The 1 in 4: Annabelle's Angels

November 20, 2018 is the day our lives were forever changed. Before I tell you about that allow me to introduce myself and my family. My name is Jeri Hughes, my husband is Thomas Hughes and we have five children. Our oldest Gideon (6), Anne Marie (4), Ariana (2 1/2), our angel baby Annabelle (Stillborn at 21 weeks), and our other angel baby that we weren't able to name that we lost at 6 1/2 weeks just this past August.

It was around our son's birthday that I found out I was pregnant with our sweet Annabelle. She was a surprise but also very much a blessing and I was excited because we would have four beautiful children. A full house is a full heart. Raised in a big family I always wanted a big family of my own.

For my first three pregnancies I was lucky enough not to have any issues and to be very active during all of them. I thought this one would be the same...until it wasn't. Within the first 6-10 weeks I noticed I was very exhausted. I expressed this to my husband and midwife because for me, it wasn't normal. My husband reminded me that I now have three kids to keep up with along with my daily doings, to pace myself and rest when i could. My midwife reminded me that every pregnancy is different and to rest when i felt tired. She wasn't concerned because i seemed fine as did the baby's heart rate and all. I thought I was just being paranoid but something deep in my mama gut was raising a red flag.

My first ultrasound appointment came at 10 weeks, confirming that yes 110% i was pregnant and baby was OK! She was measuring right where they predicted her to be but i found her position and movements peculiar. I brushed it off though because i am not a doctor or ultrasound tech and kept reminding myself that every baby and every pregnancy is different. So instead on my way home I thanked God for our blessing and prayed for a healthy baby. In the weeks to come we would quickly learn God had other plans.

Fast forward to October, we were set to take family photos the weekend before Halloween. I had been feeling some sharp abdominal pains but had an upcoming appointment (in November) for the anatomy scan and to find out the gender so I assured myself it was okay and I would talk to the midwife about it then. It only happened when i moved or sat certain ways so it wasn't a constant or enough to make me think the worst. During our photo shoot our photographer asked my husband to dip me a little to get the shoot and when he did i felt a pain like no other. It brought tears to my eyes, that's when i realized, something really wasn't right. I called my midwife as soon as i could, by then the pain was gone. It had subsided only minutes after the dip so i thought maybe a pregnant woman just shouldn't be dipped, it's not like i had ever been dipped pregnant before so i wasn't sure. When i called her because the pain had gone away she told me that if it did come back just come on in and to rest.