Hope
Mom to Zoe Elizabeth Wood, March 21st, 2007
and Addie Kate Wood, March 25th, 2010
Sevierville, Tennessee
Zoe’s Story
We had just found out the sex of our 2nd child when we had our 17 week ultrasound.  A little girl.  Then, I began to have some bleeding a few weeks later and at the ultrasound when Zoe was 20 weeks, her heart had already stopped beating. We chose to be induced and had to wait several days for the hospital to do the induction.  I carried her for 1 week and then was induced & delivered her body. 


It was surreal and horrific–yet I cherished every last second I had her inside me even as I felt like a walking tomb. Carrying her for a week after knowing she was dead was just horrible yet my last chance to “keep” her with me in a sense. It was strange how I cherished that week and was mortified all at the same time. I felt so empty when she finally came out and I wanted her to be back inside of me. The pain of delivering her was almost overwhelming. We held her, talked to her, sang to her, prayed over her……none of it was enough…..I did sense her spirit in the room with us after we delivered her though…I believe she was there and heard our voices and our songs…and saw our tears too. she was so tiny, so delicate, so fragile. Her skin had begun to break down after her death in utero and she just really looked pitiful–but she was still my precious and beautiful baby girl. How could this have happened? Why did this happen? What would she have looked like as a more developed newborn? Is this really happening? The pain in the eyes of my husband was almost unbearable. 
Zoe was cremated and we buried her ashes in a little wooden chest with some toys, letters, and a blankie. Her burial plot is on the side of a hill facing a beautiful mountain range. I wish now I had kept some or all of her ashes with me….Although the decision to cremate was also a very difficult one..it was all so hard…so many decisions one after the other from the moment we knew her heart had stopped beating…decisions that no mom and dad should ever have to make about their children…so many moments & images frozen forever in my mind…moments I wanted to undo but now must learn to cherish as moments we had with Zoe and for Zoe…

We found out through blood tests after her death that I have 2 different physical problems that affect blood clotting [MTHFR gene mutation & Factor V Leiden]. Throughout Isaiah’s pregnancy I was taking daily Lovenox shots. All of this made us realize even more of what a miracle our first pregnancy and delivery really was…

To explain the deep depression I was in for about 2 years after Zoe’s death is difficult. This type of grief is so isolating and suffocating. I did not experience much support or understanding, much less validation. Another loss for me was that my best friend of many years and I did not survive this difficult time in my life [long & complicated story w/ mistakes on both sides; I tried reconciling but it has not worked out]. Thank God I did have my husband right there with me every step of the way.

Zoe’s name in Greek means “life, as in abundant life”.  She is experiencing now life in its absolute fullness with a restored body and perfect communion with her maker and the truest lover of her soul.  We found out about her death in utero & immediate entrance into the arms of Jesus on the first day of spring [Wednesday March 21st].  God always orchestrates that spring does follow winter………….this is beyond a winter experience for us but we are already seeing evidences of God’s beautiful spring pushing through the bitter cold and blooming.  God’s presence with us is thick and a comfort that is beyond any comfort ever experienced before.

God takes pain which He allows and carves out in us even bigger places in comparison of love & communion with Him.  God is determined not to waste a drop of pain and actually will bring us to places of more blessings in response to pain because He is determined to bring glory from the ashes of pain if only we will let Him pour Him self out onto us and in us in our places of pain.

The place already carved out in me to love Zoe from is fighting feeling despair and a lack of an outlet, so to speak.  I pray God will lead me and us to a place of ministry where we can freely give out of those carved out places of deep love for her on a regular basis every day of our lives here on this earth.  God has places of love carved out in His heart for each of His created children and so this actually will help us understand and relate to His experience better.

I had always heard about experiencing the glory of God in the midst of suffering–now i know it firsthand in a very fresh way.
Hope

Addie’s Story
Our 4th child……It all started Sunday March 21, 2010 (the anniversary of Zoe’s death 3 yrs ago) with spotting….then several ultrasounds and doc visits…low progesterone….more significant bleeding etc…. March 24, 2010 led us into yet another layer of grief and loss as we went for an ultrasound for our 4 child (a BIG surprise pregnancy!) and the heartbeat was only 35 bpm….Because of going to a perinatologist I had already heard her heartbeat strong 3 times since the 5th week of pregnancy–the bonding had begun strong and hard very quickly.  We were 8wks along when we found out she was probably not going to make it.  They sent us home and scheduled us to come back in the next day for a repeat ultrasound.  March 25, 2010 there was was sadly no heartbeat as the docs predicted.  Of course we had prayed that whole night before that God would miraculously heal our baby and begged that we not go through losing another one.  March 26, 2010 I was admitted to the hospital for a D & C.  We were on the line as far as what they recommended for the baby at that point–the choice was to allow the miscarriage to continue on “naturally” or to have a D & C to “clear out the uterus”.  To finish out miscarriage at home would have most likely have taken up to 2 1/2 wks with an episode of seriously heavy bleeding lasting 4-5 hrs.  It was an agonizing decision but we chose the D & C.  All I can say is that it was absolutely horrible and I felt incredibly empty after it was over and I woke up in the recovery room.  I wish I could have seen something tangible (as weird as that may sound), it was just awful.  This grief was easier to bear in some ways and is harder to bear in others.  We had no memorial service and now I wish we would have had something small with just a few close friends and family.  I thought people were so silent about Zoe, but I was shocked to find out they were even more silent about Addie.  We opted for some testing and found out she was a girl and she had a genetic disorder called Turner’s Syndrome, and most babies with this disorder do not survive.  We named her Addie Kate–(Addie is Hebrew for “Created by God” & Kate is Greek for pure)

Addie, You were our surprise, our unexpected little arrival.  Mommy heard your heart beating 3 times and then something else unexpected….your heart was slowing down and the doctors said you weren’t going to make it.  I prayed for a miracle, but all along YOU were the miracle that mattered most.  We will be reunited one day and I long for that day. Love you forever my 3rd sweet girl, precious Addie Kate.  I carry you with me always. We also got a snow fountain weeping cherry tree in your memory–it had such sweet little white blossoms opening up so quickly.  It is planted just near your sister Zoe’s Japenese Weeping Cherry that has beautiful little pink blooms every Spring.  Love & Hugs, Mommy

Mother of Abigail, Zoe, Isaiah, & Addie 

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Comments

  1. Patty says:

    Thank you for sharing that. As someone on the outside looking in it is hard to know what to say or do for someone going through a loss like these. Thank you for letting me understand it a bit better.

  2. Hope says:

    thank you patty….

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