05/05/2015 10:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Preparing for Mother's Day After Losing My Daughter

I lay in the hospital bed, feeling my heart pound with excitement. Today I was going to be a mother. Today I would finally see the face of the baby I had been feeling move and kick in my body for the last nine months. My labor had progressed and the doctor had come into the room to check my dilation. It was time. The room quickly filled with nurses pulling carts of instruments and tools the doctor would need to deliver my baby. Robbie stood by my side, holding my hand with excitement.

My nurse was watching the monitor and informed me it was finally time to push. I closed my eyes and began pushing. The intense pressure built as I began to channel all my energy into delivering my daughter.

"OK, you can rest now," the nurse informed me. I took a deep breath; the contraction was over. Then suddenly a loud beeping began to sound off, and I saw the doctor's attention laser onto the baby's heart rate. He turned to me and said, in a soft but firm voice, "The baby's heart rate just dropped. We need to get her out of there as fast as we can. I need you to push really hard for me, OK?" Something was wrong. She could be in danger! Suddenly everything in the room faded away and the only thing on my mind was PUSH HARD! The nurse continued to watch the monitor, waiting for the next contraction. It's time. With everything in me, I concentrated as hard as I could to push with every muscle I had. I heard a sigh of relief from Robbie and the staff, telling me how well I had done. I rested, preparing for the next contraction. The heart rate was still down. I was ready to do whatever it took to get her out, and was now tired of waiting. Finally, the nurse squeezed my shoulder and said, "OK, push! You can do it!" I once again focused all my attention to push as hard as I could. I tried to block out the sound of the baby's heartbeat and focus. PUSH!

I felt a quick release of pressure and looked up to see my baby flying out into my doctor's unprepared arms, sliding up to his shoulder. He quickly tried to regain his hold on her squirming little body. I saw everyone around him react to this unexpected moment of my doctor almost dropping my baby. And then I heard the sweetest sound, that took all my anxiety away... Emilie cried.


My life had now shifted completely to this tiny little being. The transition, of course, had started from the moment I found out I was pregnant, and had been gradually building. She was out and she was safe. I was officially her mom. Two days later, we packed up Emilie in her car seat and went home. It was a Sunday and it was Mother's Day.


Emilie's birth and Mother's Day are emotionally so connected for me. They are one and the same. I was truly blessed to have been given such a sweet angel, and since her death at Sandy Hook, I have missed her every moment of every day.

Tonight I sat at the kitchen table with Madeline and Samantha, helping them both with school projects, my head constantly ping-ponging back and forth between them as they fought for my attention.

"Mom, how do you spell LEARNED?" ping!

"Mom, did you see my drawing?" pong!

"Hey mom, can I have a snack?" ping!

"Mom, my pencil broke!" pong!

"Mom, I can't remember how to spell Parker!" I look over to see Samantha with giant tears welled up in her eyes, just waiting to softly roll down her cheek. Then a slight smile appears on my face. I take Samantha in my arms and squeeze her warm body into mine. I love being a mom. I am grateful for every moment I have with them. This week, as Mother's Day approaches, I am going to be thankful for the blessings being a mother has given me. From Emilie's birth and every day thereafter, I AM grateful.