On Saturday, July 24th I was just over 31 weeks pregnant with Ethan and my first child, a little girl. I had had a very difficult pregnancy during which I was plagued with high blood pressure and put on bedrest. At about 5 p.m., I noticed that even after eating the baby didn't move so my husband and I went to the hospital. The nurses proceeded to hook me up to do a non-stress test. We knew the drill; we had been there several times with in the last month due to my blood pressure. After about 20 minutes trying, they couldn't locate a heartbeat. I knew right away that Janell was gone. Her heartbeat had always been so strong and this time, silence. An ultrasound was ordered and it was determined that our baby had died. Our first child,  whom  we  loved  more  than  anything,  was  gone.
    Labor induction was started along with several medications to keep pain and my blood pressure under control. I ended up getting stuck, for nearly 24, hours at one centimeter. But then the doctor broke my water at about 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 25th and at 6:43p our daughter, Janell Victory Allen, was born weighing 3 lbs. 1.7 oz. and 16.5 inches long. She was perfect and beautiful only she never took a breath. She looked so much like her daddy. She had his dark brown hair but it was really wavy like mine. She had a little crease on her nose that is a trait that runs in my husband's family. Her lips and eyes I will take credit for as her lips were full and her eyes were dark blue like mine were at birth before they turned brown, I'd like to think that hers would have been brown also. Her little skull was crushed as it came down the birth canal so she wore a hat and a blanket the whole time we spent with her; we got to keep the hat. I thought, at the time, that we all got the time we needed to say our good-byes but I realize now that forever wouldn't have been long enough. Both of our parents and brothers along with my best friend and aunt were there while we held her and said our good-byes. We asked that she be retrieved from the morgue because we felt we needed her back, just one more look, one more kiss. But the time came again to let her go. So we did. We did with our arms but never our hearts, she will always be in our hearts.
    It was initially presumed that her cord was pinched cutting off blood flow and that was what killed her because it was wrapped very tightly around her neck and three times around her leg (so tightly, in fact, that it left imprints on her let) but there was no bruising on the cord according to the autopsy report. My doctors believe that there were several things that went wrong during pregnancy - Janell was small and I was very sick, she just wasn’t strong enough.  
    Her body was cremated and we plan to plant a tree in her ashes someday so that she can live on forever in the world like she will in our hearts. Looking back, I wish we had done more. I wish we took pictures of her, spent more time with her, has a service in her memory. In situations like this there will always be regret and guilt somewhere. We miss her more than anyone could imagine. We had no idea how much you could love someone you had never met.

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