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Amanda

Mom to Ethan

September 23, 2009 – September 25, 2009

Waynesville, Ohio

I became a parent in the fall of 2009. The day held all of the joy and celebration I had anticipated, but equally present were the unwelcome shadows of sorrow and dread. My son was born with a Neural Tube Defect (NTD) called an encephalocele that was diagnosed in utero. My husband, Derek, and I were offered the chance to terminate the pregnancy at the time, but ending our child’s life was a choice we were unwilling to make. Instead, we knew that big things were in store for our tiny new arrival.

The months between Ethan’s diagnosis and birth were spent planning and praying.  We met with a perinatal hospice counselor who helped us develop a birth plan, and we met with our minister, who helped us find hope in the darkness that had settled over our lives. To find strength and comfort, I read through all 150 Psalms repeatedly, relating to their bipolar emotions, from anguish to jubilation, in a way I never had before. I was heartbroken and grief-stricken, but grateful for the new life growing within me, and confident that God would make something beautiful out of our loss.

When September 23 arrived, and Ethan finally made his appearance, I was overwhelmed with the love and wonder that is universal to motherhood. I admired his tiny fingers and toes, and I kissed his velvety pink cheeks. My husband, too, was over the moon with this miniature human who filled our hearts so completely. We welcomed many, many visitors, and proudly introduced Ethan to grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He lived for two and a half days, and during that time he was surrounded by nothing by love and joy. He impacted many lives during his brief existence, from the hospital staff, to strangers who heard about our story and prayed on our behalf.

Our rainbow baby, Tyler, was born almost exactly two years after Ethan. We now celebrate both birthdays the same week every year. We all miss Ethan greatly, and we realize that there is a hole in our family that only he could fill. We are thankful, though, that he is part of our family. Our time with him was a gift unlike anything else on earth, and he changed our lives for the better.

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2016/10/8364.html

Sarah

Mom to Beatrix Elizabeth

December 13th, 2010

2:05 a.m. – 3:50 a.m.

Upstate New York

My name is Sarah, and my daughter, Beatrix Elizabeth was born on December 13, 2010. She lived for almost two hours after she was born, and was so very beautiful. I miss her so. [Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2011/09/3126.html

Kasey

Mommy to Brandon Thomas

Stillborn on December 29th, 1997

Bowling Green, KY

At 18 years old, I found out I was pregnant. I was a month out of high school and supposed to start college in the fall. My pregnancy went forward like something out of a textbook: very healthy, no complications. I gained an acceptable amount of weight. I was four days overdue and had to be induced because my amniotic fluid started leaking. The delivery of my 1st child was completely normal. The only thing that was surprising was my son’s weight – he weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs 6.5 oz and was 23.5 inches long! His blood sugar and temp were low at birth, but after a few hours he was fine. My midwife told me that I “was born to have babies.” [Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2011/09/2938.html

Brooke
Mom to Briar
September 13th, 2010
Columbus, GA

Let me begin. This is the story of our first born son.

My hubby and I had been married a little over 4 years and we thought it was a great time to begin to start expanding our family.  We have so many amazing friends that are great parents, and we were excited for that time in our own lives.  We found out we were pregnant after a weekend we spent in Savannah, GA with dear friends. Brandon asked me to take a pregnancy test because I was feeling a little funny.  We had only been preventing pregnancy for ONE month, so I knew I wasn’t going to be pregnant. In fact, I did my business…put the little test on the counter and went about my business. Brandon yelled, “You might want to come here!” minutes later and I raced back to the bedroom.  What I saw changed our lives forever.

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2011/01/634.html

Heather
Mom to Addison Ward
February 8th, 2008
Salisbury, NC
In the summer of 2007, we found out that we were expecting our second baby. We were SO EXCITED! We have a beautiful precious daughter, and we want so much to give her a baby sister or brother to play with and love.

http://facesofloss.com/2011/01/631.html

Allison
Mom to VernaAnn Gabrielle Johnson
Born November 10th, 2009 at 4:09 p.m.
Lived for 44 minutes
Mayville, North Dakota

My husband and I struggle with having babies, so when we found out we were pregnant, we were shocked and elated!

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/11/573.html

Holly
Mom to Carleigh McKenna
Born Still March 28th, 2009
SW Ohio
This is the story of my precious daughter, Carleigh McKenna, who was diagnosed with anencephaly in utero on December 15, 2008 and born still on March 28, 2009.


Carleigh’s story actually begins before she was even conceived. It begins back when God was preparing me for her not long after her sister Kyndra’s birth on January 10, 2008. During this time I came across stories of families who had received a fatal prenatal diagnosis and chose to carry to term. I poured over these stories. I read more about their diagnoses. I just felt drawn to them. I would’ve told you then that nothing like that would ever happen to me. Stuff like that always happens to other people. Boy, was I wrong.
[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/10/363.html

Stephanie
Mom to Amelia Rose
Died on March 10th, 2010, born on March 11th, 2010
Lost to Mosaicism, a rare form of Turner’s Syndrome
Strattford, CT
After a rough transition from the south to New England, we found out about baby number four in June 2009. We were  thrille​d to welcome a new life into our family. With much anticipatio​n and delight, I endured the rough first trimester and finally felt that I was in the fun part of pregnancy. We had found a midwife and began planning a home birth.

During my 24th week, our midwife explained that I was measuring larger then I should and she asked us to get an ultrasound to rule out twins. I was so excited about the possibility of twins, but also very aware that other problems could be the result of measuring larger. So, we waited for our ultrasound appointment.

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/08/175.html

Penny
Mom to Ella
5/10/10-5/11/10
Lost to Anencephaly
Valdosta, GA

My husband and I lost our first child on May 11, 2010.

We found out that I was pregnant last August. We were very excited. My pregnancy was coming along fine. We had heard our baby’s heartbeat many times and it had been perfect. We were scheduled for our first ultrasound on November 26th- the day before Thanksgiving. I was 16 weeks and 6 days pregnant. We were so excited to find out if we were having a boy or girl, and we planned on telling our family at Thanksgiving dinner. We went in for the ultrasound Wednesday afternoon. A few minutes into the ultrasound I knew that something was wrong. The tech seemed to be focusing on one thing. She wouldn’t answer any of the questions I was asking. After a few minutes she left the room and said “I’ll be right back” I kept telling my husband that something was wrong- he kept trying to calm me down.

A few minutes later she came back in and bluntly said “your baby doesn’t have a skull.” I lost it. I am a nurse, and I knew that meant my baby had anencephaly- a fatal neural tube defect. Our doctor told us he was sure that our baby was anencephalic-but he wanted me to go for a more detailed ultrasound and to see a specialist to confirm it the next week. We spent Thanksgiving Day and the weekend crying at home alone. The following week I saw the specialist and the diagnosis was confirmed. We were given the options to have a d + e, induce labor early or carry to term. We chose to carry to term. We also found out that we were having a girl. We named her Ella.

Carrying my baby to term knowing that she was going to die was so difficult-but I loved being pregnant with my daughter. We were told that Ella may die before she made it to term, may die during birth, or shortly after birth. I began searching the internet and found that a few anencephalic babies had lived months. Ella was so active in my womb- she kicked and turned all day. She hiccupped almost everyday. We had another utrasound at 32 weeks to see how she was growing. Our tech was awesome this time. She let us watch Ella move around and gave us 17 3d ultrasound pictures of her. Ella was sucking her fingers, sucking her toes, playing with the umbilical cord-it gave me such peace to know that she was so content and safe inside. She was also breech.

At 39 weeks 6 days, we decide to schedule a ceserean for May 10th. Ella was still breech and I am so glad that we decided not to try to delver vaginally. That would have been more traumatic to Ella and I don’t think I would have gotten any time with her.

I was admitted to the hospital at midnight on Mother’s day. I am so glad that I got to spend this Mother’s Day with my daughter safe inside. I was so scared when they were getting me ready for surgery. I was scared that I would never hold my daughter alive.

Ella was born at 8:11 a.m. She came out screaming. It was the most amazing sound ever. She weighed 5lbs 9.4 oz and was 19 inches long. She was beautiful. She had the softest skin I have ever felt and the most beautiful pouty lips. Ella never went to the nursery. She stayed in our room and the nursery nurses came in our room to take care of her. We spent the day and the night holding her and loving on her. She was the most amazing baby ever, and holding her in my arms was the best feeling I have ever felt. She passed away in my arms a little after 4:OO the next morning.

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/07/37.html

Sheyenne
Mom to Whitney Jill
Stillborn on February 11th, 2010 at 31+ weeks
Carried despite adverse prenatal diagnosis
Fresno, CA

My husband and I have been married 6 years. About 3 and a half years ago, we decided it was time to start our little family. After 3 years of fertility tests, treatments and trying with no success, we decided to start an adoption. We were ecstatic about this and in July 2009 we sent in our application to adopt a baby boy from Ethiopia. However… On July 31, 2009 I had a hunch and took a pregnancy test– it was positive!! To say we were shocked is an understatement! And that is where the story of our precious little girl, Whitney Jill, begins.
It was clear from the very beginning that this little life beginning inside of me was all God’s doing. It was as if God wanted us to know all along that this baby was not conceived by any of our real efforts… Not the medicines, not the testing, not the doctors and certainly not our timing.
Everything was going well in the first trimester of my pregnancy. I only had a tiny bit of nausea, no puking and for the most part, I felt great! By my 4th month, I barely had any baby bump showing. I thought it was just because I have a small build. From the very beginning, I had an uneasiness about my pregnancy. I attributed it to the difficulty we’d had getting pregnant, and first-time-mom nerves. But on the day we went for our “half-way there” ultrasound (I was almost 19 weeks), that feeling got stronger. Before Sean and I left our car to go into the doctor’s office, I look at him and said, “No matter what happens, we are in this together, right?” He hugged me, told me I was silly and reassured me he’d be by my side every step of the way. We prayed then went in to find out the sex of our baby.

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/07/29.html

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