Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear Ireland

Dear Ireland,
I love you. I love you sooooo much that I hate to open my eyes because then you're not there. If I close them, I see that special day that we had. You were smiling and talking to me, I swear. Your arms were going and your little toes were curling and it was just a good day for your Daddy and I. This is the time of all your too short 11 days that I will burn into my memory.

I love you. When I can't think of what to say...I just think, I love you. I struggle with what we decided. When they had us come to your bed and kiss you, I swore you were breathing and I really just didn't understand why all of the nurses and doctors weren't doing more for you. Your daddy says that you weren't really breathing and that your little lungs were full of blood. Maybe I should have paid better attention when the doctors were talking because I just don't understand any of this. Honestly, baby, I didn't want to understand. I just saw you looking beautiful and that is all I wanted to know. You are the cutest little girl that I have ever laid my eyes on. I hope you know how very much I wanted you and I feel that I needed you, too. ....I just love you soo much. I'm having a hard time today. I woke up early, around 5 and just started talking to you and seeing you. Around 7, your daddy started to wake up and I opened my eyes and the crying began. I was really sort of mad that the sun came up. That's probably silly but it didn't seem right to me......Ya know, I don't know when I'll ever stop hurting. With every corner, I see you because I just wanted you so very badly. I went to your room yesterday to comfort your brother when we got home. That was hard but I could see how much everyone loved you too. Your daddy made you a beautiful room. He painted it, put a border around, put a stubborn crib together and moved furniture a million times for me. As for your brother, he's dealing with this much better than I thought. He had a hard time yesterday morning when he saw me holding you, his ride home wasn't very good and he's not real thrilled with this new sad mom but he comes to let me know he loves me and loves you, that helps him and me.

Oh Ireland, I love you. Fresh tears keep spilling and I'm sort of sorry because I want to celebrate your too short life too. Your dad and I picked out some pictures just a bit ago to print out and that is what helped me get out of bed. We actually got to smile a few times, too. We so wish we would have taken more pictures. We just had no idea...I had no idea. I truly felt in my heart of hearts that you'd be coming home. I felt we'd have a long venture at the hospital but I really did think you'd come home. You have all of these clothes, things I've made for you, things that others made just for you, this beautiful room...we had this awesome life planned out and you were a huge part of that. I couldn't wait for you to sneak in my make-up, get into my shoes, want to have a tea party, and crawl in my lap to have me read to you. I had this major plot to turn your daddy into a complete sap when it came to you. Funny, you sort of did this one on your own.

I have imagined that you'd show me everything as new again. Colors were already looking a little brighter once you entered this world. Heck, we even had this gorgeous double rainbow one day...I felt certain that this was a sign of good things to come. I had already decided that you'd be a little fairy for halloween. I had you in this pretty green outfit with frilly tutu of a thing and a little head thing going around with little roses weaved in and out. You would of been the prettiest fairy. I understand your granddaddy Doss was calling you appropriate because I could just see you as this feisty, fun little thing.

I got a major cry when I saw that my inbox had over 100 messages. I'd imagine they're all about you and when I feel that I can breathe, I will read them and surely find comfort. I just can't do that yet and I hope you understand that I'm not being selfish,.............maybe a little, I'm just sad. I wanted you here with me.

Yesterday morning, after we saw you in your little bed, your daddy and I went into a room and they brought you to us. I had them wrap you in a little blanket that I had made. I don't know if it was the prettiest one you have but I made it for you and was so glad that it was there for you. You looked so cute and so beautiful and I swear you were smiling and just looking so dang peaceful. I didn't realize it at the time, but a nurse came in to check your heart beat and it was beating so I'd like to think that you knew your daddy and I were there. I hope that you know we were loving you ...I hope loving you out of pain and into what brought you that smile and that peace. I couldn't stop touching you and kissing you and when your daddy held you, he just rocked you. Your brother saw you too. He couldn't talk because you were his little sister and he wanted you too. He only stayed a bit but he was loving you too and I hope you know that. .....I love you. I think we gave you the perfect name. Ireland Rose. ....I think that is the most beautiful name in the world and I'm proud to say that I came up with that and gave it to you. Ireland wasn't just a name for a pretty island. It was the name of a celtic goddess. Her name was Eyre...the goddess of soverignty and if I understand correctly, that means she was a law unto herself....there are probably more in depth meanings but I like this. .....Ireland Rose. You were definitely calling the shots the entire time that we knew you. You showed us miracles daily and proved the doctors wrong more than once. .......That last day when we decided that we wanted you to not suffer and not be in pain and that all options were running out, because baby, I was willing to push your strength and test it but all options pointed to a road that led to an inevitible outcome of "this", so we had to make the decision to choose a life that was not to be had on this earth but elsewhere. It was the hardest thing. .......I love you. ........I really thought you'd prove the docs wrong again, they'd come get us and say "wow, she's doing great".....I really, really thought this. How dumb of your mommy to not listen to those smart doctors. .....They were really the nicest people and I'd like to think they gave it their all to save you. Goodness knows we asked if we made the right decision and all told us that we were brave and did make the right decision. ....I don't think we were brave at all. We didn't want you to hurt anymore but like I said before, I would have pushed you a little further had I thought we could have got through this. You have a stubborn mom and I felt that you had a fighting spirit in you. I want you to know that I thank you, my precious little Ireland. Thank you for my 11 days, thank you for showing me how you could overcome things so will always be loved.....thank you for those times that you looked at us and for that day that you were speaking to us...there were not words heard but baby, I saw that you were talking back and it was a beautiful thing......thank you for holding on so that I could finally hold you in my arms and you were there...I know you were there. .....I just love you. .....I loved your daddy so much and was so glad that you came into this world. You were made through the deepest of loves. I hope you felt that. .....I feel like I'm not saying everything that needs to be said and I'd imagine that I'll talk to you forever...I know that I'll talk to you forever.

I promise to love you always and keep you in my heart with the happiest of memories. Your time was just way too short. I promise to love you daddy and your brother always. You can never be replaced. Pictures will never completely do justice to the beauty of your complete adorable-ness and cute-ness. ....I've always been afraid of death even with religion or anything...I've just been afraid...maybe of what I'd be missing here on earth or maybe even because I wouldn't want others to miss me....right now and forever, I'm not afraid of dying. I'll one day get to be with you again and that will be amazing. Until then, I'll talk to you, love you, see you, remember you, hold you in my heart........I'll love all of our family and not take any of them for granted....I'll do my best to respect the life I have because you showed me how precious each day can be. Thank you Ireland. Ireland Rose. The most beautiful words put together and the loveliest gift I could have ever recieved on this earth. .......I hate ending this post, this letter....but, I'm not ending anything, right? You are with me and I with you. xoxo


  1. Absolutely beautiful. My thoughts & prayers are w/ you all. What a fighter Ireland Rose was...

    Jolene Edgar-mom of a cdh babe

  2. Chanda & Mikey-

    Just know that I am here if you ever need anything. It is just gut wretching that you had to experience this. My heart is broken for you all. Ireland is in great company with Kaden and all the other CDH angels. Again, I am sooo sorry.

  3. That is probably the most beautiful thing I have ever read. The most pure, unconditional love I've ever witnessed. I am crying with you, not the same tears, but with you. There are no words for what you are going through but just know that many have been touched by your story and by Ireland Rose. God bless you, Mike and Tristan. Much love, Stephanie Mallory Wynn

  4. Kasey and all the other angles are taking good care of Ireland and I am sure she is already showing them who is boss. Prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  5. (((HUGS))) Ireland Rose is the most adorable, beautiful little girl!! Your words are beautiful and your precious angel will forever be part of you. My heart is breaking for you and I am very sad, for she did have her mom's fiesty spirit and just looking at her in pictures, you couldn't help but fall in love with her cuteness. I am here for you anytime if you need anything. Ireland is one lucky girl to have you and Mikey as parents, for your love for this beautiful child will live on in you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Thinking of you, Tracy

  6. I don't know how you were able to type out those beautiful words, but I'm glad you did. I went through several tissues reading it. I know that your precious angel is watching over you and she knows how much you and Mike love her. She loved you both so much. I'm so sorry that her time was cut so short. I was so sure she was going to pull through, beat the odds, and come home. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you are feeling and my heart is broken as well. I am praying for you still, that you will someday find peace and be okay with the decision you made. Ireland Rose is with the Lord, she is whole and she is no longer in pain. I love you all. Please call if you need anything...even if it just to have another shoulder to cry on. I'll bring my own tissues =)

  7. What a beautiful letter for a beautiful Angel!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you today and always!
    God Bless,

  8. Saying my prayers and sending love. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl.

    Kisses to you and to sweet Ireland in Heaven.


  9. She is so beautiful Chanda. And I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. Mikey and Tristin too. It just breaks my heart to see the pain and loss your going through. I know you loved her so much and I believe she knew that too. We're constantly thinking of you and send our very deep consolences to you, Mike and Tristin. Some day we'll understand why. God Bless Donna

  10. My heart is breaking for your family. Beautiful Ireland Rose, gone too soon. I hate CDH. My baby grew her wings 16 months ago and I still remember each moment with her. You too will store those memories of Ireland in your heart. I pray that God comforts you during these difficult days. Know that you have a huge support system here for you.

    mom to ^Faith Grace^

  11. Such a beautiful letter for your beautiful daughter. The little ones are never gone, just waiting for us to come and be with them. You and your baby have the purest love always. My heart is with you daily.

  12. I love you Chanda, I am soo sorry. I am so grateful we all got to know Ireland a little because of these posts. I love you for being so open and sharing Ireland and yourself with us. Your husband has been an example for all men. I love him for being all that you needed him to be. I only wish I could do more....

    love, Tree

  13. I am heartbroken. Your letter is beautiful. Ireland Rose is a beautiful name for a beautiful girl. I am so sorry. I am praying for you and your family.

  14. That was the most beautiful thing I've ever read. I am in tears reading it. The love you have for your beautiful Ireland Rose is amazing. You are an incredible person and incredible mother!!!! Your baby girl knows how much you loved her-we all do!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and hoping you can find some comfort and peace. All my love!!

  15. What an amazing letter to your beautiful Ireland Rose. My tears wouldn't stop as I read it. My heart aches for you and your family! You are an incredible woman and mother-Ireland knows how much you love her-anyone who has read your blogs knows that!! I hope that time will at least soften the pain you feel now. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Jamie Phippen

  16. What a beautiful letter to your beautiful daughter. Ireland Rose is a beautiful name. Thank you so much for sharing your most inner feelings w/ us. Praying for you and your family.


  17. This was the most beautiful letter I have ever read.Thank you so much for sharing it with us.I have read it several times and the tears keep rolling.I know there is nothing anyone can say to make it better for you,Mike and Tristan.But do know she is an angel with wings.You said she was an angel from the first day..Well it's really true now,just close your eyes and she'll be there watching over you all.Ireland Rose was a beautiful little girl and she touched me so deeply.Chanda I truly am sorry for your loss.Ireland loves you guys all so much.She held on that long to show you her love.May God Bless you through all of this pain and sorrow.With love from all your friends here in Va....

  18. Absolutely beautiful. What a testiment to your love. Sometimes when I sit at Sylvia's grave, the only words that I can come up with are "I love you" over and over again. I believe her heaven is here on Earth with you wrapping you in her Love. I wish you peace. I am here for you if you ever need anything.
    --Beth Houselog
    *mom to CDH angel Sylvia

  19. I came upon your bog by the way of a CDH baby in NC. I have been following Ireland's story for a while now, and so looked forward to your updates. I was so excited when she was making progress and I was so hopeful for your family that she was going to pull through. I was heart-broken to read that she lost her CDH battle. I do not personally know anyone who has had to go through this horrible roller coaster ride, but I found myself very attached to Ireland and your family. Your baby girl has truly inspired so many; even those of us who can't imagine what you must be going through. She was a beautiful baby, a true fighter, and inspiration to anyone who read her story. My heart goes out to your family, as do my prayers for peace and comfort for you all.

  20. Such beautiful words. My heart breaks for you, and your family. I am so sorry you have to go through this pain. Ireland Rose is such a lovely name, perfect for such a beautiful girl. I pray that you find peace soon, and every night when you close your eyes Ireland Rose comes to you in your happy dreams, and you can see her beauitiful face smiling at you again.

  21. Oh sweet Ireland I can not wait to meet you in heaven. I have been following from a distance and praying for you sweet beautiful baby. I am praying fervently for your sweet mom and dad left behind with your memories. I pray God hold you close and comfort you. He alone holds all things together.

  22. I feel your pain and my heart aches for you. I shed tears for Ireland and Gage yesterday. Ireland is there and she is watching you and is always with you as Gage is with me. Talk to her every day and when something ironic happens, you will know it's Ireland and her strong willed ways. Gage was the same, throwing doctors for a loop constantly and he still gets me sometimes. It's hard and horrible and I know how you feel making the hardest decision of your lives. It's not one a parent ever wants to make, but trust me, it is the hardest and yet the best for our small miracles. You will always question your choice, but know that it was the right decision and the best one for our special children. We know that in our heart of hearts. Just remember, they are in no more pain, no more restraints, machines and surgeries. You will cry more tears than you think possible. You will be sad and angry one moment, no matter how strong your faith and laughing the next thinking of something Ireland did to make you smile one day. The 11 days of her life, every moment will be etched your mind. You may think you will eventually forget, no matter what you do, but you won't trust me. You will be angry and that's normal. You will wonder how a God can do this, but all in all, our babies Chanda are whole again. No pain, no meds, they are in a wonderful, peaceful place and yes, they will be waiting for us and it will be amazing. They have healthy bodies full of life. Love Ireland, include her in your life by living the moments her little body couldn't. Ireland would want that for you and your husband and even her big brother. Surround your home with tons of pictures of her, because your memories and her face will keep you going, I promise. All of my love, thoughts and prayers to you. Please let me know if I can help you in anyway. Gage's "angel-versary" is coming up on Sept 25th and I will be a mess, but it's still his day and you will see, life will be more important and Ireland will be a part of you no matter what. Love to you all.

  23. Our hearts deeply ache for your family. "Most people only dream of Angels... You held one in your arms." Your beautiful Angel Ireland Rose has left footprints on our hearts and will never be forgotten. We were fortunate to of found your blog when our daughter was diagnosed with CDH. You and your family have inspired us and helped us through our CDH journey. We too lost our baby girl a month ago from CDH. It hurts us to know that you are also experiencing the same pain. Our many thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
    ---Brett and Andrea

  24. Your letter is so beautiful, words from your heart. I have a cdh angel too, I am so so sorry for the pain you are feeling right now.
    Thoughts,prayers and love being sent your way
    Much love Debbiexxxxxx
    mum to Angel Joel

  25. What an absolutely beautiful and heartfelt letter to your precious Ireland Rose. My tears were flowing from beginning to end for you. I've been following Ireland's story since you started this blog and have been praying for her. My prayers are now for you and Mike that you find peace and comfort in knowing your sweet Ireland is breathing easy now.

    Much love and prayers,
    Jen Miller

  26. I am a stranger to you and your family, but I have been following Irelands difficult journey from far away, and am so so sorry for your loss and for the pain you are now in. I also lost my son to CDH in July. Your letter prompted me to think of the poem that we had read out at his memorial service; it's been some comfort to me, so hoped you wouldn't mind me sharing it with you.

    I CARRY YOUR HEART WITH ME by ee cummings

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
    i am never without it(anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
    i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)
    i want no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

  27. We discovered your blog awhile ago and have been following your journey. We are inspired by your beautiful daughter and family. We are sending hugs your way.
    Megan, mom to Oliva, another CDH baby

  28. Dear Jesus...bless this mother and her family and give them some peace...
    What a beautiful baby!!!!! Thanks for sharing your heart....
    so so sorry for your loss ((hugs))

  29. i just wrote you a little message on my blog...i hope you get to read it soon....i am so so sorry that you all have to go through this. I just can't stop crying right now.....i hurt for Jackson so bad, but it hurts me to think that yall are going through it now.....i am so sorry....very very sorry......i can't say anything but i'm's not fair

  30. What a beautiful letter to sweet Ireland. I too cried from beginning to end. I pray for peace for you and Mike. I do hope that tonight you find some comfort knowing that she is breathing easy and surrounded by so many CDH angels.

    We are here if you need anything. Your family will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

  31. Mike and Chanda:

    This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read in my life. Your family is in my thoughts and I am at your service should you need anything at any time.

  32. I am still thinking of you guys and praying for you to find peace. We are here if you need anything...

  33. What is so amazing about your letter is that it's a testament to blind faith, pure love, and a beautiful place where our babies are laughing and playing and being the babies we always wished them to be.

    They're OK, I promise.

  34. What a beautiful tribute you have written for Ireland Rose. I know she is looking down from Heaven and smiling upon you and the whole family, Chanda. All my love & prayers are with you all, Toni Schwark

  35. What an absolutely beautiful letter to your beautiful angel. I will pray that God gives you and your family courage and strength in the days ahead.


  36. Hello, its Shane Nelson, Elizabeth' husband.

    Its been a while since I have had a copious amount of time to be on the net, let alone look at your blog and your beautiful daughter. My wife told me about your siutation.

    Let me start by saying I had a hard time seeing your letter to your beautiful daughter through my tears. There is not a day that goes by we do not thank God for our miracle.

    I am sorry for your loss. Beautiful Ireland Rose......what a name!!! in Gods arms, looking down on us.

    Thank you for sharing your letter....your was awesome.

    If there is anything you need.....anything we can do for you.......please let us know....we would give you the shirt off of our backs.

    All our love....Shane, Liz, and Nayeli Nelson

  37. I'm still praying for you both.....Our hurt is all to real, and i pray that you both will be ok....we will never be the same again, and i don't think we'll ever be good again, but i do pray that you both will be the way my 4 year old son came up to me and asked me if baby Ireland was getting better....i never remember even speaking her name to him! I might have talked about her to Rob but never to him....I told him that she was just to sick, just like Jackson and God has her now.Ty said "mommy, Ireland is alive in heaven with God, and she's with our baby Jackson." I was so touched by him thinking of her and having those feelings at such a young age. I had to leave the room and just cry......He also asked me if God let Jackson and Ireland play together....I said "of course." well i love yall and again i am so sorry.

  38. She was a lovely looking little girl and am so sorry for your loss.

  39. kenfhansen@comcast.netSeptember 8, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    Chanda and Mike--My heart felt-deepest feelings to the two of you. What a wonderfull gift you had even though physically-she was here but for a brief time. she wilways be with you in your mind and in your hearts. What you wrote is absolutely one of th emost touching things I have ever read. Bless you both. Ken Hansen

  40. Chanda and Mike

    I was so sorry to hear about baby Ireland. It is so unfair that this has happened, I wish I could tell you it gets easier...I am really hoping it does. Sometimes I still can't believe Evie is gone.
    I cannot express how sad I was to hear this horrible condition had taken another baby, I really believed Ireland was going to make it.
    I have stopped updating my blog but if you want to keep in touch my email is

    Lots of love
    Kerri (Evie Burnsides mummy) xoxoxox

  41. I don't even know this sweet family and am so moved by your courage, strength, and the love your parents have for you. Little Ireland Rose I miss you too and can't wait to meet you in heaven.