Monday, 11 February 2008

~ Charlotte's Story~ Angel In Heaven


I wanted to share this tonight ...

Charlotte's Story ~ sleeping in God's Nursery (as I wrote it in early 2005)

I was 37 when I fell pregnant for the 1st time. Over Easter 2004 I realised my period was 2 wks late - after 12 years of no contraception we conceived a miracle naturally.

My (.) (.) were also so sensitive. I was way away in outback country NSW -'Giralambone' when I thought I just might be pregnant [or going to die] . I didn't tell anyone. We were 1hr from nearest chemist anyway and i would have had to ask someone to drive me in or come with me.

I could hardly wait to get home to go buy a Home Pregnancy Test (HPT). I did my first HPT. I was overjoyed when it showed two pink lines a- Big Fat Positive . I wasn't used to doing HPT so I thought I'd done it wrong. I did it again 5 minutes later - two pink lines -positive! What was I thinking? I was blown away, so excited, nervous and scared it meant something bad. I couldn't even tell my Dh in case it was wrong.

I had a blood test and it confirmed it.Then I told DH. He was over the moon. I had a dating scan and saw my baby's heartbeat on the screen. I was over 7 weeks. It was one of life's most precious moments to behold, I was so worried there would be no baby there. I was always scared something would go wrong.

I had some early blood pressure problems but it wasn't apparently pregnancy related. So I had kidney/adrenal ultrasounds to check I didn't have a tumour, at same time I also had a breast lump so it was off for more ultrasounds. But all was fine after a few weeks of worry waiting for follow-up with Dr's. I was put on blood pressure medication though as a precaution.

I had a bit of midday/afternoon sickness but was relatively well. At home my BP was fine but higher at Dr's. Later my BP was too low and so OB dropped dose, then stopped them altogether and @22 weeks. Later, He said this had nothing to do with losing my baby.

At 12 weeks after the Nuchal translucency & MFP blood tests my risk at 'anything' was like 1:3000.The Dr had talked us out of CVS when we went to have it.

At 19wk morphology scan we found out we were having a little girl and she was perfect. We were so happy. I still have this on video but I cannot watch it yet ~ to see her so alive sucking her thumb and waving to us would be heartbreaking.

At 26.5 wks I found out she had passed away in the womb at my routine Obstetric visit when he couldn't find her heartbeat. He still didn't tell me he thought she had died but I knew it already. (Strangely, I had felt same way going to 22 week appointment and it was all okay.)

The ultrasound confirmed it. I couldn't believe it had happened because I was 6 months pregnant almost 27weeks. The scan confirmed my worst fears and our precious baby girl whom I so dearly wanted had died in my womb. My world fell apart seeing her lifeless body on the screen.

I'd suspected she wasn't moving much but kidded myself because I read babies in womb slept 90% -95% of time. I felt so well I just had no idea babies could just die in the womb. I knew about miscarriages and premature labour. It was my first pregnancy. Even as I went to OB. That morning I prayed I was wrong about her lack of movement. Though I know there was nothing I could have done even if had noticed the moment she stopped moving

We went back to OB and he explained what happened next, giving birth naturally. I was sent home that night and was to be induced the next morning. It was worst night ever.I went into Hospital on 31st August to be induced.

After 5 lots of v. gel my daughter was born 19hrs later on
1st September 2004 @4.20am.
520gm
29cms long

Tiny ... She was due 1st December 2004. It was the most heart wrenching experience of my life. My precious firstborn, Charlotte was born still. To hold and meet my long awaited baby, lying so lifeless and still but oh so beautiful and just perfect is indescribable. Having to say hello goodbye in same breath was just not fair. We were so devastated.

Going through labour was a nightmare but I finally got to see and hold my darling, Charlotte and it was worth it even though she never took a breath, her heart beats on inside mine because she had lived. I regret the time we had with her was brief. I held her for such a short time. At the time I was so exhausted, we had not slept Monday much night for crying and hardly at all Tuesday. Plus, I had just been given Pethidine and no one told me - I could have had her with her for as long as I wanted. I would have been 27wks that day.

We were heartbroken .The staff were wonderful but they didn't advise me much. I would have taken more photos and cuddled her longer. She was so, precious.

My local hospital only has about 4 babies die per year (thank goodness) and Charlotte was the first in long time. (Sadly, another fullterm baby was born on 1st September and passed away on 2ndSeptember from a tumour ?).The social worker/home midwife said the staff were so upset losing 2 babies in 24hrs.

I had left hospital 8 hrs after her birth - I didn't want to be in maternity ward.

They did blood tests (11), checked placenta and there was no reason found for her passing away. The OB said in happens 1 out of a 100 and 45-50% are unexplained. He talked us out of an autopsy. Sids & Kids are now doing research focusing on potential causes and prevention of stillbirths. Statistics are so cruel.

Quote:
Each year in Australia approximately 58,000 couples experience reproductive loss:
About 55,000 experience early pregnancy loss, 1,750 babies are stillborn
and about 900 babies die in the first twenty-eight days after birth
My one consolation is that I had Charlotte at all - that I know I can get pregnant and that she is my precious daughter forever. We waited over 12 yrs for her. We are fortunate to have an adopted son 12yrs - we adopted him because we thought 11 yrs ago we couldn't have our own. He was 13 months when we adopted him - so not a little baby but our greatest blessing and love ever. When I feel sorry for myself - I have to stop and thank God for him. Some people never get this chance.
One day we hope to be blessed with another precious gift of a baby, God willing.


Postscript ~ in October/November 2005 we commenced a second round of IVF and conceived our twins S & J .They were our last two embryos.

They were born July 1st 2006 one month early (Due date was August 1st but I was booked for c/s 14th July being twins). There birth date is/was one year to the day we started our first IVF cycle. Coincidence by the Grace of God. The birth of these precious little boys affirmed the miracle of life.

Today they bring us more joy than we could have ever imagined - It is not possible to put into words how much they mean to us after losing Charlotte. I struggle to imagine what if's ... if she didn't die and what if they were all together or would they be here at all...???

So many songs gave me comfort in my grief ... I will list them another day.
but the Dance ...plays over and over

Tonight I learned it was1990 song ..wow ! The year we married.



My husband is a great Garth Brooks fan .He (my husband) is my hero. Happy 18th Anniversary My Darling ...my rock, my everything, my all.

if Charlotte was alive today ... I’ll tell her that no matter how many times I thought I was in love, no matter how many times I wanted the boy(man) of the moment to love me back, I’m so thankful none of them panned out. Not one of them could ever come close to comparing to her father.

Grief : it's something I am trying to absorb into my life as I feel it has changed me as a person. My whole life in fact. My whole circle of friends. A new online community and some became real life friends as dear as any I have known for years.

How do you cope?

One day at a time.

Find a good psychologist or counsellor, talk about him/her with your spouse/partner and anyone who'll listen, allow yourselves to cry and cry and cry for however long it takes, get to understand the stages of grief (one step forward, two steps backward), give each other the space and time you both need to grieve as individuals.

Journal your feelings, write your child a letter, create an album for her, plant a tree,join an online community spend time with people who have walked the same paths ...the best advice someone gave me was to cry whenever I felt like crying. Don't stop yourself from doing this. Many rivers I cried in my early days ...





42 comments :

Melissa Markham said...

I am sorry for what you went through. You have written a beautiful account here. God bless.

Robyn Jones said...

I am so sorry that you had to go through that, but thank you for sharing your story. I know it will help someone.
i cried reading this. i am very fortunate to not have problems, but i have some slight understanding of what you went through. I lost a twin with my second girl in the first trimester, and we almost lost my son at 28 weeks, and I remember how much I cried while I waited to see if everything would be ok....

it was, i was in hospital for a week, and had to quit work, he was born 5 weeks early, but today he is healthy....

(by the way, I have tagged you for a meme....

Paula said...

Thanks for sharing your story. My tears only touch the surface of the grief you experienced...but the joy of your twins is such a blessing indeed.
Hugs to you..and heavenly kisses to Charlotte sweet baby girl.

Jenty said...

You have me in tears here. (((HUGS)))

MP said...

I can't begin to say I understand; I've never been in your shoes. I have grieved and mourned your loss just reading your post and had to type something. The post was so beautifully written you've made me feel so many emotions from conception, death, adoption and birth.
thank you

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

Thanks for sharing. A very moving account xxxxxxxx

C said...

Oh, Trish! Your post had me crying! Thank you for sharing your story...Charlotte's story.

I'd like to e-mail you, if you don't mind :) I'd have posted my story here, but a lot of people who know me read my blog and the blogs I visit. Living in a small town, some things are just too personal to share. It's hard to remain anonymous when you live in such a small town.

Childlife said...

Trish - I knew from some other things you had written that you had lost Charlotte, but I had never heard your story... thank you for sharing it. Stories like this are just so heartbreaking! We had several miscarriages after struggling through infertility before our oldest was born too, but they were all very early. While I was devastated, I somehow think it would be much harder to lose a child late into pregnancy. I just bawled when I read about you seeing her still on the ultrasound screen... I remembered when our oldest flat-lined in the NICU... so impossibly painful.

Hugs, warm thoughts, and prayers for you today, my dear. May your heart continue to heal.

Kellan said...

I am so lucky to hear and meet Charlotte through your memories - through your precious words. I am so sorry she is not in your life now, but I do agree that you were lucky to have her at all - and so lucky to have your other children. I believe that God takes back some children (one of mine as well) - that he simply can not live without those precious children by his side. I truly believe we will be reunited with those "other" children of ours - one day - but, for now, they are all gathered in heaven and blessing God with their joy and presence. I know your Charlotte is in heaven with my sweet baby - they are all there together.

I am in tears over this sweet post. I'm sorry for your loss. Take care - Kellan

Veronica said...

Oh sweetheart, I cried reading this.

Thankyou for sharing her story with me.

Military Mom said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, I know it must have been hard to write.

I have an award for you at my blog, when you get a chance to check it out.

katef - www.picklebums.com said...

What a beautiful story about your gorgeous little girl and her loving family *hugs*

Cathy said...

i have some catch up reading to do on your blog...but your recollection of Charlotte's life and passing was very touching. i sat here with tears in my eyes even though i only know you through a computer screen. God Bless your little angel...

jeanie said...

Oh, I echo those who say thank you for sharing yours and Charlotte's story.

Grief is something that is so little understood, and sharing it can only make the understanding grow.

PlanningQueen said...

Like the others your story made me cry. Very brave of you to tell it, and I imagine that it will also be helpful to someone out there too. As you said, you didn't know how long you could hold Charlotte for at the time - you may allow someone else to have more time with their child.

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing it... I am sad with you about Charlotte. She will always be your daughter. I am joyful with you about your other children, especially your sweet twins! :D Have a blessed day {{Big Hugs}}

laura said...

Wow what a story! That's so sad.
I'm glad that you're able to find so much comfort in God and trust that he knows what's best. You're a great testimony :)

Thanks for sharing.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

What a beautiful, yet very heartbreaking story. It's tragic losing a baby at any time, let alone when you're past the 12 week stage. You may have heard about Layla's story - I watched it when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my son and bawled my eyes out. There's a book also (http://www.vanessagorman.com/background_book.htm).

Thanks for sharing.

Lori's Light Extemporanea said...

Oh man. That song tears me up every time I hear it, but of course, your text already did that. I have two babies in Heaven. They were not born still and I will have to wait until I'm there but I feel for you in your pain at having felt sweet Charlotte moving and being, and then to have to say goodbye to her. I hope that everyone who reads this remembers, so that they can also be a help when/if someone they love suffers the same way.

Nikki said...

Hi Trish,

Widdle Shamrock here.

Thank you for sharing something so personal. I felt priviledged to read it.

abritdifferent said...

You are a brave beautiful woman for sharing this. I can't claim to fully understand what you have been through/are still going through, but I had a dear friend who lost her first child at age 2 due to heart problems. She had another boy 18 months later and still (understandably struggled with grief. She once said, "I hope this gets easier." I responded, "I don''t think it WILL get easier, but how you COPE with it will."

A beautiful tribute to your darling daughter, thanks again.

CelloBella said...

Hi Trish,
As you know I've been reading your blog for a long time but this is the first time I've come across Charlotte's story (via Planning Queen).

My tears are falling on the computer keys as I type.

((hugs))

CB xx

Meleah the Mommy said...

My heart is broken reading this. Just broken. I am so sorry you had to go through this. You are the bravest woman I know, for enduring such tragedy, still holding onto the love of your daughter, and being able to write her such a moving tribute. Thank you for sharing your heart.

pelfy said...

My heart cried while reading this. I am sorry for what had happened. Thank you for sharing. Take care.

PreSchool Mama said...

I couldn't help thinking as I was reading this through my tears, that somewhere up there, she knows how you feel and knows how much you love her.

NoorIntan said...

So sorry to hear what happened, I am glad now you have your two precious little, healthy boys. Thanks for sharing this, Trish...

Me & Boo said...

How beautifully you have written about your tiny angel Charlotte. I could relate so much to your story. My first baby, Kai was born at 20 weeks on 28th October 2004. So maybe both our angels are up there in heaven smiling down on us :)

Louisa said...

Hi Trish, It's Louisa from "Where the Blog are you?" I saw your comment tonight and wanted to head over and read your blog. I can't imagine what you went through with having Charlotte. It's so brave of you to share her story, and I have been very touched by it. Praise God for you two little blessings that followed, though they will never replace your first beautiful child. Please let me know if you'd like to be part of "where the blog are you?" and if you would like to be featured there. Cheers, Louisa

Carly said...

Oh Trish,

You do know my pain. I am so sorry that we share the loss of a child in common. My heart breaks that we didn't get to keep our children.

Thank you so much for writing such sweet words on my blog. I feel blessed. I also wanted to tell you how wonderful I think it is that you have knitted together your story in one post for new readers! That was so helpful. If you don't mind I may do the same for my blog!

I would love to write your sweet Charlotte's name in the sand for you. Maybe if you would like to send me an email of what you would like written in her post, eg: a prayer or message. Anyway there is no pressure. My email is twenty_six_stars@hotmail.com

Thanks again, your blog is just simply beautiful and so is your family x

Much Love Carly
(From over at Wonder's)

Melody said...

What an amazing story and one I can relate to, of sorts. I had to give birth to a child that 'I' knew had died in my womb. Six weeks ago today it was confirmed. I was 14 weeks pregnant. I still can't believe it happened to me but it does happen. Stories like yours and mine should be spread. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Sissy said...

I'm sorry. I wish I didn't know exactly what that felt like. Thank you for writing about it.

Kallie said...

So much to be said, no words are enough. You too would know this :) I'm so sad you had to go there too Trish. I'm happy that you keep Charlotte alive in your heart :) She deserves to be remembered no matter how short a life she had :)

....Tammy.... said...

From one grieving Mum to another...

Hugs to you and your family on the loss of your daughter.....

Thankyou for sharing your story with us.

momentsofwhimsy said...

My sister in law went through this at full term. My heart goes out to both of you.
Thanks for sharing Charlotte's story.

The Clip Cafe said...

what an emotional post - thank you for sharing. I have a friend swho lost a baby boy (they have 3 girls now) and I can see a little more clearly now what she went through - very similar to you and around the same time (wks wise). I am so glad you have you precious boys. I love the name Charlotte :-)

Claire @ Scissors Paper Rock said...

I just read this for the first time. I am in tears after reading this amazing post. Thanks for sharing your story about your gorgeous little girl Charlotte. I experienced a loss {an ectopic pregnancy} in August of this year, and although it's COMPLETELY different from your loss, I can still relate to the feeling of loosing someone who was so wanted, so precious & so loved! Keep smiling & staying strong! You are an inspiration & your honesty in sharing your story will give so many other women so much strength!
xo

Fi said...

Oh Trish, what a beautifully written story. I am another with tears streaming down my face, only barely able to imagine the pain you felt then and the memories you have today.
Such a blessing for you to have such gorgeous boys, but still so very sad that your little Princess couldn't stay with you.
Thank you for sharing your story with such honesty. It is a reminder to me to appreciate all that I have xo

MizRize said...

Losing a child is never easy. Even if it is in the first few weeks. At that stage you have already planned and thought of each day of their lives. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
It is hard to cope with and very hard to face. http://www.risingchild.com/group/viewgroup/29-Losing+loved+ones this is a link to a discussion where people have been through what you have or knows someone who has. another link is for the South African Depression and Anxiety group http://www.risingchild.com/group/viewgroup/29-Losing+loved+ones who are always there to answer questions and help you through difficult times.

Melissa said...

This hit very close to home with me and I cried reading this. I lost my first child at almost 5 months. They said it was very rare but the baby had formed into a blood clot. I had to have an emergency D and C.It was the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I just laid in bed and cried for weeks. My situation is much different then yours because I didn't give birth or have the pleasure of holding my beautiful child so I cant even imagine your pain. What I can relate to is that empty feeling that never goes away. I still have the blanket I hand knitted but never finished in storage along with a pair shoes and teddy bear. I have two children now, an 8yr old girl and a 21 month old little boy. They are my life but I still wonder sometimes.

jesuscallsmehisprincess said...

Hi, Trish:

It's 6:40am my time here in the United States and I'm very touched by this post. Bless your heart... It's never easy but I'm thankful that God has blessed you with your adopted son and your twin boys. I, too, have gave a premature birth @ 12 weeks (I didn't know if that was even possible!)to our son. We called him little wiggles cause we wiggled so much whenever we did ultrasound. Our time was indeed brief but I think of him often and pray for him lots. I know I will see him again one day and in the mean time, I hope your daughter and my boy are somehow friends in heaven. :-) Thank you for sharing your precious story...

Daisy, Roo and Two said...

To tell you the truth I haven't been brave enough to read this until now. I am so sorry for your loss of Charlotte. So so sorry.

Ai Sakura said...

Hi.. you wrote this post 3 years ago but I only just read it. Can feel the pain through your words, but I'm glad your wrote about the happiness your boys bring you too.

God bless your family.

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