Friday, October 02, 2009

Fe.Fi.Fo. Felicity Fiona Foy

I wasn't certain that I would be able to share my story of Fe. Fi. Fo. and how my Etsy shop received the name. I had to, though. "What is the point if you don't share the story" is what I kept asking myself. Of course, I quickly replied, "well, it's a cute name, and it's dedicated to our daughter, they don't need to hear the story-it will just make them sad and they won't want to hear it." Obviously, I was arguing with myself.

Mostly, though, I was running from grief.

If you are looking for a happy story, I'm afraid this isn't it.

Fe Fi Fo was supposed to be a cute nickname of sorts- her daddy would call her rumbling "Fe Fi Fo!" teasingly, and she would squeal with delight because James would use his "Giant" voice. This was one of our dreams as we were deciding on names for our first baby. We thought the name was beautiful, perfect for a little girl. Felicity Fiona Foy (Fe Fi Fo) means happiness and light. We thought she would be a perfectly delightful child, if meanings of names meant anything at all.

We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. We didn't want to know- we wanted a pleasant surprise. If it was a boy he was going to be named Patrick James Foy. Either way, we didn't care as long as we had a healthy baby. Everyday we prayed for a healthy child. All of the prenatal visits went well and suddenly we were at 33weeks (eight months) the home stretch. We were feeling so blessed and so lucky. Being both the oldest in our families without having children, we were surrounded by excited friends and family.

It was such an exciting time for me! I had always wanted children and, now, finally, I had what I had been praying for: a wonderful husband and a baby on the way- family. And right on time, too! I had wanted to have a baby before I turned 35 and she was right on time with a due date of August 25th, 2009. I prayed and prayed that everything would be okay.

I have to admit here, before going further, I had been a lazy and scared Christian. Lazy because I haven't been to church in awhile and scared because I hadn't been sharing my faith in Jesus. It was a bitter pill to swallow when I realized God doesn't always give us what we want- not even if it is our heart's fondest desire. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I was seeing a midwife as I was insistent on having a home birth. Everything was going well, I was eating well, taking my vitamins, and walking. There was no sign of any problems. The heartbeat was strong, my weight was good, and all of my tests were normal. Nothing could have prepared me, though, for the prenatal appointment where we couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. We went straight to Loma Linda and, after two ultrasounds confirmed our worst fears, I sat in shock.

I had tried to not believe it was true when we had trouble finding the heartbeat at home- "the baby likes to hide, it had done that before" I told myself, to try to stop the trembling. The breakdown that I, and everyone else in the room- two MD's, my midwife, my husband, thought would come at the confirmation, didn't. The one MD left the room and the other told me she thought I should stay in the hospital and induce.

It was a nightmare, a surreal version of reality that left me lifeless and unsure- "I had to wake up from this, this isn't happening, I can't wake up from this!"- but I stayed calm. I knew what I wanted and it was to go home. I was still going to have a home birth. I wasn't going to let that be taken away from me and my baby, too. I told the doctor, who tried to talk me out of it, that I still wanted a homebirth. I didn't know if my midwife would be okay with that, though. At the time, I hadn't thought about whether my midwife was willing to deliver a stillbirth.

Ali, my midwife, agreed to the delivery as we were walking out through the sliding doors of Loma Linda, heading home after an eventful day. I still hadn't cried. I think I was in shock. Neither of us had, James nor myself. On the Cajon pass we took the slow road through the canyon, we discussed the hopeless situation and we cried.

At home, when I was alone, I broke down. I cried and cried. I cried for my baby that I would not meet and for everyone who had been so excited for us. I cried that I still looked pregnant, yet, my dream was shattered. And I still had to deliver the baby. I asked Jesus "Why!? Why did you take our baby!?" At one point I thought it was okay for me, but "why did James have to go through this? He wasn't a backsliding Christian!" He was a good man, "couldn't you have let him have a healthy baby, Lord?!" I asked so many questions! I yelled at God at the top of my lungs when no one else could hear.

And then James and I prayed together, asking the best one "Can you just give us peace, Lord, not to know your ways, but to accept them and to accept that you know what's best?"

And he did.

And I stopped beating myself up.

I clung to the passage, "I can do all things through Christ." Phil. 4:13. It was on a ceramic trivet in my kitchen, I had picked it up at the thrift store for a quarter- before I was even pregnant. I would read it several times everyday along with my bible. I was reading the book of Job. "Job went through so much, I have nothing to cry about in comparison to Job!" I told myself.

The calm and the peace that came from Jesus made it all bearable. On July 9th we had confirmed the worst. At home, I had began taking herbs and tinctures to help naturally induce labor. On July 12th, 2009 at 3:30am I started having fast contractions. At 7:46 am I delivered our 1lb 4oz baby girl into the world, at home. In the most spiritual event I have ever been to. We sprinkled frankincense on her and prayed that Jesus would take her into his arms. I had felt the presence of God all around us, the air was thick with His presence.

It was so strong. It was like a blanket comforting me.

Once Felicity was wrapped in a blanket I cleaned up and rested in the study. I didn’t think to go and see her little body one more time before the Coroner came and took her away- that is my one regret. I nodded off at some point, and when I woke up Ali showed me the hand and footprints she had gotten. They were not very good because it was hard to do; Ali did her best getting each little finger individually.

The police arrived first, once the Coroner was called, and the Coroner showed up later. They were busy over the body and then they asked us questions. We were blessed with a sympathetic Coroner- she had lost two children. She told us it was nothing they could see that had caused a stillbirth. Again, "everything looks normal". The last I seen of my Felicity was her wrapped in a crocheted baby blanket being carried by one of the Coroner’s assistants out the door, which I thought at the time was very thoughtful and sensitive, that they used a crocheted baby blanket.

I will miss her everyday of my life, I know that. It is something I will carry with me from now until the day that I die: the knowledge of my little daughter, my Felicity Fiona, my first born. Even if others can't see that I am a mother, I know that I am. She had my hands, her father’s ears, and beautiful eyes that I wonder what they would have looked like- would they have been a green blue like mine or James, or some combination? Answers I won’t have until later. I miss the other simple things I would have experienced had she lived: the color of her hair, the softness of her skin, the smell of her after a bath, and so many other little moments.

I know that we will meet her someday and, until then, I will share my story of how I have a little girl and she is with Jesus. And how it has renewed my faith.

I had a baby. I am a mother.

Even if you can't see it.

And that is why I dedicated my Etsy shop to her. To share who she is and how I am changed for the better because of it, in the only way I can, by telling her story and remembering her name. Little Felicity Fiona Foy, our hero...

Fe. Fi. Fo.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story of felicity. ali is my midwife, too. she shared with me her story of delivering your baby---in general as part of her own journey---and i am passing on your blog to a homebirthing friend of mine who is recently also bereaved. you are not alone. i too have my first-conceived waiting for me in heaven. and god has blessed us with two more beautiful children. he does give beauty for ashes, a song of salvation instead of mourning. (isaiah61)

    1. Thank you for your kindness and feel free to share this with those who need to read it.


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