Luke - Bringer of Light and Truth
Here is the story of baby Luke, born in Heaven on May 24, 2010. I am thankful that his mom Lindy was willing to share him with us. Her testimony reminds me of how much we need to lean on Jesus to get us through the loss of an infant. It has been almost 2 years since we lost Katelyn Grace, but the only thing that keeps us going is the knowledge that we will see our little girl again, just like through their strong faith Luke’s family will be able to see him again. I am reminded again of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (ESV)
“Luke Braedan Cummings was born on May 24, 2010 @ 10:22pm weighing 8 lbs. & 14 oz and was 21 1/4 in. long. I was 38 wks & 5 days and scheduled to be induced in 2 days. At my regular visit I was sent for observation. All labs came back normal & an ultrasound revealed no problems. Luke came off the monitor & it was a while before they came in to find him. That’s when everything changed. They put oxygen on me & said they found his heart rate but his baseline dropped…again they said he was fine. The doctor on call said Luke probably wouldn’t tolerate labor but we’d try. I watched the monitor but his heart rate was not coming up. When the dr. came in a couple of minutes later I told her to do a c-section. I just wanted him here & safe. I was in the operating room within 10 min. but the atmosphere was very lighthearted and they weren’t in a hurry. My husband was brought in with the camera ready but I knew the minute he was born something was wrong. I asked why he wasn’t crying and the doctor told me it would take a minute. The last thing I remember saying is “God please let my baby cry” When I came to in a room I kept telling my mom “He’s gone; my baby’s gone”. As a mother I just knew. My worst fears were confirmed when my husband came in with the NICU dr. She looked at me and said “Mrs. Cummings Luke didn’t make it”. My mother says at night she can still see my face and hear me repeating over and over “My baby, my baby”. NILMDTS came in the next day & provided us with the only memories we’ll have with Luke. We buried our little boy on 6/1/10. The doctors have no idea what happened & had no idea it was going to happen. I went into the operating room thinking I was doing what was best for him but my efforts were useless.
We have 2 beautiful children with us: Bryleigh is almost 7 & Ethan is almost 6. I’m not sure we will try again. That is something I’m torn over. Anyone who has been through this suffers from what I call “Empty Arm Syndrome”. We know God knows what is right for us & in His time it will be revealed to us. I just want Luke’s story out there so maybe it can help others. His life had meaning and purpose and it is up to me to be his voice! I tell my kids that Luke was so special that Jesus decided to bring him home but that we are just as special because Jesus doesn’t give everybody their own special ‘angel’. I tell them this because I don’t want them to grow up feeling like a victim of some random tragedy. I also tell them this to reassure myself that I’m not a victim of some random tragedy but sometimes that is what I feel like. “He knows the plans He has for me” and I have to cling to that. I am so blessed to have been given the chance to carry Luke in my womb & I rest in knowing that he knew me. He never saw me but he knew my voice; he knew his mommy. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my angel. If there is one thing I can ask it is please pray for my husband. Sometimes I think we forget how much daddy’s hurt & how hard it is for other men to reach out to comfort a friend.
Luke means “bringer of light and truth” and God has used that little man’s 35 minutes to heal this hardened heart and bring my husband Tommy & I closer than we have ever been. Luke has already fulfilled so much more than 35 minutes worth of purpose and God uses Luke every day to draw me closer to Him. Sometimes God draws our children into His arms so every time we look to our child we see Him. What a powerful statement! I just thought you should know that Luke has brought the light and truth of God back into my life and I will forever be changed.
Every time I read another mother’s account of her experience with having a stillborn baby, I find myself reliving the night we lost Katelyn Grace. I thank God every day for the true strength of mothers like Cassie who are willing to share their story in the hopes that they can offer some comfort to other parents who have also lost their babies. Since Cassie’s baby and I have the same name, her story was even more touching to me. Here is the story of her little baby girl named Audrey.
…On December 27th, 2008 the pregnancy test I took showed two pink lines. Little did I know that those two pink lines would change my life forever.
My husband Adam & I met at a young age. I was 14 & he was 16. We were married at an even younger age, I was 16 & he was 18. We’ve been through a lot in our 8 years as a couple. We’ve been through a separation due to the War in Iraq that lasted 8 very long & lonely months. We’ve been through a cross-country move back to our home state & then the birth of our first daughter in August of 2006.
In late 2008 we decided to start trying to conceive again. My husband had just gotten a very good job as a corrections officer & I was making good money at my job. Life at that time couldn’t have been better.
Getting pregnant with Audrey took a lot quicker than it did with her big sister…On December 27th, 2008 I discovered I was pregnant. The next day was our sixth wedding anniversary. I thought the timing couldn’t have been better!
My first OB appointment confirmed a beating heart & a due date of September 9th, 2009 – 9/9/2009. The first trimester of the pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I felt amazing! I was on cloud nine!
On February 24, 2009 I was getting out of my car when I came home from work & immediately felt something was wrong. The terror I felt was unimaginable. I thought for sure I was having a miscarriage.
My husband rushed me to the ER. They took forever to get me back to a room & the experience there was truly traumatic. No one seemed to care that I was hysterical & upset thinking I was losing my baby. I had an ultrasound & the tech refused to confirm if she saw the heart beating or not. She told me she’d send my results to the radiologist & they would inform the ER Doctor if the baby was alive or not. It took them several hours before I got the results that indeed my baby was ok. I went for a check-up with my OB just hours after I left the ER & he showed me my little baby on the ultrasound, her heart just beating away.
After that night, the pregnancy was kind of up & down…
Things between March & April went really smooth. I was feeling great. On April 10th I saw my beautiful girl’s face on the ultrasound. Her gender was still a mystery to me then but I got to see her gorgeous face. That would also be the last time I’d see her heart beating. The last time I’d see my baby alive.
I remember every moment of the day I found out I lost her, from beginning to end. I don’t think that is a day that I will ever get out of my mind. The day was May 5th. My appointment was scheduled for 9:40 a.m. so I woke up extra early. I wanted to get ready, get cleaned up & made sure I drank orange juice that day because I wanted to know if we were going to welcome a little sister or little brother for our older daughter. I woke my husband up because he was coming with me that day. He was so excited to learn the gender of our second child. We spent the ride to the office laughing, giggling & discussing baby names. We were still undecided for a boy name. I was leaning towards Owen & he was thinking of either Gavin or Aiden. We knew from the moment we got pregnant that if we had another girl we’d name her Audrey Taylor.
I waited in the waiting room for a little bit. My husband played on his phone & I played on mine. It took the Doctor a few minutes to come into the room. So, to pass the time my husband & I laughed & told jokes, something we always do a lot of when we’re together. A little while later the Doctor came into the exam room to perform the ultrasound. He asked a few routine questions about how I felt & it was then that my whole life changed.
He was moving the ultrasound wand over my stomach & I mentioned we were hoping to find out the gender of the baby that day. ..I was nervous thinking I’d have a stubborn child that wouldn’t show us. The response I got from the Doctor immediately startled me. He said “uh huh” in a tone that implied there was definitely something wrong. The words that came out of his mouth after that still give me chills & make my stomach turn into a ball of knots. He looked at me & told me he did not see my baby’s heart beating or any fluid around her at all. I immediately started to breathe heavily & panicked. I looked at my husband & saw the flushed look of terror on his face. The Doctor passed me a box of tissues & I lost it. I was hysterical. The hours after that felt like such a blur. I went to the hospital I’d deliver at & had another ultrasound to confirm what he found. Afterwards I was told to go back to his office to “discuss my options.” At that time I knew there was only one option – I was going to have to deliver my dead child, my child whose gender still remained a mystery to me at that time. I knew she was dead before I even knew she was a girl.
The Doctor asked me if I wanted to go home & think about things or if I wanted to come back the next day.. I knew right then & there that there was no way I could go home, watch my older daughter & play with her, knowing my other baby was dead inside of me. My husband & I made the very painful decision to go straight to the hospital & start the induction.
It was at that point that we began making phone calls to our family & I sent out texts to my co-workers because I knew telling them on the phone was going to be too hard. I called my Mom in hysterics & the first words I said were “Mom, I have bad news. We lost the baby.” I don’t remember a lot of what was said or happened after that. I remember walking to the Labor & Delivery ward & I just couldn’t believe I was back there again but under very different circumstances this time.
I was immediately put into a room. I noticed (after we were being discharged) that I was placed at a room that was further away from the other rooms. Now I know why – they didn’t want to me to have to hear the newborn babies crying. My delivery was not going to be a happy & joyous occasion like the others that day. I was delivering my dead baby.
Several nurses came in & asked a ton of questions. The one that stood out the most was “Are you sure you’re ready to do this today?” I was so completely blown away every time that question was asked. Of course I was not ready to deliver my dead child but what other choice did they think I had? After the hustle & bustle of all of that was over, the induction started. .. I couldn’t believe I was experiencing labor again & being forced to endure a delivery with no happy ending in sight.
My Dad rushed to the hospital as soon as he got the call about what had happened. My husband was out talking with family & getting some fresh air. I know he felt like the walls were closing in on him too & he just needed some fresh air. When my Dad walked into my room & saw me lying there, he came over & held me & we cried. We barely spoke but we knew what each other was thinking & feeling. He kept telling me how sorry he was & all I could say was this was the cruelest thing in the world. To make a woman give birth to a child she can’t ever take home, there are no words to describe the torture & agony of how that feels.
Shortly after my Dad showed up, the medicine to knock me out started to kick in. I was so grateful for that. I just wanted my thoughts & the feeling of my heart breaking into a million pieces to stop for a while.
It was later in the evening when the labor started to progress & I was feeling a lot more pain & discomfort. The thoughts that kept running through my mind were of complete shock. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, to us. My mother-in-law & grandfather-in-law came to the hospital later in the evening. I had asked my Mom to stay at home with my older daughter. I needed to know she was with someone I trusted & one less worry on my mind. When my mother-in-law walked into the room she immediately hugged me & held me tight. She too had experienced the same loss. She had lost twin girls in August of 1986. They were stillborn due to a cord accident. She knew the pain I was feeling and knew just how to comfort me.
I also had another special person with me that night, my night nurse, Ally. She was a truly remarkable person. She told me she had also been through the same experience. When the shift changed & she came into my room to introduce herself, she hugged me & told me how sorry she was. I was never greeted in that way by a nurse before & it still blows me away when I think about how she was that night. She was a true comfort to me that night. I can’t express just how deeply she touched me.
Things started to pick up in the late evening hours. I was having terrible contractions & a lot of back labor. I got my epidural around 10:20 p.m. & 20 minutes later my angel was born. At 10:40 p.m. my world was shattered, broken & changed forever. I discovered after the birth that my husband & I had lost a little girl. We had lost our second daughter. I made the decision that night not to see her or hold her. My reasons why at the time were so clouded by the complete shock that this was actually happening. I felt like if I didn’t see her or hold her than this wasn’t real, that she wasn’t really gone & this was all a nightmare I’d wake up from.
Ally came in later to help me clean up. My legs were shaky & wobbly from the epidural & I was more exhausted than I’d ever been in my whole life. When she was helping me clean up she told me “You are so brave & strong. I know you don’t feel that way now but you really are.” I remember thinking to myself “Yeah right.” I couldn’t even say anything to her. I didn’t have any words to say at that time. I just wanted to sink into a black hole & disappear.
The hours after the delivery, after they had taken Audrey’s body away, I lay in bed & just stared at the clock, stared at the wall. I just stared with the blankest expression on my face. My husband had fallen asleep. I knew he was just as exhausted as I was. He tried to be so strong during the whole experience. He cried a few times, the hardest when the Doctor had told us we lost our girl. He was standing at the head of my bed during the delivery, holding my hand, with his head buried towards the floor. We never once looked into each other’s eyes during the delivery but we had an iron clad grip on each other’s hands & when it was announced our baby was a girl, the grip got tighter as we sobbed together.
The next morning I was discharged. I knew it made no sense to keep me there & was eager to go home & lay under my covers all night, but it just seemed all so fast. Just barely 12 hours after I delivered my daughter I went home. Before I left the hospital I had to fill out standard papers & another set of papers no parent ever wants to fill out – papers arranging the burial of my daughter. When the nurse asked me her name I said “Audrey Taylor Davis” & then she asked me “Do you want a funeral service for Audrey?” In between tears & hysterics, my husband & I said that we did want a burial for her. The nurse informed me that she’d give the information to the funeral home & they’d be calling me to arrange the details. The nurse also gave me some packets of information about stillbirth & a special gift from the hospital. It was a white silk pillow with a tiny card & a tiny gold ring inside of a pouch. She told me she wanted us to know that the hospital recognized the birth of my baby like any other.
The drive home was quiet. I didn’t talk or do anything. I just stared out the window. I knew my sister-in-law was just hours away from delivering her second child, also a girl, & I just couldn’t understand why God took my baby away. I wouldn’t wish this pain & agony on anyone but it really makes a person question “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” When we arrived in town, we went & picked my older daughter up. I hadn’t seen her since Monday & it was now Wednesday. I was going crazy missing her. When she saw me walk up the stairs into the living room she made a flying leap into my arms & yelled “MOMMY!” I just grabbed her & hugged her tight. I cried. I couldn’t stop the tears. I needed her hugs & kiss more than anything in the world.
When I got home I just wanted to lie down & not do anything else. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any harder on Friday the funeral home called. When I answered the phone the funeral director told me how sorry she was & asked me “Do you want a burial or cremation?” I didn’t know how to respond. I sat silent on the phone for what felt like an eternity & then I asked my husband what he wanted. We agreed on a burial. We arranged the service for that Monday, the 11th of May at 11 a.m.
I spent the weekend just crying, nothing but a hysterical mess. I had massive panic attacks; my milk was coming in. When I noticed that, I cried huge, hard, head pounding tears. I know my body didn’t realize my baby had died; it only realized I’d gone into labor & delivered a child. It was doing what it was supposed to do but at the time it just felt like one more stab to my heart, one more painful reminder of what I didn’t have, of what was taken away from me.
The morning of the service was something I had been dreading. I knew she deserved a proper good bye. I just didn’t know how to do that. It wasn’t something I had ever thought would happen to me & I just didn’t know what to do or where life was going to take me after this. When we got to the cemetery & I saw everything set up, I began shaking & my hands began to sweat. My heart was pounding a million miles a minute. I didn’t know how I was going to bury my sweet baby, a baby I never even held.
The service was very beautiful. My father-in-law is a preacher so he did the service for us. From the moment he began to speak, the tears were flowing. I grabbed onto my husband, wrapped my hands around his waist & held on for dear life. At that very moment, he was my life line. He was keeping me from crumbling to the ground. After the service was over, I sat down & stared at the little white box that contained my daughter’s body. Everyone said “take as much time as you need,” & I never said a word. I wanted to tell them “if I take as much time as I need, we’ll never leave. I can’t leave her behind. I just can’t leave my little girl here without her Mommy.”
I got up after what felt like forever & walked towards the stand that held her casket. I examined every square inch of that box, placed my hand on it & ran my fingers all over the fabric & the flower arrangement on top. I wanted to feel where she was lying just once. I wanted her to know her Mommy was there & that I loved her with every beat of my broken heart. I hugged my husband & begged to stay just a little while longer. I cried out “I can’t leave her. I just can’t leave our baby girl. I don’t want to leave her here. I feel like we’re leaving her behind. I can’t. I can’t.”
I eventually made it to the car. I hugged everyone good bye before we left. Something my mother-in-law said to me while we hugged is something I firmly believe with every fiber of my being. Time does not heal all wounds. It only puts a scab on them & every once in awhile they bleed. I know she spent much of that day reliving her own horror of losing her twins. We embraced for a long time before we left. I lay in bed all day & all night after that. I cried & cried & cried. Just when I thought I was all out of tears, they started all over again.
Two days after the service I had an OB appointment. He told me he suspected this to most likely be genetic but nothing was confirmed 100%. He did also tell me he believed I should have had a miscarriage in February but my daughter was a fighter & she held on. He told me that my husband & I had his blessing to try again in a few months, if we wanted to. At that point, & to this day, I have so many mixed emotions about conceiving again. After my appointment I went to the hospital to pick up a certificate of Audrey’s foot prints & hand prints. I was never going to get a birth certificate but I could at least have something of hers to hold onto. I opened the envelope they gave me & I reached in & pulled out the paper with her prints on them. I was blown away. The wind felt like it was knocked out of me. I stared at the paper & touched the prints & the tears just flowed. My Mom had come with me for emotional support & she looked at the prints & said “Oh Cassie, I’m so sorry!” I read the certificate with her name printed on the top & it listed her parents’ names & the time she was born & then I saw the length & weight. My Angel was born weighing only four & half ounces & she was only seven & a half inches long. My mind still even now cannot fathom how tiny that is. I just remember staring at the prints & feeling this major panic & regret. I am not a person who had any regrets, until now. I wish I could go back & change the night she was born. I wish I could go back & hold her, even if it was only one time. I know she knows I love her but I wish I could have some closure with that & now I never will.
I have struggled a lot with depression & anxiety since Audrey’s death. I always knew what stillbirth was. I knew it existed but I never imagined it would ever happen to me. You always hear about bad things happening to other people & you think you’re invincible. You think those kinds of things happen to everyone else but you. Then it does happen to you & it rocks your world in every way imaginable. I am seeing a counselor & slowly starting to put the pieces of my life back together. I have days where I barely cry & days where I can’t stop the tears no matter how hard I try. I have days where I feel liking blaming God & days where I am thankful He gave me an angel to watch over me during my time here on Earth. There are no words I can write to truly convey how it feels to lose a child. Words like excruciating & gut wrenching & heart shattering come to mind but even those words don’t scratch the surface of how it feels to bury something that once had a beating heart inside of your body. I stare at her prints often & I touch them & hold them close to my chest. I tell her I love her every day. I tell her how much I miss her every day. My oldest daughter was so looking forward to her little sister’s arrival & when we told her the baby was gone & we weren’t bringing a baby home like we planned she told me “It’s okay, Mommy, it’s not your fault.” I still get tears in my eyes when I think about that. I know nothing I did or didn’t do could have prevented this but it never changes the aching I feel in my heart for her. I have done so much reflecting since this nightmare began. I remember looking at that pregnancy test & those two pink lines & I had the giddiest expression & I was in total shock. Now, when I look at those same tests (I have saved them from both of my pregnancies) a feeling of total sadness & dread comes over me. I still have the rest of my life to get through and play the “what if’” game.
I don’t know if I’ll get pregnant again. I don’t know if I’ll ever have another baby to hold & care for. I do know I will always have two amazing & beautiful daughters. I’ve told so many people that my oldest daughter is my Angel here on Earth & Audrey is my Angel in Heaven. I will spend the rest of my days looking forward to the day when I can be with her again. She’s on my mind every minute of every day & I know that will never change. The years may make the pain hurt less but it will always be there. The way I feel about her & the way I feel about her loss will never change. I have a tremendous support system around me; amazing people who love & care for me & so many people on the online community who have reached out &offered their support. This experience has shown me that there really are good people in this world. As grateful as I am for them & their generosity, I wish I never had the endure this & hear their words of sympathy & caring. I appreciate it, no doubt, but of course the wish that I had never gone through this to hear that never goes away.
If you find yourself reading this story because you have been through the same experience, I am so very sorry. There are no words I can say that will make the pain you feel go away. There will be days where you think you’re doing okay & then you’ll see or hear something that just throws your whole mind off & you can’t get your focus back because all you think about is your child, the child you loved inside of your body but never got to love the way you wanted to outside of your body. The feelings you’re feeling are all natural. I thought I was crazy & believe me, I still do sometimes. Take time to be with the ones you love & thank them for the support they’ve given to you. This experience will show you who your true friends & true family are. I know it has opened my eyes & changed my perspective on a lot of my relationships with people. Audrey may not have served the purpose I expected her to but she is serving a purpose. She’s my guiding light. She’s the light that pushes me to carry on & be a better mother to the daughter I still have with me & to be a better wife to my husband. They’re all I have. She’s shown me what is important in my life. Take the time to thank your Angel for that & know that they are always with you, in spirit & in your heart for all the days of your life.
In the most loving Memory of:
Audrey Taylor Davis
May 5th, 2009
Mommy, Daddy & your Big Sister miss you so much Angel. You’re my every heart beat, my every breath, my every move. I will see you again one day my Angel. I love you so much!
This is the story of baby Rien, born in Heaven on December 22, 1996. He was stillborn, but he was Still Born. Thanks to Suzan Doedens for sharing her story. Her testimony shows that God is good and He will restore us from our grief and bless us with more than we could ever imagine. Since Suzan is from Holland it is a reminder that stillborn babies are born everywhere, and that there are families all over the world that are grieving the loss of a child. It truly is a small world after all.
My husband and I married in 1993 and from that moment on we very much wanted to start our own family. But while waiting and praying time went by and I didn’t become pregnant. After 1 ½ years we went to the hospital for a fertility examination. The diagnosis was that my hormones were that disturbed that I would never get pregnant without medical treatment. My husband and I believed that those treatments were not the way God wanted us to go. So we had to accept the fact that we would not have children of our own. In the following time we focused on becoming foster parents: Taking care of children that cannot live with their own parents due to various problems. On the 21st of December 1996 something strange happened. … I noticed something was wrong with me. I was really terrified because I thought I would die. My doctor examined me and told my husband and me that I was pregnant and that it was the umbilical cord that I felt. I was completely in shock. Pregnant??? I was going by ambulance to the hospital. There an echo graph was made and I appeared to be around 20 weeks pregnant, but the baby already died inside my tummy. My husband and I stayed at the hospital that night and the following morning I was given medicine to activate the delivery. 2 hours later our son was stillborn. We called him Rien. We were overwhelmed by emotions. Within 24 hours we had to find out that I was pregnant without knowing, than we heard that the baby already died and finally, totally unprepared for this, I delivered our baby son. Through all of the emotions we felt that Jesus was on our side to comfort us and carry us in this difficult situation.
In the years that followed our family grew. In 1997 our son Nico was born. A year later another son, Tijmen, was born. In 2002 Amir, a foster-baby son came to live with us; in 2004 another foster-baby son came into our family. We feel very blessed with our boys. We know our Rien is in heaven and we long for the day we will meet him there with Jesus. We don’t understand why Rien couldn’t stay here with us, but knowing that he is with Jesus comforts us.
So that’s our story.
I feel blessed when I meet other women who have lost their babies and are a wonderful testimony of how God can get us through our losses and guide us through. After you read Cindy’s story below, I hope you are as encouraged as I was (even through my tears) at the awesome power of our Lord Jesus. We continue to pray for Cindy, her husband Glenn, and their beautiful little girl Emma. This is the story of baby Jayden Allen, born in Heaven on Febriuary 10, 2009. He was stillborn, but he was Still Born.
…Our story begins in July 2008. My husband and I were so busy preparing for our daughter’s first birthday, that I didn’t notice I was late. On August 2nd, I had a dentist appointment. Something inside of me told me to take a pregnancy test … “just to be sure”. Sure enough, it was positive! I was pregnant! The pregnancy was a complete surprise, but once the shock wore off and the news settled in, we became so excited. We knew this baby must have been a gift from God because we were not trying to conceive at all! So I set up my first prenatal visit and began our journey through my second pregnancy.
In my first pregnancy, I was so nervous every time I went to the doctor’s office. For some reason, this pregnancy, I was much less nervous. I did experience some morning sickness and fatigue, but it was not as bad as my first pregnancy. Once we passed the first trimester, I breathed a sigh of relief. We were having a baby! My due date was March 22nd, just one week after my birthday (which I also shared with my mom!) The possibility of three generations being born on the same date was exciting to me. What a blessing it would be! Each night, we would pray together as a family. We prayed for the safety and health of our daughter, and we prayed for our unborn child - that God would help the baby grow and develop perfectly. We prayed that God would watch over our children and protect them… we prayed for a healthy baby.
October rolled around, and we went for our 18 week anatomy scan. The ultrasound tech recognized us from our previous pregnancy (it hadn’t been that long before!) and was excited to see us back. She took all her measurements - and said everything looked good. Then she asked if we wanted to know the sex of our child. Yes! So she moved the probe back over to the side of my tummy, and pointed to the screen and said “there is your little boy!”. My eyes filled with tears and I cried with joy. Our family was complete! We had a beautiful girl, and now we would have a beautiful boy! God has truly blessed us! We left the doctor’s appointments with smiles on our faces that were from ear to ear. We couldn’t believe it… we were going to have a little boy!
We began to think of names. We had several from our first pregnancy, but none seemed right for our little boy. Then one day as I was coming home from music class with our daughter, a name popped into my head. Jayden. I loved it! But would my husband? That night when he got home, I asked him “What do you think about Jayden?”. He liked it but wanted to know what it meant. So we went online and looked up it’s meaning. It means “Jehovah has heard”. Perfect! God had heard our desire to have a son and was answering our prayers. We felt for sure that He had dropped the name in my heart for a reason. So from that day forward, we referred to our little boy by his God given name “Jayden Allen”.
January 6th, my father went in for a routine procedure. I had just begun my third trimester, and because I was considered high risk, I had an ultrasound scheduled each month during the last trimester. So I dropped my father off, and rushed to my ultrasound appointment. I saw Jayden and heard his heart beat and everything looked good. He was growing beautifully! The doctor joked that he was going to be a much bigger baby than my first! But boys were supposed to be bigger and huskier! What I didn’t know was that this would be the last time that I would see my baby alive. My father ended up having an allergic reaction to a medication he was given during the procedure which caused him to bleed extensively internally. He nearly lost his life. I was so scared that my son would never meet his grandpa and wanted my daughter to have memories with him as well. For a week, it was touch and go. We didn’t know if he would make it. I was terribly stressed and worried. Well, after 20 days in the hospital, my father did in fact come home. We were so relieved, but the stress had taken its toll on my body. I told my husband that I felt worse than I had my entire pregnancy with our daughter. In one month, I went from having a relatively pain free, fairly healthy pregnancy to feeling pains in places I didn’t know existed.
The last week of January, my daughter contracted a virus and was throwing up for three days. It was awful to watch her so sick. A few days passed, and she was on the mend - but not before sharing the virus with me. I woke up on Friday morning, January 31st throwing up. It was terrible, being eight plus months pregnant, and throwing up! I contacted my OBGYN, and she told me that if I couldn’t hold fluid down by the evening, I would have to go to the emergency room and have IV fluids. Well, that evening, I was able to hold some fluids down so we were saved from a trip to the ER. Looking back now, I wish I would have gone - perhaps they would have seen something to tell us that Jayden was having trouble.
The following week, I had the first of my weekly non stress tests. It was Thursday, February 5th. They strapped the monitors to my belly, which typically prompted a kick or two from Jayden - but not this time. I thought it was odd, but also had heard that as they get bigger, they don’t move as much. The test was reactive, my OB was satisfied and off I went. My brother was getting married that Saturday, and I had so much to do!
The weekend was filled with activities, and out of town guests. I was busy and did not have time to check kick counts. It wasn’t until the following Monday that I realized I had not felt Jayden move in a while. I thought he was always active in the evening and after my meal. So I waited. We had dinner that night, and I laid on my left side. Nothing. I rubbed my tummy and talked to him. I became nervous, but tried to reassure myself that he didn’t have much room to move. But I had always felt him kick in the middle of the night. That night I waited up. I rubbed my tummy, drank juice. Nothing. I grew concerned, and at 2am, I woke up my husband. He told me to call the doctor right away. I was so scared, so I began pushing my belly harder to wake him up. I thought I felt him move, so I told my husband I would call first thing in the morning.
The next day, I called as soon as the office opened. They scheduled me a late morning appointment to come in and make sure all was ok. I sat nervously throughout the morning but tried to keep myself busy with my daughter. So I dropped her off at my father’s and drove to the OB. They brought me in to the room and tried to find the heartbeat with the monitor. The tech was having trouble, so she said she was going to have the doctor check. She told me not to worry, the baby was hiding. But deep down inside, I knew something wasn’t right. They brought me down to the ultrasound room and my doctor came in. There was no small talk. She said “let’s see what’s going on with this baby”. The minute she put the probe to my belly, I knew something wasn’t right. There was no red blood flow, no beating heart. Just the image of a very still baby. I asked her if everything was ok. She looked at me, and with very sad eyes she said “No, I’m so sorry. There is no heart beat”. With those words, my world shattered, my dreams were crushed. I was numb, and in shock, and scared, and sad all at once. How could this be? What happened? What did I do wrong? Will my husband blame me? How could he not? How could I tell him that our precious little boy, our gift from God, the answers to our prayers … was gone? My doctor suggested that I call Glenn, but I couldn’t. I asked her to call him and just have him come. She did. The next 45 minutes were the longest moments of my life. When he walked in the room, I could tell he had been crying. He hugged me, and held me and we cried together. I must have said “I’m so sorry” a thousand times that day. I felt like I was to blame. Jayden relied on me for life, and I failed him. How could my husband forgive me.
The doctor came back in, and began to discuss our options. Since I had a previous cesarean with my daughter, I had decided early on that we would do another section rather than chance a problem during delivery. I felt like a walking tomb. I wanted to deliver that day. She accommodated my request, and arranged for the delivery that evening. We left the office empty, left with only phone calls to make to notify our family of our loss.
One by one, we called them. We cried, they cried. How could this have happened? We drove to my father’s house to pick up our daughter. He was feeding her when we walked in. We were so broken. We told him Jayden was gone. He was shocked. Everyone was. We sat around his house that afternoon. My sister asked my permission to arrange a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer to come to the hospital. I told her that was fine, but I didn’t know at that point if I would be able to hold him or see him. I was so devastated. She understood, and said she would take care of the details for me.
We left my father’s house and headed to the hospital. We felt so empty as we walked into the Labor and Delivery floor. There was no excitement this time. Only pain. The nurses were already aware that we were coming, and brought us quickly to a room they had prepared for us at the back of labor and delivery. The following hour and a half is a blur as nurses and staff came in to prepare me for the cesarean. I asked to be heavily medicated during the procedure. I didn’t want to be awake as they took my dead baby from me. The next I remember, I was coming to, and the anesthesiologist told me they were just about finished. They wheeled me back to the L&D room where my husband was waiting. I could tell that he had been crying. He told me that he held Jayden and that he was beautiful. The doctor came in and encouraged me to see Jayden. She told me that it would be healing. After a few moments, I was ready. The doctor wheeled him into the room in the plastic bucket that all newborns call their crib for their hospital stays. He was beautiful. They were right, he was perfect. He was my son. My husband and I spent the next two hours with him. We cried, and held him. We looked at his toes, his fingers, his nose, his ears, his hair… examining every detail of our boy. The photographer came in and took a few pictures… pictures that are my cherished treasures now. I look at them daily, and think of the boy that I will get to know in heaven. We know that we will have eternity with him, and at that time, God will restore all the years that we missed with him on earth. We know that if we just trust the Lord, and hold onto His promises, we will see Jayden again. That brings us some comfort.
And so it was, on February 10th, 2009, our son Jayden Allen was born into the hands of Jesus. He was 5 lbs, 2 ozs, and was 19 inches long. We have been on our grief journey for just over four months now. I have forgiven myself for feeling like I failed our son. I know that I did everything that I knew I could to take care of myself during my pregnancy. My husband has never once blamed me. He has been so supportive, and I love him more than ever for it. I still struggle with anger sometimes. Angry that there are people who disregard their children, mistreat them, abuse or even abandon them - but they were given healthy children. Angry that my husband and I wanted our son from the moment we found out that we were pregnant. We planned for him and loved him with all our hearts, and we don’t have him here with us. But our anger is not directed at God, rather its directed at this fallen world that we live in. Here, there is sickness, pain, disappointment, hurt. But we hold onto the assurance that one day, in heaven, there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears. The bible says that he’ll wipe away the tears from our eyes. I know he will restore my heart, and heal the deep pain that has penetrated it when we lost Jayden.
Since Jayden passed, we have met some wonderful people who walk the same road that we do. People we would have never met if it hadn’t been for our son, or their loss of their sweet baby. We still miss Jayden terribly, and some days it feels as though my heart has been ripped out of my chest all over again. We wish we knew why he had to go so soon, but are trusting in God that His ways are beyond our comprehension. Our goal now is to make his life matter. Bring change to someone else’s life as a result of Jayden. Our prayer is that other parents who are experiencing the same pain as us, will also come to experience the same hope that we have. The hope that one day, we will be reunited with our children in heaven. There is a piece of us that will always be missing, a small void that can never be filled - because it is with our son. But God understands our pain, and cries when we cry - and can mend our broken hearts. My prayer for anyone reading this story is that you will understand one thing - that while we hurt deeper than I could have ever imagined, we are trusting the Lord to heal our wounded hearts. The bible promises us that he will bind up the broken hearted. We daily pray that God would take our burden, and give us peace. Thank you for reading our story. We pray that God would bless you deeply and bring you comfort.
I would like to thank Tina Jensen for sharing her tearful yet beautiful story of losing her son Isaac and then her daughter Hannah. What a blessing to read her testimony of how she continues to trust God even through her losses. We keep Tina, her husband Dan, and her 3 precious daughters in our prayers. Here is Tina’s story…
In December of 2007 I found out I was expecting my 4th child. Dan & I had 3 girls, Angie, Lana, & Naomi. All wonderful gifts from God. I felt differently about this baby, I felt so honored & blessed that God would give me another child. I was truly elated. But then I got so sick, I was queasy at every turn, I was in bed most of the time or just tryin to function through the day. I remember going in to my Doc appointment at about 12 weeks & hearing that sweet heartbeat, & I didn’t care how sick I was! There was my baby! That beautiful beautiful “swish swish” sound. Again, I had that feeling of ” God, you love me so much, thank you”
So, the nausea passed & I was back to my old self. At 18 weeks I came down with a cold. I felt terrible & went into see the doc & went home with a script. He didn’t check the heartbeat & I remember thinkin how odd, but now I know it was Gods grace.
The following night I started having some spotting, I remember havin that moment where I could hear my heart thudding in my chest. I was so scared, I told Dan & we called the Dr who was not alarmed. He asked if I was having any cramping or fever, I said no & in fact the spotting had stopped. So he told me to come in the next day for an ultrasound. I remember praying that night with Dan & the kids, I asked God to please let this baby be OK.
The next day Dan & I went into to see our Dr. He started the ultrasound & I saw right away there was no “flutter” no movement. Nothing, the Dr was asking questions & I just knew, I just thought “why isn’t he sayin everything is OK???”
He said “I’m sorry, I’m not seeing what I want to see here, I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat”
I laid there & cried & cried, Dan took my face as he cried & said “we did nothing wrong, you did nothing wrong, God wants you to know you did nothing wrong”
The Dr turned & said “you know the Lord right” I am so thankful God put him in our path for this trial. The Dr led us in prayer, I really don’t remember much of what he prayed, or Dan, I just know I kept saying over & over ” I won’t stop loving you God, I won’t quit, I won’t stop loving you.
This was Friday Feb 22.
I had to wait to be admitted in the hospital until Monday, we were planning a home-birth, so I had to go to the hospital with a different Dr.
We had an ultrasound to confirm our sweet baby was gone, he had been gone about 2 weeks. I was induced & waited several hours before any contractions started. Those were very difficult hours. I was so broken. I wanted to run from there, I wanted my child. Dan & I sat there & tried to figure out names, we didn’t know yet if we had a boy or girl. At one point I began to sincerely freak out. I started telling Dan I wanted to bring the baby home until the funeral, It wasn’t fair! They shouldn’t be able to keep my baby from me, I can’t do this I can’t leave my baby here, I can’t do this. He prayed that God would bring me peace quickly & give me the strength to let go when it came time. The nurse came in & i told her how I felt, she looked at me & said “you’re baby isn’t here, you’re baby is in heaven being loved on by God, this is the body, but you’re baby isn’t here”
I know that may sound harsh to some, but it’s exactly what I needed to here.
My son, Isaac Jeremiah, was delivered into Jesus arms February 26th, 2008 at 3:46 am.
He was completely beautiful & amazing. So tiny yet so fearfully & wonderfully made. Praise God.
I held him & asked God to make these moments last a lifetime. I know I only held him a short time but it felt like forever.
We had a small service for my son the following Thursday. I never knew I would be the person up at the front, the long line of people waiting to express their sympathy. It was surreal.
I wish I could say that’s the end of my story but it’s not. There’s my sweet Hannah Joy.
We found out we were pregnant again, I was shocked but happy. I felt God knew we were ready & He was blessing us again so quickly. I was so scared most of the time, there were so many times I wept at the alter. Asking God to help me trust & let go. I prayed & cried all the time. When I went to the first appointment I was excited & nervous. The Dr said everything looked fine & he didn’t foresee any problems with this pregnancy. So things moved along as they should. I felt Hannah move early on & heard her hear beating at 12 weeks! Dan prayed every night for her, he would lean in to mu tummy & talk to her. He’d tell her about his day & how much he loved her. She would kick at him from time to time. It is one of my best memories of her. She loved her daddy.
At 18 weeks I had an appointment, I was so terrified. We found out at 18 weeks about our sweet Isaac. I remember sitting in the parking lot crying & crying. I knew I couldn’t walk in there without first letting go. I had to lay Hannah at the Lords feet once again. And trust Him with my heart. So, God & I had a long talk & once again He gave me the courage to move. To trust.
At this appointment I heard my Hannah’s heart beat for the last time. We had no idea that only a few days later she would die.
I went in for an ultrasound & my sweet princess had gone home. We endured the same pain & heartache as when we lost Isaac. But 100 times over.
There is no words to express the shock of hearing that another child of yours has died. There are no words to convey what it’s like to endure another funeral. To explain to your lil ones that they’re baby sister is in Heaven. To see those sweet little faces droop & hear the question “why”
Wanting to shake your fist up at the heavens & scream “WHY! How could you??? WHY?!!”
I had many days of living in darkness, of living in hopelessness. I lived in death for a long time. But God never changes, I can change upside down & inside out. But He, stays the same. You see, He was there every step, every scream, every tear. He never left my side, in fact He carried me the entire time.
I have a new found love & passion for Him, I still hurt & even get ticked sometimes. But when those emotions come I run to Him. I plead with Him for my heart & my sanity to not allow me back into that pit. He has been faithful, as He always is. And ever so patient.
I have yet to know “why” my children died. But I do know that they are in His presence & completely filled with His perfect love. And that brings me peace.
Thanks for letting me share my Isaac & Hannah with you.
Below is the story of another baby girl named Katelyn Grace. She joined our Katelyn in Heaven 6 days later. Thanks to Susanne for sharing her story
Hi, everyone. I wanted to share my family’s story, and it’s pretty amazing because my daughter is also Katelyn Grace. Katelyn was born into heaven on August 21, 2008. I had a very uneventful pregnancy, but it was so joyful. We had tried to conceive for about 18 months, taking clomid, being tested for various complications. Then we decided to stop trying, and I became pregnant with Katelyn. We were so blissfully happy, preparing the nursery, sharing our pictures and journaling online so our friends and family could share in the experience with us. We could not wait to meet our daughter. We were so ready!!
I went into see the OB on August 18 for my 40 week checkup, and everything was fine. I was slightly dilated and effaced, but I had been for several weeks. Katelyn’s heartbeat was nice and strong, and she was moving all over. We decided to induce Wednesday night b/c that was the soonest they could get us in. So, Wednesday night we left for the hospital, about 5 minutes from our house, carseat and bags in tow. I hadn’t felt Katelyn move AS much that day, but I was also told she wouldn’t b/c she was engaged in the birth canal already. Monday, the OB could feel her head when she checked my cervix.
So, we were being admitted, changing into the gown, getting the monitors in place. Tammy, my wonderful nurse, was having a hard time locating Katelyn’s heartbeat, and I am became very afraid. No one had ever had trouble finding it before!! She was so healthy! This couldn’t be happening!! Tammy left to page the doctor to perform an ultrasound. The OB came in, confirmed that Katelyn no longer had a heartbeat, that my sweet baby was gone. I was in complete shock. Our parents were there, came in, were told what had happened, and the rest of our family was contacted. I just wanted the doctor to cut her out of me. I couldn’t believe having to go through labor and delivery and not having my sweet girl going home with me. It was unbearable.
But then, I knew deep down, I had to take care of Katelyn. I received my epidural, the medication to begin labor, and I just calmed. I knew when it was time to deliver, and I pushed for 16 minutes before I met my sweet baby girl, Katelyn. She was beautiful, looked exactly like her daddy!! She was 5 pounds, 12 ounces, 19 inches long, and she had big hands and big feet! Now I knew what had been sticking in my ribs for the last few months, those giant feet.
We held her, had her pictures taken, and just enjoyed being with her. I couldn’t help crying and being sad b/c I knew I would never hear her cry, never see her eyes, never see her smile. I was so empty, yet so happy to finally meet my daughter. I was simply overwhelmed. I didn’t want to give her back when I finally chose to be discharged.
We opted to not have an autopsy done, and we had her buried at a cemetary very close to our home. her room has remained the same. I do not plan to change anything until God blesses us with another child. There is no replacing my Katelyn.
Since I lost Katelyn, we now know that I have a gene for a clotting disorder, called MTHFR gene. Meaning my blood can clot too much, and I do not metabolize folic acid well. So, I take folic acid and baby aspirin daily, and I will take heparin injections if I become pregnant again. We also know that I have a somewhat rare placental condition called chronic villitis of unknown etiology. This may or may not come back if I get pregnant again. Again, heparin injections are the treatment of choice.
I absolutely hate that my daughter is not here with me and her family, but I would never have known about anything of these conditions I have if I had not lost her. I miss her every second of every day. I love you, Katelyn Grace Crotty.