At 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I went into labor overnight. I had a healthy pregnancy with no complications; there was no reason to think anything other than labor was happening. We called a close friend to come over around 2 a.m. to stay with our 18-month daughter as my husband packed the car. Once we were set, we were off to the hospital to meet our second baby girl.
When we arrived at the hospital, my contractions were minutes apart. The nurses weren’t prepared for how far along I was in labor and immediately started getting things ready for delivery. They weren’t even sure if the on-call doctor would make it in time to deliver our baby, but just after the doctor walked in, it was time to push. At 6 a.m. on March 30, 2019, Taylor Anne was born still and rushed out of the room for lifesaving measures.
We weren’t told anything about her condition. In fact, the nurses and doctor continued doing their jobs as if the whole world wasn’t about to come crashing down on us, trying not to think about the news that followed.
A pediatrician came into our room and my husband stood up to greet her. With tears in her eyes, she told us that lifesaving measures had failed and our little girl was with Jesus. It’s the kind of news that makes the world stop. All the dreams and plans we had for that baby girl were scooped away at that moment.
Shortly after, they told us we could hold her. I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to do that yet, but my husband firmly jumped on the opportunity so I followed his lead. They brought her to us wrapped in a blanket with a crocheted hat and they left us alone in our grief. We held her and we sobbed.
The hospital chaplain came to visit us in our grief and shared the story of David’s loss and repentance found in 2 Samuel 12:23.
“David answered, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let him live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.’”
We were supposed to be welcoming our daughter into this world and somehow, we found ourselves in the deep throes of grief. How could we possibly leave this hospital without her?
Several unpleasant phone calls followed as we informed our close friends and family members about the tragedy we were experiencing. Within two hours, our parents and our living daughter, Hailey, visited us at the hospital.
Hailey was a proud big sister and she made everyone in the hospital smile despite the circumstances. Throughout the day, several people came to visit with us including leaders of our church, bible study, and family.
As part of this process, one person who my husband called was the grandmother of his high school classmate and Taylor’s namesake. Right after we found out we were pregnant with our Taylor we were visiting her. Corey’s best friend, Taylor, was in a wheelchair throughout high school and my husband was the one who was by his side during those challenges.
His friend was raised by his grandmother and we visited her years later to pay our condolences after we found out that his friend passed away on our first daughter’s day of birth. When we left the house from this visit, I asked my husband if we could name the baby we were expecting Taylor, regardless of being a boy or a girl since the name would work for either gender.
Weeks before the birth of our Taylor, the grandmother had sent me a message on Facebook:
“I pray everything is going wonderfully with your new expected baby. I had a thought today that I want to share with you. I don’t know if I told you this or not, about how Taylor loved to hold all the babies of friends and family. We have many pictures of babies on Taylor’s lap. I believe he held your sweet baby girl before she was born, he knew her and sent his love to you in her. Taylor had such a sweet spirit and he was wise. May you both have the comfort I have, knowing she and Taylor met.”
After the phone calls, we worked together with the nurse staff at our hospital to take photos as a family while we could and navigate the decisions that come with losing a child. My doctor, who was not the doctor who delivered our Taylor, came to visit us, cry with us and pray for us.
In the hospital, they ran so many blood tests to try to solve the mystery of what happened. My doctor sent my placenta to pathology for review and we declined to have an autopsy done after talking it over with multiple doctors. We decided to cremate Taylor.
A week later and a day before my official due date, our friends and family gathered to support us as we held a funeral for our baby girl. My due date was April 7 and after many years, this serves as a reminder of Phillipians 4:7 which says “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In the month following our loss, we focused on grieving as a family and I prayed for the peace of God that Phillipians 4:7 references. I returned to work about 10 weeks after our loss. We made progress in talking to Hailey about her sister who lives in Heaven. We desperately wanted her to have a living sibling to share this life with.
Just before Hailey’s 2nd birthday, we found out we were pregnant again. After our loss, we agreed that we would not wait until 12 weeks to share the news. We told our family and then soon after, we found out that we were losing that baby. I was about 6 weeks along in that pregnancy.
Months after my loss, we were sent to a fertility specialist in Kansas City to assess my overall health with a focus on reproductive health. Every doctor we met drew conclusions and every one of the conclusions proved to be false. We never got an answer about what happened.
At the beginning of 2020, we found out we were pregnant for a fourth time. Since we had been going to appointments and had additional monitoring, we found out very early and were fearful of the outcome.
The doctors agreed they wouldn’t let me carry the baby past 39 weeks and labeled my pregnancy as high risk. In August 2020, we delivered our third baby girl, Kaitlin during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ll never understand the tragedy that we had to endure to complete our family, but after many years of prayer, I will continue to trust the One who holds the past, the present, and the future in His hands.
Written by Corey and Maria Childs, parents of Taylor Anne Childs, born into Heaven 3/30/2019 at 38 weeks
"I am so thankful for Bridget’s Cradles. This organization was a landing place for my healing heart years after my losses. In June 2021, I listened to the first episode of the Cradled in Hope podcast. For years I searched for organizations and support groups in Kansas and God answered my prayers by connecting me to Ashley, the Executive Director, through that episode of the podcast. This ministry was an answered prayer and provides many blessings to families who face pregnancy and infant loss. As a volunteer, I honor my babies in Heaven and all other children gone too soon." - Maria
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