October 16, 2015

Infant Loss Awareness Month: My Story

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Olive Clara Miller 12/18/2012 8oz 8in 21weeks gestation

October 15 is a day that was never significant to me until December 17th, 2012. When I heard the doctor say those four dreaded words, “There is no heartbeat.” I was 22 weeks pregnant, it was my 30th birthday and my husband and kids were in tow. Words can not express what I felt, what I thought, and what was happening in that single moment. Words will never capture the devastation in that room.

Someday I will tell you every detail and in fact I am in the process of writing a short book on infant loss and grief to offer encouragement and understanding for other mothers walking my same path.

Until then, until I am ready to share that time in our life in great detail, I believe the best thing to share with you today on World Infant Loss Awareness Day (when the wound is still so real), is my Facebook status the day after I delivered my precious tiny baby girl born sleeping.

12/20/2012

“Troy and I would like to announce the unexpected and early arrival of our fourth child:

Olive Clara Miller was silently born to us on December 18th 2012 at 11:20am. She weighed in at 8oz and was 8 inches long. She had tiny little feet (that were no bigger then my thumbnail) and tiny little hands that were smaller then my pinky nail. Her face was already starting to look like our other kids. She had a very tiny nose that was perfect. We held her, kissed her, and touched her frail little body. She was our Olive from the beginning.

She was carried in the womb for 21 weeks, but the Lord decided he wanted her safe in his arms at 18 weeks gestation. When we went in for our 21 week ultrasound to find out the gender (which happened to be on my 30th Birthday) it was immediately apparent, there was no heartbeat. The ultrasound tech left the room and brought the doctor back with her. We knew she was gone. That is something you can never prepare yourself for, never prepare your heart, and never know what you will feel. The first thing I thought of was “My baby is in Heaven with Jesus.” It gave me immediate peace to know I don’t have to worry about her and don’t have to worry about her life. I immediately knew she would never feel pain and never feel the sorrows of this world. How lucky is she, to be snuggled up in Jesus arms, safe and sound!?!

From conception, her syndrome and/ or condition would have never let her live a life outside of the womb. Her little body never sent the signal to my uterus that something was wrong. With this condition, your uterus still keeps developing and creating pregnancy hormones. My belly was still growing and I still had cravings. There was absolutely no signs that would have caused concern. With this being our fourth pregnancy, we were not worried. We did not even question a problem would arise. There is nothing we did wrong, nothing we could have changed.

She was brought into our lives to teach us something and/or to give us the ability to help someone else. Time will tell what Jesus’ plan is for the experience we have endured. It is not our job to question God’s will, but to be open to His plan for our lives. That was her goal; that was Olive’s purpose. Her purpose was never to be a physical part of this family. She will forever remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We will all meet her in Heaven someday, we will all get to hold her and kiss her. We hope to get to squeeze, kiss and tickle chubby little Olive someday in the eternity of Heaven’s peace. We won’t cry when we get there, because Jesus says there is no tears in Heaven. We will laugh and rejoice at the sight of her little pink cheeks.

Grief is something that is very personal and everyone deals with personally. Troy and I are dealing with this loss the only way we know how, to trust God. We are putting on smiling faces and trying to carry on a normal life for our three beautiful children that need us to give them their regular routine. We are putting on smiling faces, laughing and joking and celebrating that we were chosen to be a part of her physical existence for 21 weeks on this earth. God chose us as her parents, he knew we were strong enough to carry this burden and he trusts us follow Him.

When we went to the hospital to deliver Olive, we asked one rule of the nurses and all staff entering our room, “You all must put on a happy face! You must not give us the sad eyes. That only makes it harder.” The staff at Willamette Falls did exactly as we asked. They laughed with us, they cried with us and they let us deal with this the way we know how. We ask that everyone of you, think of little Olive as a chubby healthy baby in Heaven. Put on your happy face for her and celebrate her short life with us. Troy and I will have up days and low days and we ask that you don’t doubt our grief, but understand the pain in real for us, we just keep our outward sorrow and pain private. Please understand, we have lost a child, our baby, our baby girl and we are heartbroken, but we also want to celebrate her life. She was a joy, she is precious, perfect and will forever stay pure.

She will be laid to rest at Mount Calvary Cemetery. She will be at a monument, surrounded by other babies of her gestation. We will not be holding a service or memorial, but her name will be engraved on the wall of the monument and we will send details to anyone who wishes to visit her.

Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your support and for your understanding. We ask you all stand around us and surround us in prayer.”

I share this with you to offer encouragement and support for my readers who have silently endured the same tragedy. I want you to know you are not alone, your pain is my pain. Your loss is my loss. Your tears are my tears. As I type this, I cry for you and I cry for me. I understand the feeling of your arms aching because they are empty. The feeling of missing someone you never even met. I get it. I am here to help you, hold you up, and cry with you. Know tonight, I am lighting a candle for all of you angel parents and your angel babies.

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