Stillbirth: Ella’s Story

The loss of a baby due to stillbirth remains a sad reality for many families and takes a serious toll on families’ health and well-being. Sapphire shares her daughter Ella’s story and how the experience has affected her.

Ella’s story, written by her mother, Sapphire

Fear gripped me that day. It was soon replaced by raw anguish. The pain was almost too much to cope with, and I had no idea how to move forward. I didn’t get any kind of primer on how to prepare for the unexpected death of my baby girl. Yet there I was, 38 weeks pregnant, and in full-blown labor. I knew how it was going to end—I would not leave the hospital with her. She’d be in a casket soon, and I’d be in bed, tackling the monumental task of continuing to live for another minute, another hour, and then another day.

The loss of her life continues to break my heart, again and again, the same way that waves break up the monotony of a quiet beach. The baby book still sits empty on my shelf. The boxes of clothes she should’ve grown into are long gone. In every way, the absence of her life has left a black void in my heart. It is everything that I expected it to be, yet I can’t help but feel like I’ve been rendered invincible- because after the worst happens, there’s not much left that can knock you down again.

The beauty and pain of Ella’s birth are still fresh in my mind. Life continues to march on, but she’s still at the forefront of my mind. I live these days walking hand in hand with the memory of who she could’ve been, of who she was, and always with the hope that her brief existence will make a difference. She taught me a powerful lesson, that little girl of mine, and my life is an echo of the waves that she might’ve made in her own time. Love is like that, and love can never die. Nothing in the universe, not stillbirth nor a cord accident, can extinguish the love of a mother for her child.

CDC would like to thank Sapphire for sharing her family’s story.