For the first of this series of Walking with You we are sharing those first moments when our lives changed forever, whether you found out your baby died or that your baby wouldn't live. Please feel free to join in and link up over at the Sufficient Grace blog.
I know I will always remember the day our lives changed forever. (You can read a more in depth version HERE.) It was December 15, 2008 and I was 22 1/2 weeks pregnant. I was expecting another little girl and we had named her Carleigh McKenna. At this point we thought everything was fine and we expected nothing but a normal pregnancy. It turned out to be anything but normal.
That afternoon I had my midway ultrasound and my best friend was in the room with me like she had been for many of my ultrasounds. We chatted and smiled the entire time watching my daughter on the screen. At the time I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary both on the screen and in the demeanor of my ultrasound tech (who was also my coworker and friend) but looking back I can now see that something wasn't right. I got my ultrasound pictures and went home just as happy as can be.
I walked in the door after picking up my other daughter from the sitter and the phone is ringing. I answered it and it was my doctor. There was something concerning on the ultrasound and she needed me to come into the office today no matter what time it was. I knew immediately that it wasn't good and my mind concocted all sorts of scenarios of what could be wrong. I called my husband and told him what had happened and to see if he could meet me at the office as he was still at work. I called my best friend to see if she was still at work to check on my ultrasound report but she had already left. I packed up a bag and my daughter and I were out the door.
I arrived at the hospital where the doctor's office was. It is also the place where I work. My husband hadn't arrived yet so I looked up my ultrasound report. I skimmed the report until I saw the world 'anencephalic'. I knew immediately what it meant. Our daughter was going to die and there was nothing we could do about it. In that moment several emotions were all bombarding each other. Amidst the shock and the devastation there was a calm and I know it came from God. In that moment when I saw that word I think time stood still for a fraction of a second. Kinda like in the movies when they make all those horrible scenes happen really slow. It's kinda like that. I honestly didn't know what to do next.
I made my way to meet my husband but I didn't tell him what I knew. I still had a small hope that it was all wrong and that everything would be ok. That hope was soon dashed when it was confirmed by my doctor that our daughter had anencephaly.
It's hard for me to convey in words the reality of that day and what it was like to experience it in my shoes. It is a lot to take in and it hurt but I am amazed at the covering of God's grace that day. I don't know how I just didn't break down into one big mess. I did cry and in the days that followed. They were tears of sadness and broken dreams. I wanted my girls to be close and age and I was given that and now it was being taken away from me. I never imagined that this would happen to me. I never wanted it to but I am so glad that she happened.
~~~~~There are many resources on my Helpful Links page that I have compiled for various situations-fatal/poor prenatal diagnosis, pregnancy and infant loss, medical termination, and much more.
Pray for the many ministries out there helping grieving parents get through tough times and allowing them to find healing.