Mother Mourns Her Stillborn Son: “I Find Comfort Knowing the First Face He Saw Was God’s”

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Apr 24, 2015   |   9:30AM   |   Washington, DC

On Easter weekend, Emma and Aaron were waiting for the arrival of their first-born son, Reid. However, on April 3rd, Good Friday, everything went terribly wrong. Emma opened up about the experience on her blog, Sincerely, Skin.

She wrote, “I woke up at 9:30am on Good Friday, April 3rd, feeling like I usually did in the later weeks of my pregnancy. A bit tired but filled with anticipation thinking that today just might be the day. Baby hadn’t moved yet, but I pushed any concerns I had to the back of my mind as I went about my morning routine. Besides, he had been his usual self, lovingly kicking my right ribs well past midnight until I finally fell asleep. I had my breakfast, relaxed, and drank a cup of orange juice to try and wake him up. Only he didn’t. Usually eating got him squirming away in there, and I was starting to worry.”

Then Emma rushed to check Reid’s heartbeat on her home Doppler but was unable to find it and decided to go to the hospital. Tragically, after arriving at the hospital, Emma and Aaron were told that their baby had died. Medical staff said, “Ok. I have the ultrasound focused on his heart now. Do you see that? It’s not moving. And there’s no red and blue to signify blood flow. I’m so sorry, but your baby is dead.”

Emma explained how she felt when they first found out the news. She said, “The sorrow I felt in that moment is something I’ll never be able to put into words. Oh how I ached for the power to turn back the clock to the night before when we could have rushed to the hospital to get him out safely. He lived for 39 weeks and 6 days in my womb, and it didn’t seem possible for him to just stop living one day before his due date. One day.”

Initially, doctors couldn’t determine the cause of Reid’s death but after Emma delivered they discovered that a knot in his umbilical cord caused it. The believed that the knot formed early in pregnancy and as Reid grew and entered the birth canal, it tightened.

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According to the National Institute of Health, each year in the United States about 25,000 babies, or 68 babies every day, are born still. A stillbirth is usually detected while the baby is in the mother’s uterus; but sometimes parents don’t find out until labor is underway. While it is largely unknown what causes fetal death at this stage of a woman’s pregnancy, these are some factors that may contribute: placental problems, birth defects, poor fetal growth, infections, umbilical cord accidents, and chronic health conditions in the pregnant mother.

Remarkably, Emma’s faith in God is still strong even though she’ll never understand why Reid was taken from her. She said, “I mourned all of the “could have been’s” while I memorized the weight of his body in my arms. He was born on his due date, on a full moon, and as an Aries in the year of the ram. It didn’t seem fair to me that such a life couldn’t be lived with his parents by his side. I know I’ll never understand why God chose his precious soul to be by His side so soon, but I find some comfort in knowing that the first face Reid saw was His.”