Mom to Leighton

Lost September 7, 2012

Columbus, Ohio

I found out on July 8th that we were expecting. I was 4 weeks pregnant and due March 15th! So close to my mom’s (March 6th) and my father-in-law’s (March 9th) birthdays! How cool! We were so excited, and so were our daughters!

From day one of finding out I was pregnant, I just had a weird feeling about something, while also having a lot of abdominal pains. At 6 weeks, we finally decided to just go to the hospital and have me checked over. At first they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but knew something was. They thought I was pregnant with twins and one didn’t make it. They soon realized my hCG levels were not rising enough to be pregnant with twins. My hCG levels were actually lower than they should have been for a 6 week pregnancy. Then we found out that I had a cyst on one side of our baby and a “bleed” on the other. We were worried, but were reassured that for now everything was ok. They scheduled me for an ultrasound and hCG levels checked a couple days later, and everything was good with both!

I had a doctor appointment about a week and a half later at about 8 weeks. Baby looked great measured great! Awesome! My cyst had almost gone away and the “bleed” had shrunk. I was so happy! We were having our last baby, finally!

I was 11 weeks pregnant and had a doctor appointment and also had an ultrasound. The baby was perfect and moving and wiggling and had a beating heart. I was thrilled to hear that heartbeat, especially after everything I had already been through. That heartbeat validated that everything was going to be alright. I also learned at that appointment that I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure was higher than normal. So they had me do a 24-hour urine catch to make sure pre-eclampsia wasn’t setting in already at only 11 weeks. I did the catch and turned it in, and they told me no news is good news. I got no news.

At 12 weeks and 6 days my blood pressure spiked and I was having shortness of breath and getting dizzy. I was almost taken to the hospital by ambulance, but opted to stay home on the couch resting and made a doctor appointment for the next morning. Friday the 7th of September I made the appointment, went in, everything was routine and my blood pressure was surprisingly doing well that day. Only problem was we couldn’t get a heartbeat on the Doppler (which happened at the 11 week appointment as well), so we went in for a quick ultrasound. As soon as the wand hit my belly I had a wave of anxiety come over me and I knew that I wasn’t going to be getting good news. I could see no heartbeat, no movement…nothing. I was starting to really panic. I looked at the bottom of the screen and it said 11w 4d, meaning the baby was measuring almost 12 weeks when I was just that day turning 13 weeks. I lost it right there on that table. My doctor looked down at me grabbed my hand squeezed and said, “I’m so sorry, honey, but there’s no heartbeat”. I sobbed and cried and yelled. I had been walking, talking and functioning for almost 2 weeks with my lifeless child still inside of me. That was the single most devastating moment of my life. I begged for surgery (D&C) that night and my doctor tried everything to get me in that night, but they said I had to wait until Monday morning. I had to go all weekend by myself carrying around my deceased child still inside of me. My husband works nights and it just so happened to be the weekend he worked. I’ve never felt so alone in my life.

I went in Monday the 10th of September to have my surgery, to have my lifeless little baby taken from me. Everything went fine, “routine”, I guess you could say. I was sent home with antibiotics and pain medicine. Five days after surgery I was admitted back to the hospital because I had developed a severe infection from the surgery, my uterus had filled with blood and I had blood clots all over my cervix. So many that they couldn’t even see my cervix. I lost so much blood that they wanted to do a blood transfusion. I wanted to take iron pills, I wanted the transfusion to be a last resort. I ended up not needing it after trying the pills. The doctors and nurses pulled my mom aside after I was admitted and told her had I not come in when I did that I would have died. They put me on the postpartum wing of the hospital so I got to see all the new mommies and daddies with their new tiny perfect babies, and listen to all the precious tiny little newborns cry. It was very surreal and a lot of the time I questioned was this real? Is this my reality? Was this seriously happening to me? This was really the end of my pregnancy? Was my sweet baby that I had so many plans and hopes and dreams for really gone forever?

The one thing the hospital did give me was options for my baby, and I opted for cremation. The day my husband and I and our friends and family were scheduled to go to the 3D/4D ultrasound place to find out if our “little peanut” was a boy or girl, my mother and I had to go to the funeral home instead and make cremation arrangements for my baby. I’m so happy I decided to go with cremation, because I now have my child forever.

It’s only been a little over a month, so I’m still coping and dealing and coming to terms with my grief. All I can do is one day at a time right now, but I hope every couple moths it gets easier for me to be feeling somewhat normal. It might get easier as time passes and days go by, but it will never ever get better. Our loss of Leighton has become a part of who I am, and I will do anything I can in remembrance of my precious angel.

You can contact Brittani at

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  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. The same thing happened to me in 2010, except I found out at our 11 week appt. that we’d lost the baby at 8 weeks. One of the hardest things for me was realizing that I’d been carrying my deceased baby with me, singing to it and talking to it for 3 weeks, without knowing. I didn’t have to have a D&C, I was able to take medication to induce the miscarriage, and had it at home. But I lost the baby in the toilet. I still carry a lot of guilt about that. Things will get easier slowly. Take the time to grieve. We’ll see our babies again one day.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. I also had a missed miscarriage it is devstating in itself to lose your child but to have lost your child and not actually know for weeks later is so hard. I also had a d & C as soon as possible but did not know about any options of what to do with our baby’s body which really bothers me now but I have since been blessed with two healthy children and always know there is hope.

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