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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

My daughter Sara Grace

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Christmas day 2007 started off like all of our other Christmases. My 3yr old son got up, we opened presents and got ready to leave for my best friend's house in NJ to spend the day together like we have since we were 12yr old little girls. I was 21weeks pregnant with a little girl names Sara Grace. She was named after the two strongest women I know, my grandma Sylvia and my Aunt Gladys. I didn't want to drink too much because of the 2hr drive so when we got to Nancy's house I started drinking water. After dinner we were laughing and I felt a pop and I thought I peed on myself. It wouldn't stop. We started home and I just sat on my phone playing a game to keep my mind busy. I knew in my heart that my water broke and that it wasn't good. When we got closer to home I told my husband I was calling the Dr and we needed to drop our son off with my parents and go to the hospital. Once there they confirmed that my water did indeed break. I suffered from PROM pre rupture of membranes. I have great doctor's who supported any decision I would make but the options were limited. I could terminate (not an option for me!) Or I could wait and see. I chose to wait but it left me open for infection. I was admitted started on antibiotics and we just waited. All along Sara was perfectly happy, moving around, and I stopped leaking fluid. I was allowed to get up to shower once a day and to go to the bathroom. On December 28, I got up, went to the bathroom and I knew I was going to loose her. My placenta abrupted. She was 22weeks. I went into labor and at 9:01 December 29, my beautiful daughter was born, still. She had blonde hair and looked exactly like her brother. She was truly beautiful. We buried her on December 31 and I decided right then and there that I was going to work to help as many families not ever go through what we did! One year later our second daughter was born prematurely. Another reason to fight! I now had 2 daughters and I left the hospital twice without them. One with a memory box and the other in the NICU (she is 11 now and is perfect) 3 yrs later we welcomed the final piece to our family and she was born full term. I volunteer for the March of dimes and I speak often of our daughters and I have cried with many women who went through what we did. I had no idea how often this happened until I started talking about it. The one thing that I have had a very hard time with is blaming myself. I feel my body failed Sara and I couldn't do the one thing all mother's do, protect my little girl. But I will spend the rest of my life fighting for everyone else's babies. Thank you for letting me share and I am here to help if anyone needs!

Beth Henkel

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