Mom to Ryder Benjamin

Born sleeping January 21, 2012

Greensboro, North Carolina

In May 2011 I found out I was expecting our third baby. At first I was nervous and scared since we had just relocated and we were hours from any family or friends and I was scared about my husband’s job that we had relocated for. As time went on I got really excited and when I found out I was having a boy…I was over the moon! After 2 daughters I was so happy we were going to have our son.

It was a perfect pregnancy and everything seemed to be going so well, despite being involved in two car accidents. In December, after the second car accident, they did an ultrasound just to check on Ryder and they said everything looked great except I had some extra fluid, but not to worry, that they would do another ultrasound in a couple weeks to check on it. When they didn’t mention another u/s, I assumed that meant everything was okay and it was nothing to worry about.

January 19th was my due date, the day after my birthday, so we went out for a family meal before we added another baby to the family. We went and had Mexican and while there, we were joking about how I was so big we had to scoot the table over so I could fit in the booth and that all my husband could see was the top of my stomach and how it was bouncing and rolling. Then we went to Target for a few last minute things and got ice cream. January 20th at 10 a.m. I had my 40-week check up and on the way there I was in a lot of pain; the baby was pushing on my ribs really hard, but he did that a lot so I didn’t think about it. This time it was different…I was almost in tears it hurt so bad. So I get to my apt. and the nurse asks me if I can feel the baby moving and I told her yes, he was killing my ribs! I was afraid he was going to break them. Then I go back and my midwife pulls out her Doppler and my 2 girls help put the jelly on my belly and turn it on and my midwife can’t find the heart beat, so she says it must be the batteries, she would be right back. Then all the sudden I realize that other then the pressure on my ribs I hadn’t really felt Ryder move all morning, so I start jiggling my stomach, telling him to just move for mommy…It didn’t work and I knew before my midwife came back in the room that something was terribly wrong. They tried the second Doppler, still nothing, so they bring in the portable ultrasound machine, they still can’t see what’s going on so I went to the full size and I was already crying. I knew it was too late. So they did the u/s and I just said, “There is no heartbeat,” and the ultrasound tech just touched my leg and started crying. She went to go get my midwife, who came in and gave me a hug, crying. I went back to the room and just held my girls and sobbed while they tried to get in touch with my husband. He finally showed up and when we told him there was no heartbeat, that Ryder was gone, he just fell on the floor in shock.

I was induced later that day after we had called our families and gotten the girls to a friend’s house. After 27 hours of labor, my 9 lb, 9 ounce, 22 inch baby boy was born sleeping. To this day they speculate it was a cord accident but they could not tell us for sure and his official cause of death is “unknown.”

After he was born we spent a lot of time with him. We took pictures and I gave him his first and only bath and a wonderful lady from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep came and took pictures. I never wanted to let him go, but I finally did and that was the last time I saw my baby boy. The hospital gave us a really sweet keepsake box with some locks of his hair, his hand and foot prints, all four inches of them! They also gave us his blanket and some lotion that they used for him and it smells just like he did. The staff was wonderful, supportive, considerate…I couldn’t have asked for more!

Ryder would be almost 5 months old now! I still miss him every day and wish that I had of insisted on that second ultrasound to check on fluid levels…maybe we would have seen that the cord was wrapped and we could have saved him, but what ifs and should haves will kill us if we let them, so I just try to remember that Ryder is in a better place and one day I will get to hold him and see his smile.

I love and miss you, Ryder.

An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby’s birth and then with a sigh as she closed the book, she whispered “to beautiful for earth.”


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  1. I posted the link to the Face2Face friendship group for the Piedmont area. I live in Greensboro as well and I’d love for you to be a part of our growing group.


  2. Molly Smith says:

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