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My Daughter Jacie Ann

by Betsy Hale

Update: Mon, 14 Jun 1999

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999

On the eve of my baby daughter's birth/death January 16, 1998, I am sitting here wondering how I will handle it. I never thought this day would come, but time does have a way of marching on....it doesn't slow down when you are grieving. I remember the day well a year ago. It was a beautiful sunny day, but the only thing that was on my mind was that my baby had not moved inside my womb from the time I had woke up for work that morning. It was now 11:00am I couldn't take it any longer. This was not my little girl, the mover, as my husband and I called her. She was extremely active, as most babies are at 32 weeks. I called the doctor, and they told me to go to the hospital. I was so scared. I think deep down I already new the inevitable. I believe that God did walk by my side closely from that moment on. I went over to the hospital and calmly explained to the nurses at Labor and Delivery the situation. They got me in a room immediately, and checked her heart beat. I will never forget the silence of the transducer. They then brought in the ultrasound machine. My doctor was summoned. While we waited for her, they brought in another doctor, her partner, to look at the ultrasound. I will never forget his movements as he looked at the various images on the screen. There was my daughters little image up there, but she had no movement. The doctor turned towards me and vary sadly said, "I am so sorry, this baby has died." I started crying and the only word I could think to say was why? I think it was from that moment on that my world went completely dark. Nothing in the world can prepare a mother for those words. My husband finally got to the hospital from his work, and when I told him the look on his face was complete devastation. They began induction, and I started contracting immediately. Since I was only 32 weeks, we had a long haul ahead of us in Labor and Delivery. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. On January 16, 1998 at 4:56pm in the afternoon, my daughter arrived. I had been in labor for 24 hours. She was so beautiful, so peaceful looking. She was 4lbs, 14 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. She was perfect in every way. When the doctor delivered her, we discovered her umbilical cord wrapped very tightly around her neck three times. We don't know how it happened, we can only guess and speculate.

Jacie is now with the lord our father in heaven. Her time on earth here was brief but it was extremely special to those of us that shared it with her. Her presence was very magical, one that was full of hope and promise. I always prayed to the lord to keep her safe from harm, but I do know now that he had another plan for her. One that is not apart of our world as we know it. I continue to feel her presence daily. Not a physical feeling but a spiritual one. I see her little pixie face in my dreams at night, and I know she is telling me to hold on mama, I will see you one day, try not to be so sad.

Jacie will have a little brother soon. On March 18, 1999 he is suppose to arrive. He is doing beautifully. We are monitored every week by way of fetal monitor and we have an ultrasound every other week in order to watch that cord. We are 31 weeks along. I would be lying if I told you this pregnancy has been stress free even with all the high risk pre-natal testing. Every morning I wake up and wait for him to move. I wake up several times a night and wait for movement. If I don't get any movement I massage my belly until he does move. It has been a rough road, but we will make it. I feel God is showing me the way.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my daughter. Her memory is very precious to me. For all of you that have lost a child, please do not lose hope. Find something to hold on to, to live for, and work for it. I can't say that the grieving gets easier, but time does give you other things in your life to keep you going. And you will get going, one day. This I promise.

Update: Mon, 14 Jun 1999

Since I posted the story of my daughter's birth/death, I have had a wonderful miracle take place in my life. My son, John Ryan Hale was born on March 4, 1999. He is absolutely wonderful in every way. We had him induced at 38 weeks. Many of my friends and family members were quite sure that we were doing the wrong thing by having him induced at 38 weeks. But, after much thought my husband and I agreed that this was the best course of ACTION considering that most cord accidents happen at 38 weeks to term. John Ryan continues to fill my heart every day with an overwhelming love that I feel must be reserved for a parent and their child. I never cease to be amazed by the beauty of this child that is my son. I look at him and I truly understand the meaning of the word miracle. I thank God everyday for my baby's presence and for his health. And, then I think of Jacie Ann. She and John Ryan look allot alike. It is amazing. At first this was very hard for me, but I have grown use to it, and now almost feel it as a blessing.

Thank you for letting me tell you about my son's birth. I did it because I remember one of the things that gave me hope after I lost my daughter were the story's of loss and of successful subsequent births after. After reading many of these stories, I felt I had something to hang on to. The fact that possibly one day I could get pregnant again and that I had to take care of myself. I was overwhelmed by grief so much of the time after my loss, I almost gave up on life. I still yearn for Jacie Ann, but I am quite positive she is smiling down on me as I try to comprehend this wonderful job called motherhood. She probably laughed (along with her granny and grandpas) when I first put John's diaper on backwards.

Also, I wanted to tell you about a group of doctor's in Louisiana who are doing some great research on cord accidents. Their web site is www.preginst.com. During my pregnancy, I spoke with Dr. Collins, who is with the pregnancy institute, several times regarding Jacie's death and the details behind it. He also gave me much helpful information on dealing with my subsequent pregnancy and some precautions to take. If you need more info on cord accidents I urge you to check this website out. There is nothing on the net in way of cord accidents accept this information. I was told by many people during the time of my daughters death that cord accidents are very rare indeed, well this is apparently not the case at all. It happens more often than the general public is aware of.

As always to all of you experiencing loss, my heart goes out to you in your pain. It is a tough road that never seems to end. My pain is still very strong. The best thing I have found in dealing with it are support groups. Find one and go. Don't put it off. It is the best step to healing. To be with people who understand your pain and can share with you. If there is not one in your community start one. Unfortunately, I bet you would find others who are also in need. God Bless.

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