I found out I was pregnant with Callie on Christmas day 2009.
I was very sick throughout my pregnancy with her. I could barely hold down any food for the first 4 months. I also had a scare when I was 7 weeks pregnant. Everything turned out fine and my little girl continued to grow.
I found out we were having a little girl at a 3d ultrasound when I was just about 18 weeks. We were over the moon with happiness.
When I was 23 weeks pregnant with her I noticed her movement had changed. It was my first pregnancy so I didn’t know what to expect. People kept telling me babies have quiet days, so I just thought it was normal.
I had a regular prenatal appointment on May 13th 2010. They could not locate Callie’s heartbeat so I was sent for an emergency ultrasound.
Although the techs wouldn’t say anything to me, it was clear that my baby had no heartbeat. I was sent back to my doctor’s office where I received the news I already knew, my baby had died. I started the induction the next day and had my baby girl on May 15th 2010 at 2:25am. Once I had given birth it was revealed that Callie passed away from a twisted umbilical cord.
Nothing can prepare you for someone telling you your baby has died. It is such a blessing that there are organizations to help parents with their loss.
I think it is important to know that there IS life after loss. I wrote this for Callie on her 3rd birthday.
To my beautiful baby girl on her 3rd birthday:
I thought long and hard what I could do to make your birthday special this year. So to honour you I figured I would let the world know what kind of impact your short little life had on me and the lessons I learned. The impact of your death cannot be measured. It is a struggle I live with daily. No matter how big my heart grows with love I always have an empty space where you belong. It is unfair that you were taken from me, before you even got to begin to live. You have changed so much in me. I am no longer the person I was before I met you. Despite what anyone may think, I know you. The core of me knows you. Our souls lived together in harmony while you grew inside me. I want you to know I will forever talk about you. Your sister’s will always know that they have an older sister who is dancing with angels. It would be a disservice to you if I didn’t share all you have taught me. For you has been my biggest teacher.
You taught me patience. People often don’t know what to say when they find out you died. There is that awkward silence and avoidance. I used to get angry about it, but I knew that would only be doing you a disservice. Equalled to them having understanding of me, I needed to have understanding of them. I mean what can you really say?
You taught me compassion. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life. It’s time we maybe cut other’s some slack. You can always see what’s on the outside, but you never know what someone is dealing with on the inside.
You taught me that I to can talk and share with other people. I have since gone on to talk with other women who are dealing or have dealt with the same thing. When you’re in the darkest of dark it’s always nice to know there is someone holding a hand out waiting to bring you some light?
You taught me to be a better mother. I can’t say for sure that I would be as good of a parent if you had not died. But in your death I learned not to take anything for granted. You never know how long you have with the people you love. Take the time to enjoy every moment, even the not so great ones.
Lastly you taught me the purest of loves. Only a mother knows what it is to love your child beyond anything else. Even though you are not here with me, my love for you is endless.
I know this list won’t end here, for I am still learning from the gifts you have given me. These lessons are ones that will not be fleeting, and I will do my best to pass them on in your honour.
In the words of your sister’s favourite book “I love you right up to the moon – and back”.