Natalie Morgan went to sleep one evening to the rhythmic kick of her unborn baby inside of her.
But the next morning, she jolted up to the realization that something was wrong with her baby.
Her daughter, Eleanor Josephine, was showing no signs of life within her womb. With no heartbeat on the home doppler, her heart sank to the depths of her stomach. “I knew. I just knew. I didn’t want to know…I wanted to be mistaken, but I knew,” she said.
She prayed relentlessly with her husband Brian the whole way to the hospital, but once they arrived, their worst nightmare was realized — Eleanor was dead.
After Natalie delivered her stillborn daughter, she took to her keyboard to lay out the most painful, yet purposeful, story she would ever write. The raw emotion weaved through every word in her Facebook post has tugged at the heartstrings of mothers everywhere.
But it’s not the emphasis on the stillborn birth that has spawned the viral post. It’s the message of encouragement to mothers to cherish every single moment with their newborns that she never got to have.
And she’s not talking about just the fun ones — but the screaming tantrums and the sleepless nights. She charges moms to relish in the fussy colic, the dirty diapers, and the drool dripping down your chest.
“There will be times your child will scream and cry any time you try to put him or her down,” she wrote.“Or they’ll cry even as they’re in your arms and you’ve done everything you can possibly think of to get them to stop. There will be sleepless nights, multiple diaper changes in a matter of minutes, spit-up in your hair, pee on your shirt, and poop in your hands, and again — so much screaming from the baby, and probably from you as well. Every time that happens, every time you feel frustrated and want to run away, please remember my story.”
Natalie continued by delving into the painful events that transpired that haunting night at the hospital:
“I keep having flashbacks to that moment. It’s a crippling, all-consuming feeling of utter suffocation, and a memory that will haunt me for the rest of my life. In that moment, I felt trapped as if the ceiling was literally crashing down on top of me. I couldn’t breathe, I lashed out, I screamed, I threw things, I threw up…and then a piece of me died with her. I was helpless to change anything. My body was supposed to keep her safe, and instead, it killed her.”
She didn’t even want the pain numbed, as she knew it would be the last memory she would share with her daughter. And she needed to feel it — every ounce:
“They offered me an epidural, but I couldn’t do it. I needed to own it. I needed the pain, the agony, and misery to mirror what I felt in my heart. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever. Dealing with the unbearable contractions, the ring of fire, the tearing…knowing that all of it was for nothing. I was delivering a lifeless child. There would be no happiness at the end of it to help me forget the pain. The pain, unlike my baby girl, would live on forever.”
After the agonizing labor, Natalie got to hold Eleanor for the first time. But six hours later, she could hardly bear to watch her beautiful baby girl deteriorate in her arms.