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by Dawn Hill

"While the loss of a child is the most horrrible experience any parent can suffer, we have overrcome the tragedy through our love for one another, our memories of Rachel, a terrific support group at Rose Medical Center, and our faith.

Please share our story and our internet address for those who need to talk." - Michael Hill

March 7, 1995

My story began Wednesday, August 9, 1995. My second daughter was due the first week of September. When my husband and I went for my appointment on the Monday prior, Michael was given the okay to leave that afternoon for a business trip. We both felt fine about him leaving and sure the baby would wait until well after he returned. We knew about this trip for several months and I had feared him going since I was about two months along. I had my first daughter early and just had a feeling the same would happen with this pregnancy, I was right.

Tuesday was uneventful except for some back pains. I turned in for the night at about 11:00, two and a half hours later I woke with some pain and a stomach contracted hard as a rock. I called my doctor and he said to get to the hospital as soon as I could. My best friend, Debbie was over in a flash. Her husband in a second car took my daughter, Savannah to their house for the night. When we arrived at the hospital I was taken to the Maternity ward. Rachel was doing fine although there was a problem with my placenta. I was 4 centimeters dilated but contractions began to slow. I was informed if labor did not progress I would need a c-section. To speed up labor the nurse broke my water at about 5:15. Rachel's heart rate was looking very good. Twenty minutes later it began to drop. Everyone began to rush in, Shelley my nurse was yelling she's abrupted . At that time I did not know what that meant but now I know more then most doctors do. I was rushed in for an emergency c-section.

I remember the frantic atmosphere, everyone was yelling. They were shouting numbers that were dropping, I thought they were Rachel's heart rate but they were mine. Her heart had cease to beat moments before. I could feel the pressure of the knife as I was put under. A little more then an hour later I awoke, my best friend on one side holding Rachel and my doctor on the other holding my hand, both were sobbing. My doctor uttered the words that will ring in my head for the rest of my life, "Dawn, I m sorry the baby didn t make it." He had to say it several times, it all seemed so surreal. She had been alive a few minutes before I fell asleep. I was told they tried endlessly for 47 minutes to revive her. I held her immediately. She was beautiful and big. She had lots of hair, gorgeous lips, and the most beautiful hands I has every seen. Debbie took pictures of her for me. Michael arrived a couple hours later. I have never heard anyone cry the way he did when he was with her. The worse day for me came with the arrival home, it really hit that she was gone. She would never lay in the crib on the comforter I made for her. We would never rock her to sleep, there were so many nevers.

It has been a long 7 months. We have survived this better for what she gave to our lives. Even though Rachel's time with us was short, it touched our lives with bittersweet memories. It has helped to share her and our feelings with special friends and family. We have been blessed with exceptional people in our lives to support us. We also have received comfort in a support for parents that have been through similar losses. I keep a journal with letters to Rachel. I want to share this with my daughter, Savannah and any other child we will have when they are old enough.

We have decide to try for another child this month. It is a difficult decision. One that is scary. We must plow forward and look towards the future but I think I will always feel I am leaving something behind.

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