I really don't quite know where to begin. For those of you that have followed my family's story, you know
what we have been through in the last two years. First, we lost my second grandson, Cody, on August 15, 2001. What was a normal
pregnancy for my daughter ended in the stillbirth of her first child, her son, Justin Dakota Parker. In the 35th week of pregnancy,
the amniotic fluid dried up, and blood stopped flowing through the placenta. All of this went undetected by the o.b., which
was, plain and simple, malpractice. There is no reason that Cody should not be here with us today, but we have placed that
matter with God, and we trust that he does know best.
My daughter and I were still coping with the loss of Cody, still raw and hurting, when seven months later,
we were dealt the blow of losing my son, and Shelly's brother, John. The two losses of our sons, back to back like that, I
don't know that we will ever heal from.
In February of this year, 2003, I got a phone call from Shelly. She asked if I was sitting down. My heart
plummented to the floor, where it had been spending alot of time lately. I did as she requested, and sat down, waiting for
the other shoe to drop. Then she told me she was pregnant again. I don't think that I can adequately put into words the myriad
of emotions that went through me at that very moment! I was so excited and so happy, and then instantly I was terrified! I
was laughing and crying at the same time. I was exclaiming, "Hallaluja!", and, "Oh no!", alternately. Shelly told me that
she was experiencing the exact same emotions.
I went with Shelly to the first appointment that she scheduled with a high risk o.b.. Dr. Brenda Hines
entered our lives, and assured us both that she would do everything in her power to ensure a healthy child. She told us that
under close supervision, she would monitor the pregnancy. She partnered with a perinatologist, Dr. Redwine, in the care of
Shelly's pregnancy. Everything was progressing very well. Shelly had an ultrasound each month of her pregnancy, and both the
baby and Shelly were doing very well.
From the beginning, Dr. Hines told us that as soon as the baby was strong enough, lungs developed enough,
etc., that she wanted to induce labor. This was due to the fact of my daughter's kidney disease, and the outcome of her first
pregnancy. Dr. Hines did not want the baby in the womb any longer than he had to be. A date was set for October 7, 2003. We
excitedly looked forward to the day, knowing in advance the birthdate was pretty neat, too.
With the pregnancy progressing so well, what was to have been the final ultrasound before delivery was scheduled
for September 18, 2003. Due to working, I was unable to go with Shelly, so I told her to call me as soon as she was done,
and give me a progress report. Hurricane Isabel was due to arrive in Virginia that day, and everyone was a little apprehensive.
Apparently, so was Dr. Redwine, who lived about 60 miles away from her office, and was anxious to get home before the storm
hit, thus canceling Shelly's appointment, and rescheduling it for the following Tuesday, September 23, 2003.
This is the point in the story where God's presence was made apparent. I was off from work on that Tuesday,
and able to accompany my daughter to the ultrasound. We arrived at Dr. Redwine's office in high spirits, anxious to see the
baby, and check on his progress. When the examination started, I immediately sensed that something was wrong, but not wanting
to upset Shelly, I tried to act as normal as possible. The technician kept repeating the same movement over and over, and
shaking her head. Shelly asked what was wrong, and the technician seemed to brush her question off, and then finally said
that the baby was appearing as a 32 week baby, and he was actually closer to 35 weeks at that time. He had stopped gaining
weight. She went to get Dr. Redwine, who confirmed the same. We were taken into another room, where Shelly was hooked up to
a fetal monitor, and a nurse monitored the baby's heartbeat for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, Dr. Redwine came in,
and told us that while the baby was not gaining weight, his heartbeat was good, so she wasn't prepared to do anything further
at that time. She told us to go home, and she wanted to see Shelly again in three days, Friday, September 26, 2003. I thought
that my heart had been broken so many times that it really couldn't break anymore, but the words my daughter spoke at that
moment shattered my heart. "Please deliver my baby today, while I know he is still alive!", she begged the doctor. If you
could have heard the pleading, and the terror in her voice at that moment, it would have torn the heart from your chest! The
doctor told us that she wanted to give the baby as long as possible in the womb, that was best for the baby, so she sent us
It was a terrifing two days. I must have called my daughter a hundred times, checking on her and the baby.
She assured me Wednesday and Thursday that everything was okay. The baby was moving and keeping her awake at night, just like
usual. She told me that she had such a connection with her baby, that she would know if he wasn't okay, and that assured me
tremendously, for I trusted her judgement.
I work nights, and sleep during the day. I woke up at 2p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and was unable to go
back to sleep. I just chalked it up to nerves, knowing that the ultrasound was scheduled for the next day. I went to work
that night, and as pre-arranged, met my daughter at my mother's house the next morning, so we could go together to the 8:30
appointment for the ultrasound. Shelly told me that the baby's movements had slowed down, and she had a hard time waking
him up that morning. We arrived for the ultrasound, and discovered that the amniotic fluid was almost gone, and the blood
flow to the placenta had slowed down too much. His heartbeat was still good, and Dr. Redwine told Shelly, "That baby will
be born today, it is no longer safe for him to stay in there!"
At this point, I excused myself to the restroom, where I had a conversation with God. "You are absolutely
NOT going to let this happen again, do you hear me? We have endured more than our share, and my little girl deserves to be
a mother! Where is the fairness? I will not tolerate another loss, I just will not. You do whatever it is that you do, and
make sure that little baby is okay!". Now, I know that some of you reading this are looking around for the lightening bolt
to strike me right now, for talking to God that way, but that is the wonderful thing about God, he understands. He understands
our thoughts and feelings, and knew that I had been tested to my breaking point, and that the words I was shouting were the
result of fear and frustration, therefore, I know I was forgiven for speaking as I did.
We were sent to Dr. Hines office, then to the hospital, where Shelly was admitted. The plan was to induce
labor, but at this point, the baby was under stress. His heartbeat kept dropping dangerously low. Me, my husband, Shelly's
husband Jason, and my two sisters, Janet and Ellen were in the room with Shelly. Our main focus at that point, besides praying
for the baby and Shelly to be okay, was to keep Shelly's mind occupied, so she wouldn't be scared. We were laughing and joking
with her, she was having contractions before she could even be induced, and my husband said that the sound of the monitor
had changed. All eyes in the room focused on the monitor, and the line that was the heartbeat, was going further and further
down on the paper. In a matter of seconds, three nurses and a doctor crashed through the door. I looked at my daughter's face,
and saw pure terror. They made us all leave. I asked them to let me stay, but they wouldn't. I stood on the outside of
that door, and paced. I couldn't stay still, or I would go crazy. I heard banging and clanking coming from the room, and had
no idea what was going on. I pressed my ear up against the door, and could hear the heartbeat as it gradually started up again,
and offered a silent prayer up to heaven. This scenario played out several more times over the next hour, and we were getting very
anxious for the c-section to begin. The doctor was waiting on the availability of the operating room. A very short while
later, Shelly was wheeled to the operating room for an emergency C section. I asked to be allowed to be with her, to
hold her hand. No matter what the outcome, I wanted to be there with Shelly. I wanted to share her joy or her pain, which
ever way it turned out. At that point I said another prayer, "Thy will, not my will.". Why that came to mind, I cannot say,
but that is what I said to God as they wheeled my daughter into the operating room. The nurse said that she would be back
with scrubs IF I was to be allowed to come in. I paced, and I shook until I thought I would shake apart. Then my leg started
jumping and shaking, and I could not stop it no matter what I tried. I started talking to John at this point, silently. "John,
I am counting on you buddy. Your sister is in there, and she needs you. Go be with her until I can. Do whatever you can do,
you are an angel now, help your nephew and your sister, please help save the baby!"
As soon as I said that, the nurse came to me with scrubs. I ran down the hall to put them on, and ran back
to the nurse. I almost slipped and fell, I was running so furiously! The nurse led me into the operating room, where I saw
my daughter lying on the table, then I heard my grandson crying! What a wonderful sound! I immediately went to my daughters
side, and held her hand. "Is he okay, Momma, tell me, is he okay?". I assured her that he was, and continued to talk to her
and tell her she was okay, Aaron was okay, that she had done a good job. The nurse then told me to come over to the baby,
which I did. I stood there in awe of this wonderful, tiny baby. This much loved, and long awaited baby. I was so torn at that
point as to which child to be with, my daughter or my grandson. I kept looking back and forth between the two of them. After
making sure that Aaron was okay, I went back to Shelly. She was shaking, and I just wanted to hold her hand and assure her
that everything was alright. They placed Aaron in my arms, and I got him as close to Shelly as I could, so she could see for
herself that everything was okay.
That was two weeks ago, and Shelly and Aaron are home. By the time they were discharged, Aaron had lost
three ounces, which is normal. Aaron had his two week check up with his pediatrician, and is in good health. He has gained
one pound. He has a very faint birthmark between his eyes, at the very tip of his nose, called an 'Angel's kiss'.
Now, whether or not you believe in divine intervention, I do. If not for Hurricane Isabel, the final ultrasound
would have been performed, and at that date, the problem would not have shown up, and Shelly would not have had another ultrasound
before the baby was born. God sent us Hurricane Isabel, which although causing severe destruction and havoc, saved the life
of my grandson. And now, for that "angel's kiss" birthmark, remember the conversation that I had with John...................