Two Days and Twelve Minutes: Talitha’s Story
In the middle of Finals Week 2014 at the University of Idaho, I took a different kind of test at WISH Medical. The results: positive. I was pregnant. My mind was filled with shame, guilt, fear, and panic. I had just turned 19 and my mind, as well as the world around me, screamed that I wasn’t ready for a baby. Many people advised me to get an abortion while saying it was “the best for everyone.” My life and whole world changed that cold December afternoon.
On that day at WISH Medical, I saw my sweet baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen. He was smaller than a sesame seed; his tiny heart was beating wildly. In that moment I saw God for the first time in my life. In a single instant all my fears, worries, guilt, and shame faded away and were replaced with pure joy, excitement, and humble awe. A few days later I scraped up the courage to tell my family. They encouraged me to look forward to the future, and become the best possible mother I could be. They picked me up and gently pushed me forward while supporting and helping me see what a blessing my baby could be. Although hurting over my choices that led to the pregnancy, we all started to fall in love with my little “Rory”.
On March 6th, 2015 my sister, my mom, and I went in for my 20 week ultrasound and gender reveal. We were so excited! The sonographer gelled me up and announced that I was having a baby boy; sweet Roric William! However, after a pause the sonographer reluctantly told us that my perfect little boy had a very serious birth defect called anencephaly; an incurable and terminal defect. Babies born with anencephaly do not often survive for more than a few minutes. They are typically born blind, deaf, and “brain dead”. Every day after receiving this news I prayed to God that, if He was willing, He would heal my baby boy. If not, I prayed that my family and I would get to experience a few days, hours, or even minutes of holding Rory in our arms. I refused to abort the little hope I had for his tiny life and decided to cherish every single moment; every kick and flutter. Fearfully excited, I awaited the day I got to hold him in my arms, kiss him, love him, and sing to him as God took him to heaven.
On July 21st, at 7:53 AM, my Rory was born via C-section. Defying all odds, he gave us two precious days and twelve minutes. In that amount of time, Rory managed to teach me things that no one else could have. It’s amazing how differently you view love after having a child and how your perception of what’s important in life transforms. I don’t know if you can really understand love until you’re willing to do absolutely anything for someone who you knew but hadn’t met for nine months; getting to know him before birth — the way he moves, breathes, and the sound of his heartbeat. During those two days, never have I wanted to freeze time so much. All I needed in this world was Rory in my arms. I could have stayed there for an eternity with his skin, my warmth, his smile, my sustenance. I had no need for sleep; I had no care for the world outside the little room and the precious bundle in my arms. I wished I could take his place. I wanted nothing more than to save him. Unable to, I wished him perfect peace.
I am so thankful that my tiny boy only knew unconditional love in this world. He never felt pain or fear or was bullied. He never had his heart broken. I am so incredibly lucky to have him. The little infinity he gave me is irreplaceable. I regret many of the mistakes that took me down this road, but I do not regret a single moment of his life, inside the womb and out, because he was there with me for every step, every hurt, and every cry. Someone so small taught me so much and helped me grow up more than I could have ever imagined. Although parents are supposed to be the ones teaching our children, Rory managed to teach me in a few days what no one else could have in an entire lifetime. I look back and think “how lucky am I to have someone who makes saying goodbye so hard” (A.A. Milne).
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11, NLT)
Written by Talitha Davis
To hear Talitha tell her story, watch her video here.