In October of 2009 we were shocked to learn that we were expecting triplet boys. The news brought the eventuality of bedrest, NICU, and the like. In spite of all the risks associated with a multiple pregnancy, we never even considered the possibility of a loss. We were in good hands, we were being watched carefully, and there was no reason to believe that something would go wrong. Until it did.
At 32 weeks and 5 days, I went in for a routine check, and we were given the devastating news that Baby B’s heart had stop beating. In an instant our life changed. We went from anticipating the arrival of three beautiful boys, to mourning the loss of one, and praying like mad for the other two.
Later that same day, all three boys had to be delivered. It was the most bittersweet moment of our lives. Hearing Adler and Cameron cry and seeing their tiny pink bodies was a joy, but feeling Boe being pulled from my body silent and still was heartbreaking. So many emotions and thoughts ran through my mind. How could the other two be here, be alive, and not Boe? How could we have made it this far for this to be the result?
In the days that followed, we were so fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends-people who were there for us in our darkest days. We were also fortunate to be provided with amazing resources to aid in the grieving process. How would we parent the beautiful daughter we already had at home? How would we parent Boe’s surviving brothers while mourning his death? How would we parent the unexpected child who came 18 months after Boe left us? These resources helped. The Balancing Life and Loss: Parenting After Loss Support Group, offered by Forever Footprints, was a huge part of our grief journey. I found comfort sitting with other women who, different as their stories and journeys may be, were right there with me. We were all there for each other, to raise each other up and to laugh, cry, and speak our children’s names aloud so they knew their short lives mattered.
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When I suffered my first miscarriage at 8 weeks gestation, I did not know what to think, I did not know where to turn. So many thoughts rushed through my head… Why did this happen?…How did this happen?…What did I do wrong?…Is there a problem?…How can I fix the problem? I was so focused on what was wrong that I did not even give myself the chance to grieve the loss of my baby. My doctor told me it was a “blessing in disguise.” There was obviously “something wrong” with the baby and “nature was taking its course” in terminating the pregnancy. I had to suffer the painful experience of returning all the maternity clothes I had just bought.
I was thrilled when I learned I was pregnant again, just 7 months later. I thought, a miscarriage could not possibly happen again. I had a first ultrasound. The ultrasound tech said nothing. The silence was palpable. I never thought the sound of silence could be so painful. I knew what was going on, and yet I said nothing. When I received a phone call from my doctor, who asked me to come into the office as soon as possible, I knew what was coming. I again had to suffer the painful experience of returning all the maternity clothes I had just repurchased.
So what should you say to someone that has suffered a miscarriage? Please do not say it is a blessing in disguise. Please do not say there was probably something wrong with the baby. Please do not say that it is simply nature taking its course. Please do not say that you will forget all this when you have your baby. Please do not remind me that I am still young enough to get pregnant again. Although all these thoughts are well-intentioned, they are fraught with an underlying current that this is something I simply need to get over. I will never “get over” having my miscarriages.
All you need to say to someone who has suffered a miscarriage is “I am sorry for your loss.” It is as simple as that. It is exactly what the women at the clothing store said to me when I returned my maternity clothes.
I went to visit my son today. But I was too late.
As I pulled into the cemetery, the tall gates stared at me. My son was 20 yards from me. And I couldn’t see him. All I wanted was to touch his grave, run my fingers over his etched name, remind him I loved him.
That lump in my throat crept up—the lump that reminds me how often I hold back my tears. And then the guilt hit. I should have left earlier. I shouldn’t have stopped at the store beforehand. I should have remembered the cemetery hours.
Eleven years ago, Joseph died. I held his teeny, tiny warm body and said goodbye. It was a goodbye that was too quick, said by a traumatized first-time mother and father who thought the faster the nurse took our baby away, the faster we would forget the nightmare. Within two days, I realized that goodbye was not enough. I begged the mortuary to let me see my son. They told me he was in a freezer. He was cold. I wouldn’t like that I saw. I was too late.
For many years, I associated how hard I grieved with how much I loved Joseph. If I was happy, then I didn’t love him. It’s a hard thing to admit. It was a horrible way to live.
Does time heal? I don’t know. But what I do know is that you have to work to create joy in your heart again. As hard as you have to work to navigate through the grief (when people talk about the stages of grief, yeah, that’s no joke), you also have to work to bring happiness into your life again.
So as I left the cemetery, I looked up and saw the sun peeking through the clouds. It created a pink sky. I took long breaths, swallowing that lump in my throat away, as tears made their way down my cheeks. They were tears of forgiveness.
It’s not too late baby boy. Tomorrow I will visit you.
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By: Kim Pooler
We were so excited to be welcoming a third child into the world. I went to my first doctor appointment and my husband stayed home with our twins. We were full of joy and excitement. The joy and excitement faded with the first ultrasound. The doctor explained that the sack was not perfectly formed and had many dents. She told me because of this it is very unlikely the pregnancy would progress as it is supposed to and it just did not look good. She told me to prep for a miscarriage.
I sat in my car and cried and called my husband. I then proceeded to church to pray for our little one. While getting in my car to go home after praying my husband called. He had just called 911. My son had just had his first seizure. (He was later diagnosed with epilepsy.) I was a mess. I called my parents to pick me up in the church parking lot. We meet my husband, son, and daughter at the hospital.
A few days later I had another appointment for my peace of mind. The sack miraculously looked better. The doctor congratulated me on the pregnancy. Our hopes and joy were back.
Next appointment our baby was gone. No heartbeat was found. I was numb. The blessing was I am a teacher and the miscarriage happened during the summer. Going back in August was difficult. I would sit in my class during recess and lunch and cry. I distanced myself from pretty much everyone.
Then in December 2014 I went for a preconception appointment to see if was okay to try again. In March 2015 we found out we were expecting. First appointment was very different and hopeful this time. Everything looked good.
On a Friday afternoon, I went for my second appointment and they could detect no heartbeat. They sent me down to radiology for a more in-department sonogram just to make sure. I had to wait hours to get fit in for a STAT sonogram and sat in the waiting room crying and trying not to cry for hours. They finally got me in, and of course the tech could not tell me anything. I knew this already. She called up OBGYN and they left 10 minuntes early on Friday. I was promised by the receptionist that a doctor would call me Saturday morning. Finally, Saturday at noon I called. The nurse could not get into my files. She told me best bet go to urgent care but it was flu season so be prepared to wait. I was not feeling good and did not feel like sitting for hours to hear, “I am sorry.” I knew from my past miscarriage that 99% that the baby had passed. So I called later. This nurse arranged for a doctor to call me the next day. They were out of same day phone appointments. So nine o’clock Sunday I sat with cell phone in hand and waited. I could not eat and felt lost and helpless. 9:30 I get the call. To hear the words I was expecting. No heartbeat was detected and at nine weeks their should be a heartbeat. No activity was detected. She then said but sometimes at nine weeks maybe just maybe heartbeat is not strong enough to be dectected. I interrupted because I saw the heartbeat on first sonogram and the doctor remarked it was strong. Then she said something I was not expecting. A smaller sack was observed measuring six weeks. Also no heartbeat. No activity. First sonogram only one. She told me to keep my Monday appointment I had since I was high risk. I went to work on Monday. At 3:30 I had a final sonogram face-to-face with my doctor, who told me my twins had passed. One nine weeks, one six weeks. I opted for the medication to complete the miscarriage. I started bleeding before I took the medication, but I still took it. My daughter, who had started talking to the baby, stopped that night. My daughter was three, and I think she knew something was wrong. Her twin brother makes me cry because he loves babies, and I think they would be excellent big brothers and sisters. But I do realize I am blessed to be a mother to all of my children. I love my twins and my angel and twin Angels.
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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.
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