Updated: Apr 4
It took us a year and a half to get pregnant the first time. My son, Elliot, was born at 38 weeks and 5 days. We had a 36-hour labor at home, and he arrived so wonderfully.
Motherhood was so much harder than I thought but also had so many beautiful moments. We decided to expand our family, and six months later we discovered we were expecting! Everything was great.
We went for our 20-week ultrasound and we found out we were expecting a girl! We named her Charlotte and we were all so excited for her arrival. We busied ourselves with preparing Elliot for his role of “big brother.” We prepared the house, and I prepared for labor and birth.
My due date came and went. I couldn’t believe it after Elliot's early arrival! I went into labor at 40 weeks 5 days pregnant. This time my labor was fast, with the first contraction at 1 a.m., and a baby in our arms by 4 a.m.!
Charlotte was absolute perfection, and born at home just like her brother. The midwives checked us both over and we were in perfect health! For 48 hours everything was just as it should be. We had multiple health checks and Charlotte scored perfectly on them all. She nursed as she should, cried as she should, settled as she should, and woke as she should. Until she didn’t.
Photo by Megan Wolf
Charlotte died at 48 hours old. We woke up and frantically called an ambulance. We had been up two hours ago! I changed a poopy diaper and nursed her back to sleep! How could this be happening?
After an investigation it was proven that Charlotte was indeed perfect. Her death was labeled as SIDS. We were told we did everything “right” and “these things just happen.”
On March 16, 2020, my world became whole. And on March 18, 2020, my world would never be whole again.
The doctor finished telling us they had done all they could and left the room. I buried my head in my husband’s chest and sobbed. “I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. Honey I can’t do this.”
I’ll never forget the feeling of stepping out of that hospital with no baby in my arms. How would I survive this?
We lived with my mother for a week after Charlotte’s death while I healed from the birth. Then our city was going into lockdown because of the pandemic, so we moved back home where we spent an excruciating two months completely alone.
I often wonder how different grieving would feel if it weren’t during a pandemic.
We didn’t have a funeral because by this time they were limited to ten people and physically distanced. I knew more than ten people loved Charlotte and I knew I’d want to hug the people who came.
I didn’t know it would be a year later and the pandemic would still be raging. I haven’t hugged my friends in a year. Oh, how I wish I could fall into their arms, have my family around me, have had a funeral right away. But more than anything I wish for my daughter back.
As time goes on, I can see a path to how I’ll heal enough. I know I’ll never be whole again and I’m learning to accept that. I know lots of people look for signs from their lost babies. I searched and begged for signs in the beginning and felt so much pain when I didn’t see them.
So, I decided the sky will be my sign. If the sky is full of clouds, I know Charlotte is saying hi. If there’s no clouds, she’s saying I’m doing okay. This way I can always look up and she’s right there; maybe a lone cloud in the sky or maybe a perfectly blue sky. Somehow with me still, yet somehow so far away. So loved. So missed. So treasured.
In loving memory of Charlotte Bonnie Wolf.
Thank you @raisedby.wolfs for sharing your story. Shared with permission.