What Makes Jane Our Miracle Baby

I know we often refer to our baby girl as a “miracle baby”, but I don’t know if I’ve ever elaborated on that. A lot of people are aware of the circumstances that make her so, but I thought I’d share for those who don’t. It’s hard to even know where to start, so bear with me if this is a little long winded.

I’ve always wanted a daughter. Very shortly after Jason and I decided we were ready for a family, we conceived and we were both sure it would be a girl. When we found out that it was a boy, we were shocked, but excited.I couldn’t have imagined how much fun it’s been being a mom of a boy. I feel so very blessed to have my little man in my life and I'd never trade him for a girl!

Since we had no issues in getting pregnant with Juju, we assumed everything was working well and that more children would be right along. When Julian was about two, we felt like it was time for that to happen. Again we conceived fairly quickly and waited a few weeks to tell people we were expecting. We made the announcement and began to plan for baby number two. A few days shy of our second trimester, I miscarried. So began two and a half years of the cycle of hope, loss, and grieving.

We tried to figure out what was going wrong. Since we had no problem getting pregnant, many of the resources and tests that go with infertility did not apply to us. We ruled out most of the common causes for miscarriage and tried different things with each pregnancy. Since the miscarriages were not in the first few weeks of pregnancy, there was tissue available to test. We had samples from the pregnancies sent off to USF’s genetic research division to see if they could identify the issue.

I vividly remember the morning the geneticist called me. I was sitting at the computer, working on eBay listings, when the phone rang. It was explained to me that all the samples ended up being females with Trisomy 10. They concluded that the disorder was tied to the female DNA that either Jason or I was passing on. I was told that we could not successfully carry and have a girl baby and that with my age and all the pregnancies over the last few years being female, we’d be lucky to have another child at all. I remember trying to hold it together on the phone. As soon as I hung up with them, I Googled Trisomy 10 and cried while I read. It shares a lot of the characteristics of Downs Syndrome- only it’s not “compatible with life” so 100% of the babies with it die in utero.

I mourned the little girls I’d lost and the loss of any future daughters. I’d already prayed everything I knew to before we got the news so I took that as my answer and didn’t ask God to intervene. I didn’t know if I could bear more loss in pursuit of a successful boy baby pregnancy. I started looking at adoption, considering if Julian should be an only child, and just praying for direction. I began to take steps towards adoption because I had this feeling that our family was not complete, but stuff never seemed to line up right. In time, I came to peace with things as they were and I found faith that God would lead us to whatever was to meant for our family.

My grandmother passed away Christmastime, December of 2011.The day after her passing, I miscarried again, at 8 weeks along. We knew one of my grandfathers was not going to be far behind. I was too heartbroken to deal with more lost pregnancies and to be a good mom to 4 year old Juju, so we decided it would be best to try to not get pregnant again for awhile. I did end up losing both of my grandfathers that year.

We had a busy fall. I’d thrown myself into volunteering and being involved in my Etsy community. I felt very off, but I assumed it was just part of the grieving process plus my busyness plus Julian starting pre-k plus just a lot of changes going on. I was shocked to discover we were pregnant again. We’d been pretty careful to prevent such a thing, but as my dear husband likes to say, “Life finds a way.” I was with some of our dearest friends when I found out and the first thing we did was pray. I expected the worst, but the similarities to my pregnancy with Julian gave me a little hope. I was already almost 9 weeks along- my pregnancy with Julian had also caught me off guard. I was never ill (beyond being tired & my gestational diabetes) with Juju and this pregnancy was the same. With the lost pregnancies, I always felt very sick and knew very early on I was pregnant.

Despite a beautifully strong heartbeat, Jason and I couldn’t let ourselves get too excited. We were referred to a practice that dealt exclusively with high risk pregnancies so at least we knew we were in good hands. When we cleared the second trimester mark and made it to twenty weeks, I assumed it must be a boy baby. I really wanted to confirm that so we could celebrate a little and not worry so much. (I can’t tell you how nerve wracking it is to search your toilet paper for signs of blood every single time you use the restroom!) When the technician cheerfully announced that it looked like a girl, Jason and I both incredulously told her to look again. She did so, and after consulting my chart, one of the doctors even had a look and confirmed it.

My emotions went from unbelievable happiness to fear to gratefulness and even to sadness. The next visit, I saw my regular OB. He also works with several study groups at USF and is one of the countries top doctors in researching new treatments for gestational diabetes. He had our genetic testing results and reviewed them again after the baby’s gender was identified. He told me that, on paper, this pregnancy shouldn’t be happening.

We were asked to have a lot of tests done, but I knew that no matter what ending the pregnancy was not an option. We decided to just wait and watch and if something looked wrong, we’d monitor it so we’d at least be prepared for whatever conditions our baby might be born with. Appointment after appointment, the baby looked perfectly normal. Her heartbeat was strong and her measurements were as they should be. My health was terrible, but she was thriving. Because it was a high risk pregnancy, I had ultrasounds about every other week of the third trimester. Every time I got to see baby girl felt like a little victory.

Jane Marie was born on May 12, 2013. Jane means “God is gracious”. She had some blood sugar issues, but otherwise was completely healthy. She continues to develop normally and there’s no reason to believe she won’t continue to do so.

I don’t use the word “miracle” lightly. I believe in miracles, but never thought they were something that someone like me would ever experience in person. I do think it applies to our situation though. The fact is our genetic code is broken. That was evident not just in one sample, but every single one. I believe God miraculously corrected that defect in Jane. It wasn’t because we deserved it or asked Him to- I’d written it off as not possible and moved on. Why He chose to intervene isn’t something I can readily identify. I do know that I am changed for the better after having gone through the struggles. I think my marriage is stronger. I also know that just about every time I look at Jane, I feel like I could burst with gratitude. Through her birth, God restored my broken heart and has given my entire community a reminder that He still does great things.

One of the happiest days of my life
One of the happiest days of my life
Miss Jane, 11 weeks
Miss Jane, 11 weeks

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Kathleen said...

Beautiful! Praise the Lord!

Donna (Twinmountainpottery) said...

What a beautiful story of your little miracle girl! God is so good and I know you suffered greatly even with God by your side. Enjoy this precious bundle of joy!

Yolanda (silvercloud07) said...

This is such a beautiful testimony of God's awesome power! Continued blessings to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Love this...thank you for sharing!

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