Nobody Knew but Me

Told by: Brionne

I was 21 when I had my son. The getting pregnant part was easy (and accidental), but the being pregnant part was really hard.

I was horribly sick with morning sickness then when I finally got over that I developed pre-eclampsia and was put on bed rest. My son was born at exactly 37 weeks, all 8lbs 9oz of him. He was/is absolutely beautiful. Even when I was pregnant and miserable, I loved it.

I loved him moving and hiccuping and kicking.. I loved seeing my belly grow. I knew that I wanted more kids. I knew that I wanted my kids to be close in age, just like I was with my brothers. So when my husband and I divorced, I was heartbroken for my son for a lot of reasons.. one of them being that I knew he might not ever get the siblings I always so wanted for him.

Fast forward to 7 years later… I waited until I was a week late with my period before I took a home pregnancy test and “Pregnant” popped up immediately. A surprise pregnancy. But an oh so happy pregnancy because I already knew that this baby would be 8 years younger than my son, but my son LOVES babies and younger kids. He always has. As soon as I found out, I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to be excited and I wanted him to know that he had someone coming for him.. but I decided to wait until after my 8 week check-up at the doctor’s when they did the sonogram so I could show him the picture. I decided to wait to tell the rest of my family as well. I told a few friends and that was it.

One of my best friends told me to take another test about 6 weeks, so I did. The plus, again, popped up immediately, confirming the original test. A few days after this, at 6 weeks, I started spotting after a pap smear, so I called the doctor in panic. She told me everything was fine and that it was normal. They said they would see me in a couple weeks. They said don’t worry. So I didn’t worry. I kept taking my prenatal vitamins, kept rubbing my belly while imagining this little boy or girl growing in there, kept picturing the future of my family with two kids, kept picturing my son as an older brother.. such a wonderful, loving older brother.

At my 8 week check-up my doctor did a sonogram. She searched and searched and searched. She said maybe she just wasn’t getting a good picture. She said maybe I wasn’t as far along as we thought. Then she sent me across the street to an imaging place. The lady there was very gentle. She did an internal ultrasound and an external. She said everything looked great as far as my body, but she said there was no heartbeat.

As she walked me out she said maybe I got a false positive on my home pregnancy test. My doctor called me as soon as I got out to my car and told me to go have my blood drawn to check my hormone levels. By this time I had been bounced around everywhere and it was 5pm. I went just next door to the lab, but they were closed. I cried the whole way home. I had one last pregnancy test, and I wanted to know. So I peed on the stick and waited… and waited…. and waited. Until “Not Pregnant” popped up.

And my heart broke into a million pieces, just shattered on the floor. This baby, this little boy or girl that I had waited for and wanted so badly for so long, this precious little being, this amazing little baby that I loved from the second I knew, that I wanted from before I knew… was gone. Not just gone, but gone before I even knew. When the doctor told me everything was okay, it wasn’t. And I still believed for two weeks that this miracle was coming when it was gone already. Because I hadn’t told my son, my family, my boss, or anybody else, nobody knew why I was crying.

Nobody knew why I couldn’t get out of bed. Nobody knew why I couldn’t function. And I felt like I couldn’t tell them because he or she was gone. Was I having a boy or a girl? Maybe was I having twins? Was he going to be tall like his father? Was she going to have red hair and green eyes like me? Would he look just like his brother? Would she like sports? Would he like games? What would have happened? All of these questions that I imagined that I will never know the answer to. Cause they were taken before I ever had the chance.

And, honestly, sometimes I feel like I don’t have a right to mourn. Nobody knew but me. My belly didn’t grow big. I didn’t hear his or her heartbeat. I didn’t have to give birth. But my heart knows that’s wrong. My heart knows I lost something so tiny but so monumental. Now I find myself just trying to find a way to honor him or her in my way, without making things awkward for everyone around me who just wants me to move on or get over it or whatever else they say. Now I find myself just trying to be okay, to get from day to day.. I just don’t know how.

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And I Felt It

Told by: Andrea

We found out I was pregnant with our second pregnancy at the end of October. I felt nauseous three days before I was even late for my period so I had a feeling we got pregnant right away. Sure enough, 4 days later, I tested positive.

I was feeling increasingly tired each day, and was not concerned that this would end in miscarriage. At 7.5 weeks, I went in for our first ultrasounds, and just like my first pregnancy, all we could see was the yolk sac. My NMW was concerned about a blighted ovum and told me to come back a week later, as I was only measuring on the cusp of 6 weeks- which would still be normal to not see the fetal pole and heartbeat. I came back a week later without my husband as he had to work, and lo and behold…there were now TWO yolk sacs, two fetal poles, and one baby with a beating heart. While I was sad that one didn’t have a heartbeat, it was also measuring smaller, so we thought perhaps by the next ultrasound it would catch up. I also knew vanishing twins is common, and was prepared for that.

I continued to feel pregnant (aka ill), so again- I was not prepared for what lay ahead. We took our almost 3 year old daughter to our next ultrasound 1 week later and I was immediately uncomfortable. I can’t tell you why- I still don’t know. I just had an icky feeling. I saw right away that the babies hadn’t grown at all, and that the one baby that did have a beating, appeared to have lost the heartbeat somewhere right after our previous appointment. I still didn’t believe it.

They sent me up to OB and I had to wait for a doctor whom I’ve never met to tell me that I had lost the pregnancy. She had looked back through all the previous ultrasounds and noticed that it wasn’t growing as we would expect, and that the heart rate was low which can indicate miscarriage. She informed me that I had the option to do a D&C, or wait to miscarry on my own. I opted to wait to miscarry on my own. I had given birth before, I wanted to say goodbye in the privacy of my own home. So, I went home and cried.

I cried all the way home. I felt grief that I didn’t expect to feel- after all, I barely knew these two little ones existed- how could my heart hurt so much? But, I was experiencing the loss of hope, the loss of a dream, the loss of a future part of our family and I felt it.

After a week, I had gradually lost all of my symptoms. I was only having twinges of cramping and some very light spotting, so I went to my Naturopathic MD who gave me some homeopathic medications that would basically start a period (or induce labor if the pregnancy is unviable). About 4 days after that I started having heavy HARD cramping, and I began to miscarry.

It was so much more painful than I thought- it was a full on labor, not just a heavy period. I was not prepared for that. It was about 8-9 hours of off and on heavy, hard contractions, and then I would lose some tissue, rest, start all over again. The bleeding was pretty heavy, so I ended up going to urgent care, who then sent me to the ER to do an ultrasound to make sure the miscarriage was complete.

Thankfully, by the time I got there, I had passed everything on my own and had no need for a D&C. The real grief hit me the next day- that huge drop in hormones. Boy. That was so tough. I just couldn’t stop crying- but I let myself feel it all. All the anger, sadness, hurt, loss. These were mine, after all. And they are no longer.

Then came the awkward situations that would stir up heartache- hearing others announce their pregnancy at the time I would have, seeing announcements of a due date that was the same as mine. Just having to be reminded that I am not pregnant anymore. It is so hard. But, I do believe we will have more children. I have a lot of hope in that.

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My Baby Deserves My Heart

Told by: Andie

I’m a mother, been a mother since I was 17 years old.

I have four amazing children…three boys and a girl; ranging from 15 to 19 months.

I’m still nursing my littlest guy. I haven’t had a period in a long time- since I got pregnant with my last baby actually. I have however in the past few months experienced other signs of ovulation. I’ve kept track because we were wanting to try for another baby. I hadn’t had of those signs in the past few weeks…on the contrary, I’ve felt “different”. I considered the possibility of a pregnancy. I tried not to get excited, yet, and didn’t take a test. I wanted to wait a few more weeks before I jumped the gun. Well last night, as I got in the tub with my baby, I noticed a few bright red clots. Which is weird for me in a cycle. I’ve continued to have bright red bleeding, clots, and a general sense of being un-whole.

Now I’ve spent the night and day wondering and thinking if this is a period or an early miscarriage. It makes me feel blue- because if it is, I may never know on paper. I didn’t get to celebrate someone that was and is no more.

That probably doesn’t make much sense.

I am a registered nurse, and a student midwife, so I have this curse of knowledge. I’m trying to overlook some of the tale tell signs because I don’t want it to be so.

I’ve never had a loss and I don’t know how to process it or communicate it. My entire being is saying I’m losing something important and special and unique and worthy and meant to be. I’m confused. I’m feeling emotional and regretful…guilty and sad….uncertain and quite alone.

Because I never had a pregnancy test or an ultrasound that gave me the scientific yes- I am taking on this societal NO, giving me a weight of NO:

No Andie, you don’t have a reason to celebrate, and no you don’t have a reason to mourn because there’s no certainty.

I can’t live with that. I just feel…I don’t have a good word for it…but something.

There was something and now I feel empty. My body is going through a new experience, I know my body well and this is foreign. I would have been due in February. I wanted to share mostly because I had an inner voice telling me not to, and that’s not right.

This is happening and why should it be a secret that lives only in me. I don’t want to ask permission to be sad over this, I’m giving myself that privilege.

I deserve to have my feelings and my baby deserves my heart.

Its strange how a mother can love a being she didn’t even know existed, but I do. I’m in love with the tiny babe my husband and I made, I’m in love with God’s creation, I’m in love with knowing Jesus is rocking the baby I can’t and that one day he will return that babe to my aching arms.

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We Miss You Ethan

Told by: Erica

I just had my third miscarriage. Fourth heaven born baby. This one has been my hardest. My other pregnancies were from bad situations and didn’t have the same impact as losing a child with someone you love by your side and grieving too.

I don’t exactly mean to imply that losing my other children wasn’t hard. All of my losses were hard but I went through them alone and no one understood so I forced myself to heal faster so I could stop hearing people say that it was just a miscarriage, what’s the big deal, and other things like that. This one was harder because I not only had to contend with my grief but with my boyfriends grief as well.  We both still feel the loss and so it’s hard because  we seem to grieve more together than I was able to when I was alone.

My boyfriend and I both knew the day we conceived. It was a total “oops” moment where the condom slipped, of all things. We both knew in that moment that we had conceived and once I missed my next period we decided to wait a few weeks and just enjoy the idea of a child, even though we knew because of my past I would have a very hard time carrying this child. We were both sure we were having a boy and we were getting excited.

Then one day, a couple days past seven weeks, I started spotting. I didn’t say anything at first because I knew what was happening. The next day I continued to miscarry and began cramping horribly which alerted my boyfriend to something being wrong, and so I had to tell him. We opted for a natural miscarriage together and I spent the next 3 days cramping and mourning the loss of another child. We named our son Ethan Daniel. He was born into heaven on April 5th 2013 and I can’t wait to see him in heaven one day.

 

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