AnnaBeth, Daniel And David Morrow
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
11/21 Wow....It is amazing how things can change....
Just yesterday we thought we had buried a daughter, only to find out today, our most recent loss, was that of a son! When you read the timeline, read down to the bottom to see how this all came about!
All entries updated 11/20/07
When I first wrote many of these, I was exhausted and some of them were half finished, had spelling errors, or grammatical errors. I read back over them and had to correct alot, and finish many of them. 
Thanks for sharing in our story, let us know you stopped by the site.
Also if you have a weak stomach or don't like detailed stories you may not want to read any further, this is our story, it was therapeutic to write it all down, it has been part of my grieving process and by sharing it I hope it is somehow helpful to someone out there.
Summer to Fall 2007

We found out we were expecting a new little bundle of joy on August 19th 2007, we were so happy and could not wait to share the news with all our family and friends. What a blessing, what a gift, the baby we had prayed for was finally here. Our due date was April 30th 2008, finally another springtime baby! Your brothers and sister were excited to hear the news of you, especially Mary Kathryn, who didn't care if you were a boy or girl as long as you were hers. She wanted you to be "her baby" and she meant it, although she did say I could nurse you for her since she wouldn't have any milk.  Our families and friends were all so happy for us and our "new addition" to-be. We let the kids share in giving the good news, the next Sunday at Mass, Mary Kathryn raced to be the one to tell Father Bean that we were having a baby, he congratulated us. We prayed for you all the time. I was sicker this time around, which I thought had to be a good sign. I started anti-nausea medicine and pressed on.
Our family life continued to move along as normal.....worship at church, trip to the beach, homeschooling, work, soccer, dance, gym days,  football get-togethers, pumpkin patch trip, Dalton's birthday/ Halloween party,all the while you were growing by leaps and bounds. I enjoyed being pregnant with you despite all the nausea I had experienced, I just started to wear the maternity clothes given to me by Ivy, we made it through the first trimester and we started telling everyone about you, extended family, co-workers, anyone that would listen, we shared the happy news with them all. I was suddenly feeling better but then something changed.........

October 2007
Something was wrong.... I was bleeding...... then cramping......why? Why was this happening? 
We had a scheduled visit with the midwife the next day and just knew everything would be fine, this happens to moms all the time and their babies are fine, everything would be fine....
We asked for everyone to join us in our prayers that you were healthy and everything was OK.
The next day we waited nervously as our midwife searched for heart tones.....nothing. 
Well sometimes at 14 weeks it can still be hard to find them with the baby so low and posterior, so we would see the OB/GYN when he got back from his trip they next day, for an ultrasound, that would prove everything was fine. Everyone continued to pray for us and we begged God for your health and safety. 
Tuesday, October 30th I laid in that darkened ultrasound room, eyes closed, praying to God that our baby had a heartbeat.......some prayers are not answered in the way we want them to be......
The doctor sighed and said "I'm sorry...see right here, we should see the heart beating, and there is no activity, no movement, the crown to rump length is also off, measuring at about 12 weeks" I asked for a picture and video to show my husband and children. 
I'm not sure if he said anything else before he walked out I was sobbing and the nurse was handing me tissues. Again I asked, but this time through tears and snubbing why? why us? How could God not know how much we wanted & Loved this baby, even if something was wrong with him/her. 
How could women line up around the street corner and carelessly discard their babies at abortion clinics like last years tennis shoes and we who desperately wanted this child could not have him/her....
I was alone in the office, Dennis had gone out of town for work, remember, we believed everything was going to be fine. I dressed and tried to let the Doctor's words sink in, I was numb, maybe this was some kind of terrible nightmare. The doctor talked to me about options, waiting to miscarry, D&C, genetic testing.....I don't remember many of the details, I do remember when I walked out of the U/S room into an exam room, I saw Dr. Cimino with his arms gripping the counter, head down. I don't know if he was praying or just feeling the weight of my grief, but I was touched that he cared. I remember Emily and Amber's kind words and all the hugs from them and the office staff's kindness and compassion when I left in tears, Joy let me go out through the back door, I couldn't bear to walk through that waiting room full of pregnant women, when I'd just found out our baby had died.
I remember walking out of that building to Kim's waiting van full of both of our kids and having to tell them.....actually speaking the words for the first time.....our baby has died.

I had to call daddy and tell him through sobs that you were gone..."no movement", that's what the doctor said, daddy cried with me for a while and then said he would come straight home. You would have loved your daddy, he is one of the bravest, strongest men I know. 

We started to call family and friends and let them know the news.... this time, the sad news, that you were gone. We felt the love and prayers of all of our family, friends and church family more than we ever had before, we knew we were loved and that our baby would be missed. 

You were special to them even before you were born.
The next day...

Contractions continued, as did the tears. There were so many questions and so few answers.
We were going through the motions of our day-to-day life, cars were on the highway, life seems to keep moving, don't they know our baby has died?  It was Halloween and we had 3 anxious little trick-or-treaters who had "visions of candy and games at the church party in their head". We had art class, Kasey and Harold brought us doughnuts, the kids loved that, they also took the kids to the park while we went to get a few things from the store. Jennifer and Bryan and the kids came to visit and brought food for us, and Jennifer took family pictures for us to have and treasure.
We had many tearful conversations with Emily at Dr. Cimino's office about our options. Questions about waiting to miscarry, speeding up the process naturally or with meds, a D&C, if we could have our baby's remains for the funeral and burial, genetic testing? Emily patiently answered each question, God Bless her. I know it was hard for her to even understand what I was saying at times, through all the tears. Same for Joy and Stacy, I am surprised that they could make out who I was asking for when I called.
We managed to dress the kids and take them to see family to trick or treat and then on to the church for the party. All the while contractions continued.
We stayed afterwards and went over to the church for the anointing of the sick. I wept as I was anointed, my baby had died and tomorrow if I have not miscarried, I will have a D&C. And now, more harshly than ever before, I am faced with my own mortality.
I contracted all night long. I got about 3 hrs. of sleep, at 4 AM, I prayed that God would let this baby be born now. I was physically exhausted and emotionally drained. But again, this prayer was not answered the way I wanted, but the way God wanted.

Thursday, November 1st 2007
I was tired and weary, I got out of bed and woke up the kids to get them ready for Disney on ice, our second ultrasound appt. to confirm that the baby had died was scheduled for 2 pm. We would get the kids to the show, stay with them as long as possible and then leave them in the care of friends Kim and Kasey, until we got back from the hospital, after the D&C. We had asked for everyone to pray for us, we knew that the baby had been gone for almost 2 weeks by the measurements, we just wanted one more look, a few pictures, a short video, something to hang on to, something to remember you by. 
The doctor was nice, he took the time to explain to Dennis what he was seeing on the ultrasound, he confirmed no heartbeat, no twin pregnancy, recorded some video, then took a few pictures.
After days of contractions and bleeding, there were no changes in my cervix, none. So we left for the hospital for a D&C. Dennis snapped one last pregnant picture of me and we walked into the maternity hospital. I had a moment of panic when I went to change into the hospital gown....maybe there was some mistake, maybe I could just continue to wait, how long would I contract and bleed, would I end up back here in an emergency? Then Dennis spoke to me and said "we have talked about the options, we have prayed about them and everyone is praying for us, we are here, the baby has died, lets just have the D&C and then go home". If it were only that easy.......
The nurses Amanda, Marilyn and Donna were wonderful to us, they made the whole experience a little easier and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Joy was warm and friendly and patiently worked to get the spinal in so I did not have to have general anesthesia. But Donna in the OR will forever be remembered by us, as she took the time to carefully gather our baby's remains for us and wrapped them in gauze and placed them in a container for us to take to the funeral home. They were all very compassionate, and never questioned any of our requests. 
I would be awake during the D&C with a light spinal anesthetic, Dennis would stay right beside me throughout, they put up a drape (like they do for c-sections), we wore earplugs and headphones to block the sounds of the suction. Our baby's tissue was carefully collected for us to bring home for the funeral service and burial. Dennis stayed with me in recovery and then back to our regular room.
He called immediate family, our friends watching the kids, and Sister Maura who was at the church for the All Saints Day Mass.
When feeling and movement returned, and I was able to eat and urinate we were released. With a grief packet, a tiny gold baby ring, a hug from our nurse and our precious cargo... a small container with the remains of our baby.
We returned home where friends Harold and Kasey were watching our 3 other children, we thanked them and they soon left. It was late and everyone was tired. The IV pain meds and Benadryl had me out of it, and so finally we slept. 
Considering what we have been through today, it went as well as it possibly could have. We had so many people praying for us, for Dr.Cimino, our nurses, our Anesthesiologist, and everyone caring for us and we felt their prayers.

The Next 3 days...
Just a blur of sadness and pain.....our baby is gone. 
This is a strange new reality we are living in.
Everyone is calling to check on us, it's hard because there is not much anyone can say, and I mostly just cry when I talk to them.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon I was able to get out, so Ivy came to get the kids and took them to the park to play while Dennis and I took the baby to the funeral home. It was hard to leave our baby there. It wasn't long and we were back home and I was back to bed again.
We pray for peace and comfort. To accept that God is in charge. Everyone who calls, reminds us we are loved and they are still praying for our family.

Monday 11/5- Sunday 11/11
I worked 7 days straight, I tried to throw myself into my work as a way to distract myself while we waited for test results, (so we could give you a name and plan your funeral mass) and the bills don't stop coming even if your baby dies. 
I cried everyday, apparently in addition to the grief, I am dealing with hormones as well. My body "grieved", I couldn't eat, it made me sick, I had gastric pain, I think an ulcer, I broke out in fever blisters on my lower lip, I had vomiting and diarrhea....I was falling apart. 
I cried so much, one night Dennis found me crying over a pile of dirty laundry at 1:30 AM, he asked me what I was doing? I told him that maybe I didn't "deserve" another baby, after all I couldn't keep up with the laundry as it is. His response, "you need to call the Dr. tomorrow"
So I did, and got started on an anti-depressant and for temporary relief an anti-anxiety. Poor Amber, she was the unfortunate one to get that call, God Bless her.
Sunday was hard, we went to Mass and there was an infant baptism. I cried and cried, will we ever get to Baptize another baby of ours?
We have such great friends and family they have kept up the calls and kept talking to us even though I know it's hard for them. There are no answers and I know they just want to be able to comfort us. We are so blessed, from family to friends, our midwife, our chiropracter, church family, our co-workers and even complete strangers- in all of their prayer chains, we are being lifted up in prayer.
Harold even came and helped Dennis dig the baby's grave, that goes above and beyond the call for a friend. 
The kids are still playing soccer games and Dennis has taken over schoolwork this week. He has just taken charge of my responsibilities and given me the daytime to just "be" and the evening to work. 
Men bounce back so much faster. He's just moving on. I know he's sad too, but he also doesn't have these hormones to deal with.
The condolence cards are coming and I have kept everyone of them. My co-workers sent a beautiful gift basket which was so nice and the kids absolutely loved it, it was full of fruit, cookies and candy.
My dear friend Monica was my sounding board during much of this time, God bless her. I will never forget her caring and gentle compassion.
We Thank God for our church family. They have been praying for us, especially Pegi and Catherine, who have taken many tearful calls and we are so blessed and thankful that we have a truly pro-life priest in Fr. Bean, who acknowledges our pain and sorrow over our loss, but still always provides reassurance and hope, we will not despair, for you are with God sweet little one.
Monday 11/12

Anne Elizabeth Morrow, that is your name. We had this name already picked out, it was the only name we had picked out, we just knew you were a girl. We would call you Anna Beth. 
Now, we can move forward with planning your funeral. Pink flowers, pink funeral program and pink casket liner. Not exactly the pink things a mommy wants to be picking out for her daughter.

Tuesday 11/13
Calls to the church, the florist, the funeral home, and picking out what we will put in the casket.... all this while we still have to take the kids to art class and I have to get to a nurses staff meeting at the hospital, then Jennifer & I went in search of teddy bears for the funeral.
Wednesday, November 14th 2007
We went by the florist and picked up the small artificial spray they gave us to have for tonight and to go on her grave. They were afraid taking the fresh flowers tonight would cause them to wilt before the funeral tomorrow night. We went by the funeral home and took the kids in with us, each of us placed items in the casket that were special to us. We took some pictures, said goodbye, prayed, then tucked her in and sealed the casket.
Dennis carried her casket to the van and I held her all the way to the church. 
Catherine was waiting on us, we set the casket on the small table in front of the Baptismal candle, placed the baby blanket and floral spray on top of the casket, arranged the teddy bears in the basket, took some pictures and then proceeded to help set up for mass. It feels right for me to be the one to help prepare for your funeral mass, I'm glad I got to do it. We got to see the funeral program, the readings and intercessions and we received a gift from Pegi, a precious book for the kids, it was so sweet.
 Afterwards we went to the chapel for a Holy Hour of Adoration and then back to the church for a scriptural rosary, led by my dear friend Monica, several close friends and church family came to pray with us, Mary Ann, Joy, Barbara, Kim and Donald, Gaeton and Joseph joined our family in prayer. Afterwards we were given a meal by our dear friends, and Monica gave me the little scriptural rosary book that she read from to have to keep, I will treasure it and pray it often. When everyone had gone I had the opportunity to go back into the church alone, with her and Jesus and I cried aloud, he knows how my heart is broken.

Thursday, November 15th 2007
On the way to the 6 pm Funeral Mass for Anne Elizabeth we stopped off at our local florist, Hilltop Florist, and Johnnie brought out your fresh flower spray, it was breathtakingly beautiful, perfect for a beautiful little girl! We got to the church early and again Catherine was waiting for us, we took some family pictures, took time to pray together and then went to greet everyone. It meant alot to have everyone come to acknowledge your life and death and be with us for this beautiful memorial service.
Your grandmothers were both there, JoJo and Pop brought Mama Doris, MawMaw came with Aunt Cheryl and Olivia, Aunt Kelly came, Kirsten was home sick with David, but Kirsten sent a very special teddy bear, she bought with her own money, for mommy to keep and hug. Aunt Patsy flew in and made it in time to be there for your funeral and JR and Jess were already there waiting for her. We had many of our close friends Ivy, Kim and the boys, Jennifer and her 4, Harold, Monica & Doug and their 4 girls, Tracy and the girls, Tanya and Jim. From our church all the Muro families, the Smith's, Catherine, Gaeton and Joseph, Kay, Phillip, Patrick, Janet and so many others.
Dakota, Dalton, and Mary Kathryn participated by bringing up the pall, crucifix, and rosary. We had many of our church family participate in the Mass by reading(Kay and Phillip), alter serving(Patrick), serving as eucharistic ministers(Louis and Ronnie), leading the music(Janet), bringing up the gifts( Rob and Bobbie Smith, McCahill and Jeannie), as ushers(Gaeton and Joseph) and finally as pall bearers(Mike and Chris).We will never forget them and that gift they gave us. 
And a special Thanks to Catherine who did a beautiful job on the funeral program and was always here to greet us and help us through all the planning for yesterday and today. 
The scripture readings, prayers, intercessions and music all were so beautiful, I cannot begin to describe it all.
Father Bean gave a wonderful homily that gave us such peace and comfort. To have her life acknowledged, to have her recognized as a unique child of God with worth and a purpose, helped us so much. He also reminded me that our Blessed Mother knows the pain of having a child die, to ask for her prayers in the grief of our loss. Our family will be forever grateful that God used him to deliver that beautiful message.
After Mass we thanked everyone for coming and then left the church with our baby's casket.
When we got home we brought the casket inside along with the flowers until Father Bean comes tomorrow to our home for interment on our property. 
We were able to spend some time together as a family. 
What is it like there in heaven little one? We will hold you again one day.
We love you.

Father Bean blessing the casket with Holy Water.

On top of the pall, is mommy's rosary and the crucifix given to us by Danielle, our children's Godmother, in 2000 when we came into the Catholic Church.
This crucifix hangs in our hallway, we can see it when we come in the front door and when we go out.
Friday, November 16th 2007
Today you were laid to rest in a beautiful shady spot on our property. Father Bean came to the house and we gathered around the grave, he said the prayers of final commendation, we prayed the Our Father together, he Blessed the grave, (which now makes our property hallowed ground), and then finally he helped Daddy lower your casket. Daddy, Dakota, and Dalton filled in your grave. 
We visited with Father Bean, ate lunch together and then came back home and decorated your grave with the flowers from your funeral, as well as statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. 
Your body is finally at rest, though your soul has already been with Jesus for weeks now. 
You are in the company of the Saints and Angels, pray for us.
We love you Anne Elizabeth.
Saturday 11/17
Your baby book is precious, and all of the pictures turned out beautiful, I'm working on all of the thank you notes now. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to honor your life with the Funeral Mass, I want other women and their families who've lost babies to know this peace and to have their babies recognized and remembered. I talked to Father Bean today about saying a special Memorial Mass for all families who have lost babies, he said, Absolutely, he would love to. 
Sunday, November 18th 2007
Everyone commented at Mass today how touched they were by your funeral Mass, how beautiful it was. We have so much peace now, we are glad God gave us the time we had with you here on earth. We look forward to seeing you in heaven. You are such a blessing to us. We love you sweet Anna Beth.
Wednesday 11/21...Unbelievable--------$~~-$~~!!-!
The genetics lab called and guess what..................the "girl" cells that grew out were apparently mine, because the other cells that grew way more slowly, (but that they are "required" to keep in the medium for 21 days), grew out "male"..............this baby was not a girl, but a BOY! So much for a mother's intuition!
So, after the initial shock and frustration, we are faced with several questions....what about the funeral? the name? all our work of grieving for a daughter? And now what?

Well we called and talked to Father Bean first thing. We were assured that the Funeral Mass was for the "person" that this baby was, not the name. And that it is still valid. And that we did the right thing, it's not our fault.

And what of a name?   His name is Daniel Stephen Morrow.

But then what about Anne Elizabeth?     We felt like we had done so much of our "work of grief" over this "baby girl" named Anne Elizabeth, and since we had only recently recognized the depths of the loss of our last baby (Mary Kathryn's twin, lost at 7 wks to miscarriage), and had just chosen a name, we decided we would keep this name (Anne Elizabeth) for her, a name that we so loved for a daughter. We felt that considering the circumstances it would be fitting. And since we grieved for both babies so much during these weeks it just felt "right", I guess that sounds weird, but the whole situation is so strange to us.

And so now we will have to work through this loss of a son, and try to make some sense of this. It is like salt to an open wound. We feel like it is starting all over again.

Daniel, I'm sorry that we buried you with all the pink things. We know that you are in Heaven and could really care less about the "little" things of this world. But since we never got to have a funeral or casket for your sister, it feels like we got to say goodbye to her with you. At least the casket liner was pink on one side and blue on the other, which now seems fitting. We should not worry about these things... our babies are gone.

We are now planning to have both your names put on the memorial. To honor & Remember each of you.
We Love You, sweet little boy, our little Daniel.

They did tell us that genetically, our son was without any problems, not that that made a difference to us or helps us at all now, just knowing leaves more questions for us as to why this has happened. Was it placental?, cord problem?, only God knows the answer.

We are interested to see what God will bring out of this...

Rest sweetly little Daniel, look after your sister, until Daddy & I come home to you both. Enjoy Heaven & sing with the Angels & Saints my precious baby.
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