On February 19th of 2021, I saw those two pink lines and my heart was full. My dream of becoming a mommy was finally coming true after all of the struggle I had faced. Six months prior, I had a septoplasty on my uterus to help be able to create room for a child to grow. Without this procedure, miscarriage would have been more likely than not. 

During my first OB appointment, the doctor was beyond nervous, later referring me to Iowa City for a second opinion on possible abnormalities and a placenta accreta diagnosis. They believed, I should terminate my pregnancy. 

A couple days later, I headed to the University of Iowa and received good news!  They did not see what the first hospital saw. We proceeded with ultrasound and more appointments. 

April 13th I found out that I was having a baby girl and I already knew I was going to name her Charlotte Mae Graham!

At my 20 week anatomy ultrasound, fear set in. My anatomy scan seemed to be going great, Charlotte was waving and yawning- she was a wiggle worm. Towards the end the ultrasound tech asked me to sit still while she went and got the doctor.  As the doctor entered, he began pacing and I knew something wasn’t right. He said, "McKenzie, we have 3 options." 

1. We terminate your pregnancy.

2. We do a Cerclauge procedure.

3. You wait it out.

 My first response is, "NO!"  And my second response is, "What even wrong with my baby?" 

The doctor explained that I was dilated to a 3 and my cervix was open. My eyes began to fill with tears as I looked over at my mom.  Urged to quickly make a decision, my mind was racing. Within 5 minutes, I decided to go forward with the cerclauge. As the nurse took me to the operating room, I was terrified and wondering if I'd made the right decision.

Fast-forward to June 9th, I began having pain. I couldn’t get comfortable.  I couldn't eat.  Somehow, I finally fell asleep and felt somewhat better. 

June 10th I went into work and called the University.  They urged me to get there ASAP! 

Racing to the hospital, more than 1.5hrs away, by the time I arrived, I was in so much pain I could barley walk. I got lost in the hospital and was freaking out. When I finally got into the bathroom, I looked down saw what no mother wants to see- blood. I took off running to labor and delivery, sobbing. Admitted to a room, my sister-in-law met me there and called my mom- who made it just in time. 

After much chaos, Charlotte Mae was born 4 months early at 13oz and 25cm long at 7:09pm. She was beautiful, she looked just like her cousin who was going to be her best-friend. He was only 5 months older than her. She spent two hours with us before crossing over into that big blue sky. 

I miss her so much!  Life should be so different, but instead I remember her daily and miss her every second. 


McKenzie Graham