Friday, April 22, 2016


Maren Elizabeth Roiseland, daughter of Kevin and Tiffany Roiseland, burst into the world at 4:20am on Monday, April 18, 2016. She blessed her eternally grateful family with three and a half beautiful days before returning to her heavenly father on Thursday, April 21, 2016. During her short time on earth, she blessed her parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins with the sweet gift of time. She inspired many by beating the odds and fighting 'til the very end.

During her nearly 38 weeks of life inside Mommy, Maren showed her love through lots of kicks, especially while reading stories with big brother James or when James sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her and kissed her good-night through Mommy's belly. After her arrival, she was lavished with his kisses, gentle touches, and announcements of "Baby Sister!" whenever he set eyes on her.

Maren's family will always remember her glorious hair, her perfect little fingers and toes, and her sweet, soft cheeks. She grew more and more beautiful every hour. For her three and a half days on earth, she felt nothing but pure love.

We imagine that upon entering heaven, her big brother Sam greeted her and yelled, "Come on, Maren! Come on!" then led the charge as they together ran into their Heavenly Father's arms.

Rest in peace, sweet girl. We love you.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good-bye, Sweet Girl

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

Our beautiful daughter Maren Elizabeth is now peacefully resting in her Father's arms. We are heartbroken but will be eternally grateful for the three precious days we spent adoring her gorgeous hair, curling her tiny fingers around ours, and stroking what were undoubtedly the softest cheeks in the world. We praise God for the gift of time.

Thank you for your prayers throughout our sweet girl's life. We have felt nothing but love and support, which helped us ensure those three precious days were filled with nothing but love for Maren. We are so thankful for you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mighty Maren

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 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 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.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:16-21

IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE ASK OR IMAGINE!! I am sitting here in a quiet hospital room with my day and half old baby. Day and a half!! The tears are rolling down my cheeks as I recall every aunt, uncle, and cousin meeting Maren in the last twenty-four hours. I had originally told everyone no, sorry, we want all the time she has, just Daddy, Mommy, James, and Maren. But then she stayed with us for another hour. And then another. And suddenly she had made it through an entire day. We prayed for time . . . and God has given us immeasurably more than all we asked for or imagined. We prayed for two or three hours. Enough to hold her and love her and release her back to her Father's arms . . . and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the hours we have had.
So many people told us over the last few months they were praying for a miracle. I know many people meant a miraculous healing, that the Trisomy 13 diagnosis would somehow be wrong and we'd have a perfectly healthy girl. All along I've said the miracle would be time. With the Trisomy 13 diagnosis and a 50/50 chance of stillbirth, I prayed and prayed for a few hours with her. I didn't allow myself to hope or pray for more than that. The fact that she has been with us for so long is such a miracle. I am so thankful!! I'm also sad for other families who haven't had so much time with their precious little ones. I can't explain why we get this blessing when others don't. All I know is that I want to fall on my face in front of my Lord and cling to his feet and say thank you, thank you, thank you. I know the hard times are coming, but this gift . . . this gift . . . my precious miracle girl . . . we will get through this.
We are going home tomorrow. Home. We are taking our daughter home. We are simultaneously thrilled and flabbergasted. The hospital has contacted hospice and we'll have lots of support, but Maren will be surrounded by her family in our sweet little home. I can't believe it. I am so incredibly grateful that God has given us this time to love her and soak in her beauty. The doctors can't really tell us if we have hours or days or weeks, but we will take any time we can get. We can't stop staring at her and murmuring how amazed we are.
Last night I sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" to her as she slept. This song has held great meaning for me for many, many years, but a new layer of gratefulness has been added to my song of praise this week.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father. 
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not. 
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy Faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! 
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. 
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
Thanking God for his great faithfulness tonight more than ever. And thank you, friends, for all your prayers. Great is His faithfulness.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Just a Few Weeks Left

Thirty-six weeks!! This is a major milestone, considering the doctors told us at twelve weeks we would likely lose her. Mighty Maren! She just keeps kicking away.

We had one more ultrasound Monday morning. She was hiding her face, so we couldn't get clear pictures of her, but we saw five little fingers on each hand. I know it's probably a petty thing to care about, but since so many babies with Trisomy 13 have extra fingers among their many other problems, this was a happy piece of news. As much as I try to be a realist about Maren's situation, there was of course still a part of me that hoped the ultrasound technician would look confused, go get a doctor, and bring her in to say something miraculous like, "She appears to be perfectly healthy! We can't explain it!"

But no. Nothing has changed.

The only positive news we got was that the doctor is hopeful Maren will make it through delivery alive. With her continuing those strong kicks and with no physical issues on my end, the doctor thinks she is likely to survive birth. We continue to pray she will.

An induction date has been set -- April 27. That's about a week before my due date. The doctor says since Trisomy 13 babies are more likely to be stillborn the longer you carry them, and since mothers of advanced maternal age are more likely to have stillborn babies, inducing a week early will increase our chances of a live birth.

While I'm excited to meet her after carrying her for all these months, you can imagine how bittersweet it is. All this time, we've known we could lose her at any moment, but now we have an official date set for saying good-bye. It's exciting and devastating at the same time.

Please keep praying -- that we'll continue to enjoy every kick and stretch, that Maren will stay strong through delivery, and that we will get to enjoy a little time with our sweet girl on April 27th.