Evelyn’s Story

evelynsstory

 

*** NOTE This story contains some details about the life and death ***

*** of my daughter that may be hard to read. Please bear in mind ***

*** that you do not have to read it if you are actively grieving. ***

My baby girl was born on April 29th, 2012 at 8:07pm when I was only 24 weeks along (6 months to the day). My water broke and I went into labor within hours. My first child, her father and I were so excited. She entered this world kicking at 11.75″ long and 1 pound 5 ounces. My life changed instantly the moment I met her. Her father and I were with her every night in the NICU where she stayed, happy and healthy with little complications. There were times I was so worried about her, but she was such a fighter! This little girl who could fit in both of my hands looked up at me for the first time almost 2 weeks after she was born and melted my heart.

She reacted to me when she heard me, she loved to stare at me and watch what I was doing, she gave the NICU nurses hell and even peed on one of them during a diaper change! She was a stubborn little girl who despite the circumstances did amazing. We spent 37 happy days with her in her incubator, not once being able to hold her because she was on the JET ventilator. I begged and asked every day when I would be able to, and they kept telling me “soon”.

“Soon” came on her 38th day of life. At 3:30am on June 6th her belly became very ill. She suddenly got Necrotizing Enterocolitis, a condition where the intestines become infected and perforated, leaking air and bacteria into the intestinal wall, and eventually kills off the intestines. We got the phone call at 4:00am that she wasn’t doing well and it was very serious. I went in alone as her father needed to go to work at 5:00am and I told him I would let him know when she starts to get better. Things looked very bad but I had hope that my baby girl would pull through. She got sicker as the hours went by, and at 8:30am they began prepping her for surgery to repair her intestines. Her father rushed to the hospital when I called, as did my family. I gave her kisses for the first time on her forehead and begged her to hang on and pull through. She went in for surgery just after 9:00am.

At 9:30am, just minutes after we sat in the waiting room, the surgeon called all of us into a back room to explain to us that, “There is nothing more we can do for her.” Her entire intestinal tract was too far gone to be saved. My heart shredded into a million pieces facing the fact that my little fighter, my little winner, has lost a battle far bigger than herself. We were walked to her incubator where the nurses dressed her in a pink gown, bonnet and booties and began shutting down her machines. My whole world shrank down to fit only her into it at that moment. Nothing else mattered but her. They let me hold her for the first and only time as she fought to breathe on her ventilator. I asked for it to be removed and for her to be in my arms with no more machines, no wires, none of the things she hated.

I held her for an hour as she softly breathed on her own, her heart still beating as she looked up into my eyes. I apologized for not being able to do more for her, and her father and I whispered as many “I love you”s as we could. At around 10:50am she stared up at me and her mouth twisted into a gentle smile. I’ve never seen her face without her tubes before this and I always wondered if she was really smiling under it all, but at that moment she smiled the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. And at that very moment, she let go. Her father and I held her body and rocked her in our arms with our foreheads pressed together as we cried, our precious little girl who we had so much hope for was gone as quickly as she came.

In the years since my beautiful baby girl passed my arms still feel so heavy and empty without her. My heart breaks every night around the time I would visit her at the hospital. If I could go back in time I would and hold her forever. My world will forever be changed by a tiny, then 2 pound little girl who gave me the most amazing 5 weeks and 3 days of my life. She is now a big sister to our second daughter, who with the help of an amazing medical team was born at 37 weeks and spent only 5 nights in the NICU.

My story is not so different from other NICU moms, and ALL angel moms will agree that this road of grieving is the hardest and longest road to ever endure. There are few things in this world that will ever make the pain easier to handle. My goal in life now is to give the love and support every family deserves after the loss of their beautiful baby. I thank Evelyn every day for showing me how much I can accomplish with her as my inspiration.

I love you so much my baby girl <3.