Life, though often so beautiful, is wholly unpredictable.
You can wake up one morning and not have any idea that your life is about to change forever. Perhaps that’s part of the raw beauty of things, though it can be difficult to digest in the darkest moments.
Meaganne Childre and her husband Casey know all about that. The couple were ecstatic when they discovered they were expecting – but their joy would turn to sorrow at 24 weeks’ gestation …
Meaganne knew something was wrong when she started to suffer from severe upper abdominal pain. In the hospital, she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia; her blood pressure had skyrocketed to 190/110.
The baby was administered a steroid shot to help her lungs and brain develop quickly. Meaganne, meanwhile, was placed on bed rest. Just seven days later, though, her situation grew dire.
Meaganne was rushed into a premature delivery, where Baby Charlotte entered the world with barely a sound. She weighed a mere one pound, four ounces, and was just 11.2 inches long. Charlotte was whisked away to NICU, though sadly suffered a cardiac arrest just five days after she was born – her death fell on the same day as Meaganne and Casey’s third wedding anniversary.
The medical team tried valiantly to save Charlotte, but her tiny body lacked the strength to continue the fight. Meaganne and Casey got to hold their baby in their arms and say their goodbyes, but Charlotte passed away soon after.
Now, two and a half months have passed since Baby Charlotte’s birth and death, but things still aren’t easy. As Meaganne shared with Love What Matters, she misses being pregnant, misses the feeling of Charlotte being inside of her and most of all the moment when she was able to hold her in her arms.
The worst, however, came when Meagenne had her scheduled appointment for a follow-up with the obstetrician. Already facing panic attacks and high levels of anxiety, the question she got from the front desk receptionist was too much to take.
As she explains: “I got there and the girl sitting at the front desk asked me with the biggest smile on her face, ‘Where’s the baby? No baby?’ I just shook my head no to which she replied something along the lines of, ‘Why didn’t you bring your baby?!’ (Again, with a big smile) and I just had to fake a small smile and tell her she actually passed away. ‘Oh my gosh… I am so sorry’ is what she said and then continued helping the lady who was at the counter on the other side. That lady had probably just heard me, as well as the lady sitting right next to the window in the waiting room.”
For Meaganne, her state fluctuates between grieving for her daughter and contemplating all the “what-ifs”. Her deepest fear is that people will forget about her baby …
“…I was fearful that people would take that as ‘we shouldn’t talk about Charlotte because it makes her sad.’ My thoughts then tell me because of that no one will talk about her and everyone will forget about her. And my thoughts then send me into a panic and my chest gets tight, I dig my fingers and nails into my skin, I rub the crap out of my knees, I pick my cuticles, I pinch my skin extremely hard, my muscles all get super tight and my entire body tenses. I hyperventilate, and I can’t control my body…This anxiety attack was scary.”
Obviously, Meaganne will need a lot of time to properly get over the loss of her daughter. Even then, she’ll always be prone to pondering the tragic loss. That said, she knows it’s okay to seek out help; okay to admit that a problem shared if a problem halved.
In time, we hope Meaganne can overcome her grief and restore some semblance of normality to her life. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, and seeking help is always the best way!
Our thought and prayers go out to her and Casey. Share this article to show your support.