100 Bellies in 100 Days, Number 98! The Story Behind the Belly with Rebecca

I had a great visit this afternoon with Rebecca, for her belly photo session!  In a household of girls, except for her husband Jacob, Zeke will be the first boy in the family!  Rebecca mentioned that she was a little bummed because she wanted to wear a blue top for her photo, as an ode to Zeke being the first boy in the family.  Since she didn’t have any blue to wear, we thought it would be cool to shoot Rebecca’s belly photo in Zeke’s bedroom that is ready and waiting for him, and so we did!

Rebecca has shared a story of events that we all hope will never become a reality in our families, but can happen to anybody.  Her story discusses multiple losses, once of which, their very first baby, shortly after she was born.  Rebecca took the time to show me photos of their first daughter Molly, and even handed me a copy of the book that she wrote that tells her story more in depth.  I am always so honored when mothers like Rebecca are willing to open up and share these difficult experiences with me, and more importantly, with all of you.  Thank you Rebecca, very much.

The Story Behind the Belly

by Rebecca

“From my very first positive pregnancy test in the fall of 2007 to being 37 weeks in the spring of 2014, my belly has nurtured and held eight precious babies.  Of those eight babies, five of them I was able to carry to term (including our first baby boy who I am currently pregnant with), three were sadly lost due to first or second trimester miscarriages, and one of them died just seven short days after her birth.

Molly Ann would be 5 and 1/2 years old and full of joy and delight had we been given that much time with her.  Instead, we were given seven incredibly beautiful and painful days with her just after her entrance into this world.  Molly was born with a rare and serious brain aneurysm and with over half of her brain irreversibly damaged, we were told that she would endure up to 20 life-threatening brain surgeries by the time she was five years old.  After calling nearly every brain surgeon we could and looking for alternative methods, we made a very difficult and courageous decision to remove life support from our brand new baby girl who we had just met and allow her to be with Jesus.    

After having Molly, my husband and I entered the valley of grief and began the long road together.  Knowing she wasn’t in pain anymore made grief a little sweeter, and our hearts are focused on reuniting with her when we are called home to Heaven someday.  As a result of losing our daughter, we have found immense hope and restoration as we have welcomed into the world three sweet daughters and are anticipating the arrival of our very first son!  We have made numerous friendships over shared loss and walked alongside others in their own journeys.  

Molly’s brief life with us has taught me so much about enjoying each day that I am given with my girls.  It is such a gift and a privilege to have Piper, Lily, and Rainey and to be called “Momma” by each of them.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed every pregnancy, each kick in utero, every smile and coo, every first step, first word, and more if I hadn’t lost Molly.  I still make mistakes as a mom but my perspective is different, knowing that these years are short and will be over before I am ready for them to be.  And so while I have days when I feel like I’m failing as a mom, I also have moments of victory when I revel in the chaos and smile at the mess of toys on my living room floor and the baby dolls propped up in tiny beds.  I am so grateful for each day that I have been given with this baby boy and can’t wait to welcome a him into our lives and add more life to our home.  I imagine he will add a whole new dimension of noise, chaos, and love to our family.  And that’s how it should be.”