Every baby is special, every life is important, and every Mom wants to show off her baby. For those of us who lose our babies too soon, we don’t ever get to show them off and we rarely get to say their names or tell people about them. In our country, thousands of babies are stillborn every year, roughly one every twenty minutes. There are even more miscarriages. Here on my blog, I want to remember all of the lost babies and give their parents an opportunity to show them off. These Mamas are so proud of their babies and are going to share them with us here. Since Lucy died on a Friday, I will share a new baby’s story every Friday. We honor these little lives by acknowledging their presence with us, even if it was a very short time. Do you know how these babies are loved? Do you know that each baby was cherished by their families, even if they left only after a few weeks? Do you know how these babies are missed every single day? Please pray for these families, who have to live every day without their precious children.
CARY LEWIS FONDREN
MCKAYLA GRACE FONDREN
ELIJAH EVAN FONDREN
KELSEY BRAEDEN FONDREN
JORRYN CONNOR FONDREN
My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for about a year and a half. I was shocked when I found out we were going to have problems getting pregnant. We had planned out our life and this was when we were to begin our family. I guess I thought it would just happen. We planned to have children one month and I thought the next month we would. I was so surprised. I’ve always had irregular periods but I never dreamed this would affect me getting pregnant. I went to two different doctors. I went through taking Clomid (a fertility drug) and progesterone.
About 1 ½ more years passed and we finally got pregnant. We found out on a Monday that we were finally pregnant. How wonderful it was to hear those words. To know that all the plumbing did work – with help! But even from the start there was a damper. My doctor told me in the very next sentence that my HCG level was really low and that they either detected the pregnancy very early (which by my calculations was impossible) or that there were problems and I would miscarry. He said to come back on Thursday and they would check my level again. Three days seemed like an eternity; wondering if the baby was still there; wondering if every thing was going to be O.K. Thursday rolled around and I went in at 8:15 for them to take blood. At 2:30 my doctor called me at work and told me that I had lost the baby. I started my period that very night. I know it sounds strange to say that I loved this baby that I only knew about for 4 days. But I did. I loved this child from the first moment that I found out he/she was inside of me. We named the baby Cary Lewis Fondren. Cary means “love” and Lewis was my maiden name.
Four months of more fertility drugs passed and we got pregnant again. As far as we knew everything was going O.K. up till my first doctor’s appointment. We were so excited to be pregnant with no “buts”. On my first doctor’s appointment they did an ultrasound. Since I was 7 weeks we were going to see the heart beat. But as it turned out the baby was very small for a 7 week old. It was the size of a 5 week old. We saw no heart beat. My doctor told me that either I was not as far along as I originally thought or something was wrong. I went back in on a Thursday to have my level checked again. I found out at 4:00 that day that I would probably lose this baby, too. Three weeks of more ultrasounds passed until we finally decided to have a D&C, since the baby had quit growing and my body didn’t realize that it had died. Genetic testing showed that the baby was a girl and she died of Trisomy 16. We named her McKayla Grace Fondren. McKayla means “Who is like God” and Grace means “grace of God”.
We tried for about 7 more months with no visible progress. We then decided to take a break for a few months. We rested for about 3 months. Then all the treatments resumed. We continued on the medication for 2 months and then found out we were pregnant. We received excellent reports all the way up to our 16th week. That’s the day the nurses and doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat and saw on the ultrasound that the baby had no blood flow. It appears that the baby died around week 14. We had to have another D&C. Genetic testing showed that he was a boy and they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. We named him Elijah Evan Fondren. Elijah means “The Lord is my God” and Evan means “God is gracious”.
Six months after our third miscarriage we found out that we were once again pregnant. This time was different however – we hadn’t taken any medication at all!!!!!!!!! It was a total surprise. 8 ½ months later God gave us our miracle baby girl, Lyndal! Her birth was very eventful and I almost died, but God spared me.
21 months after Lyndal was born we found out we were pregnant again! To our surprise – no medication this time either!!!!!! Things were going well up to 7 weeks. That’s when the heartbeat stopped. It appears that the baby died about 6 weeks. We had to have another D&C. They were unable to analyze the baby for genetic testing. We named the baby Kelsey Braeden Fondren. Kelsey means “helper” and Braeden means “from the dark valley”.
Just under two months after the last D&C we found out we were once again pregnant. We had just started seeing a reproductive specialist. They were the ones who told us we were pregnant – we had no idea. So once again no medication. We did find out that I have a syndrome called Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. In a nut shell, my body sees my babies as something that it needs to terminate. It mainly does this by producing blood clots that clots off the blood flow to the baby. To help combat this, I started taking Heparin injections twice a day in my stomach. I was at 5 ½ weeks along when we learned that the pregnancy was not viable and that it was probably a tubal pregnancy. I took low doses of a chemotherapy drug called Methotrexate to help my body realize that the pregnancy was not working. Two weeks later I had to have major emergency surgery to remove the growing baby from my tube and to stop my internal hemorrhaging. We named the baby Jorryn Connor Fondren. Jorryn means “the one God loves” and Connor means “much wanted”.
Four months after the surgery we learned that my right tube is indeed blocked off from scar tissue and that there was a possibility that I would not be able to bear any more children.
9 months later we found out that we were pregnant. And boy were we excited – apprehensive – but excited. We were in unbelief that God would get us pregnant with only one tube and my history of not ovulating. I started all my daily medications, including twice a day Heparin injections into my stomach. This pregnancy also brought about some cardiac problems that kept us on our toes and caused much tiredness, trips to the ER, palpitations, etc… Later in the pregnancy I learned that I had gestational diabetes which meant a drastic change in my diet. At 27 weeks I learned that I had low amniotic fluid, probably due to my syndrome still trying to kill the baby. So weekly ultrasounds, doctor visits and baby monitoring were set up. I was also placed on a modified bed rest and took steroid injections to help the baby’s lungs form quicker just in case they had to take her early. At 30 weeks they had to go ahead and deliver Alina Grace because my fluid was so low. She stayed in the NICU for 34 days. She is another example of God’s grace.
When Alina was 11 months old we found out we were once again pregnant – no medication. We were totally elated! As before, we started all the daily medications and twice a day Heparin injections. I also had cardiac problems and gestational diabetes again. With this pregnancy, I found out that I had Issoimmunization (I’m RH Negative and my blood came into some contact with RH Positive blood and was producing antibodies to fight against it) which can cause anemia in an unborn child which can be fatal. I had to go to UAB monthly for ultrasounds. Praise the Lord, precious Cohen Wesley was born at 37 weeks with no major complications. I had to have extra surgery after his delivery because my intestines had grown to my uterus. But he, thankfully, was totally healthy and had no complications from the Issoimmunization other than a little jaundice.
When Cohen was about 2 1/2 years old, we found out we were pregnant again – no medication. Again, we were elated! As before, we started all the daily medication and twice a day Heparin injections into my stomach. I once again had cardiac problems and the issues with Issoimmunization. I again went to UAB for monthly ultrasounds. Praise the Lord, precious Elias Arthur Fondren was born at 37 weeks. He, too, was jaundice, but unlike our other children his jaundice was Coombs Positive. It was caused from my Issoimmunization and is quiet dangerous. His billirubin levels would go down but unlike regular jaundice they would shoot back up to dangerous levels. He had to stay in the hospital a couple of extra days. Again, I had to have extra surgery because my uterus had this time grown to my stomach. Thankfully, at the time of this writing Eli is totally healthy and has no complications.
So, we now have four healthy, happy children here on earth and five precious children waiting on us in heaven. Even after everything I’ve been through, I can still honestly say that God is good!
This woman is my hero. She reached out to me when my Lucy died and through her sorrow I have been comforted. Her story encourages me so much. She is one of the main reasons why I am trying again for another baby. Through her story I have been reassured that it’s not wrong to want another baby after losing one. It’s not wrong to keep trying, even when the odds don’t seem good. Tina’s courage and perseverance are amazing, and I know her strength comes from God. What if she had given up after she lost her first baby? Or her second baby? Or her third baby? Or what if she stopped after having Lyndal, the first baby she brought home from the hospital? She very easily could have decided that she had one healthy one and the risks were too high and the heartache too deep to try again. She would have missed out on her four sweet children growing and loving and playing all around her now. And one day, when she gets to heaven and five new and wonderful children run into her arms she will think how thankful she is that she kept on trying. I have to include this quote from Elisabeth Elliot because it reminds me so much of Tina, who trusted God enough to accept whatever He gave her.
“Receive all from His hand, accept with gratitude just the portion and the cup He offers. Shall I charge Him with a mistake in His measurements or with misjudging the sphere in which I can best learn to trust Him?…The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
Thank you, Tina, for sharing your precious babies with us today. They are all so special and I love that you gave each baby such a meaningful name. I am excited about meeting Cary, McKayla, Elijah, Kelsey and Jorryn in heaven and telling them how their story and their Mama helped me so much while I was on earth.
If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can share whatever you want about your baby, and you don’t have to include your name if you don’t want to. Also, I think your baby is just as important if you lost him/her at 6 weeks or at 40 weeks. Even if you never knew the sex of your baby, you might have had names picked out, a due date and lots of hopes and dreams for that child. All of that is important and is welcome here.