Juno Michelle’s Story

As told by her mother, Michelle. 

Since I was a little girl, my mom has been my best friend. She has shown me how to love and how to be a mother. I knew at a young age, that’s what I wanted– to be a mother and give my love to my children. I’ve suffered through infertility and a miscarriage, but in October 2013 my dreams came true, and my son Odin was born. He was perfect and everything I wanted.

In February of 2015 I had another chance to give a child my love. The plan was that this pregnancy would be my last. I developed gestational diabetes early on in my pregnancy, and it was being controlled by a pill. I was considered high risk, so I went to the doctor twice a week for ultrasounds and non stress tests. At 32 weeks, I began having contractions and was admitted into the hospital. I didn’t feel worried or scared. I talked to my baby and I told her, “Stop giving Mommy trouble already! Let’s save that for when you are a teenager, its too soon.” The doctor gave me magnesium to stop my labor and steroid shots to develop her lungs in case she came early. I left with the instruction to call my doctor for a follow up appointment.

I called the doctor the day I left the hospital and was told not to come in the next week because it was a holiday. It didn’t sit well with me, so I emailed the doctor’s office a few days later to confirm it was correct. My sugar was still high from the steroid shots, and I couldn’t get it under control. I got the same answer. Just wait. I didn’t want to wait. This was my baby. I needed to know she was okay. I called again and I got the same instructions again. You need to just wait until your appointment and the doctor will adjust your medication if need be. I trusted that answer, even though my gut told me not to. I should have gone in. I should have listened to my intuition and made sure she was healthy. I could have saved her.

I waited and went in for my routine ultrasound. I was 34 weeks 5 days. I lifted up my shirt anticipating seeing my daughter moving around and kicking her little feet. Instead there was nothing.  I pleaded with the ultrasound tech, “Please, please tell me there is a heartbeat!!” My heart was beating out of my chest, and I could hardly contain my silent screams. The tech tried for what seems like minutes but was only seconds to find her heartbeat. I will never forget that sound, the sound of no heartbeat on the monitor, just a hum of emptiness. She took me to an empty room and all I could think was, “I have all this baby girl stuff at home. Her name is on the wall. What am I going to do with everything?” I had to call my husband and tell him, his baby died and tell my mother that her grandshild was dead. Juno Michelle was born sleeping at 3:12 am on September 15, 2015.

It has been five months. Five months since I have inhaled my girl’s sweet face or kissed her perfect doll shaped lips. I have wanted to give up. To quit life, but I can’t. Juno wouldn’t want her mommy to be a quitter. Her life has a purpose, and so does mine. I have to keep her memory alive and make an impact on someone else’s. I have to be brave enough to know that life will be beautiful again.