Today is a little bit sweet for me. Seven years ago today I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Kayli Elizabeth-Helen. She was the tiniest most beautiful baby I had ever seen. At just 14 oz 10 inches, her loving Creator had created her with a purpose and designed her for heaven's glory and perfection. For those of you that may be visiting this blog and do not know the story, our precious Kayli was delivered stillborn at just 27 weeks gestational age. As I remember my precious daughter, I am reminded of all of the ways that God, the Creator, has everything under control and that there is always a reason for His allowance of the circumstances in our lives.
I am a bit stunned to realize that it has been seven years already. In so many ways, it doesn't seem that it has been that long. Our lives have continued and my husband and I have since had two beautiful daughters that I love more than life. This does not mean however that on this day each year, I do not find myself reflecting on the events that took place so long ago.
I guess for me the story begins in the summer of 2001. A dear friend and mentor of mine was on her death bed when I shared with her the sense of my heart that our first child would be a girl and that we had chosen the name Kayli Elizabeth. I informed her that we desired to add Helen to the name in honor of her. As tears welled in her eyes she gladly accepted. One year later, almost to the day, we learned we were expecting our first baby. Weeks later we learned it was indeed a girl.
Around November 5,2002 Jason and I learned that our precious baby girl was not growing properly and that she suffered from intrauterine growth retardation (IUR). After the perinatalogist ordered moderate bed-rest and additional testing, we were granted permission to spend that time resting in Florida - a two week trip that would prove to be just what we would need to get through the next month and beyond. Not to mention, pictures and memories of carrying Kayli.
On December 5, 2002 we learned that our precious baby had suffered an intrauterine stroke and that she had less than 5% chance of survival. At our appointment on December 10th, we learned that she had died. Given the option of a DNC or to wait for my body to start labor on its own, we chose the latter. My blood pressure began to spike and I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia and on December 14th labor was induced. The pre-eclampsia was definitely severe and my labor was stopped and restarted twice due to the danger of stroking. Much of the labor is lost to me as I was so ill. Thankfully, forty hours later, in the early hours of December 16, 2002 I delivered Kayli Elizabeth-Helen without a C-section. Due to the fact that she had died several days before there was the possibility that we would not be able to hold her or even see her. This devastated me! God answered prayers! Born fully in tact, Jason and I were able to hold our baby for several hours. One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was that our precious Kayli was created in all of God's love and perfection. There was no sin or imperfection. Kayli was just as Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden... perfect, beautiful and without sin or blemish. We were able to capture her in pictures and fill our empty arms even if just for a while. Her grandparents and her aunt and uncle were able to see her which was such a treasure. Through our pastor, we chose to dedicate her by acknowledging that our intentions were to have raised her in a Christian home. At the same time, we acknowledge that we were placing her back into God's hands for His care.
Although we knew her spirit was not there but with her Creator... knowing that she had been created for Heaven... giving her tiny body to the nurse for the last time was devastating for us. I don't know if anything that is quite as difficult as leaving the hospital empty handed - knowing that your baby will never be coming home with you. It wasn't until weeks later that we began to see and understand God's reasoning behind giving Kayli to us for such a short time and then bringing her back home to heaven. Autopsy results showed that I have a rare blood disorder that had caused the blood to clot in the placenta. This had caused the IUR and ultimately the stroke that resulted in Kayli's death. Most women with this disorder suffer many miscarriages and never carry the baby long enough to know why. We on the other hand, now knew why. Not only would this discovery prove helpful to me in future pregnancies but also to others in my family as this disorder is genetic.
Six weeks after Kayli's stillbirth I went in for my postpartum check-up and told the doctor that I felt I was pregnant. Saying that it was most likely just my body was probably still a bit confused and trying to get back to normal they had me come back two weeks later. It was at that appointment that Jason and I learned that I was pregnant again... six weeks to be exact. Around 8 weeks (2 months) I was placed on strict bed-rest and given a medication to help with my blood disorder. At that time, they were not sure how things would work out but it was worth a try. After six months of bed-rest, ultrasounds and testing every week labor was induced. On November 5, 2003 - exactly one year to the date we learned Kayli was sick - our daughter Rebecca was born, four weeks early but healthy. In spring of 2007 our youngest, Jescelyn was born...five weeks early but also healthy. Praise God! Had God not brought us through this process, we would never have known about the blood disorder and we may never had been blessed with our other two daughters.
In my journey, I have come to realize that God brings us into different circumstances for a reason. Sometimes it is for several reasons. In many cases, we will never know what the reasons are until we get to heaven. I believe all of the circumstances are brought into our lives to challenge us to grow into better people and/or our relationship with God. Some circumstances have come so that we can help others. We have been blessed by the chance to realize some of God's reasoning within the first year Kayli's death. It prevented the death our other two children and will potentially help to identify problems down the road as this disorder is hereditary. In other ways we are still realizing God's reasoning.
Today as I reflect and remember my precious Kayli and all that we went through seven years ago, I thank God for being the all-knowing, all-loving God that He is. He knew that Kayli would be able to give us the answers we would need to prevent this from happening again. He loved us so much that He chose to bless us with the promise of a child. I feel so priviledged to have been chosen to be Kayli's mother...a child created in all of God's wisdom and perfection. Happy Birthday Kayli!!! We all love you very very much!
Thank you Jesus for my beautiful little girl! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our story of loss and blessing with others. I pray that you will use this story to encourage someone today. Give her extra love today from her mommy and daddy.