Rachel Whalen had felt a connection to her firstborn before the baby had even been conceived. The Vermont kindergarten teacher had always wanted a daughter, you see, and knew that she’d name her Dorothy. And as a high school student, she’d even dreamt about when her little girl would enter the world. But the real story was to turn out very different.
In February 2018 Rachel gave birth to a stillborn baby, and Rachel nearly died on that horrific day too. Yet in her sadness, Rachel, surprised at how the nurses had treated her, decided to write an emotional letter to the hospital staff. The letter would later go viral and strike a nerve with many other parents going through similar experiences.
But like a lot of tragedies this story actually started with happy news. After all, Rachel and her husband, Mike, were obviously delighted to find out that they were expecting – particularly because they’d previously suffered two miscarriages. When Rachel was 28 weeks pregnant with her daughter, however, doctors diagnosed the expectant mom with preeclampsia. This illness causes high blood pressure and can damage organs such as the liver and kidneys.