Faith Lynn

This site is dedicated to my daughter, Faith Lynn, who was born on 8-21-02 and died from complications due to anencephaly.

                                      One line or two...

On December 3, 2001 I was happily decorating for Christmas.  While my husband was on the phone with a friend, I decided to take a break to the restroom.  I had been suspecting I was pregnant for a couple of weeks and had finally decided to take a test.  I nervously watched the second hand of my watch as it rounded off the two-minute mark.  I looked down and sure enough there were two lines!!  The rush about made me pass out.  I couldn't believe it, I was actually pregnant.  All of my life I had thought about that magic moment when I would tell my husband that we were going to have a baby.  I had always imagined giving him a gift with baby things or wrapping up the positive pregnancy test.  But, there was no way I could have waited and not have told him.  I immediately ran down the hall and found him on the phone.  I impatiently told him to get off the phone because I needed to talk to him right away.  He gave me a puzzled look and told his friend he would call him back.  He hung up the phone and said, "What, are you pregnant?"  I just smiled and told him I was.  He also was extremely excited and gave me a big hug.  We decided not to tell anyone until we were sure that the baby was ok.  So James called his friend back and I continued decorating.  That night I could hardly go to sleep.  I woke up at 2:00 A.M. getting sick.  I immediately thought it was nerves, so I went back to sleep.  I continued to wake up every hour to hour and a half getting sick until 11:00 A.M. that next morning.  At this point I was running a high fever and decided to call the doctor because I needed to schedule an appointment anyway.  After they heard of my condition, they asked me to come into the office immediately.  As soon as I got there they diagnosed me with dehydration and admitted me into the hospital.  We decided that we needed to tell our families that I was in the hospital and that I was pregnant.  We were a little disappointed about telling everyone over the phone but we really had no choice.  As you would imagine, our families were ecstatic.  Nobody could wait for the new baby to come into our lives. 

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                                             Just like a sweet dream...

The day had finally come when we would go to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy by sonogram.  I couldn't wait to see our bouncing baby on the screen.  Little did I know that all you can see was a flashing light, but it was the most beautiful flashing light I had ever seen.  My doctor said that the heart rate was good and everything looked normal and I was six weeks pregnant.  We were so relieved.  At that point we began sharing the news with more family and other friends.   Finally, one day at the doctor's office, we got to hear the baby's heart beat.  It was the most wonderful sound I had ever heard.  Once again, we were told that everything was looking and sounding perfect.  We were living the perfect dream.

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                        The dream becomes a nightmare...

The pregnancy continued and my slender figure was becoming a little more round.  My weight was under control and everything seemed to be going along as it should.  I began to feel the baby at 17 weeks and was anxious for the baby to be born so I could actually see the movements that I was feeling.  At 20 weeks we were scheduled for our routine sonogram.  We were so excited.  We were finally going to get to see our baby.   We walked into the sonographer's office and before we knew it, were looking at the awesome picture of our baby.  We saw beautiful long legs and toes, little arms, hands, and fingers.  We were in awe of our beautiful baby and didn't notice that the sonographer was taking extra time looking at the spine and head area.  We kept asking him questions and he told us when he was finished with his routine things he would show us what everything was.  After a few minutes of silence went by, he asked me if I had a triple screen test done in my first trimester.  I said I hadn't and asked if there was something wrong although I knew there must be.  The first thing he said was, "This baby is not going to make it."  I will never forget the surge of emotions that shot through my body.  I was in shock.  I said, "What do you mean this baby is not going to make it?"  He then told us that our baby had anencephaly and was not compatible with life.  We couldn't believe it.  How could it be that a seemingly perfect baby could have something so wrong with it?  The doctor went on to tell us that the brain had not formed properly and that the baby's head would be severely deformed.  He then left us to call my OB/GYN.  I began to put on my clothes and started crying.  I kept on thinking that this couldn't be real, that our baby had to be fine.  We left the sonographer's office and went upstairs to my OB/GYN's office.  We went into a small room where my doctor came in to let us know our options.  She said that I could either carry the baby to term, induce labor, or terminate the pregnancy.  We were torn.  We didn't think we could handle going through another 20 weeks of pregnancy to give birth to a baby that would either die before, during, or shortly after birth.  We told my doctor that we wanted to terminate the pregnancy.  She made us an appointment for the following morning at a clinic and we left.  We got into the car and I lost it.  James and I just sat there, held each other, and cried for a second.  We couldn't believe that our much wanted baby was going to die.  We called family and friends to tell them the horrible news.  I kept thinking to myself, "If the baby would just stop moving, it would make it seem as if it wasn't there."  I somehow thought that it would be easier to terminate if I couldn't feel it moving.  Some very good friends of ours called and said that they would like to come over, bring us dinner, and talk for a while and we accepted.  That night our friends came and we began eating and they began telling us that they wished that we would reconsider terminating the pregnancy.  We were touched by their concern but still had it in our minds to follow through with our plans.  After dinner our friends took us to another couple's house.  The six of us sat there and discussed the reasons why we shouldn't terminate.  What they helped us realize was that terminating the pregnancy was an abortion and that meant we would be killing our baby.  This wasn't something I hadn't already thought about but I still thought that I couldn't handle it.  They then reminded us of our Christian morals and that it would be against God's commandments to go through with what we were planning.  So after hours of crying, talking, and praying, we decided to give our much wanted baby a chance a life.

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                             The calm before the storm...

Because of some personal issues, we decided to change doctors.  We loved our old doctor but for this particular pregnancy, we felt that we should be with someone else.  For the next several months, we enjoyed our limited time with our baby.  I'm not going to say that it was easy.  There were so many times that I wished that I had never even gotten pregnant.  I would even have strangers looking, touching, pointing, and smiling at my huge belly.  Sometimes, I was happy when people would notice me.  Other times, I wished I was one of those rare few who don't show during pregnancy.  I didn't share the baby's diagnosis with everyone I passed, but others I would feel like they would genuinely care about our situation.  Those months were some of the hardest times I think that we will ever have.  We were so conflicted.  We were totally excited about having a baby, but at the same time we didn't want it to all end.  People would ask me if I was ready to have the baby and I would answer, "Yes and no.  Yes, because we can't wait to meet it.  No, because I know that it is safe in there."  I meant every word too.  I have to say that if wasn't for our family and friends we wouldn't have made it through.  They were so much support.  We will forever be thankful.  Well those few months turned into a few weeks and then to a few days.  We had decided to not have any baby showers.  This was a pretty depressing thing for me.  It was just another reminder that our baby wasn't going to make it.  Fortunately, my wonderful friends from church knew how hard this was for me.  They through me a pamper party a few days before the birth.  This was so much fun.  They set up different stations throughout the house for different treatments.  They had manicures, pedicures, paraffin treatments, and massages.  So we all took turns pampering each other and had a blast.  If any of you girls are reading this, "Thank you so much!"

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                    And now it's time for the main event!

Due to the condition, my doctor had warned me that I probably would not go into labor by myself, so we scheduled for me to be induced on 8-20-02.  So at six in the morning, I was in my gown, with an IV, waiting to have a baby.  So many people came to the hospital to see us and hopefully meet our precious baby.  There were at least 40 people in the waiting room at one point.  Throughout the whole day they filtered in to see us.  Everyone was so excited, you wouldn't know that there was anything wrong with the baby.  One of our dear friends brought sandwiches and snacks for all of the people in the waiting room.  They were all extremely grateful.  I kept on hearing about how much fun they were having, I began to wish I was with them.  I have always been known for "wanting to be with the fun."  At about 8:30 P.M. I finally decided that I was ready for my epidural.  I went from tired and a little moody to awake and happy all over again.  I have decided that anyone that has chosen to not have an epidural is a nut.  I have no desire to be Wonder Woman.  {My feelings on this have changed over the years.  I highly recommend the Bradley Method}  Anyway, I was able to finally get some sleep around 10:30 P.M.  At 2:30 A.M. a resident came in to check on me.  She said that my water had broken and that I was fully dilated.  They wanted me my body to labor a little longer as they began to set things up.  By the way, my doctor was so sweet to stay all day and all night with us to deliver our baby, and he wasn't on call.  I will be eternally greatful at the sacrifices he took for us.  Finally at 3:40 A.M., they began to let me push.  Finally at 4:10 A.M.  our precious baby was born.  The doctor told us that we had a girl and that she had a very light heartbeat.   They handed her to me.  I remember staring at her and being so happy that she was finally with me.  She was not cleaned off nor did she have a cap on.  I looked at her and saw that she didn't have a skull past her eyebrows.  Her eyelids were bulged and she had a small cut on her cheek.  (She had a lot of trauma to the right side of her face because she came face up.)  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on.  To some, that might seem confusing.  To some, she had a horrible anomaly.  To me, she was my daughter that I had unconditional love for.  The nurses took her, cleaned her off, weighed, and measured her.  She weighed 6lbs. 13ozs and was 19 inches long.  If her head would have been fully formed, I believe that she would have been a whopping 24 inches and about 7 1/2 to 8 lbs.  She was a big baby.  After they cleaned her off, James got to put her diaper on her.  He looked so cute over there taking care of his little girl.  They put a cap on her and he brought her back to me.  We were so proud of her.  We spent the next hour by ourselves with our baby.  We decided that her name should be Faith Lynn because she was conceived, carried, and born out of faith.

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                             Ready to meet the world...

After the first hour of Faith's life, we decided to let our parents come in.  They too instantly fell in love with her.  Our parents baptized Faith one at a time.  It was a sweet time and I'm so glad we did that.  We then let our brothers & sisters and other family & friends come in.  Everyone held her.  They all loved on her kissed, spoke, and some even sang to her.  It was so precious to see everyone else enjoy her.  There was such a peace in the room.  It was as if Faith brought the presence of the Lord in with her.    In those few hours we got to hear her cough, sneeze, and try to cry.  (She was very weak and could only yell out a few times.)  Her voice was the sweetest thing I'd ever heard.  James described it perfectly, he said, "Her voice was so feminine."  And it was, she sounded like a sweet little girl.  At about 7:45 A.M.  She began to get worse.  She was trying very hard to breath.  She was such a fighter.  Faith began to gasp for air, we knew that she was dieing.  James held her in the rocking chair the whole time.  At 8:05 A.M.  our precious daughter left her father's arms to be in her heavenly father's arms.    It was such a bitter-sweet time.  After a few minutes, we asked the nurse to get the doctor to confirm her death.  She was confirmed dead at 8:20 A.M.  After a while the nurses came to take her.  The hardest thing I have ever done is let them take my baby from me.  They then took me to a different room to let me rest.  I went home that Friday afternoon.  I fought tears the whole time the nurse was taking me to the car.  I kept thinking, "This is the part where I'm supposed to be taking a baby home.

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                               The final resting place...

James, our dads, and a friend went to make funeral arrangements while I was still in the hospital.  When I got home, we had to leave to make the final arrangements.  Our funeral director was wonderful and helped us get everything finalized.  On Saturday, we buried our baby girl.  The service was very nice and there were lots of people there.  We had her buried in the most beautiful cemetery near a Crepe Myrtle tree.  We had inscribed on her headstone, "God Made You Special".  She was His creation and He did make her special. (Psalms 139)  If it was possible to go back and change things, we wouldn't.  We don't regret carrying to term.  It was the best decision we could have made.  Thank you for sharing our experience with us.  Blessings - James & Haley

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                             To our precious little girl...

Faith,

Mommy and Daddy love and miss you so much.  Thank you for the opportunity to love & know you.  Your brief life has impacted so many and we are so proud of you.  Send us all sweet angel kisses.

Love always,
Mommy & Daddy 

 

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Update on our family

The Lord has blessed us in many ways since Faith's birth.  If you would like to see an update on our family, click here.

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