Remembering Our Babies- Baby Bohn

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. 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.

BABY BOHN

My husband and I got married Aug 20, 2011, three days before my 30th birthday. Everyone asked us right from the get-go when we were going to have kids. My husband’s coy reply was always “In 2 years”, even after we’d been married for a year! We had discussed that we wanted to wait 2 years to try for a baby, so around Christmas 2012, we decided that since it usually can take up to 6 months to conceive once you actively start TTC, we were going to start trying in May 2013.

May came and went with no BFP. The 2 week wait that month was the longest 2 weeks of my life! June and July also came and went and I started losing hope that it would be as easy as we thought it would be.

In August, we had booked a hotel room in the Twin Cities for our anniversary/my birthday. We had a wonderful time and were relaxed and at ease the whole week. September 4th, I was supposed to go to work, when I woke up with a terrible tooth ache. The whole side of my face was swelled up and I ended up calling in to work and having to get my tooth pulled. I remember the dentist asking if I could possibly be pregnant. Since it was during the 2 week wait for that cycle, I told her yes, even though in my heart, I was seriously doubting it since I’d been disappointed the previous three months. Just to be on the safe side though, I told them it was possible and they took all the necessary precautions. I was then given Vicodin for pain relief and sent home. I only took the medicine twice because the pain wasn’t that bad, for which I was grateful. The rest of the time I used 2 ibuprofen, and that was only a couple times.

On Sept 9th, I called my mom and mentioned to her that my period was due the next day and that if I didn’t get it, I would test the following morning. I told her my breasts were tender, but that was normal right before my period. Sept 10th came, but my period did not, so the morning of Sept 11th, I took the pregnancy test. I wasn’t expecting much, but I just wanted to be sure. I laid it on the counter, cleaned up the bathroom a little bit, and when I went to look at the test, there was my faint second line! I was so shocked that I didn’t believe it. My husband was at work and wouldn’t be on his lunch break for a couple more hours. I ran to Walmart to get another test, a different brand, just to make sure that it wasn’t a false positive. Sure enough, another faint line!

At that point, my first emotion was despair and guilt… why would God let me finally get pregnant when I had been using these drugs that could harm the baby?! I burst into heart-wrenching sobs and just cried out to God until I had no tears left. Then, once I had control of my emotions again, I started to feel this unexplainable joy begin to blossom in my heart. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! My whole life, from the time I was old enough to know what babies were, I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother. That had been my only dream for my life, above career, location… everything else paled in comparison to this longing in my heart.

I gathered up the positive tests and text my husband that I was going to come to his work and have lunch with him. Because we talked daily about whether the next test would be positive, when I showed him the positives, he wasn’t really surprised, but he was excited!

I went to the doctor that morning just to confirm that I was indeed pregnant. They told me that yes I was and my due date was May 17, 2014. I was walking on air during the whole appointment and the nurse was laughing because I couldn’t quit smiling. I was so excited because the timing was perfect. Since our wedding was in my birthday month, I wanted our baby to be born in my husband’s birthday month. My due date was 10 days after his birthday! It couldn’t have worked out any better than if I’d been able to plan it all on purpose!

I made a mental list of everyone I wanted to tell and in what order to tell them. I called my mom and told her I wanted to have lunch. We met up at a thrift store for some girl shopping time and I had the positive tests sitting on the passenger seat of my truck. I told her I had something for her in the truck and to come get it. She looked in there, picked up the tests, stared at them long and hard and said “Really?? I’m gonna be a grandma?!?!” We laughed and cried and hugged and she was just as excited as I was!

From there, it was a series of telling other family and friends. My aunt and family friend were the next to find out later that day. I wanted my dad there, but I wouldn’t see him until a few days later. It killed me to have to keep quiet until then, but I wanted him to be one of the first to know. He was so excited for us and it was worth the wait! Finally I was able to post it on Facebook after we told my husband’s family. Everyone we knew was so happy for us, knowing how badly I wanted a baby.

My only symptoms in the following weeks were extremely sore breasts, food didn’t taste good and my appetite was cut in half. My mom told me that was all that happened to her when she was pregnant with me, so I was hoping that would be the extent of my symptoms for the duration of the pregnancy. I told everyone at work that I was expecting, partly because I couldn’t keep it to myself and partly because I worked in retail and it can be very physically demanding at times.

Everything was going smoothly and I was keeping daily track of the fetal development. At 6 weeks, I posted on Facebook that the baby’s heart started beating that week! I was thrilled that in a few weeks, I’d be getting my first ultrasound and would hear the baby’s heartbeat!

At 7 weeks along, on the morning of Sept 29th, I got up for work and gave my husband a hug goodbye. I told him that it was weird, but my breasts didn’t hurt so bad that morning. I was glad because it was getting hard to cuddle with him when I couldn’t even rest my chest against him without extreme discomfort. I went to work and felt fine all morning. I had some mild cramping, but I had had that since I found out I was pregnant and mentioned it to the nurse, who said it was normal. Around noon, I went to use the restroom, and I saw there was a noticeable amount of blood in my panties. My heart dropped to my stomach and started to panic. I calmed myself down enough to leave the bathroom and decided to take my lunch break early so I could call the nurse hotline. The nurse said that I should go home and rest and if the bleeding got worse, to go to the ER, but that he didn’t think it was anything to worry about. But I knew that he was wrong. I knew that I was having a miscarriage. I went back into work and called my manager and told her that I thought I was having a miscarriage. I started crying while I was telling her and told her I was leaving for the day and I would keep her updated.

I called my husband and told him that I was bleeding and that I thought I was losing the baby. He told me to just get home so I could rest, so I got off the phone with him and called my mom. Her landlord worked at the hospital and she told my mom if I was bleeding, it was a good chance that the baby was already gone. My mom and I cried together on the phone until I got home, then, weeping, I fell into my husband’s arms and we just stood there, mourning the moment. I cried until I was exhausted, knowing that my dreams of becoming a mother to this child were shattered.

Throughout the afternoon, evening, and into the next morning, my body expelled all the tissue that had been sustaining the little life in my womb. Every hour I would get out of bed and collect more of what came out, so that I could bring it to the doctor the next day. As soon as the clinic opened that morning, I called and made an appointment. I cried through the whole thing. The midwife looked at the tissue I had brought in and said that it was definitely placental tissue and that it was evidence of a miscarriage.

I felt so empty. I felt like it must’ve been my fault for using the medication I’d been given for pain before I knew I was pregnant. The midwife assured me that miscarriage is just one of those things that happens more often than most people are aware, and that there is nothing that I did to cause it, and nothing I could’ve done to prevent it.

I went home and grieved through the day with my husband. The next day, we started calling our family and posted on Facebook that our baby went to be with Jesus. All our friends and family were as devastated as we were. We had a lot of support from everyone we knew, and people started telling us how they had gone through similar circumstances. It was so hard, but I was very grateful for the people God had placed in our lives, and their compassion for us in our darkest hours.

A few days later, my mom came over to keep me company so I wouldn’t be alone, and I told her the details of what happened. I told her that I didn’t think the baby had passed yet, or if it had, that I had missed it, and that it made me sad because if I had the baby, then I would be able to have a feeling of closure. Later that day, after my mom had left, I used the restroom, and one little piece of something came out that was different from everything else that had passed initially. It was the right size and shape to have been my baby, and I’m 98% sure that it was. I had a strange peace after that. I felt fiercely protective of this little life that never made it past 7 weeks formed.

That week, my husband and I took our baby, wrapped in a brand new blanket, and we buried our firstborn beneath a tree in my mom’s woods. We didn’t name our baby since we didn’t know the gender, but I know that God has a name for every life that He creates, and He has given our baby the perfect name in Heaven. I can’t wait to meet my child!

It has been almost 9 months and my baby’s due date has come and gone. It was a bittersweet time for me because of all the “could have been’s”. But I know that my baby is happy and healthy in God’s arms and if they can’t be in mine, there’s no other place I’d want them to be!

My husband and I are still trying to conceive again, but as of yet have been unsuccessful. I have surrendered our situation to the Lord and we are waiting on His timing. I praise Him that I got to be a mommy to my tiny little one even if for only a few weeks!

 

Thank you to Baby Bohn’s mommy for sharing her precious child’s story with us. I love seeing proud mama’s honoring their babies, regardless of how early they lost them. For all of you reading this, I would like to ask for you to pray for Tanya. Will you pray that God gives her a healthy rainbow baby SOON? I know how hard it is to wait and wait and wait for your baby of hope to come after losing a child. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Please pray that she doesn’t even have to wait one more month and that this next baby will end up healthy and screaming in her arms.

If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at bethanysk55@yahoo.com 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.

Our Baby Pax

It has taken me a while to write about our baby Pax because it was just too painful at first and I needed a little privacy to work through my fresh grief. I’m feeling healed enough now to share a little bit about our baby Pax.

Pax is our 5th child, who we lost to an early miscarriage in October. We thought he/she would be our rainbow baby after losing Lucy and Jude, but it wasn’t to be. We were so excited to get another positive pregnancy test, but very cautious with our hope. The exact same thing happened with Pax that happened with Jude in July. I got a positive pregnancy test, and another and another. I even tested with a few different brands to make sure it was right. After several days I noticed the second line on the tests stopped getting darker and a few days after that I noticed them getting lighter. We lost the baby at the exact same gestation as Jude. Strangely, I had a lot of peace the whole time. I think I’m learning to hold my children with an open hand (or maybe I’m just getting pessimistic.) Either way, God blessed me with peace as I was losing my third baby in eight months. That is a miracle.

My doctor reminded me that this early loss is not connected to anti-kell antibodies at all, since that can’t affect the baby until about 16 or 17 weeks at the earliest. The doctor couldn’t find any reason for this miscarriage, just like my last one with Jude.

We decided to name our baby “Pax” because it means peace. I always wanted to name one of my babies Pax, but Josh said absolutely not because Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have a kid named Pax and he didn’t want people to think we were copying them. Well, after we lost this baby he said we could use the name, so I finally got my baby Pax. I always wanted five kids and now I have them. I feel blessed, but it feels strange for my children in heaven to outnumber my children on earth.

Unfortunately, I never got an ultrasound picture of the baby, but I do have pictures of me while I was pregnant with Pax. Here I am with my boys (and baby Pax) at the Memphis zoo. It was a fun, sunny day and I remember feeling so happy, almost buoyant. I am blessed to have this one happy memory with my baby Pax (and my other two lovies, of course.)

IMG_2579

Pax was due on June 15th, my Dad’s birthday. It has been hard to see other women who are due in June announce their pregnancies. It is hard to see their bellies grow round with the life of their child while mine, yet again, remains flat. And it is hard to see my boys lose the heart to keep praying for a baby they can keep. Losing a baby is so hard, at any stage. Losing THREE is devastating. But God, He is my redeemer and He has given me peace. Nothing can separate me from His love and nothing can separate my children from His love. Even though I am not full of joy right now, it is well with my soul.

“JOY” ¬†-One of my favorite songs since losing Lucy. I cry every time I hear it.

Ornaments for Lucy and her friends

The other night we put up our Christmas tree. It wasn’t as sad as I thought it would be because the boys were so excited and their joy was contagious. I did have a breakdown when I saw this ornament, which should be Lucy’s this year (It says “Baby’s 1st Christmas” at the bottom.)

photo-16

But instead I ordered this ornament for her and it looks so beautiful on the tree.

photo-17

The next day, the boys and I painted ornaments for Lucy and her friends in heaven. They still don’t know about their other two siblings in heaven, so I just included them as two more of “Lucy’s friends.” photo-19photo-20photo-21

Painting these ornaments for these babies made me so happy. Not much about Christmas this year has made me happy, but this did. The boys loved hearing all the names of Lucy’s friends, especially Liam. He understands much more than Asher and thinks heaven is a very cool place with cool people in it (and he’s right.) It seems to comfort him to know Lucy has friends to play with. He asked several times, “Mommy, tell me all the names again.” I love saying these babies’ names because they are not said enough. They should be said for a lifetime, but very few people hear their names spoken. They were spoken in my house on this day and it sounded beautiful to my ears.

We made ornaments for Simon, Milly Brandon, Lucy, Jude, Pax, Calvin, Luke, Rylan, Esther, Taidgh, Aubrey Rose and Ann Reese (both represented by the AR) and baby V. photo-18There were so many other babies I wanted to make ornaments for and I almost went back to Hobby Lobby to buy more ornaments to paint, but then I thought, “Where will it end?” I would have to buy several packs of ornaments if I wanted to make one for every baby that I know who has been lost. I don’t even know if they would all fit on my Christmas tree. That thought made me sad because how can so many babies die? How can so many parents and siblings go through this pain? So, this year I decided to only make as many ornaments that came in the pack I bought. As I worked on each ornament I prayed for the family who is missing their precious baby this Christmas. Every time I see these ornaments on the tree now I pray for these families. Liam was so excited about hanging all the ornaments on the tree and wouldn’t let anybody else do it.photo-23 photo-24photo-22

And of course, he hung them all at the very bottom of the tree ūüôā

photo-25Merry Christmas Simon, Lucy, Jude, Pax, Luke, Rylan, baby V., Aubrey Rose, Calvin, Milly Brandon, Ann Reese, Esther and Taidgh. I know your first Christmas in heaven is going to be so much more amazing than all of our Christmases on earth put together.

*Edited to add- I just realized that this is not Ann Reese’s first Christmas in heaven. She died last Christmas Eve, so technically this is her second Christmas in heaven, although it’s not any easier on her family I’m sure.

Remembering Our Babies- Brianna Marie

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.

BRIANNA MARIE

In August 2011, my husband and I were thrilled to find out I was pregnant with our third child. We already had two boys (2 and 5 years old) and while I was praying for a healthy baby, deep down I was also hoping for a girl.

In November, at 18 weeks pregnant, my husband and I were given the devastating news that our unborn daughter had a fatal illness known as non-immune fetal hydrops. This fetal condition is caused when abnormal amounts of fluid build in two or more body areas of a fetus or newborn. In our daughter’s case, it was in her lungs and stomach and the fluid prevented her lungs from developing.

After meeting with dozens of doctors and praying for a medical miracle, we were given hope by a team of specialized surgeons, nurses, and healthcare professionals to continue the journey with our daughter, Brianna. We knew the odds of survival were slim, but all of Brianna’s genetic tests came back normal and her other organs were growing and functioning as they should. We knew we had to continue to fight for her.

I had three serious fetal surgeries, one of which had never been done on a baby with fetal hydrops before. A total of four shunts were inserted into Brianna’s chest cavity and a device known as an intraluminal tracheal occlusion was placed through Brianna’s mouth to promote her lung growth. These operations were performed at the University of Miami by Dr. Ruben Quintero, a fetal surgeon and the inventor of the device used on our child.

Our daughter Brianna was born on March 16, 2012. She was with us for 15 of the most memorable hours before God took her back as his angel. Brianna ultimately died of cardiac and pulmonary failure. We, along with our team of doctors, learned a great deal about fetal lung development and growth while on our journey with Brianna. It is our hope that more research can be done to teach medical professionals about fetal lungs as well as invent new techniques and devices that can save babies with conditions like that of my daughter.

A parent can never fully prepare for the loss of their child. There will forever be a hole in my heart left by her absence, but I would not change a thing that was done during my time with Brianna. I got to know her on an intimate level as mothers do with their babies. I just pray that research prevents other families from having to go through the heartache that we have endured.

This is the reason my¬†husband and I have created a foundation in Brianna‚Äôs honor. ¬†I documented the entire journey in a book titled:¬†¬†My Journey with an Angel— 100% of proceeds go directly into the foundation.

-Aran

What an incredible journey Aran went through to try to save her daughter’s life. I can’t believe they were able to do three fetal surgeries to give Brianna a chance. Aran is a brave woman to go through all of that and her love for Brianna is evident. I look forward to reading her book about her experience. It breaks my heart to learn about another Mama who had two boys and then lost her girl. And what a strong baby Brianna was. It sounds like she fought so hard. To learn more about baby Brianna you can check out her website here¬†www.briannamariefoundation.com

If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at bethanysk55@yahoo.com ¬†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.

Remembering Our Babies- Jude Weathersby

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.

JUDE WEATHERSBY

I know it might seem silly to write about a baby that I know absolutely nothing about and only developed for a few weeks, but Jude is my baby and I want to honor his or her life. Jude is my fourth child, my second child to skip earth and go straight from my womb to heaven. Jude is Liam, Asher and Lucy’s baby brother or sister. Jude was due on March 19th, 2014 and was lost in an early miscarriage.

Our baby Jude was such a miracle and answer to prayer, even though we never got to meet him/her. After losing Lucy we were told we shouldn’t ever try again naturally for a baby. We never thought we would be able to try again. I never thought I would be able to watch that second line slowly appear and feel my heart drop right out of my chest. What a blessing that we got to do that again and that we now have another sweet baby to look forward to meeting in heaven.

I found out I was pregnant on Lucy’s due date and I wept because I loved my new baby so much already. I thought that maybe I could just hold back the love for my next baby until I knew if I would get to meet him or her, but when I saw those two pink lines I knew it would be impossible. It felt great to let go and just love my new baby with all my heart. Josh warned me to be careful because we might not get to keep the baby. We both agreed that we were terrified, but then decided to just soak in the moment. At that moment I was pregnant and there was a brand new life growing and that’s what we could celebrate, and we did. I’m glad I did now, and I’m glad I loved my new baby with all my heart because I had Jude with me for such a short time. I don’t regret anything. Baby Jude was our rainbow baby, the joy after the storm. For the short time I knew I was pregnant I felt hope and joy and I laughed and food tasted good again. It was beautiful, just like a rainbow; gorgeous and mesmerizing and fleeting.

I have no pictures of Jude, not even an ultrasound picture, but I have pictures of me while I was pregnant so here are a couple (aren’t my boys SO good at taking pictures?)

IMG_7192securedownload

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” -Dr. Seuss

If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at bethanysk55@yahoo.com ¬†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.

Remembering Our Babies- Sean Justin Jr.

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.

SEAN JUSTIN JR.

25-100_2305

Many girls find out they‚Äôre pregnant at nineteen and look for every opportunity they can to run the other way. That wasn’t me. As I sat alone in the bathroom staring at the pregnancy test, I found a sense of pride and excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I was scared. But there was something inside of me that gave me the courage to be a mother, and I’ll always be grateful for that. My boyfriend at the time was freaked out. He didn’t know that he was ready to be a dad, not emotionally, not financially, not spiritually. He felt as though he hadn’t grown up himself, and wasn’t ready to raise a baby. We put our heads and hearts together, and at twelve weeks we sat in the dark room tapping our feet waiting for our first glimpse of the baby. He danced around and moved like he was destined to be some professional athlete. The doctor turned up the volume and we heard the fastest “boom boom boom.” As we drove away from the doctor’s office, my boyfriend grabbed my hand and told me how excited he was. He took all the pictures with him to work, and within hours I was getting “congratulations” text messages, calls, and Facebook posts. I felt on top of the world.

Morning sickness was typical, but I had a special condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Basically, I would vomit uncontrollably at all hours of the day. I lost my job because of my inability to function or even show up some days. I spent a great deal of time laying in bed, and sleeping to avoid the feeling of nausea. I lost ten pounds by the fifteen week mark. My dehydration had caused a kidney infection, so I was in the ER at 16 weeks, 1 day, receiving fluids. The on call doctor did an ultrasound just to “check” on our little one. She accidentally slipped and told us the sex, it was a boy. I had known all along, it was just a feeling I had. But my boyfriend cried on the way home when he found out he would have the opportunity to be the father he never had. I’ll never forget moments like that.

Week 23 is when things started to look down. I had an overwhelming feeling of heartburn, like I had swallowed something too big and it wouldn’t go away. I saw my doctor, and then a doctor in L&D, both of which told me it was typical for late second trimester. Finally, on February 21st, I went in to a different L&D after dropping off my boyfriend at work. We had planned to take a trip to Seattle as a weekend getaway, and I wanted to get one last opinion before I left. That trip to the hospital saved my life. My blood pressure was a “bit” high, so they kept me for monitoring for a few hours. Finally, my doctor stepped in and explained to me what pre-eclampsia was and feared that I may have it. She told me not to be alarmed, that it was fairly common and that I would likely hold out pregnancy until thirty seven weeks. She told the nurse to keep taking my blood pressure, and let her know if anything changed. Minutes later, the “heartburn” feeling in my chest turned to a stabbing pain and I was laying in the floor screaming in pain. The nurse rushed in and gave me a shot of morphine, but the pain wasn’t even dulled in the slightest. The doctor came in and told me I would be transported to a bigger hospital with a high-risk OB, and so my boyfriend left work and met me there.

I received magnesium treatments in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. My entire body became warm, and I had no idea what was going on. When I finally reached the hospital, I was vomiting uncontrollably. The nurse on call wouldn’t allow me to have water and I remember being so angry with her. I was pregnant! How was she going to deny me hydration?! A few minutes later an ultrasound was performed and I had several people crowded around me. Then, the room emptied and it was just my boyfriend and I. I told him how scared I was. He told me how scared he was. We joked about the kicks our little one was throwing. Then, the doctors reentered the room. They brought in several chairs and the high risk doctor (who was foreign and didn’t speak great English) said to me, “we have some not great news. you have severe onset HELLP syndrome and you will die if you don’t deliver in the next forty eight hours. our ultrasound shows that the baby is four weeks behind in gestational growth, so there is likely not much that we can do.” I immediately started crying. My boyfriend sat there awaiting the “but” or the alternative to his explanation, and then looked at me. I called my mom and she hopped on a plane to meet me the next day. I was induced that night, and about twenty four hours later, at 7:37 PM, I gave birth to our beautiful son, weighing only 14 oz. My labor was all natural, and the most painful experience of my life.

By suggestion of the priest, we named our son Sean Justin Jr, after his father. He was baptised and I held him for the final time before the nurses took him. His body was absolutely perfect. He had my nose, and my boyfriend’s eyes. He was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I still cannot believe that my body created something so flawless.

The nurse for my arrival was truly a gift from God. I’ll never forget her. Catherine. She gave me the most love, sympathy, and care that I have ever received. I’m crying now just thinking about her. She made the whole process much easier. The decisions on what to do with his body, the papers for his death certificate, the pictures of him, the molds of his hands and feet, and most importantly just coming to check on me while I cried during the night. I was on magnesium, I had a catheter, I was bleeding copious amounts, and I vomited continuously. But she never acted as though I was a burden to her. I was never scared or in pain, and she made sure of that. On the day that I was discharged from the hospital, she made a special trip in on her day off to say goodbye to me. That’s when she told me that she had lost a child as well. I will forever be grateful to have been graced by such a delightful person.

I was in the hospital for four weeks. I was very, very, ill. There were times when my doctor would take my mother and boyfriend to the side and let them know that I was possibly too sick to survive. But I pushed through and eventually made a recovery. My health has improved tremendously.

Emotionally, I have been through many stages of grief. Sadness, following the cards of grief and leaving the hospital empty handed. Helplessness, contemplating taking my own life because living despite my son’s death was unfair to him. Anger, taken out on all of the people closest to me, and on myself; who should I be mad at? Isolation; who, at 20 years old, wants to hear some girl vent about losing her baby…. nobody. And finally, wisdom. I believe that my grief cycle will only prosper from here. I have found a considerable appreciation for life and the fragile nature of it. I have witnessed first hand how quickly it can be taken away. I am so lucky to wake up everyday, and that’s how I treat life. I am so much more considerate of everyone, including strangers, because I am unaware of the battle they are facing themselves. I have changed into a completely different person, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. My son has taught me the true value of loving someone more than I love myself.

Since my loss, I have gotten engaged to my fiance’, I have moved into a new home, adopted a puppy, and worked on bettering myself. My guardian angel is looking over me in everything I do. I can feel him in the most beautiful of moments, through the rain and sunshine, the way the waves hit the shore, and in the way a song just sounds so much more beautiful. I live everyday to make him proud, and my fiance and I want nothing more than to create a life that commemorates him. We are young, but God has made us the best that we can be. My name is Taelor, I’m twenty years old, and I lost my son, Sean, to severe onset HELLP syndrome at 24 weeks.

Thank you, Taelor, for sharing your baby Sean with us. You are such a brave woman and I’m so sorry you lost him after such a hard pregnancy. He sounds so cute and perfect. I love his sweet little feet. I truly think that you will be able to help women in the future who are suffering, just like Catherine helped you.

If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at bethanysk55@yahoo.com ¬†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.

Remembering Our Babies- Cary Lewis, McKayla Grace, Elijah Evan, Kelsey Braeden, Jorryn Connor

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 ¬Ĺ 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‚Äôs appointment.¬†¬†We were so excited to be pregnant with no ‚Äúbuts‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†On my first doctor‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôs the day the nurses and doctor couldn‚Äôt 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‚Äôt 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 ‚Äď we hadn‚Äôt taken any medication at all!!!!!!!!! It was a total surprise.¬†¬†8 ¬Ĺ 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 ‚Äď no medication this time either!!!!!!¬†¬†Things were going well up to 7 weeks.¬†¬†That‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď 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 ¬Ĺ 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 ‚Äď apprehensive ‚Äď 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‚Ķ¬†¬†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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 bethanysk55@yahoo.com ¬†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.