From the beginning, my husband and I knew we wanted to be parents. We planned to settle down and spend the first couple of years of our marriage building our home together. When the time was right we began the process of trying to conceive. After a few long months, we were beyond elated to find out that we were expecting. I was sure to be careful about everything that I put into my body, no caffeine, no medications, no use of chemicals – from the start I knew that I wanted to do everything in my power to protect the life we had created. From the beginning I felt the connection to our child and couldn’t bear the thought of anything harming my little one.
At approximately 9 weeks pregnant we had our first ultrasound. Admittedly there were feelings of nervousness – knowing the statistic and probability of miscarriage at this early stage. We were overcome with joy to learn that the heartbeat was strong and all seemed well. The doctors only concern was the measurement, so in order to accurately give us a due date, he ordered us to have a follow up ultrasound at 13 weeks. We left with a sense of relief. The love and connection to our child grew even stronger with a glimpse of its beating heart.
The Day I will never forget
A few weeks past and the time came for the follow up ultrasound. My husband and I were so excited that were going to have an “extra” chance to see our growing miracle. We sat in the room together, holding hands, making jokes about the awkwardness of these appointments and being our usual goofy selves. The ultrasound began, and somehow we just knew. Instantly the mood changed, nothing was said, nothing had to be said. The sound of the tiny beat heart we were so anxiously waiting to hear wasn’t there. The doctor tried and tried until it was very clear our little miracle was no longer alive. In an instance, our world was flipped upside down. Although we had only known of this life for just over 8 weeks, the bond was real, the love was real, and our child was real, the pain was immediate. I have never seen such a look of heart break on a man’s face as I did on my husband’s that day. I pray I never will again.
We were taken to a separate room to discuss this news further with the doctor and to discuss our next steps. The doctor explained that my body still was working to protect the baby as if it was still alive, It did not show any signs of “passing” the miscarried child- most likely due to the lateness of the miscarriage occurring some time after approximately 10 weeks. This meant that the best option was to have surgery; what is known as a D & C, to properly remove our little one. What an awful thought.
This type of loss is a loss that is hard to understand, hard to comprehend, if you have not experienced it yourself. It became very clear that this was the case when expressing our pain to others. How can you mourn something you never had? How can you possibly be connected to a child who had barely begun to form? Often being told, you will get pregnant again; don’t worry; as if the life lost had little value. Again, I assure you the pain is real. No, I never got to hold my child, but I never will here on Earth.
No, we didn’t even find out if it was a boy or a girl, but all we needed to know was that it was our child and as any parent will tell you, there is no love more powerful than the love you have for your child, from the moment you know of its existence.
I’d like to think of myself as a strong woman; admittedly it took some time for me to come to terms with this loss. My husband and I clung to our faith and to each other. We prayed together each night, that our child would be welcomed to Heaven and that God would protect them since we did not have the opportunity to do so ourselves. We talked about our family members in Heaven who would get to meet our angel before us, knowing he or she would be in great hands. God’s love, God’s plan, God’s will; this is what gave us the strength to pull through. Knowing that we too would have the opportunity to meet our tiny guardian angel when our time comes to join them in heaven, is perhaps the most comforting thought and prayer of all.
We will never be the same
The loss has changed us. Obviously you cannot go through such a tragedy without being changed. I will say however, that it has changed us for the better. Although my faith was greatly tested, in the end, it has been strengthen. Although the life we lost was so small and fragile, it has taught us the true value of life. When we were blessed with our second pregnancy, we truly cherished every moment, and had a new perspective of just how miraculous pregnancy, birth and the growth of a child truly is. We will never be same; we will forever be stronger in our faith and in our marriage.
My hope for other mothers
When I first began sharing my story with others, I was so surprised to find out just how many mothers had experienced something similar. We all know the statistics, 1 and 4, but how could this be, no one talks about it? Why is it such a secret? I guess maybe I was naïve, because I originally felt little reserve for discussing my loss and expressing my pain. I did not realize that so many mothers feel ashamed of the hurt they feel. I did not realize that so many, place such little value on life before birth. It is my hope that sharing my story helps mothers to know that they are not alone. You are experiencing true, real, valid pain and heartache. You have lost a REAL child. It is my prayer that we can unite as mothers of angels, building a sense of camaraderie, understanding and support for each other and for future mother’s who will unfortunately experience this same sense of loss. Let us stand together for the child we have lost and for the mother’s grieving behind closed doors. Please know that although I may not know you, I am with you, I am praying for you and I stand beside you as you give value to the life of the child that you have lost.