Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our story...

It has been a month since we sent our daughter to heaven. I am now able to talk about our story without crying my eyes out. We have received MANY cards, emails and phone calls. We truly appreciate each and everyone one and hope that you understand that our grieving has to be done on our time line. Ray is back to work and I am returning very soon. Each day we remember our daughter and we will never forget the joy she brought to our lives. Here is our story...

On Thursday May 21, 2009 I was 21 weeks pregnant. We were so excited to go in for our ultrasound and find out the sex of the baby. During the first trimester we had a total of three ultrasounds because of some minor bleeding so we had seen the heartbeat on three occasions. Ray and I were just anxious to see the heart beating again and to find out if we needed pink or blue crib sheets! The ultrasound tech came in and got started. She showed us the heart, the kidneys and many other parts. She kept focusing on the baby's head and said she couldn't get a good read on the head. She went to get the doctor and I thought something was wrong but not anything the doctor couldn't fix by getting a better "read" on the babies head. My doctor is fun loving and very up beat. When he walked in with a sad look I knew something was wrong. He said, "I don't know how to tell you this and I am very sorry but your baby is very sick." My heart sank and the tears started to flow. Ray was by my side as strong as ever gripping my hand. The doctor needed us to go immediately to Riverside Hospital to have a second level ultrasound. He prepared us for the worst and he used these dreaded words "your baby is not compatible with life". I thought my life was ending...

We struggled to the car. The sobbing didn't stop. We had to pull ourselves together to fill out paper work at the next stop. My parents met us at the hospital for much needed love and support. We were quickly taken into a room with many monitors and other medical devices. We were so overwhelmed with the news, we were in shock. The words coming from the nurses were kind and gentle. They took such great care of us. We had an amniocentesis test to determine if our baby had genetic issues or if this was a neural tube defect. The doctors were not sure if the baby had Tri Chromosome 18 or some other disorder. We were heart broken and beside ourselves with disbelief. We were in a daze not sure what to do next. We went in and out of every possible emotion. It wasn't fair. We had been waiting so long for this blessing. We didn't think it could happen to us. Ray and I have been through a lot but this was the worst feeling ever, there was nothing we could do. We held each other, we cried, we were just together. Ray was sad that he couldn't take my physical and emotional pain away. I was upset that he didn't get to bond with our baby the same way that I had. The baby was kicking and growing each day. We had to come to terms with our baby not making it to full term. These were what I though to be the hardest days but little did I know the hardest were still to come...

On Thursday May 28, 2009 our daughter Grace Ann Gibbs was delivered to us and taken to heaven the same day. She was diagnosed with Anenecephaly. This is a neural tube defect that happens during the development of the brain (very early in pregnancy). Her little brain did not develop. There is nothing we could have done differently, it just wasn't meant to be. We are thankful that there were no genetic issues for us to worry about for the future. We know that we did all that we could and we had to leave the rest in God's hands.

Grace Ann Gibbs will be with us in our hearts and she will always be a part of our family. We are so blessed to have so many friends and family to surround us with love and prayers. We continue to struggle and our lives will never be the same. We have learned and will continue to learn many lessons from this experience. We have a better grasp on what is important and what we need to focus on in our lives. Ray and I continue to thank God everyday for the blessings in our lives.

3 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh Leslie. My heart just breaks for you. Jared and I have talked about you guys a lot lately. We love you and you're in our prayers! We're always here if you need to chat.

audgosu04 said...

Ohh Leslie I am so sorry. I was thinking about you the other day and had no idea about any of this. You and Ray are in my thoughts and prayers! God has more blessings down the road for you, I am sure of it.

Audra

Sonya said...

Leslie and Ray,

I am so sorry for your loss. I was thinking about you and the pregnancy when I found your blog. You both are amazing people and will be great parents! I know that all things happen for a reason and most of the time we don't understand what the reason is. The charms are beautiful and I know you both have a heavy heart... but God is with you and he will get you through. Your family is in my prayers. Grace Ann is a beautiful name.