My Angel, Coleton James

I am a very blessed Mother of 5 children, no, 6 children! 1 Boy, 4 girls and 1 beautiful Angel!! This is my story: I found out I was pregnant with my last child (#6) when I was almost 39 years old, I was scared because I was considered "old" to be having another baby, let alone I was shocked! After the initial shock wore off, I was so happy to be able to be a new Mommy. My other children at the time ranged from 19 to 4, they too were very happy.

As I would go to the Doctor, I would constantly tell him "something is not right" that I didn't feel right but i wasn't certain what it was. He reassured me that I was healthy for my "age" and that the heartbeat sounds good and strong and that I needed to relax and enjoy my last pregnancy. Still, I would leave with an eerie feeling.

In my picture page you will see a picture of my ultrasound that was done at about 5 months, it's a BOY the Doctor tells us, I was soooooooo happy, finally a little brother to spoil!! On my ultrasound you can clearly see an ANGEL setting on my Son's foot. I thought to myself WOW, an angel is watching over him already....little did i know what it meant until a few months later.

I remember the day like yesterday... this horrible cramping feeling, but i was only 34 weeks along and knew it wasn't labor pains, so i ignored it and layed down for a bit. I woke up feeling good and went about my day. That night I noticed my very active little boy was not kicking anymore. I drank orange juice, did many other things but I knew he was gone! This was on a Sunday night and I didn't want an ER Doctor telling me my Son was gone. I waited until the next morning, put my children on the bus, kissed my husband goodbye and went to the Dr. all by myself (just in case I was wrong) i didn't want to alarm anyone. I went into the room, told my Dr. that I didn't feel him kicking since last night, he sort of laughed it off because he knew how worried i was from day one. THe look on his face said it all. I went to the ultrasound room where I was told my boy was gone. I called my Mother and met my husband at home. Amazingly enough I was the one comforting everyone. I was in shock. I refused to go back to the Hospital for 3 days!!!!! In my thought process, i still had my son with me, if i had to deliver, then i would never see him again. I was forced to go to the hospital where I was only in labor 1 hour. I delivered my son with no pain medicine, no nurses hanging around, no nothing but with my loving family. He was baptized in my arms by my Pastor.

As much as it hurts and as broken as I am.... my ultrasound picture get's me through everyday!!! God did have a plan for him, i just didn't know what it was. I know someday I will be able to rock my baby boy, until then, he IS my angel!!! I love you Coleton James!!!!
coletonsmom coletonsmom 41-45 2 Responses Jun 5, 2012

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Wow that's a very beautiful story & amazing how his angel appeared in his ultrasound. I have my angels very 1st 3D ultrasound on our fridge, I was 38 wks & very time they tried his foot, cord, hands or he turned his head the other way for the 3D shot. I was like laughing cuz both his mommy & daddy don't like their pictures taken either! I thought yup he's our little stinker!! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't look @ that last ultrasound picture we have & wish he was here instead to take more pictures of. Sorry for ur loss!

First off ~ I would like to say how sorry I am to hear of the loss of your precious son, Coleton James. Your ultrasound photo is more than amazing and is actually quite unbelievable. I am so enchanted by seeing your sweet son with a tiny angel on his foot. Loosing a child is surely the most devastating situation to have to endure and there are no words to ease the pain. The path becomes a little less rocky as time goes on but the valleys and peaks remind us of the long soulful journey we all must make. My first Granddaughter was born still at 36.6 weeks due to torsion of the umbilical cord ~ not a true knot or nuchal cord but delivers the same devastation and heartache. I would like to share my story with you.

Now, I am in the same situation as you, thousands like you -- like us -- dealing with the loss of a child. The reasons may differ but the result is still the same, pain and heartache.

I am an RN and my husband is an Emergency Room MD. I have four children and never thought anything of it. I had heard of stillbirths but thought they occurred during labor when there was a complication. Why should I think anything different? The medical profession has hidden the details and frequency from us all.

Then came my son and my daughter in law. Their first child, a daughter, was born still at 36.3 weeks on June 28th, 2009. Danielle noticed no movement -- for a baby that was very active a lot of the time - one Saturday. She had read the books which reassured her and my son that the babies slowed down at 36 weeks -- that was normal. My son, now a resident at Emory, was a medical student at MUSC in Charleston at the time. We got the call on Saturday night, "We lost the baby."

I was in utter disbelief and total shock. What -- How -- What Happened? Bob told us it could be genetic, it could be an infection, it could be the cord, it could be a lot of things. My mind raced and was paralyzed at the same time. The ultrasound was done, there was no heartbeat.

My precious granddaughter, our first, was now an angel. My heart ached; no tears would come. My daughter, Nicola, had just gotten married in Charleston on May 1, 2009. Danielle was the pregnant bridesmaid and so beautiful. We were all set to welcome the newest member to the clan on July 24th.

I think our angel was going to be Chloe Gabriella or Lillian Bleu - depending on her features and who she looked like. But we welcomed our precious Roberta Rae on June 28th with all of the love our hearts could hold, as well as, all of the sorrow. Bob, short for Robert, had nicknamed the baby, Roberta, after himself.

That was what everyone called her and that was the name she had been hearing for eight months while Bob spoke to Danielle's tummy. So, Bob and Danielle decided to call her the name she knew, the name she kicked to, the name she swam to and the name she danced to. Her "in utero" name was totally unplanned yet fit her perfectly.

My husband and I are now committed advocates for the stillborn. We will do whatever it takes to enlighten the medical community and parents to be, as well as, to find a cause as to "WHY" when there are or are not any answers.

I don't know if you are familiar with Dr. Jason Collins of The Pregnancy Institute, New Roads, Louisiana. He has been researching the issue of Umbilical Cord Accidents (UCA) for over 20 years. According to research by Dr. Collins and like minded Obstetricians throughout the world, the cord is a definite risk factor contributing to stillbirth and a definite catalyst for stillbirth from 28 weeks onward. And, yes, stillbirth moms are 5 - 10 times more likely to have a recurrent stillbirth. In the words of Dr. Collins, "Why is no one talking about this?"

When you think about it, at one time people had a heart attack and died. That was it - no intervention, it wasn't developed and no one knew the warning signs. Now if you have chest pain and go to the emergency room, the measures taken are incredible. The same is true with a mammogram. Every woman who goes for one knows what the findings may be - but it is better to know why we are going and the importance of the check and deal with the findings - than to be oblivious to the challenge.

All parents to be, as well as, medical personnel should be educated to the possibility and undeniable consequences of an UCA. With 30,000 + stillbirths a year in the USA, and at least 30% of these stillbirths definitely being caused by UCA - it is imperative women are given the facts by their doctors. Once knowledgeable, they can decide their course of action, seek ultrasounds and be proactive for their baby before it is too late.

My brother was killed by a drunk driver when he was 12 back in 1967. I don't think my father ever got over the loss. My mother was amazing. Of course she was filled with grief, but she gathered up the pieces and made our lives as children wonderful. She didn't skip a beat. She laughed, cheered her baseball team on the TV and life went on. I want it to be that way for me, for Danielle and Bob, for everyone who experiences the birth of a precious sleeping one. I don't want the grief to consume us. I want us to be able to smile when we hear the name, Roberta Rae.

Perhaps my sweet stillbirth mom, Kristina, said it best on Facebook, "You don't get over it, you just get through it. You don't get by it, because you can't get around it. It doesn't get better, it just gets different. Everyday...Grief puts on a new face." I know there is a joy lying ahead for you ~ and ~ you will be able to grasp it. I wish it could be in your possession today ~ but sometimes really wonderful things take time.

In June of 2010 and May 2012, I became "Grammy" to Jacks, Roberta Rae's little brother, and Trent Oscar, Roberta Rae's baby cousin. Joy is returning into my life now as I continue nurturing Roberta Rae's legacy ~ and every baby born still ~ by empowering all expectant moms through education, proactivity and vigilance...xo