Eyewitness Account of a 17 Week Baby

This past week has been one I never in a million years believed I would have to write about. I thought when I lost my son, Andrew, at 27 weeks only two years ago that I surely had a pass on heartache for a least a little while. And I never thought God would allow me to go through the devastation of losing another child.

Well, I was wrong.

Rewind four months from today. Peter and I had just returned from the most amazing trip to Oregon, our first real trip alone in nine years. We brought back an unexpected but beautiful souvenir – a healthy baby boy who would join our family of five in November. Perfect genetic test results. Growth right on track. He even had a feisty donkey kick to show us at 13 weeks!

The whole family loaded up for our 17 week appointment and headed to the doctor’s office. The kids were excited to see their new little brother on the monitor.

The sonographer came in to get started with our detailed ultrasound that, as she said, “would take a while”. At first glance, I thought it was odd that he wasn’t moving all over the place like previous ultrasounds. Instead his measurements were all over the place… his head measured 18 weeks, his arms measured 16… and then his stomach. As she measured I looked closely for his beating heart, but it wasn’t there. My own heart began to sink as my children and husband watched, not yet realizing what was happening. The walls were closing in around me, and I knew my three precious kids needed to leave the room as quickly as possible before I completely fell apart.

The kids left and my favorite doctor came in for a closer look. As my head spun in disbelief, he confirmed what I feared… our rainbow baby was gone.

41 hours later I was holding the most incredible little 17 week baby named Charley Ira Chase, so perfectly formed with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a kissable little nose. I was devastatingly heartbroken, but full of amazement and awe at God’s beautiful creation.

All I could think is “how could anyone in this world believe a 17 week baby is not a human? How could anyone justify purposely killing such a precious little thing?”

Unless, they are scared, and unsure of their future, and haven’t yet experienced for themselves the unconditional love a mother can have for her baby – regardless of the circumstances that child came from. I get it… it is scary to become a mother with this tiny thing depending on you for life. But it’s so very worth it!

I share my story to tell anyone who will listen that life is so precious and begins at conception. That EVERY baby conceived is fearfully and wonderfully made, knit in his or her mother’s womb as a perfect masterpiece. And whether that baby delivers into this world or bypasses this world and goes straight to an eternity in Heaven, God has a purpose for EVERY little life. We don’t always understand the purpose of it, and sometimes we don’t like the outcome of reproduction. But Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

For me, personally, I am struggling to deal with the reality of this loss. I am not sure yet how I will get through, because the heartbreak and devastation feel like more than I can bear. I don’t understand why God has allowed this a second time and why I can’t just hold my baby boy in my boba wrap with his head on my chest, or be exhausted from him crying all night, or lay him on my bed and change his diapers, or watch him wiggle those 10 little fingers and toes, or kiss his little nose.

I don’t know why and I probably never will.

So, I will read God’s promises and continue to ask him to reveal his purpose through this pain. I will thank him for allowing me to hold my precious 17 week baby boy for at least an hour and for allowing me to keep the three beautiful babies I have. And we will just have to see how my story continues.

Please know, if you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and don’t know what to do… there is hope and people in this world who love you and can help you. I am one of them! My email is meredith@peaceinthewaiting.com for anyone who needs support.