I know all too well the pain and heartache of losing a child. I know there are no words, gifts, or gestures to ease an aching mother's heart. Whether it be from miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death... it's all a terrible experience to endure and try to continue on afterward. Losing a child never get's better. I'm convinced the "it just takes time" saying does not apply to losing a child. I will always miss and long for our son. Part of my heart flew forward to heaven with my son, and I will never get that part back. I will always wonder what he would've been like. I will always count down the days to seeing him again alongside our heavenly Father.
I found out I was pregnant in December 2019. I surprised my husband on Christmas Eve with the most precious gift to tell him. We both were shocked and excited to be pregnant. We had just gotten married in November, so we joked this was our honeymoon child (because we literally may have conceived on our honeymoon). Our due date was August 27, 2020.
On March 27, 2020 we had my first anatomy scan. During the anatomy scan, my OB noted some fluid in our unborn child's kidneys. We were told this is a common thing, seen often, and fixes itself a lot of the time. At the time, we were not too worried and leaning into our faith and prayer that it would, in fact, "fix itself". At the second follow-up scan, we were referred to an MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine) doctor for more extensive evaluation because the fluid was still present.
On Wednesday, May 27, at 2:45 PM, I went for a targeted ultrasound alone. Due to coronavirus, my husband could not attend. I remember the ultrasound tech so vividly. She was precious. But, the atmosphere in the room changed quickly when nearing the end of the ultrasound. When she asked me where my husband was and if he was available for Facetime potentially, I knew something was terribly wrong. I could feel it in my bones. I was terrified. I needed and wanted my husband by my side painfully. He was on the phone with me before the doctor entered. Tears filled my eyes when he answered the call, fearing and preparing for the worst. When our doctor entered, I could tell by her tone that we were about to hear news every expecting parent is terrified to hear. She tells us, "you need to prepare yourselves that your baby may not live after childbirth." I was alone, masked, sulking in a patient room with my husband on Facetime. I cannot express in word how terrible it was. I couldn't breathe. I could barely drive home that day. We were told the best and worst case scenarios. We were going to fight and pray for the best.
The thing is, you can never be prepared... No one can prepare you to accept the best and worst-case scenarios. No one can prepare an expecting mother that she may have to carry a child full term, feel every kick and hiccup, and experience birth while knowing she could come home to an empty nursery. No one can prepare an expecting father for the feelings of helplessness penetrating him, and the strength and faith he will need to carry for his wife and family. No one can be prepared for a miscarriage. No one can be prepared for the disappointment in fertility issues month after month. No one can be prepared for losing a child; whether it be in pregnancy, infancy, childhood, or adulthood, it is the worst pain you can ever go through.
The rest of my pregnancy was full of bi-weekly scans, referrals to specialty doctors, meetings with palliative care physicians, support information, and a lot of traveling to Charlotte. We transferred my care to Charlotte to ensure our baby would have all the immediate specialists he/she may need (we did not know gender until delivery.)
Our sweet Harbin Ryan Heath was born on August 10, 2020 weighing 7 pounds and 7 ounces, and measuring 19" long. Harbin meant "little warrior" in German and French. He fought for his life so hard for 11 days, warrior indeed he was. We did everything we possibly could, but in the end we knew he was just too sick. He was strongest baby on earth. Harbin entered heaven's gates comfortably in our arms on August 21, 2020 at 9:44 PM. We sang to him. We loved on him. We told him how much his big brother will miss him. We asked him to be with us wherever we go. We told him we will be counting down to see him again. We knew God wanted him. In fact, I vividly heard God tell me, "give me my son," three days before Harbin passed on a critical and scary day of his care. Harbin was healed more than any doctor could provide and is running side by side with his Creator. There aren't adequate words to express the sorrow, pain, and heartache felt deep in our bones. It's paralyzing. It will be paralyzing for the rest of my life.
I wish I didn't know the heartache of losing a child. But I do...My personal goal was to create a Spirit Factory collection for mothers who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. I know nothing, absolutely nothing, can comfort the aching and heavy hearts of mother's who have lost a child. But I do find some comfort in holding Harbin close to me in the jewelry I wear. Every day I wear my Gold Initial Necklace with a C and H for my two sons, Cannon and Harbin.
I hope this collection and other design ideas brings you comfort too, momma. You are loved. You are prayed for. There is a beautiful plan for you and your family.
Rainbow Baby Collection - click photos to shop!