When my husband and I found out we were pregnant, it was such a surprise. We weren’t exactly trying but it just felt meant to be. I had a relatively easy pregnancy with just a little morning sickness weeks 7 through 10 and mild acid reflux here and there. At our 20 week ultrasound, we found out we were having a little girl and soon after decided on the name Brooklynn Mae. “Lynn” for my mom who passed away when I was 12 and “Mae” for my sister’s and husband’s birth month who have always been my favorite people. She was such an active baby, always kicking around and already showing a big personality.
On the morning of January 6, 2018, we woke up like any other Saturday. I was 39 weeks that day. We ran some errands, getting last minute things to prepare for Brooklynn. I remember thinking that all the walking around was maybe going to jump start labor, and I was excited for her to be here. When we got home after a couple of hours and had lunch, I was laying around and started to notice she hadn’t moved in a while. She typically would be lulled to sleep by my walking but then started moving about 30 minutes after I would eat. We began actively trying to get her to move by drinking lots of cold water, eating ice cream, and rubbing my belly.
After 2 hours, we called our doctor’s hotline, and they told us to come in. Sitting in the waiting room, I was so convinced she would start to move at that point. We were taken to a room, and the nurse used a fetal doppler to find the heartbeat. She was having a hard time locating anything, but I wrote it off in my mind that maybe she was new. I didn’t think that anything could be seriously wrong since I had a doctor appointment the day before and everything was completely fine.
A resident then tried to locate a heartbeat, then the on-call doctor performed an ultrasound. I stared at the ceiling, willing everything to be okay and refusing to believe our little girl was gone until the words came out of their mouths. Then it did: “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat.” My husband and I broke down crying in disbelief. We called our immediate family to break the news to them. It was terrible to call and say “we’re at the hospital” and to hear the excitement in their voices only to tell them that it was because we lost our baby girl.
A little while later, the doctor asked if I would like to be induced. It never even occurred to me that I would have to still give birth. It felt impossible to try to go through childbirth knowing that you wouldn’t be taking your baby home with you. After a few hours of labor, Brooklynn Mae came into this world on January 7 early in the morning. I felt so much love and pride. While holding her, I kept staring at her, waiting for her eyes to open and for everything to be okay. We spent the day holding her and creating memories. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep took pictures of us with Brook, and the hospital made hand/foot imprints and 3D molds. I am very thankful for the support of the hospital staff who nudged us in the direction of making those keepsakes; they are my most prized possessions.
It has been a little over 7 months now since losing our beautiful daughter. I think the hardest thing is that time moves on. Memories of my pregnancy and Brooklynn’s birth are already fading more than I would like. To keep her memory alive, my husband and I talk about her everyday. And if we are ever blessed with another child, they will know about their big sister in heaven.