Tag Archive | amniocentesis

Is He Your First Baby?

I meet many people throughout the course of the day, who stop and say how beautiful our little Miles is.  They’ll ask his name, how old he is, how much he weighs…and then this question always seems to follow… “Is he your first?”  I usually let out a long, heavy sigh before I attempt to answer this question.  Do I tell the truth and give as many descriptive details about Sephora’s life as I can?  Or do I simply say yes, and move on?

Our first baby passed away.  She had a severe and extremely rare chromosome abnormality that 1 in 16,000 babies are diagnosed with.  Trisomy 13.  I learned at my 20 week ultrasound appointment that she had several internal issues that we later would find were lethal to her.  We named her Sephora Angeline after that appointment.  It didn’t matter what any medical professional had to say to us.  She was our first baby.  Our first daughter.  Our little Sephora.

Days passed, and we met with a neonatologist who recommended they perform an amniocentesis to determine exactly what was ailing our baby.  When we discovered Trisomy 13 was in fact the correct diagnosis, we were sitting at our kitchen table.  When I hung up the phone, I collapsed into my husband’s arms and cried.  Our first baby wasn’t going to live outside of my body for very long.  All we could do was love her.  We loved her even more after we’d learned about her fatal diagnosis.  Every day from that point on was spent singing to her and rubbing my belly, poking her and feeling her poke back.  We made memories with her throughout my pregnancy, and we couldn’t wait to meet her.

We knew Sephora’s life would be short.  We grieved for her during my pregnancy, and we grieved for her after she had passed away.  We loved her every second of every day she was with us.  Today, as I kissed her baby brother’s cheek, I imagined what it would be like to have a toddler running around the house.  What would she look like?  What would we be doing with her?  What would we be teaching her?  What would she be doing to make her baby brother giggle?  I miss her today, but I will see her again!

1 Corinthians 13:7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.


Thank You To All Who Are Invested In Sephora’s Life Story

As each day passes, I am finding more and more women and families who have experienced losses late in pregnancy, stillbirth, and infant death. When we learned something was wrong with our daughter, we didn’t know where to turn.  Thankfully, our answer became very clear.  Our church blog had been posted the morning we were going to have the amniocentesis performed, where several couples had come together to help each other through their own losses, while walking hand in hand with God.  The day we were told Sephora’s abnormalities were caused by an extra 13th chromosome, I spoke with the woman who wrote the blog, Lisa, through email.  A few days later, we were headed into the hospital to meet with the palliative care team.  As we were walking out of the house, Lisa called me.  She informed me that an elder of our church was actually the head of the NICU department at the hospital, and was also a member of the palliative care team.  A week later, we met with the couples involved with the original blog about loss.  Through all of this, the only place to turn to was God.  Every detail came together incredibly easily.  Each act was a sign that we were not in control of our situation.  The one aspect of life that connected each of these instances together, was God.  Let me tell you, if I wasn’t signed on to my faith before, our entire experience with Sephora, her life, and the people we met and continue to meet, could only be directed by the hand of a supernatural power.

As I reflect on our pregnancy before we received Sephora’s Trisomy 13 diagnosis, I have to admit that I took my pregnancy for granted.  We got married in September and pregnant in October.  I didn’t experience much morning sickness.  In fact, I can count on one hand the amount of times I actually did vomit.  I was hungry all the time, and thought about what I was going to eat for dinner while I was eating breakfast!  I cherished every little movement and every hiccup Sephora made.  We watched the ultrasound screen in awe of the precious baby girl we created together.  We sobbed in each other’s arms when we learned there was something wrong.  Our hearts were crushed when we learned her internal abnormalities were caused by an extra 13th chromosome that snuck in during her conception.  One tiny little chromosome caused our Sephora Angeline to be taken from us only 4 1/2 hours after she took her first breath of life.  Her spirit does live on.  Thankfully,  her story continues to touch the lives of others around us…some that we know, others we don’t.  As I continue to write this blog and tell Sephora’s story, I am able to see how many lives are invested in her life’s story.  Thank you to everyone who continues to support and encourage Chris and me through your kind words, responses, prayers, and continued interest in our blog.  We almost have reached 20,000 viewers of Sephora’s blog from all over the world!

Hebrews 10:23-25

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

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