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Mom to Canaan Ryan
Asheville, North Carolina

My husband and I met in October 2016 and were married September 2017. He is my very best friend and I thank God for him daily.

On Mother’s Day 2018 I was sitting in church listening to the preacher talk about mothers. I would almost swear I heard the Lord say “this is your first Mother’s Day”. I tried to brush it off but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had to be at work after church so I decided to take a test while I was there. To my surprise it was positive. Followed by 15 more positives. When I got home I of course told my husband. To say he was excited would be a lie. We hadn’t been married that long. We had just bought a house and a new car. His thoughts went straight to how can we afford to take care of a baby. We schedule our first appointment with the dr. When we go we find out we are for sure pregnant and schedule our ultrasound appointment. Baby’s approximate due date was January 17, 2019.

The first ultrasound went fine. We thought that I was 9 weeks pregnant by my last period but the baby was only measuring 7 weeks. So they changed my due date to January 27, 2019. Everything was absolutely great with the pregnancy. I had absolutely no morning sickness, my sugar was great, blood pressure was perfect, no significant swelling other than just being on my feet all day for work. I went for my routine appointments and baby’s heart rate was around 140-150 every time. They scheduled my anatomy scan around 19 weeks. It was a boy, I just knew it was going to be a boy!

Fast forward to the anatomy scan. We went in so excited to see our baby finally after 12 weeks. Our ultrasound technician sees something on the back of the baby’s neck right at the base of its head just minutes into the ultrasound. She went to find the dr so he could look at it. He wasn’t there so she cleaned me up and moved us into a waiting room. Talk about terrifying. My husband and his mother were with me and I just felt helpless. I text my mom and she left work to get there. While we waited my husband came over and asked me if I wanted him to pray. So he did. Right there in that drs office. We begged God to show mercy. We didn’t want our baby to suffer. We didn’t know what was wrong at this point but just “please God take care of our baby”. The dr comes in and tells us from the few pictures he saw that he couldn’t get a good look. So he was referring me to a specialist. They scheduled my appointment for September 20, 2018. Everything continued to go good with my pregnancy from what I could tell. We went to an elective 3D ultrasound to find the gender and we found out we were having a girl. Miss Georgia Kaye. Not what I had thought but I was thrilled anyway.

21.1 weeks. On September 17 I woke up to the baby absolutely doing cartwheels. It felt like clothes tumbling in a dryer. I went to work as usual. At exactly 2 o’clock I went to the bathroom and my water broke. At first I wasn’t sure what had happened. But when I stood up and it gushed I knew something was wrong. My boss rushed me to the hospital in our town. They hooked me up to the monitors and I wasn’t having contractions and I wasn’t dilated at all. Her heart rate was 137. I had lost all of my fluid so she wasn’t able to move. They called the EMS and transferred me to the bigger hospital about 30 minutes away that had a NICU.

When I got there they examined me again and I still wasn’t contracting or dilated. The baby’s heart rate was still in the 130s. They admitted me and start talking to me about options. They of course wanted me to be induced and have her as soon as possible. I was at high risks for infection since my water had broke. They told me at 21 weeks they had no way to keep the baby alive. The wouldn’t be able to resuscitate or put her on a ventilator. I refused to give up on her as long as she was fighting. The put me on IV antibiotics and had me on bed rest. The plan was to get me to 23 weeks, start me on steroids to strengthen her lungs but keep her in as long as she was stable. I laid in the hospital bed that night and I prayed and talked to Georgia. I told her that her mommy and daddy loved her so so much. But that Jesus loves her ever more. That if she needed to go be with Him it was okay because we would be right behind her. And suddenly I felt peace.

Around 11 on September 18th they took me to ultrasound to try to get a good look at her and see how she was doing. The ultrasound technician looks for just a minute but she doesnt say anything except “I need to go get the dr”. Those words are never words you want to hear an ultrasound technician say. I knew right then that my baby was gone. They didn’t have to tell me. I didn’t want to hear those words. They rolled me back down to my room and I collapsed on the bed. My husband wrapped around me and we sobbed together. I felt like the breath at been knocked out of me. I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t see anything. I felt the weight of the world sitting in top of me. The dr came in and she said those words “I’m so sorry but she doesn’t have a heart beat”. There it was. Out loud. It was real.

They induced me at 1. I’ll skip the painful details of my labor. At 10:06 Georgia Kaye came lifelessly into the world. Except Georgia Kaye was actually Canaan Ryan. This mommy’s heart could have exploded with joy in that moment. I had known the whole time he was a boy. I think God gave me that. He let us think he was a girl so that we could have just one tiny piece of joy that day. Canaan looked like his daddy. He had his daddy’s mouth and his daddy’s big hands and big feet. But he had his mommy’s nose and chubby toes. He was absolutely perfect.

I may never know on this side of glory why we are going through this. But I pray daily that God can use me to share how good He is. People may think I’m crazy for praising God after He took my baby. But all I can think is… Canaan never had to know this sinful world. He will never know pain, heartache, or sorrow. All he ever knew was his mommy’s love. And when he opened his eyes for the first time he saw JESUS. How beautiful is that? God can give peace through the toughest battles. I have bad days. I am struggling with nightmares right now. But I know God is holding my sweet boy for me until I can get there.

I would love for anyone who needs support or encouragement to email me. I don’t have it all together but I can point you to God who knows all your pain.

Courtney can be reached at sayles.courtney@yahoo.com

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