My wonderful husband Kyle has written from his perspective of our experience having James. I feel it helpful to have his perspective to paint a full picture of what we have gone through.
How it Happened:
Wednesday was a special day. It was Max’s 2nd Bday. I got up early as usual, but instead of reading while eating oatmeal, I decided to make French toast since it is Max’s favorite food ever pretty much. That was how the day went for him. I had to go to school, but Gina took him to the fire station for a tour, they played at the park, ate good food, and he got presents once I got home. He got a toy motorcycle, a hot wheels jump ramp, and ice-cream. It was a busy and special day. I remember thinking when going to bed how much joy I had because of Max and our little family. I thought about how when you fall in love with your sweetheart that your chest is so full and feels like it might burst. When you marry her you feel like you’ve won every victory available to you and your heart is full. But the fullness just gets more full with a child. It feels like your chest is maxed out, and that the warm filling goes down into your stomach too. Just a deep and full love and gratitude. I remember thinking how amazing it would feel to have 2 children. I might just burst with joy.
Thursday was a very busy day, especially for Gina who was already tired from the day before and being almost 39 weeks pregnant. We were planning a birthday party for Max with everyone we wanted there at Manito park for Friday evening. Gina would call me at school a couple times each day, and each time I would think (baby time?), but it would always be for something about the party. Just happy things.
That evening we put Max down, got more errands done around the house and watched some Leverage together. As I was finishing cleaning up the living room and things after our show Gina called to me from the bedroom, “baby isn’t moving”. This was quite unusual since night time was baby’s favorite time to jump and prod Gina. She said she couldn’t remember the last time she felt baby move specifically. It was such a common thing, but nothing we did could make baby respond. Our hearts sunk and so we prayed two times to know what to do while waiting for an answer. I felt very calm and peaceful about going to the hospital, and Gina, though very scared and already tears in her eyes felt good about it too.
We literally couldn’t get ahold of anybody we called right away to watch Max for us while we went in, so we took him with us. Once at Deaconess they took us to a room and tried to find a heart beat on the Doppler. It usually took about 2 seconds before the fast and strong beating of our precious baby would be heard. Our ultrasound tech at 20 weeks told us he had a “beautiful heart” more clear than she’d actually ever seen, and her and the other tech took a full 5 minutes just to admire it. We beamed at the little heart and talked proudly of it for weeks afterwards.
My excitement had grown by the day as we prepared every week by going to Bradley classes and things. Once we had the bag packed for the hospital I was ready to go! It was like waiting for Christmas morning, but not knowing exactly when it would come.
Well, an ultrasound machine was brought in and a midwife came in too and looked for a long time. We could see nothing moving. She finally told us, though we had already locked eyes and began mourning together, that there was just no heart beat. Sadness was overwhelming. All we could do was sob and clutch Max to us. He was perfect. By now it was well past midnight and he should have been crabby being in an unfamiliar place, but he was just calm and hugged us.
We called our Bishop right away, because that is the first person Gina wanted there for sure. He was just called to be Bishop on Sunday and he is a surgeon at Deaconess. We are actually close to his family and knowing that we could call on him was a tender mercy of the Lord. He came and was very comforting and gave Gina one of the most inspired and helpful blessings we have ever heard. It continues to guide our choices and thoughts throughout this experience, as I’m sure it will throughout our life. Our Bishop’s wife came too and offered hugs and kind words. She offered to take Max, but we couldn’t imagine not having him there with us to calm our hearts.