"I'm So Sorry. There's No Heartbeat."
Mother of Eleanor:
In January of 2021, my husband and I found out that we were pregnant, after 2 months of “sort of trying”.
We were so shocked and did not expect to be pregnant so soon, since we were not really trying. We kept this pregnancy a secret from our family and most of our friends, waiting until the “safe” time to tell them.
We went in for our first prenatal appointment on March 17.
I was 9 weeks and 5 days.
During the ultrasound heard the worst six words ever “I’m so sorry; there’s no heartbeat”.
We were crushed, we had to tell our family that we were pregnant in the same breath we told them we were miscarrying.
Our baby had stopped developing at 8 weeks, so I had what is called a missed miscarriage. I tried to wait on my body to naturally pass but ended up needing medication to help my body pass everything.
This process took over a month and I was drained. During this process, we did not know the gender of the baby but believe it was a boy.
We decided to name him Sam.
We decided to start trying after my first regular cycle. We both knew we wanted to be parents, and have known for a while that we wanted to be parents. We tried for 7 months, it was very daunting.
I had concerns that we were going to be dealing with infertility and need medications and many tests. One month before it would have been one year, we got pregnant again.
We were so excited and very anxious. We decided for this pregnancy to tell friends and family pretty soon and celebrate the pregnancy any moment we got.
Pregnancy after loss is absolutely terrifying and joyous all at the same time.
I was very sick and had so many symptoms, which was reassuring. With every milestone we passed, we became more excited and less anxious. We did multiple private scans and bought a doppler. I, even, switched to decaf coffee, didn’t eat lunch meat, and had all the “right” things to help us with our anxieties and try to give this baby the best chance.
We found out we were having a daughter and began to dream of the life that she would have.
We picked her name Eleanor “Ellie” Reese, due to the meaning behind the name.
Eleanor means God’s light. She was our light and showing us God’s grace and faithfulness.
Reese means enthusiastic and fiery. She was always moving so much in every ultrasound (to the point, we had to do most of them twice because she wouldn’t stay still to get the correct pictures).
We had passed the 8 week mark, 1st trimester, 20 weeks, 24- viability, 30 weeks, 32 weeks. We were in the home stretch. We had already had all of the showers, started on the nursery, and bought all the major items. We even said that we had everything we “needed” to get her home and keep her for the first few weeks if we went into labor early.
We had every plan and thought that we would bring her home, because why would we not?
Late April, I started having higher blood pressure readings at home but not in the office. I went into the office early May and had one high reading (border line). They decided to run a full panel of tests to check my levels, everything came back normal.
On May 16, I had a weird feeling and kept checking her heartbeat with our home doppler.
We found her heartbeat and everything was fine, but I couldn’t settle my thoughts that something might be wrong.
I wrote those thoughts off thinking it was just anxiety over having experienced a previous loss, and just believing that everything would go wrong.
I thought that since it was getting closer to my due date, that I was just having high anxiety. So I went to sleep and ignored it. I, also, need to mention that I had an anterior placenta so Ellie’s movements were not consistent where I could feel them. There would be hours or a day or so where I would not feel her, and then she would move to a spot where I could.
We decided to go on a baby moon to the beach and spend one last vacation just the two of us. We spent this vacation talking and dreaming about what our family of 3 would look like, what Ellie’s personality would be, and what she would look like.
When we got back from this trip we had an appointment to check on her growth, due to the one high reading they wanted to make sure she was developing appropriately. We went into that appointment believing we would see her and get some more pictures of her.
We went into the ultrasound room and once again, heard those 6 awful words, “I’m so sorry. There’s no heartbeat”.
I was 33 weeks and 4 days.
Our hearts were once again completely shattered. We were in shock and a loss for words. I immediately felt angry. Angry that we were here once again.
We were told in the doctors office what to expect in the next few days and for delivery. We left, went home, and began making calls to our family and friends. We spent the day crying, planning for the hospital, and trying to process the news.
On May 26, we went into the hospital at 2:00pm to be induced to deliver Ellie. I was given medication to induce labor, which progressed very quickly.
Eleanor "Ellie" Reese Cooper was born at 2:27am on May 27, 2022. She weighed 2 pounds 10 ounces and was 16.5 inches long.
We spent the next day spending time holding her, taking in her features, taking pictures of her, and trying to express a lifetime of love in a few hours.
We found out later that she most likely died due to me developing Preeclampsia, which was not found until I was in the hospital to be induced. Her loss rocked our world, and all of our family. We believed with our whole hearts that she would be our living daughter, that we would raise.
She was beautiful and amazing. She has her daddy’s brow line and cheeks, and her mommy’s nose and chin. She was a wonderful soul who showed the love of God through her, and gave her dad and I strength that we never knew we had.
Having to give birth to your silent, sleeping child and burying that child changes you to your core.
I am not the same person I was before. I am more sad, skeptical, unsure, anxious, loving, compassionate, and able to hold more emotions. I am completely broken down by losing Ellie and I have learned slowly how to be a better person.
I know that Ellie and Sam are in God’s presence and being held by Jesus. My husband and I can’t wait for the day we will be reunited, and pray that God gives us living children on this earth one day.
This blog was written by Brooke Cooper in South Carolina. Cecilia has been with her husband Justin for 14 years and married for three. Together they have two babies in heaven, Sam and Eleanor.