Grieving for my Angel
I am writing this even though I know every little detail
of this terrible tragedy will be forever etched in my
mind. How could I possibly forget any aspect of the
most bittersweet experience of my life?
It took 2 years to conceive Lainey. We tried very
hard to get pregnant. I had a test ran to make sure
my fallopian tubes were not blocked, and Mike had semen
analysis; ran. We were about to give up hope of
ever having another child. Elijah (age 5) would not
give up though. He wanted a sibling very badly.
So he prayed. Every night after his bedtime
prayers, he would add and please let my mommy have a baby.
His prayers were answered. About two weeks after he
started praying, much to my shock, I found out I was
All of the excitement had begun. We were of course
very happy to be blessed with another child. The
whole family was ecstatic at the fact that I was going to
have a girl, since Brittany (my niece age 11) was the
only girl in the family. We would have loved it no
matter what the sex though.
This was a very exciting time in my life. I was
experiencing something I never had before. Even
though I had been pregnant with Elijah & with the
first baby I lost (ectopic pregnancy), this time it was
different. My body went through many different
changes with this pregnancy. It wasn't just the
physical either. Planning for a little girl gave me
I couldn't get enough pink frilly items. I could
not wait to dress her up and fix her hair, all of the fun
mother daughter stuff. Mike was sure excited too.
He already had her nickname picked out princess.
I'm sure thats how she would have been treated too.
We had a blast with Elijah, t-ball and such, all of the
boy things, but this was different and exciting in it's
I of course got started right away on a quilt for the
baby bed. She was to share a room with her big
brother, so we had to do the color scheme just right.
So I made up their beds to match and painted their walls.
For months we worked on getting all of the baby things we
would need and having everything just right. Once
we did, it was like a sigh of relief, and we anxiously
awaited her arrival.
The time was drawing near, and I was very ready to meet
my little girl. The day before I turned 37 weeks
pregnant, the nightmare began. Wednesday &
Thursday of that week Lainey was very active, more so
than ever before, and that Monday I had a doctors
appointment, and everything was ok. It was Friday,
October 12, 2001 when I realized something could be wrong.
I recall feeling Lainey move Friday morning, but when I
went to bed that night I didn't feel anything, which was
odd considering when I laid down was usually when she
started to move a lot. I mentioned to Mike that I
thought it was strange that I didn't feel her moving, but
considering she had been fine the whole week, I didn't
think much more of it and went to sleep. Saturday
morning came and I still wasn't feeling any movement.
I just assumed that she had dropped and that was why she
wasn't moving so much. I was still concerned
though, so I had Mike go to Walmart and buy a Baby so!
unds heart monitor. I hooked it up and listened
carefully. It took a while, but I finally heard a
heart beat. (later found out it was my heart beat)
We went on with our day assuming she was ok since we
heard a heart beat. Sunday October 14th I still did
not feel anything, so I thought even though I had heard a
heart beat that maybe she was in distress, and I should
go to the hospital to be checked out just to make sure.
When we arrived at the hospital they took me in to a room
and hooked me up to the belly heart monitor. The
first nurse could not get a heart beat, so I knew then
something was wrong. She went out of the room and
came back with three other nurses. Right then my
heart sank, I knew that the worst thing I could possibly
imagine had come true. All four nurses tried and
tried to find her heart beat, and had no success.
They then did an ultrasound to try to see the heartbeat,
and still nothing. I knew, they knew, Mike knew,
but no one wanted to say it. One nurse was
explaining to me that they were not trained ultrasound
technicians, so they couldn't be sure, and I would have
to wait for a confirmation ultrasound from a technician.
So we waited with heavy hearts and prayed to God for our
worst fear not to be coming true.
I called my sister Cherrie and relayed the terrible news.
I remember her screams, No, No! The same words were
echoing in my head over and over. I could not think
of anything else, except no, this could not be happening.
With only three short weeks left in my pregnancy, I never
would have imagined something going this wrong. I
sure learned not to take things for granted.
In the midst of what seemed like forever long wait for
the ultrasound technician to arrive, my family came to be
with me. I could see the looks of horror and
disbelief on their faces. I know how sad their
hearts were, I could see it in their eyes.
Finally I had my ultrasound, the confirmation of the
worst truth. I can't even describe how I felt at
that moment. Everything I had been waiting so long
for and hoping for with all my heart was just ripped away
from me in a second.
Inevitably the talk of the funeral had started. I
could not believe that just a few short hours had past,
and it was now a difference of planning a life for my
baby, and planning the death of my baby.
Then came the hard decision of having a cesarean or a
vaginal birth. The first thought of delivering my
dead baby the natural way seemed morbid to me, and I did
not think I could do it, so I originally opted for a
cesarean. Now I am so glad that the doctor talked
me into delivering her vaginally. I can't imagine
having to go through the mental anguish of losing my
child and being in physical pain from a cesarean too.
They started inducing my labor at 6:00 pm. I went
several hours without progressing, so the doctor finally
broke my water. After that, I progressed fairly
quick. At 7;19 pm October 15th I delivered my baby
girl. Ultimately I am forever grateful that I was
awake and alert at the time of delivery, so I could hold
my precious baby in my arms and kiss her. I needed
that time to trace every inch of her body with my eyes,
and try my hardest to burn into my brain exactly what she
looked like because I knew I would never get another
It was hard dealing with the fact that her physical
appearance was not exactly perfect, due to the fact that
maceration had already set in. It broke my heart to
see her skin peeling away from her perfect little body,
and her poor little head was so frail and misshapen.
But I could look beyond all of that and see that she was
truly perfect, and very beautiful.
The short time I got to spend with her was the most
emotional thing I've ever gone through. I was so
happy to have had such a wonderful baby girl, and to be
able to hold her and love her, but it saddened me beyond
words that I knew this would be the only time, that my
little girl was gone, and I'd have to say goodbye.
The day after I delivered her I was released from the
hospital. I could not stay there any longer than
necessary. I had to get away from the sounds of the
other babies that were living just footsteps away.
I needed to be with my family, and I had to make
arrangements for the memorial for my sweet baby girl.
Coming home and showing Elijah the pictures of his baby
sister that he had prayed for and was now gone, was very
hard on my heart. How could I explain to him that
what God so graciously gave him, God had also taken away.
He seemed to understand though, at least better than I
had expected. He didn't question why; he seemed to
come to the terms that his baby sister had gone to heaven.
I know he didn't fully understand, but I was relieved
that he didn't question it too much, because I could not
have answered him. No one knows why God does what
he does, and we didn't even have a medical reason to tell
The next day (October 17, 2001) was the much dreaded day
of the funeral. I was afraid of how Elijah would
handle seeing her in a casket, lifeless. And I
myself was scared that they would have had to strip her
of her beauty by using too much make up on her to cover
up the flaws on her skin.
When we arrived at the funeral I had Cherrie check her
first so I could be prepared for what she would look
like, and also so I could prepare Elijah for what he
would see. They did have to put quite a lot of
makeup on her unfortunately. Her head was even more
misshapen, but I could see through all of that and still
see her beauty.
Elijah was a little standoffish at first, wanting to
touch her, but not quite sure if he could.
Throughout the day he had really warmed up to the idea of
being close to her. Often he ran up to the casket
all by his self as if he were checking on his baby sister
to make sure she was still ok.
I myself could not kiss her and touch her enough. I
knew this was my last chance, and I had to get all I
could in then. Her body was cold, and for the most
part, her body was hard, but her little hands and feet
were still soft. I held her hand a lot, her fingers
were slightly curled, as if she was grasping my finger.
That was a good feeling, because I knew I would never
feel her hand grasp mine for real.
The funeral was a very hard thing to go through, for all
of us, but especially during the song we had played for
her Angel by Sarah Maglaughlin. Elijah hadn't
really cried yet, but as soon as the music started
playing he burst into tears. He cried during the
whole sermon that the preacher delivered and all the way
until we got into the car. My heart was breaking of
course, and breaking even more so for him. I knew
that he and Mike were right beside me, both having
unimaginable pain of their own, and I felt helpless.
I wanted so badly to take away their pain, but all I
could focus on was my own pain, and my baby girl lying in
front of me in her casket.
As the day grew longer every step became harder, knowing
that soon it would all be over with, and I would never
again in this lifetime see my sweet Lainey. Walking
away from that casket was the hardest thing I've ever
done. I did not want to say goodbye. I knew
it was the only option though, and with a sad heart I
watched Steve carry away her body in that tiny and
elegant casket. Following the car to the cemetery I
could not stop thinking about what was coming next.
I knew that when I was to arrive at the cemetery her
casket would be closed, and no matter how much I wanted
to, I could not open it up and see her one last time.
I had to do the unthinkable and say goodbye and walk away
from that casket knowing she would be lowered into the
cold hard ground.
The days that followed were full of grief. I had to
come home, and face the bitter reality that I was coming
home to an empty baby bed, instead of a house full of joy
due to the arrival of a new baby. Putting away
Lainey's things was almost like saying goodbye all over
again. Every day I have to take one more step, one
more hard pill to swallow. I've been putting away
almost every trace of the fact that a baby was supposed
to be in this house. I don't do this to try to
forget, just to make it a little easier. I wake up
every morning and think of her first. There are
reminders of her everywhere I go. I look at her
picture often. It is a hard thing to accept.
I have also been dealing with physical problems as well
as emotional problems. I'm being treated for high
blood pressure. It is hard to grieve when you are
worried about raising your blood pressure. As hard
as I want to cry, I feel scared to. I'm afraid for
my own well being, because the last thing I want to do
right now is leave Elijah without a mother.
He needs me right now more than ever. I'm sure he
doesn't realize it, but he has been acting out since the
baby's death. He is very argumentative, and
demanding. He gives me and Mike ultimatums when he
doesn't get his way. He hardly ever wants to be at
home. These are all typical types of behavior for a
grieving 5-year-old, as far as I can tell from the
reading, I just don't know what to do to help him through
this difficult time. All I can do is just love him
unconditionally and let him know that I am here for him.
Poor Mike, he is hurting very badly too I know, and has
had to put his feelings on the back burner to try to be
strong for us. He is trying to deal with Elijah to
keep my stress level down, and is taking care of me so I
don't have any problems with my blood pressure. He
has been great through out this whole ordeal. He
surely has shown what a great man he is. I love him
more than ever now, unfortunately it had to take a
tragedy to bring us closer together.
As the days go by, it gets a little easier, but I know
forever my heart will ache. I miss my sweet little
baby girl more than words can express. My heart is
so full of love for her and so full of sorrow at the same
I can only hope that one sweet day will come in heaven
where I will be able to once again hold my angel in my
arms and give her all the love I have.
October 31, 2001
NAME OR NICKNAME: Corrie