Mom to Claudia Leigh
August 26, 2011
Last spring my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our third child, due in December. To be perfectly honest, I was shocked. Michael and I had talked on several occasions about having another baby but we were always undecided. After the initial shock passed, we were thrilled. Our daughters were so excited for their future sibling. We talked about it everyday, several times a day.
All of our tests and ultrasounds came back with healthy results. I did have cervical polyps that created some spotting but was reassured everything was fine, normal. Both of my previous pregnancies were effortless and magical. I loved being pregnant. It was a very special time for my husband and I; he loved doting on me.
We had a great summer of camping, swimming and outings. I felt like our baby was already here as a part of the family and these great memories. The last week of summer break my husband and I took our daughters on a road trip to North Carolina for camping, canoeing and the beach. Our last night camping I couldn’t sleep. I laid and listened to the thunderstorm outside and the river rushing next to the tent. The baby was really active, lots of hard kicks. At one point I laughed out loud and tried to wake my husband because I couldn’t believe how strong the kicks were. That was the last time I remember her moving.
The next night I was alarmed that she wasn’t moving but I was so tired from the day I dismissed my concern. The next day I started to feel anxious and by that night I was totally panicked. Bedtime was always our time together; I loved to lay in bed and feel my baby moving.
My husband stayed with our daughters while I found an OB office the next morning. My worst fear was confirmed: our baby was not alive. We immediately packed up and headed home. We cut our vacation short and never made it to the beach house.
My mom flew in while we drove home. We were in shock and disbelief; I don’t know how we made it through the next few days. Michael and I had what could be described as a nice delivery, and everything went smoothly. Claudia was born a beautiful and sunny Friday, August 26, 2011, one day before her 25th week. She weighed 1 pound 6 ounces and was perfect. I am not sure if we made the right decision, but we did not have anyone up to the hospital. We spent a few hours holding her, taking pictures and footprints and had her blessed by a chaplain. She was cremated and my mom and daughters helped pick out an urn.
It has been a rough journey. I nursed our children so when my milk came in it felt like torture. Our daughters have been our rock; they give purpose and humor to our day. They truly miss their sister they never met.
Her cause of death remains unknown. I have had panels of blood work done and found I have APS (antiphospholipid syndrome) but at this point the doctors are unsure if this would have caused Claudia’s death as I have had two healthy pregnancies.
I am still working to accept what has happened. Waves of grief and loneliness come and go along with times of understanding and gratitude that I have Claudia in my life, even though she is not here with me.
You can contact Jessica at email@example.com.