The Day Our Lives Changed

“Has she been kicking today?” Jason asked as he did nearly every day since I started to feel her kick.

I thought about it and responded, “she hasn’t been too active, but she was kicking this morning a bit. No worries.”

Later that night I was soaking in the tub when I realized that I actually hadn’t felt her kick in a while. She typically moved around a bunch when I was relaxing, and the tub was one of my favorite places to relax while I was pregnant. After drying off and getting into bed she still hadn’t moved. It was late and I was getting nervous but told myself that I needed to sleep and that I was likely over-reacting.

When Jason’s alarm went off early the next morning I told him not to freak out, but that I was worried that I hadn’t felt her kick all night. He got me a glass of orange juice and I laid back down and waited for her to get a bit of a sugar rush and start kicking. But nothing happened.

We both decided it was best to call my doctor. While waiting to hear back we got in the car and drove to the hospital. The doctor called us on the way there and told us to meet her at labor and delivery and that I could get checked out.

Fast forward about an hour… I’m laying in triage and Jason is holding my hand. The doctor has the ultrasound hooked up and I can see our sweet baby girl on the monitor. She sweeps the wand back and forth, and back and forth. I hold my breath. I know something is wrong. She was always so active. She kept me awake at night kicking and rolling and punching me from within.

“What I’m doing is looking for the heartbeat…” the doctor says.

“And it’s not there,” I respond.

“No, it isn’t.”

At exactly 38 weeks pregnant we have just learned that our baby has died. I cry because I know it’s what I should do, but I still don’t fully believe what’s just happened. Her life is over before it ever began. One of my first thoughts was that this is the hardest thing we will ever have to go through in our lives, and that nothing will ever be the same.

I turned to Jason as the nurse wiped off my big belly and he hugged me and we cried. I remember saying “our little girl” and it prompted more tears. I wanted a little girl so badly and the day we found out we both cried happy tears. Everything was so perfect. Until this day.

After crying for a bit we both turn to the doctor.

“This sucks,” I tell her.

“It does. It really really does,” she responds.

“What do we do now? What are the next steps?” I ask. I already want this day to be over. This is easily the worst day of my life.

After feeling absolutely shocked that my perfect pregnancy, my perfect baby girl, were both gone, I was then thrown into one of the next stages of grief almost immediately: anger. I still needed to deliver my baby girl. She still needed to be born, even though she would not be breathing. It all seemed very cruel, that I still needed to go through this painful process, and in the end my baby would still be dead. We cried some more, we asked about options, we asked what the doctor thought could have gone wrong, and we prepared ourselves for the next steps of this painful process.

I asked the doctor if this was anything I did. I was responsible for caring for my little girl, I was her life support, and now her life was over. She assured me there was nothing that could have been done. Although extremely unlikely at full term, these things happen and the majority of people never find out what caused it. It could have been a chromosomal defect (which I tested negative for earlier in my pregnancy) or a knot or clot in the umbilical cord, or an infection, or a number of other reasons. Since then we have received many (many!) different test results from both me and my baby girl, none showing any abnormal results. We are still waiting for autopsy results.

Next, we needed to call our families. We were given time in triage to make calls while the nurses got our room ready. I called my Mom and told her the worst news I could have delivered. We cried together and talked about what we would need to do next. Jason called his family and they decided they would come visit right away. Jason made a few more calls to let our friends in Minnesota know, and my best friend in Philadelphia. Many more tears were shed every time we had to say the words “we lost the baby.”

Read Alice’s Birth Story.

8 Responses to The Day Our Lives Changed

  • Jen says:

    Sam,
    I am so sorry for your terrible loss. I really only know you through Instagram (jenminn here. hi!) but when I found out about the loss of your daughter, I cried for you. I’ve been praying for you and your family. I lost my first baby early in my pregnancy (I know it’s totally different) and the best thing I have been able to do since then is talk about it. Let my feeling out. The good, the bad, and the ugly. You are a brave strong woman.

    Still sending love and prayers,
    Jen

  • Nancy says:

    Another Instagram friend here (goshery). I’m not a cryer, but I’ve shed tears for you, your husband and baby Alice. I followed your pregnancy on Instagram and could not believe it when I saw your post sharing the terrible news. I have thought about you and prayed for you. I know of someone that went through a similar situation and started a support group (here in Minnesota). If you are interested let me know and I can get the information for you. Know that Alice touched many lives, and that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Sam and Jason,
    Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure it wasn’t easy writing and sharing it with us. I can’t imagine the sadness and pain you’re both going through. All I can do is pray for you. We don’t know yet why Alice was brought to you both for such a short time, but some day maybe a reason will come to light. We many never truly understand His reasonings but we must trust that He will tell us someday. I will continue to keep you and Jason and the rest of your family in my prayers for healing and strength through this devastating time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything else I may be able to help you both with.

    Hugs and Love,
    Jess

  • Kristy O says:

    Hi Sam, I’m here b/c of Jen’s tweet. I cannot even imagine what this is like for you. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prayers.

  • Kristen says:

    I have been thinking of you often, but especially today wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Nicole says:

    Jason & Sam – So sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine what you guys have been through. My heart aches every time I think about you two and Alice. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

  • Pingback: Alice’s Birth Story |

  • darcie says:

    OH SWEET SWEET SAM.
    I am so very, very sorry.

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Hi. I'm Sam. I'm glad you're here. This blog of mine is a place for me to write about whatever I'd like... maybe you'll be interested in what I decide to put here. That would be awesome, wouldn't it? :)

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