Olivia Grace, Our Baby of Hope and Promise

Jeanette Wayne

My husband and I spent 5 agonizing years of infertility, hoping and praying that God would bless us with a child. When we FINALLY conceived, I was not only in shock, but I was absolutely overwhelmed with incredible joy, thankfulness and exhilaration! I thanked God CONTINUOUSLY for the miracle life growing within me and I felt profoundly honored to have been chosen to be a mother. It took months for me to come to the point where I truly believed that I was actually going to be a MOTHER, and not just the auntie or godmother of someone else's child! I thought that all those lonely, painful years of childlessness were finally at an end and that I had finally joined the ranks of "complete womanhood".

My sweet baby was the ultimate joy of my life! She brought blessed hope, promise and purpose into my life. I felt complete, whole and totally fulfilled. She was such a miraculous answer to so many fervent prayers and she was so DEEPLY loved and wanted that I automatically assumed that God would certainly protect her and NEVER let anything bad happen to her. I thought that because I had prayed UNCEASINGLY for my baby EVERY SINGLE DAY OF HER LIFE, God would answer those prayers and move heaven and earth to preserve her precious life.

I had no reason whatsoever to doubt that my baby would soon be in my arms because my pregnancy went perfectly. I was healthy and strong and I did everything within my power to ensure my baby's safe arrival. When I reached 32 weeks, I naturally thought that I was "home free"! But then I started having some pre-term labor. My husband took me to see our wonderful nurse-midwife to have me checked out. The baby and I were monitored for 8 hours and everything looked great. My midwife even said that I had nothing to worry about because I had a "textbook" pregnancy! So they stopped the contractions with medication, gave me some steroids to mature the baby's lungs and sent me home to stay on moderate bed rest for a week. Although I was nervous and anxious about the situation, I still believed that everything would turn out alright.

As I took the medication to keep the contractions under control, I noticed that it made my baby extremely hyperactive. But five days later, I began to realize that she was not kicking and bouncing around like she normally did. I didn't start to worry until my husband and I were at our first Lamaze class and I realized that not only had the baby not been moving for about 6 hours, but I felt a strange sense of heaviness in my womb. So we called our midwife as soon as we got home and she told us to come right in. During that hour long drive to the hospital, I manipulated my belly in the frantic effort to encourage my baby to move. My mind raced with many terrifying thoughts, but I NEVER imagined that the unthinkable was about to happen.

Then came the ultrasound experience, which will forever burn in my memory....As my midwife and my husband studied the ultrasound, they became DEATHLY quiet and refused to look at me. An eternity of unbearable silence and horror passed before I finally cried out in desperation, "What?! What's wrong?!" Almost inaudibly, the midwife said, "It doesn't look good." And suddenly I KNEW the unknowable, the unfathomable, the impossible. My sweet, beloved baby had died. The uttermost depths of my entire being were obliterated by searing pain and all I could do was scream and wail and weep uncontrollably. A huge part of me died at that moment, never to be resurrected again until I hold my baby in heaven.

Then labor started and I was faced with the terrifying reality that my child was soon to be ripped from my life forever on this earth. On May 11, 1995, after 16 hours of labor, our darling Olivia Grace was born. She was and will forever be the most exquisitely beautiful, angelic baby in all the universe. Her face was sweetness itself and her Daddy and I were awestruck by her amazing loveliness.

The moment I held Olivia in my arms, I experienced the most profound joy and sense of wholeness that I have ever known. When I cradled her against my chest, I understood love in its purest, most perfect form. When I kissed her tiny nose and curled her delicate fingers around mine like I had always dreamed of doing, I thought my heart would burst. And I whispered sweet words of love and tenderness in her ear while I held her close to my heart and rocked her. I wanted to freeze time so that I could hold my beloved child forever. Now I live for the day when I shall be reunited with her for all eternity. Each night, I ask God to give my baby girl a big kiss and tell her that I love her with all my heart and soul. Then I whisper to her, "Hold tight, my sweet baby, til Mommy gets there." --

Jeanette Wayne, proud Mommy of Olivia Grace Wayne

You can send email to Jeanette at [email protected]
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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW