My journey to motherhood isn't anything like I expected it to be.
On October 16, 2016, after an uneventful and easy pregnancy I went into labor with our first little girl. I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband, Mark and I couldn't believe that we were about to meet our baby girl. When our sweet Sullivan entered this world, we immediately knew something was wrong. Her coloring wasn't right and she had fluid build up in her abdomen. Only seconds later, our room was filled with nurses and doctors to help her. We didn't have much time with her before she was whisked off to the NICU. But we did hear her cry, we cuddled her, and she looked deep into our eyes – moments I will never forget.
Mark and I were in complete shock as to what was happening around us. We prayed and begged the Lord to save our girl. We prayed with every fiber of our being. We fully believed that He was going to show up and heal her.
No one knew that our Sulley girl was sick until she came out. There were never any signs of distress or complications during my pregnancy or delivery. The doctors made it clear to us that Sullivan was very sick and they didn't have any clue what was going on. Even now, as I write this, I'm immediately brought back to that day. It was the most beautiful and most horrible day of our lives. Our greatest joy was born and we had no clue that we would lose her that very same day.
The time we had with Sulley was so short...too short. Her body was too weak and sick to accept two full body blood transfusions. Our doctors told us that there was nothing they could do to save her. We were with her as she took her first and final breaths this side of heaven. I'll never understand why the Lord didn't allow us to have more time with her, but I'm so thankful for the time that we did have with our girl.
For a long while, I struggled with so much anger towards the Lord. I didn't understand why He seemed to abandon us in our greatest time of need. I told the Lord that He couldn't understand my pain, and if He did, how could He allow such tragedy and heartache. After months of taking my anger and bitterness to Him, I was quiet long enough to hear His gentle response to me. He NEVER left us. He was right there, mourning the loss of our girl with us. He never wanted Sulley to be sick and die in our arms. The most moving part is, He reminded me that He CHOSE to give up His only child so that I could see my child again. Wow. Stop and think about that for a minute.
I would never give up my child for someone else, but that is exactly what the Lord did for us. The magnitude of the cross has never meant more to me than it does now. Through the life and death of my precious Sullivan, the Lord has allowed me to see even more of His heart towards me. Thank you Jesus for such an incredible gift. If you look at just a snapshot of Sullivan's story, it seems really sad, but the truth is, it's a beautiful story....and I'm so thankful it's a part of mine. What an honor it is to be her Mom.
Only a short 16 months later, Mark and I welcomed our second baby girl Miller into this world. She is healthy and perfect. She is 14 months old now and the light of our lives.
To honor Sullivan, I started a children's clothing line in her honor. The company bears her name, "Sullivan Yates." Because we lost her to cancer, a portion of each sale goes to St. Jude's Cancer Research.