Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pam's Story: When becoming a mother is just out of reach


Pam, thanks so much for opening our eyes to this "kind" of childlessness. Whether it's due to biological issues or circumstantial, the truth is so many of us truly don't have the fertility we had hoped for a planned for. I hope that your waiting time won't be too much longer. Love, Rachel


In the world of women who struggle to have children they fall into at least 3 popular categories: infertility, pregnancy loss, and adoption/fostering. 

But there's another group. I hesitate to shine a line it because I don't think anyone ever has. No one I know has mentioned it. Google doesn't seem to be aware of it. And honestly I feel like I stand alone in the category. The only reason I'm writing this is so that someone else who feels alone can know they're not. I'm talking about the women who struggle to have children because they have no opportunity to even try.
 
They don't have a partner or the financial means to attempt single parenthood. 
I've always known that I wanted children. Even when I've gone through times when I've wondered where I belong, what my purpose is, I've never doubted that I born to be a parent. In the past two years that desire has only grown. I guess the whole biological clock theory is true, because it's ticking so loud that it keeps me up at night. 
 
If you research single women who want to have a baby, you will find endless blogs/articles all ending in endorsement of insemination, surrogacy, and adoption. Well, that's great if you have thousands of dollars to attempt those possibilities. Not to mention the cost of raising a child alone. But what are the options if you can't afford it? 
 
I'm a college-educated millennial who is still waiting for the economy to recover. I'm just thankful I'm able to afford to live alone. 
 
Then there's the issue of being single.  As great as it is, the fact is if you want to start a family with someone, you gotta find them first. 
 
I don't want anyone to think that I'm 'baby crazy', or that this is a self-indulgent rant, or that I've unrealistically romanticized the idea of having children. I already have a full and wonderful life. I don't need another person(s) to complete me. And I'm sure at some point I'll miss this time in my life. But there are moments . . .
 
They normally come at baby showers and Mother's Day. These are times when I feel like the odd one out and I just want to scream, "Hey! I would be a mother too if it were up to me!"
 
Then there are the moments that sneak up on me. Like shopping for a friend's baby and being surrounded by precious baby items that I have no use for. It weighs on me to the point where I try to hurry to get out before tears surface. Or the Friday before Mother's Day and a new coworker says "Happy Mother's Day" to me in passing. I just have to smile and return the greeting.
 
I always thought I would start having babies in my mid-late twenties. Waiting until later in life was never something I considered. Recently it dawned on me, I'm 28. The odds of meeting the right person, getting married, and getting pregnant in less than two years is . . . slim. 
 
I don't want to have a baby just for me. But for my parents before they get too old to enjoy having their grandchild for a day. For my sister who would endlessly love her nephew or niece. For my nephew so he can have a cousin. 
 
So, now that this is out in the open . . . now what? I wait. I faithfully wait. I'm depending on God to have a perfect plan. All I can do is keep my eyes, ears, and heart open as He slowly reveals the plan to me. 
 
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for good, not disaster. Plans to give you a hope and a future."

Rachel's Story: Stillbirth at 21 weeks to Turner Syndrome




Rachel, thanks for sharing your story of Bethanne's short life. I hope your story helps others reach out when a mom and dad are grieving the loss of their little one. Much love, Rachel L.

I don’t generally get involved with the various “awareness” months. However, there is one that is very dear to my heart. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Ten years ago, Matt and I lost our first baby girl to Turner syndrome. She was born still at 21 weeks gestation. The list of my friends and family who have had pregnancy or infant loss is very long. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers today. If you have someone in your life who has had or is going through this trial, hug them and tell them you love them. Don’t spout platitudes. Just be there for them. They need your love and support. No matter how long it’s been, they have not forgotten the pain. Talking with them about it will not cause them more pain. They will be grateful that someone remembers their little ones. Our babies are gone, but never forgotten.

Here is my story. I pray Bethanne’s short life will be an encouragement to you.

Ten years ago, on February 25th, Matt and I were waiting with great excitement for our big ultrasound. I was 20 weeks pregnant and had just started wearing maternity clothes, even though I didn’t really need them yet. We had our VHS tape in hand and couldn’t wait to find out if this was a little girl or boy.

When they started the ultrasound, I knew the tech wasn’t allowed to tell us anything good or bad, except the gender. So, I waited and watched. I knew from friends that they would measure the limbs, get a good look at the internal organs, and other body parts. We listened to the heartbeat. Then the tech excused herself. I began to worry a little bit. My OB had told me that we would talk about the results at my next visit. If there was anything that needed watching she’d call, and if anything was badly wrong she’d meet us there in the room.

The tech came back with the doc that oversaw the radiology lab. They turned the screen and whispered and pointed. The doc agreed with whatever the tech had seen and told us that our OB would be there in a few minutes. They left so I could get dressed. I told Matt something was wrong. This was not good. I called my dad on my cellphone and asked him to pray. I sat on Matt’s lap with tears in my eyes as we waited for the OB.



To finish reading Rachel's Story, click on over to her blog: A daughter of the reformation

Republished with permission from the author.

Hollie's Story: When your pregnancies and losses are secret


 
 
Hollie, Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry that you had to be so alone during your pregnancies and times of loss. I'm so glad you and your husband were able to name Allison. Much love, Rachel
 
 
Hello my name is Hollie and I have miscarried twice now both in the first trimester at two months. I named the oldest Xander and the youngest Alison.
 
The first time I got pregnant I was 15 and had been dating my boyfriend at the time for two years. We had thought it was true love and even said we were engaged. One night I somehow got my mom to let me stay at his house past curfew and that's all it took. His mom wasn't there and his brother and his girlfriend had gone to the store. Perfect formula for a teenage screw up.
 
I found out I was pregnant two weeks later. I was scared and didn't know what to do and didn't want to tell anyone. I only told him because he insisted I was sick when I wouldn't look him in the eyes and kept wanting to throw up from anxiety. He agreed that we shouldn't tell anyone yet.
 
After another week his best friend found out and told us to go to the doctor to at least know if it was in fact a pregnancy and not a bad test or whatever. It only confirmed it. I did love this child, however, and I planned to be a mom and he planned to be a dad. A little past the two month mark however we weren't as close as before and he decided it was time to end it. He called while I was bent over in pain.
 
Within the hour of breaking up, I started bleeding and felt horrible pains. My dad took me to the hospital, though he never went into the back with me. I spent hours there in pain, refusing medication and refusing to let my dad come back once he wanted to. I begged the doctor not to tell my dad and if he did or not I don't know, my dad never asked and never spoke of it.  I stayed out of school for a week with bleeding and cramps, I told my mom it was just my period which often kept me from school.
 
I didn't tell the father until a month later when he finally called me asking what we should do about the baby. I told him he was free and that he didn't have to call me anymore. His response: "I never wanted to be free. I wanted to be a daddy, and knowing I won't be is my biggest regret." We named our baby Xander, the second half of his daddy's name. 

Years passed and I found a new love, my husband today. At only a few months of dating we jumped off the big step. We thought it'd be fine however because I had gotten the Mirena put in a few weeks before. He was a freshmen in college at the time and I was a high school senior. We both worked part-time at Toys'R'Us and were in clubs and sports.
 
For one week in October I had cramps and spotting. I thought nothing of it since I was told my periods could be off for the first few months of having the IUD in. However at the end of that week while I was working night shift I started having intense pain, worse than the rest of the week. I ran to the bathroom and was in there for an hour, none of my co-workers decided to check on me.
 
When I was finally able to stand and look at the toilet I was in shock. It looked just the same as when I miscarried Xander. At first I thought I was just seeing things and that I couldn't have been pregnant because of the IUD and because it just didn't make sense. I don't know if I was trying to validate that it wasn't real or if I'm just twisted but I reached into the toilet and scooped up the fetus. That was my baby. A little piece of me and my love gone... again. I cried for a little but then I realized I was still at work.   

I wrapped the fetus in some paper towels and cleaned up the best I could. I went to the employee lounge, still cramping and bleeding and dumped out my dinner from a plastic container and placed the baby in it. My boss found me there. I told him what happened and asked to go to the hospital or at least call my love to get picked up and go home, but he didn't let me. He said if I was okay enough to stand and talk to him I was okay enough to finish working. I had no car and was in too much pain to walk. So instead I left my baby in my locker and sat there crying at the register for another two hours before we closed and I was able to sit outside and wait to be picked up.
 
My boss left me at the store and went home. When my love got there I had bleed through my pants and had a small puddle under me. I also had the container pressed against my chest. I spent the next two days in the hospital and was fired for calling out those two days. We never told either of our family except for his little sister a year later. 

I tried forgetting both babies, and even refused to name my second baby. I didn't want to think that I wasn't strong enough to have them. However on Easter when I was trying to make my niece's day perfect and couldn't I broke down. I told my husband that all I wanted was to spoil my niece rotten because I can't do the same for my babies. And that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't forget them.
 
 I asked him to name our child and asked him what he thought it would have been. He came up with Alison for the perfect baby girl he knew was watching over us with her big brother.
 
I am a mother of two. And though I'm now only 21 and they passed years ago they are still my whole world. I regret not telling anyone and not allowing my family to know who my children were. I don't have any pictures of them or mementos or anything more than memories, but I wouldn't trade those memories for anything in the world. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

The eternal merry-go-round




I am grieving.

I do not have a sickness that can be caught.

I don't have a bad attitude.

I have not lost perspective.

I am not eternally ungrateful for all things, just because I am missing and grieving one thing.

I am not spiritually weak.

I did nothing to deserve this, so please don't judge.

A pill will not fix me. Some time off will not fix me. You cannot fix me.
 
I'll learn, I'll keep breathing, I'll move forward.

But there is a part of me that will always be broken.
 
A part that will always be missing.
 
I am not lost, though I feel it sometimes.
 
I am not just depressed, though it may turn into that.
 
I am not alone, and yet I've never felt so lonely.
 
I am nothing that I once was.
 
I've been put through the fire, and I'll come out of this a different person.
 
You may wish for the old me back. I wish for her too. But she is gone. Buried. Alive only in memory.
 
I hope, oh I hope, that somehow, in some way, I'll get through this and be better for it.

I hope to find meaning and purpose in my loss.
 
I hope to find strength again.
 
But I am the only one who can discover peace, hope and joy again. 
 
In my own time.
 
In my own way.
 
You may plead with me, beg to me, "Look! It's right here! Just be happy again!"
 
But your efforts will only be in vain.
 
Happiness will never come from outside of me again.
 
It must . . . it can only . . . be unearthed from the brokenness within.
 
At times I will have it all together on the outside. At times, I will fall apart.
 
I'm on an eternal merry-go-round.
 
I am never through the sadness. Anger. Denial. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance.
 
Each stage is just a tease. I conquer it. I get through it. Then . . .
 
It is back again.
 
One day, I hope I can get off the incessant changes of grief.
 
Until that day, love me for who I am. Accept me right where I'm at.
 
Know that I'm still me. Even if . . .
 
I am grieving.
 


Dedicated in love to all of those who are grieving right now. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

One couple's story: Miscarriage after IVF, and knowing you can never go back


 




Dear anonymous, 

I'm so sorry for your loss and your pain. I wish I could sit with you and cry with you. Sending some love and hugs your way.

Rachel


After aggressively trying to have baby number 2 for over a year, we went to a fertility clinic. After all, it took almost 2 years to have our first, and something had to be wrong. Something, hopefully, that could be fixed with a pill and we could be on our way to continue growing our family. Let me say that several months before, my regular OB did a laparoscopy and found lots of endometriosis. So after getting "cleaned out," he said we should be pregnant right away. 

Fast forward 6 months and still no pregnancy.

So we went to the best fertility doctor in town and we were so excited to get some answers. Simple ones, we hoped. After all of the tests came back on my husband and I, we sat down with the doc and he laid it out for us....we would need to go through
IVF. My husband's motility was low and we just recently learned that my eggs suck for a 32-year-old healthy woman. We were shocked. Floored. Scared. Saddened. 


What happened to taking a little drug to make me ovulate and that be it?  How were we going to take on this enormous financial burden? Were we ready for this?

Well, the answer was yes. Without even figuring out logistics, we wanted to start right away. And we did. That first appointment was on October 23,
3 days after my 32nd birthday. We paid the money, attended the IVF education class and received an absurd amount of drugs in the mail. We were set.

I began taking all of the medications and hormone injections and we were trucking along. Then 2 days before egg retrieval, I got a phone call from the clinic ... my estrogen levels had plummeted overnight and they were canceling my cycle. Devastation.

I cried, my husband comforted me, I cried some more. But then I put my mind on the next cycle and was sure it would work this time. And so on we went. Making it to egg retrieval this time felt like a feat in itself. The following day the embryologist posted the results on my portal ...4 eggs retrieved; 2 did not fertilize, 1 fertilized abnormally.....and then there was 1.


Not great news. 

We had to wait 3  days before the transfer and we were on pins and needles. What if all of this was for nothing? If baby Embry doesn't make it, we have to start all over again. $16,000 over again for that small chance.

Well my baby Embry grew like a champ and was graded a 4 (the highest) the day of transfer. It had already divided into an 8-cell. It was looking hopeful. And so our little embryo was put in as I watched it travel at the speed of light across the screen. It. Was. Amazing.

Then the 2WW occurred. (That's IVF lingo for the 2- week wait.) The longest part of this process. And let me tell you, it is all a waiting game when you're in it. And so we waited. I held off on buying pregnancy tests because he warned me that they would probably show up negative until my scheduled blood test on Monday, February 11. I held off that is, until a few days before that.

I took 3 pregnancy tests on Friday and positive, positive, positive. Elation. Shock. Elation again. We did it! We really did it! 


We had the odds stacked against us and we did it. Meant to be. This baby was our miracle. I mean, only 1 embryo and it took!!! Life was utter perfection. I went in that Monday to hear that yes, it was true and my numbers were at a high of 128. That was great! Anything over 60 was good for them. So, technically, our miracle baby was ahead of the game!  I even called a friend and asked her to make a Big Brother shirt for our 3-year-old.

Then Friday, Valentine’s day I might add, I had to go back to get my hCG levels checked. Standard procedure. No question anything could go wrong. But, I got a call that afternoon from the nurse saying my numbers were a measly 267. They usually double every 2 days; and it had been 4. Panic. Defeat. Tears. And more tears. 


I called my husband and could barely get anything out. They wanted me back on Monday, to see if my levels were rising. It didn't mean it wasn't possible. I mean, I could be in the 10-15% of women who have slow rising hCG levels and go on to have a healthy pregnancy. It was possible. But I was heartbroken. I felt it. It didn't feel right to me. My husband kept saying everything would be fine...

And so, after that horrific weekend wait, wondering if our baby was going to survive, I got more blood taken. My numbers were a wimpy 504. They hadn't even doubled. But she said the only way to tell would be by ultrasound on Wednesday. I asked her if it seemed like a normal pregnancy and she said it didn't, but it didn't mean it wouldn't be. So again we waited. 2 excruciatingly long days.

As I lay on the table and the ultrasound began, you could've heard a pin drop in that room. And then he said, "do you see that? That's the sac and everything looks good". What? Really? Is life gonna be okay now?  He said it looked small but it didn't mean the baby couldn't/wouldn't grow. So we went with that. We got the first pics of our baby. Our Baby!!!!!!!! All we had to do was go in on Monday for another ultrasound to make sure we were on track. He did say to go home and light a candle and stay hydrated.

 So I did. I actually went with one of my BFF's that same day and bought a prayer candle and a prayer card for unborn babies. I prayed. We celebrated. We were happy. This baby was a fighter and was proving, yet again, that he was going to be ours.

Well come Saturday there was a little bleeding. Then on Sunday it was bad. And I mean bad. And tissue in there too. I knew in my heart it couldn't be good, I even cried. But my sweet husband said it would be okay and we knew only the doctor could tell us.

So 3 days ago, we went back. I was scared. I could probably speak for my husband in saying he was scared. The doctor started the ultrasound and paused when he got to the uterus. Nothing. Empty. Our baby was gone. Again, devastation.

They all left us alone in the room to grieve. I cried.  He tried not to. We were both feeling the rug being pulled from under our feet. What was God doing to us? Why does this have to be so hard? I was already in love. Deep love. The baby name book had surfaced. I had my favorites already. Maternity clothes were pulled out so I could get my closet organized. I wanted to be ready when I finally popped!!!!

I think Monday was shock. I knew deep down it was happening, but I chose to believe it wasn't. I cried a lot that day but felt hopeful that we only have to wait until April to go again. But now, on Wednesday, I'm back to devastated. It's getting worse. It's overwhelming. I feel defeated and helpless. A grave sense of sorrow. 


And then I moved on to the "what ifs, next time." What if it doesn't work again? What, if any, will our options be if we don't succeed? 

I have 17 voicemails on my phone that I can't even check. I don't want to talk. I want to sit in a dark room and indulge my feelings. I never knew it would hurt so badly. I never knew that this would feel so lonely and hopeless. I am struggling between being grateful for my son I already have and mourning the one we should be having. Between seeing those close to me with babies on the way and wanting to be happy for them and then also feeling anger and jealousy for not still having that myself.

 My baby Embry was going to be born 1 day before my birthday. Now he's not. He was going to have a name that meant "fighter", because that's was he was.  He was going to melt our hearts and now he won't.

And I feel for my husband too. I know he's hurting. He's trying to be strong for me, but I want to be strong for him. After all, we are the only 2 people in this entire world who know what the other is going through.  His hell can't be much cooler than mine. His loss can't feel much less, if any, than mine. His fears and tears are not unlike mine. I can see he is desperate to make the pain go away for me. He doesn't know I just as much want the same for him.

I don't know how long this will last. The bleeding. The cramping. The raw emotions. I do know I will never forget the baby we lost on Sunday. Whatever the future holds, that baby will be in our hearts. We will never quite be the same as we were on Saturday. And the fear of miscarriage will haunt me through future pregnancies.



Brandy's Story: Finding peace in God through the loss of 7 children





Brandy, you are right. How does one possibly respond to the deaths of 7 children. Much of your story resonates with mine. Except my number is 4. Not 7.  Thank you for sharing not only your losses, but also your healing and hope. I pray that it will help someone else.

Love, Rachel

I am a blessed mother of 8 beautiful babies.  7 babies of whom I have never been able to see smile, laugh or hear them speak.  One day, I will.  Most people are speechless when they hear my story.  How does one respond?   
For those of you who are faced with loved ones grieving the loss of miscarriage -- in my honest opinion -- there is no right way to respond -- because in my experience, most mothers don't know how to grieve.  Just do what seems natural to you -- I am sure it will be received in love by the grieving family. 
Our story started all the way back in 2005.  Seems like a lifetime ago.  Newly married, we were excited to tell everyone and anyone about our news.  At the first ultrasound, the tech was silent.  She didn't say anything.  She left quietly to get our doctor.  That is when the doctor broke the news that the baby would not survive.  We were devastated.  We lost child number 1 just weeks later.
About 9 months later, we were pregnant again.  I was so scared.  We didn't tell anyone.  Through the whole pregnancy I just trusted God that it was his choice and I was going to let him decide.  I remember hearing the heartbeat at the first ultrasound, I started crying. Not just a couple of tears, but full-fledged weeping.  Even up to the day they decided to take her early, I still let it rest in God's hands on whether or not we would be blessed with a child.  I fully trusted him.  It wasn't easy -- but necessary.  She was born in June of 2007, a perfectly healthy beautiful baby girl. 
Since then, I have had 6 more miscarriages.  My doctor has tried many things to try to help, but in the end, my babies all left before or close to the end of my first trimester.  My most recent experience has scarred me the most.  It was a week after Christmas in 2013, that we discovered it.  I called my doctor but being that it was their Christmas break, it was difficult waiting for their office to open back up.  Then it was the New Year’s holiday, so more waiting for them to open to get my test results. 
I was so excited; I instantly called one of my close friends who had been praying for me for the past 6 months about this very thing.  She broke down in tears because she and her husband had just found out they were expecting number 4.  Could it be that God was going to bless us both by allowing us to go through this journey together?  We knew it had to be a sign.  We prayed all the time, praying that my body would be strong enough.  I posted my walls with even more Bible verses than normal.  I clung to all of the morning sickness, thankful for it, praying it was helping my body to do what it was supposed to do.  My doctor continued to do blood tests to monitor my progress.   
 Then one morning, the nurse called with the devastating news.  Of course, it wasn't devastating to her because I am sure she makes that call all the time.  But I hit rock bottom, right there.  My hormone levels were decreasing.  My body was once again not strong enough to carry the little one with whom I was blessed. 
Sitting here 2 months later, I wish I could tell you I know why God has allowed this to happen in my life.  I absolutely love children and know that I am a great mom.  However, I know that it is not a reflection of who I am as a person or what I do.  I know that it is not due to God overlooking me because I am sure that He was up there crying more than I at having to take yet another child from my womb.  I have learned not to ask why or why not.
I have learned to step back and look at life a little differently.  It is possible that my gracious most Heavenly Father is protecting me.  I know that it doesn't sound like it after experiencing so much pain, but it is very, very possible. 
I know historically many women die in childbirth.  My body did not carry my daughter very well in 2007.  It fought me every step of the way.  I came down with preeclampsia so they had to take Janelle early and then they struggled with getting my blood pressure to a stable state.  I have never had problems with my blood pressure, but they could not get it to go down and were afraid that I was going to have a stroke.  They were of course very cautious with how much detail they went into as to not raise my stress level higher. 
However, it is very possible, that my loving God gave me Janelle to fill my heart’s desire.  To say, "Brandy, I know this is what you have wanted your entire life.It is very possible, that on that day, in June of 2007, that He wrapped His loving arms around me and held me tight and kept me here on Earth to experience all that He has for me.  I have come to the realization that there is a good chance my body is not capable of carrying a child -- but I was blessed and protected through carrying one. 
Most people do not understand the pain of losing 7 children or even losing 1.  But our Heavenly Father does.  He gave His only Son for us.  And I know that He is my ultimate comforter.  When I think that no one else understands my pain, I know that He does.  And the greatest thing is that I don't even have to be able to put it into words.  He knows, He sees, and He feels right along with me.  I encourage others to turn to Him for their peace when they go through life's trials.  He is the ultimate peace and through Him, you will find comfort and joy again. 

Rachael's Story: Empty arms, empty womb and hurting heart





Rachael, I know you're pain all to well. I know what it's like to watch others move forward and to experience the blessings (the ultrasounds, the flutters, the bulging belly) and all the firsts of a baby that we were robbed of. 

I hope and pray that somehow, someday, you'll find contentment again. Until then, know that whatever you need to feel is OK. And that others are right here, grieving with you.

Much love,

Rachel


My name is Rachael. I have always wanted to be a mother. I watched both of my siblings have kids right away without a single problem. I grew up confident that I would be the same. Unfortunately, I have not been so lucky.

Six months after getting married, I unexpectedly but very happily became pregnant. My joy was short-lived because I miscarried at 5 1/2 weeks. It was heartbreaking, but I quickly learned how common losing the first is. I felt peace in the knowledge that I can get pregnant and hoped that my body just needed a push into motherhood.

It took 6 months before I got pregnant again. I had faith that I was more physically prepared and that this one would work. I passed the scary 6-week mark. My intense morning sickness comforted me. I felt my stomach begin to grow. I went to the doctor at 9 weeks and got talked out of doing an ultrasound. I was measuring in the 8-10 week range so I had faith that everything was ok and I could wait until next time. 

After that, my nausea subsided. At 10 weeks, I started to bleed. It was very light and only lasted an hour. I called my doctor who said it sounded normal. I tried not to worry. At 11 weeks, the bleeding started again and this time lasted the whole weekend. I wasn't in pain and it still didn't seem very heavy, so I waited until I could see my doctor on Monday. On Monday morning, I got up to use the bathroom and was faced with the reality that I was miscarrying. I sobbed. I got mad. I was heartbroken, again. 

I went to the doctor and received an ultrasound. My baby had died at 8 weeks. If only I had insisted on an ultrasound before. I got a D&C that night and wished I could just stay asleep forever. I didn't want to start all over. How many months will it take this time? Will I ever get to keep one?

It has been over 14 months now and I still haven't gotten pregnant since. I cry all the time. I scream and get mad. In the last 14 months, all 8 of my best friends have had babies. All of my siblings and husband's siblings have had babies. I am constantly reminded of what I don't have. I feel completely alone and incompetent. Each month that goes by makes me more and more angry. A month is a long time. 

The only thing I know is that I have a baby. I feel like my first miscarriage was a failed attempt. There wasn't even a heart. The second miscarriage, however, was my sweet Eliza May. I always felt like I would have a girl first and I feel very strongly that she came and went in the way she needed to. She's watching over me and I will have her again. My heart aches for her and for the babies waiting to come.

It has almost been 2 years since the first time I got pregnant and I pray every day that this wait will end. I grieve the things that were taken from me...the sound of a heartbeat, the flutter of movement inside of me, the growth of a belly and use of maternity clothes, the experience of birth, and the feeling of holding my baby. I want all of these things so badly that my entire body hurts.  Will I ever be happy again?

Misty's Story: Abortion at 14 and remembered 28 years later


Thank you, Misty, for opening up about your story. I can't imagine having to make such a heart-breaking choice at 14. Thinking of you and your sister, and remembering your babies with you.
Much love,

Rachel


My name is Misty. I have experienced loss by choice (which was the right choice for me at age 14). I didn't know the sex of my child so there is no name. There is, however, the memory of a child that I still think about almost 28 years later.

I also suffered with my sister when she delivered stillborn at 27 weeks. My sister's daughter was named Elon Tenea and she is missed dearly after nearly 10 years. 

I now have three living children as well as a grandbaby. My sister has a son who is almost twenty. My sister and I are pro-lifers. I agree that the loss of a child, regardless of the stage, is the most heart wrenching ordeal one can ever go through. 

No one can understand this unless they themselves have been through it. 

Your story is insightful even to someone who has been in both situations like myself. Thank you for sharing and God bless you and your family.

Sarah's Story: Heartbreaking death of micro-preemie son Conner





Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your precious son Conner with us. We are remembering your son with you. <3

Rachel


Thank you for your blog post on your miscarriage of Olivia. After we lost our baby, Conner, 8 years ago, I have heard so many other stories of loss. Although it breaks my heart that other people have had to deal with the horrendous pain of losing a child, it is comforting to know you're not alone. 

So with that, here is our story.

I remember the day I looked down at the positive pregnancy test so clearly. I think it was the 8,000th test I took. I peed on a new stick every time I went to the bathroom for weeks because I just couldn't wait to get pregnant! There it was, the double pink line I had been waiting for!! I was so thrilled! I called EVERYONE I knew and shared the great news. I made my first doctor appointment instantly because I just couldn't wait!

At the doctor's office, the pregnancy was confirmed. Everything looked perfect and a few weeks later we got to hear the heartbeat. It was the most amazing sound I had ever heard. I had terrible morning (ok...not just morning!!) sickness, but I thrived on it because I knew that meant the baby was doing well.

My husband and I breathed a huge sigh of relief after the first trimester was over because we thought, "that's it! We're in the safe zone now! Just ride the wave until we deliver our sweet baby!" I guess ignorance was bliss.

All of my appointments went beautifully. Everything looked wonderful. At 20 weeks we found out we were going to have a little boy! We picked a name right away. Conner David. We went and bought that adorable, tiny outfit we were going to bring him home in. Everything was just perfect.

About a week later, out of the blue, I started having some horrendous pain in my lower back. It came out of the blue and it was enough to knock me off my feet. I laid down on our couch and curled up. The pain was so bad that I was nauseous from it. I waited a minute and when it didn't pass, I called my OB.

The nurse told me to come in right away. By the time I had gotten there, the pain had gone and I felt fine again. The doctor felt my stomach and did an ultrasound. Everything looked fine. I moved on and didn't think much of it again.

Three weeks after that, on May 27, 2005, while at my mom and dad's cabin in northern Minnesota, I stood up and started bleeding. Heavily. Out of nowhere. I went into the bathroom to make sure that unmistakable warmth was actually blood. It was. 


It was almost pouring out of me. I was terrified. I came out of the bathroom bawling and told my family they needed to bring me to the hospital. We all piled into my parents' car and drove quickly to the local hospital. I remember feeling Conner kick on the way there and being comforted by the fact that he was still with me. Hanging on. It gave me hope that this was all just a fluke.

At the hospital the doctor did an ultrasound and it revealed my absolute worst imaginable nightmare. I was dilated 2 cm and Conner's leg was pushing down into my birth canal. The hospital we were at was not equipped to handle the birth of a micro-preemie. They doped me up on some magnesium sulfate in hopes of stopping, or slowing down what was going on, laid me down, and stuck my husband and me on a helicopter to a hospital in Minneapolis.

In Minneapolis, they kept me on the magnesium sulfate (which royally messed me up. I have very few, foggy memories from the couple of days I was on it), and they elevated my feet and lowered my head in the bed in hopes of prolonging the inevitable.

On May 30, 2005, they couldn't hold it off any longer. At 9:21 pm, at 23 weeks, 5 days of gestation, (the only reason I remember this time is because Conner's actual due date was 9/21...which always strikes me as such a strange coincidence) Conner was delivered via emergency c-section weighing 1 lb, 9 oz. He was tiny. So, so tiny...but a perfectly formed little baby. He had all of his perfect little fingers and toes, and adorable nose and a tiny bit of dark brown peach fuzz on his head. Adorable perfection.

I had no idea that the worse was yet to come. On June 1st, we got a call from Conner's NICU doctor. He had suffered a very serious brain bleed and wasn't expected to make it. My husband and I made our way down there to hold our precious baby as he passed. I can't begin to describe the pain and mourning we were experiencing at that point. It's purely indescribable. The hospital staff left us alone in a room with him. We just held him and cried. A nurse would come in every so often to listen to his chest...to see if his little heart was still beating. He was a fighter. He held in for so long. We lost Conner a couple hours after he was taken off of life support. It was the longest wait in my life. Holding your new baby, waiting for his heart to stop. We went home the next day completely broken.

The ride home from the hospital was dreadful. As I sat waiting for my husband to pick me up in the waiting area, there was a mother there. A new mother. With her beautiful, perfect baby boy whom she was bringing HOME. I was there, completely shattered after just losing ours the day prior. I sobbed uncontrollably there in the waiting room in front of the glowing new mom and her baby. I sobbed the entire way home from the hospital. The pain was so great, I couldn't contain it. It took everything in me to sit upright in that chair the whole way back. All I could think about was the big, black gaping hole in my heart and soul. It felt like someone reached inside of me and ripped a piece of me out. Essentially, that's exactly what had happened and that was exactly how I felt.

The next day, my milk came in. It was like the most heartbreaking joke a person could imagine. I got my milk. My aching, leaking breasts were a joke. I wanted to top them off of my body and scream at them. I wanted to burn them. The nurse told me to wrap them and ice them and the milk supply would eventually dwindle. As if I needed more of a constant reminder of my loss, now I had these pointless, painful, milk filled breasts. Meant to feed and nourish my baby. Who died 2 days prior.

It took us a long time to move past the grieving stage. I actively grieved for a few months. For that first year, I couldn't even be in the same room with a new mom and baby. I had to leave places on more than one occasion because of this. It was too much for me. I couldn't handle seeing new moms ooooing and ahhhhing at their new baby. Every time I saw it, I felt like that hole inside if me was ripped open again.

About 7 months after our loss, I got involved with the March of Dimes. I think this was the start of my healing process. There was a forum on there for grieving moms. There was a share network where I could read other people's stories of loss. My husband and I spoke at a couple of March of Dimes functions about our loss. Telling our story has been more therapeutic than anything I can think of. I felt like if I could help one grieving mother know she wasn't along in her grief, then Conner's short life wasn't lived without purpose.

He was put on this earth for a reason. However brief he was here, he changed us immensely for the better. I have a renewed appreciation for the absolute miracle of childbirth. A healthy child is nothing short of a miraculous gift from God. We are blessed to have 2 healthy daughters now. I try daily to not take their existence for granted. Not a day goes by when I don't think of Conner. I see boys who would be the same age as Conner and there's always that bit of longing that goes along with it...but we have learned to live with the loss. There will always be that little piece of my heart and soul that is missing, but I believe it all happened for a reason only God knows.

Mary's Story: Recurrent loss and postpartum depression




Thanks, Mary, for sharing your story. I hope it provides hope and healing for others.
Rachel

When I was 17, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was told from early on that it would be hard for me to get pregnant. At the age of 20, a doctor gave me the option to have a hysterectomy. I told him no way because I wanted to at least have one child. 

When I was 22, my doctor found that my left tube was blocked and needing repairing. 

At 23 I became very close with a friend of mine and her boyfriend. We all shared an apartment together. She shared her story with me about how she had an abortion and how she mentally suffered from it. I'm not saying I agreed with what she did, but as a Christian I am a firm believer not to judge others because that is for God to do. I was a good friend and supported her emotionally. 

A couple months later I was pregnant. I think my friend was mad at me for being pregnant. I could tell something wasn't right, though, and I delivered my 6-week-old tiny tiny baby in the toilet. 

Before I lost the baby, I had a dream of a beautiful baby boy with blond hair and blue eyes. I still see this image as of today. I believe the image was a gift from God. 

That time was so hard for me. I cried all the time and was so depressed. The doctor gave me Valium, but that didn't even touch the hurt and pain I was feeling. My friend wouldn't talk to me or acknowledge me after the loss. I needed a friend and she wasn't there for me. The depression got so bad I gave up and tried to overdose on my medicine. 

Well, God wasn't ready for me yet. I ended up in a mental facility for about a week. I had postpartum from the miscarriage. 

To heal from the grief, I got a tattoo of a word in Chinese that meant child. Well at least that's what the tattoo guy told me. My doctor at the time (who was Chinese) said my tattoo read "Son." I looked at him kinda puzzled and said, "What?"  He said, "Your tattoo reads Son." 

I was in shock.  It was truly the perfect tattoo for me. When I was 26, I got pregnant again. Again, I could tell something wasn't right. 

I ended up in the emergency room. I had a tubal pregnancy in my right tube and they had to do an emergency surgery due to my tube bursting. 

The second time was a lot easier for me since I had the love and support of the father, but the relationship did not last.  

At that point, I had one tube that was reconstructed and severe endometriosis.

When I was 30, I met a man I fell madly in love with. He wasn't from this country and meeting him must have been fate.  I told him all about my history and how I felt regarding me not being able to have children. He had three all in different countries. 

We got engaged and spoke about adopting. We were together for a year and a half and never used protection. At the end of the relationship he started to get abusive. We were living in New Zealand at the time. I knew it was time for me to go back to the States. 

When I was waiting at the airport I felt like I was possibly pregnant but brushed it off due to the fact that I was convinced I would not be able to get pregnant. 

3 days after returning home, and I decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. I was in shock. 

I had a very healthy pregnancy and God blessed me with a beautiful baby girl -- 8 lbs 9 ounces.  Her name is Mazey Grace. I named her after my favorite hymn Amazing Grace, because I was once lost and now I am found. 

She is 6 years old now and every day with her is a true blessing. 

A year after she was born I had a hysterectomy.  I may not be able to have any more children, but I am OK with that.  God taught me that when it is his time to answer prayers he will answer them. 

This is one of my favorite quotes I have found. "God doesn't give us the people we want, He gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and make you the person you were meant to be."

Thank you for listening my story.

Mary
There was an error in this gadget