I have never spoken to anyone about this but my husband, my mother, and, of course, my doctors. This may be one of the hardest things I will ever write. It may not all make sense. I don’t remember it all. But yet I remember it like it was yesterday. I will never forget it. This is my PTSD talking. I am in a very bad place right now. And I know what happened to me isn’t as bad as some but to me it’s worse because she was mine.
Anyway, Oh God here goes…
You were due December 25th. I was so excited that both of your sisters were Christmas babies. I love Christmas. And I still do. Your due date was so amazing I couldn’t believe it – three children born on or around Christmas.
The beginning of my pregnancy didn’t seem out of the ordinary. Normal morning all day sickness for me. Around 6 weeks something felt off I called my Doctor who is AMAZING, and she got me right in for an ultrasound. There you were – perfect. And fine. Little heart beating to beat the band with a due date of Dec. 25th. I felt better. Things resumed. We got to our 12th week and we told everyone and even started buying things. Come on – you were my fourth baby. What could go wrong? How could I even think that?? Everything was fine .
Then it happened. July 27th I felt yucky and my back hurt SO bad. I should have called the doctor. You might be here today. I should have known. But I just thought I worked hard that day. It was hotter than hell. And it was just a back ache. I never ever had back labor. At 2:12 on July 28th, I woke up and thought, “shit, I wet the bed.” I hit my husband and said, “I wet the bed. Go get new sheets.” And then I went to turn the lights on. And it felt really off. It was sticky. I turned the light on and there was blood everywhere. I heard a sound like I had never heard before – it was my screams. I told my husband call the doctor and tell her we’re going to the hospital. Something was very very wrong.
My mom came running in and tried to calm me, but it didn’t help. I remember telling her keep the kids out. I didn’t want them to see the blood. And my back – OMG the pain. All the sudden I felt a pop between my legs and there was a “doll” between my legs – it didn’t seem real. I thought WTF is that about my own baby. I saw your little chest heaving up and down. You were breathing!!!!!!!
I screamed for my husband to stop calling the doctor. We had to leave NOW. She’s here. She’s ALIVE. She’s breathing.
You were 18 weeks and 5 days. You were perfect – tiny and waxy, but perfect. You breathed for 5 minutes. I held you in my hand as you took you first and last breaths. I will never forget them. I loved you so much in those 5 minutes. You were my daughter, Ariel Grace.
But the horror didn’t come until we got to the hospital. You WEREN’T a baby. You were nothing. You were – I choke on the words now. You were a miscarriage. But I saw you and I held you. You WERE breathing for 5 minutes. I have a cell video of it. But you were going to be discarded as if it was a miscarriage. I flipped out like my husband has never seen me flip out. I screamed and I wailed. I hit a doctor, I think. Not my doctor. She was AMAZING. She held me while I rocked the baby. She stroked my hair. She couldn’t change the policy.
You would never exist to the world. You would get no birth certificate and no death certificate. But to me and your father, siblings and grandparents you were EVERYTHING!
I made my uncle call his friend at a funeral home. He kind of laughed – not in a mean way but he told my uncle, “She’s not even as big as a cat. I can’t charge. I won’t. It’s a freebie.” I have her ashes. Although that was a HELL of a fight. But I think they knew I was a mad woman and I would not leave that hospital without MY baby.
I have her ashes hidden in my room. I left the hospital the next day with nothing. No baby, no belly, no nothing. I was empty and blank and a Zombie for a LONG time. Hell, I still am. I never mentioned it to anyone. Some people asked questions. I think I probably stared at them blankly. But I never answered. My husband or mother would later. I couldn’t talk about it. It’s over a year later and the pain is still unreal. I have nightmares of waking up to the blood every five minutes. I don’t know that they will ever go away. But what is the worst for me is I can’t talk about her to anyone but my husband, mother and therapists.
Am I forgetting her, am I not remembering her, am I cold? I just it hurts so bad. And no one that I personally know can understand that pain. No one I know in real life understands my anger and bitterness of her not being a baby because she was 18 weeks and 5 days and not a viable birth. Isn’t breathing for 5 minutes viable? Had we been at the hospital could we have made it farther my AMAZING doctor thinks that those 5 minutes were pretty darn special. And so do I for a baby with such under developed lungs.
Obviously now everyone knows she was never born and just went away. People have stopped asking questions. And I just can’t talk about it. I feel cold. And I miss her even more now. I don’t know that it will get better. She wasn’t a “real” living baby. But she was mine. I held her. I named her. I talked to her. And on her birthday I buy her a gift. I guess that really does make me crazy. Maybe I’ll stop someday. I don’t know. But I guess tonight on one of my darkest of nights, this needed to come out. Thank you for listening. No one else knows. And it hurt to talk about. A LOT so this was BRAVE. So thank you for reading.
Today is when our baby was due.
Today is when we would’ve met our child and become parents.
It’s hard writing those words, but even harder thinking about what they actually mean. We never knew if our baby was a boy or a girl, though we’re convinced our little one was a tiny princess. We named her, though only we know her name. I try to look at our faces all the time and imagine what she would’ve looked like. There is an emptiness in my heart knowing our family isn’t complete, that there’s someone missing.
I posed a question to people a while ago. I asked if they would consider someone a mother if their child never made it into their arms, and as would you expect, the answers were divided. I’m half in the park that “I am a mother,” and half in the “I’m not” as well. Without having her here in my arms, I feel like I don’t deserve the title of ‘mother,’ but I can’t deny she was here, even if only for a short time.
Her initials are CG, and I wish I could tell you her name, but somehow it doesn’t feel right. I’m tired of her being our secret though, and I want the world to know I should have a daughter here. I’m angry, frustrated, and hurt. I want people to know about her, I want others to miss her, I want others to care.
Today, I should be a mother, holding our little angel, breathing her in and going over all of her little features with the awe only a new mother can have.
Today is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
I lay curled up on the bed, looking up into my husbands’ face.
“It’s leaving me, baby. It’s leaving me…”
“I know”, he said.
He crawled in next to me, placed his hand on my belly and whispered, “Goodbye…”
And we cried.
I cried the cry that comes up from your tailbone. The cry that hurts the arches of your feet. The cry that doesn’t stop. And when my eyeballs felt like they would fall out of my face, I cried some more.
My mother was in town, thank goodness, but I could hear my son calling for me in the living room.
There is nothing more emotionally confusing than entertaining one child, while physically feeling the one you were growing leave you.
The next day, the doctor confirmed what we already knew.
“I’m sorry, your uterus is empty.”
It was a clean miscarriage, I would not need any kind of removal procedure.
I have never seen an ultrasound without a baby in it. It looked exactly how she said… empty.
“Not even two months along.”
“Not really a baby yet…”
“A collection of cells gone wrong…”
But it was a baby to us.
We made it on purpose. We made it out of hope.
My husband had already started whispering “I love you” to my belly.
My son was already patting my tummy and saying, “Baby in there.”
We made space for it in our lives.
And now that space is empty.
And I feel it. I physically feel it… missing.
We will heal.
We will try again.
But right now, I sit here…
I’ve just gotten my first period since the loss, and the sight of the blood has me reeling a little.
Thanks, Band – for being here.
*I know that not everyone out there is a Christian and I hope that nobody will take offense to this post. My faith is a very personal thing, but it helps me get through so much. My prayer is that everyone dealing with a life crisis will find something that will bring them peace and hope, whether it’s faith in God, faith in humanity, or faith in herself.
When I wrote about my miscarriages and TTC journey, it was the hardest piece I’d ever written. What I left out, though, was the behind the scenes issues. The emotions that I’m still ashamed of feeling. That probably sounds stupid. I mean, you can’t help how you feel about things so why feel shame? Well, it’s been six years and I still do, so I guess I can’t answer that.
When Jordan and I decided to start trying to get pregnant, we didn’t broadcast it, but we also didn’t hide it when people asked. And people did ask. We’d been married over a year at that point, and apparently that’s the time that everyone from your grandma to the cashier at the grocery store deems you ready to have a child. But when we realized we would need a little help expanding our family, we clamped our mouths shut. Our families and closest friends were the only people who knew what we were going through. But when we got that first positive test, we told everyone! I’ve never been the best at keeping my feelings under wraps and we were thrilled.
A few days before I got that positive test, my sister-in-law gave me the news that her sister-in-law was pregnant. I was pretty discouraged at that time thinking that the round of Clomid I had just finished had not worked. But here was this girl (who I love dearly, BTW) who had become pregnant accidentally. It hardly seemed fair.
But then I found out that the Clomid had actually done its job and all was right with the world again. I could be happy for my sister-in-law sister-in-law-in-law sister-in friend, if a little worried for her. After all, my faith had always dictated that “everything happens for a reason.” But then it all changed.
During the few days that encompassed the fateful ultrasound experience and gut-wrenching D&C, I lost more than my baby. I lost my faith.
I left the hospital a bitter, heartbroken person that I no longer recognized. I was angry at the world. I was angry at God. I didn’t go to church. I didn’t pray. I didn’t even sing; something that has always been my solace. For three months I was in this dark pit. Every time someone who didn’t know would ask about the pregnancy and we had to break the news again, I sank further.
At that time, I worked for an agency that provided low-income housing. It seemed like every other day I encountered another woman who was expecting yet another child that she couldn’t afford. All these women around me were getting pregnant so easily, some while actively trying to prevent it, and having the healthy babies that I wanted so badly. I couldn’t understand why I was being treated so unfairly. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the baby shower for my brother-in-law’s sister. Every time I saw a pregnant woman I would cry.
It kills me to finally admit those things. There are very few people in this world that I’ve told about that dark time. I still feel guilty for being so angry. But if my first miscarriage caused me to lose my faith, my second one brought me back.
My second miscarriage happened on a Saturday morning. I was in the ER for a few hours then sent home. The next day at our church was Youth Sunday. I hadn’t been to church in three months at that point, but Jordan’s best friend, David, was delivering the message that day, so I insisted on being there. Not many people at church had known I was pregnant that time, so we didn’t really have to talk about the loss.
Something happened that Sunday morning, though. The youth members all did a great job with their testimonies, prayers, and music. David delivered a beautiful message. And then the youth sang a song to tie it all together – Here I Am Lord. I had heard the song a hundred times before. I had sung it about half that many times. But that day, I actually listened to it. It suddenly spoke to my heart in a way I had never felt before. Thank God we were sitting in the balcony so the whole congregation didn’t see me burst into tears.
I suddenly was at peace. After being angry for so long, it was an incredible feeling to let go of it. In that moment I knew that, like Abraham and Sarah, we would eventually have a child. And that there was a reason for my losses. I knew that it was going to fall to me at some point to support others going through it.
I was able to do just that several months later when my best friend had her first miscarriage. I’ve reached out to others as well – old high school friends on Facebook, a friend at church, etc. It’s what I hope to accomplish by contributing to this site. It also sort of paved the way for me to do the same thing as soon as I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2008. Since then I’ve found myself in something of an online support network of people living with chronic illness. Without that moment of clarity, I’m convinced I would still be that bitter person. I’m sure that the RA diagnosis would have been much worse than it was, emotionally speaking. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through either of my full-term pregnancies, much less through a certainty of life-long pain, had I not had that renewal of faith.
I didn’t tell anyone about what happened to me that day until a few months ago when Jordan and I had the privilege to see David ordained. I figured that was probably the right time to tell him about the impact he had on me that Sunday so long ago. Today, my relationship with God is the most important thing to me. Through Him, I can do anything. There are days when I just need a nudge and there are days when I’m forced to ask Him to carry me. And I’ve come to realize that everything truly does happen for a reason, even if that reason isn’t revealed during this earthly life. But the choices we make when facing hardship will usually go a long way to reaching that revelation.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31
When I was 18, I miscarried twins. It still hurts. It hurts even more that my husband doesn’t seem to understand. They were his babies too. I don’t know if he cares and just doesn’t show it or if there’s something wrong with me that I just can’t let it go. Should I still cry at baby product advertisements and while writing these posts?
I wish I knew.
We’ve been married for almost four years now. We decided early this year, around my husband’s birthday, that after Christmas 2010 we’d start trying for a baby. We had a house, we were both settled in our jobs and had a stable income, and the time felt ‘right’. I’ve wanted a baby so badly since the miscarriages that it hurts.
So a few weeks ago, I made an appointment with my doctor (who seems to be perpetually on vacation) for next week, to discuss removing my IUD, going on the pill and to find out if I need to find alternatives for any of my current medication.
Last week I lost my job. Cutbacks. Laying off those of us making barely minimum wage while they give the executives five-figure bonuses and hire six-figure middle-managers. I work – worked – in payroll, I see the numbers.
No job means barely enough money to pay the bills.
No job means no baby.
It feels like my husband doesn’t care.
It feels like my heart is breaking all over again.
Tonight, I was sitting in my room, sick with the flu watching the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy with my husband. I love this show. I was so excited to watch it.
What I forgot, of course, was the way last season ended. I hate that I have to brace myself for these things, that I have to avoid this – but tonight I was unexpectedly punched in the stomach. I was blind-sided by seeing a woman lying in a hospital bed with her legs up in stirrups on television about to get a D&C.
I lost it.
My husband held me without me having to say a word.
I hate that I know I am going to have nightmares again tonight. I get them often and tonight I know they will come.
I hate that something as silly as a television show triggers them.
I have not healed from these 10 miscarriages. I don’t know if I ever will fully. I am tired of the pain but I know I have to feel it.
I just wish it wasn’t so hard.