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  • Writer's pictureMother of Wilde

"Our Daughter Had a Large Encephalocele On the Back of Her Head."

Mother of Hadlee:

Growing up, my husband, Dominique, and I both came from pretty large families. So early into our relationship we both had decided that we also wanted a large family.

Shortly after getting married, we started trying.

I was lucky enough to get pregnant within about a month but, unfortunately, I had a miscarriage days after finding out.

A few months later I fell pregnant again, this time I went on to have an amazing pregnancy, minus the morning sickness, and had our beautiful daughter Amelia in January of 2020.

We waited until she was almost a year old to start trying for our second baby.

It took almost six months for me to become pregnant but we were so excited that we started telling some people right away.

This pregnancy turned into another miscarriage.

I somehow got pregnant less than two weeks later and within a few weeks, this resulted in another miscarriage.

We took a couple months off trying and in mid-August we found out that we were pregnant again.

This time we didn’t tell anyone.

I waited until I was between 12 and 15 weeks to tell our close family and friends. I wanted to wait until our anatomy scan that we had done at 18 weeks to tell our more distant family and announce our pregnancy.

Unfortunately we had received some really bad news that only happens in about every 1 of 10,000 pregnancies.

Our baby had a large encephalocele on the back of her head.

For those who don’t know what this is, when the baby is between 3-5 weeks, their skull begins to form. It is supposed to close completely but our babies did not at the back of her head, which resulted of about half of her brain forming and growing on the outside of the skull. In some cases this can be fixed, but in ours, it can’t.

Mom holding her daughter in the hospital that has a large encephalocele

We of course were devastated but wanted to continue on with this pregnancy in hopes that a miracle would happen.

But as our induction date gets closer, it’s not looking like anything is getting better.

Our little family is devastated.

We longed for this baby, and prayed for this baby, but some times we can’t always get what we want.

We are trying to be as positive as we can during this whole process, for our own sanity and for our other daughters sake but it’s really hard.

Family in a labor and delivery room holding their baby

At 37 weeks and 1 day I was included due to my high blood pressure.

Hadlee Ann was born on April 7, 2022 at 6:27am and passed away at 12:30pm. She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and around 18 inches long.

Her birth was a blur, but we did get to have her big sister in the room during delivery and she actually held my hand while I pushed. She was one of the first people who got to hold Hadlee.

Little girl sitting on her dads lap holding her moms hand in labor

We pray that no one ever has to go through something this difficult as we would never wish this on anyone, but if something does happen to your sweet baby, just know that you aren’t alone.

I don’t want our daughters life to be looked over and be told that it wasn’t worth it. I want her life to be celebrated the best way possible.

In honor of Hadlee, she is going to be an organ donor, in hopes to save another babies life.

It’s now been a few months and the grief doesn’t get easier. I love that little things like feathers and butterflies remind me of Hadlee, but there’s also a reminder that she’s not here.

Days and weeks go by and I wish we’d get to witness her grow but sometimes life isn’t fair.

Newborn infant girl with encephalocele holding a cross in a bassinet

This blog article was written by Monica Eagle in West Virginia. Monica has been married to her husband, Dominique, for four years. Together they have two daughters: Amelia, who is almost 3 and Hadlee who is with Jesus.


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