“I was learning that when struck with the unimaginable you will never be the same, you will be changed. You will never love the same, you will love better. Our bond with Grace only strengthened and our love was fierce for her.”
So as I navigate life now, sometimes feeling paralyzed by a future without Abel, I am reminded of his name and meaning. Putting them together feels awfully fitting. Breathing laughter into existence. Finding joy in the pain. Trusting God in the middle of darkness.
I just remember the doctor was talking and it just sunk in that our baby was not going to live. I didn’t know what that looked like and it just feeling like it was a huge punch to my gut. I don’t really remember the drive home. I know I was crying a lot.
I am writing this to spread awareness, to make sure that my daughter’s life will continue to make a difference and to start a conversation about cytomegalovirus.
Nobody else knew what she said. But I was inconsolable. I couldn’t bring those words to my lips—I couldn’t breathe those words. My partner was looking at me in fear willing me to say it, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t, because saying it meant it was real.
They started the ultrasound and I kept thinking, when is she going to say something and when will we get to see the profile of our baby—what is going on?
“As the weeks and months passed, I found comfort in connecting with other parents facing loss. My own battle with feeling alone fueled a passion for lessening the isolation other loss parents experience.”
“I’m so grateful for my son’s life. While I would obviously have written my own story differently, I’m so glad that God blessed us with Sam. Because Sam lived, I have loved deeper, stronger, and more openly than ever possible before.”
“I could feel my son kicking as they told us that it appeared as though he did not have any kidneys. I was in complete shock. I could not believe what was being said.”
“Our doctors were very doubtful that our son would make it to term, let alone twenty weeks, due to all the problems he had. Yet, our son was kicking away, letting me know that he was still there with me.”
“We quickly learned, that as parents, our job is to protect and love our daughter, and we knew we were going to fight for her and her precious life. We were hopeful. We were hopeful that Nora would survive.”
“I am so thankful that I had my Emmy, because giving birth to her made her real and valid. She was ours, and she is still ours. We miss her so much, and we can’t wait to see her again one glorious day.”
“This experience has changed me and my perspective on a lot of things in life, but the best outcome was that in our time with Isabelle, we have learned true, unconditional love.”
“Yet for all those moments I wished it were over, I would not now trade a moment of Micah’s life for anything. The pregnancy was harder because of the diagnosis, but we still continue to be thankful for the time we had with our son.”
“No matter the outcome, we knew her little life would have impact, and it did. She changed my life. She changed the lives of our families and countless friends, too.”
“Every moment of pain and sadness, from the time we found out about the diagnosis until the second I delivered our daughter, was all worth it once we got to hold her.”
“My decision to carry Jairus Esai to term changed my life for the better. I learned how to love outside of myself and to be a more caring person.”
“This experience has made us better people. We sacrificed our emotions and time to put this little person first. We learned true, selfless love. The beauty in the suffering was what brought us together and made us closer as a family.”
“This experience has made us all stronger as a family, and it made Mark and I’s relationship so much stronger, especially so early in our marriage. It made us rely on God and His work in our lives.”
“Our decision to carry to term has changed our lives immeasurably. Though I finally knew what it felt like to carry a child, I would not have known the joy of being a mother had I not carried to term.”
“I will never regret the chance at life that I gave Dylan, despite the ups and downs, because I got to know the most special little girl. She will always have a place in my heart. She defied the odds because I decided to carry to term.”
“God sure had a plan, and he sent Seth into our lives to save us. Seth is truly a gift from God. Seth was a sacrifice, and Seth was our salvation. Although it is extremely hard most days, I will never regret carrying him. I would not choose differently.”
“If we had never had a sonogram during my pregnancy, we would have never known anything was wrong with Jacob because he was growing and moving normally.”
“This little girl, who never even took a breath of air, transformed my life so dramatically and helped me reconnect with the truth of my life: people have always turned to me to aid in their healing.”
“She was measuring so very small, and honestly, I just wanted to see this little wonder in my arms. Carrying her, knowing I wouldn’t get to keep her, was the most excruciatingly tragic yet beautiful two months of my life.”
“We had already chosen her name, Ha’ani, which means “this day” in Chamoru. Whatever time God would bless us to have with her, we were going to embrace. I prayed for strength to make it through whatever would come, and selfishly, I prayed for a miracle.”
“The sensation of her little kicks and movements always gave us hope; they were so strong and sometimes even noticeable from the outside. They were constant reminders that she was there, alive and with a purpose.”
“This is hard in so many ways, but mostly because you don’t want to forget that you did this amazing thing. You carried a baby who was sick and fragile and heaven bound. It will be the bravest and most incredible thing I will ever do in my lifetime. And I don’t ever want to forget our Eden.”
“Tears flow freely for our daughter, and we miss her more than words can express. Our arms ache to hold Claire again, but our hearts are full of the love we have for her and each other. Claire’s life was short, but incredibly meaningful.”
“Ethan’s life taught me many things. He taught me the inherent value and beauty in a human life. He taught me how to comfort the grieving and how to love with all of my heart. […} But most of all, Ethan taught one of the greatest joys life has to offer: he taught me how to be a mother.”
“There is a reason why she was supposed to come to earth to receive a body and return to heaven quicker than the rest of us. Someone had to do it and I’m so glad that God picked my husband and me.”
“Saxon taught me so much. He helped me decide to move forward with going to nursing school, and I learned so much in the NICU and the CVICU. He had such a huge impact on so many people’s lives.”
“She opened up a world of love that was never known before. We know we will be reunited with her again, and, for now, she is held so tightly in our hearts.”