“My Paisley May…”
Excited doesn’t even begin to describe our initial reactions to being pregnant with our third child. We were so happy, elated and eager to see what life would bring to our family with this new addition. Everything was going great from my first appointment through our 20 week anatomy scan when we found out that our baby was a girl and was so active – I couldn’t feel her movements because I had an anterior placenta but I could see her sucking her thumb and kicking her little legs on the screen.
Our oldest son was so excited to have a sister – he had told us all along he wanted a sister this time, seeing as he has a younger brother already. In the coming weeks we celebrated Christmas – New Years and just had a good time – although I felt that something was off. I was still unable to feel Paisley moving.
I googled (I should not have googled) all the things that could go wrong with an anterior placenta – reasons why I couldn’t feel her movements – things to do to make her move. Nothing worked or eased the lingering feeling of something being wrong. I would lay on a hard tile floor for long periods of time and think I felt her move when in reality I hadn’t. Finally, my 24 week appointment came along on January 19th and I was so ready, I wanted to ease my anxious heart and hear that sweet heartbeat to make sure everything was still okay and I was just imagining things.
My boys and I went in for my appointment – my doctor had a hard time finding her heartbeat but thought she had finally tracked it down, but to double check she pulled in the portable ultrasound machine – there was no flicker – there was no sound – there was no movement. She could see my heart breaking and told me to go get a proper sonogram to be certain.
I was in tears and slowly falling apart at this moment but trying to hold it together because I had my sons with me and didn’t want to scare them. The boys and I waited what felt like an eternity to get my sonogram and there she was lifeless, not moving, heart not beating and measuring far smaller than she should have been.
She had passed away, our baby girl had died. My heart cracked into a million pieces!! I couldn’t hold it together any longer, I started bawling my boys all the time not understanding what has happened just yet but trying to console their momma. I still recall this moment like it was yesterday and it breaks my heart all over again. Having to go to the truck and call my husband and mom and let them know what had happened. I was hysterical and we live an hour and a half away from my doctors office so I sat in the parking lot crying, crying so hard I couldn’t breathe well. My oldest knew at this time what had happened to his baby sister and he was so upset as well. It was the hardest day of all our lives thus far. I pulled myself together and got my boys and I home safely. I was told to come back in on the 22nd to get blood work and see what we should do.
Going home knowing my baby girl was no longer living inside me hurt so badly, having to wait to deliver her and think about what I should have done, should I have gone in sooner – could they have done something for her, all those horrible thoughts we have when something has gone wrong in life. I initially hated the thought of going home with Paisley lifeless inside my womb but it turned out to be a blessing – there were community members who had lost babies that came and talked to me – we had a close friend make a beautiful blanket for Paisley – I contacted the labor and delivery nurses who put in me in touch with a bereavement counselor and she helped me so much and has continued to help me through this journey – and it gave us time to talk to the funeral home about Paisley’s arrangements. The thought of planning her burial while she was still inside me hurt- oh how it hurt.
My husband and I left our house while our boys were still sleeping that Monday morning – got to the doctors office, got the bloodwork done and waited. Finally, my doctor saw me again and told me to go home and have her, and we both said NO and I was admitted by 11am that morning. They induced me that morning and it crept at such a slow pace, going all that day – overnight and into the next morning when I had had enough and talked to a nurse who got another doctor to come up and place the foley bulb and gave me extra medicine to get things moving more aggressively.
At 3:30 pm on the 23rd of January the bulb had fallen out and labor officially began. Our sweet, tiny angel was born at 3:50 pm in her sac. She was so beautiful. We could tell what happened instantly – the cord was tightly constricted around her neck twice and her left arm once. My bereavement counselor, who just so happened to also delivery our sweet Paisley, described her best – as a teeny tiny ballerina fairy that just wanted to dance.
Summer took her to the nursery to bath, dress & photograph her. Soon she brought Paisley back to us and we held her – hugged her – kissed her – cried about her – admired her, so many emotions all at once. Our sweet baby girl was with the Lord now, she was beautiful, sweet, quiet, precious – so many words could be used to describe her but none do her justice.
We left the hospital that night and got home to our boys – our oldest was sad and confused and had so many questions and our youngest was oblivious to what had just happened. Honestly, I don’t know how mothers that experience this loss without other children are able to go home to cope – they have been my shining light through my darkest time and without them I don’t believe I would be in the place I am today on my grieving journey.
We had Paisley’s graveside services on January 27th at 11 am. Our oldest son picked a cute stuffy to give his baby sister and our youngest held onto me tightly all day. It was so hard to say goodbye again, but we know she is with our Lord and watching over her brothers, her father, and me, her mother, from heaven. Through this terrible loss, our family has drawn closer to God and that has calmed my soul.
“There are no footprints to small too leave an imprint on this world.”
Paisley’s Big Brothers