On this very day, four years ago, it rained. Not just a little sprinkle – a terrible thunderstorm complete with tornado warnings. I remember watching the weather report and wondering if I should keep the children home from school until the weather had passed. But I was selfish that day. It was the day of my 20-week ultrasound, and I was determined to see my newest little blessing on the big screen.
So I dropped off my other children with assurances from the school that they would be safe, and I headed to my doctor’s office. The lightning flashed around me and the wind pushed the rain under my umbrella as I made my way to the medical building. I was drenched, but I didn’t care. To the second floor I went and happily met my husband in the waiting room where numerous other women with various sized tummies waited for their names to be called.
Finally, my name was called, and we were ushered into the darkened ultrasound room. The warm gel was applied to my expanding belly, followed by the ultrasound wand. The screen lit up the dark room, and there was our beloved little baby! The perfect little profile was displayed before us, but I knew something was wrong almost immediately. The room was too quiet, and the baby was too still.
The tech didn’t say anything as she moved the wand to different positions on my tummy. But then…
“I’m so sorry. There is no heartbeat.”
I think my own heart may have stopped beating for a moment at those words. I glanced at the screen and saw my sweet baby’s little nose and little lips, and I began to mourn. I mourned the fact that we would never know the color of her eyes or her hair. I mourned the fact that her brothers and sister would not have the chance to spoil her rotten. I mourned the fact that my baby, for whatever reason, was suddenly and unexpectedly gone.
The weather seemed to mimic my emotions as it relentlessly continued to rain. It rained the next day as I delivered our perfectly formed daughter and held her close to my heart. It rained when we had to say goodbye to our sweet baby and left the hospital with empty arms. For seven days, it rained. Then, a week after Anna entered the world, the sun came out. We buried her that day. Her tiny white casket sat before us, and with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes, we said goodbye. We slowly walked away with the sun shining down upon us.
Following Anna’s delivery and burial, my husband and I searched for a way to give Anna a lasting legacy, a way to give meaning to what we had experienced. We needed to bring a small ray of sunshine to those who were experiencing the storm of baby loss. The result was the formation of Anna’s Grace Foundation. I hope you can join us for the Anna’s Grace Quarter Marathon as we honor Anna and all of the babies who were gone too soon.
About Anna’s Grace Foundation Anna’s Grace Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting families in the Greater Baton Rouge Area who experience miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Each and every day one of our neighbors, friends, coworkers, or family members will experience the devastating loss of a baby, and Anna’s Grace is there to provide emotional and financial support so that families can focus on healing. The Anna’s Grace Quarter Marathon is on March 24, 2019. For more information or to register, visit http://www.annasgrace.org/registration.