The Lord gave and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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Updates

Check here for updates about us and how we are doing on this journey as time passes since we lost our baby girl...  

January 26, 2010

Dear Friends,

The past year has flown by and our boys have grown and are so precious.  We also moved to Texas and Catherine finished up four years serving Loving Choices.  Our family is doing well.  Thanks for checking in on us!   We are also hoping to have another baby, but like the our other children, pregnancy is hard to achieve.   God still has His own timing.  Like we'd expect anything else!

It is really strange to be in out-of-state on Abigail's birthday.  A dear friend of ours, the one who took her pictures, will do us the honor of putting flowers on her grave this year for us since we aren't there to do it ourselves.

Five years and there is still pain and loss, though it looks so different than it did.   We suppose it never really goes away, but time has given way to joy and a full life.

Catherine has recently had the opportunity to speak about Abigail and how God has worked in our lives and in her work.  You can listen to her speech by clicking HERE.

Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

 January 4, 2009

Dear Friends,

It has been forever since I've updated this site!  I am so sorry!   I have been posting pictures and updates on Facebook, so if you want to see the most recent updates, just find us on Facebook. 

Our boys are growing and are healthy!  Eric turned 1 and Ethan is closing in on 3.  So grown up!

Here are some family pictures:

 

 

 



 

 

Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

April 12, 2008

Dear Friends,

Ethan turned two today! Two! We had an Elmo themed birthday party with a few friends and Dan's parents. Eric watched most of the event from his favorite spot in his jumping swing.

Can't believe they are getting so big!





Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

March, 2008

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! Here are some "Love Thy Brother" pictures from Easter Sunday.





Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

January 28, 2008

Dear Friends,

Abby would have been three today. We celebrated her by all going out to breakfast - yes, all of us, and then we went to put flowers by her grave.

Ethan can talk now and he said, "Bye-bye, Abby. Bye-bye." It brought tears to our eyes.

Eric was just wondering why we were out in the cold in the first place.

We love Abby's brothers and thank the Lord Almighty for showing us His goodness in their little lives.









Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

December 17, 2007

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! We are all growing up and doing well!












Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

October 8, 2007

Dear Friends,

ANNOUNCING THE BIRTH OF ERIC DAVID ARNSPERGER
October 1, 2007 8:59 AM CST 7 lbs 1 oz 20 in


Eric


Here is the happy brother Ethan...


Eric and Mom...


Going home in my carseat...


And my happy parents!!


Love,
Dan, Catherine, Ethan & Eric

September 28, 2007

Dear Friends,

OK. We have a date! October 1st! The doctor plans to deliver the baby on Monday morning. Baby looks good, but Catherine is ready to have this baby now. Look here for more info!

Love,

Dan, Catherine & Ethan

June 7, 2007

Dear Friends,

Just kidding!!!!! Our little one has proven the DNA test was inaccurate! He is a BOY! We went in for our 20 week ultrasound and discovered at first glance that this child is certainly a boy. Wow, we laughed and laughed! Good thing we hadn't bought anything pink. Anyway, we get our money back from the DNA testing company (good thing). Ethan will have a brother now and as far as we expect, it is going to be crazy for a few years! The baby looks very healthy right now and that gives us great peace.

We went to Mexico last month for a little get away. That was really nice to be child-free for a few days and read books uninterrupted.

Not much else to report! Here is a recent picture of Ethan below...




Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

March 29, 2007

Dear Friends,

Catherine just got back from Little Rock, Arkansas where she was able to witness the signing of SB398 into law by the governor. This bill will allow parents of stillborn children to receive a birth certificate to formally acknowledge their child. Catherine's best friend from college, Kara, flew in from Cleveland for the day because Dan couldn't make it. They stayed with Catherine's grandparents, who had lots of fun with Ethan (who had no choice but to tag along on the trip).

Arkansas was the 17th state to pass such legislation. However, Arkansas is the only state to pass this legislation unanimously and pass it on the first try. We can now apply for a "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" for Abigail. It is so much better than the fetal demise certificate that we received from the state. Now there is something for the baby book... AND Catherine was given one of the pens the governor used to sign the bill! (How do you put that in the baby book??)

But, on another note, this birth certificate validates that Abigail was alive for 9 months in the womb and that Catherine legitimately gave birth to her on January 28th, 2005. That formal validation from the state means so much to us as parents. Many thanks to all involved in passing the law!

Want more information on this kind of legislation? Go to the www.missingangelsbill.org .


Granddaddy, Sen. Pritchard, Sen. Salmon (bill sponsor), & Catherine


Arkansas Gov. Beebe & Catherine


Abigail's name on a formal display in the Capitol Rotunda


Granddaddy by the formal display of babies' names


Kara (most adventuresome friend in the world) & Catherine
on the Arkansas Capitol steps

Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

March 22, 2007

Dear Friends,

Hi! So sorry for the delay in updates! We have been so busy!!! There is so much to tell you...

First of all... We are unexpectedly expecting another child! A wonderful surprise! After some DNA testing, we believe this baby is a girl! Another girl! Yea! She is due on October 27, 2007, but we will definitely have her in late September. Catherine's pregnancies are too high-risk to carry to full-term. Everything looks like it should and we have a heartbeat! Catherine feels better than she did with the other two pregnancies with only mild complaints of nausea and tiredness. We'll keep you updated with more on this baby girl. Pray that God lets us hold her in September, born healthy and alive.

The next update is Abigail's story helped push through a bill in the Arkansas government that will give all parents of stillborn children a birth certificate! We will receive a "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth" to honor Abigail. 17 states have passed such laws, but Arkansas was the only state that passed it unopposed. We have been invited to the signing at the governor's office next week on March 27th. It looks like Catherine will be able to attend. What an honor for our sweet Abigail!

Ethan is growing and is a happy baby. He is on the verge of walking and it is fun to watch him try. Clapping is his latest trick and we are, of course, enamored. He turns one in a few weeks. We'll be sure to post some pictures of the big day.

Dan's new company is going well. God is blessing it and they are profitable. The best part is that Dan is happy and doesn't even notice the day passing when he is at work. The risk of starting a new company is paying off.

Catherine's work at Loving Choices is wonderful. She is able to work mostly from home since she has such a competent staff. An anonymous benefactor has agreed to pay for the completion of a brand new center near the local university. Wow! It is neat to see how little Abigail's life started a chain reaction that turned into a vision for Loving Choices for her mother that is turning into something tangible like a brand new center! It is so exciting (but don't get us wrong...it is hard work).

Again, sorry for the delay in updates!






Love,
Dan, Catherine, & Ethan

January 28, 2007

Dear Friends,

Well, two years ago today we were ready to have a baby girl. Little did we know the future that would unfold for us would be so different that what we expected. As we celebrate Abigail's second birthday...two years without her on earth, two years knowing she is with Jesus, we feel the bittersweet. We miss her. She was beautiful. We can't wait to meet her again in heaven. We have that Hope and the Peace that Passes All Understanding. Praise God that He didn't abandon us. Praise God that we have our beautiful son, Ethan, to hug and enjoy. God is good. Blessed be His name.

Love,
Dan, Catherine, & Ethan

December 20, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!




Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

November 24, 2006

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

November 16, 2006

Dear Friends,

We couldn't be having more fun with Ethan. He is now able to sit up, take a few steps while we hold his hands, eat baby food, roll over, and we are thrilled with his development!

Dan started a new company with a few folks from his last company. It is called The Harvest Group. That will keep us here in Arkansas for a while.

Catherine just completed a fundraising banquet for Loving Choices. With about 500 in attendance and $85,000 raised AND the donation of a $100,000 piece of property for LC as a result, it was a great success. God is so faithful and is blessing Loving Choices in so many ways. This is just another impact our little Abigail had on this world.

We are looking forward to going to St. Louis to see Catherine's family for Ethan's first Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for...and this year we feel very full. Our cup overflows.


Dressed up in my new outfit from Grandmother


Halloween as a Mizzou Tiger

Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

September 9, 2006

Dear Friends,

So sorry about the delay in posting. We have been busy! We went to Florida with Ethan and Dan's parents. It was a wonderful get-away.

Ethan is now 13 1/2 lbs and 24" long. He is very interactive and we are enjoying his new phases. We've noticed that he is very extroverted and he LOVES all people (something like his daddy).

Thanks for visiting us!









Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

July 26, 2006

Dear Friends,

Here are some more pictures of our 12 lb. wonder. He is finally sleeping through the night (10 pm - 6 am) and we, his parents, are appreciative of that!




Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

June 27, 2006

Dear Friends,

Parenting Ethan is so much fun. He was worth all the prayers, worries, hopes, and ups and downs of our pregnancy with him. He is growing and doing well at 11 weeks old. He is about 11 pounds, about twice his birth weight. He has just started smiling at us, which is so rewarding! Still not sleeping through the night, but we have a system down where Catherine takes the middle of the night shift and Dan takes the early morning shift.

Catherine is working full time at Loving Choices, but is able to do it from home or she can take Ethan with her. Dan is working hard at his job as well and has started traveling again.

Thank you for your prayers! We are really enjoying this time. It is wonderful to feel joy again and to feel and see the goodness of the Lord.



Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

May 20, 2006

Dear Friends,

Ethan is 7 lbs now! Such a big boy! Here are our latest pictures... They were taken by our friend, Kim, who took all of Abigail's pictures.









Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

May 7, 2006

Dear Friends,

We are adjusting to parenthood! Ethan is a great sleeper and eater. He is getting bigger and has now moved into newborn diapers from preemie diapers. We don't have a scale, but we think he is a little over 6 pounds. He is a lot of fun (and a lot of work) and we feel very blessed.



Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

April 16, 2006

Dear Friends,

ANNOUNCING THE BIRTH OF ETHAN DANIEL ARNSPERGER
April 12, 2006 9:36 AM CST 5 lbs 12 oz 19 1/4 in


Ethan has arrived! He was born early due to some warning signs that our very watchful doctor observed and he is perfect! We are thrilled beyond belief. All four grandparents were able to be there in time for his birth and was a wonderful comfort to have them there.

Love,
Dan, Catherine & Ethan

Late March, 2006

Dear Friends,

OK, we are 34 weeks! 4 more weeks to go! Looks like our delivery date will be on April 25th. He will be born via c-section sometime early in the morning. Everything is looking good, so we'll stay on this path.

Dan's parents visited this weekend and we got the nursery all set up. It was hard to go through Abigail's things, but the nursery is in a different room and really looks different from Abigail's nursery.

Pray for us! This seems like it is going to be the longest 4 weeks of our lives. Catherine is increasingly exhausted and plagued with anxiety. The doctor say both are normal for our situation. Pray for strength, the ability to trust the Lord and His perfect will, and for a safe and healthy baby boy!



Love,
Dan & Catherine

Early March, 2006

Dear Friends,

We are 30 weeks! Only eight more weeks to go if all goes well! We can't wait to meet Abigail's brother! Oh, pray for us! We are so nervous. He is passing his weekly assessment tests with flying colors and has given us no reason for worry, but we are still struggling with anxiety. We know that God tells us not to worry, but it is hard not to do so! Faith sometimes is an hourly choice to follow and trust Him.

We had another 3D ultrasound. Here are some pictures of him at 29 weeks.



Love,
Dan & Catherine

February, 2006

Dear Friends,

We are back from our cruise to celebrate Abigail's birthday! We had a wonderful time. We were sad for sure, but the beautiful surroundings were really distracting and gave us lots of hope. (Jesus + sunshine + swimming in warm water + prayers of friends = great grief healing.)

We bought a beautiful bouquet of flowers on her birthday and then threw them overboard at the end of the trip. Our unborn son seemed to enjoy himself as well...very active and giving mommy no problems! Just a few short months until we meet him!

Thank you for your prayers and support. We could tell that they helped immensely!






Love,
Dan & Catherine

January 21, 2006

Dear Friends,

Seven days and counting. Abigail's birthday is a week from today. It is a very hard anniversary. Please pray for us. The cruise will help, we know, at keeping our minds on the present and on counting our blessings. However, it is hard not to think about where we were this date last year and how we were on the top of the world, filled with excitement and anticiaption. It is a pretty brutal fall that we took. Pray that we are reminded fully how God has a perfect plan and that we are dearly loved.

(Oh, and please pray that we sit by kind and wonderful...and interesting...people on the cruise at the dinner table and that they will be yet another extension of God's grace toward us in our grief.)

On a positive note, we had a 3D ultrasound taken of our son yesterday. We thought we'd show you some pictures. We had a hard time getting him to pose perfectly, especially since he is so active (and has been for weeks now). He is certainly different than his sister was!



We love you all. Thank you for your prayers and support,
Dan & Catherine

January 5, 2006

Dear Friends,

We made it through Christmas and the New Year's celebrations! We visited Elizabeth, Catherine's sister, and her family in San Antonio, Texas for Christmas. It was very relaxing and we had fun being with family. However it was about 80 degrees! No "white Christmas" for us.

Our son is doing just fine. We had an ultrasound earlier this week, at 22 weeks, and he is measuring about 5 days ahead of schedule. This is very encouraging because Catherine's disorder causes the baby to be growth restricted. Now we have some level of confidence that the shots she is taking twice a day are making a difference.

We have now been approved by our doctor to go ahead with plans to go on a cruise we want to take for Abigail's birthday later this month. We are going south, to warmer weather, for a change of scenery on this sad anniversary. The cruise gives us something to look forward to instead of dreading her birthday.

We have much to reflect on in this past year. It is very evident that God is close to the broken-hearted. His presence has been so powerful in our lives this past year. And as we reflect on what John writes about our Savior's response to the question (roughly translated), "Why do bad things happen?" we realize that it is just as He says! He says it is "so the work of God may be displayed in [our] lives." There is something eternally sobering to read that, digest that, and to understand what that means. We are a part of the Holy One's plan and it is a glorious plan. When we step back and realize what that means, the smallness of our lives becomes evident and there is great joy in melding with the Savior and His plan.

We look forward to a new year of great joy, even though we are scared of loss much of the time. And, as for living in the moment, we are looking forward to the cruise! More later on that!

Love,
Dan & Catherine

December, 2005

Dear Friends,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Happy New Year! It has been wonderful to think about how Mary brought forth the King of Kings on this day as Catherine is now about 20 weeks pregnant with our son. We feel so much closer to the Christmas story knowing what it means to carry a child, a gift from God.

Our grief has cropped up on us in an intense way as we realize that our daughter's first Christmas won't be with us. It is very, very hard. However, we do take great comfort in the fact that she is with the King of Kings on His birthday. We bet there is quite a party for Him in heaven! Talk about a great celebration!

We are looking forward to the New Year, craving your prayers that our son is born healthy. He is very, very active. Catherine has been feeling his activity since 17 weeks where she didn't feel Abigail until 21 weeks. Boys are different, they say!

Merry Christmas to you and great blessings to you and your family.

Love,
Dan & Catherine

November, 2005

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!! Though it has been a very difficult year, we have much to be thankful for...including our little son who is now 16 weeks along! All of the doctors say that he (who is now confirmed to be a "he") is well and growing on schedule. We couldn't be more thrilled. Five more months! Pray that it goes fast for us!

Lamentations 3:31-32 says, "For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion according to the greatness of His unfailing love."

Thanking Him,
Dan & Catherine

October, 2005

Dear Friends,

Our baby is now about 10 weeks old and we know the gender! We had a prenatal gender test and discovered it is a boy! Dan is so excited and Catherine is shocked. But we are both looking forward to a healthy baby and a son is just fine with us. The doctor says he is "growing like gangbusters" and that he has a very strong heartbeat for his age. We have, however, had some scares with a few days of bed rest thrown in. But this next six months will be a roller-coaster and we are just praying for his safe arrival.

Thank you for your friendship!

Love,
Dan & Catherine


September, 2005

Dear Friends,

We have exicting news! Abigail Grace, who is celebrating with Jesus, is now a sister! We are about 6 weeks pregnant with our second child. Pray for us because this is a very high risk pregnancy. Catherine is on a multitude of drugs including twice daily shots of heparin, a blood thinner. (She is getting very adept with the needle!) The doctor is optomistic as the baby is already measuring on time and has a lovely flutter of a heartbeat.

Though pregnancy is balm to our wound of loss, this child will not replace our beautiful Abigail. But we welcome our new child with open and eager arms in the hopes that the Lord will let he or she be born alive and live 90 years!

It says in Lamentations 3:31-32 "For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion according to the greatness of His unfailing love." We claim that in the life of our new child.

Other fun news...Catherine accepted the job as Executive Director of Loving Choices (
www.lovingchoices.org ), the charity we selected to receive our living memorial for Abigail. It is so amazing how God works!



Craving your prayers for our baby's health,
Dan & Catherine

July, 2005

Dear Friends,

Thanks to an incredible gift from a new friend, Abigail now has a vase on her grave. Initially we didn't think we wanted one, but now we realize they are for the living! We want to leave flowers there! We will also be adding a ceramic picture on her site so that everyone will see what a beautiful girl she was on this earth. Now when that is in and the sod is laid, everything will be complete. That is somehow very comforting.

Dan is working hard and is doing well at work. Catherine is enjoying her new lifestyle, not having to work currently. Her new job opportunity is taking time and that is perfect as far as we are concerned.

Please, please pray for us as we have re-entered the world of trying to conceive. It is a world filled with ups and downs and renewed grief when there is no pregnancy this month. Please pray that God's timing is quick and, in the meantime, that we can be content with His perfect plan.

Thank you to our family, close friends, and community for caring for us. Thank you, also, to our sweet counselor Carrie Oliver who has agreed to continue to see us despite her new diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. (You can visit her website at: www.carrieshealth.com .)

Much love,
Dan & Catherine

June, 2005

Dear Friends,

We are doing even better since our last update in April. Catherine is pursuing a new job opportunity and Dan is happily busy at work. We have continued to travel and that has aided our healing. We planted a tree in honor of Abigail at our church. The pink dogwood was a gift from our friends and is very special to us. We ordered a wonderful memorial stone for the tree ( www.rock-itcreations.com ) and it makes a perfect marker for our sweet girl's tree.





Thanks for checking in on us.
Dan & Catherine

April, 2005

Dear Friends,

We are healing and doing better every day. We miss Abigail in an a gut-wrenching way. However, we are feeling daily how God is close to the broken-hearted. Through Grief Share, M.E.N.D., counseling, meals brought to us by faithful friends, and the overall support of people from all over, we are happy to report that we feel healthier as we live another day.

Catherine was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome which causes blood clots. (If anyone has any info about APS, send it our way!) We are pretty sure that there were fatal blood clots in the placenta. The condition is managed in future pregnanies with blood thinners, however Catherine will be considered high-risk. Please pray that we will conceive again soon and that the next pregnancy will put a healthy baby in our arms.

We went to Cancun in March, 2005 as a much needed change of scenery. It was a wonderful and revitalizing trip. Being in the sunshine and swimming made a big difference to us. Thank you for your love and support.









Love,
Dan & Catherine