Bethany Nicole

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Bethany Nicole

Written by Carrie Reynolds, Bethany’s mom

In 1997, we suffered a miscarriage at 10 weeks gestation. We already had a 4 year old and a 1 year old. In 1998, we felt our year of jubilee as we were pregnant with twins, identical baby girls, Allisyn Ruth and Bethany Nicole. At our 30 week check up, on August 25, our world screeched to a halt and was never the same. Our sweet ultrasound tech was brokenhearted to have to tell me that she could not find Bethany’s heartbeat. She called my husband who had not come with me, since it was just a routine checkup, and stood next to me, crying with me and holding my hand. Jim’s boss drove him to join me just in time for the overstreet wheelchair ride to the hospital. It was a whirlwind in slow motion. I was not expecting any of this! I was blindsided by fear, grief, crushing pain, questions and sorrow. I heard so many people talking, yet had no idea what they were saying.

I was given some shots in my belly that were supposed to protect Allisyn’s lungs so that they could deliver her soon – soon became sooner as Allisyn went into fetal distress. We were prepped for an emergency C-section at 3:20 that afternoon. Upon delivery, the doctor discovered that the girls were monochorionic/monoamniotic, which means both girls shared the same placenta in the same amniotic sac. This was another shock, as we had previously had an ultrasound that had shown they were not in the same sac, so I was not considered high risk and was therefore not monitored as closely as I should have been. The girls’ umbilical cords had tangled, cutting off Bethany’s blood supply. The doctor also reported that Allisyn was going into fetal distress because she was doing what was referred to as “twin-to-twin transfusion.” Allisyn was trying to help her sister live. Little did I know that was a glimpse into Allisyn’s character — she is fiercely loyal and will give the very last of herself to care for others. Immediately after their birth, I was asked if I wanted to hold Bethany, once a nurse had gotten her cleaned up, and the only thing I could think of was that I may regret it if I didn’t, so I did. I will never, ever forget the pain I felt looking at my precious baby, feeling the guilt that I did not protect her. It was about an hour before we could go see Allisyn in her NICU bassinet. Her tiny little foot was no bigger than the tip of my finger. Three days later I was discharged from the hospital, leaving Allisyn in the NICU for another 5 weeks. Jim wheeled me down to the lobby and then went to get the car. I sat there in the lobby more alone than I think I’ve ever felt. I had come in three days earlier with two baby girls in my womb and was leaving with neither of them.

Allisyn, Bethany's identical twin sister

Allisyn at a butterfly release in memory of her identical twin sister, Bethany.

Our new normal became days of great sadness and loss, a hole left in my heart, with simultaneous days of celebration and joy as Allisyn met benchmark after benchmark and grew and developed. She even came home almost 5 weeks prior to their original due date. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss Bethany. Even 25 years later, I’m not “over it.” I still grieve, I still cry, I still wonder what life would be like with her here — with Allisyn, sharing all the milestones.

I thought back to the moment Marci, the ultrasound tech, told me there was no heartbeat for Bethany and cried out to God “Where were you??” He so lovingly showed me that he was right there, at my shoulder whispering to me that He was there, He was loving me, He was loving Allisyn and He was holding Bethany.

In 2018, I had a God moment when I asked Him to reveal to me where He was during one of the darkest moments of my life. I thought back to the moment Marci, the ultrasound tech, told me there was no heartbeat for Bethany and cried out to God “Where were you??” He so lovingly showed me that he was right there, at my shoulder whispering to me that He was there, He was loving me, He was loving Allisyn and He was holding Bethany. After that, the song “Good, Good Father” took on a whole new meaning for me. “Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think You’re like. But, I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night. And You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone! You’re a good, good Father! It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are. And, I’m loved by You! It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am!”

Six years after Allisyn was born, we had another baby, two years later we had another miscarriage. We have 4 amazing children here on earth, and 3 precious, loved babies in heaven. In every day of grief, He has been holding me! I am thankful that even though the grief is never gone, Jesus is never gone, either – He is always near, always loving, always holding and always giving me the hope that I will one day have all 7 children gathered around me in Heaven.

Donate to our “Still their mom” campaign to support our ministry efforts for moms like Carrie

Real life ways we support loss moms as an organization – and the associated cost:

  • Our organization is sending 20 of the 100 moms to the Bereaved Mother’s Day Tea this Sunday. (cost: $50 to send 1 mom)
  • We have sent 60 free care packs to new loss moms in the last year. (cost: $2,400, approx. $40/ea)
  • We sent 300+ cards to bereaved moms and infertility warriors this year. (cost: $450)
  • This past year, we gave out $25,000 to cover loss-associated medical bills for 18 moms and their families. In the fall, we plan to give $25,000 more.
  • We design spaces and connection events for moms to share and meet other moms. (cost: ~$25,000)