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Gracelyn Hope

Gracelyn, baby with anencephaly

We found out that we were expecting again in June of 2009. We hadn't been really trying, just not preventing it. Our first daughter, Lillie, was 2 and we wanted her to have a sibling. We were very excited, started telling everyone the very next day.

About 2-3 weeks later the morning sickness started. It was bad, just like before. I was sick almost 24/7 for about 2 months. I knew it was another girl. Matt tried to keep his hopes up, but I think he knew it was a girl, too.

On September 8, 2009 we went for an ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. My daughter and I had had the flu all week. It had been going around, the doctor's office even had masks set up at the front door for you to put on if you had it. So we all had masks on, I think everybody was scared to come around us, lol.

We went back for the ultrasound first, the little booger didn't want to cooperate for the longest. I remember my husband telling the technician that she had the greatest job ever, she gets to see little ones everyday. All the while she knew that we were about to get devastating news about our little girl. After she told us that she was pretty sure we were having a little girl and giving us our pictures, she sent us on around to the doctor's waiting area.

About 5 minutes later they called us on back, which I thought was weird. My husband said not to worry about it, it was because of the masks, they didn't want us getting everybody sick.

The doctor came in, asked what was wrong when she saw the masks, then proceeded to tell us there was a problem. My heart sank. Lillie was there with us, I couldn't just break down, so I held it together while the doctor wrote anencephaly on a piece of paper and told me to look it up on the internet. She wanted me to abort as soon as I was over the flu. She told me to go home, rest and call her in a few days.

What do you do when you find out that this precious gift from God is not viable with life?

Your child, that you have prayed for, that you want, you are now being told that you cannot have.

Well, we went home and hit our knees.

Gracelyn, baby with anencephaly

We kept praying. We called our families and our church family. We asked for prayer. We had a decision to make. A really hard one.

At first it was hard, until I found anencephalie-info.org. After I had read all these sad, but wonderful stories, I though wow. These are strong women, and they are holding their baby. Their baby! How in the world can I abort my baby.

It wasn't a life or death situation for me. A baby with anencephaly will thrive inside the mother's body. How could I miss out on getting to meet her? Even if it is just for a few minutes?

I knew it was going to be hard, but God would get us through. And if I had enough faith, maybe there just might be a miracle, but most important of all, we prayed for God's will to be done. God is the great physician. So we went ahead with the pregnancy. Hoping and praying.

We decided to name her Gracelyn Hope. We called her by her name and tried our best to stay positive.

We induced labor when I was 36 weeks along. She was still born on January 18, 2010.

I think that God knew what we could handle and what we couldn't.

She was so tiny, she weighed 3lb 9oz and was 16 in long.

We were blessed with wonderful nurses. They took handprints and footprints for us. And really they were just there for us. Our room had a separate waiting area for our family and friends, which was really a blessing. We were also blessed to have a NILMDTS photographer come and take some pictures for us. I will cherish these pictures forever.

The only memories I have of my daughter are of her kicking me and putting her little feet in my ribs, and I wish I had taken note of every little kick and jab. I'll never get them back. But, one day, I will see her in her new body, sitting with our Heavenly Father, and that makes it all worth it.



2011 Alisha and her husband welcomed another healthy daughter: Ellie Beth



Gracelyn, baby with anencephaly






Last updated April 4, 2019