Georgia Holbrook

Georgia’s Story

“Moments later I heard the most precious cry!”

Georgia Holbrook, Trisomy 18, 08/16/2015 to 08/21/2015, Duncan, OK

GeorgiaMy husband and I were trying to get pregnant for 4 months. Finally, on Christmas Eve something inside me alerted me to take a pregnancy test. To our surprise WE WERE EXPECTING! Christmas came early for the Holbrook family and joy filled our home! I immediately began brainstorming names for our baby. My heart desired a girl deep down…but I told God you know my heart and either boy or girl this baby will be loved unconditionally. At 18 weeks we had the gender ultrasound performed and no one knew the sex of the baby except my best friend Brandi who went with me because my husband was out of state working, and she is amazing at keeping secrets. I didn’t even know the sex at this point! we planned a gender reveal 3 days later and to our great surprise as I cut the cake PINK crumbles fell out and I was floored!!! IT WAS A GIRL!!!
At my 20 week appointment this whirl wind of joy I had been dancing in was quickly ripped from my grasp. I had the quad screening test done, just like before with my prior pregnancy. I had been blessed with a perfectly healthy baby boy who is now 5 1/2 years old. I didn’t think twice about the test results. I’ll never forget the day I received the phone call from my OB who confirmed the test results came back highly elevated for Trisomy 18.I had absolutely no idea what this diagnosis was,but was quickly informed that it was a “fatal diagnosis.”I completely fell apart! How could this be??? I am a healthy young woman who I know is able to have healthy babies…I rushed home to research online the diagnosis, and I only thought I was overwhelmed with the phone call… I fell on my face crying out to God to save our daughter! Why me? Why us?Most of all why her??? Soon after I was sent for further testing at OU Children’s Hospital in Okc, Ok. There the staff performed a 2D ultrasound which indicated several signs of Trisomy 18… clenched fists…abnormal heart rate and issues with her brain….As the staff delivered this news all of their faces were doom and gloom. I felt helpless hand in hand with my husband. Their words to describe the diagnosis was “incompatible with life…” I felt so much anger and fear arise within me, and I was so frustrated! How can these doctors say our daughter is “Incompatible with life” when at that very moment she was moving around like she always did…I felt completely helpless, how could they view her LIFE as such??? My unborn child may have a life-limiting diagnosis but she DESERVES the same support and treatment as anyone with a terminal illness. I wanted to know for sure, I wanted an exact answer, so an amnio was performed…The test results came back 2 days later with another dreaded phone call..Our baby Georgia was diagnosed with Full Trisomy 18. During that phone call we were asked if we wanted to “terminate” the pregnancy!?! Are you kidding me? We are Pro Life! I told my husband in that moment that if her life was to be short lived it would because God called her home, and in NO WAY would I ever hinder His plans for our daughter.
The following month was filled with so much pain anger and fear…
Daily I prayed and worshiped over her, that was my only way to begin my day and to pull out of depression. God is my life source, He is her life source. I knew I couldn’t fall into a deep depression I knew she felt everything I did. So my husband and I made it our focus to continue on with the pregnancy with a positive attitude. I won’t lie I had my breaking points…many of them, but God picked me back up and supplied me His strength for that day. We went about the rest of the pregnancy as if no diagnosis was even made. My family collaborated the most beautiful baby shower for us. The theme was a “Heavenly theme with lavender accents.” The atmosphere of love was so thick in that place. I felt my joy had been renewed. My husband and I prepared her nursery again the theme was ” heavenly with lavender accents.” I look back to that time and see how God was slowly preparing us for her future…I made all kinds of crafts for her room to make it uniquely her own.
At 36 weeks I went for a routine check up and to talk about our delivery plan, I was feeling positive that day. Again my joy was ripped from me when I was informed that they do not expect her to make it past 37 weeks and we needed to prepare for a funeral. I was not in denial but what I will say is life is in the power of the tongue and I would not accept this diagnosis until I was face to face with her. I was informed that the medical staff would not do anything for her after birth…Why??? Because she has a “fatal chromosomal disorder” ” she is incompatible with life.” I was SICK of hearing those phrases! I left hysterical! Praying to God to lead me to a OB who would give my daughter a chance at life at she deserves! In no way am I undermining the intelligence of these doctors, but they study facts and I live and study a God of miracles signs and wonders! I made some phone calls…one was to my cousin Malorie who is also pregnant. She and her husband conceived through IVF. So her OB was a high risk specialist and she contacted his nurse directly and told her our story. The next morning I had an appointment setup for the following Thursday.
My husband and I had high hopes again as would any parent in this situation. During our appointment the doctor was very direct yet compassionate towards our situation we were facing. To sum up the conversation he said he and his medical team would make sure that if baby Georgia is born alive that he and his team would provide the medical support she needed. But, he would not perform a C-Section because he didn’t want me to hurt. But to be honest as a mother I would endure any amount of pain for my baby…any amount and he wasn’t in agreement. He did say that he had a good feeling she would be born alive. Those words ran through my body like a waterfall of strength! Strength that I desperately needed and thought I had lost…
He agreed to keep the her heart monitor on during the entire delivery. He mentioned her heart rate will fluctuate and may even drop drastically low due to the diagnosis. But that he would honor my request because he saw how connected I was to her and he wanted to help ensure that connection.We decided to switch OB’s at that point. We were desperate for support!
August 16th 2015 at 12:36 am contractions started hard and fast! My husband and I already had our bags packed and car seat ready for the hour and a half trip to Integris Baptist Medical Center in OKc, Ok. Once we arrived I was evaluated for an hour then admitted. Things were happening fast, yet I maintained peace, a peace only from God. From the very beginning of our experience the nursing staff was amazing and were ready to provide our baby Georgia with the support she deserved. The OB I transferred to wound up being on vacation that weekend so the In House OB took over. I prayed that God would place a nurse who would remind me of my Nana. By saying this I prayed for a compassionate loving and faithful nurse to guide us through. My prayer was answered when Nurse Judy walked in the door. I had Georgia’s prayer shawl placed over my belly and she placed her hand on it and her eyes swelled up with tears. I let her know how this shawl had been interceded over by my mother and her good friend Char and it was Georgia’s Heavenly covering. She began to inform me her husband passed and he too had a prayer shawl, one that she still has and when she misses him she cuddles up with it and prays…
Little did I know just how important this prayer shawl would become in the days ahead.
They started my epidural and pitocin. Judy advised me she would be closely watching Georgia’s heartbeat. Not long after did she return to inform me that Georgia’s heartbeat has had many dips in it and they would be stopping the pitocin and the In House OB came in to inform me they were quickly preparing me for a precautionary C-Section! What? I was told this wasn’t going to happen? Little did I know I did have a choice in the matter! He informed me that baby Georgia would not make it through my birth canal alive so we headed for surgery.
I was so nervous, scared, excited….Everything happened so fast it made my head spin! I felt this rush leave my body, I knew she was now out of my womb…the doctors lifted her up and we were able to peek at her through the small plastic window through the curtain that was separating us from the surgery being performed. I saw a blue baby… a still blue baby… I heard no cry…
I began to panic, my husband rushed over to her to be with her and he began speaking life over her. In that moment which felt like forever, I prayed to God, ” If I only get 1 minute with her alive, to touch her to kiss her to melt into her, then that was enough for me.” I choked on that prayer but I meant it. Moments later I heard the most precious cry! She was born alive and was breathing! She had to have oxygen but she was BREATHING!!! Finally the nurses brought her to me…face to face…she was absolutely beautiful and she was ALIVE!!!As I said her name “Georgia” she popped opened one eye and our souls immediately collided!I found out that one of the nurses video tapped for us in the delivery room! She captured her 1st cry! I mean everything!!! Quickly the staff transferred her to the NICU. She was immediately ventilated and hooked up to IV’s. My husband George never left her side. I was so heavily medicated that I wasn’t able to see her again for 10 hours!!! I was in and out and just hysterically beside myself…
I finally got to meet her and though she was covered in tubing and IV’s all I saw was a perfect creation from God, a perfect example of His love. She knew even before I touched her I was present…she felt my presence as she popped her eyes open.
From that time on her daddy and I were blessed to have 4 hour skin on skin sessions 3 times that day. Once I finally held her through all the tubing and taping “she could only be placed on our chests heart to heart”she covered us in such peace, it was as though we were tranquilized…
The following day the nurses in the NICU informed us that we were allowed to hold her as much as we wanted as long as she wasn’t showing signs of stress. When we held her all her stats were great on the charts, even the nurses said so and so we continued to hold onto our miracle baby for 12-16 hour day sessions.We began telling her about her family. We told her about her big brother Isaaic, and thrilled he was to big BROTHER!!! WE also told her about her big sister Jaden who was over the moon excited to welcome her into our family! I began to produce milk and they fed it to her through a tube and she was digesting it well! I began to document our story through Facebook. Even before documenting our families were all at the hospital in prayer and agreement over Georgia’s life. Our prayers spread like wild fire through family and Facebook. We had so many people praying…people we didn’t even know. Everyone speaking life over Georgia! We were overwhelmed by the love and support we had. Her daddy called her his “little wall breaker.” Little did we know the impact our precious Georgia would have on people in the days to follow we witnessed walls in our family completely broken down as well in the lives of others. People would express to us that our faith for our daughter’s life challenged them to draw in close to God like never before! I told my husband you know to hear about just one life coming to God is enough for me, but this little girl drew in so many more so many we lost count! Something beautiful was unraveling before our eyes all because of our “little fighter” Her name means “Tiller of soil” and man was she tilling Gods soil for His people!!!
Day 4 arrived and we just finished a 4 hour skin on skin session…we had been gone all but 10 minutes to go eat and take a cat nap when we received a dreaded phone call from the doctor in the NICU. He said Georgia just suffered her 1st seizure…and that she was really struggling that they had to bring her back to life….He said “what do you want us to do?”Honestly it was like a sonic boom went off and I screamed and began to run…at this point I am to be wheel chair bound from surgery but that didn’t stop me. I couldn’t even explain to my husband what the doctor just said I was beside myself I could not speak! He put me int he wheel chair and ran across the hospital back to the NICU where I again leaped out and ran to my baby. A nurse stopped me and held me tight as I fell to the floor hysterically… In my head I am thinking my baby Georgia is gone! Then she whispered in my ear breathe mama…just breathe…she is alive…
I was able to hold her again shortly after but she was not the same…she was so weak and her pink color was now a white yellow tone…I told my husband I wasn’t leaving her again…although we desperately needed rest and to eat we sacrificed it all and just held her…
Day 5 her stats again were looking up, but she came down with jaundice so she had to be under a blue light therapy blanket 24-7….but we were still able hold her. Around 1 am we were asked if we wanted to bathe her…we were very hesistant but the nurse insisted she was stable enough to do so and she would enjoy our touch all over her body, so we agreed to do so. Wow, what an experience to memorize her every fold and hear all her grunts. She was so relaxed! The nurse video tapped the precious bath time experience for us. Not to mention this whole time mommy and daddy took hundreds of pictures of her and with her during our stay, and thank God we did…
Honestly mommy and daddy were at a breaking point physically mentally and emotionally…we desperately needed some rest. We decided to head to bed at 2 am and would be back by 9am. We were fortunate enough to somehow land an open spot at the hospital hotel plaza, just 5 minutes within walking distance from NICU. We both ate then passed out.
Then the phone rang at 4:30 am…it was again the NICU doctor he said we needed to get there now! I was still asleep hearing these words and I panicked and woke my husband screaming “WE HAVE TO GO NOW!!!” That 5 minute walk turned into a 3 minute sprint, at the same time felt like a lifetime before we arrived….
Her room was filled with doctors and nurses crowded around her every face in there was covered with tears and sadness… she had suffered 3 seizures by this time and they had oxygen up to 100% I recall her oxygen level being at 21% when we left at 2am…her body was to weak to breathe on her own, and heart was on overload….
My husband and I began praying over her and speaking LIFE! She was still struggling…really bad…they performed a cat scan that indicated her heart tripled in size and because she had “VSD” ventricular septal defect. Her blood flow was filling her lungs… her lungs were already firm and barely working alone…No….not yet… we aren’t ready…as selfish as that sounds were not ready to let her go.
They pulled her off the vent and wrapped her in warm towels and her prayer shawl and placed her in my arms as my husband wrapped himself around us…never would we be ready to face trauma like this, but we were staring it in the face… we were hysterical…I began to pray and God told me to “Sing over her.” So I did…I could barely get a word out but the song that came to me was “The more I seek You,” by artist Kari Jobe. I always sang this song to her when she was in my womb and she would get so still…it was her favorite song…during her last minutes of life I sang that song to her and just fell apart…we told her how much we loved her and that she is so very strong for holding on like she did. We thanked her for unconditional love that she gave us…a love we have never experienced…her love…God’s love…
Georgia Anae’ Holbrook passed away in our arms minutes later…we held onto her for hours…our nurse Courtney came into our room with three dresses…the last thing you want to think about after your baby passing in your arms is where to shop for her burial gown??? Well she presented 3 beautiful gowns that were handmade, donated by “Allison’s Angel gowns.” A non-profit organization that hand sews these precious gowns made from donated wedding dresses. Wow…. I chose a very simple gown…I felt deeply drawn to it, it was white silk with a tiny bow in the center and lace filled at the bottom…it was perfect…just like her…
We were transferred to the recovery room, there we bathed baby Georgia for the last time…I never thought this would be the last time…I just knew in my heart it would be different…
Our nurse assisted us in bathing her and dressing her…even brushing her tiny curls…The Chaplain came to Baptize baby Georgia…he prayed a very special prayer over her and then baptized her by using a small seashell filled with water and he poured it over her little head…It was happening… this was goodbye…
The clock just ticked away and time got away from us…we knew it was time to place our life…our baby…our Georgia in the arms of our nurse and give her our final goodbyes….I couldn’t stop kissing her it was unbearable…I never wanted to stop kissing her…in that moment I noticed our nurse swaying back in forth with her ever so slowly and patting her hiney… I can’t describe the emotion that ran through me as I saw this happening…through all the fear from the day of the diagnosis and beyond God heard our prayers…he supplied us with amazing medical support from the time she was born up until her passing. We witnessed these nurses show our baby Georgia the love and respect she deserved…they gave her a chance at life…God DID give us our miracle! She was born ALIVE and lived a glorious 6 days…
We had a beautiful celebration ceremony the following week at our home church “RAW”in Duncan, Ok. There were sunflowers and lavender balloons everywhere!
The week of me giving birth to Georgia I awoke from a dream and I asked God “Do I call her my sunshine or my sunflower?” He replies…”She is your sunflower.” I began to research the meaning of a sunflower…
Christian symbolism states that a sunflower is the symbol of Faith. As a Christian strives to follow the Son and stay in His light a sunflower radiates it bloom toward the sun…wow…I was floored…yet again I wasn’t…
At her burial we released #280 balloons with a small note attached to each one…each note had a hashtag with words of life that had been spoken over her through her life in my womb and here on earth…#thewonderofgeorgia… We wanted to spread her unconditional love all over…in hopes that whoever finds the note is the person who God has led them to it…again drawing His people into Him…
Georgia passed away 8/21/2015 this was her actual “due date…”
We never said goodbye…just continual “I love you so much…” and ” baby girl we will see you soon…”

My sunflower…
My heart…
My darling…

Isaiah 40:31- But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

shicoleholbrook@yahoo.com