Lucy’s Story

Here’s the story of how we lost our Lucy Dair. We were so excited when we found out we were pregnant with our third child. I had a strong suspicion it was a girl from the beginning. We had prayed for this baby and we were thrilled that God had blessed us with another sweet life to love.

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We expected a normal, healthy pregnancy and birth like we had with Liam and Asher. Sure enough, the all day, all night nausea and vomiting started around 6 weeks as usual. We didn’t tell anybody we were pregnant until Thanksgiving Day. We put a “Big Bro” shirt on Asher and let him tell everybody. It was so exciting!

IMG_6725We had our first ultrasound at 9 weeks and everything looked perfect, the baby was healthy and bouncing around. It’s so amazing to see your baby for the first time. We loved her completely. Josh left for class right after the ultrasound and I had my appointment with my doctor. I had no idea that my safe, cozy world of happy expectations was about to crumble. Dr. C came in and seemed reserved. He didn’t ask me any of the usual pregnancy questions. He told me there was a problem with the preliminary blood work and he was pretty concerned. There was nothing wrong with the baby, but my blood tested positive for anti-kell antibodies. These antibodies were new, they hadn’t been there when I was pregnant with Liam or Asher. My boys were so happy in the womb that they eventually had to be forced out at 41 weeks! Dr. C told me that if my baby was kell positive then he/she might be in danger. Apparently, my second child, Asher, was kell positive, but I had not been sensitized and did not have the antibodies yet at that point so he wasn’t in danger during the pregnancy. During childbirth some of his blood mixed with my blood. Because his blood was kell positive and mine wasn’t, my body recognized it as a foreign thing and created antibodies to fight it. This is the same thing that happens when your body recognizes a virus in your body. It creates the antibodies to fight the virus and destroys the virus. Well, my body now thought kell positive blood was a virus and my antibodies would attack it and try to destroy it. Dr. C told me I would now have these antibodies for the rest of my life, which means all of the rest of my pregnancies would be risky.

I was referred to a high risk obgyn in Birmingham, but was assured that because they caught it so early and would monitor the baby closely it would probably all turn out ok. These babies are supposed to have at least an 80% chance of survival. Surely we wouldn’t be in the 20%. We found out that my antibody titer (level) was extremely high. A titer of 1:8 or higher was considered dangerous to the baby. Mine was 1:1,024 right from the start! Apparently I have a very good immune system. This was bad news for the baby. We started getting regular weekly ultrasounds and the baby looked great- big and healthy and energetic. I felt her kick for the first time at 15 weeks (just like her brothers) and felt her kick every day after that. We were SO thrilled to find out we were having a girl! Liam and Asher were so excited about having a baby sister to protect. I remember surprising them with some pink Starburst candy and revealing that they would be having a baby sister. My parents screamed and the boys jumped up and down when they found out. I haven’t been able to buy that Starburst candy ever since.

I asked my MFMs when they would be doing an MCA scan because I had read that the only way to tell if the baby is anemic is by doing this special scan on the baby’s middle cerebral artery in her brain. They said they would be doing a level 2 ultrasound on her at 16 weeks and that would show how she was doing. I assumed this would include an MCA scan. I was nervous going in to the big ultrasound. There were two doctors in the room and one ultrasound tech and they were chatting cheerfully. One of them had a son named Liam too. They scanned baby Lucy and looked in depth at each of her organs, measuring and making sure she wasn’t in distress and that all of her organs were developing correctly. They said she looked absolutely perfect. I felt some relief but still had not been told whether she was anemic from the antibodies or not. I asked about the MCA scan and they said, “Oh, we aren’t doing one of those today. We don’t start doing those until 20-24 weeks. Your baby is healthy and doing great.” I asked if they could please do the MCA scan just in case she was anemic and they said no, it’s unnecessary. This dark uneasiness settled in my stomach. “How do they know she is doing great if they didn’t check her for anemia?” I thought. I didn’t know what to do. They were the experts so I let it go, but the terrible feeling that my baby was in danger remained.

At almost 18 weeks I went in for another check up and I asked them to do an MCA scan. The doctors told me again that they don’t do MCAs until 20-24 weeks, even on a patient with an anti-kell titer of 1,024. I had read online that they should start by 18 weeks at the latest. The doctors reassured me that babies aren’t even really affected until 20-24 weeks at the earliest, so she was fine. They also said that because it was my first sensitized pregnancy, the baby probably wasn’t in that much danger. I felt compelled to have the scan, so I decided that I would not be leaving the exam room until they agreed to do the scan. Not one of the MFMs could explain to me the benefits of not doing the MCA scan. After a lot of awkward confrontation, they (reluctantly) did the first MCA scan. No one could believe the results. She was EXTREMELY anemic and was already showing the beginning signs of fetal hydrops, which is how these babies die. Her blood was being attacked by my antibodies and her MoM was 2.5 A baby is supposed to receive an intrauterine blood transfusion once the MoM gets to 1.5 so Lucy had been needing a transfusion for a while and did not receive the treatment she desperately needed. The doctors actually thanked me for pushing to get the MCA scan and said if we had waited even a couple more days she wouldn’t have made it. They immediately scheduled an intrauterine blood transfusion (IUT) for the next morning. I was in shock and realized that I hadn’t felt Lucy kick much that day. I had a feeling that she wasn’t going to make it. My heart was shattered. Carrying around your baby and knowing that she’s probably in the process of dying inside you is one of the worst feelings imaginable. I cried out to God to give me strength and He sustained me.

The next morning we went in for the blood transfusion. Usually these babies aren’t affected until much later in the pregnancy, so they are bigger when they need to have a blood transfusion. Lucy was barely 18 weeks. They had only done one other intrauterine blood transfusion on a baby that tiny EVER at UAB. None of the doctors told me that there were more experienced doctors in other states who could have done the transfusion on Lucy safely. The doctors weren’t sure if they could get any blood to her, but they were willing to try. An IUT is when they stick a long needle through the mothers belly into the baby’s umbilical vein and give the baby a blood transfusion. The procedure went better than they expected (and yes, I was awake through the whole thing!) They couldn’t believe they were able to hit the tiny vein just right. They also went in a second time and put blood into her abdomen. I learned later that doctors are not supposed to put blood into the baby’s belly if fetal hydrops has already started and fluid has collected in the baby’s belly. This blood they put into Lucy’s belly extended her abdomen even more than it already was and put extra strain on her heart. She was unable to absorb the blood in her belly because of the fluid that had already accumulated there.

The doctors tested her blood before they put the new blood in and her hematocrit was 6. That meant she was very, very sick. The doctors told us afterwards that “all of the stars had aligned” and the procedure went perfectly. They were optimistic about her surviving. They said it was a miracle. We scheduled a follow up appointment for a week later. Everyone was elated and thanked God for answering our prayers, but I knew that Lucy wasn’t kicking. I knew something wasn’t right. All the other women online who had IUTs said their babies all perked up after having an IUT and kicked like crazy. Lucy was still. I learned later that the doctors should have checked Lucy 24 hours after the procedure and should have probably done another IUT on her only three or four days after the first. I went home and tried to be a good mommy to one year old Asher and three year old Liam but i was SO, SO sad. Those were some of the most anxiety ridden days of my entire life. I never felt her kick again. I would wake up in the middle of the night in a sweaty, anxious panic. After two days I went back to the ER at UAB in Birmingham because I just knew she was dead. I hadn’t felt her kick in days. The nurse hooked me up to the ultrasound and there was her sweet, strong heartbeat, the best sound in the world. I sobbed and sobbed to hear that beautiful sound. I also noticed that she wasn’t moving much on the ultrasound. The doctors saw her move her arm once and they said the heartbeat sounded good so she was fine. I asked for another MCA scan but they refused. I begged for another MCA scan and they agreed to send down the on call MFM to talk to me. He looked at Lucy on an old portable, grainy ultrasound and said she was fine, but even if she was sick, there was nothing they could do. They had to wait at least a week to do another IUT. This was not true at all, but I didn’t know it at the time. He was the maternal fetal medicine specialist and I was just a mom. What could I do? I had a feeling that I was losing her. I left the labor and delivery floor at their insistence and my heart felt broken. I didn’t know what to do. I realized at this point that I had hardly taken any pregnancy photos because I was afraid of getting attached to the baby. I suddenly wanted to remember being pregnant with her. And of course I was attached to her, I loved her so much. Why in the world did I think I could protect myself from getting attached to my own daughter?! I had my sister take these pictures a few days before Lucy died. I’m smiling, but I was dying inside. Absolutely dying inside.

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 I prayed and prayed and waited and Lucy slowly died inside me while the doctors stood by. Finally it was time for our check up to see if the blood transfusion worked. The doctors did another MCA scan and discovered that her anemia was even WORSE than before the transfusion. She was so sick. She was showing more signs of fetal hydrops and now her heart was showing some signs of damage. The doctors were baffled as to why the blood transfusion apparently didn’t work. They told me she would probably die and they weren’t going to do anything else but they wanted to do some more blood tests on me so I had to go back out into the waiting room for a bit. Oh, how I sobbed and sobbed and all the women in the waiting room were so glad it wasn’t them. We met back with Dr. Owen after my blood was drawn to discuss the plan. I asked them if they could try another blood transfusion and he said he could try but it probably wouldn’t work. His choice was to do nothing. I asked, “But if you do nothing won’t my baby die?” And he said yes. I insisted that they try one more blood transfusion, she was worth it to me. Of course she was worth trying to save, my precious baby girl. He said he had to discuss it with the other MFMs first, this decision of whether my child’s life was worth giving the IUT another try. He came back and said they would try one more transfusion the next morning, but it was almost pointless. She was going to die. Josh and I were devastated. Nothing in the world can prepare you for that feeling.

That was Liam’s 4th birthday, February 7th, and we had to run by Publix on the way home to pick up some cupcakes. The lady who worked in the bakery was pregnant and asked when my baby was due. I told her July 2nd but she had no idea my baby would never make it to July. She congratulated me and told me she was having twins. I wanted to die. After that we went to Toys R Us to get Liam a birthday present. On the way to the monster truck aisle we had to pass by the baby girl clothes. Oh how my heart broke into so many pieces. My legs almost buckled beneath me. I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the next few days. I clung to God. Liam was oblivious and loved his cupcakes.

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The next morning Josh and I drove to Birmingham with heavy hearts. As the nurse was showing us to our room she asked when my baby was due. I told her and she said, “Oh how exciting! You might have a fourth of July baby!” I told her the baby would never make it to July and I wept as she showed me to out room. When we got to the room she tried to listen to Lucy’s heartbeat, but she couldn’t find it. She moved the doppler all over my belly and still nothing. My heart sank. I held my breath. She went and got the doctor and he brought an ultrasound machine with him. And there she was on the screen, my perfect baby girl, dying in the place where she should have been the safest. The doctor looked at her heart and it was barely beating- 60 beats per minute. The image of her little heart struggling to beat has been the hardest one for me to get out of my mind. It comes to me at random times during the day and it slays me every time, regardless of where I am. Hobby Lobby, in the middle of a tutoring session, at church… her tiny little heart struggling to beat. The doctors said she was dying. They rushed out to get another doctor. I held Josh’s hand and we prayed that she wouldn’t suffer. I told God that if she was suffering or if she was going to die I wanted Him to take her right then, just take her. Just take her, Jesus. The doctor rushed back in and looked at the ultrasound and she was gone. He had taken her right when I asked. It’s a strange feeling to know your baby is in heaven. Dying is the biggest, most frightening journey we will ever take and my baby girl had just taken it without her Mommy. I felt proud of her in a way. I wanted to go with her.

I have never in my life felt heartache like I did right then. I looked out the window and the world was grey and stormy and I didn’t know how I would keep living in this dark place without my child. Josh wept and wept and we just stared at each other. Our baby just died. How is this happening?

I knew what was coming and I didn’t want to face it. Laboring and giving birth to her, knowing she was lifeless. Living a lifetime of missing her. Telling Liam and Asher that their baby sister was dead. Again, I clung to God and He whispered, “I will redeem it.” They induced labor a few hours later. I asked the nurse how I was supposed to give birth to my dead baby. Her eyes just filled with tears and she said nothing. It was so exactly like my other two births that it was horrific. Giving birth to my boys was probably the best experience of my life. This was the worst experience of my life. I kept thinking, “This cannot be my last birth experience. This cannot be how I go out.” Laboring, dilating, epidural, more dilating and waiting to meet my dead daughter. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I begged God to sustain me every minute, I told Him I couldn’t do it. He bent low and held my hand and whispered, “I will redeem it.” I gave birth to her early the next morning. Usually, when you give birth to your baby you work so hard and push and push and finally when the baby emerges it is the most euphoric feeling. You feel superhuman, you love your baby so much at that moment. It was the exact opposite when I gave birth to Lucy. It was the deepest hell. I howled with sorrow when she emerged, knowing she wasn’t even there. The love was just as strong, but my baby wasn’t there. I worked so hard and I never got to meet her. I will have to live the rest of my life knowing that I have a daughter who I never got to meet, who isn’t here with her Mommy and Daddy and her big brothers that would have loved her so much. I have never experienced such pain. I didn’t know pain like this existed.

 She died on February 8th and was born on February 9th, 2013. I always think it’s strange that she died the day before she was born. It’s supposed to be the other way around. They cleaned her up and brought her to us in a sweet little yellow dress and a crocheted hat. She was wrapped in a blanket and her head was on a tiny heart shaped pillow. She looked so much like her Daddy. She had the most beautiful mouth. Her fingers were long like mine and her fingernails were perfect. I was 19 weeks along. She was 9 inches long and weighed 1 pound.

Our Lucy Dair Weathersby

IMG_1182I thought how strange it was that these doctors had fought so hard and spent so many thousands of dollars trying to save my Lucy’s life, but if I had deemed her “unwanted” I could have simply aborted her. How is this ok? But that’s a different post. My Mom came in and wept and wept over her. They took her away forever when we had finished spending time with her. We had to suddenly make decisions we never imagined we would have to make. “Do you want an autopsy? Do you want her body for burial or do you want her cremated?” At 19 weeks pregnant you should be making choices like, “What color should we paint her room? What kind of car seat should we get?” not “Should we cremate her or take her body?” It’s so strange to give birth and then be recovering in the room and have no baby, no joy, no new life.

The doctors came and talked about our options for the future. They reminded us if we had another kell positive baby, the baby would definitely die. They had never seen a woman’s antibodies attack the baby as aggressively as mine had. Every baby of ours has a 50% chance of being kell positive. We mourned the loss of our daughter and mourned the loss of all our future children. We had wanted five kids. Our dreams for our family were shattered.

I remember when I was pregnant with Liam and Asher I had a reoccurring nightmare. In the nightmare, I had my newborn baby with me and my breasts were heavy with milk and it was time to feed him but I couldn’t find him. I knew he needed to eat and my milk was leaking but I couldn’t find my baby. I searched frantically but never found him. I always woke up terrified. I had that nightmare several times when I was pregnant with both of my boys, but never with Lucy. It happened in real life with Lucy. The next day in the hospital my breasts filled with milk and there was no baby to feed. This seemed so cruel, that my milk would come in to remind me to nourish my baby who’s body lay cold. I felt like I was living a nightmare. Through it all I felt God’s presence there in the hospital room with me. He gave me courage and strength to get through the worst experience of my life.

Deuteronomy 31:6    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Over and over again God told me that he would redeem it. I’m still not sure exactly how He is going to do that, but I trust Him. I would love it if you came along with me on this journey and maybe we will see how God redeems Lucy’s death and my childbirth experience. He is a sweet and loving God and I am choosing to trust Him, even now.

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27 thoughts on “Lucy’s Story

  1. Lucy is beautiful, Bethany! Thank you so much for sharing her picture with us! Thank you for everything you are putting on this blog. I know it makes you vulnerable. Thank you! Part of me wanted to see a picture of her for selfish reasons. Our third loss, Elijah Evan, died at 16 weeks. We were are the borderline mark of delivery. Since I had never delivered before I was terrified to deliver and therefore chose another d&c (should have gone with delivery, I had a lot of hemorrhaging). I’ve been haunted of that choice. I could have seen what he looked like! Now I’m left with just wondering. Seeing your picture of Lucy helps me more than you will ever know. I hold on to the fact that I will one day, in heaven, get to see what all 5 of our children look like! Thank you again for being so brave to share all of this.

  2. i’m almost physically sick for you, as i read about your loss. i can not imagine the grief that you feel still, and the horror of delivering your precious baby who was already gone to Jesus. beth, i am proud of you and your willingness to share God’s story of Lucy’s life. i see an obedience and submission to God’s plan, even through all of the heartbreak, that IS BRINGING HIM GLORY. you and your husband, and your boys, and your girl are loved like crazy. thank you for being brave enough to tell her story. i pray that someone who is wrestling with the choice of abortion will come across your story and see how cherished and valued these little lives in the womb are. lucy is beautiful. she gets it from her mama.

  3. Pingback: Redeeming Lucy’s death | Losing Lucy and Finding Hope

  4. Your baby is just so sweet and adorable. I am so happy that you got to see and hold her. My sister had a similar situation delivering her baby as you did. I am not sure why her baby was stillborn but like you she also had to deliver a child ~ her first ~ knowing that she was no longer physically alive but in the spirit world. She went on to have two more children who are now in their 20s. God bless you on the rest of your journey. Each child is precious.

  5. Bethany, your Lucy is so beautiful! I also lost my son Ty to fetal hydrops. You are one of the first people I’ve “met” who also also lost a child to hydrops. I was 32 weeks pregnant and the doctors tried to save him via emergency c-section. He died at birth on March 7, 2013. I too have recently begun blogging about my son. Lots of love and strength to you! Heather

  6. Your story is beautiful. I wish I could honor my Jake the way you have honored your Lucy. We lost our sweet Jake at 24wks gestation. We found out May 2nd, went thru the same process as you, induction, dialation, epidurial….I delivered him at 10:48am May 3rd 2013. He was beautiful. Hugs to all of you. Your rainbow will happen.

  7. Dear Bethany,
    My heart breaks for you. I know how you feel. I lost my baby girl, Danielle, on the 18th of Dec 2013. I delivered her via emergency c-section at 27weeks after almost seven weeks of hospital bedrest due to premature rupture of membranes. She survived for three days in the NICU but her little lungs couldn’t fight anymore. I fought really hard against all the negatives the doctors kept hurling at my husband and I. God kept her safe. She did not die in utero, as the docs had warned. And she did great for three days after a complicated delivery. And suddenly, in a flash, she just left. We are devasted. We desperately want to give our older daughter a sibling. I’m so desperate to have another baby but so scared to try as they never found any explanation for why I had ruptured membranes. My first pregnancy was an absolutely perfect text book pregnancy. My husband and I are Christian too and we are holding on to same promises and verses as you. I trust God but I have my moments when I question Him and ask why. Why would He give and take back? One day He will tell us. I just wanted to share my story and tell you that I have shared/ share your pain – the loss, the desolation and all of the horrors that afflict a mother who’s body fails to realise that there is no baby anymore. Standing with you in prayer and asking that you would stand with us as we trust God for restoration.
    Blessings and much love,
    Melissa

  8. Bethany, I had read your blog but didn’t come to this post until just now! I am so sorry that you lost your sweet Lucy. I do believe that she did not suffer as her heart slowed though!!!! I believe that there were angels with her, and that she felt no pain. And those angels personally ushered her into Heaven! And even though you didn’t get to meet her in this life, she did know you. She knew your voice, and she felt your strength and amazing unconditional love. And she will tell you herself when you see her again one day!
    Jenny
    Asher Isaac’s mom, born sleeping at 35 weeks (trisomy 13 and related heart defect)

  9. Beautifully written. Beautiful mom. Beautiful family. Beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing your story. I have 2 friends that lost their babies at 27 weeks. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child (started out as a twin pregnancy and I lost a twin at 9 weeks) and the fear of something else going wrong is constantly there. I, too, have to turn to God and beg him to bring peace to my heart. Your story is both heart-breaking and filled with hope at the same time. How great will be the day that you get to meet your sweet Lucy! Again, thank you for sharing your story and may God’s words continue to speak to you!

  10. I’m left nearly speechless and in tears after reading this. I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow you and your family felt through this process. I was told I was sensitized to Kells in my current, 3rd, pregnancy around 9 weeks. Unfortunately, due to unknown circumstances I’m just seeing a specialist on Friday. Which would put me around 20 weeks! I’m so nervous and terrified that my baby would be positive for Kells. My husband is deployed and obviously a blood test isn’t possible, so it leaves me wondering if this baby is positive and if all my future and current babies would be positive as well. I hope and pray we both have success stories to share in the future. Thank you for sharing your story!!!

  11. Such a strong mommy. As difficult as this must have been and still be for your family I find strength in your story. I pray blessings over your family and wish the best for each of you. I know God will do just what he said and your family will continue to grow.

  12. Oh how my heart breaks for you!! I get teary-eyed every time I read one of your blogs. I understand the sorrow you feel, but not quite to the same extent. I lost a baby through miscarriage in October of 2011. The doctors were unable to give me an explanation so I’ll never know why. They were also unsure as to how far along I was, but they said I was somewhere between like 4-6 weeks. We were pretty devastated. At the time, our boys were 9 & 4 years old & we were excited about having another baby so the miscarriage was pretty tough. Although I can’t imagine the pain & suffering that you & the other women who commented endure, being as how you actually felt the baby kick, labored, delivered, & got to see & hold your babies. I was sad, but I was thankful that GOD took the baby when he did because I don’t think I could handle such a tragedy. A couple of months later in December, I remember being at work one day & I was feeling unusually tired & drained; much like I did two months before in October when I learned I was pregnant. I texted my husband & told him about it. He responded saying that I was probably just tired from not getting much sleep at night. I disagreed. I know my body. I told him that something was up & I was going to make a trip to the pharmacy on my way home. I did exactly that. The anxiety was killing me & I couldn’t take it anymore. A couple nights later when my hubby was at work, I got the little box out of drawer & went to the bathroom. Those were two of the most anxiety ridden moments of my life. When they were up I looked at the test. I KNEW IT!! I was undoubtedly pregnant again, just two months after our loss. I was so nervous! The thought & fear of another loss poked at me so much in fact that I was totally stressed during the whole first 4 months. Having crying spells like crazy. I booked a 3D/4D ultrasound in February to find out the gender. I just knew the nurse was going to say it was a boy. She pointed to the screen & told us to look. We had no clue what we were looking at, so I’m sure you can imagine our faces as we blankly looked at the screen & then looked back at her. She began to type something on the screen next to my baby’s genitals. We watched as she typed “baby girl” & I could’ve done 20 back flips across the room!! All of the fear & stress somehow disappeared & my Nalani (Nay-lah-nee….its Hawaiian & means “as calm as the heavens”) Grace was born on July 20, 2012 after only two hours & twenty-six minutes of labor at 6:36a.m. weighing 7lbs, 10oz. At exactly 38 weeks, two weeks before her due date of August 3rd. She’s definitely our UNEXPECTED rainbow baby that we couldn’t imagine life without. My heart goes out to all of you. I send my prayers and LOTS of love to all of you brave ladies!! I salute you for your courage & your strength because I doubt I’d be as strong as you all through something like this!! You ladies are amazing. I’m so sorry for all of your losses. I wish I could hug you all & somehow share my rainbow with you all!!

  13. Pingback: LIFE | Losing Lucy and Finding Hope

  14. hi bethany. my name is katie thompson, and my husband (oliver) and i are friends with caleb and went to europe with your mother-in-law, kathy. i came across your blog tonight and wanted to reach out and connect with you. we have one living son, griffin, who is 3. we lost our second son, levi, at 19 weeks, 6 days on february 29, 2012. doctors think his death was caused by a true knot in his umbilical cord. i was also tested for many things after his death and was found to have the mthfr mutation, which my current ob/gyn thinks was the main issue. i found out i was expecting again on mother’s day a couple months later, but we lost our precious judah at 7 weeks and buried him or her on father’s day. of course, my mthfr mutation is an issue for any/all pregnancies i will ever have, so we feared that we could not face another try, another possible loss. our paths have been quite similar! it does help to spiritually hold the hand of a sister in Christ who is walking forward through the deep waters of grief. i cried for you tonight, for those arms that are aching for your babies. i know that feeling, and it is the.worst. i pray for you that (like the hymn “be still my soul” says) “thy Jesus will repay from his own fullness all he takes away”. (we sang that hymn at levi’s memorial service, and it has become my all-time favorite hymn.) have you heard steven curtis chapman’s cd that he made after losing his daughter? it is so fabulous and spoke straight into the most aching, bleeding, wounded areas of my heart, so perhaps it would speak into yours. anyway, here is a link to my blog, which i couldn’t even face writing on after the initial post after losing our judah [isn’t it interesting that our babies were so similar in age and time of year when we lost them AND in name? lucy & levi, jude & judah]: http://oliverandkatiethompson.blogspot.com/ if you feel like it would help, friend me on facebook. i would love to be here for you. i will send you a facebook friend request, and you can decide if it would be good for you. no obligation. 1 year and 3 months after losing levi, we celebrated the birth of our rainbow baby, nora phoenix. she is 3 months old now, and we are beyond thankful. 9 months has never felt so very long. i still struggle with the fear of losing her, even now that she is out! it is a hard, hard, uphill, everyday battle, and boy do i miss levi and judah. i resonated with so much of what you shared on your blog. the grief is so heavy, so intense. it WILL lessen, and you WILL discover how to live in the new normal, and it is okay that you are where you are in your grief process. it’s better to know and be where you are, speaking the lamentations of your heart to God, than to act where you (or others) think you “should” be. people (including close family) just couldn’t understand why we went as a family with cupcakes, a picnic basket, and levi’s special things to his and judah’s grave site on levi’s 1 year birthday. we celebrated his life, that he still exists just as fully as ever before, that he has had 1 full year in heaven, etc. we wrote little letters to him on balloons and released them (which inadvertently traumatized our 3 year old…woops!) and created a little tradition that celebrates our beloved son. anyway, be encouraged that you are right where you need to be in the grief process, and the Lord will carry out His good work in you. it will not always be so intense or so consuming. also, i recently came across this blog post about the language of lament that put into words what had been formulating in my heart the past couple years: http://deeperstory.com/the-language-of-lament/?fb_action_ids=10151846784069462&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582
    sending hugs and love and thoughts of our 4 babies playing together in heaven.

    • Hi Katie,
      I’m so sorry that you lost your sweet Levi and Judah. And congratulations on baby Nora! I can’t believe how similar our stories are! It’s almost creepy how similar they are. We actually had a hard time deciding between the two names Lucy and Nora for our baby girl. Josh always talks about how much he wants a baby girl named Nora next. Also, the night after Lucy died I had a really vivid dream. I was holding a rose (that symbolized Lucy) and the rose was blooming and beautiful, but it was uprooted. I knew that rose needed to be in the ground to grow and live so I was digging frantically, trying to plant the beautiful rose back in the ground, but it wouldn’t work. On the ground there were two other roses uprooted, waiting for me to plant. (I’m always scared this means I’m going to lose two more babies after Lucy.) Josh tries to be optimistic and says maybe they symbolized Liam and Asher. Anyway, suddenly I looked up and there was this terrifying creature flying through the sky towards me. It looked like a mixture between and dragon and a huge bird and it’s claws were outstretched. It swooped down and snatched my beautiful rose out of my hands and flew off into the sky with my rose. Weeks later I looked online to try to figure out what kind of weird creature it was so I typed “bird dragon” into google and then I found several pictures that looked EXACTLY like the creature from my dream. It was a phoenix. And the phoenix symbolizes rebirth, new life, immortality. It was so reassuring that Lucy was being taken to a place where she could be reborn and live. And how amazing that your daughter’s name is Nora Phoenix! Anyway, thank you for sharing your story and for encouraging me in my grief. It is hard to deal with everyone else’s expectations of how long it should take me to grieve. I am feeling stronger lately, so that is good. I feel like I am just now starting to feel better since losing Jude in July. I will definitely find you on Facebook, but I will probably block you from my newsfeed for right now. Nora is almost exactly the age Lucy would be, so that is too hard for me to see right now. Hopefully I’ll be able to unblock all my pregnant/new mom friends from my newsfeed soon! I am so glad you got your rainbow baby. You are so blessed. I will look into those blog posts soon. Thanks again for all the encouragement!

      • Wow! So many connections and similarities! I totally and completely understand blocking my posts from your newsfeed. Totally. Have you heard the term “marker baby”? Some babies due or born around the same time as the baby/babies you lost sometimes become sensitive triggers for your grief. Unfortunately, my niece became a “marker baby” for a long while (we were due only 5 weeks apart) along with a couple others, while some didn’t! I held my friend’s newborn baby just a week after losing Levi, and bawled over him, but he didn’t become a marker baby. He was almost healing for me to be around. Strange how it works. There are some mom friends I’ve recently unblocked, but most that I blocked right after losing Levi have stayed blocked. It helps me to not dive headfirst into jealousy and comparison, and it keeps me from resenting others having what I have lost. It’s especially hard in the Facebook world because people are sharing all the little moments and stories and instagrams that we will never get to take…It’s all the little deaths along the way that keep driving the pain deeper. ANYway, all that to say, don’t feel any pressure or rush to unblock anyone. It’s much better to do what you need to do to guard your heart and mind. What a neat dream! From what I’ve read of your blog, it seems that the Lord uses dreams a lot with you! After losing Levi, I was listening a lot to “Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman. My mother-in-law needed me to design her ballet school’s dance recital t-shirt and help her come up with the theme, so what I came up with is “Beauty Will Rise” and a design using a phoenix. I decided then that our next child’s middle name would be Phoenix, if we were so blessed to have one. When it came down to it, Grace, Joy, and Lily were also on the table for middle names…but I just couldn’t let go of Phoenix. Not many are huge fans of it, but alas….I care not! 🙂 I just love the symbolism of beauty rising out of the ashes of loss that the phoenix is (since the phoenix bursts into flames when it dies, and out of the ashes a baby phoenix rises). It is a symbol of redemption (and as I did my name research, there are not many out there that mean “redemption”) So perhaps the phoenix in your dream could also symbolize redemption….beauty out of the ashes. Something that came to mind just now that I may be meant to share with you: A tool God used mightily in my grief was doing the study “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore with some friends. It might be worth looking into, because I just remember it really dealing with a lot of my heart wounds. You, mama of 4, and your sweet family have been on my mind all day, and I’m praying God’s peace and comfort for you all.

  15. (i do want to let you know that my facebook feed for the past few months has been a LOT of baby girl pictures due to us just having had our rainbow baby. if that would be difficult for you to see, i would totally understand if you didn’t want to friend me!! i will NOT be offended. i know it can be very, very difficult to see baby pictures, so i wanted to give you a head’s up.)

  16. I came across your blog from a comment you left on Amey Fair’s blog post. Our stories are unbelievably similar and I just want you to know I am so, so sorry for your sweet girl and I can understand so much of your pain.
    We lost our only daughter last April 26th, 2013 at 30 weeks and 1 day in my belly. We have two sons, Micah and Asher, and have since found out we’re expecting son #3. We love our boys more than life but there’s something about the loss of your only girl. Her due date would’ve been almost exactly the same as yours, July 4th, 2013.
    I’m so sorry for her loss and just want you to know you’re not alone. And you’re absolutely right, God redeems in unimaginable ways and he will continue to.
    Sara

    • Hi Sara,
      Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am so sorry you lost your daughter too. It is just heartbreaking. I can’t believe our girls would have been so close in age! I wonder if they are friends in heaven? Congratulations on your new baby boy who is on his way. I hope he brings healing and joy to your family.

  17. Pingback: Waiting For Our Baby S | Losing Lucy and Finding Hope

  18. Does Dr. Moise have contacts across the state? For the most part, no red flags for my MFM, shes very proactive and over-monitoring but i’d love recomendations in the Michigan area for hospitals / MFMs to make sure i don’t miss a beat! if there is a good way to contact him id love to!

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