I was 18 weeks pregnant when my daughter was diagnosed with Turner’s Syndrome (TS). For those of you who are unfamiliar with TS it’s the missing of all or part of the second X chromosome. My daughter also had a large Cystic Hygroma which measured 40 mm and Fetal Hydrops. The Maternal-Fetal Specialist told my husband and I that “with the combination of Cystic Hygroma coupled with Fetal Hydrops poses an extremely poor prognosis with the risk for fetal demise approaching nearly 100%.” We were told that we would lose our baby within the next 4 weeks. Just minutes before we found out that we were expecting a little girl, moments later we find out that she would likely die. Our hearts were broken.
Over the following weeks I remained hopeful. I researched and read as many of the very few success stories I could find. I had to continue fighting for my little girl. As her mother, I felt like if I had accepted that she was going to die, that would mean I had given up on her. I would never be able to live with myself knowing that I had just given up. I prayed for answers, prayed for the strength to get through this. I prayed, begged, and pleaded with God to heal Gracie. After time, I accepted that this was entirely out of my control and in God’s hands.
On January 30, 2014 we sadly learned that our daughters heart had stopped beating. Just moments after the ultrasound started, I knew something was wrong. It never took long to find Gracie’s heartbeat, ever. She always had such a strong heartbeat, even a week before she passed her heart rate was perfect.
On February 1, 2014 Gracelyn Lee was born still. After learning Gracie had passed, I decided to be induced. I was in labor for over 18 hours. My husband and I wanted to do what any “normal” parents would, so we held our daughter. We counted her tiny fingers and toes. 10 perfect fingers and 10 perfect toes. Gracie had the most perfect little lips and a piggy nose just like her Mommy. All we could do was stare at her in awe.
The pain of delivering a stillborn is one that cannot be simply put into words. The hardest part for me was knowing that I would not be hearing the beautiful sound of Gracie’s cries, instead I only heard mine. Then it was time to leave the hospital, with empty arms. We were back to being a family of 2 instead of a hopeful family of 3. The realization of our loss continues to grow more and more with each passing day, as does the pain that comes along with it. The only comfort we have is knowing that Gracelyn is safe in Heaven.
The loss of my daughter is still very new to me. I’m living life one day at a time, just focusing on the journey to my healing. Everyday I remind myself that everything will be okay, it just takes time. I will forever hold a place for Gracie in my heart, she will always be my first child, my first little girl. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about and miss her.