"For I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
On my birthday this year we announced the joyous news that we were expecting our rainbow baby, Eloise Odessa. We had just found out her sex and we could not believe that we were having a girl. A girl. A mini me. I thought about constantly if she would look like me or be like me. I had this feeling though that she would be more like her Dad, because even from the womb she would let me know that he was her favorite. He would sing and talk to her every evening, and she would do this little happy dance.We could not believe it, a girl! Our girl. We never imagined a month later we would be holding her in our arms to say goodbye.
October 15th, 2019 our baby girl was born. The unimaginable happened at our twenty week appointment, "I am so sorry but your baby is no longer living." Words that echo in my mind daily, "your baby.. your baby... no longer living." When I think of that day, I think of the person who I used to be and then the person I am now. I was the pregnant gal, excited for her baby girl and their future. Instantly, I became the person carrying a dead baby, a person who would give birth to a still born, to a person I sometimes do not recognize in the mirror.
The days leading up to Eloise's birth were a jumbled up blur. We were told that we were going to have to do a D&C. We didn't know that there were other options. So, we had asked if it could wait until October 14th since we were shooting a wedding on October 13th. The D&C was scheduled. We cleaned out her nursery. Tears and sobs as we folded up baby clothes, and put things that were her things into a box and then having other items into the "someday if we have an alive child" box. Her nursery was pretty much finished. I would walking into that room dreaming of the day I would rock my baby to sleep. As we folded up the crib, I thought of all the memories we were supposed to have and not this. "This cannot be my life," is something I thought over and over.
We shot Charlie and Veronica's wedding. Two amazing, gracious folks that were so kind to us during those dark days. I am so thankful we were able to be around such joy before we entered in days of dark sorrow. You see, I truly believe that God planned this out perfectly. He knew this was going to happen, so we surrounded us with the best people imaginable. Charlie and Veronica were some of those people that God laid out before us.
Monday October 14th, we went to get all checked in for the D&C. We told the Dr. that we wanted to see the baby, hold her, and get her foot prints copied. He said with such kindness, "with the D&C you will not receive those. This is not an emergency. We can get you checked in at the hospital and get you induced." We went and told our Mom's who were waiting with tears in their eyes in the lobby that the plan had changed. I'll never forget that weird car ride riding to go get lunch that I was about to give birth. It is something that I had known that one day would happen, but I thought I had more time. More time to get my breathing techniques down, or even more time to get the perfect birth play list together. But, here we were in the hardest days of our lives so far and I was ready.
On October 15th my baby girl Eloise was born. I knew she was coming before the Dr's or Nurses. I was able to have my Mom, Mother in law, and husband there with me as our baby girl entered the world that she would never experience. Usually, when babies are born there is just utter joy. We all felt instant sadness as we did not hear her cry. We heard total silence. I asked the nurse, " is that my baby" as I felt her come out. Nurse Amy said, " yes, that is your baby, push one more time." Then she came. I instantly said, " I love you so much Eloise." I had felt a blanket of peace that whole day as I was being induced. I did not cry, or fear anything. But, as soon as she was born, God lifted that blanket, and I sobbed.
Like I said early, God coordinated this terrible thing perfectly. We were able to have our moms there, we got to hold our girl, tell her how much we loved her, we got the footprint copies, and we got to have little memories with her. We had the best nurses. They would come and spend time with us, trade stories with us, pick up our sweet girl and say, "Hey beautiful girl." They made us feel so seen and cared for during such a vulnerable time. I think of the staff we worked with everyday and I praise God for them.
I don't know what the road will look like for us. I know it will be hard. I know it will be very long. I don't know if we will have another child of our own. As we are preparing to celebrate our baby girls life this weekend, I have been reflecting a lot on this road so far, and I feel so much gratitude to all of those who have prayed for us, sent us flowers and food, beautiful gifts, and those who have constantly been there for us.
Thank you for praying. Thank you for reading our baby girls story. If you know someone who is grieving, don't give up on their friendship, they need you more than you know.