Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month
October 15th marks Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day. This came to pass when Ronald Reagan, in 1988, proclaimed October to be National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. In his words:
"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When a parent loses their child, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS and other causes."
Statistics show that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. I am 1 in 4.
Since losing our Adora July 17, 2013, I have met many brave women who have experienced the pain from losing a child or children. It is one of the most painful experiences anyone could have to endure. The hope and promise of life stripped right in front of your eyes. The pain of seeing other people blessed with children and taking them for granted. The daily pain of the what-ifs and the blame we place on ourselves.
This may contain triggers for those of you who have lived through this. Just be forewarned.
It started at work when I was about 8 weeks pregnant. I felt funny so went to the bathroom and saw brownish discharge in my underwear. Freaked out, as I had told no one about being pregnant yet, I went to the only agent on floor and told her I was pregnant and spotting and I had to call my doctor. Thankfully, she was very concerned and told me go ahead. I knew that moment I saw my underwear what was happening. I knew it. Deep down I knew my baby was dieing and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
They had me come to the doctor within a few days, two weeks before my "first" appointment had been scheduled. It was so nerve wracking. I'll never forget the doctors face as she searched for the heartbeat. She did find it but I knew what was going on. The heartbeat was extremely faint but was there and baby was only measuring around 6 weeks 4 days. She took a picture for us thankfully. My instinct said it was over. Gravely, she told my husband and I that it was what looked like a miscarriage but there could still be hope and to come back in two weeks. The next day was Wednesday night and as I lay in bed, I felt my baby die. It was July 17th and I knew that my baby had passed. The bleeding started on Friday and gradually got worse and worse. I kept working every day possible just to survive. Just to try to forget what my body was doing. Trying to forget I was losing my baby.
It was Monday the following week when I passed my baby. I was at work and I just felt weak from loss of blood. I probably shouldn't have been at work but what else was I supposed to do. I saw the sac in the toilet. I knew that was my baby. I wanted so bad to pull her out, as gross as that sounds, and keep her, give her the proper burial. Treat her like the baby she was, not just a mass of tissue. I flushed my baby down the toilet and went to my desk and cried. I just flushed my baby! What is wrong with me! How inhumane am I! I will regret that choice forever, flushing her like waste, like she meant nothing, but she meant so much!
That Wednesday I had my follow up appointment and sure enough all tissue was gone. My baby was passsed and dead. I had flushed my baby down the toilet. I asked for that last picture she had and she gratefully pulled it out of the system and gave it to us. She allowed my husband and I to sit and cry in each others arms in her office for as long as we needed. My mom had taken Benjamin for us, knowing how hard that day would be. Afterwards we went out and had a drink at Red Lobster. What else was I to do but try to drink the pain away. I tried to reason with myself that this was God's plan and this what was supposed to happen. I tried to tell myself I did nothing wrong and it was unpreventable; but I couldn't believe it.
The next Tuesday I fell down with a 105 temp. They had warned me if I came down with a temperature or felt sick that it could be some missed tissue and an infection. I was at work and pale as a ghost and another agent just told me to go to the doctor. My work was so kind through this whole ordeal it was a blessing. I called and was taken to the doctor immediately. The doctor checked and saw no tissue and asked if I was in pain. My insides screamed YES I AM DYING INSIDE. My baby was taken from me. I told her out loud that yes it was very painful and I felt like I was on fire. My heart hurt was the truth of it. I was sick on the outside but it was my inside that hurt the worst. She prescribed me pain pills and an antiobiotic. I am not a pill popper, but those pain pills got me through the worst of my life. They helped me cope with the death of our child. They helped me numb out and survive.
I got through it. Slowly but surely the years have dampened the wound, though it will never go away. I still yearn for my baby girl. Some may say how could I have ever known what gender my baby was. Honestly, I don't know for sure. But I really think she was a girl and I named her to help myself deal with the grieving process. My heart will always cry when I think about this and even as I am typing, tears are streaming down my face. This is a life I will never get back.
To all you moms and dads who have lived this hell, my heart breaks for you. To those who have carried their babies 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks and even seen their children born; my heart is crying for you. Losing a child should happen to no one ever. And I hope that those who haven't lost a child, will be able to help those they know have better because of this post.
October 15th is the day for the Wave of Light. Everyone is invited to light a candle around the world at 7pm in their time zone and leave it lit for an hour. If everyone lights a candle in their time zone it will create a continuous Wave of Light around the world in Memory of our babies. Please join me tonight as I light my candle at 7pm in remembrance of Adora Ruby.
RIP baby girl. We will never forget you.
An angel in the book of life wrote down my babies birth. Then whispered as she closed the book, "To beautiful for earth."
Forever in our Hearts