Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mom to Annika (Anna)
Born Still at 24 weeks on June 18th, 2007
Columbus, Ohio

For over a year my husband and I tried to give our son Jack a little brother or sister. When I finally found out I was pregnant in January of 2007, we could not have been happier. Although the pregnancy was tough from the beginning (extreme morning sickness), I kept strong knowing that in the end I would have a beautiful baby.

From day one Jack told us that the baby in my "tummy" was a girl and that her name was Anna. One day when I was 13 weeks pregnant, Jack was laying with me on the couch and he shot up saying "baby Anna uh-oh, baby Anna uh-oh." I quickly reassured Jack that she was fine, but from that moment on my gut kept telling me that Jack was right; something was wrong.

As the weeks passed I was having even more health problems (high blood pressure, thyroid issues and kidney issues) so they did an ultrasound at 12 and 16 weeks to make sure the baby was fine, which she was. My midwife said that it was just a rough pregnancy.

It wasn't until my ultrasound at 21 weeks that they saw some "problems" with Anna. There was some fluid on her brain, but they told us not to worry, it usually is nothing. I broke down in the ultrasound room because I knew it was somthing. We then had to wait four long days until our appt. with a specialist in Des Moines. When he saw her ultrasound he said that it looked like she was a trisomy 13 or 18 baby and that she would not be "compatible with life." Evan and I did not want to believe the diagnosis and waited for two more extremely long weeks for the results of my amnio. When the phone finally rang with the genetic counselor on the other end I immediately began to cry and handed the phone over to Evan. He then went into our bedroom and was in there for what felt like forever. I just knew it was bad. When he finally came out of the room, he didn't have to say anything, his tear streaked face said it all.

Anna had triplody, which was a complete extra set of chromosomes. It happens during conception when somehow two sperm enter the egg, or the egg does not undergo one of the initial divisions for some reason. As the doctors put it, it was a "fluke."

Our specialist told us that because of my health we should terminate the pregnancy. That was not even an option to us. I held unto her for another 2 weeks. Finally, on June 17th, 2007 (Father's day)at 24 weeks, my body could not hold onto her any longer. I blacked out and went into labor. I was in labor for 12 hours and delivered my beautiful, silent little Anna at 8:12 am on June 18th 2007. She weighed only 1 lb 3 oz, and was only 12 inches long. To us she was perfect. There were none of the "markers" the doctors warned us about, she looked like a perfect, tiny little angel. It made it hard to believe that something was ever really wrong.

We held her funeral that Friday in Ames, Iowa. It was pouring rain, which to us was a sign that she was with us. The first weeks and months after I had her are a blur.  I don't think I have ever cried that much in my entire life. It has now been three (almost four) years since Anna made her brief appearance in our lives. I am past my "angry at God phase" of grief and have come to accept the fact that Heavenly Father for what ever reason found me worthy enough to be given the honor of carrying one of his most special spirits for 24 difficult, yet beautiful weeks. I know that our family is forever and that one day I will be reunited with my beautiful little angel and will be able to hold and hug her once again. 

Lori created a memorial website for Anna at
You can contact her at


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