Mom to Sawyer Lee

November 5, 2015

Maryville, Missouri

My name is Sam Bode, and November 5th is the date that will forever bring tears to my eyes and an ache in my chest. I’ll start at the beginning… August 6, 2015 was the happiest day of my life. My “nugget” was a girl, a perfectly healthy growing baby girl, Sawyer Lee Anderson. What could be better? We were halfway through our pregnancy and so excited, so were our family and friends.

In the next three months, Devin went to Hawaii with his family, we both started our last year of college, we started planning and everyone stocked Sawyer’s closet FULL of adorable clothes, I turned 23, and the Royals won the World Series for the first time in 30 years. November 3rd, we got up bright and early and drove to Kansas City for the parade! It was such an exciting atmosphere and we were less than 50 feet away from all of our favorite MLB players.

Afterwards, we spent a few hours killing time before our first prenatal class! I was pretty excited for Devin to learn more about labor and all of the exciting, scary things ahead of us. I could feel Sawyers hiccups in my pelvis as we sat through the class, her foot in my rib as usual, and Braxton Hicks contractions on and off, which had been a common occurrence for about a month. After the 2 hour class, we went home and went straight to sleep. I tossed and turned all night with aches in my legs from all the walking that day.

The next day should have been a normal day. November 4, 2015. I woke up and went to work. My legs were feeling better and I was in a good mood. I was only working half of the day because I had my 32 week appointment. After leaving work at noon, I showered and even straightened my hair for once. I had on my new World Series Championship hoodie Devin got me the day before and my maternity leggings I was obsessed with. We headed to our appointment and I could feel some Braxton Hicks as usual. I was excited to share that with my midwife.

We checked in, like normal. Urine sample, like normal. Waiting room, like normal. Weight, I had lost a couple pounds, but I also walked about 4 miles the day before and fluctuated a lot, so everything seemed normal. Vitals, like normal. My midwife came in, asked how we were, commented on my hoodie,  everything was so normal.

Measurement, 1 week off. That’s not normal. Doppler, and all we could hear was my heartbeat, not the normal race horse sound of Sawyer’s. It’s all okay, it has to be okay, she’s just in a weird position. “Sometimes babies get into a weird position, let’s just go over and have you get an ultrasound to check on everything.”

Waiting room, it didn’t feel normal anymore. I told myself and Devin it was okay, everything had to be fine. Right? I pushed on her and she wasn’t moving. I told myself not to panic. The ultrasound verified our greatest fear, “I’m sorry Sam, there isn’t a heartbeat.” The words sounded muffled and like a dream. It couldn’t be real, she was just okay, nothing was wrong, my whole pregnancy had been completely fine.

We tell ourselves it doesn’t happen, not to us anyway. 1%. There’s a 1% chance after 28 weeks. Most of that 1% are people who smoke, drink… a reason. I had no reason. Less than 1% chance and my daughter was gone? I needed to leave. So I left, told my mom to come, and waited until the next day.

I went through everything any other mom goes through. Induced labor, they warn you it’s worse than natural labor. Labor and having a baby is supposed to be the worst pain imaginable, but that was the easy part. Nothing I ever feel physically or emotionally will be harder than walking out of the hospital on November 6th without my daughter.

But on the night of November 5th, at 10:36pm, after 9 hours of labor, my daughter was born. She was perfect, beautiful, 2 pounds 15 ounces, 17.5 inches long, and a head full of dark hair. She has my nose. We held her, got pictures, our parents and Devin’s sister all got to see her and kiss her. But she was already an angel. She never felt the stress of birth, she didn’t feel any pain or hurt, she never cried. She’s perfect, and watching over us.

These were all of the things Devin and I talked about as we smiled and admired every inch of the perfect baby girl we had made, & in that brief moment, that moment we got to hold our daughter for the first and only time, that couple hours we didn’t cry or feel sad, time stood completely still.


Sam writes about Sawyer at and you may contact her at

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  1. hi Sam, I am so sorry for your loss of Sawyer. It is so heartbreaking and unfair. I lost my daughter just two days after you at 42weeks. It is still so raw and painful. I hope you are getting some good support. Big gentle hugs to you.

  2. Hi Sam, my deepest sympathy for your loss, we lost our little Ethan 2 weeks ago, he was bornsleeping 3 Dec 2015. The pain is unbearable. I hope and pray that you find strength.

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