I grew up knowing the only thing I wanted to be was a mom. Never did I dream of a Prince Charming or fairytale wedding, rather of having lots of children and raising them well. I remember when dating my husband I shared this with him and he was actually completely supportive of this plan – I didn’t scare him away so it was certainly meant to be!
Our parenting story began in 2015 with the birth of our smart and sassy daughter. Her calm and chill brother arrived 23 months later in 2017 and after some time we came to the conclusion that our family was complete. My heart always longed for more children, but I trusted that God knew my heart’s desire and I had made peace with our family decisions.
In the early months of the Covid pandemic, we found out that we were expecting our baby number three. It came with a lot of feelings but deep down we were both so excited and quickly started making plans to not just expand our hearts but also our home.
With all the stress that came alongside the pandemic in addition to having two kids at home due to school and childcare pandemic related closures, all while also working full time, we realized that moving was the next best step. We launched into home renovations in order to put our house on the market, started looking to relocate to our dream home in a brand new city, and finally sold our first home. The housing market was very competitive and with that came a lot of stress but when we settled into our new home a month before Christmas with the dream of completing our family, our hearts felt complete.
Despite everything, the baby had passed all the checks and screenings and apart from having an anterior placenta and multiple UTI’s, the pregnancy was smooth. Unfortunately one stubborn UTI turned into a complicated kidney infection just after the holidays and I ended up admitted on strong pain meds and antibiotics for 7 days through New Years. I rang in the year 2021 with my husband over Facetime and we knew the year could only look up.
Several weeks later I was having a hard time feeling the baby move. I always attributed lack of movement to having a stubborn anterior placenta this time but could always get some form of movement really low and be assured all was ok. It had been a couple days without his typical movement patterns at 35 weeks so I met my team for a quick NST. He passed that clearly after he had a little nap in there but due to just getting over my kidney infection the team set me up for a non urgent BPP ultrasound just as a precaution. Two days later I walked into the hospital ultrasound room and walked out a changed person.
Due to the pandemic, I had to attend my scan alone. I had no fear anything was seriously wrong as he just passed his NST 2 days prior. I knew in my gut something was wrong when the ultrasound technician only scanned my tummy for not even 5 minutes, didn’t even show me the screen with the baby, and told me to get dressed and she would return. She came back into the room and told me that they’d like to see me in labour and delivery and walked me over to the waiting room. It was a long, awkward walk with the technician through one part of the hospital to the other and I knew in my gut something was wrong but she couldn’t tell me anything. I sat alone in a delivery room for 45 minutes texting my husband and close friends not knowing what was happening before my team walked in and told me to call my husband right away. Over speakerphone we heard the words no parent ever wants to hear, “I am sorry but there is no heartbeat.”
The whole day was a blur as we were now 36 weeks and I was induced the same day. I tried to be so strong throughout delivery as it was the one last thing I could do for my unborn son. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe if I did all the right things he would be born alive and his cry would shock all the staff in the room as they explained “It’s a miracle, he is alive!”
At 3:42am on January 25, 2021 our second son Isaac William was born, silent, weighing 6lb 13oz. The deafening sound in the room was unlike any other and will forever haunt me. They placed him right on my chest per my request and it was instantly love at first sight. In the same breath of emotions I had hoped for a miracle and felt so let down and broken. When Isaac was born it was clear that he had two true knots in his umbilical cord which was the ultimate cause for his death. My husband and I got to spend 9 hours with our perfect boy. We had the most beautiful and selfless photographer join us to meet our perfect boy, and give us memories to last forever. We sang over him, spoke to him, and never let him go the entire time. He was absolutely perfect and we sat memorizing every single part of him over those 9 hours.
We left the hospital room carrying a box and heart full of memories, and our arms were empty. We left completely changed.
Navigating life after such a tragic loss has been a challenge I never anticipated having to experience. Sharing with our kids that their baby brother died was the hardest thing I think my husband and I have ever had to do. Watching their little hearts shatter and not be able to protect them from the hurt and sadness as parents is hard to put into words. The dreams we had for life with our son were vast and the love we had for him was already so deep. Our life was set up for him being here in our dream home, but the dream here now looks so different. One thing we knew for certain is that Isaac was and is truly a gift to our lives and I will continue to share him and our story with anyone I meet – no matter how awkward or uncomfortable they feel.
As we began to adjust to our new normal, we knew we wanted to try growing our family again in the future. Never to replace Isaac but to continue expanding the love that we have for all our children. We make Isaac a part of everything we do. Our living kids speak about him being in Heaven and that he will always be loved as we carry that love for him in our hearts forever. We have a stuffed bear that was gifted to us that weighs the same as Isaac did and we give him hugs and love whenever we ache for the weight of his loss here on Earth.
Two months after Isaac was born we learned we were expecting our miracle rainbow. Our fourth baby was coming soon and we all felt this is one way God began restoring hope in our hearts as we continue on our healing journey. Pregnancy after loss is an experience unlike any other. One that’s filled with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty but is balanced with standing firm in what we know is true today – that today we have a healthy and thriving baby boy who we will love forever, just like his older three siblings. We pray every day that we will get to bring him home alive and well in early December and continue to prepare our hearts and home for his arrival.
Thank you so much to Project Rainbow for allowing us to share our story of love, loss, and hope. We are forever grateful for the experience.
Photos taken by Straight Thru Photography.
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