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Natalie Morgan, the mom-to-be of Eleanor Josephine, fell asleep on a September night, feeling her unborn daughter kicking inside her womb. But the morning was something different. So Natalie rushed to the hospital with her husband Brian, only to face the worst fear of expecting parents- Eleanor had died.
The resident of Winter Garden, Florida, Natalie Morgan shared her story on her Facebook page after delivering her stillborn daughter and encouraged people to cherish every single moment of parenthood- even the sleepless nights and weeping.
May Eleanor's soul rest in peace.
h/t TODAY Parents
"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. 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," her viral Facebook page reads.
"They offered me an epidural, but I couldn't do it. I needed to own it. I needed the pain, the agony, and misery to mirror what I felt in my heart. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Ever. Dealing with the unbearable contractions, the ring of fire, the tearing... knowing that all of it was for nothing. I was delivering a lifeless child. There would be no happiness at the end of it to help me forget the pain. The pain, unlike my baby girl, would live on forever," she wrote in her post.
She pleads parents around the world with these words: "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. 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."
"I'm not the first mother to have a stillbirth, so my story is not unique - but they're so rarely talked about, and I had no idea how utterly traumatic and devastating of an experience it is," Morgan told a website. "And, because stillbirths are so rarely talked about, I think there exists this vague notion - even if it's only subconscious - that those babies never existed or never really mattered."
Morgan says she remembers how she used to say hoping Eleanor to be a better sleeper than her son was as an infant. She pleads people never to say those words, for hopes can come true in the most brutal ways possible. "I knew that many of our friends were having similar nights with their children or were about to once their babies were born. I knew they would have so many moments of aggravation and desperation, but I wanted them to know how unbelievably worth it those moments were," said Natalie. "Not even a month ago, I was talking about not looking forward to the dreaded sleepless-night-newborn-phase; and now here I am willing to trade absolutely anything in the world to be going through it right now with my daughter."
The caption of the photo posted on Facebook goes like this: My first tattoo. It's a little more whimsical than I was going for. But it's hers. And now she'll always be with me. And while forget-me-nots may seem unoriginal, they're the birth flower for September, so I found them fitting. (And they weren't pink, which was another sign they were for her. Mommy and Little Lady don't care for pink.)
Natalie says, "I think it's every parent's fear that their stillborn child will be forgotten. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that there will always be a piece of our family missing, and no one but us will know it," she said. I want to reiterate that a stillborn child is still a child that lived. I know this to be true because I felt my daughter move. I felt her dance. I felt her live within me. She may never have taken a breath outside my body, but she was a person who existed, who mattered, and who was and is loved to heaven and back."