Birthdate: October 12, 2017
Parents: Nicole & Herman
In honor of Ava's 1st birthday.
My husband and I met in high school gym class, I was just 14 and he was 17, but we immediately fell for each other. We started dating, and after 4 years we had our first son. Shortly after we had our son, we continued to try to grow our little family and had a daughter and another son. Unfortunately, along the way we lost 6 babies to miscarriage and decided it was time to stop trying. Enduring all of those losses was hard, but I had this feeling that we were still missing a piece to our puzzle. That’s when Ava’s story started.
When we least expected it, I found out I was pregnant. Overjoyed and absolutely terrified all at once, we kept our baby a secret until she was safe, or so we thought. When I was 4 months along we announced, “one two three four, we’re having one more”. Everyone was thrilled for us, they knew this hadn’t been an easy journey for us. The pregnancy was going great, Ava looked perfect, and then the unthinkable happened and we became that unexplained 1%. We went in for a checkup, as we regularly did due to me being high risk because of all of our miscarriages. Right away we knew something was wrong; the tech turned the screen away and called for the doctor. My heart dropped, I held my belly and began praying harder than I have ever prayed, surely there must be a mistake. The doctor came in, took a better look with the ultrasound, and then he said those words that changed us forever, “I’m sorry, but there is no heartbeat”. Time froze, my world came crashing down. How could this happen to us? How am I going to tell my children that their sister has gone to heaven?
It was my husband’s birthday, we were supposed to be celebrating him and instead we were on our way to the hospital to be induced. Labor began at 3:13pm, my most intense and painful labor yet. Like I did with my other children, I refused help or an epidural, I was determined to labor for Ava just like I did with her siblings. After 8hrs and 44min, with one big push Ava was born silently into the world at 11:57pm on her daddy’s birthday. I waited to hear a little cry, still holding hope that they were wrong, but Ava was still and silent. Our baby girl was just 6.2oz and 22cm long, had deep dark eyes just like her big brother, and the most perfect little hands and feet. October 12, 2017 our lives changed forever.
Rachel’s Gift was there for us, when we were at our darkest time and we are forever grateful.
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