Sarah

Mom to Baby Bean, lost at 5 weeks on January 23, 2010

and RJ, born still at 19 weeks on August 17, 2010

Yorba Linda, California

In the fall of 2002, my husband and I decided that we were ready to become parents. We were successful on our very first attempt and on July 24, 2003, we welcomed our first child, Preston, a son, happy and healthy. We always knew that we wanted at least 4 children and I was paranoid about secondary infertility, so when our son was just 2 months old, we tried again and 11 months and 18 days later on July 12, 2004, we welcomed a healthy and happy baby girl, Delainey. Life was good and we decided that we needed a break to enjoy our kids.

After 2 years, we started trying again. We wanted to complete our family. We had no luck. I was taking ovulation tests, taking my temperature every morning, he was wearing boxers, and eating a high protein diet, some months we did it every day in the hopes that our next miracle would be coming soon. Still, nothing happened, but we weren’t in a huge hurry. We were very busy with our 2 little ones. I really started to take notice in 2009 when I realized that we had been trying for almost 3 years with no result. I was starting to cry every month when I would ‘start’. We finally realized that we were going to need help and looked into fertility treatments with my obstetrician. My husband went to his doctor and had his swimmers checked and when we got the results that he was better than fine, I thought I would be relieved but in reality, I was devastated. It meant that this was my fault. It was MY body that was not working the way that it was supposed to. I had an appointment for a hysterosalpingogram, a somewhat uncomfortable procedure where dye is shot through your fallopian tubes to determine if there is a blockage. The results were good. My tubes were clear! Finally, some good news. It seemed that the timing was the only thing we needed to work on.

On December 26th, 2009 I took a test and had a very faint set of lines on the test for the first time in over 3 years of test taking. But, I had a gut feeling. It didn;t feel right and I didn’t know why. I wanted to be excited but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I felt too normal. I took several more tests throughout the next couple of weeks but I still never felt excited, just nervous and scared. I shared the news with only my best friend and husband. We didn’t tell the kids and I’m glad because on January 23, 2010, my gut instinct was proven correct. I started spotting, then bleeding heavily. I knew what was happening, and when I called the hospital, they recommended that I stay home and let nature take its course. We went to the hospital eventually so I could at least have an ultrasound anyway just to be sure but the baby was gone. I hadn’t even had my first OB appointment to confirm the pregnancy and here I was in the ER, confirming my loss. Our baby didn’t make it. I was devastated. I felt broken and damaged. I kept a strong front for my children but I was absolutely heartbroken.

Fortunately, life happens and we all must move forward, so the months ticked by slowly and we finally felt safe to start trying again and in May of 2010, I got another positive pregnancy test! This time, it felt right. I didn’t feel well, my taste buds were different, my sense of smell was heightened, and I was so tired! It was real. Finally. We were so happy, but we still wanted to hold off on telling everyone, especially because of our recent loss. We decided that we would let the kids tell their grandparents after we hit that 12 week mark. Everyone was so happy that a new baby was coming. It had been a long time since there was new life in the family and we couldn’t wait. I went in on August 16th for my 19 week checkup and took my daughter with me so she could see the heartbeat on the ultrasound. She was so excited and I just felt giddy about the whole thing in general. As my doctor was doing my ultrasound, I had no idea that anything was even wrong, never thought for a moment that I was about to go through the worst news of my life. He said that his machine might be broken and that I needed to go to the ER and have another ultrasound performed. I went with no apprehension. I was more annoyed than anything because I had things to do that day and I knew it would be a long time before I was seen in the ER. I was finally taken downstairs, where the u/s tech said nothing. I finally starting sensing that something might be wrong when she wouldn’t talk to me but I was in no way prepared for what I would soon be hearing. I went back upstairs and waited for the ER doctor to read my results. He came in and very casually said that I had suffered from ‘fetal demise’. I couldn’t fathom what the heck that could have meant. Even after he explained that my baby had died, it seemed very fuzzy and confusing. I was in denial and refused to be admitted. I wanted a second opinion. I wanted to know why my doctor didn’t tell me this earlier at my appointment. I had just started to feel him fluttering inside of me. Someone had to fix this misunderstanding. They all had to be wrong. We left the hospital with an appointment to come back and give birth for 4 a.m. the next day. The rest of that night is a blur. I know that there were phone calls, hugs, collapsing, screaming, begging, crying, and hysterics in general, but I couldn’t tell you in what order and with whom exactly.

The next morning, I woke up in a daze and headed to my biggest real life nightmare. Giving birth to RJ was the hardest thing I have ever done. He fit in my hands and was wrapped in a blanket a little bigger than a washcloth. He was tiny and perfect and I never wanted to stop staring at him or stop kissing his tiny little body. He was so beautiful. He looked just like his big brother with sweet little lips like his big sister. Coming home with my arms empty and my blue box in hand left me with an ache that I will never forget. Breaking the news to our kids proved to be almost as hard as giving birth. They fell apart, and it just ripped our hearts out. We are still taking it one day at a time, even after our rainbow baby boy, Turner, came to us on October 5, 2011. Having him here makes every day brighter, but RJ is with us in our hearts and souls every single moment of every single day. We talk about him all the time and my children are convinced that he is here with us and he is what makes Turner smile and laugh so much.

You can contact Sarah at snconnell@hotmail.com.

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