Today is Finn’s due date, marked by beautiful warm weather! Phillip was able to hang up the swing he built, so now our baby Finn will always rock with us in spirit.
One month ago today, we rushed to the emergency room shortly after midnight after noticing lack of movement and failing to find the baby’s heartbeat with my home monitor. Our worst fears were confirmed when we saw our son’s unmoving heart on the sonogram screen. By that evening, we were holding our beautiful, tiny, and silent baby boy in our arms. How I wish I was still holding him in my arms instead of this piece of paper that just came in the mail. Happy first month in heaven Finn, we love you!24
After Finn died, a chromosomal microarray test was done to check for genetic problems. Today we met with the geneticist, and we now know the cause of our baby’s death. Finn had a condition called Trisomy 9, meaning he had three copies of chromesome 9. There are three different variations of this disorder, and Finn had full trisomy 9, meaning that all of the cells in his body and placenta had three copies of chromosome 9. Full trisomy 9 is always fatal and most babies with this issue are miscarried in the first trimester. Those that are born alive typically die in the first week of life. Finn was stillborn at 35 weeks, 1 day gestation.
Common genetic testing done during pregnancy only tests risk for the more common trisomies – 21 (Down Syndrome), 18, and 13. An amnio or CVS could have detected it, but those procedures are invasive and usually only done in when an issue is suspected since they carry a slight risk of miscarriage. In our case, the pregnancy had the appearance of being perfectly normal, and while trisomy usually causes anatomical abnormalities, the 18-week anatomy scan was normal, as was the preliminary autopsy report. Finn also had no distinct appearance markers that are typical of a chromosomal disorder. He was really quite the anomaly. Trisomy 9 usually occurs by random chance. We are currently undergoing genetic testing to determine if either of us have any chromosomal abnormalties that would give us a higher than normal risk of having a child with this condition.
Babies with full Trisomy 9 have numerous physical and mental abnormalities and are medically described as “incompatible with life”, but we know Finn was designed by a God who never meant his body for this Earth. From the moment he was knitted together in my womb, God had another plan to bring him straight into heaven. Still yet, even though the odds were against him in every way, our gracious God designed this baby I had prayed so long for in such as way to allow me 246 days to enjoy his presence in the womb before his body stopped working and his soul departed. He took Finn in the womb so we did not have to see him suffer and die in a world he wasn’t designed for. He allowed me the peaceful experience giving birth to this baby naturally, to see him enter the world and immediately be placed on my chest, and to cut his umbilical cord. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but this was one of my biggest hopes for this pregnancy after my previous c-section. He allowed me to see my son’s face and hold him, to have memories and photos of him always until we meet him again in heaven.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
God is good, and I will praise Him in this storm.
After waiting over two years to find we were expecting our much anticipated second baby, it seemed as though the hardest part was over. We had a seemingly normal pregnancy and healthy baby and were just counting down the days until we could meet him. Amidst the shock of discovering he was no longer alive, the excitement to bring this little person into the world, to see his face and features, to hold him and feel his little fingers wrapped around ours, to look at him and know we are forever changed because he exists, still remained. Saying hello while also saying goodbye is tough when we thought we would have a lifetime of memories. Bringing our son home in bronze cube instead of a car seat certainly wasn’t the plan. We are living in an alternate reality and figuring out how to move forward day by day with the help of God and our family and friends. I can only hope that we can do so in such a way to honor the memory of our son Finn.