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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

Pam
Mommy to Gavin James
Born and became an Angel on March 24th, 2008
Dallas, Texas
I have always heard you never experience a greater love for another human being until you experience the feeling of carrying a child inside of you. In my case, that joy was great but the grief that came all too soon overshadowed any joy I had. 

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/11/582.html

Catherine
Mom to August John
Died Just Before Birth on January 12th, 2010
Austin, Texas
I was 41 weeks and three days pregnant with my first child when I finally went into labor on Monday, January 11, 2010. I was so excited. My pregnancy had been perfect, and ever since the 40-week mark, my husband and I had been hoping and waiting (and kind of going crazy), just wishing for our baby to be born so we could begin the much-anticipated next part of our lives: raising our kid. (We had decided not to find out the baby’s sex; we wanted to be surprised.) 


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http://facesofloss.com/2010/10/408.html

Dawn
Mom to Luke Michael
April 7th, 2010
and Baby #2, October 4th, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia

  In 1987, when I was about 7 years old, I attended my cousin’s funeral. My mom had explained to me that my cousin, Amanda, did not have a normal brain and therefore passed away in her mommy’s tummy. I wasn’t phased by this information; rather, I was more interested in the funeral ending so I could go play on the church’s playground. Little did I know that 23 years later, I would be told that my son had the same fatal birth defect that claimed Amanda’s life. Lightening struck twice in our family.

[Read more…]

http://facesofloss.com/2010/09/324.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

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