Our story with Grady starts well before a positive pregnancy test, an ultrasound, or a flutter. Our story of loving him starts with the loss of his older brother.
(Pictured Above: Spencer Neil Vetter)
We lost our first baby, Spencer, suddenly and unexpectedly, on November 24, 2019, at 17 weeks gestation. We were told by every doctor that it was just “bad luck” and that it shouldn’t happen again.
Losing him made my husband and I realize how incredibly precious and fragile life truly is and how lucky we were to have experienced parenthood, even just for a flicker of time. It also lit our hearts on fire with the desire for a child even more than before. We began trying again as soon as we were cleared and just prayed that God would bless us with another child and allow us to bring this one home, alive.
(Pictured Above: Nik and Shannon Vetter with their son, Spencer Neil)
We did struggle to conceive and once again sought out medical treatment from our local fertility clinic. We battled through a year of failed IUIs, 2 rounds of IVF, and 2 failed transfers but we just felt that God kept telling us to keep going and watch what He would do. Just 4 days after our 3rd IVF transfer I felt deep in my soul that this one worked.
I ended up taking a test and saw the two pink lines that we had been praying for. We were so excited to get our rainbow baby and couldn’t wait to meet him or her.
Due to our previous loss, we tried to remain cautiously optimistic. We celebrated every day that we had with our baby, took pictures of my growing stomach well before it even started to grow, shared about our pregnancy with family and a few close friends, and tried to remain hopeful.
I sang the song “Skidamarink” from the Elephant Show to my belly while rubbing it every night before bed. I knew it was a tradition that I wanted to carry on after our baby was born.
We did a NIPT test at 10 weeks and found out around 11 weeks that our baby was very healthy and at low risk for any genetic issues. We also found out we were expecting another boy. We were so thrilled and kept praying that he would continue to grow and be healthy.
Around 14 weeks I started spotting and was rushed to the ER. We were told that they couldn’t find the source of the spotting but since I wasn’t in labor or having any pains, to just continue to monitor it. I had weekly appointments with my MFM starting at 15 weeks to monitor the baby and make sure I didn’t show any signs of preterm labor.
Even with a few minor issues to the pregnancy, we kept believing that everything would be great, and every ultrasound or sonogram we had continued to show a very healthy, active little boy that loved to dance around.
I had an appointment at 16 weeks and 6 days with my OB and was told that he was doing great, had a strong heartbeat and everything seemed to be on track. I had felt my first flutter that morning and with all the positive signs we decided to tell our niece and nephews that night that they would be getting a new cousin. It was a fun night of celebrating our little man.
The next morning I woke up with a “tight” feeling in my stomach, but wrote it off as normal pregnancy pains. My husband left for the gym and shortly after I sat down to use the restroom and heard a loud “pop” and then a gush of water. I remember thinking that there was NO way that my water just broke at 17 weeks, again.
I stood up and water continued to gush down my legs and confirmed for me what I thought. I called my husband and told him that I thought my water broke. I was driving myself to the ER and for him to meet me there. The whole 4-minute car ride I just prayed to God that he would provide a miracle and not to put us through the heartache of losing another baby.
The ER sent me straight up to Labor and Delivery where they confirmed that my water broke but showed me that our little boy was still alive with a strong heartbeat. Our OB said that due to our gestational age of 17 weeks that there was nothing they could do or provide for us and since I wasn’t in active labor I needed to go home, rest, drink plenty of fluid, and pray for a miracle.
In some cases, women are able to regenerate the fluid in their amniotic sac and we hoped we would be one of those cases. We asked to see the pastor on staff before leaving, said a prayer over our little boy, and asked that God be with us. My husband and I went home to rest and do whatever we could to keep our son healthy and safe.
Six hours after returning home and drinking lots of fluids, I decided to go upstairs and lay down. I had a slight stomach ache and attributed it to all the fluids and the emotions of the day. I decided to stop in the bathroom before laying down and when I sat down, I looked down and saw two little feet hanging out of me.
I yelled for my husband and told him that the baby’s feet were coming out. He called an ambulance and while we waited for a short ten minutes for their arrival, he helped me deliver our sweet boy there in the bathroom in our home.
Our baby never moved; his heart had stopped beating sometime during the day after we left the hospital. My husband and I like to think his brother came down with Jesus to take him home. Once we were taken to the hospital the nurses took him away to clean him up for us to see him and hold him.
During our wait, we decided to name him Grady Grant; Grady meaning “Noble” and Grant after my dad. He was 8.25 inches long and weighed just over 5 ounces.
Grady was presented to us in a little blue cradle with blue trim and a silver cross and he was dressed in a white hat. He looked so handsome, peaceful, and perfect. We were given 14 hours with him in the hospital where we held him, sang to him, had him baptized, and tried to cram a lifetime of memories into our short time.
(Video Above: Shannon singing Skidamarink song to her son in Heaven, Grady Grant, in his Bridget's Cradle; Press Play to Watch)
Having the cradle allowed us to safely be with him and provided comfort to us as we knew that this cradle had been prayed over and made with a family like us in mind. While in this cradle, Grady had the opportunity to meet his uncle Lance and his Mema and namesake Grandpa Grant. We are grateful that he was surrounded by so much love.
Bridget’s Cradles has served a very special part of meeting both of our boys and providing comfort and peace on some of the hardest days of our lives. We are very thankful for this organization and the support that we have been provided. We love the two very special cradles that we have with us and the memories of our miracle boys and all that could have been.
Though our prayers for a healthy baby to bring home have not been answered, we still know that God has gifted us two beautiful boys for eternity and given us the opportunity to love both of them more than we knew we ever could. Our hope lies in the promise that we will be reunited with them in eternity.
Written by Shannon Vetter, mother of Grady Grant Vetter, born into Heaven 5/29/21 at 17 weeks, and Spencer Neil Vetter, born into Heaven 11/24/19 at 17 weeks
Please leave some love and encouragement for Nik & Shannon Vetter in the comments below. We appreciate your prayers for their family.
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