Born Still January 22, 1998

Angela's Story

After spending 10 weeks with our 16 month old girl, Jessica Joy, in the hospital after her two open heart surgeries, we came home, looking forward to preparing for our newest blessing, to arrive around February 20, 1998. On January 22nd, 1998, 4 weeks before the due date, I took Jessica to the cardiologist, and after being in the office barely 5 minutes I began to hemorrhage. I was rushed next door to the hospital to find out I had a placenta abruption and the baby had died. Losing nearly half my blood, I was taken for an emergency c-section to save my life. The doctor, who we later found out is a Christian, even asked my husband to do a hysterectomy if needed, to save my life. Thankfully, it he didn’t have to. In my arms later was placed a beautiful little girl, we named Angela Hope, weighing 6 lbs. 10 oz. and perfect in every way, but perfectly still. We named her Angela Hope because we have a hope that someday, because of a personal decision to trust and accept Jesus Christ in our lives, we will see her again. Though our hearts ache because we miss her so much and miss even having the chance to know her, we “sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.” I Thes. 4:13 Angela’s birth/death was also on the 25th anniversary date of the Supreme Court decision Roe vs Wade. As we saw our perfectly formed baby, our hearts ache also in the sadness of so many WANTED babies that are murdered.

Our funeral director was wonderful and encouraged us to make memories, even in years to come, to keep Angela’s memory alive. We brought an outfit for her to the funeral home, but did not think of “details” and he got her a onsie and cloth diaper to wear. At the funeral home I was able to hold her once again and after returning home I could smell her makeup on me. Weeks later I’d go to my closet and “smell her” on the dress I could not wash...I did not want to wash a memory away. Later I got the nerve up to ask the funeral director for some of the makeup he used and I have that in a little bottle, and to smell it brings back that memory I have of her.

Another bittersweet memory we were able to make was designing her gravestone. My husband use to work at a place that made them, so we were able to design her gravestone with Norm’s uncle’s help. It turned out perfect. We go often to plant new flowers and on “birthdays” we have sung happy birthday and let balloons go with messages.

I’ve learned a lot since saying hello and good-bye to this precious baby we will see someday in heaven. I’ve learned that the moments with her were too short, yet, I’ve learned of God’s grace as never before. I’ve learned that all of our lives are too short, and that when we thought we were preparing to say good-bye to Jessica, never imagining it would be our next child...that we need to not take any life for granted. I’ve learned to look for God’s goodness, even when there are tears. Had I not been next to the hospital that day, I would not have lived. My husband and I have also had opportunities to share Christ and the hope we have in Him with other parents. I have been able to find the truth in, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5.) We don’t forget Angela. The night was long….but the sweetness of a new dawn was found and joy did come again...and tears do yet come as memories and lack of memories stir our hearts. And so much more do I "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15).

I hope in your reading these pages, especially if you have said good-bye to a baby, that you find hope and encouragement in these pages. Because of the many people God brought our way to encourage us through our valley, God put it in our hearts to start a ministry, especially for moms who have lost a baby, called Bereaved Moms Share (BMS). I invite you to visit these web pages.

Thank you for reading our special memory page and for being a part of remembering the precious lives God gives, no matter how short.

Mama to 10 walking beside her
& 5 walking beside Jesus above

UPDATE: Sadly, on December 11, 2004 Angela’s big brother, Matthew, at age 16 joined her. Matthew was very saddened by Angela’s death, and I remember days after her death, him telling me he was so thankful I did not die along with her. Matthew deeply loved the Lord, but made a foolish mistake that caused an accidental death. Especially if you have children, please also visit his website. But now I imagine Angela and Matthew running through the green pastures with many children, including our other little miscarried babies surrounding him. Heaven is sweeter. Our home has more tears. But we know, someday those tears will be wiped away.

In Loving Memory of our Babies in Heaven:

November 1994 - 5 weeks completed
March 1995 -11 weeks completed
Angela Hope ~ January 22, 1998 ~ 36 weeks completed
December 17, 1998 - 7.5 weeks completed

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