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19,613,070 Seconds

Our lives have changed so much in the last 4 years.  I’d always wanted to have children of my own.  I’d always wanted to hear little voices calling, “Mommy” from upstairs.  I’d expected my life would be care free, worry free, and pretty easy.  Never did I ever imagine my first baby would die.

4 years have passed since we received the word that our 1st baby had some pretty severe abnormalities inside of her tiny little body.  Our 20 week anatomy scan was supposed to be a very exciting hour of watching our baby move and wiggle on the tv screen.  We watched in awe as the tech showed us her face, fingers, and feet.  When she finished, she told us to hang tight until the doctor could see us.  We walked out of this appointment with sad eyes following us out of the building, and tears flowing down our cheeks.  I looked at my husband as we walked arm in arm and exclaimed, “We’re having a baby girl!”  I was so excited and sobbing hysterically at the same time.

We met with our peri-natologist.  After 2 hours of scanning my belly, and eventually scheduling an amniocentesis, we learned our 1st baby was indeed going to die.  She had a very rare and severe chromosome abnormality called Trisomy 13.  We then were faced with the decision of what to do next.  I’ll be honest…for 30 seconds, the thought of inducing and delivering her early crossed my mind.  Then I woke up from my daze and remembered she was OUR BABY!  There was no way in Hell were we going to remove her from her most safe, sacred space before she was ready to be welcomed earth-side.

Sephora grew happily in my belly for 32 weeks and 3 days, until I developed Severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome.  My liver and kidneys were shutting down, my blood platelet count dropped, and my blood pressure was 190/98.

32 Weeks

Sephora Angeline was born on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:25pm via ceserean birth.  She was blue and not responding well to the oxygen they had given her, so my husband brought her over to me to hold.  The nursing staff thought we’d only have seconds with her alive.  She was so small.  3lbs 9oz, 16in.

Sephora Angeline

Knowing she wasn’t going to live very long, I did the one thing I knew would console her.  I sang.  Our little Sephora came to life when she heard my voice.  She passed away peacefully in my arms 4 1/2 hours later.  Although our time with her was short, I loved every single second we spent with her.  All 19,613,070 seconds with her.  She was perfect.

We have grown a lot as a family since writing my last post, both emotionally and literally.  We have another beautiful little girl who will be turning 1 year old very soon, Mr. Miles is 2 1/2, and Sephora would have been 3 1/2.

Family

Stay tuned for more updates!

May 1 – 2012, 2013, and 2014

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30 weeks (Sephora)

I had no idea that this would be one of my last weeks of pregnancy with our precious little Sephora.  We had reached the 30 week mark, and I had decided to try on some cute maxi dresses to get me through the summer until Sephora’s due date in July.  2 weeks and 3 days later, her short life flashed right in front of us.  Just like that…she was gone.  Trisomy 13.  Incompatible with life.  That diagnosis makes my skin crawl.

40 weeks

40 weeks (Miles)

Fast forward to May 1, 2013…  It was my due date with our little rainbow baby, Miles.  The sun was shining and warm on my face.  It was a beautiful day to welcome our little boy, but he had other plans.  He decided to choose his own birthday, and arrived 8 days later!

2014…  Miles is walking!  He brings us such joy.  The dimple on his face shows me glimpses of the love his big sister has for him every single day.  Who wouldn’t want a permanent Angel’s kiss on their cheek for their lifetime?!

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I can’t believe he will be 1 year old next week!  What is even harder to wrap my brain around, is Sephora would have been 2 years old this year!  Time certainly flies!

 

 

31 Weeks, 5 Days… 58 Days To Go!

As we draw closer and closer to Miles’ due date and Sephora’s birthday, I’m finding that my subconscious is becoming more and more fearful of repeating the past.  Pregnancy definitely makes you dream some crazy things sometimes, but waking up in a panic and silently crying to myself is becoming more frequent these days.  At every doctor appointment we attend, they assure me that our precious little Miles is healthy and growing as perfectly as any parent could hope for.  My inner most being knows that he’s going to be ok, because of the amount of time he spends moving around in my belly, and by the way he responds when I sing to him.  Singing seems to keep him calm, just like his big sister, our angel baby in Heaven, Sephora Angeline.  My dreams remind me how quickly life can be taken away from us.  They reveal to me my inner most insecurities about motherhood.  They also reveal to me how much I love my children.  Although Sephora only lived for 4 1/2 hours, I spent her whole life with her.  Every movement, every hiccup, every kick, every ultrasound, her tiny whimper and cry, her beautiful curly dark brown hair, her tiny hands and feet…everything.  I miss her terribly today.  I’m thankful to be spending my morning remembering her, and singing to Miles about her.  I’m reminded of the love I had and still have for her as I browse through her memory box and cry over top of her hand and foot prints.  I remember how scary the day of her birth was, but how anxious we felt to finally get the opportunity to cradle her in our arms.

Miles is due in 58 days.  As each day passes, the anticipation of his arrival heightens.  As I speak to my friends and family, I’m finding that they are all just as excited for his arrival, if not more than me!  We all really lived through Sephora’s life and passing together.  She helped to change and mold us all.  She walked us through an experience that not many people could recover from.  She loved all that loved her, and that’s all she knew.  Love.  I pray Miles understands how wonderful his purpose for this Earth is to be, and how beautiful Sephora’s life was to all who knew her and her life’s story.  These crazy dreams of Miles being ripped from my arms to never be seen again will eventually go away.  I do know one thing…Miles will not be leaving my arms for a very long time after he is born.  …The unconditional love of a mother is a beautiful thing.  That’s exactly what Miles will experience for his whole life as well.  Love.  Unconditional Love.

1 Corinthians 13:7  NLT  – Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…love never fails!

A Spring Arrival!

baby boy at 16 weeks

Hello my faithful blog followers!  I’m sorry I have been away for so long.  After writing about Infant Loss Awareness Month in October, I took a little bit of a break from blogging about Sephora’s story.  I realized, through a new reader’s message today, that many are still reading Sephora’s story.  I was reminded how important our little Sephora Angeline’s story is, and realize once again that her story must continue.  I must write not only to remember her, but so others may learn how we dealt with the diagnosis of Trisomy 13 at 20 weeks, and then meeting our precious baby face to face for our beautiful “Hello, Goodbye!”

I now officially can announce to the world that our precious little Sephora in Heaven, has hand-picked a baby brother who is now bumping, tumbling, and kicking inside my ever-growing baby bump!  We currently are 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  Our doctors have told us numerous times, through every ultrasound, that he looks perfect!  This bouncing baby boy is coming home with us this spring.  Chris and I are ecstatic!!!  Although we will always miss and grieve for Sephora, we find comfort in knowing she is being sung to by many of our family and friends that have left this world already.  It is also extremely comforting to know that Sephora’s siblings will have a guardian angel watching over them at all times.  God’s hand is watching over this little boy, and we are enjoying every single second of this pregnancy.  I’ve learned he loves cold cereal at any time of the day.  Like his big sister, he responds to my singing as well.

As we continue on this journey, sharing Sephora’s story and ultimately our family’s story, I pray you all will follow along.  Whether our story contains tears of sadness or tears of joy, giggles, laughing out loud, or a very sentimental moment, we hope that you continue to share your thoughts with us as well as sharing Sephora’s story and blog with others.  Life does go on.  We choose to live it in the best capacity that we are able.  We learn through every experience that life is short and life is beautiful.  Cherish every moment and every breath you are given.  God Bless!  ~Bethany

Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.