Ed and I were thrilled when we saw a long awaited positive pregnancy test. We couldn't wait to find out if Gavin and Brian were having a brother or a sister! My pregnancy was much more relaxing than the others, which was a welcome treat. Every ultrasound, and there were many, showed a healthy baby.
When we found out that we were having a daughter... life couldn't have gotten any better. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. We quickly named her Darcy Claire and I posted this video announcement from Gavin and Brian on my CaringBridge journal. We were overjoyed.
By five months, nearly everything was ready. We had her crib, her bedding, her dresser... we had a closet full of beautiful girl clothes... and plenty of shoes and toys and dolls.
Then one day, making baby food in the kitchen, I felt breathless. And I noticed my legs felt crampy. I called my OB. Based on my symptoms, he felt more concerned about my health than the baby's and told me to go to the E.R.
It was in the E.R., after being monitored and tested and checking out okay - that I asked if they could check on Darcy. To be honest, I wasn't worried about her... I just thought it would be nice to peek in at her if I had the opportunity. The nurse first brought in a doppler - and he couldn't find her heartbeat. I didn't panic - I know it can often be hard to find. He called someone down to the E.R. from the Obstetric floor. She couldn't find it, either. When an OB doctor I recognized came into my room wheeling an ultrasound machine, I knew it was over. I just knew. My beautiful Darcy Claire was gone. I was by myself and my grief was uncontrollable. I had to call and tell Ed on the phone - and then get myself home.
We decided that I would deliver Darcy. I thought she deserved a proper birth... to meet her Mommy and Daddy... to be held and loved. I had to see her. I didn't know that it would take an unprecedented 5 1/2 days in the hospital for my body to let her go. My OB tried several different induction methods, none of which were pleasant, but she just wouldn't come out. I guess she wasn't ready to leave... just as I wasn't ready to let her go.
Hours after Mother's day on May 10, 2010, Darcy Claire was born. She was 6 1/2 ounces and 7 1/2 inches long.
Despite the horrific circumstances, her birth was peaceful. The doctor told us it was a freak cord accident. Her cord was long and twisted - the worst constriction he's ever seen. There was nothing that could have been done to save her - and no way I could have known that it happened. I held her for 5 1/2 hours until it was time to turn her over to the funeral director.
Her body was cremated and we have her ashes in a beautiful silver urn. Some of her ashes are also in a locket that I wear every day. A company in Australia gifted it to me and managed to engrave her actual handprints onto the front - with her name on the back.
We were also generously gifted a pink cherry tree for our front yard by a local Arborist who's wife had gone through a similar experience. This experience showed us that there are such kind people in this world.
It is still so hard for me to believe that she's gone. And I find it ironic to this day that I carried her for 5 1/2 months... it took 5 1/2 days to deliver her... and I held her for 5 1/2 hours.
A few days after I came home from the hospital, we had a family memorial. Ed and I brought Gavin and Brian out to our yard and we all released pink balloons...
...like love letters to Heaven.
Shortly after the experience, I needed to do something to ease my grief. I created a video keepsake that I treasure to this day. You can view it HERE with the small warning that there are some images of Darcy that may be upsetting.
I have been through a lot of pretty awful things in my lifetime... but losing our daughter was, without a doubt, the most shattering experience of my life. It has also changed me profoundly - in a good way. I feel her with me all the time... and I really think the whole experience has made me a better Mommy. Perhaps that's what she was sent here to do.
I will always honor and remember Darcy Claire Leong
until the day I die.