Mom to Leilah
Stillborn September 8th, 2010
My husband Jared and I were so excited when we found out we were expecting our 4th child. Our due date was November 15, 2010. I was nervous because I had suffered a miscarriage in 2006 and in 2008, both at 7 weeks. We found out that these were due to low hormone levels so I was taking some hormones and we were hopeful. We have 2 boys and 1 girl and were hoping to have another girl. All of my pregnancies with the first 3 went fine. No problems except at delivery I wouldn't dialate past 2 so I had to have c-sections.
Well, at 18 weeks we were thrilled to find out that it was a girl. We were so excited and had already agreed on the name Leilah Joselynn. After the ultrasound tech was finished the doctor came in and said they were concerned because she seemed to be too small. She sent us to a maternal fetal specialist and they started doing tests. We had an amnio and several other tests and they all came back fine. The only thing they could figure was that she was growth restricted because my placenta wasn't working properly. They did biweekly scans of the placenta and found no problems. I had so many ultrasounds and we watched her grow more than we ever had with the other three. We felt because we were keeping a close eye on her that we were really bonding with her. We also bought a fetal doppler and listened to her heartbeat at home at least twice a day. It was always perfect. On August 5th at my doctors appointment she decided to put me on bedrest because of my blood pressure being high. At all of the appoinments at my regular OBGYN and at the specialist everything was fine except she was small. The doctors said that if I hadnt had an early ultrasound they would just think my due date was wrong. That is how perfect she was. They also hadn't found any problems with the placenta so couldn't figure out why she was so small.
At 30 weeks I went to the specialist for a regular scan and they said that Leilah was 1lb 16ozs and said that they wanted to start me on steroids because they were afraid of preclampsia because my blood pressure was still high. They admitted me into the high risk pregnancy unit and put all the monitors on and gave me the shot. We were there for about 1 hour when Leilah's heartrate started to drop. They caming rushing into the room and brought in an ultrasound machine to check her out. Her heartrate went down in the low hundreds and then came back up to 130 and then dropped down in the 80's. They rushed me in for an emergency c-section. I was breathing in the gas as fast and as deeply as I could to go to sleep as fast as I could so they could get my little girl out quickly.
When I woke up I remember asking for my little girl. I doctor said the most terrible words I have ever heard in my life-"we tried to save her but we couldn't, we did everything we could." The cord had gotten a knot in it early in the pregnancy and that was causing her growth problems. That day Leilah had gotten tangled in the cord and it pulled tight and cut off her air supply. The doctors said that she was just too small and weak to handle the trama. She was 2lbs and 13 inches long. I just started screaming NO, NO, NOT MY BABY. They hadn't waited for my husband to be there with me to tell me so he heard me screaming and came rushing in. He was holding our beautiful little girl. I wanted to die. I would have gladly taken her place. We spent the next three days in the hospital holding her. A nice photographer who had also lost a child came and took beautiful pictures. The nurses took her feet and handprints and they gave me a lock of her hair. My mom bathed and dressed her. My other children and many family and friends came and sent flowers. Some of the time is a blurr but I remember waiting and begging and praying for her to just cry. She just looked asleep. I was just waiting for her to wake up.
I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and therefore do not believe that a loving God would take my little girl from me to be an angel in heaven. He has the power to make angels, he doesn't need or want to my child. I believe that she is asleep and that he will wake her up someday. He will give her a strong new body and he will return her to me in a paradise earth. I will get to watch her grow up. The Bible teaches that God intends to fulfill his original purpose for the earth. His purpose was that perfect humans live in a paradise forever. Rev. 21:4 says that "at that time death will be no more, neither will morning nor outcry or pain." When Jesus was on earth he showed that he could awaken someone from the dead just like we can wake someone from sleep. That is what he will do in the future for parents whose children have died.