My friend Molly bravely shared her nuggets of wisdom here a few weeks ago. Her mom, Becky Finstad, wrote a follow up to Molly's blog and dropped it off at my house one day. Even though infant loss awareness month technically ended on Saturday, we continue to celebrate and talk about our little ones we've lost everyday. I hope you enjoy this beautiful perspective. "But Nana, where is Stella? Where is the baby? I want her to come down from Heaven and play with Griffin and me." At 4 1/2 months into pregnancy, we learned that our little twin granddaughter, Stella, was not developing normally. Detailed tests and specialists were consulted. The ultrasound showed big brother Griffin on the upper right of the picture bending over tiny Little Stella. To me it was like he was telling his tiny sister, "Don't worry Stella, I've got you covered!"
The diagnosis came. "Molly and Brad, your daughter is, 'incompatible with life'. She has Trisomy 18. There is nothing we can do to help her." My personal reaction to the test results was numbness and denial. There had to be hope. My husband said, "We can't forget about miracles!" I slowly let myself absorb the truth of the devastating test results. It was conclusive that her little body was not developing into a healthy baby girl. Instead she was developing into a small little angel.
My prayers were constant, short, disconnected. "God help us all," was my simple plea. The heaviness in my heart was almost unmanageable. I wanted to hold my daughter and rock her and not let her go. I know that Molly must have felt the same way about the little girl she was carrying. I felt ill equipped to say and do the most comforting things for Molly, Brad and Grayson. Molly tried to continue teaching, but was hospitalized several times for high blood pressure.We were so concerned about Molly's health. We were so concerned about the stress on Griffin's health. We were so concerned about how Stella would enter our lives.
How would we get through the next 4 1/2 months?
In my soul, I knew, "God had us covered," but my heart felt like it was breaking.
Our kitchen and dining room were being remodeled so we ate most of our evening meals at Brad and Molly's. We all needed the comfort of being together and the joy and distraction that 2 year old Grayson provided was so helpful. Ironically, shortly after our home was put back together Molly and Brad's kitchen and dining room subfloor had to be reinforced. It was a huge new expense for them, but it could not be delayed. New wood floor was ripped off and new wood flooring put on. A cement leveling agent had to be put on and dried several days before the flooring went down. More meals together.
In the midst of the turmoil, Little Stella went to Heaven. She became an angel one month before she was actually delivered with her brother Griffin.
At the time of Stella's diagnosis, Molly had poured her raw emotions out on Facebook. The outpouring of emotional support was overwhelming. The support from the community, school, nursing staff, friends, relatives, carpenters, electricians, pastors, and strangers continues to nourish our hearts. Food prepared, constant cards, God's "Boots on the ground." People who are faithful to remain "on call," when sadness returns.
Griffin was born totally healthy. We were overcome with joy for him. We know we are blessed. We were able to hold a real angel that day.
Now Stella, "Has us covered."
-Becky Finstad, Nana and Mom