Written by Sawyer's Mom, Deidrah Sturman
All my life, I've wanted to have babies. To get married and have a beautiful family of my own. To be a mommy. Shortly after marrying the love of my life, I gave birth to our first child, Kennedy Rose. It was the best feeling in the world to see the two of us combined into one tiny human being.
It was a love that neither of us had felt before. A year and a half later, we decided we would complete our family with one more child. That's where Sawyer Marie came into our lives.
My pregnancy with Sawyer was flawless and text book. All her tests were always normal and she was so healthy. Constantly measuring 3 weeks ahead; never showing a single sign that she wasn't going to make it earth side alive. Until the day, at 35 weeks, I stopped feeling her move. Which was not normal for my active little joy.
The drive to the hospital for reassurance that she was ok was long. I laid in that hospital bed while the nurse tried for what felt like an hour to find her heartbeat. I knew by the look on her face that our baby was gone. She went and got the doctor (because she can't tell me that) and he searched for himself. I knew by looking up at that ultrasound machine that the flicker of life that was once there, was no longer. There was no movement in the picture of her heart. I asked him, "she's gone, isn't she?" And all he could muster up the strength to say was, "I can't find a beat, I'm so sorry." My body instantly went numb. My whole world crumbled in those words. I looked down at my tummy, so big and full yet so empty at the same time.
With my body already going into labor, it was time to give birth to my angel. I was so scared yet so strong in those next 13 hours. When Sawyer came earth side, she was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Curly brown hair and flawless porcelain skin. She was breathtaking.
The time we had with her was not long enough; Her body quickly changing from the lack of life inside of it. The moment I had to give her up felt like she was being ripped away from me yet again. But it was time to rest her little body in peace. I've learned a lot from that beautiful baby girl. About life and love. And for that, I'm forever grateful.
I will tell you one thing, once you give birth to death, you will never be the same.
A Letter to Sawyer
Written by Mom, Deidrah Sturman, and read by Sawyer's Uncle at her funeral
My precious Sawyer, my sweet baby girl. Where do I begin?
Last summer, I knew I was ready for baby number two. It took a few months of convincing your daddy, but he finally wanted to complete our family too. We tried for a while with no luck. Mommy quickly became impatient (as I usually do with most things), and a few boxes of ovulation tests later, there you were! Those two perfect pink lines we had been waiting for. We were so excited. Over the next couple months, we watched my belly grow and knew you were going to be big and strong. At my 20 week ultrasound, we found out you were a girl. Daddy was now completely outnumbered. He loved the fact he was going to be the king of the house. He was going to have 3 crazy girls on his hands, and he wouldn't want it any other way.
Then I started to feel you kick your perfect little feet. And you never stopped. Your movements were crazy Inside me. Like you were a one man band playing every instrument at once. I would push on you and you would kick back in such a sassy manner. Just like your big sister. So very sassy. You especially loved your daddy's voice. He often talked to you and let you know how much he loved you, and you squirmed around like you knew exactly what he was saying. Speaking of your big sister, she was ecstatic you were coming to join us. She practiced on her baby dolls, and often fed you with one of her fake bottles through my belly button. She kissed you and rubbed you daily, and with big wide eyes would yell, "sister Sawyer!" She would have been so good to you and the best big sister ever.
Working the super early morning shifts everyday at work was never easy, but I was never alone with you. As soon as I opened my eyes at 3 something in the morning, there you were. Saying good morning to mommy. We would go to work and open the coffee bar together, listening to Tim McGraw radio on Pandora. You were going to be my country girl, weather daddy liked it or not. Last Thursday, I woke up for work like any other day, but you didn't say good morning. I didn't think much of it; you were probably just really sleepy. As the day went on, my body just felt terrible. You still hadn't said anything to me and I was having mild contractions, so we went to labor and delivery just to make sure everything was ok. I was sure it was, but it wasn't.
Your little heart had stopped beating, you were no longer with us. Hearing that news was horrifying. Why you? Why our baby Sawyer? My heart screamed for you, for it to be a mistake. There are no answers, my love. You were just too incredible to be anywhere except for the hands of God. I then was admitted and prepped for delivery. I opted out of an epidural because I wanted to feel everything. Every intense pain of the labor process. I wanted that full experience with you. You deserved to be felt. I was so scared knowing that you would not be taking your first breath when you came earth side. I would never hear you cry. You would never open your eyes. When they laid you on my chest, you were so incredibly beautiful. I had never seen such a perfect baby in my life. Your skin was so soft. You had the most perfect little toes, and lots of curly hair. I really did give birth to an angel. You looked just like big sister Kennedy.
You were surrounded by so much love in that hospital room. We all took turns holding you, and I never, ever wanted to let you go. Although I don't get to have you physically, you will always be with me. Your heart will beat on in mine, and I will live everyday being the best me I can be for you. I won't get to change your diapers, feed your little mouth or hear your laughter, but you are in way better hands than mine. Every day will be a struggle without you and I will constantly have to learn to cope, but you're in paradise now. Save me a spot in heaven, my sweet girl. I'll meet you there and I'll never let you go. I will love you forever, Sawyer Marie.