The name Eva means "full of life" and Jane means "by the grace of God". We know that Eva is here with us now, full of life, only by the grace of God. He alone is who healed me and literally made it possible for her to live.
It was late 2020. My husband and I had come to the conclusion that we were done having more kids. Until one day when we shared with each other that we both distinctly felt that our family was not complete. Many things fell into place immediately and within weeks we found out we had gotten pregnant that same cycle. It felt very "meant to be" and we felt very distinctly that this spirit was supposed to be with our family at this time.
I started feeling very morning sick at 3 weeks pregnant and it was the worst I had experienced. My family in Arizona encouraged us to come stay with them for a couple weeks to get some help, escape the cold of Utah, and spend time in the Arizona sun.
At this point I was around 8 weeks pregnant. Two days after arriving in Arizona I started bleeding a lot. We thought I was miscarrying, but at the ER we learned that we were still pregnant! We were so relieved! However, they informed us that I had a large Subchorionic Hemorrhage. I was told to take it easy and see an OBGYN immediately.
I started seeing doctors to monitor the situation and in an ultrasound thereafter saw the baby moving around and felt the most profound peace.
But then two weeks later, while driving my kids, I again started bleeding a lot. I felt optimistic that everything would be fine, considering how much peace I had felt before. So I went to the doctor by myself and calmly got ready for an ultrasound. Then I waited for a very long time in the exam room for the results. Finally when the doctor came in, she said that she was sorry, but that I was going to lose the baby. She explained that the hemorrhage had grown and had pulled the placenta halfway off my uterine wall.
I was having a placental abruption at 11 weeks.
My hemorrhage had also grown and she felt confident that the growing hemorrhage would continue to pull the placenta completely off. She said she had never seen a placental abruption happen this early in pregnancy and they had no procedures developed to help the situation. They only intervened once the baby was viable at 24 weeks. Since the doctor had never seen anything like this, she told me she didn't know exactly when, but that in the coming weeks I would lose our bouncing, active, little girl.
I was also told that I could not travel home to Utah and that I should be on bed rest. She also gave me instructions for miscarriage and to go get a blood transfusion if I lost too much blood from the abruption.
To say we were blindsided is an understatement. If we had gotten pregnant in a way that felt divinely guided and then I had felt so much peace, why was I losing this baby? All the ultrasound techs would comment on her high activity level and it absolutely crushed my heart that this lively baby would lose it's life support from the placenta.
Eva Jane's Gender Reveal
As soon as we got this news, we felt very driven to find out the gender of the baby, because we wanted to bond with it and give it a name. We did an early gender blood test and had a gender reveal party with our family to celebrate. It was a GIRL! We talked very openly with our other three kids that this girl would always be part of our family. That even if we didn't get to experience this life with her, that we would still have her for the rest of eternity, because of our temple covenants. This brought us all so much peace.
We were devastated. But for some reason, I kept holding onto a shred of hope.
Here are some thoughts I shared in a social media post that announced our pregnancy, the gender, and the serious complications we were experiencing:
"So often I think of the success of a pregnancy, as the delivery of a healthy baby. But I am personally finding peace as I remind myself that I gave a body to a precious spirit; that can never be lost! This spirit that moves, kicks, and bounces so much during ultrasounds they can hardly catch her heart rate, is grateful and absolutely thrilled to have a body. I am so happy I could give her this gift and welcome her into our family.
We are trying to enjoy each day that we get with her. These words from Elder Uchtdorf gave my soul direction as we've been navigating grief and uncertainty: "We will endure this, yes. But we will do more than simply grit our teeth, hold on, and wait for things to return to...normal. We will move forward, and we will be better as a result."
We are now no longer able to travel, so we are in Arizona as long as I am pregnant or the pregnancy becomes lower risk.
"Our best days are ahead of us, not behind us." (God Will Do Something Unimaginable- Elder Uchtdorf, Oct. 2020)"
The Miracle of Eva Jane
Things didn't go just as the doctors thought. They set up an appointment for a week later, even though they told me I most likely wouldn't last that long. Then all of a sudden, I stopped bleeding. I had a day where my body ached more than I had experienced before and I laid in bed all day. I distinctly remember thinking "my uterus feels like it is under construction." Although we had a lot of peace, we didn't know exactly what that meant in the short term.
Well, I made it to that next appointment. And the ultrasound tech's face was a look of so much confusion. She did the whole ultrasound twice, because it didn't make sense.
My placenta had crossed to the OTHER side of my uterus. What was posterior and abrupted, was now anterior, attached, and completely healthy.
But placentas don't cross the uterus, ever, and so they had me keep coming back.
After multiple weeks, my OB said she just didn't understand what she was seeing, so she sent me to Maternal Fetal Medicine, pregnancy specialists. At the end of March it was confirmed that my placenta had indeed crossed my uterus and was completely attached and healthy. I still had a huge hemorrhage (12 cm long) in my uterus, but they determined I could come home.
Here is an excerpt of a post I shared on social media the next day after returning home:
"Today, I went in for another ultrasound and not only is my placenta still healthy, my entire hemorrhage is now gone. It is healed. I am whole."
We were filled with absolute amazement and deep gratitude. The rest of my pregnancy was healthy and in September 2021, I delivered our Eva Jane. After delivery, my midwife showed us Evie's placenta. We looked and saw the marks where it had torn and abrupted earlier in pregnancy. The scars were there testifying of what had been hurt and then been healed and overcome. Placentas are known to be the life support to a baby. They provide everything a baby needs to survive and without it, the baby cannot live.
I cannot begin to write all the ways I have come to know Jesus Christ through this experience, but I do know that Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) He literally gave life to our baby girl by healing her life support when it was failing her. When all had broken down, He picked up the pieces and brought new life. He healed what doctors said could not be healed. He gave us peace and hope when there was no logical reason to hope. I absolutely know that "with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37) There is nothing that is beyond His ability to heal.
Not all of our hard times end like this, but our whole family is so grateful for this miracle in our life and will forever witness that God will come into our messiest times, our heart-wrenching times, our times when we think all is lost, and He will work miracles. We are so grateful for our Evie girl and hope that all through her life she will remember that she is here because of Christ.
"Faith is the power that enables the unlikely to accomplish the impossible." Pres. Russell M. Nelson, April 2021
Marla & Sam