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Bella Joy

December 18, 2021

It was Friday, November 1st. It had been a busy, fun filled day spent running errands, celebrating our daughter Bailey’s third birthday, and preparing for my husband Chris to head back to work in Saskatchewan. This was the day we found out Jesus had called our precious baby, Bella Joy, who was due in just a few short weeks, home to be with him.

Throughout the day, I had been feeling a little uneasy about Bella’s lack of activity. I had mentioned it to my sister who assured me it was most likely nerves and that she was just losing room to move around now that we were so close to her due date.

A few days prior, I had a routine doctors appointment and everything seemed to be going really well. Heart beat was strong, as per usual, and so I didn’t think too much of it. It wasn’t until later that evening, after Chris had left for work and both the girls were asleep that I started to really question it. I was spending time relaxing and watching some tv, and I was still not feeling her move. During these times Bella would usually wake up and turn my stomach into her own personal jungle gym, but this time she wasn’t giving me the show I always looked forward to during our time alone together. This was my first red flag moment. I tried moving her around to try and rouse her awake, but there was no movement. That was when I asked my brothers to come stay with my daughters Madison and Bailey, and called up my sister-in-law to come with me to the emergency room to make sure everything was still ok. 

We got to the ER and they took me to a private room where the nurse did a quick listen to where the heart beat should be heard, but there was nothing. She told me that she might just be not doing it right and that the doctor on call that night would come and give it try. 

The doctor came in with the portable ultrasound, and while he was checking baby for a heartbeat, his face and silence said all I had to hear. The heart had stopped and baby was gone. 

It felt like I was in a different place, as if this wasn’t actually happening. As shock from the news sank in, I proceeded to call my husband, Chris. He had just got to the camp where he stayed during the weeks he was gone at work, about three hours away. So he immediately got back in his car and drove those longer than usual three hours to get back home. Thankfully my sister-in-law stayed with me until Chris got home, and then stayed with my other daughters while we went back to the hospital to be induced.

We were admitted to the hospital and met with the doctor on call that day. Given that this was a smaller rural hospital, we were asked if we would be open to delivering in a larger hospital about 45 minutes away, as they have more experience in still deliveries. However, Chris and I didn’t want to be so far from the girls and our families, so after explaining our wishes to the doctor, he did a lot of advocating for us to we were finally given to clearance to stay and deliver close to home. 

It took two days for my body to be induced and be ready to deliver our sweet angel baby. 

By the second day, which was a Sunday, we had decided to do an epidural. This was relatively new to the hospital in our town, and the only nurse skilled to run the drip was not on shift that weekend. Thankfully they were able to reach her after her church service, and she was willing to come in and assist with the epidural. 

From the beginning, God was so good, and so gentle with us. He placed staff in our path who would bless our situation so much. There was the doctor pulling strings to keep us in our local hospital. Then the only doctor able to administer the epidural being available. (He was the only one doing the procedure for multiple rural hospitals.) And then the only nurse who was trained to run the drip for the epidural being willing to come in for us. The respect and love from everyone involved made this nightmare we were in, into a peaceful dark valley. 

Sunday November 3rd Bella Joy Giesbrecht arrived with the most deafening silence that sent my heart into shattered pieces. 

After I had delivered, they had asked if I wanted to see her. Chris immediately shook his head as he didn’t think I was ready to see what he saw when he witnessed the delivery. Her skin had begun thinning while she was still in the womb. So as she came out the slightest of pressures on her little body, pulled her skin down as if she had been wearing panty hose. 

Once I had collected my emotions, Chris and I decided it was time I met our daughter no matter how she looked. 

The staff had wrapped her like they would any other newborn baby. And as they handed her to me, I saw a beautiful full head of dark black curly hair, and a face so perfect and peaceful. 

From that moment on she didn’t leave my sight or arms. 

 

We got to spend as much time as we wanted with her before they sent her with the coroner to be brought to the funeral home. One of my brothers was out of town for work as well and was allowed to come home as soon as he heard the news of his still born niece. So we waited until my brother could come, even though it was after visiting hours had ended (another God lead situation that the staff allowed.) 

Throughout all that was happening, the nurses that day had taken it upon themselves to take foot and hand prints of Bella. They took a couple stands of her hair for us to keep. The nurse who came in during her day off to handle the epidural drip, asked if she could take a few pictures of our last moments with Bella from my cell phone. All things I had not even thought of, as I was more focused on taking in every bit of her physical being. Touching her face. Memorizing her hair, lips, weight, skin tones, all of it. Just soaking in as much of her as we could before we had to let her go. 

Once my brother had said his goodbyes, we handed her over to the staff. 

November 8, 2013 we laid her to rest with a crowd of people whom we love, and who loved us in our deepest saddest moment.  Although her passing was tragic and sad, knowing she gets to be raised in the presence of her heavenly father and has never experienced heartaches and breaks, gives me joy. I know that one day I will see her again and get to know her. And she will show me around in the place she’s always called home. 

Thank you to Jen and her husband Chris for sharing their story and Bella with us. If you would like to share your story of pregnancy or infant loss, contact us at contact@angelbaby.ca

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More Blog Stories

Christopher: When Miracles Don’t Happen

March 3, 2022

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Cari – Pregnancy After Multiple Losses

March 27, 2022