still asking why



Everywhere I look, I see Ellie. It sounds cliche but it's true. I check my emails only to see a 20% offer from Buy Buy Baby or free shipping on 'Spring Must-Haves' from Baby Gap. 
I open my nightstand drawers which has a pacifier and 'What to Expect in the First Year' staring at me. We get mail addressed 'To the Parents of Eloise Kay Madrigalli'.  In the car I have newborn size diapers and a pack of wipes, just in case. We thought of everything. The only thing I hadn't purchased yet was a Solly Wrap to carry her around in; that was my last item added to the online shopping cart on Friday afternoon. It was a splurge but they are soft and cozy, plus they come in rich neutral colors. Of course we only wanted the best for our sweet Elle. 

We had incorporated her into every part of our lives. We knew what kind of parents we wanted to be. We knew how we were going to answer the tough questions she would inevitably have one day. We were going to show her the world, teach her tolerance, lead by example, show her how to stand up for herself and what she believed in. She was going to be exactly what this world needed. 

Now she's gone. All the plans we made are gone. Our hopes, our dreams, our lives; all gone with her. Instead of debating when to start swim lessons and picking out her first Easter outfit, we are picking out a miniature urn for her ashes and debating monogram font. 

This is not how our life was supposed to be. Mike and I did everything exactly the way we should have. We met and fell head over heels. We dated and really got to know each other. We moved in together and played house. I cooked, he cleaned, we had a great routine. He proposed with an amazing ring and I was completely surprised. We got married in Lake Tahoe, surrounded by so many people that support and love us. We went on an incredible honeymoon and I had never felt so in love. We wanted to start a family soon. Shortly after our honeymoon, we got pregnant. Unfortunately the embryo planted itself in my tube, causing it to rupture and resulting in my needing surgery to remove the tube. That miscarriage took me longer to get over than I expected. But we healed, making our relationship stronger than before. 

When we found out we were pregnant again, there was some fear but mostly hope. We endured a rough pregnancy. We had roadblocks along the way. There were multiple times that doctors rushed me to the hospital with the anticipation of taking Eloise out early. We were preparing for pre-term labor, months in the Nicu, developmental issues. But then our strong baby girl would pull through. She was a fighter and she was only coming out on her own terms. We were already so proud of her.

I made it to 38 weeks. They broke my water at 3pm and I started dilating. By 6pm I was at 6cm. By 7:00 I was 8 centimeters along. They started preparing my room for delivery. She was almost here! The room was full of doctors. There were Nice nurses, a neonatologist, other specialists that were all prepared to whisk her away if they needed to. A nurse took a photo of me and Mike "before our lives changed forever" and the clock behind me said 7:25pm. I pushed 4 times, 1 practice push, 1 real push that wasn't hard enough. The third push- her head was out; the final push was her shoulders and the rest of her tiny little body. Eloise was born at 7:30pm. She was 6lbs, 1.5oz, 18.5 inches long. She was perfect. They put her on my chest while I cried and laughed. Each doctor, nurse, and specialist took a look and declared that she was perfect. She didn't need to be anywhere but with me. 

I do not understand why we don't still have her. She was perfect. She was small but healthy. She passed every test, she had her first couple check-ups and she looked great. We had no reason to worry about anything. But then one night she left us. And nobody can tell us why. The emergency room doctors were at a loss for words. The ambulance got her to the ER in time, she was still breathing but then just stopped. Her heart stopped. They tried for forty minute to revive her but she was gone. We had to say goodbye to our baby girl who was crying in my arms just an hour ago. I got lost in that moment and I still feel lost. I still don't understand. They still don't have an answer for us.

I have no idea what to expect now. I don't have a clue what to do. I don't know how to start healing. I don't know where to look for answers. I may never get an answer. 

I am strong. Mike is strong. We can handle anything thrown our way, I have always known this. There is nothing that can happen to us that will tear us apart. But we should not have to handle this. Losing our baby was not supposed to happen. There is no reason that it did, there is nothing great that will come of it. It is only terrible. Why? Why did this happen? Why did this happen to us?

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