I never dreamed, I’d be a mother with a dead son but here I am to tell you my story of healing, and how Jesus turned it all around for me. This was a pain I thought would never go away but my God came right into this place of grief and mourning and healed it!
You see, I was a naive twenty year old girl that was newly married expecting the birth of our first child. Everything was complicated from the beginning. This was an indication of how things would turn out. The beginning of the end started with placenta previa & ended with my son coming about four weeks early. The doctor didn’t expect either of us to live & he told me so when diagnosed.
I went into delivery to give birth to my son, but there was no baby crying. Then I heard the doctor say he is alive! I remember thinking he is alive, but then I saw scurrying around, trying to handle the baby and me.....then complete silence! The nurse looked at me and said, "I’m sorry he was just too small." What do you mean? What’s going on? The baby did not make it??? Instead of bringing home a healthy baby boy I brought nothing but emptiness & sadness to a nursery filled with Winnie the Pooh. There was the Winnie the Pooh stuff everywhere, but not the sounds of my baby.
I immediately was tasked with making funeral arrangements & decisions which left me empty and confused. I remember the tiny blue casket and the rainy day, trying to go home after leaving the graveside to a house full of blue flowers and people all around me. I just wanted to wake up and this would all be a bad dream but it wasn’t! I lay in silence just wondering where was Jesus and why did this have to happen to me?
Many years later after 4 wonderful sons, Jesus showed up for me and I now realize, He didn’t take my baby from me but He choose me to be an Angel Mom! What an honor that our precious Savior would reach down and choose me to be His vessel for this assignment. I know, my precious son was too beautiful for this earth and my Jesus needed and loved him more than I ever could. You see your kingdom purpose is always in your deepest pain.
Angels In Waiting 91:4 was birthed out of my deepest pain. I pray many women will find healing through this ministry because giving back is always so hard to do! Keep your eyes on Jesus and not your situation. As I stood by that tiny grave, I knew my son was not there but in the arms of Jesus! Oh, what a glorious day when I get to see Jesus face to face, and meet my son Brandon Keith Fuller for the very first time!
I think most young girls think of marriage and having children, especially a daughter. I was one of those girls. I was pregnant for the 1st time in 1969. I was so excited to shop for baby clothes and everything was good! I felt the baby for the first time the 5th month which made it even better. Then, I started having some pains. The Dr. said I needed to put a board under my mattress and prescribed me Darvon. I didn’t know any better. We then moved away and I got a new Dr. I saw him 3 times in about a 2 week time.
On Sept. 23rd at about 7pm I started having a lot of pain and was admitted to the hospital in labor. My daughter was born on September 24th. There was no sound, no excitement, just nurses moving around. Then the Dr. told me that the baby was too early and didn’t make it anything d that they would call the funeral home to pick “it” up. I was taken to a single room as all the bells began to ring. This meant everyone else’s babies were going home with them, but not mine. I didn’t get to go to the cemetery. The days ran in to the next and I thought I was being punished.
In 1970 I had a rainbow daughter who is now 49. Years later, after a divorce and remarriage, I was pregnant again. I was excited because the past was in the past. Everything was going well all the way to the 9th month. I started having some pain where I had a gallbladder surgery years before. The baby started getting larger and causing some adhesions. The Dr. prescribed paregoric for the pain. I wasn’t able to keep it down and began to get sick. The Dr. admitted me to keep me from being dehydrated. Once I was admitted, they put a belt on me to listen to the heart beat. They said the sound was good. I was close to the due date and the baby was in the birth canal so they wanted to do an ultrasound in the morning. They did the ultrasound and the Dr. told us the baby was hydrocephalus and would either die before, during, or shortly after birth. I was 9 months pregnant and my baby was about to die. I was sent home to wait on labor.
Those 3 weeks were the worst weeks of my life. I would close the bathroom door, lock it, and fill the bath with very hot water. I would cry an and cry, asking God why this was happening to me again. I asked Him, “What have I done? Why do you hate me? Please let (Jessica Ann) live. Let the doctors be wrong.” After not going into labor on my own, they induced me and on April 4th, 1979, at 5:18 pm, 12lb and 11oz Jessica Ann was born (10 years after my first daughter). They wrapped her up so I could only see her face. She looked like the Gerber baby. Again, I didn’t get to go to her service.
The days following were terrible. I had hundreds of dollars of clothes, diapers, bedding, and things to return. Each time, seeing the faces telling me how sorry they were. In 1981, I found out I was having another baby. The news scared me to death. What do we do? I was 5% more likely to have another hydrocephalus baby. They gave me a blood test and it was normal! I had another rainbow baby who was born July 24th, 1981!
As a young girl I was in church all the time but as I got older, I worked all the time and things changed. I came to Free Chapel, my church home, in 2013 for the first time. My life changed in so many ways. I married a great man and we do bible studies in the evenings. I attended School of Discipleship and met the woman who started the Angels in Waiting 91:4 ministry and joined. The ministry has given me so many things I have been missing. I have learned that God has always been with me. He has never left me through all the pains I have gone through. He was never punishing me. He loves me!
-Barbara Boyd -
For as long as I can remember I always wanted to be a Mom. In early 1985 I found out I was pregnant and the due date was December 26th, which was my Mom's birthday. I had the usual morning nausea, tiredness, etc. that comes along with being pregnant but other than that I was having a good pregnancy until October 23rd. I woke up with a fever and aches and since I worked in day care and it was flu season I figured I had the flu.
The next morning I woke up with damp sheets. I called the doctor, they said come on it and we discovered my water was leaking. I was sent to the NEGMC for observation. Later that day the doctor came in and said the baby was in distress and they wanted to send me to Emory or Grady since they had a better NICU unit. Turns out I went to Grady and while I understand Grady is a good hospital, in October 1985 I had a horrible experience and I won't go into the details. My son, Isaac David Pitts, was born by C-Section early on the morning of October 25, 1985. He weighed 3 lbs. and 10 ounces. I saw him for just a few seconds before they rushed him off to be cared for. Early the next day they told me they were flying him over to Kennestone, they brought him by my room for just a minute before they loaded him up in the helicopter. I was finally released from Grady on October 31 and we went over to the other hospital. I was very weak and sore and there was no place for me to stay at the hospital, we had no choice but to come home to Mt. Airy. His little body was not ready for an early entrance, his lungs never developed and his organs started to fail. He passed away on November 4th at 10 days old.
The ordeal of telling everyone about the loss (no social media back then) and handling a funeral was a lot on a young 20 year old kid. Many people have forgotten about him, but I never will. I look forward to the day that I enter into Heaven and can spend eternity with Jesus who sacrificed His life for me. I'll get to spend eternity with my little boy who I've missed for the last 33 plus years.
January 25th 2012-the day my world changed forever. For ten years my husband and I had endured countless tests and treatments for our infertility. We prayed, hoped, planned, and cried out for the child we longed for. Our son also desperately wanted a little sister or brother. He couldn't understand why God wasn't (in his mind) answering our prayers.
We eventually entered the world of IVF~ In Vitro Fertilization. The emotional, physical, and financial burden of this cannot be overstated. To this day, my heart breaks for anyone suffering with infertility. We got lucky. We were successful and were pregnant after our first attempt. But, our celebrations had barely started when I soon had a miscarriage.
Shock and sadness rocked our world. It took several months for us to be ready to move forward with anything. We were fortunate to have 3 embryo left from our first IVF. Our doctors informed us that this was only enough for one more round. This was it. We had decided that whatever happened with this try, we would not continue trying. We were spent in all ways possible. For this, and so many reasons, our dream came true when we were told we were pregnant.
Oh, the joy!!! I LOVED being pregnant. There's nothing like feeling your child move inside of you. I was blessed with a healthy pregnancy with no complications. I was 37 weeks pregnant. My repeat C-section was scheduled. The nursery was ready. Our lives could not have been better. Until that night, when I could no longer feel my baby girl move.
We calmly went to the hospital "just to make sure" everything was ok. I was convinced that my daughter had "dropped" lower and was lower in my pelvis getting ready for delivery so she couldn't move as much. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. Soon after arriving at the hospital, we found out that our sweet baby, Emily, had gone on to be with Jesus in Heaven.
The next part is hard to describe. The worst days of my life, yet, so many poured their love into me and my family. God surrounded us with so many people that showed their love in so many ways. Flowers, meals, precious time with us, prayers, photography, keepsakes, and countless other blessings. One of the gifts we received was a beautiful angel gown for our daughter, Emily. It had been donated to the hospital from a volunteer organization. It was perfect. Emily's grandmother dressed her in this delicate gown and bonnet. It was immediately clear~ I was now and would forever be, the mother of an angel.
I have had three losses...or what I like to refer to as "angel babies." Each one uniquely created by God for a plan and a purpose in Heaven. Emily was our first, stillborn at 24 weeks, Ivy our second miscarried at 13 weeks and Holly around 14 weeks. What I learned through each experience is that it is horrible to feel alone and isolated in grief. Even though the statistics are 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, no one really talks about it. I felt like I was alone and no one could help me process my grief. I would go to grief groups, where everyone shared in a loss of a loved one, but no one had experienced a loss like me...a life longed for. Grieving my identity of being my babies' mom was so much different than grieving the loss of my grandparents whom I had spent time with and experienced life with. Grieving my children I wasn't sure how to cope and what was "ok" and "not ok." I sought group after group and counselor after counselor until finally I sought THE Counselor, Healer , Prince of Peace, and Mighty God. His word is full of people that have grieved their identity, their purpose, their loved ones...even babies! I wondered why I hadn't ever seen it before...the answer was, I had never had to look. This type of loss wasn't unique to God the Father. He too had felt this type of grief and had willingly given up His son for me so that I could see my babies again one day in eternity. Today, this is what brings me comfort and even joy. Sharing with other parents of loss just how much God loves them and can allow their loss to strengthen them in a way that only He can do through their pain. God allowed me to go back to school and become the pastoral counselor I am today because of what He has brought me through. I have a bigger plan and purpose than I ever thought I would. And He is constantly showing me how faithful He is. I am grateful for connecting with Angels In Waiting 91:4 and being able to come alongside them in prayer, fasting and distributing their handmade gifts to families like me, needing a friend and wise counsel during the darkest of days. To God be ALL the honor and glory!
It was 2004. I had found the ideal place to serve that happened to be in my wheelhouse. I had just recently graduated from college 2 years prior with a Bachelors degree in Social Science and a minor in Psychology. At that time, my life goal was to become an OB/GYN and serve pregnant women. I was a stay-at-home mom with the education to help and serve women and the Lord impressed upon me to serve in a program called HOPE Women's Center. Someone in my church requested my assistance. I agreed because I appreciated the way they loved, cared for and treated the young women who came to them for help.
HOPE is a program that serves women who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy situation. As Christians, we do not condemn them. Instead, we give them information about pregnancy, when life starts from a Biblical perspective and just offer them love. The weekend that I decided to start HOPE was a two-day training weekend. I somehow convinced my husband to join me in this adventure to serve women, and he came along for the training.
The Thursday prior, we found out that we were pregnant with our third baby and we were so excited. As the weekend progressed, we served on that Friday all day and Saturday all day. It had been a long weekend when we got home on that Saturday evening, and I noticed that I was spotting. I didn’t worry too much about it as it was early in my pregnancy and I decided that if it got any worse I would call the doctor. It was a high-risk pregnancy, so I knew what to do: sit down, relax and take it easy. The next day was Sunday and, like every Sunday, we got up to go to church. However, this time my husband said to me, "Relax, I don’t think we should go to church today." His countenance had a peace that I cannot describe. He just said, "Let’s have church at home," which was so unlike him. As a young pastor, I thought it strange that my husband was always eager and excited to go to church - except for this Sunday. I looked at him and I said, “Did God tell you something?" and he said, "No."
So, we prayed and worshiped and we studied the Word. I later went to lay down and he laid next to me and we just talked quietly on the bed. As I got up to go to the bathroom, I remember walking and sitting down and just as I got up it was like an out-of-body experience. The body that I trusted to carry my two previous pregnancies had rejected the wonderful life I was carrying and blood was everywhere! In shock, I screamed for my husband and he came running. He hurried to call 911, and then my parents. Even though I knew it was not my fault, my pride was so eager to clean up the mess wiping up everything, wanting to shower, to wash away the shame and the guilt because I was no longer in control of what my body would do.
I remember being so upset and shaken up while he called the paramedics, and when he told my parents that I had to go to the hospital. We had two little baby boys who needed someone to care for them. Thankfully, my parents came and took our young sons home with them. As my parents arrived, I hung my head in shame and embarrassment, as if I could control what was going on with my body. I felt so out of control! The hospital stay was brief - only a couple of hours - with instructions to follow up with my doctor within the next 3 days.
Eventually, as I healed and prayed, God reassured His love for me. The training was still fresh in my brain, I remembered the people who had lost children to either abortion or miscarriage. They had rededicated those babies to Christ and prayed for healing. I remember doing the same thing. I know that God used this experience to give me the ability to relate to the women that I would now be serving through HOPE. While I did not choose to end that precious life inside of me, the feeling of hurt, rejection and shame was still very present, and prayer alone allowed me to serve those women with a deeper level of compassion and love. I love people, and I am more than honored to serve God in any capacity.
Today is the day that I honor my twins in their birth & their death. Not all twins walk side but in my case one paved the way for the other one, a week later she received her wings, too. Miscarriage hurts no matter what stage you endure it! I am so grateful there is HOPE in Jesus Christ! I know one day this Momma will see all three of her precious babies and oh, what a homecoming it will be!!!
My granddaughter, Aubrey, was born Jan 16, 2015. She came at 25 weeks, weighing 1 pound 10 ozs. She was so tiny and so beautiful. We held on to Mark 5:36, “Be not afraid, only BELIEVE.”
As Valentine’s Day approached, I thought maybe I could crochet a cute heart for Aubrey. I made two for her and two for the baby of a family we had been talking to. Of course, then, I had to make enough for ALL the babies. I started sending hearts to Gwinnett Medical and Scottish Rite. Aubrey was moved to Scottish Rite for surgeries she needed. One day as I was crocheting, the Holy Spirit whispered, “What about the babies that don’t get to go home?” After I cried and thanked God again that He was sustaining Aubrey, I began making white hearts also. I would send several along with the colorful ones to each NICU.
Around that time, my daughter, Emily told me about Angels In Waiting 91:4. I sent Jean a message March 20, 2017, asking if she would be interested in adding my hearts to her baby gowns, and telling her what the Holy Spirit said to me. That was the beginning of my relationship with Angels In Waiting 91:4.
Aubrey is over 4 ½ now. She was saying some words, and beginning to take some steps. Last year she started having seizures. After two major seizures, she stopped talking and doing the things she had learned. She still has seizures at times, but thankfully our medicine usually stops them. The Doctors say its caused by the brain bleeds she had the day she was born.
We are so blessed by that sweet girl, and thank God for her always. God brought her forth and we trust Him to sustain her and bring healing in His perfect timing. As we wait on Him, we believe that everyone coming in contact with Aubrey will be blessed and come into the knowledge of Christ.
ABBA, I pray for this ministry, and for everyone involved with it. Continue pouring out your anointing on ALL they set their hands to do. They pray blessings for each family giving their gown, and pray peace and comfort to each family receiving a baby gown. Father, as they pray blessings on others, let your blessings and provision overflow abundantly back to them!
-Gail Bryant Frost-
The abortion that changed my life! I didn’t grow up in a church home or have God fearing people in my life. I didn’t even know God, only heard of Him. The words that would follow did nothing to change neither the nurse nor the doctors mind. I screamed out at the top of my lungs in a split second “GOD IS GOING TO PUNISH ME.” The doctor soon tells the nurse to put the mask over my face quickly to put me to sleep, and before the mask went down on my face, I again belted it out “GOD IS GOING TO PUNISH ME”, muffled this time .
I looked the nurse in her eyes. My eyes were pleading for her to comfort me, but she wouldn’t. I grabbed her hand to suggest; ‘please help me, please’, but her eyes were so cold. She didn’t help me at all. I held on to her hand and in a shivering voice said “ I AM GOING TO BE PUNISHED.”
I needed, so badly, for her to comfort me, to say that I will be ok. I even wanted her to tell the doctor to stop, yet she gives a look back at me in a manner that suggested ‘this is business as usual and you are messing with my paycheck.’
I lifted my head to look at the doctor, but he gave the nurse a nod suggesting it was time. I felt the mask letting the gas of confusion come out. Her hand blocked the light that filled the room, and the doctor’s face soon disappeared as a blur, closing off my cry. But before sleep can set in, I feel him stretching open my legs so wide to the point of making sure he had enough wiggle room. Even with his lab coat and gloves on, he felt cold to my legs. I hear a click of a switch to cut on a machine that gave off a loud noise that was horrifying. The noise was accompanied by a long clear hose that looked like a vacuum hose. I then, understood that this will be the tool of choice used to suck the tissue from my body. This tissue, as he said, would be ripped from my womb in which it was growing. That “tissue” that was being ripped from me will not have breath. The
noise played in my mind until my eyes shut and I heard no more.
That hose would change my life forever. I walked through those doors pregnant and within minutes it would be no more. I awoke from my sleep without life growing inside of me.
“A LIFE WITHOUT BREATH”
On April 8, 1997, I gave birth to triplet girls. My pregnancy and birth was a very scary experience. Everything was going fine until my 19th week of pregnancy. I went in for a routine visit and found out that I was 6 cm dilated, and was immediately rushed to the hospital where I would be for 4 weeks. Two weeks after the first of cerclage I had to have another one and two weeks after that I went into labor delivering my girls at 23 weeks. They weighted just over one pound each. They were critical with an extremely low chance of survival according to the doctor. Sadly we lost one of our girls. She lived 10 hours but her lungs weren’t strong enough to withstand the ventilator. We waited 5 days to have her funeral service because we didn’t know if the other two would survive so we were advised to wait until they made it through the critical first 5 days. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was bury a child. No words can describe the pain of knowing you’ll never see your sweet baby grow up and experience life. But thanks to our wonderful Lord, he carried us through the pain and heartache and we know one day we will see our sweet Lindsey again. He was so wonderful to us that we were able to see our other two daughters grow into beautiful young ladies. They are 22 years old and have brought so much joy into our lives.
My name is Tasha.Smith. I’m 36 years old last year I loss my pregnancy at 23 weeks (twins I was carrying) One 9/10/18 I loss Aubrey my daughter (stillborn) and on 9/13/18 Abe my son her twin passes away. Aubrey had a velmentous umbilical core. My cervix was short, and Abe passed due to premature complications. This has been thee hardest year of my life. But by Gods grace I’m still here.
More Beautiful Broken---In Memory of Our Son Michael:
I remember it like it was yesterday. My wife was about seven months pregnant with our first child---a boy. I was getting ready to go from work to a basketball game that Friday night when I received a call from my wife saying she felt like something was wrong---suddenly at the tight places were loose and the way she had felt for seven months changed in a moment. “Come home. Something is wrong.
As we pulled into the emergency room parking lot we said a prayer, but still believing everything would be ok. Little did I know we were in for one of the worst weeks of our young lives. The year was 1993 and the month was February and it was cold on the southern California high desert where lived…having been married all of 8 months.
As they wheeled her into a room there were soon machines and contraptions strapped to my new bride as the technician began trying to find a heartbeat. One of the nurses that checked us in was a friend of mine from high school---and that was comforting, but as the technician tried and tried, it became evident that there was not a heartbeat to be found. I remember shooting a glance to my nurse friend as she gently shook her head “no” signifying in an instant that our son was gone. It took a while before a doctor came in and made it official…but he was gone.
This friend of mine pulled me aside and told me that there were some things that we would need to do, because this moment would be there and gone---and we wouldn’t want regrets. She connected us to a counselor that would walk us through this tragedy.
First and foremost, they told me that my wife would have to be induced and deliver the baby, just as if he were alive. In that moment I knew this couldn’t be about me and my grief---my loss. I had to get her up emotionally to deliver a baby. We opted to wait until morning s she would be rested. I called her best friend and she also came immediately, as did her brother and sister-in-law and our parents. We all went to dinner and just did everything we could to stay positive.
Then next day my wife was induced and went through about ten hours of labor and then delivery of our son on February 24, 1993. We named him Michael. One of the things they told us was very important was to send time and hold him and just be with him as long as they would let us. It seemed strange at the time, but time would prove how right they were. We brought all our family and closest friends in along with our pastor and we held our son and we prayed together before giving him to the nurse…never to see him again.
In the state of California, after a certain number of months in the womb, you are required to do some kind of formal burial, so we scheduled a funeral---which would be covered financially by some close friends. It was a cold and rainy day, but as the service ended, after everyone was gone, they had to pull me away to get me to leave.
Turns out we would go on to have four beautiful daughters (today they are 25, 23, 21, and 15)---and he will always be our only son. He would turn 27 this February. We were recently at a funeral in California and we visited his grave. I was inspired to write a poem for him that went on the cover of the funeral program and it hangs on a wall in our home to this day.
I think of Michael often and love him still as if he were here today. I will see him some day, that is for sure. And for now---I DO have a son, but he just has a purpose that is not of this world.
I wanted her so bad, I dreamed of having a little girl ever since I could remember. It still feels like yesterday, 2013, I was ready for another baby even though my boyfriend at the time was not. I remember going to the my OBGYN and taking my birth control out and was so excited to start trying despite what my family or boyfriend said. it wasn’t until the end of June when I realized I was late on my period but I waited a few more weeks until July 7th, 2013. I woke up that morning headed to work and knew something was off because I wasn’t even craving my coffee (and I love my coffee) I felt nauseous throughout the day and figured it was a good idea to go to the store and get a pregnancy test. Later on that night as I was giving my older son a bath I peed on that stick of anticipation … waited… and then saw two line indicated I was pregnant. I just stared at it for a moment. Feeling excited, nervous, shocked, all the emotions. I calmly went upstairs and walked over to my boyfriend and said, “im pregnant.” His response, “shut up!” I showed him the test and he kept saying “ no no no no no” I started crying and was so sad that he wasn’t feeling excited like I was. I went out to my car and called my best friend and told her my news and then called my mother to tell her. Of course my mother wanted to be as supportive as possible but she knew that my boyfriend and I already being young parents at the ages of 22 and 23 to two boys was a lot. On top of the fact my parents did not care too much for my boyfriend. My mother told me her concerns and told me to really think about this huge decision.
I’d thought the second time around I wouldn’t be so scared because I knew what to expect. But it felt worse than the first time being pregnant. I was feeling scared and nervous at that point after finding out and not having the excitement from my boyfriend or family that I was hoping for. I could never see myself getting an abortion either. At around 6 weeks I went to planned parenthood to confirm my pregnancy and find out my due date. They told me march 9th 2014 would be my due date and I was so excited because that was my birthday!! Leaving there that day I still was feeling confused and It lead me to make another appointment at planned parenthood to get an early ultrasound and MAYBE decided on aborting. I remember the sadness I felt and was so hurt I was. Pregnancy is suppose to the a joyful exciting time for the mother to be and family. Once I got my first ultrasound the doctor told me I had such amount of time to abort the embryo with a pill and then if I waited longer it would be surgical. Either way I just couldn’t do it. I made the decision to keep my pregnancy.
By October I received a call back from my OBGYN and was told that my blood work came back abnormal. I remember being so scared and asking what it meant and asked if my baby was okay. They couldn’t tell me exactly what it meant but scheduled an appointment for me to come get an ultrasound to find out what was going on. I was leaving work when I got that phone call and I cried the whole way to my parents house. When I got to my parents house I was crying so hard and told my mom the news. With being a catholic family we kept our prayers and faith in the hands of God.
About two weeks went by until it was time for my ultrasound appointment to see what the abnormal bloodwork meant. The doctor called my boyfriend and I in and we sat in a room where we first spoke to a therapist specialist who explained to us what we might be expecting. A baby with spinal bifia? A certain heart defect? She explained to us the type of care we will receive and the regular appointments we would have. Afterwards she walked us into the ultrasound room and we waited till the ultrasound tech walked in, she set me up and there on the screen we saw our baby!! The ultrasound tech did all her measurings, listened to our babys heart, and told us that we were having a…. GIRL!!!!!!! My little girl I always dreamed of! I remember my boyfriend smiling and actually looking excited!! It made me so happy. Then the ultrasound tech told her she did not see anything abnormal in our baby’s spine or heart. But she noticed a small hole on the right side of our baby’s stomach. She showed us the hole and how some of our baby’s intestines were forming on the outside of her. Our baby girl was diagnosed with the birth defect called Gastroschisis. (This birth defect is when the abdominal wall of the baby does not close all the way during formation so its left with a small hole on the right side of the belly button, it can leave some of the intestines of the baby to form outside of the body, along with other parts, liver, ovaries, bladder.) the doctors were so helpful and gave us all the knowledge we needed to know about and what to expect. Our expectations where that she would be born vaginally, possibly around 38 weeks and they would have had to place her intestines in goss and a bag until after 12-24 hours the doctors would proceed with surgery to slowly placing the intestines back in. the intestines would be. In a cylinder looking thing almost like a tube of toothpaste and each day would slowly roll the tube down to slowly place her intestines back into her stomach area for them to eventually close the hole. WOW! This was a lot of information to take in that day. You don’t expect or want anything to be wrong with your unborn child. But we left the doctors with positive thinking and took the pregnancy as normal as possible. We did not share on social media about her birth defect, we kept it pretty private but of course only told close family.
The days were flying by and I was working two jobs, taking care of my stepson and my son. My boyfriend and working odd hours, spending time with his friends, and we were still arguing about things. I was feeling as though our relationship was dwindling away. I just wanted to stay calm and focus on being pregnant and getting ready for a whole new life.
Beginning of November I ended up finding out my boyfriend cheated on me. I was hurt. I was sad. I felt alone. I couldn’t believe he would do that to his pregnant girlfriend. I didn’t have time to take that all in. I just wanted to focus on my baby girl. I was having appointments pretty regularly, it was finally every week we had an appointment to check on our baby girl. At 33 weeks pregnant I remember at one of my appointments the doctors said that her blood flow in her placenta seemed abnormal. I asked if that was a bad thing and the doctor said as long as she was moving and kicking normally it shouldn’t mean anything too bad. I look back on that appointment and wished they did more or something. I maybe could have saved her…but the thing was, was that she was such an active girl that there was no signs of her kicks or movements being less so I didn’t worry.
The nightmare… 35 weeks and 1 day. February 4th 2014. Coincidently we had our weekly appointment at 1:00pm. I woke up that morning around 9:00/9:30 and noticed that I wasn’t feeling any movement from our baby girl. she would always wake up by her kicks so I was wondering what was going on. I made some breakfast hoping that would help her wake up and start being active. Nothing. But you know when you're pregnant the LAST thing you want to think is that your baby is dead inside you. The few hours before our appointment was bit of a blur. I just remember on our way to the doctors I kept wondering why she wasn’t moving. I then starting thinking the worse. My boyfriend kept saying “she's just sleeping, she's okay” once we got into the doctors office I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and shook my belly and just said “come on Havanna move!!!!”
When the doctor called us in I laid down on the bed and the ultrasound tech went over my belly and asked if she had been moving today. I told her no but she was kicking yesterday. The ultrasound tech then said she would be right back to get another doctor. When she stepped out I looked at my boyfriend and said “she’s not moving Kyle.” Then the other doctor came in took a look and without a chance to accept anything … we heard the words, “I’m sorry but your daughter is deceased.” JUST LIKE THAT. My world crashed. My little girl was gone! I asked the doctors what that meant and what was going to happen next. They told me I could go home and let my body do its thing and go into labor naturally or I could get induced that day. There was no other options. So we chose to get induced. As they walked out to make some calls over to the hospital, I immediately called my mother and started crying to tell her the horrific news. We then we released out the back of the office and headed to the hospital. EVERYTHING was numb feeling. We walked into the hospital, walked into the labor and delivery section. As we walked into our room I remember saying “I can’t do this, I can’t do this” but I did. I laid on that bed got hooked up and they induced me right away. My mother and father came a few hours after getting settled in. we all were heartbroken. There were no words. Eventually my parents left and took my son with them. My younger sister stayed the night at the hospital with my boyfriend and I. by around 7:30/8:00pm. O started feeling my contractions and I believe my water broke around then too. I was able to get the epidural and time went by pretty slowly after that. It was a long night, I was writing a post to my FB and calling my friends to tell them the news. The next thing I knew it was morning and around 9:00am I was 10cm dilated and ready to push.
My delivery was so peaceful, and so quick. By 9:31am February 5th 2014 our baby girl, Havanna Rae was born sleeping. There she was, my little girl. but then there was some complications...with me. My placenta was stuck to my uterus wall. I was hemmroging. They tried to stop it by giving me too shots in the legs. But it wasn’t working. As my boyfriend was holding our sleeping angel, I was in need of emergency surgery. There I went into the room were all I saw was bright lights and saying to the doctors, “what if I don’t walk up?” the doctor looked at me and said, “you will wake up and when you do, I will be right here.” Next thing I was out, then I started hearing a voice, “wake up dear, wake up.” The doctor was waking me up out of my sleep. I was freezing cold, asking for a blanket, wanting a drink of water too. Dazed and confused I was back in my bed and out of surgery. The rest was a bit of a blur but what I remember was being told I had lost a lot of blood and the doctors placed a type of water balloon inside my uterus to help it shrink controllably to help stop my hemmroging. That was that…and then I was finally able to hold my baby girl. she stayed with us until around 9:00pm that night. We had a priest come to bless her early that evening and I was able to spend an hour alone with her. I sang to her, I held her little hands, I kissed her forehead, I prayed shed wake up, I prayed I could feel her take a breath and come to live. She did not and it was time for her to be sent away.
February 7th we were being discharged and headed home without a baby, empty arms, and broken hearted.
First month went by, second month, so on and so on. The grieving was so real. My boyfriend and I cried everyday and every night. I had to put away and store all my baby girls clothes, all her toys, bottles, pacifiers, everything. How was I able to do that? I had no choice.
I experienced SO many signs after losing my daughter, the day after coming home from the hospital, I went to the beach with my sister, step son, and son and we noticed a huge ring around the sun, it was the first time I ever saw that and I instantly thought of Havanna.
The sunrises, and sunsets that first year were so magical, and quite honestly I never really noticed those things until I lost my child. I’d see rainbows in the sky randomly, and one time I found a 4 leaf glover for the first time in my life and haven’t seen or found another one since. I received so many gifts and cards from friends and family near and far. Our daughters birthstone is amethyst purple and that color was shown and seen everywhere and still is today. She was born sleeping on the 5th, as my son was born on the 5th of November, we took exit 5 every time we went to our doctors appointment, my son and my daughter are 5 years apart, our daughter weighed 5lbs, 15oz, I graduated high school on the 5th of June. The number 5 just plays a big part in my life and I found to so ironic that it resembled a lot. Sunsets, sunrises, purple anything, and the number 5 give me so much comfort and when I encounter any moment with them I feel as thought my little girl is so close to me. Showing me little signs that she is always with me.
6 years later, I still grieve randomly, missing my daughter, wishing she was here, wondering what I could of done differently. I comfort myself with knowing God chose me to carry one of his angel for him and I was able to name her. I of course question what she’d look like today, what she’d be into, I wonder what her laugh would sound like, If she’d have dark hair like her daddy, and long legs like her mommy. 6 years later, she helped God bless us with our rainbow baby, she helped me and dad work on our relationship, she opened her daddy’s eyes to see what he has and to never take it for granted.
Not a day goes by where I don’t think about her. I don’t expect to ever get over what I went through, I will never stop talking about my daughter, I will never stop sharing my story about my daughter, not until I am reunited with her. This is my story, my story about my baby loss, my journey through it all…my Havanna.
How do I begin? Where do I begin? Even writing the words down on a page still don't feel real. My baby died! Never in a million years did I imagine this would be my reality. When I was 18 weeks pregnant I went in for a normal routine anatomy scan. I remember being so excited to see my baby girl up on the screen. Little did I know that day was going to be heartbreaking in every way. My ultrasound was taking so long and the ultrasound tech kept going back to the heart. I could tell by the look on her face that something was wrong. She looked at me with sadness in her eyes as she walked out of the room to have a doctor come in and take a second look. I will never forget when she looked at me and said you babies heart is not formed correctly. Right in that moment I lost it . I broke down screaming crying. We had several follow up appointments after that all confirming that my baby girl would need open heart surgery right after birth to save her life. My beautiful baby was born on June 8th 2018 at 34 weeks .(Presley Jade) I had a emergency c-section due to complications with her breathing. Doctors did not even think she would make it through birth but God had other plans. She was very sick so she was immediately put on a ventilator and taken to the NICU. The decision was made to wait on the surgery due to her being so sick . Over the next 3 weeks we learned her heart condition was alot worse than what we had originally thought and there was not a surgery to help her heart . Her only option was a heart transplant. My sweet baby girl lived 2 1/2 months 79 days to be exact. She was my miracle baby in every way . God blessed me with her . I'm a better person because of her , my faith is stronger because of her. She taught me to cling to Jesus like never before and to trust him even when I don't understand. Losing a child will make you question everything in your life including your faith. I have also been through 4 miscarriages and with each loss my question has always been the same . Why? Why me? Why my babies? But then I get to thinking why not me I'm no different than anyone else that has lost a child but I know their is purpose in our pain and a reward for our faithfulness. I find comfort in knowing that my sweet baby is with Jesus taking her first steps on streets of gold. And one day when my work here on earth is done and God calls me home what a joyous reunion it will be when I walk through Heavens gates and 5 little angels are there to welcome me . I will be able to hold each one of my precious babies and I will never have to let them go . I will never have to feel this excruciating pain of having to live without all of my children being next to me . I will never know the pain of taking a family photo and be reminded that some of my children will be forever missing from it . Joy will no longer be accompanied by great sadness. The sadness that only a mother who has lost her child feels. What a day that will be when we see Jesus!
The lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
So first of all... when we finally fell pregnant with our first born, Jacob, before we knew he was a boy, we had picked our girls name - Sophie. We had decided not to tell anyone the names we had chosen. I was at my mums house one day, and she said to me that whilst she was praying that morning, Jesus gave her the name Sophie! I couldn't believe it! I was shocked, and so sure we were having a boy up until that moment. Well a few weeks down the track, we indeed found out we were having a boy.
Fast forward to my son being 9 months old, we decided we would like to add another baby to our family. Miraculously, we fell pregnant straight away. We decided to keep this babies gender a surprise, but had chosen Sophie as the name of this baby if it turned out we were having a girl.
At out 13 week scan, the sonographer told me the words no mother wants to hear.. I have found some anomalies, and you will need to be referred to the hospital in the city. Jesus is in the details you see, we had almost no money in our account that day, and could only just afford that scan we had done... however when I went to pay, the sonographer said to me "No, there is no charge.. you have too much on your plate now and I won't charge you today."
16 weeks rolls around and we finally get seen by the specialists in the city. It was confirmed that our child was unwell. Possibly Cystic Fibrosis. They took a blood sample from myself to rule this out, and 2 weeks later we had the call to say my results were negative! I was so relieved.. great I thought, the worst is ruled out. In the meantime, I had connected with a wonderful lady Emily Preston (you can find her facebook page Faith Talks with Emily Preston), and was believing and praying my baby was healthy and well.
At our 20 week scan, the dr we had quite bluntly told us our baby would die. I had severly low amniotic fluid, and our babies lungs would never develop enough to survive on the outside. There were other anomalies going on with our baby, these could have been operated on once bub was born, however it was all dependant on how strong their lungs were if this could happen or not.
We were offered a termination at this stage.. and I straight away said no, no way. However some family and friends told me it would be much easier if I had a termination... It was there in my mind, am I doing the right thing? It seemed as if so many people thought what I was doing wasn't okay.. I kept on praying having faith for a miracle. We decided at this point we wanted to find out the gender of our baby so we could bond with them more.
We had a scan done, however with such low visibility it was hard to see for sure. We were told 'it looks like you are having a girl'.. in that moment I knew, my Sophie Rose, this is why Jesus gave my mum that name all that time ago... it was to reassure me that this baby was meant to be, and this was in his hands.
We had an MRI at 22 weeks to see if they could work out what was going on a bit more, see if they could see her kidneys better. All I remember from the next appointment was them saying "so we found something that will let you know the gender" and all I was thinking was oh no... they have seen a willy and I have purchased all these head bands! Turns out, they found our baby girls Uterus! I was over the moon. Sophie Rose ❤
Throughout this time I was having appointments at the hospital every 2 - 4 weeks. I went away camping when I was 28.5 weeks pregnant, and lost my mucous plug. I was so uncomfortable after that. 1 week later we went in to the hospital to talk to the neonatologists about what would happen when Sophie arrived and what we wanted to do. We decided to have every medical intervention possible. Exactly 1 week later 15th May 2019 30weeks 5 days pregnant, my waters broke.
I went into spontaneous labour that night, and due to everything going on with Sophie, I elected an emergency cesarean(I had a previous emergency cesarean with my son) on the 16th May 2019. I remember seeing her for the first time, and her eyes were open! She was so tiny, and I saw her wriggling around. I remember I told my husband "She was moving!". We had been told that a live birth couldn't be guaranteed, but here she was fighting the odds.
I was wheeled into recovery where I was just on cloud 9, my baby girl is here. Once Sophie was stable in the NICU I was wheeled in to see her. We were told the devastating news that there wasn't anymore they could do, Sophie wasn't going to make it, but she was comfortable. She had so many tubes in her body. I reached out to her and spoke to her, and she opened her eyes, moved her head and found me, stared at me. The nurse who had been standing over her caring for her told me that was the first time Sophie had interacted with anyone! She knew me.
You Know how I said God is in the little things? Well they told us that if they moved her for me to cuddle her, she would begin to deteriorate, so we held off until family were able to come meet her. When they came to see her, I decided it was time to have a cuddle. And you know what? She stayed more stable with me than when she was in her crib, she never once needed the nurse to come over and help her. She was so comfortable she somehow manoeuvred closer to my body.
After a while in the NICU I had to go to my room to get sorted out, I was running a fever. Once I was able to get up a few hours later, I was wheeled down to be with Sophie. This is where my husband had his first cuddle. We just stayed with her, staring at her, loving her. We made the heartbreaking decision of taking her off life support, we had been told her body was shutting down, the blood tests had shown it.
I held Sophie and sang "I'll Raise a Hallelujah" to her as she slipped from my arms into Jesus's. My perfect little girl. My husband was then allowed to bath her, and we took her back to our room where she stayed in a cuddle crib (cooling crib) for several days with me.
Initially my husband had said when we were offered termination, that if our baby died, he wouldn't want to be around the baby afterwards, that he couldn't cuddle or look at her. This was going through my head that whole evening, he had to bath her, and how was he feeling?! He told me he didn't want that...
The next morning when my husband came to the hospital, the first thing he did was come right up to that crib and grab his little girl and hold her and cry. He was a father to his little girl, he looked after her, dressed her in a special outfit my mum had bought.. he even put some lipbalm on her lips when they started to dry out. We kept Sophie with me 1 extra night than originally planned just so Rob could be with her some more. I honestly don't think there is anything more beautiful than seeing your husband spending time with, and loving your children.
On the 20th July - Sophies due date, we decided to have a due date ceremony in place of a funeral. We did a butterfly release and I stood up and spoke to my family and closest friends.
It has been 9 months now, and I know Jesus has a plan. I am starting to sew little blankets for other angel babies. I have connected with some beautiful Angel mums, and we are in the process of making our own support group online.
My testimony is that Jesus was with me through the whole thing. There were so many times I didn't know how I was going to get through, and yet he has been so faithful. For me, I have no regrets, I fought for Sophie, and I did everything I could to keep her here with me, right until the very end, when I knew God was calling her home. We had 13 beautiful hours with a living daughter... 13 hours that were a miracle according to the drs. They told us Sophie was so much more unwell than they originally thought... and it was a miracle she lived at all. Thank you Jesus. My baby girl is now in his loving arms. I miss her so much, but I know she is so much happier where she is, and while we had her here on earth, she knew only love!
-Rebekah Larsen -
My husband & I found out we were pregnant at the end of April 2019. Lukas was a complete surprise but the minute we found out he was loved beyond measure. We thought we were done considering our oldest was 18 at the time. I had to wait a few weeks for my first initial appointment & at that appointment they decided to follow me closely considering my age & the fact that our oldest was born 3 months premature. I went to every appointment eagerly waiting for that first time I was going to get to hear our babes heartbeat…that first time came in the ER when I started bleeding and went in to be on the safe side & I got to see the little bean & hear his heartbeat, he was growing just like he should. After that they were watching me every so closely. I had all the usual bloodwork & more, everything came back normal. We were finally at a safe point to be able to tell our families (or at least the ones who didn’t already know). We did our gender reveal (we had the NIPT done & that included finding out that he was a boy). We picked out a name (Lukas Gage), our family had started planning a baby shower for us since we were pretty much starting from scratch. We had started to plan for the adventures we would go on as a family of four.
The day of August 22nd 2019 I wasn’t feeling all that well & I was having a bit of cramping but I thought that was just Lukas growing & everything stretching so I took it easy & went to bed like normal not worrying about it. Early morning of August 23rd 2019 that all changed I woke up & the cramping had gotten worse…fortunately for me my very dear neighbor is a doula so I called her & she told me a couple of things to do & to call her back within an hour if things hadn’t gotten any better. I was hoping & praying that they would but unfortunately, they did not, she came over and monitored me for a bit & then decided that I needed to go to the hospital so off we went. Once we got there, they sent us to the ER since I was not at least 20 weeks along, I was only 17 weeks 5 days. I filled out all the paperwork that was necessary & about the time they called me back to do my vitals my water broke, they kept me in the ER for a few hours & then finally transferred me over to labor & delivery, once there the nurses got me comfortable & I remember the pain changing & not long after that our Lukas Gage was born sleeping at 17 weeks 5 days. Yes, technically they call that a 2nd trimester miscarriage but as his Mom I just can’t bring myself to think of it being a miscarriage. We got to hold him, we had our priest come in & bless him, we had family pictures taken, our oldest got to see his baby brother & hold him & we had a memorial service for him. You think of a miscarriage happening early like 8,9,10 weeks but not at 17+ weeks & not having the opportunity to do any of that. There is no rhyme or reason it happened it just did & that’s the hard part to deal with is the fact there is no answer & no one can give us an answer…it’s just labeled as premature rupture of membranes. It’s not fair but it happens but I plan on taking every opportunity I get to tell his story. He was perfect. He is our little bear. We are now a family of four just in a different way.
-Danielle Mestek -
10 December 2018 was one of the happiest days of my life. After our wedding on 24 November 2018, I found out I was pregnant. From our wedding night, God gave us our honeymoon baby. I had all day morning sickness from about 6 weeks until about 13 weeks. But other than that, I had a perfect, textbook pregnancy. Every appointment went as well as they could. Baby was thriving, meeting each and every milestone. And then we found out we were expecting a little girl. We were so excited!
I suffer from anxiety, so I was not the most ‘relaxed’ first time expectant mom. I visited L&D numerous times for decreased movements. But each and every time, they would hook me up and the room would fill with the beautiful sound of a strong thumping heart beat. We had our 37 week appointment on 29 July 2019. I had concerns which I voiced to our Doctor about Baby’s movements, and the fact that she hiccups more than she moves. But as soon as the scan began, the room filled with the sound of her heartbeat. I was on maternity leave, and winding down, getting the last things ready for our baby girl’s arrival. The nursery was ready and waiting. Bags packed and at the front door. We were ready for her to make her entrance into the world.
I remember again being concerned about her movements on the 31st of July, trying all the usual tricks to get a baby to move, but they didn’t work. I told myself that all is well because we had just had a scan. I told myself that I would go in to the L&D ward tomorrow, just to put my mind at ease, as I had done three times previously.
1 August 2019 was the worst day of my life. I was so sure all would be well, that I went in to L&D alone. But the usual joy I felt as the room filled with the sound of a heartbeat quickly turned to panic. The silence was deafening. My baby was no longer alive inside of me. The next few hours were a blur. I went straight to my Doctor for her to scan me. The look on her face was complete confidence that she was about to find a heartbeat. But she didn’t. She confirmed what my heart already knew. Harper had died. At this point my husband had arrived, and we were given the options, advised that it could be done whenever we were ready. I knew I wanted to finish the journey with Harper the way we had always planned to. I would be induced to delivery her naturally. I remember thinking that there was absolutely nothing ‘natural’ about delivering a dead baby. A baby so longed for. So wanted. So loved. I went back to the L&D ward, and they began the induction. I was to have 6 doses of Cytotec, to be inserted vaginally, every four hours. As I walked into the room that was allocated to us, I noticed the bassinet in the corner. I placed my bags down, and turned back around to see that it had been removed. Obviously. They removed it because we would not need it. Our baby would never need it. My doses were every four hours, starting at 11h00. With each dose, the nurse would try and stretch my cervix. I know that it was only to help labor along. But it just felt so forceful. I knew my baby had died, but my body mistakenly thought it was still pregnant with a healthy baby. Again, nothing about the experience was natural. There were two other women throughout the afternoon and night that had been in the ward with me. I had heard their moans and groans, and felt their pain. I knew we were all experiencing pains of labour. The only difference would be that theirs would result in a crying baby. Mine would not.
I labored throughout the night, and at 08h30 my membranes ruptured. My contractions became unbearable. My contractions felt as if they were on top of each other, with no break. I was moved to the delivery room, and given gas. I received an epidural at around 11h30. I had gone from 3cm at 07h00, to 9,5cm at 11h30. Looking back, I realised that it was far too late for an epidural…if this was a normal delivery. But there was no fear of it endangering the baby. It was more important to the medical staff to take my pain away and make me comfortable.
I started to push around 12h30. I was able to feel her head when she was crowning. Something I had been looking forward to. I know most women fear childbirth, but I was so looking forward to it. I was so looking forward to the experience. Finally getting, my turn. I pushed for about three contractions, and then at 13h07 on 2 August 2019, she was born. But in silence. And the silence was so loud. She was placed on my bare chest, another thing that was important for me to preserve. I could not wait for skin to skin, and would always have fought for it. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I fell in love. She was perfect. The most beautiful little baby girl I had ever seen. Perfect little features. Long feet, long slender fingers and toes. She was tall, like her Dad and I. And she had my chin dimple.
Our midwife gently bathed and clothed her, made prints of Harper’s beautiful hand and foot prints for us. At some point in the afternoon, we were advised that we would need to call the funeral home ourselves, as Harper would need to leave the hospital before us. And then it struck me. We would need to hand our baby over to a stranger, and leave the hospital empty handed. The whole thing was so wrong. When the gentleman arrived, my husband had to take Harper from me, as I could not bring myself to hand her over. And then he left. With our precious baby. He was gone. Harper was gone. We gathered our bags, and walked out of the L&D ward…alone. I know that when you leave with your baby, that a nurse walks you out. But we were completely alone.
In the days that followed, I was lucky enough to be able to contact our Doula and message her whenever I needed to. I leaned heavily on her, and she would check up on me. I realise that she understood me. She herself had had a loss. We now were members of the same club, and we spoke a language that only people who have lost a baby can understand. In one of our chats, I told her how strongly I feel about helping other families. I felt that Harper’s life was more than a statistic. I need her life to mean more than just a story people tell when they say “I have friends who lost a baby…”. She told me about Bereavement Doulas, and I am in the process of attaining my certification. My focus is not on the actual birth. My focus is on the Mama that goes home empty handed, and the days that she walks alone thereafter.
Harper's cord and placenta were tested. But the tests showed absolutely no cause for her death. A fluke. Freak accident. Unexplained.
Our loss journey unfortunately hasn’t ended there. I fell pregnant for the second time in December 2019. We were excited, but cautiously optimistic. Maybe it was PTSD, but I can never look at an ultrasound machine, or walk into the hospital without feeling fearful. And we were right to be cautious. Early scans showed no growth, and at 7 weeks my pregnancy was diagnosed as a blighted ovum. I was scheduled for an evacuation the next day, as I could not bear to experience a miscarriage. Not after having delivered my full term baby girl. And now we are once again waiting for it to be our turn.
-Harper Thea Hobson -
We found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our daughter was not growing as expected and were told she likely would not live. Over the course of the next 17 weeks we discovered she had osteogenesis imperfecta, a type of skeletal dysplasia that can be fatal in infants. My water broke at home, in bed, when I was 37 weeks. Storie was our first baby, so it was funny watching my husband run around the house at 4:30 AM in a panic, throwing random things in a bag! I was in labor for 15 hours and then our precious daughter, Storie Grace, was born. We heard her tiny little cry (what a BEAUTIFUL sound) and the doctor placed her on my chest. A neonatologist checked her over and confirmed she would not live long. My husband and I spent 45 minutes with her alone where we sang to her, talked to her and snuggled her close. Then we welcomed our family members and friends that were in the waiting room to come meet her. Shortly after that Storie passed away peacefully in my arms, surrounded by her family. It was the most beautiful, heart wrenching day of our lives but the 87 minutes we had with our baby girl was incredible. I wouldn’t trade those 87 minutes for anything. We gaze upon the future with excitement knowing we will one day be reunited with Storie in Heaven.