This is a story no one should ever have to tell. It’s painful and still chokes me up to this day. My high school sweetheart and I married a few years after college and we started working on our family shortly thereafter. My life seemed to be working out as planned. However, our first pregnancy resulted in miscarriage. I never really told many people outside our immediate family because I miscarried early on in the pregnancy. For some reason I was embarrassed, too. I don’t know if it is because I told people it was going to happen and when it didn’t I felt like I lied, or if I just felt inadequate about my ability to become a mother. Ultimately, I think it was the latter. I always felt this terrifying feeling deep down that something was wrong with me and I would never have a baby even though it’s something I felt like I was born to do.
Nevertheless, my husband and I prayed through it and less than a year later we overcame that mountain. I gave birth to my eldest daughter, who came in at a whopping 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long. She was perfect in every way and I was so happy to have had a vaginal birth that I didn’t care about the endless stitches it took to put me back together. I felt elated and so blessed that God had heard our cry. As my daughter approached 2 years old, I was ready to try again. It did not take long at all for us to get pregnant. My family was a little surprised that I did not wait a little longer, but everyone was happy for us. We found out we were having another girl and I emailed everyone I knew the sonogram like I had before during my last pregnancy. We picked out a name and began to unpack all of my eldest daughter’s baby things to get ready for the new baby.
About a week before I was due to deliver, I woke up early on a Monday morning with mild stomach pain and took some Tylenol. I went back to sleep and woke up feeling fine in the morning. I didn’t think anything of it, but I noticed moderate discharge. I decided to mention it at my next doctor’s appointment. On Tuesday I felt contractions on and off all day. I knew there was no pattern and they were not close together, but they were annoying, so I decided to go to the hospital to see if they could give me something to make them stop. When I had these kinds of pains during my pregnancy with my eldest daughter they soothed my pain with demerol. I called my husband and he met me at the hospital ER. While I was being monitored in the labor and delivery ward, the nurse kept scanning my stomach with the doppler and told me that she couldn’t hear anything. Two nurses flew into the room moments later and I knew something was wrong because they told me I had to have an ultrasound. As I lay in the room waiting, I noticed everyone averting their eyes until the ultrasound tech finally hung her head and shook it slowly. That’s what confirmed to me that there was no heartbeat to hear. My daughter had died in utero. Everything went black and all I remember is my husband saying “What!?” and me screaming “NO!” It hit me like a ton of bricks that she was gone and I would never hear her cry, see her smile, watch her lift her head. I cried until I had nothing left. My body went limp. My husband had to pick me up from the floor.
After I got myself together as best I could, my OB came and examined me. I am pretty sure my amniotic fluid was extremely low because he told me that my water had broken, but I never felt anything more than the discharge I was going to mention at the next doctor’s appointment. He told me that I had an infection which crossed the placenta once my water broke. It was devastating to find out that I caused all of this. There was an unbelievable amount of guilt I had to overcome. It was only through tremendous prayer and steadfast belief that I was able to forgive myself. Well, we decided I would have a natural birth that day anyway. Our baby girl, Amira, was stillborn on February 10, 2009. She was 7 pounds 14 ounces and 21 and 1/4 inches long, full term. Her name means Princess, just like her sister, and it’s amazing how much she looked just like her sister. We had all the time we wanted to hold her, dress her, hug and kiss her. It was going to have to last a lifetime. Afterward, I called to make arrangements. It felt so wrong. I was supposed to be planning a coming home party not a funeral. We had a simple graveside service for her. This has been by far the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. My family did what they could do to help, scouring my house of all things baby before I got home. It was hard to tell people what happened though. I felt embarrassed again like I had with my miscarriage. It was like the world was seeing that I was not supposed to be a mother. No matter how much I tried to suppress that feeling, it nagged away at me. I attribute my husband with helping me overcome that. He did whatever it took for me to be okay. He made sure I knew that it was okay if we never had another baby, he was happy with our family just the way it is.
It was a long time before I could think about my daughter without crying and even longer before I could think about having another baby without feeling angry and sad. However, we finally had the courage to try again. However, as soon as we got pregnant I got scared all over again. I was a mess. I ended up not telling anyone I was pregnant, not even my family. I did not want anyone to see me fail again. I also did not want to grow to love this baby just to be let down again. In hindsight, as happy as I was at having another baby I was still mourning my daughter. But, my husband and I prayed and talked through it all. He hugged me through my seemingly endless tears, and we really learned to depend on each other. This entire journey has helped our relationship to grow.
After all of those fears, tears, but ultimately prayers of faith, we welcomed our son into the world on May 15, 2010. He has filled our hearts with love once again. I knew that my life would have some uphill battles, and I knew it would not always be easy. The journey to parenthood proved to be a test for me, but I know that God has been with me through it all, even when the low points had me literally flat on the floor. So, be encouraged and when you cross your mountain be a blessing to someone who is crossing theirs.
© 2010, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.