A Tiny Life

Friday morning, November 11th, 2016, I had picked up my car after getting new tires and getting everything done that a 45,000 mile car needs done. I was too upset by the election to go home, so I did some grocery shopping and grabbed a bunch of socks and underwear for the Christmas collections for the poor at work.

As I drove into  my driveway, I received a text from Sarah. “I think my water has broken. I am going to the hospital.” Sarah was 7 months pregnant with a baby who was anencephalic. The skull had not formed and Adam and Sarah were told that the baby would not survive, would pass away at any time, or would go full term and only live a  day  or two.

I waited until I got the text from Adam. “Sarah’s water has broken and we are not leaving the hospital until this baby is born. Anyone is welcome to come down.”  I had been packing and headed to the hospital in Ohio, a four hour drive from home. Ken stayed home to run his business and take care of the household.

I arrived at the hospital around 7 pm. My phone had taken me cross-country in the pitch blackness, with only deep ditches and cornfields along the two-lane roads. I had visions of zombies coming across the field, but only encountered a couple of deer, and an Amish buggy.   It was a slightly scary drive, but it kept me awake.

Sarah was having contractions, but nothing much was happening. After visiting for a couple of hours, I took my leave to go stay at  Adam and Sarah’s house, and to allow Sarah’s parents to visit as they were just arriving at the hospital at 9 pm.

I managed to sleep, woke at 5 am and 6 am, but no texts. Finally, around 730 am on Saturday, November 12th, I got the text from Adam. “Elliott Joy Shooltz is here. 621 am, with the sunrise.” (We still (Sarah’s parents and I) didn’t know if the baby was alive or not.)

We went immediately to the hospital and met tiny little Elliott Joy. She was stillborn. She weighed 1 pound, 9 ounces and was 10 inches long.


I will post more pictures in the future, but for now, she was just a tiny peanut. Beautiful face, and perfect little hands and feet. We held her and sang to her and played “This little piggy went to market” with her toes. A professional photographer came in and spent an hour and a half taking pictures. Adam, Sarah and I made clay casts of her tiny footprints. There was love and laughter and tears.

Ashlee and Anthony visited. Sarah’s dearest friend, Jessica, visited and everyone loved on EJ. Adam and Sarah spent the night with Elliott at the hospital. A young man from the funeral home came to collect Elliott Joy on Sunday morning. He shared with Adam and Sarah that he and his wife had lost their first child. He took EJ and promised to take good care of her. She will be cremated and returned to her mom and dad.

I only was able to be with her for 13 hours, but it was a loving, happy, caring, blessed time. Who knew you could miss someone so much after only knowing them such a short time.

Thank you for letting me tell Elliott Joy’s story. My granddaughter.

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48 Responses to A Tiny Life

  1. Snowy says:

    So very sorry for your loss, Lauri. Good to see that are thankful for your small time with her. Life goes on, and we must move on with it, or so the rather trite saying goes. Much love.

  2. *sniff* No words. *hug*

  3. Laurie says:

    Thank you for sharing this story of how love prevails over loss. All good thoughts to your whole family.

    • Lauri says:

      Many hugs back to you, littlem. I, am, too, struggling with people I love voting for He Who Shall Not Be Named.
      Life has so much good and so much not so good.
      Let’s prevail with hugs!

  4. crankypants says:

    This is so heartbreaking, but I’m glad you celebrated and honored and loved her. *hugs*

  5. No words, just tears. ((Hugs)) for you and your family.

  6. Emmy says:

    I’m so sorry for that little girl. My thoughts to you and your family. xoxo

  7. Kzinti says:

    Oh my. Leaky eyes. Much love, sorrow and hope for you and your family. I will carry your celebration of her life with me in the days, weeks to come. Life, even so fleeting, is such a precious thing. Many hugs…

  8. Sorry for your loss. My mom’s first baby was stillborn and my dad was overseas and she was 1000 miles away from home (with dad’s family, at least) – so I’m glad you got to be there for your kids.

  9. Oh Lauri — my heart aches for you, and for Adam and Sarah and all the family. I am grateful that even in your grief you were able to celebrate wee EJ, and that you were given time with her. Many hugs to you.

  10. leendadll says:

    I’m so terribly sorry for everyone’s loss.
    But thank you for sharing… it put my drama in proper, get over it, perspective while also causing me to cry “legit tears”, on which my stress could piggy back and maybe leave me for awhile.

    Is there any charity to which you and/or Adam and Sarah are partial? I’d like to make a donation in EJ’s honor.

  11. (((((((hugs, and hugs, and some more hugs)))))))) She had a tiny life, but it was filled with love – you and your kids are wise, and good to each other – that is fantastic. (((hugs again)))

  12. Jaypo says:

    There are no words, dear friend… thank you for sharing this profound loss and deep sadness with us, larui. Heavy, heavy heart… You all are incredibly brave, loving people. Elliot Joy’s impact on this world will not be lost to any of us. ((((hugs))) to you, Adam, Sarah, and in spirit to little EJ.

    • Lauri says:

      Awww, thanks, jaypo. It’s sad, but who doesn’t have to deal with sad at points in life. I’m so glad we had the day with her and got pics and footy -prints. 😊

  13. Drude says:

    Big hugs! So sorry for your loss. She had so much love in her short life! I wish you all strength to bear this. Hugs hugs.

  14. aubrey says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Yet the fact that the tiny one departed on the wings of such love and devotion is a comfort – embrace each other, be strong for each other.

  15. snoringKatZ says:

    Larui, thank you for sharing your beautiful granddaughter’s story. How full your hearts must be. Love flooding to your whole family ❤ and some tears, too.

  16. madtante says:

    This is a heartbreakingly beautiful thing to share.

    I’m so sorry about this but I am so glad that you were all together.

  17. Lauri says:

    I just got a laugh from a supervisor from work. She was calling to see if I could work this weekend and I said no, because Adam and Sarah are coming to visit.
    We talked about them losing EJ and she said “Mother Nature is a bitch.”
    It made me laugh. 🙂

  18. Inga says:

    Oh Lauri….your family took something so heartbreaking and turned it into so much love and warmth and gratitude. Safe travels little EJ, and all the very best to you and your family Lauri *hugs*

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