In September of 2018, my husband Dustin and I found out that I was pregnant with our first child, and we couldn’t have been more excited. Over the next 37 weeks, we prepared for the birth of our daughter by picking out a name, preparing the nursery, and reading every parenting book we could find. We enjoyed reading and singing to our daughter at bedtime and putting our hands on my belly to feel her together. At each of our check-ups, both me and my daughter were healthy and told that everything was progressing normally; I was told several times that I was the perfect patient. It was the perfect pregnancy, until it wasn’t.
On May 9th 2019, I went in for a routine check-up at 37 weeks all alone, the first appointment Dustin had missed, only to be told after two doppler checks and an ultrasound those dreaded words that too many of us have heard, “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” My whole world changed with those six words. I had to call Dustin and tell him that Margaret had died, and that he needed to come to the doctor’s office. I was left in a room, to wait alone, as I waited for Dustin to get to me.
We were absolutely devastated. My husband and I checked into the hospital that night so that I could be induced, and on May 10th at 10:21 a.m., our daughter, Margaret Bernice McConnell, was born silent. She was 5 lbs and 10 ounces, 19 inches long, had all 10 fingers and all 10 toes, a head full of hair, and she was beautiful.
We made what memories we could with her over the course of the next twenty six hours, making use of the Cuddle Cot provided by the hospital, and then we said our goodbyes. What followed over the course of the next days, weeks, and months have been the most painstaking times imaginable. It was months before we went even a day without crying, and it was only through the support of family, friends, other parents of the loss community, and each other that we have been able to begin to process the loss of our first child, our daughter, Margaret.
One of my biggest fears is that Margaret will be forgotten, that people will not recognize her as my child. So thank you again, all of you, for being here, for remembering Margaret, Lydia, and all babies that have been taken too soon.
If you'd like to read more about Margaret and our experience, you can check out our blog here.