A Beautiful Beginning: Gavin Mark’s Birth Story

I never know where to start when I have to write hard things. It’s overwhelming to me and nothing I can articulate will do the only thing I wish I could, which is take the pain away from Kirsten and Ross and their family.

Kirsten found me through Aleisa, mom of the famous Nora Rose. They were fast friends as Aleisa had already walked the painful steps ahead of Kirsten, a few years back when she chose to carry Nora. Baby Gavin was also “blissfully unaware of his 18th chromosome” and how it would determine his fate only 6hrs after his journey Earthside.

At 37wks, they decided to induce Gavin to give him his best shot after all the other proactive choices they made while he was still safe in Mommy’s womb. Kirsten was admitted late Monday evening and started the induction overnight. Aleisa and Kim from Crossroads, chose to be her support and prayer warriors in the waiting room starting before sunrise. As the day slowly continued, all the anxiety and fear bubbled in anticipation for all of us, praying he would not be born sleeping. Into dinner time, Kirsten texted me that she was suddenly complete and ready to push. GAH! It was then my close friend texted me about the full rainbow circled around the sun, a direct manifestation of God’s grace and I was confident Gavin would get time awake in his Mom’s arms! I, quite literally, burned rubber to meet Aleisa at the hospital entrance to park my mothership. Thankful she was there because I sprinted down the halls and into the room just as he was crowning at 7:04p.

Joyous cheer erupted as he took his first breaths and held a steady strong heartbeat. Kirsten is a neonatology NP at Children’s so she planned the best care for him with the staff ahead of time. They took him to the warmer where he was showing good signs of wanting to fight so they encouraged him with some oxygen. Before they switched to a cPap machine to really support him, the kind staff gave me a one second window to capture his sweet face without his superhero mask. Kirsten got to hold her little buddy for a few minutes while Kim and Aleisa came in to minister over and bless him before transport to the NICU. Soon grandparents and big brothers took a peek and fell in love with him while he comfortably felt only one emotion, pure love.

I followed along with Ross and staff down the hall where they ran some bloodwork, an echo and a chest xray. He weighed in at 4.9lbs and was 17.5″, which actually made him look like a giant compared to his roommates! As the time passed, Ross and I watched him fight a mighty fight. He sure gave it his all as Daddy hung bedside watching them poke and prod his sweet boy. After a few hours passed, some decisions needed to be made and Kirsten was then able to be present. I left them to it with a heavy heart, knowing they were about to make a choice no parent should ever have to make. But because God made it very clear to them to say yes at 20wks gestation, I prayed God would again make it clear this time as well. Shortly after 1am, it was time for Gavin to go Home. He received his wings again and I know Kirsten and Ross were at peace with it and for that I’m so relieved.

I’m also thankful Kirsten was willing to share these powerful images because look at their strength! The courage she had to take this storm head on with the Lord! She accepted her cross to bear and did it so gracefully. She said yes when it was so so easy to say no. Hopefully this encourages other women out there to do it too. Thank you for leading by faith and not by sight. You all have such a strong community surrounding and lifting you up in prayer for the many hard days years to come. Know that Gavin is the lucky one. Coming and going so quickly into a harsh world where he remained innocent and felt no pain. I will always say an extra prayer for you as I do for all my friends who have lived with the unfairness of burying their babies. XOXO. Love, Melanie

Susie Eads - August 31, 2016 - 11:24 am

This is the most beautiful story! My heart is very heavy with tears. As one who 38 years ago gave my first son to heaven with our heavenly Father. It is a loss that you never get over but I know I will see him again. That’s the comfort. Just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers.

Cindy Webster - August 30, 2016 - 5:23 am

Praying God will be your comfort in this your time of loss.

Gina Abell - August 29, 2016 - 3:48 pm

As always, I’m moved to tears. Thank you for sharing these moments of pure love & heartbreaking loss.I know the overwhelming grief these brave parents & their families experience , but I also know the imence amount of support that follows by others like me, that have been introduced to these families by your blog. Sometimes just knowing others have made the same choices & truly understand that in the end it really wasn’t a choice at all, helps. All remain in my prayers. I’m so grateful that you chose to use your amazing talents to help give these families something so beautiful to help remember their time with their sweet angels.