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  • Writer's pictureJen Chappell

Share Your Story Tuesday- Adelyn Grace

Two years ago we found out we were expecting our

second child. Since our oldest, Gabriel, was a boy we were hoping for a girl but would be happy either way. Being all too eager to know the gender of baby #2 we scheduled an early ultrasound. The tech said baby was too small still and we could come back in 2 weeks to try again. So we waited. If you know anything about techs in the medical field they’re not supposed to say anything. Well this lady did and it scared us. She said the measurements of our baby were all over the place, we would have to see a specialist and do extra ultrasounds. All I kept thinking was what’s wrong with my baby? In the last few minutes of our ultrasound she says oh look there, it’s a girl. What should’ve been an exciting and happy moment was robbed by fear. We were sent to a specialist who said our daughter was an IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). We wouldn’t know what the cause of this would be until I delivered. We decided to only share this with our close friends and family so they could be praying. I started out with an ultrasound every 2 weeks, then it turned into every week. If at any point our daughter didn’t show growth or her Doppler’s (blood flow in her umbilical cord) were elevated they were going to hospitalize me until delivery or deliver that day. I also started NSTs (non stress test) twice a week. We prayed each week for a good report. We made it until 31 weeks when her Doppler’s were elevated and I was hospitalized. Luckily I was only hospitalized for a week where we discovered bed rest kept her Doppler’s in the normal range so I was sent home on strict bed rest except for ultrasounds and NSTs. Every week we made it we praised God for his faithfulness and carrying us a week further. During this time my blood pressure began to get increasingly higher. At 37 weeks and 1 day I felt something wasn’t right and noticed a decrease in fetal movement. I went in for an NST and they found her heartbeat and she was in a sleeping pattern so they gave me cold water to get her moving. She wasn’t reacting as quick as they wanted and My blood pressure was incredibly high. They called my OB and she told them to deliver via c-section because tiny babies tend to not tolerate labor. They had to give me medicine to lower my blood pressure so they could do my spinal block. It felt like forever before my husband was brought into the OR with me. We had no idea what to expect when our daughter would arrive. By God’s grace she had a first cry and she could breath on her own. That was the most relieving moment of my life. We made it to full term and she was healthy. We named her Adelyn Grace. She was the most beautiful 3 pounds 6 1/2 ounces baby! Because she was an IUGR she had to go to the NICU.

After an exam they said she was completely healthy just small. Her goal was to feed and

grow. We couldn’t have been happier to hear this. While in the hospital I struggled with my recovery which unfortunately limited my visits to the NICU. Adie was doing well so they posted a date on her bed for our goal to bring her home. We were so excited and praising God that we could bring her home and see a light at the end of the tunnel.

When she was 4 days old she was pale and didn’t want to eat. This was unusual for her, she was always a beautiful pink skin color and loved to eat. The staff and doctor said she’s having an off day and that happens. They were going to put an NG tube. My husband came from the NICU to tell me this. I was getting ready to head to the NICU with him when a nurse came bursting in my room and yelled you’re needed bedside now! Our hearts sank. My husband had just left our daughter 5-10 minutes ago. The nurse and my husband went running down the hall to the NICU while I was slowly walking down the hallway because I was barely healing from the c-section. When I arrived at the NICU it looked like a scene from a movie but a bad one. There were several nurses and doctors performing CPR on Adelyn. I could barely see her tiny little body.

They took an x ray and discovered her lungs were full of liquid. The doctor began to explain

what was happening but honestly I was in shock and didn’t hear what he said because I was staring at my daughter. I was waiting for God to show up and save her. He had been so faithful and worked so many miracles and I just sat there waiting for another one. I believed with my whole heart he was going to do another miracle for her and it would be a part of her story. The doctor asked if we wanted them to stop trying to revive Adelyn because it had been 30 minutes and even if she did come back her quality of life would be poor. I remember thinking how could I make such a decision to give up on my daughter. We went through so much to get her here. My husband looked at me and then looked at the doctor and told him to stop and let her rest. I remember the nurses brought me over to where Adelyn was and they placed her in my arms, which is something I would’ve never done in my right mind because I didn’t want to remember her like that. She was so pale which was the complete opposite of the beautiful pink color she normally was. Unfortunately I had to ask them to close her eyes. I told her I’m sorry and handed her back to a nurse and went back to my hospital room. I sat in shock and disbelief that God didn’t give us a miracle. I had more faith in that moment than any other time in my life that God would save Adie and he didn’t. I would wrestle with this for awhile (if I’m honest there are moments where I still do) but in that moment all I could do was cry. Time stood still for me that day. I remember the doctor and nurses talking to us before we were discharged. I knew they were talking to me but I don’t remember what they said because I was trying to comprehend what had happened. I just wanted to go home and hold my son. I remember it was raining that day which was fitting. Idk how my husband was able to drive us home. I just stared out the window watching people drive by and going about their day like nothing happened. I felt so angry at them, how could they keep going when my daughter had just died. My whole world had stopped but not the rest of the world. How was I suppose to keep going? I felt completely empty and broken. Our church community,family, and friends walked along side us a we began our journey in grief. I can truly say they have lived out the verse that says “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Many who still to this day are checking in and continuing to walk beside us. We chose not to do an autopsy because honestly I couldn’t bear the thought of someone cutting my baby open. From what the doctors have told us they believe Adie spit up but she swallowed it back down and it went into her lungs. I will never have a for sure answer to why my perfectly healthy baby girl died which I think is the hardest part. Shortly after Adelyn’s death we received a call from the hospital. They had completed their testing and observations of my placenta. They found that my placenta was 4 times smaller than it should’ve been at 37 weeks. This was the reason for Adelyn’s growth restriction. They are not sure why it didn’t grow like it was suppose to because it never missed any other steps in development besides growing and called it a “fluke.” They said usually when a placenta issue occurs it rarely ever happens again. It was a relief to finally have the answer after a stressful 9 months of wondering but it didn’t ease my pain. My husband and I were reading a grief devotion and it said you could allow this to make or break you. Despite feeling completely broken I knew I couldn’t stay that way. I needed my daughter’s death to make me into a better person. My son needed his mom to give him nothing but the best and my husband still needed his wife.

We knew we wanted more kids but wanted time to grieve. To our surprise, a few months after her death we found out we were pregnant with our rainbow baby. Going through pregnancy after loss was the second hardest thing I have ever done. I had anxiety and the fear of losing another child. It was also a combination of emotions, sadness over the loss of my daughter and allowing myself to also feel joy for this new baby. I hoped and prayed we would be able to keep and bring this baby home. Praise God, our rainbow baby, Isaiah was born healthy just 11 months after his sister. Rainbow babies can never replace the baby you lost. Isaiah has brought so much joy back into our lives.

We will always miss Adelyn and morn the life we could’ve had with her.

It’s not easy to find a new normal but God has helped me. He’s given me the strength to get out of bed each day. He’s allowed me to smile and feel joy again. He’s also given me the hope of being reunited with my Adie one day.

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