I, like most moms I’m sure, have a story to tell. A story I’m hoping you might be interesting in posting about. The following is an shorted version of our story, I’d be happy to share any and all details you’re interested in though. I am a young (ish) mother of a BEAUTIFUL, funny, smart (if I do say so myself) three year old boy. I am also a mother to two babies lost very early in pregnancy that I’m sure are in heaven, and a perfect little girl named Lucy that we only got to love for the nine months she was in my belly and five days in the outside world.
Our pregnancy with Jack was easy (though I was VERY nauseous) and without complication. Naively, I thought that was how it worked. Try for a baby, get pregnant, make it through the first trimester, smooth sailing. I was so wrong.
At our twenty week scan with Lucy they told us she had some soft markers for Trisomy 18, an extras 18th chromosome that is considered “incompatible with life.” They discussed the “option” of abortion (something we’d never consider) and told us to see a specialist. The perinatologist scanned my belly weekly, unable to say for certain if we’d keep our daughter, or give her right back to God. Most babies with T18 have major heart defects; Lucy did not. Most babies are small; Lucy was not. Most babies don’t swallow creating extras fluid in their mama’s bellies; this did not happen with our daughter. So, we prayed like never before that this was just a scare. Things like this don’t happen to people like us we thought. We were loving, strong in our faith, had already lost two babies; surely God wasn’t going to take another. At 34 weeks we did an amniocentesis to determine if we should deliver Lucy at our local hospital (no NICU) or at the huge birthing center with our perinatologist. I told the doctor she’d have to call my husband with the results, I couldn’t face that phone call. I’ll never forget reading Jack (our son) a book up in his room, and seeing my husband’s car literally FLYING into our neighborhood in the middle of a work day.
I knew. I Knew without him saying a word that Lucy wasn’t meant to be ours on this earth. We held each other and we sobbed. Somehow we made it through the next three weeks of our lives, and at 37 weeks went to the hospital to meet our little girl. We prayed specifically that God would allow Lucy to be born alive. That we’d be able to have her baptized, tell her we love her, tell her how proud of her we were, and have our family meet her. The physicians told us not to bring a carseat; as they’d very rarely seen babies with T18 go home. We brought one anyway.
During labor I opted not to have the fetal monitors on, I couldn’t bear the thought of knowing she’d passed away while I had so much work to do to get her out. Our little Lucy, who’d defied every medial odd thus far, kicked me during the entire labor. She let me know she was holding on for us. Lucy was born screaming, pink and beautiful. I’ve never seen a prettier baby. We kissed her, told her how proud of her we were, had her baptized and took thousands of pictures of her. Then, one day later, Lucy came home! We spent the next five days doing our best to pack a lifetime full of memories into whatever time God allowed us with her. My husband and I took turns sleeping for short periods of time and holding her. Lucy was never put down. She passed away in our arms at home. Lucy did everything perfectly. She is my hero, and we promised her we’d do something meaningful to honor her.
The day we found out the amnio results, it rained very hard. Then, there was a gorgeous double rainbow. I believe it was God sending us a message that although he had plans for Lucy that only involved her being with us for a short time, He would take care of us. And, He has.
My husband and I decided to start a line of children’s onesies to honor the special moments in the lives of babies. They grow up so quickly, and so we started with making a set of twelve “grow with me” onesies, one for each month. When making Jack’s baby book (which I’m very behind on!) I struggled to find pictures of him to put on each monthly page. These adorable onesies clearly show the quick growth that takes place in that first year.
To honor Lucy, we’ve decided that a portion of all sales will go to a childhood charity of the purchaser’s choice. We know, despite everything, how blessed we are; and giving back to other children in need honors the short life of our little girl some deemed “incompatible with life”.
So, I’d be honored if you’d allow us to tell our story. A story of loving, losing, finding happiness and joy despite the difficult road paved for us. It’s a story about a parent’s love; a love so fierce that no medical diagnosis or complication could make us give up on our daughter. We carried Lucy and she carried us.
Our website is luluandjack.com. Please look around, see what we’re trying to do to give back to those less fortunate, and to help those blessed with a healthy child make moments and memories that last.
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