Monday, October 17, 2011

Josiah's Story

Whenever I visit a new blog, I always want to now the back-story.  Since there may be one or two other nosy people out there, I have decided to share Josiah’s story.
 In March 2000, after 10 months of trying, I was finally pregnant.  I was so shocked when I saw the positive on the stick, that I took about a dozen more tests. 
I had a miscarriage scare at about 6 weeks, and all day sickness until 18 weeks, but other than that it was a very normal, easy pregnancy.  At the 18 week scan, we found out we were having a boy and named him Josiah.
At my 32 week OB appointment (with a nurse practitioner), I expressed some concern about my lack of weight gain and my small belly.  The nurse assured me that because I was heavy (about 30 pounds overweight) this was normal.  Just to reassure me, she did a quick scan and told me that everything looked great.  This was on Tuesday.
On Friday, I felt three strong rolling movements from Josiah.  On Saturday and Sunday I felt very little movement.  I didn’t want to freak out and make a big deal out of things.  I figured it was just normal and that I shouldn’t worry.
Monday morning I decided to call Labor and Delivery.  I was told to drink some juice, lie on my side and count kicks for one hour.  Nothing.  At that point I was told to come in.  I called my husband to let him know I was going in, but told him that I was sure everything was fine.  He decided to come with me anyway.  Thank God.
When I arrived at about noon, several people tried to find his heartbeat.  Then they brought in the ultra-sound machine.  Two doctors looked at it. 
It still had not occurred to me that my baby could be dead.  Sick, yes, In distress, yes.  Emergency C-Section, yes.  Dead, no.
Finally the doctor pointed out the heart, and said the words that will forever be etched in my mind, “here is the heart, but it is not beating.  I’m sorry.”
Simultaneously, I had two thoughts, “We will get this baby out, move on, and everything will be fine,” and “Nothing will ever be fine again.”  As it turns out, I was wrong on both counts.
Before beginning the induction, the hospital gave me a book, “When Saying Hello Means Goodbye.”  I am so thankful for this book.  It talked about things that had never occurred to me:  naming the baby, holding the baby, taking pictures of the baby. 
At about 6:00 PM, the induction was started.  I was told that it would take one day if I were lucky, 3 if I wasn’t.  At 1:00AM, much to the doctor’s surprise, Josiah entered the world.  Silent, still, and beautiful.  He looked just like his daddy, with my nose.  He weighed 2lbs, 3oz, the size of a 26 week old.  My concerns had been right.
He was cleaned up, dressed, and then brought to me.  We held him, kissed him, took pictures with him, told him we loved him, and said goodbye.  How I wish I had taken more pictures, spent more time, but I know that it would never be enough. His ashes were scattered beyond the Golden Gate Bridge.   His spirit went to heaven, where I will meet him again some day.
After an autopsy and lots of blood work, the cause of death was found.  I had blood clots in my placenta which caused him to have severe IUGR, cut off his nutrients, and caused him to die.
I have so many if onlys, and what ifs.  If only I had done kick counts every day.  What if I had seen a doctor instead of a nurse practitioner?  What if I had gone to the hospital on Saturday instead of waiting until Monday?  But I have learned not to live in the if onlys, and what ifs – at least most of the time.  I have found that there is to much in the now, and I don't want to miss it.


  1. Sadness and beauty all at the same time! Love you!

  2. Your story is one of deep sadness and beauty. I remember that time and that day and I remember crying for you. Your love for him is very apparent, and it is very clear that you have a gift for people living through this.

    I had no idea. I did not know that this is how it happened. I had no idea that he had exactly what Sweet B had. The severe IUGR, the clots in the placenta...It is the same story. You were an integral part of encouraging me through my pregnancy, and now I know why.

    You have gone on to have beautiful children. Your strength as well as the strength of your husband is amazing. I truly believe that your story will continue to help others, and that Josiah's legacy will live on in many ways, but definitely through this.

    Thank you for sharing this. You loved him with your whole heart.

  3. This same event happened to me and our firstborn son. However, the year was 1989. We had and autopsy done but they never came up with a cause. I was 23 1/2 weeks pregnant. I too remember the rolling and stron 3 kicks and then nothing. I waited until the next day too. I did not believe this was the end. The pain from the loss weakens but never really goes away. Even after 22 years I find myself so sad with the loss of my first baby. I will tell you that I went on to have 3 beautiful children. One (little boy) was born by surprise, 10 years later. Is this God's extra gift for our family...we think so.

  4. Anonymous: Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your story. May God bless you and your family!