Mom to Miche and Jephthah

November 15, 2015 and April 29, 2016

Miami, Florida

My husband and I got married in September of 2014. He named his first child long before I was even pregnant — Micheline if the baby was a girl and Michel if the baby was a boy. In June of 2015, I had a Myomectomy to remove a fibroid that was blocking implantation, and in September (on our one-year anniversary) I was pregnant! At my first ultrasound appointment, my mother and I heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It was so exciting!  
At the next appointment, however, the doctor asked, “Did we get a heartbeat the last time?” I couldn’t believe he had asked that. His next words were, “The baby stopped growing at 7 weeks. There’s no heartbeat. I’m sorry.” We named our first baby Miche as we didn’t know the sex.

In a few months I got pregnant again, but I was afraid to go to the doctor as I dreaded hearing “I’m sorry; there’s no heartbeat.”  When I started bleeding, though, I knew I had to go. It so happened that small fibroids that had not been removed during the Myomectomy were causing the bleeding, so the doctor said that everything was fine as there was a good, strong heartbeat. Just as a precaution, though, he prescribed Progesterone. I thought that if this baby survived he would have had to be strong, so I picked the name Jephthah, which means warrior. For some reason, we had not yet picked a girl’s name.  

The following week there was more bleeding, so I returned to the doctor, and another ultrasound showed that the baby was growing on schedule. Then at the next ultrasound, there was a long pause as the doctor was looking for the heartbeat. He said, “The baby stopped growing at 10 weeks. I’m sorry.”  This time, however, he scheduled me for a D&C so that the baby could be examined before deterioration would prevent an accurate diagnosis.
I underwent several blood tests for conditions in my health that could have possibly caused the miscarriages, but tests revealed that my health was fine. Finally the date came to get the results of the examination of the baby. I was told that the cause of death was Trisomy 21. There are varying degrees of severity, and apparently our baby’s condition was such that it caused his heart to not develop properly.  

I also noticed the gender of the baby on the report: male. It was appropriate, then, that we had picked the name Jephthah. When I first found out that the baby was a boy, I smiled. When I got home, though, I cried because the loss become more profound for me as I reflected on the fact that I now knew the baby’s sex.  
As my husband’s mother had died the Sunday before we got married and his father died one month after we lost our second baby, our relationship (and our budget) were under strain within the first two years. But thankfully we survived those four losses, and we can still laugh together.  

I’ve learned a lot from losing our children. I’m more grateful for what I have, and I love more deeply, ever aware that the objects of my affection can be taken away from me at any time. I have developed richer relationships with family, friends and fellow bereaved mothers. And most importantly, I am a survivor. I’m making my way through the grief process and growing as a person each and every day.  I encourage everyone to learn from their losses in life so as to lead more rewarding lives.

Raquel writes at www.anotherkindofmother.com and can be emailed raquelmoreau@yahoo.com
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  1. I am so sorry for your losses.

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