Mom to Iann
July 16, 2015
San Diego, California
It was January when my older and only sister announced to us she was expecting her firstborn child. I was ecstatic and happy for her. By early March we sat around my kitchen table talking about her pregnancy and how I was having pre menstrual cycle symptoms, then she joked saying “Just watch what If you are pregnant too?” Laughing I answered “NO, we are not trying right now”.
A week later I found myself waiting for my monthly menstrual cycle which was 5 days late. Jockingly one night I told my husband I would take a pregnancy test and he laughed saying there wasn’t a chance. Two postive pregnancy tests later we found ourselves realizing we were going to be parents too! My sister, brother, mother and father were amazed and happy that both my sister and I were pregnant together and only 6 weeks apart!
It was then that we realized that we had conceived on Valentine’s Day weekend. My sister and I shared everything about our pregnancies and babies together. My sister was expecting a girl and I was expecting a boy. They were to be same age best friend cousins growing up together in the same city. My mom was filled with joy planning both a pink and blue baby shower only weeks apart.
My pregnancy was filled with morning sickness up until 17 weeks. I lost alot of weight but my baby was nourishing from whatever fat I had left. He was genetically healhty and perfectly growing according to his gestational age. At 20 weeks into my pregnancy, I was feeling much better and I could finally enjoy food and started gaining weight. My husband and I went on our Baby Moon to Los Cabos, Mexico, because we knew that after our son was born we wouldn’t be going out any time soon. We took Iann snorckeling inside my tummy, he swam with the fishes. We had the best babymoon of our lives. Two weeks later it was a Saturday when my sister’s pink baby shower took place and it was a joyful day for me since I knew my blue baby shower was to come soon enough in two months. Two days later on Monday night as we sat on our couch my son was moving like a little worm in my belly and I remember telling his daddy to look at him move.
That night I went to bed and the next morning as I showered I told my husband that Iann hadn’t moved when I woke up. I took it as he might just be sleeping so I gave him the day to move, I still made an appointment for the following day, Wednesday to go see the doctor and make sure he was ok. Tuesday went by pretty slow for me at work since I tried drinking soda, iced water, iced tea, greesy food, playing loud music on my belly, anything to make him move but he didn’t. I still managed to not get worried or even consider anything was wrong that I went to bed thinking it was ok and that the next day I would find his heartbeat at the doctor’s since I couldnt find it on my home doppler.
That dreadful morning at 9:20am I entered my doctors office asking her to check my baby for I was just a bit worried. Once she didnt find it on the doppler as usual I started to get tense but stayed strong as she brought in the ultrasound machine. Once she placed the wand on me and seconds passed as she stared into the screen, tears started flowing down my cheeks and my heart was beating like crazy. After a second doctor was called in to check the monitor, she held my hand and said “Nancy I’m so sorry, there is no heart beat.” I screamed and cried my eyes out as my husband hugged me until I just went numb and asked him to drive me home. He took me straight to church and asked the priest to pray for us and bless our baby for heaven. It made him feel better, as for me I kept asking God why he had taken him from me.
By 7pm that day I was checked into the hospital, the hospital I was anxious to go do the “tour” I had signed us up to. I wore my pretty blue polk a dot delivery gown I had bought for when I would bring Iann into this world and would take happy family pictures. I wore it so I could throw it away as soon as I gave birth to him and not have to keep it. I decided to do induced labor so Iann could have an autopsy to know why he died. It took me the whole night up until 4:33pm the next day, Thursday July 16, 2015 that I delivered my stillborn son at 22 weeks and 6 days. We would switch back and forth on whether we wished to see him and on the scary memory that could remain in our memory by seeing his tiny fully undeveloped body.
Yet when he was born I didnt care, I wanted to see him. My mom was the only strong person that could bare to see him (not my father, not my sister and not my brother), It was too much of a shock to them as well, none of us knew what it felt like for a family member to experience a stillbirth. My father could not even bare to be in the hospital when I was giving birth, he would break down in tears. He loves me to death and loved his grandson as well. His first boy grandson and I failed to give him that gift.
When mom showered and dressed him she gave him to me. I held him and he was just beautiful. I saw my husband cry heavily, as he held his tiny body with his two hands side by side, like I hadn’t seen him cry in years. Inmense pain sunk into my heart for having failed to give him his first born son. Iann was 1 lb 2 oz and 30 cm in lenght. His body was perfect and he looked just like his daddy. We only spent 2 hours with him for I was in shock due to his death and didn’t know what to do. A priest came in to pray with us and blessed him with holy water as we kissed and said goodbye to him.
Iann’s autopsy was perfect but the cause of death was determined from the placenta. It was deduced that it was probably a virus or bacteria I passed onto him which caused placental immflamation and blood cloths which killed our baby. I never showed symptoms and Iann and I both tested negative for all viruses that they ran bloodtests for. This whole experience was a shock for us and still is. I never knew the word stillbirth before I lost Iann, nor did I know what happened next after a baby dies inside of you. This is not what you visualize your life to be as you grow up nor see these unfourtunate situations happen.
My sister thankfully went on to have a healthy pregnancy and my niece was born on the morning of this past September 30. She was born beautiful, fat cheeks and with a full head of hair and weighed 7.74 lbs. As I held her I realized how badly I want to be a mom and also know that my son Iann was present keeping me strong. My visualized family fairy tale ended with the birth of a princess but not of the prince. My niece will be the beautiful reminder of my son’s age and I will be blessed to love her and take care of her as I would with Iann, who is looking after her from heaven above.
It was the worst experience we have ever gone through and has forever marked our lives, our family is now incomplete. Iann was cremated and sleeps with us on our bedroom as he watches over us. Nonetheless, today [at time of writing] October 4th on his Daddy’s birthday, although he should still be in my belly, 6 weeks from being born, we can say that we were blessed to have been pregnant with Iann because he taught us what it feels like to be a mother and father filled with love towards their baby, because although some people might not consider us to be parents yet because we dont have a baby in our arms, my husband and I are still parents and will always be to our angel son baby Iann. Iann, (our Principito Papirrin as daddy would call you) Mommy and Daddy love you and can’t wait to be with you in heaven once again!
Nancy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org