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Our birth story
In 2018, my husband, Brian and I had been trying to get pregnant for almost 3 years. Shortly after, we realized Brian had a low sperm count and he started infertility treatments called Clomid. He had only been using Clomid for two or three months when we realized that we needed to get off of it.
I remember laying on the bathroom floor, on my knees, and surrendering to God and His timing. "Lord, you know our hearts desire to be parents. If You allow us that opportunity, we will raise this child to know You".
Only a few months later, we found out we were pregnant - and had conceived naturally. But the excitement didn't last long when we soon realized that our 9 week old baby didn't have a heartbeat. We had not even shared the joy of our baby announcement with parents and, now, we were grieving a baby they had no idea even existed.
I remember sitting on the floor that was supposed to one day be our nursery room, crying out to the Lord saying, "I'm not sure I will ever understand why this happened".
A few months after the loss of our first baby, we found out we were pregnant again. With guarded hearts, we learned that this sweet baby was alive, growing, and had a strong heartbeat. Soon we found out this little one was a boy and before he was born decided on the name Roman Sol - which means, "strong, powerful peace".
At 34 weeks pregnant, my water broke unexpectedly. We had not done our hospital tour yet and we had no hospital bag packed. When we arrived to the hospital we were told that we would be checked in to labor and delivery once a room was available to deliver our son. While in shock, the triage nurse told us to prepare for our son to come out not breathing.
I remember my husband and I immediately looking at each other and not being in agreement with her. We prayed against the idea that Roman would be born not breathing. She must not have known our God and what He was capable of.
Once a labor and delivery room was open, we turned on soft Christian worship music and began the pitocin. After an epidural, 12 hours of waiting, and 45 minutes of pushing - Roman Sol Rooney was born on January 11, 2020. Breathing. Praise the Lord he was born breathing We had an entire team of NICU nurses in the room ready to whisk him away but it wasn't necessary.
Although our prayers were answered and Roman was born breathing, hospital protocol says babies born earlier than 36 weeks gestation must stay in the NICU for monitoring.
Brian and I stayed at the hospital for the entire duration of Roman's NICU stay, sleeping in their free, first-come, first-served hospital room lodging. Waking up like clock work to pump and rush the small amounts of milk my body was making down to his room. Treating ourselves to free food courtesy of the NICU family room: turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner unless family brought us food.
I remember breaking down around the 9th day of our stay. Crying during the doctors rounds and praying in those last days before our hospital release, "Lord, help us be the best parents for this boy and help him continue to grow big and strong".
Finally, the doctors had cleared Roman of jaundice. His heartrate was consistently normal and he was taking his full feedings regularly. After 12 days in the NICU, we were able to take our 4 pound 15 ounce boy home.
Roman was three months old, when we found out we were pregnant again. We weren't trying but, also, weren't preventing. We didn't think there was any way after 3 years of trying that we would get pregnant so soon after.
Our pregnancy was yet again "normal" and in a matter of weeks we found out that we had been blessed with another son. We always liked biblical first names and the meaning behind ones name, but we really liked for God to choose the names of our children. Before he was born, Brian and I decided on the name Noah Wilde - which means, "rest and comforter".
At 34 weeks at my regular OBGYN appointment, I found out that my cervix was already dilated to 2 centimeters. Because of Covid restrictions I was alone and emotional.
I remember sobbing while sitting in the chair my husband should have been in. Telling our doctor I desperately didn't want a NICU stay with Noah. I wanted to go in and have an unmedicated birth like I planned from the beginning, then take my sweet baby home the next day. The emotions of this day were a preview of what was to come.
Only days later, I felt off. It was a Friday and our OBGYN had no appointments so they suggested the hospital. At triage, Brian and I were told that Noah was okay and it was possible that maybe I was just dehydrated. They decided to keep us overnight for monitoring since I was now dilated to 4 centimeters. Through the night, I had no contractions and Noah's heartbeat was strong. Noah displayed normal non-stress test results and before we were discharged I was told to "take it easy".
Within 24 hours, I noticed Noah had not been as active as normal. I reached out to the travel nurse who had delivered Roman and she told me to immediately go to the hospital. Once we got there, our worst nightmare was confirmed. Noah's heart had stopped.
I remember looking at my husband, throwing my glasses off my face, and saying, "how is this God's plan for us?" My first sentence after heart-wrecking news. I had immediate flashbacks to our last triage nurse saying that Roman wouldn't come out breathing and right then and there, I prayed against the doctors diagnosis of my unborn son who was still "safe" in my stomach.
The hours that followed were a blur. Again with the pitocin, again with the epidural. Those 12 hours that followed were spent lying awake talking to God. Pleading with Him to perform a miracle for Noah. Believing that the doctors had it all wrong and that the Lord was going to move in a mighty way, a way that only He could.
Soon it was time to meet our boy and after 15 minutes of pushing, Noah Wilde Rooney was born on March 9, 2021. Completely silent - except for our own weeping and the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit.
I remember Noah being laid on me and laying my hand on his chest, begging the Lord to breathe back into his lungs. Knowing that the Lord was going to perform the miracle. Knowing that I had the mustard-seed faith for Him to move mountains. Believing with everything in my bones that Noah would be healed on this side of eternity.
The next weeks and months after Noah died was painful. At first, I questioned God and His plan for us. I questioned why we even conceived. I was angry that the doctors didn't keep me in the hospital when I was already dilated. I was angry that if I had stayed that they could have noticed something was off and took measures to "save" him.
I didn't understand how things changed so drastically in 24 hours. I desperately wanted answers knowing that none of them would bring me the comfort of having my son healthy and in my arms again. Nothing made sense, even worship seemed foreign.
I remember my grandma saying, “Praise Him anyway”. In the same week, “Don’t lose Your faith”, said my aunt. And so we did.
Brian and I immediately jumped back into the Word. We started a faith-based devotional to help us communicate our grief. We purposefully said no to get-togethers and we valued our family time together on an entirely new level.
My relationships instantly took a back seat. As much as I wanted to engage in the seemingly meaningless conversations, I simply couldn't muster up the courage to continuously answer the question, "how are you?" - even if they meant well. My mind was grieving on autopilot and I was putting what energy I had into ensuring my marriage didn't fall apart, my faith didn't fall apart, and that I was a good mom to Roman.
About 4 months after Noah had died, I found the Lord tugging at my heart for this ministry. You can read more about how Brian and I started Mother of Wilde here. That started an entirely new healing journey for me, being able to connect with bereaved mothers who had lost children. Their stories were all different and many longed to find hope after child loss and "keep the faith". I was inspired by them so I kept going.
It seems like I blinked and Romans second birthday rolled around, then Noah's first heavenly birthday was shortly after. On Noah's birthday, we had a family day at the beach, got donuts, and reflected. Everything I thought Noah would have loved if he would have been here. The day was truly bittersweet and Jesus was so, so evident.
Truly, I believe the recent depth and growth I experienced in my faith was something that could have only been done in a place of darkness, pain and suffering. As I reflect, I consider it a gift that God gave me through Noah's life. This ministry was another gift that God gave me through Noah's life.
I was 9 months into our ministry and 13 months into our grief for Noah, when we found out we were pregnant again. This came as a total shock for Brian and I. We had not been trying or preventing but knew that God would bless our family when He felt like our hearts were ready.
I remember I just came back from a Hope Mommies retreat for bereaved mothers in Texas and was overwhelmed at how much the Lord revealed to me there. I thought maybe my body was just emotionally and physically exhausted from the travel and overstimulation of talking about babies that are no longer here - but in fact, it was confirmed that the Lord was ready for our family to grow again.
Pregnancy after loss is single-handedly just as traumatic as loss. In many ways, I couldn't grasp with the fact that I could grow another baby that I would never be able to take home. I couldn't mentally accept the "congratulations" because they didn't feel as congratulatory this time; but deep down I knew this baby should be celebrated.
We found out in June 2022 that we were expecting a daughter. Our first daughter, who we named Eden Cove - which means, "place of pleasure and delight". With her arrival set for Thanksgiving 2022, I cherished every day with Eden in my womb. We were guarded but hopeful.
New life doesn't take away the pain of losing a child but it's a gentle reminder to rejoice over new life we have been given. To celebrate every new day and every movement. Every movement is a reminder to pray against fear, anxiety, and for the Lord's protection over this child and our family.
I longed for the day that Eden was in my arms and breathing but was constantly reminded that there's always a possibility that this wouldn't be our story.
Our pregnancy with Eden went by like waiting for wet paint dry. It was mentally and emotionally the longest pregnancy I've ever had to endure. I guess that's what stillbirth will do to you.
Constantly poking her to ensure she was alive. Constantly needing validation that she was moving. Our pregnancy with her was "normal" but because I was labeled "high-risk" we went to the maternal fetal specialist weekly.
I remember the drives there. It took 45 minutes to drive there and 45 minutes to drive back home. The entire drive, I would sing worship songs and sob. Sometimes I would just sob and sing the lyrics internally. Talking to God like, "Lord, please let everything be okay this time".
Weeks passed and every ultrasound and non-stress test continued to come back normal. It gave me a sense of comfort instantly but that feeling of comfort never stayed long. Even with such a deep faith in God, my anxiety was at an all-time high.
The nights before bed, my mind would race. I found myself continuing to give the enemy territory in my mind. I would constantly have to pray against fear, anxiety, and the unknown. Demonic dreams of something terrible happening to Eden would wake me and then I would have to pray myself back to sleep.
The final weeks of Eden's pregnancy there was a shift in my spirit and I started fully believing that the Lord would restore all that was lost.
I remember the messages, calls and texts leading up to her birth. It seemed as if the Lord covered us in a way that only He could. People would reach out at times I was feeling absolutely helpless and speak life over me at the perfect moment. No-one can tell me it was coincidence.
Prior to Eden's arrival, we were blessed to have Roman's labor and delivery nurse, Sheri, come and stay at our home with us. Sheri was now a doula and had traveled from her assignment in Alaska to help with her birth. She wanted to launch her doula business with the birth of Eden.
We advocated to be induced with Eden at 37 weeks. (You can read our full birth story here.)
On our way the hospital, I was so hopeful we wouldn't be reunited with the cold triage room where we found out that Noah had died. Thankfully, the Lord heard my heart and we bypassed it completely and got taken into a labor and delivery room immediately upon arrival.
Once in the room, my husband, Brian, prayed over me, Eden and the staff who would be caring for us. Our prayer was that anyone who entered room 123 would be completely changed. That they would feel the presence of God in that room.
I remember minutes before Eden was born, another nurse came up and put a blanket over my chest. I looked at her questioning why I had that blanket and she mentioned not wanting to get Eden's fluids on me. In the middle of the worse contractions of my life, I threw the blanket off and reiterated I wanted Eden placed on me as soon as she came out.
Don't clean her, don't wipe her off, don't wrap her off. Just give her straight to me.
After Pitocin, an epideral, 12 hours of labor, and almost 2 hours of pushing she was finally here. After 37 weeks and 2 days of waiting.
Eden Cove Rooney was born on November 28, 2022. Breathing, screaming and full of life. Having an uncanny resemblance to her brothers.
Placed right on my chest for me to feel her chest rise and fall. Right on my chest to feel her heart beat with my hand. Placed right on my chest for me to look into her eyes. Praise the Lord.
Her birth felt like the most redemeptive day of my life. Brian cut Eden's umbilical cord through the tears and for the next hour, what they call teh sacred Golden Hour, Eden laid on my chest and just cried.
Her facial features and dark hair reminded me so much of Noah. Holding her and hearing her cry lifted every bit of anxiety that I experienced while being pregnant.
I remember all of the ways the Lord was faithful to us in Eden's pregnancy and birth.
The doctor who delivered our precious Noah, also, delivered Eden. The nurse who delivered our previous Noah, also, came in specifically to deliver Eden. Having the nurse who delivered our first born, Roman, come to be the doula for Eden.
God was in all of the details.
Eden will never replace Noah. I miss him in ways that words cannot explain. But I do feel like God giving us the gift of a daughter has healed a tiny bit of my heart.
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