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.
No, I cannot imagine your loss, but I do know how brave it was for you to tell this story.
just wanted to send you some cyber love, I have never experienced what you have experienced, so very few have….. but one of my dearest friends had a still birth (daughter) at 34 weeks and then went into preterm labor at 22 weeks and her little boy was born alive but was too little and too early to save… I know how we on the outside grieved, so I can only imagine how parents feel…. and I personally witnessed her anger and frustration for the same reasons you give. Ariel Grace matters, she was a baby and I am shocked and saddened the hospital did not treat you both better. *hugs* to you and your family
My heart is breaking and tears have filled my eyes. This is a very powerful post, and you are so brave for sharing your heartbreak with us. I have no understanding of how great your pain is. My opinion may not mean much, but to me she was a baby. She was your child. And I am so glad you got to spend those 5 minutes with your daughter.
hat’s not a miscarriage, that’s a baby dying. How anyone could be dismissive of what you went through, I have no idea.
I wish so hard that I knew what to say, something helpful. But I don’t, so I just hope you remember that people do care about you, and about Ariel, and that that brings some comfort during the dark days.
Thank you, for being brave enough to share something so personal, so heartbreaking, so special. You are not crazy. You are a grieving Mom. Something, I think, should never have to be. I am thankful that you had those 5 minutes, and sad that you didnt have forever. I hope that the hurt begins to heal, and one day you are able to look upon the memory of your precious daughter, and remember the 5 best minutes, and the nightmares of the blood will fade away…
Breathing means viability. I’m so glad you had that time with your beautiful girl.