Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
-1 Thessalonians 5:18
I have a daughter. Her name is Adelyn Rosa Bye. She is in Heaven and I have faith that I will get to see her again.
When I realized I was pregnant with my daughter, I was teaching middle school choir. I had a familiar lurch in my stomach that told me I needed to eat something or I would get sick. I thought to myself, “No way, I’m pregnant already.” My husband, Matt, and I were still healing from the early pregnancy loss of our first child. We had found out we were pregnant for the first time on Valentine’s Day 2014. We had decided to try and start our family, and I got pregnant very quickly. We were so excited and told our families almost immediately. That made for lots of tears and difficult conversations when we lost our first baby just a few weeks later. Matt and I discussed whether we were ready to immediately pursue getting pregnant again and how we wanted to heal from the miscarriage. We left it up to God and decided we would not prevent anything, but we knew it might take some time.
That is why when I felt that ping of nausea, I thought “No way.” I didn’t want to get my hopes up and refused to take a pregnancy test for at least another week. One week later, in the middle of April 2014, I called to Matt across the house saying “I have something to show you!” As I pointed to the positive pregnancy test, my hands were shaking. We were a little nervous because of our recent loss, but we were excited for a new life nonetheless! We waited to share our big news this time until I was 11 weeks.
As I soaked up my summer break from school, I was rejoicing in the time to get to know our baby and prepare the nursery. On July 16th, at 18 weeks, we had our sonogram appointment to get measurements, check progress of baby’s growth, and find out the gender. Matt came with me and he somehow already knew we were having a girl. I had always wanted a boy first (probably because I have such an awesome oldest brother) and so I was holding out for a boy. After taking what felt like an hour’s worth of measurements, the sono tech finally asked if we wanted to know the sex. It was hard for the tech to get a good look because our baby was so active kicking around and moving, but eventually she got a good angle and told us we were having a girl! It took a minute for it to sink in, but we could not have been happier! We were ready to finish decorating the nursery and picking out her clothes. We already planned that our daughter’s name would be Adelyn and she was going to be best friends with her cousin Kaylee, and we wondered if she would like sports like her Dad or music and theatre like her Mom. We quickly started planning and getting excited for a life full of joy and adventure.
My pregnancy with Adelyn progressed with ideal conditions. I felt great and checkups were always text book. There were never any concerns, or anything out of the ordinary. When I got a headache the evening of Sunday October 5, 2014, I didn’t think it was cause for alarm. I had read that headaches were common in the 3rd trimester. I was continuing to exercise and drink lots of water. I was healthy! So that evening I took some Tylenol and headed for bed. The headache progressed through the night and I couldn’t get more than a couple hours of sleep at time. I decided around 5 AM on Monday October 6th to request a substitute teacher at work so I could rest at home for the day and get back to 100%. I was able to get some sleep that morning although the headache never went away. I called the nurse that afternoon and she suggested a little caffeine, more Tylenol, and Benadryl. Matt was so sweet to stay home with me that day to make sure I was taken care of, but since I was feeling better he went to coach his JV football game and I headed to Walgreens for a Coke and Benadryl. I returned home, followed the nurse’s orders and decided I’d get something done on Adelyn’s nursery.
I don’t know how much time passed between that decision and finding myself standing in the middle of my living room disoriented and afraid. I suddenly realized I had been wandering around the house in a mental fog. I sort of “came to” and tried calling Matt because I couldn’t remember where he went. When I called several times with no answer, I really started to get scared. I called my mother-in-law. My parents were out of town. I somehow managed to remember that much at least. My mother-in-law sounded worried. She told me to call my doctor immediately and that she was on her way over. It was about 6:00 pm by this time and she decided to call 911. They were asking me questions I couldn’t answer because I was so disoriented and things seemed fuzzy. Matt got home and was trying to ask me what was going on. I told him that I had to change my clothes. Those sirens he heard were coming for me and I’d been in the same sweats all day not feeling well!
The ambulance arrived, and so did my in-laws. I was transported to Wesley Medical Center. It was in the ambulance when they first tried to hear Adelyn’s heartbeat. They couldn’t find anything, but told me very calmly that they’d have better luck once we made it to the hospital. I only lived a few miles from Wesley so it wouldn’t be long. I already had a feeling when they couldn’t find our precious daughter’s heartbeat in the ambulance that this was going to end much differently than I had planned. I said a prayer and told God that if he had time for a miracle right then. I knew that was the only way I’d get to bring my daughter home.
I don’t remember getting to the hospital or being moved from the ambulance into the hospital room. I just remember hospital staff still not being able to find Adelyn’s heartbeat, then seeing no movement on an ultrasound screen. Someone then told me they understood it was a lot to take in; however, they needed to get me hooked up to some magnesium because my blood pressure was so high they were concerned about stroke, seizure, and possibly my death. I kept my eyes closed and nodded my head. I trusted them to do whatever they could for me, but I was devastated, heartbroken, and overwhelmed.
I was quickly put on magnesium, induced for labor, and received an epidural. With a single push my precious daughter was born into Heaven on Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm. We were given the chance to hold her, snuggle her, and kiss her. My amazing husband was the gatekeeper and protected me from far too many visitors, phone calls, and text messages. Not that I didn’t appreciate the concerned friends or people wanting to send condolences, but he took the difficult job of handling everything so that I could simply begin to heal physically and emotionally. He was my hero and he provided me with immense love and support to make those six days in the hospital a little less dreadful. I am so blessed to be married to such a strong and caring man.
Family came to meet Adelyn for the couple days after she was born before they took her to the mortuary. I was dismissed from the hospital on Saturday October 11. Coming home without our daughter was something I don’t think I could have prepared for. The house seemed so empty without her. I took five weeks of maternity leave to heal. They were still monitoring my blood pressure, platelet counts, and liver enzymes. Many people came by the house to offer their condolences and bring meals. Everyone in our lives were so thoughtful and even when they didn’t know what to say, they let us know they were praying for us.
I did not know that grief and sorrow could penetrate so deeply inside my bones. I realized after Adelyn died that I had a choice. I could either wallow in the pain and misery of losing my daughter or I could hold fast to God’s promise and have faith that he will get us through. Our daughter’s death is a part of Matt’s and my story now. I would not hesitate to go through it all again to know my beautiful daughter who had her daddy’s nose and dark hair. We are forever changed. Unexpected things now have a twinge of pain to accompany them; like a stranger asking if we have kids, attending a baby shower, and future pregnancies. We are hopeful that Adelyn will one day have younger brothers and sisters.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all Angel Mommies because I understand what a heavy heart you carry. It is heavy with pain but also immense amounts of love. This is written in loving memory of our daughter - Adelyn Rosa Bye. Baby girl, you are so very loved and so very missed.
God is good. All the time.
Mommy (Keri Bye)
Photo credit: T.Marie Photography