Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The funeral for Joshua Lawrence Smoter will be at Christ the Redeemer  (11507 Huffmeister Road Houston, TX 77065) on Wednesday at 10:30am.  Additionally, all are welcome to attend his burial, and to return to the church for a reception.  Everyone who is able, please wear baby blue, and your Joshua bracelet if you have one.  Lastly, Tuesday night there will be a rosary at St. Elizabeth Anne Seton (6646 Addicks Satsuma Road  Houston, TX 77084) at 6 pm.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Joshua's Birth

On Wednesday, March 21st we went in for a NST (non stress test) on Joshua at 7:45am.  Joshua didn't pass the NST so we were told by our Doctor that if we didn't deliver within the day that she didn't think Joshua would survive through the night.  Since our desire was for Joshua to have every chance to be born alive we began to prepare for his delivery.  I stayed hooked up to the heart monitors all day so that they could continue to watch Joshua closely.  It was such a blessing to hear the beautiful sound of his heart beat all day long.  Finally we were told that we were on the schedule for the operating room at 6pm.  It was so hard knowing that the time had come and that I had carried him as long as possible.  When 6pm came around we found out that we had been bumped from the O.R. and then again at 8 we were bumped again.  We were grateful for the extra hours but we were worried because now we would not get to use the anesthesiologist we had requested because he had been in the two surgeries before us.  The reason we had requested him was because he was the only anesthesiologist that would be ok with allowing us to have a priest in the O.R. during delivery.  The nurses gave us this news and said that the anesthesiologist that had been called in was one that none of them knew and they weren't sure if he would allow the priest to be present.  About an hour later Dr. Kim came to prep me for surgery.  He told us that he would welcome a priest and extra prayer in his O.R. and told us that he attended St. Anne's Catholic Church.  We were relieved by this and felt God's hand in picking this doctor.  As I was wheeled into the O.R. it was so different from my previous c-sections.  For one I hadn't spent all day in labor so I was very much aware of everything going on.  Secondly the unknown of what was to come in the next few minutes was terrifying, however I did have a sense of peace knowing God was in control.  As Dr. Kim preformed the spinal on me and began to set everything up I started to hear him praying under his breath.  This was so calming since the room was filled with nurses and doctors talking about our birth plan, counting equipment and prepping me.  As Dr. Adam announced she was starting to cut; Nathan and Fr. Peter were not yet in the room.  I looked at Dr. Kim and he said "I promise they will walk in any second".  About that time they both arrived.  Nathan and I began praying and Dr. Kim loudly prayed right along with us.  He opened my hand and placed the rosary he had in his hand and said "hold this"  He held my right hand and Nathan held my left.  Doctor Adam had a hard time getting into my uterus because my scars had sunken down and she was having to cut through muscle tissue.  During this time I was reminded of my previous c-section and prayed harder that she would not have a problem saving my uterus after Joshua was born.  After what felt like forever she held Joshua up to show me and said "he's just a little munchkin" She said nothing else and not hearing a sound while they cleaned him up I didn't know if he was alive or not.  From looking back at videos he was only away from me for less than 3 minutes but those were the longest minutes of my life.  Nathan had gone over to Joshua but Dr. Kim continued to pray what seemed like 100 Hail Marys with me.  Finally Nathan walked over and handed me Joshua and told me that he was alive.  I think those were the sweetest words I will ever hear.  Dr. Kim let go of my hand and told me to keep his rosary.  Immediately Fr. Peter began the most beautiful Baptism of Joshua.  When he finished Nathan and I just kissed our sweet boy and told him over and over how much we loved him.  Our sweet nurse went to tell our family the news that Joshua was here and was alive.  When she came back she told us that everyone had wanted to know what he weighs and the nurse asked if she could take him from us to weigh him.  Nurse Patty said that my mom insisted that Joshua was 2.5 pounds, to which everyone in the room said that there is no way he weighs that much.  When Patty put Joshua on the scale she couldn't believe it.  Joshua weighed 2.45 pounds which they would round up to be 2.5 pounds.  Patty gave Joshua back to us and we continued to love on him while Dr. Adam finished closing me up.  Dr. Adam told me as she closed me up, "I did a very good job if I do say so myself.  I think you can have 2 more c-sections.  Well at least 2 more."  Those were some of the second sweetest words of the night.  Praise God!  Two of our prayers had been answered.  Joshua was born alive and we would be able to have more children in the future.  A minute later Joshua's Doctor asked if she could check Joshua.  Nathan and I looked at each other in the eyes and both knew that he had gone home to Heaven.  She confirmed what we already knew,  Joshua was born at 10:26 and died at 11:08.  I held Joshua as they wheeled me down the hall to the room they had set up for us and Nathan went to break the news to our family.  Just seconds after they wheeled me in the room they let our families come flooding in.  James was the first one to run into the room.  He immediately climbed up on my bed and asked if he could hold his brother.  To James, Joshua was perfect.  He had been talking for months of how he wanted to get to hold his brother and he was so excited that the time had come to get to hold him.  He wouldn't let anyone help him.  He kissed him, sang to him and told him he loved him.  Everybody wanted to of course hold Joshua which James allowed but then he wanted him right back each time.  I had prayed so hard that James and John Patrick wouldn't be scared and would get to have time with their brother.  James is so smart and he told us that night that he didn't want to talk about the sad part.  The next day we had him tell his brother good-bye and he told us that he knew that Joshua was in Heaven with Jesus.  Nathan and I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the prayers and love we have received.  We desperately miss our Joshua but we are so grateful for the miracle of the 33 weeks, 4 days and 42 minutes we had with him.  We know that Joshua is completely healed in Heaven and better off than we are.  We anxiously await the day that our family is once again complete. 
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." Psalm 34

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The time is here...

The date is set.  One week from today we will have met our little angel.  Today we had our last appointment with Dr. Adam before we will deliver our precious son.  Today when Dr. Adam looked at Joshua’s measurements and my fluid she said, “When would you like to have your baby?  It is time.”  She told us she thinks the time is now and that we need to begin closer monitoring of Joshua until his birth.  So the plan is that I will go in for monitoring at St. Luke’s tomorrow morning, Friday morning and Monday morning.  If they feel good enough to send us home each time then the c-section is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27th at 9:30am.  Tuesday, March 27th. I can’t express how hard it was to choose Joshua’s birthday.   God is in control and we have peace in knowing that His will is perfect, but knowing the date God may call your child home is just unbearable.  Please pray for Joshua.

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
John 12:24

O Blessed Trinity,
We thank you for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II
And for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care,
the glory of the cross of Christ,
and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him.
Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy
And in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has giving us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will,
the graces we implore (the complete healing of Joshua Lawrence),
hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints.  Amen

Blessed Pope John Paul II pray for Joshua
Saint Jude pray for Joshua
Saint Gianna pray for Joshua
Saint Gerard pray for Joshua
Saint Lawrence pray for Joshua
Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for Joshua
Saint Joseph pray for Joshua
Saint Anthony pray for Joshua

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bluebonnet Pictures

Aunt Taryn, Uncle Kenneth and Felicity drove out 290 with us on Sunday to take some pictures with the bluebonnets.  
Please pray for our appointment on Tuesday.  Pray that Joshua has grown and pray that we can keep him inside a little longer.  Thank you for the love and prayers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandma

Last Friday we went to the Rodeo to see Reba to celebrate my mom's birthday.
Jeff and Julie met us in our seats so they missed the family picture.
These are the boys new shirts.  We were all soaked from the long walk in the pouring rain from the parking lot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Yesterday we were scheduled for an appointment to check on Joshua's growth.  Our doctor had warned us that if he had not grown we would need to go to the hospital and deliver him to have a chance of him being born alive.  Thanks be to GOD are little fighter grew 5 ounces in one week!  YEA!  So that means we get to keep him inside of me for at least one more week.  We have our next appointment on Tuesday.  During that appointment Dr. Adam will check his growth and my fluid and will make a decision about when Joshua will be born.  She told us it will most likely be next Friday, March 23rd.  (We are praying that he will grow and she will once again give us more time)  Thank you for all of your prayers.  God is so faithful and our biggest prayer at this point is for time.  Time for Joshua to grow in my womb and time for him to live on this earth.  Please help unite us in this prayer for time.  We are still at a high risk of loosing Joshua at anytime in my womb and Joshua's chances of being a stillborn are extremely high.  We so desperately want time with Joshua.
Before our ultrasound appointment we meet with the hospice team at Texas Children's to finalize Joshua's birth plan.  Words can not express how wonderful Joshua's team is.  There are about 7 women who will be on our team and everyone of them are Christian, loving. wonderful women.  Everyone in the room believes as we do that Joshua is a person and that God is ultimately in control.  It is comforting to know that we are in good hands and we know that they are going to do everything possible to make sure Joshua's birth is a wonderful as possible.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Please pray

Today we had an appointment with Dr. Adam.  I am 31 1/2 weeks pregnant and going into this appointment we had been told to prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news.  Today when they took Joshua's measurements from the ultrasound they found that Joshua had only gained 1 ounce when he should have at least 12 ounces.  This was something that our doctor had warned us about and we thought we had prepared ourselves for this possible news however I don't think you can possibly prepare for the news that your child may not live another day.  Dr. Adam told us that she could admit us today to monitor Joshua and deliver when necessary or we could chance loosing him in my womb and come back on Tuesday and re assess.  We so desperately want our precious boy to be born alive, however she said at 1 lb. 12 oz and with his brain and heart conditions his chances are stacked high against him.  So we decided to give him a week and pray hard for him to continue to grow and live.  On Tuesday when we go back if things are the same or worse we will most likely be admitted to the hospital and no matter what she wants to deliver him on or before March 23.  So now everything is in super speed and we are wishing time could stand still.  We no longer will deliver at Texas Children's because they wont start delivering babies there until March 26th so on Monday we will meet again with the Texas Children's Neonatologist to revise our birth plan and get a tour of St. Luke's.  Nathan and I also are going to meet with funeral homes this week to begin to prepare for the change in plans.  We desperately need your prayers.  Prayers that Joshua continues to fight and that we are blessed by getting to meet him before God takes him home.  We are still praying and asking for prayers of a miracle but we are also preparing for what we are being told.  Please, please, please pray for Joshua, me, Nathan, James and John Patrick.  Nathan and I feel so honored and humbled that God chose us to be Joshua's parents.  We love him so much and are so sad that our time with him might be almost up.  Please pray that he spends the time he has left in my womb kicking and moving up a storm so we can experience as much life as possible.  
(my fluid was very low so they weren't able to print us a good picture of Joshua, but know that he is just as beautiful as ever)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Family Trip

We were so blessed to be sent on a trip this weekend by our friends and family.  We are humbled by the generosity of so many who let us take a family trip with Joshua before his birth.  We can't thank everyone enough.  The memories we made we will cherish forever.  Tonight during family prayers when James was saying prayers of healing for his brother he told us how he was going to hold Joshua and Mommy would hold John Patrick and Daddy can hold Mommy's hand.  Oh how we pray that we will have time with our sweet Joshua and we pray for James.  He still asks where Joshua will sit in the car and he is just so excited to meet his little brother.   Here are some pictures from our special trip.  Again thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing us to have these memories during this time.   Please continue to pray for our precious Joshua.

 This was the boys first trip to the beach.  They had a blast!

 James laid down on the sand and said "look snow angels" we have no idea where he learned this :)
 Out to dinner on Friday night.  The boys loved sitting outside and eating their fried shrimp.

 Leaving the hotel room for Schlitterbahn
 Kisses for Joshua

 It was indoor heated season for Schlitterbahn which was perfect since the weather this weekend was a little chilly.

 Lunch break
 John Patrick fell asleep going around the Lazy River.
 Sweet boys
 At the Aquarium
 Dinner at Rainforest Cafe

 Pancakes for Breakfast
 Swimming at the hotel