Somewhere over the rainbow…

  


I thought that on April 21st, 2014, delivering my lifeless daughter, would be the hardest thing I would ever experience. It was definitely the top most difficult thing I’ve experienced. But atleast I got to feel a sense of pride looking at her beauty, I got a couple smiles and laughs through my tears, at her little quirky details, like daddy’s crooked toes, her chunky thighs, mommy’s long brown hair. I got to admire her. I cried, I smiled, I yelled, I giggled, I cried some more. We experienced pain, but at the same time we also felt pride and love. Yet I was wrong. No matter how difficult it was to hold my lifeless daughter, I still got to hold her in my arms and stare at her. I got to kiss on her and tell her how much I loved her. That’s more than many people can ever do. Each day after that was even harder, because I couldn’t hold her and love on her. What was even more difficult, was saying goodbye. Not to her spirit, but to her precious, perfectly created little body.

April 26th, 2014, we saw our daughter for the very last time. In a casket. 

The previous days were emotional, painful mentally and physically, and busy. During our stay in the hospital, before she was even born, Oliver and I had to discuss Scarlett’s funeral arrangements. Oliver was sitting to the right of me with his arm around me, and said, “I have an idea. Let’s not bury her. Let’s get her cremated and spread her ashes where we were married.” Oliver and I got married on a beautiful beach in Fort Walton, Florida, near Destin. The sands were white and the water was a beautiful blue. It was our special place, and Oliver wanted to make it even more special. I thought on it a minute and said, “I think that’s a beautiful idea.” Then hugged him. I thought of it as not putting her in the dirt. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with burying your child. We would’ve done it if Oliver didn’t think up such a special and unique idea. We just wanted her to be in the wind, in the ocean. We didn’t want her in one place. We wanted to say our last goodbye, or see you later, at a place special to us both. After awhile a thought suddenly crossed my mind, a dream I had when I was a few months pregnant, before we knew the gender of our growing baby…

It was our wedding day. We were on the beach we got married on, and the ceremony had just ended. I was standing with my mom, my grandmother and my great-grandmother. My friend Cayla, who also photographed our wedding, and thanks to my best friend Sarah, also photographed after Scarlett’s birth. She was there and taking a picture of the three of us. 3 generations of women in our family. The thing was, my great-grandmother who we called MiMi, passed away when I was 18. 

Her and I were extremely close. She had a special bond with each of her granddaughters, and her great-grandchildren. MiMi and I always had deep conversations. She was always teaching me a life lesson or making me laugh. Her stories were, still til this day, the most entertaining I’d ever heard. She was a diabetic, but had a secret candy stash she only told me about. So anytime I went into her room she’d tell me to take a handful, but would tell me not to tell the others. I’m not gonna lie, she could be a sassy bitch. And she knew it! Not to mention she cursed like a sailor. You did not want to be on her bad side. She was sarcastic, yet strict. She hated when the boys would walk around the house without their shirts on. I remember one time my cousin John was about 13 years old, he was talking back to her, but she was very slow and walked with a cane so she couldn’t get to him quick enough to fuss at him. So later that day, he was sat on the couch watching tv, when she snuck up behind him, grabbed him by the ear, pulled and whacked him on the head with her cane. It was hilarious. I still laugh about it. Regardless of her strict or bitchy ways, she had a heart of gold. I miss her and her sassy self everyday. I would’ve given anything for her to see me walk down the aisle and marry a man I know she would have absolutely adored. 

So in my dream, I knew my MiMi was deceased, but she was visiting from Heaven for the day so she could be at my wedding. After we took the picture, she said, “Let’s go sit over there.” I looked to where she was pointing, and there were two chairs in the sand, right in front of where the waves were crashing up. I remember it being a little cloudy, yet not very windy. We walked up to the chairs and sat down. I remember her not needing a cane or walker to walk. I sat down and she began to tell me how proud of me she was, how much she loved me and missed me. But she was so very proud. She then said, “I want you to give Joel a message for me.” Joel is my younger brother. Suddenly she’s writing on a paper, that’s placed on a little table that I don’t remember being there before. The message simply said, “I love you soooo much.” And she drew a little character on the paper. I know it sounds silly but it looked like Mickey Mouse or something. I’m still not sure. She then said, “It’s time for me to go.” I began crying and said, “I’m not ready for you to go back yet.” I hugged her and vividly remember the strong smell of her perfume. She was always doused in strong smelling perfumes. With tears rolling down my face, she kissed me on the cheek, and I could feel the thickness and stickiness of her lipstick on my face. She said goodbye, and I woke up. I didn’t wake up silently, I woke up full on crying and sobbing. It even woke Oliver up. He freaked out and asked what was wrong, I told him I had a dream about my MiMi and how much I missed her. I later called my brother and mom to tell them about the dream. I just felt the need to. 

The next day, because of my vivid dream, I decided that if our baby ended up being a girl, I would want her middle name to be “Lee”, after my MiMi’s middle name. And what do you know, not long after, we found out we were having a girl, and named her Scarlett Lee Quinn.

The dream suddenly made sense. I turned to Oliver and began telling him about the dream. I said, “What if that was MiMi’s way of saying that Scarlett was with her now. Maybe she knew all along Scarlett would end up in Heaven, and that we would decide to spread her ashes not only where we were married, but in the very spot I dreamed of her visiting me from Heaven.” I never once dreamed about my great-grandmother. I thought about her non-stop when she passed away, but over the last few years, she hasn’t been on my mind nearly as much. I hadn’t thought about her in a very long time, then I randomly dream of her in a special place, in a very vivid dream. I could never see that as a coincidence. I’ve only had a dream like that once. I was 16 years old, going through a very rough patch in life. I was going through depression and felt overwhelmed with all that was going in in my life at the time. When one night I dreamed that my grandfather, who passed away when I was only 2 1/2 years old, visited me randomly from Heaven in a dream. Again sounds silly, but we rode through a city on a motorcycle with smiles on our faces. He told me he came to visit me to let me know he’s always with me and everything would be okay. It just seemed to suddenly click. Scarlett is with MiMi, and other loved ones. She’s being loved on and pampered. That brought major warmth to my heart. When before you know it I was emotionally spiraling downward again. 

A few days after being home from the hospital, still in pain and barely able to walk on my own, slowly healing, we decided to go out and pick an outfit for her to wear for the service. We both discussed what we wanted her to wear. I wanted a white long sleeve dress, to hide her skin tears, with lace on it, something elegant and angelic. Oliver simply wanted to find a dress that had a matching beanie cap. In the hospital she temporarily wore a bonnet my grandmother made, but it just looked too morbid. Her little head was a bit misshapen from being in the birth canal for so long, so he wanted to cover it. I agreed. We went to a few stores and found absolutely nothing close to what we wanted. We were so disappointed. At the second to last store, we put an outfit together we weren’t really in love with, and said that if the last store we went to didn’t have anything, we would come back and settle with this one. It was a cute little dress, but we would’ve had to have put a long sleeve onesie under it to cover her arms, and get a beanie cap that didn’t come with the dress. So we went to the last store on the list, that Scarlett’s nanny Sarah told me about. We walked in and were greeted by a young brunette. She asked if she could help us, I said no thank you. Then I realized I was just ready to get in and get out, it had been a long day and we were emotionally exhausted. So I said, “Actually yes, where are your little girl dresses?” She said, “How old?” I told her “Newborn.” So we followed her to the newborn dresses. She stood next to them and started saying, “So what kind are you looking for? Something froofy, something spring…” My eyes started to burn from the tears coming on, “Actually something elegant and beautiful, it’s for our daughter that just passed away.” She froze. You could see the hurt on her face. “I’m so sorry.” I told her it was okay, and explained what we were looking for. She started pulling a few dresses off the rack, but none of them really were exactly what we wanted. She said she would be right back and walked away. I started looking through dresses, then came to a stop. I pulled off a very long, beautiful, longsleeve white dress. It had lace across the chest, with small elegant pink flowers on it. Attached to it was a perfectly matching beanie cap, white, also with a couple of small pink flowers. It was more perfect than I could’ve ever imagined. I looked at Oliver and said, “This is the dress.” With a half smile and hurt in his eyes, he said, “Yeah, that’s the one.” I looked at the price tag. “Wow, this dress is almost $80.” I looked at him. He said, “It’s okay, it’s worth it.” I put my arm around him and we walked to the register. I was emotional ofcourse. And being out in public was very hard for me. At the counter there were two young ladies standing there. They were smiling, but quiet, and looked anxious. I was looking around the store to avoid eye contact with them. I didn’t want to start crying. I heard one say, “Is there anything else we can do for you today?” Oliver told her no. As I’m looking around, I zoned out and wasn’t 100% into the conversation. I turned back and she’s just standing there looking at us. I asked Oliver if he paid her, and he just stood there and said, “She said we can have the dress…” I looked at her and said, “What?” I thought to myself, the woman who was helping us must have told her about Scarlett. I broke down crying, and kept saying, “Thank you, thank you so much.” They smiled and said not to worry about it. I was absolutely blown away. Such an expensive dress and they just gave it to us. Our perfect dress we searched for at that. I was amazed. I later was told that the owner of that boutique is known to do things like that. That act of kindness will never be forgotten. 

Saturday came around and I was absolutely terrified. I was so close to not being able to go. To see your baby in a casket, no one should ever experience that. Oliver and I got to the funeral home early. When we walked into the room, my heart dropped. We walked up to the casket, and all I could do was stare at her and cry. Our baby girl looked perfect in her new outfit. Her Nanny Sarah and Parrain Jacques bought her a pearl necklace, and it went perfectly with her dress. I’d never seen a casket so small before. It just wasn’t right that caskets so small had to be made. We admired her, and spoke to her. Finally I walked away, I knew we needed to start organizing her pictures, knick knacks, plants and flowers. When it was all finished and made up, it was absolutely beautiful. So many kind people bought her loads of beautiful flowers and plants. There was nearly no room for them all. Her pictures from the hospital were on the tables, next to her framed hand and foot prints. Sarah and Jacques got an unbelievable amount of pink balloons. They all sat behind her casket, tied together, filling up the entire corner and ceiling behind her. The entire set up was just perfect and beautiful. We stood near her casket, as everyone lined up to speak to us and see her. The majority of everyone there wore pink for Scarlett. My heart swelled. Every person I saw, I hugged and thanked for being there. There were even people there that Oliver and I had never met before. Friends travelled from other states to be there. Our hearts were filled with so much love from everyone’s presence. We finally sat down and the service began. It was beautiful, but I couldn’t help but hurt. It didn’t feel real. All of this for our daughter. Who should be in our arms, not that casket. Oliver’s dad said a few words. It was perfect, and touching. I know it took a lot of bravery to go up there at your granddaughter’s funeral, and speak in front of a room full of people. I was told that it was so full, it was standing room only. After the service was over, we remained sitting on the seat in front of her, as everyone said their goodbyes to Scarlett, grabbed balloons and walked outside. When I saw everyone saying goodbye, it hit me so hard. I was crying uncontrollably, I remember saying it wasn’t fair. I was so angry and hurt. Why us? Why our baby girl? All of my emotions started flooding. Arms would wrap around me. So much love and support. Eventually I pulled myself together, got up, and told Scarlett’s precious little body goodbye. We stared at her for the very last time, turned and walked out the door with some of her pink balloons. When I stepped outside it was bright. Everyone was standing all around the parking lot, holding the two shades of pink balloons. The pastor said a prayer, and as the balloon release music played, everyone let go of their balloons. It was a beautiful sight. I wonder what this view looks like from Heaven.

  


Two days later we left for Florida. The whole week we were there, the weather was horrible. It even flooded in some areas. None of the days would’ve been good to release her ashes. Until our last day there. We got up around 5 am, to pack everything up, and make it to our special spot before sunrise. To our surprise, the weather was perfect that day. When the sun came up, we sat and enjoyed the view for awhile. We then walked almost knee high into the cold water, and spoke to Scarlett. We told her how much we loved her, and how this was only a temporary goodbye. I brought some of her flowers from her service, and threw them into the ocean. We watched them float away, and right after, Oliver threw her ashes into the wind. Later that day, we went to a tattoo shop, and got matching tattoos for our angel. To my surprise, it was actually Oliver’s idea, who’s never been a tattoo enthusiast. We were given a little bit of grief over getting them. It bothered me for awhile, but now all I have to say to that, is that it was totally worth it. I could be 90 and wrinkled, and I will proudly wear my daughter’s name on my skin. That’s the beauty in not caring what people think of you. I’ve gotten stares, good and bad. Yet I always smile. Because to me tattoos are a form of art and expression. For me, if I’m putting something permanently on my skin, it’s for me, no one else. I wear my tattoos with pride, because they are something to be proud of. They are a part of me, and my experiences in life. I look forward to the day I can tell my grandchildren about those experiences, when they ask about my tattoos. Scarlett’s name was not my first tattoo, and certainly won’t be my last. They are my stories. And I’m proud to show them and share them with others. They aren’t everyone’s “thing”, and that’s totally okay. Everyone is into different things. We all have different interest, likes and dislikes. 

   

 


Until this day, this all feels like a dream at times. It hits me randomly, and I just can’t quite wrap my mind around the fact that my once lively, healthy, little girl that grew inside of my womb, was gone. For a long time after losing her, I stayed closed off to people. At times I still do. Sometimes I just want to keep to myself and be alone. But never had I felt more alone than I did on May 11th, 2014. Mother’s Day. Only 3 weeks after we lost Scarlett. The following experience, I’ve only ever told two people. I feel like by sharing, maybe it will help someone else. Maybe it will open up their eyes, or help them not feel so alone. It always made me feel ashamed, embarrassed and guilty. But no more. There’s something deep within me that feels the need to share this with whoever chooses to read it. Because out of this horrible experience, there was hope. Even in the darkest moment of my life, hope prevailed. 

It was the morning of Mother’s Day. I was in Scarlett’s room, sitting in my rocking chair, crying. How am I supposed to get through this day? This is my first Mother’s Day, and my daughter is gone. The last 3 weeks had been hell. My appetite was non-existent. I didn’t eat because I was never hungry. My mouth never watered, my stomach didn’t growl. Oliver would make me food and I had to force myself to take a few bites. I’ve always loved food and never had a problem eating. But I just didn’t feel the need to. I was going through a bottle of wine a day. That’s what filled up my stomach the majority of the time. I found that it helped relax me. So for a couple of months, I just drank wine, and nibbled on food. That day we were going to Oliver’s parents home to eat boiled crawfish. I didn’t even want that. I just wanted to stay home, ball up and sleep. The previous days were already heart wrenching and difficult, but this day was especially hard. And it got worse. My dad, who I hadn’t seen or spoken to, since a few weeks prior, called. At this point, the last time I saw my dad was at the hospital. He did not come to Scarlett’s funeral, and he never once called to check on me to see how I was doing or if I needed anything. Until that Mother’s Day. He called as if none of that ever happened. He asked how I was and what I was doing. I bluntly told him I was in Scarlett’s room, crying because I missed her and it’s been a hard day. Out of hurt and anger, I asked him why he didn’t go to his grand daughters service, and why he never called me. This resulted in a lot of excuses, and an argument. I told him how I felt, and I guess the guilt ate him up, because he eventually hung up on me. I didn’t see him until Christmas Eve that year, and even then we got into an argument. I haven’t seen or talked to him since then. It’s a complicated situation. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father so much, and he loves my brother and I very much. Like I said, it’s a very complicated situation that I won’t get into. 

That phone call pretty much pushed me over the edge. Not only was it Mother’s Day, not only was I hurting like hell, but I got into a very painful argument with my father, who hung up on me. I was even more of an emotional wreck than before. I found myself sitting on the floor of my daughter’s bedroom, head down, crying into my knees. I was in so much pain, and even more heart broken. Just when I thought that wasn’t possible. In that moment I felt so alone, so angry, so bitter, so sad, so very lost. I just wanted the pain to go away. I’d been hurting for what felt like forever, and today felt like the last day I could take. My emotions were on overload, and I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I just wanted it to go away. I didn’t care about anything but getting rid of that heartache. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and the tears wouldn’t stop. I was sobbing uncontrollably, and shaking. I walked into my bedroom, grabbed the nearly full bottle of Ambien that I was prescribed at the time to help me sleep at night, and walked back into Scarlett’s bedroom. I closed the door, stood in front of her dresser, and looked at the bottle. I just kept thinking to myself over and over again, I can’t take the pain anymore, it’s too much. God will understand. I just can’t live like this anymore.” I suddenly felt numb. I wanted to end my life. I wanted to end this suffering. Tears silently ran down my face, and in that very moment, I made the decision that I would take every pill in the bottle. I took one, swallowed, and said I was sorry. I dumped the rest into my hand, and before I could start popping them into my mouth, I heard something that forever changed my life. I heard a little girls sweet voice say, “I love you Mommy. It’s not worth it.” I stopped what I was doing and froze. I felt like I was going crazy. Did I really just hear that? I ran those words through my mind over and over. I chose to dump the pills back into the bottle. And began crying again. Was that Scarlett’s voice? She’s just a baby, could that really have been her? It wasn’t a voice like you would hear someone talking, it was a voice in my mind, and the feeling I got when I heard it was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. I can’t even begin to explain how it felt. For those last couple of weeks, I seriously questioned the existence of God. Even after reviewing the dream I had about my MiMi. Yet in that moment, I knew there was something more, and I knew our daughter was with us. For awhile I went back and forth over what I heard and felt. There’s no other explanation in my heart and mind other than my daughter, my angel, stopped me from taking my own life. I’m not going to sit here to try and convince anyone what I experienced that day. I know what happened to me, and that’s all that matters. I’m here today, to share my story, and Scarlett’s, because she saved me. I realize now how selfish of an action that would’ve been, the pain that it would’ve caused, the heartache and hurt. At the time though, I didn’t care. I was so deep into my depression and pain, I just didn’t want to hurt anymore. If you are reading this, and you have been through something tragic or heartbreaking, I promise, it will get better in time. The pain will always remain, your heart will always ache, but if you choose to live your life in a way to make your angels proud, you will have a purpose. I know we will see our daughter again. She is what keeps me going. It’s not easy. There are still nights I cry myself to sleep, there are still days I want to be alone and stay in bed. My heart still aches, I still feel bitter at times. But I’m always able to get myself up, and live in a way that I know would make her proud of her mommy. I WILL see my baby girl again. She always shows herself through her signs, and it keeps me going. She’s changed my life in so many ways. I love that little girl more than I ever thought I could possibly love someone. I’ve come to realize that I hurt so much, because of how much I love her, and that’s okay. 

  

Somewhere over the rainbow, is where my child plays,

Sitting in The Lord’s lap, each beautiful day,

I imagine her wings, so precious and small,

Her eyes so bright, the prettiest you ever saw,

Little brown locks, pouty lips and rosy cheeks,

Waiting patiently, years, months or weeks,

Too see her Mommy and Daddy, at Heavens gate,

No matter how long, it’ll be worth the wait,

To hold our baby again, and kiss her pretty face, 

I wonder if she’ll wear a white robe, or be pretty in lace, 

I look forward to the day, I can tell my sweet Scarlett,

I’ve missed you every day, and never could I forget,

The impact on my life you made,

The love that could never fade,

This is just the beginning of our life together,

In my arms you’ll remain forever.


-Chynelle Quinn





Scarlett’s Story

Easter morning. It’s Sunday, April 20th, 2014 on Easter morning. Two days past my due date for our Scarlett Lee Quinn. I looked over briefly at the alarm clock, it was after 6 am. Oliver worked a 24 hour shift the day before and should be home soon. I was laying on my left side, with a pillow between my legs, as I did for the last 6 months. I slowly pushed myself up, and rolled out of bed. I looked down at my big, round, heavy belly, and rubbed it. I felt the contractions and made sure to keep track of the time. Who knows, maybe this was it. Maybe I would finally have my baby girl. On Easter of all days! Stubborn like her mommy. I walked to the bathroom to pee, for the fourth time since I’d laid in bed the night before. Then, I walked over to the sink to brush my teeth. I looked into the mirror. Man I’d gained a lot of weight. I finished up and laid back down into bed, still having contractions. She sure is quiet in there. Normally right before bed, and early in the morning, she’s kicking and rolling. Maybe she’s quiet because of the contractions, they say babies are less active during contractions right? After laying in bed for awhile, I’d realized my contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart. Oliver made it home about an hour later, and got into bed awhile after. “Good morning” I said. He replied in an exhausted tone, “Morning”. You could tell he was beat. He had bags under his eyes. I began to tell him I’d been having contractions and they weren’t braxton hicks this time. I also mentioned I hadn’t felt her move this morning. It’s happened before. A couple of months prior she was still for almost 2 hours, I did everything I could to get her to to move. A cold drink, something sweet to eat, talking to her, and tapping my belly. Turns out all she needed was some Cajun music on the surround sound to get her kicking. So this morning I tried the same thing. Still nothing. Something felt off, it just didn’t feel right. I walked into the bedroom, where Oliver was snuggled up under the covers, about to fall asleep. I sat next to him and said, “I did everything like before and she still hasn’t moved”. He sighed, then replied, “Did you try a cold drink?”. I was becoming annoyed, “Yes, I said I tried everything.” He also seemed to be getting annoyed, I could tell he was tired, “Give it some more time. It might be like last time, maybe she’s sleeping. If she doesn’t move after while we will call the doctor.” “No” I said, “I’m calling now, we will see what they say, but something doesn’t feel right, we will just miss church if we have to.” This morning would be the first morning Oliver and I ever planned on going to church together. I had decided the week before that I wanted us to start going as a family, and when Scarlett was born. What better day than Easter to start going?
I picked up my phone and dialed my doctors office, I was connected to the answering service. I asked to speak to the doctor on call. I spoke to him, and told him everything from the contractions to her not moving. He told me to come in and get a fetal monitoring test done. I woke up Oliver, “The doctor on call said we need to get a fetal monitoring test done.” He sighed, again, “Really?” I urged him, “Yes. Now get up. I’m going to shower and we will head out.”

On the ride to the hospital I became anxious. I knew something wasn’t right. We signed in at the front desk at the hospital. When the woman put my wrist band on, I noticed my hand was shaking. I remember saying in my head, “Please let everything be okay. It could be the cord wrapped in the wrong place, or maybe she’s just sleeping? Whatever the reason, please let everything be okay.” We went upstairs and were brought to a room. I was asked to pee in a cup, and change into a gown. After I peed, I wiped and noticed some blood. It scared me a little. I mentioned it to one of the nurses and she said it probably meant it wouldn’t be long until we have a baby. It was “bloody show”. I sat on the hospital bed, with Oliver sitting in a chair next to me. I was excited, yet anxious. I loved hearing her beautiful heartbeat. A friendly, smiley, brunette nurse with glasses walked in. She explained she would be doing the fetal monitoring and that the doctor on call was heading to the hospital. I smiled and said, “She won’t be hard to find, she’s got a loud and proud heart beat. Sounds like a galloping horse.” We all smiled. She lifted my gown, applied the gel and began moving the doppler wand around on my belly. Nothing.

“She’s usually really easy to find”, I said laughing a little.
“Oh it’s taken me almost 10 minutes to find a heartbeat on a baby before.” I felt relieved and kept listening closely. Still nothing. “Let me go grab a doctor and have him take a look.” I started to feel anxious again. This doctor came in, introduced himself, and began to listen. Silence. He seemed nervous, and that made me nervous. All I remember from that point is something being mentioned about getting an ultrasound done. I felt confused.

The first appointment we had for Scarlett, my doctor said we would get an ultrasound done if she couldn’t get a heartbeat on the doppler. So she finally told her nurse to prep for an ultrasound, until right then and there this loud beautiful galloping heartbeat boomed through. It was the most beautiful sound ever. I cried so much, and even Oliver’s eyes swelled up.
Maybe this was like it was then. Maybe she’s just in a bad spot.” I thought to myself. Until I heard the forever life changing words, “There’s no heartbeat.” I’ve never felt more confused in my life. Everything suddenly seemed like a blur, moving in slow motion. I looked over at Oliver and he looked confused also. Just moments ago he was holding my hand, squeezing it with reassurance, and giving me a heartfelt smile. Now his world was upside down, our world, was upside down. I felt my cheeks get hot, my throat felt like it was constricting, and tears started rolling down my cheeks. “What do you mean? I don’t understand? If she doesn’t have one then do a c-section right now! Take her out of me! ”
The doctor said something along the lines of getting an ultrasound done again. Oliver, filled with every emotion, “What do you mean? Does she have a heartbeat or not? What is it doc?” I could see his heart being ripped from his chest. The doctor seemed surprised, nervous, and anxious. He said he would be right back and walked out. Oliver and I hugged, and cried. Suddenly, he began to pray. Asking God to save our baby girl if there was any chance at all. Begging, for Him to save her. I began to join him, begging also, and saying we would raise her knowing Him, and I would be the best Christian he could ask for. That I would do anything if she were just okay. We were asking for a miracle.
Moments later another doctor, in his regular clothes walked in. He just so happened to come in that day to check on one of his patients, he heard what was happening and came in. He introduced himself and began to do the ultrasound. “I’m so sorry”, he said, “there’s no heartbeat. We both began crying even harder. I don’t remember too much after that. It felt like a dream. A nightmare. I remember screaming, feeling heartbroken, confused, angry. I still didn’t believe it could be real. I was in major denial. Oliver called his mom, and I called mine. Never in my life had I wanted my mom by my side so badly. I couldn’t get in touch with her so I called my brother. Telling him what happened on the phone was one of the top 5 most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life. Hearing his pain, his crying, broke my heart even more. His pain was mine, and mine was his. Oliver called our best friends Sarah and Jacques, and his brother Jack. Amidst all the tears, emotions and chaos. The friendly brunette nurse put her arm around me and began crying. She told me that many years ago she lost her child, and she never knew why, until this moment. She was the first person, to ever give me emotional support, kindness, understanding and love. I didn’t initially realize it then, but I later realized how special she was, and the major role she played in that moment in my life. More than ever I needed that support and kindness that she gave me, and I will never forget it. The doctor was amazing and kind. I remember he was really tall, with a deep voice. That could be intimidating to some people, but he was so soft spoken and helpful. He also gave some words of encouragement and support. He emailed Oliver a very beautiful saying. We will also never forget his kindness, along with many other staff members in the following days.

Before we knew it, Oliver’s brother, Jack, rushed through the door. He’s always been the black sheep in the family. Always kept his feelings and thoughts to himself for the most part. While the rest of Oliver’s immediate family has always been more outgoing, outspoken, and blunt. He’s just one of those people it feels nearly impossible to read any emotions off of. His face never seems to show many. That’s why when he walked through the door of the room, my heart hurt even more, just as it did on the phone with my brother. You could read the obvious emotion from him, the worry, the sadness, the sorrow, right off of his face. He immediately hugged us, and his heart broke as well. He may not show much emotion, but he gives the absolute best hugs ever. You could feel the love and hurt through that hug. I was so grateful when he walked through the door, and I know Oliver was also. Not long after, our best friends Sarah and Jacques came in. Crying, shocked and hurting just as we were. Scarlett is their Goddaughter. Just a couple weeks prior Sarah gave birth to our Godson Graysen, who they left in the hall with a nurse, afraid to bring him in and upset us. Soon after, I remember being wheeled down the hall into a labor and delivery room. They started an IV on me and began hooking me up to the monitors. All I could do is cry and cry. Even as I type this, I’m crying. The pain is so fresh in my heart.

Soon family started showing up. I remember my mom bursting in, not 100 percent sure to what was going on. I told her I would have to deliver her, and she yelled to the nurses crying, “What? No? Why can’t she have a c-section? She shouldn’t have to go through that!” I calmed her down and said, “It’s okay mom, it’s too late to do one. I’m going to deliver her.” I was so afraid to deliver Scarlett. Not because I was afraid of the delivery process, but because I was terrified of seeing my daughter lifeless. I still had hope that they got something wrong and she would come out crying. I held onto that hope the entire time, even though my mind knew better. I couldn’t stop crying, and each time someone I loved walked into the room and I saw their pain, my heart broke all over again. It was so bad that I was medicated to fall asleep, being that the delivery would take a lot of energy. Everything became blurry, I barely remember faces surrounding my bed, hands touching my hair and hands, voices, and then I was out. I guess it had only been a couple hours later that I began waking up from the contractions being so strong and painful. Yet I was so heavily medicated, I kept falling back asleep, until the next contraction would hit. They eventually gave me something for the pain from them, and I was able to rest a little while longer. When I woke up, it was a little past midnight.  It still didn’t feel real. It all just felt like a bad dream. Oliver was asleep in a recliner that wasn’t even 2 inches from my bed, my mom was asleep on the couch, and his mom asleep on another. My Aunt Lesley was by my side, and got me something to drink. We talked for a bit, then Oliver’s mom, Justine woke up. The nurses brought in jello and broth. I wasn’t hungry but I knew I’d need something in my system for the day I had ahead of me.

I stayed up after that, I just wasn’t able to sleep. I was given an epidural. Before all of this I wanted a natural birth. People called me crazy, but it was something I wanted to experience for myself, and for the well being of our daughter. It’s what I felt I was made for, so I wanted to give it a try. If it didn’t end up that way, I was okay with that. Sarah, Jacques, Oliver and I even took birthing classes together. The guys even took it pretty seriously. It was great how involved and supportive they were. I was basically told I’m going through enough, so maybe I should take it easier on myself and get the epidural. I agreed. The natural birth would’ve been more for our daughter than myself. Why put myself through more agony than I’m already experiencing.

Oliver slept the majority of the day. I felt like I wanted him to be awake with me at times, to hold my hand and hold me. Then I would tell myself, “If I were able to sleep right now, and not be here in reality, I would.” So I let him sleep while he could. It felt so strange, so very wrong not to feel my baby girl kicking and rolling around, making me feel uncomfortable and heavy. I prayed so many times that I would feel her feet in my ribs, or see her little bottom poke up. But it never happened. It just felt wrong. For so many months I felt her grow inside of me. I knew her daily routine. I knew what would get her moving. I knew she was always guaranteed to start kicking when I sang her our special song, or when she would hear her daddy’s familiar voice. All that kept running through my mind was “Why?“, and “How?“. I didn’t understand why or how this could’ve happened. I had the most perfectly healthy pregnancy a woman could ask for. Other than my blood pressure dropping a couple times from not drinking enough fluids, it was perfect. My mind was constantly going.

Oliver eventually woke up, and never left my side except ONCE. And that was to go for a much needed walk. Even then he wasn’t gone long. He was always by my side, holding my hand, sharing the bed with me, communicating with the doctors and nurses, and making sure I was comfortable and had what I needed. Sarah and Jacques went to our house to grab a few things. They brought back some clothes and toiletries for Oliver and I. Also, the diaper bag I had packed for the hospital when Scarlett was born. Including her teddy bear with her heartbeat recording inside, and the going home dress I wanted her to wear. I had so much family in the wait area, for hours they sat there. Because of the emotional toll it took, I just couldn’t have everyone in the room, it was too hard. What was even harder, was being asked all the questions by the social workers and staff. Funeral arrangements, how we wanted the birth to go, read this paperwork, sign here, and here, and here, beyond so many other things. As difficult as it all was, especially being that Scarlett wasn’t even born yet, I’m thankful the staff was so kind and understanding. I get that they were just doing their jobs.

My emotions were all over the place. One minute I was staring off, in a daze. The next I’d be uncontrollably crying and yelling at God. I was so angry at Him. So bitter. I was for a very long time after as well. Some would say, she’s in a better place now, she will never experience pain or suffering, she’s where we all want to be. I’d shake my head and agree. Yet on the inside I was being selfish and cursing. “I don’t give a shit about any of that. I just want my baby here with ME!” It made me feel so alone. How could anyone possibly understand this feeling. Then I would look over at Oliver and realize I’m not alone. I have this loving, supportive, understanding, protective man by my side.

Eventually the time came. Time to start pushing.

The day prior, my OB doctor, who was supposed to be taking vacation that week, was contacted about what was happening, and called to speak to me. Even though it was Easter day, she even managed to go by the hospital and check on me in person. She said she would have the staff contact her with updates so she could stay informed.
I started pushing a few times with the nurses, when out of nowhere, my doctor, who was supposed to be going out of town, walked in with her delivery gown and gear on. This woman is amazing. She was there for me during the most difficult experience of my life, and I will always love and appreciate her for that.
During my delivery, I began running a fever. I was sweating profusely, and shaking non stop. I assume the shaking is from the second epidural, maybe the fever, probably both. It’s as if my body was burning up the epidural. Even with the second epidural on board, I could still feel the pressure and pain from the contractions. The shaking was so bad, my body felt as if I’d run a marathon, and my jaw stayed clenched and sore. They thought I was cold from shaking so much, and kept covering me with blankets. But I was burning up. My hair was soaked from sweat, and so were the sheets. When it came time to do the real pushing, I was all there. My mom was holding my right hand, Justine holding my left, and Oliver, who was originally holding my left hand, ended up at the end with my doctor because she called him over. When it came time to push, I gave it my all. I powered through the best I could. Through the emotional and physical pain, the fear, the heartache, I pushed through. There was one point during the pushing I broke down. It’s like my heart couldn’t take it anymore. I began screaming and crying. I don’t remember what I even said. I just remember it was pain straight from the heart, and fear in my mind. After some encouragement from my doctor, I began pushing again, and didn’t stop. There were a couple times she tried putting the mirror in front of me, so I could see Scarlett come out, but I found it distracting and wanted to keep my mind on one thing, pushing. My mom kept telling me how amazing I was doing, and how proud of me she was with tears in her eyes. Soon my doctor decided I needed an episiotomy. So I was given one. I later found out, that if the circumstances were different, and Scarlett were alive, I would have had to have had an emergency c-section. She was large and wasn’t positioned properly

Just as Scarlett’s head was coming out, Justine said, “Look at Oliver’s face, he’s smiling.” I opened my eyes for a brief few seconds while I was pushing, and saw the most legitimate smile of pride a father could show. He was looking at our baby girl for the first time, and he was proud of our little angel.

Our Scarlett was born at 1:21 pm, April 21st, 2014. 8lbs 9oz. 19 1/2 in long. I can’t tell you how much I longed to hear her cry a beautiful, lively cry. To hear her little lungs filled with air. To take her warm little body directly to my warm chest. To bond with her, feel her heartbeat against mine, to see her pretty little eyes look at mine, to feed her from my breast. Even if I could have had one hour with her, those are things I wish more than anything I could experience. I would trade all the traveling, all the money, anything and everything, just for a few moments like that with her.
When she was born, Oliver cut her cord. They then held up her lifeless little body, that I wish would have been squirming and kicking around instead. They asked if I wanted her bathed or if I wanted to hold her right away. Truth be told, if she were alive, I would have taken her straight to my chest. But under these circumstances, I asked that they bathe and dress her. I was afraid to see her right away. Afraid she would be pale, blue, cold. I wasn’t ready. I was scared. Oliver gently bathed her, and put on her pretty pink polka dot dress, and covered her head with a light pink beanie cap. He and the nurse wrapped her up in a blanket, and carried her over to me. He placed her in my weak, sore arms, I looked at her face in amazement. Her skin was pink, lips were red, cheeks were rosy, and she looked like she was peacefully sleeping. She is the most beautiful thing I’ve EVER laid my eyes on. I can’t even begin to explain how I felt in that moment. A mix of nearly every emotion known to man. The majority being love, pride, sadness, happiness, and heartbreak. I cried so much, I literally felt an ache in my heart. I thought I was heartbroken before. This was heartbreak. Holding your first child, your only child, your child, lifeless, in your arms.

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Oliver and I had some time with her. We had our happy moments, looking at her little body. All the similar characteristics she shared with us. Daddy’s chin, his crooked pinky toes. Mommies hair, and Oliver says round eyes. We compared her last ultrasound picture on Oliver’s phone, to what she looked like in person. She had so many little rolls on her legs it made us laugh. Then before you knew it we were crying again.







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We agreed that only immediate family could come into the room, two or so people at a time, to see her. No one held Scarlett except Oliver, my doctor, a couple nurses, and me. As time passed her little body slowly began to deteriorate. Some parts of her skin began to peel, her flush little cheeks became more dull, her lips darker. I couldn’t help to kiss her soft skin, or place my finger in her little fingers constantly. She was getting colder and colder, which made it even harder. I wanted to cherish every second I had with her.
Family started coming in. Giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead. Taking her in.
We even had a pastor come in with some of the family, and say a beautiful prayer for her and for us.

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Meanwhile, our dear friend Cayla was capturing these moments. Sarah and Justine asked that she come and take some pictures. I didn’t realize it then, but I’m so glad I have pictures of my little beauty to look at daily, and to show off with pride like any proud parent does. I forgot Cayla was even in the room, until I looked up at one point and saw her crying while photographing. It takes a strong, loving friend to do what she did.
After everyone came and left, we had our last moments alone with Scarlett. At one point, It was just her and me. I began singing our special song I’d sang to her since before she could even hear. “In My Arms” by Plumb. One last time.
“Your baby blues
So full of wonder
Your curly cues
Your contagious smile
And as i watch
You start to grow up
All I can do
is hold you tight

Knowing clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe in my arms

Story books are full of fairy tales
Of kings and queens and the bluest skies
My heart is torn just in knowing
You’ll someday see the truth from lies

When the clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe in my arms

Castles they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
‘Cause I will always,
Always love you.”

I wanted to hold her forever. The only reason I ever handed her off to Oliver, other than he’s daddy and needed time with her too, was that the majority of the time I was running a fever over 103, and my body was literally to weak to hold her.
Eventually we asked them to take her. We decided on an open casket, and wanted to preserve her body the best we could before the funeral. That was so much harder than I could’ve ever imagined. Letting them roll her out of the room. From that moment on. I felt broken. The next time I would see my daughter, would be in a casket.
I was brought into another room where I stayed a couple more nights. They were never able to figure out what caused my fever. So they gave me antibiotics, along with sleeping and pain meds.
When it came time to leave the hospital, I was wheeled downstairs, to where Oliver pulled up the car. I can’t even began to explain how devastating it was to sit in the front seat of that car, and leave that hospital, with no baby in the car with us. Once again, it felt so wrong.
When we got home, my grandparents, who had been staying with us from out of town since the week before, were there. They planned on leaving and staying at another family’s house for awhile. But we asked them to stay. I didn’t want an empty house. They were the perfect ones to be there with us. My Poppa lost his son a few years ago, and my Mameit lost her oldest and first daughter when she was five years old. We sat and talked to them for a couple hours. I thank God they were there. We needed them so much more than they know.
When it came time to go to bed, Oliver helped me walk to the bedroom. It was about a week until I could walk on my own, I healed very slowly. My immune system wasn’t exactly in tip top shape. I sat down on the bed and he walked out to go get something. I looked up, and right in front of me was her bassinet. Ready to be used for her first night home. I just broke. I began crying uncontrollably. A rush of emotions hit me pretty hard. I had to have Oliver put it in her room.
Every night, for a very long time, I would cry myself to sleep. I had to take sleeping medicine to help me sleep, or I wouldn’t at all. Some nights I would vent and scream. Some nights I would stare off, thinking of her, of my pregnancy and silently cry to myself. Life has never been the same since losing her. It never will be. The pain will always remain, just a strong. Things will just get different. I’ve been told it will pass, I’ve been told when I have another baby it will get better, I’ve been told a lot of bullshit. From people who haven’t even experienced losing their child. I understand they are trying to help in some way. But honestly, when people try to give me advice and haven’t experienced this before, I want to go off on them. Instead I bite my tongue, and try to keep my comments to myself. It won’t pass, because I will never stop thinking of her and the pain will always be there. When I have another child, I will be overjoyed and so in love, but it will not make me feel better about the fact that I lost my first baby girl. A child can not be replaced. They aren’t a puppy dog. Having another will not make you forget about the first one, or not be sad anymore. The next child will simply take up another part of your heart. Yet the first child who took up that first big space in your heart, they will always remain there. That part of your heart will always be broken. You can’t just place a bandaid on it and move on. Your heart doesn’t just belong to a living child, it belongs to all of your children, whether they are in Heaven or on Earth.
After a couple of check ups with my OB, I started taking anti-depressants. I was suffering from depression, social anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. I didn’t want to get on medication, but it got to the point to where it seemed like the only tool that might be worth giving a shot to help not erase my feelings, but tone down the severity and intensity I was feeling. I tried getting off of them a few months back, but the results were not good. So I decided to get back on them, but only take half a dose instead of the full dose. Almost a year has passed. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed, and I just want to cry. Some days I can function, put a smile on my face and have a good day. But not a single moment goes by that I don’t think of my daughter. Each day is different, but each day I have the same thoughts. I love and miss my baby more than anything, my heart aches constantly, but I have a wonderful supportive husband, and I’m thankful for the people in my life. My life as an angel mom…