Contributed by Belinda (KS)
Some people would see Sara Joy as just a 22 week fetus and wonder why we grieve so much over our loss of her. They do not see the 3 yrs of blood, sweat, tears and the dream she was. We lost our precious 3rd daughter. Stephanie and April lost their baby sister.
We spent 9 years trying to have children. We are so blessed to have Stephanie and April but the loss of Sara Joy will forever leave a scar on our hearts and a hole in our family that will never be filled.
April and Stephanie helped with every shot Michael gave me in my IVF. They were with us in every step of Sara's conception. They know when appointment went well or not. They cheered when the embryo's fertilized even though they did not know what it meant. When I came home from my embryo transfer they loved seeing the picture of the embryo's. They sat on my bed and kissed my tummy talking to their babies. They bonded to Sara even then. April talked, sang and kissed my tummy every day. When we told them, 'yes they were going to have a brother or sister' they fought over which they wanted. April won the fight and got what she wanted, a baby sister. We have a tradition that the child before helps name the next. Stephanie helped name April, so we asked April what she wanted to name her sister. She put her ear to my tummy and said, "Sara". April did not know anyone named Sara but she knew her sister's name was Sara. April loved coming to my Doctor appointments to hear Sara's heart beat and see her on the ultrasound machine. You would think Stephanie would be jealous of that connection to Sara but she was not. She know that love because she had it for April.
When I went for my 22 week doctor appointment we thought nothing of letting April come with me. Even when we could not hear Sara's heart beat we were not worried because we had hard time finding it before but she was always okay. April and I went to my high risk ob for ultrasound. We were shocked not to see it. April askes, “Sara ok? “ I had to tell her Sara was gone. I had to drive all the way home on my own. All the way home April was praying, “God bring back my sister. I love her so.“ When we told Stephanie she reacted like a normal 6 yr old and lashed out.“ I do not care she is gone” and ran off to hide.
We had to wait all weekend for my Doctor. It was the longest hardest weekend in our lives. We went to the hospital at 4 pm in the afternoon to be induced. The nurses tried to be good to us. They kept trying to get me to get drugs. They did not understand I needed to feel the pain. I needed to remember each little detail of this last step in my connection to Sara. I finally gave in to get epidural at 10 pm that night. But I got a light one so I would feel things but not a lot of pain. Delivering Sara knowing she was gone was so hard. S ara Joy was delivered at 3 am in the morning of March 13th . I did not have to have any help delivering her. Later my doctor came into the room and opened the water sac and pulled her out. He said she was as small as he had thought she would be. She had died 2 weeks before we know she was gone. We saw that her cord was tiny near her and normal farther on. He said looks like she died of a twisted cord. That it was a freak accident that she died. I had not done anything to kill her, that she was normal in every way, that she was perfect. We got to hold her all night. We took pictures of her.
I could not sleep that night knowing she was in the room with us but not with us. I asked Michael to go get my Mom and the girls so they could say goodbye to their sister. I thought they would not want to see her but after telling them what Sara looked like and showing pictures of her they still wanted to hold her. I went to get her but she had deteriorated too much. But they still got to see her and touch her. They helped in the blessing. And they helped wheel me out of the hospital without their dear sister.
We are now doing the last step with our baby girl. We are planning her resting place. Stephanie and April helped with the designing of her stone. We will plant a "Sara Garden" that they will help plant and take care of. In the future if we move Sara will come with us in her resting place and our hearts.