Mom to Little Rios

14 weeks – April 2011

Toronto, ON Canada


It has been 1 month since we lost our baby. Well, since we found out that we’d lost our baby.

We decided January of this year (2011) to start trying to have a baby.  I decided to take the test before getting ready for work the morning of February 10th. I was 2 days late. My husband Chris already thought I was pregnant, I decided to wait and see what the test said before I got myself excited. 7am. The test was positive! We got pregnant after our first try!  We were so excited. I called my best friend, and my mother to tell them. They were so excited, they started to cry, which started my waterworks. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but decided to wait until the 3 month mark, when it was “safe” to tell everyone else aside from our immediate family, like everyone says to. We counted down those days. We found out our due date was October 20th. Which I thought was amazing because Chris and I met on December 20, 2002, we got married on June 20th 2009, and now our first baby would be born on October 20th. We couldn’t wait. We went for our first ultrasound at 11 weeks, and the baby was moving SO much! We couldn’t believe it, they were bouncing around, kicking, stretching it’s arms and legs, and looking right at us sometimes. It was amazing to see that little light flickering in their chest. After that, we knew everything was ok. Our Little Rios was beautiful, and we couldn’t wait to meet him/her. I will always remember the look on Chris’ face when he saw our baby on that screen. His eyes lit up, and he just stared and stared, with a smile on his face. We loved our baby so much. This is when we told everyone, and posted the baby’s picture online for all of our friends and family to see.

I read “You Were Loved Before You Were Born” by Eve Bunting to the baby nightly, and I prayed that our baby would remain healthy, and my pregnancy would go smoothly. It was going very smoothly – no morning sickness, and fatigue was the worst part of it,  I’d say. I felt lucky that I had it that easy, and I really enjoyed being pregnant. Every week, I read about how the baby was developing in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. My bump had grown so quickly, I couldn’t believe it. At 12 weeks, I had gone to see my OB. Everything was still fine – there was Little Rios on the screen, still kicking and moving around, light still flickering in their chest. I always looked forward to going to my appointments to see what the baby was up to. At this point we were counting down the days to May 25th when we would find out the sex. I always felt like we were having a baby boy, so I couldn’t wait to see if I was right.

Mother’s Day came around my 16th month mark. Chris bought me flowers, and a card, and we went out and spent a beautiful spring day together. Two days later on May 10th, I went to my OB for monthly checkup and I was so excited because I was going to hear the heartbeat for the first time! I will always remember this day. This is where I need kleenex.

I went into the room, and told my doctor i was feeling fine, and everything was good. She brought out the doppler to find the baby’s heartbeat. My heart was beating so fast, I couldn’t wait to hear it. She said my placenta was being too loud, or the baby wasn’t co-operating. My heart started to sink a little. But I told myself maybe it’ll be there on the ultrasound monitor. She turned it on. She placed the wand on my belly. There was our beautiful baby. They’d gotten so much bigger since the last time I saw them. “The baby’s not moving so much” I said. Really, they’d not been moving at all. I felt my face getting hot. My eyes teared up. Maybe they’re sleeping, I told myself. “Move, come on, move! Move for Mommy” I said in my head. I wished for them to move, I prayed for them to move. “They’re not doing what I want them to do” said the OB. I wished they’d move some more, and I frantically searched their little body for that light. That sweet flickering light that tells me everything’s ok. I didn’t see it. I thought maybe I just couldn’t find it. Really, I knew. I knew what was happening. I was in denial. My OB put her hand on my shoulder, and that look on her face………..

NO! I told myself. NO! It can’t be.

“Vanessa……I think there’s something wrong with the baby. There’s no heartbeat. I’m so sorry honey.”
That sentence plays on repeat in my head sometimes.

“NO……No….no…..” I said as I covered my face, hot tears streaming down. I shook my head in disbelief. I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I had to call Chris at work to tell him to meet me at the doctor’s office. I couldn’t get the words out, I just cried. “What happened?!” he asked. “The baby….the baby………..the baby………………………………………died.” That last word was nothing more than a whisper.
I didn’t know how long it would take him to get to me, so I called my mother too. I still couldn’t say it. She started to cry when I finally did. They were both on their way, and I sat there in the Dr’s office waiting and sobbing.

The Dr gave us our choice of a D&C or being induced, and having the baby. I knew I couldn’t handle giving birth, so I chose the D&C. Her colleague came in to re-examine me, to confirm everything. I’d hoped that the baby’s heart had magically started up again. But she confirmed….the baby was the size of 14 weeks gestation, and I was 16 weeks along. The next 3 days were extremely hard. I cried myself to sleep, my husband cried a lot, I could barely sleep at all, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I was crying and hyperventilating at one point, and I couldn’t stand to look at my body without my baby belly (which had gone down almost overnight after I knew I’d lost the baby). All I could picture were Little Rios’ long legs (like Daddy’s) kicking away on the ultrasound monitor. I could still picture all the life they had in them. and it made me SO sad. On the 3rd day, I still had no signs of miscarriage except for the extreme burning in my shoulders and arms, and I was at the hospital for my scheduled D&C. This is when things went horribly wrong. Coincidentally, it was Friday the 13th. This part of my story includes a lot of blood and a lot more tears.

I was fine after the D&C, and I was released to go home after 2 hours in recovery. I got home, and my bleeding got a bit heavy. I was changing pads often, and I called my best friend. 2 hours after getting home, and 5 pads later, we went back to the hospital. As soon as I stepped out of the car……the blood literally POURED out of me. I thought I was going to die at any minute, and I sobbed very loudly. “It won’t stop…it’s coming….it’s still coming!!!!” I shouted, “oh my God, oh my God….” I said as they wheeled me into the ER. There were so many nurses coming in and out of room. They all looked terrified, and had such a sense of urgency. if the nurses can’t keep the terrified look off their face, it must be really bad I thought. I looked around the room, and saw puddles of my blood everywhere. The bed was soaked. I was worried about Chris having to see all of this. I was worried about leaving him and my family and friends. My mother came to the hospital, 2 OB’s came into the room, one was my OB’s colleague (my OB was away). I was glad to see her there. Still bleeding heavily, she pushed on my belly to release any tissue that may be there, and the blood poured out even more. All l I remember at this point was seeing Chris trying to hide his face while he cried, and then a bright white light, and telling myself I’m dying. I’d just lost my baby, and now I’m dying. (my mother said my pressure was at 33 over 15, and my pulse was at 12 beats/min, and I had gone white. My kidney function stopped). When I came to, I had an oxygen mask on. The doctors had stopped my bleeding, and I spent the night in ICU undergoing a major blood transfusion (5 bags of blood, 4 bags of plasma). I was told I had developed Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). My blood had lost the ability to clot. I spent the next night in the OB/GYN ward, after leaving the ICU, and I was sent home on Sunday May 15th.

I spent many nights coping with almost dying (I say the baby must have wanted me just as badly, because they almost took me with them), coping with losing the baby, blaming myself at times, and finding ways to keep myself occupied. I started a journal where i write my feelings down, and write to the baby. I pray that I will get through this, and get pregnant again soon with a healthy baby. I have since accepted that our baby’s heart just stopped, and I am not at fault in any way, and finding that small bit of peace has made this much easier.

I’m glad I found this website where I can share my story, and read others. When this happens, you feel so alone, and hearing about other women and couples who have gone through the same thing makes you feel a bit better. You realize you are not alone. Without my strong, loving husband, my large, loving and supportive family, and my wonderful friends……and stories from other strong women who have lost their babies, my road to recovery would be much harder.

I’m proud of myself, because I got through typing this without sobbing. A few tears, but no puddles. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Vanessa can be contacted at

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  1. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am here with your, sharing in your pain and hope and there is hope. My God, if not for the fact that our losses bring us together to share, to grow, to love, to support, to hurt, to grieve & to hope collectively – where would this world be????? thank you so much for your story! Love and blessing to you!!!!!!

  2. I am so sorry, Vanessa. We lost our little one this August, at nearly 12 weeks. I hope you are recovering well, physically and emotionally.

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