Holli
Mom to Brenna
March 5th, 2008
Bay City, MI

I found out I was pregnant the day after my 31st birthday. I was totally stunned because my doctor had told me years ago that I didn’t ovulate and probably couldn’t conceive. After the initial shock, I quickly became excited. I knew right from the beginning that I was carrying a girl; which excited me even more because I had always wanted a little girl. My husband and I had a 10 year old son, and a daughter from his first marriage. They both were very excited to be having a new sibling.

I was worried right from the beginning because I had been having a bit of bleeding. I went to the ER the next day (it was a Saturday). After several ER trips and doctors visits, and many diagnosis of a “threatened miscarriage” I learned I had a low laying placenta and it would heal on itself. It did. The bleeding stopped and soon I saw a healthy, wiggly baby on the ultrasound. Seeing that melted my heart. I instantly fell in love.

The rest of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I hadn’t been pregnant for almost 11 years, and I was definitely tired and felt run down. I just chalked it up to being older than I was the first time. I got excited when I started feeling the baby move, and when I got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler.

[Read more...]

Brittany
Mom to Baby, miscarried at 8 weeks on January 4th, 2007
and Baby Boy, miscarried at 16 weeks on June 21st, 2010
Newton, AL


My first miscarriage was in Dec. 2007, only seven months after my first son, Jackson, was born. I went in for my first ultrasound the day after Christmas. My husband and I were very excited. The tech started the ultrasound and as soon as the baby came on the screen I knew something was not right. 


The tech kept asking me to hold my breath so she could see if the baby would move. After doing that over and over she sent us back into the waiting room. I looked at Andy and I knew he already knew it was going to be bad news. We then got called back into my doctor’s office were he told us that the baby had not developed and there was no heartbeat. And that it may have even been a molar pregnancy. He gave me two choices: a) we could do a D&C right away or b) let it happen on its own. Well, I was still breastfeeding my 7 month old son, so I decided to go home and let my body do everything on its own. A week went by, a week of hell! Every time I would go to the bathroom I would hold my breath, I was so scared to see the baby come out. But nothing happened, not even a drop of blood. So we went back to the Dr. that next week. He did another u/s and it showed that my body was still growing the sac but no baby. So at that point I wanted it over and set up a D&C.


On Jan 4th I had the surgery. That next May I found out I was pregnant again. And on Jan. 9, 2009 I had another beautiful baby boy, Nicholas! Almost a year to the day of having my D&C. We were over the moon!

We had always planned on having three children and I wanted them two years apart. So the beginning of this year I started hinting around to my husband that it was about time we start trying. Well that never really went anywhere and we both knew that I really never needed to “try” it always just happened for us. So on April 1st I decided I was going to play a joke on a few people for fun. I took a pic of one of my old positive pregnancy tests and sent it to my husband, best friend, and my sister. I first got a text from my sister that said, “haha April Fools.” Then my best friend sent me a text that said, “Really!”. And Andy sent me a text that said, “Again!”. I got a good laugh out of it all and sent them all a Happy April Fools text. Well the next day I was sitting at my computer thinking I should be coming up on my next period like yesterday. So really out of boredom I took a pregnancy test (yes I keep them on hand..lol). Well before I got my pants up there were 2 pink lines. I was like you have got to me kidding me! I call Andy into the bathroom and handing him the stick said, “HAHA the joke is on me!” He busted out laughing! He then said that if this baby is a girl her name will be April. This was going to make for a great story to tell this baby someday.

My pregnancy was going well. I was a bit sicker this go around. I was just hoping that it was a sign of a girl. If this was going to be my last pregnancy, I wanted to make the most of it! I had my 8 week ultrasound on April 30th and there it was, the most prefect little blob with a fast little heartbeat. Everything looked great! My Dr. kept my due date at Dec. 7th and I couldn’t’t wait! I had my 12 week appt. and we heard yet again a strong heartbeat (160 bpm). I entered my 2nd trimester, “the safe zone,” and couldn’t be happier. I was sure we would be having a baby in December.

[Read more...]

Lynley
Mom to Kamdyn
Due October 26th, 2010
Miscarried at 14 weeks on April 30th, 2010
Gillette, WY

Our son Kamdyn was delivered on April 30, 2010 at 14.3 weeks due to Placenta Previa. Our story begins with the struggles of infertility and miscarrying our precious baby.

My hubby and I married September 4, 2004 and it wasn’t but six months into our marriage that we started planning for children. Our first was conceived in August of 2005 with a little help from clomid. The pregnancy was easy and we had our first son Kylo on April 26, 2006. In July of 2007 we decided to start trying again. After six months of no success we tried clomid. We did about 5 rounds of that. Then we did 4 rounds of IUI. After no success we turned to a specialist to find the problem, as well as try IVF. This took place in March of 2009.
I underwent surgery because they thought my tubes were blocked, when in fact they were just fine. The only thing that showed as a possible problem was my husband having a slight difference in the shape of his sperm which is called “morphology”. We proceeded with IVF and they managed to retrieve 19 eggs. They performed ICSI on half and only 13 actually fertilized. By day five, one egg was good. My heart was broken. I couldn’t believe that with all that, we only had one good egg. Unfortunately that one good egg did not take and we were back at the beginning.

[Read more...]

New look…and a giveaway!

Hey everyone!
Have you noticed things got a whole lot prettier around here recently? That’s thanks to Franchesca, mom to Jenna Belle and owner/creator of Small Bird Studio! Franchesca generously donated a blog makeover, and I’m just loving the new look! :) In addition to super awesome and affordable blog makeovers (she also did my personal blog), Franchesca also does beautiful custom art pieces, and more. Make sure to check out her site when you have a sec!

And now, the giveaway!

Tina, the face behind Mama Mia Custom Hand-Stamped Jewelry, has generously offered to donate a $30 gift certificate to her wonderful shop. Tina is a babyloss mom herself, as her precious twins Sofia and Ellie were born too early on April 25th, 2009. She blogs about them here (and hopefully she’ll submit her story to this site soon too, right?! ;) )

Here are a couple of examples of her beautiful work:


Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is all about spreading awareness and letting those suffering from pregnancy/infant loss know that they are not alone. So, this giveaway is all about spreading the message and getting the word out about this new site.

Here’s how to enter. Please leave a comment for each that you do:

  1. Grab the Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope button and put it up on your own blog or website. You can get it off the right-hand side of the main page; just copy the code and paste it into a new HTML “gadget” on your blog
  2. Share the link to this site on an online pregnancy/loss support forum you belong to (Babycenter, the Bump, Justmommies, etc)
  3. Share an idea of how we can get the word out to more people (especially those not already active in blogland.)
  4. Leave a suggestion on how we can improve this site (it really is a work in progress!)

You are more than welcome to leave an “anonymous” comment entry, just please make sure you include your name and email address.

[Read more...]

Michele
Mom to Nicholas, February 1st, 2008, lived for one hour
Sophia, February 16th, 2008, lived for five minutes
and Alexander, November 23rd, 2009, lived for five minutes
Harleysville, PA

After nearly a decade of infertility, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and treated with ovulatory drugs to facilitate getting pregnant. On our first medicated cycle, we conceived our twins, Nicholas and Sophia. My pregnancy was textbook; and, joys of all joys, we found out we were having a boy and girl at thirteen weeks.
Three weeks later, our world collapsed. After a relaxing day, I was making dinner when I doubled over in pain. Feeling the need to go to the bathroom, I sat down and, almost instantly, delivered my son, Nicholas, into my hand. He was moving, and, as my husband called 911, he reached for his father’s finger, wrapping his tiny hand around as much of his father as he could.

Within moments, the EMTs arrived and did their best, and, at the time, the thought that my sweet little boy could die never crossed my mind. In retrospect, I know that sounds insane, seeing as he weighed a little over an eighth of a pound and was the length of an ink pen. But he was moving and breathing; surely that meant they could save him. The Fire Department Chaplain had heard the call of a woman in premature labor and had responded as well; on that cold, rainy, February night, he collected water in a used coffee cup and baptized my son shortly before we were airlifted to Children’s Hospital.

While in the Medevac, the EMT gave Nicholas an APGAR of 2 and, as we touched down in Philadelphia, 12 minutes later, my son died en route to the emergency room. Laying on the gurney as doctors who were used to working with children tried to stop my labor and stabilize me for transport to the hospital next door, that kind EMT appeared and when I asked, as I had for our entire time together, if my son was alright, I saw a tear roll down his cheek. He closed his eyes and shook his head no, before he touched his forehead to mine. I can still remember my sharp intake of breath… The knowledge that my firstborn son was gone… That my son had died… I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t even begin to catch my breath. The doctors and nurses continued to their work, as I watched a nurse explain to my husband that our son was simply too young to save. She wrapped him in a blanket and I saw Peter clutch that little bundle to his tearstained face.

How? How could this happen? I had had a perfect pregnancy; my scans were outstanding. My cervix was “beautiful” and long. Hadn’t I paid my dues, with a miscarriage early in our marriage followed by 9 years of infertility, and medications to even conceive? I’d followed every recommendation from what not to eat to how to sleep. I never missed a prenatal vitamin or doctor’s appointment. I ate organic food. So why? What happened?

Our OB had no real answers. My pregnancy had been textbook since conception. There were two options; either I simply couldn’t carry more than one baby or my cervix had prematurely dilated for no reason. And then, sometimes, women lost their first second trimester pregnancy just because… and then went on to have perfectly healthy, normal ones. But, he insisted, we would be proactive “the next time” and place a cervical stitch called a cerclage. His specialty was a Shirodkar, which he felt would bring me to viability and beyond.

Three months later, we were blessed with a pregnancy that, heartbreakingly, wasn’t meant to go beyond the first eight weeks. After one missed cycle, we conceived our son, Alexander, and opted to keep our pregnancy a secret until the cerclage was placed. But as our ultrasounds progressed, we were given the news that the risk of miscarriage from the cerclage would be 50% because of how low Alexander had implanted and based on the partial previa of my placenta. Weighing our options, we decided on ultrasounds every 2 weeks and to postpone the cerclage until the risk factors had decreased. At my 16 week ultrasound, things looked good; my placenta was migrating into a more advantageous position and Alexander was playing soccer with whatever internal organs he could find. I finally breathed a sigh of relief; we had crossed the threshold of Nicholas’s birth. We would be alright. I would have the surgery (if it was even needed) and Alexander would be an Easter baby.

Three days after that ultrasound, I was admitted to the hospital for premature dilation. The following day, my water broke. But Alexander was a fighter; it wasn’t until I had a placental abruption two days after my water broke that he had no choice but to enter this world too premature to survive. Having lived through this twice before, we asked the nurses and on-call doctor to leave us alone and to let us birth naturally and together. A priest was called, and he prayed over us. We took our last family nap together. And, a few hours into seventeen weeks, Alexander made his entrance into the world as his sister had, as Peter delivered our second son. He was breach and his feet kicked out first; after three pushes, he arrived in a perfect, peaceful birth. He kicked and his little shoulders moved back and forth as he stretched his limbs. A kind nurse we had called baptized him, and, as they wrapped him in a blanket, his little arms slowed and his muscular legs relaxed. By the time he was placed in my arms, he had drifted off to sleep, never to wake again.

We spent the morning, napping as a family… knowing that we would leave the hospital with a memory box instead of a baby. Peter’s parents came later in the morning to see their youngest grandchild, and our priest drove up after Mass unexpectedly, as our son was being prepared and delicately wrapped for the undertaker. He prayed over him and comforted us in our grief while we prepared to leave the hospital. After a bout with postpartum eclampsia, we planned our second memorial service and prepared to introduce our third child to family and friends, as we asked them to say good-bye.

At my postpartum appointment, we made the decision that, should we get pregnant again, we would place the stitch at 11 weeks, regardless of the risks, and follow it with strict bed rest. In addition, I would take weekly 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone injections (also known as P-17 shots), to try and prevent a premature rupture of membranes. My doctor was devastated that we had delivered Alexander early and vowed to do whatever he could do to take us beyond 24 weeks in our next pregnancy. We gave him the chance six months later. After a 6-weeks miscarriage, we conceived our second set of boy/girl twins. I resigned from work at ten weeks, and had the stitch placed at 11 weeks. Immediately I went on bed rest, but, at my 20 week ultrasound, fundal pressure caused part of Bobby’s water bag to slip below my cervix which, even with the stitch in place, had dilated to one centimeter. I was admitted to the hospital, placed on inverted bed rest to relieve the pressure from my cervix, and told by the nurses and residents to prepare for another severely premature delivery. And my twins were born premature. But, in addition to being a face of loss, I am also a face of hope; after 7 weeks of hospital bed rest, my 27-week twins were born with a 90% chance of survival and health. They were taken to the NICU, where they spent the first two months of their lives on earth, before coming home without assistance of any kind. Their initial follow-ups showed them in the developmental range of their birth age. At nine months old, our son, Bobby, was 30 inches long and 20 pounds, and our daughter, Maya, was 24 inches long and 15 pounds. Both behaved like full-term 9-month olds. And both continue to bring new days of sunshine into our lives.

[Read more...]

Rhiannon
Mom to Harper Grace
Born too early on June 25th, 2010
Columbus, GA


Our daughter, Harper Grace, was born prematurely at 26 weeks and 1 day due to preterm labor caused by an infection of my placenta and amniotic sac called chorioamnionitis. It is a very rare infection, only affecting 2% of pregnancies. This infection can be fatal to mother and child, the only cure is delivery. Most premature infants with this infection will not live long after birth.

Here is the story of Harper’s birth taken from my blog:
My hubby and I had been trying for over 2 years to get pregnant. We had finally given up on natural methods and were scheduled for an IVF in March. January was to be our “month off” before we started the IVF process. We decided to take a week and go to the Bahamas to relax. Two weeks later, I discovered that I was pregnant and naturally so. As you can imagine, we were in total shock and disbelief when we saw the positive pregnancy test! Our prayers had finally been answered, this was our miracle baby!

Up until my 25th week I had the most wonderful, uneventful pregnancy. My girl was healthy and I was loving it. Maybe my body took a little while to get here, but I truly felt that I was made to have babies. I was a part of a miracle, growing a life inside of me. A baby that my husband and I created out of so much love. Life was so good!

At 25 weeks exactly, on my birthday, I started spotting and cramping. We were in DC on vacation and were told by my OB to go to the nearest ER. They worked me up and decided that I was just having premature contractions since my cervix had not changed. We decided to cut vacation short and go straight home, we didn’t want to take any chances with our little one. The whole drive home from the airport I was having painful contractions about every 3 min. We went straight to our hospital and I was admitted. I was put on procardia and when I broke through with that, I was put on a Magnesium drip to stop the contractions and to get steroids on board. At this point, my cervix was still closed but I was 80% effaced. I was to be on strict bed rest in the hospital for as long as our Harper would stay put. Hubby kept calling me the “little red hen” sitting on my egg. I had no signs of infection, just an elevated white blood count. They were really not sure what caused the premature labor, maybe placental seperation, maybe infection…no real answers. We would just have to wait and see. The whole time I was in the hospital, Harper was doing wonderful…strong heartbeat, great movement. We were confident that she was a strong girl and that she would do well if she came early! I stuck it out on bed rest in the hospital for a week and then on Thursday night, I started contracting again…3 min apart. Friday am they put in the epidural. I was contracting hard core at this point and dilating. We were still supposed to hang out, wait and see, try to keep her inside as long as we could. Then we lost her heart beat and when we found it, it was extremely low (90′s). We decided we had to deliver her. When they broke my water, it was meconium stained (meaning fetal distress). This was the scariest moment of my life, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I didn’t believe it was real, how could we lose the heartbeat? She had been so strong until now.

I delivered our daughter, Harper Grace, on June 25, 2010, at 2:39 on a Friday afternoon. I could tell by my husbands face that she didn’t look good when she came out. I will never forget the look on his face that day, so sad, so devastated, so lost. The NICU team tried to resuscitate her but she was too weak. I can still hear the sound of them trying to breathe for her, the silence was so painful, I wanted so badly to hear her cry. I prayed she would be ok, I screamed. How could this be real? I felt like I was trapped in a nightmare…she was gone and so were our hopes and dreams. How could this be happening? I would have given anything for her and I still would to have her in my arms.
[Read more...]

Justine
Mom to Sweetpea, February 12th, 2009 (miscarried at 12.5 weeks)
and unnamed Baby, January 19th, 2008 (miscarried at 6 weeks)
Flemington, NJ

We had been trying for another child since my son was born in 2006. After a miscarriage in early 2008, we found out I was pregnant again in late 2008. This is the story of that second loss, the baby I called Sweetpea.

On Thursday morning, I saw the blood. A light pink stain as I cleaned up in the bathroom at work. Oh, shit, I said, under my breath. No, no. Not again. Oh, god, please. No. I talked myself into believing that it was nothing. That I would check again later. That I was imagining things. But I wasn’t imagining things the next time. I called the doctor, and they said I should come in today, even though I had a scheduled appointment on Monday, to see the baby, to see that everything was all right. They seemed so confident, that I believed them. I didn’t call my husband. It wasn’t necessary.

Until I saw the monitor, and the technician, searching. Measuring. Quietly. Looking for something that she wasn’t finding. I’m sorry, she said, I’m just not finding a heartbeat. Oh, god, I said. Oh, no. I covered my mouth, open, like an o. They took me to another room, said some things about what I should expect next, let me go. I cried a little. I hugged the midwife as she went to close the door and leave me to collect myself. I thanked her. I dried my tears and opened the door to the waiting room, walking through a sea of pregnant bellies. I saw a woman I knew in the parking lot, with her sick son. I sympathized, told her I would check on them this week. She didn’t ask why I was there. I drove home.

I became methodical: I emailed the people I knew who had known about it. I called the woman who had offered me her maternity clothes to tell her to give them to someone else. I went through the house, throwing away the prenatal paperwork that I was supposed to return on Monday. I threw away the container they’d given me for my first morning urine specimen. I threw away the pamphlets on prenatal nutrition. I threw away the paperwork to register for maternity stay. I told my husband. I cooked dinner, I bathed and put my son to bed, I checked work email, I went to bed.

On Friday, my car battery was dead. I was tired of death. My husband jumped my car. I went to work. I bled some. I went for a run, not sure if I could, not sure if I should. My body protested. I could feel the blood coming. I walked back. I went to a lunch meeting of mothers at Rutgers, sympathizing with people’s day care stories, feeling like I was talking in a tunnel, listening to myself in some other body. I bled more, and now even more. I excused myself, staggered to the bathroom, hoping that I was not leaving a bloody trail on the historic carpet. In the bathroom, I began to feel as if my body was emptying in great waves of blood and islands of slippery tissue. Would the bleeding never stop? I returned to my office. I saw a student for advising, making sympathetic comments about her problem. I drove home. I fed my family, I bathed and put my son to bed. I went to the grocery store to do my Friday night shopping, walking slowly. I came home, put away the groceries. Checked email. Went to bed. Lay awake, listening to nothing.

On Saturday, I baked banana bread while I made breakfast for my son. I walked with him to the library, promising him a trip to the store for a treat. I went to the toilet in the library. I knew something was coming, and I had to push, but it came — whatever it was, a mass of blood and cells and tissue — it looked like a human heart. It was my heart. I looked into the toilet, trying to see the baby I knew must have been in there, as my son sat reading Dora’s Valentine on the bathroom floor. I knew I couldn’t look much longer before my son would come over, and I didn’t want him to see that. It was surreal. I flushed it away, feeling sick, knowing what I had just done, washed my hands, ushered out my son, closed the door. The back pain was unbearable. I walked home, every step a torture. I made my son lunch, put him in the car. I drove the hour to my mother’s house to get her settled after her return from the knee surgery rehab. I ordered her dinner. I entertained my son while feeding him dinner. I drove home, made lemon poppy cake, checked work email, prepped my Sunday RE class. I went to bed, listening to the roaring of my heart and blood in my ears. I lay awake for hours, shifting to make the pain subside. It would not.

On Sunday, I made breakfast, collected our things, drove to church, set out the cakes and fruit for coffee hour. I washed dishes and made polite conversation about the minister’s pregnant wife, due a week before I would have given birth. I drove home, made lunch, returned to church. I taught class, beginning with a memorial service for the co-teacher who had died this week of a sudden heart attack in traffic. I drove home, went to the park, watched my son play in the puddles in his rain boots. I came back home, I made dinner, I put my son to bed. I baked a red velvet cake. I took hours to frost it. I roamed aimlessly; I lay awake for hours.

[Read more...]



Jane
Mom to Noah
April 6th, 2008-April 8th, 2008
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Noah was SO wanted. Matt and I looked forward to his arrival from day one of finding out he was on his way. In December we found out he was a boy, and knew for sure that his name would be Noah Curtis Godwin Lloyd. Noah- is my dad’s first name, and my great grand fathers first name, Curtis- is Matthew’s dad’s first name, and Matthew’s middle name, and Godwin – is my maiden name. Everyone was so excited, and we already felt like we knew the little guy!

I was due on March 28th- that day came and went- I didn’t ever feel like I needed him out- I was quite comfortable for being so pregnant. Noah was born on April 6th 2008 at 6:13 PM after 3 rounds of induction did not work- he was born by c-section. He was beautiful, a perfect colour, got perfect apgar scores. Noah weighed 6 lbs 7 oz, and was 21inches long.

Everything seemed so normal- Our parents were there, he slept so peacefully, he cried when we changed his bum. The nurses kept commenting on how beautiful he was- no one suspected anything was wrong.

Overnight that first night Noah started to spit up- green coloured stuff. We called the nurses to convey our great concern- and they said it was nothing to worry about- just mucus- apparently c-section babies are prone to spit up mucus for the first few days. it kept happening, over and over, and we kept calling the nurses to show them- they kept assuring us that nothing was wrong.

Not unusual for a newborn- Noah was finding it difficult to latch, and suck- and therefore he wasn’t getting any, or much to eat. The nurses suggested we bottle feed him- so we tried a little- he didn’t seem to catch on to that either.

Then- on April 8th at 3am the new nurse on duty saw Noah spit up. She was very alarmed… unlike the other nurses who assumed it was mucus. She believed us, and knew is was not normal. She called the NICU at the hospital to take him for tests, and for fluids, since he hadn’t been eating.

30 minutes later there was already a transfer team from Sick Kids on their way to get Noah- and a surgery team ready to receive him. We were panicked- we knew it was serious.

We got to Sick Kids and a nurse and social worker met us at the elevator- Noah’s Small intestine had perforated- we signed surgery consent and he was sent to surgery. Even the surgeon sounded like he was going to be ok.

[Read more...]

Carrie
Mom to Eli
Born sleeping on August 29th, 2009
Boise, Idaho

Aaron and I were both so excited to know that we would welcome a new member into our family in early December.

We decided that this baby would be born in the comfort of our own home and we began having prenatal appointments with two of the best midwives we could have asked for (a husband and wife team of midwives). Everything was going perfectly and we were able to hear baby’s heartbeat for the first time when I was 11.5 weeks along.

On July 7, 2009 we went to have ultrasound to find out the baby’s gender. My mom and dad were able to come with us. It took a little poking and prodding and 2 ultrasound techs to get a good look but we were able to find out that our baby was a little boy.

Aaron and I were beyond excited to learn that we were having a son. We started dreaming and planning for a little boy. I was so excited that I had to go and buy some little boy clothes right away. I started painting the nursery on August 20th and finished painting on August 22nd. But, the entire nursery wasn’t put together until about a week after Eli was born (when we got the final things in the mail).

After much discussion, we decided that our baby boy would be named Eli which means “ascension”, “offering”, or “my God”.

We were still trying to decide on a middle name. We thought we would probably either go with Aaron or Michael as his middle name to carry on his daddy’s name but we just couldn’t make a final decision and we figured we still had 3 months to decide.

Eva, who was 20 months old at that point, kept me pretty preoccupied during the day so I didn’t really have time to focus on Eli or notice if I felt him moving but every night when I laid down in bed I would make sure to spend at least a few minutes focusing on Eli and feel him move and kick. I started to feel him move at about 18 weeks (I had an anterior placenta which blocked a lot of his movements) and by 20 weeks, Aaron was able to feel him move. Every night I would enjoy a few minutes of Eli’s movement before going to sleep for the night.

[Read more...]


Shannon
Mom to Savannah Grace Renfro
Born asleep on May 18th, 2009 at 40 weeks, 3 days
Yorktown, VA

I am the face of multiple losses, including a full term stillbirth and 3 subsequent miscarriages.

My husband and I had been married for 4 years and had a son who had just turned one when we found out we were pregnant with our 2nd. We always wanted more children and I especially wanted a little girl. I already had her name picked out, Savannah Grace. To me, it was the most beautiful name ever.

After several months of trying, I found out I was pregnant. I knew it was a girl, my Savannah. The theme of her nursery was to be ballerina. I loved to dance, ballet was my favorite and I hoped it would be hers as well.  Shortly before Thanksgiving, I took the quad screen test and a few days later, I got a call from the doctor.  Savannah had a 1 in 9 chance of Down Syndrome. I was so upset. I wondered what was wrong with me, what I had done wrong. Who would take care of her after my husband and I passed? She would never be a ballerina. Was I strong enough to be the Mom of a special needs child?

We researched Down Syndrome and joined a local Support Group. The more I learned, the more my faith was strengthened and my heart was opened to children of all special needs. I knew that even if she couldn’t dance, she could be a fan of dance. We love her unconditionally. If this was what God planned for us, we would take it with willing and open arms.

We saw a genetic counselor that encouraged us to terminate. Abortion was never an option for us. It simply was never our life to take. Savannah later developed kidney problems as well and again, termination was brought up. Again, we declined. They wanted to perform an amniocentesis on her to see if she did have Down Syndrome. After much research and the only real benefit was knowing definitively if she had Down  Syndrome, the risk from the procedure itself was 1 in 100 of miscarriage, so we declined.

I continued to be seen by maternal fetal specialists at one hospital but continued my prenatal care at another. We prepared for her arrival. I had a special needs group contacted and my husband changed his deployment schedule so that he could be here for her birth, which was expected to be early. We toured different hospitals and different NICUs and met with the doctors so that in a split second, we knew where we wanted her sent for emergency care since the military clinic I was being seen at did not have the resources.

At 34 weeks, I had am elective 3D/4D Ultrasound of Savannah done, just for fun. She looked perfect, beautiful in every way. I have a DVD of her smiling, opening and closing her eyes, practicing breathing, and waving. She was a happy baby and I could not wait to meet her. I knew in my heart, she would be my little ballerina, at least until she was old enough to tell me she liked something else.

[Read more...]

Priscilla and James
Parents to our three angels
Jacob Tyler, September 4th, 2003 (stillborn at 21.5 weeks)
Jordan Skye, April 21st, 2006 (miscarriage at 7 weeks)
Olivia Hayden, December 14th, 2009 (stillborn at 36.5 weeks)
Olympia, WA

My husband and I have been struggling with the loss of our three children for nearly seven years now. We got married in August 2002, and knew right away that we wanted a family. Six months later, we decided we wanted to make that a reality, so we went off the pill. Just a month after trying, we were excited to find out that we were pregnant! The morning sickness was absolutely awful, but I didn’t mind, as I was too excited about having that child 9 months later. Aside from that, the pregnancy was going well up until 21 weeks. The following is the story told by my husband of what happened after that…

The experience of Jacob:

It’s amazing what shock can do to a man. The confusion it nails into your mind. Driving my wife to the hospital seemed like such a long trek. The heartbreak I felt could not be compared to anything I have experienced before. All the hopes my wife and I had were being flattened by the wheels of our car as we drove that warm and haunting morning.

She called my name out from the bathroom. I woke up in a daze. She fearfully told me that her water broke. I frantically searched our apartment for an emergency number to call. I was in a stupor. I could not believe the horror that was about to unfold. We quickly fled out of town to the nearest hospital. The next day my unit was preparing to deploy to Bosnia. The moment was too surreal to explain.

When we arrived to the hospital, the nurses laid her down on a bed to examine her. The diagnosis was not hopeful. After my wife was moved into a room, I left to quickly eat some breakfast. I knew my day would be long and I needed some sustenance. My stomach was full of grief. I could barely eat anything. I so desperately wanted to be with my wife. I stashed my dishes away and made my way back to her room. When I was in the room, I locked myself away in the bathroom. My pain began to flood my chest, which poured through my mouth and eyes. I wept. My several years of walking with God led me to believe He had a divine reason for all this horror. But I could not imagine what it was for.

Several days crept by. I still held out hope for God to bestow a miracle on us. So many people destroy their babies in the first few months of pregnancy, but yet we could not wait to hold ours and he was tragically taken from us. Every year babies are dumped into the trash, some given away, and others are born to a substance addicted mother who recklessly became pregnant through irresponsible sexual behavior. But we had to let go of our son. My wife and I were so proud of him. He hung on for two days before his fragile little body gave out, too exhausted to keep fighting. He was so strong. I know he would have been a wonderful son. All he did was move and kick inside his little home. He would have been mischievous and active. We will never get to see our dog steal his toys. I will never sit down with him and teach him the love of God. My wife will never hold our son when he gets scared from the thunderstorms. My wife and I will never find our son sneaking our dog into bed with him to protect him throughout the night. We will never gaze into his eyes as he tells us he has found the woman he wants to marry with the same excitement we had when we discovered we were having him. And we will never get to watch his amazement when he is expecting his first child.

We named him Jacob Tyler Moore. It has a ring to it. It sounds strong. It has personality. Yet it is tender as well. Qualities we found he possessed as we were in the midst of losing him. We will never forget him. And it is only by grace that my wife and I can move on, but never get over his death.

Rachel
Mommy to Identical Twins
Miscarried March 20th, 2009
Tampa, FL

The story of my pregnancy begins on February 13, 2009.

While sitting at the salon getting my hair done I remember not feeling quite right. Not bad – just not completely normal. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I chalked it up to being tired from being on nightshift & not getting much sleep that day as well as knowing AF should be starting soon.

I wasn’t one to be super aware of when I was due to start. Mainly because my (now ex) had told me he had a vasectomy & I had no reason to doubt him. I thought back to my last period and realized it was exactly 4 weeks before. Not ‘late’ in normal terms but I typically ranged from 26-28 days. I was due to start and I didn’t feel like it was coming.

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Whitney
My angels: May 16th, 2007, February 2010, July 2nd, 2010
Salem, Virginia

The story of my most recent miscarriage, taken from my blog:

I miscarried last night just a few hours shy of being 7 weeks pregnant. I feel like an empty shell of a person waking up this morning. I don’t know what to do with myself, so here I am writing because maybe this will help me.

 Yesterday (Friday), I had the day off from work and had great plans to go get my nails done and go to the mall. However, I got up and was only able to get my shower and then lay back down. I was still spotting heavily and then later had mild cramping all day. And, I felt sick all day too with nausea. Lately, with these symptoms, I just don’t feel I can even leave the house…I’ve been afraid to, afraid of what might happen and I wouldn’t be home or just too sick. I’m a prisoner of my house and have been pretty sick of these same four walls. So, begrudgingly, I spent my day off reading in the guest room.
When Erick got home, we went to dinner, even though my cramps were worse, because I was determined to get out of the house. By the time we left the restaurant, I was feeling worse. I don’t think eating helped, it just made my stomach hurt. So, now my stomach hurt and the cramps were extremely bad.

Then, it happened. Even though, in my heart I was so worried about this and thought it would happen, I was not prepared for it. And, it does not get easier at all, in fact much worse. I had the most incredible sense of deja-vu, so much so that it’s like I thought it was winter.

I just can’t believe this happened yesterday, only one day after hearing the baby’s heart beat for the first time. How could everything have gone so suddenly and violently wrong? All I could think about was, “Did our little firefly’s heart stop beating or did this happen while it was still beating?”

The last time I miscarried, 5 months ago, it was a blighted ovum, which means that the embryo implants and forms the placenta, but the baby never develops. We were devastated. And, now, seeing that life inside me, that little flicker of a heartbeat, makes it all the more heartbreaking. The loss is even more tangible.

This whole cycle has truly been hell for me, physically and mostly emotionally. The ups and downs have been severe. The constant worrying over the spotting and bleeding have been torture for me, with opinions all over the place from the various doctors, mostly concern. So, if it was going to happen, I’m just glad it went on and happened, so I can try to grieve and move on. They say that when you miscarry early on, then something was genetically wrong with the baby from conception and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Knowing that this time has brought some comfort to me — not blaming myself, knowing that if it happens it’s because something is genetically wrong and my body has somehow figured it out. Again, if it’s destined to happen, better sooner than later.

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Melissa
Mom to Alexandra Elizabeth Monique
Born sleeping on April 29th, 2010
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I complained, a lot, throughout my pregnancy. I had sciatica, round ligament pain, I gained more weight than I wanted, I couldn’t sleep, and I was sick the entire time. It sucked. And I would take it all back, a million times over, if I could only have my daughter.

 In September 2009 I started feeling ill. I told my fiance (Steve), either I have the swine flu, or I am pregnant. We were both excited. We felt that this was the perfect time to have another child. Our son had just turned 4, we felt he was ready for a sibling and would make the best big brother.
I had an ultrasound to determine my dates and we were told our baby would be born in mid May. At my 18 week ultrasound we were told we were having a little girl. Our first daughter. I cannot really put into words how excited I was. I was expecting another boy and I was ok with that, but I secretly hoped for a little girl, to round off our family. And here I was, getting my wish.
On Tuesday April 27th, I was just over 37 weeks pregnant. I woke up and did my usual daily things, I got my son ready for school, made breakfast for him, checked my email, pondered if I should eat pizza for my breakfast. At some point I realized I hadn’t felt Alexandra move yet. I remembered, vaguely, waking up in the night and feeling her kick. I thought everything was fine.

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Erin
Mom to Eagan Nathaniel
April 30th, 2010-May 3rd 2010
Lost to VACTERL-H
Killeen, TX

My first child was born April 30th, 2010 and died May 3rd, 2010. But before I tell his story I should first tell a little of my story.

My name is Erin, and I am 23 years old. I had my 23rd birthday just about a month after my son passed away, so I was 22 when I found out I was pregnant and throughout the experience.


I enlisted in the US Army February 12th, 2008 at 20 years old, after encouragement from a friend-turned-lover I had known for almost 2 years. He was intent on enlisting since his father was a retired Special Forces medic and he decided that was a life that was interesting to him as well. I had just come out of a very short-lived but emotionally difficult relationship, and my relationship with him was really more of a convenience during my altered mind state. I decided to enlist as well because at the time I had basically nothing else going on in my life and really wasn’t sure where I was going. I thought, hey, what have I got to lose. I get to get into shape, see the world, and get a paycheck and free healthcare while I’m doing it. Little did I know that was the first step to so much heartache. 

The other mistake I made was deciding to marry this friend-turned-lover the day before he left for his basic training. We decided this was what we wanted to do because we were convinced we were in love, and we should get married so that we could be stationed together once we got out of training. I missed him desperately during basic training, but then in AIT my mind and heart began to stray. At the time it was very hard for me, but I realize now it was because we were never really meant to be married, and we had only dated for about 3 months before being separated for several months. It just wasn’t a strong enough relationship to endure.


Fast forward, I got to my first duty station at Ft. Hood, TX in late June. We were together there for about a month before he had to deploy. The plan was that I was to deploy about a month later, and we would be on the said FOB and be able to be together throughout the deployment. That all was upset once I went the SRP process to prepare for deployment, and I was red flagged due to a possible breathing problem because I had had lots of trouble breathing when I ran in AIT. I spent 6 months on the rear detachment before it was decided that I didn’t have anything wrong with me, I was just out of shape. This, of course, was frustrating because when they decided this I hadn’t been running for 6 months. So in February 2009 I deployed to Afghanistan for a duration of about 5 months. During the time I was still stateside I had completely strayed and we decided that we were going to get divorced.
Fast forward again, it was after deployment and the estranged husband and I were on decent terms for the time being. We still hadn’t started the divorce process because of the deployment, so I was constantly on guard because of the Army’s policies on infidelity, even if the situation is taken care of internally. 

During this time I had very few relationships and far too many flings. I was destroying myself internally with the guilt of my failed marriage, and had basically no self worth. I was drinking a lot with my “friends,” several of which I was sleeping with on the side. To some extent it was fun to just be living in the moment, but on the other side I was very depressed because no matter how much I wanted to stop, I continued to give into my impulsive nature. Soon I was no longer drinking for fun all the time, often it was just to try and forget how much I hated what I had become. I had also pretty much decided there was something wrong with me fertility-wise, because I wasn’t really as careful as I should’ve been with so many partners, and had never turned up pregnant like I was afraid of.

That is, until September 2009.

Of course the initial problem with this is, who is the father? Luckily (if you can call it luck) I had only been with two men that month, so at least it was less difficult than it could’ve been at another time. To this day I’m still not sure beyond a shadow of a doubt. I’ve told one of them that he was the father, but now that I know more about pregnancy and fertility I’m really not sure anymore.

I was so convinced I couldn’t get pregnant, that I didn’t notice when my period was a week late. I hadn’t really been tracking it well, although it turned out that I had actually noted my last period on the calendar, and I hadn’t done that in months. Strange how things happen that way. Eventually I started to notice that I was more bloated than usual, and thought that I was just putting on a few pounds. I kept joking with my friends that I thought I was pregnant because of my poochy belly, and then laughed about it while we were out drinking, and I was smoking a lot as well. 

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Jessika
Mom to Rylee James
April 10th, 2010
Rocky Mount, VA

My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant diligently for about 1 year, while not trying to prevent it for another 2 years. So finally after many negative pregnancy tests, and monitored periods, I started using an ovulation kit. One Friday night I got down to my last ovulation stick, and after getting the unwanted answer I decided it was time to just let it take it’s course, if it were ever to happen. Before I left the bathroom I decided to use my last pregnancy test just to rule that out, and as I waited for the results to pop up on that clear blue screen, I got a funny feeling. What if I was pregnant? I waited, thinking about the following two weeks when my husband and I were scheduled to go to fertility doctors for both of us, I dreaded that. I waited and waited…and the screen finally appeared… PREGNANT ……. wait..what?! where’s the NOT in front of it that I’m so accustomed to seeing?! omg OMG . I’m pregnant! So there’s the exciting start to my heart breaking story.

That was right at the end of January 2010. I had an OB visit and ultrasound at 7 weeks (2 weeks after i found out I was prego) and we got the blessing of seeing our baby’s fluttering heartbeat AND got to hear it, along with 2 cute pictures :) . I had another ultrasound around 11 weeks and we got to see our wonderful baby in 4D!! So exciting! He was waving in one, and curled in a side view in another, stretched out in another, and laying flat on his belly in another. His heartbeat was amazing again. So breathtaking and shocking that my husband and I could make such a beautiful creation.

On the day of our 11 weeks ultrasound I started spotting about 2 hours before my appointment. When I went to the Dr, I told them and they were not concerned because the heartbeat was good, the baby was growing perfectly, and everything looked A okay. My doctor said many, many women spot and it could be from exercise, intercourse, or other things. So I tried to accept that as much as I could, and went on. I still worried a little, but who wouldn’t. I trust my doctors though, they are wonderful, so I settled down a little.

That was on a Thursday, and Saturday morning, I thought I had a miscarriage. I bled a lot, and passed a few large clots. I didn’t know what to expect, so I called my husband (he had to work, which was soooo unusual for a Saturday) and he took me to our local ER. After waiting forever while sitting there in the lobby bleeding, they FINALLY took me back, just to wait longer. They started an IV (my first IV ever…) and said they were going to check my hormone levels, do an ultrasound to see if the baby was still there, and do an exam to see if my cervix was open. They did bloodwork, then did the exam. I was so shocked to see how they did the exam. They didn’t have me in a bed with stirrups, so they put a bedpan upside down, covered it with a sheet and had me place my butt on it. It was so awkward and uncomfortable, why couldn’t they just take me to another room?! But out of that awkward moment, I received good news. My cervix was closed. The Dr. said it would be almost impossible to miscarry and have my cervix close back completely that quick, so they did an ultrasound directly afterwards. There was our beautiful baby, flipping and twisting and having a blast. Heartbeat was good, everything looked good, so they waited on my hormone levels, which turned out okay, and sent me home and told me to follow up with my Dr. Monday. Yay :) .

Monday morning I called my doctor and made an appointment for that afternoon. We went in and had another ultrasound (and got pics!!) and talked with the doctor. Our miracle was fine, but i was diagnosed with a condition called Placenta Previa, which is where my placenta grew on the lower part of my uterus and covered my cervix. My doctor was very reassuring with this, saying that besides the bleeding there was really nothing to worry about this early in the game because as my uterus expanded, the previa would migrate up with my uterus. They said this condition was more of a later 2nd trimester, early 3rd trimester thing, and I should be just fine. They did put me on bed rest and told me that any time I was bleeding, I would have to be on bed rest. Which was completely fine with me as long as it would keep our baby healthy. :) After about a week of bed rest, I went back to work.

I worked 1 week and that Friday morning I had another doctors appointment (Good Friday). Everything was fine that morning, no bleeding or anything. I had only been sick a little bit, and my doctor had told me to take a few over the counter vitamins to control it, which had been working. So I was really happy. The doctor did tell us no intercourse at this point until the previa moves, which sucked lol, but it would be completely worth the wait to hold our little one in our arms in about 6 months.

That Friday evening we were spending time with my husbands family because his aunt, who was more like a grandmother to him, was dying of lung cancer. The doctor had given her less than 2 weeks, and at this point, the backbone of our extra large family couldn’t even sit up on her own, wasn’t eating or drinking, and we all knew it was a matter of days, not weeks. While sitting there I started bleeding really heavy, but i knew it was just the previa. I handled everything well, and knew to get off my feet, so I did. Saturday morning I called my doctor and he told me if I were still bleeding Monday he would pull me out of work as long as I needed until the bleeding stopped. I had a wonderful group of doctors, I was so appreciative. I wanted to keep my lil sweetie as healthy as I could :)

So I was out of work until Wednesday, and I thought I was going back that day, but I started bleeding again that morning (it had stopped Tuesday afternoon). I called the doctor and took care of work notes by fax. Everything was still okay. Until that afternoon. I started getting cramps. I was puzzled, because that was NOT a symptom of my previa. That night I was up and down, getting only a few hours of sleep. Thursday night they were worse, being every three minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. Sure in the world didn’t sound like cramps to me, it sounded like contractions! So I called my doctor Friday morning and got worked in that day.

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Courtney
Pregnant from September 25th-October 14th, 2008
St. Louis, MO

After many months of trying for our first child we found out on September 25, 2008 that I was finally pregnant. I was so excited. We are high school sweethearts and had been married over six years. It was finally time. We told everyone. After all what did we have to worry about? We were both young (29), healthy, and no one in our families had any problems previously with pregnancies.

Right about the fifth/six week mark I felt pregnant. My boobs hurt, I was having food aversions, I was crabby, tired, and peeing all the time. I thought these were all good signs and I was very happy.

On Saturday, October 11th I started spotting. Trying to calm my fears I called the doctor on call. She coldly informed me that if I was only six weeks and having a miscarriage there was nothing they could do. If it got worse or I felt worse I could go to the ER, otherwise just call the office on Monday. I went out that evening with friends who tried to comfort me with their own stories of spotting and rough pregnancies. I knew in my heart that something was not right.

On Monday, October 13th I called the doctor’s office as soon as they opened. I went in immediately for an ultrasound. I was alone. My husband had a meeting at work that he could not miss. I figured I was just being over dramatic and that I would see the baby and everything would be fine. I went into the cold ultrasound room covered with pictures of previous babies. Twins, triplets, 3-D babies, all over the place and in my face.

Within two minutes the ultrasound woman confirmed that there was no baby in my uterus. In fact she could not find much of anything other than a huge cyst on my left ovary. I covered my face as I could not bear to look at the pictures of my empty womb. She told me that I was probably already miscarrying and that was why nothing was showing up on the screen. I got blood work taken to see if it was a rh incompatibility problem. I had to walk out into a waiting room full of happy, healthy, pregnant women with tears streaming down my face.

The next day, October 14th, I was still not having much bleeding, or cramping. I kept waiting for something to happen. About halfway through the day I had incredible pain in my stomach and ended up in a fetal position on the floor of our bathroom. My mom drove me to the ER. I knew something was not right because I kept hearing my doctor’s name being paged over the intercom. It turned out that it was not a cyst on my ovary, but rather my left fallopian tube blown up by an ectopic pregnancy. I underwent surgery immediately as there was already some internal bleeding.

Wednesday, October 15th, I woke up and found out that my right fallopian tube was useless due to severe scarring from a ruptured appendix fifteen years prior. My left tube was left in by my ob-gyn in order to try and save something so I could still try to get pregnant on my own.

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Tiffany
Mom to Genesis
Stillborn on March 16th, 2007
Lost to Anencephaly
Los Angeles, CA

It was late 2006 and my husband and I had been married a little over 2 years and we finally decided it was time to start a family. We had no idea how long it would take to get pregnant but we thought that it would probably take a few months. To our surprise we got pregnant on the first try. I found out Thanksgiving Day 2006 that we were expecting our first bundle of joy! I was so shocked when I saw that positive pregnancy test that my hands were shaking and I remember glancing at myself in the bathroom mirror and my jaw was on the floor and I was pale as a ghost. But I was so incredibly happy.
We were so excited we just had to share with my family, who live next door, and they threw an instant party for us. My mom rushed to the store to get a cake before they closed. It read “Congratulations!” on it. She also brought home with her a little yellow bib with stars on it and it said “Daddy’s little star” on it. We had sparkling apple cider (of course!) with strawberries. We took photos of the celebration as well. It we the beginning of the best chapter of our lives.
As the weeks went on I was able to have two ultrasound visits with my little one and the doctor was able to print out some pictures for me. Pictures that I will treasure the rest of my life. I remember my mom came with me to my appointment, not only because I was nervous since I had no idea what to expect, but also because this was her first grandchild and she loved seeing the baby when she could. During the second ultrasound I remember my mom was so happy to see that little bean jumping around in there moving around its little arms and legs. She started to cry from the joy. That ultrasound video is burned in my brain to this day, I’ll never forget my baby waiving hello to me.
I was into the second trimester and was itching to buy stuff for the baby already. I went and bought all neutral colored baby clothes because we still didn’t know what gender the baby was. Though in my heart I felt it was a girl. Around 18 weeks the time came to do the AFP test. My husband told me I should decline the test since we were young (23 & 24) and there was no history of any illness or anything in either of our families. I knew he was right but something told me to do the test anyway. I went to the lab and they took my blood. As I was sitting in the waiting room I was feeling very confident that this was just going to be a routine testing and they were going to tell me everything was great just as they had so far through my pregnancy. The lady who took my blood was having a casual conversation with me:

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Augie
Mom to Dominic McDylan, Feb 2, 2007 (EDD: Oct 10, 2007)
Gwendolyn Elizabeth, Jan 30, 2008 (EDD: July 8, 2008)
Aiden Alexander, Nov 10, 2008 (EDD: July 20, 2009)
Jillian Evelyn, Jan 19, 2010 (EDD: Sept 28, 2010)
Winchester, VA

Our journey started unexpectedly in January 2007 when we conceived our first son. We hadn’t been trying and in fact had just started birth control. We lost our little boy before we even knew of his existence. For the longest time, I didn’t even tell Chris (or anyone else for that matter). I just dealt with it on my own and reminded myself that we were no where near ready to have a child together.

After some long discussions we decided that we were going to start trying to conceive in October 2007. Amazingly, we got pregnant that very cycle. We were elated. We (like so many others) assumed that we had used all our bad luck and that of course we were going to have a healthy pregnancy. We didn’t tell anyone right away, choosing to sit on the news for a little while. We enjoyed every minute of the pregnancy. Around 9 weeks I even started to show. On January 30th I began cramping and passing clots. I immediately knew what was happening. We were devastated. I made it all the way to 11 weeks.

After losing our second pregnancy, I couldn’t let Chris so much as touch me. Even a simple hug would send me bawling. Just a couple of months after the loss, I found justmommies.com The ladies there are amazing. They encouraged me to name the babies we had lost and give it time. We named our first angel Dominic McDylan. Our second angel was given the name Gwendolyn Elizabeth.

Not long after joining JM we started officially trying to conceive again. To our surprise we didn’t conceive right away this time. (I had assumed we would because of the first two pregnancies). But we still didn’t have to wait long. In October 2008 we conceived again. This time we were scared, but still hopeful. After all, I blamed Dominic’s loss on the birth control pills and figured Gwen’s to be a fluke. Sadly, through, at a mere 5 weeks 4 days, I began the now-all-too-familiar process of miscarrying yet again.

With the loss of my third baby came anger. Chris wouldn’t admit that I was ever pregnant. I think it was his way of coping. I named our third little one Aiden Alexander. I lost all confidence that I would ever carry full term. I am no longer sure about the causes of my first two babies.

By this time we were nearing our wedding date, September 27, 2009. We decided (for insurance purposes) to put trying to conceive on hold until after the wedding. After the wedding, I started fertility testing. After many vials of blood and other tests it was determined I had a clotting disorder known as MTHFR. In January 2010, I was delighted to get a positive pregnancy test. Sadly, that very afternoon I started spotting. A few days later, it was confirmed with a super low progesterone level at the OB. Her name is Jillian Evelyn. Jillian would have been due one day after our one year wedding anniversary.

The doctor decided to put me on Clomid. Three cycles later we still hadn’t conceived and the OB decided I was beyond his help. He transferred me to the local RE. In waiting for an appointment with the RE, my husband had a semen analysis done. It came back showing morphology was a little low but the doctors weren’t at all concerned. (Counts were great.) The RE ordered more tests and more blood work for both of us. (All of which came back normal.)

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Michelle
Angels March 2001 and April 30th, 2010
Media, PA
My first pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage. We were elated when we found out we were pregnant. It seemed so easy! It was the first time we tried and could not wait to share our news. We were getting ready to go on a vacation with my husband’s family so I went to Planned Parenthood just to get a test before we told everyone. Planned Parenthood confirmed my pregnancy and we could not have been happier.


Then the night before we were getting on a plane to head to Florida, I just did not feel right. I had a tugging at my side and felt like some of my symptoms had faded so we went to the ER to get things checked out. They wanted to do an ultrasound but there was not a tech there at the time so they called someone in. We were in the ER for hours waiting on the u/s. When the tech did the ultrasound, they did not see a sac but thought that maybe it was too early. He told me to wait it out and if I felt anything while I was away, I should go to the hospital.


So there we are in Florida, supposed to be having fun in the Happiest Place on Earth and I just did not feel right. We went to the ER and they repeated the ultrasound and still nothing. I was devastated. I could not even stay on vacation. I arranged for an appointment at an OB for later in the week and boarded a plane to head home early. To make a long story short, they tested my HCG levels and they were not climbing. I was scheduled for a D&C a week later. So there I was one week later, sobbing in my Dr’s office waiting to end what was supposed to be the happiest time of my life.

Fast forward 9 years and we had been trying for 16 months. My cycles were crazy. I went months without a period and even had a period that lasted a few months. I wasn’t giving up but stopped actively trying. Then once again, we are in the Happiest Place on Earth and I start feeling really crappy. I have the worst headaches and am nauseous. I put it off as just being tired from a very busy trip but the feeling has not passed even after we arrive at home, so on Monday morning, before heading back to work, I take a test. In fact I even take 2 because I do not believe the first on. I was shocked but so happy. I told my husband and we both shared our excitement. I kept it quiet at work besides telling one person and we only told our families.


I went for my first Dr. appointment and all looked well. My bloodwork came back fine. Then we went for my 2nd appointment where we got to hear the heartbeat at 15 weeks. My youngest child was there and he was so excited to hear his new baby brother or sister’s heartbeat. Things were going well except for an occasional nagging thought that something did not seem right. I pushed it off as nerves because I am a huge worrywart. So off I went to my 20 week appointment. I dropped my kids off at school, which is also where I work, and everyone said they were waiting for their texts to tell them if it was a boy or girl.


I had my check up scheduled first so my husband decided that he would just meet me afterwards for my ultrasound. I went in to my appointment and my blood pressure was a little high, as it had been on and off throughout the first 20 weeks but was always told it was OK. I joked with the nurse that I wouldn’t mind being put on bedrest. She talked about the Dr. possibly putting me on a medication for that.


So he comes in and my husband wants to be on speaker while we talk about my blood pressure. He jokes with the Dr. that I need to eat better and exercise more. He and the Dr. joke for a minute but then he goes to listen to the heartbeat. My husband is still talking and I keep telling him to stop so that the dr. can hear. When I realize that he has been searching pretty hard I tell my husband to be quiet but he does not get it so I hang up. All I can do is stare up at the ceiling and hold back my tears.


At this point I knew that it was bad. He kept picking up my heartbeat which was racing. He says that he cannot find it but will call down to get me an ultrasound ASAP. He leaves the room and I am left alone. I call my husband who has since jumped in the car and begun the 30 minute trip to the hospital. I tell him what happened and just cry. Go figure that as I am talking to him, he thinks he is getting pulled over so he hangs up. I did not know what to do so I called my mom at work. I could hear her crying on the other end and telling me that she wished that she could be there with me.


The Dr. comes back in and says I need to go down to u/s right away because they are squeezing me in. So I have to walk down by myself, sobbing the entire way. I am met by 4 wonderful women who took my hand and tried to comfort me. I cannot bring myself to look at the screen or ask if it was a boy or girl. I only manage to ask when they think the heart stopped and they said 1-2 weeks before.


They walk me back up to my Dr’s office where my husband meets me. We just stand in the waiting room hugging and crying. We wait to see the Dr. and when we meet with him he offers me two options. I could deliver the baby or have a D & E. Immediately my husband and I both chose the D&E. I knew in my heart that I could not handle the delivery. Unfortunately, my Dr. does not do this procedure so he recommends a colleague of his. He arranges everything for me and I just have to wait for them to call me with my appointment times.

I have to drive home that day by myself. On the way home, I call into work where I tell my coworker what happened and ask her to spread the word to everyone so that I would not have to. However, I told her it was important that my kids do not hear it from anyone else.

By the time I got home, the other OB’s office called me with my appointment. It was a Friday afternoon and I was set up with a consult Monday morning and set for surgery on Tuesday. The weekend was torture for me. Those days were the worst of my life. We head to the Dr. on Monday for the consult, I cry the entire time. Then I had to go over to the hospital for pre-admissions testing. I could not look at anyone without crying, people must have thought I was crazy.


Then the next day I wake up and we get ready to go. My husband and I both cry the entire way to the hospital, walking into the hospital and sitting in the waiting room. Finally, they call me up and get me into a room to be prepped. I can barely get myself changed into my gown. Then one of the worst parts of the entire situation was when I had to sign off on my baby’s cremation. I could not even do it, my husband signed for us.


Shortly after they put me in a bed and got ready to wheel me into the pre surgery area. I have to leave my husband and I sob as he hugs me and gets on the opposite elevator of me. I cry the entire way up and when I get there. Dr’s and nurses give me sympathetic looks and one then comes to tell me that my husband will be right down. I guess they realized how important it was for me to have him there. He sits with me until I get my sedative and I don’t even remember falling asleep. I wake up less than an hour later and am wheeled into recovery. We stay for another 2 hours and then I am sent home empty handed.


Overall, the procedure was rather simple physically. Emotionally, I will never be the same. For days after, I second guessed my decisions and most days I still do. But I have come to know that I made the best decisions that I could at the time and that has to be ok with me. 

You can contact Michelle at mjskowronek@verizon.net

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