Baby Oaks: Becca's July27 Story

1. What is the bird's eye view of YourJuly27 story?
I married my husband in February of 2018.
Jonny and Rebecca Gettmann on their wedding day
A month into marriage we decided we wanted to start having kids, and we got pregnant immediately. We told all our friends and family, we were SO excited to welcome that baby come November, 2018.
At 5 weeks, we took a trip to the Philippines and on our layover in Shanghai, China, I began to miscarry.  I labored on the airport floor for 4 hours, running to the bathroom and weeping and coming back to rest my head on my husband. I wasn't devastated, and felt surrounded by peace, but grieved the loss and felt confused and in shock.

We got pregnant immediately after that, with a baby due in December! At our 7 week ultrasound the doctor said, "There is no heartbeat" and proceeded to tell me I could take a pill to pass the baby, and how to get that prescription. That encounter scarred me and was cold and impersonal. We were clinging to hope and decided to pray for life and wait it out. We began our move from America to Germany a few weeks later, with a layover in Canada to see my husband's family. On our last day of the trip I started bleeding.  We flew to Germany the next day, and happened to have business class tickets that allowed me to recline fully during the flight. I believe this saved my life. As we landed, I started cramping. I was bleeding profusely and later realized I was hemorrhaging. In and out of consciousness, screaming in agony, and clutching my husband's hands were all things that happened on our 6 hour drive to our new home.
I truly believed I was at death's doorstep on that ride home, and wanted to die close to his family rather than in a hospital. I saw a light and felt my body become weightless but then felt it wasn't time. My husband later told me he was weeping and at that moment I saw the light, he released me and thought I might die. We said goodbye to our baby later that night.

Fast-forward to October, we were pregnant again and were SO hopeful. We saw a midwife, enjoyed every second of the pregnancy, and rejoiced daily over this tiny life. My belly grew. At my 13 week appointment, my amazing midwife couldn't find a heartbeat with the doppler, but assured us all was okay, it was still early. Just after New Year's, 2019, I started cramping and knew something was off. I was 17 weeks along. We rallied our friends to pray for our baby, and went in for an emergency ultrasound and played the song, "Goodness of God" which had just been released the day before. We saw our perfect baby Oaks on the screen, fully formed and beautiful, but with no heartbeat.
Jonny and Rebecca Gettmann with Baby Oaks after discovering he had passed in the form of a late miscarriage.  Their announcement reads, "18 WEEKS, JANUARY 12: THE DAY WE SAID 'GOODBYE'"
The doctor checked twice and apologized to us as we cried and processed the news. We rushed to the hospital for a second opinion and saw our next glimpse of Oaks. The nurse patted me on the shoulder and told me there was no heartbeat. I signed the papers for surgery, then got home and wept and decided to have the home birth we dreamt of. We played worship music that week, took pictures of my bump, and waited. We had friends around the world believing LIFE for this baby, and up until I delivered him we expected life.
My contractions started on January 12th, early in the morning, and were nearly pain free, as I had prayed. One push later and I delivered our baby Oaks in our shower with my husband at my side. It was as sacred as birthing a baby without breath could be. His presence was THICK in our house, and we felt angels surrounding me as I birthed, as I imagine they surrounded Mary as she birthed Jesus. Looking for life, welcoming another soul into this world. I held that sweet baby in my hands and I saw they were perfectly formed. Every single detail was there. We took pictures and footprints, and later buried our sweet baby under a tree in a nearby forest.
Jonny and Rebecca Gettmann announce their 4th pregnancy with a sign reading: "AFTER MANY TEARS OF PAIN AND LOSS, WE NOW CRY TEARS OF JOY...BABY GETTMANN...DECEMBER 2019"
On December 29, 2019, our rainbow baby girl was born, and in October of 2021 our son was born, and now we have 3 babies in heaven and 2 in our arms.
Rebecca Gettmann holding her firstborn rainbow baby, "Asher Rapha."
2. Do you have a date or set of dates you associate with loss?
March 19, 2018
June 11, 2018
and January 12th, 2019

My brain sometimes forgets those dates, but my body never does. It remembers the pain and sorrow each anniversary of those losses, even if it takes my brain a while to remember.


3. What is the story of Oaks' life?
Jonny and I took time before we got pregnant to partner with the Lord in bringing forth this little baby. We worshiped and prophesied over my womb and the baby before I got pregnant. When I was pregnant, every single second was beautiful. I had some morning sickness and smiled as I threw up in the toilet, because it meant my baby was alive! I also practiced taking communion over my body and then the morning sickness faded. When I labored, it was all I wanted it to be: quiet, calm, pain-free, filled with His presence, and peaceful. The name "Oaks" comes from my life passage, Isaiah 61 verse 3. I believe babies can be named for the seasons they usher us into, as we see throughout the Bible. This baby was one we knew would usher us into a season of being established and deeply rooted, like a giant oak tree, and that what was under the ground would match that which was above ground. Deep roots, broad branches.

It happened exactly as we knew it would, but without being able to hold a newborn baby and hear them cry and coo. That season following losing Oaks was one that established very deep roots and very broad branches in our life. How I wish to hold my babies in heaven and dance with them, but until then I will remember each season I walked through and be filled with gratitude for every second my body carried them.



4. What inspired you to take footprints of your baby Oaks?
When we met with the anesthesiologist to discuss surgery, they said the baby would be unrecognizable and I wouldn't be able to hold him. I wept. He has compassion on me and said the best he could do was a grave for our baby, near the hospital, and I guess he never offers that to parents. I went home with that news and pondered it, and then saw myself taking our baby's footprints. That inspired me to cancel the surgery and risk it all for the sake of seeing our baby. It was worth it all to hold him, name him, take his footprints, and be able to bury him in a special place.


5. How do you hope his footprints will impact the lives of others?
Life is precious, at any age. Whether a woman has carried her baby 4 weeks, 14 weeks, or 42 weeks, every second of that life is worth it all. I carried Oaks for 18 weeks and wish I had just one more moment with him. Sometimes we might have the privilege of knowing when a loved one will pass away, because maybe they have lived a long, full life. And other times we have life seemingly ripped away from us, without a warning. I don't know how many days I have on this earth, or how many days I have with my children or husband, and because of that I am determined to celebrate it all.
 Jonny and Rebecca Gettmann's firstborn and second born (fourth and fifth) children.
Take pictures, dance around the living room, have a food fight, laugh deeply, cry freely, and capture every moment. I had that one moment with Oaks where I held him outside my womb and captured those tiny footprints, and I would live that moment a thousand times again to celebrate that little life. Life is precious and worth celebrating, honoring, and loving. I hope his footprints can help remind us of that.Rebecca Gettmann embracing life as precious, worth celebrating, honoring, and loving.
Rebecca Gettmann can be followed on Instagram: @rebeccagettmann 
Her small business, Wild Oaks Apothecary, can be found at www.wildoaksapothecary.com and on Instagram: @wildoaksapothecary

1 comment

Alaina S.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony.

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