Friday, August 20, 2010

Mom to Isabella Rose
Born an angel on May 6th, 2010, at 37 weeks
Cranston, Rhode Island

From the first time I heard my daughter's heartbeat at 8 weeks, I fell head over heals in love with her. I looked forward to going to the doctors and listening to her little heart beat and was so excited that it was always high,160+ because I knew I was having a girl, something I had always dreamed of. And on December 30, 2010 and ultrasound confirmed 100% that we were having a girl. Instantly we knew her name was Isabella Rose, and we talked to her a million times a day.

On January 4th 2010 my husband left for Army Basic Training, I was so sad to see him go, he was going to be gone for 4 months, but I did look forward to his return because he would be home right as I was about to give birth to our daughter. I had a perfect pregnancy, I had very minimal weight gain, my stomach always measured perfectly, and my little girl's heart was always beating away. Literally after each visit my doctor would say I was perfect.

My husband surprised me and returned home on May 1st, words cannot describe how happy I was to see him, now that he was home I was ready for my girl to be born. He was shocked out how big I had gotten, and was excited to finally feel Isabella kick. I remember the next few days I was barely feeling her move, and I expressed my concerns to family members, everyone reassured me that I was 37 weeks pregnant and that she was in the birth canal so her movements were slowing down. I still had a nervous feeling, but pushed it to the back of my head and just went with the fact that it was my first pregnancy, and everyone was telling me it's OK. On May 5th I went to the doctors for my checkup, I couldn't wait to hear here heart just to ease my fears, and I was so happy that my husband was there with me.

We went in the room, and did the usual blood pressure, weight and the nurse asked me a few questions. I told her I hadn't been feeling Isabella move much lately, and she just wrote it down and went to get the doctor. When the doctor came we were discussing birthing details, I was hoping to be induced because my husband was going to have to report to Ft. Hood Texas on my due date. She then went to listen to the heartbeat, but this time was different. She was searching and searching around, I knew right then something was wrong, we had never had a problem, we always found her heart immediately. She then asked me when the last time I felt her move, I immediately started to cry, I hadn't felt her move at all that morning. She then sent me right over to ultrasound, I couldn't see the screen, but the silence, and look on my husband's face said it all, my Isabella was gone. What seemed like an eternity later we were brought back in the room and the doctor confirmed my worst fears, Isabella had passed away.

My whole world crashed, everything became a blur, they explained they didn't know what had happened, and that I was to report to the hospital the next day at four to start inducing labor. In a state of shock, I left the doctor, and had my husband make the worst phone calls of our lives. We went to my parents house, where family and even his sergeants came together to mourn. Our families did not understand why I would have to wait until well over 24 hours later to begin labor, so they took my over to the hospital and demanded I be taken in then. The process wasn't as long as I thought, family and friends came throughout the night, but I couldn't see them, so my husband would go out and update them on how I was doing.

When it came time to push, I closed my eyes, and something powerful took over my body. I kept going even when she said I could rest, I was determined to get my baby out, maybe just maybe they were wrong and she was alive. I couldn't look during the process because I know once I saw her I would lose it. I am so proud of how strong I was, I felt my husband and mother-in-law break down as she was coming out, but I ignored it for the time being and did what I had to do. Thankfully no autopsy needed to be done, the cause was apparent at birth, the cord was wrapped so tightly around her little neck. At 5:01 am on May 6, 2010 my beautiful Isabella Rose became an angel.

We spent 6 hrs holding her, and having family visit. We  had her baptized, and a photographer took beautiful pictures. I am so happy for all the time I got to spend with her, she looked exactly how I had pictured her to look, she was perfect in every way. I remember holding her and looking at her and praying to God to please please let her wake up, such an innocent little girl, and all I wanted to do was have her open her eyes. I had a smooth labor with no complications at all, they said I could stay or go whenever I wanted. I knew I needed to leave that hospital, how could I be around other woman celebrating the birth of their babies when I was in so much pain. I left the hospital at 12:30 that day, leaving without her was the worst feeling in the world. I was supposed to be leaving holding a beautiful baby in my arms, with a big smile on my face, instead I was leaving empty handed and broken-hearted.

Planning a funeral at 23 years old is something no one expects. I am so grateful to have such an amazing husband, the way he cared for me and took care of all the little details of the funeral, words cannot express how lucky I am to have him in my life. Isabella was laid to rest on May 10, 2010, the day after mothers day. I am still in awe of how many people came to pay their respects, there was literally a line out the door. In times like these, you realize how many people truly love you and care about you.

On May 28th we moved down to Texas. It was hard, but at the same time I felt like I needed an escape from reality. I didn't have fear that I would be in the store and would run into someone who would notice the absence of my belly, and then have to explain everything. It has been difficult being away from friends and family, and making new friends. I am not myself at all anymore, a piece of me died and went to heaven. I am much quieter than I used to be, and when I do have fun, I feel so guilty afterwords. A lot of people I have met do not no my story, I know if they did it would give them a much better understanding of why I am the way I am.

I try to take the positive out of the situation, while I will never come to terms with why this would happen to me, I feel it has blessed me with a new outlook on life. I will never take anyone or anything for granted. Life is the most precious gift we have ever been given, I hold only room for love and positivity in my heart, anyone or anything that breeds negativity is no longer part of my life. My love for Isabella is forever eternal and grows stronger and stronger everyday. I cannot wait until I get to see her beautiful face again.


Jill said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Isabella. I cried reading your story. My heart goes out to you & your family!

Justine said...

Ash .. you are a beautiful and strong woman.. You and Eric are 2 of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life. I know Bella is watching over the two of you and your families every step of the way. Love and miss you so much! xoxo

Jessica said...

Ashley- i know i have only known you a short time but you are one of the strongest most amazing women i know! your story touched me so much and it made me cry, i honestly cant imagine how it must feel to lose a precious little baby but you and your husband are so strong and i truly believe everything happens for a reason whether good or bad.. we may never know why.. but one day you will be with your beautiful Bella and i know she is with you every day, stay strong and just keep that positive outlook on life and know that you have friends and family who love you and are there for you and your husband

srogers said...

Hey Suga- You're both my heros. I can never imagine, in a million years how that must have felt. I just know what I feel for your loss must be a tinge compared to what you and Eric have been feeling. Just know that your friends and family are always here for you.
I wish I could have been there to pay my respects to little Isabella.

But I love you both and pray for you every day.

Virginia's Mommy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss--your story just breaks my heart for you and your family

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine. Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

I lost my baby on 12th July 2010 for the same reason, your story is not unlike mine. Perfect pregnancy 37 weeks all was fine, but my little baby Layla was born sleeping too. I have three children already, which helps to ease some of my pain, but at 38 I think Layla will be my last baby. We all need to keep strong and know that our girls are heaven watching over us :)
Danielle, Layla's mum

Anonymous said...

Isabella is an angel in heaven while you are one here on earth. Both you and Eric are strong, loving and special people who will be blessed again someday to be with Isabella. As you know you both have so much love and support through all your family and friends. I hope that sharing your story will help with your healing process, as I know it will help others. One thing I am happy to see is that your heart is open to love still and you will be blessed again. Keep well. Love ya!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for telling us your story. I'm so very sorry for your loss. We're here for you if you need us.

Nicole said...

Ashley - Thank you so much for commenting on my story of losing little Caroline. I read your story, and my heart breaks for you...but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate that you're trying to see the positive in such a horrible experience. That's what I try to do too (some days are easier than others). Thank you for sharing your story. I would love to speak to you more, you can email me if you'd like.
Sending thoughts and prayers,

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