Ariella's Story

My husband and I were so excited - our first child was due on February 5th, 2013. I'd had a pretty uneventful pregnancy, if you ignore the intense morning sickness that had me basically bed-ridden for 3 months! There was no indication of any problems, everything was going well.

On Monday January 28, Julie, our midwife, came over for my scheduled checkup. I was just under 39 weeks pregnant, so Hubby and I knew that our baby could be arriving at any moment, and we were getting pretty keen to meet our child! Both us and Julie had been on holidays since we'd last seen each other, so after discussing our holidays, Julie went through the normal routine of measuring blood-pressure, asking questions, etc. It was all normal. But then she tried to listen to our baby's heartbeat. After trying for a while, she couldn't find one. Sometimes a baby can be in an awkward position that makes it difficult to hear their heart. She suggested we hop in the car and head to the hospital to get an ultrasound. So that's what we did. 

After arriving at the hospital's birth centre, Julie showed us into a room, and said she'd be back with the ultrasound machine soon. She brought it in, accompanied by the doctor, who then started the scan. Normally unltrasounds had been exciting - we'd had five of them throughout the pregnancy, so we knew what to expect. But there was nothing exciting about this scan. After a few minutes, Hubby and I heard the hardest words we've ever had to hear - "I'm really sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat."

Since they were using the portable scanner, which doesn't have colour imaging or audio, they organised for us to go downstairs to get another scan. But that was basically just a formality - we already knew that our precious child had died. After the second scan, we went back to our room and were given some time alone to decide what to do. We decided we needed a bit of time to process things and therefore decided that I would be induced the following day.

On Tuesday, they started the induction process. Our pastor brought us dinner, and I remember him praying that my body would act as though it had gone into labour by itself, rather than needing a lot of medical interventions. God answered that prayer, and I laboured during the night, with the support of my wonderful husband and midwife.

At 9am, Wednesday January 30, I gave birth to our precious daughter Ariella Jade. Both labour and birth went smoothly, for which we were grateful. The hospital allowed us to make all the decisions, including how long we wanted to stay. My parents came to meet their new granddaughter that afternoon, and our pastor came later that day too. On Thursday my uncle came to meet Ariella and see us, and Thursday night we came home. Leaving my darling Ariella was the hardest thing I had ever had to do.

My sister arrived from overseas the next Monday, my mother-in-law came from interstate on Wednesday, and on Thursday we farewelled our baby girl with a small service.

There is no explanation for Ariella's death, just like there isn't for approximately half of all stillbirths. But we do know that God is still good; He gave us 39 weeks with our precious girl. Ariella Jade will always be our precious firstborn, she will always be a part of our family.

17 comments:

Living Faith Church said...

Thank you for sharing your story Larissa.
Does your husband feel like writing? I am interested in what he has to share.

Larissa said...

He's not that into writing...it's more my thing than his! :P One day I might talk to him about it and see if he'd want to share anything.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my baby girl in November and life will never be the same. Saying a prayer for you right now during these early weeks of grief. <3

Larissa said...

Thank you for your prayers. I'm sorry that you have also lost your sweet daughter.

Anna said...

I am sorry for your loss Larissa. I got you requests and will update my blog directory as soon as I can, tnx for sharing. (hugs)

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing your story--I am so sorry for your loss. My son was stillborn on his due date April 14, 2012, and like your daughter, no reason could be found for his death. You are right-- God is still good.

Larissa said...

Thank you Anna

Larissa said...

Thank you Julie, I'm sorry you lost your precious son.

Simone Arkley said...

Your strength astounds me Larissa, sweet Ariella is lucky to have such beautiful parents! I can not begin to comprehend your pain, it saddens me so many parents have known it. Thank you for sharing your story with us, I hope in doing so we can help take some of the load for you and your husband.

Larissa said...

Thank you so much Simone. It does help to know that other people have read and know Ariella's story.

Julie said...

Hugs beautiful girl. And to that lovely man of yours too. I believe your Ariella Jade was one of the colourful butterflies that graced your wedding cake... though I'm sure they didn't do her beauty any justice. Lots of love from Julie (and Andrew) T

Larissa said...

Thank you Julie. Marcus and I still talk about how much we loved our wedding cake!

Janie said...

Hugs to you. My daughter Mari gave birth on February 25, 2014 to Madilyn Jane Sobey who was a stillborn angel at 42 weeks. We are so heartbroken.

Larissa said...

Oh Jani, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of little Madilyn Jane. Was she named after you? I'm sure you are heartbroken - it's such a sad thing to have happened. You are in my thoughts and prayers xx

Julia Hetzel said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your precious little girl! :-( you are an inspiration to me, i am passionate about love and caring for God's precious little ones! I am praying for you! I cried when i read this

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Keri Rankin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My son was stillborn in February of this year at 36 weeks gestation. I started a blog to share our story just a week after his death (www.momentswithmorris.com), and I have found writing to be therapeutic. Your faith and strength are inspirational, and I am so grateful to you for sharing it. I find so much hope in reading others stories. God is good. <3

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