Mom Shares Beautiful Photos of Stillborn Daughter So We All Count Our Blessings (PHOTOS)

stillbornDelivering a stillborn baby is every pregnant woman's worst nightmare, and a tragedy that's rarely discussed. But when Natalie Morgan suffered this unspeakable loss, instead of staying silent, she decided to share her story (and the heartbreaking photos) with the world in an attempt to inspire other parents to appreciate every moment with their healthy babies.

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Morgan was over 40 weeks pregnant when she woke up to find that her daughter, Eleanor Josephine, had stopped kicking. She and her husband went straight to the hospital for an ultrasound, but their worst fears were confirmed when the doctors couldn't find any signs of life.

"I knew. I just knew. I didn't want to know," Morgan wrote in her emotionally charged Facebook post. "I wanted to be mistaken, but I knew."

Shocked and devastated, Morgan still had to deliver her daughter, so she was induced. She wrote:

Then finally, after those hellish hours of labor, she was placed on my chest -- gorgeous, but lifeless. There was no reason to expect that first little cry from her. Instead, it was me who sobbed. I begged her through my tears to wake up: 'Please wake up, baby girl ... please, wake up. Why won't you cry for mommy? Please, please, please ... just wake up.'

She was beautiful. She was perfect in every way. I love her so much, and the devastation I felt, and still feel, cannot even begin to be described. We got to spend 6 hours with her. We took hundreds of photos ... And I apologized over and over again for failing her. Oh, how I failed my beautiful baby girl.

More from The Stir: 'Stillborn' Baby Performs Miracle for Mom in the Delivery Room

Unbearably sad. As a mother of three, I can barely get through Morgan's post without sobbing. I can't even imagine how much pain she must be in. But it's the part of her post where she pleads with parents of healthy babies to appreciate their good fortune, even in their most challenging moments, that really gets the tears flowing:

But please just remember, while you're awake at 3am because you have a baby in your arms keeping you up that late, I'm up at 3am because I don't. And I would give anything in this world to have a baby spitting up on me, being colicky for all hours of the day and night, screaming, not letting me put her down, cracking my nipples from breastfeeding, keeping me up all night ... All I ask of you is when you have your dark moments with your baby -- when you're at your wits' end and feel like you can't go on anymore when you're only getting an hour or two of sleep a night -- instead of begging your child to go to sleep and being swallowed up in your frustration and exhaustion, find the tiniest bit of strength within you to keep going, and say a prayer of gratitude for your child, as difficult as it may be in that moment. And if you would, say a prayer for me and all the mothers whose children were taken from them too soon. Say a prayer for my sweet, sweet Eleanor who never got to know life outside my womb.

While still in the hospital, Morgan was visited by the nonprofit organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which offers free professional portraits to families of babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns. The resulting photos are beautiful, but deeply sorrowful. Get the tissues ready for these (and the rest of Morgan's post):

There seem to be so many friends of mine and Brian that have either recently had babies, are soon to have babies, or...

Posted by Natalie Morgan on Monday, September 21, 2015

Really does make you want to count your blessings, doesn't it? As Morgan wrote, "When babies are stillborn, parents don't get a birth certificate; we get a death certificate." That's something no parent should ever get for their child, ever. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Morgan and her husband, and may that sweet baby girl rest in peace.

 

Image via Natalie Morgan/Facebook

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