Today I remember my sweet firstborn daughter Zoe Renae Lord. For those of you who don't know her story I thought I would post an excerpt from the book I wrote detailing her short life.
In July of 2004, we decided to switch infertility doctors and see a new specialist that we had heard great things about. He was one of the best in the country with a high success rate. We had 5 frozen embryos from our unsuccessful IVF that February and we decided that it was time to give them a chance at life. We met with our new doctor in his office and really liked him a lot. He really encouraged us and said he wanted to run some of his own tests to see what was going on. He told me to come in the next day for an ultrasound to make sure that my uterus was normal. That day was crazy because I had scheduled the appointment around my husband’s exploratory surgery, for something totally unrelated, at the hospital down the street. Brian always laughs because I am a multitasker. I dropped him off at the hospital and went on over to the doctor’s office. My doctor walked in and proceeded to do the ultrasound. I had had many ultrasounds in the past year with all the testing and procedures I had gone through. This one however looked different. I saw something on the screen that resembled a small black circle. That’s the best way I can describe it. I started getting really nervous because I thought maybe it was a tumor. Just then my doctor said, with a smile on his face pointing at the screen, “that is a 5 week gestational sac.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I just said, “What”? The nurse started smiling. My doctor said, “Congratulations, you are pregnant”. I just started to cry. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There on that screen was my little baby. Still too small to even see a heartbeat, but none the less, my baby. Wow, how did this happen? I mean, I know how it happened, but how can this be? I just knew that this was the little miracle that the Lord had given us.
I was still in shock as I drove to the hospital to check on Brian. Wow, how was I going to tell him? Would he even be in his room? All these fun ideas started popping into my head about how I would tell him. I mean I had dreamed of this day forever and it was finally here. I figured I would wait until he was out of surgery and then tell him. As I walked into his room he could tell that I had been crying. I couldn’t contain myself, I said, “Honey you are not going to believe this, but I am pregnant.” He sat straight up in bed. “Oh my gosh”, he said. What, how? I told him that when the doctor did the ultrasound he saw the sac. He was smiling from ear to ear. We were both so happy. I gave him a hug and we immediately prayed and thanked God for our tiny miracle. Just then the nurse walked in to wheel him away. I think she thought I was really upset and emotional about my husband having surgery. We didn’t let her in on our little secret. I’m happy to say too Brian came through the surgery just fine and with a clean bill of health.
My pregnancy progressed normally and beside being tired in the first trimester it was perfect. I loved being pregnant and I was enjoying watching my belly grow. The day was finally here, week 20, and we were off to the doctor’s office for our ultrasound that would tell us if we were having a boy or a girl. We were so excited. We had a dinner planned that night with my family and we were going to have my nephew Mario let everyone know what we were having. We just couldn’t wait. I got up on the table and the technician started the ultrasound. I knew something was wrong pretty quickly. She just didn’t have a good look on her face. She said, “Honey, I’m seeing something I don’t like. I’m going to go get your doctor”. She walked out of the little room and I just started saying, “Oh God please, don’t let there be anything wrong with my baby”. “Please Lord, No”. I started to shake and I was terrified. We said a quick prayer and my doctor walked in. She looked at the screen and she confirmed the technicians fears. She said, “Krista I am so sorry, but there is no heartbeat.” “What, how can this be”? I remember that I had felt my baby move just a week prior. It was the neatest feeling ever. I can still remember that little fluttering feeling. I was so excited to tell Brian that I had felt the baby move. This could not be happening. Not to me. Not to us. I was numb. I couldn’t cry. I was in shock. I asked my doctor, “What do we do now”. She said that I would have to be admitted to the hospital and deliver the baby. “What”? How in the world am I going to do that. There is no way I can do this, but I knew there was no other option. I have to say that I love my doctor. She just gave me a hug and held me. I knew she was so sad for us. She knew what we had been through to make it to this point and now we had lost our baby. She told me to go home and try to get some rest that I would be admitted the next night. As we left the room my husband just started to cry. I had only seen him cry 2 other times since we had been together, but this time it was even worse. I still couldn’t cry. I just kept saying, “what, how can this be”. We got in the car and drove home. I will never forget driving down the interstate and we started to sing, “Lord I lift your name on high, Lord I love to sing your praises, I’m so glad you’re in my life, I’m so glad you came to save us”. Through our tears, we praised the Lord. It was unexplainable. We just knew that’s what we needed to do. I had heard of stories of people in the midst of their tragedy sing praises to the Lord and I remember thinking, how can they possibly sing praises. But here we were, we just got the worse news possible, but we loved our Lord and we wanted Him to know it.
The next 24 hours were a blur. I think the hardest part was telling our families our little baby was gone. We still didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl and we didn’t know what had happened. Our families were devastated. They wanted this baby just as much as we did. They really rallied around us and supported us the best they knew how. I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night. How could I. My belly was still there, still big, but life inside of me had been silenced. I would never feel my baby move or kick again. I couldn’t even think of eating. I just kept thinking how in the world am I going to get through this? How is this ever going to be ok? Will my husband be ok? I packed my bag for the hospital and off we went. We got there around 5:00pm on October 7, 2004. They administered meds to start contractions. We had friends and family in and out that night visiting. The amazing thing was that we were doing ok. We could feel the presence of the Lord in that room. As it got later, around 9:00 I started having contractions. They gave me an epidural and some sleep medication so I could get some sleep. I was completely exhausted. It worked. I fell asleep. The next thing I know it’s 5:30 in the morning and the nurse came and woke me up so she could check my catheter. When she lifted up the blanket, my baby was there. I had the baby in the middle of the night while I slept. The Lord was good to allow it to be so easy and pain free. We had a prayed that it would go smoothly and easily and it did. My doctor came in and took the baby to the bassinet. Then she said, “It’s a girl”. Wow a girl. All along we thought it might be a boy, but we had a girl. She told Brian that she had somehow gotten the cord wrapped around her neck twice. It was so tight my doctor had to cut it off. My doctor cleaned her off and put a little dress and hat on her and wrapped her in a blanket. Then she handed her to me. We just looked at her and held her. She was so tiny. She weighed only 4 oz. She was perfect and she was ours. We were able to say goodbye to her and to give her a name. We hadn’t thought about names yet so the nurse brought in a name book for us to look at. I remember thumbing through the pages and coming across the name Zoe. I thought that was so pretty and I loved the meaning of the name. It meant “Life”. My daughter was never going to experience life here on earth, but she would have the best life ever, Everlasting Life. It was perfect. Then we chose her middle name to be Renae, which is my middle name. I never knew what the meaning was behind my middle name so I decided to look it up. I was blown away when I saw what it meant. Renae means “Reborn”. Zoe was reborn, straight into the arms of our loving Father. Zoe Renae was born on October 8, 2004 and her mommy and daddy were very proud parents.
I desperately want Brooklyn and Sydney to know about their big sister. I talk to them about her from time to time and tell them how much I loved her and miss her. We had the girls release balloons on the deck for her tonight. Sydney did it with no problem but Brooklyn didn't want to let hers go. At first I was upset because she wouldn't do it but then I thought this is what she wants to do and I shouldn't make her release it. I really wanted to go to the cemetery where they spread her ashes since we've never been before, but it's about an hour away and it would have been dark by the time we got there so we decided against it. We will go around Thanksgiving when we have more time and we will release 5 pink balloons for the 5 years she has been gone. There is still not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. The hardest is when I see 3 sisters playing together, that is when it hits me that my girls will never play together here on earth. I would give anything for one day to see them play together. I miss you my sweet girl and will see you again one day.