Marc and I married on July 3, 2010. We welcomed our first child, Isaac, on July 11, 2014 followed by his sister Lucy on June 4, 2016. We quickly became pregnant with our third child, another little girl, she was due November 2, 2017. We were so thrilled that our daughters would be a short 17 months apart in age and we were excited to see the friendship they would have as they grew.
August 7, 2017 was my 29th birthday and after a couple hours of not feeling much movement from the baby that morning, I used my doppler but wasn’t able to find her heartbeat. We checked in with my midwife who also was unsuccessful finding a heartbeat with her doppler. After a quick glimpse of a motionless heart on the ultrasound screen, our lives were radically changed. We made our way to the hospital that afternoon to induce labor at 27 weeks and 4 days. Rowan Joy was born on August 10, 2017 at 6:39pm and weighed 2lbs 2.8 oz and 14 inches long. She was perfect and looked just like her older brother and sister. Marc and I spent the days leading up to her arrival talking about all of the possibilities that could have caused Rowan to die. Not even as much as a UTI had complicated any of my pregnancies so this was very unexpected. Babies do not just die, especially to healthy moms with healthy pregnancies. As an ER nurse at the time, I knew my exposures at work could have potentially caused an infection that spread to her. We talked about what further testing we were willing to undergo to establish the cause, because the likelihood of knowing definitively upon her arrival was so low. We prayed that God would make the cause of her death so clear, there was no question or concern for recurrence. We literally sat in that hospital room praying that the cord would be wrapped around her neck, just so we had an answer. Just as we asked, the Lord provided an answer. The cord was so tightly coiled and twisted upon itself that the blood flow to her was restricted. No concern for genetics. No concern for my work exposures to leave me completely and utterly anxious about stepping foot into work, but a fluke accident that was very unlikely to repeat itself.
Fast forward a year and we welcomed a healthy, happy baby boy, our rain-Beau, Beau Callaway, on August 31, 2018. Unexplainable peace is the only way I can describe my feelings during this pregnancy. From the moment I hit my knees on the bathroom floor with that positive pregnancy test in hand, I was given a gift of peace that I believe can only come from the Holy Spirit. Though I had dark days and weeks of grief and conflicting emotions, God gave me the assurance that this boy would soon be in my arms and healing pieces of my broken heart that I thought were beyond repair.
Our experience after Rowan’s death was challenging. I spent hours looking for help and resources, but had a really hard time finding anything. At the time, I was completing a masters program to become a family nurse practitioner and was in my final semester. I had the opportunity to complete a capstone project for school and focused on compiling resources for local hospitals to provide to families that endure a loss like we did. In the midst of my search for resources, I found an organization called Hope Mommies, who is a national organization that provides support rooted in the hope of Jesus for mom’s that have experienced pregnancy loss. The organization’s primary ministry is providing Hope Boxes for hospitals to give to families as they leave the hospital. These boxes are filled with books, including a Bible and Bible study, journals, encouraging mementos, and pampering items. We partner with Hope Mommies to provide these boxes to hospitals in Northeast Indiana. Our faith in God and living in the promise of eternal life in Heaven with our girl was vital in our survival and healing after her death. I cannot imagine living without these assurances and we long for nothing more than to speak truth and hope into the lives of families that have endured this great loss.
There were so many hard decisions that we had to make regarding the way that we would celebrate Rowan’s life. The thought of a family making the choice on whether to bury or cremate their child based on cost is heartbreaking. Additionally, we feel that every child should have a memorial stone at their grave and Remembering Rowan will assist families with these costs. We also will be helping families with medical bills related to stillbirth. A monthly bill is one more painful reminder of the child you do not have to hold in your arms.
We are grateful for your support in helping us honor our daughter, Rowan, and assisting Northeast Indiana bereaved families through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. Your monetary donations help us provide grief resources to area hospitals and funeral homes, assists families with medical bills associated with stillbirth, and pay for funeral and burial costs for all babies who pass away in the womb at any gestational age, up to the age of 1.
Marc, Delaney & Rowan in utero
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted & saves those who are crushed in spirit
Marc, Delaney, Isaac, Lucy, Beau, & Levi