That is the phrase our high risk doctor told us in regards to what happened to Cora. It was an accident, a freak accident. Something that is statistically unlikely to happen…happened to us. His theory on why she passed away is akin to a “cardiac arrhythmia”. He gave us this example: “When a 50 year old adult suddenly dies, it typically can be attributed to a sort of cardiac arrest/arrhythmia. The same thing can happen to a 30 year old, 18 year old, or even a young child. So why would be impossible for this to happen in the womb?” It made sense to Paul & I. And honestly, it’s probably the only explanation we are going to be able to hang our hat on.
We have ran every single test under the sun to find an explanation. I have been poked and prodded by so many needles in the past 3 months. There is little research available for the causes of stillbirths. Many people do not choose to perform autopsies. I don’t blame them, it’s an incredibly difficult choice to make. The decisions that are required of the parents after a stillbirth are overwhelming and painful. To have an autopsy or not. Cremation or burial. How much time to spend with your child? Do we let others see our child? Do you give them a bath or keep them wrapped in the blanket? Photographs? Footprints? Skin to skin? These are a fraction of the excruciating decisions so you can see where parents just say no or feel indecisive.
Paul & I chose to have an autopsy performed as well as the placenta examined. If there was an explanation there, then we would know. If not, then the answer isn’t there. We knew we would always wonder if we didn’t perform the autopsy & run all of the tests. I know the explanation of “some things happen for a reason” can be fully accepted by some but for us, we needed all the information we could possibly get. I also felt like we were helping others. If there was ANYTHING in her autopsy that could prevent this from happening to someone else then it would be worth it. But we did not find anything. So, we are left with being struck by lightening.
The good news: this was an accident. A horrible, tragic, unimaginable accident. One that no one in the world deserves. One that hopefully will not be replicated. There is nothing physically wrong with me, we just got “unlucky”. Those words are so bittersweet. I am so grateful that I will have the opportunity to have more healthy, living children. But I am so sad that it’s not Cora. I sometimes find myself apologizing to her in my prayers or my thoughts. “I’m sorry it wasn’t you sweet girl” or “We both did our best, it’s okay”. This was not anyone’s fault. It wasn’t mine and it wasn’t Cora’s. And I don’t even blame God, I do not believe in a God that would hurt me on purpose. To teach me a lesson or punish me. I have never perceived God in that light nor will I ever. And if you tell me that…I will probably just nod at you while ignoring you in my head :).
We received good news that our doctor believes that there is no reason why we can’t have healthy, living children. We received good news that I am completely healthy with no scary blood clotting disorders or an autoimmune disease. We received good news that Cora did not suffer nor was she in any pain. We loved her and protected her for 9 months which was a privilege that some do not get the chance to experience.
The chaplain at Baylor told Paul & I “If love were enough, Cora would have lived”. I burst into tears as soon as she said it. Because it’s so true. If love were enough, she would be here. I could spend my time searching for reasons or explanations but I feel that could lead me down a dark path. A path that could lead to blame, resentment, guilt, and depression. That path scares me and will not bring back my daughter. So, I actively choose to look for her in the light and in the good. In stead of looking for explanations for her death, I’ve been using her life to find new perspective, new purpose in my life. I actively choose to live for the both of us, to bring about something good to this world in honor of her life.
Cheers to the bright side <3.