Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jessica and Danny
Parents to Grace, EDD January 2nd, 2011
Grew her wings on July 18th, 2010 at 16 weeks
Bethlehem, PA

A letter to my daughter:

My precious little Grace, you are so loved, and so deeply missed. I found out about you on Cinco de Mayo! I was at work, and after having peed for about the 12th time that day, at lunch I decided to go to the local drugstore and buy a pregnancy test. I went back to work and directly to the bathroom. I remember I bought one of those digital tests, didn’t want to have to mess around with pink or blue lines…. I barely had gotten the cap on before the word “Pregnant” popped up in that little window. In that very moment, I became a mom….

About 9 weeks into my pregnancy, I developed hyperemesis gravidum. I was put on bedrest at home and was on IV therapy for 5 days. I knew then that you were your father’s child- causing trouble so early. I cursed every time I got sick, but at the same time kept remembering that me being sick meant you were that much healthier, as the hormones that cause morning sickness decrease the risk of miscarriage. ( Or so I had read.)

As time passed, food became tolerable, even enjoyable… I started to relax, to enjoy my time with you. I started to show early, around 13 and a half weeks, I had a definite “bump” and I loved it!! I had so many plans for you Grace, your dad and I were so excited…

On Thursday, July 8th, you gave me a little scare… I went to the bathroom at work, and when I wiped, I saw bright red blood. I called my doctor’s office right away, and they asked if I was cramping at all, and I said no. So they told me it was probably nothing, to go home, take it easy, and to call them back if it got worse. They also scheduled me for an appt the next day, just to be sure. Well, the bleeding stopped, and my anxiety eased. When I went to my appt on Friday, there you were, squirming around in what seemed to be an ocean of amniotic fluid, happy as a clam, with a good, strong, heartbeat. My doctor checked my cervix, and everything was fine! You seemed unfazed by the previous days events.

On July 10th, we were visiting your Godfather, my Uncle Michael, at his house to celebrate your cousin Sara’s 6th birthday. We were surrounded by our family, and during the afternoon, we Skyped with your great- grandparents in Switzerland, and your cousin in Portugal. They all saw you, in bump form, poking out of my bathing suit! Your dad and I were SO happy that day!
I remember feeling a bit crampy on the ride home that night, but chalked it up to gas pain, as I had eaten more that day than I had in quite awhile. When we got home, we pretty much went right to bed, we were both exhausted from the day. Your dad says I fell asleep first, which I must have, because the next thing I know, I feel this gush between my legs that woke me up and I checked for blood right away. There was no blood, and I rushed downstairs to the bathroom, leaking the whole way. I kept trying to convince myself that maybe, just maybe, I had peed in the bed (God, I wish that was what had happened)… But sitting there, I knew what had really happened. I felt my heart break in that very moment. Your dad called the doctors office and we left for the ER before they even called back, because by then, I had started to bleed a litte.

Once we got to the ER, I remember standing at the check in desk, and feeling something running down my leg. I looked, and it was blood… They brought me back right away. I passed a few clots, and thought, “This is it, I’m losing her.” When they did the ultrasound, it was confirmed that my water had broken, but you were still alive!!! The doctor did an internal exam, and I was dilated about 1 cm. This guy was a real ass, he wouldn’t call you a baby, he just kept saying “the pregnancy” and saying how common/ normal loss was… He told me that there was only about a 1 in 4 chance that you would survive, and that there was not much they could do about it, so he recommended discharging me… When your dad and I left the hospital, we were both devastated… I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.

I have to say, I am so proud of you Grace, you defied the odds for 8 whole days, through so many doctor appts and ultrasounds, every time, there you were, your little heart beating away, as if it was completely normal for you to be in there with no amniotic fluid. Your dad and I, we prayed and prayed for a miracle. Towards the end of that long week, my bleeding actually stopped for 24 hours. I kept thinking, “Could I really be getting the miracle I’ve been praying for?” But on Sunday morning, July 18th, the bleeding came back, worse than before, and I passed 3 large clots. We called the doctor, and she called back right away. She said the words I knew she would say, but didn’t want to hear, “I think this is the beginnings of a miscarriage, and I want to you to go right to the hospital.” So once again, your dad and I were off to the ER.

Once in the ER, I was taken back pretty quickly. I guess my doctor called to say that I was coming in, and gave her orders over the phone. The OB resident who saw me this time was so much better than the first guy. I mentioned that I thought you were a girl, and he said, “She must be very strong to have survived this whole week.” When he did the ultrasound, there you were, still going strong, but there was another problem now- my uterus was filled with bloodclots. The doctor did an internal next, and the words that came out of his mouth shattered the tiny fraction of hope I had left. He said “Her umbilical cord is beginning to come through your cervix.” At that point they admitted me and sent me up to the high risk pregnancy unit. A few hours later, my regular doctor came in to see me and your dad. I told her what the resident said about the cord, and she thought he was mistaken, that if your cord was truly through my cervix, that you wouldn’t have still been alive. So she did an internal first, and now there was so much cord through my cervix she could reach it while doing the exam. At that time, she explained that you had probably passed on by now, as all circulation was cut off. She did an ultrasound next, and to all our surprise, you were still alive… My precious Grace, my beautiful, stubborn angel, you didn’t realize that you weren’t supposed to be our take home baby. You were still hanging on… My doctor explained that because there were so many clots in my uterus, she was afraid that my placenta was abrubpting, and that I would begin to hemorrhage. She wanted me to have a D&C that day… It was now a matter of choosing my health, and the possibility of your dad and I being able to have more children in the future over the now very tiny (less than 1% chance) you would survive even the day… I am so sorry Grace, that I chose myself in that moment, I feel so guilty! Knowing that your precious little heart was still beating inside of me even while I signed the consent for the surgery was the worst thing I have ever had to do. I hope that you can forgive me, Grace. I miss you so much it hurts…

As I write this, it has been 11 days since we said goodbye. I think about you all the time, and I miss you more than I have ever missed anyone. My arms ache to hold you, I want to know what you looked like, I want to count your little fingers and toes, I want to be able to stare at you in awe of your complete perfection. My only comfort is that we will be together again someday… Until then, my precious angel baby, please watch over you dad and I, keep us strong as we learn to live with your memory instead of the promise of your life.
Love always and forever,

You can contact Jessica at


Anonymous said...

Jessica such a heartbreaking story. I felt your pain and I too found myself praying for Grace. She sounds like one tough cookie. I am a medium and I was drawn to your story. I want to share, with you that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Our physical body may leave when it is our time, even if we never made it into the world, but our spirit is always alive it never dies. She is still with you, I am sure you feel her? It was Grace who chose to come for her short time here and many things may have occurred as she decided to go back and fine tune her experience. Her spirit was not ready to begin. This is not for you to feel guilty because it was her choice. She even helped you make the decision to save your health and let her go. Spirits are able to change their mind when in utero, they are also able to regroup and come back to the same parents when they are ready. She is a soul you will always know. It is said that children who are never born are spirits that want to come back to experience "love" and then they leave. Look how she chose two people that could not have loved her more. She couldn't stay any longer without being born though, which was not in her plan. She had a beautiful experience because of you. She thanks you. Take care dear and smile you had the sweetest visitor from Heaven.

Anonymous said...

This is my daughter's story. My name is Cathy, I am Grace's grandmother......I was going to be called Ajji because none of the other names for grandmother fit my personality. I too had a pregnancy loss. Jessica's brother Zackary Michael was stillborn at 36 weeks gestation. My heart is broken for my daughter, my son-in-law, Grace's grandmother Barb, my partner/spouse of 13 years, for all our extended family and for me. Barb calls Grace "our little ray of sunshine". Precious Grace, you blessed us for such a short time but you will be loved so deeply as long as I live. Ajji will see you one day and we will laugh and dance together. I love you Grace

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience to yours. My water broke at 15 weeks. My baby was able to hang on for a week with a strong heart beat, even though the doctors said that he would never make it. I finally went into labor on my own and he was born too early at 16 weeks. Don't beat yourself up about the horrible decision that you had to make. I chose to be induced since my baby wasn't going to make it and I was at high risk for infection, but the catholic hospital where I was admitted wouldn't allow it. I had to wait it out.
That was the worst week of my life-- just waiting for him to die. I'm sharing this so that you don't feel guilty, because you shouldn't. You really had no choice, and I would have done the same.
I think of my baby boy every day, and I miss him so much. I know exactly how you feel. This is horrible, and we will never be the same.
I believe we will be with them again one day.

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