Ezekiel Evan LaFollette

On October 13th 2017, Adam and I both went to work floating on clouds. That morning, we found out that we were expecting baby #2!!! We were not as surprised with this baby as we were with Avaline, but we were so excited! As soon as I saw the pregnancy test, my heart began dreaming of holding another little baby, watching Avaline as she became big sister, and seeing Adam become a dad all over again. It gave me all of the emotional feels, and I couldn’t help but sing and worship my way to school that day! There is something so special about carrying around a little secret that a little life is growing inside of you! After our first doctors appointment, we had a confirmed due date of June 29th 2018.
I am going to be the first to admit that pregnancy is super hard for me. I get really sick. I mean puking sick. It’s horrible. One one particular occasion, I was driving home with my family from our annual Christmas picture photo session, and I am puking my guts out. In the midst of this glorious moment, I hear Ellie say, “Mom, this isn’t contagious right?!” My mom laughed and said, “No, Ellie pregnancy is not contagious!” Thank you Lord for comedic relief while dealing with morning sickness 😂
My sickness hit right at 5 weeks. It knocked me for six. Some days, I couldn’t even get out of bed. Avaline always has a bath at the end of the day, and as soon as she got out, she would run to our room and come straight to my side of the bed and say, “Mama.” Sadly, I was pretty much always there.
At six weeks, I went to the bathroom and noticed I was spotting. I tried not to panic, and I told my mom what I had found. She told me to just wait and see if I was still spotting in the morning. So, the next morning I was still spotting. I told the teacher who I was working with at school that I was pregnant and spotting and at some point needed to go to the doctor. Adam couldn’t leave work so my mom and I went to the doctor. After lots of tests and ultrasounds, the doctors told me that I had a subchorionic hemorrhage. Which is basically a hemorrhage on the placenta. They said that it is very common in pregnancies. However, the concerning thing was the baby’s heartbeat was lower than normal. The heartbeat was 90 bpm when it should have been around 120 bpm. The doctor said that I had a 50% chance of carrying our baby to completion. In that moment, I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I was with my mom, dad, grandpa, and family friend when I received the news. So, my dad said, “Let’s claim this baby’s life! We are going to ask the Lord to work a miracle for this baby.” So, for the next half hour, we lifted up the baby to the Lord.
The doctor had told me that I needed to rest over the weekend, and then come in on Monday for another blood draw to make sure that my HCG levels had risen. If the levels had doubled, it would be a sign that the baby was growing. Monday came and the results showed that my results had more than doubled! PRAISE GOD. We felt like this was a miracle! On the following Friday, I went in for a follow up ultrasound. I was 7 weeks at this point. Everything looked good, but we still needed to confirm that the heart beat had increased. The heartbeat at that ultrasound was 136 bpm! PRAISE GOD!!!! Another miracle!
Two weeks past, and I started spotting again. I emailed the doctor, and she ordered an ultrasound right away. I was almost 10 weeks at this point. I went in for the ultrasound, and the baby was moving and wiggling all around. I can’t even express how happy I was to see the baby moving around. The heartbeat at that appointment was 170 bpm. PRAISE GOD! The ultrasound tech told me that the bleeding was likely caused by the hemorrhage and would fix itself in time. She told me since I had come in for so many ultrasounds with the same issue, we could probably assume that it was the hemorrhage and the baby was fine.
Fast forward to 12 weeks, it was December 12th and I had a visit from Kim. My heart was feeling heavy, and I was not really sure why. I lifted it up to the Lord and moved on with my day. That day when Kim and I were talking, I told her that I wanted to do genetic testing with the baby to find out if anything was wrong. I had this feeling like something was not right with the baby because of all the spotting that I had had throughout the first 11 weeks. She, being an OBGYN, said that there was nothing wrong with that. And if I wanted to do that I could just request it at my next appointment which was on December 20th. That night, I went to Bible study and shared my heart with one of my friends. I told her that I was really struggling with anxiety with this baby. I was constantly worrying that something was wrong. I said, “I never wonder if my baby is alive, but I am worried that there is something wrong with the baby.” In my heart, I thought that the baby might have a disability or be born early. I just felt like something was not right because the first 12 weeks had been a physical and emotional wreck.
The next morning, I decided to go in to the doctors 1 week early. My reasoning was that I had nothing to do that day, it would ease my anxiety to hear the heartbeat, and my family was coming from England the following week, and I wanted to be with them. So I made an appointment for 9:45 am that morning. When I saw the doctor, she excitedly said, “Today we would be able to hear the heartbeat on the doppler.” She pulled out the doppler and I waited in anticipation to hear that tiny heartbeat. And…. nothing… She tried for a few more minutes but still couldn’t find the heartbeat. My heart was beating so fast at this point. I was so nervous. I remember praying, “Please Jesus. Please let the baby be okay.” She said, “I think you have a stubborn boy in there. Let’s go to ultrasound and make sure baby is okay. I am sure everything is fine, but let’s make sure.”
I called my mom and updated her on what was going on. I remember saying, “Mom, it would be so nice for once to be able to go to an appointment and not be sent to ultrasound.” She asked me if I wanted her to come and take care of Avaline. I told her no it would be fine.
When I got into the ultrasound, the tech began looking at the baby. I immediately knew that something was wrong. The baby was not moving and wriggling around like it had been at the last ultrasound. I said, “Can you just tell me if the baby has a heartbeat.” She said, “Just a minute, I am getting there.” I waited for another minute offering up all the prayers I could. And she grabbed my hand and said, “I am so sorry mama, there is no heartbeat.” Immediately, I just started bawling. I was holding Avaline in my arms, and I cried like I have never cried before. The ultrasound tech went to get the doctor, and I texted my mom to tell her the news. I couldn’t even call her on the phone to tell her in person. At that moment, I felt so scared, sad, and empty. It’s a feeling a can’t really describe, and one I will never forget.
The doctor came in and hugged me. She told me how sorry she was for my loss. And said that based on the growth of the baby, he or she probably died that morning or the night before. The reason for all of my worry and anxiety. God was preparing my heart for the news that I had just received. There is something about a mother’s intuition.
I then had to call Adam and tell him the horrible news. He was taking a exam for work and was at a locked testing center. My mom and I went to my house, and we just cried and prayed together. I finally got a hold of Adam and told him we lost the baby. He came home immediately so that we could be together. My dad and my grandpa came as well. We all went out to lunch to try and get our minds off of the situation but the atmosphere was heavy.
The doctor had told me that she wanted me to wait 1-2 weeks to try and deliver the baby naturally. However, I just did not want to have to deal with wondering when I was going to deliver the baby at home. It was 2 weeks from Christmas, my family was coming, and I hated the thought of having to deliver the baby at home with Avaline around. I called Kim and asked her if she could do a D&C for me. She was so kind and gracious to me. She comforted me with her words, surrounded me with love, booked me in for a pre-op visit that day. And scheduled the D&C for the following morning. I called my doctor and told her that I was having a D&C and my friend would be performing the surgery. So on December 14th 2017, I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I woke up, got dressed, dropped Avaline off at my parents, and went hand in hand with Adam for a surgical procedure that would change my life forever.
The thought of having surgery scared me beyond belief. I kept asking Adam, “What if I never come back?” He assured me that all would be fine. And at 11:30 am, they wheeled me into the OR, and I had the D&C. When I woke up, I immediately began crying and asked the nurse, “Is my baby with Jesus now?” She said, “Oh honey, of course.” After about 20 minutes, they brought me into the recovery room, and Adam came in. I had nothing to say to him, I just ached. My heart felt like it was ripped into a hundred pieces and my body just felt numb.
Over the next week, lots of friends dropped meals by and offered their support. Lots and lots of tears were shed between my family and mostly myself. I was an emotional wreck. The littlest things set me off and I begged God to take the pain away. We sent some of the tissue from the baby to be tested so that we could find out if the baby had any chromosomal abnormalities and the gender.
It has been six weeks since we lost the baby. And it has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I have days where I just cry from the pain of losing a baby. Some days, I feel distant and separated from the world. Some days, I feel so angry not with anyone in particular but I am just angry. But at the end of the day one thing has not changed… God is so good. He is in the midst of pain, and He is in the midst of good times. And here is why I can say that…
Over the past six weeks, I have really come to see the beauty of community and friendship. So many people have shared their stories of loss with me and it has enabled me to realize that I am not walking this journey alone. We have had so many friends bring us a meal, sit with us while we cried, or just come to be with us to help us take our mind off of the sadness. We have had flowers delivered, cards sent, and countless calls and texts to make sure we are doing okay. God knew that we would need an army of friends and family to get us through this season.
I have also had a really hard time healing physically from this miscarriage. I bled for 4 weeks and felt like the bleeding woman from the Bible. I had moments where I was crying on the floor begging God to make the bleeding stop. Sometimes, screaming that He didn’t care about me or love me. The bleeding was just a constant reminder of the baby that I had lost. And it felt like every morning, I would wake up and worry what I was going to find when I went to the bathroom. And it was in those moments that He brought songs to my head. Songs of His love, faithfulness, and goodness. One song in particular hit me so hard when I was crying on the floor, and the lyrics came into my head,
“Take courage my soul. Stay steadfast my soul. He is in the waiting. So hold on to your hope, as your triumph unfolds, He is in the waiting. And You who hold the stars Who call them each by name Will surely keep, Your promise to me That I will rise, in Your victory And You who hold the stars Who call them each by name Will surely keep, Your promise to me That I will rise, in Your victory!”
It was like God was saying, “Just wait Hannah. I am going to bring you through this.” Then one day I just stopped bleeding. The night before I was bleeding red blood, and the next morning there was nothing. It literally just stopped. I was so thankful. It was a miracle because the day before I was talking with Kim, and she was encouraging me to come in for another ultrasound to make sure there was nothing remaining from the miscarriage in my uterus.
There have been many more songs that I have had to sing unto the Lord to combat all of the discouragement and lies of the devil during this time. But during this hard season, I have felt a nearness to the Lord that I have never felt in my life. I have started to seek His face daily with the knowing that God is going to meet me wherever I am at. In whatever season I am in. He is going to love me through all of my doubts and unbelief. And most importantly, He is going to work this trial for me good. And he has.
God has brought me so much closer to Him. Through this trial, I have had to cling to Him and His word as a source of joy and strength. Even when I did not want to pray, I offered up prayers to the Lord. Even when I did not want to sing, I sang at the top of my lungs to God. And it was in those moments where I felt His love the strongest.
God has brought me closer to Adam through this as well. Our marriage has been strengthened as we walked through losing a child together. Adam is such an amazing husband. He really is my rock. He has held me as a I sobbed, calmed me in my anger, and loved me when I seriously didn’t deserve it. He is my greatest gift, and I don’t tell him that nearly enough. He is a wonderful husband and father.
And finally…. last week we found out that our baby was a boy. We named him Ezekiel which means God strengthens and Evan for his middle name which means God is gracious. We are so sad that we lost this baby, but we remind ourselves that he really had the best life. He was born straight into eternity. And we know that one day, we will see him in heaven. And what a comfort this is.
And to finish, the one song that has been in my heart over and over has been:
Every blessing You pour out,
I’ll Turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord.