The best "worst" day.

9:36 AM

I belong to a club.  Not one that I would have ever wanted to join.  But, one with many members.  One that does not discriminate race, class, age, or circumstance.

On May 11, 2011, I joined a group of woman who are still-born Moms.

I remember the day so vividly.  I remember my entire pregnancy with such detail.  I am so grateful for those memories, because that is all I have now.  Some of them are hard to re-live, but others bring a smile to my heart.

Like when I first found out I was pregnant.  I called my Husband and we both sat there on the phone for like 10 minutes, laughing and saying "HOLY CRAP!" like a million times.

My first ultra-sound and we heard the baby's heart beat.

The first few months were hard.  I felt guilty about being so sick and not being able to care for my kids while I was growing another one.

I remember having contractions at about 18 weeks.  Calling my Dr. and going in.  The contractions were minor, and they weren't progressing, so we had another ultra-sound.  Baby was sucking it's thumb!  Seeing that made it a little easier to hear, "You need to be on bed-rest.  Don't do anything more than necessary."

Going in a few weeks later and finding out, "75% sure it's a girl.  But she's very modest, and she's still measuring very small so I can't be sure."  I was in disbelief, because I really felt like I was having a boy.

We had an appointment to see a perinatologists.  My Dr. was concerned with our babies growth and wanted us to have a specialized ultra-sound.  I was really excited for this ultra-sound because I was just entering my third trimester, we were finally able to start feeling her move, and I knew we should be able to for sure know if we were having a girl now.

We walked into the Hospital for our appointment and my Husband and I were talking about how in just a very short time I would be back there to deliver our baby.  We went into the ultra-sound room and a nurse started the exam.

She started the ultra-sound and started making small talk.  Then she stopped.  She started asking if I was sure on my due-date.  I said yes.  I explained to her that all of my babies measure small, and they all turned out fine.  I just kept chatting away.  She kept typing things on her computer.  Then she said she was going to get the specialist now, and she left the room.

My husband was really quiet.  He was pale.  I really had no idea what was going on.  I looked at the computer screen and the measurements were all over the place.  Some of her measurements were 18 weeks, some were 22 weeks, some were 16 weeks.  She was measuring small.  I tried to reassure my husband that yes, she was measuring smaller than our other babies, but I reminded him that ALL of our babies had this same issue, and they turned out fine.

He kissed my forehead and told me he loved me.

He knew.  And he knew that I didn't.

Our baby didn't have a heart beat.  From that moment until later that day when I went into Labor, is a blur.   That is the only part of my whole pregnancy I don't remember, and I don't know how I coped with.   I was blind-sided and felt like I was hit by a truck.

We were admitted to Labor and Delivery that afternoon.  They have special rooms for this.  It looks just like a regular delivery room, except there is a picture on the door, so everyone who enters knows that this Mom does not get to take her baby home.  They have specially trained nurses to deal with this too.  Counselors, and people to come in and help you decide what kind of funeral you want, what funeral home you want to use.  I was so overwhelmed having to make these decisions that I had NEVER thought of before.

When I walked in and saw the baby cart I lost it.  For the first time since knowing, I lost it.  It was real.  It was happening.

I was in labor for almost 10 hours.   My nurses were very attentive.  Jason had to leave for a bit to go check on the kids, and one of the nurses stayed in my room with me the entire time, rubbing my back.  The pain had really start to set in.

Jason came back, and I decided to finally get the epidural.  A different nurse came in and was checking on my stats and said something to me I will never forget.

She said, "I'm so sorry for your loss.  I know that today is the worst day of your life, but someday, it will be one of your best too."

I wanted to kick her.  When she left the room I looked at my husband and said, "SHE is the nurse that has been trained to deal with this and THAT is what she said!??"

That night, at 11:56 pm.  I delivered Aria Dawson.  No one was in the room with us.  It was just me, my Husband, our daughter.  I knew it was time, and my husband went to push the button to call the nurses, but I just had this feeling that I wanted to do it alone.

That moment was the single most spiritual moment of my entire life.  I felt so loved and so comforted.  I know that Heavenly Father was in that room with us.  He was there to comfort Jason and I, and to take Aria home with him.  I know it with every fiber of my being.  I think that is why I wanted to do it without all the Dr's and nurses.  I knew that Heavenly Father was there with me, and that he would help me.

After I delivered her, Jason called the Dr. in and they had Jason cut the cord.  They cleaned her up a little bit, and then they gave her right to me.

We were able to spend a few hours with our baby.   Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep came in and took pictures.  A group called S.H.A.R.E came in and did molds of Aria's hands and feet, and helped to dress her.  I got to hold her.  I sang to her.  She looked just like her big sister.  Jason gave her her name,  and we prayed together.  Then, when I was ready, the funeral home came, and he took her.

How do you say goodbye to your child?  How do you say goodbye to all of the hopes and dreams you had for that child?

The next few weeks I was numb.  We buried her.  We spent a lot of time together as a family.  We had a lot of support and love from our neighbors and friends.  Lots of flowers delivered, food, cards.  We were well taken care of.  My boys soccer teams got us Pizza gift cards, took the boys to games and practices.  My sister entertained my kids as took them with her everywhere.  My Mom would just sit with me and watch me stare out the window. I cried more tears than I thought was possible.  I got more hugs than I though I could.

I went through every emotion possible.  I was numb.  I was mad.  I was devastated.  I felt guilty.  I felt lonely.  I felt betrayed.  I felt empty.  I felt lost.  I felt loved.

The recovery from having a still-born is the same as having a full term live baby.  I was sore.  My milk came in and I had to be wrapped for a week to dry it out.   I was exhausted.  I slowly started getting back to life.  Getting out of bed.  Getting dressed.  Being my kids Mom.  I love those kids of mine, and I wanted so badly for them to know that I was okay.

I was going to be okay.

The funny thing about time, is it doesn't stop.  The weeks turned into months.  And the months turned into years.

It's been 3 years now.

I still remember everything about my Aria.  And I can still feel every emotion with losing her.

But I feel something else too.

I remember my nurse, the one I hated, and what she said,

"I know that today is the worst day of your life, but someday, it will be one of your best too."

Surprisingly, I get it now.

And she was right.

That day was beautiful.  It was sacred.

I made a promise to my baby girl that day.  I promised her I'd live a full and joyful life for her.  I promised her I'd love greater.  I promised her to be happy.

I see life so differently now.  Life is precious.  Life IS beautiful.  Even on the rainiest of days.  I am grateful!  I am blessed!  I am happy!

I KNOW that my Heavenly Father knows who I am, and he loves me.

I know that I will be reunited with my daughter, and I will get to be her Mom one day, because of the eternal blessings of the Temples and the covenants that I've made there.

I feel so blessed to have an angel baby.  I know she is watching over us.  She got what she needed.  She received her body, and all she ever knew was that I loved her.  So so much!

How comforting is that!?  All my daughter knew of this world is what she felt in the womb.  She got to hear her Daddy talk to her every night.  He told her how much he loved her.  She got to hear her brothers and sister laugh.  She heard her mother pray for her, daily.  She felt warmth from us cradling my belly.

That best "worst" day of my life, was the day I learned how to live.

May 11, 2011


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