Avery was due on Christmas Day 2018. It has always been my favourite holiday and I spent most of last year believing it would be the best one yet. His pregnancy was uneventful and full of love, with each day I grew more attached to him and excited about his arrival.
My name is Elizabeth; my husband, Jordan, and I had been married for 2 years at the time and we weren’t trying for a child but we had starting talking about trying soon and I think God knew we needed a little push. After Mother’s Day and the surprise of our lives, Avery was all we wanted and all we lived for. We made all the necessary changes to prepare for parenthood. We grew up in Pennsylvania, USA, had been living in Georgia at the time and decided it was as good a time as any to buy our first home so in August, at 22 weeks pregnant, we closed on a house. We didn’t find what we wanted within our budget so we bought a lovely house on a hill and learned all we could about renovations.
On November 9th, as our renovations were coming to an end and we were settled in our new home, my world crashed around me. At 33+4 weeks I had a complete placental abruption that killed my first born boy. We got to the hospital as fast as we possibly could but there was no saving him or ourselves from the fatal statement, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” I lost a bit of myself in that moment. Anger enveloped me like nothing I had felt before and after doing what I thought was everything right, I felt I got cheated out of motherhood. They wanted me to deliver naturally and in that moment I wanted to die and follow my sweet boy right to heaven, a desire I prayed wouldn’t stay with me and thankfully it did not. It didn’t take long to determine I was bleeding too badly into my uterus and an emergency c-section was required.
I’m still not sure where I went in my head after that during that night. I was numb, scared, confused, and utterly heartbroken, wondering if that alone was enough to kill me. Once in the OR, I looked at my husband and told him I wasn’t ready to die. I would’ve done anything to meet my son but God was telling me I had life yet to live. My heart broke all over again as my Avery was taken from my body and I didn’t
even feel it enough to know. Jordan saw him first and said he was perfect and a little while later when the nurse brought him up to me, I saw that he most certainly was. I was put under heavy sedation after that as my newfound grief was too much for me to deal with head on.
Starting with the next morning and continuing for weeks I was held up with support from my family and friends. My friends that live here came that morning, my mom & mother-in-law flew in from Pennsylvania around lunchtime. I was hurting and the tears were constant but I was thankful for my own life. I needed two blood transfusions and was in a lot of pain from the c-section. The night was long and restless as I laid awake crying listening to the labouring moms in rooms next door. I wanted my baby back but I also wanted to go home and end this nightmare.
Later than afternoon I was ready to properly hold my son for the first time. I will never in my life do anything harder. I stared at him for hours and begged God to make him move, to give him back to me if only just for a minute. My husband & the moms held him as we spent time getting to know him. We took the only pictures I will ever have of my sweet boy and I will be forever grateful to my mom for making me do that. I didn’t know what to do, I had no knowledge about baby loss and had no idea these pictures would be so precious to me.
The next day, after another fitful night of nonstop crying, I needed to go home and grieve properly. I was told if I was able to get up and shower I could go home and there was nothing that was going to stop me from doing that. I requested the nurses bring Avery to me to say goodbye one more time. We had the chaplain baptize him, which I remember thinking seemed out of order since he was already in heaven with Jesus, but it brought me peace.
I left the hospital empty handed and took the most difficult ride home of my life. I didn’t know how I’d survive other than knowing I’d have to, by God’s grace, for my husband, my loved ones, and most of all my son, for all the life he didn’t get to live.
It has been 7 months since Avery’s birthday. I’ve had blood tests to confirm I have Factor V Leiden, a genetic blood clotting disorder, which caused my placental abruption. I have created A Corner for Avery, a blog, Instagram, and Facebook page where I share my life as Avery’s mom and have been in contact with countless amazing moms who have lost babies that I never would have known otherwise. I’m passionate about sharing my boy because not only does my love for him grow every day but I want to be a voice for others moms and parents to know that the babies they lost are not shameful secrets. They are God’s precious children that deserve the celebration all children do.
I’m now almost 10 weeks pregnant with our second baby, a baby we were also not trying for but are quite excited about and we are trusting God’s timing. I am treating this high risk pregnancy with Lovenox injections and aspirin and have no reason to not hope to bring this baby home. I am proud to tell anyone who asks me if this is my first baby that it’s not, he or she has a big brother in heaven. And if this babe makes it earth side alive, the first thing I will do will be to tell him or her about their big brother who made me a mom.
We have fun in this family. We love life & each other. And we thank God every day for the blessing of our family and all this world has to offer us before we meet our first son in heaven someday.
(The Spitler family, Christmas Day 2018)
God Bless -E