Monday, December 10, 2007

Yet another friend's sincere blog post

Please know, I am NOT a vain or arrogant person, by any means, so by me sharing where all Lydia is affecting people (through friends' websites mainly that I can link to), just be aware I want you to see how friends (and strangers!) are being changed and others' perspectives, or views, of our story.

I have a friend, named Amy Clark, who has a wonderful website, with a HUGE following, called  She is a very talented woman (superwoman, as I joke to her).  Check her out to learn from her, but also to read what she posted about our story.  Here is the blog entry she posted about us.  I personally enjoy her blog (through her MomAdvice site) and learn a great deal from her regarding homemaking, frugality, organization, creativity...the list goes on and on.  

Thank you, Amy, for thinking of us and sharing Lydia with your many readers!!!  I love ya!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Awesome post about the memorial service...

12/09/2007 04:31pm by Amy

Well, my new dearest friend (and labor/delivery nurse), Renay, has posted another blog entry to share to all. 
It's a beautiful visual view (with explanations) of what Renay witnessed, through her very own eyes, at the service...and that is especially why I love it.  Please look at the pictures and read her thoughts...I feel like I say this all of the time now (I hope things I say don't get old), but you WILL be blessed if you check it out :-)

And I don't know why I feel the need to say all the Grey's Anatomy fans:  You know how Meredith (even though she annoys me sometimes) refers to Christina as "her person" (and vice versa).  I really do feel that way about Renay (remember this is a sudden, in a way, new and intense friendship). I KNOW she watches Grey's, so she will get this.  She is "my person."  But, as I have been jokingly (but seriously) saying to random acquaintances in my life this past week...I have "my PEOPLE" now.  I really don't JUST have "my person" in Renay (when before this week I could never have really said that about anybody).  I have like a posse, people.  And you know who you are, but I will list some of you (there are more...since SO many of you have just come through for me in so many ways during my pregnancy and especially this past week).  So, in addition to Renay, some of my people include (but are NOT limited to!): Jessica, Lindsay, Kristy, Lara (yes, Lara, you are!), and my two sisters-in-laws....Janice and Danyell.

I LOVE YOU  ALL.....stay tuned for updates as it appears we are now adding to our site much more frequently :-)

Video tribute to Lydia

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lydia Grace Focosi

About Lydia

This web page is dedicated to our daughter Lydia Grace Focosi who went to be with our Lord within the hour of her birth on December 3rd, 2007. Our beautiful daughter had a birth defect called anencephaly. "Anencephaly occurs when the "cephalic" or head end of the neural tube fails to close, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp." We only had a short time with Lydia Grace but we know in our hearts that she felt all of our love. She is a shining star and a beautiful angel who will always be a part of our lives.

Recent Posts

About our Family

Lydia is survived by her parents Amy and Mike, her brother Alex. We live in Lafayette, Indiana.

Anencephaly Links

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Obituary - Lydia Grace Focosi

Infant Lydia Grace Focosi

December 8th, 2007

Infant Lydia Grace Focosi, daughter of Michael and Amy Dietz Focosi, died at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, 28 minutes after her birth.

Surviving is a brother, Alexander Focosi of Lafayette.

Also surviving are maternal grandparents, Lora Dietz and David Gohn of La Porte, and Timothy Dietz and Linda DeLaruelle of Osceola; paternal grandparents, Joseph and Polly Focosi of South Bend; and maternal great-grandparents, Wayne Dietz of Michigan City and Elaine Dietz of Chesterton.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the 11 a.m. memorial service on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, at Hippensteel Funeral Home. Dr. James Farrer of Christ United Methodist Church will officiate. Memorial gifts may be given to the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" Foundation, 7800 S. Elati St. #111, Littleton, CO

Condolences from

2007-12-04 from: Barb Wolf
May God's love make you stronger. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

2007-12-05 from: Marianne Lloyd
You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am praying that you can find comfort knowing your baby is in God's hands. God Bless you, Marianne Lloyd We are in the same church family Christ UM Church

2007-12-05 from: Pastor Bill and Lisa Wassner
Dear Friends, Words cannot possibly contain our sorrow and compassion for your family at this time. Know that Lydia is now in the loving hands of our Father in heaven. May God's gift of peace break through the clouds of grief and give you a sense of the brightness of His love. Bill & Lisa

2007-12-05 from: Sherri Harper
We wish we could be there to join in the celebration of Lydia's life. Please know that we have you in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless your whole family.

2007-12-05 from: Leora Reeder
May God bless the Focosi family at this time of sorrow. An old neighborhood friend. 2007-12-06 from: Virginia Fuller So heaven welcomes little Lydia. You did a wonderful thing Amy. I've prayed for you and your mom since I heard what was up. This little one will leave quite a mark on the world for 28 minutes. So very sorry. Ginger Fuller (A friend of your mom)

2007-12-06 from: tasha cox
Dear family my name is tasha and im so sorry to have read about your loss of your precious daughter lydia I to have been in your place with a loss of a child 4 yrs ago my boyfriend and i lost twin daughters at birth.I will keep ya all in my thoughts and prayers and know that you are not alone.I found comfort in talking to people who has been through it.God Bless you and your family.

2007-12-07 from: Brett
My family and I are so sorry for your loss. May God's grace be with you as Lydia is now with God. You are in our prayers.

2007-12-08 from: John & Suzy Maldonado
Please know that our love and prayers are with you and your family as they have been in the past. Lydia is in the arms of Jesus and will be forever loved. We will continue to pray for your family's recovery. John, Suzy, Michaela, Becca and Leah Maldonado from Christ United Methodist Church

2007-12-08 from: Tena Graham (Mom's Club friend)
Words cannot express how very sorry I am, you are in my prayers today. May a few words from the greatest book ever created, ease a little of that sadness in your heart. Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

2007-12-08 from: Jenny Boehm
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you strength and comfort.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Another AMAZING post about Lydia

12/07/2007 03:14am by Amy

I have formed relationships in Lafayette (in just a little over a year's time since moving here) that are just UN"freakin" believable (I've been using that word a lot lately and I need to stop, but felt appropriate in this moment).  One of my newest friendships has also become one of my dearest and closest friends because we experienced Lydia's labor and delivery together.  Her name is Renay.  She composed an AMAZING (another word I've been using and heard a lot lately) post at her personal blog about us.  

You must read it, so go here!!!

What do you think?  Crazy, right?  Comment on her blog.  She will be touched and tickled by it.  I am the first comment in there (proudly) and you should read my response.  Renay has her own amazing story about being pregnant and delivering one of her beautiful sons, Owen.  I have not met Owen yet, but I can't wait to.  I'm telling you, this friendship is new and very developed in a short (but intense) amount of time.  That's just what makes it one of the many "God-things" that has come out of our Lydia's little (but BIG) life.

Once again, thank you, Renay, for posting what I cannot right now, but what I truly feel.  I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A personal testimony to Lydia

12/05/2007 12:10am by Amy

One of my closest friends, Lindsay (whom I have only known for 10 months now), wrote a beautiful testimony to God's presence in our sweet girl's life.  I wanted to share with all of you because I think it is so meaningful and true.  It is long, but you must read it in its entirety!  I can't thank her enough for articulating so clearly what many of us feel about Lydia and her short time with us. The fact that Lindsay wrote this is just one of the many reasons that I continue to be amazed and humbled at the outpouring of love and support we have received.  Words TRULY cannot express.  I can't say that enough!

Here is Lindsay's blog entry.
Lindsay, I love you and I thank you for taking the time to compose this...means more to me than you will ever know.  YOU mean more to me than you will ever know!

Oh, and on a side note to everyone, Lydia's memorial arrangements have been finalized.  If you did not receive an e-mail with the information (and you would like to know), please e-mail us directly.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lydia Grace Focosi

by Mike & Amy
Hello everyone,
First of all, thank you for all of your love and support.

I was admitted to the hospital at 2pm Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 (at 34 weeks) because I was leaking amniotic fluid.

I was started on Pitocin right away to induce labor. I only had slight, inconsistent contractions throughout the rest of the night. The doctor broke my water at 8am Monday morning (Dec.3rd). Labor started to progress more after that.

I got an epidural at 3:30pm when the contractions were painful and a couple of minutes apart (I was still only 4 cm dilated).  I dozed for an hour since I felt more comfortable and then all of a sudden I felt her head ready to push out at 4:45pm.  I called the nurse and told her I thought the baby was crowning.  Sure enough she was.  A team of nurses and a doctor from out in the hallway (not mine because this all happened so fast) rushed in and delivered her just like that.  1 1/2 pushes later our baby girl was out at 4:47 pm, Monday, Dec. 3rd, 2007.  Her heart was still beating when laid on my chest right after delivery.  She lived until about 5:15pm and then went to be with our Lord.  

She weighed 3 pounds, 7 ounces and was 15 1/2 in. long.  She had long, skinny feet, beautiful hands, a sweet mouth, and a little dark hair.  Her anencephalic condition was evident, but she was wonderfully and beautifully made by our God.

We spent the rest of the evening holding, cuddling, dressing, and loving on her with close friends and family.  We took lots of pictures, made hand and footprints and cut a lock of hair. We made the most of our very short time with her as a family.  Alex met his baby sister and held her hand.  

I will be discharged Tuesday morning and we will want some much-needed time to ourselves at home.

Words can't express how grateful we are to SO many amazing people in our lives who have helped us abundantly during this difficult time--You all know who you are!!!  We love you!

Please pray for us as we struggle through the grieving process and eventually begin to heal.  Lydia's memorial service will most likely be later this week.

For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength that I need...He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago....
Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10

Lydia's little life was the good thing that God had planned for us and He sure has given us so much strength thus far.

We love you...please keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our Little Star

I haven’t really said anything on here about our baby’s condition and everything that we’re going through. As one can imagine, it was devastating news to us. Living everyday knowing that your unborn child is not going to live is a terrible state that nobody should ever experience. But thankfully, we have received a lot of love and support from our family and friends. The many thoughts and prayers go a long way to ease the weight that hangs on our hearts.

Amy is SO BRAVE.

I really don’t know how she does it. I could say: “I’m not saying she doesn’t have her bad days” but to say she has bad days would be a misnomer. Every day in an awful experience like this is a bad day. Yet, Amy has remained strong. The courage she has shown by living with such sad news and still being there for Alex and I, is amazing. Just keeping up with a whirlwind of a toddler is hard enough. Then pile on keeping a household together, arranging Alex’s birthday party, making play dates and researching organ donation and funeral homes. I really don’t think I could keep it together as well as she has. She’s truly a brave soul and I am so grateful. I love her so much.

Amy mentioned before that we went for an ultrasound in Indianapolis. It wasn’t for medical reasons. We wanted to find out the sex (a girl) and to get pictures that we could keep. Castleton Ultrasound specializes in 3D and 4D ultrasounds. They were very kind and understanding. They had a room that could easily accommodate family members with a large projection screen.

The pictures of the baby were great. We’ve named her Lydia Grace. Lydia was the name we always knew we’d give our next child if she was a girl. Grace, Amy decided upon recently. It’s a very beautiful name and she’s a very beautiful girl.  Here are a couple ofpictures of Lydia at 28 weeks (Amy is 31 weeks currently).

This morning, Amy and I decided we would tell Alex his little sister is sick and won’t live very long after she is born. Up until this week, we really weren’t sure if we should tell him before the baby is born. He just turned three so we tend to think he’s not going to understand all that is happening. As far as he knew, mommy has a baby girl in her belly and he’s going to be a big brother soon.

Amy can articulate our reasons for telling Alex better than I can, but I think at least to me, it’s better to prepare Alex for Lydia’s birth now as best we can. After all, Amy and I have been preparing ourselves (as best anybody could prepare) since we found out the news. I don’t expect Alex to totally understand everything that is going on with Lydia. We told him that Lydia is sick and that she won’t be with us for long after she is born. He immediately let out an empathetic ‘awwww.’

Then he said something I don’t think Amy and I expected or were even ready to comprehend:

“I won’t get to play with Lydia?”

Such a sad question you wish you’d never have to hear from a three year old. 

We told him that he won’t get to play with Lydia but he will get to meet her and hold her after she’s born. I know he understands a little bit about what that means. He’s already felt the loss of Jane. We told him that after Lydia is born, she’s going to go to heaven and be with Jane and God.

He started getting distracted while we were talking to him. I think Amy and I talked to him as best as we could. It’s definitely frustrating as an adult to try to relate such things to a toddler. I felt like I really wanted him to understand, but I can’t expect that from him. We were worried that if we told him he would somehow write Lydia off. But he was sweet after our talk. He wanted to lean in to give Lydia a hug but initially confused Amy’s breast with her belly. After we corrected him, he gave her a hug then a kiss and told Lydia he loved her. We asked him to sing a song for her. He sang Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star (“The Good Night Show” version from PBS Sprout) perfectly. 

I said Lydia is our little star. She is. She’s a beautiful star that will always shine bright in our hearts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lord, Give Us Strength

Where do I begin?  Our family received some devastating news last week and I need to write about it and put it out there.  I'm hoping this will be therapeutic for me.

For a while now, I have been telling everyone I know that we were having an ultrasound on Thursday, August 23rd (at 20 weeks gestation) and I was going to find out the sex of my baby.  I just thought that was so important and couldn't wait.  I was having a pretty uneventful pregnancy so far, no complications, and feeling great.  And in my mind, finding out the gender of the baby was the point of this routine ultrasound.  So, Mike and Alex joined me at the doctor's office for this event.  Even though I knew there was a possibility they could not determine the gender (based on how the baby was positioned or movement), I was still hopeful and happy to see pictures of the Baby for the first time.

We had the ultrasound.  B was moving like crazy...doing gymnastics in my belly.  I got slightly teary eyed with joy about seeing B for the first time.  The technician commented how active was.  She also said she hoped we didn't want to find out the sex because she couldn't tell from all of the movement.  I can't deny it, I was bummed.  I had my heart set on finding out.

The three of us then waited in the doctor's office.  I was supposed to meet with the male doctor in the practice for the first time this visit.  We had been waiting quite a while and Mike and I discussed him just going back to work...the important part was over with and he really didn't need to be there any longer, but he stayed.  The female doctor, Dr. Knutson, that I had seen the last few visits ended up coming in.  She said the other doctor was busy and she was doing paperwork so she thought she'd do my appointment.  And then she was stalling/hesitating as she was looking at my chart.  I seriously thought she wasn't sure how to approach me about how much weight I gained this past month!  I thought I was about to get scolded!

But then she said, "I don't know how to tell you this.  Something is wrong with your baby."  It was a complete shock...this came out of nowhere for us.  And, of course, I started crying.  She said B has anencephaly, which is a very rare neural tube defect.  Basically when the neural tube develops around week 4 of pregnancy, it does not close off the way it's supposed to and B's top of the head/brain does not develop and that this is terminal.  The baby will be stillborn or pass away usually fairly quickly after delivery.  HELLO?!!!  Are you freakin' kidding me?????  I was a wreck, to say the least.  She comforted me and told me she knows this is so hard to believe because everything had been going so well.  She stressed that there was NOTHING I could have done and there really is no known reason....combination of genetic/environmental factors, considered a multifactorial etiology, but they truly don't know what causes it.

She said I have two options: carry B full term or as long as possible and go through labor/delivery for it to be stillborn or die a short time later OR terminate the pregnancy.  I was in such a state of shock and denial that the first option just made me completely sick and how could I possibly go through 9 months of pregnancy and that process only to have the inevitable happen???  It sounded awful.  And I said no, I'd have to terminate the pregnancy, not really knowing what that fully meant, and she understood.  I was set up for a "second opinion" with a high risk OB specialist in Indy for Friday morning.  This appointment was not because the diagnosis was questionable, or anything, it was for this doctor to measure and see if a doctor in the Indy area would terminate the pregnancy this far along.

So, needless to say, the rest of Thursday was completely awful.  My mom got off of work and came down to be with us.  I couldn't sleep that night.  She watched Alex for us on Friday.  The ultrasound in Indy was very short.  I couldn't look at the screen and the doctor commented on this.  The diagnosis was confirmed and then we met with the doctor to discuss our options...although I had thought I decided and didn't feel I had an option at the time.  She said I didn't have to decide today and I'm like, uh, yeah I do.  Because any clinics we looked at online (which were all out of state since it appeared no one in Indiana would terminate at this stage) would have to terminate soon.  And I thought it would be better for my mental and emotional health the sooner I got this "taken care of," so to speak.

So, she gave us her recommendation of where we could go (Dayton, Ohio) and we were on our way back home.  I went through another awful day...calling some of my Christian friends and asking what they would do, not ready to hear myself that answer that they were about to say, so I had to hang up.  I was extremely uneasy about our decision, but thought it was the best way for us, long-term.  I talked off and on to the grief counselor from Indy, who REALLY helped me work through this.  She kept telling me to SLOW DOWN, that I'm moving too fast.  I didn't take that advice until Saturday.  We called the clinic in Dayton and scheduled the 3-DAY procedure for Tuesday (today!).  Once again, I couldn't sleep Friday night. I had a terrible headache for 2 days from all of the crying and just way too many thoughts racing through my head.

Saturday morning, my mom went back home thinking we had a plan in place that was best for me.  And then I finally SLOWED DOWN and started thinking what this meant for us long-term, not to mention I looked up online about the procedure I was going to have done and it sounded totally awful and not something I could live with.  I had to find a Bible, had to find a Bible.  My friend, Kristy, told me a long time ago that if you're struggling with a decision or need an answer, just open up the Bible and read the first verse you see.  So, I felt the urgency to do that and I did....and it gave me the answer I needed.  I read a verse that basically said the Lord has never failed me and will not fail me now.  If I go against His covenant, I will regret it and pay for it.  It was a harsh verse, let me tell you.  But it was what I needed to hear once I really sat and listened to my heart and God, opened my eyes, and SLOWED DOWN.

So, Mike and I really talked this through and we were both on the same page.  We don't want this guilt or to wonder WHAT IF?!  Termination of pregnancy/an ugly abortion of a 20-week fetus/a part of us, people!, did not set well with our souls.  This is an EXTREMELY personal decision and no one knows what they would truly end up doing unless they were in our position.  But, we couldn't live with ourselves and we really think terminating would have affected us SO much more in the long run, and it would affect our relationship more, and that we wouldn't be able to truly move on from it.  So, continuing the pregnancy was, in the end, the only option for US.  And we haven't looked back or doubted our decision since.  We are at peace with it.  Don't get me wrong, I have had emotional moments since then and this is NOT going to be easy, by any means.  Telling someone our situation for the first time is heart-wrenching.  Thinking about how I'm going to deal with B growing and the movement is tough.  By the way, I felt a lot of movement for the first time Saturday night.  B is a part of me and a part of our family.  And we are going to love as long as we can...any time we have with B  in the womb or in our arms is precious and is a gift from God.  And we feel most comfortable with going about this the natural way, that God will  decide when it is time for B to be with Him.

So, we know WHAT we need to do, now HOW the heck are we going to do this???  I truly don't know, but I think we're off to a good start.  I have joined an online support group for women who have experienced this exact thing and carried the baby as long as they could.  I have talked with my doctor and she supports me 100% and she and her staff will work with us with grace and compassion.  We have talked to a lot of family and friends who support us and love us and realize this is the only way for us to enjoy B as long as we can and then mourn and grieve the way we need to.  We have met with our pastor and will continue to, which will be so helpful for us.  We actually went to church on Sunday, which I contemplated for a long time, but determined it was where I needed to be and it was beautiful.  We will seek out additional grief counseling and talk with someone about how to best handle this with Alex, precious Alex who will be 3 in October and who I love even more now than before, which I didn't think was possible.

So everyone, what I need from you is your prayers that....
......we will get through this in the best way possible and get out of this what we need
...... we will cherish B as long as we can and honor/mourn B properly
...... Mike and I will keep communicating and expressing our feelings no matter what those feelings  are 
       at the time
......we will get the support, love, and help that we so desperately need
......we will be present parents to Alex and enjoy every moment with him
......we will talk with him and deal with him in the best way and that he is even more compassionate and 
      loving because of this experience

We appreciate any and all prayers.  Thank you for listening.  This was good for me to share and vent!  We love you all!!  And Praise God!

Links about anencephaly: