Guest Column

Eden was with us for over 7 months after birth… and we are so grateful

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily of Live Action or Live Action News.

When we found out we were having our second baby, we were so excited. We were caught up in normal things — I was hoping for a boy and my wife wanted another girl (we already had a daughter who was just over a year old at the time). We wanted them to be close in age and to grow up being best friends. The thought of there being a serious health concern with our baby never crossed our minds. Those things only happen to other people, right? 

Everything changed when we went in for our anatomy scan at 21 weeks. During the ultrasound, we were anxious to find out the gender, when the excitement was sucked out of us. The ultrasound tech told us we were having a girl, but her demeanor quickly changed. She went quiet and we could tell something was wrong. We asked if everything was okay and she said, “I want the doctor to take a look at a couple of things.” Our hearts sank. Our focus quickly shifted to, “Is she going to be okay?”

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Photo courtesy of Tyler Anderson

The doctor told us there were several concerning areas, including her heart, brain, and overall size, which pointed to a possible genetic issue. About a week later, we did genetic testing and determined that the diagnosis was Trisomy 18 (also known as Edwards’ Syndrome).

As we waited in the room to speak with the geneticist, we did the only thing we could do – we took our worries to the Lord.  We prayed that God would heal her, but more importantly, that He would use her life for His glory and to deepen our faith and reliance upon Christ. We didn’t know what was in store for us, but we knew Christ would never leave us or forsake us. We knew that He doesn’t make mistakes, and that nothing is wasted. We trusted in His sovereignty and goodness.

Trisomy 18 is a rare genetic condition that most doctors deem “incompatible with life.” T18 is caused by an extra chromosome 18. There is no known cause or cure and most babies with T18 die before they are born. Most babies who make it to term die within 15 days, usually due to severe heart, brain, and lung defects.

Sadly, many babies with T18 are aborted before they are even given a chance to live. 

Eden (Photo courtesy of Tyler Anderson)

Once the genetic results came back, the doctors gave us several options, including abortion. We knew this child was made in the image of God and that He is the author of life, not us. We had been given the responsibility to care for and love this child, and that’s exactly what we intended to do. 

Then came January 7th, 2022, the day Eden Rome Anderson was born. We were overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions throughout the delivery process and remember it so vividly. We read scripture and filled the delivery room with prayer and worship. God blessed us with an amazing team of nurses who worshiped and prayed with us and over us. While not knowing if we would even get to meet our baby alive, God granted us peace that surpassed understanding.

At 10:00 pm, Eden Rome was born, and you could hear a pin drop. The room was filled with 10-15 doctors and nurses, ready to step in right away, given her physical challenges. We were all waiting to see if she would be breathing or not. We just wanted a little time with her. A few seconds went by, which felt like minutes. Then she burst into a cry that was the most beautiful sound we’ve ever heard. As she was laid in her Mama’s arms, my wife just kept saying to her, “Keep crying baby girl, keep crying.” And she did. 

She ended up defeating most odds and was with us for 7 ½ months. Her gentle but strong spirit, perfect little lips, and her sweet webbed toes left a mark on many hearts. What a great honor it was to be chosen to love and care for Eden every day, as if it were her last. We are grateful for the time we got to spend with her, to fill our hearts and home with precious memories. We continue to grieve, but rejoice knowing she is fully healed and held by our Savior. She has absolutely changed our lives for the better and although we would love to have her here with us still, we wouldn’t change how God has used Eden’s life to refine our faith, strengthen our marriage, and fix our eyes on the things of heaven, rather than earthly things, which are here today and gone tomorrow. 

Eden at 6 months (Photo courtesy of Tyler Anderson)

We miss Eden more and more every day. We ache to see her, hold her, and sing to her, and we have hope that we will. Due to the perfect atoning sacrifice of Christ and His bodily resurrection, we know there is endless joy beyond this arduous life. We know that Eden was not created by God for 7 days, 7 months, or even 70 years. She was created to be with our Heavenly Father for all of eternity and we are longing for the day we get to see her again and worship our King together.

We came across the book “Seasons of Sorrow” by Tim Challies, which we resonate with so well. It in he says, “We have little capacity to grasp eternity, to imagine forever, to understand what begins but never ends. Our minds are too weak, our imagination too limited, our vision too clouded. Yet this is the promise God has made, that those who put their faith in Jesus receive life eternal, that those who accept His gift of grace are granted life unending, that those who die in Him will reign with Him forever and ever.” 

We cherish any opportunity to tell her story and it’s our prayer that although she’s no longer with us, Eden still speaks by continuing to point people to Jesus and to the hope that only He provides.  

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