Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in God and Faith, Grief, Uncategorized | 0 comments

  

A few months into our second pregnancy in December 2014, I miscarried the baby. It was a heartbreaking shock and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the emptiness I felt leaving that hospital with an empty womb and empty arms. It was deeply sad and very hard.

We heeded the doctor’s recommendation and waited a month before trying again. Again I got pregnant right away. And shortly after we found out, we lost that baby too. I was furious. I had no idea why God would allow for us to lose another baby. And I was mad. I’ve never been that angry with God before in my life. I made a decision that day that no matter what happened on our journey to grow our family, that I would give it all to Him. Because even though I didn’t understand, even though I was heartbroken and furious, He was in control. And He was still writing our story.

Due to my consecutive miscarriages, I was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. After many tests, we were given the green light to conceive again. As quickly as before, I was pregnant. And just as quickly, we found out that the pregnancy was not viable. I was going to miscarry again. Completely heartbroken for the third time, I think I cried for all three babies on that day.
We waited a few months to try again, allowing many new medications to go to work in my system. I was so excited to fall pregnant again, just as quickly as in the past. I happily called the doctor to set up my first lab work and the results were great! I went back again two days later and again the results were very promising. With each day our excitement grew – this baby was going to stick!
The days turned to weeks and at our first ultrasound we got a wonderful surprise. We were expecting twins! We were over-the-moon with excitement at the thought of having two precious miracles. But sadly, only a few weeks later, we found out that one of the twins had not survived. We were heartbroken for the loss of another child, but clinging to the hope we still had in our precious still-growing baby. 

That sweet baby continued to thrive and in a few weeks we found out we were having another little boy, who we named Parker. Around 15 weeks I began having heavy bleeding. So heavy that I called an ambulance and was sure that our precious boy was already gone. I got to the hospital and my husband Jason met me there. A nurse came in with the heart doppler and I awaited hearing that dreaded silence I had already heard before. The absence of your baby’s heartbeat is such a deafening silence. The nurse ran the Doppler across my belly and to my absolute shock, there was still a little heartbeat. Strong and perfect. And I caught a glimpse of hope. I was diagnosed with placenta previa and sent home for bed rest.

Not two weeks later, I awoke to the realization that my water had broken in my sleep. A complication resulting from the placenta previa. I was expected to go into labor naturally following the rupture. But the days came and went and I never did go into full labor. I was admitted long-term to the hospital due to the bleeding I had almost daily. The lack of fluids meant Parker had very little chance of survival because his lungs simply would not develop. But as much as I didn’t want to get my hopes up once again, each day that passed gave me new hope that maybe Parker would defy the odds. Maybe he would be an even bigger miracle than he already was.

I remained in the hospital for 8 weeks exactly. I developed an infection in my uterus due the ruptured amniotic sac. Parker’s heart rate started to drop. And he was delivered via emergency c-section at 12:01am on November 28, 2015 at 25 weeks. Sadly, his lungs simply couldn’t support his precious life. And the doctor brought our beautiful boy to us. To die. We held him. We kissed him and told him how much we loved him. How much he looked like his big brother. Family came to share what time they could with him. Tanner held his little brother. My sweet friend was there by my side. The minutes were endless and yet much too brief. And after a while, the doctor returned to check and told us that our precious boy was gone. He had lived in total 2 hours and 41 minutes. He was ours for that time. And now he was Heaven’s. But in those moments that I held him in my arms, the joy that I felt at Tanner’s birth, the joy I imagine all parents feel at the birth of their children, was very much present. Almost as if he weren’t going. As if he was ours to keep. I dreamed a million dreams for him in those moments. Dreams I knew he’d never know but my heart wanted so much for him. Dreams I still carry with me to this day.

It is often hard to see the light at the end of these trials but I am honestly doing better than I ever would have imagined I could. I’m thankful for my oldest and the fact that he gives me a reason to get out of bed each day. I pray so often for healing and peace and I know that God is helping me too, in much more subtle ways. Reading the Will to Choose blog gives me hope that better days lie ahead for us. We recently found out that a complication resulting from Parker’s pregnancy, postpartum cardiomyopathy, means we will most likely not be able to have anymore children. A path I would have never taken otherwise. But God has answered our prayers for guidance. And if I’m going to follow Him, I need to be willing to follow Him into the places I’d never choose for myself. I think that’s the hardest part of having faith – trusting that God’s plan is so much better than my own, even in the midst of life’s disappointment and heartbreak. I’m learning to let go of my dreams for His greater purpose.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for the generous gift towards our sweet baby boy’s services. I cried when I opened your letter and top. We are so very thankful for the donation for our son Parker’s burial expenses. It blessed us in so many ways and enabled us to give him the service and burial he deserved to mark a brief life overflowing with love. I hope our story can help others traveling similar journeys know that they are not alone. I hope I can give them the encouragement they need to carry on despite the heartache. Much like you have for me.  

                            -Ashleigh Bowman 

** thanks to your support with the simple purchase of a t-shirt from this site, this family was able to be blessed with financial assistance in their traumatic loss of their sweet son. **