Our story of grief and sorrow began back in May of 2004.
I was almost 7 months pregnant with our 6th child.
Early on in my pregnancy, I was having my usual morning quiet time. I love to journal during my quiet time, and that morning was no different. I was praying and reading my Bible when I distinctly felt the Lord speak to me. I mean, it wasn't lightning bolts and loud voices from Heaven, but I know when I hear the Lord, and this was one of those times.
He said, "This baby will change and bless lives."
And I tucked that word away in my heart, and my heart was a bit uneasy after that day.
A couple weeks later, He spoke again. He told me I was going to have to trust Him.
And I began to be a bit afraid. Not sure why, I had had no reason to fear in any of my pregnancies so far, every one of them was normal and uneventful.......so why was I fearful this time? Not sure.
One morning, at almost 7 months pregnant, my husband was leaving for work and he leaned down and kissed my belly and said, "Bye bye, Janie," as was his morning custom, and she gave a strong kick and I settled in to go back to sleep.
By that evening, when I hadn't felt her move in a very long time, I guess I just thought she was sleeping.
The next morning, I knew something was wrong. I called my doctor and told him what was up and he told me to have some caffeine and lay on my side and maybe listen to some music and really focus in on her for a couple of hours and call him back. I did that. She still made no moves. She was still. I was pretty scared at this point, and I called my doctor back. He told me to come in and we would listen with the Doppler and see what was going on.
So I went in and the nurse listened. And listened. And moved the Doppler around. And listened some more. She even got another, more powerful Doppler. No heartbeat. At one point I told her to stop and she said, "I'm NOT ready to stop yet!" She went and got the doctor and he told me to go over to the hospital, right down the street from my clinic, and they would do an ultrasound to see what was going on. I called my husband and let him know I was going to the hospital and he left work and met me there.
I was totally hysterical by this time. I knew what was going on.
My doctor met us over there, and as soon as they placed the ultrasound wand on my tummy, we knew.
Janie Rose was dead. Her heart had stopped beating. She was gone.
And we were devastated.
I was given the option of having her right then and there, or waiting. It was Monday, and we chose to wait till Wednesday, so that my favorite nurse could attend me through labor and delivery.
Janie Rose was born still that night at 8 pm. She was tiny, just 1 pound 12 ounces and 14 inches long. She was perfect, save for the fact that her beautiful face was crushed, her delicate bones not being able to withstand the powerful contractions of labor. How sad we were! Dave and I held her and held her for several hours, and he, dear father that he is, finally carried her tiny body, wrapped in her bright pink cherry blankie, to the elevator where the undertaker awaited. Then he came back to our room, climbed into bed with me, and we sobbed so hard the bed shook.
She's buried in our hometown. We still go visit her now and again. And this was our first taste of pain, of sorrow, of heartache and grief and brokenness. We hoped it would be our last.
We were wrong.