October 5, 2013

Chapter Six: Millee's Story

Millee Margaret is my daughter who passed away while I was giving birth to her.  I feel it's fitting to share her story since this blog is named after her.  I didn't get to raise her, but giving birth to her changed my life forever.  The day after my office Christmas party, about mid December in 2007, I went to a routine check up with an ultra sound.  Without sharing all the medical gory details I found out I was in labor and getting ready to have a baby.  Because I was only about 22 weeks along I was admitted to the hospital in Ogden Utah, then later sent to the University of Utah's labor and delivery unit in Salt Lake City.  I was considered high risk and because of a specific surgery I had when I was young, I couldn't have a caesarean.  I had to have her naturally, but I don't have hip sockets either; a body part women need to give birth.  Our goal was to give birth between 26 - 32 weeks.  After 26 weeks her lungs would be stronger and under 32 weeks she'd be small enough for me to give birth naturally. 

I spent most of my nights laying upside down, gravity was on our side in this situation, and I was flat on my back for about four weeks.  The morning I went into labor I was 26 weeks along to the day, and I was alone in my hospital room in utter panic when I realized my water had broken.  I called the nurse and was rushed to labor and delivery.  I'd been on pills to stop labor so during birth my cervix closed and wrapped around Millee's neck and she was stuck.  I was then put on medicine that causes labor, but the process took too much time to start working.

I think those 30-40 minutes waiting to go back into labor were the longest minutes of my life; I knew as each minute passed, my sweet baby was passing too.  That night my Uncle Rex drove to the hospital to pick up my baby and took her to the mortuary in South Ogden.  The next day my mom and dad took me home.  Millee was born January 3, 2008; she is buried in Washington Heights Memorial Cemetery in Ogden Utah.

Millee was named after a night nurse I had while I was in the hospital.  I was having such a hard time thinking of a girl name, and I wanted to wait to meet her before I decided on a name; but I had to have a few in mind.  I had a night nurse, who was from Russia that came to check Millee's heart beat every night, and she was the one nurse that stayed for a bit and talked to me.  I loved listening to her talk with her thick Russian accent.  To be honest, her accent was so think I often had a hard time understanding her.  The fact that she would take some time to hang out with me helped me through some lonely nights.  Margaret is my mother, and I knew my baby was in some way going to be named after my mom; we've shared so much together and I knew my mom would be a big part of Millee's life.  I wanted Millee to know who she was named after personally.

I still remember the panic I felt when I found out I was going to have a baby.  I remember the rejection I felt when Millee's father told me he didn't want to be involved in our lives.  I remember even more panic I felt when I found out I was having a girl; the thought of raising a girl in this crazy world frightened me.  I still feel guilty every day because of losing her; I always wonder if there was something I could have done better. Most of all I remember the strength, faith, and love I felt being pregnant with her and planning a great future for us.

Millee was strong, beautiful, and loved to listen to Shania Twain; every time I played Shania's music, Millee would dance in my tummy.  Well, she either loved Shania Twain and danced, or she was trying to tell me to turn off the music by kicking me in the ribs.

I will always be grateful for all of the support I received from my dear family, friends, and co-workers!  Our family Christmas Eve party was spent in my hospital room that year.  It was actually fun; we ate pizza, opened presents, played games, and visited.  I had several visits from friends and co-workers, but it was also a very snowy and cold winter; I spent a lot of days and nights alone due to snowy weather and bad road conditions.

I don't think I'll ever truly get over losing my daughter, but the experience of having her taught me so much about myself and for that I have to be grateful.



  1. I can barely see what I'm typing through all my tears. As you know this strikes me at my core and very recent as well. I wish I could hug you and hear your laugh again. I miss you so much and I'm so happy you had a great support team. I wish I could have been a bigger part of it in person. The fact you will never get over it is a testament to your heart and your soul. We live in such a throw away society where many women would have not had the courage to go through what you did and would have "taken care of the problem" as they say. You are amazing to me and a mother to Millie you'll always be as well <3

    1. Thank you Jenn, I hope you're beginning to feel better. The best way to deal with loss is time. Love you!

  2. I'm crying so hard...for all women...my dear daughters also... I thank God every single day for the strength, love, and faith of all women. May God bless you and your family, I will also include you in the prayers of comfort and healing I send up for my daughters each day~Lana Cottam.