Hello and Goodbye

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Told by: Claire

On Friday 25th November 2011, my baby girl Keira Kate was born and died. She was 21 weeks. We had found out a month before that our baby had a severe and complex heart defect that she would not be about to survive. We were told that there was nothing that the doctors could do for us. And so we were faced with the agonising decision of whether to allow our daughter to continue to full term and then die or to allow her to go early and possibly suffer less. I decided to be induced. I knew that I wanted to give birth to my daughter. I wanted to see her and hold her. And I wanted to protect her from further suffering. I was in labour for four days. Her actual birth was surprisingly quick. She was perfect. My husband and I held her, took photos of her, wrapped her in a blanket, marvelled at her. And eventually, we let her go. The nurses took her hand and footprints for us and we’ve kept that little card framed between two photos of her tiny hands and feet. I had to have a D&C afterwards, but we were able to go home that evening. That was the hardest part – going home without my baby. It’s now been three months, and it’s still hard. Some days are better than others, but then, some days are worse. I miss my little girl. I miss the life I had dreamt for her. I miss the family we were to become with her. But I celebrate that she was here, that she touched our lives, that she made us into parents. It has been an enormous comfort to have had those short hours with her at her birth. It has helped that she has a name, that she is acknowledged as our daughter. It has helped to have photos of her. I so desperately want more time with her, but I am so grateful that I could at least see her and hold her and know her as mine.

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  1. Oh Claire… I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Kiera. This is a pain that truly transforms us into different people… I lost my children almost 8 and 7 years ago (two losses almost exactly 1 year apart). Please know, there is life after loss. You will never *get over* your baby- you will never get over losing your daughter. But you will go on and the pain and grief will come less often… even now, there are still days that I weep for my lost ones. I am their mother- that’s what mothers do. They love their babies and they hurt when they are gone.

    I know your little girl felt how much you loved and wanted her. I know she felt how excited you were about living a life with her. And her life- no matter how short- matters… Everyday that you go forward in the world, you take her with you. The *fact* of Kiera has changed you forever- and so she has impacted this world.

    Blessings to you and to your family as you discover what beautiful things will happen because of Kiera’s life…


  2. Maggie Kuttner says:

    I am someone who can related to this exactly. On March 15th 2012, I found out my daughter had a fatal cepahlic disorder when I went in for the anatomy ultrasound. Her brain never developed past her braind stem and cerebellum. She also had traits of trisomy 13 (waiting for genetic testing and autopsy results) and a cleft palate. She would be brain dead and only live a few minutes-hours but would be pretty much lifeless. My husband and I made the heart breaking and life changing decision to induce at 20 weeks. We could have carried to term, but she most likely would have suffered and I didn’t want my baby to suffer. It was the worst and hardest decision we ever had to make and I question myself every single day on if it was the right decision or not. It’s been almost 3 weeks and I still cry daily, but I find comfort in knowing that we got to hold her and look at her and had her blessed by the hospital chaplain. She was born on St. Patrick’s Day… so every St. Patrick’s Day while people are celebrating the holiday, we will be celebrating the life and death of our daughter. I know your loss happened before mine, but know that with time it will get easier and that although life will never feel normal, we are now living a new “normal” and we will adjust at some point.

    My story is under “Our Sweet Makayla Rose”

    Blessings and prayers for you to heal and adjust to the new life you live.


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