Allison – Our Daughter in Heaven

The Story of Our Daughter Allison

In April of 2002 I became pregnant with our third child. It was a planned pregnancy and we had actually “tried” for a girl, doing those tips you hear to help conceive a girl.

The pregnancy was going along fine, appointments all went well. Heard the heart beat at 8 weeks; it was strong. Had another appointment at 14 weeks and all was good to go. Heart beat nice and loud, fast like it should be. I was feeling great, and was actually measuring a little ahead, but all my babies have been big so that was no big deal.

I had worried myself to pieces during my first pregnancy, finally giving over my worries to the Lord because they were going to eat me a live. The peace I felt followed me through my next pregnancy as well, Daniel’s pregnancy. I went into Allison’ pregnancy with the same peace. I didn’t worry about whether anything would be wrong or if I would lose the baby.

My next appointment would be my ultrasound appointment, when I would be 18 weeks 3 days. Now, by the time I was 16 weeks, I was really showing! I mean, I looked like I was about 24 weeks pregnant, not 16 weeks. I have a picture of me, but can’t find it right now. Anyway, I actually wondered if there were twins in there.

A few days before the ultrasound appointment, I started to have some concerns and actually had a few bad dreams about the baby. Something was just off. The day before the appointment, I mentioned my concerns to my sister, telling her I felt like something was wrong. She dismissed it and said I was worrying for nothing.

David and I went into the ultrasound room, and when the tech put the wand on my belly I was so relieved to see the baby. The first thing she said was “Most of the time my job is a really happy one, but it has cruddy moments and this is one of those times. Your baby has stopped growing.” My heart plummeted to my stomach. But, then I wondered if she meant it was just small, not dead. I asked her and she said, “No, honey, it’s dead.”

I was taken over to the hospital and we began to try to induce labor. That was Monday morning. It took until Wednesday night to get my body to let go of her. The whole thing felt like I was in a dream. One time I actually pinched myself because I felt so “out of it.” Anyway, when I finally did start to dialate, it went quickly and although I asked for an epidural (yes, it still hurts badly even with a baby that small), I went to quick and delivered about 10 minutes after requesting it.

Marie, my favorite midwife who delivered three of my four living babies, delivered Allison. She was 8 inches long and 4.4 oz. She had swelling around her head and abdomen, so her features were distorted. However, the rest of her was so perfect. Her hands and fingers, feet and toes, her little knees and ankles. Everything was perfectly formed.

If you would like to see a picture of her, click here. Please be respectful; she is our daughter and we love her. 
 

The nurses and Marie were so kind and compassionate. They treated her with such respect and care and that meant so much to me. We were able to hold her and spend time with her, and they took pictures and saved her things for us which were put in a box made by a church woman’s group.  My father and two sisters came up that night to see her and be with us.

Three days later we buried her in my husband’s family’s church graveyard. Four generations of his family lay there, as will both of us, so it was the right place for her. Below is the box she was placed in for burial (yes this met state codes, and was provided by the hospital). We placed that box inside another box for added protection.

The service was private, just family. I had a lot of meals and cards sent from friends in the community, and most people were very understanding. I sent out a combined birth/death announcement – thank you note so I didn’t have to tackle those with the grief I was going through.

Just for education, I wanted to share a few things, so that if someone you know, or yourself ever go through this, you’ll know. When you deliver a baby, even one as tiny as Allison, your body still goes through the postpartum steps. I bled for five weeks after giving birth and my breast milk came in just as it did with my full term babies. My whole body ached for my baby.


I am sure many of you (well those who have lasted this long) are wondering why Allison died. They offered to do an autopsy, but when they told us 50% of the time they don’t figure out what happened, we chose not to have her tiny body torn apart. Here are a few things we do know:

  • She had fetal hydrops which is swelling around the head and/or abdomen. She had swelling in both. (it looks like a halo around her head in the ultrasound).
  • At first they thought it was 5th’s Disease, which causes fetal hydrops and is fatal to babies in the 2nd trimester, but after testing me they ruled that out (they could tell I had been building immunities for about a year, so I was already exposed before carrying her).
  • The swelling in her head and abdomen (fetal hydrops) could have been from a heart or kidney defect.
  • There was a spot on my placenta which could have been an infection and could have resulted in her death.

I actually had several (inconsiderate) people say that we should be “grateful” that she died because there was probably something wrong with her. Well, I wasn’t grateful – I wanted my baby back! We don’t know that something was wrong with her, but I do have peace now that the Lord is in control. He would not have taken Allison if it was not her time.

I strongly believe we all have a purpose and that God will not let us leave until that purpose is fulfilled. So, what was Allison’s purpose? Well, I believe her purpose to help me reorder things in my life and to make me realize that I am not in control. I will tell you that I have never been so close to the Lord as I was those months after her death/birth. I had to hang on to Him each and every day just to get through.

Thank you for letting me share Allison with you. If you have any thoughts to share, I would love to hear them.

Comments

  1. 1
    Kelly @ Wisdom Begun says:

    Amanda! My heart hurts and grieves for you. I have never lost one of my babies but I am always fearful of that happening. Your love and trust in God's grace is such a blessing.I hope that God grows me in faith so that I can be as trusting in Him as you are.Hugs and much love!

  2. 2
    Living With Lindsay says:

    I am so very sorry you went thought this loss of your sweet daughter. Thank you for sharing her with us. You and your family will be in my thoughts today.

  3. 3
    Sara Joy says:

    Amanda, Thank you so much for sharing your daughter and your heart. She is beautifully and wonderfully made, and what a blessing to you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss – you and your family will be in our prayers. Your peace about her life is a truly beautiful thing. SJ

  4. 4
    Erin says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I'm also sorry for the crummy comments people gave you after she died. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are an inspiration!

  5. 5
    Cooking With Kay says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This last April, my daughter-in-love, lost her son (our grandson) at 14 weeks. Much of the same experience as yours… went for a routine dr. appt. and there was no heart beat and went for a ultra sound immediately and their was no heart beat. We are still healing over this loss and so much to remember about him! We miss him so much. As you said, she experienced all that comes with a normal birth. They believe that God has a plan for their lives and they are going to go with His plans. For sure, they will spend more years in heaven with their son than they will ever spend here on earth. Again, thanks for sharing! Blessings, Kay

  6. 6
    Heather @ Not a DIY Life says:

    I remember that whole body aching & yearning for our first daughter, who was stillborn at 36 weeks in 2004. And even though we have our wonderful Ladybug now, I still ache. Hugs to you, my friend. I know the grief lessens with time, but never goes away. We, too, trust that God is in control. Because of our grief, we have been able to reach out to other parents as they go through similar heartache. We look forward to the reunion with our firstborn someday. In the meantime, God still has work for us to do here on earth. Thank you for sharing about Allison.

  7. 7
    The Cox Family says:

    I'll keep a prayer in my heart for you today. A couple of days ago I read, "If we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn [them]… into a circumstance that can bring comfort, revelation, divine companionship and peace… the Father and the Son live and are close, perhaps even closest via the Holy Spirit, when we are experiencing difficult times. I testify that heaven's kindness will never depart from you, regardless what happens." That sounds like what you experienced during that time. I hope you'll feel comfort and peace today too.

  8. 8
    Markley says:

    Amanda, Thank you for sharing your story. I spent 20 weeks on bedrest with my first child who they told us would never make it…. He will be 16 in two weeks. We had learned I had an abnormal uterus and I had multiple surgeries for years. After lots of effort and intervention, we finally conceived again, and that baby died at 8 weeks. I was pleased to have a wonderful Christian doctor who guided us through this. I have often wished, however, that we had named that child and acknowledged it more publicly. We grieved tremendously and I know I will see my child in heaven. What you have done is beautiful and strong. Our own lesson was that God did indeed have another plan for us. For a while we still thought we could control things. We went through a failed adoption of a little girl – at that time , I really thought we were supposed to have a girl. We have now have 2 more wonderful boys who we held as soon as they were born -because another woman had the courage and loved them enough to allow us to adopt them. I cannot imagine life without them. We love all of our children so much . During that time of loss I held on to Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and and a future." A friend who I had not seen in years gave us a beautiful frame with the very scripture I had held on to on it. Along the bottom is the title "Journey". And that is what it is a journey… I now I can look back and see that all of it was the way it was supposed to be. Love, Markley

  9. 9
    Tiffany @ Eat at Home says:

    Amanda, I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I know this day will be a hard one for you. Thank you for sharing her story.We lost our 3rd born child as well. He was full term, perfect in every way, it seemed. It wasn't until he was 1 1/2 days old that we knew there was a problem. He died at 5 days old of hypo-plastic left heart syndrome. He was missing the left ventricle of his heart. His name is Reed and I miss him every day. He would have been 12 years old in July.

  10. 10
    Olde Dame Penniwig says:

    I never have words wise enough for such a situation, just my usual thought, which is "Gone, never forgotten." Allison is gone from this realm, but in another. The halo in the ultrasound — well, now there is a real halo, real joy, life everlasting.

  11. 11
    Kristenph says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. That must have been so heartbreaking for you. I have had 3 miscarriages, but they are nowhere near as difficult as the loss of Allison was to you.

  12. 12
    Nikke says:

    That story brought tears to my eyes and my heart goes out to you.I know what's it like to give birth to a daughter too early.I lost my daughter Katelynn in October of 2008 when I was 26 weeks along.Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. 13
    Karen (KayKay) says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Allison with us. I have not had this experience myself, but went through it with a dear friend. You have described exactly the same things that she felt and went through. I think this post will be so helpful for those who have never experienced such a loss. My heart goes out to you.

  14. 14
    Anonymous says:

    (Many) Years ago, my mom had a miscarriage (they had to do a D&C), the doctor told her "This is just God's way of taking care of imperfect babies." That comment tore my mom's heart out. Your baby Allison was perfect. She is in heaven, watching over you, her Daddy and her siblings. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing. ~Laurie

  15. 15
    The Blog Makeover Girl says:

    Awwwww Amanda, I had no idea you'd been through that. I really don't know what to say because I know nothing could even come close. (((hugs)))

  16. 16
    Mirinda ~ October Belle says:

    What a heart-breaking loss! I am so sorry for you and your family. I'm so glad you have found comfort in Christ through this as there is no other way to deal with such a tragedy. (((many, many hugs)))

  17. 17
    Becky @ Our Sweet Peas says:

    She was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. I had twin boys @ 27 wks and though I do not pretend to be able to relate to what you have gone through I had to leave them at the hospital for 3 months and I can remember that horrible ache and I was able to see them daily. I cannot imagine what you went through. Praise God that your faith has strengthened through this because I am sure that is not always the case. Again thank you. A little perspective is always gained when reading of other's losses and trials.

  18. 18
    Kylee says:

    God bless you for sharing your story with us. I will pray for you often. You will see your Allison in heaven one day. She was beautiful.

  19. 19
    Giggly Girls says:

    Bless your heart for sharing your precious daughter with us. She is beautiful.

  20. 20
    Nancy Palmer says:

    Thank you for sharing your story of Allison with us! She was a beautiful baby. I understand the peace that God can give in these kind of situations–as I am currently walking a similar road. Your story is one to inspire and encourage others. Jesus has numbered my Kara's days and I trust in Him. May your family be blessed today!

  21. 21
    Lena says:

    Hi Amanda,Thanks so much for sharing- it helps me so much to meet people who have experienced loss. I too have lost babies to miscarriage (7 to be exact) and there is no worse feeling out there. I know the feeling of having your heart ripped out.I totally empathize with you about people's comments- they are usually well meaning but at the same time they can just sting.God bless youa nd your beautiful family. I will definetly link my blog to you- as I think it is so important to surround myself with people who understand.P.S. thanks for sharing my blog with others on your other blog I really appreciate it ( I make the blogs at simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com)

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Amanda, I lost my twins (a boy and a girl) 10 days ago, they were 22 weeks. I probably have a lesson to learn out of it… I don't know which one, but I won't be in peace until I find out.thank you for sharing.

Speak Your Mind

*