February 22, 2001. It’s amazing how a day that was 9 years ago still brings tears to my eyes. I remember it and the days leading up to it like it just happened.
Earlier that month I had gone to Florida to take the dance team I was coach of to Nationals. I was 24-ish weeks pregnant. We we came back I had a slight head cold and just felt blah. Finally I just didn’t feel “right” and called my doc. I was told to come in to make sure all was ok. By this time I was 25wks and 6 days pregnant. They did the doppler and found no heartbeat, and ultrasound was done and showed no flicker of a heart. Luckily Sean was there with me because I was devastated. We were told to have another ultrasound tomorrow to make sure our first baby girl had indeed died.
I remember calling my mom and telling her that her first granddaughter was gone. They immediately got in the car and came to be with us. I called my co-worker who came over to help me clean the house a smidge and to be there with us until my mom got there.
The next morning we had the ultrasound and the tech said the worst words any mother could ever hear, “I’m sorry”. The doc told us we had a couple options; wait until my body realized that something wasn’t right and I went into labor on my own or to be induced. We chose induction the next day since I wanted the experience over.
We went to the hospital in the morning. Wednesday the 21st we started the induction. Finally by that night nothing much was happening so we stopped the meds so I could eat and rest that night. The next day we started up again and it went faster. Delivering a 26wk baby, I didn’t need to be dilated to 10 and by the afternoon something had changed and the baby was coming out! I was being wheeled into the delivery room and I couldn’t stop her from coming. I remember asking for a hand to hold, I needed someone to hold my hands. In that instant both hands were being held by my mom on one side and my sis on the other. I needed them and they were there. Sean couldn’t be in the delivery room since he didn’t want to see the baby (and he’s still never seen her). Right then out Avery slid, amniotic sac still intact and all. She weighed 1lb and was 12 inches long.
It was after the delivery is what I don’t really recall. We planned her little funeral, held her and said our goodbyes. The next day I was released and we went home to get ready for her funeral which was that day.
I remember her funeral but that’s about all for that day. We got our dog Hopie then too. Sean thought she would help me work through my grief and she did, that’s for sure. I went back to work in about a week but was in a fog for quite a while.
I don’t remember when the fog lifted enough for me to function. I don’t remember when I smiled again. I don’t remember when I laughed again. But it happened. Then McKenna happened; we got pregnant with her around the 4th of July that same year.
My life, our lives, will never be the same. Losing our daughter was horrible and I wouldn’t wish that pain on even my worst enemy, but Avery made me who I am today and taught me that life is precious and fragile. I’d never go through another pregnancy the same either. Her body is buried in Amarillo, her brother is next to her, but her spirit is watching over us every day.