I hate that I have to write this post after the post about the baby book. The baby that the book was for was for the baby my sister was carrying. Everything was going well and then last week on May 2nd at 17 weeks my little niece, Leah Faith, was born still.
My sister was having some bleeding and cramping. She went to the ER and they admitted her and found her cervix was shortened. Just before they planned to take her to surgery for an emergency cerclage her water broke and then there was nothing that they could do. As soon as I got the call from my mom saying that she was losing the baby I left work, went home and packed our things, grabbed the girls from our sitter, and we drove back to where our family lives, which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive.
I was hoping that I could make it in time before the baby was born but it wasn’t long after I got on the road that my dad called and told me my sister had delivered at 12:04 pm. I made sure to tell my dad to make sure that they get pictures and prints. I also told him that I wanted to see her and to ask to keep her at least until I could.
I dropped the girls off at my parent’s house where a family friend was watching my other nieces and I went straight to the hospital. I got there around 3 pm and the first thing I did when I got into the room was hold my little niece. She was so tiny, yet so perfect. She was 6 oz and 8 inches long. I made sure to bring my camera to take pictures for my sister and brother-in-law to have later. I knew the pictures the hospital would take would not be enough nor of good quality. I got some really great pictures of her that I know they will cherish.
I ended up staying in the room with my sister and brother-in-law the rest of the day. I stayed after everyone left and the emotions came out. I stayed when the funeral home came to get little Leah. I stayed past visiting hours and finally left around 9:30 pm. I went back to the hospital the next morning with balloons (a monarch butterfly and ‘It’s a Girl’) and donuts (for us and for the nurses). I stuck around until my sister was discharged.
I have to give a big thank you to Kelly, my sweet friend and founder of Sufficient Grace Ministries. She met me very late on the night of May 2nd so that I could have items from the ministry for my sister. She picked out a perfect baby gown for Leah to be able to wear since she had nothing and also a comfort bear, memory book, books on grief, and a mother/baby bracelet set. (All in a SGM tote of course.) It was much appreciate and I was so happy to be able to give my sister these items, especially the gown for Leah to be able to wear.
The service was planned for March 5th, my parent’s 33rd wedding anniversary. It was a beautiful, sunny day. My sister and brother-in-law decided on a graveside service after meeting with the funeral home the day after Leah’s birth. After the service there was a gathering and lunch at my parent’s house.
Both my sister and brother-in-law are doing well considering what they have been through. Their faith is getting them through this and I am glad I was able to be of comfort to them in such a difficult time. I just hate that they have to know what it feels like to lose a child. I never wanted my sister to know such pain.
I also never wanted to have to relive such experiences again after Carleigh but yet I have through my sister. Losing my niece brought up a lot of what I went through with Carleigh. It hurts but we will all get through this. Keep my sister and her family in prayer as they navigate this new road. There will be ups and downs as those of us who have already walked it know. And thank you to the many friends who have shown support for both me and my sister and have prayed for us and our whole family.
Above are the precious prints of my niece, Leah Faith.