For those of you that don’t already know, we said goodbye to our sweet angel three weeks ago on February 21st. For 20 amazing weeks I fell more in love with our precious little one everyday, counting the days until we would meet. One of my biggest struggles has been the silence that surrounds miscarriage/stillbirth. My baby grew for 5 months inside of me; I need to recognize his sweet but short life. I came across a website, FacesofLoss.com. It is a place where mothers of baby loss of any shape or form be it, early miscarriage, late miscarriage, stillbirth, etc can tell their stories. It has made me realize I don’t need to be afraid to share my story or talk about my baby. Eventually I would like to share my story on the site in hopes that other women won’t feel as alone in their journey. For now, I want to share my story with friends and family, because it has forever changed the person I am.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone how exciting the moment you find out you are pregnant is. You immediately begin planning your child’s life, what the nursery will look like, where he will grow up, what kind of parent you will be. You find complete joy in sharing the news with family and friends. You start shopping for cute little outfits, toys and books. You immediately feel a kind of love you have never felt before. You worry about your child everyday. Is he safe and sound in his little cocoon? Are you doing everything you can do to protect him? You count the days until you are through the first trimester. You breathe a sigh of relief when you make it past that point and your chance of losing your precious little one drops to 1%. Never in a million years did I think we would be that statistic, that 1%. I was busy blissfully enjoying every moment of my pregnancy, every little movement and kick I was feeling, every little inch my belly would grow.
What should have been filed under best moments of our life, “Pink or Blue Day” also known as the 20 week anatomy scan will now be filed under absolute worst moment. We only spent a few minutes with the ultrasound tech before she made up an excuse to leave the room. What was probably only a few minutes felt like a lifetime before the doctor entered the room. It’s all a blur looking back on it, but he put the wand back on my belly and continued to look at the screen while asking a lot of questions, then putting down the wand we heard the words we will never forget, “There’s no easy way to tell you this, but your baby does not have a heartbeat”. Surprisingly, we remained calm, we did not cry. We listened to everything he said and were even able to ask questions. The baby was measuring 20 weeks on the spot, everything looked ok with the exception of one very important thing, a heartbeat. 2 weeks earlier we had heard the sweet thump thump on the doppler at our regular ob appointment. How could there just be nothing now?
Decisions needed to be made. We could either choose to deliver the baby which could take anywhere from 12 -36 hours or have a surgical procedure called D&E which would only take 30 minutes under anesthesia. We couldn’t bear the thought of delivering our baby only to never bring him home with us so we opted for surgery. In hindsight and after reading many stories of other women’s losses I question myself and my decision. Did I let my little one down? I will never hold my sweet baby. I will never know if he had my little nose and Ryan’s cute dimple like I’ve dreamed of. My only memories will be the feelings I felt during my pregnancy, the sweet sound of his heartbeat and the precious few flips and kicks I felt in the days before he left us. I’ve come to accept this guilt as part of the grieving process.
I keep referring to our baby as “he” although as I write this we still do not know, pink or blue? My only hope is that I will feel some sense of closure in the next week. We will find out if our first child is our son or daughter. We will also get the results of the genetic testing back and hopefully have answers why and how to prevent this in the future. We look forward to giving our little one a name and proper memorial. And I take great comfort in knowing that he is being looked after by his Grandmom and Great-Grandpap in Heaven.
Baby H – Mommy and Daddy love you very much. We think about you all the time and miss you very much. One day we’ll meet again and we’ll make up for all the kisses we weren't able to give you here on Earth.
To my family and friends - I would not be the person I am today without you and I definitely would not have made it through these last few weeks. Thank you to everyone for all of your love, support, cards, flowers, snacks, meals, texts, phone calls and visits. Whether Ryan and I say it out loud or not, we will continue to need you to get through this. Please don’t be afraid to talk to us or acknowledge our loss.
"If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who's important to them, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift.'"