Hi ladies, I'm sorry for lurking here *and so sorry for your losses!*.... I feel awful reading all your stories when I've not experienced this myself. I don't know, I hate to pry but I guess I'm interested in how you cope.
Back in 2001, my sister got pregnant for the 3rd time. She already had Aimee, 6 and Joshua, almost 1. My parents were obviously worried about how she'd manage (DBF is useless but that's another post) but we couldn't wait for the new arrival!
The plan was for me to go up to my sisters house to look after the kids when she went into labour. I got a call at about 6am on 10 November. It was happening! I got dressed and my dad dropped me off. I asked my sister how she was feeling and she said she could feel the baby going crazy.
Anyway, about 6 hours past and I hadn't heard anything. My Mum hadn't even called to give me an update and I don't know if it was a gut feeling, but to me, that just didn't seem right. My sister didn't have a house phone and I was out of credit on my mobile, so I took the kids upto my sisters friends. I asked to borrow the phone and I called the hospital. The nurse told me she would get someone to call me back. I was angry and nervous because she couldn't give me any info over the phone and so I panicked even more.
The next thing, my Dad pulls up outside my sisters house, with the kids Auntie (from DBFS side) in tow. I'm not sure what went through my head at this point, I was just glad I could now go and see my sister!
I got into the car and he had tears in his eyes. My Dad NEVER cries and so right away I KNEW something was wrong. Of course I was asking lots of questions and then he told me, the baby had died I burst into tears and remember saying 'Poor Nicola' out loud. I just wanted to be with my Mum and my sister to grieve together. My Dad asked me if I wanted to go home or to the hospital and of course, I went straight to the hospital. Me and my Dad cried the whole way there, it was just awful.
When I got to the room my sister was in, her and DBF were sat on the bed in tears. I ran up and cuddled them both so tightly. There was still blood on the bed.... it was just shocking. I asked what had happened but my sister just sobbed that she didn't know. We all sat in a huddle.
The nurse was getting the baby washed and dressed and was preparing to bring her into the room so we could have a cuddle and say goodbye to her properly. It was heartbreaking when the nurse came in and placed her in my sisters arms. She was dressed in pink and wrapped in a thick blanket. She had a pink hat on that just looked adorable! It sounds awful now, but she was passed around the room, everyone wanting a hold of our sweet little angel.
It was my turn. My Mum handed her to me and my legs gave way. I had to sit in a chair as I couldn't take it. She was purply blue, her eyes closed and her mouth open. I was inspecting every aspect of her little chubby face. She was beautiful and the double of her sister Aimee, although she had dark hair. I could see lacerations at the back of her neck where her skin had torn when she had been born.... heatbreaking. Suddenly for some unknown reason, I looked into her mouth. Her tongue was folded back and I lost it! I broke down and begged my Mum to take her from me otherwise I felt I might just drop her.
A few hours later, me and my Mum went outside for air. We ended up sitting in the car.... it was around the time Michael Jackson had brought out his Invincible album... I told my Mum I had a song I wanted her to hear that seemed to fit perfectly with the moment and the way we were feeling. 'Speechless' echoed through the car speakers and we sat and sobbed. It was eery.
My sister named her Ellie Rose. She was 9lb 4oz. To this day I am still unsure what happened and why she passed away. My sister doesn't really talk about the experience and Ellie is very rarely mentioned, which is quite sad. The only time she is mentioned is when Aimee is upset and talks about having a baby sister in heaven. She's 12 now and Joshua is 7. Ellie would have been 6 and that is unbelieveable. Time goes by so quickly!
I wondered if any of you ladies kept it to yourself? I worry about my sister sometimes but I just don't know how to bring it up with her
Last edited by LauraT; 04-18-2008 at 10:43 PM.
Reason: to remove signature
I'm SO sorry for your loss of little Ellie -- what a horrific and tragic experience. I'm equally delighted for you that you're expecting -- congratulations! It would be very brave of you to go through pregnancy after the experience of losing your niece. I hope all goes perfectly well.
I'm glad you're here, and hope you find comfort on this board. You may not have been in your sister's shoes that day, but you lost an angel too -- every family member does in these terrible circumstances. Your poor sister (and her DH) probably feels like they "have it all behind them" and might want to believe that too, but they'd have their triggers. Also we never, ever forget our angel babies. I love mine as deeply as I have ever have, and as intensely as I love my 2 daughters here on earth.
It's sad that your family members don't mention Ellie -- she's as much a part of your family, as everyone else. It seems that her sister really understands this to be true. The fact is though that everyone grieves differently, and not mentioning it is how some people process their grief.
It bothers me that nobody in my family mentions our lost angels -- they were all lost early, so I reckon they might think that we would just forget about our m/c's. Maybe my pregnancies didn't seem real to anyone else. Maybe they think I've actually forgotten about my angels -- unbelievable! -- because I don't mention our angels to anyone but my DH (I'd rather not remind them, if they aren't comfortable about our losses). But I haven't stopped loving our angels, and neither has my DH. We planted a tree in honour of each angel, and I visit them peacefully, spiritually (and even happily, because of that peaceful connection) a few times a week -- when I water, weed, etc.
I'd like to encourage you to plant a tree in your garden for your niece too: maybe call it Ellie's tree. It will become a sacred little spot in the garden. You might even want to get a piece of "loss jewellery" in honour of Ellie -- I have a ring engraved on the inside, with the unisex names we carefully chose for each of our angels -- all m/c's, so too soon to determine the sex of each baby -- Alex, Sam, Max and Kim. Their names are engraved on the inside (like in wedding bands) because I don't need my younger daughter asking me why I have other names engraved but not hers (nor her big sister's) -- her big sister is aware of two of our losses (she was old enough to know why I was running to the bathroom in the morning), but her little sister was far too young when we had our m/c's.
Sorry -- a digression! The point is that I feel better wearing my 'secret' ring every day, because it helps me to have my angels with me (in spirit) everyday. I look at this beautiful ring that DH and I chose together (and got engraved together) and I smile on the inside. (Really, I do. That's because I have had enough time to shift through my grief. I've worked hard on it, and have found peace, acceptance and happiness again. And time is also a great healer -- we lost our 4th angel in Dec 2005).
I wish you and your family all the best, and I'm glad you've come here. I hope you get comfort in being a part of our board.
Thank you for your kind words Nicole. I am so sorry to hear of your losses! It baffles me why some women have to go through the loss process so many times and yet others just sail through pregnancy.
I think that's lovely what you did with the rings and the planting a tree. I wouldn't need to do that as I can visit her grave. She is buried with my sister, Grandma and Grandad so I can visit when I like but to be honest, it's a rare occasion I know I should make the effort, I mean I'm 23 now for goodness sake, but I don't do it and I don't know why. Even my sister doesn't visit that often like she used to.
I have so much death in my family I really need to learn how to connect with them now they're gone.
Thanks again hun.
Last edited by LauraT; 04-18-2008 at 10:44 PM.
Reason: to remove signature
I am so sorry for your loss. I also lost my baby during delivery when i was 40.5 weeks pregnant. They still haven't told me why. They act like they don't know.
It has been so hard on my sisters too. My oldest sister had her baby 3 weeks before I had mine. My sisters just bring it up and we talk about things. If they don't bring it up mostly I don't either. I guess after a little while it feels like there is nothing left to say about it.
Please know you are so welcome here and so is your sis!
I am so very sorry for your loss. My brother and SIL lost twin boys at 24 weeks. They died a few days apart. We got to hold Robbie, the second twin, but not Stephen.
Robbie was dressed in a white gown with a blue blanket and looked like someone have shrunk my brother.
My SIL and I still talk about the twins. Some people do not. But, since I have had a few losses of my own I can feel her pain. She does have pictues on her wall of the boys.
Some people do better not talking about death, especially when it involves a baby. I am glad you have some wonderful memories of your niece and that you were able to hold her and love her. Even if it was only for a little while.
I like talking about my little girl. I like to remember the time with her not the time Ive lost. People rarely talk to me about her though. I love hearing what people remember. Im not sure why people tiptoe around it but they do. I miss her so much but it helps talking about her. Maybe your sister feels like it was her fault. Just be there to support her. If I dont want to talk about it, then its a rough subject. I had to recently explain to my dad 16 months after the fact my little girl had passed away.