Olivia’s story started years before we held her. In November 2015, we were blessed with our first daughter, Josephine—our Josie. Our pregnancy was fairly typical with no complications. We were excited to grow our family.
In May 2017, we experienced the immediate joy and heartbreak of an early ectopic pregnancy. I was 7 weeks along and knew something was not right. My body had failed me and I found myself in the ER in a pain I had never experienced. Moving through this first loss was a haze. We shared our loss with only a few family members, buried our heads in the sand, and were determined to move forward. Our desire to grow our family led us to fertility specialists and eventually to our pregnancy with Olivia. This time the naivety we had with our first pregnancy was gone—but as we creeped into our third trimester without any complications, we were thankful. We felt full of promise as we awaited meeting this little one. The only concern with this baby was her position—an incredibly active baby who liked to flip often and was ultimately transverse. Just to be safe, we planned to schedule a C-section. Unfortunately, at our regular OB appointment, our plans changed. At 38 weeks, 5 days, we found out our baby’s heart had stopped beating. I remember shock and disbelief. I remember thinking that kick counts were not quite as frequent as usual the day prior to the appointment, but that was it. I was sure I still felt the baby move. But for no known reason, our baby girl’s heartbeat had stopped. Our family gained another angel, Olivia Marie.
This loss was so different. We left the doctor’s office to return home and share our devastating news with Josie, who at 3 and a half, was beyond excited to have a sibling. I’m not sure what was more challenging—sharing our new reality with Josie or delivering Olivia and beginning my own grief journey. Both felt so immense and overwhelming. The next day, May 17, 2019, we were induced. I labored in a room not equipped with necessary supplies, with an apologetic nurse who was visibly frustrated with the space. Yet who showed us so much compassion and patience throughout the day. In the early morning hours on May 18, 2019, there was silence and tears when Olivia entered this world. She was perfect, 6lbs 14 oz., with lots of dark wavy hair. We held her, sang to her and dedicated her to the Lord. We introduced Olivia to her big sister, Josie, who gave her kisses and wanted to meet the doctors and nurses who were taking care of us in the hospital.
Olivia has forever changed our lives. She has opened our eyes and hearts in ways indescribable. So much of Olivia’s story seems like a blur, while specific moments I will never forget. Josie’s questions that echoed my own. The emptiness I felt leaving the hospital room in labor and delivery without our baby girl. The heartache will always remain, but it helps to share Olivia’s story. To hear her name and know she is remembered and loved. My heart aches with joy and bitter sweetness when I listen to Josie talk about Olivia with her newest little sister, Eleanor Anne, who was born July 29, 2020. Josie tells her all about our special angel, who is always in our hearts. I smile when I see her excitement when she sees a butterfly dancing in the sky and talks about Olivia. We are beyond thankful for our family and friends who continue to support us as we navigate this journey.
We were drawn to NFTS when we learned about their mission to build birthing and bereavement suites. Every delivery and angel story are unique, intense and special. Those of us who have been in the heavy silence after delivering our precious babies understand this is a sacred space. To be in a place away from crying babies and the chaos of labor and delivery would have been so helpful. Building birthing and bereavement suites is a tangible, immediate impact for families in such an extraordinary time in their lives. Thank you No Foot Too Small for continuing to grow your mission to celebrate, unite and build.
Carrie and Jon Miller
IN HONOR AND CELEBRATION OF OLIVIA, DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE. ON BEHALF OF THE MILLER FAMILY, THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT.