Still - peaceful; tranquil; calm, silent, remaining at rest, motionless
When I started writing our story, it was a little over 3 months since Arbor was born still and now it is 6 months. I have had to write this in stages, as the grief can be overwhelming at times. I am not quite sure where the time has gone but do know our life has been forever changed since losing our sweet Arbor.
It all happened so fast. One minute I was feeling very confident in my pregnancy, as I had just made it to the third trimester, which to me was the "safe zone." I had no clue that I was in any danger of something like this happening to our little girl. We were busy planning for her arrival and I had just started washing some of her baby blankets to prepare her nursery. We were so excited that in a couple months we would be meeting her and our life would change but had no idea that our life would change because she would be born still.
Many wonder what Stillborn means and it is when your child passes away during pregnancy after 20 weeks and is born silent. Our sweet Arbor's heart stopped beating due to a medical condition I had, preeclampsia, which caused my placenta to rupture from my uterus. I had felt some cramping, which was unusual, although there are many strange things that happen when you are pregnant, so I assumed it was gas. I also had not felt her usual activity. She was quite active (there is nothing more amazing to feel your baby move) and I loved feeling her move. During previous doctors appointments, I was told not to worry as I had an anterior placenta and as she got bigger I may not feel her as much but I did because she was usually so active. We ended up going to the Hospital for "precaution" which turned into being a nightmare. They tried to find her heartbeat and seconds turned into hours and time slowed as it became more and more obvious they weren't able to find her heartbeat. I knew, and just kept praying over and over again, "Lord, your will be done." The nurse left to get the doctor to do an ultrasound and the doctor uttered the words "I am so sorry." In that moment, everything was STILL. Time not only had stopped for our sweet Arbor but also for Adrien and myself. We were devastated, shocked, and had no idea what to do next. We just cried and prayed for strength for what was to happen.
We didn't want to tell people the heartbreaking news because it would make it real. How could this have happened? Everything was going perfect with the pregnancy and we did everything to make sure I was healthy. There were no signs of preeclampsia - no swelling, no severe weight gain, high blood pressure, protein in my urine- none of the symptoms you read about so how and WHY???? We eventually ended up calling our family and friends and told them the devastating news. They were all in disbelief, shocked as we were, and heartbroken. Our parents (Arbor's grandparents) were there as quickly as they could make it and became an unbelievable support.
Due to my preeclampsia and acute blood pressure, I had to be on medication that makes you feel very ill and so I was a bit out of it while I was in labor. I was induced and all I could think of is there is no way I can do this, I mean how do you deliver your child when you know they aren't going to be alive and will be silent? I was able to get through the delivery due to my amazing husband, Adrien, and his determination and support. There she was our precious daughter, Arbor Marie Langlois, born at 3:10 pm on February 19th at 28 weeks. She was 1.375 lbs, 13 inches and perfection. She had 10 fingers, 10 toes, perfectly formed and the most precious button nose you have ever seen.
Adrien and I, along with Arbor's grandparents, were able to spend time with her. We were also able to have her baptized which was so special. We ensured we took pictures of Arbor and us holding her and spent time telling her how much she is loved. We were able to make plans for her memorial and decisions that will allow us to have memories of her the rest of our life. I am not sure how we were able to make these decisions with how in shock we still were but am so happy we did.
I look back and can't believe it has been 6 months since she was born still. It feels like it was forever ago but at the same time feels like it was yesterday. Time has no meaning to me anymore and looking back at the past 6 months is just like looking back through fog. I can't seem to remember what has happened day to day and but just keep taking it a moment at a time.
Over this time, I have had to leave stores because I see pregnant women or women with babies and I lose it. I have been so jealous of friends that have delivered beautiful babies with no issues. I have been a creepy woman staring at babies and pregnant women wanting to tell them to hold their little ones tight and be so thankful for them. I have questioned God and asked the question WHY over and over again. Why US, WHY Arbor, WHY not the person that doesn't want a child????? I have laid on Arbor's bedroom floor and yelled out in agony and cried so many tears. I didn't know it was possible to have that many tears! I have stumbled through days and have had no idea how I got through them or what even happened during that day.
I look at each day now in moments as I have many breakdowns but these don't define if the day was good or bad. I try really hard to have good days regardless of how many "moments" I have, as there are so many things to be thankful for and enjoy.
You learn that grief is like the ocean and at first the waves are thrashing and hit you over and over again not letting you get up. Then the hurricane level waves lessen still knocking you down but don’t come as often. I am still navigating this journey of grief but because of our Sweet Arbor have been changed forever. I miss her every second of the day but am learning how to push forward and live life.
Sweet Arbor because of you our lives have been changed
and even though you are not with us physically you
Made us Parents
Live in our hearts
Are Our Daughter
Bring us so much joy
Make us proud