Charlotte's Story

I am not sure why things happen the way that they do. I am not even sure if I should question. You see, just when I think that things are going well I some how get blindsided. It, honestly, never fails!

I have been challenged and stretched in every sense, but nothing as devastating as what my husband, Peter, and I have been through the past few months. Peter and I celebrated 4 years of marriage on August 12, 2010 and decided that week that we were ready to start growing our family. It did not take long, we found out September 9, 2010 that we were pregnant! To say that we were thrilled seems like an understatement. I knew that the first trimester, especially the first eight weeks were a crucial time, therefore, we waited to publically share our news until we were farther along. When we were eight weeks along we were able to hear the heartbeat for the first time. It was strong and perfect, textbook. We were then scheduled to have an ultrasound at twelve and a half weeks to check growth and have what is called a nuchal translucency test. We missed the first ultrasound due to a bad car accident that jammed up the highway, but we could not wait to tell people anymore. We made it “facebook official” November 8. On November 19th, Peter and I made the trek back to the specialist (our doctor’s office only did ultrasounds on Thursdays and that day did not work with our work schedules, so all of our ultrasounds were through a specialist) for our ultrasound and nuchal test. I am not sure that I can even put into words the feelings I had when I saw my baby for the first time on that screen. I saw the heart beating and the little legs and arms moving around and the little black dots that would eventually be eyes. But unbeknownst to us something was very wrong. A nuchal translucency test measures the fluid on the back of the baby’s neck, or the nuchal fold. A “normal” measurement would be 3mm or less of fluid and we would soon learn that our baby’s nuchal fold was measuring 15mm. Peter and I had never even considered that something could be wrong, we never could have prepared ourselves for what could or might happen. When the doctor came in and introduced herself as a fetal/maternal ultrasound specialist I knew something was wrong. She did another quick scan and the turned to us and said, “I am sorry but your baby has some severe abnormalities and you will need to sit down with a genetic counselor to discuss your options.” My world stopped. The next few hours are a little blurry, but I will never forget the things that were said. Our baby had a less than 15% chance of making past the first trimester (which was less than a week away). Our baby had a less than 3% chance of making it to full term, and our baby had a less than 1% chance of surviving life past delivery. We were offered everything from more counseling to testing to abortion minutes after our seeing our baby for the very first time. We chose to go home and pray, period. Because we had started telling people we were pregnant, we started calling them, enlisting them to start praying for a miracle. At first, my prayer was for a misdiagnosis or a complete healing or whatever was needed to show that things would end perfectly for my baby.

Peter and I somehow managed to survive Thanksgiving and make it to another ultrasound at just over 15 weeks. Even after praying for a complete healing, on November 30th we found out the exact opposite was happening. Our baby was getting worse. The nuchal fold went from 15mm to 26mm in 11 days. Peter and I knew that this was becoming a realization, that our baby was indeed very sick. Our specialist offered to do an amniocentesis test to determine exactly what has happening. At first we were apprehensive, but knew that we would have the most peace of mind if we knew how to help our baby. The test took less than two minutes, but the full results would take up to seven days. Those results came in and we were told that we were having a little girl and she had what is called Turner’s Syndrome, or 45X. Every cell of our sweet baby’s body was missing a chromosome. We also found out that this was a very severe case. Our OBGYN had never seen a case like this progress as far as we were. This was not something that anyone could fix and we were unsure of what to do.

We started praying. Different prayers than before, but we were literally crying out to God, our baby’s Creator, to let us keep her until her due date. We prayed to far along enough in the pregnancy to see her alive, even more a few moments. We felt so blessed to have already beaten so many odds, but as we continued to have ultrasounds, we knew that our baby’s health worsened with each passing day. We made it through Christmas and past our 20 weeks mark (the half way point) and a whole lot of holiday traveling! I was feeling really good outside of some swelling and some wicked heartburn, but on Thursday, January 6, 2011, I knew something was wrong. I did not feel different physically, but I felt a very strong sense of unease mentally and emotionally. I just knew that something was not right. In preparation for the worst, we were told after our 15 week appointment to come very 2 weeks, prepared to stay the night. I went home after work on Thursday and told Peter that I stopped to buy a baby blanket and that I had a feeling things would not go well the next day. We spent some time praying and crying. We asked for peace, we asked for healing, we asked for more time, we asked for everything to change. We also decided that our baby girl would be named Charlotte Jean. Turner Syndrome women are only about 4’6” on average and Charlotte means "little girl" or "petite and feminine"…perfect for our baby! Jean is the middle name of my mom and both of my grandmothers, all are strong women of faith so our baby would be following an amazing legacy.

Friday, January 7 at 9 am we went in to see our OBGYN (who is also a Christian) for a check up and to listen for the heartbeat. Up until this point, Charlotte’s heart beat was strong and “normal” but we knew that it would eventually give out because it would get too strong as it tried to get rid of all the excess fluid in the body (part of the initial diagnosis). After several minutes, the doctor could not find her heartbeat. He told us not to immediately panic, but to go down to the specialist office for an ultrasound. Our fears were growing and we started making phone calls to our parents in the elevator. As soon as Charlotte’s image came up on the screen I knew it was true. I had had enough ultrasounds by this point to know what to look for, everything was wrong. There was too much fluid, no heartbeat, no movement of any kind. It was all over and I lost it.

On January 8, 2011 at 1:10pm, Charlotte Jean Loeser was born still. After 23 hours of induced labor, she made her entrance with no sound and no fanfare.  Peter and I were able to spend some time alone with our sweet angel before we introduced her to our families. The hospital clothed her in a sweet little dress and bonnet and wrapped her in the purple baby blanket we had bought for her. During our few moments with her, we told her how much we loved her, that we were so thankful that she was with us for 22 weeks, and how much we couldn’t wait to see her again where there is no more sickness and pain. Our parents came in to meet their grand daughter and our pastor came in to pray with all of us.  In the end, we spent a few more minutes as a family of three. We prayed for Charlotte, we prayed for ourselves. We thanked God for “fearfully and wonderfully making Charlotte” (Psalm 139). We said good-bye.

Nothing could have prepared me to hand over my baby girl one last time. Even though she was small, even though we knew she was gone, even though she had been sick, it is not right to leave the hospital without your baby. There is nothing to prepare you to continue your life without your baby. Charlotte Jean will always be my sweet baby and my life will always be different...better because of my time with her.

Although I am sad and I miss Charlotte everyday, this is not just a sad story. Charlotte's life is much more than that! God has given each of us a purpose and He has determined our number of days to be used for His glory. I strive everyday to make my life and the legacy that I live for Charlotte to be pleasing and honoring to God. I cant wait to see my baby girl face to face in Heaven where we can praise God together! 


  1. So beautifully written. You are such an inspiration.

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog after my baby measured a NT of 15mm (at 12 weeks). My mind knows God's plans are perfect, but I am emotionally torn. Thank you for your words - they are such an encouragement and testimony...Just what I needed... Thank you again!