We were anticipating such an exciting ultrasound we took our sweet little Jillian with us to the appointment. The ultrasound started like any other and as we started the tech decided she had good shots of the feet and legs and decided to start there instead of the head. We talked and laughed and when she said we were having a girl, tears of joy streamed down my face. I felt truly excited to have a baby. The first time feeling all encompassing joy up to this point was when I heard Jillsie would have a sister. I felt so happy. As the ultrasound continued I felt the joy leave and worry settle in its place. The head was measuring small. I felt uneasy and the techs finished up and said they'd be right back. They came back with a Doctor. They had me get back on the table and wanted to look at our precious little girl again. They then said that we needed to go upstairs to our OBGYNs office and that she was waiting for us. I knew. I sobbed as we walked down the hall to her office. WHY? Why after ALL of this heartache did we now have more? As we waited for our Dr to come in and tell us what was wrong, I sat holding Jillian on my lap and started fuming inside. Once again, Heavenly Father truly does bless us with what we need and I knew time with our baby would be short. The rest of the visit and day seem like a blur. She told us what I had already felt, that our little girl wouldn't live long. She then told us it was called Anencephaly. A neural tube defect that is fatal. No surgery, no tests, no heroic efforts could be done. I honestly don't remember much, I sat, cried and held our little girl. . . .feeling so empty. We were told we could terminate the pregnancy or carry her to full term. But that most likely she would be born stillborn. All I can remember thinking is 'How am I going to do this?'
That first weekend was a blur of an emotional roller coaster. We would feel peace and joy that we get to have her for a moment and then seconds later, be completely devastated, overwhelmed and wished we could wake up from the nightmare we were being asked to go through. I think for me Sunday was the hardest full day. We had been blessed with so much Heavenly peace and would get it when we asked for it. But Sunday, no matter what, I felt empty, awful and mad we had to go through this. We were meeting with our Bishop (our wards religious leader) to just get some direction and I hoped that I would leave with peace and direction. Our Bishop was great. He listened and showed such love. When we left I felt a little better but still felt such an ache and emptiness. I went to my room and just sobbed. I tried to sleep but couldn't. I didn't want to do this. If she wasn't going to make it anyway, couldn't Heavenly Father just take her now so we could move forward with trying again? How much farther apart in age will our children be? Will we even be able to have more children?
I started to pray and started to search through the scriptures. I wanted answers to everything! I had been steering clear of searching for information but decided to search for someone out there who had possibly gone through the same thing. I saw a blog on google called, Our Journey with our baby girl Joy. It had a little note under about Anencephaly. I glanced through it but wanted to look at it with Jake. And so that night after we put Jillian to bed we sat and watched this video of the sweet experience with their little girl. This changed how I have looked at this whole experience. I still ride the roller coaster of emotions but feel a greater strength going through this ride. Knowing that I have an amazing husband and daughter, not to mention a great extended family, but that Heavenly Father truly sends us comforting angels through other people.
"When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with-here, now, and every day. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."
-Jeffrey R. Holland,Ministry of Angels
Jake and I truly feel so grateful for the White family's testimony and story shared with us. They have been angels in our life and we are so grateful that Heavenly Father blessed us through their little girl Joy. And that they were willing to share!
I know that our journey through this experience is just beginning and at times the thought is so overwhelming. But as I sit here writing this my sweet little girl , Anneliese Audrey, is moving inside my belly and I feel blessed to have her with me at this time. I know that families can be together forever and that we will see our little girl again after she has finished her time here on earth. How incredibly grateful I am for this knowledge. Our Heavenly Father is VERY aware of each one of us. Our heartaches, our joys, and all that is ahead. I hope that one day I can be an instrument in His hands to provide the comfort and love for someone that might be seeking it. I know that Heavenly Father sends us that peace if we will only look for it and grab hold of it when it is sent our way! I have experienced it over and over again through my infertility struggles and through preparing to say goodbye to this little baby. He sends peace! We only need to accept the tremendous gift!!