Born still March 22, 2012 at 39 weeks
I am the face of a baby so loved and wanted, that was suddenly robbed from me for absolutely no reason, full term.
It didn’t take long for me to get pregnant. We were so excited and so was our entire family. I had an easy pregnancy, and in fact I wondered why people complained about the side effects of pregnancy. I thought, “Hey, this is easy!” I did everything right. We planned out excitedly how to tell all of our parents and family members. We had a gender reveal gathering at our house with family the day we found out we were having a sweet little baby girl. I was given 3 baby showers. This baby was fully prepared for, loved, and had everything I and she could possibly want. My husband and I decorated her nursery so beautifully, picked out new furniture together and were so excited for her arrival. I had all her clothes and sheets washed, stroller built, swing set up, and the night I began realizing I hadn’t been feeling any movement all day, my husband was setting up her bed that would be in our room for her first few months of life. I will never forget what we were doing the night before we got the worst news we could ever receive…
The next day I decided to call my doctor first thing. I was trying not to freak out, but I knew I hadn’t felt any movement in about 24 hours. It was a Thursday morning; I had just turned 39 weeks and 1 day. I had an induction date set and I had just been to the doctor on Monday. I called and they told me to go to the hospital. My husband rushed home from work to get me and off we went. I went into triage and they took us into this little room. They put the Doppler on my belly and we sat and listened and waited. I could hear a faint heartbeat in the background and finally the nurse told me that was MY heartbeat. They confirmed there was no heartbeat and I just remember losing it, crying hysterically, yelling, “NO, NO, NO!!!!”. That moment replays in my head all the time; I go over the week leading up to her birth in great detail. I don’t sleep sometimes because of it. I just keep thinking, if I had just somehow brought on labor myself just days earlier, she would have been alive! She could have lived outside the womb, she was full term! How cruel nature can be. All you are left with is “WHY?”
They induced labor and I delivered her that night. My husband and I got to behold her and her beauty for a little over 4 hours. We held her, bathed her, dressed her, hugged and kissed and loved on her. We told her how much we loved her and how beautiful she was. She had the softest baby skin. We took pictures and got footprints and handprints made. Our close family also got to meet her and hold her. She was so very loved and will always be.
Leaving the hospital with empty arms is the worst possible feeling any mother who has just given birth could endure. I just remember shutting my eyes and plugging my ears on the way out so I wouldn’t have to see or hear any other mothers who got to keep their babies leaving the hospital with such joy. How you can go from such excitement and anticipation to such a deep, dark place where your entire world has just been turned upside down and shattered without explanation is a feeling that hasn’t gone away yet. I don’t think it ever will. We will always and forever be missing and yearning for our sweet Delaney. We are forever grateful for the short time that she was in our lives and will treasure those precious moments always.
We had a beautiful funeral for Delaney. So many people told us it was one of the most beautiful services they had ever attended. My husband gave the most amazing eulogy. I like to read it over and over because I can feel the joy we felt for her in his words. I was so proud of him that day; I don’t know how he did it. She is buried next to my grandparents, and we go visit her a few times a week. We always talk to her and tell her how much we miss her and love her. We tell her to watch over her little brother or sister that is on the way.
We consider ourselves parents of a baby in Heaven. She was real, she existed, and she will forever be our first born baby. We will always count her as a child of ours, living or not. We are still going through the many feelings of grief: shock, anger, sadness, depression, guilt, and mourning. The one constant that will always remain is the question of “Why?” Maybe one day we will know, but what we do know is the only thing that separates us from her is time.
You can contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.