The only name my husband, Sam, and I could agree on. The name of our sweet, beautiful baby girl. The name that will forever be on our minds and in our hearts. The name of our angel baby.
My pregnancy with Ellie went smoothly. We were both healthy during the entire pregnancy, minus my nausea and heartburn.
At 38 weeks, my water broke and off to the hospital we went. Sam was in Odessa, so once I got confirmation it was my water that broke, he made the 5 and a half hour haul to Frisco, both of us praying he’d make it in time to see his daughter being born.
Labor was going fine, until it took a turn. Ellie’s heart rate started dropping each time I had a contraction, and I started bleeding heavily.
As soon as I was dilated to a 10, my OB came in and said we couldn’t wait any longer, it was time to push. (I guess my L&D nurse was keeping her in the loop and she decided to come in and deliver on her time off because she wasn’t even the doctor on call. I’m so thankful for her). As my feet were being put into the stirrups, Sam walked in the room. Right on time.
They gave me oxygen to see if that helped with Ellie’s heart rate. (It is so hard to push while trying to keep an oxygen mask on your face). After about 45 minutes of pushing, I heard my husband say, “There’s her head.”
After that, my doctor told one of the nurses to get the NICU team in my room ASAP. Eloise wasn’t breathing. They put her on my chest long enough for Sam to cut the umbilical cord and took her away. I kept asking what was happening, why wasn’t she crying, but my OB was distracting us while they were working on getting Ellie breathing.
After what seemed like hours, but was actually less than one minute, I heard her cry. Finally. Then they took her to the NICU. Sam followed the nurses that took Ellie, and I was alone in the hospital room. I had no idea what was going on with our girl, and I just started bawling.
Later I was told that I had a placental abruption and the cord was wrapped around Ellie’s neck twice. She wasn’t breathing because she had inhaled the amniotic fluid, and the cord being wrapped around her neck was causing her heart rate to drop.
Ellie was put on a CPAP machine to help her with her breathing, but she was only on it for a couple of hours. 5 pounds 2 ounces of pure warrior. She improved so quickly, and 3 days later we were both discharged and got to go home.
Ellie got to meet her big sister once we got home, and Raelynn was so proud to be her big sister.
The first night home was a sleepless night, Ellie was up ready to eat every 3 hours on the dot. The next morning we had a check up with her pediatrician. He was very pleased and said she looked great.
That night we put her to bed, and once again she was up every 3 hours. After her 1:00am feeding, Sam and I went to sleep once Ellie fell asleep. I woke up at 4:50am, almost an hour after her next feeding. It was strange that she wasn’t up fussing already. I rubbed her cheek to check on her, and she didn’t move like she usually did. I picked her up, and again there was no movement. I turned the light on and woke up Sam, panicking. He took her from me and immediately said, “Call 9-1-1.”
Sam performed CPR while I showed the first responders where to go once they arrived. They started working on her, and then transported her to the hospital. We followed. We sat in a secluded waiting room for 2 hours before a doctor came and said, “I’m so sorry.” I didn’t hear what she said after that. I screamed and started crying hysterically.
We asked to see her. The most beautiful girl, in life and in death. We held her until we couldn’t hold her anymore. We left the hospital that morning without our baby girl in our arms, but forever in our hearts.
November 5th, 2018 was one of the best days of our lives welcoming our Elliebean into this world. And 4 days later, November 9th, 2018 was the absolute worst day of our lives when we had to give her back to Jesus in Heaven.
Fast forward to July 2019. Two pink lines. A positive pregnancy test. A flood of emotions. “Am I ready for this?” “Are WE ready for this?” I told Sam and he cried tears of joy. We prayed a lot, and then we prayed some more. But we were ready.
38 weeks later we were back in the same hospital where Ellie was born getting ready to have our first son. After about 5 hours of labor and 15 minutes of pushing, there he was. A perfect, healthy little boy.
Our rainbow baby. Henry Paul.
I don’t have the answers as to why Ellie was called home so soon, but I do know that our God is a God of comfort. And I find comfort in knowing Ellie is sitting in Heaven with Jesus right now, smiling down on us.
My Savior is strong enough to take my outrage, my anger, my pain, and my heavy load of despair and give me the strength that I need, the strength that my son needs from me.
Having a baby after child loss is a different experience, but we are so blessed with our son. And we know his big sister is keeping a close watch over him, just like she does all of us. I look at Henry and I am constantly reminded of Eloise, but I am also filled with joy and love.
If you would like to learn more about Project Finding Your Rainbow, you can read about it here.
Photos by KZ Photography.