The loss of a child, healing and a new life.
First of all I would like to say- I might not understand God’s ways or why He allows such deep pain but I will never give up. I have no where else to go.
Psalms 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Jeremiah 31:13b “I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
My name is Tiffany Knapik and this is my story…
I was 36 years old when we got the surprise of being pregnant with our second child. It took 3 1/2 years but the wait didn’t matter to us any more. Our due date would be February 27, 2014. At 18 weeks pregnant we found out this baby would be a girl. We really wanted a girl and plus we already had her name. Gianna Renee Knapik. We loved that name and even more when our son Anthony would say it. Anthony was 3 turning 4 and he couldn’t wait to meet his little sister. He asked me every day if Gianna was coming.
This pregnancy was hard. I had sciatic pain, I was extremely tired, dizzy, nauseous and vomited a lot. I hated to complain though because I was just thankful to be pregnant.
At 8 months pregnant we had to change Dr.’s because of insurance reasons. They scheduled an ultrasound to see the position of the baby and also because I was over 35. January 28, 2014 was the date of the ultrasound I was 35.5 weeks pregnant. The technician was very quiet. She spent a lot of time on the heart and brain. She called the main Dr. in, and he sent me directly to a specialist. There they confirmed a possible issue with the heart, brain and kidney’s and her weight was low. They performed an amnio and said I would have results in 10 days.
My immediate thought was that I wronged God in some way and I was being punished.
Isaiah 57:18-19 “I have seen your ways, but I still heal you. I will guide you and restore comfort to you, and create praise on the lips of those who mourn.”
Psalms 32:2 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.
On February 1, 2014 the preliminary results came in to show a positive result for Trisomy 18 and on February 6, 2014 our worst fears were confirmed. Gianna had Trisomy 18, a deadly chromosome disease that effects the inner organs and sometimes the outer body. My husband and I do not carry this disease. It is a complete fluke.
My baby was due in less than 3 weeks and we set out on a mission of “healing”, but God had a different idea of “healing”. In those 3 weeks the body of Christ came together in ways I’ve never seen before. I was anointed with oil, prayed for in front of different churches with hands laid on my belly, was in prayer circles and people that never prayed before were praying. My mom and her 3 sisters had a very strained relationship for years, their relationship was healed in an instant, thanks to my Gianna. Thanks to God! We were all expecting a miracle.
The Dr. scheduled the C-section for February 24, 2014. This would be Gianna’s Birthday! My husband, Pastor, and a photographer joined me in the operating room. And in the next room there were about 30 friends and family praying for her arrival. It was very difficult to wait, we just didn’t know what the outcome would be. Would she be healed?? Would she even be alive??
Gianna was born alive at 9:05am and weighed in at 4lbs 10oz (the Dr.’s thought she would only weigh 3lbs) and she made the sweetest little noises but we could tell she had trouble breathing. The medical team put a cannula in her nose and took her to the NICU to try to stabilize her breathing and oxygen levels. Her levels did not improve so they then put her on a CPAP machine. That was too strong. She spent about 5 hours away from me. It was time for us to be together.
At 3pm Gianna came to be with me. They thought skin to skin contact could help her. We cuddled for hours. No one even tried to take her from me. Anthony was so excited to meet her and touch her. Tony, Anthony, Gianna and I spent alone time as a family for a couple hours and then the rest of our family and friends came in to meet her. Around 9pm everyone was gone except for Tony, my mom and step dad, our pastor and hospice care. She seemed to be doing well and then suddenly she stopped breathing. We woke her and then again she stopped breathing and she was gone… at 9:45pm she passed from our arms into Jesus’. She stayed with us that evening and when I woke in the morning I wished I had died too. My baby laid next to me, dead. That day with Gianna still in our room our photographer came back to take pictures. Then, every family member and our closest friends all came to hold Gianna and say their goodbye’s. Leaving the hospital with empty arms was excruciating.
I questioned God daily, WHY?, Why did you take her? If you could have healed her Why didn’t you? I questioned His verses that He gave me. I thought.. how could you turn my sorrow into joy? Nothing seemed right anymore. My body, arms and breasts ached for my baby. I couldn’t even look at another baby or a mother taking care of her baby. If I wasn’t crying I was numb. I couldn’t believe my baby died. I would never be the same. The months were flying by without my knowledge.
Right at the time I lost Gianna my closest friend got pregnant. She was scared to tell me she was having a girl, she didn’t want to upset me. I told her that the devil will not take our friendship. She thought this little girl could bring healing.
I went through months of deep dark depression and mood changes. I feared everything, but at the same time I knew God was carrying me through it all.
Early November my friend gave birth to her daughter Clara Joy. I knew I had to be there. I also knew that I had to separate my feelings for my friend and her new baby. God really gave me peace and I went. As soon as I saw her and held her my heart changed. I knew my heart longed for that intimacy between mommy and baby. I was slightly jealous that her baby was healthy and alive. The next day I cried the entire day. I told my husband that I was interested in trying again to have another baby and he said he needed time to think about it. I had many signs that I was pregnant but I ignored them because I knew how long it takes for us to get pregnant and I didn’t want to be disappointed.
Sure enough on November 13, 2014 I found out I WAS PREGNANT! I called my husband and said I hope you had time to think about it because I’m pregnant. I was already pregnant when I went to visit Clara Joy. As we told our friends and family they were all overjoyed but I was scared.
I was considered high risk now and I had to go through more tests. My new due date will be July 22, 2015. On December 30, 2014 I heard this new baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
January 19, 2015 we went in for our high risk appointment, I was very emotional that morning and God gave me this verse.
Jeremiah 23:4 “I will set shepherds over them to care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither should any go missing, declares the Lord”.
Tuesday January 27, 2015 I got the phone call for the high risk blood results. It was good timing because I had arrived early to my OB check up. As I pulled into my parking space my phone rang and a woman from the lab was on the other end. The woman explained the blood results were all negative to any chromosome disorders. I cried to her and explained briefly of what happened to my Gianna. Then she asked if I wanted to know the gender. I said yes and she said IT’S A GIRL!!!! I cried so hard. I didn’t expect this baby to be a girl. I just thought that God didn’t have a girl for me “here”.
Today I sit here 16 weeks pregnant and waiting. I have a long way to go but all I can do is trust God. I didn’t think it was possible but God did turn my mourning into joy and my sorrow into gladness. I still question why He took her and I think about Gianna every day. I wish she were here and I wish she could meet her sister but I know one day we will all get to be together and it will be for eternity. Gianna changed me forever.
Thank you for reading my story. If this touched you in any way and you wanted to talk further I am on facebook.