Our Stillbirth Story

Our daughter was stillborn on September 3rd, 2020 at 11:50pm. Gestational age: (23 weeks + 1 day), Birthweight: 0.51 kg

When we got to know

There are no words to describe that feeling. My husband and I were over the moon when we got a phone call from the doctor confirming the test results and telling us that we are pregnant. It was such an amazing feeling. I started being more careful in day-to-day activities. He started taking care of me more than before. I started monitoring my weight and weekly progress of the pregnancy through an app. The doctor sent us for the very first ultrasound. I had to go inside alone due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. I so wanted him to be with me but that wasn’t possible.

My first ultrasound: when the sonographer showed me the ultrasound on the computer screen, I could not understand at first. Then she explained and showed me the heart and I heard the heartbeat. It was so magical. I took photos and videos on my cell phone and showed it to him. He was so happy to see them. I also got the hard copies of the ultrasound. From that day on, I couldn’t wait to meet her, hold her in my arms. I started thinking about what she would look like. Honestly, I wanted a mini-me lol.

We told our families, everyone was very happy to hear this great news. I had a 12 week down syndrome test, everything was normal.

When waking up, saying good morning to her was the first thing I used to say. Started craving some sweet & savoury things. He used to go get anything I wanted anytime. He did not let me do house chores. I continued to work at my office as I didn’t have anything else to do and it was work from home during the pandemic so it was good. I did not feel any morning sickness or nausea. It was always very good. And I never felt any pain or discomfort during my pregnancy. I loved my belly getting big knowing that she is growing. I used to take a lot of photos to see the transformation.

Everything changed

Doctor sent me for my next ultrasound. I did not know the importance of the ultrasound at that time. Basically it is called an anatomy scan, where they check everything about the baby and it is the longest one. They get the measurement of all the body parts of the baby. We got to know the gender of our baby as well.
It was taking very long, at that time I did not have any idea that something was wrong. I got the ultrasound photos from the doctor and left the clinic.

It was Friday. Weekend went fine.

On Monday I got a call from my doctor saying that the ultrasound wasn’t clear and they wanted to send me to another ultrasound the next day and this time at the hospital and not at the clinic. I went in and the ultrasound took so long again. Then I heard the sonographer talking to the doctor saying, it is the same as Friday’s one. My heart sank in… because at that moment I knew something wasn’t right. I couldn’t stop crying but my husband tried to calm me down and then we waited for the doctor to call and tell us before we jumped to any conclusion. The doctor called the next morning, she said the results are the same and they booked me for another ultrasound in the fetal medicine department of one of the best hospitals in the city, they have a high risk pregnancy center there. I got an appointment for the next week.

Everything changed for us at that moment, I saw my husband crying. It was so painful. We told our families. They asked us not to lose hope. I was trying to pull myself together but it was very hard. I used to talk to my baby asking please don’t leave me.

Took a half day from work, went in for my appointment. There was a very long wait. I got a couple build tests done. They wanted to monitor if my pregnancy has any effects on my health because high risk pregnancy can put mothers at high risk too. My blood tests were fine. I went in for an ultrasound. First nurse came in, did the ultrasound and told me that the doctor will come and check. Then the doctor came in, she did the ultrasound again. She asked if your husband is with you, I said yes he is waiting outside as he was not allowed due to pandemic restrictions. She said we will allow him as i want him to be with you when i share this. I was so scared. My husband came into the room. She told us that the baby is not doing well. She has a condition and told us babies with this condition don’t survive and pass away within the womb. I couldn’t believe it and asked her sorry? She said I am sorry to say but most probably the baby won’t make it and will eventually pass away.

We were in shock. They gave us some time alone. I cried so hard. Asked him why this is happening…..

Doctor came back. Gave us two options. One is to get some tests done and find the reason for this but she also said that, not always you know the reason and if you know there is not always the cure for it. The second option is to stop the pregnancy because in most cases this situation gets worse as the time passes and you see more and more fluid and does not give a room for the baby to breathe and also affects mothers health … the world stopped for me that time…. I was 21 weeks pregnant at that time. They asked us to take time to think but there was no thinking needed, we can’t think about stopping the pregnancy, that thought just gave us the worst feeling ever. We went for tests. We still had hope. We wanted to know the cause and find a way to make things better. For the tests they took some fluid out of my belly. I felt pain and cramps, which was expected. They booked me for another visit next week to see the progress. We came out of the hospital. Sat down somewhere. Cried our hearts out. We discussed and hoped that things will be better in the next visit. But also, all I could think about is what the doctor said. I was praying that God please make it easy for us and I can’t make this decision. We can’t imagine stopping this pregnancy because I was thinking that by continuing this we are letting her suffer more. Everyday after that was very challenging.

I become unsure about everything in life. Everything seemed so difficult. That thought of her leaving us could not let me sleep.

I used to talk to her as much as i wanted. I saw my husband struggling with his work as well.

I had an appointment at sick kids hospital the next day to get the baby’s heart checked. I saw so many kids there. So many parents with their kids. The doctor did the ultrasound and told me that the baby’s heart is absolutely fine. It felt so good to hear that. We went for our second appointment. I was 22 weeks pregnant. Had the blood test done again at the start of the appointment. And then waited for my term for the ultrasound.

Finally I went in. The doctor told me the blood tests are fine. But in ultrasound there is no improvement and they see the condition worsen. I was heartbroken. They again asked us what we wanted to do. We said we want to continue with the pregnancy. They booked us next week.

No Heartbeat…

It was our 3rd appointment. I was 23 weeks pregnant. We went for our appointment. Blood tests done, they were okay. Went in for an ultrasound. When the sonographer was doing the ultrasound, it took her very long. I was also looking at the screen. She was pressing and trying to find something. Said sorry to me for pressing hard on the belly. After a couple minutes I could see that look on her face.. She stopped the machine and said sorry there is no heartbeat……………………….

I could not breathe.. Those tears… she was gone…… Oh God…. My husband never heard the heartbeat….. Oh God… Why… They asked my husband to come inside the hospital to be with me. We both thought that we let her suffer and now she is gone…. Our baby girl died that day, our hope died, our dream died…

Doctor told me that I have to deliver the baby. They said that we don’t have to do it right away. And they can book us for the next morning in the birthing unit.

My husband was dealing with all this as I was not able to process anything.

They told me to take medication to induce labor. Which takes 24 hrs to react.

I could not stop crying all the way home. Once we reached, my husband asked me to try to sleep as we had to leave for the hospital early in the morning. I told him that I want to feed her one last time. We both cried. That was her last day with us. I could not sleep. I was scared of the thought of her leaving us. I talked to her. I put my hands on my belly. Felt her last time. I told her that these 23 weeks were the best time in my life. I said sorry to her.

I gave birth to her

We woke up early in the morning to go to the hospital. I told him that I don’t want to go. They’re gonna take her away from me. He did not have any words to say to me. We managed to go to the hospital. Did not have any choice. They showed us the room. We sat down on the bed. Talked. He looked at my face. We couldn’t believe that this was happening to us.

Nurse came and asked me to change into a gown they gave me. Then the doctor came and told me the next steps. And whom I am gonna meet. Anesthesia team came and talked about the pain relief method and type of anesthesia that can be used during labor and birth. Nurse set the IV. They did the blood tests that day too. I gave a few medicines and injections. They gave me another medication which was to be taken after 24 hrs of the first one I took yesterday. I started feeling pain half an hour after taking the medicine. It was not bad. But gradually I became worse and I felt something so asked the nurse she said your water just broke and nothing to worry about. They gave the remote control of the pain relief medicine in the IV. so they asked me to push the button when i feel pain. And asked me to let them know if pain gets worse and it does work then they are gonna give me an epidural. There was a wall clock in front of the bed so I was able to see the time. I started feeling chills and got a fever within a few hours and pain was the worst.. There was a limit on the button, i can only push after the gap of 4 minutes to not overdose myself. I was shivering really bad. My husband was beside me on the chair. He panicked seeing me shivering badly and called the nurse. I asked them for a blanket and told them I was very cold. They said the medicine is working on you really fast. They all are side effects of that medicine which they gave me to induce labor. I asked them to raise the temperature of the room. New nurse came in, asked me to drink water. She helped me alot. Contractions were really bad by that time. I was praying constantly asking God to help me. That pain was unbearable that time. I was crying. And said to my husband that I am gonna die in this pain. He was very angry at God and asked me to not ask for help from him.. He said that if God wanted he could have stopped all this we are going through but he did not. He did not help us. So don’t ask him. I told him don’t say that.

Nurse again came in to check to see how much I was dilated. But it was not enough. She asked me if I wanted an epidural. I said no. I don’t know why. I was a little unconscious because of the medication I think. Nurse was getting all the stuff needed for birth.. I was screaming in pain and I remember I was holding his hand. Nurse was helping me drink the water, helped me to go to the washroom. Contractions were very severe by that time.

Nurse again checked and told us okay, looks like the baby is now ready to come. I remember smiling when I heard that and asked her. Really my baby is coming.. Knowing that she does not have a heartbeat. Nurse asked me to push during the contractions and rest in between. I was trying hard to push..It was so difficult.. I told her I can’t do that. She said no you can do that. Finally at 11:50pm she was born. I should say stillborn.. But I don’t want to say that. She was perfect. My beautiful little angel.

It was very hard to prepare ourselves that she is not gonna cry like babies do when they are born.

They took her to a different room. A room for stillborn babies I guess.

I realized that I was not the same person anymore. I also died that very day….

Leaving hospital without her

I am unable to explain that feeling when we had to leave the hospital without taking her with us… that moment was one of the hardest moments in our life..

After giving birth, they asked me to rest up and provided medication for pain relief. In the morning, a few teams visited me. First the doctor, she asked me how am I doing and let her know if I need help. She told me most women go through postpartum depression after the birth and told me a few things about it. then a spiritual support team asked for the baby’s name and we provided and then they provided us the certificate. Then a pregnancy loss support group person came and provided me some resources to reach out to in case of help. They told us the procedure of cremation. My husband filled in the form for that. Nurse came in to check how I was doing. She said that we can go home in the afternoon.

All I know is I did not want to leave without her. But guess what, I was not given a choice….

On our way out of the hospital.. I started shaking. I told my husband that we can’t do that. We can’t leave our baby here. He tried to make me understand that she is gone… no please don’t say that, I said…

I still had my hand on my belly knowing that she is not there anymore….

Everything was different after that. And will never be the same again..We left the hospital.. We did not talk at all on our way home.. This never happened before. We were numb. We were in denial. Reached home. Entering home she was not with me this time. It was so painful. I went into my room, where I used to talk to her all the time. She was not there anymore. I couldn’t do anything except cry. I had trouble sleeping. I sometimes used to see her in dreams. I remember many times I woke up crying in the middle of the night. Days passed by but I didn’t realize which day it was.

I used to sit in the dark. Didn’t like light most of the time.

Pain of losing her will always be there. There is a whole in my heart now.. Which will be there forever…..

Can’t believe she is gone

She was with us for 23 weeks and one day. The most beautiful time of our lives. It was so hard to believe that she is gone. I used to talk about her and burst into tears. Used to ask him why this happened to us. I was careful all along my pregnancy. But sometimes you don’t have answers to some questions. I started questioning everything in my life. Had a fear of losing everything. Questioned my existence..Saw myself as a failure. Stopped talking to people. I felt the loneliest after she left. I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.

My due date

In the first ultrasound, the doctor told me my due date. I was so happy. And I was planning a few things according to my due date. Like when I am gonna set up a baby’s room when I am gonna go shopping and buy baby’s clothes and other necessary things. At that time I didn’t know that this wouldn’t happen… it breaks my heart into a million pieces. I remember going out to a store months after my stillbirth for groceries. That store has a section for baby’s clothes. I couldn’t control myself looking at all those beautiful little clothes and started crying.

The day of my due date was so overwhelming and so emotional. I was up all night, making a painting for Her. I missed her so much.. I was thinking how I imagined this day would look like. Maybe we would be rushing to the hospital to deliver the baby.

But no, we are home, nothing is happening. Everything is so quiet….

Oh Dear God!

I asked God so many times that why did you give me such pain. I asked him if he could make things better. How should I now understand that it wasn’t meant to be ? Because you gave me her and then you took her back.The moment we found out we are having a baby, we started making lists of things to be done for her. Do’s and don’ts for me during pregnancy. I wasn’t able to sleep and my mind was constantly thinking about her. He shared with me that he asks God every night why this happened to us. I asked God many times about how she is doing. Because he can see her right. I asked him to give my heart peace.

I asked him if you ever plan to give me a child, please can you make that baby healthy and fine.….

First Mother’s day without her

It was painful. Very painful. To see people posting about mothers day with their kids. I was happy for them but I was missing her..She could have been here with me and we could have been celebrating that day together. All that day we talked very little because he knew that I was not in a position to talk….

His first father’s day without Her

I picked up a fathers day card for him. But he did not open that. He said I will open it when my daughter gives it to me one day.. We both cried…..

Going out without Her

This was one of the hardest things. I was doing nothing but crying all day at home. He did not want to see me like this. He used to make me go here and there so i don’t just sit in the room and cry. Going out and seeing pregnant women was so difficult for me. And the women with the newborns. I used to see her in their babies… I used to think that why only me and my baby… when all these babies are absolutely fine… my baby could have survived, if God wanted… end of discussion… God did not want it… and that you can’t do anything about it except accepting it. So helpless right…

How to understand that it wasn’t meant to be

Making your peace with what happened. Understanding that it was not meant to be. There is a better plan. You can’t control it……… All these things make sense but still sound meaningless when you are grieving..letting it go is just easy to say but very hard to do…..

Milestones she would have been achieving

I count each day since the day we lost her. And in my head I think, today she would have turned this month old. She would have started crawling, eating solids, maybe started walking…

You grief forever

You move on or maybe try to move on to your regular life with each passing day. You learn to put on a smile or maybe be able to laugh. But this does not at all mean you forget your baby.. Actually you never forget it. You grieve forever..

What people say

People say you don’t even know the baby, no…. I did… I carried her, I felt her.. I talked to her, I did know her..

They say.. Oh so it wasn’t an actual full term birth… that does not mean it was not a real birth and not painful. I did go through all the pain and deliver her.. But she was stillborn…

They say, at least you know that you can get pregnant … ah…

They say, don’t worry you will have another baby soon… okay but what about this baby ? I want people to acknowledge this as well. If you can’t then don’t say anything…
If you still really want to say something to a grieving parents who lost their baby, say, I am so sorry for your loss. Period.

Read below somewhere

When a baby dies, whether it is from a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death, everything changes. The baby was a part of your life, even if only for a brief period of time, and the loss of that life is something that no one can prepare for.

Losing a baby is a very painful experience. You may not only be grieving the death of your child but the loss of a dream, the loss of a relationship, the change to your future plans, and the change to your family. It can be an incredibly painful and difficult time.

How it affected me

I feel so incomplete without her. I did not want to talk to anyone. I stopped talking to my friends. I used to talk to my family but not much. I wanted to sit in my room in the dark and cry. But my husband could not see me that way. So I had to learn how to fake it.I had to go out and face the world. I started to meet people and have to smile and talk and behave like nothing happened. But all I wanted was to cry my heart out… I started painting some time ago but stopped completely in between. I started it again. It actually helped me pass time.

I used to feel that I didn’t deserve to be happy or maybe I was afraid to be happy. I still feel that way. I don’t know how to move on or maybe I don’t want to move on. I miss her in every moment that passes.

Our daughter, our sunshine, our love <3
We love you so much <3

every story matters

The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre is a non-profit registered charity that helps families connect to support on their path to healing after pregnancy or infant loss.  Families like yours can work with us and get support with a variety of services that hold space for your unique story. No matter at what stage of your parenthood journey you find yourself, your story will be heard here.

If you are ready to share your story, or you need help with your journey, get in touch with us.

For more stories like this, visit our Stories of Loss page
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Book with Erin Winters

In order to book with Erin, please connect directly with our Program Assistant, Shelagh via email at shelagh@pilsc.org

NOTE: Refrain from providing detailed personal information when emailing Shelagh. Feel free to describe your challenges in brief, and leave out personal details that you only wish to share with Erin.


Shelagh (she/her) brings with her a solid background as an admin in a variety of areas from business, academia and now with a charitable organization with the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Center. She feels passionate about working in a role that benefits others in the community.

Shelagh was exposed to bereavement and deep grief at an early age and it left her with a profound sense of how fragile life is and how we need to find joy and light wherever we can. She feels privileged to be able to take this sense with her into her role with PILSC while putting her strong admin skills to good use.