I Am Strong {Story of Preterm Birth & Loss}

I am strong.

I am strong because I moved at 5 months pregnant from Germany, back to the States, for my husband’s job. I am strong because after arriving to Colorado I was excited to finally have a home again and welcomed the sight of my air mattress on the floor. I am strong because when I woke up and saw my mucous plug at 23 weeks pregnant, I remained calm and we went to the hospital.

The nurses reassured me that women lose their plugs and that it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but still they would monitor me. No contractions for 30 minutes, but upon an exam I was 3cm with a foot presenting. I was rushed to another hospital all the while trying to remain calm and I felt my first contraction.

Denial was no longer an option.

I am strong because when I got to the hospital and my husband and two year old walked into the room I smiled and told them it was going to be OK. The doctor walked in and said I was 7cm and if my daughter had a chance of survival (23w4d), I would need an emergency c-section. I agreed and suddenly I was alone in the room, frightened, and having contractions one on top of another.

I am strong because I stared into the eyes of a masked stranger and begged for help. I am strong because I gave birth to a beautiful little girl whose grace and strength are far beyond my ability. She fought for a week before the pain was too much and her little body couldn’t take it anymore. I am strong because I said ‘enough’ and let her body do what it needed…free from machines.

I held her for nine minutes as my heart simultaneously healed and shattered.

I am strong because I will always remember her in my arms and the smile that spread across her face as her soul passed from here to there. She would have been 8 years old on January 17th.

And I am strong for sharing this. {Michelle}

loss michelle


For loss support, pleas visit stillbirthday.com.


  • Betty Jackson

    What a beautiful story…and a beautiful little girl. Thank you so much for sharing Gabrielle with us! You most definently are strong! I am so sorry

  • Melissa Haynie

    My goodness…. I read through all of this… and then stopped breathing as you mentioned the day of your beautiful girls birth…. My own sweet daughter was born on January 17th. She did not live quite as long as your beautiful Gabrielle. My Aislynn born at 22 weeks 6 days earned her angel wings on January 19th. She would have been 7 on January 17th this year. <3 momma… you are strong. You are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful girl with us.

  • Scooping it Up

    So sorry for your loss. You are strong. I had a preemie who survived. But I know it could have gone another way. His road has not been easy. Yours isn’t either. Sending love to you.

  • Alexandria

    Oh my….mama, I’m so sorry for your loss. I have lost 5 sweet ones myself but none this far. I cried at your daughter’s beautiful story. Your daughter knew nothing but love while she was here – and that is precious.

  • Tara

    Your heart simultaneously healed and shattered. What a beautifully accurate description. You are indeed strong for sharing this and for facing life each day and choosing a little more joy. Your baby girl gave you a gift of deeply rooted strength as I’m sure you can attest. Not in a way you would ever want, but a gift just the same. So sacred and precious. She is beautiful.

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