Growing up, all I wanted was the stereotypical, perfect life. I had my future all lined up. 4-kids, a husband who wore a suit, tie, and shiny cuff links. One who came home and loosened his tie, then scooped up his babies on top of his shoulders and ran through our mansion with them squealing on his shoulders. Big Dreams? Not for a girl with an imagination like mine. Those dreams changed as I grew, and I was lucky enough to find a man who loves Jesus, loves his kids, and loves me (warts and all.)
In August of 2009, I asked Kevin if we could have one more baby. You know the question people ask, “You going to try for a girl?” Well I am not sure what that kind of trying looks like, but we gave it the college try. My good genes and über fertility, resulted in a pregnancy right away.
Around Thanksgiving, a friend of mine who volunteered at an early pregnancy clinic, called and asked if I wanted to come in and have an ultrasound and model my baby and uterus! Who doesn’t like a free ultrasound of their growing baby bean? When I went to the clinic, they measured, and looked at all of the anatomy of our baby, and then tried to look for “parts.” Being a mother with 3-sons, I knew what I was looking for in the gender department. I looked at my mom, who was with me and told her that I didn’t see a weenie. I wasn’t 100% certain, but I had a feeling that God had blessed us with a daughter!
In early January 2010, I had my scheduled 22-week ultrasound, and confirmed that we were in fact having a little girl. Cooper came to the ultrasound, and the look on his face was sheer joy. He desperately wanted a little sister! I was having a daughter after three boys what a great blessing. This little girl would be the most protected princess in the history of the world. I celebrated by buying the most frilly pink dress I could find.
On January 25, I went to work and was busy doing payroll, I commented to one of my co-workers, that I hadn’t really felt Ireland kick very much today. I kept busy, and again, later that afternoon I drank some juice, and began to do kick counts…Still I didn’t really feel anything. I thought that she was having a sleepy day. That evening while we were eating dinner, I commented to Kevin that I wanted to go in and have the doctors check Ireland on the fetal monitor. Something just felt off. He agreed, and after he and I settled the boys into bed, I drove up to the clinic.
The nurse asked me why I had come up, and I told her that I just needed reassurance that everything was ok. Something didn’t feel right in my gut, and I hadn’t felt Ireland move for several hours. She smiled and started to look for a heartbeat. She couldn’t find it with the sensors. She reassured me that a 25 week baby was pretty small to find with these particular sensors. While she continued to try, she called the OB on call and asked her if she would come in to do a quick ultrasound, to make sure that the baby wasn’t hiding somewhere. All the while that she is talking to the doctor, I was praying. Please God, I just want to hear that little flutter.
When the doctor came in, she squirted the blue goo on my belly and set to work. I watched her eyes, she pressed, and tilted, and all the while she was doing this her brow furrowed more and more. Finally after about 20 minutes of scanning. She turned to me and said, “Mrs. Hanson, there is no movement, no heart tones. I am sorry, but your baby passed away.”
Time stood still, and I laid in that hospital bed, alone. I called Kevin, my mom and my best friend Amy. “She’s gone, ” was all I could manage. My family rushed up to the hospital, and we were two options, starting an induction that evening, or coming back in the morning to deliver our now dead, baby daughter. Kevin and I opted for starting the induction that night, I didn’t want to go home, only to face the nightmare again in the morning.
The induction took several hours, and our baby girl was born at 08:24 on January 26, 2010. I was so scared to see her, I didn’t know what to expect. When she was born, the nurse asked me if I wanted to hold her, and all I could manage was a desperate, “Please.” She was perfect, tiny and precious. She had downy fuzz for hair, and long piano players fingers. She had long feet and my nose. She was beautiful.
The day she was born, family and friends surrounded us, we were able to love on her, pray over her, and welcome her into a family that she would never know. It was heartbreaking to hold a baby that you knew you would only have hours with. I wanted years. I wanted so much more than I was given. A lifetime more. But I was thankful for the moments that I had.