still born

‘When’s the baby coming?’ My face turns red in Starbucks. I’m not pregnant, and I’ve been struggling to be.’: Woman battling infertility reminds us ‘words have weight,’ vows to ‘never give up’

“I manage a smile and lie. ‘Soon.’ I rush out the door, no coffee in hand, and cry in my jeep. Those extra 40 pounds are grief weight. My body starts to feel like a cruel joke. ‘When are you having kids?’ ‘Have kids already!’ ‘I’m ready to be a grandma. The clock is ticking!’ they say. But when I stillbirth? No questions. No words. Just silence. My husband battles silent resent. There’s no baby, so there’s no marriage. These weren’t the vows I signed up for.”

‘No one can take this pain away, so I must take it away myself. Lay me next to my daughter.’: Mom speaks candidly of ‘suicidal thoughts’ in wake of stillbirth, ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anyone’

“There are no visible wounds, but the pain courses through my entire being. I breathe in through my nose, blow out of my mouth. I’m alive, but being alive without my daughter hurts. I can’t wipe the tears away. It’s too much effort. I can’t move, even if I wanted to. I don’t want to pee. Eat. Shower. Brush my teeth. I see my dad’s face, and he wants me here. To hold on. To live.”

‘Are you ready to hold your baby?’ She takes a deep breath, sits up as straight as she can. We’re very careful.’: Child loss photographer reminds grieving parents ‘this little life mattered’

“The room is still, almost silent. I meet their beautiful baby, I hold their baby, talk to their baby. All while taking a mental assessment of how much posing I can do. I ask who he got his beautiful wavy hair from, or his button nose or long toes. I talk, but not too much to overwhelm anyone. I work gently, efficiently. I capture every single detail. No one wants this. Their child existed. Their child was so loved, and so wanted.”

‘We were forced into an abortion. ‘Don’t hold her too close. Your warmth and heartbeat will confuse her into staying alive.’ We were left alone with our baby as the staff waited for her die.’

“I was given 2 tablets. At 3:43 p.m., I delivered a baby girl. The image seared in my mind is of her little arm stretching into the air. She was alive. ALIVE. Surely, the nurse wasn’t going to let her die, right? But as our girl fought to stay alive, nobody on staff seemed to care.”

‘There’s not just one healthy baby. There’s TWO!’ My husband fell to the floor in shock. I had a huge pit in the bottom of my stomach. ‘There must be some mistake!’ 

“She stepped out of the room to give my OB a call. My mind went crazy. She must’ve been calling for backup. I was crying in complete confusion. Two? TWINS? No one gets pregnant and thinks ‘Yay! I’m going to have babies!’ It’s always, ‘Yay! I’m going to have A baby!’ But I had this strange feeling in my chest.”

‘I just felt her fingers and toes moving!’ Those movements would be her last. I hold on to them every day.’: Mom loses daughter to Placenta Previa, says grief is a ‘life-long process’

“I sat, alone, doing an ultrasound which looked like nothing. I’d lost all of my amniotic fluid, but my baby was still alive. The doctor told me she had a 1% chance of survival and to not keep any hope. ‘After delivery, what do you want to do with her? Here’s the arrangement options.’ In my mind, I was still holding onto that 1%. It took 2 hours to fully deliver her. It was quiet, sorrowful. I leaned up at one point and could see her legs, lifeless.”

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