Mac's Story

by Josh's sister

At Josh and Cali's request, we have set this blog up as a place to honor baby Mac and to remember all we have learned from his short time here. We hope as Josh and Cali's hearts begin to heal, they will find this blog a place to share their feelings and memories of little Mac. For now, and as a family, we want to share Mac's story with you from our perspective. We're sure that Josh and Cali's version of this story will have far greater depth and be able to express deeper emotions than this version will have, but for now we hope this will suffice.

Josh and Cali have been married for just over a year and are the cutest couple ever! Soon after they were married they found out they were expecting their first child. It was a bit of a surprise to them, but they were thrilled none the less. Cali quickly set up a blog so that she could keep everyone posted on their baby's development and faithfully updated it each month with information on how he was growing, how big he was, how excited they were, etc. When they found out the baby was a boy, they were ecstatic! Josh was so excited to have a son to teach baseball to (Josh plays baseball at Utah Valley University). Nearly every night of their pregnancy (including the night before he died), they would talk to baby Mac and feel him kicking. They would tell him they loved him and couldn't wait to meet him. For nine months Cali had a very healthy pregnancy and they anxiously awaited his arrival.

On June 26th, just two days prior to Mac's due date, Cali went in for a routine stress test. Sadly Mac's heartbeat could not be found. They had felt baby Mac moving the night before, but didn't feel him moving at all that morning. They figured he was just asleep and were absolutely devastated to learn during the test that he had passed away sometime during the night. The cause was later determined by an autopsy to be the result of an umbilical cord accident.

As a family our hearts sunk as we found out the heartbreaking news and we rushed to the hospital to be by their side. We sat with them in their room as Cali progressed through 14 hours of labor and cried together at the thought of never being able to know little Mac or see him alive. It was hard to believe that less than 12 hours prior to that time Mac had been alive and well.

Josh and Cali's last memory with baby Mac alive was the night before. They rubbed Cali's belly and felt Mac moving, kicking, and hiccuping. They spent time talking to him and told him they loved him and couldn't wait to meet him. Even though Mac never saw his parents faces, we know he knows they love him.

As Cali pushed through the last two hours of labor we sat and listened at the door. Tears streamed down our cheeks as we heard Josh's calm voice help Cali through the pains of delivery. We sobbed as we thought of the pain she was experiencing to deliver a baby she knew she would never get to care for on this earth.

Sweet McKallister Vance Hinckley ("Mac") was born June 27th, just one day shy of his due date, at 5:53 am. He weighed 7 lbs. 15 oz. and was 22 inches long. After Josh and Cali had the opportunity to spend time alone with him, they invited the family in to meet him. The feeling in the room when we entered was sobering and unforgettable! An amazing amount of peace and comfort rested upon everyone present. The veil seemed so thin. We could feel that God was with us and that he loved Josh, Cali and Mac so much. We were all in tears as we took turns holding Mac and spending the short time we had with his earthly body. Although his little body had already started to decay, we could all see past that and saw the incredibly beautiful little boy that he was and is. All in the room could feel that Mac's spirit, although not in his body, was very much with us.

The hospital originally told Josh and Cali they would only be allowed six hours with Mac, but they ended up being able to spend a full 12 hours with him. They had many visits from family and friends, but also had a lot of alone time with little Mac. During their alone time with Mac, they shared many tender moments with him (see video above). They talked to him, prayed with him, and had a chance to say goodbye. After the 12 hours was up, a nurse came in and wrapped up his little body to be taken to Primary Children's Hospital for the autopsy. Each of our hearts broke as we imagined the emptiness and sadness Cali felt as she was discharged from the hospital with empty arms.


We can ask "why?" and "if only..." all we want, but it won't change the reality that Mac just wasn't meant to stay with us. No matter what would have happened differently, the outcome would have remained the same. God does not make mistakes. Mac was simply not meant to be here. He was too perfect to stay. His spirit was so pure that he had to be called home before enduring the trials and pains of this world. He fulfilled his earthly mission in the short time he was here and has returned to his heavenly home.

Mac is a little boy who never took a step into this world, but left his mark and influence upon many. Mac is a spiritual giant and taught us more in the short time he was with us than most people can teach in a lifetime. He brought families together. He taught us to have faith in God's plan. He brought out the best in each of us. He taught us to be humble, to drop to our knees and pray. He helped strengthen our testimonies of the atonement, resurrection, and plan of salvation. He showed us that the way back to him is through our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was only upon this earth for a moment, but his influence will last an eternity.

We will never forget our little Mac. We will never forget the spirit we felt in his presence. We will never forget what he has taught us and how he's changed each of us for the better. Mac sacrificed his life to teach us things we could not have been taught any other way. He sacrificed his life to bring us closer to Christ.

Words cannot express the admiration and love we have all felt for Josh and Cali through this experience. We believe that from the moment they found out they were expecting, they were being prepared and strengthened so that they could endure this trial in faith. They are champions in every sense of the word. Their strength and faith has blessed us all.

41 comments:

Sarah said...

You are all in my prayers as you say goodbye to Mac. What a beautiful little boy! He never knew pain, suffering or loneliness....he remains as perfect as God intended him to be.

May you all feel God's embrace as He carries you through this valley of pain.

Hugs,
Sarah

Sarah said...

This is Sarah Larsen. I have such happy memories of Cali and Mac throughout his little life. I had the opportunity to see Cali everyday and hear about every progression and detail during her pregnancy. I was so excited for her to become a mom. I remember her telling me a story about feeling mac's hand touch hers through her tummy. I remember feeling Mac's hiccups and laughing at her rumbling tummy. I remember talking to Cali during a rough time when she learned she was experiencing some complications and being so impressed with her calm faith. I have felt a deep sense of loss with Mac's passing being a young newlywed myself trying to have a baby. I am truly blessed to know Cali and her husband Josh. Your experience has already taught me so much. It helps remind us of our Heavenly Father's love and his plan for each of us. Thank you for being so willing to share. It is evident that you have already touched so many. Cali- I love you. Thank you for your strength and example.

Anonymous said...

I have read the many "you do not know me, and I don't know you" comments and I am one of those. I wonder if you know how many lives this precious little child has touched. I am a friend of a friend of a relative. I have shared your story with my neighbor and the ripple will continue on.
I have two in heaven waiting for me and it makes me want to live my life so that I can be with them again. I will think of you today and through the following weeks and months.

lorinahiatt said...

My name is Lori Hiatt I live in Loveland, Colorado and I had an email sent to me by my new daughter-in-law Erin and it read, my friends neighbor lost her baby a couple of days ago and below is the link. We are expecting our fourth little grandchild, 2nd grand-daughter any day now and the anticipation is ever so present. I can only imagine what you must be going through right now and my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May our Heavenly Father bring peace to your soul's and comfort you and your entire family. What an incredible story and what an incredible young couple.

AnneMarie said...

What a gorgeous tribute to Josh, Cali and Mac. All three of them have blessed my life. I love you guys.

Anonymous said...

That is an amazing story and I am so thankful that you were all able to share something so special. You are in my prayers. I am so thankful for my heaven father and his plan for me too to be joined with my children for eternity.

Anonymous said...

Iam so sorry for your loss Iam a mother of 4 I have a 7yr old a 5yr old 22 month old and a 5 month old and just learned 2 days ago I was pregnant again.I have been so angry about it but the second I began to read your blog my eyes filled with tears and I realized how selfish I have been it was not my plan to have another child so soon I had been on 3 forms of birth control and still got pregnant and Ive been whining about how angry I was that the Lord gave me another child so soon, when I should be nothing but greatful I could not ever imagine going thru that pain Iam so sorry for your loss it has taught me to be thankful for what Iam given he truly was a blessing and I know he is with our King and one day his daddy will get to play baseball with him. Some how from your loss it teached me that my pregnancy was and is a special gift .You are in my prayers and I will pray for you.With much Love in Christ's name God Bless,Brandi Krafczyk

Shalise said...

I am so sorry for your loss, it goes to show that this little boy came her for his body. A valiant spirit with luv you have for him that will carry on in your hearts forever.

I lost 2 boys at 20 weeks and 24 weeks, I am thankful for the faith in the lord Jesus Christ that we will be with them again.

Please look at my resources on onesjourneythroughlife.blogspot.com
it has great information.
Much love..

Kalyn said...

Cali and Josh the video is so beautiful. You two are amazing and truley are an example to all who know you!I

Katie said...

I just came across this blog. I was on Shelby Hansen’s blog and accidently clicked on Mike & Erin and I saw their post about Baby Mac. I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. I am very sad for you two. I went through a very similar experience in February 2007. I was 34 weeks pregnant with our first, a baby girl. I noticed she was not moving. I went to the hospital and no heartbeat was detected. We were shocked and devastated! I know how hard it is. With time, things will get easier (people told me this, and I didn’t believe them, but it really will). I had people say she was just not meant to be. Like my baby, Baby Mac was meant to be! He loves and appreciates you. This past April, I delivered a healthy baby boy and what a delight he is! It has been very healing to have him; however, there will always be a tender place in my heart for my baby girl. I am sure in due time, you will find the same thing. We are so blessed to have the knowledge that we be reunited with our sweet babies again. I wish the best for you two. Take care,
Katie Rees

TyandKort said...

I came across this blog from Chris and Lindsey Barfuss. What a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful baby boy. I wonder if he knows how many lives he has touched and how many testimonies have been strengthened because of him. You guys are amazing.

Andrea said...

Thank you for this story. I have in this past week alone, had my aunt and my little sister lose their babies. It is such a hard thing to experience. It is wonderful to see the love that everyone has for you and how the knowledge of the gospel is helping you through it. I hope the very best for you both and I know that this experience will touch many lives as it has touched mine.

amy said...

My name is Amy Jo Brumbaugh, and I only met Cali for a very short time when I was on a visit for Uppercase Living in May. We had the opportunity to have dinner together as a group. Deb and I were privileged enough to be in the car with her and Sarah on the way to and from dinner. We laughed and talked like we were old friends. I could so easily see what a wonderful person she was, and what an awesome mom she was ready to be. She spoke so fondly of Mac already. I was just devastated when Deb shared the news from convention of this terrible loss. Karen Smith then shared the blog with me. My heart bleeds for all of you. I am so thankful you are a faith based loving family. You will get through this, and it is a blessing to see the love and trust you have in our Lord. It is so wonderful for you to share this site with others. I trust it will help in your healing. Cali and Josh, Keep the Faith…I wish there was more I (we) could do. God Bless all of you!

Anonymous said...

I'm another friend of a friend of a friend... you're story is one of strength, courage, admiration and so much more. You have left a permanant mark on my heart and I will forever remember your precious little family. What amazing faith you have - I see it just in your pictures. Thank you for sharing this trying time...you truly are remarkable in my eyes!

Aaron (Beav) & MeKell Leavitt said...

We are so sorry for your loss. We can't even imagine what you are going through, but at the same time are amazed at your strength. You have been so privileged to be able to bear one of our Saviors' most choice spirits. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Weight Family said...

What an angel that truly touched my heart. I don't know you but i am crying tears and saying prayers for you. God bless you and your litte one. Find peace in the knowledge that Families are Forever! -Jami

Stacie said...

I too am a mother of a stillborn. This blog just brought back every single feeling of that day in our lives when we lost our little Faith. I love this idea, and I think I will do it for us. Please know...I know what you are going through... and it does get easier! There isn't a day that goes by that you don't think about your sweet baby, but you do heal and it becomes something absolutely wonderful to talk about to others. I always felt from the second I found out that Faith wasn't alive anymore that I was going through this experience to not only learn of the Atonement of our Savior, but to also be there to help others when they go through hard times. It is such an amazing experience, and as sad as it was, I was so grateful for it. It makes you so grateful that you have the gospel in your lives, imagine not having that. It not only brought our family closer, but it made me cherish my babies after. Your next pregnancy will be very hard, and you will wonder the entire time, but go to your Dr. and ask for tests and ultrasounds. It will bring so much comfort. I am so sorry for your loss, I truly understand. Just know that many prayers are being offered on your behalf. I would love to email back and forth, if you are willing. I would love to hear your story from your words. I would love to talk with you, we have something in common that is so hard, but so wonderful. We both have perfect babies! Please email me, littlethomasfamily@msn.com.

You should contact Robert Silver at U of U hospital once you get the autopsy information back, he will be able to go over it with you word for word and explain it all. When the time comes and you choose to get pregnant again, he is also doing a study on mom's like us, you should contact him about that as well. In due time. He will really be able to close a door, and give you answers, when you are ready.

Please email me, I would love to talk with you.

Paula said...

I found you through the family of 3 blog. Thank you for sharing your story. I am still in tears... don't really know what to say...May God bless you and keep you.

benjam said...

I'm not one for tears, but I have to say, your story brought tears to my eyes, as hard as I tried to fight them back, it just couldn't be done.

We recently had a baby, and the thought of going through what you went through... I can't even express the sadness it brings me.

You showed amazing super human strength, and the deep love a person can only have for a child.

May you have many more children and tell them the story of their older brother.

Bridget said...

I found your blog and started to read through Mac's story and I thought that Josh looked familiar and I kept reading and noticed what Jake wrote at the side and realized that this was Josh Hinckley from the Taylorsville 4th ward. We used to live down the street from your parents and I was so saddened that you had to go through the process of burying a child. While the experiences are some that you would otherwise not be priviledged to experience it is still a hard thing to go through. It was 6 years ago July 31 that we were the ones burying our little girl. You are blessed to have the pictures that you do, they turned out wonderfully,what a great service. You can feel such a sweet spirit just reading about your experience. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Jared & Bridget Wintle

Anonymous said...

You don't know who I am, I work with a girl that your husband went to highschool with. She showed me your blog, and I want you to know that for the last few days you have been in my heart. I have cried for you and my heart breaks for you. I have two little ones of my own and from a mother to a mother, I am so sorry. But you have strenghten my testimony so much. You have no idea. The Savior has a plan for all of us and I don't know why this was yours, but I know that He is holding your little Mac. He is beautiful, by the way. Hold on to the Saviors love.

Katie Hall
chrisandkatie.fam@gmail.com

Kim said...

You don't know me, but I am a Granger graduate and found this blog through friends. But more than I am a Granger graduate I am the proud mother of a beautiful little boy who was born still on December 30, 2005, just 2 days after our 1st anniversary. How devastating it is to lose a child and even more so when there seems to be no explanation. Lean on your Father in Heaven as well as each other, I know that I will see my beautiful little boy again as will you. The knowledge that Families are Forever is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. If you ever need someone to talk to, please contact me through my blog and we can exchange email addresses. Cherish your memories of your pregnancy, talk about him often and reflect upon his beautiful face, this will truly help. I would also like to recommend a book I found to be a great comfort, "Gone to Soon" I purchased it at Seagull Book. It was written for families that had lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth or shortly after birth. I highly recommend it there are many quotes to help bring comfort and peace. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kim & Brent North

runningfan said...

I'm a stranger to you, too, but found your blog through a friend who lost a baby early last year (onetinymiracle.blogspot.com). This blog is such a sweet tribute to your baby. Best wishes to you and your family as you grieve his loss.

Wolf Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I lost a child in May of this year, my baby was only 14 weeks and when I delivered him, he only weighed one ounce, but wow how that one ounce will forever weigh on my heart. Your sons photos are precious, I plan to link others back to your site. I pray each person that reads your site gains comfort and peace in the way I did. Upon the birth of my son a couple of photos were taken, I have not seen these photos, but currently they are being sent to me. I feel I am ready to see him, the last day I saw his body was the day we laid him in his hand made casket created by his grandmother. Again Thank you for sharing your son with others. God Bless you and your husband each day you wake.

Power Up Love said...

Would you please consider sharing Mac's Story sharing your story, struggles, to be posted on www.PowerUpLove.com? There are other people going through the same sort of things. It encourages others to hear when other people have the same desires, same disappointments, and same struggles.

We don’t rejoice in other people’s struggles or anything, but we rejoice in the fact that we’re not alone in carrying our burdens. We’re uplifted when we know someone is praying specifically re: particular areas in our life, just as they are encouraged knowing we’re praying for them. My heart aches when I see and realize that if I cry when my friends cry, hurt when they hurt, and I’m human…imagine how God responds to us when we’re hurting and we turn to Him for solace. What a revelation that is! Jesus is such a great listener, especially when our mind is racing..

Blessings...

Michelle said...

I just "met" your sweet Baby Mac through this blog. I cried and cried as I watched the slideshows and read his story. My little Benjamin died under very similar circumstances last November. He was 38 weeks - weighed 7 lbs. 3 ozs. His heart stopped beating because of knots in the cord.
I am LDS, too, and relate so much to your beautiful expressions of faith and hope! Thank you for sharing your story. It has strengthened me today. Please know that I am sending loving thoughts and {hugs} your way.
Your sister in sorrow,
Michelle

Mindy said...

I honestly thought I was strong enough to look at your blog while at work. I was wrong, I cried and cried. I recently had a baby and can imagine your pain. Baby Mac is beautiful! I am LDS and live in SLC, I just wanted to let you know that I am sending much love and many prayers your way. Baby's trully are a blessing and I hope you will have another new baby soon.

boltefamily said...

Still thinking of mac and praying for all of you!

Mandy Rose said...

I know I commented on your site earlier today, but I couldn't stop thinking about you, Baby Mac, and your family all day. This site has really touched me. I have my own 17 month old son and can not imagine what you must have gone through. I am not even sure you still check this site. I hope that you do because I want you to know that your site has changed me. I had to wake up my son from his nap after reading your blog, just so I could hold him. I wrote a post on Baby Mac because I really feel like all mommy's should take the chance to read about this amazing little child and the strength that you and your husband showed. God bless! My site is: jeffandmandyrose.blogspot.com

julianne orth said...

what a heartbreaking story. You probably don't know me, I am Davey Orgill's sister. It just broke my heart to read the story of your little angel. what a special little boy, you should be proud to be his parents.

Katelyn said...

I don't know you but I ended up finding your blog. I am so sorry about what happened. I know for a fact that he is watching over you in heaven and that he will be able to play baseball someday with his dad. Heavenly Father needed him, he is a very special boy. Thank you for sharing, I will keep you in my prayers.
littlekdbug.blogspot.com

Lindsey said...

wow! I dont know what else to say! You are amazing people for being so strong! this gospel TRULY is amazing... REALLY, where would we be without it???

April said...

OH I am touched by such a sweet post and sweet memorial for Mac. My name is April Maw, I am a mother of a angel baby as well. Harrison was born Oct 28,2008 at only 21 weeks. I was very sick, he was not. I pray you can find peace and know that there are mothers just like you and me to help you through this. Please feel free to visit me and my family anytime www.mawfam.blogspot.com or my Harry's blog www.harrysinheaven.blogspot.com. You'll be in my prayers. April

Anonymous said...

I am so touched by this blog. My name is Jennifer Tanner and I am the mother of 3 children. My lasr one, Brighton was born at 30 weeks. We came very close to losing him. Thankfully he is a beautiful, big 5 year old today. I can not even begin to imagine the heartache that you are going through. You will be in my prayers always. I pray that you can find peace and comfort. Jennifer

Joe said...

SO....I sat here and stared at the screen for a few minutes. What can you say after you see and read this?

I don't know what GOD's plan is. I know this world is vastly different from what He had originally planned. This whole stupid sin thing...breaks our hearts and His too. So I don't know what His plan is. But I decided long ago to stake my life and everything I am or ever will be on His promise that HE IS IN CHARGE!
He has shown me great mercy and love and grace...much more so than I could ever deserve.I am so thankful....my good job, my home, my beautiful wife, my precious, precious Son.
Josh, Cali....I'm sorry that you had to walk down this dark path for a while. I think you already know that GOD's love and mercy and grace is bigger than anything we might face....easy for me to say, tough for you to live. But you ARE living!
I look forward to meeting the three of you when we go Home. Till then, I pray for you to be completely and totally enveloped in His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Anonymous said...

You probably don't know me but I am a friend of the landers, Baby Mac has touched my life. I now have a new Understanding of how fragile life can be. He left a big mark on the world.

Celeste said...

I went to high school with Calli and she was in my stake growing up. We were never particularly close but I would call her my friend. Baby Mac's story has changed my life. I was openly crying as I read his story. Calli has always been a faithful girl with a strong testimony but I believe how you hold up during life's trials shows who you really are. Calli is an inspiration to me. As a mother of two I understand the love you feel for that child the moment you feel them in your stomach. So to Calli and her husband may God bless you both and thank you so much for sharing your story although I'm sure it can be very painful.

Lynne said...

Dear Josh and Cali...You don't know me at all, but I know a little of you because we just went through your story three weeks ago. Everything expressed in this blog are our exact feelings and wants and wishes; our exact heart ache and loss and hope. I know a little time has passed for you, and I pray that as you continue to heal that wonderful baby Mac's spirit will continue to sustain you. Our little Mariah Grace touched us in much the same way; I think all of Heavenly Father's children who come and go like this are soooooooo very precious, as you two must be, as our Jennie and Brian are. May He hold you close in the palm of His hand until Baby Mac and Mariah can all be returned to yours (and our) arms to be together forever!! If you want to meet Mariah Grace and her family, she's at Heavenlyhome.blogspot.com

Natalie said...

I went to high school with Cali. I read this blog about Baby Mac over a year ago, and just came back to read it again (and cry again). In September 2010 my husband's cousin, Kyle, and his wife, Whitney, went through the same thing. I didn't realize Cali's story was SO similar to theirs until I came back today to read it for the second time.

They are LDS as well, they were a couple days away from the due date, they sang and talked to the baby in Whitney's womb, felt him kicking and being lively. The next morning they had a routine test as well, and they sadly couldn't find the heart beat. His name was Maximus, Max for short. So close to Mac. I believe (?) he too had an umbilical cord incident. He too had passed away during the night and they thought he was just sleeping the next morning. Their story is just SO similar to Cali and Josh's, I can't even believe it. Although Whitney and Kyle were heartbroken, they too relied on Heavenly Father and the knowledge of the Gospel that they will have their little Max in their arms again one day.

Also, if I got the right information from someone, Cali and Josh now have a little girl. I'm so happy for them! Whitney and Kyle are due in July with their own little girl :)

Thanks so much for this blog; I will have to tell Whitney about it. The poem by Josh's brother is beautiful and made me cry even harder!

How great it is to know the Plan of Salvation! Loves to you Cali and Josh!

Stephanie and Daniel said...

My name is Stephanie. I got the address to your blog from my cousin. She thought it appropriate because a little over a month ago I went through something eerily similar.
I had gone to my OB the day before and everything was perfectly normal. My little boy's heart beat was strong and he was active. The next day I hadn't felt him move and the next thing I knew I was sobbing in the ultra sound room. My Adam had died sometime during the night as well. He was 9 months 'old'.
I was not as strong as you and opted for a c-section. I wouldn't have had the strength to go through labor. The autopsy also found the cause of his death as a cord accident. It was twisted. He was 6lbs 13oz and 19in long. Almost identical to his older brother.
They shouldn't make coffins that small. No mother should ever have to figure out what to put her son in before he is buried. No mother should never see the eyes of her perfect little child. And no mother should ever have to give one last departing kiss to the boy she has bonded with for so long - given everything she has, for him.
My world crashed 6 weeks ago. I have no idea how to put the pieces back together. I feel like I'm in a fog that, no matter how hard I try, I can't get out of. It feels a lot better hearing that I am not as alone as I feel. I am so so sorry for your loss of Mac and it gives me a lot of comfort saying that I know exactly how you feel.

Anonymous said...

My name is Matthew Thibault. I ran across your story and it touched me so much i had to respond. Im 16 and I live in texas so I'm a complete stranger but your story is just amazing. As a young christian I've been reading a lot and trying to grow in the word. My dad is a pastor and i would really like to be either a pastor like him or a missionary. My past few weeks i guess have been rough because its so hard to find anyone who really cares about jesus or the bible. I get discouraged and sometimes it seems like real christians are going extinct but when i came across your story it gave me so much encouragement. To see a young man and a young woman so committed to god and to each other is rare and I have to say it is a tremendous blessing. My big sister was badly disabled from birth and my little cousin died from premature birth but i am very sure i don't understand the hurt that you have felt. The fact that you can take it as a blessing means a lot to me and i don't think i will forget your story or your precious son anytime soon. Thank you so much for your story and stay strong in the lord because these videos and pictures make an impact. Im not even sure if any one checks this site any more but I have to say Thank You