At the end of June 2022, My husband and I discovered we were pregnant with our fourth child. From the very beginning, I felt off with this pregnancy. I had minimal pregnancy symptoms and no morning sickness. I kept telling myself that everything was fine, and actually ended up having three ultrasounds before 12 weeks. All ultrasounds confirmed that our baby was healthy and growing.
At 10 weeks we opted to do a NIPT to check for gender and screen for genetic disorders. We had gone through the same test with our two other children.
At 13 weeks we got the results back: inconclusive for gender, not enough fetal DNA, high risk for Triploidy, Trisomy 18, or Trisomy 13. After doing some research, we discovered that all three genetic disorders were not compatible with life.
My Obstetrician referred us to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor for a more in-depth ultrasound. We prayed that there was a mistake and that this was just a false positive.
At 15 weeks, after having an ultrasound with our MFM doctor, we were told that yes, a genetic disorder looked likely.
Baby was measuring about two weeks behind and baby’s brain was not growing as it should. The rest was hard to determine because of the gestation and size of baby. We were also told (after some coercion) that it appeared that baby was a girl! We were given two options: one, schedule an amniocentesis at 16 weeks or two, come back at 17 weeks for another ultrasound, and keep putting the puzzle pieces together. We opted for option two.
At 17 weeks, that same week I was to go back to the MFM doctor, I had a regular OB appointment scheduled. The appointment was pretty cut and dry and I asked my OB for some more information on the amniocentesis and his opinion of the results from the MFM appointment.
At the very end of the appointment, he conducted a heartbeat check, and it was there (through fetal doppler and then ultrasound) that we were told there was no heartbeat. I knew that our baby had not been gone long, because I felt movement two days prior. We were scheduled to be induced that night.
Jo Crosby Lancaster was born on September 27, 2022 at 8:28 am weighing 1.4 oz. I was able to push and deliver just like my other two boys. Because Jo was still so small, we did not know the gender at the time of birth. Going by what we were told at 15 weeks, we named our baby, Joelle.
We were given a yellow knitted cradle to place our baby’s body in from Bridget’s Cradles. I cannot describe how comforting that was. Both me, my husband, and even my mother were able to hold and love on our baby.
A week later, after sending off some tissue samples, it was determined that Jo had a rare genetic disorder called Triploidy and that “she” was actually a “he.” Joelle was turned to Jo from then on and Crosby was a boy name that was on our list during each pregnancy. I believe that if Jo would have made it full term, Crosby most likely would have been the name we chose.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Jo. I thank God for sending The Holy Spirit to comfort me through my days, and for Bridget’s Cradles and their continued support. This ministry has been such a blessing in my life.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Written by Tess Lancaster, mother of Jo Crosby Lancaster, born into Heaven 9/27/2022 at 17 weeks
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