I met my husband, Keith, during college. We were married shortly after and had our first daughter, Hannah, in 2009. That pregnancy was uncomplicated, except for low fluid levels late in pregnancy.
In 2019 we decided to add to our family. All genetic testing and ultrasounds looked great. As a part of the testing we also learned we were having baby girl #2, we decided to name her Adalynn Jayne.
At 22 weeks I had an episode of bleeding. After a few hours in the hospital, I was sent home. Adalynn looked great! I had two more episodes of minor bleeding in the coming weeks. At 25 weeks I had a major bleeding episode at home. I rushed myself to the hospital. Adalynn sounded and looked great on the monitor! As they were preparing to discharge me, I began gushing blood again. They decided to send me by ambulance to a hospital with higher-level care and a NICU.
After I arrived, they determined that my water had not broken and there was no infection. The baby still showed no signs of distress. I spent 6 days in the hospital and had one more bleeding episode while admitted. I was discharged and given more frequent appointments.
On October 14th, I noticed that I had not felt Adalynn move as usual. I dropped Hannah off with my husband and drove to the nearest hospital. After initial attempts at finding her heartbeat with the doppler were unsuccessful, the doctor asked for a portable ultrasound machine. He saw that my sweet Adalynn no longer had a heartbeat. I texted a friend to come be with me, then I called my husband and mom, and broke the news. We explained to Hannah that her sister’s heart was no longer beating; she was devastated.
I left that hospital and went to the higher-level hospital where I received my prenatal care. I was already familiar with the doctors and nurses from my previous admission and wanted to deliver there.
I drove Hannah and myself to the hospital while my husband followed. Once admitted, we found out I was already 3cm dilated. My body already knew she was gone. They confirmed that she had no heartbeat and discussed my options for induction. I was started on Pitocin and labored through the night.
The first thing the doctor told me was that this was not my fault. She told me this repeatedly over the next two days, but I still struggle to believe it.
At 7:45 am on October 15th Adalynn Jayne was born. She weighed 3lbs 1oz and measured 16.5 inches. She had beautiful wavy blonde hair. The nurses took her and made hand and foot molds and a fingerprint necklace. Hannah and both of our mothers came to meet her, and I was able to send her picture to a few close friends. We were fortunate to be able to have Adalynn baptized and received pictures of our time together from “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”.
We spent every minute of the next day holding Adalynn; she never left our arms. Hannah joined us in the afternoon. By evening it was time to say goodbye. The hospital staff repeatedly told me I could leave whenever I was ready, I don’t think anyone is ever ready to walk away from their baby. Keith and I held her one last time, then gave her to Hannah. The memory of Hannah holding her for the last time will never leave my mind. She was so desperate to hold on, but knew she had to let go.
After struggling all day with how to leave her, the pediatric palliative care doctor suggested we choose a staff member to hand her to, so we could feel comfortable leaving her. I was reassured over and over again that they would take good care of her and she wouldn’t be alone.
We had chosen a CAN named Charmaine because she was so compassionate and had asked if she could hold Adalynn earlier in the day. Charmaine told us she had suffered a pregnancy loss of her own. (We later found out that Charmaine held her and sang to her until they came to take her) Hannah handed Adalynn to Charmaine then we walked out the door leaving Adalynn and a piece of our heart behind. Walking away from my child was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. A CAN walked us downstairs, she hugged me and told me how brave I was – I responded that I did not feel brave at all.
We planned a memorial service a few weeks later and were finally able to share Adalynn with our friends and family.
I became pregnant again in January of 2020, and monitored very closely from the start. Our genetic testing came back low risk and the doctors let us know we were expecting baby girl #3!
I spent most of my pregnancy at home due to Covid. We told Hannah on Easter morning that we were expecting. She was so excited! During pregnancy I was filled with worries, but no complications. I had the support of a few great friends that always let me know they were there for me.
On September 3, 2020 our little Avery Layne was born, she weighed 6lbs 8oz and measured 19 inches long. Hearing her cry was such a huge relief! She is a wonderful addition to our family and we feel so blessed to have her.
Photos taken by Pictures by Hayley.
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