Part of me thought they had got it wrong, that she would come out crying, but she didn’t. Only silence filled the room...
February 29th, 2020. A leap year, or to us, any other typical Saturday. I woke up and made breakfast and then we were headed to Cars and Coffee, like we do every Saturday morning.
After breakfast, I sat on the couch seeing if Whitley would move around and play with me. I waited about 30 minutes and then expressed my concerns to Dylan when I didn’t feel her move around, we decided to skip out on Cars and Coffee and just hang out at home instead.
An hour goes by and she still doesn’t move so we decided to go for a walk to see if that would wake her up. We drove to the beach and didn’t walk but maybe 50 yards. I felt uneasy and started having what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. We drove back home, where I called my doctor. They suggested that I head into the nearest emergency room.
We drove 20 minutes to the nearest hospital where the ER staff warmly greets us asking if it’s time to have the baby. They wheeled us up to labor and delivery, placed us in a room and a nurse instructed me to change into a gown and lie on the bed.
She comes back in shortly and tries to find her heartbeat.
No words are spoken, but she does this for what seemed like forever. My husband and I made eye contact and immediately knew something was wrong.
The nurse hurries off and says “let me go get a doctor”. The on-call doctor comes in, does an ultrasound, and almost immediately says those six words no parent ever wants to hear: “I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat.”.
I screamed, “No, you’re wrong! Are you sure?”. She says yes and apologizes and tells us to take as much time as we need. We immediately call home (my husband is in the military and we’re stationed 1,400 miles away from our families) and ask everyone we know to start praying for us. Praying for a miracle. Praying just to survive.
I ask my husband to go get the doctor so I can ask her what’s next. I needed a plan.
I wanted to control what I had no control over.
She tells me I have to deliver her. The same person who told me my baby had died was now telling me that I also had to deliver her. She can’t take my baby from me! I didn’t want to have to deliver her. I thought if I could keep her inside of me, if I could just keep carrying her then maybe she’d be okay. But I had no choice.
Both our mom’s book the first flight out they find but it doesn’t leave until the next morning. We made the decision to go home and be induced the next evening once our moms can be there.
We made it back to our house around 6:30. I go to her nursery and cry for the baby that I now won’t get to bring home…
All on its own, my body was preparing itself to deliver our daughter. I lost my mucus plug around 9 and thought I should try to get some rest. I laid down, with my contractions now coming two minutes apart.
My hip starts to ache and I think to myself that maybe if I roll over, I’ll be more comfortable. Before I rolled over, I hesitated because I just felt that my water was going to break if I moved. I don’t know why I thought that, it’s like God whispered to me and told me it was going to happen. I decided to go ahead and rollover, and as soon as I did my water broke.
I look at my phone, it's just past 11, I nudge Dylan to tell him what’s happened. He flies out of bed ready to take care of me.
My heart hurts knowing that what’s supposed to be the best day of our lives is now the worst.
When we arrive at the hospital, the ER staff eagerly greets us again, not knowing what we do...
It’s now midnight (March 1st, 2020). They put a Purple Heart on our door signaling that we’ve lost a child. Everyone who comes in tiptoes around me not knowing what to say. Our nurse explains the process and how everything would work. What she didn’t explain was how I was going to get through this. I told her I wanted to have a natural birth (no medication) and she said, “Are you sure?” I said, “If this is my fault in any way and I caused this, I want to feel the pain.” So she let me labor with no medication. Every nurse after her asked the same thing.
For the next 17 hours my husband never left my side. He was my hands and my feet. He physically moved me when I couldn’t because of the grief and exhaustion. I’ve never seen the love of Jesus more than through the man I love on that day, and the weeks that have followed.
Our moms arrived at 11:30 that morning and as soon as they walked through the door we hugged, sat, and cried together; for our broken hearts, for our daughter, for our mothers/new grandmothers, for the life that we had imagined.
My doctor came in around 3:30, checked my cervix, and said, “It’s time to push!”. The staff hurried around the room getting everything set up. The pain was so intense that they had to physically put my legs up in the bed in order to push. While I labored long, my delivery was very quick. I pushed three times and out she came at 3:59 PM.
Part of me thought they had got it wrong, that she would come out crying, but she didn’t. Only silence filled the room.
3 pounds, 15 ounces, and 18 inches long. So perfect in every way. They told me I could go home that night but I chose to stay. I wanted to spend every minute I could with my baby.
I didn’t sleep much. I woke up often, confused, and not knowing where I was. I soon remembered and all of the emotions came back while I lay there crying.
The next day we spent the morning with worship music on, singing to our daughter, rocking her, cleaning her up ever so gently, and taking many pictures that we’ll have to look back on.
We miss her so much but we find comfort in knowing that the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was the face of Jesus.