At 2:44 AM on the 11th day of January 2002, Heaven gained an angel, Megan Marie Peterson. I can remember this day as vividly as if it was yesterday. We had tried for numerous years to get pregnant with Megan. I endured many different tests, procedures, surgeries, and fertility drugs. In August 2001, the long-awaited day had finally come; we were pregnant. Our baby was due in early May. We could hardly wait to tell everyone about our pregnancy. As first-time parents, we waited until after the first trimester to tell everybody. We had been married for ten years before getting pregnant. The family was losing hope we were ever going to have a baby. We had so many people send their congratulations and well wishes to us during this exciting time. I think I read just about every book and magazine article about pregnancy, birth, and even parenting. My doctor was very pleased with my progress, and there were no complications noted. Everything looked good. We rang in New Year’s Eve of 2002 with great excitement as we knew our baby would be here in early May. It was Thursday night, January 3, when my husband and I watched FRIENDS on TV; during a commercial break, I stood up to use the bathroom and immediately felt a gush; I was bleeding very, very heavily. We went to the emergency room, and I was immediately admitted to the hospital and was told that I could expect to be there for my pregnancy duration. Daily ultrasounds showed our very active baby girl moving around, heartbeat normal, and developing as she should. I was learning what bed rest meant, no bathroom, I was catheterized, no shower, sponge bath. The days were long, and the nights were even longer. I was a week into my hospital stay when one night, I started having horrible contractions around midnight. I remember calling the nurse into my room because the pain was so bad. She immediately called the doctor on call to come and check me. As soon as he entered the room, my water broke. My baby could not live without amniotic fluid. I knew that my baby was coming. At that time, I was told I needed to deliver. They tried to call my husband to tell him what was happening but could not get a hold of him. I kept telling the doctor I hadn’t taken my birthing classes yet; I wasn’t ready to deliver this baby. I didn’t know what you do. He said, honey, we are going to do this together. At this point, my nurse was holding my hand and rubbing my head, and crying right along with me as I delivered my precious little Megan. I immediately knew when I did not hear her cry that she had died. The doctor said she died before delivery because she was in the birth canal too long with intense contractions. I had so many emotions. They asked me if I wanted to hold my precious deceased daughter. I tried; the instant I touched her warm lifeless body, I did not have the courage. They wrapped her in a blanket and left her in my room in case I changed my mind. I was so angry, heartbroken, sad, emotionally damaged, terrified. I couldn’t even think straight. Our baby, weighing 1 ounce less than a pound, 10″ long, was gone. Soon after, my husband showed up, and we held her and mourned in silence. It just so happened that my husband’s priest was at the church across the street from the hospital. He immediately came over and baptized little Megan. The ladies auxiliary had made a little pink dress with little white crocheted booties just in case of this very occasion. At the change of shift, my nurse came into my room and apologized for her lack of professionalism and for showing her emotions during my delivery. She shared with me that the very same thing happened to her daughter the week before. Her daughter lived in another state, and she wasn’t able to be with her. Next, a grief counselor came in to see me and explain what happens next and asked if I wanted to call a funeral home or have them suggest one for me. Funeral home- what- NO, I am supposed to be going home with my baby. Get out of my room, I thought; I just want to go home. All I could hear was excitement, and babies crying all around me. My baby was dead. Get me out of here. Soon the on-call doctor came into my room. I immediately wanted to be discharged. He wouldn’t do that because I had a low-grade fever, and he wanted to watch me for 24 hours for infection. I pleaded with him to let me go. I could not stay on the maternity floor any longer. I needed to go home. I need to plan a funeral. I couldn’t even wrap my head around any of this. After about four hours of negotiation, he agreed to release me. As they wheeled me thru the maternity floor towards the parking garage loading area, with a bag of my personal belongings and an envelope of pictures they took of our baby and an angel beanie baby, I was screaming inside my head -God, how is this even fair. Why did you do this to me to us?! The next 24 hours were a whirlwind. My body was going thru the normal cycle of having a baby, although there was none. My phone rang off the hook from family and friends expressing their condolences. Our terrific friends owned a funeral home and helped us plan the most beautiful intimate funeral. The outpouring of love and support that evening was overwhelming. Everything that happens in this world happens when God chooses, and he says the time for birth and the time for death. Our precious angel slipped away, and no one heard her cry—no time for daddy and mommy to sing her lullabies. My time with her was much too short; she had to leave too soon. I will keep you in my heart forever—happy 19th birthday, my sweet angel, Megan Marie.