This is the story of Allie Grace Robertson, the baby girl who arrived in my arms stillborn. Although she never made an entrance into the world, she changed my life and my husband’s life forever. This is her story.
I decided to start this blog because we are humbled and overwhelmed by those praying for us, sending texts, sending private messages and emails, or just stopping me in public to ask the hard questions. “What happened to your baby?” “Is it just going to be you and the boys, or are y’all going to try again?” (I kid you not; that was a serious question I was asked…) “When are y’all going to adopt?” and the comment… “You know once you adopt, you’ll become pregnant!” Umm, so I love you all, and it blesses my soul to know you care for me and my family the way you do. (Even those of you who shouldn’t ever speak out loud. Ever!)
I realized that I am not the only one grieving our sweet little girl nor am I the only one ready for “Joy to come in the morning”. I am also unable to keep everyone updated the way I had hoped. And I am simply too tired, sad and emotional to be telling the same story over and over. A blog seemed like the best option on keeping those we love and who love us updated on our story. My mother-in-law once told me, “God gives us stories, and it’s up to us if we waste them or not.” Ours will not be wasted. Please note that this is going to be a sacred place for me as I pour out my heart as well as ask for specific prayer requests and offer praises to my Lord and Savior!
“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27
From the beginning…. In August 2013, we found out we were pregnant! As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I began spotting. Alarmed we were dealing with another miscarriage (We had already experienced three losses.), we went to the doctor for an ultrasound. I was only five weeks, and the ultrasound wasn’t any help–too early to tell. I continued to spot until the following week when I was scheduled for another ultrasound. During that time, a precious friend of mine was sitting in a church service when she heard a message preached on Gen. 1:1 “God Can Make Something Out of Nothing.” She texted me that night to tell me I was on her heart as she listened to the sermon. God was using her along with that dear preacher to speak to and minister to my worried mama’s heart. Even though the ultrasound couldn’t see my baby, God was creating something out of nothing! We went the following week and saw a teeny little pea with a racing healthy beating heart! Yep, we saw a heartbeat at just six weeks! Thank you, God, for your sovereignty and grace!
As my pregnancy progressed everything was going great! On Oct. 24th, the boys and I painted two pumpkins: one pink and one blue in anticipation of our gender reveal ultrasound that evening. We found out at 15 weeks we were expecting a GIRL!
At our 18-week ultrasound, our doctor came in to inform us that my placenta was very high due to a possible uterine septum. (A uterine septum is a piece of tissue that completely or partially divides the inside of the uterus.) He was slightly concerned that baby Allie may not be getting enough nutrients and therefore may not be growing properly. He wanted to schedule a follow-up ultrasound at 22 weeks to check Allie’s growth.
November 29th…Sam’s 30th birthday…We had a few friends and family over to celebrate. We enjoyed supper and played a game that had us laughing all evening. Our boys went to spend the night with my in-laws. As the night came to an end and we headed to bed, I noticed a tiny spot of blood.
During the night of Nov. 29th, I dreamed Sam, the boys, and I were walking through the graveyard at our church. That night the Holy Spirit was with me, letting me know it was all going to be all right…comforting me, preparing me.
He was whispering sweet peace to me…
On the morning of November 30th, the boys were just getting home from a sleepover at my in-law’s house. It was around 8:30 a.m., and I had called the hospital to inform them I had seen a spot of blood. As I was on the phone with the nurse, with Tucker and Coren by my side, my water broke. It was like an explosion! I frantically called my father-in-law to come back and get the boys. I then called Sam to come home. He was out deer hunting in a nearby stand. Within seconds, our house was buzzing! My mother-in-law came for the boys, praying peace over me. And my father-in-law drove us to the hospital. I was only 20 weeks and 3 days. I knew she was too early. Too tiny to survive. I already knew…my daughter’s hours were numbered, and Heaven awaited her.
Once I was at the hospital and admitted, I could hear the doctor’s words, telling me my daughter wouldn’t survive, but it was all so surreal. As I was listening to his words, I could feel her tiny feet kicking inside my womb. My mind raced… Oh sweet girl, how I love you. Please survive this. Please don’t leave us. God, perform a miracle! Please, Jesus! Tears fell from my eyes, streaming like a steady rain down my cheeks. I cried so much that day that we ran out of Kleenex in my hospital room. Our precious nurse kept bringing in new boxes, but they quickly ran out too. We ended up sending a friend on a Kleenex run.
Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I just want to testify that the peace of God which passes all understanding is real! It is so real that at times I would break out in song.
“He whispers sweet peace to me,
He whispers sweet peace to me,
When I am cast down in spirit and soul,
He whispers sweet peace to me. “
I had a sweet peace. I knew this was God’s plan, and although all I could see was the dark, I knew my Heavenly Father was with me. I labored all day and night. (I was blessed with two amazing and compassionate nurses C & J. Nurse J and I had gone to school together growing up, and we have remained good friends. It was such a blessing to have her by my side during those dark hours.) J came in around 11:30 p.m. on the night of Nov. 30th to check Allie’s heartbeat. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP…. oh, thank you, Lord! She’s still with us! If I had only realized that was going to be the last time I would ever hear her tiny heart beating, I would have recorded it to have for all my life…but I didn’t realize. I was in denial. You see, I had it in my head that if I could just deliver her soon, she would survive for me to talk to. To love on her. To whisper in her tiny ear what a God we serve! But that wasn’t His plan. Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
At 9:05 a.m., on December 1, 2013, Allie Grace was delivered into the arms of Jesus (20 weeks, 4 days). She weighed 11.5 ounces and was 9.5 inches long. The doctors had tried to warn us that she would be tiny and that her body would be bruised. But we honestly had no way of preparing ourselves for the bruising that overtook her fragile little body. Through the bruises, her beauty shined brightly! She was adorable! She had a teeny little nose and high cheek bones. She looked like her big brother Coren! I was smitten by her! And crushed to the core that she would never know my love for her!
“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
After a few moments of holding Allie Grace, I became very sick and needed special attention. Our family was unable to come into my room because of the severity of my sickness. They all congregated in the hospital room beside mine so they could have their time with our sweet girl. Sam carried Allie next door so the big brothers could see their little sister.
After I recovered and had a bit to rest, the boys came in to see me, and I tried to soak up every last second of family time with our sweet girl. I knew my time with her was fleeting, and I tried my hardest to soak her all in!
Once I was stable late Sunday night on Dec. 1st, we asked to be discharged. We wanted to be alone at home with our boys. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was say goodbye to the tiny hands and feet that had just a day earlier been kicking inside of me. As a mother, saying your final goodbyes to your child is so unnatural. It’s unreal! It’s wrong! I would never get to paint her little finger nails or put a hairbow in her hair. I would never be able to take her shopping and pick out that perfect dress. I would never be able to rock her to sleep and sing her sweet hymns. I would never be able to nurse her and feel her warm body against my skin. She’ll never experience the way grass feels on her bare feet or the taste of something sweet. I will never see her excited about a bubble bath…Raw and broken don’t do justice to the emotions I felt. Paralyzed by grief.
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
By the time morning had come back around, I had entered into a different role than grieving mother. I had entered into the role of planner. I knew we had a celebration service to prepare for, and I wanted hers to be perfect! Allie Grace was with her Creator! She knew no pain or suffering from this world of sin. She was happy and whole! She was to be celebrated!
Dec. 2nd- We met with Preacher Jeff at our church to choose a grave plot.
Dec. 3rd- We met with the funeral home to pick out a casket. Sam and I wrote the obituary and decided on the celebration arrangements.
Dec. 4th- We lived hour by hour… I was having a hard time believing this was my life.
Dec. 5th, 3:00 p.m.- Allie Grace’s celebration service
Dec. 6th- Sam and I chose and designed Allie’s gravestone.
“My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knoweth them that trust in him.” Nahum 1:7
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
By Casting Crowns
“Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:20-21
“I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23
The concrete was still wet when we arrived to visit, so Tucker and Coren put their handprints in it!
“Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Ex. 3:5
I wear a ring of the Japanese Cherry Blossom for my sweet girl. It symbolizes “Extreme beauty, Quick Death.” The Cherry Blossom tree also blooms in April, the month Allie was due. (I learned this by reading I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. See Favorite Books page.)
On Friday, Dec. 13th, Sam and I got up early and headed to the hospital. I was scheduled to have surgery for a D & C at 10:00 a.m. It was an ugly reminder of what my baby girl had left behind, but I had no baby to return home to unlike the two previous D & Cs I had following Coren’s delivery. (See Beauty for Ashes timeline.) I was saddened but at total peace about my surgery. I felt guilty for the amount of peace I felt. God was carrying me through those dark days. He was answering the many prayers that were being lifted up on our behalf.
Psalm 29:11: “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”
After my third D & C, one of my doctors called one evening to inform me that they were still unsure if I have a uterine septum or not. I could do another procedure to figure it out, but it wasn’t necessary. He went on to inform me that he didn’t think my womb was strong enough to carry another baby. (See Beauty for Ashes timeline: 1 ovary, 3 miscarriages, a baby delivered sleeping, and 3 D & Cs was just too much for my feeble body!) As hard as it was to hear his news, I was at peace. You see, we had been praying about adoption when we conceived sweet Allie. It was in the hospital that my husband looked over at me and said, “There is a baby out there for us.” Allie’s passing has given us the peace we need to pursue the road towards adoption.
See Adoption Timeline to follow Our Story for His Glory…