Elizabeth Tinsley came into the world stillborn at 31 weeks and 4 days on Monday, December 4th, 2017 at 12:05pm ET. Her heart stopped beating in the early morning of Sunday, December 3rd. I have learned that the vast number of fetal deaths occur during maternal sleep between the hours of midnight and 6am because of low maternal blood pressure and the production of melatonin.
Tinsley was a perfect, healthy baby girl who developed a rare “True Double Knot” in her umbilical cord, which went undetected. Most doctors think these knots form early in the first trimester when the babies are extremely small. She and I were walking around for months with a loaded gun that just hadn’t fired yet.
She weighed nearly 3 pounds (2 lbs 15 oz), was 15 inches long, and her head was 30cm in circumference.
Her last day on earth was spent enjoying Christmas music and meeting Santa on the Essex Steam Train with her brothers, Charlie and James. Her last night on earth was spent attending the Sandy Hook tree lighting ceremony. I thought she was playing and kicking and having a marvelous day, but now I know that her erratic movements were signs of fetal distress.
She died on her great-grandmother’s birthday – the woman she is named after (my father’s mother). That night was the first and only full moon supermoon of 2017.
She was buried among other babies gone too soon during the first snowfall of the season on Saturday, December 9th. Reverend Matt of the Newtown Congregational Church baptized Tinsley before she was laid to rest.
Tinsley is now, and always has been, in the arms of our loving God and Savior.
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worries
You belong somewhere you feel free“