Beyond a twinkle in the sky

Diagnosis: Trisomy 21

By Elijah's Mom

Our story started with great joy and happiness on the 12th of December 2007 when a home pregnancy test confirmed that we were expecting our first baby! A blood test at the doctor's office made this even clearer. I was already three weeks...We couldn't wait was it a boy or a girl...what color would we paint the room...

Our parents were both so happy and could not wait to meet the new addition to our family. I did everything I thought was right: ate healthy, took my vitamins and stayed off anything that made me tired.

Before we knew it 11 weeks was here and I had to go for my IPS (Integrated Prenatal Screening) the test was great as we saw our little one...when we got home we received a call from our doctor asking us to go and see him. For some strange reason every time we went to see the doctor about our pregnancy or a test there was a snow storm.

We sat in his office anxiously waiting and worrying what could be wrong. My husband is just 30 and I am 25 we did not think anything would be wrong. When the doctor walked in and broke the news to us that our baby had fetal hydrops and a thickening NT my heart just stopped. I was lost for husband stood stunned and asked what that meant...our baby was not doing well. The pain and anxiety was just unbearable the whole way home I cried asking why?

A couple of days later we were called in to see a Genetics Counselor she told us the news we didn't want to hear...we listened and took as much information in. I cried through the whole meeting. She scheduled another ultra sound a week later.

At the ultrasound our little one looked so happy moving around and growing so could anything be wrong with our baby? The results came in the same day and we prayed so hard for a miracle...and when she told us that the hydrops had resolved and the thickening had reduced our hearts leaped for joy. The sign we had been waiting for had finally appeared. The doctor recommended doing the amnio just to rule out any chromosomal abnormalities. We thought about it and knowing the odds of miscarriage we crossed our fingers said a prayer and did it.

A day passed and another and time seemed to stand still for my husband and me as we prayed day and night hoping that the results would be clear, our families and friends were doing the same. I had a dream that our baby was a boy and we should name him Elijah. This was strange but it gave me hope. The phone finally rang and I answered and heard the doctor tell me that our baby had Down syndrome and indeed was a boy - everything around me seemed to stop and my world came crashing down...all my faith, hope had been torn away.

I cried every day and night from that day, my husband was torn I had never seen him like that. What did we do wrong? Why did this happen to us? Was there no God? These questions kept running through my mind. We were given our options and knowing that with Down syndrome and the fact that our baby would have stomach and heart disorders seeing him suffer would be too hard to bear knowing that we would have been able to do something. After a lot of emotional pain we decided to end the pregnancy knowing that our baby might not be alive that very moment. I chose to have induced labor that way we would be able to say goodbye and let our little Elijah rest in peace.

I was admitted into hospital on March 7th 2008 and again a heavy snow storm hit us; it was the worst storm of the winter so far. As they prepared me and gave me the medication to induce labor I knew that that was the beginning of the end. I had mild cramping and a fever as well as diarrhea it was so hard but I kept thinking that this pain was what I deserved. At 4.30am my water broke and after excruciating pain at 7.30am our little Elijah was born lifeless. It was the most painful emotional feeling that I felt as I delivered him. My baby was gone...the one we wanted, we loved and needed so badly. We could not look at our baby but had him cremated with a little teddy bear and a that he would not be lonely in heaven.

It has been 5 days since Elijah's demise and I have not stopped crying; the pain is still there and the greatest feeling of emptiness and loneliness possesses me. I was not able to pray but now I know that it is not God who did this, it was nature being cruel. He is giving me the strength to take each day at a time. I don't know if I will ever get over the loss of our first born child but I know that we will always love him and he will always be a special part of our lives. I pray that no one has to go through this and anyone who is...I pray for you.

Beyond a twinkle in the sky is where you will always be....Our little Elijah November 18th, 2007 to March 8th, 2008 (16 weeks.)


Books on Loss and Grief

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Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss

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Books for Fathers, Family, Children and Friends

Couple Communication After a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives

For Better or Worse: For Couples Whose Child Has Died

How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies

When Your Friend's Child Dies: A Guide to Being a Thoughtful and Caring Friend

When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death

What You Can Say When You Don't Know What to Say: Reaching Out to Those Who Hurt

Books about Trying Again and Pregnancy after Loss

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Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death