Mom to

Maggie Ann, stillborn at 24 weeks on March 17, 2011

Miscarriage at 8 weeks on January 31, 2012

Hutchinson, Kansas

In May of 2008, after my husband and I both finished graduate school, we decided that we would start trying to add to our family. After a year we were referred to an RE to see why I still wasn’t pregnant.  It was then that I was diagnosed with PCOS.  After surgery, using a variety of meds (clomid, femara, ovidrel) and an IUI, I finally had a positive pregnancy test in November 2010.  We were overjoyed.  Thrilled beyond belief. And so, so thankful.

First trimester of the pregnancy was pretty easy for me– only a few mornings of sickness.  But, I knew not to complain.  I knew how many women would do anything to be in my position.  In December, I started bleeding.  A lot.  Not just the normal spotting that people talk about.  I went to the emergency room, terrified that we were losing our baby.  Thankfully, the ultrasound still showed a healthy fetus and a strong heartbeat. We were so thankful and relieved that we had not lost this precious baby that we had prayed so long for.

Because of the bleeding, my doctor saw me every two weeks.  They had no explanation for the bleeding but we watched everything carefully to make sure the baby was developing as it should.  In February, we found out that this baby was a girl.  I was ecstatic– it was the first girl on my husband’s side of the family and I was thrilled.  We started slowly, and cautiously, buying a few things here and there for our baby.  We hadn’t decided on a name yet and started looking on the internet.  My husband found the name “Magic” and we laughed that anyone would even consider naming their child that.  But, we decided for that right now, the name Magic was perfect.  She was, of course, our Magic.

On March 16, 2011, I went in for my standard 24 week checkup.  I went alone, totally oblivious and naive to the fact that something tragic could still happen.  And, of course, something tragic did happen.  The nurse could not find a heartbeat.  The second nurse could not find a heartbeat and, finally, they pulled in the portable ultrasound machine.  I knew then.  Our Magic was gone.  My husband came and we were told to come back to the hospital the following day to deliver.  I went home that night, knowing that I was carrying my dead child. I also knew that this was my last night with her.

On March 17, 2011, after meds and an epidural, my daughter was born at 10:38 pm.  She was small for her gestational age and they figured that she had been dead for several weeks, and possibly losing weight at the same time.   We were able to take her home and she was buried on April 1, 2011 in a pasture where we keep our cattle.  We named her Maggie Ann– as Maggie was a name that was close to Magic.

After many tests and doctor’s visits, they still have no idea what happened.  They still have no reason why Maggie died. They have no explanation on why our Magic left us.

Of course, my story does not end there.  After some months of healing, physically and emotionally, we started the efforts of trying for another child.  I went through another surgery and another round of IUI and some new meds. We found out on December 29, 2011 that I was pregnant again.  Of course, I was thrilled and felt blessed beyond belief. However, it was bittersweet; we knew what could happen and we knew that the next nine months would be the longest ones of our lives.  We were cautious and tried as best we could to not get our hopes up.  I also felt sad about Maggie–  sad that she would be forgotten and we would move on and leave her in the dust.

On January 19, 2012 we went in for our first ultrasound.  There were two sacs.  One held a little love nugget with a beating heart– the best sound in the world! The other sac had not fully developed- something my doctor referred to as the “Vanishing Twin” syndrome.  We were ecstatic that there was a heartbeat and that it was measuring right where it should. We made plans for ultrasounds every 7-10 days.  On January 31, 2012 we went in for our next ultrasound. I was 8 weeks, 4 days.  And there was no heartbeat.  It was silent.  The worst sound.  A few days later, I went in for a D&C.
We plan on trying all of this again, after some testing to see if they can figure out why this keeps happening.  
After Maggie’s death I started a blog to keep my family and friends updated on our story. It has blossomed into more than that.  It has become my refuge, my comfort, and I am finding that the more I talk about miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, the more I find out how many other women have the same stories as I do.  Sharing my story has brought me more peace and healing than I ever thought possible. And, like millions of other women, I continue to pray that I will be able to hear the cries of my own healthy newborn baby sometime soon. 
Rachel blogs at hardermagic.blogspot.com. She can be reached at rbharder@gmail.com.




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  1. Rachel, I am so sorry for your losses. I have said a prayer for you that God would comfort you, that you would hold your babies some day in heaven, and that God would give you the desires of your heart.

  2. I just wanted to tell you, I’m so sorry you aren’t holding your Magic in your arms today. Maggie Anne, what a beautiful name you gave her. And little Nugget, I’m sorry he’s gone too soon (and for being presumptuous that he was a he, but I just think so). No one person can ever know your pain, but know there are others that share your journey and I hope things continue to improve physically and emotionally. <3

  3. Thank you for sharing yourself the way that you do. There is no preparation for losing a child, even when you approach with caution. I think you are an amazingly courageous woman. I know stories of women who have lost multiple pregnancies and then delivered a healthy baby. There is always hope. We must believe in a higher purpose for these events. There is only so much that we understand about life. Stay strong. Keep writing. It is a gift, not only for you but for the world out there. Blessings.

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