Holding Grace

Told by: Jessica

I was 22 at the time my daughter, Grace, was born sleeping. She was born an angel on March 17th, 2011 at 5:17 pm, weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces. Exactly the same height and weight as her big sister. Gracie was born at 39 weeks + 3 days. She died about 5 hours before we got to the hospital for our scheduled induction of Umbilical Cord Torsion (Hypercoiled Umbilical Cord). Gracie died while I was sleeping that night…I had no idea that she was gone when I woke up. She was perfect and beautiful! When I got to the hospital at 6am the nurse came in to get me ready for the induction. Her name was Heidi. She tried to find her heartbeat with the belly belt monitor with no success after 3 tries she went into another room and got the “early detection” fetal doppler and tried again…to no avail. She kept saying, “I hear you in there little girl, come out of hiding.” Gracie ALWAYS swam away from the doppler at all our appointments so I was kinda used to finding it difficult to find her. BUT the heart-beat the nurse heard was mine…At that moment, I prayed for my heart to stop and for hers to beat. Heidi left the room and another nurse came in, the charge nurse. She too tried both methods and couldn’t find her heart beat. She then left the room and came back in with my doctor, the most amazing and loving doctor in the world….She’s part of my family, not by blood, but by love. She came in the room and looked worried already. She brought out the small ultrasound machine and searched and applied jelly and searched and over and over again, she then started tearing up and I KNEW something was wrong….She put her hand on my knee and said, “I’m so sorry hunny. I can’t find a heartbeat..” I burst into tears and my mom as well. She sent for the “official” ultrasound technician and confirmed that there was no heart beat in my baby girl. She hugged me and I don’t remember much after that…until she was born. She was perfect. Immediately the nurses checked for a heart beat and of course, found nothing. We held Gracie for 17 hours. The worst and best 17 hours of my life. I have a 3 year old daughter who misses her sister all the time. I have a favorite quote that I found a few hours after she was born..”An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby’s birth and whispered as she closed the book…too beautiful for Earth.” Love to all.

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3 Responses to Holding Grace

  1. Angie says:

    Oh, Jessica, I am so very, very sorry for the loss of your sweet Grace. I am tearing up sitting here imagining that what should have been one of the best days of your life turned into the worst…

    I know that Grace could feel how much you loved and wanted her… and I know that her life matters. Grace has changed you forever and, through you, is making the world a more beautiful place to be… I pray that as you find your way forward through the pain and the grief- Grace’s 1st birthday is just a few weeks away!- that the Lord would comfort you with His presence.


  2. Tesha says:

    Jessica I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to Gracie. My son was stillborn 1-24-12 I was 20 weeks. Thanks for sharing your story, my heart breaks for you family. Just wanted to let you know I read it and I am sending a prayer your way.

  3. Hannah Rose says:

    Dear Jessica, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby girl. Grace is a beautiful, beautiful name!

    I was drawn to your story because I also lost my daughter, Lily Katherine, when I was very young, 20. She was born on March 16, so only a day before Grace. She was stillborn. It was similar in that I got to the hospital to deliver her, they were having trouble finding her heartbeat…I thought nothing of it, like she was in a weird position or something. My doctor came in with an ultrasound machine and told me “I’m so sorry, her heart is no longer beating.”

    So much of what you wrote resonates with me. Again, I am sorry

    Hannah Rose

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