I Gave Birth To A Stillborn At 36 Weeks...

On March 5th, 2011, I gave birth to my daughter. She was stillborn at 36 weeks. This is the most gutwrenching heartbreak I have ever experienced. At 34 weeks I had my appointment and everything was fine. My doctor even commented on how strong the heartbeat was. I had an easy pregnancy and was looking forward to my daughter's birth. It was my husband and I's first pregnancy and we were really really looking forward to a girl. I had been eating properly, keeping my feet up, taking my vitamins, everything. I bought everything, was attending my antenatal classes, and was prepared and waiting for what I called my "VIP arrival".  But she never arrived.
Very early in the morning on March 5th I went to use the bathroom and noticed a small mucous discharge which I suspected might have been my mucous plug. I had no bleeding or anything, was not experiencing strong contractions, my water hadn't broken, so i wasn't worried. I went back to bed.  A few hours later I called my doctor, told her about the discharge, she asked about my contractions, I said they were mild and irregular and she told me to come to the hospital.  I was supposed to have an appointment with her on March 7th, but my baby didn't make it to the 7th.  I went in, she did the ultrasound and after a minute or two (but what felt like hours) she told me there was no foetal heartbeat.  My baby had died.  She would have to induce my labour and I would have to deliver the foetus naturally. My doctor was completely baffled, as was i because everything had been fine, there was nothing to give any suspicion, and all my health checks came back healthy.
She arranged for an autopsy and the report which came out weeks later showed that everything was healthy, "within normal range".  If everything was normal why did it happen?
I remember reading pregnancy books and doing so much research to prepare me for what I was experiencing.  I remember coming across a statistic that 1 in 100 (or was it 1 in 1,000) pregnancies are stillbirths.  I skipped over those sections because that did not apply to me.  Certainly not.  Sadly so.  When I had my stillborn I could not even look at another pregnancy book, let alone read the section on how to cope if it happened.
How to cope.... how to cope... and who can tell me how to cope with my loss?!?!  Everyone says time heals all wounds, it will get better with time, God knows best, everything in God's time, there will be more children, etc etc. Much as I appreciate the effort, all these words of "encouragement" go in one ear and out the other. 
I miss my baby sooo much, I wish she was with me, sometimes I wish it was I who were with her.  I am a Christian and have so much faith in God that I would never dare question His decisions, but I can't help wondering why. What did I do? What could I have done? What could have been done? It drives me crazy.  And to add insult to injury, it seems that everywhere I turn I see pregnant women, new mothers, infants.  It's like salt in my wound.  I'm not sure how to move on, how to "get over it".  She will never be replaced, I will never forget her, I will always love her.  I have all these stretch marks which I pray will fade with time, I have cellulite and am still trying to lose the weight I gained while I was pregnant, and I have nothing to show for the physical impact the pregnancy had on my body.  As for the emotional scars, it's been 3 months and I still cry myself to sleep at night sometimes.  I still flinch occassionally when I see a mother with her child.  I feel like mothers are part of some elite club, which rejected my application.
It is such a painful process.  Of course every new day is a blessing from God, and is another day to struggle to get through, and some days I laugh, some days I cry, but all days I just miss her, and miss the opportunity I never had to get to know her.
SilentElle SilentElle
26-30, F
8 Responses Jun 13, 2011

I completely understand your pain. I am grieving for my daughter who had to be induced at 36 weeks because the doctor couldn't find her heartbeat following a normal, healthy pregnancy. Today I broke down at the grocery store when I saw two different newborns and their moms holding them close. My daughter was born August 14th and we had her funeral mass and burial last week. My due date is four days from now and the emotions I feel can be so overwhelming. I am also a Christian and know God will heal me though I will never understand why this happened. I miss my Clara so much. If you would like to keep in touch I would be happy to have a support system via email together. We will see our children again in heaven as Jesus has given us the gift of eternal life. I know how much pain and suffering I know now and I wish it could all be replaced with my baby but if I have future children I know I will never take that little life for granted. I am so sorry for the loss of your first child. It is not easy for any of us who have buried our babies but I know it must be that much harder being the first pregnancy. I have a three year old and never would have believed this would have happened but know if I have another child which I hope to that I will have to protect myself in knowing that there really is no time during pregnancy to feel "safe". God is the author of life and death and when I think of the grief I have for my baby I feel like God must feel so strongly when any of his children chose to separate themselves from Him. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray for healing for us both.

Its difficult to find the right way to acknowledge such a loss, Im so sorry for all the mothers who have lost their babies. I too had a stillbirth in July 2011 to my darling daughter - my first pregnancy, and have suffered a broken heart, one which is still broken. I am also a Christian, and have been looking to God for answers, but dont know what they are yet.<br />
As someone posted up above, some friends dont know how to deal with relating to this type of loss, and some choose to just ignore what happened, and wait till you get over it, but it is not something that you can just 'get over'. You just learn to cope.<br />
Ill be praying for God to give you comfort and peace, and the strength to keep going. We just need the have courage, and be thankful for what we have, and try not to focus on what we've lost.<br />
Something which helps encourage me when I think about her is the thought that at least she will never have to experience this harsh world, and will never have to feel pain, or disappointment, or any of the difficulties of this life. I know she is happy where she is now.

I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter, Elliana, was stillborn April 5, 2011. I sooo understand about seei g pregnant mothers everywhere and everything below that. That is exactly how I feel.

I want to offer my encouragement to you. I have also lost a baby to stillbirth. I lost my baby Kylee Brielle on November 16,2010. My pregnantcy was high risk due to some illness I had right before i became pregnant. I didnt know I was pregnant until I was almost 5 months pregnant because the symptoms of pregnantcy are kind of the same as the symptoms of my illness. I was so worried that the medicines I had been prescribed had hurt my baby. The doctors (I had two high-risk and regular obgyn) told me that they didnt see anything wrong and that everything was "perfect". I was 36 weeks and 6 days and I went into labor. I had a scheduled c-section set for Nov.18 because she was breech and had been to the high-risk Dr. on Nov. 10 with an ultrasound and everything was fine. My husband an I got up and got our son off to school and headed to the hospital. I remember praying on the way to the hospital that everything would go good and that we both would be healthy. We were so excited and then we got there and they started to hook me up to the fetal monitor and they just kept looking and looking and they couldnt find her hearbeat and then the doctor came in and couldnt find it either. I remember every single thing that happened that day.It has been 8 months since then and I am now starting to accept it but I still think about it every single day. Sometimes I still cant believe it happened.I miss and love her so much. Like you I found solice in the fact that other people had been in the same situation and made it through. I am not the same person today and neither is my husband. There have been a lot of changes for both of us. We did find out who our real friends were unfortunately it wasnt some of the ones we thought . im sure that you are probably struggling with some of those things yourself. My thought would be that everyone would be supportive but I found out not all are. I think people are afraid to approach me because they dont know what to say but in reality it would be nice if they would just say something. I just want you to know that you are not alone eventhough I know how going through what has happened seems to make you feel that way. Things will get better, you will never forget but things do get easier in time. That said you will still have bad days when it seems its all you can think about. I know your heartbreak and I will be praying for you.

Thank you VanessaH79, thank you so much. Like you've experienced yourself, receiving any sort of sympathy is very much appreciated. I am certainly dealing with a range of emotions. Sometimes I feel distanced, almost like denial... did that really happen? Was I even really pregnant? Maybe it was all a bad dream and I'll wake up from it. But sadly when I wake up, the reality is what it is. Other times I reminisce for hours on end. But mostly it just stays at the back of my mind. You are right about discovering who the people in your life who genuinely love you are, and sadly for me too, I have learnt that the ones I trusted and loved, and expected the most from have been the most disappointing. That said, my husband has been soo supportive. He has been a real rock. In situations like these, once you have that solid person to rely on, in addition to God of course, it slightly relieves that little bit of sting. I will never forget the experience, and I don't know if I will ever "get over" it, but I do look forward to a happy future...whenever that will be, and whatever it may be.
Thanks again, and PS I am soo soo sorry about your loss.
Soo painful, soo painful...

Its so ironic that what you share in your story is exactly how I feel. Its encouraging to share our stories because we must heal and find the courage to try again. Am stronger now and I will not let fear prevent me from experiencing motherhood.

so so sorry for you loss... I had a stillborn on 5/18/11, i carried Matthias full term and his umbilical chord was wrapped so tightly around his neck. Everything happened so fast, I had a healthy pregnancy on my last weekly check up (monday 5/16) I was dilated 2-3 cm his heartbeat was strong and normal, I left the drs office nervous but excited that I was going to meet my Matthias soon...Tues 5/17) I went to work, worked a short 5 hour shift, went to dinner to my parents for my dadys bday and because I was busy I can only recall feeling him move once on tuesday night. Early wednesday morning I started having contractions I didn't know what to expect for I never had any braxton hicks contractions, so we went to the hospital and arrived a lil after 6 am they hooked me up to the monitor and couldn't find his heartbeat!!!!!!!!!!I was shocked I couldn't believe it but 3 drs came in to confirm it!!!!!Its been a lil over a month now and and my heartaches so badly!!! I find comfort in knowing that my Matthias is in heaven with our Lord and we will be together again someday. Thank you for sharing your story, reading other peoples storiies helps me cope knowing that i'm not alone and unfortunately theres a lot of women and familes that have gone thru this, my relationship in god helps me go on, everyones continued prayers....take care and god bless, you will be in my prayers....Maris

Hi dea,<br />
<br />
I am so sorry for you that you lost your little girl. I also had a still birth of my son on 19th April, 2005. He was so handsome I cant forget his face till today. He was supposed to be 32 weeks but after the doc did a scan, he told me he was 27 weeks, meaning that he had stopped growing. After all those years I have never forgotten him. At first I used to cry so much at night and one night especially I actually screamed. But God has been good to me and on October 2007, I gave birth to my daughter then on 15th Dec. 2008, I had my son. These two gifts have helped me cope with my loss but I will never forget my son. I pray that God will be gracious to you too and help you get another baby, so that, though no one will ever erase your loss, at least you will have some one to console you. All the best.

I know what you mean when you say your baby stopped growing, so did my daughter. I was 33, a day away from 34 weeks pregnant, when my daughter was born. She looked to be about 25 weeks gestational.

Hey hun, I cudnt even get past the title without tears streamin down my cheeks. I also went a week over my due date, pregnancy was fine, until one day my lil girl just didn't move anymore. Cord was around her neck twice ...... n from what iv read, that's v.common with girls to have larger um.cord. u will not get over it, it doesnt get easier at all. But you will learn to accept it n deal with it better. Seeing babies, n pregnant women everywhere, n adverts for babies on tv everytime u switch it on, i went thru that. I became obsessed with having another baby. Which caused me n my long term partner to split. Altho we're still good friends. 3 years later after losing my beautiful daughter, i now have a son. I'm glad now, that it took so long to get pregnant. Cuz noonday can replace what u lost but he filled the gapin hole inside me. There isn't a day that passes that i dont think about my lil princess x x all the best x x

Thank God for that, I am so happy for you! Happy that you are able to experience being a mother. Right now I am too nervous to get pregnant again. The thought of going through all the motions (and emotions) again, with the uncertainty of the outcome is unappealing. I guess I'll just have to see what the future holds for me.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, as sad as the situation is, and as much as I would not wish for anyone to experience it, it gives me great comfort reading that you know exactly what I am going through, right down to seeing ads on tv, and pregnant women and babies everywhere. Take care of yourself and your son.