable to find a large enough box to fit the size! You can order them from the link below...search Chinese floating lanterns.

Thank you all and thank you for loving on us!

Jeannie, Seth, and Cam Peabody


Monday, January 28, 2013

You're Invited~Porter's 1st Birthday March 2nd

38 Minutes of

 ...perfect love

... no regrets

...God’s perfect will

...a life that changed ours forever…

We would be honored for you to join us in the celebration of Porter’s 1st Birthday on March 2nd at 7:38 pm. (A lantern release or candle lighting at 7:38 pm)
Can you believe it's been almost a year since Porter came into this world and changed our hearts forever?
Seth and I would like to invite you, the family, friends, and extended family who've prayed for us all this time and loved on us since we knew of Porter's condition to join us from wherever you are to celebrate his life by releasing a lantern or lighting a candle in his honor...
It would mean so much to if you joined us to show Porter that we remember him and were changed by his short and perfect life. If you would like to release a lantern in Porter's honor on his birthday and know me or one of our friends personally, please let us know how many lanterns you would like by message (via facebook or email).
I will have several friends designated to distribute lanterns locally and ship a few out as well.
If you are an International friend, please go online to order a lantern from your area or light a candle for Porter.
General Update~
I've had to put my grief and feelings aside to be the wife, mother, and daughter that I've needed to be for my family. Now, as Porter's birthday approaches, I find myself thinking of him and my love and loss bubbling up inside me. I miss him so much. I still ache for him. When I smile, and laugh, and achieve my daily tasks, I feel him missing in my life. A piece of me is missing. This is the new normal. I will adjust, we will move forward, but we will never forget him.
Tonight, my almost 3 year old, was praying and thanking God for mommy, daddy, the dog, his little tractor, and Porter. I was reminded to tell him, that he was here because he was a gift from God. I told Cam that God loved him and that he has a purpose. That God doesn't make mistakes.  
I hope that each of you know that God doesn't make mistakes. That you are here for a reason. Everything you do. Everything you say. Impacts those around you. You are loved, you are intentional, you are on purpose.
Please send us a message or comment to let us know if you plan to join us. It would mean so much after all this time!
Love Jeannie

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weathering the Storm: Handprints, Urns, and Chemo

Weathering the Storm

It's been almost 3 months since our last update. Mostly because our world has been turned upside down once more and it is hard to find the words to describe what the last few months have been like for the Peabody family. The other big thing is that the next story is not really mine to tell. So trying to find the words to describe what we are experiencing right now would invade the world of someone I love....like a cancer. So I've procrastinated, not really knowing where to go from here...

For those of you who have continued to love and pray for us or just want to take a peak into the lives of a family being weathered by the storm...here is the latest severe weather warning...

Porter's Ashes

The tree of life represented on Porter's urn.

It was so important to Seth and I to have just the right place for him. We know that one day we will all be given a new body and be restored and made perfect. We have assurance of this because of God's love for us through Jesus. It's so comforting to know that this is not the end. That we will hold Porter in our arms one day. And I believe he is not a baby now as so many special mommy's imagine their sweet children as angel babies. I see my Porter as the perfect, fully grown man that God had in mind for him when he was created. I pray this does not hurt any of my beautiful mom's that are experiencing loss right now, but that is my vision of Porter. Not as a helpless, needy infant who can't care for himself without his mother, but a son of our Saviour, made whole because of Christ's love for us.

Seth and I have not had Porter's ashes transferred yet. We want to do this together as his parents and not just another thing on our "to do" list. We'll make a special day of it and honor him in some way.

My sweet Porter's handprint. I sent in his handprint from the hospital and they shrunk it down to fit on this pendant to make a 3-D image. I love his extra pinky on this.

Comic Relief

On a lighter note...we have a funny, smart, clever, compassionate, and never boring 2 year old on our hands. Cam is...joy. We never ever take for granted a single minute with him...even if he hasn't slept through the night in over 2 months...but that's another story. Yawn..

P.S. the secret to better pictures is letting them see themselves on your iPhone for the pic! Ha!


Big Brother
Cam has been talking about Porter so much lately. He is not sad, or scared, or confused. He just wants us to know that he is a big brother to Porter. He wants us to sing songs with Porter's name in them. The other day, our neighbor's daughter was playing at our house and Cam took her by the hand, led her to a picture and said, "baby brother Porter". We have been blown away by how much Cam wants his baby brother acknowledged. Sometimes he'll say, "Porter with Jesus" and "Porter outside with Jesus". I don't instigate conversations about Porter with Cam, but I will admit that it is a great comfort that he remembers his brother and wants us to remember him too.
I have to tell you that one of my sweet friends (Danielle) remembered me talking about how important it was for me to have a picture of Cam and Porter together. Before Porter was born, she gave me this precious frame. Cam loves it and often holds it and talks about Porter.

A Mother's Love...

I'd like to tell you a little something about my mom. She is kind, she is loving, she is good, she is faithful. She has a servants heart and will often sacrifice her own comfort and well being for those that need her. She is a women that seeks God's own heart and prays like a warrior. She is a little too proud of her grandson (like most grandma's) and her daughter too...I can't imagine why... :0)

She is a woman I am blessed to call Mother. You see, I don't know what it's like to have a parent that doesn't care about me, that didn't have my best interest in mind as I grew up. And God bless her for enduring the adolescence and beyond of a stubborn, opinionated, strong willed, know it all child like me!!!

My mom was there for us every moment I've needed and wanted her my entire life. And now, I have the opportunity to be there for her.

The Next Category 5: A Chance to Give Back
I won't say much about this because it's not my story to tell. What I will tell you is that my sweet mother has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We understand the battle that she has begun. I am a nurse (with little oncology experience) but enough medical background to know this is a challenge. I also believe that her tumor is small enough and contained enough and that our God is big enough to bless her with a long and full life in spite of her current hardship.
The next months will involve aggressive treatment to achieve our goals.

I would never in a million years wish this upon my worst enemy much less my own mother. All I know is that this is my time to give back to her a teeny, tiny bit of what she has given me.

I love her.

 Love this early picture of her!
 Grandma and Campbell! Our miracle boy!

Mom has been such a trouper during this difficult time! I've even had to lecture her about not worrying so much about the doctors and nurses ! She's more worried about them than herself! Good thing she has her own personal nurse!

Please pray for our family if you remember us. We miss Porter, we haven't slept through the night since June!!!!! and Mom is facing the most difficult challenge of her life (as are we). We are weathered, and beaten and facing the storms of this life.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Until next time,

Monday, June 25, 2012

In a box...

It's hard to know what to say...

My son, whom I love, is in a box, in my bedroom. Let's get real. How do you wrap your head around that? What I want, is his warm little body in my arms and his sweet fingers wrapped around mine, and to hear him cooing in my ear. Instead, we have him in a box.

Then there are my feelings. Also in a box. Where I've had to put them in order to function as a wife, mother, friend and nurse. Whenever I start to feel them rising to the surface, I literally can feel myself neatly shoving them back down into that box.

Guess what? Those feelings take up a lot of room and eventually that box gets full. And when it gets full, those feelings spill out...as tears. And there is no stopping them once they do.

I am so thankful for an amazing grief counselor I've been able to see a couple of times. She asks all the right questions and asks me to gently open my box full of feelings. Usually, when I walk in her door, the tears immediately begin to flow. And it's okay. She's introduced me to a book called, "The Grief Recovery Handbook". I love this book. It's about actively grieving and working through to complete healing.

Everyone experiences this loss differently. For me, I believe that the Great Healer will not only take my sweet boy out of that box someday and physically make him whole when Christ returns, but he also knows how and when to take my feelings out of their box. He leads me quietly to my knees and whispers in my ears.

When he whispers, I hear the voices of my friends, Rebekah, Amy, Beth, Jill, Joanie and so many others that somehow know when those feelings are spilling over! How does God do it? I don't know but he amazes me.

This is a gift from my friend, Rebekah. It's called a Charlie Jar, named from another mommy who's daughter's name was Charlie. Charlie's mother filled jars with healing scripture and created a ministry for other parents who've experienced loss. What an incredible, yet simple idea! Wouldn't you know that Rebekah gave this to me the very week, I couldn't hold it together a moment longer. I am so blessed.

I cried out to God for help: I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord.
Psalm 77:1

The beauty of this verse is that God hears our cries for help, even when we put them in a box! The Holy Spirit finds the words for us when we cannot express them ourselves. If you've experienced a loss such as this, my hope is that you will not be broken forever. Yes, we'll forever be changed but I choose not to be broken. My Healer is too great.

So thank you all for taking a minute to peek inside my heart, my box of feelings.

Please continue to pray for us as we continue on in this world. That we will bring honor and glory to the one who gave us life, the one who gave us family and the one who gave us Porter. We continue to pray for you. That you will know our Father in a real and intimate way and know he loves you.

Love you all,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wrapped and Covered...

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads those who have young
                                      ~Isaiah 40:11

I love this verse. Can't you just close your eyes and see our great Shepherd holding us close to his heart? Gathering us near to Him? I need some God hugs in a big way while wading through this grief.

A hug, an embrace, or a squeeze, from someone who loves and cares for me is like medicine. A good hug from a friend is one of my favorite feelings and can be so healing. Lately, I have mostly good days and the occasional cluster of bad days. May 2nd was 2 months since we held Porter in our arms. Mother's Day is approaching which is already making my heart ache and tears well, then Monday I will return to work. The next step of moving forward and attempting to put my life back together again.

Food hugs~For those of you who have grown up in the south. You know that you love people through difficult times with food! I'm not talking salads and tofu either. I'm talkin' comfort food! Casseroles, anything with a cream sauce, pies, desserts...you name it! The meals are a blessing when you're recovering from a c-section with a 2 year old toddler and a husband working 16 hour days...
However, now I have this nice not so little "hug" of extra weight that reminds me how much you all love us! But like all good embraces, eventually, you have to let go! So I'm working extremely hard so that you all will have less of me to love!

Prayer hugs~Several weeks ago, I received something I'd never heard of...a prayer quilt! An old friend of mine from high school completely surprised me with a quilt made by a group of women at her church. The women sew the quilt and add tassels. For every prayer that has been said for you a knot is tied in a tassel. So I can literally, wrap myself in prayers! Isn't that the most amazing idea? A physical reminder of how people are praying for you when you are hurting? In my darkest moments, I can wrap myself in these prayers and go to God and let my heart cry out to him. I can't tell you how much I've needed this physical reminder of your prayers now that the dust has settled and all has gone quiet.

Let me just say, I love all your hugs! We are healing with the help of you all. Thank you for those of you who have continued to send a little message, card or text or anything our way to let us know you are still thinking and praying for us.

Today I wrote a letter to Porter for Mother's Day. I've been wanting to do this for a while. It's not very long because what my heart feels is more than I could ever write on paper.

To my precious son, Porter,

          I miss you so much that my chest hurts and my heart physically aches for you. You were my beautiful and perfect son. I will always love you and long for the day when I will see you for who God intended you to be.

         You will forever be a part of our family, never forgotten and your life will be celebrated as a gift to be cherished from God. When I close my eyes, I can see your face and remember how it felt to kiss you. As life moves forward and I find a way to laugh and smile and enjoy our many blessings here, please know that this hole in my heart I will carry until the day we are together again.
         My son, you were beautiful, your life was beautiful and a blessing. You were intentional and meant to be ours for the short time we had you with us. I chose to take all of the pain and the heartache with great joy without regret, because you were worth it.

         You were meant for me, my son. I was meant to be your mommy and you have changed my life, my heart, and my hope, forever.


And last, I want to share one of my "hugs" from Charlene who read our blog. She wrote a message from Porter to us. Your messages mean so much to me. Charlene, I wept when I read this and was so thankful for people like you that have shared your heart with us. This was a great big hug to me!

All I know is; "I came to visit earth for a time and I was received by so many loving people adoring me. They didn't leave me alone in a cold hospital bed wondering, crying and feeling unloved. They embraced me with all the love they had inside. They took pictures of me so they would never forget my face. I AM thanking God for this earthly experience. Now, as I depart, with a prayer in my heart, may my earthly parents continue to be as happy as they both made me from the very start!!!"

Thank you all for keeping us wrapped and covered in prayer.

Love Jeannie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dates and Updates...

Where do I go from here?

I've been meaning to update everyone for a while now. It's hard to know where to go from here. I can't help but think that you all wouldn't be interested in how we're doing after Porter was born and the memorial is over. So just don't know what to tell you all. It's been such a roller coaster of emotions. I feel like I'm now just trying to take one day at a time. Making to the next mile marker or event in life. One thing at a time.

So here's what's been going on since the last time I posted.

April 8th~Easter Sunday and Campbell's 2nd Birthday

Celebrated with new perspective and meaning our risen King. Easter was emotional in the sense that I truly know that without Christ's sacrifice, we would not have the comfort of knowing that this life is not all we are given and that we will be together again some day. It made me miss Porter more than ever. I long for the day of Christ's return.

I was determined to have a cake for Cam's birthday even though we chose not to have a party this year (too much stress to plan by myself with Seth working crazy tax man hours!) So even though Cam was saying "NO" to cake, we stuck a couple candles in a cake, sang Happy Birthday and called it a day. Poor Cam, but not really because we celebrate his little life everyday with loving words, hugs and kisses. Who needs a birthday when you have daily affirmation that your very existence brings joy to others?
It doesn't hurt that grandma and grandpa splurged on a John Deer tractor for his birthday present.

April 9th~Urns and Death Certificates

We have an incredibly talented wood carver who is working on Porter's urn. Hand carving the vessel that will hold what remains of his little body until the day we are all called home. Having a specially made urn was most important to Seth. I guess it is his way of making sure his son has the best and is his way of taking care of Porter in the only way we can here on this earth. The carving will be of a live oak tree. My favorite tree. I love the live oak because it doesn't grow straight and tall like a normal tree. It twists and bends and is so much more unique than other trees (to me), so though it doesn't look like the other trees (like how Porter didn't look like other babies and he was uniquely special to us) .

Later that day, I had to go pick up a copy of Porter's death certificate for some benefits documentation. That was hard. I've also sent off for his birth certificate. That one is just as important to me.

April 16th~Porter's Due Date

Even though we figured we'd deliver prior to April 16th, Porter's due date was another landmark day that was hard for me. I keep saying it, but I miss him and wish I'd had more time with him.

April 17th~Tax Deadline and I Got My Husband Back!!!!

I cannot even begin to describe how hard it has been to walk through this valley with my best friend in the world and Porter's father having to work insane hours. I know there is no place Seth would have rather been than with his family, especially during this difficult time. I know it's not his fault, but I have felt very alone. I'm so glad he's home and we can get reconnected. Cam has really missed his daddy this tax season too!

Next...Mother's Day
I am really dreading Mother's Day. I can tell you now that this day has always been hard for me. It was hard after going through 3 miscarriages. It was SO emotional after having Cam because I couldn't believe we actually had a son! And now is a whole new layer of love and loss that will be felt that day.

I'll never forget Mothers Day about 5 years ago. I always dreaded those Mother's Day church services where all the mothers got a flower or would stand up with the who has the most kids contest or whatever.

There I would sit, childless with several babies in heaven and nothing to show for it while all the other mothers glowed with pride. One year, though, the precious girls from my middle school small group went to the front of the church and picked a flower to give to me. I don't even know if they knew what we had just been through months before, but I was so touched by their gift of thoughtfulness that I think I cried for about 30 minutes! (And I'm NOT talking about a pretty little weeping, I'm talking sobbing crying!)

What precious girls and what a beautiful reminder of how we are all mothers if we choose to be in the lives of other young women, baby or no baby.       

Dates with friends...

I am so thankful for the friends that continue to check in, Kristin, Liz, and the other mommies who've been through this. I got to spend some time with Katie last night. It was so great to be able to talk to her and NOT cry! I guess we're making progress in this crazy ride of grieving. I'm so thankful for all these moms because I find myself thinking and saying things I've heard them say and helps me to know that I'm not alone and that I'm doing okay.

Prayers for the Peabody's
~Spiritual protection~grieving this loss and sharing our faith makes us vulnerable
~Our healing
~My return to work in May~I feel anxiety when I think about taking on any added stress right now.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Man with the Plan and The Cup

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
Luke 22: 42

Seth and I are completely humbled and in awe of the friends and family that came to celebrate the life of our sweet Porter last Thursday. Buckhead Church and their volunteers provided our every need right down to tissues and water for the guests. Chinua gave his time and talent to sing the songs my soul carry in my heart daily to my Lord. We were able to share our love of Porter and the love of God with so many that day. I will never forget the beauty of that service. My heart will treasure that time forever.

A dear family friend spent hours on the video for our service. This family is so precious to us and has spent many nights on the phone with me giving me advice on motherhood with Cam! Thank you, Scott for giving us this gift of memories to music.


My sister in law made the programs to look like a birth announcement because she said, "Every baby should have a birth anouncement!" Needless to say, I cried at her thoughtfullness.

That night, Seth and I watched the video of Porter being born and relived the 38 minutes we had with him. We read our guest book and about 100 messages from many of our guests that shared what they learned from Porter. Here are a few of my favorites.

Porter, you helped me...understand that 30 minutes matters more than 80 years in God's perfect will. Boy, I love you baby Porter. I will kiss your toes in heaven. RV

Porter, you helped me...realize how precious each and every life is. You have taught me that no matter how long someone is on this earth that they can implact many. I've learned that McKinley has a new friend in heaven! KH and MH

I was not prepared for the day after the memorial. I was hit with the overwhelming emotion of "What now?". I'm so thankful for friends like Katie that I can text or call and ask if they felt this way.

I'm working on figuring out where to focus my grief and healing. I'm reminded of the Greatness of God and trying to focus my thoughts on his awesome power, and love for us. I plan to read some books including Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I'd like to read about where Porter and his little brothers and sisters are living and remind myself of how wonderful it will be there.

Remember when Christ was on the Mount of Olives praying? When even he asked that "this cup" be taken from him if it is the Father's will? I remember praying that God would take this cup from me. This pain of death and the loss of Porter. I am so thankful that Christ was willing to take the cup his Father gave him. Even our God in human flesh dreaded death. Especially the gruesom, painful, and slow death that lay ahead of him. I am thankful that he loved us enough to follow through with the plan. God's plan was perfect from the beginning of time. Even before we "broke" this world with our sin. Because he loved you and me, Jesus took the cup...died on the cross...so we can live forever with God for eternity....

So when I think of my cup, I may not want it (whatever my circumstance is), but I know that God can take my cup and use it for his glory. I hope that God will take my cup...and use it to plant seeds of faith, show others how good he is, and ultimately lead others to him.

As hard as it was to drink the cup of losing Porter, the thought that God can use our love for Porter as a mirror of God's love for us makes it all a little more bearable. I hope that I'll see even one person in heaven who is there as a result of how God can do great things through Porter's life.

Prayers for the Peabody's
~Healing of our broken hearts
~Wisdom in what God's will is for our lives and for our family
~God will make clear where we go from here

Love Jeannie and Seth

Friday, March 23, 2012

Porter's Memorial Service Thursday March 29th 2:00 ~What have you learned from Porter?

Seth and I hope that you will be able to join us to celebrate the life of Porter and our love for him next Thursday, March 29th at Buckhead Church. Family and friends (old and new) are welcome to join us. We would love to share in this celebration of life with you.

Directions! DO NOT USE MAPQUEST to find the church.

Please go to the link provided below for directions to Buckhead Church. If you use the church address to find directions via GPS or online, you will not end up at the church!


What has Porter taught you? What have you learned from Porter's precious life?

As a part of remembering Porter and the impact of his life, Kristin and I would like to ask you how Porter has impacted you? What lessons have you learned from Porter?

I've shared with the people closest to me that the most meaningful and healing words are the ones from friends, family and strangers that share how Porter has impacted them. As a mother, it is healing to hear these stories because it means that Porter's life had meaning to others as well and his memory will live on.

These messages and memories will be gathered and saved for Porter's memory book. We will treasure it forever and be able to share Porter's story with Campbell some day too.

So please leave us comments for our precious Porter! We look forward to hearing what you have to say. You can also e-mail me if your lessons from Porter are sensitive in nature and you're not comfortable leaving a public comment.

Seth and I love each of you that have prayed for us and loved on us from near and far.

Love Porter's Mommy,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Is Normal?

Two Weeks Since Porter Left our Arms

It's hard to believe it's been two weeks since Porter's gone to be in the arms of my Saviour. I'm so thankful for Porter and I'm ever grateful for my Saviour. Because of Him, I'll see Porter again but it doesn't mean my heart isn't broken right now. The tears are flowing freely and my heart absolutely is screaming out in the pain of this loss. It is normal. I keep telling myself. It is normal to grieve, to cry, to feel the pain of this but I will not be consumed by it. Because of the hope of eternity.

My doctor asked me on Friday if I needed something for depression for a little while. After some thought, I realized that I am able to smile, able to laugh, able to drink in the joy of my son Campbell and feel the warmth of the love of my husband. Even in the midst of profound sorrow, I am able to experience joy. I think this is normal and healthy. I am not opposed to medication to treat clinical depression, but for now, for me, I don't feel that I'm clinically depressed and I'm feeling strong enough to do the work of grieving.

What is normal?

I'm trying to wrap my head around what the new "normal" is. How to walk around in the world feeling like a part of my heart is missing while everyone else goes about their business like nothing ever happened. That is what I'm working through right now. How quickly everyone else will move on and move forward while I take on the slow and painful process of grieving. Please be patient with me. If tears come unexpectedly or memories of Porter are spoken. I'm trying to find my new normal.

Love you all who've been praying. Please continue to lift us up.

Prayers for the Peabody's
~Pray for continued healing, comfort, and peace
~Pray that Porter's life will impact many
~Pray for Seth as he has so much weight on his shoulders at this time (work, caring for me, for Cam)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

38 Minutes with Porter

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4

The verse from which this blog was named. It's been a week since Porter left my arms to be with my heavenly Father and I am holding to the truth that he is carrying me, sustaining me, and rescuing me in these difficult days.

We had 38 minutes to tell Porter how much we loved him, to kiss him and touch him while he was still with us. 38 minutes is 38 more than we were ever promised, but as any parent who's experienced the loss of a child will tell you it will  never be enough.

I am convinced that every moment leading up to March 2nd was designed specifically by God to answer our prayers for time with Porter.

I was not scheduled to have another ultrasound with a doctor until the week before when we met with an OB that felt it would be of value. She immediatly called to get us a consult while we were in the office with her. Prior to her, everyone essentially said it wasn't worth it since we were only going to provide comfort measures and it wouldn't change the outcome.

I went for this ultrasound and ended up being admitted for high bloodpressure and to rule out preeclampsia (complications from pregancy). While preecleampsia was ruled out, I happened to have another ultrasound that showed that my amniotic fluid was dangerously low (dangerous for Porter). The doctors, knowing that our wishes were to meet him and have time with him suggested we consider delivering him in the next day or two.

We chose to deliver him Friday, March 2nd. Porter's Birthday~a day I'll never forget. When Porter was born, our doctor said the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck and was fairly tight. I believe fully that Porter would not have lasted another day if we had waited.

There were too many things that came together to bring Porter into the world on March 2nd for it to have been coincidence. I believe that even in this hardest of circumstances, God was answering our prayers and telling us we made the right decisions and gave us a gift. A gift of 38 minutes. I'll be honest with you though, I am so looking forward to eternity.

It's hard to describe what I am feeling this week. Sometimes it feels like it didn't happen, almost too fast the memories are a blur and at other times I'm so overcome with emotions it is too much to bear. Like a volcano eruption of tears, sadness, and just missing him beyond words.

I am so blessed to have loving family, friends, and strangers to pray for us and love on us any way they know how. I honestly don't even know what to do with myself right now except let you all love on me.

I was dreading leaving the hospital without a baby in my arms. That was a difficult trip down the hall. One of my doctors and friend came to see me and brought me the most beautiful and magnificent smelling orchid. I was so thankful to have something in my arms that was beautiful to carry.

Kristin and I went to treat ourselves and get our nails done yesterday and for a moment, I almost couldn't hold myself together because I thought I should have been feeling Porter moving around in my belly.

My husband, Seth, has been more than I could ever have dreamt. He loves me so much and it's hard for him not to be able to fix this but I tell you his hugs make the world stand still and for a second everything feels as if it's going to be okay. I am so in love with this man who is so strong and yet so tender hearted for his wife and family. God knew the right man for me and for that, I am ever thankful.

Porter's Memorial Service
Thursday, March 29th 2:00
Buckhead Church, Atlanta

We chose the James 1:27 Foundation in support of orphans who never knew a mother or father to love them the way Porter was loved. We want to extend our support in Porter's name to help extend resources and needs to orphans that haven't yet found a loving home and family.

James 1:27 Foundation

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Most Perfect Day

It's true,Friday could not have been any more perfect. Every prayer was answered. Every need, spoken and unspoken was met. God carefully wove the events of that day as if to say, I will never leave you or forget you in this time. Trust me and what I am doing. We'll take you,our friends and family in Christ on a walk through Porter's birthday as if you were with us physically to welcome Porter once we get more pictures. But for now I just wanted to show you all the beautiful baby boy we held in our arms. Meet Porter Gray...

He had the sweetest chubby cheeks that i kissed over and over, so soft on my lips. A head full of auburn curly red hair! He felt so perfect in my arms. Daddy held him tight and close in a warm blanket all the way to the funeral home and was assured he would be kept that way.

He was held and loved by so many that day. I can't wait to share the details with you.

Prayers for the Peabody's ~
~Already experiencing amazing peace while covered in your prayers, however, there are moments of intense dreadful feelings of sorrow with lots of tears
~continued prayers for physical and emotional healing for myself and healing for Seth

A special memorial service will be planned. Date and time will be determined soon depending on some resources we need.

We hope that whomever wishes to come will come no matter how well we've known you. If you've been praying for us, you are our family and the body of Christ.

We plan to set up a donation/fund in Porter's name to go to the James 1:27 Foundation


Porter was loved the moment he was conceived, we want to extend the love we and all of you have for Porter to orphan children that have not known this kind of love. Seth knows the details,of this organization's financial operations and the board of people that began it. We know this is a trustworthy place to send donations.

We love you,
Porter's Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Porter Gray Peabody

This is Kristin, Seth and Jeannie's best friend, sending out a quick update. 

Yesterday at 3:11pm, Porter Gray Peabody was born, 4lbs 6oz, 16 3/4" long. Jeannie and Seth held, kissed and loved on Porter until he left this earth at 3:49pm. The doctor reported that the cord was wrapped around Porter's neck twice, which could have ended his life before birth. Jeannie and Seth are so thankful that they decided to deliver today and that every prayer has been answered. Please continue to pray for Jeannie's recovery and for the difficult days to come. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Porter's Birthday March 2 ~ We will meet our precious Porter

Just a quick update on Porter.

After discussing the dangers of low fluid and the chance of losing him before he's due, we have decided to deliver him tomorrow. Waiting for the OR schedule to figure out the time.

We'll make sure word gets to you about him and we'll post pictures when we can.

Thank you all for surrounding us with love and prayers. I can't tell you how much it means to us. I will not be able to personally respond to all your messages, please know that I am getting them and they are treasured.

My friend Susan, will likely write a post or message on CaringBridge for those of you who want to help in some way. She may be helping organize and answer questions for us. Please know that you all have already helped us in ways we cannot described.

Love Seth and Jeannie

A Day of Rest ~ Porter may be here soon

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high,
Will rest in the shadow of the Almighty
Psalm 91:1

Yesterday Seth and I went for an ultrasound to check on Porter. Come to find out, my blood pressure was high so I was admitted to the hospital to rule out preeclampsia. So far everything is pointing towards just gestational hypertension, but the doctors are contemplating delivering Porter either today, tomorrow or early next week.

So what I thought was just going to be a few days of rest is now becoming the realization that I have very little control over when Porter might come (of course I know I'm never really in control but like all people, I like to pretend to be)!

I can assure you I'm not ready. I want more time with him safely in my belly, but then when my safety comes into question, the right decisions need to be made. I completely understand the rationale for the discussions being had for what is best for me, but I really wanted this last month with Porter.

I will keep you all posted, and for now, NO decision has been made about when Porter will be born. We will know later today and I will post again to keep you all informed.

Until then, I am trying my best to "rest" in the words written for David in Psalm 91.

 1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
   my God, in whom I trust.”
 3 Surely he will save you
   from the fowler’s snare
   and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
   nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
   nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
   and see the punishment of the wicked.

 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
   and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
   no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
   you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
   I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
   I will be with him in trouble,
   I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
   and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91:1

Prayers for the Peabody's
~We will remain calm and trust in the Lord
~Porter won't have to be delivered today
~that every moment we will honor the Lord and be a witness for His mercy and Love


Monday, February 27, 2012

One Day at a Time~33 Weeks

Send in the Clowns~

There have been so many humbling and wonderful moments this past week.

I am becoming increasingly clumsy and forgetful. Last Tuesday, I ran over a jagged rock when I got to Cam's school which caused air to gush from the tire. On the phone with roadside assistance (imagine me changing a tire while having a "spare" in my belly) I managed to lock myself out of the car! Great! One of my proudest moments. I am proud of myself for not crying! Thankfully I can laugh at myself (I'd make a good clown)

My church, Stonepoint, hosted a Night of Worship last Thursday where I was able to serve as an usher. I had the honor of meeting Andy Stanley and then Chinua Hawk who has a voice that I can only describe as a gift from God. I am so thankful that God has given me heart to think of others during this trial. It's so easy to just sink into your own sorrow and not be able to care or give of yourself at times like these. I'm sure my moments are going to come after Porter is born where all my energy will go towards grieving, but for now, I am thankful for being able to think outside of myself.

For the last several weeks, Seth and I have been SO excited to take Cam to the circus. I bought the tickets and either pregnancy brain or Ticket Master got us tickets to a show at the wrong time. When we arrived, we couldn't get in and all the tickets were sold out...then the guy at the counter said, "Wait a minute, is it okay if you sit on the front row? I just found two more tickets?" Ummmm, OKAY! So we had the best seats in the house! Cam was rivetted from the moment the show started! He loved it so much, he even made friends with the older man next to us and insisted on holding his hand for part of the show. That child is so funny!

Saturday, we had our first gathering with our new Community Group from Stonepoint. I am so excited to get to know these new friends.

Preparing for Porter~

Some precious gifts for Porter have trickled in occasionally. Today we recieved a sweet bible from one of my close friends with Porter's name engraved on it. I also received a couple of layette gowns I had personalized for Porter for when he is born. Another dear friend gave us a hat she knitted for him. All of these things are so meaningful and special to us, we will keep them forever.

So life is ticking by day by day and while I am trying my hardest to enjoy moments with Porter now, my mind drifts to what it will be like on the day we meet him. Always when I think of that day, my eyes well up with tears, my chest and throat tighten, and sometimes I sob. As much as I want to hold him in my arms, I know even sooner he will be in my Father's arms.

Prayers for the Peabody's~
~Pray for continued good moments with family and friends in the days to come
~Pray for peace surpassing all understanding leading up to and especially on that day
~Pray for my physical and emotional strength in the weeks to come. Physically, my back pain at the end of the day and during the night has rendered me almost unable to walk
~Praise God, we will have an ultrasound this Wednesday to get some more information about how Porter is growning and will get to see him on ultrasound with a real doctor!
~Pray for other mommy's greiving the loss of their babies. Especially those who've lost perfectly healthy babies unexpectedly.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A time to be born and a time to die...

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

...a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2,4

I don't understand how one man can have 95 years of life and another, like my Porter may only get 95 seconds. I also don't question why this is. I do question what we will do with the time we are given. The key word here is gift. Life itself is a gift from God. It is up to us to live it victoriously no matter what the world brings us or live as if we are broken and defeated by the things this life brings.

Today, my granddaddy went to be with the Lord. He had 95 years in this world. He was married to my grandmother for 73 years, had two boys which are now grandfathers themselves. He worked hard, knew how to grow a garden, how to fix cars, and dabbled in inventing.  He wasn't perfect, but he loved Jesus in the best way he knew how. He taught himself to play piano to old hymns that he loved. He could build or rebuild about anything. He loved his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.

What I do know is that God is sovereign. In the book of Job he reminds Job of who He is! He says to Job, "Where were you when I laid the Earth's foundation? ...Who shut up the sea behind doors...when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness...Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place...?" I am in awe of Him and his power and majesty and then combine that with an explosion of His extreme love for you and for me...how could I question him? He is God. He knows the number of the hairs on my head and gave me life. Not because I am worthy of it, but because he loves me. I hope you know how much he loves you. And if not, my prayer is that he will show you in an intimate and real way how much he loves you beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Yesterday, we went to Storkvision Atlanta to see our precious baby Porter on ultrasound. Seth and I took the grandmothers, and my best friend Kristin to get a glimpse of this sweet boy worth all of our love and tears! Porter did NOT cooperate of course. He would not let us see his face. He likes to suck on his hands and arms and rest his head on them so we couldn't get a good look. He was curled up and cozy in momma's belly safe and sound like any baby would be.

Playing peek-a-boo behind his arm. You can see half of his face, his nose and tiny bit of mouth.

You can see his hands on his knees really well in this picture. This is about as much as he would let us look at this day!

Monday OB Appointment Update (32 Weeks):
Saturday was the first time we've seen Porter since he was 15 weeks. We want to see him so badly now, but because of his diagnosis, the OB we have been seeing has said that there is no reason to follow up with ultrasounds (at least none that would be medically covered). However, today we met with a physician that felt ultrasound would be of value and immediately called for our referral! Praise God! We'll get some more information about our little Porter. Soon I hope to know how big he is! Seth and I also plan to see a genetic counselor tomorrow afternoon to talk about and possibly have testing to see if there is a medical reason for all of these losses or if it's just bad luck. Good to know for future family planning. Seth and I have always planned to adopt, but the answers to these questions could change our course of action. For now, one thing at a time! Loving Porter!

After the ultrasound, I went home and snuggled up with Campbell on the couch. I told him his baby brother is in my belly. He looked at me and then my belly trying to make sense of it, then lifted my shirt so he could try to find him! I told Cam that his brother was growing inside and that if he wanted he could give my belly a hug and a kiss. He gave my belly a big kiss, laid his head down on it and wrapped his arms around it and gently "patted" his baby brother. It was so sweet. I think Cam will love meeting his baby brother when the time comes.

Yesterday, I was assured that we made the right decision to carry Porter. He is a precious living baby boy. If God chooses to perform a miracle for his life, then we welcome that, but if Porter goes right back into Jesus' arms, what a better place to be? We are given one life. Live it well...

Prayers for the Peabody's:
~Praise God for a doctor who is proactive and listening to our wishes for Porter and our time with him!
~Praise God for comfort and peace during the ultrasound. I was so worried that seeing Porter would stir up emotions of losing him and missing him, but I just felt joy in seeing him that day. So glad the grandmothers were able to "meet" him too.
~Pray that Porter's life, no matter how short will impact many.
~Pray that Seth and I will continue to feel God's presence and rest in Him.
~Pray for those that don't know the Lord will find him in some way through what God is teaching us and urging us to share with others.
~Pray for my grandmother, father, and uncle and the family that grandaddy leaves behind. When one has lived such a long life and goes to be with Jesus, I think that is a time to dance.

Love Jeannie (and Porter of course)!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Calling All Prayers!

30 Week Update~ Porter will be here before we know it!

We met with our OB this week. Well, not OUR OB.

I should clarify, our precious OB physician who has mourned with us through all of our losses, celebrated the arrival of Campbell, and now loving us through carrying Porter,  is sick. Please remember her in your prayers. Go on your knees before the Lord and ask for healing for her. She has a genuine heart and compassion for her patients that is rare and lovely. Pray for strength, encouragement, and for the touch of our Great Physician's hands.

So now we are really trying to establish who will be the one to deliver Porter (if we have a scheduled c-section and don't go into spontaneous labor first). We want this person to care about us as a family, Seth, Jeannie, Cam and Porter. That our decision to carry Porter and our hearts and wishes will be meaningful to them as it was with our primary doctor. Please pray that the right person delivers Porter.

We discussed delivery as early as end of March or first of April. We'll schedule the surgery in the next 6 weeks which means we'll be meeting Porter before we know it. I feel such a finality in that. Not that the journey is over, but that very soon the unknown will be known. We will meet our son and know the unknown. All of a sudden, it is time to make sure we are as ready as possible. This means thinking about things that are hard to talk about.

I know anxiety and sorrow will mount in the weeks to come. The roller coaster will become more unpredictable. I know God will carry us through, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you I am afraid of the pain and sorrow to come. I'm not afraid to meet Porter, I rejoice at the thought of that. But I am very afraid of the depth of the pain I will feel when I have to say goodbye to him in this life. It is unnatural. It is okay for me to feel this and to be afraid and to confess this to the One who gives me hope and a future.

My tears flow as a write, but they are healthy and normal tears of any mother anticipating the loss of a baby she longs to hold and comfort and watch grow.

Prayers for the Peabody's
~Indescribable and unexplainable peace in the weeks to come
~Time with Porter in our arms
~Our doctor whom we love experiencing illness
~The doctor who will deliver Porter
~That we will be comforted and everything that needs to happen will fall into place
~This may sound crazy, but also that the right music will be selected for Porter's memorial. There are so many wonderful songs to communicate the love of God and the life of a child like Porter I can't seem to narrow them down! Music is healing and meaningful for so many, I just want the right ones.

Love Jeannie

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Am Not Alone

This entry is dedicated to my best friend and sister in Christ, Kristin. Seth and I love you dear friend.

Our friends, Shannon and Bert were the first ones we called when we were told of Porter's diagnosis. I'll never forget that night as we sat in shock and disbelief asking, "Could this really be happening?". I remember when our friends had said goodbye to Drew just 3 years ago, and being in complete and total awe of their strength, faith, and trust in God. Now we were getting ready to do it ourselves.

Shannon said to me, "You will be amazed at how God will take care of you and be with you during this." He did that for them and she knew already that he would do it for us. She was so right. At the time, I was still in shock and just thought, we'll see.

But God has made us many promises and if you believe He is who He says He is. You know, He keeps all of them.

"Jeannie, I (the Lord) will go before you and will be with you: I (the Lord) will never leave you nor forsake you. Jeannie, do not be afraid: do not be discouraged." ~Deuteronomy 31:8

Our God is personal, he speaks directly to us. I encourage you to interject your name when a verse speaks to you and listen to His voice call your name.

I've been overwhelmed by the many friends, family, and strangers that have reached out to encourage us. I can't begin to name each person and group that God has so carefully placed in our paths the last few months, and it is obvious that it is intentional.

The person that  has taught me the most about what a friend can be is Kristin. She has a unique relationship with both Seth and I because she and Seth have known each other since they were babies. Grew up in the same neighborhood. Seth was best friends with Kristin's brother and her family practically co-raised Seth! If you knew Seth when he was younger, you would know why they would be considered brave saints!
Once Seth and I got married, Kristin and I evolved into close friends. We were both going through very different difficult circumstances, but somehow God knew how we both needed each other and needed to learn the same things about our faith at the same time! It was clear that God had strategically placed Kristin and I in each others lives.

She is the most genuinly loving and caring person I know. She LIVES the love she has for others. She feels deeply for those who are hurting, and rejoices fully with those who are experiencing joy. She walked with Seth and I through infertility and loss, and my favorite time was when we had Cam. She stayed at the hospital through 4 a.m. to meet our joyful miracle baby!

She lives several hours away and drove to Hallie Green's memorial service with me (when Seth and Cam were out of town) just so I wouldn't have to go alone. She sends me cards weekly and drops my favorite candy in the mail just say she loves me (and sends Seth some too so he won't feel left out)! This isn't even the beginning of all that she does for us.

I love that Seth is like a brother to her and she is like a sister to me because she knows the two of us so well. We have rejoiced with her through her new marraige, watching her son grow up, and her new beautiful daughter. We just do life together. The good and the bad and the blah! Kristin cries real tears with me. I have to tell her shes not allowed to cry unless I am, because she'll get me started!

I will never be able to describe Kristin in a way that would do her justice. I only hope that many of you have a friend that is a "Kristin" to you.

And then there are these beautiful families that have chosen to trust God and carry the babies they've not been promised to keep. Five living examples of faith. I am surrounded by them.

My friend, Lisa who just happend to bring us dinner last week when NOTHING was going right! She said it was a God thing! He had brought us to her mind and offered that gift of dinner and that alone was just what we needed.

A new church family and pastor that continue to reach out to us and encourage us.

Susan M. who has stepped in to be a source of strength and encouragement to us. A communicator. I didn't even know I needed her, but God did!

My family, grandparents coming and helping with Cam and laundry (I call mom my laundry fairy).

And then there is you, the one who cares enough to read this now. Those of you who've never met us but are praying for us. YOU mean so much to me. Thank you.

Someone sent me a message this week as she was thinking about us as she was in a bible study about anguish and joy. I thought, that is exactly where we are. In a place of anguish and joy. The anguish part is obvious, but the joy! The joy is in getting to know my God in a more intimate way than ever before. Knowing that the end of Porter's life is not the end of Porter. That my friends, is hope and joy. We will be sorrowful and we will miss him and not getting to do all the things new parents get to do with there children, but after this life we will be with him again. Spending eternity with my Lord and Saviour that gave us all the gift of redemption and life. That...again is joy.

I still have moment of full on grief. That is normal and I know it. I am honest about it with the Lord and my family and I don't apologize for it. I suspect as we grow nearer to meeting Porter that my ups and downs will be more frequent and intense.

Prayer Requests:
~Continued prayers for Dalton and his mommy and daddy. Dalton is defying the odds already in his first week of life. You can see Dalton's blog in my blog list to the left.
~Pray for physical and emotional strength for me. I have a lot of sciatic pain and chasing my almost two year old and working is taking a toll on my body which makes me more vulnerable emotionally.
~Pray for Seth as tax season is in full swing and he won't be as present as he wants to be during these last important months (when I am most "needy")
~Pray for the Green family as they continue to wrap their hearts and heads around not having Hallie with them as part of their everyday life.
~Pray that we will live as a witness and testimony to the Lord so that others may come to know him deeply and personally. This journey is not for us to feel pain and defeat, but to bring glory to our Maker.
~We have an OB visit this week. We'll let you know how it goes, but our beloved OB has been ill and is not able to return to take care of us during this pregnancy. Please pray for her and the wisdom and sensitivity of our new doctor.


Monday, January 30, 2012

On a Lighter Note~Week 29 Update

The last post was packed full of many important things I had wanted to tell you about our journey to Porter. This week, I thought we'd keep it simple~

Watch out! The blog will get a make-over soon! Can't wait! Thankfully one of my very good friends is way more blog savvy than me and has offered to make it a little more friendly to the eye! So next time you visit, don't think you've gone to the wrong one!
I am 29 weeks with Porter now! Technically, only 8 weeks until we are full term. Porter's due date is April 16th. You can imagine with Seth being a CPA and in the heat of tax season, these final months will be a challenge as I get bigger and Cam gets heavier!

We just returned from North Georgia after enjoying a long weekend at the lake with friends! We let Cam ride a horse...he thinks he is a real cowboy and now tries to ride our poor family dog, Katie! We ate at the Dillard House which was a real adventure with a two year old. Campbell very subtly threw up on the ride home and my sweet friend snuck out and cleaned up the car seat when I wasn't looking! Now THAT's friendship!

Cam's Best Buddy

The truth is, I wish I could list out every nice thing every person has done for us since all this started, but I'm honestly too afraid I'll leave someone out! God has been taking such good care of us.

Thanks to all your prayers and our Father walking with me through this, I am finally in a place where I am enjoying being pregnant, not worried or afraid at the moment, with only a few tears here and there.

I am enjoying feeling every little movement as Porter continues to thrive. I am not enjoying getting bigger, the back pain that renders me almost unable to walk at times (thanks to a 30+ lb toddler), and dropping everything I touch which then must be picked up. Oh, and I usually drop whatever it is 2-3 times before actually getting back into the upright position. I won't even go into what happens when a sneeze presents itself!

I have much to look forward to in the weeks to come. Grandma D will be coming to help with Cam as well as my parents who usually come once a week to spend time with the little guy.

Next week we'll have our 30 week OB appointment.

Later we'll meet with our pastor to talk about the memorial service. How about that for something to look forward to? But he and his wife and the people at Stonepoint have really reached out to us. Our pastor is encouraging us and wanting us to communicate what we feel would make this special for Porter and how to honor his life. It really means a lot to us. Susan has also been supportive beyond my expectations. Each person has brought something special to us during this time.

Then we'll have our family ultrasound to get a sneak peek at Porter! When I was first diagnosed, I did not want to have any more ultrasounds, but it's interesting how a mother's heart will change over time as you grow to love your baby more and more. Can't wait to share some of those pictures with you!

Prayer requests for those of you who are continuing to lift us up~

~Our friends Kara and Jonathan as they are expecting Dalton at any moment tonight. I particularly cannot sleep and spend much time in prayer when one of these special mommy's is preparing to meet her child. http://devotionstodalton.blogspot.com/

~Spiritual protection as we share our hearts about what God is doing in our lives. The enemy does not like it one bit.
~My physical well being and strength as Seth is working more and unable to help with a very high energy little boy.
~Continued peace and rest in the Lord
~Time with Porter when he comes

Love the Peabody's

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

Monday, January 23, 2012

Packing for the Journey: Can you really be prepared for this?

This is a really long post, but I hope that you will read this and understand more about how we got here.

I am thankful that my heavenly Father packed my bags for this trip!

I don't know about you, but whenever I pack for a trip, there is always something I wish I had remembered to bring, OR something really important I forgot! I do believe that for this particular journey, God has "packed my bags" so to speak. In the last few years, He has revealed himself to me and taught me things about who he is that I didn't even know I needed to learn.

You see, Porter is our 5th child. We have three children in heaven, and two here with us now, including Porter.

As painful as these last few years have been, I've never been more sure of the love of God or stood more firmly in my faith. I am thankful that at this time in my life, I can endure hardship and not even once question the love of God or his goodness. Can you imagine being able to feel that way about the God you believe in? I hope that you can and will. I pray that everyone will come to know him this way. He is personal, intimate, loving, and good.

I've Got This One, God
My story of loss began in August of 2007.  We were starting a family and thrilled to be expecting. We had been to the doctor and seen the heartbeat and been reassured that once a heartbeat is found the chances of losing the pregnancy went down greatly. When we returned for our first official 8 week OB visit, we were greeted with gift bags, information packets, free samples of formula and were so excited!

I'll never forget as our chattering and excitement turned to silence as the doctor searched the ultrasound for signs of life. It was becoming clear that there was no longer a life inside me. Even though this was an early loss, we had lost our first baby. We had planned for this child and wanted this child and were ready to be parents. We left the office that day stunned and heartbroken. Seth was worried about me of course as I began to grieve the child I already loved. However, I am a nurse and the "medical professional" logic took over after several weeks. It was full speed ahead for baby #2. I prayed that God would bless us again. I didn't really question God at this point, but I was kind of wondering what went wrong. I thought, "Oh, it happens to a lot of people the first time, it was just bad luck". God, we've got this, we'll just wait on you.

God, Why Don't You Love Me? Maybe I'm Just Not Good Enough For You.
We prayed and waited...and waited, and started to wonder when or if it would happen again. In the summer of 2008, we learned that we were expecting again! We confirmed there was a heartbeat and a precious baby growing. Of course, we were on pins and needles because no longer did a strong heartbeat mean a healthy pregnancy for us. When Seth and I returned for our 9 week ultrasound...again no sign of life. This time, I looked at the screen as the ultrasound tech searched and I said, "if it's not there, it's not there, we would have seen it by now". This time, I crashed and burned emotionally and spiritually. I was devastated. It was at this point in time that I began to question why, question God's love for me, question what was wrong with me and why wasn't I good enough to be a mom. My faith tumbled. The faith I'd always thought was solid and unshakable. God was showing me some major holes in the foundation of a faith I thought I knew.

At the time, I was fortunate to be in a small group at church with unbelievable young women with faith beyond their years. These women prayed for Seth and I daily. I was able to be completely transparent and honest about my anger towards God, my doubts in Him, and my shortcomings. I'll never forget the day that I confessed that I was so hurt and angry at God that I didn't even want to talk to him. My friend, Breanna prayed for me that night. She prayed that God would come to me and meet me where I'm at. Because the truth was that I didn't want to speak to him and I needed him to speak to me. You know what? HE DID. I was driving home one night alone with my thoughts and I began to pray and tell God it wasn't fair. If he knew my desire to have children why would he let me down like this? I heard a voice in my head, clearly and distinctly say, "I know, I lost my Son too." And I wept. He was right. He did know. But I wasn't ready to hear that yet. That answer was not good enough for me...yet.

But He was pointing me to the cross that day. He was pleading with me, his daughter, to open my eyes and SEE how much he loved me! Enough to send his only Son to take the blame for my sin. Could you imagine, sacrificing your own child's life for the sake of those that are ugly with sin? Who may not even appreciate the gift of your child's life, curse his name and and even deny that he ever existed? Why would God do that for me? There is only one answer...LOVE. Oh how He loves us...Our tiny human brains cannot even comprehend it. Finally, I understood that He loved me, not based on what he did or didn't "do" for me or what desires and "wishes" he granted, but because of what Christ did for me that day.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and how long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that SURPASSES KNOWLEDGE- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

I Surrender!
It doesn't make sense, does it? How God could love us so much? I pray that each of you reading this will experience this love. I'd like to tell you about my friend Lindy, and how she came to know the love of God. God used Lindy to teach me the hardest lesson of all...surrender.

In spring of 2009, we lost our third baby. I knew God loved me now, but I was so confused and I was grieving...I told Seth that this would all be so much easier if I just knew what God's big picture was! If I knew how he wanted to use this and it all made sense that I would be okay with it. Should we adopt and give up our dreams of biological children completely? We always wanted to adopt anyway, but we weren't ready. We still needed to grieve the loss of this dream first.

My friend, Lindy and I had a unique relationship! We were the odd couple when it came to friendships. I am very conservative and she was very liberal. I am faith based and she is evidence based. One thing I loved the most about our friendship is that we could share our difference of opinions openly and ask questions to understand the other's point of view, but in the end we always amiably agreed to disagree! We had a mutual respect and admiration for one another. She was an amazing friend. We could talk freely and boldly about anything.

I will never forget the day she called me to tell me she had cancer. I was parking my car at a local children's hospital when she called. I stopped the car and time stood still. We wept. We cried about her losing her hair of all things. Which, according to her was her best feature (I would disagree)! At the time, Lindy didn't know the Lord like I did. I had been praying for her salvation for years.

During her battle with cancer, she would ask me and many of her friends to pray with and for her even though she hadn't fully accepted the concept of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit. She said it comforted her. I prayed that God would meet her where she was at. I prayed that he would reveal himself to her in a way that she couldn't deny. And that she would see that he was real and loved her more than she could have imagined.

One night, I was worshipping at Buckhead Church in Atlanta. I won't go into the message but that night I was struck hard by the realization that I would gladly give up my desire to have children if only Lindy could come to know God. If He could use me in a tiny way to help her put the pieces of a much larger puzzle together then let me be a piece of that. I loved her dearly and just wanted more than ever for her to know the eternal hope we have in him. For that, I surrendered myself and my own wants. Surrender had finally arrived...I gave it all up to him.

In July of 2009, I became pregnant with Campbell. When I called to share the news with Lindy, she said, "I'm surprised you would continue to try after all you've been through." The first thing that came from my mouth without a second thought was, "Lindy, sometimes it's worth leaving it up to God to give him the chance to perform a miracle, why wouldn't I give him that chance? I may lose this baby too, but I'm okay with that now."

As Lindy continued to fight her battle with cancer while being a wife, a mother to two small boys, a daughter, and a physician, Campbell grew and I continued to pray that she would meet God in a real and intimate way.

Campbell was born in April of 2010. Lindy met him and rejoiced with us in what God had done. Lindy also met Christ that year. And I rejoiced with the knowledge that I had gained a sister in Christ. God is so good.
Lindy went to be with the Lord in July of 2010. She was worth Christ's love too. He loved her before she was born. He wanted her to love him too...and she did. She met her heavenly Father and knew that he was real.

I will miss you, Lindy. I will never forget how you changed my life. Every time I look at Campbell, I am reminded of surrender and Lindy. I think the day I surrendered, God must have said, "FINALLY! You get it. It's not about you. It's about eternity. Oh, and by the way, I love you Jeannie Peabody, more than you will ever know."

Porter, I lift you towards our heavenly Father. I know that you are in his hands. That he loves you more than even I will ever love you. I know that you will be embraced by him on that day and please tell Lindy I said hello, and I love her.

Our bags are packed, we'll be there when our Father calls us.

Love Jeannie