megan

 Megan

Mom to Baby KW

December 31, 2009

Hamilton, Ohio

Once upon a time… in a not so far away land, I met my prince charming and we were happily married. We had been together for six years the day we got married and we always knew our little family was not complete. We were ready to have a baby! Little did we know where the journey of our family would take us…

Keeping a secret from our family was so difficult for me, especially the fact that not only had we been trying to get pregnant for just over three months but I was pregnant, and our parents didn’t even know yet! My husband had been out of town on business and returned home late on November 20, 2009.

I had been waiting not only for him to come home so I could finally see him after three long weeks but so I could finally take a pregnancy test. Four test later there were tears, hugs, and kisses and a moment that I will remember forever. We were going to have a baby and we were going to start building our family I had always dreamed of.

A week after taking the at home test we had confirmed with the doctor and it was Thanksgiving. I made picture frames for my parents and my husband’s parents with pictures of the positive pregnancy test and telling them they would be grandparents July 2010.

After spreading the amazing news to all our family, friends, co-workers, and Facebook, I was in planning mode. We started looking at baby names and narrowed down our favorites, which all began with the letter ‘K’, just like our two dogs. I had strollers, car seats, furniture, bedroom decorations all picked out for either a girl or a boy. We took pictures of my continually growing belly each week.

Christmas was especially exciting this year because not only did we get gifts, we also received gifts for our little unborn miracle. Christmas gifts for myself and from my husband were maternity clothes; I already couldn’t fit into my pants and my shirts were too tight. I was probably one of the few women who was actually excited to be getting a bigger belly and elastic waist bands!

New Year’s Eve was the next holiday we celebrated and the New Year’s Eve I would remember for the rest of my life. I was 13 weeks pregnant and my family and my husbands family enjoyed a great, fun, habaci dinner at a Japanese steakhouse. After dinner me, my husband, my brother, and my sister-in-law who was also pregnant at the time, decided to go to our cousin’s New Years Eve party.

Before making it to the party my husband had to make a pit stop at Wal-Mart. As much as I hated public restrooms the new found constant peeing associated with pregnancy had me running to the restroom every chance I could. And in that Wal-Mart restroom is where a terrible journey began.

I had some light bleeding, my heart sank to the floor and my mind started spinning. Before leaving the restroom I had convinced myself it was no big deal I had always had irregular periods and a lot of issues associated with them. As my husband and I walked out to the parking lot I told him I was spotting some and he reassured me it was okay and probably just because of all the issues I had always had.

We arrived at the party and still thinking about what I had just discovered I told my sister-in-law. She was currently pregnant with her second child and a little more experienced with the whole pregnancy thing then I was. She seemed more concerned then what I had tried to portray as no big deal, and she said I should call my doctor first thing the next day if it continued.

I went through the night thinking everything was okay and enjoying myself as we brought in the new year. Close to midnight everyone was getting their glass of champagne and I opted for sparkling apple juice with the kids. We counted down to the new year and my husband and I kissed each other. He then did something so sweet yet so symbolic as we welcomed the new year, 2010, and said good-bye to 2009: he bent down on one knee and kissed my belly.

The next day was Friday, January 1, 2010. My husband and I were off work and planned on just taking it easy at home. My bleeding at this point had increased. I started to worry.  After talking to my husband, I decided to call the nurse on call and just see what they would say. Because my bleeding was so light, the nurse on call did not seemed worried and just told me to rest.

I called my parents to tell them what was going on and see what my mom thought. My dad answered the phone and being the worrier that he is I specifically remember telling him it was no big deal, and not to freak out, but I was having some light spotting and to my surprise he was calm and explained that it had happened to my mom when she was pregnant.  My mom suggested calling the doctor on call at my OB.

My bleeding was continually increasing but it still was not concerning to the doctor because it was not as heavy as being on my period. I spent the day resting and was supposed to stay off my feet. The next morning I woke up with more bleeding so again I called my doctor.

As I held the phone waiting for the doctor to return my call it hit me like a ton of bricks, I was losing my baby. Until this point I had not allowed myself to think the worse. I buried my head into the pillows on my bed and my husband came in and asked what was wrong and I told him I had a feeling something was really wrong.

After talking to the doctor they suggested I go to the emergency room to get an ultrasound because, the doctor’s office was closed for the weekend. My parents met my husband and me at the hospital where we waited for hours before even getting into  a room. They started with a physical exam and blood work to check my hormone levels. The doctor said everything seemed fine.

Next they sent me to have an ultrasound. The woman doing the ultrasound was awful! She was not going to let my husband come in the room with me until we both told her there was no way I was having it done without him by my side. Her demeanor was so cold, she then proceeded to tell me that she could not tell me anything about the results of the ultrasound, we would have to wait on the doctor. Looking at the ultrasound, which was the first one I had, the first time seeing my baby, my husband said the baby looked like a little gummy bear and I smiled. I noticed there was no movement of any kind but just assumed she was maybe taking still photos rather than video. This was my first pregnancy I had no idea how all this worked.

I was back in my room with my husband and my parents waiting for the results. We talked about all the people we knew that were pregnant currently, those who had troubled pregnancies, and those who had miscarriages.

The doctor started toward the door and my nerves set in, the look on his face said it all but I was still hopeful that was just me making things out to be worse then they were. He opened the door and asked if they had told me the results of the ultrasound and I quickly responded with no because they said you had to tell us.

There is no way to describe the next twenty minutes or so of this time in my life other then it actually felt like every thing was in slow motion, like I was dreaming.  The doctor put his head down and said he was sorry but I had lost the baby and that’s all I heard and I broke down. I buried my face in my husband’s chest as he embraced me with his arms I could hear him and my parents reaction of shock and sadness but it was still like I was alone. I instantly felt empty both physically and emotionally. My heart was broken.

The doctor stepped out, along with my parents, to give my husband and I some time alone. I don’t even remember what we said to one another, I just remember him sitting on the hospital bed with me holding me as I cried uncontrollably.

I had a missed miscarriage, meaning the baby had died weeks before my body realized the pregnancy was over, so I was still growing bigger and still having pregnancy symptoms. I was one day away from being 14 weeks pregnant, my second trimester. After the doctor left a nurse came in to begin the discharge paper work, they were sending me home. I felt like I was in a haze I heard what everyone was saying but all I could think about was that my baby was dead, inside me, I was never going to hold my first child in my arms.

As I continued sobbing the nurse was explaining to me that because I was so far along in my pregnancy and the miscarriage was not complete since the baby was still in my womb when the miscarriage did complete it would be painful, physically, and as if I was delivering a child including labor pains. She continued to tell me she had a miscarriage herself and to remember no matter how much we have planned out on our timeline, everything happens on God’s time. That has stuck with me ever since.

As the nurse was explaining everything to me all of a sudden it hit me, my baby was going to be expelled from my body,  I was going to see my dead child. Instantly I felt fear and how could they make me face my baby that way. Leaving the hospital, I felt like everyone I passed knew I had just lost my baby and I felt ashamed.

My husband and I went home and the phone calls from family and friends began. I was still in shock. My cousins who had lost a baby as well stopped by to comfort us and reassure us that we would have children just like they did. Their words were kind and encouraging and then my mind started racing again. A new fear set in, would I ever be able to carry my own children? Would I have to try invitro? Would I have to adopt?

That night my husband and I laid on our couch holding each other. I asked him what we would do if my miscarriage completed while we were at home, my plan was to go to the doctor first thing Monday morning to schedule a D & C so I would never have to see my lifeless baby. I told him I did not want to hold my baby for the first time, dead. What would happen if I miscarried in the bathroom, I did not want my baby to end up in the toilet, what do you do with the body? It’s not a pet you can’t bury it in the back yard, flush it down the toilet, or throw it in the trash! It is my baby, my life, my hopes, my dreams, I was so scared.

The next two days were very long and drawn out. I was so furious that the hospital sent me home. I thought how could they do this to us, how could they expect us to go through this at home and how would we handle it. I just wanted to sleep and pray that Monday came before it was too late.

Monday morning I went to my doctor. As the nurse took me back to weigh in she asked if I was okay. I told her yes as I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? Of course I’m not okay! I am carrying my dead child inside of me!” She asked again and said I looked pale, as we walked to the room she asked what I was there for.

My heart sank  and I could barely get the words out and I broke down when I had to have those words come off my tongue, “I had a missed miscarriage”. This was the first time I had to say those words out loud to someone. I felt like I had just heard the news for the first time myself.  The doctor scheduled me for a D&C the next day, I was relieved.

The next morning, January 5, 2010, snow was falling heavily as we pulled into the hospital parking lot. My parents met us at the hospital as I was registering. I again felt the relief the same that I felt from the day before, just knowing that I would not have to see my lifeless baby.

Relief was only one of my mixed feelings that morning. I was feeling scared, I had not had surgery since I was a kid and had my tonsils out. I kept thinking what if they damaged my uterus during the surgery and then I would never be able to carry another child. I was beyond sad as this was the actual physical end of my pregnancy and I grieved for my lost child. I was also angry, angry that I had lost my baby especially when I wanted my child so badly and there are so many ungrateful women and men who have children there are parents who have abortions, give their baby for adoption, or just have nothing to do with their child. I was also jealous of any and every woman who was currently pregnant.

Because of all those feelings I in return felt guilty and ashamed. I was ashamed that I was jealous and angry toward women who were pregnant and had done nothing wrong. I felt guilty and selfish that I was so relieved to have my baby removed from my body in a dramatic surgery instead of just letting the miscarriage complete naturally. I also felt an immense sadness I had never known in my entire life.

I woke up in the recovery room to a nurse checking my vitals and before I could even open my eyes all the way I felt the tears. I asked the nurse how far along I was when the baby passed away. She told me the doctors thought the baby was between 8 and 9 weeks when it died and I just sobbed. She told me she would take me to my husband and my family because that is what I needed and she was right I just wanted Jason to hold me in his arms.

The emptiness I had felt the day the doctor told us I had miscarried was back but in a whole new way. I felt physically and emotionally empty because I no longer had my child’s life or tiny body inside me. The fact that I had been carrying my dead child for about 5-6 weeks without even knowing was even more heartwrenching. I was living as if I was going to give birth to this amazing miracle I was carrying when in reality that baby was already gone.

Jason, my parents, and my nephew all met in my room after recovery. I hugged Jason and all I could tell them was that I had lost the baby so many weeks before without even knowing, I was still stunned. I was only in the hospital a few hours after surgery before I was released.

I stayed home with my husband for the first day or so before he had to go back to work and then he took me to my parents’ house everyday before he would go into work. The entire week after my D&C I slept all day.  I don’t even think it was entirely because of the physical strain. I felt like if I was asleep I didn’t have to face what had just happened to me and my husband. The more I slept, the less I had to feel the pain of losing my child that I would never get to hold in my arms.

My next obstacle was going back to work. Everyone I worked with was very supportive and had sent cards and words of encouragement after hearing the news. My fear was I would have to tell everyone I had lost the baby and that I would break down right there in front of them. The next fear was actually putting on my work clothes. I had not been able to fit into my normal clothes being pregnant and I knew I would now fit into them.

I felt like everyone would be staring at my empty belly, I was again feeling ashamed and embarrassed. The first morning I got up to get ready for work was the hardest. I was going back to my normal everyday life with a huge part of my life gone. I remember putting on my work pants and buttoning them just fine and touching my stomach and crying.

I made it through my first week of work better then I thought I would. But ever since I left the hospital the night we got our tragic news I had cried myself to sleep every night. My husband was beyond amazing and supportive through all the pain. He was there to listen, comfort me, and help me in everyway possible. We immediately began talking about trying again for another child. I felt that was the only real way I could heal.

The first weekend after my D&C I had just taken a shower and was sitting in the hall way blow drying my hair and the phone rang, Jason was outside so I answered the phone. The kind lady on the other end of the phone said she was calling from Anthem, our insurance company, she wanted to sign me up for the new mom’s program. I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach, I started sobbing and told her I had just had a miscarriage. She apologized. I hung up the phone.

I sat in the hallway in my towel sobbing uncontrollably, this was the first time it had hit me that not only had I lost my child, I was not a mommy. Then I started to think, would that ever happen for me? Jason came in and found me crying in the hallway and bent down and wrapped his arms around me and asked what was wrong, so I explained what had happened.

If it was not for the support of my family, I don’t know how I would have made it through those first few weeks. But Jason was the absolute best man anyone woman could ask for he was so amazing and I realized just how much he truly loves me and how much I truly love him. He said something to me that I will never forget and I could never express how much meaning it had to me and our relationship.

Jason told me that we would never give up on our family and that one day we would have our children no matter what it took. At that point I couldn’t do anything but thank God for allowing me to meet and fall in love with such a caring and strong man. I realized how important not only my dreams of having children was but also how important it was to him and what a perfect daddy he would make.

The most important thing for me after the loss of our baby was to never forget about that child. Pregnancy and infant loss is something most people don’t talk about and I wanted to talk about it because not only does it help me to deal with the loss but it also reminds me of the child that I was blessed to carry for even a short time.  I didn’t want to act like the baby never existed, because it did and no matter how far into the pregnancy a baby is a baby and I had lost my first.

In February, my husband and I decided to get a memorial tattoo for the child we never got to meet. We had the word Agape tattooed, which means true unconditional love as referred to in the Bible and of God’s love for his children. I also had a blue forget-me-not flower added next to it and Jason had the initials K.W. added to his.

Unfortunately, once the terrible news was delivered, the D & C was over, I returned to work, and I had the tattoo done, it still was not over. I don’t think there is an actual end to the grieving process, I am healing but will never be fully healed. I believe God has a plan for everyone and though I can not understand why this was included in his plan I did receive some positive lessons, for lack of a better word.

I realized I needed to stop living my life for me and start living my life for God. He is in full control of my life and I need to remember that and live for his purposes. I also realized that without God and the relationship I do have with him, I never would have made it through such a tragic event in my life.

It has now been almost five years since this journey in my life has begun and much heartbreak and many blessings later I am a stronger person. I now have a beautiful and healthy four year old son, two year old daughter, and nine month old son. Though they do not understand yet I tell them about their older sibling (we did not know the gender of our baby but my husband and I both feel our child was a boy, our first son) often and we do many things to remember our Baby KW. I believe my children I get to embrace in my arms everyday represent hope and faith. They show me and others that there is hope for a family after a loss of a child and that through our faith we are able to get through our loss of Baby KW and share our struggles with others to help them along their journey as well.

I want to spread awareness to others so those who have lost a child or are close to someone who has lost a child due to pregnancy and infant loss know they are not alone and what is available to them to help through this tragedy. I was not given any information or resources about coping with our loss but was fortunate to do my own research. I want to provide others with those same resources and support from the first time they are given the devastating news. I want to honor the purpose of my baby’s too short of an existence here on earth by helping others.

 

Megan blogs at https://blisstomiss.wordpress.com/

She can be contacted at kanensmommy@gmail.com

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