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She is Our Heavenly Flower

Photo Credit: Angie Andrade

On Sunday, April 11, 2021, my boyfriend, Jose, and I found out we were pregnant. It was our 5th year anniversary and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate.

We were excited and looking forward to meeting our new baby. My daughter, Desiree, and two sons, Nathan and Jay, were also very excited to meet their new sibling.

On Wednesday, July 14, 2021 we found out we were having a girl! We were so excited and even had her name picked out since before she was conceived.

The excitement was very short lived. The very next morning—Thursday, July 15, 202—our world was turned upside down. My water broke at only 20 weeks + 1 day. We went into labor and delivery and after an ultrasound, my doctor informed us that I had no amniotic fluid. We were able to hear our baby’s heartbeat and see her moving around perfectly fine.

My doctor wanted to confirm, and double check the amniotic fluid, so she did a second ultrasound. This time it was a vaginal ultrasound which confirmed the same thing—no fluid. The baby’s heartbeat was strong and she was still moving around.

After further testing it was confirmed that I had experienced PPROM (Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes). We didn’t understand at that moment what this meant and how it would forever change our lives.

The doctor gave us three options:

1: Go home and wait to see if our baby could make it to 23-24 weeks, which would give her higher chance for survival. But we would be risking the possibility of infection for her, for me, or for both of us.

2: Be induced and have a 99% chance of her being stillborn.

3: Perform a D & E.

After lots of thinking, praying, and hoping for a miracle we went with option 2.

On Friday, July 16, 2021, I was induced at 3:00 p.m. It was the saddest and hardest decision of our lives.

Before I got induced, my doctor offered us the chance to speak to a chaplain to which we agreed. After speaking to the chaplain and praying for our baby I felt her move yet again. I remember telling the chaplain “my baby’s moving, I feel her.” I cried and rubbed my belly acknowledging her movements. That was the last time I would ever feel her movements.

Leilani Rose, our beautiful angel, arrived that night. She was stillborn at 9:30 p.m. She was perfect, she is perfect! She was so tiny weighing only 11 ounces, but so perfectly formed with daddy’s nose and mommy’s chin and toes.

What gives us comfort is knowing that God gave us the privilege to see, to hold, and to kiss our beautiful angel. We also had the privilege of baptizing her shortly after she was born and that allowed us to accept what we were going through. It gave us a sense of peace and comfort in the middle of all the devastation and sadness we feel to this day.

I honestly believe that the last movements I felt after the prayer was her way of thanking us and saying goodbye. Her name, chosen since before conception, is also a sign for us as Leilani means “heavenly flower."

That is exactly what she is to us, our heavenly flower, our beautiful angel, Leilani Rose Martinez.

Thank you Angie Andrade / @stillmyheavenlyflower for sharing your story. Shared with permission.

We know that losing a child is the most heartbreaking thing a parent can experience.

Loved Baby is a beautiful resource to help grieving parents of faith through their darkest days.

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