Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mom to Savannah Jolynne Dodson
Stillborn on January 23rd, 2008 due to ARPKD
Miscarriage - May 2004
Miscarriage - April 2005
Miscarriage - September 2005
Ectopic Pregnancy - November 2005
Miscarriage - April 2006
Miscarriage - August 2009
Monroe, Virginia

Pregnancy and Infant loss is such a hard subject to talk about. Everyone stays so silent about it. No one wants to mention it, no one wants to think about it. But the truth is that is happens everyday. There are tons of families that have lost a child. There are tons of families that know that unbearable heartache that comes from saying hello and goodbye in one brief moment. My husband Doug and I are one of those families. No we didn’t think things would turn out like this. We didn’t think that life could be so hard. Throughout our journey of pregnancy and infant loss we have meet many friends. Many people who have walked the same shoes we are in. We want people to know that losing a baby does happen. We want people to know that they are not alone…So this is our story and our journey down a long and hard road…
My husband and I got married 7/24/04.We instantly began trying to have a family. What we thought was going to be simple turned out to be the total opposite. We had our first miscarriage 2 months before our wedding in May 2004. Not too sound bad or anything but I don’t think we really took the time to grieve for the loss of that baby since we were so very busy with wedding plans. Our lives where just so busy. I think that looking back on it now we choose to move forward with our lives at the time it just seemed like the best thing to do. 

Well after we got married we moved to Virginia. My hubby and I decided we would try again to get pregnant and since I suffer from PCOS and endometriosis we had to go on fertility medicine.  We took pills for a few months and then surprise we were pregnant again. That joy was short lived when once again we miscarried. 

Well we tried again, kind of fast I know. But again a miscarriage. 

We waited a while before we tried again, I guess to kind of give our hearts a rest. They were broken by this point. Well in between not “trying” we got pregnant. For 14 weeks we had a normal pregnancy. Then I started to feel a little sick. I didn’t think it was anything major so I told Doug to stay home and I was going to go to the doctor and just get checked out. So off to the doctor I go. 

When I got there they hooked up the heartbeat monitor to check on the baby and there was no heartbeat. They told me that it might be because I was still not very far along so maybe it was just a little harder to find. So off to the ultrasound room I went. 

They started my ultrasound and as soon I looked up at the screen I could tell my baby had died. There was no sign of life at all. They told me that they thought the baby had died about 2 weeks before and that me feeling sick was my body's way of telling me that something was wrong. 

So here I was all by myself in the doctor’s office. I called my husband but got no answer so I called my parents. My mom answered the phone and all I could say was please find Doug the baby has died. That was the longest 25 minute drive of my life. A few days later we had a D&E. After this loss we knew we need a break so we didn’t try for a while. 

Well several months later we tried again. We got pregnant right away  but it ended very early in miscarriage. 4 weeks after that miscarriage I went to the emergency room with severe pain to my belly and they found out that I was actually pregnant with twins. I miscarried the first one but the second baby was in my tubes. I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was then rushed to another hospital and given a shot to “dissolve” the pregnancy. They told me that if I didn’t do this then the pregnancy would kill me, but it was killing me thinking that I had to choose to let my baby go. So before they came in and gave me the shot the doctor came in and gave me some meds to knock me out. I refused to let him give me the shot so I guess knocking me out was his way of doing what he knew was the best thing to do. But you know that motherly instinct tells the heart differently. Even though looking back I now know that it was the best thing and I also understand how dangerous an ectopic pregnancy is. My heart breaks for anyone who has had to go through that.

All of this brings me to our angel Savannah. My husband and I decided that we weren’t going to try ever again. We had enough. Our hearts were broken. We didn’t think that our lives could get any worse but boy were we wrong. I went on the birth control pill. And for someone who was told they would never have babies this was a big step. Well a few months went by and I really wasn’t feeling well. I thought that maybe it was because I didn’t get my period which is normal with the pcos. So I called my doctor and asked for the pill to start my period. I thought that would make me feel better. Well he always makes me take a pregnancy test before I start the pill. Just to be safe. Well I did. It was 4 am and I had to pee so I got up and figured well I am up I might as well take the damn test. So half asleep I peed on the stick and before I could even get it to the counter there was a big fat plus sign. Well I just knew it was wrong so I took yet another one. Well same thing a +.. I woke Doug up and told him; at first he thought he was dreaming. So 2 days later I went to the doctor and the test was right. I was pregnant. WOW.   

Things seem to go ok for a bit. I went to the doc and got to see our little miracle for the first time. It was a blessing. Then at about 12 weeks along I had some major bleeding. I called the doctor in the middle of the night and he pretty much told me that I could go to the hospital but if it were another miscarriage there was nothing they could do. Nature would run its course. So my hubby and I just went back to bed. We figured that God would take care of it. So the next morning I got up and went to the doctor so he could see what was going on. I just knew that I lost my baby. I mean it had happened so many times before.  I went in to the ultrasound room and I just looked at the ceiling. I was ready to hear the worst. About10 mins go by and I hear this little tiny thumping. Thump Thump, thump, thump. I asked the nurse what’s wrong, what’s that sound. She told me to look and when I did there was my little miracle moving around sucking her little thumb. And her heart was so strong 160. My hubby and I just cried. I knew then that this baby was truly a gift from god, I just didn’t know yet that he would need her back so soon.

After our little scare I was placed on bed rest, it was only a few more weeks till I could feel that first kick. I loved it. It was the best feeling in the world even though as we all know sometimes those little feet really can hurt. The next few weeks went really really well. The baby would only move when Doug was around. Something should have told me then that it was a girl.  Each time we went to the doctor we had a ultrasound since I was high risk. And each time they went to tell us was we were having all we could see was butt cheeks. She really liked to show her butt off.  

After Christmas we went back and they tried yet again. The minute they turned on the ultrasound screen I knew something was very wrong. I could barely make out a baby.  The nurse took a few minutes and tried the very best that she could to measure bones and organs but then she went across my baby’s belly. I said oh no what’s wrong why is her belly so large? The nurse turned off the screen and went and got the doctor. It took like 45 minutes before the doctor came in the room. And when she did she told us that our baby had polycystic kidney disease and that we would have to see a prenatal specialist. I will never forget what she told us before we left. She told us not to worry that they could fix it and that our little bundle of joy would be fine. I believed it. I kept my head held high and kept hoping for good news. 

Two very long weeks went by and it was finally time for our appt. My mom and dad went with us to the doctor’s visit. Which was great since it turns out we really needed the support.  The nurse came in and started the ultrasound and showed us her hands, feet and heart and brain then she told us Congrats Its A GIRL!!! We were so happy. That happiness was very short lived. The doctor came in and very quickly told us that she would die. He told us that what she had is genetic. ARPKD .( infantile polycystic kidney disease). He said that her kidneys were taking up 70% of her tiny body. I remember looking around the room at my hubby and my parents then I just grabbed my face and started to cry. I couldn’t believe this. Our baby girl was dying. 

The doctor continued to explain to us that she had no way to breathe. That due to the pkd and the size of her kidneys she never developed any lungs. I kept saying how can she not have any lungs? I thought everybody had lungs. He told us that if she were born alive that she would suffocate. It would be like someone holding a pillow over our heads till we stopped breathing. That’s what would happen to our little baby. He told us that we needed to have her ASAP. He was worried that carrying her would kill me too. 

I swear to you that that day in the doctor’s office is still kind of a blur. I am still trying to figure it all out.  The next few days were crazy. I packed up all her little things we bought and gave them away. Everyone told me that it would be too hard for me to come home to them after she died. We went to the doctors on a Friday and on Saturday I was sick. She had already died. She didn’t even live 24 hours after that doctor’s visit, the doctor said that would most likely happen and he was right. 

On the next Monday we had to make the hard trip to the funeral home to sign the papers saying they could get her body. Wow. Those were the only papers we signed as her parents. I cried so hard when that pen was placed in my hands. My mom and hubby just sat with me. It took me a long time to put my name on that piece of paper. I didn’t want to believe that she was dead. Who would? 

So on 1/22/008 we went to the hospital to have our baby. It was hard walking in to the labor and delivery floor knowing that everyone else got to take their babies home and we had to leave ours because she was dead. They started to induce me and on 24 long hours later our little angel was born. 

The doctor however was horrible and he just laid her on the bed and told us well she’s here and she has no heartbeat and then he left. We all were stunned. Even the nurse didn’t know what to do. So she handed our little angel. A very tiny baby girl named Savannah Jolynne Dodson. She was 14.8 ounces and 11 inches. 

When they placed that little baby in my arms I swear the world stopped. My heart broke. I took her little hand and I wrapped it around my finger. I just kept thinking oh God she should be able to do this herself. I wanted so very bad to hear her cry. I wanted to hear her cry and not our tears for her. My husband just hugged me as tight as he could and my mom, dad and my in-laws came over and looked at her and told us how beautiful she was. I will never forget my dad coming over and grabbing her hand and telling me she was precious and how big her little hands were. 

They all left the room so that Doug and I could have a few minutes as a family. Wow that’s still so hard to say. Family and that is what she made us. My husband picked her up and kissed her little face. It was so sad to know that he will never get to do all the things with her that my dad and I did. No fishing, no sweet little kisses no walking her down the aisle. He sang her you are my sunshine. We sang that to her each night when we were pregnant. Our family came back in and everyone held her. They all loved her so very much. We took tons of pictures of her. The nurse came in to take her and I knew that we had to let her go. But I didn’t want to say goodbye before we could say hello. Everyone kissed her and then I held her and hugged her and kiss her soft sweet skin & told her how much I loved her and would miss her and how very much she meant to us. 

Then, in a moment, she was gone. The nurse carried her away. Wrapped up in that little pink blanket were all our hopes and dreams. She was our miracle, our everything. 

Since that day on 1/23/2008 our lives have never been the same. I see her face everywhere. And oh how we long to hold her, to watch her grow up, to see her beautiful smile and to hear those words mommy and daddy. We know that she is in a better place and that in Heaven there is no pain and suffering. But that doesn’t make our hearts not break and our arms not ache from the emptiness.  Each night we cry tears for her. The rest of the world may go on but in our lives our world was laid to rest the day that our little Savannah Jolynne Dodson came into our lives and in one brief moment made us parents.  Each day we try our very best to honor her memory and to keep her memory alive. She will forever be our daughter and the most important thing in our lives. ***RIP our sweet angel…mommy and daddy miss you more than words can say***

Every time we feel sad we sing the same song we sang each day I was pregnant and the song her daddy sang to her when she was born and the song is very true since she will always be “Our only Sunshine” Since Savannah passed away we have had yet another miscarriage. We are no longer trying to have children. Yes you read correct. We have had 6 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth. My husband and I are young 25 and 26…yet we have been through more than most people ever will….Our journey of grief is still going. We have days where we can go without crying but then we have days where we cry all the time. There is a hole in our hearts that nothing will fill…over time we have learned to put a band aid over it but still under that tiny bandage is a lifetime of hurt and sorrow.

You can contact Kristin at


Melissa said...


I am so sorry for your and Doug's losses. You two are very strong people and parents. I wish you hope and comfort as your remember your babies.

Lots of love and hugs,

Sarita Boyette said...

You and your husband have had too much to bear -I am so sorry for all your losses.

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