Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine Issue 01 | September 2020

Oakley Diane Raynae

Photo & Written by Amanda Miller

My name is Amanda Miller. I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child in June 2018. My husband and I were so excited. I remember telling my oldest and she kept saying it’s a Girl. In September 2018, we found out we were having another girl. Everything was going great. On November 20, 2018, I had a doctor’s appointment and Oakley was kicking so hard. I joked and said when she grows up, she’s going to be a kickboxer. The day before Thanksgiving, I was in pain. I thought I was dehydrated. I took some Tylenol and a warm bath and the pain went away.Thanksgiving morning, I went to my sister’s house and I was chasing my youngest child around and everything was fine. Friday, November 23rd, I was taking my dad to Walmart and I start feeling light headed so we left and I dropped my dad off at home and proceeded tomy  home. That night, I had this awful headache, it wouldn’t go away. I took some Tylenol and a warm bath and then went to bed. I tossed and turned until 4:30 am.

I finally fell asleep and woke up at 9am, November 24, 2018, a day I will never forget. I got out the bed in tears and told my husband I was in pain. He said let’s go to the hospital. We got to the hospital at 9:45 am and normally, I could walk to the women’s building but this time I had to be wheeled because I was in so much pain. I was the only patient there that weekend and only two nurses. One gave me the gown and told me to pee in the cup. When I was done I sat on the bed and answered questions. They took my blood pressure 3 times and it was 190/180 which is high for me. My husband saw the second nurse shaking her head no on the fetal heartbeat monitor.One of the nurses finally said, the on call doctor will be in to see me in a few minutes to do an ultrasound. I wasn’t worried, Oakley was always stubborn and it was hard to find her heartbeat on the handheld monitor.

To keep my second child entertained, we started playing. I didn’t think anything was wrong, I was just dehydrated. The doctor finally comes in with the portable ultrasound machine. He introduced himself but we already knew who he was. He delivered several of my nieces and nephews and was going to be delivering my newest niece in April 2019.

He started doing the ultrasound and he was silent for a few minutes. He turned the monitor but I could see her face down. It felt like he was never going to speak. He finally looked up and said I’m so sorry, but there’s no heartbeat detected. I screamed. I cried. I looked at my husband and told him to call my mom. He did and I can still hear her voice breaking down. They had asked my husband to go out to the waiting room so they can start an IV. About 30 minutes later my mom was there. We had no clue what happened because four days before, Oakley was fine and now I’m being told she has no heartbeat. The doctor came back in and said Oakley was most likely going back and forth and got the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and she was trying to move, my placenta ruptured into three different places that ended up tightening the umbilical cord. On top of that, I had preeclampsia. I was induced and in labor for about ten hours. Oakley was born at 5:55 p.m. she came out and was so quiet. She didn’t cry or scream. The room was quiet and all that was said was the doctor asked my husband if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord. We spent almost 14 hours with Oakley. We took as many pictures as we could.

Sunday. November 25th, we were waiting for the funeral home to come get her. I kept thinking what am I going to tell my oldest. How would I explain that her sister had died? My husband and I talked about cremation, I explained if I saw her in a casket, I would want to pick her up and take her home. He agreed. We did a memorial the following weekend. We played some songs and wrote down some messages on balloons. It’s been almost two years and I remember every detail. For the longest time I blamed myself, but it wasn’t my fault. Things happen and it doesn’t make sense. I miss my daughter everyday. I think about her all the time. My oldest asks about her baby sister all the time.  Oakley is with us every day. We have a necklace urn that I wear all the time and my husband has a keychain urn. We love and miss her everyday.

Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine