Mom to Isabella Grace
February 9, 2008 – March 17th, 2008
I found out I was pregnant with my first child in September 2007. My husband and I were elated because we had been trying to get pregnant for 10 months, and our dream had finally come true. I was given a due date at my first ultrasound: May 14th. My next ultrasound revealed another dream come true: I was having a little girl.
Within a few weeks, the problems started. My blood pressure began to creep up, so my OB/GYN put me on medication that was considered safe to use during pregnancy. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. By the time I was admitted to the hospital, my blood pressure was 216/211. The nurses on staff were waiting for me to go into seizures. Most of them had never seen blood pressure so high. I was strapped to a bed, given a catheter and my blood tests revealed that my kidneys and liver were starting to fail. An emergency ultrasound showed that my amniotic fluid had dropped dangerously and my little girl was in distress. An emergency C-Section was performed and Isabella Grace was born on February 9, 2008, over 3 months early. She was 1 lb., 3.4 oz and 12 inches long.
Isabella was a beautiful child. Even as a preemie, her features were very distinct: a cleft chin from her daddy, a round nose from me and dimples all her own. She had a strong heart, but her lungs were very underdeveloped and she was put on a respirator immediately after she was born. There were ups and downs with her health, and many of the nurses (and even her doctors) believed that she was going to be okay. Prayers for Isabella went global, reaching all the way to missionary friends in China from the United States. I would have loved nothing more that to bring my little girl home with me, wrapped in her little rainbow blanket nuzzled close to my heart.
On March 17, 2008 I was getting ready to leave for the hospital when I received the call I had hoped I would never come: Isabella was in cardiac arrest and they were trying to resuscitate her. I rushed to the hospital and met my husband at the door. The nurses were trying so hard to start her little heart again, but to no avail. Our little girl became our little angel that day.
Isabella’s funeral was one week later, the day after Easter Sunday. Our church was filled almost to the T with so many people. Their love and support was what really got my husband and I through next few months of our grieving.
Four months later, still in deep mourning over my loss, I found out I was pregnant again. My new OB/GYN (I kicked the old one to the curb) watched me like a hawk, and my second child (a little girl) was born full term on March 24, 2009, exactly one year to the day of Isabella’s funeral. We decided to name her Grace Roxanne, so she could always have a part of her big sister with her.
I still mourn for my little Bella Bug, and I even got a tattoo in her honor. But I praise God everyday for the blessing of being a mother and for allowing me time with my first little one, even though it was only a little time. And I praise Him daily for becoming a mom again. Grace looks so much like her sister; I know Isabella looks out for her sister from Heaven. That’s enough to turn my sorrow into joy.