Monday, August 9, 2010

Proud mommy of Leila Mae
Born May 21, 2009 at 19 weeks 5 days
Troy, Ohio

We had given up.

After a very quick and painless conception/pregnancy/delivery of our son, and dealing with secondary infertility and all that entails for 4 years, we had chosen to thank God for our son and stop longing for more.

In February 2009, I kind of knew. It was a week past when Aunt Flo was supposed to arrive, and I was hungry every 10 minutes. When I finally took the test and had the results staring me in the face, I was actually angry and scared. I had convinced myself so well that we were happy with just one child. I wonder if that's why God chose the path He did for us.

Having a slight previa, spotting was almost a constant. The upside was we had more ultrasound appointments than visits with the doctor, so we had many opportunities to fall in love with our little girl. Once we got past 14 weeks (and I was released from those horrible progesterone suppositories), we started doing a little shopping. And when, at 18 weeks, we found out it was a baby girl, it was time to look at garage sales for clothing.

The weekend before we got to meet our princess, we were at Target, shopping for some shorts for our son. I wandered over to the baby section and lingered over the softest pink blanket. But I wouldn't let myself pick it off the rack and put it in the cart, because "what if". I wonder if that's why God chose this path.

May 21st, I was feeling very tired. Almost dragging myself through my day. My husband is a franchisee for a pizza chain, and my schedule that evening called for a workshop for some teens at the local MR/DD school. I rode the fence about canceling, but in the end couldn't disappoint those kids.

About halfway through the demo, I realized the cramping I'd been feeling was rhythmic. I called my husband and asked him to break down the demo for me. I went home and called the OB, who had me heading into the Maternity Ward at the hospital.

From the minute I got in the car, it was an out-of-body experience. My husband and son were headed out for some playground fun, I told them to just go ahead, this was nothing. I wonder if that's why...

During the 8 minute drive, I was belting out "Blessed Be Your Name" by Tree 63 as it played on KLove. When I got to the line "on the road marked with suffering", I wondered if I was beginning my "road".

At the hospital, they hooked me up to all manner of gadgetry. Leila was kicking up a storm. My contractions were intensifying. The good news was I wasn't dilating. I breathed a prayer of thanks to my Lord. They started an IV and meds to control my contractions. I remember thanking God for the contractions while they were putting in the IV, that they were enough to distract me (I hate IV's). I wonder if that's why...

The ultrasound tech came. Bad news. I was thinning out. My OB gave me a 50/50 shot of leaving the hospital still pregnant.

An hour later, I started dilating.

I called my husband to drop our son off with a friend and come in. That we were losing her.

At 10:54pm, almost four hours after arriving at the hospital, we delivered our little angel into this world. At least in body - her spirit was already resting in Jesus' Arms.

My husband was just broken, sobbing. I was dry-eyed. I kept telling him, "it's going to be okay". After an hour or so I sent him to pick up our son and go home. I asked the nurse for something to eat. She gave me something to help me sleep.

4am came. The shock wore off. My heart broke into a thousand million pieces. My God gave me His Shoulder to lean on. He put His Arm around me for support.

The next year is shrouded in a grey haze. I know there were many bottles of wine and not very much food. Lots of movies on the DVD player. Precious few Sundays spent at church. Countless tears. Suicidal thoughts.

Healing, albeit very, very slowly.

For Leila's birthday, I took some forget-me-not seeds to the florist and asked her to put them in some balloons before inflating them. We wrote messages on the balloons, and prayed for God to stop the all-day soaking rain long enough for us to launch our messages of love. Not 5 minutes before my husband came home from work, the clouds parted. The balloons went up, up, and headed west.

I imagine a carpet of those beautiful, delicate flowers in a park somewhere. I imagine someone pausing over them, wondering what they are and how they got here.

I imagine my Leila, looking down and smiling.
You can contact her at


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