Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mila Louise

I've been meaning to update the blog. I've turned it into my blog, my place to write and share all that is in my head and in my heart at any given moment. I'll continue to document our lives with our funny, smart, adorable, four year old twins, but for now. I need this space to be for me.

It's time to start, so here's what happened.

On Friday, July 1, 2011, our beautiful baby girl arrived silently. She was stillborn. After 18 hours of fairly normal labor, Mila entered and then left our world. She was not breathing and they could  not resuscitate her. She and I had been attacked by a deadly bacteria. Our daughter's lungs were so full of infection when I delivered her that there was no room for a first breath. After 45 minutes they told us there was nothing they could do. In the meantime, I was bleeding, and they could not stop it. I had an emergency hysterectomy and was in a drug induced coma for 12 days. I almost died. I asked my dad a few weeks ago if I also had respiratory failure in addition to renal failure. He said I had all kinds of failure. My body was shutting down. I awoke on July 12, 2011 and left North Memorial Hospital on July 19, 2011. Since then I have been trying to find comfort, meaning, purpose, and peace while we grieve the loss of our baby and try to rejoice that I am alive today.

I have so many thoughts, so many emotions. They change not only daily, but every hour and every minute. I think this is why I need to start writing. My brain hurts from so much thinking, and my eyes burn from crying. Mila would be three months old today. What I hate today is that as much as I dreamed and imagined how great our family would be when she arrived, I can't picture her being here now. I don't know what she would look like, what she would be doing, or how Charlie and Sofie would be relating to her. All the things we were so excited to experience have faded. Today I am not the mother of twins and a newborn baby. I am a mother whose baby has died.

I held Mila for just a few moments, kissed her and said goodbye while doctors and nurses scurried gracefully around me. I don't remember what she looked like then, I only have the pictures Chris took with his phone and the professional photos taken by the nonprofit organization, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I have studied these pictures, trying to burn into my brain the image of my baby so that I never forget how she looked. She was a perfect mix of Charlie and Sofie, of Chris and I. Unlike my little, preemie twins, Mila weight 8 pounds, 8 ounces. She was round and cute, with her daddy's cheeks and my nose. I didn't get to look at her body, touch her skin, or hold her until she felt heavy in my arms. Chris held her the most, especially while I was in surgery. He cried all over her and then handed her over to her big sister, brother, and her devastated grandparents and aunt. Other people held her too, my aunts, my brother and sister in law, my grandmother. I'm glad she was held by them when I couldn't be there. I will always cherish the life I held while she grew inside me. I've always loved being pregnant, and I hope I never forget how as my belly grew, so did my love for Mila.

This blog is for me. It's a place I want to record and organize my thoughts, my memories, and the things that make me feel normal. I will post pictures of Mila. I never understood how parents could share photos of their dead babies so openly, but now I do. Mila was perfect. To me, she looks like she's sleeping. I look at her face and say her name many times each day. It's the only way I can keep her close, and hold her, even though she left so soon.



Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,
I saw your comment on my husband's recent glowinthewoods post, and I followed the link to your blog. I am so so sorry to read about your tragic loss. We lost our little girl in March at full term, and I nearly bled to death as well, then had renal failure for two weeks. We have a two year old daughter. So I guess we have a lot in common. I just wanted to comment and say that I am thinking of you and your family and your little Mila. If you ever want to write, my email is kjackson_la AT yahoo DOT com.
Hoping you have a gentle day...
- Kari

molly and geoff archibald said...

Reading this with tears in my eyes. Your baby girl is beautiful and I continue to keep you in my prayers.

Jennifer Tyson said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss Laura. Mila was absolutely beautiful. Thoughts, prayers and hugs.

~Jennifer Tyson

Jennifer Tyson said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss Laura. Mila was absolutely beautiful. Thoughts, prayers and hugs.

~Jennifer Tyson

Lola said...

Hi Laura,
I just read your post at Faces of Loss Faces of hope. I'm so sorry for your loss. I feel that sometimes life is not fair at all. I don't understand why these things happen :(
We have a few things in common; to start my name is Laura too I just lost my twins our little girl (Milla) at 15 weeks and our little boy Lucca at 17 weeks due to a bacteria.

Sylvia Cook Photography said...

I've been reading many of these posts ever since my daughter lost her twins at 20 weeks a couple of months ago. We were all devastated. Your story is heartbreaking and scary because you also came so close to losing your life. My heart goes out to you.
I wrote my own blog post last week about what it feels like to be the grandmother that loses her grandchildren if you'd like to visit:

My deepest sympathies to you. It's completely unacceptable how many tragic stories there are out there.
I'm glad you got photos of your Mila. I took photos of my daughters twins for her, and will always treasure them.

Cindy N. said...

Hi Laura-
I am so glad you are writing your journey. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
Love and blessings,
Cindy Nehrbass