In Memory of Hadlee Jean Howe & Jaxon “Jax” Wayne Howe – August 28, 2009 – Part 1

Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer (Romans 12:12 NET).

I have been feeding on these words over the last week. I am so thankful for the friend who consistently brings them to my attention. I’ll talk more about them and other things at the end of the series.

After a more than a year of “trying,” we found out we were expecting on May 11th, 2009 – the same day we left for a tour of England, Scotland and Wales! When we returned, we were informed that we were to be the parents of twins! I know my mouth dropped when I heard the news. O how excited and nervous we were! The following five months were filled with joy, prayer, and new routines and preparations. I remember praying over and over again that God would be gracious to our children. I knew that while I desired to be the best husband and dad possible, I also knew that I would blow it – a lot. I was convinced that God’s favor was what my children needed more than my attempts at parenting godly children.

On August 27 at about 12:00pm, fear and uncertainty laid siege to our unsuspecting hearts. My wife, Aimee, and I were at the doctor for our twins’ (Hadlee and Jaxon) 20 week check-up. Everything looked fantastic! Gender was confirmed as one boy and one girl, and Hadlee and Jaxon were enjoying one another as they rested safely in mommy’s womb. Just as a precaution, Aimee asked the doctor to check one more thing which required her to empty her bladder and change into a gown. I distinctly remember waiting patiently, silently and awkwardly in the room with the ultrasound tech while Aimee did what she needed to do. I remember getting a little uncomfortable because she was taking what seemed to be a long time. I remember the toilet flushing not once, but twice. Finally, Aimee returned to the room, but she was obviously concerned.

It wasn’t until Aimee sat on the table once more that things became evident. Water fell to the floor leaving a puddle. At first, there wasn’t any alarm, but as the check up went on and the doctor was summoned into the room, it became clear that little Hadlee’s membrane sac had ruptured. The fluid that had fallen to the floor was the amniotic fluid Hadlee needed to survive. The doctor’s tried to comfort us that the babies may still be fine, but Aimee needed to head to the hospital immediately for bed rest and observation. There was still hope that Hadlee might rebuild her supply of fluid so long as the rupture wasn’t too severe.

We immediately rushed to Parkland Hospital. At first, it seemed that all Aimee and the babies needed was a little rest. Aimee settled into her room, and I quickly went home to pack for an indefinite stay at PLand (So thankful nothing happened while I was away). I returned to the hospital to Aimee whose fever almost immediately began rising and who began having consistent contractions. (But I thought she only needed a little rest? I didn’t think that there was any real threat. Not to me, not to my Aimee or my babies. How could this happen?)

It seemed like it took forever for us to be transported to L&D. Upon arrival, doctors confirmed that Aimee was in labor, and shortly after, Hadlee was in the birth canal. I’ll never forget the pain in Aimee’s cry when the doctor informed us that she could see our little girl. As Aimee pushed and cried and pushed and cried, I held her hands and never let my gaze leave hers. The terror and confusion in her eyes will never leave my memory. Hadlee was born at 23:50 on August 27. She died a short time later on the 28th.

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