Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hannah's Story

I had a little bleeding early on. Nothing to worry about they said. Just old blood, maybe from implantation.

Then at 17 weeks and 4 days it came back. The old blood. I called the doctor and made an appointment for later that day. I had a lot of pressure. Still I kept my Monday routine of bringing my 18 month old son Bobby to his playgroup and even made our way over to Carter's to get him some fall clothes. My husband picked us up later on and took us to the doctor.

I waited impatiently for a while before finally being seen. It was a busy afternoon and I should just be thankful they squeezed me in at all. The doctor said everything looked okay but was now going to squeeze me in for an ultrasound just to be sure. Good, I felt myself release the breath I had been holding all day. During the ultrasound my confidence began to build. The baby looked great. My cervix seemed to check out. I waited again for the doctor. He said he felt like something wasn't quite right. Would I mind going on over to Labor & Delivery just to make sure I wasn't having any contractions. Having contractions? Was he serious? Ok. We packed back into the car and headed over to the hospital.

I ended up staying in the hospital for 2 days. I was having contractions and now I was starting to feel them. I got to see Hannah many times during my stay. She was such an active little girl. Hearing her strong heartbeat and watching her move around gave me the only hope I had those days. When I went home Wednesday night the red blood started. It wasn't old anymore. This was what they told you you had to worry about. At the doctor on Thursday my cervix had drastically shortened. It had gone from 3.5 centimeters to 1.7 centimeters in a matter of days. Not good for someone who is 18 weeks pregnant. If you make it to your appointment Monday, maybe there will be something we can do. Those words echoed in my mind all weekend long as I lay in bed.

I did make it to that appointment Monday with the specialist. I got to spend some quality time with Hannah as they did her Level 2 Ultrasound and we found out she was definately a girl. She was spinning and twirling all around like a little ballerina. My cervix was even measuring the same. Just as I let out that breath that maybe we would get through this on bedrest....the internal exam showed I was about 1 centimeter dialated. My heart sunk. Stay in bed and keep your fingers crossed. What great medical advice. That was at around 10 am on Monday, September 21, 2009.

The contractions started really hurting around 3 that afternoon. It'll be okay, I kept telling myself. My husband was out on some errands with my son. Maybe if I roll over I will be more comfortable. I called my husband. I think I need to go to the hospital. I can't stand the pain much longer. I called my mom. Dont worry, I'll call you when I know something. I got up to go to the bathroom at around 3:30. Still hurting. Walked back over to my bed and sat down on the edge. And that's when I heard it, a gentle popping sound. It was followed by a gush of water. I collapsed to the floor and just sobbed with everything in me. This would be the end. I called Bobby back. He was stuck at the drawbridge. He started sobbing too. I called my mom back. Can you meet us at the hospital and get Bobby? My water broke. I made my way back to the bathroom, covered in water and blood. I changed my pants and began downstairs to wait for Bobby, leaving the pool of blood in the middle of the bathroom floor.

I can't take it any more. I am in hard labor, bleeding heavily and sitting in rush hour traffic on Route 9. It will be at least another 30-40 minutes before we get to the hospital. Little Bobby is screaming in the back seat. He is scared and so am I. I feel the baby coming out. I am in so much pain. My husband calls 911. An ambulance comes. They take me to the closest hospital.

The Emergency Room doctor greeted us with a warm why did you come here? Don't you know we don't have an OB department? I am in pain. I am losing my child. My life is shaken at it's very core and I just want someone to help me. I've been calling out to God for a week to please save this child. He said no. Accepting this is proving to be a very hard thing to do.

So I am in the Emergency Room of a hospital without a department for Labor and Delivery, no Maternity Ward, no Obstetrician and no heart. They put me into a storage room. The wall to my left was lined with an array of crutches in every size imaginable. The wall to my right held what looked like a giant medical vending machine full of splints and Ace Bandages and things of that nature. Had I sprained my ankle or jammed my finger I would have been in the right place. We want to transfer you. It is going to take a while. Again, why did you come here? Let's take a look. You are fully dialated. The baby is already on her way out. We will transfer you after delivery. He leaves the room. We ask the nurse what will happen with Hannah. She doesn't know. Doesn't know? She will find out. She will go to pathology. We want her body. I will put a note on her. Put a note on her? She leaves too. Leaving my husband and I and the unfriendly girl who quietly sat there taking my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. And leaving Hannah.

I will never know the exact moment her tiny heart stopped beating. I will never know when the peaceful smile heaven sent began to grace her beautiful face. I do know how very much I love her. I do know I will love and miss her as long as I live.

A new woman came in to relieve the unfriendly quiet girl. She shared her own stories of heartache for her lost grandchildren. She reassuringly offered her faith and belief that they were with God. I didn't want Hannah to be with God yet. I wanted her with me. I still want her with me. The doctor came back in the see if we were progressing. We were. The shifts were changing. It was twenty after seven in the evening. Another doctor would be in shortly.

Time was our enemy stretched out before us. We were left alone with our minds for the next three hours, save the occassional nurse shuffling in and out without apology to grab a supply. We asked for the doctor. What were we supposed to do? Try to push if you feel a contraction. The doctor will be in shortly. But I couldn't feel the contactions anymore. They had given me so much morphine. I am still bleeding heavily. I looked up at my husband. They want us to deliver on our own? I tried pushing a few times. Nothing happened.

At around 10:30 the doctor finally came in. The next eleven minutes were a blur. The exam, the pushing, the reality of what was happening echoing in my mind the entire time. It hurt. It hurt all over, inside and out. We sobbed for our daughter. The grief was overwhelming. It still is now. Hannah came into this world silently. It was 10:41 pm on September 21, 2009.

I want to hold her. Are you sure? Yes. I want to hold my daughter. Hannah Katherine. She was beautiful. All of her tiny parts were perfect, right down to her ten little fingers and ten little toes. She was so delicate. I was overwhelmed with love and grief all at the same time. We cried so hard for our little angel. Why our daughter? Why us? Just a little bit longer and she could have survived. All of the why's and what if's that plague me now began at that very moment. My life changed forever at that very moment. Bobby was shaking so hard he had to give her back to me. We said goodbye to our daughter. Rest in peace sweet girl. The unfriendly quiet girl returned. They placed our daughter's body inside a plastic tub right in front of us. I couldn't imagine there being a heart inside any one of these people. A few minutes after she left another woman popped in to see "where it was". My baby, I said. The door closed. Well it closed three quarters of the way onto the plastic garbage can they had propping it open.

Most hospitals will put a hat and blanket on your stillborn child and allow you to spend some time with them. They even take professional pictures and console you in your grief. I felt robbed of all that. Hannah was robbed of all that. She was robbed of so much. They could have at least given her some dignity and respect.

The doctor said my OB had ordered a couple of medications and said if the placenta and any other pregnancy tissue had been delivered it would then be okay to go home. The IV started up and we waited again.

We got home around 6 am Tuesday morning. We layed down until around 9:30. Who could sleep? I cleaned the blood off the bathroom floor. My husband called the funeral parlor. The hospital called. We need to do a fetal death certificate. You can pick her up on Thursday. We went over to the funeral home. My parents brought Bobby home later that afternoon. We tried to function. It was hard. I was still bleeding heavily. There were clots and leftover placenta. This doesn't seem right. I am still in pain.

I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Looks okay, but come back tomorrow for an ultrasound. Being in that office was torture. Seeing all the pregnant women. Knowing I was not. Now I had to have an ultrasound and see nothing but an empty uterus.

I had the ultrasound on Thursday. Not good. Your uterus is infected. The hospital left placenta there. It should have been cleared. Go over to the hospital (the one I wished I would have made it to) as soon as possible. We need to do an emergency D&C. I had that done at 8 pm on Thursday night.

We tried calling the funeral home several times on Thursday. No one is calling us back. On Friday they call. The hospital couldn't find Hannah. He didn't want to call until he had it all figured out. Thank you God. They found her. Can you take a couple pictures for us? Sure. Being the father of two angels himself, he totally understood. Carmen had been a blessing in all of this.

I have four photos of Hannah. They are not clear but they are all I have. Every day is a struggle. It hasn't gotten any easier. They say it does. What do they know? Has it happened to them? Three weeks ago I was pregnant. Now I am empty. My heart is empty. I cry everyday. I feel hopeless. I know God has handed me this for a reason. I know some greater good will be served. I know my beautiful Hannah is happily playing in heaven. I know life goes on and I know this story is not yet finished. But it doesn't make it hurt any less. It doesn't help me sleep at night. It doesn't help me live without my daughter.

I wear her remains in a heart around my neck. I have her picture in a heart frame. I framed her last sonogram and hung it under Bobby's picture in the family room. She is still my daughter. I light a pink candle on the mantel for her every night. Nothing eases this pain. My father had brought a little butterfly lamp over the day after Hannah passed. I put a lightbulb in it, plugged it in and haven't turned it off since. It shines for her.

Turns out the old blood was from a placental abruption. Fact is I could have carried her full term on bed rest. The "end game" as the doctor called it was the infection that had gotten into the placenta and the cord. He couldn't answer me as to what could have caused this. My own goggling produced too many internal exams. Could it have been different? I don't know. Hannah was healthy. She was perfect.

So I will try to go on. I know no one knows what to say. I know no one understands. Maybe someone will now. Maybe you will honor Hannah with me.


  1. Words cannot express the sorrow that I have have for you and your family.

    For some reason, God needed Hannah as a lil angel for himself.

    You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

    Love Always,

    Jessi xoxo

  2. Dear Katy & Rob,
    I had no idea you suffered so much. After reading your story,and as a mother, I can not imagine the pain & sorrow of losing a child. You are brave to share your feelings with everyone. Your love for Hannah will go on & you will carry her with you forever. When I read your story, I wanted to wrap my arms around you. You are a good mother & loving Bobby & the joy he brings might help ease your pain. Take care of each other. Love, Anne

  3. Dear Katy-
    After reading Hannah's life story and the tragedy that follows I cannot seem to stop the tears from falling. My heart holds so much sorrow in it for you and your family. I cant promise you that this terrible sadness will ever go away - but maybe as the years go by the sting will be a little less. Love your Husband and hold that little Bobby as much as you can because everyday you have with them is a blessing.
    with Love Corinne, Rob& Brooke

  4. Heard of your loss through Lorena and wanted to tell you my heart aches for you and your family. All I can say is that you will see her again someday in heaven. She will know no evil and no pain. She is loved by her Creator far more than we'll ever know and He is crying with us as you suffer in this world. There is a song by Watermark - CD titled Grateful People and the song is "Glory Baby" that will touch your heart like it did mine. The artist also lost children and she dedicated a beautiful song to them. I hope it helps some. God bless you and your family.

  5. I am so sorry. I love that you are honoring your sweet girl in a way that the hospital failed to do. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers xxx

  6. I heard of your Hannah from Lorena. I too lost my little girl at 26 weeks. And then 9 months later my son at 24 weeks. Your birth experience for Hannah is horrible and no one should have to expereince a birth in that manner. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. Katie

    I know it is hard to beleive that god took her to be an Angel but he has his reasons. I wil keep you and your family in my prayers
    God Bless you
    Tracy, Leroy & Isaiah

  8. Katy,
    I saw your post on National Share on facebook. Your story truely touched my heart. I am a mother and have suffered 2 miscarriages. I understand that people don't acknowledge your child. It hurts. I found a support group at a local hospital. It is one for families who have suffered miscarriage and stillbirth. It was here that I was given some wonderful advice, and also some hope for the future. I was told "people are stupid and don't understand, they think b/c your child is not here that it is better to pretend they did not exist" I was then told to do anything I wanted to memoralize my babies.So my husband and I have a special shelf on our bookcase with two angels and a placque and soon we will have the recognition of life certificates. We have plans laid out for a memory garden which my son says is "brother sister garden". You do what you need to do to keep yourself and your family going. Other people's opinions don't matter, even though they do hurt. I was also told "if all you can do is to live day to day, than that is alright. If all you do is get up and feed your child and do nothing else but watch tv, that is ok, because there will come a day when you will be ablel to do more, maybe put on makeup, or go to the store w/o crying seeing a baby." I also had a mom who had to go through labor and not take her child home look at me and say " there will come a day. I can't tell you when b/c it took me a long time to get here, but there will come a day when you will wake up, and you will feel a peace. You will still hurt and miss your baby, but you won't hurt as bad...and you will be ready to start to heal". I thought she was crazy at the time, but it has been over a year since our lastmiscarriage, and I feel that peace..I feel a need to heal and help other if I can. If you haven't already, get the book Mommy don't cry by Linda Deymaz. The words are healing, the words are what your hannah would say to you right now....thatshe is ok. I know it is hard to keep your faith in such a sad trying time, but God is watching over you..He has your little girl, along with all the little ones holding hands walking the golden streets in a wonderful place where there are no tears, no pain, just beauty..........We will never understand Gods ways, why he takes some to heaven and leaves some to live, we can't...but we know he is a loving God, and with time..we heal...and live again. I hope this can comfort you some. God bless you and your family and I hope your healing begins.
    God Bless
    Brandi Rader

  9. I am so sorry. Your Hannah will be honored, and she is already through you. I am so sorry the hospital treated you with no heart at all. I can see why you are wanting to change this, it is a beautiful thing to do in Hannah's name. And you are right, there are no words. I can only hope it gets easier with time. I don't know that it does. Praying for you as well.


  10. Dear Katy and Rob,

    I just finished reading your story the the footprints that Hannah left in your hearts and so many other hearts. I came by this sight because i too have lost my daughter. She came and left on July 7, 2009. I was 19 weeks and 3 days pregnant with my little girl named Zilah Martin. I was feeling really bad today and was home alone. I thought i would go online and see if i could find any chat lines that i could chat on to express my feelings. Needless to say that i did not find any chat rooms to chat in. But i found You and Hannah. As i read your story tears filled my eyes and sobbed for you and the pain that you felt and feel. I also feel this pain and have no idea what to do with it. I am truly sorry that you and your preciouse baby had to go through this. Nothing i say or do can ever make what you have gone trhough alright.....but i will keep you and your family in my prayers. Feel free to email me

  11. Katy, after reading your story I want to give you a huge hug. I am so sorry that you had to go through loosing Hannah and on top of that the hospital experiance. I am so sorry!! The picture of your Hannah reminds me of my Jonathan.

  12. Oh ((((hugs)))) from another mommy who has lost 2 blessings at over 18 weeks, my heart goes out to you. I'm sooo sorry for your precious loss and horrific treatment. The tears sting my eyes as the empathy of grief overwhelms my heart. I hurt knowing that another mommy has experienced the bitter loss of stillbirth of a wee one.

    I love your precious stone and would love to learn "how" you made that. I'd love to do more for my memory garden that weeps right now with the bitter cold weather.

    I will add you to our prayer wall and keep you in my prayers as the special dates roll by like waves in the ocean...grief can be a blessing to understand and share with others. We take life and the gifts of our children as extra special blessings.

    Romans 12:15
    "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."

  13. Your story touched me so much. So similar to my own. I lost my baby boy Wesley at 18wks due to a placental abruption. Your story is so similar to my own. It has been almost 2 1/2 years now. It does get better. Not that the pain lessens any or you think of it less often, but you learn how to handle it better. God will help you through these next few months, look for his signs, because they are everywhere. I think you are amazingly strong to be doing what you are for these hospitals in the midst of all your grief. I will keep you, your family, and your mission in my prayers. <3 Tamii

  14. Oh Katy I am so sad for the pain you have had to endure. I am new to the babylost world and lost my beautiful Grace Willow on 1*15*10. She had Trisomy 18 and was in the second trimester...somewhere between 16-17 weeks, depending who you asked-she kept measuring smaller and smaller. *hugs* I know your baby girl is in heaven with a happy heart. I know time goes by slowly without her. You are so strong.

  15. I found your blog this morning and I am crying with you. I know you love your little girl so much and I know you are honoring her here on this earth as she dances in heaven. Just imagine the reunion you will have when you are finally home. Take care of yourself and you just grieve as long as you need to! I am so sorry for the pain you must face as you continue this earthly journey without your little Hannah in your arms, but always in your heart! Love-

  16. Katy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I share your heartache.
    My little girl, Lillian Joy was born still on 11-13-09. I was five days overdue when they scheduled an induction. My little Lilly Bean woke me up that morning, kicking like crazy... and by 6 oclock...she was gone.
    I am praying for you and for your family. God bles you all. If you'd like...check out my blog.

    Love & Prayers,

  17. Katy,
    I am so very sorry. Your little Hannah was so beautiful.
    Words cannot express how angered I am by the treatment that you experienced at the hospital. I'm sorry that they didn't give you and your sweet little daughter the few things they could have, that your Hannah didn't get a hat and a blanket, that you didn't have any photographs taken.
    Remembering and honouring Hannah Katherine with you. xo

  18. I'm so very sorry for your loss. It's SO hard, when people keep telling you that time heals all wounds.

    I'll be honest with you. Time DOESN'T heal all wounds. Time HELPS... time makes it easier. But NOTHING, absolutely nothing is ever going to make you forget your Hannah, and that's as it should be.

    I lost my son, Brian, on October 26, 1989. I was 23 weeks pregnant... and 14 years old. I had just told my mom 3 days earlier that I was pregnant.

    My contractions started on 10/25, during 5th period. I made it thru the rest of the day at school and about 15 minutes after getting home, my water broke. I didn't even know what contractions were at that point.

    My mom took me to the ER, and I was diagnosed with a placental abruption.

    I delivered my baby the next day at 12:21 pm with his daddy beside me.

    I held him, I cried for him. I was told by a doctor that "this is what happens when you have sex at 14".

    My mother refused to allow us to have a funeral. I've never been able to bring myself to research what happened to his body.

    It's been 20 years now. I haven't forgotten. I haven't stopped loving that little baby. I have 20 letters that I've written to him on his birthday.

    You won't forget Hannah. Time WON'T take your memories away.... won't take the pain away. But, ever so slowly, you'll start having more good days than bad, and finally, you get to the point where there is only a bad day here and there.

    It doesn't mean you have forgotten.

    How could anyone forget the tiny baby who still holds a piece of your heart in their little hand?

  19. Hello My name is Melissa I to lost a daughter at 18 weeks. I to had a horrible hospital experience.They give me no choices they took no pictures and they wanted me to Pay to get her last u/s pictures after I had lost her.They gave me nothing to remember her by and they acted like she didn't matter. I know your Pain and am sorry for your loss.I lost Sonya on 0ct 20th,2006 and they say it gets easier but it doesn't it might start to become more easy to take but one thing One song poem or picture one memory or thought can send you spiraling back in to the pit of grief has raw and real as that day. Sorry if I upset you.

  20. My name is Stephanie and I found you on Leanna' angel wings memorial site. I am actually due myself today...with Amelia. She is not going to make it, and we were told from 24 weeks on that she would not survive.

    I just want to let you know that my heart hurts for the absolute injustice of loosing your sweet daughter and the horrible hospital experience. It is just not fair. NOT FAIR!
    No words can make it better.

    You are honoring her with this blog, sharing her story and being honest with your feelings. I know that the only thing that has helped me, is this: I pray that you feel God's tears and heartache for your loss. He sits with us, near us, in each moment...even when we cannot feel Him, waiting for us to cry out to Him. I pray that you feel his arms wrap you and your family in LOVE.


  21. Hi,

    I just started reading your blog and wanted to say hello. I lost my son last fall as well and I was due the same week as you. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter and your hospital experience. I had to deliver Jack at a small regional hospital that was not equipped to deal with a preemie and it was a horrible experience. You are doing some amazing things in her name.


  22. Katy..I just read your post on when you lost heart just goes out to you for how you had to deliver her, for how you lost her, etc. I can't even imagine the agony that you and your husband went through with your experience. I at least had a good experience when I delivered Aubree with the hospital staff and with my doctor. My doctor lost a child so he was wonderful with us throughout our whole ordeal..I am just so sorry that her birth was so traumatic and you weren't able to get the treatment you deserved. I believe that your daughter truly knows how much she was are an inspiration to all of us mommies out there who are new to this whole grief thing. I am amazed at all that you are doing to honor Hannah and to help others who are facing the loss of their precious children..God Bless you...

  23. Katy I read your story weeks ago as a heartbroken mother who lost a baby too, and came back today as a friend whose friend lost a baby. This story rips my heart out. I feel so sorry for you and your husband and how this hospital experience was. I know what it is like to have just a few photos. I have only 3. I didnt know this would be all I had I was too distraught that day to think of photos. How you were treated that day is awful and you are TOO good a person to have had this happen. What you are doing in Hannah's name is Saint like. YOU my dear friend are a saint. I hope our girls are playing together right now. May God bless you, and like I wrote in your email...WHATEVER you need please reach out I will be right there....I still cant believe what I just heart goes out to you....

  24. Katy,

    I cryed as I read your story. I have also lost an Angel from a placenta abruption (mine was at 41 weeks). I know the pain you speak of not knowing why. I think it is beautiful the way you have honoured her. If you ever want to talk - I am happy to listen and to share. May God bless you and your family.


  25. Katy,

    This is the first time I've read Hannah's story. I've heard you speak about it, but I decided to come to your blog and try to find the whole story after you were talking about it on Sunday.

    I am in complete shock over how the hospital treated you. My heart just breaks for you. I can't believe people could act so cold and heartless. I don't even know what to say. I know it must be so difficult to feel robbed of memories of Hannah. It's like the hospital should have known! The families that receive your boxes will be so blessed and given something you didn't have. You are making a difference. Hannah's precious life has such a wonderful purpose!

    You are such a beautiful mother to Hannah Katherine and you are keeping her memory alive. People all over the world are remembering and loving her, including me.

    I'm so glad I've gotten the chance to know you, even though I wish it wasn't under these circumstances. But, you are an encouragement and inspiration to me. I thank you so much for leading the Bible study. I love all you ladies so much!

    I told my mom this week that I would like to make some boxes to give to the hospital for families whose babies die. Ironically, she thought the same thing this week! She saw a segment on the news about cancer patients getting a box and she thought that families who lose their children should as well. I wish I had known about NILMDTS. I saw on the website they have photographers that go to the hospital where I delivered. And now, I feel like it will haunt me for the rest of my life that I don't have those pictures. I want other families to have the resources to know about these things! I want other families to not have to feel robbed or regret something. So, now we will be embarking on this new project. I'll let you know what we do and how it goes. I'm very excited to do something in honor of Lily!

    Love, Hannah

  26. (((((hugs))))) Its so hard losing a child. I'm so sad the hospital wasn't respectful. :(

  27. I just found your blog from Achored by Hope. So sorry about your loss. That is too bad that you didn't get a chance to have photos with NILMDTS. It's hard, because as you're going through it you're in this "blur" of shock and I know many of us have regrets about what we could have done.

  28. I just delivered my first daughter, stillborn, about a week ago. The pain of losing a child is immense. The disrespect that was shown to you at the hospital is unexcusable, to say the least. My heart goes out to you. I truly wish you the best.

  29. i am 13 weeks pregnant now went to the dr. no heartbeat. i have to carry my dead child around another week because my dr is on vacation. people have no hearts dont understand and never will, my prayers are with you and i understand your pain. god bless you and our angels

  30. No words can properly express how sorry I am for the loss of your precious baby girl. Our daughter was healthy and happy inside me too until we lost her to much the same circumstances (I was 5cm dialated when I went into the hospital, and had no idea I was in labor. We were 22wks the day we lost her) I'm still trying to understand, and coming to the realisation that I probably never will.
    Thank you for sharing your story, it helps me somehow to know that there are people who have been through the same thing. I wish it didn't have to happen to any of us.

  31. I found your blog this morning. I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry that you had to endure such trama at the hospital.
    I lost our daughter due to complete placental abrubtion at 23 weeks. She was born and died 1/26/11. You are the first person who I have found that also had a placental abruption. I would love to talk with you sometime, even if by e-mail if you are willing. My e-mail address is rsveteto at
    I also have started a blog in Emily's memory it is

    thank you so much for sharing your story.

  32. I'm so so sorry for your loss. I haven't read all your posts, but I just have to ask...does it ever get easier??? I lost my baby girl last month 7/25/2011 at 20 weeks & 1 day gestation, and am sooo broken-hearted, the grief is overwhelming.

  33. I am so sorry. There are no words; but instead of words, I will pray for you and your sweet family. Blessings to you!