Mom to twins, a boy and a girl, lost at 18 weeks on March 30, 2006
Mila Louise, stillborn at 41 weeks on July 1, 2011
In 2004, when I was 27, my husband and I began trying to conceive. After months of not having any sign of a menstrual cycle, we were referred to a reproductive endocrinologist. After many more months of brutally high doses of fertility drugs we finally got pregnant through intrauterine insemination. We were thrilled, however terrified at the same time because over stimulation of my ovaries caused me to become pregnant with quadruplets. At the suggestion of our perinatal doctor, we reduced the pregnancy to twins at 12 weeks. At 14 weeks and then again at 16 weeks my water broke. It was a gushing of fluid, but I thought I had incontinence and never considered that it could be amniotic fluid. On March 27, 2006, at 18 weeks, we went in for our level II ultrasound and found that neither baby had any amniotic fluid. Our baby boy did not have a heartbeat and our baby girl was alive but struggling with no amniotic fluid remaining. I had a D&E and began the journey to become parents once again. I was devastated, angry, and afraid, but we would not stop until we had our baby.
In fall of 2006 we conceived twins, again using IUI. Our beautiful babies, Charlie and Sofie, were born healthy at 35 weeks 4 days on May 31, 2007. This was the most exciting, thrilling, miraculous day of my life. Not one day goes by that I don’t thank God for these two. They are our greatest blessing!
In the fall of 2010, after my body had resumed normal menstrual cycles on its own, we decided to try for one more baby without the use of fertility drugs. To our amazement, we conceived right away and had a beautiful, healthy pregnancy.
We were expecting a little girl. She was another miracle and the single baby I was so excited to have. I couldn’t wait to carry her in the sling all day, nurse just one baby, and delight in our life with our four year old twins and a newborn.
On Friday, July 1, 2011, our beautiful baby girl arrived silently. She was stillborn. After 18 hours of fairly normal labor, Mila entered and then left our world. She was not breathing and they could not resuscitate her. She and I had been attacked by a deadly bacteria. Our daughter’s lungs were so full of infection when I delivered her that there was no room for a first breath. After 45 minutes they told us there was nothing they could do. In the meantime, I was bleeding, and they could not stop it. I had an emergency hysterectomy and was in a drug induced coma for 12 days. I almost died. I asked my dad a few weeks ago if I also had respiratory failure in addition to renal failure. He said I had all kinds of failure. My body was shutting down. I awoke on July 12, 2011 and left the hospital on July 19, 2011. Since then I have been trying to find comfort, meaning, purpose, and peace while we grieve the loss of our baby and try to rejoice that I am alive today.
I have so many thoughts, so many emotions. They change not only daily, but every hour and every minute. My brain hurts from so much thinking, and my eyes burn from crying. What I hate today is that as much as I dreamed and imagined how great our family would be when she arrived, I can’t picture her being here now. I don’t know what she would look like, what she would be doing, or how Charlie and Sofie would be relating to her. All the things we were so excited to experience have faded. Today I am not the mother of twins and a newborn baby. I am a mother whose baby has died.
I held Mila for just a few moments, kissed her and said goodbye while doctors and nurses scurried gracefully around me. I don’t remember what she looked like then, I only have the pictures my husband took with his phone and the professional photos taken by the nonprofit organization, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I have studied these pictures, trying to burn into my brain the image of my baby so that I never forget how she looked. She was a perfect mix of Charlie and Sofie, of my husband and me. Unlike my little preemie twins, Mila weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces. She was round and cute, with her daddy’s cheeks and my nose. I didn’t get to look at her body, touch her skin, or hold her until she felt heavy in my arms. My husband held her the most, especially while I was in surgery. He cried all over her and then handed her over to her big sister, brother, and her devastated grandparents and aunt. Other people held her too, my aunts, my brother and sister in law, my grandmother. I’m glad she was held by them when I couldn’t be there. I will always cherish the life I held while she grew inside me. I’ve always loved being pregnant, and I hope I never forget how as my belly grew, so did my love for Mila.
Today we are living one day at a time, while being forever aware that Mila is here somehow. Her spirit is all around us, yet we miss her so dearly. We dream of another baby, but can’t bring ourselves to believe it could happen or would be easy. We have been hurt deeply and wish to concentrate on the life and the love around us. We know that we will see our sweet Mila again someday, and pray for peace and comfort as we live our new life without her.
Laura blogs at agirlandaboyblog.blogspot.com.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.