Charlotte’s story begins when we found out we were pregnant in August 2022. We were filled with joy when we found out we were expecting. The next few months we were anxiously awaiting her arrival, and imagining what life would be like with her. My pregnancy was easy, and I didn’t have any complications along the way. I would even say I enjoyed being pregnant. The months seemed to fly due to being in grad school, having baby showers, and decorating the nursery.  We got to April and were counting down the days until we got to meet our baby. We both couldn't wait to find out the gender as we kept it a surprise but we both felt it was a girl.

Our due date of April 21, 2023, came and went even though we were so ready to meet her. I finally started to have contractions early on the morning of April 23. I knew they weren’t super strong but were consistent. I called the hospital that morning on what to do and they told me I could come in if I wanted to but most likely I was in early labor. We went in later that afternoon since contractions were still consistent and were anxious as it was our first baby. When we got there, I got hooked up to the monitors and everything looked perfect. She was tolerating the contractions, but unfortunately, I wasn’t dilated any further and was still only at 1 cm. The doctor told me that I was still in early labor and could be in labor like this for a few days since it was my first baby and to come back when my contractions were stronger. My contractions continued throughout the night but didn’t really get stronger until the morning of April 24th. I called again on the morning of April 24th, and they told me to come in and get checked out. We were both excited as we thought we were finally going to meet our baby.

We got into the room and the nurse was hooking me up to the monitor and she couldn’t find the heartbeat. I remember thinking something was wrong with the monitor because we were just there about 12 hours before and there was no way anything was wrong. The next nurse came in and couldn’t find her heartbeat either. Our hearts sank, how could I have gone through the whole pregnancy without complications, and now she was gone? Our worst fear was confirmed with an ultrasound, and we were both in complete shock. How was this happening and how did I have no idea she was gone? I knew I had felt kicks throughout the night which was typical of Charlotte. I also thought I had felt her kick that morning, but she was never super active in the morning, so I didn’t think anything of it. I couldn’t believe she was truly gone and that I was going to give birth to a lifeless baby. 

The next few hours were spent inducing me to have Charlotte because I was still only 3-4 centimeters dilated. This process went smoothly, but the doctors prepared us for a long day as they didn’t know how my body would respond. The day was filled with thoughts of how are we going to get through this and how did we lose her. Charlotte was born at 5:50 PM and I remember looking at her and seeing how beautiful she was. She had my nose and hair, and Luke’s chin.

We spent the night after she was born in the hospital creating memories that we will cherish forever. Our parents got to come to meet her and be there as the hospital pastor gave a blessing over her. The nurses helped take pictures, give her a bath, and do her footprints. We are forever grateful to our nurses and our doctor because we do not know how we would have gotten through it without them. We are also very grateful for the support our family and friends have shown us.

The next few days and weeks after we said goodbye were filled with questions and confusion. We both wanted answers as to why this happened. We currently don’t have a reason for why we lost Charlotte and may never get one. We both have struggled with this but have realized that losing Charlotte was part of God’s plan even though we don’t understand why. Losing our daughter has changed our lives forever but celebrating the moments that we were given helps us remember her and how proud we are to be her parents. 

Amy & Luke Jipp