On my mind

On the day Cora was born, one of my old friends also delivered a baby girl. She was induced on the 14th, but had Haylee on the 15th. I've called them birthday twins. It's been fun watching her grow via her Mom's blog and Facebook. I think about her every year.

This year another of my friends delivered a baby girl on Cora's 4th birthday. Monika and her husband got married just a few weeks after Jake and I. We got engaged weeks a part as well. We spent a fair number of our teenage years together. I love her family. She and her husband Michael had been trying to have kids for most of their marriage (We've both been married for 8 years now, if any one is counting). He's in the army. They spent two years in Korea. During that time, after already struggling for years with infertility, she took charge and decided to make some changes for her health and body. They moved back to the US about a year ago, and are stationed in Kentucky (we're all from Arizona). A few months after being back, they got pregnant! I can't even describe the elation that everyone who knew them felt. It was such a sweet, positive energy.

I loved watching her grow and to read her excitement and see pictures of her shower and baby preparations. I loved that she was experiencing what she had longed for. Before she went into her 38 week appointment, she wondered out loud what almost every expectant mom wants to know, "Am I dilated?" I spent the next few days getting everything ready for Cora's parties. On Friday, I got on facebook and saw a post from Monika on my feed. There was a baby on her profile picture! I didn't even read what she'd written, I was SOOOO EXCITED for this dear friend.

And then I started reading. "We just went to the funeral home to make arrangements." "The service will be in Alpine, AZ on the 25th." "We're 1 cm, I don't know what to say." "No heartbeat."

Jake was in the middle of our conversation, and all I could say was, "No, no, no, no, no...." over and over again, I don't know how many times. At her appointment, they couldn't find little Mihaela Jane's heartbeat. Monika delivered her the next day. Her umbilical cord was wrapped twice around her neck.

My heart has been so heavy since I read the news. There are so many stages where you feel like you are safe in pregnancy. My first pregnancy destroyed one of those "safe harbors" when I miscarried right when I should have been coming out of the first trimester. A woman I know lost her baby at 16 weeks when his umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck, and then lost another baby boy at full term when she had a placental abruption as she was arriving at the hospital to deliver. It was heartbreaking. And terrifying because I was pregnant with Magnolia when she lost her second baby.

And now my sweet Monika. I know how heavy my heart is for her, but I can't imagine it as my reality. It goes without saying that a mother's worst fear is losing a child. I haven't been able to stop looking at her perfect little daughter. I haven't been able to stop thinking about her. I can't help but think of words like "unfair" and "why," even though I know there are no answers. Unfair to lose a perfect little baby that she'd waited so long for, to come home to a place full of pink and bows and a rocking chair her husband had redone for her, that her milk will come in, that her tummy will be so after-baby soft.  I've been praying for her and her family often. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about her. I feel so sorry for her. Sorry is too minuscule a description.

I don't want her to be without hope, but I know hope will be hard to come by. I'm so glad she has her family and her faith. Her entire pregnancy filled me with such hope and excitement, such relentless joy. I am grateful for that. I know this will be the most difficult experience of their lives, and I suppose the most heartbreaking thing is that there isn't anything anyone can do to make it better.

Every year, as I celebrate Cora's birthday, I will think about her birthday twin Haylee, and love seeing the similarities between them, and about what a special thing it is that they and her mom and I share. I will also think about a little baby girl named Mihaela Jane Lowery, whose very existence filled so many with hope and love. I will think about her mother, and my heart will be overflowing for both of them.

Each life is a miracle. God is miraculous. I'm working on stretching my faith to be okay with the incomprehensible.


  1. That was beautiful! You might want to share it with her someday. Thanks for loving her so much!

  2. I think about Cora every year on their birthday, as well. I love seeing what she's up to in comparison to Haylee, they seem (and even look) so similiar.

    I am so very sorry to hear about your friend, it's just absolutely heart breaking. Praying for her and her family.



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