Mila Louise

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.


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