Mom to James Dean

Stillborn April 2, 2010

Golden, Colorado

Wow, where to start. We found out we were pregnant with our son in late August of 2009, just after our daughter turned 4. Once we found out we were having a boy we were very excited. We ended up getting some upsetting news in December, just before Christmas. I was at work and got a call from the Doctor saying that the blood tests came back showing that our son had Downs Syndrome. They scheduled me to do an amniocentesis not long after that. We went to have the test done and they were still confident he had Downs Syndrome. In my heart, even still to this day, I do not believe he did have it. Its not just me wishing and hoping that he didnt, it is a gut feeling (call it mothers instinct.) Right away my kids’ father thought we should get an abortion because of him being diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. But the way that I am, I was not going to go for that. I’m the type that no matter what, I will give the baby a chance at life and not take it from them no matter what happens.

The rest of the pregnancy went fairly smoothly though I was very nervous, scared and didnt know what to expect. I was still happy and so full of joy for our little baby boy about to join our family. We were in the process of getting the baby shower set up; We had everything and just needed to send out the invitations. Throughout the whole pregnancy once we got the initial test results, my Doctor treated me very badly. She didnt want to answer any of my questions or talk to me, really. Every time I had an appointment she would comment something like “so we are still deciding to keep the baby?” It was awful. I mean, I told her my decision right away when she called with the results, and told her in no way would I consider terminating my pregnancy. Yet she still continued, up until the end, to question me. It was like she did not agree with my decision and treated me very badly for it.

On April 1, 2010, me and the kids’ dad went to the Doctor’s office for a routine visit. A day I will never forget. He had gone out to have a cigarette because we had waited so long already for them to call me to a room. Shortly after he went out, they called me into a room. We did the normal urine sample and questions. By now I had told the nurse to please keep an eye out for him as he would be coming back in soon. The Doctor put on the monitor to check my baby’s heartbeat. I just remember only early normal fluid sounds. With each passing moment I was becoming more nervous and scared. The Doctor proceeded to tell me that she was unable to find a heartbeat and we would be going down the hall to do an ultrasound. I frantically called Ronald, but he said they had locked the doors and he couldn’t get back in. I asked a nurse to please go get him and bring him in. By the time he got to the room with me, the Doctor was hooking up the ultrasound. I remember how quiet and desperate that room became. I knew right away that there was no heartbeat showing, yet I kept begging and wishing and hoping it would show up. I totally lost it.They had another Doctor come in for a second opinion and got the same result. I couldn’t beleive it, it was unreal. To be having this happen was bad enough in itself, but April fools day? Really? I just kept telling myself that it was a bad joke, that someone had tampered with the machines. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I cried and cried and cried. I felt so sick to my stomach. I don’t think Ronald slept much either.

They scheduled me to be induced the very next morning even though I wanted to do it that night. I couldn’t stand the idea of having to carry my dead baby until the next day. The drive to the hospital was unbearable and the walk to the labor and delivery floor was even worse. Things seemed to go in slow motion as we were admitted and family was showing up to be with us. Most of the family could not even bear to be in the room with me during all the waiting for labor to start. It was so awful, I felt so alone and isolated in a room full of people.

I remember at some point I drifted off to sleep for just a little while. When I woke up, I had a complete sense of just nothing. It was a peaceful feeling. I don’t know how to describe the nothing feeling, but that is how I explain it. The severe contractions were what ended up waking me. I wanted my mother to stay with us and Ronald had his mom stay in with us as well. I remember once they said my son was out and asked if I wanted to hold him, I just closed my eyes, said yes and held out my arms for my son. It took me a few breaths to open my eyes and see my beautiful angel. He was the most beautiful little baby boy. I saw right through all of the discoloration and everything that comes along with this situation. He was my beautiful baby boy and nothing will ever change that. I even unwrapped his little body and counted all of his fingers and toes and checked his eye color and every other thing a mother does when her child is born. It was no different to me. I remember from the Doctor appointment the day before until I fell asleep for that short while before he was born, I didn’t think I could handle it, I didn’t think I could do it, and I was so scared. But at that moment, everything changed and I became so strong and able.

We spent a good 6 hours with our son. Mostly me holding and loving and kissing him while everyone else stood around it such sadness and awe of how I was with him. It has been a year and a half since I lost my baby boy and it still hurts as if it just happened today. We have since had another babygirl who is now 7 months old. My daughters will always know that they had a brother and that he is a wonderful angel watching over us. The pain will never go away and never get better. He was my baby boy and he was taken to be an angle. Like a saying I have heard,

“An angel wrote our babies name in the Book of Life, and as she closed the book she quietly said “too beautiful for earth.” 

Cheryl can be reached at:


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  1. Dear Cheryl, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious James. My son was also stillborn on 9/12/00. I have said a prayer for you that God would give you his joy and comfort and that you would hold your son someday in heaven.

  2. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I read an article today about how doctors have found a test that could more accurately detect Down Syndrome and the concern was: Down syndrome will not be eliminated; people with Down syndrome will be eliminated. This is terrible and awful. You did the right thing, I would never abort a baby, no matter their health problems.
    I lost my son this May to heart defects, I know the pain of loss but I don’t know the pain of a stillborn. I am so very, truly sorry. I pray you receive some peace. Sending love and prayers.

  3. Sorry for your loss Cheryl…I lost my son the same way as yours, I hoped for miracle to happen but he was not meant to stay longtime with us..You were lucky to have your family around you that time…I went alone…my ex husband didn’t even stayed long with us…Losing your child never gets easier…every year we celebrate his birthday…my other son might not met him personally,but he will stay in our hearts forever…

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t believe your doctor and the staff were so cruel to you. My pregnancy also had a lot of markers for Trisomy 13, 18 and even though my husband and I were insistent that we would not terminate, every appointment we were asked if we wanted to schedule an abortion – without even confirming the diagnosis through amnio or CVS first! And I just LOVE your son’s name.

  5. My son was delivered still born on April 1, 2010. After an otherwise normal pregnancy (aside from determining early on that he had settled in breech) we discovered he had no heartbeat the day before at my 32 week checkup. Your description of emotions about wanting to deliver right away could not ring more true for me. He was also my second child, my first was also 4 at the time. Your story really touches my heart because we were both experiencing this loss literally a day apart. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope that with time your heart is starting to heal. My daughter, the third child for my husband and I was delivered one year and one week (to the day) after we delivered our sweet angel. It both hurts and helps to hear that other people have walked this journey. I am so sorry you had to suffer through this pain but thank you for sharing your story.

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