A Florida mother whose daughter was stillborn posted an emotional plea on Facebook for parents to cherish the time they have with their children.
Natalie Morgan posted the status after her daughter, Eleanor, was “born sleeping” on September 11.
“There will be times your child will scream and cry any time you try to put him or her down. Or they'll cry even as they're in your arms and you've done everything you can possibly think of to get them to stop,” Morgan wrote alongside heartbreaking photos of her holding her baby.
“There will be sleepless nights, multiple diaper changes in a matter of minutes, spit up in your hair, pee on your shirt, and poop in your hands, and again - so much screaming from the baby, and probably from you as well. Every time that happens, every time you feel frustrated and want to run away, please remember my story.”
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Morgan went on to explain that her daughter had been “kicking away” when she went to sleep the night before. When she awoke, however, the kicking had stopped and she wasn’t able to find Eleanor’s heartbeat on the home doppler.
“I knew. I just knew. I didn't want to know...I wanted to be mistaken, but I knew,” she wrote.
After hours of “hellish” labor, knowing that she’d give birth to a stillborn baby, Eleanor was placed on her mother’s chest. She was, in her mother’s words, “gorgeous, but lifeless.”
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“She was beautiful. She was perfect in every way. I love her so much, and the devastation I felt, and still feel, cannot even begin to be described. We got to spend 6 hours with her,” Morgan wrote. She and her husband Brian took hundreds of photos with their beloved baby girl, and left later that night after saying their goodbyes.
“I keep having flashbacks to that moment. It’s a crippling, all-consuming feeling of utter suffocation, and a memory that will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Morgan wrote of the moment she was told her daughter was stillborn.
“In that moment, I felt trapped as if the ceiling was literally crashing down on top of me. I couldn’t breathe, I lashed out, I screamed, I threw things, I threw up…and then a piece of me died with her. I was helpless to change anything. My body was supposed to keep her safe, and instead it killed her.”
An emotional funeral service followed, giving the mother one last chance to say goodbye to her daughter.
Her Facebook post — which garnered over 330,000 shares — served as a plea for parents to not take having children for granted, even in the toughest moments.
“All I ask of you is when you have your dark moments with your baby - when you're at your wits' end and feel like you can't go on anymore when you're only getting an hour or two of sleep a night - instead of begging your child to go to sleep and being swallowed up in your frustration and exhaustion, find the tiniest bit of strength within you to keep going, and say a prayer of gratitude for your child, as difficult as it may be in that moment,” she wrote.
“And if you would, say a prayer for me and all the mothers whose children were taken from them too soon. Say a prayer for my sweet, sweet Eleanor who never got to know life outside my womb.”