Losing My Daughter: Lessons and Signs from Above

Losing My Daughter: Lessons and Signs from Above | Twin Cities Mom Collective

I’m a mother to an angel baby. Ever since I lost my daughter Audrina, I know firsthand what it’s like to have half your heart on earth and the other half constantly reaching toward heaven. Grieving my child means feeling an emptiness that can never be fixed by anything. Every day that I get up and move forward is a small victory. Living with a hole in my heart has been painful, but it’s also brought me closer to heaven. Wherever she is, that’s where I want to be. To be with her, so I can feel whole again.

I’ve often contemplated if that was part of God’s plan. I think, maybe losing her has brought me closer to the God I believe in. I sometimes contemplate why we’re here, and what I can learn from my experience. It has taught me many lessons, like how to love deeper and live a more meaningful life. I’ve also learned how to live in the moment and cherish the simple things. Or how to have gratitude and take nothing for granted, like the opportunity to carry a healthy baby to full term with no complications. I can tell you now after experiencing a loss, I thank God every day for allowing me to go on to have another successful pregnancy and I kiss my rainbow baby probably a hundred times a day. Because when I do, me heart swells with gratitude and leaps with joy in a way that might not have been possible without experiencing a loss.

It taught me to stay humble and kind no matter what. Like that old saying, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind, always.” The week I found out about Audrina’s death bearing condition, I still had to go to work and put on a brave face. I remember feeling scatter brained and anxious, but trying to hold it together so I could pay my bills and keep my job that had health insurance to pay for the medical bills I was sure to accumulate.

One day, a grumpy old man came up to me at work and yelled at me in front of everyone. He was livid and cursing at me over being served cold chicken. He went on to tell me how incompetent I was as a manager. How could I have allowed such a catastrophe to happen?! I won’t always remember every word he said, but I will NEVER forget the way he made me feel. Since then, I have changed the way I interact with everyone. We are all human, we make mistakes, you never know what someone is going through. Above all else, always stay humble and kind.

Lastly, it taught me how to surrender to God’s plans and trust in his will. To let go of my expectations and accept whatever happens. Surrender what you can’t control, and fix what you can. Also, if you can’t change the outcome, change your perception about it. No matter how difficult the situation, you should always remain positive. For me, it’s about holding onto hope, have faith in the God I believe in, that no matter what happens, I’ll make it through. Even in the darkest moments.

I have a very personal experience that has validated my belief that God is with us in our darkest moment and our loved ones are trying to communicate with us from the other side. I like to think of my experience as a blessing from above, to give me the strength I needed to endure the weakest moment of my entire life and also to bring me the peace of knowing my daughter was safe in heaven.

The night I checked into the hospital to deliver Audrina, I fell asleep with my headphones tuned into my pandora radio. It was my favorite classical music composer Brian Crain. I had played it a thousand times before to calm my nerves and put me to sleep when feeling anxious. At 2:00 a.m. I woke for no particular reason, but the instant I opened my eyes I began to hear a song play. It was so peaceful. It was the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” by Chris Rice. I hadn’t ever heard the song before and it felt out of place being on my classical music station, since all of those songs are piano music without words. I looked up the song to try and digest the meaning, then went to bed.

The next day, I spent some time looking up movies on Netflix. I had tried to find the movie Heaven is Real. I watched that movie years ago and had remembered how the little boy meets his sister in Heaven. I thought it might be comforting to watch. We had some technical difficulties with the hospital Netflix login so I didn’t get the chance to watch it. Later that night, labor progressed. By 4:00 in the morning I was having full on contractions and my epidural had worn off. I could feel everything. At some point my uterus tore, I felt excruciating pain. My husband placed my headphones on my head in an attempt to calm me. The moment he did, the same song played, “Come thou Fount of Every Blessing.” As the words poured out, the song healed me in a way that no modern medicine could. C-section doctors where surprised when they discovered my uterus had torn. They told me the only reason I didn’t bleed to death was because Audrina’s head was wedged in perfectly with the tear.

The next morning I woke up from an emergency c-section and blood transfusion, in that same time I had discovered my daughter’s passing. I asked my mom to bring me the movie Heaven is Real. She arrived at my bedside and popped in the movie I had desperately wanted to watch all weekend. It was only 5 minutes into the movie when tears came pouring out of my eyes. There was the song, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” It played about 6 more times throughout the entire movie.

Now, I still play the song from time to time and can still feel the same sense of peace washing over me as I did that morning I lost Audrina. The song is such a blessing in my life. A sign from above, my validation from God, that my daughter does in fact exist, and she is safe in heaven. It gives me the strength I need to get through the day. To trust that I will meet her again. That she is always with me.

Audrina sends me messages all the time. Sometimes it’s a butterfly, or a beautiful peony. It might be when I see sweet little blue robins eggs, or when I look at my rainbow baby’s ultrasound photo. But one thing is for sure, when I receive a blessing from above and am reminded my sweet Audrina, it stops me in my tracks and makes me think about life. My heart opens wide up, because I can feel her love and, even if only for that moment, I feel whole once again.

My name is Trista Rakow! I'm a mother to a 4-year-old son named Everett, an angel baby named Audrina, and a rainbow baby named Aidan . During my 20 week ultrasound, my daughter was diagnosed with Thanophoric Dysplasia, a death bearing condition. She likely passed away during labor from a rare uterine tear that nearly took my life. I've been blogging about my experience to heal and help other mammas suffering from grief. I'm a fighter and convinced that I'm born with a purpose. I believe life will be what you make of it regardless of the heartache you might endure. All I ever wanted in life was a daughter, and God gave me one. I live in honor of Audrina by living passionately with gratitude. Aside from my blogging, I enjoy painting large scale murals, scrapbooking and decorating.

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