I Have a Daughter

Another sick twist in the continuing saga of our sad story of loss.  All this time spent mourning a little boy named Jonah.  Mourning the loss of this little boy who I knew would have tried with all his might to keep up with his big brothers.  Enjoying having my three boys.  I feel like I can so relate to mother’s of only boys.  It’s a wild life.  A mother son connection is almost romantic.  I know nothing else.

A few days ago I finally got the courage to open the envelope from my midwife and read our autopsy report.  It took me reading “female fetus” about 3 times before I finally took a double take.  What?  Typo?  Wrong person?  Nope.  All the information was right.  My name and birthday, time of death, gestation period.  So I looked it over again and over and over again it said “female”.  In the conclusions it said “In summary, this is a chromosomally and anatomically normal female fetus in whom an anatomical cause of intrauterine death is not identified.”


I hand the papers to Brent and point to the words.


I seriously couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t wrap my head around this.  How was this gotten wrong?  How did the midwife shout “boy” and we didn’t question it?

I took to google and found a baby boy of the same gestational age.  Then it became VERY clear that Jonah was never even close to even looking like a boy.  Things are definitely different looking at that stage….on a GIRL….not a boy.  A boy looks like a boy.  I looked at my own photos of my baby and she’s so clearly not a boy.

I’m not regretting not questioning our midwife.  What did we know?  To be frank, the clitoris on a baby that size is really large at that time.  It looks like a tiny penis.  We thought we had a boy.

I finally caught my breath enough to tell family members.  It hadn’t even sunk in yet.  It took a few hours.  Old wounds were being sliced open one by one as I felt that old dagger of pain twisting in my gut again.  I had been mourning the wrong person.

I told others that it’s not like it changes everything but all I ever get to know about my baby is it’s gender.  You think about a girl differently.

Then came the bitterness of knowing how excited I would have been.  I wanted my girl SO BAD.  Any mother of boys who has been wanting their girl knows exactly what I am saying.  I had my girl.  I have my daughter.  I made a girl.  Then she was torn away from me in this sick twist of events.

I’m totally mourning something and someone new.  But kind of missing Jonah – this son I had been mourning too.

In some ways, I’m starting all over again.

I’m pretty pissed off at the midwife right now.  Nothing can make losing your baby any harder or easier but I know my time with her after the birth would have been different.  Those moments I would have cried for my daughter and looked at her as my daughter and not my son.  There would have been a different kind of agony, an agony that I would have already worked through and come to terms with by now.  But now, only 9 days from her due date – I’ve only begun mourning a daughter.

It feels shallow to change things in a way.  After all, it’s my child that’s gone….her gender really doesn’t matter but I want things to be the way they were had we known right away.  We are now missing someone named Serenity.  We are going to have the urn we would have chosen for a girl and same with all our things we have memorialized her with (the midwife can count herself lucky that we hadn’t gotten tattoos done yet).  Seeing as though this is only 4 months later and we have the rest of our lives to remember her as she really was.  I think it’s ok to make the changes now.  She wouldn’t have been born yet.

She she she.  It’s so weird to say she, her, daughter.  My daughter.  Our daughter.  We made a girl.

When I finally looked at her photos and her face and saw her as a girl my heart dropped from my chest.  Seeing all these features as girl features.  Imagining a little girl that looks a lot like her brother, Isaac.  I need to stare at it more when I’m not so raw.  I need to spend time with her face and her body and soak it all in the way I would have if I knew at the time.

I miss everything I would have been doing right now.  It would have been so much fun to prepare for a girl.  I would have put us through a bit of a financial issue buying her clothes.  I would have made her room grey and lavender.  I know her grandmothers and aunties who sew would be making darling little dresses.  I would have the biggest proudest grin on my face – so excited to meet the little girl that I had always wanted.

I see all these things as shadows.  People living this dream in a parallel universe where things didn’t go wrong.  Happening around me as I type.

Boy or girl, coming up to the due date there’s been a growing agony in me.

I will always love you and miss you my little Serenity.  You will be forever in my heart and I am blessed and honoured to say I have a daughter, and I that love her with all of my heart.


  1. Oh my god, Leah. I am so, so sorry. This is unbelievable. I am stunned and can’t imagine what you’re feeling and thinking at this moment. I just want to hug you. All my love.

  2. oh gosh that made my heart drop…What an unexpected thing to go through, re-mourning in a different way I’m sure. Eternity will be sweet when you can hold your daughter and know her. so sorry again my friend. 🙁

  3. Oh, Leah. I’m so sorry. I absolutely understand how different this knowledge makes things. I love what Petara says: how sweet it will be to get to know your daughter, one day. Still so hard that it’s “one day” and not today, or tomorrow, so close to her due date, but squeeze what little comfort is possible from that “one day”. Love and hugs to you xo

  4. Serenity: such a beautiful name for a beautiful daughter. Our hearts go out to you, Brent and her brothers with love.

  5. There are never real words to describe the pain,longing, hopes ,disappointment, wondering,missing… missing…. and wishing you could have that little person with you. The ache can be so great that you don’t know what to do with it….. words? What words? Tears…they start the healing.I’m sure you’ve cried them for Jonah… now for Serenity…I’m so so sorry for the losses. I am sitting here weeping, crying and aching for your great loss. It is first through the love of others and then time that healing comes. Serenity will always be a part of our lives. She lives on, much loved! You have a daughter!Your boys have a little sister! Sending you love, hugs and prayers.

  6. When I say losses… I am meaning first working through the loss of a son then to find out it was a daughter. It is like losing a loved one again and working through that now…. what an added hardship! Love, hugs and prayers.

  7. I have no words to add to those already expressed here…..except how very sorry I am to all of you for your loss of Serenity……the name of the prayer that I have often prayed.

  8. Oh Leah. What an incredible ache you must feel. Praying that you will have peace, that you will find a way for your heart to come to terms with this news. A girl. Wow. So many things to wonder and smile about in such a different way. Peace to you, friend, as you mourn the loss anew.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge