"I keep having flashbacks to that moment. It's a crippling, all-consuming feeling of utter suffocation, and a memory that will haunt me for the rest of my life . . . a piece of me died with her."
In the days leading up to the nine-month mark of her pregnancy with her second child, Natalie Morgan like any other average mama-to-be was playing guessing games — how much would her daughter weigh? What day would she finally arrive? What time? On the night of Sept. 10, she went to sleep with her daughter kicking away, but on the morning of Sept. 11, she knew something was wrong — her baby wasn't moving at all.
"I remember thinking, 'This can't be happening . . . this is just a dream . . . this can't be happening. They'll find something on the ultrasound, just something.' But these were feeble hopes, because again, I knew. I could tell they knew, too," Natalie recalled that morning in her post to Facebook.
Unfortunately, her suspicions proved to be true, and her daughter, Eleanor Josephine, was stillborn after several hours of labor: "It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Ever. Dealing with the unbearable contractions, the ring of fire, the tearing . . . knowing that all of it was for nothing."
After the grueling ordeal and going through the process of burying the child who she was expecting to be nursing and staying up all night with, Natalie took to Facebook to urge any of her friends with babies, or possibly expecting one, to hear her story and be grateful for their children.
"I say all that to say this: my womb, my heart, and my arms are empty. There are going to be so many of you who have babies who are going to cry every time you try to put him or her down. Or they'll cry for no reason even if you're holding them and you've fed them, burped them, changed them...everything. And inevitably you're going to cry too, because you will feel so helpless and so frustrated and so clueless, and you'll want to scream, 'Why won't you stop crying?!' You're going to be exhausted and angry and fed up and all you're going to want in this world is just a little time to yourself so you can sleep or shower or or eat whatever. I know, because I've been there with my son. But I will never be there with my daughter. And I would give anything to suffer as only a mother (or father) can in those dark moments of parenthood with her, my dear Eleanor.
All I ask of you is when you have your dark moments with your baby - when you're at your wits' end and feel like you can't go on anymore when you're only getting an hour or two of sleep a night - instead of begging your child to go to sleep and being swallowed up in your frustration and exhaustion, find the tiniest bit of strength within you to keep going, and say a prayer of gratitude for your child, as difficult as it may be in that moment. And if you would, say a prayer for me and all the mothers whose children were taken from them too soon. Say a prayer for my sweet, sweet Eleanor who never got to know life outside my womb"