When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our third child we were excited, as expected. When we found out our baby was to be a little girl, we were over the moon! We loved the idea of adding a little girl to our family of two sons.
Five days before my due date I received the worst news of my life. My doctor hooked up the ultrasound and he began to look for a heartbeat. A thick sadness poured over the room as he searched for a few minutes to find my baby’s heartbeat. Our Cora was gone.
When he asked if he should call my husband, I lost it. My daughter was dead and I felt responsible. My job as a mother is to keep my kids safe. Not only did I not keep my baby safe, I felt like I had let her die. We arranged a C-Section for that night and went home to prepare and tell our boys who were four and almost two. I called my sister and told her I needed to clean all of Cora’s stuff out before we had her so when we came home from the hospital it would all be taken care of. My sister insisted I leave everything in its place because Cora could not be erased. I took her advice.
I wanted so badly to be awake during the surgery and have my husband with me to welcome our sleeping baby girl. But after eight failed attempts of getting the epidural to take, I decided to let them put me under general anesthesia. I felt horrible. I felt like I robbed my husband of that precious moment.
Then we met Cora. Her skin was peeling off in spots like she had a bad sunburn, but she was beautiful. She looked so peaceful. I examined almost every inch of her through a river of tears. We were able to have Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep come and take photographs of Cora so we could always remember her beauty. After a couple of hours we decided to let her go. She changed from looking like a sleeping baby to a baby who had died and we didn't want to remember her like that. We didn't want to let her go, but we had to.
Letting the last physical piece of her go killed a part of me. A part of my soul has been so hollow and empty since she died. There is a hole in my heart and soul that cannot be filled and it is heartbreaking. We were told things like, "It's God’s will," "It's all part of His plan," and "God just needed her more." We aren't religious people, but we hated whatever God would allow this. I cannot believe that a God would give us her and then rip her away. It is against the natural order of life to lose a child and the amount of pain a person goes through from losing a child is unbearable.
I decided to pump my breast milk and donate it to a little boy in Lincoln. That, for me, was the best therapy. Sitting there for hours a day pumping in front of a picture of my baby to nourish another baby was an amazing experience.
I do get sad. Who wouldn't? But I try to keep things positive. Cora will always be a blessing. She has taught us SO many things. She has strengthened relationships and made me a better and more thankful person. She's made me a better mother to my boys. She's touched so many in the very short time she was here. Cora is my angel baby, my beautiful butterfly and she has given me so many gifts and taught me more than I think I will ever recognize.
Cora existed. All she ever knew was love and that brings me peace and comfort.