Shannon S


Mom to Lilliana Francesca

December 15, 2012

Springfield, Pennsylvania

My husband and I were thrilled to find out the awesome news that in May 2012, we were expecting. I had a wonderful pregnancy with no morning sickness. I continued to exercise, ate healthy and did all the things I was supposed to. Because of my age (39 at the time) I was monitored at lot, beginning at 32 weeks. I was going twice a week for ultrasounds, non-stress tests, etc. All looked great! Lilliana even passed her bio-physical with flying colors. We were so happy and anticipating her arrival. We had just about finished her nursery, her clothes were washed and waiting for her.

On Tuesday December 11, 2012, I went in for my first weekly appointment and had an ultrasound and NST done–all looked great. Wednesday evening my parents came over and brought dinner, and Lilliana was dancing all around inside me. I went to work Thursday and was busy, running around, and couldn’t remember really feeling her but thought because I was walking around, she must have been moving. After work on Thursday, I went home and told my hubby that I didn’t remember feeling her but maybe because she was bigger and had less room (from what I was told), or because I was very active that day. He agreed.

The next morning I woke up very early and realized my princess had not woken me up kicking through the night like she normally does… my husband got me OJ and that didn’t help, so I got up and got dressed for my doctor’s appointment and left early–arriving an hour before my scheduled time. I told the nurse I couldn’t feel her–they put me on the monitor and when they didn’t pick up a heartbeat I knew in my heart something was wrong… they then took me to another room to do an ultrasound and it was in that moment that I knew I was changed forever, when my doctor came in and looked at me and said “I’m sorry hon”… I crumpled, began screaming and crying and asking WHY… my world crashed around me and there was nothing I could do.

My husband came to the doctor’s office and I felt like everything was in slow motion, that it was all a nightmare. We went right to the hospital and I remember punching the dashboard and being so angry and not understanding WHY. The next day and a half is a blur–inducing me, people in and out, crying, feeling numb, feeling I was watching this happen to someone else, feeling empty. With the induction started, I didn’t realize still what I had to do–deliver my beautiful girl who I would have to greet and then say goodbye. Not fair….

Friday night I finally fell asleep only to be woken up at 5 am to have my water broken. The pushing started around 9 am. My sweet baby girl Lilliana Francesca was born on Saturday December 15, 2012 at 10:58 am, weighing 4 lbs 6 oz and measuring 17 1/4 inches long. She came to us with one eye open, and the other closed–winking at us and from what I believe, telling us she was okay. I pray every day she is. I was then whisked away for a D&E but she was never alone–my husband stayed with her, as did my mom, sister and dad. My husband’s family also got to see her, and I’m so glad they all saw her and that she is real and HERE and part of all of us now. When I finally got to hold her, I didn’t want to let her go. But I knew I had to and that may have been the hardest thing I’ll ever do in my entire life was to let her out of my arms. We had a beautiful mass and service for her, and now I sleep with the purple blanket she was wrapped in at the hospital – it’s with me every night.  Still.

I slowly returned to work. I work at the hospital where this all happened, there were (and still are) days it’s extremely difficult to walk through the doors, knowing what I did here for Lilliana, and this is the place where I had to say goodbye to her.  But then, I think about what Lilliana has done for me (and this thought or feeling did NOT come easy, or right away, and I sometimes still get angry and mad and cry and say she isn’t the one to teach mommy a lesson, that was supposed to be my job to teach her all good things!).  But I am here. I must live for my girl, she wants that, and I know I will never be the same person and am forever changed–but maybe that’s not a bad thing and Lily Bear taught us all something. We don’t have any answers as to why this happened or what went wrong, but perhaps she was too pure for this world. There was no cause that we could see or doctor’s could determine, nothing.  She was pretty, perfect, and so beautiful.  I miss her every day of my life and she’s in my mind in all I do, say and feel. She’s my daughter, my firstborn, and always will be.

It’s been a difficult few years, and I look at myself as the Shannon before Lilliana, and the Shannon after.  Two different people in a sense.  I can laugh a little easier now, but I can still cry at the drop of a hat.  I can appreciate things again, but I still am angry that my first baby is not here with us.  I can be happy for those that have babies or have babies on the way, but I also still think why us and do they know what could happen?  I’ll never have questions answered, or reasons why and that will forever be part of my strife.  A part of my heart left me on 12/15/12, and it’s forever with our girl.

People say oh you will get over it.  I am here to say, no, you don’t.  You learn to live with it, deal with it, move around it some days, and some days you let it go and consume you.  But you do go on.

To my angel Le Le, Mommy and Daddy miss you and love you more than words can say. Your name means pure, beautiful and free–so be free sweetie, and I know you are watching all of us–mommy, daddy, Lexi, your new baby sister growing, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all of our family and friends, as our sweet guardian angel. I love you.  Love, Mommy

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