Mirian

Mom to Luke Jackson

Born and died on October 16, 2011

Northport, Alabama

Incompetent cervix: a term I heard and knew the meaning of, but never imagined that these two words would change my life forever. I had given birth to a full-term healthy baby in 2004; there was no reason to think this pregnancy would have any different outcome. There was especially no reason to think that my cervix would inexplicably open at 19.4 weeks into my pregnancy. Luke Jackson, our second son, was born and died on October 16, 2011 due to cervical incompetence. This is Luke’s story.
On Friday, July 8, 2011, after a long week of moving out of our apartment of 7 years and moving into our new townhome, my husband brought it to my attention that I was “late”. All of my thoughts and energy had gone into our move and I had not even realized that my monthly visitor was 7 days past due.  My immediate thought was that I was definitely pregnant, as the last time I was a week late we were blessed with our now 6 year old son Trey. It was 8 pm, I had worked a 12 hour shift and had to be back at work in the morning, but I could not wait another second to find out. I was beyond excited at the thought of a little life growing inside of me. Trey and I drove to the nearest CVS and bought a test. I came home immediately took the test and 2 pink lines popped up very quickly… another baby! I was overjoyed. We had been talking about having another baby for about 2 years; we wanted to wait for the perfect time but I could not have been happier that God had decided it was the perfect time for us. Never did I think God would take him back so quickly. Trey was thrilled too; he had been praying and begging for a baby brother or sister. He talked to and kissed my belly all the time from the very start. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that a few short months later our happiness would turn to sorrow. I only imagined us bringing home our new baby in late February or early March of 2012, never expecting we would bury the baby we were so looking forward to.

On July 28th Mommy, Daddy and big brother got to see and hear our little peanut for the first time.  He had a strong heartbeat at 162. I had some spotting around this time in my pregnancy. My doctor was not very concerned. Everything looked great on the ultrasound and spotting in early pregnancy is not unheard of. I had no other issues except pretty bad morning sickness, or in my case all day sickness. Around week 10 I had more spotting but it was heavier this time. We had another ultrasound done and everything was still perfect. They saw no reason to cause any bleeding. Baby’s heart rate was great, his growth was right on target and he was turning flips in my stomach.  After seeing him on this ultrasound I had a feeling he was a boy. Everyone was saying it was going to be a girl this time, but I had a feeling he was a boy, which was perfectly fine with me; all I ever wanted was a healthy baby. The next week I had more bleeding. This time it was pretty scary because it was a lot of blood.  It was late in the evening and my doctor told me to come in first thing in the morning and they would check on an ultrasound.  I was devastated at the thought of losing our precious baby. I remember crying that night thinking I was going to have to tell Trey our baby was gone. I wanted this little one so bad and prayed that he was safe. The next morning after a sleepless night we had another perfect ultrasound. Strong heartbeat, nothing shown that would cause bleeding and little baby was bouncing around again. My doctor did a pelvic exam to make sure we weren’t missing anything that would cause the bleeding and he found nothing; everything was normal. We were told that sometimes bleeding occurs for no apparent reason, usually stops after 1st trimester and usually causes no complications with the pregnancy. I was nearing the end of the 1st trimester and was so relieved at the thought of being in the clear of losing our baby.

After the end of the 1st trimester things progressed as normal. His heartbeat was always good and strong.  On Tuesday, October 11, at 18.5 weeks we had our midway ultrasound. Everything was great…he was growing just as he should and they told us everything was perfect. He was turned on his side so they could not see his “boy parts” but we wanted a surprise anyway. I scheduled my next checkup for 4 weeks later, but little did I know my sweet baby would be an angel by then. Three days later on Friday, I was at work, halfway done with a 12 hour shift, when I noticed some blood as I was in the restroom. I felt fine, no pain or anything. I called my doctor right away. He told me to go home, take it easy the rest of the weekend, to call him if anything changed but if not to come see him on Monday. He said that my cervix was probably just irritated as I had been on my feet all day. I will never understand why  he  didn’t check my cervix at this time; I will never forgive myself for not insisting that he see me and not waiting until Monday but I had no idea that my own body was starting to betray me, that my cervix was beginning to fail me…no idea that this was the beginning of the end. They tell us that even at this point my pregnancy could not have been saved, that had he checked my cervix they could have tried an emergency cerclage but it would have failed because my cervix was probably already paper thin…but that’s just the point it was probably paper thin…we will never know. I will always wonder what if. The weekend went by pretty quickly and pretty uneventfully until Sunday. After I went home Friday the bleeding stopped. I had  a little bleeding Saturday but not more than the day before so I was still thinking that I would go to the doctor on Monday and everything would be fine just as it had been earlier in my pregnancy. Of course I was worried, but I was trying to stay positive and not be paranoid about things. I had been praying for this little baby to be healthy, and feeling his precious movements inside of me reassured me he was okay.

Sunday, October 16, 2011… started off like any other day. I remember wanting to go to church but decided to stay off my feet until I saw my doctor the next day.  The bleeding had almost stopped which was reassuring. Sunday evening everything suddenly started to change. I began to feel very mild menstrual-like cramps and noticed some very small blood clots when I went to the bathroom. I decided to call my doctor because I was concerned about the clots and I had never experienced any pain or cramps with the other bleeding episodes. He reassured me that everything would be okay, stating that the cramps were from my uterus clamping down to control the bleeding. He told me to take some Tylenol, take a warm bath and make sure I was staying hydrated. After talking with him I felt that I was probably dehydrated because I had been pretty nauseated the whole weekend. So I took some Tylenol, took a warm bath and drank some water. Things seemed to be better but only briefly. All of a sudden the cramps came back with a vengeance. I told my husband I may be crazy but these feel like contractions.  I called my doctor back to see if I should go to the ER. He once again said I would be okay. I wasn’t actively bleeding so he said that was a good sign. He also said I more than likely wasn’t having real contractions and even if I was at this point in the pregnancy they would not cause any real cervical change. He did tell me if things got worse to come to the ER but if not he would see me in the morning. Once again I trusted him over my instincts. I knew that something wasn’t right, though even at this point I never imagined what was about to happen.

As soon as I hung up with my doctor I explained to my husband what he had just told me. My husband said if I wanted to go ahead to the hospital he would take me. I told him I was going to wait about 30 minutes and see how things went; if they did not get better then we would go. I then felt like I needed to empty my bladder so I went upstairs to the restroom. It had not been 5 whole minutes since I hung the phone up with my doctor. Before I sat all the way on the toilet, I felt something come out. My initial thought was it was a large blood clot and we would be making a trip to the ER. It did not even cross my mind that I was going to see my baby still attached to me, barely hanging outside my body. I do not even remember what I thought as I saw him. I just grabbed him and wanted to protect him. I screamed for my husband. I held my tiny son in my hands and saw the pulsing of his heart inside his chest; I watched him try to breathe. Luke Jackson was a fighter; he was most certainly his daddy’s son to have such a fighter spirit in him. It amazes me that at 19.4 weeks he came out with the will to live.  At that moment I wanted so badly for him to be okay; I imagined him being that miracle baby who would beat all the odds. At the same time, I knew in my heart that he was too small to survive. I wanted to help him and any mother knows how your heart aches when you can’t help your child.  My heart was breaking because I knew that my precious little boy whom I wanted so badly was not going to make it and there was not one thing I could do about it. All I could do as his mother was keep him warm. I pressed his little body against my own and cradled my hands around him. I hope and pray that this brought him some comfort and he did not feel any pain as he went straight from my hands into the hands of Jesus. I literally held an angel in my hands.

He was so beautiful, so perfect in every way. It was unreal to see that he was so small but all of his features were perfect…he looked just like his big brother and definitely had his daddy’s nose and lips. I don’t know how long he lived. By the time we got to the hospital, maybe 20 minutes later, he no longer had a heartbeat. I was upset at first that it happened at home, but now I am glad that I am the one who held him every second of his life. Had he been born at the hospital he would have felt the doctor’s cold gloved hands instead of my own.

We are told that we will be able to have successful pregnancies in the future, but that does not give us our Luke back. God willing, hopefully we will have another baby, but Luke will never be replaced. We will always wonder what life would be like if Luke was with us, but we know that he is in a far better place. As his big brother says, he is so rich in heaven he is eating golden cheeseburgers with golden pickles.

There are so many questions, so many what ifs or if onlys…enough to drive you crazy. I believe in God and I am trusting in Him. I know this is part of his plan but I can’t say that I understand.  “ Your eyes saw my unformed body ; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalms 139). This verse makes it easier to deal because I know that as bad as I wanted Luke and as bad as I still want him at this very moment, he was never meant to stay. This is one of life’s trials and a journey that God has chosen for us; why he chose us I may never have an answer for, but I know that I am going to praise Him through this storm and trust Him to see us through.

Luke, your time with us passed all too quickly.  You will forever be loved and missed. Your brief moment on earth has taught us so much. Our tiny 7 ounce baby is teaching us what life is all about…love and trusting in God. You never know what the future holds, your life could forever be changed in a moment …life is too short not to love.  The amount of time on earth matters very little; a man can live in greed and pride for 90 years and never find God, know him or accomplish his plan.  He may never teach the world one thing and pass along nothing but hatred and selfishness. On the other hand a little baby who did not even breathe for an hour teaches people to love, brings people to the Lord, teaches us of the fragile nature of life and teaches us of a faith that those of us who have not suffered loss can never know. The purpose of life is not ours to decide, it is brought about by God. We are thankful for our sweet moments we shared with you, Luke; you will never be forgotten, you are forever a part of our family and we know in our hearts that we will see you again. Until that day we pray that you will watch over us and we promise to keep your memory alive. Your brother talks about you every day and it warms my heart each time to hear him speak about you with love and happiness…we promise to never forget.


 

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Comments

  1. Alicia Karrick says:

    I love the part about what your son said “golden cheeseburgers and golden pickles.” I pray that you gain strength and peace for each day.

  2. I’m crying..oh dear I am so sorry. To hold your child and see his heart beating, that really got to me. I will never fully understand why children are taken so early but I do agree that there is a purpose. I have become a better person since losing my Corbin and I will never be the same. I am making a difference in his name to help save lives. You are a strong mother to realize this so soon. Prayers and love to you.

  3. WOW is all I can say we lost Parker 7 years ago nov 28 thank you letting me get to know Luke I have the samething incompetent cevix we where 27 weeks when God called him home thank yiu agin for your store

  4. Mirian, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Luke. I have said a prayer for you that God would bring you comfort and joy, and that you would hold your baby again in heaven.

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