The Birth Story of Ellie Jane Harrington
This couple’s story of completing their family is one of heartache, patience, hope and unrelenting faith. I know so many women out there can relate to this mama and the road she has journeyed to get where her and her family are now. To all mothers in whatever season of life you’re in, whether you’re already a mama or hoping to become one… I hope you find comfort in this story.
I’m so very thankful for this beautiful mother and the story that she was willing to share. My hope, as well as hers, is that through her story others can find encouragement and hope. You’re not alone. This season has purpose. And don’t forget, you’re so very loved. <3
My whole life I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. I would find the man I would marry, we’d have 3 kids, and live happily ever after. God shined his grace on me the day I met my husband. He is by far the most loving man, devoted father, all around good guy, and my best friend. I always say, “I hit the jackpot with him!” JAfter being married for about 2 years we decided it was time to start adding to our family. I remember having a conversation with God, telling him that I was scared, but that I was ready whenever he wanted me to become a mommy. We didn’t have to wait long, because 3 weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. I was in total shock, deliriously happy, and scared out of my mind. Conley, my husband, was over the moon excited. He doted on me, went out to get me anything I needed, and was just over all being who he is, a loving, giving man. In April of 2010 we welcomed our baby girl, Annabelle Grace, into the world. I remember the moment they placed her in my arms, I was so in love with her tiny face and vowed to God to protect her, love her, and make sure she knew him.
After about 2 and a half years, we decided it was time for another little one to add to our family. After months and months of trying, I was started to get discouraged. I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long to get pregnant since it happened right away with our first one. Even though I was discouraged, I didn’t let that waiver my faith that we were meant to have another baby. After a little over a year, I was elated to finally get a positive pregnancy test. We went to the doctor to make sure, and once that was confirmed we couldn’t wait to tell our daughter that she was going to be a big sister. We explained to her what it meant about be a being sister and how mommy’s belly was going to get bigger, and then one day soon we’d have a little baby to bring home. She was so excited.
Around 5-6 weeks of my pregnancy, I went to the bathroom and was horrified to find the toilet full of bright, red blood. I was home alone with my daughter, scared out of my mind, and crying. She didn’t have a clue what was going on, she just wanted to know why mommy was crying. I called my husband in a panic and explained what had happened. He rushed home and took me to the ER. After checking me and the baby they couldn’t find anything wrong. They told me to go and see my regular OB in the morning. Needless to say it was a stressful and sleepless night. At my appointment the next morning, the ultrasound tech confirmed that everything looked great. There was a strong heartbeat and the baby was measuring as they should. It gave me some relief, but I was still weary. When we went back for our 12-week ultrasound, we got the news that our baby’s heart had stopped beating. I was in total shock. I kept thinking, “There has to be some kind of a mistake!” Unfortunately, several days later, I was in the OR having a D & C performed. Mourning the loss of our baby was never something we imagined we’d have to do, but what was equally hard, was telling our daughter that her brother or sister had to go to heaven to be with God. She didn’t understand and trying to explain to a 3-year-old something that you yourself don’t understand is about impossible.
Four months later, I went to my OB’s office because I thought I was having an unusually long period, but it turns out, that I was having another miscarriage. I didn’t even know I was pregnant this time, but the pain of the loss wasn’t diminished. That was now two of my babies that God had given to me and then taken away. I just couldn’t understand, why would God let me be pregnant if he was only going to take them away.
After waiting a few months, we decided to try again. Even though it made me question God’s reasons, I never gave up hope or lost faith. We tried again to get pregnant only for it to take much longer than I ever anticipated. After finally getting another positive pregnancy test, we made a trip to the doctor to confirm. She then told us that it might be a good idea to send me to a specialist to take shots to thin my blood. After weeks of giving myself two shots a day in my abdomen, we headed for our 7-week ultrasound to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. As I lay back on the table and waited for the tech to begin, I was shaking with nerves. My husband held my hand the entire time. As she began, my eyes zeroed in on the little “flicker” only to not see one. I think I already knew before I asked, but I asked anyway, “Where’s the heartbeat?” The tech said that she can’t find one. I immediately started crying asking God again, “Why? Why are you doing this to us?” The tech left the room to give us some time. I remember telling my husband, “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” It was too painful. To constantly get your hopes up that you will have a baby in your arms to only have that dream ripped away, was just too much.
After months of wondering why and not really knowing where to turn, I began searching the internet for information on multiple losses. I came across the term Reproductive Endocrinologist several times. I searched for someone in the Louisville area and found one who my regular OB recommended. I called to make an appointment to see what she could do for us, if anything. After doing some testing and checking out a complaint of pain I had on my right side of my abdomen, she determined that I had an endometrium cyst on my right ovary. Before we could try for another baby we needed to remove that cyst. We scheduled the surgery and it was removed successfully. However, that also meant that we had to wait another 6 months before we could try again. I felt so deflated that we had to wait even longer.
I decided to pray. I prayed to God, to Mary, to St. Anthony, to my grandparents who had passed away, anyone who would listen and help us. In early March of 2016, our prayers had been answered. A positive pregnancy test and an office visit later, we confirmed that we were indeed going to have another baby. After a multitude of tests, we determined that my Vitamin D level was low (never knew this could affect pregnancy) and my thyroid (which we discovered after the last lost) didn’t produce enough for myself and my baby. We kept a very close watch on my thyroid level throughout my entire first trimester. Each visit was met with excitement, fear, and hope. We got to see our baby every 2 weeks on the ultrasound and every 2 weeks we prayed and looked for that little “flicker” on the screen. With each passing week it felt like we were passing milestone after milestone. When we finally reached the second trimester, we felt it was safe to tell our daughter and our family the good news. With prayers from a lot of people and faith that I never lost, we finally welcomed our baby girl, Ellie Jane into the world on November 10, 2016.
The journey was long, difficult, heartbreaking, and sometimes full of anger. I firmly believe that everything, good and bad, happens for a reason. I may never know why God tested me the way that he did or made our family suffer in the way that we did, but in the end, we got our little miracle. To this day, I can’t stop looking at her, holding her, kissing her, and loving her because one day she’ll know just how long we waited for her.