What happened?

After almost 32 weeks of pregnancy,
I was in the final stretch.

My backaches and nausea had disappeared,
I was 3 weeks away from maternity leave, my
Malou
was kicking and squirming away happily inside me.

Until she wasn’t.

I was in the hospital
for an unrelated
(so they think)
reason.
Probably kidney stones.

I heard
Malou’s
heart beating
on Sunday night
when I was admitted.

She was fine.
I was not.
(so they thought)

The next day,
May 26, 2008,
when I hadn’t felt
Malou
move
they tried to find her heartbeat again.
But couldn’t.

So I went to have an ultrasound
and the doctor was silent.
At this point
I started to think something might be wrong.
Another doctor was called in.
He, too, was silent.
They just kept scanning and scanning.

I told them if they had bad news,
I didn’t want to hear it.
I wanted my husband to be with me.

When they said ok,
and didn’t tell me anything,
I knew it was bad.
But I hoped it was a birth defect
or anything
that would mean that
Malou
had a chance.

I tried to call my husband
over and over
and tried not to completely fall apart.
It took me about a half-hour
before we spoke.
I felt so horrible,
like I had let my husband and my daughter down
by not keeping her safe inside me.
I didn’t want my husband to panic
so I told him something was wrong
I needed more tests
and he should come to the hospital right now.

It turns out
he thought there was something wrong with me.

When he arrived
the doctors came back into the room
and told us they couldn’t find a heartbeat.

I think I started screaming and sobbing.
I don’t remember it too clearly.

They eventually did another ultrasound
and we saw
Malou’s
beautiful, perfect little body
lying curled up
inside me
motionless.

We went home.
Packed our bags.
Tried to find an outfit
small enough to fit a preemie.
Called a priest.
Called my mom.
Went back to the hospital
to induce labor.

29 hours later
at 2.06 a.m.
on May 28, 2008,
Malou Amelia
was born.

The autopsy results showed
some abnormalities
but nothing that should have indicated
Malou
would die.

So we don’t really know
why.

And I guess it doesn’t really matter
because it wouldn’t change anything.

That is the hardest thing.
That there is nothing I can do
to bring
Malou
back.
But yet there is nothing I want to do more.

Published on November 15, 2008 at 22:44  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reading this made me cry…I know EXACTLY what you were feeling when the doctors were so silent and then when they broke the news. Total devastation. I’m glad that your husband was able to be there quickly.

    I also know what you mean about feeling like you let your husband and daughter down. I felt a lot of guilt for a while, and occasionally there are still little hints of it. I was so afraid Hunter would resent me, but thankfully he never has.

  2. i have just sat and read your blog, all of it. i started by watching Malou’s video. it was the most preciouse video. i cried myself a small stream.

    my husband and I had a baby 1.23.08. her name is Autumn. she had no hair when she was born. she also never cried when she was born. Like Malou, Autumn was born still.

    i check in on Autumn all the time,,, and she’s doing good, i will ask her to check in on Malou. im imagining they are playing together.

    i invision them running together, and then thinking, were are our moms? and by the time they turn around to look for us, we will allready be there.

    thanks for all you blogs,
    i too think of my baby every minute,
    always and foever
    Malou and Autumn

    jen*

  3. Hi Jen,

    Thanks for writing. I am so sorry about your Autumn.

    I love your vision of our girls playing, running, and thinking of us, turning around, and we are there. That is so beautiful.

    They say time doesn’t mean anything in heaven, and that is actually very comforting, that it is only us that has to go through this pain, but that our beautiful children don’t.

  4. Oh god, I know that silence. It’s the most horrendous, awful silence ever, the silence that tells you what you are most unready and unable to understand. For me it was a silent doppler, then another, then two silent ultrasounds. All done by a silent nurse, then a tech, then a silent doctor.

    I am so sorry we all know about this.

  5. […] with the doctor on Monday to discuss (1) what to do if I have another kidney (?) attack (see the “What Happened?” link about why that’s important to me), (2) my schedule for ultrasounds, and (3) the plan for […]

  6. Your Dad,Harry Charles (Which I have called him my entire life), just sent us the link to this beautiful site. I cried my way through it, but continued to watch because it is such a beautiful testiment to your love to Malou. She’s in Uncle Harry’s care now, loved by so many of our relatives who have ‘walked on’…

    Our love goes to you all and congratulations on that handsome Viking! He’ll grow up proud to be Malou’s little brother….

  7. Thank you for sharing Malou’s story and your love for her.

    I came across your website only one month after our beautiful boy William Matthew Perkins Oliver was born. It was only the second website I had looked at and it is the last. The acknowledgement of your real and eternal love for your daughter was enough. I have now just looked at your video again (now 5 1/2 months since WIlliam was born) and again tears ran down my face.

    I am so grateful to God to have had my beautiful boy born at 36 1/2 weeks, silently. But am so scared of living a lifetime with the pain and longing for my son. I wouldn’t wish for less pain though, because the love I feel is even more beautiful. As you said, you would do it all again for just one more minute with your child.

    I often think of Malou (my husband’s mother shares her name), and I will be looking for her in Heaven one day. Thank you for sharing your story, it has helped to know that other people share the intensity of grief I feel for a life time of love.
    Penelope, a mother of a child in Heaven.

  8. Dear Penelope,
    I am so sorry William Matthew isn’t here with you. I wish so much that Malou was the last baby ever born still in this world. I know the fear of living without your child…all your hopes and dreams vanish in an instant and it is terrifying to have to go on for the rest of your life. It is still so soon for you, but I hope your love for your beautiful son will carry you through, just like my love for Malou does…it is still hard, but it has gotten easier in these last two years.
    xoxo
    Stephanie

    PS I added William’s name to my In Memory Of page.


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