As I mentioned in my “About Me” section, I am a mom…sort of. I am a mom without a physical child here to hold. Our daughter, Verity Grace Drake, was loved every moment of her 22 weeks of life but she is already living out eternity. Some of you may have heard or read this story before, but not all of you know how long we prayed and waited for Verity Grace to enter our lives.
I have what is called PCOS, something that often makes it difficult to get pregnant, and while I knew this information when we first started trying to grow our family, I didn’t know the toll emotionally it would take. For over a year we tried to get pregnant, seeing doctors and specialists, and then, finally, on March 4 (almost a year ago) we finally took a positive pregnancy test! This means that last year, at this time, I was pregnant with little Verity Grace, even though I was holding my breath, not knowing. Honestly, I held my breath through the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy, in constant prayer that God would keep our baby safe and continue to grow and shape her until the safety of second trimester. Then second trimester came and I finally started to breath a little easier. I felt a little safer. I started to dream a little more, planning out the future, the nursery, wondering if it would be a boy or a girl, praying I would make a decent parent. The baby’s room would be travel themed because my husband, Ben, and I love to travel AND because the baby was lovingly carried around London, Paris, and Rome on a school trip I led Spring Break of 2017. The room would have pictures framed of each place the baby had already been and a giant map of all the places we wanted to take him/her, as well as special markers for loved ones living/traveling around the globe. Oh how I planned and anxiously awaited the arrival of that little life we had prayed so fervently for month after month!
Then, on June 19th, Ben and I went in for our gender reveal/19 week ultrasound. In that meeting we found out two things:
1. We were having a baby girl!
2. She was measuring at 16 weeks, on average, instead of 19
Because of how small she was the doctors set up an appointment with the perinatology department for the day before our 22nd week of pregnancy. The thought at that point was possibly something genetically wrong and we didn’t know what to expect or why she was so small.
On Wednesday, June 21st, I went in for a normal prenatal visit and heard her little heartbeat which helped put my mind at ease a little bit. She was moving around a lot and even though I couldn’t feel her, the nurse kept having to move around to find her heartbeat.
On Friday, July 7th we went in for an ultrasound with the perinatology department and within minutes of being there it was obvious there was no longer a heartbeat. The one thing we had seen and heard strong since our first ultrasound at 6 weeks was her heartbeat so it was a huge shock to us. We truly had not thought to prepare ourselves for losing her.
Verity Grace Drake was born July 9th at 7:02 in the morning. She weighed only 3 ounces and was 7 inches long. Cause of death could be seen immediately. She was such a mover and so active she got all wrapped up in her umbilical cord. Our doctor said the chances of that happening was 0.004% (or something along those lines). He also said this type of death was painless which made our hearts a little less sad. Knowing it wasn’t genetic and is highly unlikely to ever happen again is a huge blessing. The nursing staff that took care of us was amazing and we are so thankful to have had such great support and prayers from so many!
Verity means “a firm belief in something; especially of fundamental importance”. It is a name we always liked if we were to have a girl, but for her it was just perfect. We truly believe in God’s grace and that He is walking with us through this extremely difficult journey. While a part of us obviously wonders, “Why us?”, we also know God’s plans are bigger than our plans, His ways bigger than our ways and His grace is sufficient for us. Naming her became so clear….Verity Grace.
After delivering we were able to see her, hold her and get some much needed closure. We have pictures of us with our little bundle that brought us so much joy in those short 22 weeks we knew her, as well as a treasured memory box that holds her tiny footprints and handprints that we will always cherish!