Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Hope’s Story-Part 6 November 16, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:43 am
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Just wanted to send out a quick congratulations to Heather Spiegel and Debbie Curto, they won Dianne E. Butts book, Deliver Me.

This is the final installment of Hope’s Story. I pray you will be blessed by all you have heard. Next week I will begin sharing another story that is nothing short of amazing.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

I began seeing a wonderful Christian counselor shortly after my loss who helped me to understand that everything I was feeling was a normal part of the grief process. 

During one of our sessions, I said that it would be great if we could get a group of local women together to share our stories of loss with each other.   

With the help of two other women, Tiny Purpose was born. 

Our monthly support group began meeting in April 2004 with about 4 women attending regularly.  The Lord placed a desire in our hearts to minister to other women at the time of their loss.  With the generous donation from a local OB, we began a box ministry with the local hospitals.  As more people expressed an interest to help support our ministry, we were blessed by the opportunity to join The Christian Mission , a local non-denominational ministry providing free counseling, among other things.  By joining the Mission we were able to provide tax receipts for those people who wanted to support us. 

The first Gathering to Remember was held in February of 2004 with a little over 20 women in attendance.  Speakers from Hearts of Hope shared their own stories of loss and how they had turned their pain into a basket ministry to help other hurting mothers.  What comfort and peace came from the afternoon of remembering and sharing!  Before leaving, several women expressed a desire to continue getting together.  I offered to host a monthly bible study for anyone who was interested.   

Today, our group has an average of 8-12 women in attendance each month.  We have a number of ongoing ministries you can find out about on the Outreach Page.  Most recently, we’ve been approached by a couple of local OBs to help begin a Perinatal Program.  We are also being led to develop our own grief recovery seminar and a compassion seminar for medical professionals who work with these hurting families.   

After attending a national bereavement seminar, we heard that most support groups for pregnancy losses are dying around the country. 

Somehow what Tiny Purpose is doing is working. 

What’s the difference? 

We are not professionals, we are hurting mothers who desire to connect with other hurting mothers.  We know that not everyone will find healing in a support group, but we know that there is healing in remembering that we are not alone. 

We believe that every life, no matter how short, has a purpose and that the Lord desires to minister to you right where you’re at! 

Find a way to remember the positive and embrace what is to come

Alaina’s story is powerful, yet this is what God does with our pain, if we allow Him.

When you visit the Tiny Purpose website the first thing you will see it this:

There is a place of refuge in this storm of life after the loss of your baby – a place to find others who will share the pain and grief that those close to you don’t understand.  There is a place where you can feel the presence of God and the compassionhe wants to show you.  

I have had the honor of taking part in some of the Tiny Purpose events and I can tell you God is all over that place. People come to some of their events who don’t know the hope of Jesus and hear it from these ladies.

 Tiny Purpose’s biggest event, and probably having the most impact in the community, is the annual Walk to Remember that is held in October. The Walk has grown every year. The first walk had 75 people in attendance, the next year 150 and this year it had an astounding 1,000 people. That number doubled from the year before.

Only God!

I can tell you that Alaina is a strong, wonderful woman. She has a great perspective on things. She has said many times since the loss of Hope, that if Hope hadn’t passed she wouldn’t have the four amazing children she has now. None of them would exist.

One of her precious children was born only three weeks before my son and they are great friends. I remember when I told Alaina I was pregnant she looked at me wide-eyed and shared that she was too. We both were so happy to be pregnant together, and now we have these two boys that are so much  alike it’s scary 🙂

I know that Alaina would never wish to go through what she did, but since that was the journey she had to travel she has embraced the blessings and found her Genesis 5020.

What was intended to harm her, God has used for good. Many women have experienced healing because of Tiny Purpose, because of Hope.

Take a minute and thank Alaina for sharing her story.

What’s your Genesis 5020? We still need your stories. Share them at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Hope’s Story-Part 5 November 9, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:27 am
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If you have missed the first four parts of Hope’s Story you can find them here, here, here and here.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

Through the night, the nurses brought us a keepsake box with a birthstone necklace, a baby-powder scented cape and blanket that were Hope’s size, and a few other momentos.  They also gave us a “Certificate of Life” which they had taken the time to put Hope’s handprints on.  We were touched by their thoughtfulness.  We also gave the hospital permission to take pictures of her, should we want them someday.

The next morning, we were thrilled to be leaving the hospital and yesterday behind, though it filled us with such sadness to know we were leaving Hope behind

The next few days brought quite a bit of activity as we planned Hope’s memorial service, looked for an angel to leave at the cemetery, looked for non-maternity clothes to wear to the service and designing Hope’s birth announcements.

Friday morning, July 18, 2003, dawned a beautiful summer day—part of me was thrilled knowing that the graveside service would have clear weather, but part of me couldn’t understand how the sky was not gray with a slow and steady rain falling. 

I was already realizing that life marched on as though nothing had happened, though I knew my life would never be the same again. 

We had chosen to have an intimate graveside service attended only by our immediate family and friends because we knew we couldn’t handle a visitation or church service—nothing we were living was normal and we wanted to remember Hope our own way. 

Both our pastor and my Uncle (a pastor) spoke at the graveside and it was an absolutely beautiful service.  My Uncle had his part of the service bound in a little book for me and I’d like to share part of it with you now.

We’ve come today to say goodbye to one we hardly knew.  She was not with us long, but she was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.  Kelly and Alaina, her loss is especially painful  for you.  But from the first day we knew she would be coming we loved her too, because we  love you.  In this family, babies are always “our babies.”

You named her well.  Hope Elizabeth.  Hope presented to God.  From the first moment you knew she was coming, through the shock and pain of the initial diagnosis and all along the painful  road that brings us here today, you were filled with hope.  Hope that the diagnosis was wrong.  Hope that somehow there would be a miracle that would bring her safe and whole into this  world and your arms.  Those things were not to be.

 But you hoped for other things.  We all hoped and prayed that God would strengthen you and  give you wisdom.  He has.  We hoped that God would bring you comfort, peace, and rest in his loving arms.  He will.

 Today is not the end of our hope.  Indeed in a very special way,
it is the beginning of a Journey of Hope.

Though this journey is not one that I would have chosen for myself, I know I’m not alone as I walk this path.  In a card that we received from a friend is a quote which can be found on Hope’s headstone today:

Hope is waiting with expectation for the good and even miraculous
things that God will unfold.

Next week we will conclude Hope’s story, although that isn’t entirely true. Hope’s life and death has touched many other lives and will continue to do so. Next week find out how God used all of this for good, to bring Himself glory. The enemy could have used this story to tear down Kelly and Alaina’s faith, that did not happen.  

What’s your Genesis 5020? We want you to share your story. It doesn’t have to be long (it can be), it can be a short one week blurb. What is something in your life that the enemy could have used to pull you away from God, to question your faith, but God used it to make you stronger and to draw you closer to Him? It could be anything you know God has done in  your life. Share your story with us: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.

 

Hope’s Story-Part 4 November 2, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:18 am
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If you have missed the first three parts of Hope’s Story you can read it here, here and here.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

My husband told him that was not acceptable—we were not going to wait all weekend knowing our daughter had passed and there was nothing we could do about it. 

He asked us if we had been told how an induction would work, to which we said no—looking back, no one had ever taken the time to explain anything to us about what could possibly be our outcome, other than Hope’s passing. 

He explained to us that first we would undergo a procedure to open my cervix, after which I would go home for 12 hours.  At the end of that time, I’d come back to the hospital to be induced, which could take as long as 24-48 hours. 

He then told us that he would give us time to talk it over, but that he was on call until 8am Monday morning and if we chose to begin the process over this weekend, he couldn’t guarantee that he’d come in to perform the procedures—we’d be in the hands of the midwives and nurses only.

After my husband and I talked it over, we decided to come back Sunday night for the first procedure and then we’d be back to be induced first thing Monday morning, when my doctor came back on the clock.  Though we didn’t want to wait, I didn’t want to work with a doctor who obviously didn’t want to work with me.

Saturday into Sunday, leading up to the procedure, there was no calming me down.  I cooked, I cleaned, I worried—what clothes would Hope be dressed in?  Nothing I had or could buy could possibly fit her!  When would she finally be born?  How painful would labor be? 

I just couldn’t believe this awful nightmare I was living.

The first procedure was quite painful and I had a hard time sleeping Sunday night. 

Monday morning came and I was given my first dose of medication at 9:20am.  Labor didn’t begin in earnest until 1pm, after the second dose of medication. 

My water broke sometime around 3pm and that was when I lost what little control I had at that point. 

The nurse asked everyone to leave the room and my mother stayed with me as I cried

Why was this happening to me? Why did I have to lose my baby and go through this awful labor and delivery with nothing to show for it? 

The doctor came back to check my progress around 3:45pm, and I was dilated to 4.  I received an epidural around 4:15pm, and then I was able to rest. 

My mother and sisters and my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law came to help keep us company and as we sat visiting.

Hope Elizabeth was born at 6:55pm.  At 4.5 ounces and 5.75 inches long, she fit nicely into the palm of my hand! 

As I held my daughter for the first time, I couldn’t believe how perfect she was! 

All we had heard over the last few weeks was what was wrong with my daughter, but no one had ever taken the time to tell us what was right—how perfect her 10 little fingers would be, or that she would have perfect finger nails, or how precious her ears, nose and lips would be!  

Her skin had a purple cast to it, as they believe that she had passed sometime the previous Friday, but to us she was the most beautiful baby girl in the world. 

My husband and I spent the first hour with her alone, holding and kissing her, praying over her and trying to make the most of what little time we would have as a complete family. 

We then invited our family in to spend some time as well.  All were invited to see and hold Hope Elizabeth.  

Around 9pm, we let the nurse take her away—she was physically deteriorating fairly quickly and we knew it was time to say goodbye.

 

Hope’s Story-Part 3 October 26, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:49 am
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If you have missed the first two parts of Hope’s Story you can read it here and here.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

I hadn’t been back to work since my 20-week ultrasound—I couldn’t stand having people ask me how my pregnancy was going when I had no idea! 

When I returned to work the following morning, I was struggling just to be there.  Shortly after 8am, the phone rang and it was the high-risk doctor.  He told me good morning and then he said he had the preliminary results from the amnio and our baby had Trisomy 18, which was completely incompatible with life. 

He told me that at 21 weeks, we could still terminate the pregnancy under Ohio law.  I told him again that I wouldn’t consider termination and that we would see him at our next appointment.

At our next appointment, after I had been able to do my own research on Trisomy 18, we asked the doctor if he knew from the amnio results the sex of our baby.  I suspected on my own that it was a girl, as Trisomy 18 occurs 4 out of 5 times in girls, and the doctor was able to confirm that for us. 

We struggled with what would be the best name for our precious daughter—to that point my husband and I had not been able to agree on any girl’s name.  We finally decided on Hope Elizabeth Hiatt.

“Hope” because it seemed to sum our whole pregnancy up in a single word, and “Elizabeth” because it means consecrated to God.  We knew that our daughter had been in the Lord’s hand since conception and we took comfort in the fact that he was in control.

Each appointment with the high-risk doctor was the same—he’d listen to the Doppler and say it made no sense that our baby was still alive—when we asked what would happen in the months to come, he told us that our baby would die without our knowledge of it and that a few days later I’d go into labor and deliver a stillborn baby.  He always said it would be before my next appointment, unless we wanted to terminate, as we still had time.

I couldn’t stand the idea that my daughter would just pass away without my knowledge, so a dear family friend arranged for me to get a Doppler from her daughter so we could tape record Hope’s heartbeat and listen to it ourselves. 

On Saturday, July 12, 2003, we met at our friend’s home so we could be shown how to use the Doppler.  Unfortunately, her daughter, a midwife, couldn’t find a heartbeat and told us that we needed to go to the hospital to have an ultrasound to confirm that our daughter had passed away. 

As we drove to the hospital, we called ahead and after the midwife relayed our situation to the doctor, we were told that the doctor on call didn’t want us to come in—just wait until first thing Monday, and schedule an appointment with your regular physician. 

My husband and I had been more than willing our entire pregnancy to fight for our daughter, but if she had passed away, the situation became about my health and we were not going to spend the weekend wondering if she had passed away or not. 

When we arrived at the hospital, we were seen in triage by a few nurses, who found no heartbeat with a monitor and brought the doctor in. 

The doctor calmly performed an ultrasound, blithely telling us that “See, there’s the heart, and it’s not beating.”  He put the wand away and told us again to wait until first thing Monday and call the doctor’s office.

If you are being touched by Alaina’s story why don’t you give her a shout out.

While you’re at it, what’s your Genesis 5020? I need more stories!!! I know you have one, share it with us at:

5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

Remember, you can remain anonymous if you want.

 

Hope’s Story-Part 2 October 19, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:00 pm
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If you missed the first part of Hope’s Story you can read it here. Today we continue on Kelly and Alaina Hiatt’s Genesis 5020.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

Our doctor met us at the elevator doors, which seemed funny as we headed down the hall to a room. 

No weighing or blood pressure for me that day. 

Once we were behind closed doors, our doctor told us that she had been on the phone with the radiographer during our ultrasound and that our baby had a hernia, which meant that the bowels were growing outside of the baby’s body.  The doctor told us this was how the bowels grow, but by this point of pregnancy they should have grown back into the body.  She told us that the amniotic fluid could cause damage to the bowels, but that our baby had grown a sac around them to protect them from damage. 

She said sometimes this could mean a chromosomal abnormality

She proceeded to tell us that our care would be transferred to high risk doctors who would be better able to care for the baby after it was born.  We left that day with an appointment in Toledo scheduled for the following week.  We were shocked, and we were already grieving, but we believed our baby would just need surgery once it was born.

After a scheduling conflict, we finally met with the high-risk doctor one week later.  The appointment began with a level-2 ultrasound.  We told the tech what we knew and we asked that she explain to us everything she was doing.  She was very helpful in telling us everything that our first tech had not—baby’s length, weight and what we were looking at on the screen. 

When she finished, she took her printouts to the doctor, and then led us into a room to meet with him. 

When the doctor entered the room, he shook our hands and introduced himself, and as he settled himself behind his desk, he proceeded to tell us that the ultrasound confirmed everything that had been seen before and that our baby would not live

In the “caring and compassionate” fashion that we later came to expect from him, he told us our baby had no legs, anomalies in its hands and arms, and not a single normal functioning organ in its entire body. 

He said he was sure the baby had some chromosomal abnormality and that this pregnancy should never have been, let alone made it through the first trimester to this point.  He told us that the best way to proceed was to terminate the pregnancy

Needless to say, we were blown away.  We had been prepared for additional testing and care by doctors leading up to immediate surgery once the baby was born, but never had we even considered losing this baby we already loved and wanted so badly. 

We told the doctor that termination wasn’t an option for us and that we would continue this pregnancy. 

We asked him what kind of prognosis we could expect for future pregnancies.  He said the only way to talk about the future was to know exactly what our baby had.  We could wait and run tests after the baby was born, but the odds were that the baby would die in utero and it would be a few days before we went into labor, so we might not be able to get anything conclusive after the baby was born. 

He suggested that we have an amniocentesis done that day. It was a hard decision for us to choose the amnio – I knew from my reading that there was always a chance that you could lose the pregnancy after an amnio and even with what we now knew, we weren’t ready to lose this baby.  We decided to go ahead and have it done. 

The ultrasound tech came back in to prep me and explain what would happen.  When the doctor entered the room, I asked him if it would be painful, to which he promptly said no. 

For my husband and I, it was awful to watch on the ultrasound screen and see the needle enter my uterus so close to the baby.  And the doctor had lied—it was painful. 

As he tried to draw fluid, he said he wasn’t able to get enough, so he pulled the needle out and tried again in another location.  He kept jerking the needle in an attempt to draw more fluid, which was so painful, and he kept saying “Mrs. Hiatt—it only hurts because you’re fighting me!  If you don’t start cooperating, we’ll get nothing from this!” 

I wasn’t even aware I had anything to do with what he was doing at that point.  Once again, he pulled the needle out and tried a third time to draw fluid.  This time he was able to draw a little.  As he finished, he was disgusted and told us that we wouldn’t get anything from the pitiful attempts. 

We were told to schedule another appointment in a week.

What’s your Genesis 5020? We still have a few weeks of Hope’s Story but I would love to line up more stories that give God glory. Share yours at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

 

Hope’s Story-Part 1 October 12, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:40 am
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Today you will hear part of Alaina Hiatt’s Genesis 5020. Alaina is a dear friend to me and a constant encouragement. I have known Alaina for many years. Our friendship started out a bit rough. When I first met her she was dating my best friend’s ex-boyfriend (Alaina ended up marrying him), so of course I had to hate her, right? Thankfully, God got a hold of me and showed me how completely silly I was being. Actually, God brought Alaina into my life when I was praying for a Christian friend, she was there all along.

Patrick and I walked beside Alaina and her husband Kelly, as they went through the pain and sorrow of their story. I am forever changed by the strength and faith the two of them displayed as they travelled that road. Hope (the Hiatt’s first-born daughter) will live in many people’s hearts and she has changed many people’s lives. I pray you will be blessed by Hope’s Story.

Hope’s Story

by Alaina Hiatt

It was early March 2003.  I knew I hadn’t been feeling quite like myself, and my period was late.  I was usually quite regular, but I figured the stress of another tax season was getting to me, as I worked for a CPA firm. 

One Friday night as I left the office, the thought crossed my mind “Wouldn’t it be crazy if I was pregnant?”  I chuckled and thought I could pick up a pregnancy test—it’d be easier than a stress test! 

Once I reached the store, I couldn’t believe how expensive pregnancy tests were, so I bought the cheapest one.  As I walked out the door with my purchase, I was thinking that the cheap test probably wouldn’t work anyway!  But I quickly found out when I got home that I was indeed pregnant.

At first, I was stunned.  We had only been married a year and a half, and at 22, I didn’t think I was ready to have a baby.  I had thought that we’d start a family someday, but not today.  But as I was finding out, God had other plans for us. 

We struggled with how to tell our parents, both sides would be first-time grandparents!  We created the “First Time Grandparents Survival Kits” which contained a Veggie Tales movie and a storybook, among other things. 

We couldn’t wait to see what was to come…girl or boy didn’t matter, we just knew that this baby would be a special part of our lives.  Our family and friends were also thrilled—we received congratulations cards for days!

At our first doctor’s appointment in late March, the nurse practitioner did an ultrasound to confirm our due date and to see a heartbeat.  She thought my days were a little off, so she sent me for a second ultrasound at the hospital to confirm.  At my second ultrasound, the tech thought the baby was on the small side, but she didn’t see a reason to change my due date.  So, baby was due to arrive around November 4, 2003. 

When I went to my next doctor’s appointment, we couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler, so the doctor did another ultrasound, which confirmed the heartbeat. 

Each one of those early pictures meant so much to me!!  I knew the baby was small, but neither my husband nor I are large people, so I didn’t really dwell on it.

Fast forward to our 20-week ultrasound, which we scheduled for June 18, 2003—which happened to be my husband’s 30th birthday. 

I was really hoping that we would get there and my husband would decide that a great birthday gift was to find out the sex of our baby.  Both of our moms were with us—neither of them had an ultrasound with their kids, so they were just as excited as we were to see our baby on the screen. 

The ultrasound tech seemed very preoccupied as she worked.  I had to ask her how long the baby was and the weight of the baby, and I had to repeatedly ask what we were looking at.  She stopped at one point and said, “I’m sorry—I always tell couples these things—I must be really out of it today.” 

About halfway through the ultrasound, another tech came to the door and asked that all of the pictures of my ultrasound be sent to the radiographer.  My tech chuckled and told us that their printer hadn’t been working, so if she sent every picture through, the radiographer should get at least a couple of them. 

A few minutes later, the other tech came to the door again and said that the radiographer wanted to see my tech.  We were left waiting while they conferenced outside.

When our tech came back into the room, she wanted to make sure we were heading straight to our doctor’s office for our appointment.  We confirmed that we were, and I asked her for a picture, which she had never printed for me.  She had me lay back down while she hurried to get me a print out. 

We got a picture of our baby’s face—how precious!  As we left the ultrasound area, our tech wished us luck.  We were so excited as we headed to our doctor’s office, never knowing what was coming.

Have any of you been there, in a doctor’s office, or getting an ultrasound and you weren’t sure what was going on, but something didn’t feel right? Share you experience.