Mom to Madelyn Rose
July 21, 2014
When the ultrasound tech told us we were having a girl, my jaw dropped. My automatic thought was, “I am not very girly. I can’t even dress myself, much less dress a girl. I hate bows. How am I going to do this?” Joel put me at ease with a trip to Old Navy after our ultrasound. He was ready to shop for his baby girl. Once I saw all the cute dresses and outfits, I thought, “I can do this. She will always look cuter than I will. But I can do this.”
I loved being pregnant. My favorite memory was lying on the couch with Joel. As usual, he was talking and rubbing my belly. He leaned in to tell her a secret and BOOM! Baby girl hit him in the face. I’m not sure if it was a punch, kick, elbow or booty bump, but it was the funniest thing. Besides the constant morning sickness, that lasted my whole pregnancy; everything was great.
Thursday, July 17th was my last appointment before my due date. Everything was amazing with Madelyn; her heartbeat was good and she was ready to drop at any moment!
I realized that Saturday that she hadn’t been very active at all. I didn’t think much of it because I was told that towards the end they run out of room and don’t move as much. As we went along with our plans for Sunday, I began to panic because there was no movement at all. My mom and sister told me to go to the hospital and get checked out. My mom said, “They will send you home once they make sure everything is fine.” Joel and I grabbed my hospital bag and Madelyn’s bag and headed to the hospital. We drove in silence, never letting go of each others’ hands. I got into a robe and waited for the nurse as Joel stood next to me. They put the heart monitor on my belly. The nurse thought she found a heartbeat but later realized it was my heartbeat she found. They told us they were bringing an ultrasound machine. I could see the pain in Joel’s face but I just thought to myself, “They will find it. That nurse didn’t know what she was doing.” A different nurse came in saying that the ultrasound machine they wanted to use was being used in a C-Section so they would try with the basic machine. She searched for about 10 seconds, then grabbed my hand. “I’m so sorry,” she said. I was confused. Sorry about what? I looked at Joel and just saw tears. I remember telling him that when they brought the other machine it would be fine. He knew. I was in denial. After the second machine confirmed that Madelyn didn’t have a heartbeat, I became numb. Joel took action by calling my mom and his [mom].
We were told I would be induced that next morning, July 21st; our baby’s due date. They told me to rest. Trying to sleep that night was impossible; I slept a total of 5 minutes, if that. As soon as my eyes closed I would wake up in a panic. There was no way this was happening. I could just see the pain in Joel’s face, but there was nothing I could say or do to make it better. How could I? I was so numb and checked out that I didn’t understand what was going on myself.
Everything was a blur. I remember my mom, dad and sisters walking in, as well as Joel’s mom and sister. I remember begging for an epidural, something I didn’t do with my son. How was I supposed to deal with the physical pain on top of the emotional? I couldn’t deal. Joel was amazing the whole time. Through his pain he was able to comfort me.
After a few hours, it was time to push. It seems like I only pushed twice before she was out at 4:17 p.m. on July 21, 2014. There was nothing. She didn’t cry. That was the worst silence I have ever experienced. The doctor placed her body on my chest and I lost it. I put my arms around her and just cried. Joel cut the cord and looked at her with such love and amazement. She looked just like him. They had the same nose and same lips; she was Joel Jr.
It was obvious right away that we lost her to a cord accident; a prolapsed cord. It means that the cord came before she did, therefore cutting off her oxygen when she was making her way down my cervix. I have read that it happens in about 1% of pregnancies. We were that 1%.
We were blessed enough to have her in the room with us until the next day. As much as I wanted to love on her and hold her, I couldn’t. I was in such shock that I was emotionless. That is something that I regret to this day. Joel talked to her, hugged her, and took pictures of her just as any new, proud dad would.
Having to let her go was the absolute hardest thing I have ever had to do. We were supposed to go home with our daughter; everything was ready for her. During my pregnancy, I never imagined not coming home with our baby girl.
I thank God for both of our families. My parents and sisters took over the funeral arrangements and even went shopping for our angel’s outfit. Joel’s family was also great. His sister offers me so much support because, sadly, she experienced something similar.
This last year has been the hardest year of my life. There is a pain in my heart that will never go away. A parent should never have to bury their child. But in the process of dealing with Madi’s death, I have realized that I gained an angel. She is with us at all times. Jordan knows he has an angel sister and talks about her often. Joel and I have learned, after a very difficult time, that we can lean on each other. We are parents to a beautiful angel daughter. We will always wonder how different life would be if she was here, but we know that she is looking down on us and knows how much we love her and miss her.
You can email Crystal at firstname.lastname@example.org