Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Savannah's Story - part 4 (the end for now)

To start with part one of Savannah's Story, go here:

page 23
Certificate from the hospital:
In Memory of Savannah Rose Kaether
the 28th day of February, 2009
at 12:40 o'clock pm.
Our wonderful nurse, Mary signed it - and Mike signed as the "attending physician"
(after all, he did "catch" LOL)

My favorite picture of Savannah :) She was so beautiful!

page 24
In faith that she did hear and believe God's Word, we baptized Savannah and committed her spirit to God's loving care.

Savannah Rose Kaether - I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The hospital gave us a certificate of blessing. It says: Almighty and eternal God, we commend this child to Your loving care. Bless the parents and comfort them now and always. Amen

page 25
God kept showing us His hand and His love in all the little details along the way...

~ Mike had to work and stay overnight in Oshkosh Thursday night the 26th. So when we had the choice as to whether to go to a hospital 30 minutes south or to one 40 minutes north-east, the one 40 minutes north-east was closer in Mike's direction. That turned out to be the hospital where Chris (my midwife) knew the nursing staff and knew it would be a good place, a safe place.

~ We had just decided to cancel our health insurance because of UW Health's plans to start a new clinic offering late term abortions. (Our Unity health insurance is owned by UW Health.) Because of the timing of when we put in our request, we still had health insurance through the end of February. Savannah Rose was born February 28th.

~ Over and over in the last weeks of my pregnancy, the date February 25th kept coming up. My best friend mentioned that her birthday was February 25th. I had thought at that point how neat it would be if my baby was born on her birthday, especially if it turned out to be a girl because her oldest daughter was named Anna Rose and I had thought I would call Savannah 'AnnaRose for short. Soon after that, Mike mentioned that his brother, Bob's birthday was February 25th. A few days later I was talking to my sister-in-law, Rachael, and she suggested that her birthday would be a good day to have our baby. Her birthday was February 25th. When talking to one of my Hearthkeeper friends, she suggested that I might not have that long to wait. Her mother's due date had been March 1st, just like mine, but she had been born February 25th.

February 25th was the last day I know I felt my baby move.

~ Savannah Rose kept turning breech and sideways during the last weeks. When we went into the hospital, we were pretty sure she was still breech (we were thankfully wrong) and so I expected I'd need a c-section. I "just happened" to not eat breakfast that day. I simply hadn't been hungry. So there was no concern about the possibility of surgery.

~ God led us in miraculous ways to buy this house and land this year. I have never seen Him move and open doors so quickly and so wide. Because He did, we have a place that is our own, where we can bury Savannah on our own land.

~ In one of the dreams I had while I was pregnant, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My mom was there. In the dream, there was a chart with all of the children's names, birth dates, weights, etc. Down the lefthand side, they were labled with letters rather than numbers, A,B,C, etc. I noticed when we wrote down Savannah Rose's name that the letter in front of her name was an S. I was confused as half-awake, I told Mike my dream and said, it must not be *this* baby. It must be in the future. But S was quite a ways off! Could I really even have that many children? It wasn't until the next day, when I thought back on the dream and counted out what number corresponded with the letter S, that I realized why my mom was in the dream. It was *her* chart. S is the 19th letter of the alphabet. And Savannah would have been my mom's 19th grandchild. We were so sure that the baby was going to be Sean Wilmer. Even the ultrasound tech thought she saw a boy! But God knew and showed me ahead of time that our baby was a girl - our Savannah Rose!

page 26
MORE of God's hand!

~ Saturday, a week before Savannah was born, I sat down at the piano and God gave me a song. I called Cheri and she helped me work out the first verse to go with the chorus I’d already written. It was so much fun collaborating. When I wrote about God’s comfort, I thought it was for things like plumbing problems, the washing machine dying, the oven dying, financial worries, etc. I had no idea that God had a much deeper meaning in mind and that that song would sustain me through labor and birth and in the days to come.

~ The hospital experience was so much better than any hospital experience in my lifetime. During my other hospital births, I found myself surrounded by people who had no place for God. *They* had to be in control, to be able to cover themselves in this day of litigation. Labor had to follow a normal timeline or there would be extreme pressure to augment my labor with medications to hurry things up. This time was incredibly different. Every single one of the nursing staff shared our faith and talked openly about God. It really was a safe place.

~ The only exception to the good hospital experience was the doctor himself. He was very annoying, making comments about how we had good “coping mechanisms”, suggesting that if we were to ever get pregnant again that we could have testing done early enough to have “options”. And that we knew what “he would do” but he felt that we were “mature enough to make our own decisions about that.” He just didn’t get it. But God was kind and kept him *out* almost completely. We saw him at the very beginning for a bit, he stopped in for just a moment in the middle, and then he came back for just a short time after everything was all over. He was not there when Savannah was born, praise the Lord. It was just Mike and me and the nurse, Pam. And *Mike* was the one who delivered Savannah Rose!

~ On Sunday morning, the day after Savannah’s birth, our home church service was absolutely incredible. Every single verse was perfectly suited and full of comfort and the reminder that God was in control and loved us so much!

~ My friend Tamara suggested that I should go back and read my One Year Bible for the day that Savannah was born. God knows that the most important comfort I need in this time is the absolute knowledge that my little one is in heaven. The New Testament reading included one of the verses that was so dear to me, proving that little ones *can* have saving faith. Mark 9:42 “And if anyone causes one of these little one who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” These Little Ones Who BELIEVE In Me.. And since babies in utero can hear, and the Bible says that “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”, and I know that Savannah heard God’s Word - I have faith that Savannah did have saving faith in her Lord, Jesus Christ and I WILL see her in heaven again one day.

page 27
One of my favorite pictures - Savannah's tiny little hand. So incredibly precious!

I printed out the lyrics of Mercy Me's song, Bring the Rain

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

page 28
I used a piece of black construction paper for the background and included a photo that the nurse took of Mike, me, and Savannah. Mike put a charcoal drawing effect on it, which I love.
I also took a picture of candles lit in a dark room.

You know, this road is one that I had thought about and never thought I'd be able to walk. Yet, God has me here and by His grace I'm walking. And it's not the place of utter darkness that I'd imagined. It's more like the darkness of a deep forest where the light comes filtering in every once in a while, illuminating one little patch of incredible beauty.

I’ve always believed that the best way to evangelize is to simply live our faith out loud in front of the people around us, until one day, they come to a point where they say, “I want what you have” and then we are ready with an answer for the hope that we have. I think maybe that’s why God brings times of deepest darkness into our lives - so that the light that is in us will shine all the more brightly. No one is quick to notice when a candle is lit in the daytime, but when it shines out in the night, they can’t help but notice.

page 29
Another beautiful picture of the three of us together.
Savannah's obituary which was in the paper.

Savannah Rose Kaether
Savannah Rose Kaether, beloved daughter of Mike and Heidi Kaether, was born still at 12:40 pm on Saturday, February 28, 2009 at Berlin Memorial Hospital in Berlin, Wisconsin.
Memorial services will be held on (Saturday, March 7, 2009) at the Kaether’s home in Westfield, Wisconsin. A visitation / open house will be held from (1-3 p.m.) with a private graveside service for the immediate family to follow at (4 p.m.) with Rev. Christopher Cook officiating. The Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home in Westfield is assisting the family.
Savannah is loved and missed by her parents; Mike and Heidi, her brothers and sisters; Michael, Terran, Jeremiah, Elisabeth, Julihannah, Abigail, Amanda, and Emilie, Grandparents; Lynn and Becky Gartman, Tacoma, WA and Karen and Kasey Fiske, Sauk City, WI, Great Grandparents; Bob Johnson, (?), and Ruth Rosenow, Puyallup, WA, as well as many aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, cousins, and many many friends.
We are blessed to know that Savannah’s life and death have touched hundreds and thousands of people all over the world and drawn precious hearts to the Lord. We live in the hope that we will meet again one day at Jesus feet. Psalm 22:10 “From my mother’s womb, You have been my God.”

page 30 (last page - although I may add more later)

picture of Savannah's empty bed with the gorgeous Project Linus quilt we were given at the hospital.

And although we miss Savannah ...

We know that she is in heaven

Standing in the light of God's glory

Waiting for us to come home...

(The picture is yet another story. Mike and I found it at the furniture store where we went to buy a cedar chest to keep baby things in. I had imagined Savannah Rose with light brown hair, even before she was born, and the picture just seemed so exactly *her*, that we bought it. It's hanging in our upstairs hallway. Then, talk about neat! - Mike and his brother, Bob re-created the heart shaped wreath that is hanging on the door in that picture for us to hang on our door!)

So - that's Savannah's story - although there will surely be more to write along the way as God continues to lead us along the path that He has laid out for us...


  1. God is good Always.


  2. Weeping tears of joy, with "I Belong" playing in the background. God loves your family with an everlasting love.

    Lydia in AL

  3. what a treasure to read Savannah Rose's story! Thank you for sharing her with us! It is a tremendous blessing to read about God's hand at work in your midst during this most difficult of times.


  4. Bless you all. You liitle one is safe with her Heavenly Father and He will care for you and your family as you grieve.

    Blessings Gail

  5. Dearest Heidi, thank you so much for sharing Savannah Rose's story. You're a blessing. I was thinking that Savanna Rose has touched so many people from all around the world showing a truly miracle from our Father ...

  6. Heidi,
    What a beautiful, beautiful tribute and loving memories of Savannah Rose. May God continue to fill your heart and the hearts of all your family members with joy, peace, comfort, grace and so much more at this time and in the days ahead. You have such a warm and endearing heart and have touched me deeply.


  7. Your story has really touched my heart. My two daughters and I pray each and every day for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss here on earth for your little Savannah Rose. You are so right, though- she is with Jesus, safe and loved, and one day you will see her again. I can see the Lord working mightily in your life- and you have been such an encouragement to me.
    May the Lord continue to bless you with peace and comfort and may you feel His embrace moment by moment.

  8. She is just so beautiful Heidi. You are in my prayers every night. Thank-you for your comment on my blog, it means so much to me that even though you are going through one of the most traumatic things possible you still reached out to me. Praying that God's peace continues to live in you.

  9. I have come and visited and then gone away in tears with the intent to return again with a comment. I have repeated this many times. IN between my visits I pray for you . . .

    Your words of great beauty and joy despite the loss mirror so much of what I felt when we laid our dear precious Andrew (age 16) to rest nearly five years ago. To find your kindred joy and sorrow overwhelmed me . . . and yet I thank you so for sharing your thoughts and the wisdom of insight gained on this journey. I love you analogy of walking through a darkened woods with shafts of light breaking forth unexpectedly. I know this path . . . I know those shafts of pure light and joy.

    Knowing Jesus means knowing peace that surpasses all understanding. I know of what you speak and I thank you for sharing.

    Peace be with you, my sweet friend. My prayers continue.

  10. I just found out...just read your entire blog and my heart is hurting for you. Yes, the miles between us have separated us in more ways than one, but you are still considered a dear friend and sister in Christ. I'm recalling all our conversations concerning my own loss and the fact that trusting God with the size of your family meant one thing to you (how many will God give us?) and a whole other thing to me (will God even give us one?). It is neat how God allowed us to walk with one another for a season in order to understand both sides of the issue. Please know that our entire family is grieving with you and are holding you up in prayer. Have you heard the song by Kristin Getty called (I think) "May This Journey Bring a Blessing"? If I knew the words of the song I would pray them all for you. Check it out if you get the chance.
    Love in Jesus' name, Patti

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