Mom to
Elijah born August 27, 2010 at 14 weeks 2days due to Acrania
Hope Marie born still on July 25, 2009 at 13 weeks 5 days
Cumberland, Virgina

How the life of Elijah began.My dear wonderful loving boyfriend Justin and I were new in our relationship and not trying to get pregnant. However, we chose not to use birth control. When i mean no birth control I mean none what so ever, no pulling out, no condoms nothing. We were and still are madly in love. We had discussed having children in the future, we wanted to get married first.
Well on June 23rd I decided to take a test, i was a week late and kinda already knew in my heart we were gonna be having a baby. Well to no surprise we were pregnant. My mom happened to be at our house with me that day and was with me when i bought the test, i came home and took it and of course came running into the kitchen with the test. She was excited, but nervous because of my previous loss.
I called Justin at work and he could tell something was up, I told him nothing but I need to talk to you when you get home. Of course, after me saying that he pushed and pushed until I told him, we are pregnant. He was very quiet, i asked him if he was mad and he said no. He said it is what it is and we are pregnant for a reason, we will just have to deal with it. (by dealing with it, he is referring to our income problem)So As the days went by I had my first appointment and got the due date of Feb 23rd. The next appointment Justin went with me and we got to here the heartbeat, I was still so scared to get excited due to my loss before this pregnancy(at the time less than a year ago). So needless to say I had mixed emotions.

We scheduled my NT scan for 13w5d, the ultrasound was beautiful, baby was moving all around and kicking up a storm, clapping his hands and everything. The nurse doing the scan abruptly walked out without a word, at that point I started to worry, the doctor came in an instantly went for the tissue box and handed me some, he said usually when i tell moms this they get emotional, i want you to know its OK to cry.

We were completely silent, we were thinking we were looking at down syndrome, I’m was thinking OK i can deal with this. But the DR looked at us and started the scan he asked if it was OK if he took a look at the us vaginally and I said yes.

We started the vaginal ultrasound and the doctor said I am so sorry but your baby has a life threatening condition called Acrania, I was lost, he said your baby will die, his skull hasn’t developed therefore he has a brain but its not covered by a skull just a layer of skin.

Then he asked me to get dressed and come into his office were we could talk. As soon as he left I got dressed quietly and sat down and lost it, Justin was by my side he knelt down and was rubbing my back but couldn’t even say anything either. We just looked at each other and in his eyes I could see his pain, he was trying to stay strong for me, but I could see the hurt. He looked at me and all he could say is “I love you”

We went into the doctors private office were he began to explain into more detail what was going on, I don’t remember much as I wasn’t truly listening to him.

I started to listen when he said you have 3 choices on how to handle this.

1) terminate the pregnancy

2) continue on until baby passes

3) deliver and have baby die after birth, but the likely hood of baby making it to your due date is slim.

We left his office and life after that appointment was a blur. Originally I was like F*** it, I’m gonna continue on, I’m not gonna believe something is wrong with this baby and I’m not gonna lose another child.

Justin and I started talking more and more and it was apparent the only option was to terminate, however I couldn’t bear the thought of going through a D&E which is a lot like an abortion, so I told the doctors look we want to terminate but this is how i am doing it, I am gonna be induced and go into labor and deliver my child, I refuse to have a D&E. The doctors agreed and in fact thought it was a great idea this way we could do an autopsy and study the baby to make sure everything else was OK.

We scheduled another appt on Monday August 23rd with the perinatologist to do another ultrasound to see if there was any change. Also we had an appt a hour later with my OB/GYN, they are luckily both located in the hospital.

Well during the ultrasound we discovered that baby had gotten worse, I asked for him to do a 3D so I could clearly see baby, what we saw broke our hearts. Our beautiful baby was holding up his brains with his hands because they were hanging over into his face. His brains were now mostly on the outside of his body. We brought my mom along so she could be at the ultrasound and because we had planned on being induced that day.We left the perinatologist office and walked a few doors down to my OB/GYNs office. We had a quick appt with him and let him know things were worse and we wanted to induce and deliver.

Well we unfortunately couldn’t have it done that day, and the process to set it up was a lot of bull. First the hospital where i wanted to be at is catholic so they wouldn’t allow me to do it there, which means my doctor couldn’t deliver me. Then we found out my insurance wouldn’t cover it.We finally got a grant offered by our state to pay for the induction and delivery in full, so we set it up for Saturday august28th at MCV hospital. Nope not so, we got a call on Thursday saying your gonna induce Friday the 27th at Henrico doctors hospital. Fine, its closer to home and a day sooner. We went into the hospital around 3pm on Friday afternoon I got admitted and waited for Justin to get there. (My mom brought me) The doctor who was going to preform the induction came in at 6 and inserted 6 little pills inside of me to start the induction, he said he would be back in at midnight to insert the 2nd dose.

Well I started to have some cramping, which around 11pm turned into contractions, I was in a lot of pain and was so ready for my shot of pain medicine in my butt. I was never able to get that shot before the birth because at 11:4o pm i got my mom and Justin to help me to the toilet so i could pee, where i then looked down as I started to pee, to see my baby halfway out, I screamed hes coming out and i reached down and delivered my son and his placenta. Sitting there holding them in my hands i waited for my mom to hand me the bed pad to place him on. The nurses came in and my mom took my son out of the bathroom and the nurses told me to clean myself up, they handed me wipe as i cleaned off my vagina and hands which were both covered in blood. I walked to my bed where I then lay down and told everyone i didn’t feel good, I had lost so much blood my BP dropped and i was in and out. They gave me my shot in my butt and i started to feel a little better.

Once alert enough i took my son from my mom and held him and stared at him in amazement. Justin sat down beside me and we stared at our beautiful baby boy. I then began noticing some of his features, the first that caught my eye and stood out so much, was OMG he has Justin’s feet, i pointed it out and Justin couldn’t deny that those lil feet were a mirror image of his own.

The doctor came in and in amazement that i had already delivered without my 2nd dose of medicine stood beside me and looked at our baby boy. He didn’t say much, not surprising me at all, I mean what can you say to a patient who has just delivered her 14weeks old baby? Nothing. The nurse took baby really quick to go clean him up and said she’d bring him right back, When she picked him up she softly spoke to him and said” aww hello handsome” While she and baby were gone, the doctor did an exam to see if all the stuff was out. The exam was painful. The nurse came back in with baby and told me she had taken feet and hand prints for me. She handed me my baby and told me how precious he was. After everyone had left the room, we continued on gazing at our baby boy, the nurse then entered back in and asked if we had a name picked out, and if we wanted the Chaplin to come baptize him. We said we had not picked a name and that we did want him baptized.We then began to ponder names, my mom asked me earlier on if I would name him Elijah because the name was one she loved and had planned on using for my sis if she had of been a boy, I told her id think about it.

I then asked Justin if he like Elijah Ross, he said yes minus Ross, which happens to be Justin’s middle name too, hes not a fan of it. So we named our baby boy Elijah Ross Lankey. The Chaplin came while my mom and Justin were outside smoking, her and I began to talk and she admitted she had never seen a baby at this stage, she had seen them at 17 weeks, 20 weeks, birth etc, but never at 14 weeks. She was amazed how small he was but how formed he was, hes all there she said, everything is formed and he looks like a mini baby. Its amazing how little and yet how formed and beautiful he is.My mom and Justin came back in and we started the baptism. The baptism was beautiful. I am so glad we chose to do it. (If i can figure out how to upload a video on here I will so you ladies can see the beautiful service)

After the baptism I started taking more photos of the baby, i had been taking them since 5 minutes after birth but i was inspired to take more, i wanted to have many pictures to cherish of our baby boy.

The nurse came in and started telling us that the hospital offered a service and burial once a month for all the babies who had passed. Its a service that is paid for by the hospital and asked if we were interested in it since couldn’t afford to do one on our own. i cried and said yes, thank you.I was so happy to know my baby would be buried. I had just finished asking Justin what would happen to our baby boy once we left the hospital, and neither of us had an answer. So for us it was amazing!

The hospital stay was wonderful and everyone was so loving and respectful. My favorite nurse the one who had been with us from delivery on made a little bed for him so he could stay in our room. She got a little basket and placed a blanket in there for him. They allowed our son to stay with us until we were ready to say goodbye, which came around 18hours after his birth.

We finally said goodbye around 5 pm the next day because his rapid decay was bothering us and we didn’t want to remember him that way. We both knew it was time and it was easy for us to say goodbye. We knew we had been blessed, blessed with the 14 weeks i carried him in my womb, blessed with the 18 hours we got to spend with him and all the pictures we got to take with him.

All though this has been super painful and heartbreaking. We are so blessed to have gotten the chance to see our lil man and hold him and take photos with him. We miss him dearly and we wish he was here.We are still grieving and the funeral is going to be bittersweet. We are unsure of when the funeral will be, but we will definitely be attending it, with lots of our family member coming as well.

Elijah Ross we miss you dearly my love and Mommy and Daddy will always always love you. You will always be in our hearts and we will never forget the time we shared with you. may you be at peace with the angels and be in a place full of love, where you will no longer suffer. May you play with your big sister Hope and be with your great great grandma Woolridge. I know she is watching over my 2 babies and I know you all are loved. I miss you my sweet baby boy.

Always in my heart! I love you Elijah Ross Lankey!
Amber can be contacted at
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