Mom to Azalea

January 9th, 2011

Waianae, Hawaii

On Saturday January 8, 2011 my life was forever changed. I was 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant, one day before my due date. I woke up and realized that my daughter, Azalea, hadn’t moved since the night before. I called the hospital (Kaiser) and they told us to come in.

My husband, Bradford, picked our son Xeden and I up and we drove over to the hospital. We thought maybe she was resting up for her grand entrance into this world so we didn’t really rush to the hospital. We even stopped and ate at Wendy’s because I thought if they were to induce me or do a c-section I wouldn’t be able to eat.

We got to the hospital around 1. The nurse tried to find Azalea’s heartbeat with the doppler but she couldn’t. Well the doctor’s always had a hard tme finding it and they said it was because she was in an awkward position and my placenta was in the front. The nurse went to get the doctor and the ultrasound machine. I was so excited because we were going to see Azalea for the first time since my 20 weeks ultrasound. Once her picture popped up on the screen I noticed there was no heartbeat. I just knew it. Normally you can see it moving so fast but on this day there was no movement at all. The doctor looked for what seemed like forever and finally said, “Unfortunately…” and that is all I remember.

My husband called his mom and I called mine and we had them call everyone else. I had a c-section with Xeden so they asked if I wanted a repeat or a VBAC. I chose the VBAC because that was my original plan and I didn’t want things to change. There was too much craziness going on. Things weren’t happening how they should have been and I needed some control.

They induced me with the foley bulb and pitocin. At around midnight, the contractions got to be too much so I got the epidural. I couldn’t sleep though. I had my 2 sister’s, a friend and her mom, who is like my own mom in the room with me. While they were fast asleep I broke down. I held my big belly and cried. “Why? Why is this happening to me?” I thought. I did everything right. I never drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes or did drugs. I ate pretty healthy besides having a few mocha’s that I craved. I went walking and I only gained 20 pounds! What did I do to deserve this?!

I stayed up all night just praying that I would wake up and this would all be a dream. Well it wasn’t because at 9:26 am Azalea was born sleeping weighing 5 lbs. 6.4 oz. and 19 inches long. She was so beautiful. She looked just like Xeden and I. She had so much hair and her skin was light. She was so small though. I wouldn’t stop bleeding. They rushed me to the operating room because they thought my old c-section scar had ruptured. I had another breakdown. I asked the doctor, “Are you going to take my uterus out?! I just lost my daughter and I’m not going to be able to have more children?!” This could not be happening!

They found out that it wasn’t my uterus but I had in fact tore in 2 different places and they just had the hardest time stitching it up. I lost half of my blood and I needed a transfusion. On top of that, I got an infection! Could things get any worse?

Well we stayed in the hospital until Tuesday the 11th and spent as much time as we could with Azalea. We took lots of pictures and the hospital did as well. Leaving her at the hospital was so hard. My sister had explained to me that that was only her physical body but her spirit would always be with us. That made it a little easier until we got home. Seeing all of her things and not having her home was tremendously difficult. I decided that I needed to go to church! I needed God in my life. He was the only who could help me at that point.

We found out at my 4 week post-partum appointment that Azalea had Asymmetric Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) which was caused by her placenta and umbilical cord not developing correctly between 4-6 weeks gestation. She wasn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients. What she was getting was only going to her brain and heart in order to keep her alive which is why she was so small. She was such a fighter. Her little heart just couldn’t take it anymore. God decided she needed to be in heaven with Him where she belonged.

Azalea has changed me for the better. I have started writing angel names in the sand here in Hawaii. I love helping out other angel mommies. I know how hard it is to find some happiness in a time like this. Even if it just gives them a little bit of peace, that makes me so happy. One day I will see Azalea again. Until then, I will continue to help out my fellow baby loss mamas in anyway I can. I want Azalea to look down on me and say proudly, “That is my mommy!” (:

Nicole blogs at

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  1. Sending you a big hug from San Francisco. I lost twin girls earlier this year and am having a very difficult time. This site is comforting to know we are not alone and I know my angels, Tierney & Eden, are watching over me and in my heart always. I too required several blood transfusions and emergency surgery. I was clinically dead but I lived for a reason and I promised my babies I would honor their memory by raising awareness and fundraising for the march of dimes. We had our first walk last Saturday. If you every feeling like writing I am here. We are in the same club no one wants to join

  2. Melissa Allen says:

    I just wanted u to know that u are a very strong, beautiful woman! I know Azalea is so proud to have u as her mommy! And u have done wonderful things for us angel mommies! I loved my angel daughters name in the sand that u did! It was beautiful! Although our daughters passings were different, (mine was 5 1/2 months old(sids)), they are slao similiar because as parents, we have the same feelings! My <3 goes out to u! Please stay strong!xxxx!

  3. Caroline says:

    So very sorry for the loss of your precious little girl. You are very brave and strong and it’s so wonderful that you’ve found a way to give back to others who experience this pain. It shows what a great girl your little girl left you with. Wishing you gentle and healing days ahead.

  4. She is proud!! Wishing you peaceful days……

  5. Tracey says:

    My heart breaks for you, as your loss of sweet Azalea is all too familiar…Much love and support to you.

  6. I send a hug to you! Your story is heartbreaking but know that you are not alone! You are a strong person to endure such a loss. I pray that God will continue tog ive you strength and comfort. Your angel will always be with you. I always keep that in my heart.

  7. My heart breaks for you! Your story is so similar to mine! My little girl passed away at 39weeks 6 days! Also from IUGR. She only weighed 4lbs3oz. Much love and support!

  8. I am so sorry. Losing a baby is truly the greatest pain anyone could endure.

  9. Hi Nicole –

    Thank you for sharing Azalea’s story here. I thank you so much for writing my Tylee Eryn’s name in the sand and I especially love my block letters.

    Tylee was born sleeping on 7/6/11 at 38 weeks after a routine check-up revealed no heartbeat. The hell of losing a child is something no mother should go through but at least by sharing our stories, we are not going through it totally alone.

    Prayers and peace to you!

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