Oct 15, 2014

Bryant Cole: Molly Brown

I could have written almost every word of Molly's story. Although there are small differences, Molly's story reminds me so much of our Hannah. 38 weeks and four days, oh I know it all too well. How it feels to hold a real, warm, life-sized baby in your arms and wonder why or how that baby is not still alive.

Oh but Molly's words are beautiful. And oh how they are so very fresh. I realized that Molly lost her sweet boy right about the time I felt the Lord calling me to ask you all to share your stories. Maybe, just maybe, it was just for Molly. Oh how I pray for her knowing that her pain is so very near and real in so many ways right now.

I love how she attributes her strength only to the Lord, for he truly is our strength in weakness. I pray as you read her story that you would be reminded of the Lord's great strength, especially as we are so very weak.

Bryant Cole Brown, September 5th 2014

This is Bryant’s story that lives with me every day.

Brad and I got pregnant the December after our two year anniversary; we were so excited about our sweet little bean from the day we found out on January 7th 2014. It was fun keeping it a secret while we waited to go to the doctor, but it got much more exciting after we got to share the news that our sweet family was growing with our family and friends. From our first appointment everything was so great and we had a healthy little BOY! We found out what we were having on March 25th.

A few years back while talking with Brad’s grandmother she had mentioned Gran's name. Gran was Brad's grandfather on his mom’s side. She brought up that his name was Thomas Bryant Chennault. At that moment I sent brad a message that said “if we ever have a boy we should name him Bryant Brown ;)" As I’m sure that freaked him out I was thinking about baby names he just replied that he liked that name. Later we talked and we had a Girl and a Boy named picked out going into our appointment.

Bryant was not shy about showing himself off and assuring us he was indeed a boy! So the spoiling began; how fun it is to shop for little boys! Throughout the pregnancy everything was perfect, tests were all normal, even the doctor mentioned that I was blessed to have such an easy pregnancy. It was fun feeling and watching my sweet boy grow.  I had two extra sonograms done just to see his sweet face, and boy did he have a personality. We thought looking like his momma... but boy were we wrong!

Brad had gone to every appointment with me from day one, he was by my side, even when I freaked out about getting blood taken, which I am a pro at now. Bryant grew and grew and GREW he was an active little guy at four in the morning. He wiggled to music, he jumped to loud noises, and we would have many conversations about kicking mommy’s rib.

As week 38 approached we were getting anxious to meet our sweet Bryant. I had my appointment that Thursday, and I was convinced I was going to talk the doctor into letting me have this baby a bit early, as I’m just not a very patient person. Thursday came; a day that changed my life. We woke up that morning, everything was normal, Brad left to go cut some hay, and I told him I would just go to this appointment alone cause I had some errands to run, and had planned to have lunch with my sister before my appointment. Plus this far along going every week was just the same thing when doctor measures and says “see ya next week” but oh was I wrong.

I had my appointment at 1:15 that day. Everyone knew I had my appointment that day and they were anxious to hear what the doctor had to say, they were ready for a baby as much as I was. As I laid on the table he measured my belly at 38 weeks and four days. The doctor got out his Doppler and listened for Bryant’s heartbeat, there was nothing but static, I remember just thinking 'really doc you need a new Doppler.'  He made the excuse that his wasn’t working and went and got another doctor's Doppler and at this point I started to worry. I started to think maybe Bryant is in a weird position, maybe… just anything but no this can’t be real… I’m at 38 weeks my child is healthy... What is going on? The doctor heard nothing with the second Doppler; he told me he was going to do a sonogram.

As the doctor looked at me in the eyes and said there was no heartbeat. I feel as if my heart was ripped out, I couldn’t catch my breath,  My head started pounding, I couldn’t believe him, this couldn’t be happening. I just asked questions, are you sure? How? Why? What happened? All left unanswered.

There is no answer.

He asked me if Brad was in the waiting room as he knew he was always there. I just shook my head as I couldn’t talk to where they could understand me. I didn’t want to look at my phone because at this point everyone was wanting to know how my appointment went, they were anxious, texting, and calling. The nurse called Brad to come to the clinic. That was the longest 40 minutes of my life. As I sat there in the room with the nurse I just cried. I wanted to wake up, I wanted them to say their machines just weren’t working, I wanted anything but this. I prayed, I cried, I sat there with my boy just wanting him to kick my ribs one more time.

This next moment replays in my head every single day. The door opened and there stood Brad in tears, just saying “NO” over and over, he wrapped Bryant and I in his arms and we cried together, he was asking questions just as I was. I've always known Brad was going to be an amazing daddy, but at this moment I saw just how much he loved his baby boy.

The doctor gave us some time to ourselves, then came in to talk to us about the next step. He told us we could go straight to the hospital to start the labor process or we could go home and come back at a later time. At this point no one but us knew the news, so we decided to go home, let family know, grab our bags, and head back up there a few hours later. Brad had called his parents on the way to the clinic because he didn’t know what to expect when he got there, were we going to be rushed to have our sweet boy? Had he left us? I can only imagine what was going through his head.

After we left the clinic we met Brad's parents to drop off my car so we would be together. We started talking about who we were going to tell, how we were going to tell them. I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to tell people who love Bryant so much that he had gone. My dad works out of town, so mom was by herself and I couldn’t tell either of them over the phone. Brad's mom went and picked my mom up to bring her to our house.

Brad and I drove to my sisters work and I just text her to come out front. Brad met her on the sidewalk and told her the news, as I was watching in the rear view mirror her reaction looked like she had been stabbed in the heart; she burst into tears and ran to the truck to wrap me in her arms. She just like the rest of us started asking questions and again there were no answers.

Brad stood on the sidewalk as he called my dad. He was working days, so had been on shift since early that morning. I couldn’t bear to think about him driving that long 8 hour drive alone with no sleep, but being the amazing man he is there was no talking him into resting before he came.

Brad and I headed home, a very silent trip home; a tight grip holding hands, tears running down my face, and every question imaginable running through our heads. We came home to a nursery all set up so cozy and soft, an empty bassinet by our bed that I had been staring at for weeks just waiting to be staring at a cute little boy, a car seat sitting in our living room, and three little bags that I have waited so patiently to load in the car… Still to this moment I thought this couldn’t be real, I was wanting to take all his stuff in case something happened and we ended up coming home with our boy, but I knew I was dreaming. That wasn’t going to happen.

Brad's parents picked up my mom and the family came to our house, as we sat there and cried in the silence and held each other in our arms I just couldn’t get over the fact this was for real.  Brad started to get things ready for the hospital; he unloaded the car seat base from my car that had been there for the past few weeks. I just loved looking in my mirror and seeing that little thing, Bryant and I would have many conversations about how mommy couldn’t wait to have a passenger with her.

The time came to go to the hospital, the family went home for a little bit, and we headed to the hospital, leaving a bag short, but we were on our way. Arriving at the hospital it was very strange, walking up to labor and delivery with all our bags, pillows, and my sweet baby bump people were looking at us all excited as they didn’t know better. Once we got to labor and delivery we were greeted with nurses who showed their love and support from the time we got there. We were walked to our room after filling out some paperwork. Our room was just a little different from everyone else’s room; it was missing the baby bed, monitors, and one less heartbeat. We had to fill out some more paperwork, and they started my IV. The process began; it was just time to wait.

My sister, mom, and Brad's parents came up not long after and sat with us, there was nothing to say, there were no words, we just sat there crying. My dad was still on his way. Throughout the evening more family found out the news and came to sit, pray, and hug our necks. The night got later but I couldn’t think about sleeping. Everyone went home to get some rest, I was given some medicine to help me sleep, and Brad was right next to me holding my hand tight. Throughout the night I was being checked on by the sweet nurses. About midnight she came in to let me know my dad was there. He had been up for over 24 hours and was not leaving the hospital, I let him know he could go to my sisters but he said no he would be here if I needed him. He stayed through the night in a room they had set up for the family during our stay. A room where they could wait, visit, and cry without bothering those who were there happy, excited, and welcoming their baby to the world.

As morning Friday approached I knew time was getting close. The emotions I had were unexplainable, I had been looking forward to this day for nine months, the day I become a mother to my precious boy, I kept hoping for a miracle.

At 11:46am I gave birth to my precious angel Bryant. The labor and delivery was so perfect, but there was no cry as I have always imagined, the room was silent. The emotional pain I can’t explain. I laid there with Brad holding me in his arm, we cried; we were lonely. They came in with Bryant all wrapped up, snug and cozy. The first time I laid my eyes on that boy I fell more in love if possible. I didn’t think I could love him anymore than I already did, but boy was I wrong. I couldn’t help but smile with the tears running down my face as they placed him in my arms. He was so perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

He had sweet chubby cheeks, a little dimple chin, the most precious nose and lips imaginable, and some big feet. He looked just like his daddy. He was seven pounds and two ounces. As I held him tight knowing he was already in the arms of Jesus I didn’t want to let him go. We spent the afternoon with him holding him close, kissing his cheeks, showing him off to those who visited, and cherishing the moments we had. The time we got to spend with him was not enough.

There is no way possible to explain the pain of handing your child off for the very last time. I kissed his cheeks, rubbed his head and told him how much I loved him through the tears and heartache. Brad took him, and as he handed him to the nurse he kissed him goodbye with tears running down his face. I have a whole new kind of love for that man, and seeing him show his love as a daddy to our son melted my heart.

We got discharged Saturday morning to head home; my sister had come up that morning to bring us drinks and to visit. Brad headed down to get the car pulled around. As I was being rolled down the hallway to the elevator empty handed it hurt to leave, I wanted to rewind time, and be in this same place with a handsome baby boy, I wanted him in my arms again, I wanted him with me.  Leaving a piece of your heart isn’t right.

We drove home in the silence, just holding tight to each other’s hands. We got home, and walked inside to sweet cards and flowers from family and friends who sent their love and thoughts for us and our boy. I walked down the hall and just stood staring at the door to Bryant’s room. For so many months it had been open, I found some reason to go in there daily, even if it was to just sit in the glider and prop my feet up. I love his room. It is so cozy and warm, and smells so good with all his fresh washed clothes and sheets waiting on him. But today the door was closed, and there was no need to open it. Adjusting to a quiet house after preparing for something completely different for so many months is hard, for many days we had our parents, and close friends over to visit, and help fill the quiet space.

After the weekend passed we went up to the funeral home to plan a service for our sweet boy. I had not a clue of what to expect. I never in my life thought about having to lay my child to rest days after holding him in my arms. On Wednesday September 10th we had an evening grave site service for our Bryant Cole with family and close friends. September 11th was Bryant’s due date. I woke up that morning with alerts all over my phone saying “Congratulations its Bryant’s due date” since I had only been counting down for about eight months. This is the day I have looked forward to for so long, been so patient for, and now it’s here and I’m left empty handed and brokenhearted.

I sat on the porch that morning watching the sunrise as it was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen. God was clearly showing me that he is with my boy. As the days, and weeks have passed it still seems like yesterday when the doctor looked at me in the eyes and said there was no heartbeat. I miss my baby boy every second of every day, with every breath I take I am thinking of him. He is and forever will be my angel baby.

When people ask “how are you doing” that is hard to answer, because I’m not good, I’m not okay. I hurt and that is the only way I know to put it. I have questions that can’t be answered; I have a ton of questions. I am sad, I am angry, I cry a lot.  People say it will get better. I don’t think it will get better; I know it will get easier with time but the pain of losing a child is a pain that will never leave. The memories I have of my Bryant will live with me forever.  We hope and pray that one day Bryant will get to be a big brother when the time is right. Never to replace our sweet Bryant, but to help fill the emptiness in our home and hearts.

Even though we had a plan all along God had another one. A plan I don’t understand, but it is His. He has our son wrapped in his arms, and for that I am grateful. I prayed for our boy every day on my way to work. I prayed that Bryant would grow up following Christ, that he would share God's word, and show His love through everything he did. God answered my prayers, just not in the way I had planned. I know that Bryant is showing his love through his story. As the days go on and I’m starting to get out a little more I am asked “how are you so strong?”  “How do you smile?” The answer is I serve a might God. A God who has been by my side through this all. A God who has bigger and better plans even when we can’t see them.  I believe that God has big plans in store for my sweet family and as hard as it is to smile some days I just have to remember my boy is in heaven smiling down on us.

We love our Angel baby always and forever our Bryant Cole Brown.

-Molly Brown

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