Our Littlest Guardian Angel

My name is Lea, I am 23 years old and just had a stillborn baby girl on January 8, 2013. My husband and I got married on August 18, 2012 we had a beautiful wedding at Lake Tahoe and went to Santa Cruz for our honeymoon. It was gorgeous and we had such a good time. My husband is stationed at Ft. Drum, NY and I live in Sparks, NV he left to go back to Ft. Drum only two days after we got back from Santa Cruz. Within just a few weeks of him going back I found out I was pregnant. We were absolutely elated!

I began having some spotting and went to my gynecologist to make sure everything was looking good and to get an idea of how far along I was. My doctor checked and said everything looked normal and that I was 8 weeks, we were having a honeymoon baby. I went about my normal routine, I was working two jobs and finishing school, I was busy and had almost no down time. A month and a half or so later I was having bleeding, I went to the ER and did an ultrasound and again the baby looked healthy and they couldn't find any real reason to worry about it. I was told some women just bleed throughout the pregnancy for reasons unknown. I was told to try to take it easy and put my feet up whenever I had a chance. At this point I was done with school but I was still working both jobs. I did all my blood tests and tried to take care of myself and my body. My bleeding persisted but I got to the point that I just figured I would bleed throughout my pregnancy. All of our ultrasounds showed normal development and a healthy fetal heartbeat. My doctor didn't seem overly worried so I began to worry less until one night while I was working at one of my jobs. I was sitting and all of a sudden i felt this warm liquid coming from between my legs, I got up and ran to the bathroom and saw that I was practically gushing blood. I called my mom and told her I needed to go to the hospital. She rushed to pick me up and take me to the hospital, I was right at 20 weeks so they sent me straight up to labor and delivery. I got into a room and they immediately found a strong fetal heartbeat so my anxiety began to subside a little. they checked everything and couldn't find anything developmentally wrong with the baby they said it looked like my placenta was right at the edge of my cervix and that could be the reason for my bleeding. They admitted me for the night to observe me and watch my bleeding and the next morning my doctor came in and told me to set an appointment with a perinatologist. I set my appointment for that Thursday. When I went in the perinatologist was very concerned about the amniotic fluid as it was extremely low. He put me on strict bed rest and gave us the tough decision to end the pregnancy or to stay on bed rest at home until 25 weeks and then I would go into the hospital and stay until hopefully 34 or 35 weeks. My husband and I did a video chat and decided to stick with the pregnancy and hope our daughter could make it to full term. I stayed on bed rest for about a week then at 1 am on the morning of January 8 I began feeling some cramping in my abdomen and back that would last a short time and would go away. It would come back every three minutes or so as the night went on I woke my parents up and told them what was happening. They told me it might be pain from laying down for the last week and said we would call the doctor in the morning. I went back and laid down as the pain persistently got worse and more intense. Around 6 am I went into my parents room and told them it was getting worse and worse. I was in tears so my mom said she would bring me to the hospital. We got ready and left and got to the hospital around 7:20 and was sent directly to labor and delivery. We got into a room but were unable to find a heartbeat. Within ten minutes I had the urge to push and by 7:40 I had delivered a beautiful little girl. I was only at 21 weeks but she was so well developed, she looked like a little baby doll. We named her Emery Michelle she was exactly 1 lb and 11 in long. She had my husband's lips. It is now January 12 and I am trying to figure out how I'm ever going to feel okay. I can't even look at or touch my belly without crying knowing that she is no longer there. I don't know how to heal. I know it so early but this is a pain I've never felt before. That beautiful angel was something I wanted more than anything. My husband is still in New York on the other side of the country and I don't know how to get through this without him. I need help, how do I heal myself from this?
EmeryMichelle EmeryMichelle
6 Responses Jan 12, 2013

Hi lea, I'm so sad for your loss and I feel the same pain you do. I'm 23 years old, I lost my little girl at 22 weeks on the 26th of jan 2013. she was 1 pound and 29 cms long and beautiful. I don't know why or how this happens its so horrible.. I feel lost, angry, upset and just cry all the time, the only thing that helps is reading others stories and knowing that I'm not alone, and neither are you! Stay strong..

I am never one to comment however I think what I have to share might provide you with a little bit of comfort.
I come a family of six healthy children however a few years ago I learned that my mom gave birth to a stillborn baby girl three years before I was born. I knew her name however my mom rarely talked about her as it was a very traumatizing experience for both her and my dad. I have been battling anxiety and depression so on my moms recommendation I went to see a medium. I lost my grandfather a few years back so I was hoping his spirit would be present to offer me some guidance. The medium said my older sister's name and asked what that name meant to me. He starred into my eyes and I could feel her looking back. My eyes filled with tears, it was so unbelievably emotional. He told me that I never met her but she loves me and that she is looking out for me. She is guiding me and is going to be with me as I continue to grow. I suffer from a great deal of self esteem issues and through the medium, my older sister told me I was as "pretty as a daisy" and will glow as a diamond. Daisies are my favourite flowers and diamonds my favourite gem! As well, I am an April birthday so they are my birth flower and birth stone. The medium said some amazing things to me that I know came from my older sister - everything was spot on. I wasn't a believer in spirits before I went to see the medium however now I am convinced that spirits exist and I want to share my experience with others so that they can find the same comfort that I found.
When my older sister was born a stillborn my parents were numb. They didn't know how to move on with their lives. Over the years, and six children later, they have moved forward however they will never forget their little girl. When I told my mom that the medium connected me with my older sister, she cried. The medium told me that my sister loved my mom and dad and that I had to give them that message.
I could go on and on about my experience but this post is about you. Find comfort in the fact that your little girl is watching over you and protecting you... and someday, when your family grows, she will be a guardian angel to your other children. For the past year I couldn't even get out of bed, I was so deeply depressed. Knowing that I have a beautiful girl watching over me empowers me to live the best life possible. My sister wants me to be happy - just like your baby girl wants you to be happy. She loves you.
Going to see a medium was difficult because I wasn't a believer - however it changed my world. There are a lot of people willing to fake special talents to make money however if you find someone with a sincere gift to communicate with spirits I encourage you to make an appointment. When you learn that your baby girl is safe and comfortable you too will begin to feel safe and comfortable.
I wish you all the best. You will be healed - she is watching over you.

I would like to share my story with u ours are pretty close to the same I gave birth to Kennedi 1/9/13 she was 14oz I was 21.5 weeks pregnant

First off ~ I would like to say how sorry I am to hear of the loss of your precious daughter, Emery Michelle. It is surely the most devastating situation to have to endure and there are no words to ease the pain. The path becomes a little less rocky as time goes on but the valleys and peaks remind us of the long soulful journey we all must make. Although there are several causes for stillbirth to occur, my first Granddaughter was born still at 36.6 weeks due to torsion of the umbilical cord ~ not a true knot or nuchal cord but delivers the same devastation and heartache.

I am an RN and my husband is an Emergency Room MD. I have four children and never thought anything of it. I had heard of stillbirths but thought they occurred during labor when there was a complication. Why should I think anything different? The medical profession has hidden the details and frequency from us all. I think how you are feeling is very normal after enduring such a loss. If our own doctors, the experts, cannot predict a stillbirth - how are we to?

When you think about it, at one time people had a heart attack and died. That was it - no intervention, it wasn't developed and no one knew the warning signs. Now if you have chest pain and go to the emergency room, the measures taken are incredible. The same is true with a mammogram. Every woman who goes for one knows what the findings may be - but it is better to know why we are going and the importance of the check and deal with the findings - than to be oblivious to the challenge.

All parents to be, as well as, medical personnel should be educated to the possibility and undeniable consequences of a stillbirth. With 26,000 + stillbirths a year in the USA and 4 million globally, it is imperative women are given the facts by their doctors. Once knowledgeable, they can decide their course of action, seek ultrasounds and be proactive for their baby before it is too late.

My husband and I are now committed advocates for the stillborn. We will do whatever it takes to enlighten the medical community and parents to be, as well as, to find a cause as to "WHY" when there are or are not any answers.

My brother was killed by a drunk driver when he was 12 back in 1967. I don't think my father ever got over the loss. My mother was amazing. Of course she was filled with grief, but she gathered up the pieces and made our lives as children wonderful. She didn't skip a beat. She laughed, cheered her baseball team on the TV and life went on. I want it to be that way for me, for Danielle and Bob, for everyone who experiences the birth of a precious sleeping one. I don't want the grief to consume us. I want us to be able to smile when we hear the name, Roberta Rae.

Perhaps my sweet stillbirth mom, Kristina, said it best on Facebook, "You don't get over it, you just get through it. You don't get by it, because you can't get around it. It doesn't get better, it just gets different. Everyday...Grief puts on a new face."

In June of 2010 and May 2012, I became "Grammy" to Jacks, Roberta Rae's little brother, and Trent Oscar, Roberta Rae's baby cousin. Joy is returning into my life now as I continue nurturing Roberta Rae's legacy ~ and every baby born still ~ by empowering all expectant moms through education, proactivity and vigilance.

Please find a support group and seek counseling to help you through these very rough days. There will be brighter days ahead for you and your husband ~ it just seems forever waiting for them to get here...xo

Dear Lea, I truly feel your loss as we had a full term still born (Andrew) many years ago. We had already lost a bub through miscarriage at 20 weeks then we had 2 awesome boys but the third (Andrew) was a Spinabifida case (1 in 10,000) that was not picked up until 34 weeks and then my wife was told it was best to go full term and have a natural birth but the baby would not survive when born. Imagine how my wife felt carrying our baby for another 5 weeks knowing we would loose him.

I am not telling you this to make you feel sad. What I am trying to say here is that many, many people suffer the pain and anguish of loosing a bub through one way or another but here is the light in my story---

We eventually went on to having two more kids, another boy and my little ray of sunshine, my little girl Shannon. Imagine that, three boys and my little girl. What a blessing. I have spent the last 20 years (which is my daughters age now) working alongside them through their lives to date even with our rocky roads that we all experience, they are still the reason for having kids and I place them on my private pedestal as the most important parts of my life.

If for any reason you are looking for someone or something to blame for your and your hubby's loss, please don't. Love him for the man he is and for what he is trying to do for your future family and you and believe that there will be more little ones come your way.

Take a step back, a deep breath every time you feel sad and smile at the beauty of nature and the added love that you have found in yourself that you can create another life and will again and hold your Mum and Dad close, tell them again thanks for being there for me and know that they DO understand, after all, they went through lots of worries with you, didn't they. Tell hubby you love him and support what he is doing with your future in mind.

Remember, lots of bumps in the road doesn't mean the road needs fixing, life's like that, It just means we need to be a little more patient, slow down and enjoy the scenery more.

Take care Lea, lots of love to you and your present and future family. Steve

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl. I am glad you had your mom with you at the hospital and send my most tender feelings to you and you husband that you could not have been together in that time. There is no way to heal ourselves from this kind of pain. Grieve your tiny daughter. Hold on to those people close to you with whom you can share your tears and disappointment. Give your body some time to adjust to the vast hormonal changes it has undergone in the last weeks. All this takes time and the processes of nature. For yourself, rest, drink water, eat nutritious food, treat yourself gently and wait. We must not let what we have lost crush what we have remaining. Look each day for one small gift from the universe - some small token that is designed to remind you that the love which created Emery Michelle in the first place still exists and is active all around you. That love shows up in the small gifts and kindnesses around us but if we do not have looking eyes we may miss it . Keep close to your doctor. Physicians are able to help when the overwhelming pain of grief is complicated by a biochemical or hormonal depression-which can take place after any birthing situation. There was nothing you could have or should have done differently. You were so conscientious about all your medical follow ups. You loved your baby. As mothers, we can do no more nor more perfectly than that. Emery Michelle experienced that love for all of her 21 weeks of living under your heart. Lea, I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that even though your baby's life did not go as you had planned or hoped, you still gave her the best thing any child could have in loving her.