I’m Whitney and I’ve been married to my sweet husband, Daniel, since 2009. We have three children Cooper, Millie Jo and Ruthie Belle.
If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that you can tell God your plans … but He is going to show you His.
February of last year, Daniel and I found out we were expecting our third baby. A year ago, this exact week, we saw our baby for the first time on the ultrasound machine. And at only six weeks, our baby had a strong, healthy heartbeat. I can remember the excitement we had as if it were yesterday.
When I was 9 weeks pregnant, I got one of the at-home Doppler’s. At the time, I didn’t know why I did because I never even thought to get one with my other two pregnancies. I now know why and by the end of my story, you will too.
On April 11, 2016 I went for a routine checkup. Little did I know, that would be the last time I heard my baby’s heartbeat while she was still in my belly.
On April 16th, I was 12 weeks pregnant. My morning sickness started slowing down and I could see the second trimester. On April 17th, I remember laying down on my couch with the Doppler to listen to the heartbeat but I couldn’t find it. At the time, I didn’t think much about it because babies are still so tiny at that stage of life and the heartbeat was so strong a few days before.
It wasn’t until Monday, May 2nd that I woke up and tried to listen to the heartbeat again. I still couldn’t find it. I laid in my bed that morning crying out to God that if something were wrong with my baby, He would send me a sign and get me to the doctor. That next morning I woke up with terrible back pain. I made it through the morning but by 1:30pm I told Daniel [who just so happened to take the entire week off from work to get things done around the house] that I couldn’t take the pain anymore, so I called my doctor … not mentioning I couldn’t find the heartbeat. It wasn’t long they called me back and told me to come in and they would work me in. We got there a little after three and on the way, there I remember looking at Daniel and telling him that something in my heart didn’t feel right.
I didn’t get seen until 5:00pm that evening. The only ones left in the office were me, Daniel, my doctor and her nurse. We came to the conclusion that I had a kidney stone and after talking about that, I admitted to her that I couldn’t find the heartbeat. She of course told me that even she has trouble finding it sometimes. That gave me a little relief. She tried to listen but she couldn’t find it either. That little bit of relief I had just gotten was quickly taken away from me. She then pulled in a very old mobile ultrasound machine and told me that the baby is probably just hiding from us. By this time, Daniel was beside me because of course we were excited to see our sweet baby. But this is not the way we wanted to see her. As soon as my doctor started the ultrasound and I saw our baby, I just knew that she was no longer alive. The doctor hadn’t even said it yet, and didn’t need to. Our baby wasn’t moving, there was no blood flow and her little heart was no longer beating. It was in that very moment that I felt as if mine had stopped. I’ll never forget what that precious baby looked like all curled up on the screen. My doctor immediately walked us down to another room where there was a newer ultrasound machine. I laid there for what seemed like hours as it started back up. When it finally came on and she started, she confirmed what I already knew. Our baby had no heartbeat. I immediately asked Daniel to say a prayer for us because I knew we couldn’t get through this without God. My doctor asked if she could be the one to pray for us, so there in an empty doctor’s office, she wrapped her arms around us and said the sweetest prayer for us and our family.
It was May 5, 2016, three days before Mother’s Day, that I had to be at the hospital for surgery for my D&E.
On June 6th, we got the call that we had been waiting on. Our precious baby was a baby girl.
I think about her every single day.
Here it is 10 months later and my heart still aches.
God has a purpose for everyone’s life and to think that my sweet baby fulfilled hers in just a short amount of time and is now in heaven with Jesus, brings so much joy to my heart. God used her. He used her to change my life.
God has been my God through all of it.
- Because of the at-home Doppler, I now have a recording of my precious baby’s heartbeat.
- He sent me the sign I prayed for to get me to the doctor.
- Daniel had taken the entire week off from work and we had no clue this was going to happen.
- The doctor’s office was empty.
- He placed our baby girl in my womb where we could see a clear picture of her during our last ultrasound.
- He blessed me with a God-fearing doctor who wasn’t afraid to pray with us at a time we needed it most.
I will never know what happened, but God does … and He owes me no explanation at all. Through the heartache and tears, I will continue to praise Him for all His many blessings and always Thank Him for unwanted situations.
He knew during our very first ultrasound, on March 7, 2016, as we were crying tears of joy seeing a tiny heart beating, that exactly one year later I would be standing here sharing her story.
Thursday, May 5, 2016, was the last day I physically carried our sweet girl. Ruthie Belle is safe in the arms of Jesus and forever in our hearts.
One of the sweetest quotes I found & repeat often in my head is this . . . “and to think, the first thing she saw when her little eyes opened, was the face of Jesus.”
I’ve put together a video and I want you to listen specifically to what my children have to say about her.
You may be wondering what my story has to do with pro life. From the moment we saw the word “positive” on my pregnancy test, she was a part of our family. We were already making plans for her, how we couldn’t wait to see Cooper and Millie Jo with her, which room would become her nursery and we even started talking about what our family vacation would look like as a family of 5 this year and the years to come.
Before her heart even started beating, she was a part of our family.
My sweet Ruthie Belle, I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in Heaven.