Have you ever experienced an event that rocked your life?
Maybe it was birth for you, or the newborn days, or maybe something else entirely.
Our family is recovering from one of those life-rocking events.
I have a confession, I did not originally plan to share my daughter’s story. I have worked so hard to empower other mommas, and I did not want our story of loss to cause any mom to doubt their body.
Even after experiencing a heartbreaking stillbirth, I still believe in the capability of my body and yours. I’d like to share why I still feel that way even in the face of an outcome no one wanted or expected.
Two things have happened that have made me decide to share my story.
When I was wondering how to approach my daughter’s questions about her sister, my therapist shared a great perspective with me.
Sometimes a lack of information can cause more fear than the truth.
When you were younger, did anyone ever avoid talking to you about something that happened? Do you remember how you felt? When others avoid sharing with us, we are left to fill in the gaps. Often our fear and imagination can take over.
More recently, I shared Remmy’s story with a friend. She told me that she had felt terrible about what had happened. I was worried all this time that bringing Remmy up would give her more to worry about, but in reality, she had been thinking about us anyways.
These recent experiences have made me come to realize that my oldest daughter is much more capable and resilient than I give her credit and so are you.
So thank you for walking this journey with me and letting me share Remmy’s story with you.
The day my daughter was born was the day my world was rocked.
That was the day we simultaneously said hello and goodbye to our sweet Remmy girl. It was a strangely beautiful and tragic day. I will say that even though at 34 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t finished my birth prep or even packed my hospital bag, my body and mind knew what to do. I felt so supported by my birth team – I had not 1 but 2 midwives attending my birth. Maybe one day I will share that story with you. For now, I will hold onto my memories of her sweet fingers and toes and getting to sing her her lullabye.
Today, I want to put your fears at ease that what happened to me very likely will not happen to you.
I will be honest, the road to this revelation was long and painful. I am not sure I have ever wrestled for control like I have in the past few months. I thought that having answers would bring me peace, but it was just the start of my journey to acceptance.
At 3 weeks postpartum, I had my initial lab results back – my midwife saw me to check in on my mental health and for that I am so grateful. At my 6-week postpartum visit, my OBGYN reviewed my lab results. The visit started by discussing the MTHFR gene mutation that I have and how that was the most likely cause. Just before the end of the visit, my doctor checked my chart and discovered that a very different cause of my daughter’s stillbirth had been confirmed.
My daughter Remmy was extra special indeed. She had a rare genetic condition.
If you followed my pregnancy, you may remember that I had a growth US scan at 30 weeks. The wild thing is that this scan came back normal. This is very atypical for babies with Remmy’s condition and many don’t make it to the third trimester.
My estimate for the chances of me having 34 weeks with Remmy is closer to 1 in 10,000.
I highly doubt 10,000 people will read this post, so I am fairly certain that it is unlikely that anyone reading this will have an experience just like ours. While discovering Remmy’s condition does not change the love that we have for her or heal the hole in our hearts, it has given us information that we can move forward with and I hope that you can too.
We can all think of a time that life didn’t go according to plan.
If you are currently struggling with something that has rocked your world or you are struggling with fear, I want to acknowledge that what you are going through really sucks. I also want to offer some encouragement that even though I can’t turn back time, I have been able to face my darkest nightmares and even find hope and joy again. I think you can too.
I wish that I could tie up this story with a perfect little bow, tell you that Remmy’s story had a grand purpose. But I don’t really believe that.
And I think if you are reading this, you can handle the reality that sometimes life is messy and sad things do happen.
Something tragic happened to our family and there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent it, nothing anyone can do to fix it. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do.
The support our family has been given has been life-changing. I want to say thank you for being here with us. Thank you to those who have supported us and continue to do so. There may not be any way to fix this, but I think there are ways to lighten the load. We can spend our time trying to control things outside of our control or we can decide to live, to really live a vibrant life in community with others.
Thanks for being my community.