Mom to Ivan Jr.

March 13, 2019

Dallas, Texas

Where do I begin, it’s so hard even typing this right now.  However, I’m grateful God has given me the strength to do so and I do pray that it serves as encouragement/comfort for everyone that reads this.   If you just experienced the loss of your baby or babies, or even if it has been a while back, the pain is very real and present. Continue to take it one day, one moment at a time and give yourself permission to feel sad and express it the way that you feel it.  My prayer is that along the way, you find yourself getting stronger by the minute; being able to speak of your experience without anger or bitterness about the outcome. Finally please know it’s not your fault. I say this because I blamed myself, and I have moments I drift back into that path, but I quickly shake it off.  Some things happen and we try our best to find reasoning for it….and in our search for that reason(s), when we can’t find one that makes sense (which we never will no matter what), we instantly place that blame upon ourselves. Please know that you’re amazing and you did everything you possibly could. I know that doesn’t take the pain away, but with time, and being kind to yourself, it will get a bit easier with each breath you take.  God loves you, and you baby/babies are forever with you.

We would be 6 and a half months pregnant today, which is Wednesday 4/24/19.  I remember my husband and I creating our own way of counting down milestones within our pregnancy journey.  We were both so excited. Finding out I was pregnant in early December 2018 blew me away; meanwhile my husband was so calm and certain when finding out.  I say this because apparently he knew already I was pregnant before I did; he brought me the two tests (1 in November was a false negative apparently and 1 in December with a positive result) after observing my mood changes.  We were over the moon excited. I fell into tears because see, I dealt with an irregular cycle all my life. Made changes in my life, better eating habits, sought help from my doctor, etc. and I was always told my ‘irregular was my regular’.  But it was disappointing and depressing to finally have the perfect man as my husband not get pregnant after being together for nearly 10 years. Very painful. After we both made a pact not to stress about conceiving, that’s when I got pregnant.  God’s timing right? Well, after a bleeding scare on 12/23/18, I went to a clinic, an ultrasound was performed and it was determined me and baby were just fine. I panicked, my husband remained my pillar and knew we were just fine. We both embraced this new territory with nervousness, but joy; we were so ready for our baby and anticipated just holding our child and what our NEW NORMAL would be once the baby was born.  We cried hearing the heartbeat for the first time, when I felt our baby ‘flutter’ within my womb for the first time. We felt so fortunate to be part of something so miraculous as birthing our baby. There are no words to even come close to describe the joy and love we felt instantly for our baby. After being told our baby was a girl, and claiming a girl, God saw differently. We were having a beautiful baby boy. We were still so overjoyed and just wanted a healthy baby.  

Well long story short, at around 16 weeks in my pregnancy, my high risk specialist noticed mucus during one of the scans and examinations.  She quickly prescribed me with progesterone suppositories and bed rest until further notice. This is due to my cervix was starting to open some and it was too early for this.  Of course I was so afraid, but my doctor did explain next steps if the progesterone wasn’t enough. She discussed the cervical cerclage procedure. I was still afraid, but felt good we had a plan B.  After a week on bed rest and progesterone, I was examined and it was determined the inserts were working so she wanted me to stay on them for another week and come back to make final determination if things are progressing as they should.  At my next visit, it was determine my cervix was closed, but the baby started funneling. Hence, a cervical cerclage was mandatory. She highly recommended it to be done that same day. I held in tears and definitely prepared as best as I could mentally for this procedure; I instantly called my husband and we made it to the hospital.  The procedure was quick, a bit uncomfortable for the first few days, but once I was home and relaxed, all was well. The baby was just fine; strong heartbeat. After 5 days post procedure, I started to feel like heaviness in my pelvic area and Braxton Hicks. By this time I was nearly 20 weeks pregnant and read that it was normal to feel this.  I had another follow up doctor’s visit in a few days so I made sure my specialist knew what I had been feeling for the past few days. I was quickly admitted to the hospital for observation because it appeared that my baby had funneled down to the stitch of my cervix, my temperature was elevated and the Braxton Hicks continued, but wasn’t happening closely yet.  

After being admitted and examined, the doctor say something within my womb, outside the sac where the baby was at, that indicated possible blood or pus; which would mean an infection.  He told me they can’t treat this with the baby in my womb. He decided to monitor me further to see what my body tells him, take labs (blood tests) to monitor my white blood cell count as well as my blood pressure/temperature.  Meanwhile the Braxton Hicks were getting more intense. I prayed, my husband prayed and stayed positive. But I was so scared due to the intensity of the Braxton Hicks; so they started to monitor me to watch if these were now considered ‘labor contractions’.  I was so scared that she let me hear that my baby was fine and heartbeat was so strong. Well, the next evening, after noticing drinking tons of water wasn’t helping anymore, my water broke, and my heart broke into a million pieces instantly. I couldn’t move, I was paralyzed in knowing what that meant for us and our baby.  I had just left from using the restroom and prayed over me and our son, asking God to protect us both and give us some relief. I was in so much pain but didn’t want our son to experience any discomfort. I delivered our son, Ivan Jr. that next morning after being given meds to induce labor and an epidural. I can’t begin to describe what I felt within; I’m sure each of you understand and know for  yourself if you have too experience the loss of your baby. I’ve never experienced that much and type of pain ever in my life; my soul left my body when my baby left. Ivan Jr. was born 10 ounces/ 11 inches long with perfect 10 fingers and toes; his eye lashes and eyebrows were visible…his beautiful tiny finger and toe nails. He came without a heartbeat. My husband was the first to hold him. I was so out of it on medication in that moment and some things are still a blur for me, but not that moment.   The look on my husband’s face….his heart had been broken and was breaking over and over again as he stared at our son and seeing all I had been through along the way. I can’t even imagine what he felt watching me and his son going through all we did; and he went through it all with us on top of questioning the doctor and staff, making sure I was comfortable and taken care of properly, etc.

Our son, beautiful baby boy Ivan Jr., was so perfect.  His character traits and personality was already infectious.  He was such a busy body, we knew when he was born he was going to be a swift learner and independent.  He was such a joyful and happy baby too. He loved music, I would play music for him on my belly all the time.  My husband would always talk to him and he would move whenever he did so. We both never knew we could love anyone other than God and one another THAT MUCH.  He was and still is our heart. I felt that I failed our son, that it was something wrong with me. I didn’t know how to function without him….getting up the next morning without feeling him inside me, crushed me.  My entire world was taken from me and I didn’t know how to function knowing I couldn’t do anything about it. How do we move on without our baby? Being rolled out of the hospital in a wheelchair by my husband and we’re not taking our son home with us…how and WHY GOD?  The pain I felt and still feel can’t be put into words. It’s been nearly 2 months, and it’s still very hard even discussing it without breaking down. Yes I am crying as I type this. As I was expressing all my hurt and pain with screams, and constant tears, not eating, even saying I didn’t want this life anymore……  I slowly understood that my husband was suffering as well. Not just me. He was so busy being my PILLAR that I did forget about how this was all impacting him…..he lost his son. And he just lost his only sibling, his big sister a month prior. I was so scared of where this would take us individually and the impact it would have on our marriage.  We were both feeling everything at once: anger, bitterness, depressed, ultimate sadness, and pain with just seeing others with their baby.

Our doctor quickly advised that me and our baby was healthy and that these things just happen at times.  I had developed an infection after having the cervical cerclage procedure and been diagnosed as having an incompetent cervix.  This is something that I read about but considering this was our first pregnancy we didn’t know until certain things surfaced during the pregnancy that I mentioned earlier.  My high risk doctor did catch it, and I was open about all that I had felt and was experiencing. I kept a journal of everything. This is why they were able to catch it as early as they did and had time to do the cerclage to begin with.  So mothers, no matter what you feel during your pregnancy, VOICE IT TO YOUR DOCTOR. You may think it’s just normal, or you’ll google it and feel content based on what others have said. Every woman is different! Be sure to always tell your doctor everything you’re feeling along with how frequent you’re feeling it during your pregnancy.  Sorry I had to give that advice.

While I am stronger now, hence I was able to write all of this and submit our story in honor of our beautiful baby boy Ivan Jr., I am still not healed from losing him.  Neither is my husband. We do attend grief counseling together and it helps us, and sometimes it feels like it doesn’t. This experience doesn’t have a cookie cutter antidote at all.  We’re literally taking it one moment at a time and allowing God to guide us through this healing journey. Our son very much existed and still exist in our family and lives. I gave birth to him and held him for a long time.  We both loved on him, kissed on him, and he was blessed/prayed over multiple times before we parted. We acknowledge him every day, all the time and always will. He’s our son, and his life and existence MATTERS. Everyone tries to comfort us by saying “ you can have more babies” but our Ivan Jr. can NEVER BE REPLACED.  While it hurts to hear that from others, as it sounds insensitive to our baby Ivan Jr., I also know that people often times don’t know what to say when a parent(s) suffer the loss of a child. I just pray and asked God to help me and my husband in that moment, and speak the truth to anyone who says that. I use that as a moment to acknowledge our son and uphold his spirit and heart.  It’s not always easy but again one day at a time. We’re taking our time to feel all that we feel during this healing process, we’re open and honest about it, and it seems that’s when God comes in and gifts us with a moment of realizing we’re getting stronger slowly. It’s not by our own strength at all, because I honestly don’t know what ‘strong’ is right now. We don’t try to figure it out, we’re just ‘surviving through it’ and we see that as our baby boy Ivan Jr. being our fuel within our heart and soul that we need.  

Even if God blesses us to have more, his precious spirit and soul will always be acknowledged, honored and remembered.  I say this because I want anyone reading this to know that you don’t have to feel that you must forget about your baby(babies).  That’s not the way to bring about true healing. Don’t feel that you have to bury the memory away. You do whatever it is you have to do to bring as much peace and comfort to your heart and soul.  When we had our baby cremated and his ashes were brought home in such a beautiful urn with an angel’s wings wrapped around it, it helped bring some ease to us. No, it doesn’t take away the pain, but it helped us to feel we can actually take another step forward.  To all of you reading this, know you’re not alone. My heart and prayers are with each of you. Most importantly, God is with you and your baby(babies) are happy and in the best hands right now. God’s plan isn’t our own; and it still breaks me down not having our son in my hands.  I still get nervous at the thought of getting pregnant again and possibly experiencing loss again. But it’s not healthy to live in fear; which this isn’t living at all. My husband looked at me one day at home when I was broken down on my knees crying so hard, and he said “Sweetie, I know you’re broken. I am broken too. But our son would not want us to stop living.  He would want us to be strong parents for his future siblings, just as we have been for him.” That opened my eyes to realize that while I may not have him physically, he’s forever with us because we’re going to LIVE for him. His presence is within us and all around us. And that’s the same for your baby(babies).

I’m so sorry if our story is all over the place.  I typed this from my heart, in one draft, the best I possibly could.   I pray with all my being that my words are felt by everyone reading and that it brings you some solace.  I’m here if you need someone to talk to who can relate to what you’re feeling. Finally, I hope our baby boy Ivan Jr. is proud of his mommy and daddy.  While we are still healing, I finally reached a point to where I have the strength to tell our story and our journey that’s not over. I found the strength to tell everyone about our most precious God given gift, our son Ivan Jr.  We’ll always love you with every fiber of our being. God bless each of you and KNOW that your rainbow is coming. Claim, speak, KNOW IT. I’m doing this myself! Just remember you don’t have to have any answers right now. Love on yourself, be honest with yourself and others about your pain and where you’re at and finally, be kind to yourself.  This isn’t your fault. Love and light.

You can email Camellia here.

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  1. Shujuana Beaird says:

    May God continue to keep and lift you and your family. I am truly blessed reading your story and I know personally that God makes no mistakes. Your story hits home for many mothers whether they have given birth or miscarried. It is a story that many can thank you for as it helps them with comfort and provide the drive to wake up in the morning and not forget what they have been through but continue to live despite what they have been through. Love you my friend

  2. Renisea Avery says:

    I want to give you my condolence.

    May the peace of God that excels all thought I sustain and keep you during the difficult days head. – Philippians 4:7

  3. Elizabeth says:

    So sorry to read of the loss of your sweet Ivan. I come back to this site every once in a while to know that I’m not alone. Years pass but I still think about my baby each day. You learn to live with the grief. At least I have. Going through a loss like that truly changes the shape of your soul.

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