Anchors Aweigh : Taylor Grace

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Taylor Grace

Parker and I found out we were going to be parents on August 11, 2014. We were so shocked and excited and all of those wonderful emotions you feel when you see that positive test. We couldn't believe it! We were going to have a baby! I had a very smooth pregnancy and enjoyed every moment of carrying our child.

At 16 weeks, I went to the doctor for light bleeding. Just to be safe, the doctors decided to do an ultrasound. They found a small bleed, but they found something else that concerned them more. Our baby was measuring small. Very small. The head was in the 20th percentile, the body was in the 5th percentile, and the femur was in the 3rd percentile. We were scared, but we hoped and prayed that the dating of our pregnancy was just off, meaning I wasn't as far along as I thought I was. I also had routine second trimester screening done where they took blood to test for chromosomal defects and neural tube defects. I received a call from the doctor a few days later. Our results came back with a 1 in 10 chance for Trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality that effects the heart, brain...everything really. Babies with Trisomy 18 typically only live a few hours or days if they are born alive. We were so scared.

We clung to the hope that 1 in 10 odds meant our baby had a 90% chance of being fine, but I knew the soft markers for Trisomy 18. I studied our previous ultrasound that was done at 16 weeks, and I could see them. We went in at 17 weeks for another ultrasound, and the doctors stayed silent as they thoroughly examined our baby. The doctor looked me in the eyes as I held my husband's hand and told me, based on what they were seeing, they were extremely suspicious of a chromosomal abnormality. I decided to have an amniocentesis to know for sure, but we already knew. There was something wrong with our baby. At 17 weeks, they also wrote down the gender of our baby on an envelope for us to open in private. We opened the envelope as soon as we got to the car. As soon as I read it, I lost it. We were having a girl. The daughter I had dreamed of having my whole life was going to die, and there was nothing I could do to save her.

The results of the amniocentesis came back 3 days later, and our daughter didn't actually have Trisomy 18. She had Triploidy, meaning she had 3 of every single chromosome instead of the normal 2. It happened at conception, and there was absolutely nothing Parker or I could have done to prevent it. It was out of our hands. The diagnosis of Triploidy was even grimmer than Trisomy 18. There was a 99% chance I would miscarry our daughter or she would be stillborn. If she was born alive, she would die quickly. 66% of babies with Triploidy don't make it past 15 weeks, so we were so proud of our fighter for beating the odds and hanging on. We made a decision right then and there to love and carry her as long as we were able and to treasure each new day with her. She was still the greatest gift we had ever received, and we gave her the name Taylor Grace.

We listened to her heartbeat each night before we went to bed. It was the most beautiful sound, and it meant our little girl had hung on for one more day. At 18 weeks 5 days, it was a Sunday, and we were singing at church that morning. I don't remember what song we were singing, but I looked up and said "Lord, thank you for this gift. I give her back to you when you're ready". She was always His. That night, we listened for her heartbeat but heard nothing. He had taken her home. Two days shy of 19 weeks on November 23, 2014, Taylor Grace went to Heaven to be with Jesus.

We will live with the pain of never holding our daughter in our arms here on earth forever, but we know we will get to meet her in Heaven one day. The doctors described this as a lightning strike. It wasn't supposed to happen, they said. We don't think of it that way at all. With all of our hearts, we believe God had a purpose for Taylor in her short life here on Earth. It has been our prayer from the beginning that God would be glorified through her story, and we really believe that He has. Through the pain and the tears, we have never felt closer to God. This was His plan from the beginning, and as much as I wish Taylor Grace was healthy and with us on this earth, God's plans for her were so much bigger than anything we could have ever dreamed. We were blessed to be a part of it. She was and is the greatest gift we have ever received.

We never got to hold our little girl, but we do have the most precious footprint and handprint to remind us how fearfully and wonderfully made Taylor Grace was. Those feet and hands are dancing and praising Jesus in Heaven right now.


5 comments :

Erica said...

Oh Chelsea, I am a misty-eyed mess. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am so glad you have this beautiful blog as a record keeper of your pregnancy and of her life. Your writing and outlook is extremely inspirational, and I know your daughter's life will and already has touched so (so so so) many lives. -Erica

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

<3 Taylor will always be the one who made you a mom. No one can take that away from you. xo

Heather Nelsen said...

This is beautiful. Your perspective, your trust in Lord's plan for Taylor Grace and for your family, her perfect foot print and hand print... God has absolutely been glorified through her life. I can't wait to see what He has in store for you guys in the future. Thanks for sharing this. It really meant so much to me.

Mae @ Endlessly Ever After said...

My goodness..This is beautiful. She really was a fighter and God so has much better things planned for her.

Ari Mack said...

I came back to read this because I remembered your story, and I just had a miscarriage at 7-8 weeks. Thanks for sharing. {Still} sorry for your loss, and congratulations on your baby boy.

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