A Letter To Her Baby from Kara Carroll

September 1, 2010

My Dear Emma,

I have never been a brave person. In my entire life, I can probably count on one hand the number of actual risks I’ve ever taken.  Anything I’ve done that people might say seemed brave or required some courage is probably just a matter of perspective- it likely didn’t seem hard or scary to me, or I wouldn’t have done it.

But all that changed the day I met you. You, my beautiful, amazing second daughter, were only with me for 36 weeks.  And saying I met you is something of a misnomer; your precious little heart had stopped beating probably 16 hours before I delivered you.  But your presence in my life, for those wonderful 36 weeks and the ways that you still impact me on a daily basis, changed me in profound, surprisingly wonderful ways.  You made me be brave; I had to find courage in the worst moments of my life to do all the things required of me after losing you.  And I’ve had to be brave to keep living, keep loving, keep moving forward since you left.  Someday I will be able to thank you face-to-face for making me a better person (and I cannot wait for that day!) but for now, this letter will have to do.

My pregnancy with you was a surprise to your father and I- your sister was only 16 months old and we hadn’t yet even started talking about when we would try for another baby. But God had other plans; He wanted us to have you.  So once I recovered from the slight panic attack of finding myself pregnant unexpectedly, I began preparing for your arrival into our family.  I was in school still, finishing my doctorate in history, and knowing you were coming gave me the final motivation I needed to get that dissertation written and defended. You and I went to countless coffee houses- and anywhere else I could find free WiFi- while I furiously wrote my dissertation. I dedicated it to you and your sister, and quoted your grandfather’s dedication to me in his dissertation: “To Allie and her soon-to-arrive sibling, whose presence and eminent arrival made it clear I needed to finish this.”  I defended my dissertation when I was 34 weeks pregnant. I was huge and very uncomfortable, and you kicked throughout my entire presentation and started turning somersaults when my committee announced that I’d passed without revisions and was officially now Dr. Kara.

I spent the next two weeks finally getting ready for you to come. We didn’t know your gender yet so the nursery wasn’t fully decorated, but I pulled out all your sister’s old baby things, washed clothes, attended my baby shower.  I was so ready to meet you, introduce you to your sister, start this next phase of our family’s growth.

It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.

When I was exactly 36 weeks pregnant with you, I taught one of my last classes of the semester and was driving home to pick up your sister from her babysitter’s house when I started to feel very sick.  My doctor’s office thought it was early labor, but I’d been through labor before and I knew that something was wrong, so instead of getting your sister and going home, I found another sitter for the kids and had my friend drive me to the hospital.  Everything went horribly, horribly wrong during that drive and I don’t remember much about the next ten hours or so. The horrible pain I felt and the dizziness from all the blood loss put me in a weird mental state, but I remember very clearly hearing my doctor say, as she looked at an ultrasound, “You’ve had a placental abruption, and its really bad. This is the baby’s heart, and it’s not beating.” I don’t remember anything else people said after that (although your dad remembers that the next thing the doctor said was something about how I was losing too much blood and might not make it either.) My world stopped spinning in that moment: how could you be gone?  What did I do?  How could this have happened?

A lot of things happened in the next sixteen hours: I was put on a helicopter and flown to a different hospital, one with an adequate blood supply to try to save my life once I delivered you.  Your grandparents flew in to be with us and meet you, our good friends came to support your dad and stayed with us through the entire ordeal.  I felt like the world was moving around me and I didn’t have any choice in what was happening. I didn’t want to be experiencing everything I was, I wanted to rewind a day and have you still kicking inside of me.  I wanted to go back to the life I was living, the one where I’d never had to be brave or do things I really wasn’t sure I could handle. I really, really did not want to have to deliver you and face a life as the mother who’d lost her child. At first I thought that maybe if I just didn’t do anything the doctors asked of me, they would just knock me out and I could be unconscious for all the horrible parts that were coming up. But I watched your dad’s face as they explained how dangerous it would be to have to do surgery in the condition I was, and I knew I had to try. I thought of you watching me from heaven, and suddenly I didn’t want to just fall apart, I wanted you to see me being brave, see me doing the hardest things I’ve ever faced- I wanted you to be proud of your mom. So I went through labor and pushed until your body came into the world, knowing that the process couldn’t be called giving birth, as it had the first time I’d done this.

I recognized you right away. The doctors let me hold you for a few minutes before about a million people descended on me and started doing all the horrible procedures that came after your delivery to save my life. You looked so much like your older sister, and my heart broke again as I realized she would never get to meet you. I kept you with me for twenty-four hours, and you were pretty much never set down that whole time. Your dad, our dear friends Scott and Nicole, and your grandparents took turns holding you, memorizing your every feature, committing everything about you to memory. We had pictures taken by a wonderful lady from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and those photos rank among my most valued possessions. When I knew it was time to send your beautiful body to the morgue, I held you tight while your grandfather and I prayed. I prayed that God would give me strength enough to survive this: to survive seeing you wheeled out of my hospital room, to survive planning your memorial, to survive living the rest of my life without you, missing you every second.

As always, God answered my prayers. Somehow I survived that week, survived your memorial, survived each day after your death.  It didn’t get any easier though, and it didn’t hurt any less as the days passed, and I realized I was going to have to be brave again.  In fact, I was going to have to be brave every day of my life because I was going to have to do something I didn’t want to do every single day: live my life without you. I decided that in honor of you, my sweet Emma Margaret, I would be brave. I would live my life as fully as possible, I would be happy, I would laugh, I would love, I would be the best mother possible to your sister, the best wife I could be to your father. A life well lived would be my legacy to you.

On days when I feel overwhelmed (and there are still a lot of them!) I remind myself, “I can do this, I’m Emma’s mom.” I can be brave, I can do hard things. After seeing every doctor and specialist in Arizona and New Mexico, all trying to figure out why I suffered this massive placental abruption, one worse than any of the doctors had ever had to deal with, the entire situation was declared a mystery and I was declared, miraculously, completely physically healed. Your father and I decided that we still wanted to try to expand our family, we still wanted a sibling for your sister and to have a baby in our house again.  It didn’t take long and we were expecting your younger sister three and a half months after losing you. People expressed surprise over our decision to try again so soon, but this time I knew I could be brave. I knew full well what risks I was taking, I knew there could be a horrible ending awaiting me in this pregnancy too. But I also knew that you were worth it; I wouldn’t trade one single second I had with you, even knowing the ending, and the same was true of my third child.  You two were worth the risk, and I knew I could be brave- I am your mother, after all.

It turned out I needed to be brave for your sister’s arrival as well- when labor took a scary turn and her heart rate dropped, I needed an emergency c-section. As they were wheeling me in, I was sitting on my hands and knees and maneuvering on my own despite the epidural I’d gotten. I asked my doctor what we were going to do for anesthesia and she said they were upping the epidural, but if it didn’t work they’d put me under for the surgery. I refused to be knocked out, knowing I needed to hear my baby cry, and although it absolutely terrified the anesthesiologist, she agreed.  I certainly wouldn’t want to do another c-section without proper anesthesia, but I knew I could do it- I’m Emma’s mom, I can do hard things.

My recovery with your youngest sister was horrible, since after the c-section I started bleeding inexplicably. Which ended in more transfusions and an emergency hysterectomy. The doctors and nurses were handling me so delicately after the operation, expecting me to be devastated. But my OB, who’d been with me during my pregnancy with you, understood why I was instead so happy: she knew I’d been through much, much worse. If I could survive losing you, I could survive anything.

So many things in my life are different because of you. In your memory, I turned an amateur interest in photography into a small business, donating portions of my proceeds to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and applying to be one of their photographers for the new hospital that opened near our house. I’ve changed from being the grieving mother who needed to be carried to seeking out opportunities to be that woman for others in my position. I am a better person in nearly every way because of you, Emma, and I know I am a much better mother to your sisters because of my experiences being your mom. Of course, I would still rather be that lesser person I was before and actually have you in my life, but since I wasn’t given that choice I will instead take these lessons in bravery and live my life in a way that would make you proud to be my daughter. I so hope you are.

All my love,
Your Mom,
Kara

From Kara Carroll. Image via Design Crush.

P.S. — Amy of Progressive Pioneer share her uplifting homebirth story here.

——-

Note from Design Mom: throughout my pregnancy, I posted advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. My baby has now arrived — here’s her birth story and her newborn photos — but the series has been so popular that I’m continuing it indefinitely. You can find all the stories in this series by clicking here. Have a story you’d like to share? I’d love to read it. You can send it to me at gabrielle@designmom.com.

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Momma Goose September 1, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I would say that this brought tears to my eyes, but more acurately, it brought tears to my whole face. I am so, so sorry to hear about your loss. Your strength in turning your tragedy into an opportunity for growth is very admirable. Wishing your family a wealth of good health and happiness.

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2 Sarah September 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Wow – what an amazing tribute to baby Emma. I too have an Emma, and it breaks my heart that someone didn’t get to enjoy their baby girl.

Kara is incredibly strong and is a great example of living the life she was meant to live.

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3 Mel September 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I also have tears in my eyes (at work) from reading Kara’s letter to Emma. I am so familiar with that pain, and what it does to you. I lost my Leah at 28 weeks, and her identical twin almost went with her. She was in the hospital for 5 months and is now a happy, amazing 18-month-old. Like Kara, I also find strength in how horrendously difficult this loss was, and in how much I miss Leah every single day. I wish Kara and her family good health, happiness, and continued strength. Thank you for sharing.

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4 liz September 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

wow. thank you for sharing such a personal and touching experience with all of us. that was beautifully written and inspiring. i also have tears streaming down my face.

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5 Jennifer September 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm

What a beautiful letter. I have a similar letter to my first child. He lived for ten days. It’s an understatement to say he changed me. I look at photos of myself before having him and do not recognize that girl. I have read several birth stories on this blog in the last year or so. I have felt prompted to write one of a “different” sort. I haven’t done so yet. It takes great courage to put something so personal “out there”. Kara! This is perfect!

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6 Kara September 2, 2010 at 1:02 am

Jennifer, I so relate to the “before” and “after” photos! I think I can somewhat divide my life into “Before Emma” and “After Emma.” Nothing else has so profoundly altered and changed me. Sometimes I’m jealous of the “Before Emma” version of myself- she had such a lighter perspective, lighter heart, optimistic attitude. But, the “After Emma” Kara is the only one who’s met Emma. So even with those heavier burdens, I’m starting to be okay with this version of myself. I hope you’ll be able to feel that way too- and I pray that you’ll always be able to remember everything about those precious 10 days you got to spend with your son.

Its scary to write something like this, but do it! Even if you don’t share it (it took me over a year to get to this point!), it will help you so much. And if you can share it, I know I was one of the hurting moms who read stuff like this without ever saying how much it meant to me to know that other people experienced the pain I had too.

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7 Carmen Boswell September 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Jennifer and Kara,
I was 32 weeks and 3 days pregnant when I gave birth to twins on May 17, 2009. My daughter, Katie Christine(4 lbs. & 3 oz. and 13.5 inches long) died ten days after she was born. My son, Wilson James (4 lbs.&1 oz. and 17.5 inches long) is alive and doing great. Oh, what a bitter sweet moment in my life. Wilson had to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for three weeks and two days. During the time Wilson was in the Neonatal ICU, my husband and I had to plan a funeral and a burial at our church for our baby girl. I never knew that my heart and soul would feel so empty and sad. My husband and I went to see Wilson every day he was in the hospital even the day of the funeral home visitation and the burial of Katie. Katie had a rare genetic disorder called hypochondrogenesis. The Lead Doctor of the Neonatal ICU told us that it was a miracle that Katie lived at all. God gave me these two precious miracles for a reason. I am honored and blessed to be Katie and Wilson’s mom. I am a different person because of the death of my baby girl. I am learning each day to be strong and I have to remind myself that God is in control. He knows what was best for my baby girl, my husband, my son and myself.
Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Isaiah 60:20
I wish Katie was with our family. I think of Katie every day. I know she is happy, healthy and safe in the arms of our heavenly father.
I take nothing for granted and I love so deeply and care so much for my family. My hope is that anyone that suffers this intense loss is able to find peace.
Kara, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep took pictures of my Katie after she died. I am so thankful for those pictures. My family was able to hold Katie after she died and we were able to hold her at the funeral home too. I feel so fortunate to have been able to love on Katie and spend time with her. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a wonderful.
I have attended three grief counseling sessions at our local Hospice here and it helped me realize that I am not alone. I also learned at the counseling that family and friends react differently to the death of babies too. It has been a learning experience for me and it’s an experience I never thought I would have to face.
Bless the Moms, Dads and extended families that ever suffer this loss.
Carmen Boswell
Asheboro, NC

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8 Neva September 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm

What an inspirational story yours is. I lost my baby boy at 24 weeks, his identical twin is now a happy and healthy 3 year old. There was never an answer as to why they came so early, but I embarked on another pregnancy with every hope things would give us a healthy baby. And that happened for us 6 months ago, but only after I suffered a placental abruption at 38 weeks and underwent an emergency c-sec and a time in the NICU for my baby girl. Everything is now ok, and because I suffered the abruption with my little girl, they think this may have been what happened with my twins. As a positive, it has given me a bit of the closure I had been looking for for over 2 and a half years.

Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong mom, and one who is not alone in the unfortunate loss of a baby.

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9 doris September 1, 2010 at 1:22 pm

You are amazing. Your three children are lucky to have you as a Mom.

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10 Sarah Hofeditz September 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I can’t stop crying, this is a beautiful yet sad letter, I admire her courage because I don’t think I would be so courageous….

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11 Kara September 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Dear Kara,
I have been one of your friends, I was the friend who grieved with my friend and her sweet family she was 18 it was her first, I watched her brother and sister who were under 8 at the time. My heart goes out to you and your family. We to almost lost kenzie (mom) along with paislei (baby) and it scared all of us!
Thank you so much for sharing.

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12 Libby September 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Beautiful! Tears stream down my cheeks at the agony, disappointment and triumph through a most difficult experience. Having miscarried just a week ago, this gives a beautiful example of recovery and hope. Thank you, Kara, for sharing your letter. I’m confident your bravery will help many!

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13 heather September 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Kara…thank you so much for sharing your beautifully brave story! you are an amazing woman and mother and i am thankful you are able to touch so many of us through Gabrielle’s blog! thank you so much to you both for sharing this !!

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14 Rachael September 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Thank you so much for reminding all of us to value the people in our lives. I haven’t experienced anything like this, but it’s too easy to take my happiness for granted. Again, thank you for the reminder to view my children as the miraculous blessing that they really are.

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15 Kris Davidson September 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Sometimes I forget I shouldn’t read this blog at work, because it may result in blubbering weapiness. Still … thank you for reminding me to hug my baby boy extra tight, today. Your story gives me every reason to feel grateful. And blessed.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful story about your treasured Emma.

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16 megan September 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm

what an inspiration. its so great to see how people can pull through adversities and share there new found strength in life. no bitterness or anger… just love, hope, and courage. this was the best thing i’ve read in a long, long time. thank you for sharing.

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17 Meghan September 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm

What a beautiful and inspiring letter. You certainly can do hard things, like share such an emotional and personal story with everyone. I am so glad you did. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat, but I smiled in the end knowing that you are amazing. Thank you for sharing!

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18 annamarie September 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm

i don’t have kids yet but we are getting close. your story truly touched my heart. it’s a remainder to me that you can never be prepared for the journey of motherhood… and it will change me in ways i can’t comprehend right now. thank you for sharing such a personal letter.

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19 Treva September 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Wow. I am now a better mother from Emma’s presence as well, and will appreciate motherhood much more after having read that. Amazing, awe-inspiring and tender. Thank you for sharing.

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20 Em September 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Beautiful.

Thank you.

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21 Audrey September 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Dear Kara,

You are so brave. I may never know you but I will always think of yours and Emma’s story and remember your courage and strength. Thank you for sharing your incredible story. I’ve suffered through at least 3 miscarriages and have no idea if there will be more in my future….if you can survive and keep going, so can I.

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22 Janssen September 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

This is the kind of post that makes you glad you aren’t reading it at work, as you would have absolutely no chance of holding yourself together.

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23 Ness|BlueberryKids September 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I WAS reading at work, and let me tell, only J-U-S-T held it together.

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24 Angela September 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm

beautiful letter. thank you for sharing your story. {i am sobbing}. you are… brave. xo

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25 Gisela September 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm

With a heartbreaking jolt you have touched my heart in ways I could not imagine when I opened Gabrielle’s blog. You are not just courageous beyond measure. You are profoundly loving and inspiring. Thank you for sharing Emma with us. She won’t be forgotten. Ever.

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26 Ness|BlueberryKids September 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm

No words… I’ve only a very large lump in my throat and tears in my eyes… and i’m left thinking only this. Perspective. It’s a funny thing. It’s all that much clearer for reading this.

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27 Katie September 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm

This was a wonderful letter, that like others left me in tears at work. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding all of us that our children truly have the ability to make us better just by being in our lives (no matter for how short or long a time).

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28 Bennett Holz September 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I too have had many Emmas, but from a different perspective. I am a labor and delivery nurse, and helping a family give birth, but not life is one of the most wrenching, yet rewarding experiences. Thank you for the words to better understand you.

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29 Kara September 2, 2010 at 1:11 am

Thank you for taking care of mothers like me! If there could be any good experiences in the whole situation, I definitely had some of the best L&D nurses around. I delivered my third daughter at a different hospital, but sent her birth announcement to the other one so all my nurses could see her!

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30 elisabeth September 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm

This is so exquisitely written. You are so brave. And beautiful.

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31 Cynthia September 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Beautiful.

Life changing.

Thank you.

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32 Brittany September 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm

a beautiful letter. it definitely made me tear up. kara is a very courageous and inspirational woman.

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33 Barb @ getupandplay September 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

What a beautiful, touching, unforgettable letter to dear baby Emma. I am so grateful that I got to read it. Thank you, Kara, and Gabrielle, for sharing it.

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34 Michelle September 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Dear Kara, I love your perspective and how you have a new courage and strength because you want your Emma to be proud of you. Wow. Blessings to you and your family. Thanks for sharing your beautiful letter with all of us.

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35 Amy September 1, 2010 at 10:42 pm

What a wonderful perspective on life. Your story has made me count my blessings and think twice about my complaints. You have an amazing spirit and your daughters are lucky to have you as their mother, loving life with them.

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36 Claire September 2, 2010 at 12:56 am

Oh my gosh. I cried through the whole thing. It took me a long, long time to read. I am so very, very, very sorry for your loss.

I experienced a placental abruption which led to an emergency c section at the beginning of this year. We were lucky… my daughter and I both survived, but it was by far the most scary thing I have ever in my life experienced. Reading this letter brought back all the emotions of that scary day, along with the weeks and months of postpartum depression that followed my traumatic birth experience.

Kara- your outlook on life is amazing. I love how you have used this hard experience as a source of strength. I know you will be with your sweet baby girl again and it will be a wonderful reunion.

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37 sarah September 2, 2010 at 2:06 am

kara, you’ve done it to me again. i just wish you would wake up and it’d all be a dream. that you’d have emma and allie and bella and that your life would be chaos for all the running around you’d be doing after three little girls.

i can’t say enough how much i admire your strength- even though that’s really not the right word. i just can’t find it.

much love and many prayers,
sarah marie.

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38 Raven September 2, 2010 at 5:07 am

I thought I was starting to move on from my “miscarriage” but reading this – i’m not.
I too, feel like a different and better person. Losing my third child after having 2 healthy ones was such a slap, a wakeup call. It wasn’t even an option in my head that anything could go wrong this time, so when there was no heartbeat, it didn’t seem real.
I can’t imagine it happening later.
You are amazing Kara – truly Emma’s mom!
thank you so very much for sharing.
xoxo

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39 Me @ AMirroredPool September 2, 2010 at 7:57 am

Dear Kara,

Thank you so much for posting this. I cried and cried reading your post. A few months ago, I went through a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. My baby was 10 weeks old but had stopped growing at 6 weeks. This was a truly inspirational read and I admire you for being able to take this perspective after the terrible terrible tragedy of your loss.

Thanks for sharing.

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40 Tara J September 2, 2010 at 8:10 am

Your story is so moving Kara. It is an inspiration to me to be able to be so strong during your greatest loss. Thank you for sharing.

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41 Jennifer O. (aka Romeo and Mae) September 2, 2010 at 9:25 am

Wow, that was so hard to read. I can not even begin to image actually living it. :(

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42 Mary McDonald September 2, 2010 at 10:33 am

Kara,

I relate so much to the comments you made about never being brave in life and how risks were never something taken. However, brave is quite an understatement in regards to how you dealt with your situation. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and can’t help but cry a bit as I write this. You are an unbelievable inspiration. You have a special angel up there watching over you and I cannot imagine a happier reunion when you meet Emma again. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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43 Angela September 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thank you for sharing your story.

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44 Katie! September 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to your little girl. I feel lucky to have read it and think that Emma’s life may have an impact on more people than just you and your family. Through your words, she is all over the world, meeting people in their daily routing and reminding them how precious life is. Encouraging them to live their life fully, just like her mom has chosen to do. I am glad to have shared this moment with her and with you.

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45 kaela d. September 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Gabrielle,

This is such a touching post. It is so great that Kara was willing to share this letter and her story. Coincidentally, I work for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Headquarters here in Colorado. I receive an alert at work when someone has mentioned our organization on their website and it was such a great surprise to be redirected to your site. I have been following your blog for quite awhile and this just made my day : ) So thank you for sharing this story which highlights Kara’s experience and her goal to become a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep affiliate photographer.

Hope you and the rest of the Blair family have a fantastic Labor Day weekend : )

For anyone interested in the mission and services of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, you can visit: http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org

And for anyone suffering an infant loss, please feel free to access our forum at:
http://www.nowisleep.com

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46 Victoria September 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I found this so hard to read. My throat is tight and tears roll down my cheeks. So very sorry for your loss Kara. How wonderful to write such a beautiful letter. Hugs.xx

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47 Lucie September 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

what an incredibly beautiful, moving, touching tribute to Emma. I am blown away. Thank you for sharing.

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48 Stephanie September 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I cannot stop crying. This is heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. I admire Kara’s strength so much. All I want to do right now is hug my daughter and thank God for letting me have her as long as I have. I can’t imagine ever going through what Kara did.

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49 Stella September 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Wow. I am crying too, what a sad experience, and what a brave woman you are! I too lost a daughter at 24 weeks of pregnancy, I went in labor, did not realize it was labor, and when I got to the hospital it was too late, there was nothing the doctors could do to try to delay it. And because my daughter was so small, she did not survive. I was so sad and terrified that did not want to hold my daughter – only my husband did – and this is the thing that I regret most in my life. There is not one day that I do not think about that, and it’s been 5 years already. A wonderful nurse took pictures for me, and I found so sweet the way that she dressed her, and covered her in a beautiful hand-made blanket. I always think of how special this person who makes these special clothes and blankets for the babies must be, and I also think a lot about the nurse, what an important role she had in my life, and how wonderful she was. Thank you for being so brave, and for having the courage to share your story! All the best for you and your beautiful family!

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50 Jazzy September 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm

On Feb 17, the bday of my eight year old son, this exact same thing happened to me with my now late son, Novel.

Thank you for writing down everything that I have not been brave enough to say.

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51 aplaceforthoughts September 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Thank you for sharing your Emma with us. You are a perfect mother and I’m so sorry that she was taken from you too soon. I imagine your Angel up above is completely beautiful.

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52 marta September 2, 2010 at 9:24 pm

an incredible letter of love and bravery. thank you for sharing this, kara. i recently suffered a miscarriage at 16 weeks and marvel at those who deal with difficulty and trials with such grace and courage. bless you for finding a reason to fight for a happy life, to heal and to move forward with emma as a happy legacy. you truly are an inspiration in a brave woman. xo.

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53 Jill September 2, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. You story has touched me and inspired me to be a better mom. May God bless you and your family.

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54 Amy September 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm

What a stunningly beautiful letter. I can relate, not to her specific situation, but to devastating loss. I understand drawing strength and beauty amid the grief and devastation. Thank you so much for sharing her letter.

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55 sara September 3, 2010 at 1:44 am

I’m so impressed with Kara, with her strength not only to go through something so incredibly painful but to find the beauty in it and carve out a life afterwards and then write THIS. What a beautiful memorial to Emma. I lost my 3rd baby at 12 weeks while on vacation in Mexico and had to be hospitalized briefly while there – it was bizarre and dramatic and so sad…and I’m stronger for it. And more empathetic. I would imagine Kara is too. Thank you so much for including this in your series.

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56 Jennifer September 3, 2010 at 10:42 am

You’re amazing. It was a privilege to read your words. I pray for you to continue on your path of strength & courage.

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57 The Lil Bee September 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm

That was the saddest thing I think I’ve ever read. My heart goes out to Kara and her little Emma. What a horrible ordeal and what an amazing woman Kara is to see the positive portion of it and let it change her world.

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58 sarah jane September 3, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am weeping at my computer…honestly…and my mother heart goes out to you. You’re thoughts are so powerful, and so touching to me. Your experiences make me want to cherish my pregnancies more carefully and to enjoy every moment. You are a gorgeous and beautiful woman…thank you so much for expressing your journey. That is not an easy thing to do, and you express yourself so articulately. I am going to hug and kiss my children right now…

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59 Hannah September 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Thank you, Kara. I had a stillbirth at 30 weeks a year ago. I can barely even read your letter, but it gives me a new way to look at things. We are trying to have another baby. It’s been difficult and I’ve been fearful; it hurts every time my son asks when we will “grow another baby.” Thank you for sharing the joy of your third birth and the way you turned fear into strength. I love that you can admit being jealous of your “before” self. And thank you, also, for reminding me there are photos from Now I Lay Me Down the Street hidden in the back of my closet. It might be time to look at them.

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60 Anneliese September 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

I read this as I held my 8-day-old baby girl, and my 23 month little girl was staring at the tears running down my face with a look of puzzlement. I am so moved that you would share your story and so impressed that you see the blessings in the experience. You are such an example. We are blessed with three girls too and I know all three of yours are proud of you.

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61 Kelly September 6, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Thank you for sharing this. Through lots of tears, I remember my own (earlier) losses. Your strength is an example to live by.

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62 EvaBabeDesigns September 7, 2010 at 10:57 am

What a touching story. I had no idea there was a photography service available for situations like this. This is a good way to remember everything and realize that it wasn’t just a dream.

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63 Stephanie September 17, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Kara, I can’t imagine your heartbreak, your pain…and I am so very sorry.

I am also in awe of your bravery, your resiliency, your hope. How wonderful that you became a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep years later. Your strength inspires us all.

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64 michellew_ September 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I’m weeping. I just wanted to say that this is an inspiration to all mothers, all women, even those who have not suffered the loss of a child, on how to better; stronger; braver. If you can do it “because you’re Emma’s mom”, there is hope for us all!

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65 Nadine May 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Dear Kara,

this is One of the Most beautiful Things i have ever Read.

Thank you for Sharing your story and for reminding me to make the Most of every Moment we are Lucky enough to Share with our children and Loved Ones.

Nadine.

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66 marara June 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

touching

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67 fatima June 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

sorry to bother you but could you also delete the comment above and then including this one deleate it sorry.thanks ASAP

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68 MARRA June 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm

i like this letter

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