Mom to Mackensie Owenn
Born still November 2, 2011
I’ve always dreamt of having a really big family of my own, I love being around people (shocker, I know!) and I absolutely love that we have such a HUGE family now (between Brad and I, we have 5 siblings and 9 nieces and nephews). I love watching all of the kids play with one another and knowing they will all be able to grow up together (and get into trouble together)! I remember telling my Mom that I thought having an ‘odd’ amount of kids is better than even, why, I have no idea; I think I just always wanted more than 2, so an ‘odd’ amount sounded good to me. When Brad and I had Jace we instantly knew that we wanted a big family- 3 to be exact!
So early in 2011 we decided to start working on a sibling for Jace Daniel and in early February we found out we were pregnant! Now let me back up for a second- for those who know me, I am a total planner and had ‘certain’ months that I wanted to have kids in and some that were on the “NO WAY” list (I totally believe in zodiac signs, never mind that they RECENTLY changed…what a crock…HA! And never mind the reason I have ‘certain’ months picked out). SO, having a baby in October was great, in fact it was perfect- my ‘plans’ were going just the way I had, well, planned! Brad and I were so excited that I got pregnant right away!, we couldn’t keep it to ourselves, so we ended up telling our immediate family shortly after I tested ‘positive’. Obviously everyone was SO excited and couldn’t wait for Baby Wright to come along in early October!
Meant To Be?
It was early February (the 8th to be exact) and Denver was set to get a nasty snow storm and of course I had a work trip planned to KC during the same time the storm was coming in! The thought of getting delayed or stranded at an airport stressed me out, so I ended up rescheduling my trip for later in the month.
The morning of the 8th started out as usual, Jace got into bed with Brad and I while he drank his “milk latte” and watched ‘toons’, Brad and I were getting ready for the day and so on.. As I headed into the bathroom, I remember having a ‘flash’ of an uneasy feeling, just a quick sense of something was not right. As soon as I sat down, I noticed I was bleeding! I remember shaking and not knowing what was going on. I needed to find Brad…I knew what was happening, but didn’t want to believe that it could happen to me, to us!
Brad and I instantly started (thank you technology for instant gratification) looking things up on our iPhones. Of course the internet gives you one extreme to another, so I ended up putting mine away and just tried to calm myself. Being we had just moved down South, I hadn’t yet changed OBGYN’s, so I called my doctor up North as soon as I could and made an appointment with him right away. Now, remember, Denver was getting a storm (it wasn’t as bad as they had thought, but it was still a nightmare driving), and we lived about 45min. away (on a good day) from the doctor’s office. The drive up North was silent, neither Brad nor I were saying a word, I think we had so much going through our heads, that we couldn’t muster a word to each other. We finally made it up North (1.5 hours later) and sat silently in the waiting area till we were called in. As soon as our Nurse brought us in the room, I just started crying, I was shaking with fear that they would confirm our worst nightmare (or what we thought would be our worst).
I was about 6 weeks pregnant, when we lost that baby! I thank God that I had cancelled my work trip. I can’t even begin to imagine if I were on the road by myself and would have gone through this alone. I was devastated. I would wake up in the middle of the night just sobbing asking God how this could have happened to us. I remembered one night, during a total melt-down, asking Brad when I would stop crying. He gently and lovingly held me tight and said, “Today will be the last time”, and it was! I had faith that it, for as hard as it was to admit, was meant to be. I knew I could ‘make’ a baby; Jace Daniel was living proof of that! He is perfect in every way.
Strength and Courage
Brad and I were at a Holiday party and ran into some friends who (in the past) had gone through something similar to what had just happened to us. I told them about our recent loss, knowing they could give words of comfort and encouragement. I will NEVER forget what they told us, “It takes strength and courage to keep trying and not give up.” I walked away, thinking to myself, “she’s right, it would be so easy to allow the pain to overtake my life and give up, but I have to have strength and courage to keep going.” Two words that made a huge impact on my life, two words that will be with me forever.
We were determined to expand our family and to our surprise, in March, we found out we were once again EXPECTING! I honestly, can’t say that I jumped in the air with excitement nor was beaming with joy. The truth was, I was SCARED, scared to death, scared that I would lose this baby as well, so I moved forward with hesitation and a guarded heart.
Since I had just miscarried, as soon as I found out I was pregnant (which was pretty early on, again); I called the doctor and went in for some blood tests. I ended up needing to get on Progesterone to help sustain the pregnancy, so in a way, I think that the miscarriage actually helped ‘save’ this baby.
As hard as it was for us to go through, without the miscarriage we may never had known that my hormone levels were so low and we may have even lost her much sooner.
Our Wish Come True
I had gone out shopping early April for my two best friends’ b-days that were coming up and decided to stop in a boutique shop to look around. I was immediately drawn to a jewelry tree that had some necklaces hanging on it. One stood out and spoke to my heart and soul- it was a small, simple Wishbone on a red string! It was perfect! I put that necklace on that day, holding tight that our ‘WISH” of having another baby would come true. I never took that necklace off, ever! This baby was our WISH come true, a WISH that we had made so long ago- a WISH that I wasn’t going to let go of anytime soon!
As the months slowly went by, I became more comfortable and optimistic that everything was going to be ok! I still hadn’t told everyone (and by ‘everyone’ I meant, everyone on Facebook), I wanted to wait till my 20 week appointment to make the ‘official’ announcement! Every appointment I made sure to make an extra effort to listen intensely on the heart beat, it made me confident that the baby was healthy and that everything was going well. When our 20 week appointment came, Brad and I decided NOT to find out the gender. Remember how I mentioned that I was a ‘planner’, well after the miscarriage, I was really hesitant in ‘planning’ too much this time around. Therefore, we waited to decide on a name and waited to find out what we were having.
Everyone kept asking me how I was able to ‘wait’, and to be honest, it was easy and really fun. Although we didn’t find out the gender, 99% of people (including STRANGERS) said we were having a GIRL!! I always saw myself with 3 boys, not sure why, just did! After SO many people kept telling me I was having a girl, I started to think I was as well! I always said that it would be SO fun to have 2 boys and a girl (a statement that I will forever regret saying), but I’d take any gender as long as they were healthy! I was carrying differently- I was smaller and more ‘round’ than I was with Jace. I really deep down did think I was having a girl, but didn’t want the baby to think I would be disappointed if she/he came out a boy, so I kept telling myself (and others) that I really didn’t have a ‘feeling’ of what the gender was.
We had two beautiful showers for our baby. I believe that every child deserves a welcoming party, no matter what ‘number’ they are in the birth order.
I am so grateful to have had these parties, although we would not be able to officially ‘welcome’ our baby into this world (as I had dreamed of), we at least were able to celebrate ‘her’ (I am going to refer to ‘baby’ as ‘her’ now) life during the showers.
As we inched closer and closer to my due date (which was scheduled for induction on November 9th), I was definitely ready to meet this amazing being that moved like an animal inside me. I was even blessed to capture her crazy kicking one night on our phone and was able to share it with so many on Facebook- again, this has SO much more meaning now. Had I known it would be the only time I would see my angel moving I would have videotaped my stomach 24/7!
I did talk to her every day, I made sure to tell her how much I loved her and how excited we all were to meet her! Even now, I feel at ease knowing that she was able to hear me (and Brad) tell her EVERY minute how much we loved her and how Jace was so excited to meet her. It is something that I will hold close to my heart till the day we meet again and I can speak directly to her!
November 1st, 2011
I was 38 weeks pregnant and was on my way home from my doctor’s appointment. Everything went well, I felt ok, the baby’s heart rate sounded good – everything was on track for the scheduled induction date one week away!
As I drove down the highway, I felt her move and said, “Hi Baby, I’ll see you in one week…I love you so much!” That was at 12:30pm and that would be the last time I would feel her move inside me. As the day went on, I knew something was not right. I hadn’t felt her move in a few hours, so I made a call to a friend (who also happened to be a labor and delivery nurse at Avista) telling her I was worried. Around 5p Brad and I decided to make the drive back up North to check things out. Once again, we found ourselves completely in silence, not saying a word, not looking at each other. And once again, I found myself WISHING that it wasn’t what it seemed to be, WISHING it was going to be ok.
I remember getting out of the car and thinking I had felt her move and for a split second, I thought, “we can go back home, it’s alright, I felt her.”
We headed into the triage room at Avista Hospital and were greeted by my dear friend, Shannon, who just held me and told me everything was going to be ok. I laid down on the bed, thinking to myself, “maybe they’ll induce me tonight”, maybe we’ll get to see her sooner than we thought. The nurse circled my belly trying to find the heartbeat, feelings of emptiness, confusion and fear slowly took over my body and mind. “Certainly the machine must have a problem”, that could be the only reason why we heard nothing. The doctor was called in to do an ultrasound, it wasn’t two minutes later she confirmed our worst nightmare. Our baby, our sweet angel, was gone.
I was in such shock, I couldn’t even cry, all I kept screaming was, “How is this happening, why is this happening, PLEASE GOD give her back to me!” Over and over and over- I don’t even know if I was making any sense. But it was all that came out, all that I was able to say. Brad was in the bathroom throwing up; our mothers were collapsing on the ground gasping for air, and I was just sitting on that bed repeating the same thing over and over again- PLEASE GOD GIVE HER BACK TO ME.
It was an out of body experience- I couldn’t comprehend what was going, it was just chaos all around me- HELL… it was HELL. How could He let this happen, WHY did He let this happen? I WISH I knew the answer and I WISH any human on earth could tell me the answer, but the reality is, no one knows and we will never know (at least, not while on earth).
“Why? That’s what we ask; the truth is we may never be able to know for sure why.
But we do know that there is no single ‘should have done’ or ‘could have done’ or
‘did’ or didn’t do’ that would have changed that why.
All that love could do was done.” ~ Unknown
My doctor gently told me that we could either start the induction process or we could go home and come back. “What? Come back? No, I can’t go home knowing that my baby is not alive inside!” But the alternative- how in the hell could I go through delivering my baby knowing that she wasn’t going to come home with us? I was convinced that it wasn’t possible, that I did not have the strength and courage to go through with this. I remember telling everyone that I wouldn’t make it through this, that I would never ‘heal’ from this, how could I deliver a baby that wasn’t living?
As soon as we got to the room where I would be for the next 3 days, my doctor wanted to give me a sedative to help calm me down. I couldn’t bare the thought of being ‘out of it’, I had to be present, I had to try and understand what was going on and the thought of being ‘looped’ up scared me even more. I am not sure how I did it, but at that moment, I completely calmed myself, to the point that everyone thought they had already given me the sedative.
It wasn’t until I was reading another woman’s blog (who had gone through almost the EXACT thing as us), that I realized that the Lord must have been by my side, calming me, protecting me, crying with me. As mad as I was at him- and trust me, I told him how upset and hurt I was at him (and still am)- I have to believe that He was there with me, hurting the same as I, feeling the emptiness I felt, crying with me over and over.
I have to.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” Psalms 34-18
I had been induced to start labor around 10:00 pm. As the night continued on and we inched closer and closer to delivery, our AMAZING delivery nurses (Celia, Shannon and Katie) held our hands, hugged our mothers, and gave comfort during a time of so much pain and chaos. They assured me that I did have the strength and courage to do what NO mother should EVER have to do- deliver an Angel!
An Angel is Born
It was November 2nd, 2011 at 6:22am, our Angel, ‘Baby Wright’, was born sleeping. A girl, a beautiful, PERFECT little girl (with a TON of dark hair unlike her older brother Jace), weighing 6.5 lbs. and 19.5 inches long. My labor was short and her delivery was VERY peaceful, emotional, but peaceful.
Again, I now believe that the Lord was with us the entire time.
The next few hours are a blur to me, I remember holding her, crying, telling her how sorry I was, how sorry I was that I couldn’t protect her, that she wasn’t with us.
I was waiting for a miracle, HE performed miracles, right? Why couldn’t HE give us one now, when we needed it the most?
Telling Jace was something that Brad and I were dreading. How do you explain to a 3 year old that the reason Mommy’s tummy was so big, is no longer with us? How do you explain that we wouldn’t be taking a baby home with us, that he would never get a chance to hold her and read books to her? I was dreading the moment we would have to tell him that. When Jace arrived at the hospital, he was really excited to see both Brad and I, but was immediately drawn to Brad. He was terrified and confused why I had so many ‘tubes’ on my arms and wouldn’t come near me. We sat him down on the bed next to us and started to explain to him what had happened. To our surprise he had fully known and understood what had happened. He looked at me and said, “Mommy, is our baby dead, did the baby die? I want her to come back; can we put her back in?” Brad and I just melted, we had this whole ‘speech’ planned on how to tell him, but he already knew and he was DEVASTATED. His eyes filled with tears and he just started to cry. He asked a lot of questions about God and Heaven and his baby sister. It was awful; it was the most painful thing to see our three year old try to comprehend death and understand why we can’t ‘SEE” God and Heaven.
“But I have tears in my eyes.” Jace kept telling us and everyone that he had ‘tears in his eyes’, it just broke my heart to see my child so upset and sad.
We were able to keep our Angel with us for the 3 days I was in the hospital- I am forever grateful that we had this time with her. They are the only memories we will have of holding our daughter, memories that will last a lifetime.
We left the hospital on a Friday afternoon, we had taken pictures with our daughter, dressed her in a cute outfit, kissed her a million times and said good bye. It was and will be (I pray) the hardest day of my entire life. I was leaving the hospital without the life that Brad and I had created, that I had carried for 9.5 months.
The only explanation for her passing was that it was a ‘cord’ accident- she did have the cord around her neck and there were indications (from the autopsy) that the cord was pinched. People have asked me how I feel about that and my answer to them is, “it does not change the outcome, it does not give her back to me. It was something that I could not control.” I feel empty. I feel life isn’t fair and life isn’t always how we plan it to be. But I do have FAITH and I do BELIEVE that God will bless us again, over and over. I have to.
The following days, weeks were crazy. We were mourning the loss of our daughter, planning her service and trying to make life as ‘normal’ as we could for Jace Daniel. Again, a blur…
Our daughter’s service was held on November 12th, 2011 at 9:30am. It was beautiful. There were hundreds of loved ones that showed up. I never looked up to see it, but am told it was absolutely amazing. I am so humbled that so many people came to support and love us, we are absolutely blessed.
Our Angel is Named
Brad and I had a ‘list’ of names that we liked, but we hadn’t officially decided on anything for certain, we wanted to wait to see what our baby looked like before we chose a name. During my entire pregnancy, we had called her, “Baby”, that was our ‘name’ for her during that time.
How do I name a baby that isn’t here? How could I decide on what name ‘fits’ a baby that isn’t alive? Questions I kept saying to myself and others so many times. Her name for 9.5 months was “Baby”, and now we had to decide on a ‘name’ to give her? I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t go down the list and pick one out. I struggled with this for SO long, people kept asking me what her name was, was I going to give my daughter a name.
I had this burning desire and need to name her. Every child needs a name, and although we had named her, “Baby”, I couldn’t go on in life referring to my beautiful daughter as “Baby”. I would wake up in the middle of the night, dreaming of her and what her name was, what she would look like, and simply calling her by “Baby”, haunted me. I ran the ‘names’ on our list over and over in my head, looking at her picture to see which of the ‘top two’ names ‘looked’ like her.
Neither of them! She didn’t look like either one of them…The name that kept popping into my head was a name on the list, but it was further down, not really an option.
I came home one night and told Brad that I had to talk to him. I sat him down in the kitchen and just started sobbing, telling him that I couldn’t go on anymore not naming our daughter. I told him that a name just kept coming up in my head, a name that only she could have and a name that would be hers forever!
Mackensie Owenn Wright
A name that I have always loved and a name that fits her PERFECTLY! Owen is a family name and happens to be Brad’s middle name- I just added an extra ‘n’ to make it more ‘feminine”.
I love it and finally feel at peace knowing that she has a name to answer to when I call on her every night. My Angel, Mackensie Owenn, oh how we love you so much and WISH that we could have enjoyed this life together on Earth, but we have faith that you are watching over us and we will one day be together.
Angels on Earth
We would not have been able to go through what we did without the love and support of, Jody Elliott, and her team at Avista New Life Center. They gave us LOVE and HOPE! They gave us an experience with our daughter, they gave us resources to use, pictures to cherish, footprints to copy, and hands to hold. They gave us love, support, protection, strength and courage.
Bereavement teams (and family and friends) are the glue that holds parents together during the unimaginable. We were so touched and blessed to have been able to walk through this journey with this amazing team, that we decided we had to honor them in some way. We had to make sure that ALL hospitals are able to provide this support to families going through this journey.
Welcome, the Wishbone Foundation (www.wishbonefoundation.com).
You can contact Jianna at firstname.lastname@example.org.