Updated: Apr 4
Photo Credit: Catharine Bliss / Bliss Photography
I want to preface this by saying I have three boys (4,5, and almost 2). But I wanted one more. It sounds superficial, but I really wanted a baby girl. So, I researched all the tips and tricks to try to conceive a baby girl.
My husband and I started trying and I thought I would take a pregnancy test on our youngest son’s first birthday. Sure enough, it was positive! I didn’t tell anyone. I felt great, amazing actually! Which was different from when I was pregnant with my boys. So I assumed maybe, just maybe it was a girl!
I had my first appointment at ten weeks, went to the doctor and everything was fine. But my dates didn’t exactly line up. The doctor reassured me the baby looked fine. I started to worry a tad, but still didn’t tell my husband. I was still feeling great!
I got a blood test taken at twelve weeks to find out the gender and found out it was a GIRL!
I still didn’t tell my husband.
I went to my second doctor’s appointment at fourteen weeks. The baby was growing and had a good heartbeat. The doctor reassured me there was nothing to worry about. That day I told my husband! He was excited and I ordered a gender reveal golf ball and we told our boys.
We recorded their excitement as they found out “it’s a sister!” It was the best! I was still feeling great. I never thought anything could be wrong.
At seventeen weeks I had another appointment, and everything still looked great. We decided to make “the announcement.”
A week later, at eighteen weeks and three days, I started bleeding. I called the nurse line and they said everything sounded just fine. I called again later because I hadn’t felt her move. I had JUST started feeling her move at night when reading to the boys. The nurses again told me not to worry.
The next day there was more blood. I called the nurse line again and they reassured me everything was probably okay.
On the following day, a Monday, my doctor wanted me to have my anatomy scan early to check things out. This is where everything became a blur.
The ultrasound tech knew I was nervous and asked if I wanted to immediately know how things were. I can’t even remember how he said it. My mind played a trick on me and I smiled at my husband as if she were still alive.
How could she have died?!
I had just seen my doctor a week ago! I saw her! I heard her heartbeat!
The next moments all run together. I remember the nurse giving me the options of a D & C or induction. We had to go home and think. That night we had to drive somewhere late at night and I remember looking out the window staring at the full moon just praying to God they made a mistake; praying she wasn’t dead.
I woke up the next day having contractions. It felt so surreal because last time I had contractions it was so exciting! This time was different.
The contractions hurt and after timing them and calling the nurse line, I was told to come in.
It all felt so real, except my baby wasn’t alive.
Labor hurt badly enough that I got an epidural. I didn’t really have to push—I felt her come out.
They put her on my chest (as if she was alive). They gave her a tiny outfit and I tried putting a tiny bow on her head. They weighed her, measured her, let me hold her for twelve hours.
That night we walked out to the same full moon without our baby girl. Her name was Luna, meaning moon.
She died from a blood clot.
Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with FVL (Factor V Leiden). If I would have known this sooner, it could have saved her life and I’d be holding her today.
Thank you Brittany Riedemann / @brriedemann for sharing your story. Shared with permission. Photo by Bliss Photography / @blissphotomn and shared with permission.
Stillbirth is devastating and can leave loss parents feeling isolated. They Were Still Born beautifully gives voice to parents who have experienced stillbirth, while honoring the little lives gone too soon.
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