Willa, she’s an absolutely beautiful girl, my child.
She’s blonde, which may come as a surprise to many of you.
When Oakley was born she had such dark hair and the one thing I remember so prominently about her was her eyebrows, she had the best eyebrows. And still does.
Willa is so different and always was.
There are so many parts of me that felt so disconnected to this pregnancy.
That may sound genuinely fucked up coming from someone who carried a baby for 9 months. But looking back, I felt like I knew the entire time that I would never actually get to meet my sweet Willa.
As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I knew we were having a baby girl.
I just knew.
Anyone that knows Chad Trigg fully…the beautiful person he is…knows that he honestly deserves to have a house full of girls, just because of the character that he’s always been.
I remember as soon as we found out we were having another girl, I giggled inside and just thought “Oh Chad, you have your work cut out for you now. Better get those shot guns ready.”
We all know, how much of an outgoing, beautiful, caring little soul Oakley is and if her little sissy was going to be anything like her, he was doomed.
He is doomed.
I had the privilege of carrying Willa for nine beautiful months.
I had chose her name long before we were even pregnant with her, I just loved it.
When I told others what her name would be, I received lots of dislike and comments such as “Willa! Will she what?”
I’m the type of person that doesn’t care about other peoples opinions. We get people questioning us often about things such as; homeschooling, vaccination and free-range children but at the end of the day myself, just as many of you, only hope to raise healthy, happy, good members of society.
I chose Willa’s name because it means “protector” and I knew that long before she came into our lives.
This is an image I had saved on my phone months before I even knew we were having another baby let alone being blessed with another little girl.
How I knew? I don’t know but Willa will always be our protector.
Another thing that is strange, I always referred to her as my “little bird”, I don’t know if I always knew she was going to fly away or if it just had spiritual meaning to me as I have a deep love and appreciation for birds.
I had chosen fabric for her swaddle, headbands and hat all with little birds.
When I was pregnant with Oakley I had such joy, fascination and love when picking things for our sweet little being. When I was pregnant with Willa, I felt as though I didn’t want to accumulate more things. I still filled her dresser and chose some beautiful garments for her to be taken home in but it wasn’t the same.
On Monday April 2, when I went for my routine check up I had already been dilated 4 cm the week prior. On the drive to my appointment I was excited for my mama and Oakley to hear Willas sweet heartbeat. I remember talking to my Mom on the drive and telling her that it was so weird but “I hadn’t been able to picture what Willa would look like and with Oakley how I had a clear recollection of what she would be like, she was just that.”
That day, April 2, I went in for my routine, I peed in a cup, I got weighed, I got my blood pressure checked, everything was normal.
My mama and Oaks came in to listen to Willas heartbeat and my doctor bless his soul, could only find mine. We didn’t know that at the time… I was told that I would go to the hospital for an NST just to find a stronger heartbeat. I still got my membranes swept and was 6 cm dilated. I was hopeful that we just couldn’t find her heartbeat on the doppler as she liked to move around a lot. My mom told me later that as she left that tiny stale room, filled with pictures of live babies covering the walls, Oakley being one of them, that my doctor asked her “why she had come today as I normally come alone.”
We drove over to the hospital, my Mom stayed in the waiting room with my Oaks and I went into one of the maternity rooms alone, strong and not assuming.
I had three different nurses try to find a heartbeat with the NST and none of them could find anything and then the last, nurse I had, found a heartbeat.
I remember telling her “thank god, I was starting to panic.” She reassured me and told me she was going to make a phone call, the heartbeat she had found…was mine.
My doctor who works more hours than anyone, how he functions, sleeps, has time for his family or remembers all of his patients names is a mystery to me… he came over from the clinic and brought in the ultra-sound machine and told me it didn’t look good.
I didn’t have my phone so I asked the nurses to go and get my mom from the waiting room, the same room that both she and my beautiful mother-in-law paced a year and a half prior waiting for our sweet Oakley Elsie.
That’s when I broke down in tears for the first time. I had to tell my mom as she was holding my sweet toddler that “there was no heartbeat”, it broke my heart.
I finally got my phone and tried to get ahold of Chad whom was at work. I couldn’t get through to him. When he finally called me back, I will never forget the eager, excited sound in his voice, ready to come meet his new baby girl. When I had to tell him that she was coming but there wasn’t a heartbeat… that is when my heart finally broke.
Our Willa Hain had been dead for mere hours.
We still don’t know what happened to her and we will probably never know.
She chose to live for nine months and bless us with all of the hopes, dreams and love of having another girl, another daughter, a sister.
We had to drive to St. Albert as my doctor had other patients in labour and honestly and truly he couldn’t face the fact that a patient of his, whom had a perfectly healthy, wonderful pregnancy, whom was 4 cm dilated last week, would now have to deliver a
dead baby. I don’t blame him, how in the world would you ever tell someone that you have built a relationship with that their baby wasn’t alive?
My mom drove and I sat there in the reality of what just happened. Going from being so excited to finally meet our second daughter…to dealing with the fact that I would get to meet her but she wouldn’t be alive.
I made jokes.
I tried to be strong.
I worried about Oakley.
I worried about Chad who was fervently on his way to be by my side.
At this time… we still weren’t given a positive affirmation that our sweet Willa was gone.
My mom, Oakley and I were sent to the emergency entrance of the hospital, where people with the flu, minor colds and unsuspected illnesses were waiting to see a doctor.
We had to go to triage, where a nurse asked me why I was there.
This is the first time I broke down.
I had to tell her that we were sent there because no one could find my babies heartbeat.
She fervently sent us to admitting.
Where the admitting lady continued to ask us questions about my name, age, address etc. and then when it came time to ask why we were there… she tried to send us back to emergency admitting.
Not one person asked if I was okay.
Not one person wanted to deal with the Mom who was carrying a dead baby.
We were sent upstairs into a different part of the building.
We had to walk down corridors, ride elevators and pass construction that was happening in the hospital.
We finally found the maternity wing.
How someone whose baby is not alive, gets put on the maternity wing is still a question to me.
I was placed in a room at the end of the hall, passing multiple rooms filled with nurses, doctors and crying babies along the way.
We still didn’t have 100% confirmation that our girl was gone.
I was put in this “birthing room” that wasn’t equipped with anything, at the end of an old, stale, white, hallway.
This hallway was much the same as how my doctors office felt that day.
Always open, welcoming and supportive of families with live babies.
A photographer had images, huge canvases, lining the walls with their lifes work.
Images of beautiful, smiling, live babies… whom I’m sure brought comfort to everyone leaving that ward… but not to me.
I waited in this room for what felt like hours.
Chad finally arrived.
We were sent down to the x-ray and ultrasound ward. We followed the nurse that was assigned to us.
We followed her down a deep, dark staircase, through more stark white hallways and passed construction to the place that would determine our fate.
Chad held my hand the whole way down, held my hand as we waited and held my hand as we were taken into a dark room with the ultra sound machine.
The technician seemed happy and even though she knew, couldn’t tell us a single thing.
We traipsed back through that long dark corridor, back through the photos of all of the live babies, passed the crying babies, back to the room at the end of the hall.
And that’s where we sat.
After what felt like years with no one talking to us, Chad finally went out to see if someone would give us an answer.
The doctor who was given our case, came in out of sorts, questioning why no one had come to talk to us.
She told me in a verifying tone ” so the technician didn’t find anything, these are your options.”
She proceeded to tell us that we could have a c-section which many people opt for when they know there baby isn’t living, but it would be a crucial surgery or I could birth her naturally in the way I intended all along.
This is when it finally hit me.
I had to make a decision, whether I wanted to birth my baby whom was not living or have her taken from my body without connection.
The person that I am, I opted for a vaginal birth, so that I could feel every second of her being, being projected from mine.
I needed that and so did everyone around me.
Chads parents came for Oakley.
They came and they were there for us when we needed them most.
I asked my Mom to stay because I didn’t think that Chad nor I was strong enough to do it alone.
We are forever thankful for the support we received at this time.
I went through many contractions without any medication but opted for an epidural as I didn’t want to undergo more pain than I was already feeling emotionally.
We had a new nurse come in and she was specifically assigned to us, because she was a mom of loss and knew how to deal with people who have lost babies.
I was induced and had the medication turned up so I could undergo what was about to happen faster.
I asked this new nurse questions.
I asked her how many birthing rooms there was in the hospital, she responded “10 and then this one.”
I don’t know if because she was a mom of loss, or if she had just dealt with this more than we knew… that prior comment seemed so disconnected to me.
The hot water didn’t get to this room, the wifi hardly worked and it was ill equipped for birthing babies. That is all because it was specifically assigned to individuals who had complications or babies that weren’t alive. I remember my nurse trying to put my drip in and she kept saying how everything was defective in this room, how she needed to leave to go get more supplies… all I could think was “yes everything is defective, as it’s meant for defective babies.”
I remember being so upset about those comments at the time, but Willa was anything but defective.
She was and is perfect.
I didn’t cry very much, everyone commented about how I was in control.
Chad and I played cards and worked through each contraction, just as we did when we birthed our sweet Oakley.
I stood in the shower waiting for it to get warm, I breathed and I prayed.
Willa was ready to come just shortly after midnight.
With three pushes, she was here, all of her.
All of her beautiful blonde hair, her sweet little toes and sadly her lifeless body.
I never got to hear her cry.
While everyone had already told us that she was gone, there was so many parts of me that hoped they were wrong and I would at least get to hear her cry.
We wrapped her in the little bird swaddle and hat I had made for her.
We held her, we loved her and we took every single little bit of her in, just as we did with our Oaks.
We took pictures, we cried, we dreamed of what could have been and we were mad at the world.
We said hello and we said goodbye to her beautiful little soul.
That night I couldn’t sleep.
Chad tried to sleep beside me, my mama at my feet, I was awake the whole time.
I just wanted to leave.
The door was left open, I heard people in labour. People crying and shouting out in pain and babies crying.
Little did they know, their pain was nothing…compared to the mama just down the hall.
My nurse told us the earliest we could be released was 6 am unless we wanted to wait to talk to the psychologist, with the schooling I have… I ran my nurse through the stages of grief and she decided we were well equipped to leave. But we couldn’t leave until we looked through the memory box the hospital had put together for us… foot prints, hand prints, a lock of hair, her hospital bands….and then we had to go through the birth and death paperwork and make arrangements for our baby to be buried.
If you can even imagine.
Chad started the vehicle as my Mom and I gathered our belongings.
A hospital bag filled with new born diapers, tiny outfits and little socks that read “made with love” and that she was. Made with all of the love, hopes and dreams in the world.
We were left alone.
No nurses, no doctors and no one to escort us out.
My mom and I grabbed my purse, water bottles, the hospital bag and then I had to pick up the small circular purple box filled with everything that was Willa Hain.
We walked down that hallway.
We walked passed the nurses station with individuals just coming on shift.
We walked passed rooms with sleeping Dads and crying babies.
We walked passed all of the photos of the live babies on the walls.
And that is where I broke.
I didn’t cry or sob or fall…
Until I had to walk through that hallway with all of the live babies on the walls.
The hallway where so many others got to graciously leave with their new bundle, wrapped in blankets, in their car seat.
And all I got to leave with is the worst memories of my fucking life, a small circular, purple box and these photos.
From one mama to another… you are a fucking warrior.
Willa Hain walks with me through each and every day.
This isn’t the end of Willas story but it is the end for now.
Fly high Willa Bird and Thank-You for protecting us.