Ava's Story | Tough As A Mother

May 15, 2021 5 min read


Mikayla Anderson is one of the sweetest people we've ever met and a mother of 2. In this video, she shares the heartfelt story of her sweet angel baby Ava.

Video Transcript

My name is Mikayla Anderson. I'm from Riverton Utah, and I am a single mom to two beautiful girls; Ava, who is my angel would be two and a half, and my rainbow baby Nora, who is one and a half. I found out that I was pregnant with Ava in the beginning of 2018. I found out I was having a girl, and just like any new mom I was super excited.

I didn't see anything to be worried about. I say it's like an innocent mind, you just don't see anything bad that could happen. I was so excited, and around twenty weeks, I started to be in a lot of pain. I didn't think too much of it, I just thought it was discomfort due to pregnancy, and everyone talks about that. It never crossed my mind that I could be in preterm labor.

On June 4th, around 3:00 in the morning, I woke up from being in a lot of pain. I knew something was not right, I didn't know I was having contractions still, I just new something was wrong and I needed to get to a hospital as fast as I could.

We got in the car and we drove to the closest hospital, and they got me a room. The nurse told me it was okay if I went to the bathroom, I don't think anyone at the time realized that I was in labor, so she left the room to call the doctor and I unplugged myself from the monitors and walked to the bathroom. I felt like going to the bathroom would maybe take away some of the pain I was having, but when I sat down on the toilet, my water broke and Ava's tiny foot came out.

The nurse came in and quickly got me back in the bed and rushed me to a different room where a lot of people were setting things up and getting things ready for my baby. After two pushes, Ava was born.

She was 24 weeks old, gestation wise. She weighed 1 pd 9 oz. They took her to a little warmer next to me and started to try and stabilize her. I could kind of hear her little coos. She sounded like a little cat. That was the only time that I ever heard any sound come from her, so that's a really special memory that I have.

The first couple of days were really good. She was stable, she was in the isolette and had tubes all over her, but she was stable and that's what was important. It gave me lots of time to get to know her and be with her. I got to know her spirit and i'm so grateful for those times that I got.

Over the course of the next two weeks, things started to go downhill. There were setbacks, and she was having a lot of them. She was just really sick and really little. At the end of the two weeks, we found out that she had a perforated bowel, and she would need emergency surgery.

The Neonatologist came to us and was talking to us about our options. They weren't very good. We could have her transported to a different NICU to do the surgery, if they would be okay with that. They were pretty sure that once they saw her they would say it wasn't a good idea. If she survived the transport, she probably wouldn't survive the surgery. She said something that i'll never forget. She said if it were me and my daughter, I would just hold her and love her and say our goodbyes. That broke my heart that I had to make that decision.

We had family come in and we knelt down and we said a prayer all together. The room was filled with so many people that we couldn't see. We could feel so many people. We know that that was them ready to take her to Heaven. That it was time to say our goodbyes.

The family said goodbye and the moment that I had been waiting for for two weeks, to finally hold her because I hadn't been able to hold her, she was too frail and too sick. I had been longing to hold her, and I finally got to, but only because she was dying. They put her on my chest, and my family all left. They took out her tubes and I held her until she passed away. That was the worst night of my life.

The days that followed were full of grief and anger and being disappointed in my body, that it wasn't able to keep her safe, and lots of other emotions. Slowly days got better, and I felt like it was time to try again. Then I had a miscarriage, about 6 months after Ava was born. The next month I ended up getting pregnant with my rainbow baby, Nora.

She is such a joy and a blessing and has brought so much happiness into the home. I'm so grateful that I get to have her and her sister forever. What helped me get through those difficult days was definitely my faith. There's no way I would have been able to get through it if it didn't have my belief that I would see her again and that she was mine forever.

I know it's really hard for people to lean on their faith when they're so mad and angry, but it's something that really really helped me get through those times. Another thing that helped me get through it was definitely my family. They were amazing. They've been so helpful and supportive and loving. I couldn't ask for a better family. Along with that, all of the people that supported me through those challenges, they were people that I didn't really know, they would message me and tell me they were thinking of me or praying for me, and I could feel those prayers helping me get through those hard days.

Advice for women experiencing similar trials?

The advice that I have is to just take it day by day. There are going to be some really hard days, and that's okay. It's okay to be mad and upset and angry. It's okay to cry. Those feelings are all normal, and eventually there will be a good day. Then there will be multiple good days in a row, and the bad days will start to separate and become further and further apart. When that happens, it doesn't mean that you've moved on or forgotten about your baby. You'll never forget. You don't ever move on, you move forward.

Just take it day by day, and find a group of people who have gone through similar things that you can lean on and talk to. Know that there are people who understand the things you've been through. There are so many other people who, sadly, have gone through similar things.

 

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