Violet Ann – Break The Silence, Nicole Heinze’s Story

Five years ago, on November 5, my life changed

only a few days after storm Sandy, my lifelong friend offered me a ride to my OB because she was one of the few people who had gas. I knew in my heart when I sat down for that last sonogram in my 33rd week of pregnancy, that things were not right. My last appointment had been cancelled from the storm, and today had been the first day back at work in a week.
I stared at the ceiling and tears strolled down my face as I felt my doctor move the wand around in silence. She told me that her machine was old and she wanted me to go to the hospital, that she couldn’t find a heartbeat.
She told me that I worked so hard for this baby, and it was going to be ok.
I knew that she didn’t think it was. When I got to the hospital, I remember staring at myself in the mirror in the bathroom thinking please let this be a nightmare. They sat me in the room and I looked at the screen. I saw her body on the screen; lifeless.

The black hole that would always flicker with her heartbeat, was still.

Do you want to call it?, they said.
A nurse sat by me and told me that she was sorry. I grabbed her crying asking her what happened. She just stared at me. 
Even though I begged for a C-section, they told me I had to deliver her naturally and would begin the process of inducing me. I just kept telling my husband how scared I was.

Would I hold her?

Would I be strong enough to see her face? And, would she look normal?
A few hours later my OB came in. She held my hand and cried and said, I too lost a baby. Please hold her and spend time with her.
Two days later, it was time to deliver my daughter, who we had already named.

Violet Ann

When she was delivered, there was only the sound of my loud cries. My father told me that the doctor had been crying too. I asked the nurse if she looked normal so I could prepare myself. They wheeled her out wrapped in a handmade knitted hat and blanket. She had a small bear next to her. My family and I took turns holding her. She was warm, with the most beautiful and peaceful face. I could only bear to hold her for a few minutes, and when I asked if she could bring her back they told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea. 

The feelings following, were something beyond description

Being wheeled out of that hospital, in a wheelchair with no baby to a house where the only screams and cries are your own. When you wake up and feel like your heart is being ripped out of your chest and you just beg that this is all a dream. That first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, all the firsts. One was more gut wrenching then the other.

I was pregnant again, 4 months after burying my first born

I hated that everyone just thought I would be happy again or when a stranger would ask if this was my first. How could I pretend she didn’t exist?
No, this is not my first. My first is in heaven.
The looks of pity and discomfort from my response. I cried at every single sonogram appointment with my subsequent pregnancies. Until I saw that heartbeat on the screen, I felt like I was going to be sick. When my son Logan was born, I thought things would be different. But, at night when I would nurse him to sleep in the dark, I would sometimes get confused or pretend it was her. I would look in to his eyes and wonder if that is how she would look at me.

Two years later, I was blessed with a daughter

She looks exactly like Violet. For three years, I was unable to look at girly dresses or go down an aisle in a store with pink blankets and bows. But, after my daughter Teagan was born, something healed inside of me. It is almost as if Violet sent her down to me. You see, my husband and I were told we could never have children on our own, yet here she was, our blessing. 
 

When I was pregnant with Violet, I was so excited to teach her everything about the world but, it was her who has taught me

She has taught me how to be grateful, compassionate, and to love and appreciate every moment of this life, good or bad. Every step I take, is for the ones that she never could. Even though parenting after loss is complicated; a balance of a world filled with joy, followed by just as much sadness. If I had to do it all over again, I would still choose her. As long as I live, I will speak her name proudly.
For she is part of me, and I am part of her.
I will tell my story, and I will not be silent. Through it all, I will help the women that are new to this club that no one wants to be a part of. 

I will tell them they are not alone and together we will break the silence

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Samantha Sykula
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Samantha Sykula

Designer & Owner at Hooked on Ewe
Born and raised in NY, I studied speech and language pathology at NYU. I am a stay at home mom to two beautiful children, Richard and Charlotte and wife to my wonderful husband, Rich. I have always had a deep love for learning, which has grown further since becoming a mother, I am always looking for new ways to enrich our lives. Becoming a mother changed my life, I learned compassion, caring and most importantly, true love. I hope to share the experiences of my breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, crocheting, full of love, life.
Samantha Sykula
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