Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Farewell 2009

2009 by far has been the most challenging year, I battled with using the word “worst” but that would mean nothing good came out of 2009 and the fact that I’m alive healthy and so close to 2010 means that, some things were not so bad. So here is my 2009 in recap please enjoy.

January – I went to my 18 wks prenatal appointment excited to find out if I was having a boy or girl, I found out that my baby suffered from a Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction aka LUTO; I was devastated as I begin high risk intervention to save the baby growing inside me.

February – I had the best birthday in a long time, a massage, a manicure & pedicure, and I even got a Wii game system. 5 days later I got a phone call from my Dr. saying Vayden’s kidneys failed, intervention was over. I made the choice to carry to term.

March – Is when I became very vocal about my situation, I started blogging about my ups and downs, I opened my life to complete strangers and told Vayden’s story through my eyes. I found family through LUTO, women & men who had LUTO angels and some who had LUTO survivors, they were there for me and supported me and I am forever grateful for them. They are my family now. I mourned the deaths of Matthew and Jonah, Vayden’s best friends. (LUTO angels)

Lisa Fregien

McKenzie Hardison

Mandy Sheridan
Everyone on the Posterior Urethral Valves Facebook group

April – The Stewart family, Vayden included took a trip to California and Las Vegas. In that trip Vayden was able to fly on an airplane, feed the ducks, go to the aquarium, attend his brothers 2nd birthday party, enjoy the sounds of Cirque du Soil in Las Vegas, and eat the best hamburger at In n Out Burger. He was also so lucky to be surrounded by loving friends and family from the west coast. When we got back to Oklahoma we met with an amazingly talented NILMDTS photographer who took amazing maternity photos to help us document this journey through carrying to term

May - I was wishing I could stay pregnant forever, time was running out as my due date was nearing . I lashed out on a few people who gave me the faith or miracle speech, the truth is God already spoke to me by that time, Vayden was not going to stay on earth, but would be born alive. I had faith that God would stick to that word and answer our prayer for a total and complete healing on earth or in Heaven. I wrote the blog post “But you gotta have faith” on May 19th and I went into labor on May 22nd. Vayden James Stewart was born May 23,2009 at midnight, he passed away 3:45am. We were blessed to see him with his eyes wide open, hear him cry and cuddle with him for that time. God stood by his word and we were thankful for every minute we had with Vayden. Vayden died peacefully in my arms, he knew no pain, no needles, and no tubes, welcomed with love and left with love.

June – The Stewart family started to get used to “our new normal”. I was terribly bored; I kept thinking I should be up in the night tired during the day. I played with Vashon all day and worked on my new baby all night My Very Own Angel.

July – I worked all night as if I had a colicky newborn on My Very Own Angel, I told very little people about my new obsession, it was my way of healing through my loss. I tried out a new church and felt at home from the first service. My relationship with Christ was growing while the devil was working shamelessly on trying to ruin my marriage. My Very Own Angel’s website launched on July 24, 2009 just one day after Vayden's 2nd month in Heaven

August – The 345 teddy Bear Project blessed OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, where Vayden was delivered, it was humbling to go back and give thanks to the amazing staff that was so supportive through my loss. The local news came out to do a story.

September – Vashon took over Vayden’s comfort bear that Kelly from Sufficient Grace sent me, this is the ONLY stuffed animal he has ever liked, so I went ahead and gave it to him and we now refer to the bear as “cuddle brother”

October – Not just Breast Cancer Awareness month it’s also Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month and on the 15th I lit a candle for Vayden and all the other babies gone too soon. I also went to a few walks to remember met some great people, and Vayden’s story made the local newspaper a two page spread. Just in time to make others aware of pregnancy and infant loss.

November – Here comes the holiday season, our first without Vayden, we found a way to include him.

December – We included Vayden in everything we could for Christmas, and My Very Own Angel was blessed to touch the lives and offer support to many. I’ve met so many wonderful people throughout this year, many I would not have met had I not suffered this loss, so in the words of the bible. “All things work together for good, to those that love God” Roman 8:28

I look forward to 2010, and I’m very ready to kick 2009 out the door. Our family was tested greatly this year and the devil worked so hard to ruin us, but we took the trails with faith, knowing that God would show us the reward soon.
So to 2009 thank you for the test, the tears, the growth, and the faith, I won’t miss you, but I will always remember you.


  1. Have I told you latlely I love you. Thank you for just being you and helping me in anyway you can. Vayden hsa blessed you as well as me. Here is 2010 and maybe a meeting :)

  2. Oh Steph,you are amazing! You are so strong. I pray the Lord pours blessings all around you in this up coming year! You surely deserve it. I know great things will happen for you. You are the light in a dark tunnel. I know a lot of people have benefited from your strenght and many more will benefit from your strenght and courage you display in your blog. Van & Vashon are very lucky to have you! Megan Tate

  3. This was a beautiful recollection of 2009!! As you remember these things, also remember that we go through everything for a reason and with purpose; you have defintely made your purpose known through My Very Own Angel and your donations of time. I am very proud of your accomplishments, and even more proud to be able to call you my friend! Love you girl!!!

  4. Wow. I too am torn about 2009 ending. But you stated it perfectly when you said "I won't miss you, but I will always remember you." I too will always remember 2009 as the year my wonderful son, Carter was born.

    Thanks for being a blessing to me!

  5. What a lovely post. I admire your faith and strength. I know you probably don't think you're strong, but you are. I know what you mean about your obsession and MVOA, I did the same thing with my blog and Abiding Hope. It was my only outlet, and my "baby" so to speak. I often tell my husband it is what I care for in Jenna's place, not to replace her but to remember her. I don't know, it's hard to explain. Anyway, I am ready to kick this year out the door too! Thinking about you and your precious son.


  6. Stephanie,

    I am with Angela, have I ever told you that I love you! You words are so comforting. Your desire, your fight; it all makes me so easy for people that don't understand 'our shoes' to be able to understand, maybe just a little. I pray for the day that I have the backbone and the strength to move forward for Jennifer, like you have for your sweet angel. You are my inspiration!

  7. Stephanie,
    You gave a great reflection of 2009. And it's so funny that I decided to peek in on your blog on one of my few moments with internet access b/c I was thinking of doing this same thing on a post about 2009. What a year it has been, huh? A year filled with so much and has changed both our lives forever. I don't think either of us would take it back. Love you so much!

  8. Thank you for sharing your journey in 2009, and Vayden's story, with all of us. (((Hugs))) from another bereaved mumma.

  9. You always, always amaze me. Thank you for including Devyn and me. My heart is so touched and I am in tears.

  10. I love your blog, and you were my inspiration to start mine. I found your story when my son was diagnosed with his enlarged bladder and possible LUTO. Unfortuneatly, I lost him at 17 weeks gestation, but he has touched my life deeply. I agree with you about 2010...looking forward to it...and thank you for sharing your remarkable journey.

  11. Beautiful post Stephanie!

    You have such a positive outlook. I wish I was more positive. I really try to be, but as I approach our twins 1st birthday in heaven on 14 Jan, I am struggling a little.

    Here's to a brighter 2010 for us all xo

  12. What an amazing recap, Steph! You are so beautiful and you have walked this path with grace and faith. You are a blessing to many. Thank you for being beautiful you, for opening your heart, and for sharing sweet Vayden with us.

    May God bless, comfort, and carry you in the coming year...

    P.S. Love the "cuddle brother"! =)

  13. This is the most awesome post I have ever read. Tears are streaming down my face as I am typing this. God bless you and your family! Vayden is so lucky to have you as a mommy!!!!!!!

  14. What a awesome post and again I'm so glad to have met you online. I know Vayden is smilin down on you. So glad you have been able to help others w/ your own loss. God loves you and so do I.
    Take care and all the best in 2010.

  15. What a beautiful post and lovely reflection of your year. I am happy you started My Very Own Angel. I wear my shirt all the time and think about all of our angels.

  16. Baby girl, What a beautiful recap of 2009. 2010 has wonderful and awesome blessings for you and all your new angel mommy friends. I miss my grand-angel so much, but to see the amazing strength you have and the touch you and Vayden are sending out to so many through MVOA, my heart is comforted and my thoughts of Vayden are always in a positive light. Keep up the amazing work, you are an inspiration. Love you much, Mom.

  17. Stephanie--what a year. I don't know how you have done it. You are an amazing woman, an inspiration. You have a beautiful family--your mom is awesome. I guess that must have helped you on this journey. Teh recap of your year is just unreal. I wish so badly Vayden was here with you. But your perspective and outlook inspiring. thank you for opening your life for others to look in on and be comforted. your honesty has helped so many feel like you understand--you are on the journey, too. I am so proud of your efforts that have made MVOA happen and what it has accomplished. You are an amazing woman.