Navigating Motherhood with HELLP Syndrome
Mother of AnnaJoy:
After trying for almost eight years, we finally conceived again.
We could hardly wait to share the news with everyone, especially our older daughter, Lydia, who was 9 1⁄2 when we told her. She was born to have siblings and was so excited to add a baby to our family.
We had been foster parents and had other children in and out of our home. During this time, we also had our son Jordan who was 6 1⁄2 at the time and we were able to adopt him the following year.
There began to be some complications around 20 weeks along. My blood pressure was escalating. Within a few weeks, my blood pressure spiked high enough for the doctor to admit me to the hospital.
He said I would likely stay in the hospital until I delivered.
I was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome, a life-threatening liver disorder.
My doctor said that they needed to deliver our baby early.
AnnaJoy Lindsey came at 27 weeks along. She was born on June 9th, 2014, weighing 1 pound 11 ounces. She was so tiny.
Right after AnnaJoy was born, she stopped breathing.
The Code Blue alarm rang through the hospital and my husband, Steve, hit his knees. The doctors revived her and took her to the NICU to monitor her. On her way there, Lydia and Steve got to see her for a brief moment.
There were tubes all over the incubator that she was in. She was the most tiny and fragile baby we had ever seen.
I was recovering well and AnnaJoy was making progress in the NICU each day.
I was released from the hospital on Saturday. The next day was Father’s Day.
We came to visit and were able to introduce her namesake to her.
We were told that she was doing better and that tomorrow they would try taking her breathing tube out. What a great present on such a special day!
The next morning, we got a call from the hospital that AnnaJoy had a rough night and took a turn for the worse.
She passed away within a few hours of that phone call.
This was such a devastating blow.
She had just been doing so well, how could she just be gone a day later? How could this happen? This just didn’t make any sense. We could not wrap our minds around it.
Our heads were spinning.
A few days after AnnaJoy went to heaven, some of our pastors were sitting in our living room with us. They told us that we were at a crossroads and had a decision to make.
Either God is good or He is not. Either He caused this to happen or He did not.
The final answer that we had to settle on is that God IS good. He did not cause this horrible devastation.
Once we had settled on the goodness of God, our hearts were open to hear what the Lord was saying about the legacy of our daughter.
The idea of AJ’s Place, A Foundation of Hope was born.
Our heart is to walk alongside families who have experienced womb or infant loss and to share the hope that only Jesus brings.
It is because of Him that we are standing today!
This blog was written by Heather Colvin in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Heather has been married to her husband, Steve, for twenty five years. Together they have ten children - one is grown, three living with them, five former foster kids (all over the country), and AnnaJoy, in heaven.