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Little Leah Grace

by Becky Strickland

17 Jul 1998

Hi, my name is Becky and on February 14, 1998 I lost my dream... My husband Alan and I have been married for 10 years and we had not been able to conceive. Two days after our 10th anniversary I took a pregnancy test knowing in my heart that I would get yet another negative result. Boy was I wrong!! I took the test (box and all) over to my parent's house and told my Mom " I've got to show you something " I pulled out the box and she said " Oh, Rebecca your NOT " I was crying and she started crying it was all I had dreamed of.

I found out I was 9 weeks along when I went for my first visit. You see I spontaneously ovulate so I had no clue I had conceived! My pregnancy was perfect until my 20th week. I had went shopping with my mother and I was feeling a little sore, but thought it was just normal. That night I had trouble sleeping and I noticed more discharge, but still thought it was normal. The next day I had pain in my back and I was cramping, I called the doctor's office and they said that I probably had a bladder infection and I should take fluids and call them back on Monday, this was Friday.

I went over to my parent's house and I just got the feeling something wasn't right. So I asked my mom to drive me the 30 miles to the doctor's office. When I arrived they told me they needed a urine sample because they are sure I just had a bladder infection. When I did this, I had my first showing of blood. I came out of the bathroom and told the nurse. My Mother had to leave the room because she was already in tears. You see I'm adopted and my mother has lost 5 baby's, her first at 20 weeks like me. They did a pelvic exam on me and I was dilated 4cm and the sack of water was bulging. They rushed me over to the Birth Place and put me on my head.

My husband Alan is a truck driver and was 500 miles away, my mom got a hold of his work and they headed him my direction. He made it home in 7 hours!! At 1:30 a.m. he was by my side. I knew in my heart that I was going to lose my baby, but I still had hope, why would God give me this gift after waiting so long and then take it away? Right?

On February 14th at 6:20p.m. my water broke. I delivered my baby at 8:07 p.m. She was so tiny, they handed her to me and I held my dreams in my arms! I couldn't believe that a 20 week baby looked like this! She was perfect. Because of being adopted I had always longed to have my own children it seemed like everyone else could look at someone and say " I have my mom's eyes or I look like this person" I had never been able to say that. I was dreaming of the day that I could look into my child's eyes and say " You have Mommy's eyes "

As I held my baby I asked if the baby was a boy or a girl. I couldn't tell. The doctor looked at her and said " You have a little girl " I was finally looking at someone and they looked just like ME! I held my finger up to hers and she grasped it, she was defiantly alive. I looked at Alan and we both said Leah Grace. I had fallen in love with the name Leah and Grace was after my grandmother. Leah lived for 23 minutes, it was the most joyous and heart wrenching experience in my 28 years! I truly thought I knew what true love was... I knew it for the first time holding my Leah.

It has been a little over 5 months now and we are trying again. I am scared that this will happen again. By the way the reason I lost Leah was an incompetent cervix. I know about the cerclage and plan on having it done if we are lucky enough to conceive again. But the pain is still so fresh that if it happens again I think I'll finally go over that edge of insanity that I know a lot of us have been all to close to!!

I thought I would be angry with God that this happened, I can honestly say that I haven't been. I guess it's because I made my peace with him the first night I was in the hospital before Leah made her entrance into this world. I prayed and asked God to save my baby if it was His will. I surrendered her to him and that was the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But I had a peace that came over me and I still have that peace. So I know I did the right thing.

I want to share a poem I wrote to Leah I find it helps to write. I want to thank you if you've read this far, it's the only way I can share my Leah with people and I am truly proud to be her mommy!!

Thanks for this terrific site!!

Mommy's Questions

Did you hear me say " I Love You"

Did you feel my gentle kiss?

Did you know how much we wanted you?
Do you know how much you'll be missed?

Did you hear my prayer to heaven?
Did you hear me when I cried?

Did you feel me holding you, till the moment that you died?

Did Jesus come to get you, and take you to his home?
Did he place you on his knee, when he sat upon his throne?

Did Papaw get to see you, with his eyes all healed and new?
Does he tell you how long we waited, hoping and praying for you?

Do you grow each day in heaven?
Do you think of me at all?

Do you know I'm here waiting...
Until God's final call...

Do you know how I long to hold you?
Did you hear me say "Good Bye"

I have so many questions, and the biggest one is "WHY"

The good Lord has his reasons, though I may not understand...

One day I'll get to hold you, in a place called
Promise Land...

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