Celebrating Tilli Rose Wagner


"On the day of my only son's 13th birthday, May 25th 2019, I was feeling a bit off so I decided to take a pregnancy test.  It was positive!  We were ecstatic, but I was also extremely fearful.  I had just lost a pregnancy in November the previous year.  Pregnancy after loss is terrifying.  A few weeks later, we heard a very strong heartbeat and saw our baby for the first time.  We were in love, INSTANTLY!  We found out early on that our baby was a girl.


Around 14 weeks, I started having complications.  Bleeding, cramping, swelling.  But every time I went to the doctor to have everything checked out, our little girl was okay.  The doctors just kept telling me that these things were probably just going to be "my norm" for possibly the entire pregnancy. 


On September 16th, my complications got much worse.  I made the decision to switch doctors and facilities because this was definitely NOT normal.  They checked me, and told me that none of the things I was experiencing were normal.  I was scheduled for the anatomy scan that same day.  Our baby was okay, once again.  The doctor came in after the scan and told us that our baby was a picture of perfect health, but they found a fairly large subchorionic hematoma.  That was likely the cause of the bleeding and cramping.  They told us that it might go away, but it might get worse and cause preterm labor.  There's no way of telling and there isn't anything they can do to fix it.  


On September 26th 2019, I woke up for work, and I felt amazing, better than I had in weeks.  I was 1 day shy of 22 weeks.  The bleeding had subsided, the cramping and swelling had stopped.  But a few hours later, the bleeding started again.  It was worse than it had ever been.  It was accompanied by the worst pain I have ever felt.  I left work, called labor and delivery, and was to come in right away.  After I was admitted and checked, they informed me that they suspected a placental abruption, and the extreme pain I was feeling was actually contractions, because I was dilated, and in full blown labor.  Our daughter was coming and there was nothing they could do to stop it.  I heard her heartbeat for the last time at 5pm that night.  Afterwards, a nurse looked me in the eyes, with tears in her eyes, and said "Do you want to hold your daughter when she comes? She isn't going to make it, she's too little, so we need to focus on saving your life."  Up until that moment, I truly believed everything would be okay, our girl was always okay.  


At 5:54 pm on September 26th, 2019, our daughter, Tilli Rose Wagner was born.  Having passed away shortly before birth, the silence was deafening. No newborn baby cry and not a single dry eye in the whole room.  Our girl had already gone to be with God.  


When they put her in my arms, I felt the most joy and sadness I have felt my entire life, simultaneously.  She was so beautiful!  She had her daddy's little nose, and my chin and long slender fingers.  She weighed exactly 1 pound.  She was so perfect.  


As we were waiting for family to meet her, her body began to change.  A nurse suggested that we her in "the fridge" until they got there to keep her cold.  Everyone came and met her and also said their goodbyes.  I held her one last time, she was so cold, and it was so painful to see her like that.  I told her how sorry I was that I couldn't save her, that I loved her so much and I said goodbye to my precious daughter.    


Mommy, Daddy, and your big brother Hunter miss you and love you so much, Tilli Rose.  To the moon and back!

Thank you NFTS, for everything you do to help families navigate through the grief that comes along with losing a sweet baby.


~Holli Rodrick