Despite some morning sickness, I had a picture perfect pregnancy until the day my world got turned upside down. I always believed the “danger zone” was the first trimester, but I was in my third trimester. The nursery was done, and my daughter’s closet was filled with the cutest newborn clothes.
It was a beautiful spring afternoon in March when everything changed; all of the sudden I felt like someone was stabbing me in the back. I recall talking to my mom and telling her about the pain, but also that I felt like my life was being syphoned out of me. Little did I know it was.
I had developed a pregnancy complication called HELLP Syndrome. It is rare and in my case it was atypical. HELLP syndrome is dangerous. The maternal mortality rate has been reported as high as 25%-30% while the infant mortality rate stretches upto 60%. I had never heard of it and while I felt bad, I had no idea it was related to my pregnancy. Upon arriving at the hospital, we learned how sick I actually was. They gave me a 30% chance of survival and my daughter a 10% chance. Sadly, the distress from the complication and the attempt at delivery was too much for her, and she died in the process. I would spend another week in the ICU fighting for my life, a detail that only complicated the grief.
In the weeks that followed, I found myself unable to even say her name. I would open my mouth to talk and be met with a lump in my throat and so many tears. We closed the door to nursery for months. It wasn’t until I found a support group that I was able to begin to process my grief. Ansley will always be a part of our family and part our story. She would be 9 years old.