Going home

imageSunday morning we were allowed to leave the hospital. We had to walk out those same emergency room doors that we came in that early Friday morning. Only this time, we didn’t have our daughter with us. The nurse Rachel walked us to our vehicles. She gave me a huge hug and tears ran down both of our cheeks. Tony insisted that I rode home with his mom and not in my car. We had the car seat set up in my car for a few weeks before we lost her. That drive home was so surreal. I remember just looking out the window and seeing the world moving so fast and everyone was just living another day.

We decided to stay at Tony’s parents house for a couple days. We didn’t want to come home to see her clothes hanging up and her crib, empty. Azure had packed up most of Berkley’s things that were in every room of the house. We asked her to leave the stuff in her room so we could pack that way when we felt ready.

When we got to Tony’s parents house I went downstairs to the guest room. That was the first time I had been alone since I heard that our daughter had died. As soon as I was at the bottom of the stairs I started crying, gasping for air, and my legs gave out as I was trying to walk to the end of the hallway. My whole chest was tight and felt like my heart tore in two. I was still in shock. I could feel the pain of losing her, immense pain, but still a little numb.

The pain would come in waves. It was almost like my body would only let me feel so much physical pain and then my body/mind would just turn on auto pilot. I remember for the first couple weeks feeling like an out of body experience when I wasn’t breaking down. I was just there. We still had things we had to do.

We had to go the funeral home and make arrangements for our daughter. We went there with both of our moms. We decided to have her cremated and keep her close to us. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that our daughter was cremated on her due date. We didn’t have a service for her. We didn’t think we could handle it. Having to be around people while we were so broken would have been torture.

We finally went home after a couple days. Seeing all her stuff waiting for her arrival was heartbreaking. It’s hard to explain but, I also didn’t want it to put away either. We loved her so much. They were her things and It was all that we had left of her.


The day we met our Daughter

It was now 4:30 on Friday morning. I knew we needed to call our parents. I was in shock and stayed in that state for several days. This strange feeling allowed me to function still. I picked up the phone and called my dad. He answered the phone right away and I told him that Berkley had passed away. He was confused and upset. He had to call my mom who was working in St. Cloud. He told her to come home and something bad had happened. My dad also called Tony’s parents house to see what was going on. He didn’t talk to me that long on the phone, so he was confused and wanted to talk to Jim to see what was going on. Tony’s mom answered the phone and my dad could tell that they didn’t know yet. He asked for Jim. Once Jim answered the phone my dad told him what happened. I few minutes later Jim called Tony to see what was going on. I am so grateful my dad called Tony’s parents to tell them. Tony couldn’t pick up the phone to tell his parents. He knew it was going to break their hearts.

When all four of our parents arrived at the hospital you could see sadness in their eyes. They were in shock and were trying to be strong for us. The nurses brought us to the farthest end of the maternity ward. I was so grateful that they kept me away from all of the other mothers and their new babies.

They began to induce labor. That day was a blur. I even sent text messages to a few of our best friends to let them know that we lost Berkley. Our parents stayed up there with us most of the day and Azure joined us at the hospital too. We were all so exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. I wasn’t progressing that fast so the doctor gave us the option to take a break and sleep through the night. We took that option and we are so grateful we did.

That evening was so heartbreaking yet peaceful. My husband sat by me as I took a bath and he even washed my hair for me. Us having that time together was hard but, it gave us strength for what we had to do the next day.

Saturday morning I woke up calm and collected. I felt the need to share on Facebook that we lost Berkley. We had received a few happy text messages asking if the baby was here yet. A lot of people had no idea what had happened or even knew we were at the hospital. After I posted about it I felt I sense of relief. There were also so many people praying and thinking about us at that time. I think that energy gave us additional strength.

Our parents, my grandma Lorraine, Azure, my aunt and uncle joined us at the hospital. It was so hard to see everyone so broken and sad for us. I am also grateful that they spent the day with us. The nurses were encouraging us to take pictures and have a charm made of Berkley’s hand or foot print. I didn’t want to do any of that. I was just so broken, I didn’t want to have to see any of those things afterwards, since it was so painful. Azure ended up talking us into doing both. I am so grateful she did because, those are the items I cherish the most.

The time was coming close. I was so scared to meet her and for it to be over. When we first found out we lost her. I told them I wanted to be put under and just wanted them to take her out. I was done. I didn’t think I could go through giving birth to my daughter that was already gone. My doctor told me that I needed to give birth to her and I am so grateful she made me do it.

Berkley was born silent and beautiful. She was born at 4:37pm on October 24, 2015. Just 4 days shy of her due date. She weighed 6.8 pounds and was 19 inches long. She had a lot of beautiful brown hair like her dad, a long skinny torso, long legs, my lips and nose. Tony says, “she had my big toe and would have probably been taller then me.” I think that she looked a lot like Tony. Every time I look at him, I see her.


You would think we would be hysterically crying. We weren’t. That came later. When we spent those three hours with her, it was beautiful. We were staring at every inch of her and taking her in. We kissed her and told her we loved her. It was so beautiful to see our child that we created together.

My parents were the first to come in to meet their grandchild. My dad is an old school Vietnam vet. You could call him a “tough guy.” As he held her he smiled and cried. It was so hard to see my parents so broken and so sad. My dad said, “Berkley dying was the worst thing that ever happened to him in his life.” and my father has had the farthest thing from an easy life.

Then Tony’s parents came in to spend time with Berkley. Then my grandma, uncle, aunt, Tony’s siblings, Azure and Sahar. They all tried to fight back tears to be strong for us. They all held her and told her they loved her. It was heartbreaking to see everyone that was so excited for our new family member to be so broken.

Tony and I spent the last hour with our daughter taking pictures with the photographer that the hospital lined up. It was so hard that we knew it was time to say goodbye. There wasn’t enough time. She was getting cold and I didn’t want to remember my baby like that. We stared at every inch of her again, so that we could try to remember what she looked like as time goes on. Then we each held her, kissed her and said, “I love you.”



Living with the plague

Suffering such a heartbreaking tragedy is very isolating. You know that people feel sorry for you and are thinking about you. Life and relationships have changed. Trying to exist in a small community is hard enough. After something so shocking happens to you, it gets even harder.

Some of our closest friends and family do not know what to say. So they stay away. Everyone is afraid to offend us or they don’t know how to interact with us.

Going out in public is very hard too. I was in the grocery store the other day. A girl I  went to high school with came around the corner into the aisle I was in. I could see the look of shock on her face. She was visibly startled to see me and looked like she saw a ghost. I took off as fast as I could because, I could tell she was uncomfortable. Again, people don’t know what to say.

Then on the other side there are people that are not afraid to ask questions. I went into a local bar that is about three miles away from our house to pick up pizza. The bartender asked, “Did you ever find out why it happened?” I stopped in there again on Tony’s birthday and she asked me, “Are you going to try again?” I barely know this person and she is just so blunt and curious. To be honest, I would rather have someone ask me a question. Instead of treating me like I have the plague.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand trying to talk to us might be hard. Even knowing about what happened to us is hard. Especially if you are pregnant. I remember when women would post in the birth groups when they had a loss. I would be so upset and wondered why are they sharing that. Don’t they know that they are scaring me? Now I understand. They are just trying to heal.

One of the hardest things about losing a child is that you are trying to exist in a world full of pregnancy, newborns, babies, and families. They are harsh realities of my life right now. I was pregnant with several of my close friends. I still have a few people close to me that are currently pregnant. I miss our relationships so much. Right now I am just not strong enough to be around them. I don’t mind talking to them but, I just can’t see them right now. I am still very happy for them.

Please just be patient with us. We are still in here, somewhere. If you wouldn’t say anything thing to me before this happened. You don’t need to and please don’t feel like you need to. Just remember we don’t have the plague and we won’t take you down with us.