Losing our Daughter

Four weeks ago today we lost our daughter; she was only 2 hours old.  Our journey with her has been incredible; she filled me with love.  More than anything, I do not want her to be forgotten and that is why I want to create this blog.  These past four weeks have been some of the toughest weeks in my life.  We found out in February that our baby was not going to be able to live outside my womb; it was the day before Ash Wednesday.  Lent took on a whole new meaning for me this year.  I felt as if I really understood what it meant when Jesus carried the cross, when Jesus suffered, and when Jesus said the words “Your will be done”.

I carried our little girl for 9 months in my womb.  I said “Yes” when the Lord asked me to give this baby life.  I knew for the last four months of my pregnancy that this was the only time I had with my baby; I treasured every moment I had.  We went in for our 20 week ultrasound on February 12, 2013; we were expecting this to be an exciting day.  In a matter of minutes, everything changed.  Up until this point we had no indication that anything was wrong.  When they did the ultrasound, they found out that our baby had no functioning kidneys and I had no amniotic fluid.  Our baby had something called Potters Syndrome.  I couldn’t hear much else after the doctor said “I’m sorry your baby has zero chance for survival outside of the womb”.

We were lucky because we had a Catholic doctor.  We had someone who respected life and would not question our decision to carry this baby to full term.  I was grateful to have the doctor that we had, but how was I supposed to get in the car and drive after news like this?  How was I supposed to wake up the next day and live?  How do I go on now?  Where were those answers?  There were no instructions, just heart stopping news and goodbye, I’ll see you at your next appointment.   I had to put one foot in front of the other and walk out of there.  When I walked to the checkout desk, I saw other Moms standing behind me, pregnant with their babies.  I remember thinking about the difference between our babies in the womb.  Right then all I could think was “I love you, my little peanut”.  “I love this baby no matter what”, that’s it.  I put my hand on my belly and just grieved my loss and loved our sweet baby at the same time.  This is an emotion so hard to explain, yet so normal at the time.  I was crying uncontrollably and I had to stand there and pay my co-pay.  It seemed so cruel to have to pay for news like this.  I wanted a way to fix my baby; couldn’t there possibly be a way to give my baby some healthy kidneys?  I just didn’t understand all of this, how could this be?

Those were my emotions just five short months ago and now here I am one month after our little peanut was born.  I wish I was holding her right now while I am typing this.  Instead she’s in eternity with our Lord, Jesus Christ.  He gave me a saint to carry in my womb and I had to let her go.  Everything is in his hands, not mine.  I am one month postpartum, one month out from meeting and saying goodbye to my daughter all in the same day.  It still hurts like crazy; this pain is worse than anything I’ve ever experienced.  I miss her so much.  I can’t stop thinking about her.  Sometimes I think about her soul being there, watching me throughout my day.  Other times I think about if she was here, in my arms.  No matter what, I miss her and barely a minute goes by without me saying her name in my head.  Her name was Frances Gianna.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Losing our Daughter

  1. Dearest Holly, thank you for sharing your story and your memories of Frances Gianna with us. Your strength and courage is an inspiration. Please know that Mike and I think of you and pray for you everyday. We would love to have you and your family come visit us someday soon. God bless you, my friend, Lisa

  2. I just want you to know that you are not alone. My brother and sister-in-law went through the same circumstance you, your husband and your daughters did. I will let you know there is never a birthday that we don’t remember our dear Austin. My brother and sister-in-law went on October 23 to have a ultra sound and the doctor informed them that everything was perfect and that they were having a baby boy. He was seven months old. My brother thinking everything was great flew up to Michigan for the University of Michigan Alumni weekend. That same night, he received a call that my sister-in-law was going into labor and that he needed to get home as soon as possible. They informed both of them that he just might not make it as his lungs were just not quite developed. My brother in a panic got on the quickest flight to get home, but my nephew had passed before he could get to the hospital. They brought in my niece and nephew to be part of the grieving process. My sister-in-law and brother honor him every year. They had a balloon launch this past year, as he would have been 10 years old. He is forever in our hearts and I make sure I call her or email my sister-in-law and brother to let him know that I am thinking of Austin and them. He only lived for a couple of hours, but that couple of hours changed all of our lives. He is in the hands of the Lord and we know that he is in good hands. May you feel comfort knowing your sweet Frances Gianna is in God’s care.

  3. I’m so sorry for this tremendous loss, Holly. I am so touched by your story and can “experience” it with you. You are not alone in your grief. I am praying for you, as are others. Your baby is a special saint in heaven waiting for you. You will be with her again, don’t ever forget!

  4. Dear Holly,

    I cannot imagine the pain you have experienced in this life story. I read everything you wrote and the feelings of grief and love are an intense combination.

    I’m thinking of you and even though I haven’t seen you in 7 years, I can still see your beautiful face.

    All my love,
    Monica

  5. I found your site through a mutual friend. My heart grieves for you, but I am also so touched and blessed by your willingness to say “Yes” to life, “Yes” to what God called you to. It is beautiful, and your “yes” radiates the love and mercy of God, walking this difficult path. I cannot imagine how much pain you are in, and am praying for you and your family. God bless.

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