November 19, 2021
“I remember wanting to just scream and yell and wake up from what I wished was a nightmare.
It was reality though.
My baby girl Savayra, was stillborn.”
December 22nd was the day. I woke up feeling weird. I was tired, overall agitated, and I didn’t feel my baby move…
We went to a friend’s birthday party even though I didn’t feel like going because of how I was feeling. But I told myself it’s ok. I should power through as these would be some of our last memories and moments with Amaaya as an only child before we bring another baby into the world.
I wanted to cherish each moment with Amaaya no matter what. When we came back home, I was so tired. I told Sunny (my partner) that I needed a nap, and I went to lay down. I slept for 2 hours, but when I woke up, I felt the same. There was absolutely no movement from baby.
At first, I didn’t think much of it as I had an ultrasound and OB visit just days prior and everything was looking perfect – absolutely no concerns! But something in my head was telling me that something doesn’t feel right. On the other hand, I was also telling myself that baby is probably just sleeping or she’s getting big and there’s less room to move around in there.
At around 7:00pm we had just finished dinner at my mom’s house, and I still hadn’t felt any movement. At this point I told Sunny that we needed to go get checked out, just to be sure. I kept saying “I’m sure everything is fine, but I just want that assurance.”
When we got to labor and delivery, the triage nurse checked for baby’s heartbeat via the Doppler and couldn’t find it. But she said, “It’s ok we will check with the NST machine.” They took me into the room and hooked me up to the machine, but they still couldn’t find a heartbeat. This was when my mind started to think the worst. Sunny and I started panicking at this point because it was so unusual for them not to pick up her heartbeat.
Next they said that they would bring in a bedside ultrasound. Again, no heartbeat. Then they said, “These machines aren’t the greatest, so we will call in an ultrasound tech with a bigger machine.” We waited silently together in the room, and in a way, I knew this wasn’t going to end well.
Then the doctor came in to talk to us and said that they have no medical reason as to why this happened. There was no heartbeat. The baby and I were healthy. There was nothing medically wrong. They said once we deliver the baby, we may get more answers.
The next morning, we were taken in for our c-section and once Savayra was delivered, and we found out that her cord was wrapped around her neck 2 times.
There was absolutely nothing the doctors or I could have done to change that outcome.
My whole pregnancy was flawless! Baby was hitting all her milestones, growing well. I was even healthier than my pregnancy with Amaaya.
Savayra weighed 7 lbs and 11 oz. she was so beautiful and perfect! The two days we spent with her in the hospital were so bittersweet, I’m glad I got to see her, hold her, take pictures with her. All of those things. But on the other hand, my heart was breaking more and more with each hour, as the reality was sinking in that I would be going home with a memory box instead of my baby.
After my c-section surgery on December 23rd, I repeatedly mentioned to my doctors and nurses that I needed to be discharged by Christmas morning. I needed to be with Amaaya and be there to give her the memorable Christmas morning that she was anticipating.
The nurses and doctors said that the sooner I was up and walking and doing things on my own, the quicker I could go home. That was my motivation. As soon as I felt my toes post surgery I asked for a walker, and I was up and slowly walking around.
I kept telling myself, “I can do this.” As painful as it was, I kept going. The morning of December 25th, the hospital discharged me, and we were able to go home. Saying our goodbyes to baby Savayra that morning was so hard. We held her, talked to her, kissed her and cuddled her for as long as we could.
We packed up our hospital room and walked out of the unit with a memory box which included the clothes we dressed her in, her blanket, foot and handprints, a lock of her hair, her teddy bear, and her certificate of life.
That was probably one of the most painful moments as a parent. Leaving the hospital with a memory box instead of my precious baby. With tears in our eyes and our hearts torn to pieces, we left the hospital.
It was Christmas morning, so we went to my mom’s house for Christmas and to see Amaaya. I tried so hard to keep myself together around Amaaya, I didn’t want her to see me cry. But as soon as I walked in the door, I instantly broke down. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that empty and broken. Ever.
When Amaaya would see me cry, she would ask, “Mommy are you ok? Why are you crying?” I would just answer with, “I’m ok baby, Mommy’s tummy just hurts.” She would then kiss me, kiss my tummy and ask, “Is that better Mommy?” With tear filled eyes, I would just hug her and say, “Yes. Thank you Amaaya, Mommy loves you.”
I didn’t even think of what was coming next. I would have to make some very hard decisions… I should’ve been planning a welcome home party but instead, here I was, having to plan my baby Savayra’s funeral. Thankfully my brother and sister helped us through this process, and we were able to plan a beautiful intimate funeral for our precious angel.
In our culture, the day prior to the funeral we do a ceremonial bath. Sunny, my mom, my sister, and myself went to the funeral home on December 27th, which happened to also be her actual due date. We got her ready and gave her a bath for the viewing and funeral the following day. It was so hard.
Seeing our child, lay lifeless on the table was the most shattering moment in our lives. I was so scared to give her the bath and dress her. I asked my mom to please help me, because I couldn’t do it on my own.
We dressed her in the outfit we bought to bring her home in, with socks and a hat, wrapped her in her blanky and tucked a stuffy in with her. We laid her down on a bed of pink rose petals and beside her, a picture of us. So, she is always protected and knows that Mommy, Daddy and her sister Amaaya will always love and protect her. We also tucked in a book called “Goodnight, I love you”. A book we planned to read her each night.
December 28th was the day of the funeral, and I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. Knowing that this would be the last time I could physically see her, touch her, or feel her. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe.
We had our close family and friends join us for the funeral. We did a prayer for her soul to Rest In Peace, and then Sunny and I carried our child, our Savayra, into the cremation room. Carrying my child for 9 months within my body, then carrying her into the cremation room to send her back to God, was heartbreaking. It was like I could feel my heart breaking into pieces. I was weak in my knees, I was out of breath, and tears were rushing down my face.
Sunny and I had a few moments alone with her before we had to physically let her go. At that point, we both prayed and looked at each other and together pushed that dreaded red button. We held each other, and I sobbed. Just like that, our Savayra was physically gone forever.
It’s been almost two years since the loss of Savayra, and her mother Amen, has been using her story to spread the word about pregnancy and infant loss through social media and her local support groups. Thank you to Amen for sharing her and Savayra’s story with us.
If you are interested in sharing your story of pregnancy or infant loss, DM us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.< Back to Blog