Janel’s Story

In June of 2022 my husband and I took a trip to Denver, CO to visit some friends. Little did we know, a few weeks later we would find out we unexpectedly got pregnant on that trip! It was very much a surprise as we weren’t trying. We were both excited and nervous as most first-time expectant parents are. The nerves settled as we got further along, and the excitement set in. I had a completely healthy “textbook” pregnancy – we never had any issues, and we were very grateful that everything was going well. We had decided not to find out the gender and to wait until birth.

The day of January 24th, 2023 is a day I will never forget. I was 34 weeks pregnant at the time. I went to work that Tuesday and by mid-morning I noticed I had not felt the baby moving. I had an anterior placenta, so I chalked it up to that and to being busy at work. I thought maybe I was just distracted and didn’t notice the movements. I had breakfast, drank some water, and I waited. But I still didn’t feel anything and that is when the panic started to set in.

I called my OBGYN office, and I was told to go straight to labor & delivery. My husband was at work at the time, so I went alone. We didn’t think anything of it so I didn’t tell him to meet me there. When I arrived, I was hooked up to the machine and I could tell the nurse was having a difficult time finding a heartbeat. Within seconds I knew our baby was gone. It had never taken more than a moment to find the heartbeat. I sat there frozen while the doctor asked me to call my husband. I couldn’t even get the words out; I just told him to get to the hospital with silent tears running down my face. When he arrived, I was immediately induced and on January 25th, our daughter Lily Josephine Parncutt was born. She was beautiful and perfect in every way. She looked so peaceful and serene as we held her and said our goodbyes.

We grieved for many months and looked for answers. We were told “these things just happen” but I couldn’t believe that. I reached out to Dr. Harvey Kliman at Yale to review our placenta pathology slides in hopes we could get some answers. Dr. Kliman’s very thorough report showed that Lily died from a small placenta. While I knew this would never bring her back, I wanted closure and I needed to know what to look for in subsequent pregnancies. This report gave us all the critical information that we needed.

Once we felt we were ready to give Lily a sibling, we started trying. We were fortunate to get pregnant again rather quickly. This pregnancy we are working with different doctors in a different network and have the most incredible MFM who is monitoring the baby and placenta very carefully. We are scared, excited, anxious, and cautiously optimistic. We are trusting in our care team and very hopeful that we will get to bring this baby home. While I know Lily can’t physically be here with us, I know she is everywhere, and I know she is watching over her sibling and guiding us through this journey. We will forever honor and cherish her, and we will make sure her siblings know they have the best big sister in Heaven.

Janel wears the rainbow skirt. At the bottom of the skirt is a photo of her stillborn daughter and a teddy bear with her daughter's name.

Janel wears the rainbow skirt. There are large rocks and snow in the background.

Janel wears the rainbow skirt. There are large rocks and snow in the background.

Photos taken by One Eleven Images.

Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.

Make sure to follow Journey For Jasmine on InstagramFacebook, and Tiktok!

Pin and help spread the project!

Janel’s Story Pin

Leave a Reply