Mom to Jedidiah Mathis
Born sleeping July 14, 2011 (due July 22, 2011)
Laguna Beach, California
We fell in love in what seemed an instant. Just months after we married we decided we wanted to expand our family. A long year and a half later we welcomed Zealan Alexander at the end of 2007. My whole life revolved around my Z and we loved watching him reach his milestones. We moved from Texas to California when he was just 4 months old to plant our family by the beach. All the usual adjustments came into play as a young family, but all in all we were living the life…the dream we had envisioned.
Although we had our nervousness of having more kids, we started trying the summer of 2010 and 3 months later we became pregnant. I wanted a girl the first time simply for the fact that I didn’t think I’d know what to do with a boy, and this time we knew we were done at 2 so we thought it would be nice to have our girl. At 20 weeks we found out that we breed boys. I eased into the idea quickly and started dreaming of my 2 boys growing up to be great men like their daddy and loving on their princess Mommy like no other boy could! After a few days of finding out, we named our new son Jedidiah Mathis. Although Jedidiah had a great meaning, I have to be honest that I thought I had chosen it based on uniqueness and well, it was cute to me-little Jed. Zealan talked about his baby Jed every day. He loved to feel him kick mommy and would sometimes ask if he could kick him back…boys! Every time we would leave the house he would ask if ‘baby Jed in Mommy’s tummy’ could come too. He anticipated having a little brother and we fantasized together of how complete our family would be when he came. I felt sicker with Jed than with Z, but had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and every time the midwives checked his heartbeat, they said he sounded like a strong little boy! Just like his big brother. He moved much more than Zealan, and although it kept me awake and of course a little uncomfortable at times, I loved feeling him move all day!
The week before I was due, I was getting so uncomfortable, and although I was definitely ready to be done being pregnant, I was nervous about how I would handle having 2 kids. I was an emotional wreck, way more anxious than I was with my first. Wednesday, July 13th was one of those bad pregnancy days where I thought my world was going to end and I remember crying most of the day for whatever reason. When I got into bed that night I thought it was strange that he didn’t do his usual somersault. I realized that he hadn’t moved that day like normal. It was very abnormal for me to go more than an hour without feeling my baby bounce around, but the more I thought back I couldn’t remember feeling him since the night before! I wasn’t really worried though, I can’t explain why. I called my midwife an hour later just to ask her what she thought. She told me to drink something sweet, lie down and give it another hour and call her back. I drank some orange juice and ate something, too, thinking he would start moving around. I somehow fell asleep and woke up at 3am a little more anxious that I still wasn’t feeling him. She told me to go ahead and come in so I told Steve I’d be right back and left. I remember saying in the car on the way, “God you’re bigger than this, give me peace,” but never once did I think my Jeddy was gone.
I got to the Birth Center around 4am and pretty soon after they put the Doppler on me to find his usual fast-paced heartbeat. I remember after she scanned for probably more than 1 minute the fear set in. Usually we could hear it right away, but she didn’t say anything and just kept moving it around. She said she wasn’t getting anything and proceeded to do a sonogram to see what she could find. I felt nervous but again, until she said after about 5 minutes of scanning, “Embry, I think your baby has passed.” I didn’t take in what was really happening. Even then, I responded by saying, “Oh, really?” as I swear I thought I must have been sleep walking. I felt the room spin around me and I’m not sure how I made it off the table, but I went into the bathroom and fell to the floor weeping. My baby is dead. How did this happen? I saw him on the monitor 2 days before and we were talking about how he’d be here any day. I called Steve hysterical. “He’s dead,” is all I could say through my wailing. You can read more about the following events leading up to his birth in my notes [ed. Facebook blog], but needless to say our dream died that day.
The perfect little family that we had dreamt about for months was taken. Our little Jed who was so real and active, taken by a cord that previously gave him life? It’s been almost a year now and our life looks so different than we had so strategically planned. Instead of Zealan enjoying his new little sibling, we’re having to unravel the story of how Jed is playing in Jesus’ house in Heaven and although he won’t be back to play with us, we’ll all be together in Heaven one day. The things I never thought I’d have to explain to my 4 year old! Our second born son stays only 1 age-the age he is in the few pictures we have of him. Brand new….and gone.
Embry blogs at http://www.facebook.com/OurJourneywithJed.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.