Melissa Bernatz

Mom to Eden Elizabeth

May 29th, 2011

Hastings, MN

May 27th, 2011 was supposed to be a day of joy and excitement as we were finding out the sex of our baby at our 20 week appointment. It quickly turned into one of the worst days of my life and one I will never forget.

My husband and I went to that 20 week appointment and were making small talk with the ultrasounds tech and it seemed like something was wrong from the get go. She was not pointing anything out or explaining anything to us. Having been through this twice before with two healthy boys we knew that this appointment should take about 20 minutes with all the measurements that they take of the baby. Ours was a quick 8 minutes tops. She then said she was going to show the doctor the scans and that the doctor would be back in with us to go over them. I asked if something was wrong and she said yes, there is no heartbeat.

At that moment time stopped. My husband and I looked at eachother and started crying hysterically. We were in shock. How could this happen to us? We have two healthy boys at home and never had any problems in my other pregnancies. This kinds stuff only happens to other people, not me, not my family. Then our thoughts went to God. What was he trying to tell us, teach us? Why had he chosen our family to go through this difficult experience?

We remained at the doctor’s office for another 45 minutes crying, questioning the doctor and drawing blood from me to start running test. Nothing had happened to me to make me believe that our baby was in trouble. I had not been sick, did not take fall and had zero spotting. I can honestly say I thought I still felt some movement even after they told me that the baby was gone. We chose to go in the next morning to start the process of birthing our little baby.

The car ride home that day was quiet. My husband and I both in our own thoughts trying to process everything that just happenend. When home we just sat and cried. We called our family members and our church to let them know what happened and look for support. We picked up our boys early from daycare that day and that might have been the smartest thing for us at that point. Lookin at them really made us thankful for the blessings that we had in our life.

We left for the hospital the next morning for delivery. Our pastor from church was waiting for us when we got there. Before labor started we asked her to meet us there to pray with us. We felt God with us the entire way and our baby was born at 3:30am on May 29th, 2011. The second the baby was born it was a relief but also another round of crying and questions followed. What was the sex of the baby? What does the baby look like? How big? They finally placed the baby on my stomach and I felt my heart break. Though they still wouldn’t tell us the sex of the baby it didn’t matter. This little 1lb baby was mine and will be forever.

Our pastor came to the hospital again to pray over our baby. She also brought another woman from our church with her who is a trained “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” photographer. We are very happy we have those photos to look back at now. Though we chose not to shre them with many people its nice we can look back at those and look at our little angel.

We requested to have an autopsy done to find out the cause of the baby’s death. On the request form we also asked the medical examiner to call us with the findings of the baby’s sex so we could give him/her a name. The tests that they had run on me had turned up nothing so far and at a time like this all you really want is answers. We knew that God would give us our answer, we just had to be patient.

Leaving the hospital was filled with grief. I just birthed a beautiful child and I don’t get to bring him/her home. This is now fair! You suddenly feel like you see people with babies and pregnant women everywhere you go. Why did God choose them to have their children yet I don’t get to be with mine? That night we got a phone call from the medical examiner. Our little angel was a baby girl. We both cried more thinking of all the things that would have been different the 3rd time around with a little girl. We decided to name her Eden Elizabeth and knew that God was taking special care of our litle girl. For some reason he needed her more than us right now.

It’s been almos two months since we lost our little Eden and we have some of our answers. Somehow God knew that I was needing to help someone else at his point in my life. Almost exactly 1 month after Eden’s death we found out my Dad has stage 2 cancer of the esophagus. The next 5 weeks will be filled with chemotherapy and radiation and I will be making the 4.5 hour trek with him once a week. I’m happy his prognosis looks good and that I can be there for him.

We also found out that there was something wrong with little Eden. She had chromosomal condition on chromosome 21. This is also called Trisomy 21 and is the cause of Down Syndrome. Our doctor has recommended us to a genetic counselor for further questions and testing. Hopefully this new doctor can answer all our questions and help us with our future family plannin. Our doctor also said she has no reason to believe that we can’t have another healthy child since we already have two of them.

Althought is been a tough road we feel at peace. God is with us daily and we can feel his prescence. He does not give us more than we can handle and we truly believe that. We know Eden is watching over us and we look forward to the day when we can see our little girl again.

God has no promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through; God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God has promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Annie Johnson Flint

Melissa can be contacted at


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  1. Dear Melissa ~ So very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you in every way. We too lost a baby in May, we named him Journey Peace. And last year in Aug we lost a baby to an early miscarriage … we named that baby Eden Sky. Its so hard to understand this journey of loss. I noticed you live in Hasting … I’m not to far away, just in Lakeville. Feel free visit my site or email me sometime. I’ll be sure to lift up your family in prayers.

  2. Hi sweet friend. I just read your letter. Such a powerful story. You bless us with your openness and faith. I’m so lucky to have you as a friend… See you soon, God bless and thank you for sharing your journey with us. We lift you all up. Em

  3. molly arnold says:

    Missy this is a very beautiful tribute to little Eden. I am so sorry you were the ones who had to go through the pain of this unfortunate turn of events. Like you mentioned, the Lord will not give you more than you can handle. You are a strong woman to believe that and live it.

    Know that I am always here for you, love you and wish the best for you. Thank you for having the courage and strength to share….Your SCSU family..Molly

  4. What a beautiful tribute to Eden. We just lost our daughter, Annie, and are trying to wrap our head around all of this. It’s so painful.

    Sending you hugs and prayers from a few miles north in Woodbury, MN.


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