Little Jonas Elliot was born on Thursday, March 12th at 12:05 p.m. However, he had already entered into God’s hands about a week before. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, which is believed to be the cause.
Zac and I went to my prenatal checkup on my due date-the 11th. They were unable to find his heartbeat, and an ultrasound revealed that he had passed away. I’ve been going to a German hospital, so as you can imagine, it was frightening seeing all these people crowded around me during the ultrasound and not being able to understand them. Then they all got quiet and the doctor said, “Mrs. Phillips, the baby is not alive.” I will never forget that moment or the way he said those words. I covered my face with my hands and broke down hysterically. I kept asking outloud, “Why now? Why not in the first trimester?” (not that that would not be hard) “This can’t be happening!” “Why now? Why now?”…….I just kept shaking my head no…like this wasn’t my life…this only happens to other people. I knew the worst was yet to come. I would have to go through labor—all that pain—only to have to say goodbye to my baby in the worst possible way. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see him and hold him—it seemed scary.
I was induced that night. The German way of induction is different in that it can take up to 3 days before you actually have the baby. I just wanted to get it over with. Lots of people were praying back in the states, and those prayers were answered. It took just 16 hours of labor before he was born. For those that knew, I had been planning and preparing for a natural birth. I decided that I was enduring enough emotional pain, and would take meds if I needed them. Towards the end, when labor was very difficult, they talked me into an epidural. I was going through the worst of the contractions while they were preparing the epidural, when I felt a horrendous need to push. My water broke just then, and I began pushing naturally. I would just like to say that I have never endured such physical pain in my life. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Zac said he’s never heard such “primal noises” before! (Zac was so great throughout the entire thing—he helped me get through it all) I can’t really describe how intense it was for me. I will never forget that moment. Jonas came quickly though, and after he did, we broke down and cried. I remember hearing the sobs of the German midwife who ran out of room after he was born. I think it was very difficult for her. Zac cut the cord, and we held our little boy and just cried. He was so perfect and looked just like Josiah when he was born, except he had little curls. He was 7 lbs. 1 oz. and almost 23 inches long! He had Zac’s nose and hair color, just like Joss. We spent a lot of time with him and said our goodbyes. We felt very peaceful about it because we know that he is happy and safe in Heaven, and we know we’ll see him there someday. God really gave us strength that we never knew we had.