Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gideon's Gift

I had a thought as I was being rolled out of Labor & Delivery on June 2 that hasn't left my mind since that day. Kate (my wonderful nurse & now amazing friend!) had given me a little blue box. This box had some sweet mementos & pamphlets of things that would help me with the grieving process and other things like that. At that moment, in that wheelchair, I thought (out loud actually), "Man this really sucks, leaving here with a box instead of a baby." and it did. It was terrible. But that box & that thought has never left me.

I am a Thirty-One Consultant. I sell awesome bags for an awesome company that I love. They have these little bags called a Littles Carry All Caddy. These little totes are the perfect size for a square box of kleenex. The square tissues fit down in there perfectly actually. And I use them at work also, for my pens & scissors & things like that.

Well... Shortly after I got home from Gideon's birth, I realized that I wanted to do something. I had to do something to help other moms that become "Mommy's to baby's in Heaven." So I came up with this concept entitled, "Gideon's Gift." I want Gideon's story to live on. I want his legacy to make a difference in this world. A difference in the lives of families that have to go through the same thing that we went through. I want Gideon's legacy to give a "Gift" to a hurting mom, dad, & family.

So... What is my vision for "Gideon's Gift?"

My vision is:
-- Littles Carry All Caddy with "Gideons Gift" embroidered on it from Thirty-One
-- a little 'Gideon' Teddy Bear (which, as of right now, is just a small stuffed animal that will fit into the caddy)
-- brochure that has different information (a note from me, pictures of Gideon, a list of things not to forget to do, etc...)
-- a couple bucks for dad (& siblings when applicable) to get candy from vending machines
-- a hat made by Gideon's Mugga (my mom is Mugga & is an AMAZING knitter . She is going to make a special hat for each sweet baby)
-- a gift card to Red Robin (see previous blogs to understand the importance of Red Robin itself)

All these things were important to me during the aftermath of my journey with Gideon for different reasons & I just want to pass them on to another mom that needs some love from someone that's been there.

Jesus loved me enough to see me through the entire journey from January to June. I want to show that love to another mommy, in a way that (I think & I hope) will be meaningful to her. And this is what I feel like has been laid on my heart to facilitate that goal.

But there's one problem.... I do not have the financial means to fully facilitate this dream. I have (as you can see) purchased some of the things I have needed to get started. All of this has been purchased (minus the candy bar) from money that was generously & lovingly donated to Gideon's Gift (and thank you so so much to those of you reading this that HAVE donated. Your generosity means more to me than you know!). Now I am at a stand still & have no where to go from here...

This is where maybe you can come in...

I need help. I need help getting this ball rolling again. I really have only been able to ask for donations at my Thirty-One parties (which is fine, I enjoy telling Gideon's story to people that don't know & giving them the opportunity to give if they want to), but I need to get this thing going more than that. I need some ideas, some thoughts on how to get people involved financially. I know times are tough, and they're tough for me too, but.... just a couple bucks could help tell Gideon's story to a family that desperately needs that sort of encouragement. Something that says, "We know how you feel. We love you."

I already have a separate account set up under my name as "Gideon's Memorial Fund" that I was using when people wanted to donate to us for his final costs. Now that all that is taken care of, that account is strictly used for Gideon's Gift. All money given to me to go toward Gideon's Gift is put in that account & all money is used strictly for Gideon's Gift purposes. This practice is very important to me.

The problem remains... I need help.

Whether that be to help me think of ideas as to where to find more donations...

Whether that be a donation from you personally...

I'm not sure... But I am sure that those 4 gifts in that picture up there are going to stay on my counter & not in the hands of a grieving mommy until I can get everything I need to complete one.

I hope that I'm not being too forward, but this is a big project & a long term one, that I want to do right. I have spoken with my nurse, my photographer, other mothers that have been there & we all seem to be on the same page that this could make an impact. So I'm reaching for the stars here...

If you have any thoughts about how to get my sweet Gideon's project off the ground, please let me know.
If you know of someone that has done something like this before & would be willing to give me some wise advise, please give them my email (
If you would like to make a monetary donation to Gideon's Gift, please, I would be delighted, thrilled & honored for you to become a part of this legacy.

I promise to do my very best to honor the memory of my son, to tell his story in such a way that will show people the peace, comfort & love I felt during that time in my life. I want nothing more than for his legacy to be one of love, hope, and peace in a time that feels nothing like that.

God Bless you all for your love & prayers. Please pray for Gideon's Gift. Pray that it would be a blessing to families that really need it & that it would grow in such a way that would glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

He is the reason I'm the person I am today. He is the reason that Gideon's story has made any impact at all on anyone. He is the reason for it all. Without Him I am nothing. Without Him I am helpless. Without Him nothing is possible.

With Him.... It is all possible.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth.
Phillippians 4:13

Jenny's Contact Information:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gideon's gonna be a big brother!

What a wide range of emotions such an announcement has the potential to produce. I know for the first 10 days of knowing, I was overjoyed. I was an absolute ball of happiness!

A new baby!!! Finally!

From the MOMENT I took that positive test, even since before then, really since I had Gideon, I was praying for our next one. I was praying that our new baby's cells would divide and wrap and form and do everything they needed to do just right. Then when I finally confirmed that there WAS a baby in there forming, my prayers went into overdrive.

I so so badly want this baby to be happy and healthy and whole and be able to come home to us. (I think we have a pretty awesome little family that would LOVE a little person)

But at the same time as all of that, the statistics remain. If you have no history of anencephaly, your chances of a baby like Gideon are 1 in 1,000... If you already have a 'Gideon' of your own, your chances go to 3 in 100.... Pretty lousy...


I keep reminding myself that it's a lot easier to choose one of the 97 happy balls out of the bag versus one of the 3 sad ones. It's like my mantra these days. I just keep reminding myself of that. And not only that, but God is still good people. He still loves me, even though he saw it fit to give me an anencephalic baby. That was obviously the best thing for me at that time, for whatever reason.

And I truly think it was...

Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed my time with Gideon in our home, but Gideon made me appreciate Colt SOOO much more. I love my Coltboy so much. He is the cutest thing ever. He says the funniest things. And that laugh. I could live for days, just listening to him giggle. He's just awesome! :-) And I don't know if I would've thought that before Gideon, but I know that Gideon made me appreciate life SOO much more!

So.... After all that happiness, came yesterday. The day that I knew would come, I just didn't know when....

I went to Gideon's spot for the first time since I took that positive test.... and I cried and cried. I sobbed and begged and pleaded with God to allow me to bring home a happy, healthy, whole baby this time.

I trust God will give me what is right. :-)

And what if anencephaly is on my plate again? Well... As much as I'll hate that.....  I'll pray again, just as Jesus did in the garden: Matthew 26:39 "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

There's nothing I can do about it. I can't change it. If this baby is gonna be anencephalic, he's anencephalic right now. I can't do anything otherwise. I just have to have faith that God knows what I need and He knows what is going to glorify His name to the utmost....

That. And that alone, brings me comfort.

Knowing that He's in control. Knowing that I've done absolutely all I can do. Knowing we are going to love Him regardless....

That's the most amazing comfort there ever was. :-)

Praise Jesus' name for Gideon & Colt & Baby McGinnis #3 :')

And then there were five...

Well.... As we all know, my consistency in my blog is less than stellar.

But.....the McGinnis family does have good news....

We are going from 4 to 5!! :-) And we... Are... STOKED!!!!! :-)

I was the happiest person on the planet at 5am on that Monday morning, Oct 15th. I had had a hunch for a couple days that maybe... Just maybe... There was some major cellular division going on in my lower abdomen. :-)

That Sunday night, I decided that I was going to take a test in the morning. I had taken one the previous Tuesday, Oct 9th and it had been negative. Granted I was 5 days early (and that was even one of those 'early testing thingys').... But I just had zero patience!

The month prior, whilst in the midst of my cycle, I had had a sorta major breakdown. I was sad about Gideon, and sad that everytime I went to the bathroom, it was a constant reminder that I was NOT pregnant... And that was really hard. I knew THE DAY I had Gideon that I wanted to be pregnant again, like, NOW! So, to not be was really hard for me. God was teaching me patience, reliance, and faith. Patience to give my body time to recoup, reliance on Him to do what was right for my family, & faith that He would provide whatever was right.

..... Then came Oct 15...... 

As I said, I had had a hunch that perhaps there was a chance.... I didn't have the 'normal' symptoms, other than just being really tired. But I did notice on September 28th, some weird discoloration on my toilet paper... I thought to myself that Friday, 'I don't ever remember having 'implantation bleeding' with Colt or Gideon, but I am on SERIOUS amounts of folic acid... that makes for a very fertile home for a baby to grow... So it would make sense that some of it may fluff off when implanting.... Hmmm....' *shrug*

And so my suspicion started...

THHEEEEN came Oct 15! LOL

That morning I couldn't sleep. Because remember, I knew on Sunday night that I was going to test in the morning. So it was 5am... WAAAYY before I would've gotten up. WAAAYY before Jarrod got up even. And I'm laying there. Awake. Squirming because I have to pee... I say to myself, 'Just do it Jenny! What's the worst that can happen? It come back negative? Well then, you're in the same place you are now, just go take it. Who cares.' So, I succumbed to the pressure of..... Myself. & got up.

I got the test out, took it, then immediately looked away. I didn't want to get my hopes up too too high. (Pssshhh yeah right! LOL)

Much to my surprise, after a couple minutes (that felt like years) passed, the two faintest lines came on the screen forming that all-too-coveted plus sign.

And there we were.... No longer 4, but now & forever a family of 5.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Being happy

I'm beginning to notice that I only blog when I'm sad. I don't know if I think people only need to hear from me when I need their prayers, or I just get so caught up in my life that I don't blog, or what... But I just feel like I want people to know that I am so happy. I am so blessed. And God is so good!

I have an amazing husband that is better and better to me every day.... A beautiful son who is so sweet and goofy and wonderful.... A family that I love, that loves me, and supports us.... Amazing friends that I can always rely on.... Acquaintances that have become more like friends.... And a beautiful baby boy in Heaven that I am more & more thankful for everyday.

This is just a short list of my blessings. I could go on and on.

Isn't it amazing how good God really is? Yes, I have a baby in Heaven & yes, it was hard. But SOOO much good came from it. I have been so blessed, at least one person (that I know of personally) has gotten saved after hearing Gideon's story, people have been able to see God's love, peace & comfort. And I'm just so thankful for all of that.

I hope that God will look down upon me & know that, although I haven't always succeeded, I've done my very best in caring for Gideon through my pregnancy & caring for his story afterwards. I thank the Lord for giving me such a blessing & praise His name for the work He's done with it.

Long story short.... I'm super happy today. I'm super happy most days. I am so blessed to even be able to feel this way. I know it is not something to take lightly, nor is it something to take for granted.

God is so good!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Numb or Normal?

Shortly after Gideon was born, maybe 2 weeks or so, I found myself feeling "numb."

A wise man told me, "Jenny, it's not 'numb,' it's normal. You have been in the midst of hyper emotions the last four months. Now that it's over, you're just going back to normal. It's not numb, it's normal."

He was right.

But is that always the case?

I have noticed what he said to be true. I don't find myself having 'moments' nearly as often. They're very rare actually.

That's what scares me.

Things have happened.... I visit "Gideon's Spot" at the cemetery... Nothing. No emotion..... I get a surprise gift in the mail (that is beautiful and I love and I wear every waking moment of every day)... but no tears then either. No tears, happy or sad.

Then I read a blog.

A blog about a sweet baby that grows closer and closer to my heart every day and I cry.

I wish I had the emotion of his mommy. I want to feel something for Gideon again. I don't want to be numb anymore.

I've been saying for at least a week, that I need to "have a moment." I've been irritable, I've been non-emotional (which is rare for me). I've been ... just... weird. I need to have a "moment." These "moments" are almost comforting to me. They are home. My emotional home. I know how to feel loved in the midst of the sad moments.

How do I feel loved in the normal moments?

How do I not feel like I'm betraying my beautiful son by not grieving for him?

I don't know.

There's so much about this process that I don't know. Everyone thinks I'm some great pro. NOT! I'm just as dumb as the next guy. It's such a crazy journey to walk. To know when you're doing it right and when you're pushing it aside. I still can't figure that part out.

I hope that I'm not stifling my emotions. I'm trying so hard.

But maybe it's time. Maybe it's time to be happy more than sad. I've really been that from Gideon's birthday. Only this past week has it started scaring me....

How can being happy be scary? I don't know, but it is.

Is this numb or normal?

I don't know...  Maybe a little of both.... But maybe... Just maybe... That's normal too.

Heavenly Father, please let that be normal too.

Heavenly Father, please give Gideon a kiss from me. Please tell Gideon that I loved him. There are times that I just want to talk to him, but I feel like that would dishonor you Lord. You are the only One worthy to be prayed to. But, will you please hug my boy for me. You know my heart Father. You know how much I love You. I thank You so much for the opportunity to carry Your precious baby, Gideon. Thank you for leading me to his beautiful name, Gideon Wayne. I just pray, Lord, that You would love on him for me. I just wanted him so bad. Really bad. I love You so much and I know that You have a plan for all this, and that I had to give my Gideon to You for a reason... Wait... My Gideon... No... Your Gideon... I know the plan for him was to be in Heaven with you all along, I just wanted him too. Please let him know that. And he probably already does, but my human little brain just needs to tell him. I don't know how to think like you God. You are so big. You are so awesome. You are so much more than I will ever be. I just don't know how to think like You..... Please forgive me for where I've fallen short of your plan for Gideon. Please forgive me for not talking about him more. I just feel like some people get uncomfortable hearing about "my dead baby." Help me not to allow this, your master plan, to fall through the cracks. Please allow Gideon's story to shine the way to You, Jesus. To Your saving grace. I love You and I love that You allowed me to carry the most beautiful baby ever to come to Your Heaven. Lead me down the path You had planned for Gideon's story and help me to follow it better.
In Jesus name, the One who died for my sins and for the sins of every person that has ever lived, whether it be for 45 minutes or 145 years, Lord. It is in the name of Jesus that I pray.

Numb or Normal?

I'm gonna go with a little of both for right now. And be thankful in the midst of it all.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Little Self Reflection... and a lot of tears

I did not handle Gideon's situation perfectly. Who could? I have been thinking a lot about people saying things like, "You're so amazing." "You're such an inspiration." etc... And I just want to say... I'm no inspiration. Seriously. It is only God working through me that I am able to make an imprint on anyone's life. I have tried so hard to handle this situation just right, and I did my very best. But I didn't succeed as well as I would've hoped. I hurt people.... I did. And I remember Shiloh and Preacher (like 2 or 3 weeks in a row) saying... "Hurt People, Hurt People" and in those moments, that made me so mad. I was mad because I thought to myself, "I'm a hurt person and I'm not out hurting anyone. I'm not going around throwing my emotional weight around with no thought to anyone else." Boy was I wrong. (Isn't it funny how hindsight is SOOO 20/20??) It is true, I wasn't just throwing my emotional weight around with no thought to anyone else, but I was hurting people. (It can happen you know, you can hurt people even when you are trying so hard not to) ... I thought of an analogy a while ago... Even before Gideon was born...

I am surrounded by a Ring of Fire. This situation is like someone walked around me in a circle, poured gasoline on dry grass, then on January 31 around 3:00pm, threw a match in the path. And WHOOOOSH! Up went the flames. Then as the days and weeks passed, I'm in there being a newbie fire fighter. I had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes I would actively fight, other times I would just sit down and cry and ask God to take it away, other times I would ask people to be there for me. But they weren't allowed to act like there were huge FLAMES in their face. They had to act all normal-like. And everyone tried. Everyone tried so hard to be there for me. They tried so hard to see through the smoke and the flames. They even reached through them sometimes. Everyone tried so hard to help me. So many people cried so many tears for me. So many MORE people prayed so hard for me to be safe inside the fire, to not be just burnt alive. Everyone was doing everything they knew how to do to help me to the best of their own ability.

Some of that, I received well. Some of it, I noticed. But so much more of that I didn't. I couldn't see through the fire and the smoke to see that some of my dearest friends were doing everything they knew how to do to be there for me, just like I asked.

The people that I received well will read this and probably scratch their heads thinking, "Jenny, you did no such thing." But I also think there will be people out there nodding their heads saying, "Yep, that was me. I tried so hard to be there for you, Jenny. I tried so hard to give you everything you needed. I did everything in my power to feel your pain and to comfort you. And what did you do? Reject me. You totally threw my efforts in the trash can. You're exactly right. I reached for you through that hot, burning fire, and you just swatted my hand away. What more could I do?"

And for that, I am truly sorry. I understand that my 'fire' was (and still is sometimes, especially today) very hot. It was (is) a tough situation, and we all did our best. I know that. I'm just sorry that I misinterpreted some of your efforts so badly. Please accept my apology.

In church this morning, Preacher preached on unconditional love. The love that God gives to every single person. The reason he died on the cross for us. And in the Bible, in I Corinthians 13 it says

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth;
7 Beareth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth;

That is how God calls me to love. He wants my love toward other people to suffer long, to be kind, not to envy, not to be puffed up & 'all that,' not to behave ugly-like, not to seek my own, not to be easily provoked, to think no evil, to not rejoice in sin, but to rejoice in truth, to bear all things, to hope in all things, to endure all things, to never fail.

I'm sorry I failed some of you. I'm sorry I swatted at your hand when you reached into my fire out of the kindness of your heart. I'm sorry I didn't recognize your charity when I should've. Please forgive me.

Just a little self-relfection..... and a lot of tears.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our Beautiful Gideon

I know I've said it before, but I can not stress enough how grateful I am to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization and to Lisa Hezlep of Hezlep Photography.She came to the hospital in a moments notice (literally) and took the most beautiful pictures of my sweet Gideon that I could ever have imagined. I just wanted to share with you the pictures that she took, they are wonderful and so is she. We are so blessed to have this gift, to have these memories. Although, we will never have any more pictures of our precious son, we will always have these. We couldn't have done it without you Lisa, truly. I know I've thanked you before (and am probably driving you nuts, lol), but I just can't say enough how fantastic you are.

Enjoy our son & be blessed by his beauty. :-)  

Create a gorgeous, high quality wedding photo album at