Having my daughter was the most unexpected blessing of my life. I found out I was pregnant with my first and only baby in the middle of December 2021.
It took me weeks to get in to see an OBGYN because of some challenges with the medical referral. Sometimes I wonder if I had been able to get to a doctor sooner that things might be different. However, I trust in the Lord’s plan more than my own worries.
The first time I actually met the OB, I was given an internal ultrasound because I had some minor bleeding. This is where I found out that I was about 12 weeks pregnant and that I had a small tear- a subchorionic hemorrhage. I was told that everything would most likely be okay and that these normally heal on their own. I received some very precious ultrasound images, the first of only two sets that I would ever receive.
I was quickly scheduled for a full exam since I was getting close to the end of my first trimester. At the exam, I was again told that everything looked good and not to worry about the subchorionic hemorrhage and bleeding unless it was too excessive and very painful.
With these instructions, I believed that everything was okay and did not worry about my condition too much. At this appointment, I was also given another ultrasound and a sonogram, very precious moments that I will always hold close to my heart.
These doctor visits make up my only few memories of seeing and hearing my baby alive. A week after that appointment, I was taken to the women's and children’s center in the middle of a snow and ice storm because I was bleeding more than normal and was very scared.
My sweet baby was alive and I was sent home and again told not to worry. It was just the subchorionic hemorrhage and I needed to take it easy at home. I tried not to worry but the bleeding had been increasing each week. Everything was okay until one week later.
January 22, 2022, is the day my future was rewritten. Once again I was bleeding, but this time it would not stop and I was in the worst pain of my life. As soon as I arrived at the women's and children’s center, I passed a clot the size of a baseball.
I was terrified, but my sweet baby still had a heartbeat when the nurses checked.
I prayed and prayed everything would be okay. Then, I passed another clot the size of a baseball. The pain was like nothing I had ever felt. But I knew she had a heartbeat.
However, after I had passed the second clot, I was told that I would lose my baby and nothing could be done to stop it. I was going to have to deliver my baby far too early for her to survive. The worst thing that could happen was happening.
My sweet precious baby was born January 22, 2022, late in the night at 15 weeks old. Her due date was July 15, 2022. She was born in her amniotic sac, all curled up. I held her like that for some time.
Then the nurses asked if I would like to open the sac and hold her in my hands. I said yes, so they brought out a blanket and a small cradle that I would later find out came from Bridget’s Cradles.
I held her in that little cradle, just her size, for as long as I could. I was making memories to last a lifetime in only a few hours.
I had to say goodbye to my sweet baby for the rest of my life, this side of Heaven. I was not given any options to provide her with a final resting place, so I left the hospital with no baby and no chance of seeing her again.
Two days later, I received a call from my OB. The results from the blood work from a few weeks prior came back. My sweet baby was perfect in every way, completely healthy.
And a GIRL! I had been praying for a little girl and my prayers were answered. Sweet Esmé. My one and only child. My forever daughter who I will one day see in Paradise! She is part of my forever family and one day we will spend eternity together.
This ministry, Bridget’s Cradles, not only provided me with a special way to hold and care for my daughter, they also connected me with resources for the healing journey through the Cradled in Hope podcast.
The podcast linked me to stories of other mommas, a devotional book specifically for grieving moms, and a place to get a beautiful picture of my forever daughter.
That picture remains in my living room and the cradle that I was given is in a shadow box I created for Esmé.
Ultimately, the healing journey I have been on has been guided by Jesus Christ who has provided me comfort and light in the darkest times. I know He will continue to help me grieve well until the day I hold Esmé in my arms again!
Written by Rebekah Mayner, mother of Esmé Mayner, born into Heaven 1/22/22 at 15 weeks.
Please leave some love and encouragement for Rebekah in the comments below. We appreciate your prayers for her and her family.
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