Proud mommy to Bryson, stillborn October 30th, 2010
and Joey Skyler, born into Heaven December 2009
It’s weird to think back to when I was naive about bringing a new life into the world. Our firstborn was a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy, aside from the hyperemesis, or severe morning sickness. His birth had gone just as we had expected, he was a healthy and happy baby boy. So, after 11 years of being with my best friend and 4 years of marriage, when we decided to try for a sibling for our 3 year old son, we had expected another uncomplicated and blessed pregnancy.
I found out on November 11, 2009 that the Lord had entrusted me to carry another of his miracles. I was so much in awe of my second treasure that I disregarded my mother’s instinct which told me that this child would be with me for a short period of time before the good Lord would call my baby back to Him.
I was so proud of my little baby, as growth was evident through my enlarging belly… I loved the day I woke up and could no longer wear my pants without a little elastic assistance. I was a blissful pregnant woman, especially when the hyperemesis started responding to the medications. I rubbed my baby bump any chance I could get and whispered of my love and dreams for my second baby!
At the dating ultrasound, we had our first glimpse at our beautiful baby. This is when we found out our baby was actually developing a little slower than previously thought and the doctors moved our due date back. I worried about my baby and prayed constantly. Then, at our next prenatal check-up, our baby seemed to be doing fine.
We were very proud… so proud that after we saw the heartbeat again at our 9 week ultrasound, we made Christmas cards to share the news with family and friends. There were reactions that proved how much our baby was loved already… reactions that I will always remember and smile about as they were our first celebrations of our Christmas Angel.
Then, after a couple weeks, and several minutes of uneasiness, we found a slower heartbeat and stillness at the next ultrasound. I wished to assume that you were sleeping soundly… the midwife said everything looked fine and told us to not stress. I tried to remain positive but when I started spotting a few weeks later, my heart sank… I knew my baby was gone. Our baby grew wings around Christmas and only God knows why. Even though our Christmas Angel, whom we named Joey Skylor, was only with us for 13 short weeks, the love we have for our second child is insurmountable.
I felt like I had lost some of my purpose as a mother without my second baby with me. I turned to the good Lord throughout the days ahead “Dear Lord: I pray to be filled with comfort and strength to carry on with my life; to be sheltered and accompanied through my treacherous journey as a ‘Mommy to an Angel’; and that my faith will give me a sense of belonging and purpose from this day forth. Amen”. The days dragged on and I wasn’t crying everyday anymore. My Joey Skylor was never far from my thoughts and always in my prayers, but I began to smile about our precious moments together. I could look back in happiness at the blessings of the short life of my precious baby.
Late in the following spring of 2010, our little family decided to try for our rainbow baby. Again, we were able to get pregnant quite quickly as a home pregnancy test revealed on July 16th. This pregnancy, though, came with great apprehension. We were no longer ignorant as to how quickly a baby, along with all the hopes and dreams that accompany that new little life, can slip away.
A couple weeks later, we heard a precious heartbeat and our baby was measuring over a week ahead of the initial due date. I went into the doctors often due to the hyperemesis, weight loss of about 20 pounds, spotting, and great anxiety over the health of our third baby. Overall, we had an uneventful couple of months with a growing baby and we became deeply immersed in planning every detail for our new little bundle.
The end of September came, and mother’s instinct sent me into a panic again. Our baby was 15 weeks gestation and I had not really been feeling any movement yet (with my other babies, I felt movement once the second trimester started). I requested an ultrasound to help ease my mind… little did we know, this moment would be the beginning of our suffering with our third precious baby.
The ultrasound revealed what appeared to be an extremely large fluid filled cyst in our baby’s abdomen along with a low amniotic fluid level. My whole body shuttered with the reality of what was happening… I was in utter disbelief that two of my babies within a year could be taken away from me.
We strived to remain positive and requested prayers from everybody around. After travelling over 700 miles and undergoing countless tests, including an amniocentesis, our baby was diagnosed with LUTO, or a lower urinary tract obstruction. We also found out our baby was a boy and he was a candidate for life-saving fetal surgery. After we endured several bladder drainages, and more testing, things started to turn for the better. Like a miracle, our little fighter had begun to show improving kidney function, and the amniotic fluid increased to normal levels. We were very cautiously optimistic with this news, and contested the doctor’s recommendation to see what happens over the following week. He felt confident that this was the next step so we reluctantly settled.
A week later marked 19 weeks that my baby had been with me. According to the books, my baby could hear my heartbeat and my voice. I took such comfort in knowing that he could not only feel me but he could also hear his Mommy’s words of adoration and the same lullaby that I sang to my babies everyday of their lives “I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”…
Finally, it was the day of our next appointment. I was startled awake with a tremendous sense of fear in my heart, and denial in my mind… I hadn’t felt movement through the night. At the doctors, the ultrasound tech put her wand to my belly and in that instant the world collapsed around us for a second time. “I’m so sorry. There is no heartbeat.” I remember sobbing without control, I couldn’t breathe, and then I was completely numb. I had the sensation like I was sitting in the middle of life and not having life.