Friday, April 20, 2012

Grant's Story

This is a long post. I'm linking up to Kelly's Korner so I decided I would try to share Grant's story in one post. I'm not exactly sure how this is going to turn out. I pray that Grant's story and his short life here on earth will allow me to be a blessing to others. I know that God has plans for us, we just aren't exactly sure what those are at this time, but I am praying for God's guidance as we walk this journey that no parent should have to walk.

I guess we should start at the beginning. Jonathan and I waited until we had been married for just over 2 years when we decided we were ready to start a family. We had discussed how we wanted to expand our family and we knew that we wanted both biological and adopted children but we wanted to have a biological child first so we began trying and trying and trying. During this time we became licensed foster parents and our first kids were placed with us in January of 2011. You can read more about that journey by clicking on the label foster kids to the left.

Here is the post I wrote right after our 19 week ultrasound, it's titled Baby Bybee, but for ease I copied and pasted it here: We learned in November after 3 years of trying that we were finally pregnant. We were so excited! I didn't care that the smell of Thanksgiving dinner made me want to throw up. I didn't care that I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep, I was having a baby and was on top of the world. We found out just before Christmas that we were indeed only expecting one baby and got to see and hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. We were elated. Right after Christmas we experienced a threatened abortion but the baby was doing fine and we got to see and hear the heartbeat once again. Things went well from there. At every appointment the heartbeat was strong, the baby seemed to be growing, and I even began to feel the baby moving in early February. We were scheduled for our big ultrasound on March 6 and we were so excited to see the baby and find out the gender. We had already chosen names for the baby and couldn't wait to call the baby by name. Our ultrasound got moved on Friday March 2 because our blood screen for birth defects came back concerning for Spina Bifida and they wanted a specialist to do our ultrasound. We anxiously awaited March 8th with excitement and a bit of nervousness. We knew that God's plans were bigger than ours and that we would love and cherish our baby no matter what birth defects it may have.

However, we were not prepared to hear what the doctor had to tell us. Our baby has multiple congenital anomalies. Some of these are consistent with Down Syndrome. We don't care that the baby has down syndrome, and love the baby anyways. The worst of these however is that the baby has no amniotic fluid. They think that there is an obstruction not allowing the baby to pee, which makes amniotic fluid, because the bladder is distended and the kidneys have fluid around them from fluid back up. Amniotic fluid is important for lung development. If there isn't amniotic fluid the lungs can't develop and the baby won't be able to breathe at birth, even with help. The kidneys will also be very sick and will likely fail because of the urine backed up. The fact that the baby has no amniotic fluid means that the baby won't survive. The bladder is getting larger and pressing on the heart which will eventually cause the heart to stop and we will have to deliver our cherished baby stillborn. We still don't know the gender because they couldn't see it on ultrasound.

We had another ultrasound on March 19. This ultrasound showed us that there was still no amniotic fluid and now the heart was larger and starting to fail. In just a week and a half the heart that looked so beautiful was now failing. The bladder and kidneys were still enlarged. I had been feeling the baby move pretty consistently by this time, especially at night when I would lay down to go to sleep. The last time I felt my sweet baby move was on Tuesday night, March 20. I had a procedure to start my cervix dilating on March 21. On March 22 we went in the hospital to begin receiving medicine to induce labor. We were told that we would likely meet our baby sometime that afternoon. Things progressed soooo slowly. By bedtime on Thursday night I was still only dilated 1 cm. They started giving me more medicine and more frequently hoping that it would make things speed up. I started taking pain medicine for the contractions sometime Thursday afternoon but could still feel them throughout the night. I didn't want to take too much medicine because I wanted to feel like myself when the time came to meet my baby. Friday morning I was finally at 3 cm. I went for a walk around the hospital and when I returned I asked for the epidural. It took another 5 hours for me to deliver my baby. 

Here is the post about meeting our son. Once again, copied and pasted for ease. On that Friday, March 23, 2012 at 2:32pm we heard "it's a boy" and knew that you, our son, would forever be Grant Oliver Bybee. Meeting you that day was beautiful and devastating at the same time. I didn't know that those two things could go together so well, oh but they do. You are the most precious, beautiful little boy we have ever laid eyes on. When we saw you for the first time you were already resting in the arms of Jesus. As I held you close to me and looked at your perfectly formed little body, I was completely in awe at the amount of love that I felt. I knew that I loved you dearly before I saw your sweet face, but I didn't know it was possible for my heart to swell to love you even more, oh but it is. We even laughed on that day. We laughed at how big your hands and feet were, just like Daddy's. You look so much like your Daddy and it is something that makes me smile. We will always treasure the few hours that we were able to hold you, kiss you, sing to you, talk to you, bathe you, dress you and love on you. We were able to share you with those we love, yet we weren't able to share you with everyone we wanted to, for you were only here for a short time. We are so sad that we had to say goodbye, yet we are so thankful to God that we got to know you for 21 weeks and got to hold you for a few short hours. You, our son, will always be loved and cherished by us. Grant, you are our first born, our son, our precious boy that we are so proud to call ours. God has truly blessed us by letting us get to know you, even if for a short time. We love you sweet baby boy and will miss you always.

It has now been 4 weeks since I looked at his beautiful face. In the past 4 weeks we have learned that he has no major chromosomal abnormalities. This is kind of good news because it means the chance that a future pregnancy will have the same problem is really low. We are waiting on more test results that will hopefully give us an answer as to what caused this.

His memorial service is tomorrow afternoon and my heart is so heavy but I am ready to celebrate his life. He is truly a gift from God, our first born, our son, and I can't wait to share him with others. God has been faithful and will continue to be faithful. I have felt a sense of peace and felt God closer than ever before during this time. I miss my baby boy every day and think of him almost constantly but I know he is in Heaven where there is no pain or tears. His obituary was posted in our local paper yesterday. You can read it at his website through our funeral home here: Grant's Funeral Home Page.

I'll stop with a picture of his birth announcement.


  1. What a beautiful little boy that you have!! Such a sweet and precious little life gone too soon. I love the name Grant too! We have a Graham, a Grady, a Griffin, and I'm sure that if we had another little boy he would be Grant :). Prayers or your heart during these painful days and weeks. I love your bluebonnet pictures!

    Love from a fellow Texas <3

  2. He is just precious. I am so sorry that you are on this journey. I hope that Cole welcomed Grant Oliver to Heaven and eased his transition. I pray that you survive his memorial service tomorrow with peace, comfort in Him, and knowing that you will one day get to hold Grant in your arms again in Heaven.

  3. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious Grant. What a beautiful little boy. I know that tomorrow will be a hard day for you. Know that you will be in my prayers.

  4. I don't have any words to heal your pain. Please know that you are on my heart. I will be praying that tomorrow the Lord will give you the peace that surpasses understanding. Grant will be remembered...I have no doubt with how wonderful of a momma you are! :) Grant will be a blessing to this world because you are sharing your testimony and faith! (I wish I could be there tomorrow. We are a smidge too far away in TX to make the memorial.) Hugs from a fellow Texan...Love, Shannon

  5. Your little boy is so beautiful!! I pray that God will grant you a peace that passes understanding. Phillipians 4:7. ((Hugs))

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about your darling son... my heart breaks for you and thinking of you for his memorial service xoxo

  7. I am so sorry about Grant. He is such a sweet boy. Our 2nd son was also born still on March 26,2006 - I know the pain is unimaginable. GOD will sustain you. I'm not too far away - we live in Waco - I wish I would have seen your blog sooner so maybe I could have come to his service in support. Praying for you.

  8. What a precious little guy. As hard as it is to see pictures of little ones born so early, it actually brings me a tiny bit of comfort because I didn't get to see mine face-to-face. Grant was so beautiful.

    What an awesome family you are; good foster parents are a rare treasure. I've worked with lots of families and it is always SO nice to see God working through good foster and adoptive parents! I pray God blesses you with a rainbow baby. (and me too :) Thank you for sharing your story!!

  9. What a beautiful boy, much love to you x

  10. Thank you for sharing yours and Grant's story. I'm sure it will touch many people's lives and out of the ashes will come beauty.

    Take your time in this period of mourning and grief. Please remember there is no right way to grieve. You are all in my prayers.