A Story of Stillbirth- Hello/Goodbye

I am so thankful for the hospital in which Cora was born, and for the staff that served us as we walked through the hardest days of our lives (see day seven for more on how I really feel about our staff). I have heard and read stories of women whose babies were lost too soon, and of staff that wouldn’t let them hold their babies or who didn’t treat the families as though they had experienced loss. If you experienced such hardship, I am truly sorry. I cannot imagine the added stress of not being able to see her or hold her.

Almost as soon as the frenzy started, it was over. I delivered the placenta easily and quickly, and spoke briefly with the doctor about my little girl. After Cora was born, my nurses whisked her away into an adjoining room, cleaned her up, and dressed her in tiny, handmade clothes made by sweet church ladies who feel called to minister to families whose babies are born too small to fit into store bought clothes.

My nurse brought her out to us, swaddled in soft clothes. I cannot begin to express how it felt to see my little girl; how it felt to hold her body. Her skin was thin and delicate, not ready to be outside of the womb and slightly damaged from her delivery. Her little mouth stood slightly open, and you could see a tiny tongue sitting behind her lips. Her nose was small and delicate, smaller than the smallest button that I’ve ever seen. Her little ears looked just like her daddy’s, only about a sixth of the size. She was longer than I expected, but skinny, having not had the opportunity to build up baby fat in my womb. She was beautiful, but she was gone.

It hurt so much to hold her. My heart and my eyes cried; sometimes together, sometimes apart. I had had dreams since seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy test, and for years before that, about holding my baby for the first time. I never imagined that she would have already died. I never imagined that I would say “Hello” and “Goodbye” in the same moment, trying my hardest to memorize her features, her smell, her weight and form.

We didn’t hold her for very long. My heart couldn’t bear it. A team from the hospital came in, that specializes in dealing with children who are lost or who have long term illnesses, and walked us through creating mementos of her short life by taking impressions of her hands, fingers, and taking photographs.

My dear friend from when we were still teenagers in college came and took beautiful photographs of her. After we were done with them all, we held her for one last time, and my nurse took her body away for testing.

After seven months of doing everything that I could to take good care of my girl, she was gone. My womb was empty, and so were my arms. They ache still to hold that baby that with the Lord, and they will until I reunited with her again in heaven.

Throughout the month of October, I’m writing a series titled “Hopeful Grief” with a fabulous group of writers, doing the Write31Days challenge. To catch up, or see new posts, click here. Interested in last year’s Write31Days posts? Click here

You can also sign up to receive notifications when I post something new, using the link to the right. If you’d like, you can sign up for extras too, such as exclusive newsletters and personal updates, by using the “Click Here” button to the right. Want even more? Connect with me on social media. 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “A Story of Stillbirth- Hello/Goodbye

  1. Aurelia says:

    Carla,
    Your writing evokes such emotion, that, even if I didn’t know you, the tears still would fall. Thank you for having the courage to share these intimate, painful moments.
    Love and prayers to you and Jacob,
    Aurelia

    Like

    • Carla says:

      Thank you, Aurelia. My greatest hope is that God would be glorified by her life, even though it was short. I want so much to help people understand what going through a loss can feel like, and that it’s okay to talk about if they need to. Thank you so much for reading, crying, and praying with us.

      Like

  2. beks21 says:

    Carla, it feels shallow to compliment your writing when the subject matter is so painful and important, so I will instead thank you for sharing your story in a beautiful, honest, true way. Thank you for using your talent with words to share your daughter’s story. Praying for you and J. Love you.

    Like

    • Carla says:

      Thank you, Beks. Thank you for your prayers and for reading. It’s a healing story to be able to share. I cry as I write, and I cry as I read, but there is no shame in those tears.
      Love you, too ❤

      Like

    • Carla says:

      Thank you Madi. I really appreciate your prayers. We’re still waiting on answers about what happened, but we’ll see what happens when we get all of that information.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s