"I thought my family was complete. I had a 10 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. My husband and I felt blessed to have two healthy children. Plus we were getting older. I was advanced maternal age. 

Surprise!!! I was pregnant! I’ll never forget the look of my husbands face as he saw the positive pregnancy test. Pure joy and happiness. I was freaking out! But quickly realized how lucky we were to be parents for the 3rd time. 

In the beginning, my pregnancy was easy. Yes, I had some nausea and vomiting but kept reminding myself it would all be worth it. I made it through all of the genetic testing and things were looking great. Our 20 week ultrasound came around and I needed to have a level 2 which is a more in depth ultrasound due to my age and having 2 previous c-sections. We were happy to find out everything looked normal and we were having a GIRL! 

We shopped until we dropped for girl stuff. Since my two other kids were older we had gotten rid of everything baby several years prior except for our crib. 

Around week 30 I started having some high blood pressure issues. Pregnancy induced hypertension. Not pre-eclampsia. I had been through it when pregnant with my son. They put me on medication and I felt really good. They scheduled my c-section for 37 weeks gestation due to all of my risks. 

5 days prior to my c-section date I had an ultrasound and non stress test. They prepped me for my surgery date and told me everything looked good and that they’d see me next week for baby day. That weekend I just wasn’t feeling the best. The doctor had called that Saturday and told me I now had pre-eclampsia but that the plan wouldn’t change. By Monday I called as I wasn’t feeling right and we went in (day prior to delivery day). 

That is when we heard the words, “There are no signs of life”. Our sweet girl had died. Intrauterine Fetal Demise. They couldn’t tell me exactly why but most likely my blood pressure issues. That night we drove to Iowa City to deliver at the U of I. The most heartbreaking thing for me was telling my two older babies. I’ll never forget their cry. It will live with me forever. 

I delivered our sweet Maren Mae July 23rd, 2019. I was hoping for a miracle. It sounds crazy but I just kept hoping she’d come out crying. The moment she was delivered there was silence and peace. I had the best doctors and nurses who cried right along with us. We spent 2 days together soaking in as much of her as we could. Our family arrived to see her as well. I’ll cherish the photos of all 3 of my babies together. 

The hardest goodbye I’ll ever have to say. Saying hello and goodbye in a couple of days. We miss her so much every single day. We talk of her often and visit her spot weekly. 

Until we meet again sweet baby girl, we’ll be missing and loving you." 


Stephanie Arenholz