Mom to Samuel (miscarriage) July 18, 2012 and
Reagan Catherine (born sleeping) October 31, 2012
Fort Mill, South Carolina
I married my college sweetheart on May 26, 2007 after dating for 4 years. He was the love of my life. Everything seemed to work out perfectly as we met in our first class as college freshmen and married 2 weeks after graduation. Life was easy and going exactly according to plan. We decided in 2009 that we wanted to have children. I figured it would take 2 months, 3 tops. And then we could share the joy with our families that year at Thanksgiving. And then at Christmas. His birthday party? Maybe 4th of July? Football tailgate reunions?? And on it went. No pregnancy, month after month.
Two surgeries, multiple failed fertility drugs, and several thousand dollars later, we decided to pursue IVF. After having multiple complications from the egg retrieval and becoming hyperstimulated, I began my journey through menopause. I began to be this crazy person. But they thought it just might help with the endometriosis. And it seems as though it did. Our first IVF transfer was successful. Twins! I couldn’t believe it. We finally had our children! And surely, because we had already struggled so much, I would have an easy pregnancy, right? Not so much…
My 1st trimester started fairly normally, filled with fatigue and morning sickness. It seemed as though my body was working so very hard to keep these two little ones alive. And then, on July 18, 2012, the bleeding started. I rushed to the doctor who confirmed we had lost one of the twins. But we got to see our precious little girl and hear her beating heart. It was a bittersweet moment. So hard to stop saying “the babies” but still feeling so blessed to have one child. And so we moved forward. But the bleeding didn’t really stop. No one could figure out why, and so we were told time after time that it was fine, not to worry, baby girl was still healthy.
And she was just perfect. She kicked constantly and always seemed to be dancing. On ultrasound days she was always smiling and waving at us. Then, at 19 weeks, my body started swelling. My blood pressure shot up 40 points but still remained below the preeclampsia range. I was monitoring my blood pressure constantly, fearful I would lose another child. The doctors assured me she was doing well, growing according to plan and right on track. Then, 2 weeks later, the swelling started going down. And then bleeding finally stopped. Such a relief. And so at 21 weeks I finally let myself believe it was going to be okay. We registered. We bought a stroller. We put color samples on the walls of the nursery. It was going to be alright. I was having a baby!
Three days later, just 3 days after the swelling started improving and we registered for our gifts, I had lost 8 pounds. I thought it was maybe just water weight lost from the swelling, combined with continued morning sickness, but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling something was wrong. I moved up my OB appointment to the following day. I debated whether I would even tell my husband because I felt so ridiculous making another appointment with the doctor when we had been in just the week before. I finally mentioned it to him casually, “I’ve got an appointment tomorrow. No need for you to be there.”
After the expected lecture about making sure I was eating enough, even if feeling ill, I laid down on the exam table. Uterus was measuring perfectly. I felt myself relax a little. He took the Doppler over my stomach and couldn’t find a heartbeat. I tried not to freak out. Maybe she had turned slightly or was dancing too much in there. I was rushed off for an ultrasound. And I knew right away. I saw my daughter, usually so very active and bouncing away, still. She was so still, so quiet. But her chest was empty. No flutter I had grown used to seeing. Nothing. Empty. And I broke at that moment. I lost it. They had to call my husband to come down there to get me, take me for more testing, take me home. I remember none of it.
The following day we arrived at the hospital, and I was induced. 16 hours later, I delivered my first child. She weighed only 7 ounces. But she was just perfect, beautiful. Our precious baby girl, Reagan Catherine. The name we picked out for our first daughter before we were even married. This was the moment I had dreamed of since I was a child – giving birth. But nothing was working out the way I planned. Instead of delivering my twins, I only delivered one. And I left the hospital with none. I arrived home to an empty house with constant reminders of what I am missing. Two purple squares painted on the nursery, a stroller and car seat she never got to use, baby clothes sitting out from our shower. I was, and still am, completely brokenhearted. The love you have for a child, even one who is already gone, is unlike anything else. I just happens. She didn’t earn my love, but I gave it freely. Because I am her mother. And I will love my Reagan for the rest of my life. And no matter what happens in the future, she will always be my first daughter.
Megan blogs at meghansavant.blogspot.com and can be contacted at email@example.com.