At our tournament this year we will have a baby remembrance of babies that our foundation has helped, or that we have met along our journey of establishing and running the foundation. We believe it is important to share their stories and say their names.
Precious Ella, we are remembering you! Ella’s mommy, Sable, has felt lead through this experience to help others facing early child loss through her counseling practice, Village Counseling. I enjoy my conversations with Sable about what our babies would be doing at different ages. I hope to continue to expand our counseling reach with Sable. This is Ella’s story…
Ella Lynne Gonyea
August 24, 2015
“Our pregnancy with Ella was difficult. I was sick for most of the pregnancy, but even so Ella was loved fiercely. At our anatomy scan around 21 weeks we learned that Ella had not grown since around 19-20 weeks. My blood pressure was also high at that (and every other) appointment. Our doctor asked us to return in one month for a repeat scan. We returned around 25 weeks and learned that Ella had not grown much at all and I did not have much amniotic fluid. My blood pressure was also dangerously high and my “morning sickness” hadn’t let up. We were immediately admitted to the hospital and despite attempts to encourage Ella’s growth and keep Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome from progressing, we were forced to induce to save my life. The induction began on August 23, 2015 and Ella’s heart was still beating strong. Somewhere around 6:30 am on the 24th, Ella died. I know this because my body reacted and I became extremely cold. Ella was delivered at 8:00 am on August 24, 2015.
We miss her whole life. We miss watching her grow and every milestone missed. We miss seeing her with her little sister, Laurel. We miss the rocky teenage years. We miss the possibility of her wedding day and building her own family. However, we had to find meaning in Ella’s life. We had to separate her death from her life, which wasn’t an easy process to do.
The first year after Ella’s loss is still pretty hazy. Emotionally we were devastated, felt lost, and didn’t know how to move forward. It was like we were screaming our pain into a crowded room, but no one could hear us. Outside of medical, burial and funeral costs, I was unable to work for 3 months after Ella’s loss and that was completely unpaid, which was not easy financially.
If I had been lucky enough to have the assistance of the Rhett Sullivan Foundation when I lost Ella, I would have used the assistance for specialized counseling. I couldn’t find any therapists that specialized in pregnancy and infant loss that took our insurance. Any that did specialize, either were an out-of-pocket expense or were far away. As such, I found a wonderful therapist that had no conception of the grief of losing a child. Her experience with grief was losing her elderly mother, which I have no doubt was a tremendous loss, just different. Had there been financial assistance available, I could have used that support to seek a counselor who ‘got it.’”