Memorial for Sophia Lynn Nemirovsky

On December 29, 2014, my sister, Kate Kruse Nemirovsky, delivered my beautiful niece Sophia Lynn. Sadly, Sophia passed away in Kate’s belly. (At the end of this, you can read the story of Sophia Lynn Nemirovsky , written in the words of her Mother, Kate)

While I struggle to find peace, I am in awe of Kate and Feliks’ love for each other and Sophia. Their courage and strength is a true testament to their love.

I cannot imagine what my sister and her husband have to deal with, but I do know that there will be bills to pay, and I do not want them to have to deal with those on top of everything else.

I want to help them financially. I need your help raising money so they do not have to stress about how to pay the bills they will undoubtedly receive in the near future. Unfortunately, there is no life insurance coverage for Sophia to help cover these expenses. While I cannot know all of the bills they will be faced with paying, these are a few I know of:

Medical Bills
* Kate’s 4-day hospital stay
* The medication needed to induce labor
* The C-section needed to eventually deliver Sophia
* The pain medicine needed for Kate after the surgery
* Counseling if needed

Funeral Expenses
* The urn for Sophia’s ashes
* The niche at the memorial garden to put Sophia’s urn
* The funeral service itself
* The funeral home expenses

On a healing note:
Months before Sophia was born, I crocheted a purple stuffed bear for her. Kate has found comfort in this bear since Sophia’s birth.

A few days after Sophia was born, Kate was looking at the tape measure the nurses used to measure Sophia. Curiously, I measured the purple bear: the bear’s length is 22 inches long, the exact length of Sophia, and the bear’s head circumference is 14 inches around, the exact same as Sophia’s head.

If there is any money left after paying the expenses previously mentioned and any others I have missed, Kate would like to use the money to purchase the materials necessary to crochet stuffed bears for anyone unfortunate to be in this same situation. It costs about $25 for the materials necessary to make one bear. 

Please consider making a donation to the Memorial for Sophia Lynn Nemirovsky. Any amount will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your love and support,

Jen Woodward

Sophia’s Aunt


Sophia Lynn Nemirovsky (in her Mother's words)

Feliks and I are leaving the hospital with heavy hearts. We will not physically being bring our little girl home with us. She unfortunately passed away in my belly sometime between late Christmas Eve and Sunday, December 29th. I was very sick with a stomach bug the night of December 23rd and into Christmas Eve and which was causing me to be dehydrated and in turn was causing contractions. 

When we came to the hospital late Tuesday night we were unsure if I was sick or if baby Sophia was trying to make her exit.  The nurses and doctor checked me and watched over us for a few hours. I was given fluids for the dehydration and they were monitoring baby Sophia. The entire night, even though I didn't feel good, Sophia was doing great. The doctor and several nurses continuously came in to comment on how happy Sophia was in my belly. They kept saying, "She's a happy baby!" 

They sent us home because there were no problems. No signs of distress to baby Sophia and they told us just to make sure I got fluids since it was determined that I a bad stomach bug.  Over the next few days, I didn't feel Sophia moving much but this didn't alarm me since I didn't feel her much during the whole pregnancy. We referred to her as a lazy, calm baby. We figured she was moving and I couldn't feel it or she was moving when I was sleeping. Either way, we were anxiously awaiting her arrival.

Come Sunday, we decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to come to the hospital for a check. We figured there was nothing wrong but wanted to make sure our lazy baby was still ok.  When we arrived at the hospital, we both thought it would be an in and out situation. I truly felt a little silly coming in just to check for her heartbeat. I never could have imagined what would happen next. 

The nurses put the monitor on me and also did an ultrasound to hear the heartbeat. It was only 30 seconds or less before the doctor told us there was no heartbeat. Feliks and I were in disbelief. For our peace of mind, we asked for a second opinion. They brought in another doctor to verify for us. And yes, the same sad news was confirmed. I wanted to die.

How could this happen? They did not know. They could not see on the ultrasound what we would later find out. The next few hours were a daze. We were mad and sad, confused, and worried.  Then we had to deal with how to deliver baby Sophia. 

 My first reaction was to try not to become attached. Thankfully, a good family friend, Mrs. V, put it into words for us. She said, Katie I realize you are trying to not be attached to this baby but you already are. She is your daughter that you and Feliks have given life to. She explained to us how she has been with us for 9 months and she will continue to be with us always.

She was right. I couldn't imagine going through this the way I had originally thought when I heard the bad news - get the baby out, I don't want to see her or hold her, I just want this process over with quickly like pulling off a Band-Aid. The faster the better, right? 

With the help of Mrs. V's understanding, our family, the doctor, nurses, and our good friend who we love to call St. Joan, our attitudes changed. We were going to deliver our baby in the safest way possible. She would have a birthday and a life. She would be ours forever and always.

The doctor suggested we try for a vaginal delivery because he said it would be the safest for me. He said most moms in this situation would have a c-section so it would be over quickly. I figured we would continue with our birth plan just as we had decided before the news. I was worried about the emotional part of pushing Sophia out and the doctor assured me if we got to that point and I couldn't emotionally handle it, they would perform a c-section. 

I did get an epidural pretty quickly after they started my contractions because everyone decided that I didn't need the physical pain on top of all of the emotional pain. After a day of laboring, Sophia was still trying to come out face first. The doctor decided it would be a hard delivery if we continued in this path and we decided on a c-section.

At this point, we still didn't know what had happened to her. The doctor said sometimes they get an answer when they see the baby but a lot of times there's no answer as to why this happened. I figured with our luck, we would never know what caused this horrible situation. 

Thankfully I was wrong and God had answered our prayers. We had an answer as to what happened to Sophia.  The umbilical cord had been wrapped extremely tight around her neck and arm.  This was a freak accident that no one could have known or prevented.  We have since learned that 1 in 4 babies are born with the cord around their neck. It just happened to get pulled way too tight and there was no hope for Sophia. 

Although it's hard for me to imagine her struggling in my belly with no one there to help her, I also know that no one caused this to happen. Not me, not Feliks, not the doctor, not the nurses, and not God. It was truly an accident. One that even under the extreme caution of bed rest, constant monitoring and ultrasounds, we still could not have known or prevented. We have no one to blame for this and Feliks and I are at peace with that. 

After the surgery, we were able to hold her and share her with family. We also had a minister from my church here that blessed her and gave her the beautiful name of Sophia Lynn Nemirovsky.  The nurse bathed her and we dressed her in a pretty white lace dress made by a special support group that was sent to us by our friend, Jennica.

She is a beautiful baby. She truly is so pretty. She has a full head of long dark hair and the cutest little nose ever. She is 8lbs 6 oz. and she's 22 inches long!  Mrs. V was here and she was able to take some pictures of us with her. My mom, sister, and Irina also got to hold her. We got her footprints (she has some long toes like her Daddy) and handprints (the nurse said she has strong hands). Feliks also cut a lock of her hair so we could keep it.

We never expected to be planning a funeral at this time in our lives and it doesn't seem right. But our little girl needs us to be there for her so we will try and be strong.

We love her so much and as sad as we are, her birthday, December 29, 2014 was a happy night. We got to meet our daughter and hold her.  Sophia is a special little girl. Like Feliks said, she'll be our guardian angel and we will carry her with us always.  Feliks also has said that our hearts grew. He couldn't have said it better. Although we are sad, we are forever changed. We have Sophia. She is ours and we are hers forever.


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Jen Kruse Woodward 
Carmel, IN
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