Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The fetal heart doppler.

We have had so many unique instances of extreme kindness since the first ultrasound. I thought I would share with you the story of the fetal heart doppler. Since 2007 when we first started trying to add to our family, I have been a part of an online message board for trying to conceive and pregnancy. I've never met any of the ladies in person; we are "online friends" but we read each other's stories and journey together while we are trying to create new life; experiencing the joys of getting a positive pregnancy test, the first doctor's appointment, and sometimes the disappointment and loss of our child. One girl who is due in July, (as I was with Mary Grace), mailed me her fetal heart doppler once she found out that Mary Grace was sick. The doppler is a small hand held device, just like the OBGYNs use in the office to check the baby's heartbeat. She sent it so that I could check on Mary Grace on those days where I felt little movement, to give me some reassurance. I've never met her. This was just an amazing act of kindness; trusting a complete stranger who was going through a difficult time in her pregnancy...I felt like she was truly showing me the face of Jesus in her generosity.

The doppler arrived while I was out of town, and as soon as I got home, Wednesday, February 25th I tried it. I listened for a long time, because the heart beat that I heard was not the normal thumping, but weak, and fluctuating between 115 beats per minute, to the low 80's. I listened because as much as I didn't want to believe that her heart was beginning to fail, I couldn't not listen. We had heard her heartbeat and it was so strong in the doctor's office just a week earlier, and now it was so weak- my daughter's heart was failing as I listened. I could literally hear her heart beat slow and then pick up and then slow again. Some people might have thought it was a waste for this sweet stranger to mail a doppler all the way from Florida to NC when I only got to use it one time. But it was the very last time that I got to hear my little baby's heart beat. The next morning at our ultrasound, she was gone.

Christina, you gave me the gift of being able to listen to my sweet little girl's heart beat for the very last time. Thank you! And for those of you reading, you never know how one small kind act might impact someone- it can have effects that are far more lasting than you would think. I will have that memory for the rest of my life and I am so thankful.


Holly said...

What an incredible act of kindness from a person you had never met. If every person was more like that I believe the world would be better off honestly. Thank you so much for sharing this story, it helps me to remember everyday to do something, no matter how small that might have a great impact on someone else.


Anonymous said...

Angela and Rob,

We are so sorry to hear your loss and did not attend Mary Grace's funeral. I didn't even know you had a blog about her. I read through all your blogs and was very very moved by everything that you wrote. We are praying for both of you so that you have found (or at least will find) strength through these tough times.

Hope to see you soon!

Yuwie and Josh