CORUNNA — At a 20-week ultrasound, Breanna and Aaron Orwig of rural Corunna learned their unborn son was unlikely to live outside the womb.
The couple chose to continue the pregnancy and “walk it out with Jesus,” and Breanna gave birth to their son, Blaine Isaiah James, on Dec. 16, 2018.
On that day, Breanna said, a project to write a children’s book started settling in her heart, and so began her journey that culminated in the publishing of her story, “With Me You Will Go,” which was released in December.
A former teacher, Orwig now stays at home, focusing on family. Her husband is a firefighter with the Auburn Fire Department and a farmer.
In the book’s preface, Orwig explains the couple’s “why” behind the book.
“He came into this world already sleeping in the arms of Jesus,” she said of baby Blaine. “That day I wished I had a children’s book from my perspective to read to him.”
Orwig said the book is about carrying loved ones through the seasons of life.
“This book stared as a ray of hope for hurting mommas, but transpired into something for all parents,” Orwig said. “You’re always carrying them in your heart.”
Orwig hopes the book gets into the hands of many mothers, both those who are hurting and those who are celebrating, and anyone carrying a loved one in their heart.
The book begins, “Together in my heart we will grow a garden of memories as I carry you with me.”
Orwig said the book continues to take Blaine through the seasons at the family’s farm and to other places that are significant and special to the Orwigs.
“I will take you with me through spring planting. ... “Where dreams are sown along with the seeds,” the book reads.
“With me you will go, on every summer adventure from splashing in the salty ocean to picnics under the redbud tree,” the book continues.
Fall harvest, visits to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard and winter journeys through the snow are included in the book.
The book is illustrated by DeKalb County artist Amy Buchs.
“I took it to Amy. She let me explain my vision to her,” Orwig said. “She made my vision come to life. There are a lot of meaningful features. I was able to show her my heart. There are hidden details that mean so much to Aaron and I.”
The Orwigs’ pet dog makes an appearance on one of the pages, and an illustration containing a clock shows the hands pointing to 3:17 p.m. — the time when Blaine was born.
An illustration of a redbud tree signifies a tree that Orwig received from staff members and students at Butler Elementary School, where she had worked as a teacher. A picture of a lighthouse signifies a family trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Many of the illustrations feature activities the Orwigs did during the pregnancy, while Blaine was in the womb, Orwig said.
“This represents carrying him through those things while we’re here,” she added.
Orwig said she is happy with the finished result.
“It’s a surreal feeling to think that it’s here already and it’s done, and how beautiful the illustrations are. … There are no words for how surreal it feels,” Orwig said.
Copies of the book are available for purchase at theorwigfamily.com. On their website, the Orwigs state: “We want to note that sorrow does not have a hold on our hearts. We have joy knowing our Father is a good, good Father. We have joy looking forward to future pregnancies and promises that God will fulfill.
“We have so much hope and joy in Jesus, but that doesn’t mean we don’t go through hard moments. We aren’t perfect, and we are taking this journey one day at a time.”
With the idea that a journey with a loved one in the heart never ends, the book concludes, “I will carry you with me in my heart everywhere I go, through every season of life. I love you so.”