Miss Cali was a surprise. From the very beginning, I called her my sunshine. I knew she would bring light into this world. After having two healthy pregnancies, I was naive to think I was immune to pre-term labor.
I started having contractions around Mother's Day and passed my mucous plug. I went to my doctor's office and they wanted to cervically check me. Something warned me not to do this but my doctor reassured me he would be gentle.
I stood up after my check, put my pants on, and felt a gush of fluid (later to find out this was my amniotic fluid). My doctor stated he probably just irritated something and if it continued to go to the hospital.
I went home and had 5 more gushes like the one at the office and went to OB triage. It was there I found out the gushes were my amniotic fluid. They gave me the horrible news that I would likely go into labor in 24 hours.
They discharged me in the morning and I went home around 2 pm. I had contractions I could breathe through for 20 minutes and one sharp pelvic pain, then it stopped. Forty minutes later, I stood up in the hallway at my parent's house, and blood started gushing down my legs soaking the carpet.
At that point, I knew she was coming. My parents called an ambulance and they drove me to the hospital. I had several urges to push her out but I was scared. I couldn't hold her in any longer.
Right when the ambulance pulled into the bay of the hospital, she was born. She was alive and moved her little legs and arms. I held her on my chest while they took me inside.
I was taken back to OB where they couldn't retrieve my placenta. I was immediately taken back to surgery. Two hours later, I came back to find my parents holding her.
One of the nurses came in with a basket and inside was the cradle.
When I saw the basket my heart broke. I am a nurse, and I had learned about these tragic events. I never thought I would experience something of this nature. So I knew what that basket meant.
When I looked inside, I saw the cradle. I smiled instantly and dressed her in a diaper that was far too big as well as the hat and laid her inside the cradle.
The cradle made it so easy to snuggle her with her blankie while holding her close. It also made it easy for my toddler boys to hold her and look over her. I will forever hold the cradle close to me.
A thought that passed through my head was that "somebody had crocheted this."
I am forever grateful to the kind volunteer who made my cradle.
Written by Molly Dunlevy, mother of Cali Ray, born into Heaven 5/19/22 at 18 weeks
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