Friday, June 24, 2011

Where Do I Even Begin?

June of 2010 was a great month.  After trying for a year, we found out we were pregnant.  How exciting!  My dad is an OBGYN, so we would go to his office for ultrasounds almost every week just to check in. Fast forward to Friday, August 13.  Jarod and I had driven down from Nashville for a wedding for one of my good friends, and thought we would go to dad's office to check in on our little peanut.  Strangely, Jarod and I both had felt uneasy about going to the doctor that day on our drive down from Nashville, but neither of us had expressed it to each other.  As we sat in the ultrasound room with the tech, nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to find out.
  We began the ultrasound, everything looking fine until we got to Harper Kate's head.  Instead of lots of grey areas, which you want to see, there was mostly black.  Black meaning that there was little brain development and lots of fluid.  Of course, Jarod and I didn't know this at the time.  The ultrasound tech said "I see something in the brain, but don't worry.  Let me go get your dad to check."  At that point, we knew something was very wrong.  I looked to Jarod and he said "It's ok", but in reality we both knew it wasn't.
  My dad came in with a grim look on his face, only to have to tell us that our baby's head had a lot of fluid and more than likely wouldn't live.  Jarod said hearing those words literally took away his breath and he had to sit down to keep from passing out.  How could he be the one to deliver the news you would ask?  I know it wasn't easy for him, but I think he had to put all emotion aside (to the best of his ability) and be a professional, at least for a few minutes.  I burst into tears as we walked to my dad's office.  Immediately, my dad went into "fix it" mode.  He called my mom & she and my sister came down to my dad's office. We called Jarod's parents to let them know to pray & we would update them when we knew something.  He called a specialist at UAB and got us an appointment to go see him immediately.  My mom & dad drove with us to UAB and we had another, more detailed, ultrasound.
  I don't remember much from sitting in that room.  What I do remember is the doctor telling us that our baby more than likely would live to term and then wouldn't live more than a few hours or days and then we would have to bury him/her.  Then, he wanted us to consider the other option:  terminating the pregnancy....WHAT?  How could I actually have to think about this or make this decision?  ME?
  As we walked out of the dr. office, we met my mom in the waiting room where Mike & Betsy (my parents best friends for years) were sitting with my mom.  They were on their way to Mississippi and had stopped just to be there for us & my parents.  I broke down into tears, again, asking how in the world I could make this decision?  How can we have to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy or not?  How can this happen to me?  I collapsed into all of their arms while Jarod stood strong & quiet.
  We drove out to Jarod's parents house after leaving UAB.  Jarod talked to one of his good friends, encouraging him to not panic.  We cried our eyes out on the way, wondering how this could happen to us.  We drove up at Randy & Tammy's house and as I walked in saw my 4 year old nephew Cole.  He immediately knew something was wrong, came up and wanted me to hold him.  He was so concerned.  It really amazes me how kids know that something isn't right.  I held him until I told him that we were ok, then he was fine and went on about his day.
  It was so weird being in that situation.  We talked with Jarod's parents, sister and brother in law.  Being around family was surely where we needed to be.  Friday night we went to dinner at Mafiaosa's with Jarod's family.  We sat, trying to get our minds off of what we had heard that day, but there was NOTHING that could help me forget what felt like doom.  Saturday was my friend's wedding.  That night, as I was getting ready, I was sobbing in the shower.  I really didn't know how I would get through this wedding.  Abby helped me fix my hair, which was a disaster before she fixed it.  I felt like I couldn't function.  I met a couple of my friends at the wedding.  Jarod didn't feel like coming, which I completely understood, and he spent the night with his parents.  Jessica & Leigh met me at the wedding and stayed with me through the whole thing.  It was a "break" for me to be with my friends celebrating a joyous occasion for another one of our best friends.  Natalie, the girl getting married, had no idea what we had found out.  I felt terrible leaving the wedding early, but I couldn't bear being there for very long.  I gave Natalie a hug and headed out with Leigh. Leigh gave me the book I Will Carry You by Angie Smith when we got back to the car.  She had no clue what a gift that would be over the next few weeks.
  We spent the weekend talking, praying, reading Scripture.  Sunday we spent with Jarod's parents later in the afternoon.  It was the first time I really expressed my fears, honest thoughts and doubts.  Randy and Tammy sat with us, talked with us, and prepared us, as much as they could, to head back to Nashville.   I, of course, was starting school the next day.  How would I teach these kids with this burden on me?  The peace that passes all understanding that God granted both Jarod and I over the next 3 weeks was absolutely amazing.

This picture is from one of our first days in the NICU with Harper Kate.  After writing this post, a picture of her actually here is a huge blessing!


  1. What a difference a year makes! Miss HK is here and is a joy to all of us!!

  2. I still cannot believe you came Court. What an amazing friend. Thank you so much. It meant the world to me, even when I didn't know at the time what you had just faced the day before. Thanks for sharing HK's story!