Stella's Story: Part 1

Here is the beginning of Stella's Story: Stella's Story: Part 1
The rest is coming soon!

For My Baby Girl - Your Birth Story

Happy 1st Birthday, baby girl! 

It's been a long a painful year here on earth without you.  Today, I look back on October 4th, 2010 with joy and sadness, knowing now that your birth meant that we would have such a short time to be together.

I realize now that I've never told your birth story.  I've relived it so many times in my head, but I've never written it down.  I guess there couldn't be a more perfect day to tell your story than today, huh?

By this time last year, you had already graced us with your presence.  Daddy and I were up at the crack of dawn to prepare for your arrival.  I'm not sure if I slept at all the night before you were born.  I remember laying on my side enjoying every tiny movement, knowing that you were healthy and safe inside of me.  My belly was only as big as it is now, 34 weeks pregnant with your baby brother.  Did you know that you're a big sister?

When Daddy and I left the house, it was dark, rainy, and cool-the first cool morning of the fall.  I held hands with your Daddy; we hugged and prayed.  I remember your daddy pleading with God to let us keep you, for miraculous healing so that we could take you home. 

We arrived at the hospital so early that the nurses weren't ready for us yet.  It was so quiet and still in the prep area, and the nurses were drowsy since they were at the end of their shifts.  It took three nurses to get my IVs set up.  I'm thankful for the third nurse who knew what she was doing.  Somehow, I got to talking with her about the births of your brothers, telling stories of the crazy nurses in Cape Coral, FL, and by the time I was prepped, we were both in stitches.  She was a blessing to me; I was so in need of the comic relief.  I was so scared, but much more for your health and safety than for mine.

Dr. Tag visited to tell me why I had two was "just in case" my placenta got stuck in my scar tissue, and they had to do a hysterectomy.  But even though Dr. Tag gave me this scary warning, she also reassured me (like she always does) that she would take her time and take care of me.  I asked her again if I could hold you before going to the NICU, and she replied that as long as you were stable, that was a very reasonable request.

I walked the short but surreal path to the OR.  Dr. Tag hugged me while the anesthesiologist took two tries to place the epidural.  I could still feel my legs as they swung them up onto the table.  It was very creepy having tingling in my toes, and I was concerned that the epidural wasn't working.  But I was told that I was already "nicely splayed open," so apparently it was working just fine.

Just born
Dr. Tag kept her promise and took her time.  She found the source of the pain I had been having since Milo's birth (tons of scar tissue), and cut it out.  It took her nearly 30 minutes for her to get to you.  Lying there, helpless, it seemed like an eternity before you were born.  Finally, at 8:05 AM, Dr. Tag pulled you out, and you gave two perfect little cries.  You didn't wail like your brothers, but your lungs were definitely working.  Those two cries were the only time I would hear you make any sound at all.  How I wish I had recorded that moment so I could hear you once again. 

Daddy holds you for the first time
Daddy grabbed the camera and started snapping away so I could see all your first moments later.  He did a great job with the camera.  I am still impressed when I look the pictures of you right after your birth. After the nurses finished their initial assessment, they wrapped you up and gave you to Daddy, all four pounds six ounces of you.  For a brief moment, I got to see your beautiful little face.  I was overwhelmed with incredible love for you.  Daddy and I kissed you on the nose, but we weren't allowed to hold onto you.  The doctors swept you away to the NICU.  Daddy went with you while I went to recovery.

I can't even begin to explain how hard it was to go to the recovery area without you.  At first, I was by myself there, but then other mommies were wheeled in holding their newborns.  I could hear their squeaky cries and suckling noises as I waited anxiously for Daddy to return from the NICU and update me with your status.  Daddy came back and told me that Egleston had already been contacted, and a bed was open, so you'd probably be leaving today. This meant that I wouldn't be able to be with you until I was discharged on Wednesday.  The doctors told us that this scenario was the best case for your survival. 

Nana meets you
 Granddad, Nana, and your brothers were on their way to the hospital to meet you.  Nana got to meet your when your eyes were open, when you were fresh and new and full of life.  She held your little fingers and felt instant love for you. 

Ely meets you
The photos of you with your brothers right after your birth are some of my favorites.  Ely and Milo were SOOO excited to see you.  The looks on their faces were ones of absolute joy.  It was very hard for them to understand why you were so sick, though, and why they couldn't hold you.   I wish they could have spent more time with you and gotten a chance to hold you, but you were too fragile.  Even still, I am so thankful that your brothers got to meet you right after you were born.  One of my fears was that they wouldn't have the chance to meet you alive.

Daddy went back and forth from the NICU to my room until it was time for you to be transported.  I was so worried that they would take you away without me getting to see you. Gazing at you from flat on my back during the C-section didn't exactly allow me to take in all the details of your tiny face.  After waiting in anticipation for hours, the transport team finally wheeled you into my room in your isolet.  I remember losing my breath for a second when I first saw you, so small and helpless and uncomfortable.  I just wanted to scoop you up in my arms and hold you forever and protect you against all the harm in the world.  It broke my heart saying goodbye to you. 

In your transfer isolet
 Daddy followed you to Egleston and stayed with you for most of the day on Monday, your birthday.  Daddy wasn't allowed to hold you, but he was there with you, holding your hand.  That night, he brought me pictures of you.  I saw that you had been hooked up to a ventilater since you had stopped breathing in the ambulance.  It was so heartbreaking to see you, a tiny little baby, hooked up to so many machines when hours before, you had been breathing on your own, a sweet littleborn who deserved to be held and cuddled and kept warm by her Mommy's skin. 

If I could turn back time, I would have fought harder, baby girl.  I would have fought harder to have given you a better quality of life for the little time we had with you.  I'm sorry you endured so much and suffered so greatly. I wish I could have had you in my arms for the entirety of your short life instead of you having all that medical crap hooked up to you. 

I knew you weren't meant to be here long, little Stella.  I only wish I could have spent your birthday, October 10th, 2010, with you in my arms, just like I wish I could spend your birthday with you today.  In my heart, you'll always be my baby girl, no matter how old I become.  It was indescribable joy to meet you, see you, and touch you, and I was always ache for you on your birthday AND every other day that I am separated from you.  I love you, baby girl, and I miss you more than words will ever express.

Happy Birthday.



Stacy said...

Happy Birthday Stella & Mama...don't think for a second that you didn't fight hard enough for her. You did your best and she knew your love ♥

Beth said...

What a beautiful birth story, and what strength you have to write it all out - although I'm sure you relive it daily. Praying for you this week and you are on my heart so much. Praying that God will be your drug and that He will give you the comfort you crave and that He would allow you to feel true joy as you welcome your newest baby. God bless you guys.

Nicole said...

Thank you for posting this - it was an honor to read it. ♥

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing Jen-poo. I will always feel very sad that I didn't have the joy of meeting Stella in person during her short time on this earth. Love you all so much...

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About This Blog

My photo
This is the story of our daughter, Stella Rose, who went to be with Jesus after five days here on this earth. Stella was born with multiple birth defects due to a severe case of Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome. Although Stella is no longer with us in person, she has changed us forever. Stella's legacy is my journey on a new road without my daughter, and how God is working in our hearts.

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