Celebrating Charlie Joy Testroet
After welcoming two beautiful boys to our family, we were beyond excited to find out we were expecting a baby girl due in Jan 2020. My 2nd pregnancy had been a whirlwind (ambulance ride to UIHC, severe pre-eclampsia, magnesium drip, delivery at 30 weeks 4 days, 42 days in the NICU) but thankfully everything turned out fine and we were told we could have more children.
Things were going very smooth with my 3rd pregnancy until they weren't. I had an ultrasound in early Nov 2020 and things looked perfect. She was growing and moving and kicking and we finally started getting her room together. I was still nervous she would be born early like her brother. On the evening before Black Friday, my mom and I decided we would go do a little shopping at Kohls and Target. I felt fine, maybe a little back pain here and there but nothing out of the ordinary for something 30 weeks pregnant with 2 other children. I went home around 8 pm and continued to feel fine. I felt her moving before bed but suddenly woke up around midnight with "cramps". I thought maybe I just had eaten something funny for Thanksgiving and I walked around for a bit and took some tylenol. About an hour later, the pain was so severe that I knew we needed to go in. It was a constant "cramp" like my stomach was unable to stop tightening, not normal contractions. We headed to the hospital to be checked out and I figured I was going to have a baby that night and things would be okay. Another NICU stay for a few weeks would be doable AND things had been going so well.
When we got to the hospital, I was in so much pain I could not stand up. They had a difficult time finding a heart rate but said this could be normal as I was only 30 weeks along. I knew at that point something was wrong. I had been 30 weeks pregnant before and this seemed all too familiar. My vision started to go blurry and I almost passed out. They continued to try to find a heart beat but nothing. I knew she was gone. I would never hear her heartbeat again. It was like I was in a terrible dream that would not end. My husband and my mom were there when the ultrasound tech confirmed she had no heartbeat. At that point I was having contractions and in labor. Pitocin was started and I delivered shortly after.
Our beautiful baby girl, Charlie Joy Testroet, was born November 23, 2018 at 6 AM weighing 3#1oz/16.5 inches long at 30 weeks, 0 days. She was beyond perfect.
We chose her name to combine our middle names (Charles/Joy). I had a concealed placental abruption (no bleeding prior to delivery which is rare) and my placenta had detached at the umbilical cord site. This was thought to have been caused by my worst enemy - pre eclampsia. We were able to hold Charlie after she was born. She got to stay with us for awhile in our room as we had a CuddleCot provided to us by the hospital. Our entire family got to hold her, show her unconditional love, and say "see you later" as my oldest son says. We had a celebration for with our amazing family and friends who came and cried with us. We released pink balloons up to heaven for her. It all seems like such a blur as I type this but it feels good to share our story. Charlie was and always will be my baby girl and she deserves to have her story told. My boys love talking about their sister in heaven and are experts at finding signs from her all around us. Thanks to NFTS, our family gets to celebrate Charlie in ways we never imagined.
I am so thankful for No Foot Too Small and the mission to normalize pregnancy/infant loss and share our stories with others. Thank you for allowing us to celebrate our babies with fun events that bring our family and so many others happiness and joy!
- Mattie Testroet
IN HONOR AND CELEBRATION OF CHARLIE, DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE. ON BEHALF OF THE TESTROET FAMILY, THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT.