Once upon a time, there was a girl (Magan) who met a boy (Coe), and they fell in love! They dreamed about their life together and expanding their family by four, while building a business. But nobody told them of the difficulties that could and would stand in the way of making their dream come true. This is their story.
Coe was so excited when I told him we were pregnant with our first baby. He couldn’t wait to tell everyone, and his excitement put my fears of the future at ease. Our first tragedy was experienced ten weeks into our first pregnancy. We found ourselves in the emergency department where we were clinically told that “the fetus's heartbeat is slow” go home, there is nothing we can do for a pregnancy this early. That was all the advice we received. No one told us about laboring with an “early” pregnancy, or crying on the bathroom floor, or the anxiety attack after flushing beautiful dreams down the toilet. The devastation was nothing that we had prepared for. It took a while to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts. All around us, cousins and friends were having babies, and sometimes it was hard to watch, even though we were happy and excited for them. Our first Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were especially difficult. We were a mom and dad, but had no baby to celebrate with. The Baby’s due date was a rough day, but we made it through together. Soon we discovered we were pregnant again, but that baby was gone too soon at 8 weeks.
We waited a while to try again. We found out I was pregnant at the same time my mom found out she had cancer. At 9 weeks I began spotting and wound up at the hospital for an ultrasound. The doctor told us that this baby was ectopic and would not make it to a full-term pregnancy. Even though we had experienced three pregnancy losses, my doctors did not think it necessary to explore what was going on with our fertility issues. We were told that there was not a real fertility issue because we were able to get pregnant. This began my extensive journey to research fertility and find out how to have a full-term delivery of a healthy baby. Both of us went through fertility cleanses and fertility massages. We made healthy changes to our diets and exercise routines.
Finally, at the beginning of 2012, we found out we were pregnant again. The most beautiful sound we heard was the beating of our baby’s heart at 7 weeks. I know I cried because it was the first strong heartbeat we had heard! We mostly held our breath until people around us told us we must be so happy that we made it to the “safe zone” at 24 weeks. Adelaide, the most prayed for baby, was born in October healthy, pink, and crying. She was a little miracle and so amazing! We experienced another baby loss when Adelaide was about a year old. But in 2015, Kateri Gene was born healthy, pink, and crying. Another miracle girl who was just beautiful! Following another baby loss the next year, Coe’s family was dealt another devastating blow when his sister’s cancer came back. His sister passed away before getting to know her two nieces and left behind her own sweet girl that she had to work so hard to deliver safely.
A few months passed, and we found out that we were pregnant again! Our family threw a gender reveal party, and we found out that we were having a boy! Adelaide was so excited to have a brother that she named him. She talked and sang to him every day, and of course Kateri did exactly the same with her big sister. My pregnancy was very uneventful, everything was normal and probably the easiest of all my pregnancies. I went to one of my last check-ups at 37 weeks, and baby Tivis was doing great. He had a strong heartbeat, had hiccups, and was in position for delivery. My doctor and I talked about the fact that I was dilated to 2 cm and would more than likely have Tivis that weekend. On Friday, I finished hanging the clothes and folding the blankets in my and Coe’s room. I knew I was in early labor and went to bed telling my mom I would wake her up when Coe and I were ready to leave for the hospital. I woke up early in the morning, and knew something was wrong. My labor pains had stopped, and I wasn’t feeling any movement from the baby. After trying to see if I could get Tivis to move, Coe took me to the hospital. The most devastating, heart-wrenching news was when the doctors told us that they could not find Tivis’s heartbeat. I went on to deliver baby Tivis, with many friends and family waiting in the family room. Tivis was born looking just like his sisters and weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces. He had long fingers and feet, but he was silent. The doctors told us it was a cord accident. Walking through the door at home, we were greeted by our excited four-year-old who was looking for her brother. I will never forget the look on her face when we came home without Tivis and told her he had gone to heaven to be with Jesus and the angels.
It’s hard for a little one to understand, and for a long time she thought I had chosen to let the angels take baby Tivis to heaven. She prays every day for another baby. The loss of Baby Tivis was felt by all our family members who were so excited to meet him and watch him grow. My parents stayed with us at our house to help them with our girls since we had multiple businesses we were running through tremendous pain and heartache. Although it has been three years since Tivis left us, the tears still come easily for our whole family, but so does the laughter and hope of a fabulous future together.
When we began our life together, we never expected life events to unfold the way they have. It is a long journey through the pain of grief, and each person’s journey is different. Coe and I know that we are not alone in our losses. Our desire is to sympathize and empathize with others going through the same types of grief; and let people know they are not alone and have a safe place to land. The Tivis Project was created to help others navigate through their own story of loss to find hope, peace, and happiness.
Our hope and prayers are that God will use our heartaches, losses, and tragedies for good, and that we will be able to touch many lives through our Project.