“On April 2nd, 2019, two days short of being 38 weeks pregnant, my daughter Goldie Rhiannon’s heart had stopped. My womb had turned to a tomb and I had to deliver my beautiful, perfect, silent baby. While many parents going into labor dream up who and what their baby will look like out of the womb, we were crossing our fingers for answers… some sort of visible explanation of how and why our once perfectly healthy baby girl was gone. Unfortunately, we are left with no answers. Her cause of death was undetermined.
The night Goldie died I told the nurse, ‘Tie my tubes. I’m done. I’m done, I can’t do this again; I don’t ever want to do this again!’ I told my fiancé Ryan that if he wanted more kids, he could find someone else. In fact, I begged him to find someone else. ‘If you want kids, you’re going to have to find someone else. Please find someone else. I just can’t do it. I’m done. My body always fails our babies. Something is wrong with me and I just can’t do it I’m sorry.’
At 18, I miscarried 3 times. In 2016, I became pregnant again. At our 20-week anatomy scan, I found out I had Velamentous Cord Insertion. Here I was, at risk of losing another baby. My sweet Finn Hendrix was born in 2017, healthy and all but still with a complication that made me fearful of losing him my entire pregnancy. Goldie was perfectly healthy. Always measuring ahead, always active, but now she was gone. It had to have been me. It had to have been something I did. ‘Was it Subway? Could it have been drinking too much Dr. Pepper? Did I bend down too much?’ I knew none of those were the cause. But here I was, blaming myself. I felt like my body had failed me again. I felt like I was failing as a mother. I failed to give Finn a sibling. I was failing as a fiancée, our baby died inside my body. ‘It was my job to keep her safe and I couldn’t even do that!’ I said over and over and over. I wanted out of my body. I wanted a new body, one that worked. One that did what it’s ‘supposed to do.’
2 weeks later, I had a mental health check-up with my OB. She told me she knew I wasn’t done having kids. She said, ‘Your plan was to have a baby and bring a baby home. I know you still want that.’ And I did. I told her I did. I was tired of looking at a nursery full of unused baby things. I was tired of watching our brand-new car seat sit on the kitchen table and collect dust. She told me if my labs came back good, we were good to start trying.
One week later, they came back clear. We got pregnant on the first try. I remember taking the test just for fun, thinking nothing would come of it. I set it down on the bathroom counter and walked over to Goldie’s picture. I stared for a bit and then walked back over to the test…it was positive. My eyes filled with tears and I clenched it in my hands. I walked back over to Goldie’s picture and ‘showed’ it to her. How bittersweet this was. I was so excited. A baby! I was getting another chance at a living baby! But those dark thoughts quickly followed. A baby! I was getting another chance, but I knew in the back of my mind this baby could die too. Stillbirth doesn’t discriminate, I knew that all too well. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions and called Ryan into the room.
I handed him my positive test and he was as shocked as I was. He didn’t have words other than, ‘This is awesome,’ I knew it wasn’t a ‘thrill’ like the positive we saw with the babies before. We now knew there was no safe zone. We knew this could happen all over again. To get so far only to get so far. The first try. How could the unluckiest people have gotten this lucky? I immediately made an appointment with my OB for the next week. ‘Back so soon?!’ she laughed as she turned the lights off to start my ultrasound. I could see the worry in her eyes when she sat down.