May 2008. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I was over joyed. I could not keep the news to myself and soon after telling Keith, I passed the happy news to my parents, family and friends. I felt great, no morning sickness, and no food aversions. I hardly knew anything was different.

Toward the end of my first trimester I can remember being at work and one of the doctors I worked for came in and told us of this horrific loss a RN at the hospital had just went through. She had had a stillborn baby. He commented on how she did not want to give up the baby and that they let her keep the baby in her room for quite a long time. I remember thinking how weird that was and could not imagine anything like that. Knowing I was expecting he turned to me and, “Don’t worry, nothing like this will happen to you.” Those words ring me to the core even today.

August 7th, 2008, 20 weeks pregnant and it was ultrasound appointment time. Time to see our baby and find out if we were having a girl or a boy. It is this day that forever changed me. It is this day more than any that send me into panic and tearful physical breakdown. We are settled in the appointment and the ultrasound tech places the ultrasound wand on my belly. It did not take her long to get up and run out of the room. She returned with the doctor. Something was wrong. I don’t remember the words. I remember all the feelings. I remember physically getting sick and vomiting into the garbage can. This can’t be happening and they must be wrong. They immediately contact a perinatologist and sent us to their office. Her diagnosis of anencephaly was confirmed. The prognosis is grave. We did not find out girl or boy. I wanted “it” out of my body. I just could not stop crying.

The next day I contact an OB office that preformed late term abortions. Scheduled the termination for the following Tuesday. I wanted to name the baby, I wanted to have a funeral, I wanted all the special things to honor this little life that had forever changed me. My husband and I prayed, we talked, we read the bible. We had friends and family praying and supporting us. Keith had been reading the readings for the days leading up to that Tuesday appointment, including the reading for that day. Matthew 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.” That right there made us stop and we knew we could not keep that Tuesday appointment.

We carried on and met with our OBGYN and set forth a birth plan that was best suited for our family and our needs. We reached out to Patti Lewis at Alexandra’s House in Kansas City. A local perinatal hospice that would be come an integral part of our journey and healing. From that August day and through the next few months we went to work, we met with our support groups and leaned heavily on friends. It was all these parts that carried us to that December day in 2008.

There was Halloween, a celebration of me and our little one in November known as my “Diva Day” and Thanksgiving with the Leary’s. All these days passed as they normally do. My Parents and Keith’s mom made their way to Kansas City shortly after Thanksgiving. Preparing for her arrival and inevitable death.

Diva Day November 2008

The day before she was to be born we went to Cabela’s and out to eat and around town. I kept thinking to myself these are my last moments with her alive. Cherishing everything but not wanting the day to end. THIS AD

December 2nd, 2008, 7:56am. Grace Anne Wojtaszek was born. She screamed a cry and weighted about 4 pounds and was about 14 inches long. Perfect little fingers and toes, grasping her daddy’s finger and letting us love and hold her for 5 hours. I invited all my friends to visit and have a moment to hold her in their arms. We had a photographer there capturing all the moments. We made the best of every second with her. A little passed 1 pm, our friend Craig had been holding her and he came to hand her back and he said he thought she had passed. She had and it was a moment of peace and pure love.

Grace Anne 12/2/2008

We kept her in the room with us after she passed, studying her sweet fingers and toes, her button nose and tiny mouth. I did not want to let her go. I wanted to freeze that moment in time and just make a mental save of everything. The nurses cut a piece of her hair and tied it with ribbon, made hand and feet prints for us to keep. We have a box of mementos sitting in our living room of all things Grace.

6:00 pm, I look at the clock and I know, I feel it in my soul, we have to let her go…We have to say good bye. I just could not say goodbye. I didn’t want to say goodbye. Keith and I knew we needed to just make the decision. We had to let her go. I was discharged a few days later. I was wheeled out to our car without our precious little girl. We were forever changed and ultimately our journey was just beginning…

I am going to pause here, these months transformed us and continue to influence all we do and always will. I will share more soon.

Grace Anne..ultrasound October 2008.
Grace Anne’s birth 12/2/2008, Grandma Pat, Nana, Papa, Keith and I