A father's remembrance of his Baby's life
Our story begins in February of 2003. After planning and having two children within the past 3 years, the conception of our third child, Erin, was a total surprise. I had just been discharged from the military due to a physical ailment and found out that we were pregnant with another child.
Apprehension and concern initially swept over me, as I didn't have a job, however I never thought of not having my third child.
Through the many prayer of the church, God blessed me with a good job in the computer industry.
Up to this point, all visits to the OBGYN were good and no problems at all were spotted during the first ultrasound. Erin’s due date was set for October, 2003. All was well until May of 2003. During an ultrasound to find the sex of the baby a problem was found. During this visit the ultrasound technician acted very concerned and would not tell us anything. The next day an appointment was scheduled at a high-risk pregnancy office for a more in depth ultrasound. The ultrasound findings were very significant and the doctor told us that this was a “terminal” pregnancy and the baby’s limbs were not forming right. They diagnosed Erin with a lethal form of infantile dwarfism.
Needlessly to say we were blown away and upset. We were immediately scheduled to see a genetic specialist. The genetic specialist told us that these type of babies usually die in utero naturally, and that if born she would not live more than a few hours. The geneticist offered some advice and one was to abort the child or try and go full term with the child.
We immediately ruled out abortion
We immediately ruled out abortion We did this for many reasons, our faith in Christ helps us believe that he would never allow us to go through anything beyond our ability to stand.
Also we never considered this because even though she was having problems that did not give me a “right” to end her life since her life was from God.
The easy way would have been to abort her, but that is what someone might do to try and erase the whole experience. Doing that would only have created a bigger nightmare, as abortion is a scar that last for a lifetime. Knowing that you ended your child’s life is constantly in your mind and is ingrained in memory. The frail, infirm and unborn still have a valuable place in society and their lives must be protected.
Any decent loving society should protect the vulnerable, since our Constitution guarantees the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all - as an unalienable right given by God and not man. Medical technology is never 100 percent correct and we wanted to give our child every chance we could. We placed her into God’s hands by faith through prayer; believing that He would either heal her or take her home to be with Him. We would continue to support her and of course, our hope was that she would live.
We notified our prayer chain in our local church that immediately began to pray for our situation. Time came and went, as did the emotions of not knowing what would happen. For the most part we had peace over the whole situation knowing God was in control no matter what happened.
It is an actual feeling that is hard to explain but through all this, God kept his hand completely on Erin and our lives. We had many more ultrasounds that seemed to confirm the grim diagnosis as time went by. By August, Erin’s mother began to protrude as in any normal pregnancy. Erin’s mother began having pre term labor in August and was hospitalized several times the longest period lasting four days.
Erin waited until September 12th, 2003 to be born. She was born at 8 pm in the evening. When she was born the obvious was immediately realized. She was a beautiful baby with brown hair like her mother. At her birth, the best doctors in the area attended to her. They immediately whisked her away for x-rays of her lungs. The doctors came back a short time later and notified us that Erin had hyper plastic lungs. This is a condition where the lungs did not develop properly during utero and was not able to sustain life. She was placed on a ventilator for several hours.
The doctors took her off the ventilator after several hours and handed her to her mommy as they had done all that was medically possible to help her. She stayed in her mommy’s arms for a while. I held my infant daughter and kissed her tiny head. Many people who lovingly supported us through the entire ordeal got to hold Erin and share their love with her during her short life. She died peacefully approximately 3 hours later having experienced the love of her parents and friends.
We are in total perfect peace about Erin because we gave her all the chances we could for her to live. We believed God and he gave her the “ultimate healing”, being with him for all eternity.
Although it was a painful experience for my wife and I, this was also a faith builder. We knew that God was in control the whole time and that Erin had a purpose for being born.
Our Daughter Erin
Her first birthday passed recently and we visited the cemetery where Erin is buried. We released a balloon at her grave to acknowledge her short life and keep it fresh in our memory. The ultimate goal of a parent is to prepare their child for citizenship in heaven. I miss not having the experiences I might have had, seeing Erin grow up in our family; but I have knowledge that my child is with Jesus Christ for all eternity and nothing can ever snatch her away from him.
...For Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 14:19)