This is a season of new life. Spring is my favorite season of the year with freshly bloomed flowers spotting the green earth. Bees and butterflies dance and flutter in the breeze. I love the sound and smell of light showers falling from full clouds. Near my town, there are hills painted with bright poppies with the roadside littered with parked cars where people snap pictures of the beautiful scenery. I love this season because it reminds me of hope and a new beginning.
Over the past year, I have been slowly adapting to my new life as a bereaved mother. I’m getting used to the unfamiliar colors, sounds, and smells. Each day I embrace unique experiences. All the while, with my daughter in my heart and mind, a greater purpose for this season has risen. I never thought I could be like this. I thought my life was forever doomed for a bleak, lifeless existence.
You see, another valuable lesson has erupted from the ashes. There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to rejoice. “But, Kaitlin, how can you rejoice after losing your daughter?!” Seems crazy, I know, but I do rejoice in my new life. I belong to a close community, yet at the same time Wendy gave me a perspective of life like I’ve never known. I have started to think for myself and take care of myself more deliberately. I have gained a better appreciation for my friends, family, and especially my husband. Yes, I see the world in different colors, and they are more vibrant than I could have imagined.
All because of Wendy. I rejoice in that.
I rejoice in new experiences every day, because I believe that suffering such incredible loss has developed me into a better version of myself. I have grown in many ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. However, rejoicing doesn’t take away the deep yearning I feel for my daughter every day. I wish she lived. I wish I could watch her grow up. I wish I knew the true color of her eyes.
It has taken me over a year to get to this place. The ability to stand amidst the charm of lovely, flowering elegance cost me crawling desperately through the dark, mournful mud. I know how hard life can be after losing a child. I know that you may feel like life will never be happy again. I know the feeling of immense loss, but it will not last forever. I promise you. It is a season, and a new season awaits. Spring will come.
Kaitlin McLaughlin is currently a grad student at Grand Canyon University, obtaining her Master’s in Education in hopes of becoming a single subject high school teacher. She’s also an Intake Specialist at a local non-profit which specializes in helping at-risk youth finish their high school education and get connected with paid work experience. After Kaitlin and her husband Ryan experienced their daughter being still born due to a neural tube defect, Kaitlin has developed a passion to help her new community of bereaved parents. They reside in Southern California with their one your old Golden Retriever. Also, they spend their time going to the beach, hanging out with friends, and exploring new eateries around their neighborhood.
My story of Pregnancy and Infant Loss
August 2010 we found out we were expecting. We were so excited yet nervous. Ten months prior we lost our baby London at 16 weeks. It was considered a “Missed Miscarriage.” Her heart simply stopped beating. When we went into our first ultrasound we were shocked to see not one but two little heart beats. We were having twins! They were identical and shared a placenta. Everything seemed to go well. Weeks were flying by, and we were planning our lives to soon welcome two baby boys. We picked their names: Wyatt Ward Hidy and Hunter Allen Hidy. On Friday, December 17th, we went in for our 24 week check up. Their heart beats were great, but I complained of some mild back pain and what seemed like me peeing myself a little from time to time. It was written off that it was from carrying two and it would most like get worse when I got bigger. Friday night was a long night, my lower back was killing me, and I couldn’t get comfortable. Saturday morning we decided to go to labor and delivery to get checked out. Driving there that morning I had no idea our world was about to change forever.
As we checked into the L&D floor they quickly checked my cervix and tested to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. As they were checking the babies via ultrasound the nurse came in and told us we were indeed leaking fluid and I would be admitted to hospital bedrest until the babies were born. It was a complete blur. I was terrified, willing to do anything possible to keep them safe. The rest of the day was filled with tests, with laying with my feet above my head, and lots of praying. Sunday came and so did the contractions. I labored mostly in my back and it was continuous pain. My husband and parents tried to do there best to get me comfortable for the night. By midnight on December 20 my contractions were minutes apart, as I tried to sit up from my bed my water fully broke. Seconds later Wyatt was born at 12:20am. He was perfect. My husband cut his cord and the nurses wrapped him up and told me to keep him warm because it wouldn’t last. He fought so hard but minutes later took his last breath in my arms. I was bleeding heavy and Hunter was not in the right position to deliver naturally. I was wheeled into the operating room were Hunter was born at 1:30am and pasted away before I woke up. I remember waking up to a room full of family, and holding my sweet boys in my arms, I got to love and kiss on them. My family got to meet them, hold them, take pictures and say goodbye.
A few hours past and I began to hemorrhage. In the early hours of the morning a “code white” was called and I was prepped for emergency surgery, to either try and get the bleeding to stop or do a full hysterectomy. I was numb, cold, and going in and out of consciousness. It all felt like a dream. The surgery worked and my doctor was able to save my uterus with a balloon device to hold it stable. I had to receive four bags of blood, and I remained in the hospital for a few days and was released on Christmas Eve. Days prior, I arrived at the hospital with two babies but left with empty arms and a broken heart.
Losing Wyatt and Hunter was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but they have made me the person I am today. They are my best memory. I share our story to help other parents walking this heartbreaking path of pregnancy and infant loss. It’s been almost five years since I held my babies in my arms. God healed the wound but left the scar. What gives me peace is knowing all they knew was love. The took their last breath in my arms and opened their eyes to the face of Jesus.
If you would like to share your birth story, email email@example.com
I had dreamed of writing my birth story through my whole pregnancy, I never dreamed that it would be like this. This blog is to document our journey through this tragedy and into the rest of our lives. Peyton changed the course of our lives forever, so I couldn’t see another way to start it than with the story of his birth.
I woke up on Monday, October 24th and I knew something wasn’t right- but I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I knew I hadn’t really felt him move in my sleep. It was the first day I was home alone on bed rest and Mark had gone back to work, so I told myself I was being paranoid. I tried to continue my day, but I was always waiting for a kick. I would poke him or lie on my side, and when I started to get really worried I took a bath- he always kicked in the bath. When I saw my reflection in the mirror I knew I looked different, from that moment on I was really hiding from a horrible fear. I wasn’t swollen looking anymore- I looked back to normal but with a huge belly. My ring that hadn’t fit on my finger in 3 weeks fit me. I still tried the bath, not willing to admit that I knew deep down it wouldn’t work. After the bath I went on the couch, lied down and closed my eyes, I thought if I devoted all my attention to him he would move. When I was on the couch my mom came over to eat lunch with me but I couldn’t eat much. Finally I told her that I was scared and I started to cry. I texted my doctor and he told me to drink juice and do a kick count, then go the hospital if I still felt I should, just so I would “feel better.”
I drank the juice, but I could only lay down for an hour, I knew we needed to go. In my heart I already knew, but the power of denial kept me from really believing, so I told Mark where we were going, but was convinced I would hear his heartbeat and then go home. The nurse couldn’t find it, I really started to get upset so Mom called Mark and told him to come. My mom sat next to me while my doctor looked at the ultrasound, until he said “Miss Allison, I’m not seeing anything”- I was hysterical. I don’t know how many minutes passed before Mark came in and I grabbed him and we just sobbed. Everybody left the room. I don’t know how long we cried on the hospital bed, but eventually we had to talk to the doctor about delivering our baby. How could you ask me to do that? I was so scared I couldn’t do it. That evening around 6 they gave me the first dose of the induction medicine, and again every 4 hours. We waited just over 24 hours, trying to sleep, just crying in each other’s arms.
Finally, after 24 hours my doctor wanted to break my water and give me a different kind of induction medicine. I was so upset when he broke my water, I didn’t want Peyton to be born this way, part of me was scared he was still alive and we would hurt him. After he broke my water the contractions started to hurt a lot more. I told them I wanted the epidural. The epidural made me really sick and it broke my heart, even though I knew he was gone this wasn’t the delivery I wanted for my baby. After I had it it was only 2 hours before I felt a lot of pressure and told the nurse, it was time to push. Mark started to cry, but I was too scared and too numb. The nurses held up my legs and Mark was holding my hand, as soon as I started to push I started to cry.
I pushed for about 20 minutes, at 10:30pm on October 25th Peyton Mark was born, he weighed 3 lbs 13 oz. They put him on my chest and he was absolutely perfect. I’ve never felt so in love and so heartbroken at the same time. Mark and I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was, I would have given anything in the world to hear him cry. His lips were small and red- they looked like mine. He had a tiny perfect little nose and his eyes were closed and a little puffy. We pulled back his hat and he had hair, not a ton, but a little. I held his little hand and saw his tiny little finger nails. I pulled back the towel and looked at his body, all so perfect looking, it didn’t make sense.
Mark held him and my heart ached, he looked like such a natural father holding his son, I had waited so long to see him hold his child. The time we spent with Peyton was the hardest time in my life, knowing we couldn’t keep him with us, but I wouldn’t give back one second of it. I held him again after Mark and I just squeezed him to my chest- I just wanted my lifetime with him.
I can only hope that he felt our love for him, that he never felt alone. I love you so very much Peyton, and you will always be in our hearts.
If you would like to share your birth story, email firstname.lastname@example.org