Emma and Connor's Story
Our story of Emma and Connor
TJ and I always knew we wanted
children. I was pregnant on our first anniversary, and
we had Anna on Valentine's day of 2006. We loved every
second of being parents, and knew we wanted more children
so began to try when Anna was about 18 months old. In
August of 2007 I had a miscarriage. After that we decided
to try again, and I became pregnant with our daughter,
Emma, in November of 2007.
It was a normal pregnancy for
the most part, except I had a bad feeling the whole
time. In my heart I knew something wasn't right. At
our 20 week scan my fears were confirmed. The doctor
told us she had Anencephaly. We were devastated.
My sister in law had her baby
with this defect at 18 weeks in 2005 so we knew exactly
what it was. I will never forget the day they told us
about Emma, I can still hear, see, and feel everything
that happened in that office. We had a second ultrasound
to have everything confirmed. She was 2 weeks behind
her due date and had other severe defects. Not thinking
she would ever make it, and not knowing any other way,
we had her at 21 weeks. We didn't get to see her or
to hold her.
I grieved for my child and my
pregnancy for a very long time. We had a service for
her and her hand and footprints, but these were our
only memories of her. After we had given ourselves some
time to hea,l we decided to choose the path of adoption
for our next child. We knew it was a long process, but
were excited to start. We always knew we wanted another
biological child too, but went with the adoption first.
I was on a Folic Acid supplement just in case though.
In August of 2008, we were reading
the fine print of our contract and saw there was a clause
where if I would become pregnant our adoption would
be stopped. I decided to take a pregnancy test, and
we were so excited that it was positive! We found out
on August 31, 2008 that we were going to have a baby!!
We were both worried of course, but I didn't have that
feeling I had with Emma. So we prayed, stayed positive
and enjoyed every second.
One of the gifts that Emma gave
me was appreciating every part of pregnancy. I missed
out on so much of my pregnancy with her that it made
every little part so much better. We had our first ultrasound
at 7 1⁄2 weeks and told everyone the great news.
I was getting big and showing right away, and I loved
being able to wear the maternity clothes I never really
needed to wear with Emma. At 16 weeks we had the triple
screen test to see if my risk was increased for another
Neural Tube defect. This was when I started to get that
From the second they took that
blood I think I knew. Looking back, I think I always
knew. I could have had an ultrasound at 11 weeks to
tell us if he had the defect, but I never wanted it.
We knew after all of the knowledge we had gained from
Emma's life and death that no matter what, this baby
was going to be with us longer.
We got the phone call the day
after Thanksgiving that something was wrong. My blood
test wasn't good, and we had to come in the next week.
I think that gave me time to prepare myself some, and
our worst fears for our baby were confirmed on December
2; he had Anencephaly.
We also had the most wonderful
news on that day too, it was a boy. Daddy had his boy.
He was also perfect in every other way. A few days ahead
of his due date and thriving inside of my body. After
much prayer we decided we were going to give him as
long as he could make it and carry to term. We decided
right away to name our son Connor.
If we hadn't lost Emma the way
we did, I don't know that the next 5 months would have
ever been as wonderful as they were. I was able to love
every second, to appreciate every second in a way I
never could have before I lost her. To be honest they
were a wonderful 5 months.
I was a big happy pregnant woman
for the most part. We were so grateful to have this
time, if any, with our son, that that played a larger
part than our sadness on most days. Of course we had
terrible moments when we cried together for the child
we would never know. But there was always something
that kept us strong. We prayed for Grace, for peace
and for understanding and God blessed us with each of
We were able to have a 4d ultrasound
at 28 weeks and see Connor moving and get some great
pictures of him. We were able to share my pregnancy
as a couple with Connor's many kicks and jolts and with
our daughter. I will never forget her little words as
she would move away from my snuggle saying “Connor
kickin me too much”.
Our families and friends were
so supportive and so was our doctor (after a little
talking to!). When the time came for my induction we
were sad, but we were ready. On April 13, 2009 I went
in at night to start the process. They weren't sure
how long it would take and if he would ever push down
enough, and I might need a c-section. God listened to
our prayers though and it didn't go as they thought
at all. Our nurse, Kathy, was amazing and made everything
that much better, too.
I started my medicine at 10:30
am on the 14th and was barely dilated to 1cm. By 11:30
I was 2, then at 1:30 I was 4. I had them check me at
2:00 and I was 7!!! We called our priest and made sure
our family was close by and then by 3:00 I was about
fully dilated. I knew when I was ready to push and after
20 minutes of hard work my doctor actually ran down
the hallway to the room just in time to meet Connor.
He was born at 3:34 pm.
As soon as they laid him on
my chest I knew he was gone, but it didn't matter, he
was here, and he was perfect. He was 3 lb 13.9 oz and
15 inches long. It is amazing the amount of love you
feel. TJ and I had prepared ourselves for this moment
and even though I felt him kicking up to the end I never
expected for him to be born alive. He was so perfect,
ten fingers, ten toes and such big feet!! We held him
right away and touched his face, his hands, his belly,
his toes. He was so perfect and so amazing. They say
a mother never sees a defect, she only sees her child,
and that is so true.
A little while later our family
was brought in, and our priest baptized Connor in a
beautiful ceremony right in our room. There were a lot
of tears, but TJ and I weren't as sad. We were so thankful
to meet our son and so happy to be able to see him it
took a lot of those tears from us. Someone told me God
gave us “the peace that passes understanding”,
and that is exactly what it was. Everything we had hoped
for and prayed for was given to us. Of course we wanted
things to be different, but they weren't.
This day was the best day it
ever could have been for the day it was! Anna got to
see her baby brother and touch his hands. Everyone around
us held him and saw his face. We had our "Now I
lay me down to sleep" photographer, and she took
over 200 pictures which we cherish everyday. I can look
at a picture of my son, such a gift I never got with
Coming home has been hard, and
his funeral will be even harder. But if I had the chance
to go back to last August and have God come to me and
say you can either become pregnant with this child who
will not live, or not become pregnant again, I would
never change a thing. Connor has made such a wonderful
impact on so many people and has been a true blessing.
I cherished every second I was pregnant and every second
I spent with him. I know God is taking care of my children
now. I know they are healthy and happy in Heaven, and
I know I will meet them some day.
to Anencephaly Stories
-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.