Our Love Story

Our Peter Francis was born asleep on November 26th, 2012

This is our journey

Thanksgiving was the Thursday before Peter died.  We had an appointment with my midwife the week before on Tuesday and we heard Peter's heartbeat.  That was the last time I heard his heart beating. 

The weekend after Thanksgiving was long and tiring.  I remember feeling very pregnant and tired.  Thanksgiving was beautiful.  We went on an amazing traditional Thanksgiving hike.  Nothing bad happened—unless you count Michael falling from a tree.  We ate a wonderful Turkey dinner and then Mama started the flyer shopping
for the big day on Friday.  I didn't stop much those couple days, getting up early to cook Thanksgiving dinner and then getting up even earlier to go Black Friday shopping (I had to finish all my Christmas shopping.) I was able to take a short nap while the babysitter was still here. 

I am not sure when I stopped feeling him move.  I am so busy I never really thought much about it.  I didn't think about kick-counts for any of my pregnancies.  It that crazy?  Yes, it probably is crazy but I seriously didn't think my baby would stop moving.  (You know I will be doing kick-count compulsively this time).  It is my guess I stopped feeling him some time Saturday.  I felt really weird starting on Saturday.  I remember feeling uncomfortable.

I remember Saturday evening clearly because we went to a friend’s house for a pre-Christmas party.  Anyone who know me knows I am a social person.  I love parties.  I really didn't want to go to this party.  I was feeling so uncomfortable.  I told a number of people at the party I was tired and feeling weird.  Sunday was not bad I was just still tired.

On Monday I had my appointment with my midwife.  The appointment was great until I lay down.

She started to feel around.  Then she put her doptone fetal stethoscope to my belly.  She couldn't hear anything.  She changed over to the fetal Doppler.  She still could not hear anything.  She was so calm.  I was there with all three of my children.  She still could not hear anything after checking many times.  She sent me home saying to drink some juice and keep trying to feel kicks.  I wasn't feeling much but I wasn’t totally worried.  I remembered a tech not getting Adriana’s heartbeat but eventually getting it.  I know Nancy was way more experienced than the tech was but she had just lost a baby a few days before so maybe it was nervousness. 

I stopped to get a latte at Dunkin Donuts and continued the long drive home.  I waited to feel my baby kick.  There was nothing.  It was an hour drive and the longer I drove the more I worried.  On Mondays they have confessions at St. Francis Xavier church in Bolton.  I decided I had to stop.  I let Adriana go in first and then I went to confession.  At this point, I was really scared.  I went to see Fr. Dave, confessed, and then asked him to pray for me.  I went back to the car then called my friend Rebecca.  She said she would to meet me at my house to watch my children while Michael and I went to the hospital.   I had not decided to go to the hospital yet but she insisted, Michael was also worried and he agreed with Rebecca.  By this time Nancy was calling me.  She too insisted I go to the hospital.  She said she was more concerned than she let on.  She didn't want me to worry the whole drive home. 

I was still hopeful, with God all things are possible, right. 

Michael and I went to the hospital.  We checked in at the labor and delivery ward.  They hooked me up to the fetal monitor.  Again there was not a heartbeat.

We called Fr. Peter.  I still had hope.  I guess I could not believe this was happening to me.  Fr. Peter came to the hospital right away.  He prayed with us, laughed with us and told us stories.   

Because the nurses could not get anything on the fetal monitor the doctor decided to bring up the ultrasound machine.  In what seemed like hours the ultrasound machine finally got here.  Fr. Peter left the room and I prayed and prayed, still no movement and no heartbeat.  How was I still holding out hope?  I don't know but still I wanted everything to be okay.  It had to be okay!  God loves me doesn't He?  He makes miracles happen. 

Fr. Peter came back and prayed with us more.  He gave ups a relic and started to talk to us about names.  For the first time we still hadn't decided on names.  He suggested we name a boy baby Peter.  He said all the Peter's he has known were trouble and maybe God was sparing us the trouble-making.  He made us laugh.  He was saving us from a Simon Peter.  We prayed and Father Peter left.  I think all I could do was pray and continue to hope.  I didn't want to give up the possibility this baby could be alive.  I prayed for a miracle a million times.  Michael was praying for a miracle.  I was in shock. 

The doctor came into talk to us about our options.  (We had three babies at home, all had been delivered by caesarean but we hoped this baby would be born naturally at home.  They told us we could go to Worcester to attempt a vaginal birth or we could stay there and have caesarean.  To me it was a no-brainer, I was not going to attempt a possible uterine rupture with the chance of not having a baby.  Michael agreed.  By this time Rebecca had gotten another good friend Erin to come watch the children so she could come to the hospital.  Let me add Rebecca is not only on of my dearest friends she was also my doula.  

We prepared for the surgery.  I hate all the questions they ask you in the hospital.  Again I know it is their job but the questions annoy me.  We did all the prep stuff and I just prayed.  Michael was with me and we prayed.  I was calm.  I was the first time I was calm through a delivery.  They got to Peter but there were no cries.  I kept hoping but no sound came out of him. 

It's a boy.  November 26th, 2012 at 9:50 p.m. our baby Peter was born asleep. 

Michael named him.  We had both decided if we had a boy we would name him Peter after talking with Fr. Peter but Michael had been praying to St. Francis so he had the connection to him so our son was named Peter Francis.

We brought him back to the room with us.  Michael performed a conditional baptism.  Rebecca was the first of our friends to hold him.
   Now that we knew the outcome, I had lots of things running through my head.   Why didn't I notice he wasn't' moving.  Why if I felt so funny on Saturday did I not call someone?  Could I have avoided this outcome?

All these thoughts were running through my head.

After an exhausting evening I lied in bed holding my baby while I cried and tried to sleep. 

In the night one of the nurses kindly took Peter down and took some beautiful pictures of him.  She also took his foot and hand prints for us.  These prints have been such a comfort and beautiful memory for our family.  

Michael went home early the next morning to talk to the children.  They were going to be heartbroken.  How would they take this loss?  Oh my Adriana was going to be so sad. 

While Daddy was gone Mama needed to call family members that had not heard.  Some friends know because Rebecca was on top of everything asking for prayer requests before the loss and then lovingly and caringly letting people know about our loss.  By this time many of our friends were finding out about our loss at the morning Mass at St. Benedict Abbey said by Fr. Peter.  Many tears and prayer were shed for us at that Mass.  What would be my family’s reaction?  I called my mother and I was strong, she cried and said she would call the rest of the family and come to see me as soon as she could.  I wasn't as strong when I called my brother.  I could barely say anything.  We cried together.  He didn't know what to say, but who does!  He was sad and so was I.  The announcement could now go on Facebook.

While everyone was gone I was able to do my prayer.  Lord why?  I cried.  I realized that it was His will and nothing I would have done could have changed His will.  It didn't hurt less but it was a little comfort to know it was His will for our family. 

The children were now here with another amazing friend, Peg Murphy.  James my sweet sensitive little boy
did not really know what to think.  If we as adults don't know how to respond how is this little boy supposed to know how to respond?  I'm sure he was wondering how this little baby that was not moving or crying could be his baby brother.  Adriana was so sad also.  She sat and just held her baby brother; James did not really want to hold him.  Thomas really didn't know what was happening and why everyone was so sad.  He was climbing around and acting like everything was normal—if only we could all respond this way.  They stayed for about an hour and we were able to get some nice family pictures.  We also had a chance talk to the children about Peter being with Our Lord in Heaven and allow them to ask us questions.  They were grieving and trying to make sense of all that had happened. 

Ma Murph (Peg) took the children back to her house.  This gave me more time to mourn on my own.  I cried as much as I could between doctors and nurses come into the room.  We also got lots of phone calls and Michael spent much of his energy making funeral arrangements. 

Midday Nana came to visit and Daddy went to pick Adriana up to spend more time with Peter.  Adriana sat in Nana's lap and they both held Peter.

I needed to rest.  All these emotions were exhausting.  Just as I was ready to fall asleep the grief counselor was here.  Some of what she said was silly like don't have a baby shower but much of what she said was good.  The most memorable words were "People say stupid things!"  People don't know what to say so don't be offend when they say stupid things.  I am not a sensitive person generally but being postpartum and grieving this was exactly what I needed to here. 

The outpouring of supporting was positively overwhelming.  We had many good friends call and visit.  My midwife and one of her assistants came to visit.  They were both very sad.  She, as mentioned earlier, had, only a few days earlier, had another family lose their first born baby girl.  She was so supportive through all this.  I was so blessed to work with such a wonderful midwife.  I honestly could not image having a different support team. 

Later this evening my dearest friends Anne and Michelle (godmother of Peter) came to visit.  They came bearing coffee!  They prayed with us, laughed with us and of course cried with us.  What a beautiful visit.  At this point I was feeling more at peace with God's will. 

Michelle holding her godson (top left) Anne singing to Peter (top right)
Michelle, Anne and Michael praying over Peter! (bottom center)

Everyone was gone.  It was just Michael, Peter's body, and me left in the hospital room.  We could see his body deteriorating.  It was very sad.  We were going to have to let his body go.  He was already gone but letting his body go was going to be hard.  Michael decided he wanted to get Adriana one more time so she could say one last "good-bye" to Peter.  Michael and Adriana held Peter and they cried.  I hadn't yet had my big cry.  I had accepted God's will and cried some but not much.  Michael told the nurses they could take Peter's body now and he took Adriana back to the Murphy house. 


By the time Michael returned I wanted Peter back.  I wanted to say my last "good-bye."  I cried and held him.  I prayed and held him.  I just wanted to be able to bring him home!  Why?  Please Lord let me take him home.  I knew I couldn't take him home and I knew I was going to have to let him go.  I said one more prayer and gave him one last kiss.  "Good-bye Peter, Mama will work extremely hard to meet you in heaven."

I don't remember the days that followed they are all a big blur.  I don't remember exactly what day we left the hospital but I am pretty sure it was Wednesday.  By the loving support of all of our friends and family we did not have to cook dinner for many nights.  Actually if I remember correctly I don't think I had to cook dinner, other that Christmas dinner, until after New Year’s!  We were so blessed by all of our amazingly supportive friends!  Between dinners and prayers we were so blessed and could physically feel the love.  I can honestly say I never knew what people meant when they said they could feel the prayers but I knew that all the prayers are what kept me going!  Thank you if you were one of those people praying for us, we are still truly grateful!

It was nice to be out of the hospital and home.  I was also hard to be home and not pregnant or having a newborn baby with us.  I wasn't nursing.  How could I be postpartum but not have a little person with me?  How could I be in so much pain but still not have a baby?  I had so many questions going through my head and the one thing that kept me going more than anything was my prayer.  Knowing it was God's will.  God never said life was going to be easy and yes, bad things happen to good people. 

I started to put my energy into something I could control, Peter's funeral.  This kept my mind occupied.  Honestly, Michael and Rebecca did most of the work preparing for the funeral but the children and I were working on a poster to bring to and display at the funeral.  I uploaded and ordered the pictures.  The children decorate the poster with family pictures of us and our little saint. 

Funeral Day

Again I don't remember much.  I was in pain, walking as slow as molasses.  When we got to the Abbey I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people we saw as we drove in.  Even though we told everyone about the funeral we also said there would be a private gathering after the funeral.  The thought of facing so many people was overwhelming and here I was face-to-face with all these people.  I didn't think so many people would come to the funeral.  There were so many!  It really did bring great joy to be surrounded by so many!  We were surrounded by my family, Michael’s family, homeschool friends, Nursing Mother Council friends, VBOA friends, young adult friends and community members.  Some of the students from a local high school took time off of school to be there and husbands took time off of work to be with us.  Wow. Again I was completely overwhelmed by the love and support so many people showed us in the time of sorrow.

I am still grateful for the outpouring of love and support we received during our time of sorrow and grief. 

This is video from the funeral that Michael shares some amazing words. 


Over the Next Couple of Month and Year

We were supported in so many ways including dinners, cards and prayers.  The cards came for people all over the country.  They came from friends and friends of friends.  We even had some young Christmas carolers come to our house.  These prayers and supports have carried us all the way to today. 

I was able to take my mind off of the loss by putting all my effort into Advent and Christmas.  Of course there were still and still are challenging days.  I was blessed by a retreat in February and I have so many beautiful women to pray with and talk to about my recent lost.

Thanks you all for the continued prayers that continue to carry our family through our rough days. 

Please continue to pray for us and know I am praying for you!  God Bless.



  1. "Mama will work very hard to see you in heaven" - This is how I feel about my time on earth too, just for the chance to reunited with my two little saints and united with God at the same time. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1. Sorry for your two losses Molly. I hope my journey helps you and others. God Bless.

  2. What a poignant telling of a heart-wrenching story! Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life. I felt like I was there with you. God love you and all of those who were there for support. You are a special mama of a special saint in heaven!

    1. Thank you Birgit! We have a wonderful community and the best of friends. We have been blessed by God in so many ways and we will only know in Heaven the whole picture of life.

  3. What a beautiful telling of the story Adrianne! I never have known all the details, and it's good to hear them from you. I will always remember that evening being able to hold my little godson, who was already in heaven!

    1. Michelle isn't is amazing to have a little inanimate Saint in Heaven. I feel so close to our Lord know Peter is right there with him.

  4. I am so very sorry for your loss. The love you have for Peter is really beautiful. My heart was aching for you and I was crying as I read this post. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story, Adrianne.

  5. MamaH Thanks you for stopping and reading my story. God has blessed us with the grace of accepting His will. I believe sharing our story is part of His will.