Share Your Story Saturday {Molly’s Story}

My husband, Clayton, and I married in February of 2014, and both knew we wanted to wait about two years before having children. I grew up babysitting a lot of kids throughout high school and college. Being a mom has always been a role I deeply desired. God blessed us as soon as we decided to get pregnant. We couldn’t wait until our due date, November 1, 2016. On March 29, 2016, we had our first appointment at 9 weeks gestation. We didn’t hear a heartbeat, and we knew our baby was already in heaven. The six months following were full of tears, heartache, pain, and confusion. I didn’t understand why or how this could happen, but my trust and faith in God didn’t waiver—it actually grew deeper. I didn’t know it then, but I’d need Him more than ever in the coming months.

After months of praying, switching to a new OB and practice, and trying to become pregnant again, we found out on October 20, 2016, that God had blessed us again! I’ll never forget that phone call from my doctor. My phone rang at 8:11am, and as soon as I heard his voice, I started crying.

He said, “Molly, I have some neat news!”

From that second on, I was so nervous that we wouldn’t hear a heartbeat at our first appointment. I got down on my knees and prayed every single day for a strong heartbeat. God answered our prayers loud and clear the following weeks. After hearing our baby’s heartbeat four times, our world was turned upside down on December 9, 2016. At 11 weeks and 2 days gestation, our OB told us he couldn’t get the measurements he should be able to at this point of the pregnancy. Therefore, he asked us to see the specialist across the hall.

I’ll never forget the nurse whispering the dreadful sentence to the doctor while looking at the screen, “The heart is beating outside of the chest.”

I just turned my head to look at my husband, and tears fell down both of our faces. We were going to experience losing our baby again.

The way the information was presented to us that day led us to believe that our baby was going to die immediately. Babies with Body Stalk Anomaly don’t live very long. I went home and spoke words of comfort to our baby. I wanted to assure our little one that it was okay to go home to heaven whenever God called him or her. After several appointments at the specialist’s office during December, we learned our baby didn’t have arms, legs, a skull, or a straight spine. My husband and I did not want to know the sex of our baby until he or she was born, but our plans had changed and we decided to—our baby was a girl. Knowing this made the love and loss even more profound. I knew our girl name we had chosen wasn’t the right fit; we instead chose Hope because in the midst of so much darkness and confusion, God gave me just that through her.

We saw my OB every Wednesday to check Hope’s heartbeat, and each Wednesday we all were amazed that her heart was still beating. We were told that one Wednesday we would find that she wouldn’t have any cardiac activity, we would check into the hospital, and I’d be induced. When I was about 22 weeks pregnant, I asked my doctor, “Did you think she would still be alive at this point?”

His answer was no, but as we both had discussed several times before, we knew this was out of our control and completely in God’s hands.

He told me, “Molly, we are going to stay in the game as long as she can. Promise me you are going to keep your head up.”

He left every appointment with those last words, a big hug, and a kiss on the forehead. I had no other choice but to keep my head up. Our daughter was fighting for her life, so I was going to fight with her. I knew God was walking this heartbreaking journey with us. I could feel Him through our doctor’s love and care, the support and prayers of our family and friends, and through Hope. Don’t get me wrong—there were several days spent in bed with tears flowing down my face. These were the hardest weeks of my life. I felt so much joy and happiness for my baby girl, but my heart was completely broken at the same time. I feel that only a mama who has been through something like this, knows how it feels. I learned to treasure my days with Hope because I knew I didn’t have all the time in this world with her. Clayton and I both sang to her, danced with her, and always told her how much she was loved.

After my husband’s birthday in March, I told him in April that I prayed Hope would stay with us for my birthday since she was here to celebrate his. After terrible contractions throughout the week, my husband and I arrived at the hospital on the evening of April 27, 2017. I was 31 weeks pregnant. When the on-call doctor told us that I was 2cm dilated and that we’d be staying, I started to cry. I told my husband I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready because my OB was out of town, and I needed him to deliver Hope. I wasn’t ready because this wasn’t the plan. I wasn’t ready because I needed more time with Hope. I simply wasn’t ready to say goodbye to our daughter, and neither was Clayton.

Throughout my pregnancy, I had prayed and prayed that God would be so present during Hope’s birth. As soon as my nurse walked into my triage room, I knew He was there. She explained how the epidural would work and gently rubbed my shoulders and eased my fears as I got the shot. She let me hear Hope’s heartbeat every time I asked, and she assured me that she was still alive. She talked to me and answered all my questions throughout the night. As soon as my water broke, she walked me through what was going to happen. Right before Hope was born, I asked her to check her heartbeat again. She told me her heart was still beating, but that it was slowing down. I knew then God was calling Hope home. The nurse breathed with me as I pushed, and she told me I could do this as I squeezed her hand tightly. Hope entered the gates of heaven at 4:54am on April 28, 2017, two days before my 29th birthday. We cried and smiled at the same time. Knowing that she is a sweet, spunky, strong, and determined girl.

We pictured her arriving in heaven saying something like, “Alright hope babies, my name is Hope, and I’m here! Let’s go have some fun!”

So, she wasn’t physically here to celebrate my birthday with me, but what a special birthday it was and always will be knowing she was sweetly held in the arms of Jesus.

I couldn’t even step foot into our house after coming home from the hospital. I’d never been in our new home without Hope. My husband grabbed my hand, gently pulled me in, and sat me on the couch. I didn’t have the desire to go on without her. It was very hard for me to find and take my next breath. Clayton and I knew for 20 weeks that Hope would go to heaven very early in her life. Although we had five months to process that, there was absolutely no way to prepare ourselves for the grief that comes after. We’d lost our baby girl—the worst pain I think there could possibly be in this fallen world.

As I look back over the last 14 months, I see God everywhere. I didn’t understand how or why I could have a miscarriage, but I drew closer to God to help me walk through my pain. He knew Hope’s journey before I did, and that I was going to need Him more than ever. Switching to my new OB was a huge blessing as he loved and cared for us just as he would his own children. I found my safe group of friends who loved on us so beautifully. Lastly, and the most beautiful gift of all—God literally has His arms wrapped around Hope.

As long as I carried her, we never had to hear the words, “We’ve lost cardiac activity.”

He gave us the strong heartbeat throughout the pregnancy that I prayed for since October 20. Our plan didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, but we know God’s plan is so beautiful and far greater than our own. What a high and holy calling it is to be parents to our Hope in heaven. Hope Elizabeth is our miracle, and she is a gift that keeps on giving. Wednesdays are forever our “Hope Day”. We’ll always be holding onto the hope God provides through our sweet Hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Romans 15:13

- Molly

Hope Mom to Baby D and Hope Elizabeth

I live in Austin with my husband, Clayton, and I am the mama to two precious babies in heaven. I have a degree in Nutrition from The University of Texas at Austin and am a fitness leader with iGnite Your Life. I love God, my family and friends, yoga, dance parties, the outdoors, and Texas football!

We would be honored to share your story as a Hope Mom on our blog. Every Saturday we feature a Hope Mom’s story in order to showcase God’s faithfulness even in the midst of such deep sorrow. If you would like to have your story shared on our blog for this purpose, learn more and submit here.

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- Molly

Hope Mom to Baby D and Hope Elizabeth

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