Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Photo by: Carlie MacWillie
On April 6, 2020, I started going into labor. I was 40 weeks pregnant with our little girl and up to that point I had a healthy pregnancy.
Honestly, I never heard the words “perfect” so many times. Every doctor and nurse used the word “perfect” to describe our daughter at each appointment we had. Perfect heartbeat. Perfect growth rate. Perfect anatomy. Perfect. And she was perfect...in every way.
The morning my labor started I began to get nervous because I hadn’t felt my daughter move in a while. Honestly though, I just thought that she was either sleeping or just getting ready for the labor process. Something being seriously wrong never crossed my mind. After 20 weeks babies were completely safe...or so I thought.
I just so happened to have my 40 week appointment that day. I remember sitting in the waiting room and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was really wrong. I grabbed my husband’s hand and asked him to pray. He did.
We were called into the back room where the nurse helped me lie down so she could check the heartbeat. After 20 seconds of her not finding it I started to hyperventilate. Nurse after nurse came in trying to find a heartbeat. They then took us back to the ultrasound room where they put the monitor on me and displayed the screen for us to look. I closed my eyes. I already knew. As soon as I heard the words “oh honey, I’m so sorry” I broke. My husband stared in disbelief. He asked them to check a second time. Then a third. Same answer. Our baby’s heart wasn’t beating.
I was then told that I still had to deliver my baby. How could I give birth to a baby that I knew had already died? My mind couldn’t wrap around the thought. They sent me to the hospital where they sped up my labor. It was by the grace of God and lots of people praying that I had a fairly quick labor. And at 2:11AM on April 7, 2020, I gave birth to our sweet Emma Lee. 8 pounds, 10 ounces, 21 inches. She was truly perfect. A gift from our Heavenly Father.
We prayed over her, wept over her, kissed her, snuggled her, and sang over her. We got pictures taken of her at the hospital that we will treasure forever. How can you soak in a lifetime of words, kisses and snuggles in the span of just a few hours? You can’t. But we sure tried. We saw that it was the cord that had ended her life early. She had a cut under her chin that indicated so. But we knew she went peacefully. She looked so peaceful...just like a sleeping baby.
Since that day, JD and I have been trying to heal. We have good days and bad days. We miss her so much. We miss everything we should be doing with her now. But we know that God is going to use our daughter and her story to impact the world for him. We know that God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)....and we are hanging onto that truth.
We have decided to share our grief publicly so that we may influence others who have either been through something similar or who know someone else who has.
This is a short recap of what happened, but we plan to live the rest of our lives sharing our story at @emmas_blessings. We can't wait to see Emma again one day, and hope her name draws people closer to Him.