One year ago yesterday I sat in a doctor’s office and found out the worst news I could imagine at the time. I was 21 weeks pregnant and my baby had no heartbeat. Just three weeks earlier we had seen him on ultrasound and he was doing great, and now he was gone.
I checked into the hospital later that night to do the hardest thing I could thing of, give birth to a baby who wasn’t going to cry or smile or breathe. Birth is supposed to be the happiest moment but this would prove to be the toughest. As I listened to the women in the room next to me give birth to her baby and hear him cry for the first time it became more real what was about to happen. By the way, it’s just cruel that you have to give birth on the maternity floor with all the other happy women, but that’s how it is. We had the kindest, most understanding nurses and doctors attending us through Andrew’s birth and we were thankful. It made an unbearable situation better.
(This is his certificate of birth and those are his actual footprints. I have a plaque that the hospital made for us with those footprints and his name, I love it and will cherish it always)
One year ago today, during the afternoon, after laboring all night and morning I gave birth to Andrew Wallace Byrum. Today we remember that day. It changed us forever. It has softened our hearts and yet proved to us we are stronger than we ever thought we could be. It has reoriented our priorities and changed our life’s course. I wouldn’t change what happened because it has made us who we are. We thought at the time we wouldn’t make it through that we would just die with him, but we didn’t.
(This is a little gown made for Andrew by a ministry called Caleb ministry. It was given to us at the hospital so we could have his picture taken in it.)
Friends and family gathered around us and we took one step at a time and survived. We grew closer to each other and to God. Today we are better than we were before. We have since experienced another miscarriage this summer, and that is hard, but we know that we do not grieve in vain, someday we will see these babies we have lost again and we cling to that truth in the hardest moments.
(Handmade hat and booties made by the same ministry. They actually fit him, that is how small he was)
It took nearly a year but we finally ordered a headstone for Andrew’s grave. It was just too hard to face for so long, but we found this great family run business online and ordered a beautiful stone that we will place at this grave today in memory of him.
“3 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” I Thessalonians 4:13
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11