Friday, October 15, 2010


I originally posted this on April 23rd, 2010, but thought I would re-post it today for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Although the memory of loss can bring pain and dredge up grief, as a mother I don't want my child's memory to dim. She is my child and I love her as dearly as I love all my children.  Sometimes I hesitate when someone asks me how many children do I have.  Do I want to explain to this person?  So, sometimes I say three, sometimes four, and yet other times I will say, "Three living, and we lost a little girl."  But, regardless, the name Emma Rose brings a smile to my heart and a longing to hold her in my arms.
23rd April, our little girl Emma would have been 6-years-old if she had lived.
Emma was a big surprise. We had been trying for 12 years to have another baby. I had finally resolved in my heart that we were only going to have two children. A friend of mine had just found out she was pregnant, and for the first time in recent memory, I didn't get that little twinge in my heart when she announced her pregnancy. The first few weeks were a little rough. Through and ultra-sound we discovered that I was pregnant with not one, but three babies. Unfortunately, a heartbeat was never found on two of the babies and they just gradually faded away each week until they no longer showed on the ultra-sound. Emma continued to grow and thrive. I was a high risk pregnancy - forty-one, diabetic, high blood pressure and overweight. Every week I went to the doctor, tried to do everything they instructed me to the letter. Everything went along great. We chose not to have any of the testing done for birth defects, etc. At 8 1/2 months I went to have a amnio done at the hospital. Emma was measuring over 9lbs, so the doctors thought it might be wise to induce. The amnio was to check her lung development. The day before I had been at the doctors for my usual weekly appointment. I had a non-stress test which was normal. I also had an ultra-sound because Emma had been breech and if she still was, they would schedule me for a C Section the next day. During the non-stress test however, Emma had turned around and was head down.
The next day I woke up feeling extremely nauseated, but thought it was just nerves because I absolutely hate needles. We went to the hospital and there we received the most devastating news of our lives. Our excitement and joy gave way to pain and grief. In a room where the walls were covered with pictures of "miracle" babies - babies that had been operated on while still inside their mother's womb - we were given the news that our little girl had died in the night.
When I was in labor with Emma, it was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced, and it was probably made worse by the emotional grief and pain I was going through as well. I prayed so hard for a miracle, that the doctors were wrong. But, when the doctor placed her in my arms, I knew that my prayers had not been answered and I had not received my miracle. I thought that I had failed to protect my child and wondered how Heavenly father could give me such a wonderful gift after 12 years of trying to have another baby only to snatch her away at the last minute.
The following months were a bit of a blur, I did the things that were required of me, that I had to do, but there was not any joy, just depression. Finally, when I didn't think I could sink any lower, when I didn't think I could bear the pain any longer, I finally prayed to Heavenly Father and asked for the peace that I so desperately needed.
Every night I had been having the same dream over and over. I was sitting on the bed playing with Emma. There was a loud noise, I looked up and when I looked back down, she was gone. I could hear her crying and crying but couldn't find her. Every night it was the same and during the dream i would be saying to myself, "Don't look away, don't look away!" But I always did. One night, shortly after my talk with Heavenly Father, I had a different dream. Our family was walking along a cow path on a hillside. Coming towards us was a man, as he came closer I could see that it was the Savior. As He came closer still, I could see that He was carrying something in his arms. The closer He came, I could see that he was carrying our little girl. Finally our paths met. The Savior placed Emma in my arms. My arms stopped aching, my heart stopped hurting. I have never felt such joy and peace. In one brief moment the Savior’s hand and mine brushed. I had read many times in the scriptures about the women who knew that if she just touched the hem of the Savior’s clothing, she would be healed. That is how I felt. I knew, and know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love me. I felt that love. I knew in that instant that I was not being punished. I also knew that I had been wrong. I had received a miracle. That miracle was the Savior’s atonement. He suffered in the garden of Gethsemane for me. He suffered pain so great that he bled from His pores. He died on the cross for me. I knew in that instant that I would once again hold my little girl, that I would get to raise her and we would all be an eternal family.
I still miss her and cry for her. I still visit her grave and place pink roses there. But the promise of having my little girl with me again makes the pain bearable and gives hope.
We have this picture hanging in our living room. Jim bought it for me the week after Emma died. It is by Greg Olsen and is called, "Forever and Ever."
Our family calls it "Emma's picture."
A friend wrote us a poem shortly after Emma died.
After so many years of waiting patiently,
There was to be a new member of your family.
Though the thought of having her was at first a big surprise,
Over time you imagined her, ten fingers, ten toes, two beautiful eyes.
The perfect little baby, the final finishing touch,
To be a part of this family that had waited long enough.
The things you gathered for her were selected with love and care,
The crib, the bedding, her clothes, and the bows for her hair.
Yet, through a simple twist of fate and touch of the Master's hand,
Sometimes the gifts He has for us are not what we have planned.
You see now the roles have been reversed, she's gone back to Him above,
To look down and watch over you, with her eternal love.
R. Eaton


Salinda said...

This was so beautiful Sally-Ann. I will always remember Emma Sally-Ann. She will always be remembered by so many. Don't you worry about that. And I too, know she will be placed in your arms one day, in His perfect timing. We thank you for your example of a faithful, patient mother.

Sally-Ann said...

Thank you Salinda