I decided to tell Andrew’s story here. Andrew is our son, who was recently still born at 21 weeks. I want to remember him and also to share his story with those who would like to read it. Wednesday, September 28 was just like any other day for me. I got the kids ready for school and my mom came over to keep the kids who are home for me while I went to what I expected to be a routine midwife appointment. I was 21 weeks pregnant. We had done genetic testing and ultrasounds and everything looked great. Having had two miscarriages previously we were holding our breath until we got past 15 weeks, which is when we lost our first baby. After seeing Andrew flipping all around and just giving the ultrasound tech a hard time just a few weeks before this, I as thrilled that all was going well and we would meet our little guy in just a few months. I sat in the waiting room at the midwife and while I was there the receptionist took a phone call from a women saying she had just experienced a miscarriage. When the receptionist got off the phone, we chatted about how difficult that is and I shared my experiences. The midwife called me back and we checked Andrew’s heartbeat. She couldn’t find it. I wasn’t worried because this had happened before in this pregnancy. My placenta was in front and he was so active that getting his heartbeat always proved to be a challenge. She suggested I go down the street to the OBGYN that they partner with for a quick ultrasound. I was a little nervous, but not overly. The office is in a medical tower and not but a couple blocks, so I decided it was easier to walk. On the way there God and I had a talk. I prayed and asked that everything be ok but I also told God His will be done. I had a peace about it all. I walked into the office and they took me to the ultrasound room. Almost immediately when she began the ultrasound I knew something wasn’t right. He was so still. He was never still. She began doing measurements and he was measuring at 18 weeks, just a few days past when I had seen him on ultrasound before. I was in shock. I immediately started to cry. She was so kind and took me straight into the doctor’s office so I didn’t have to go back to the waiting room. I texted Glenn and my pastor’s wife as soon as I got into the office. I waited for a while for the doctor to come in. He was also very compassionate and kind as he discussed possible causes and what we should do next. We decided that a delivery was the best course of action. By this time Glenn had arrived, and we talked at length with the doctor about everything. We left the doctor’s office and the nurse said she would call with possible dates and times for the induction at the hospital.
By this time I was shaking because of stress and also having not eaten in a long time, so we went to Wendy’s and ate. We then went home and Glenn had texted both our parents to let them know. When we got home, Glenn took the kids outside to tell them. That was one of the hardest things we have ever done. The older boys took it pretty hard. The nurse called and said the only opening they had was for later that night, so we prepared to leave just after putting the kids into bed. Glenn’s parents stayed with the kids. We arrived at the hospital and found my best friend waiting in the waiting room for us. I have learned through this experience that you need people to just push into your life at times like this. My natural inclination is to just wall off from people and not talk, but that isn’t healthy. We need people right now, more than we ever have. It was so comforting to have a familiar face as we went off to labor and delivery, a place we had been a couple times before, but for much happier occasions. The nurses were so kind and placed us in a room as far away from other people as possible. We settled in for a long night. They began to give me medicine to induce me. It really wasn’t all that bad physically. By the morning, I was having regular contractions, but they weren’t overly painful. The most difficult part was knowing what we were facing emotionally. Finally about 3:00 things started to pick up and he was born at 3:30pm. I sobbed as he was delivered and refused to look, afraid of what I would see. Then they had to deliver the placenta, I will spare the details but it didn’t go well and was extremely painful. They got me cleaned up and asked if we wished to hold Andrew. We said we would like to, so they brought him to us. He was wrapped in a blanket and had a tiny hat on. God had prepared us for this moment. Six years before we had held a tiny baby Joshua in the NICU and that experience helped so much with holding Andrew. We both held him and took pictures and cried. It was a precious moment though and so healing. I am so glad we did it. We expressed to the hospital we would like to take him home with us and have a memorial service and burial here at home. No one had ever done that before, so it was a big deal. At the end of the day, we were released but had to leave Andrew there and pick him up the next day because they needed to do some testing. The nurses and doctor’s were so kind to us. They gave us a memory box for Andrew with tiny blankets and little clothes and also pictures and footprints. I will treasure it always and I am so thankful to have it. We left the hospital and went home. We were so lost. It was the absolute hardest thing I had done ever in my life.