October is…

On top of being Breast Cancer and Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I want to lend my heart and thoughts to everyone who has experienced pregnancy and/or infant loss in some way.

Loss AwarenessI want to take this time to share my own story and I welcome you to share your stories and honor your babies…

It was November 18th 2010, I was 13 weeks 2 days. I said “missed miscarriage” so many times during the pregnancy. I just felt like something bad was going to happen to me and on top of it, someone else would have to inform me and that day, exactly that happened.

I wiped to find red blood, something I’d never had in any of my pregnancies. Now whenever someone mentions red blood during pregnancy, I simply reply with “good luck” because for me, it meant the worst news of my life. I tried to stay positive after seeing the blood and I called my mom and asked if I would have to go on bedrest, would she be able to come and help me. We got to the hospital and my needle stick was done several times because no hospital employee can ever manage to successfully stick me, especially just once. My husband and the kids were with me but it was late so he walked around with them a bit but overall, I felt positive and kept my mind at bay with Internet on my phone and some TV.

Finally, I got into the ultrasound room. I asked the tech “If there is no heartbeat, you’re not going to tell me are you?” because I know they’re not supposed to. She said “Yep, that’s right.” Just a few minutes in, I could see the look on her face and the lack of movement on my baby. She grimaced and said “I know I said I wasn’t going to tell you…” My heart sank right then. I must have been on a manic high because I acted so normally. I kept talking to her. I talked about how this was only my husband’s second baby and it was going to crush him. Fault came to mind and I worried “what did I do” but she told me after a lot of measurement, that the baby stopped growing at 11 weeks 4 days and I remembered that as a matter of fact, that night was lovely.

My husband and I had gone to Atlantic City for a comedy show that night and we laughed a lot, embraced often, all very healthy things and we were surely too tired to be intimate when we arrived home. I asked her if she could tell the gender and she said if the baby had been as far along as I was supposed to be, she would have been able to but then she said “You wouldn’t want to know that. What if this was his boy?” Apparently I would want to know that because to this day, I wish I knew that baby’s gender so I could properly name him or her. I requested a picture and she said that she wasn’t supposed to but she would, if I was sure that it wouldn’t make it harder. I said something along the lines of “I want something to remember my baby by,” but I can’t remember exact words for my mind was in some kind of haze.


Hands down the worst moment of my life, though, was being wheeled back in the hospital room and locking eyes with my husband, shaking my head, and immediately not being able to look him in the eye. In the corner of my eye, I saw his eyes begin to fill up as he said “What?! What?!” I sat down on the bed and I told him. He was so sullen but quiet and I just kept acting so normal, like nothing happened.

The doctor told me to naturally miscarry and was even so darling as to put “stillbirth” on my paperwork. They told me to get my rHogam then and I’d be covered for after everything happened. He must have thought I had no feelings about it because of the way I was acting so he looked at my husband and said “I’m sorry,” but not to me. I kept a straight face, just thinking and thinking, until we got out to the car. I walked further and further behind him so I could just be alone. He kept looking back and asking if I was okay. But once we reached the car, no, I was not okay. He looked at me and I just started crying hysterically, and he with me. We barely stopped crying for days.

Since our daughter was in a big repeating stage, she would often point to the baby on TV and say “Look! Baby in Mommy’s belly!” so I knew I had to tell her that the baby went bye-bye but that wasn’t as dismissing as I’d hoped. A few times when I would cry, she would come up and ask “Baby in Mommy’s belly went bye-bye?” and if it could even get any harder, it did.

I called the midwife that I would have had my first appointment with that week and she suggested a D&E procedure. She said that an 11 week old fetus would be too large to pass without a possibility of too much blood loss and it would be possible not to pass everything. She didn’t perform procedures so she could only suggest someone but they didn’t even answer the phone, nor reply to my crying message. It was becoming too much, I had carried my deceased baby for too long and it was killing me. I called every place possible and on the other end of some of the calls were rude people who assumed I wanted an abortion (because it’s the same procedure). I did come across one who felt so bad for me and she tried to help any way she could since her facility could not help me with the Thanksgiving holiday looming. My mom obtained a number for a place that she knew did emergency procedures so I called them and they managed to get me in for a consult that day and then my D&E would be the day before Thanksgiving.

At the appointment, I was called back to talk to a nurse. She asked for details and being the mommy of this baby, I gushed like many moms do and mentioned the 156BPM heartbeat to which she rolled her eyes (because that didn’t matter in the history she was filling out). I was thankful that the doctor was polite, at least. He even said he was sorry for our loss and made sure to put in that I wanted to be asleep for the procedure because apparently, they normally have their patients awake.

The woman who did my blood was rude and just overall dismissive. The eyeroll nurse came in again and started up an ultrasound just to be sure. I mentioned that the gel was so cold and she sarcastically said “Here, let me heat that up for ya!” (Why the heck do so many nurses have such terrible bedside manner, seriously?!) The doctor disagreed with what the first tech said about timing of death but he looked at the baby for two minutes and didn’t do measurements so I stuck with what the ultrasound tech told me.

He said that he had many women come in recently who’d lost otherwise healthy babies after the 9th week and that he thinks a ‘virus was going around that would attack the placenta’. That’s paraphrased but I get the gist of what he was trying to say. I learned later that my progesterone was low and I’d gone off of a progestin birth control pill before conceiving so my theory is that there was a correlation between my body’s natural production of the hormone, and the synthetic hormone in the birth control.

The next day after stopping at the first hospital to get my rHogam paperwork so I wouldn’t have to get it again, we went for the procedure. Since it was a religious hospital, a nun came around to say prayers with everyone in Same Day Surgery. I told her, with tears in my eyes, what I was there for and she said a special prayer for me, my husband, and my baby. My husband wanted to come back but the nurse’s station kept throwing a hissy fit about it, finally they let him anyway.

I made a stink about bloodwork being done. They specifically ran bloodwork on me the day before, claiming that I wouldn’t have to have it done at the hospital, so I refused the bloodwork. We spoke with the surgeon about what they would do with our baby afterward. The only way we could obtain the baby would be with things that would just cause more stress, so we let it be.

A woman started wheeling me away and looked at James and said “You can take her if you want!” He said, a little happier, “Really?” She laughed and said “No.” He got even more upset. She was like “Why does he look so sad?” I said “Because we’re going to get my deceased baby taken out of me??” So she let him push me to the elevator and attempted to console me when we got inside by telling me some stuff about how she’d had losses too. I got into Pre-Op all covered in tears, was barely acknowledged by anyone. They just kept picking up my wrist to see my band, as if I were some kind of mannequin. No sympathy was offered, no condolences. They didn’t even speak to me at all.

We got into the room, the told me that they were just giving me something to calm me down and *poof* I passed out. The first thing that happened when I woke up was people complained that I’d been asleep much longer than they’d expected. I never take even the mildest of drugs, so my body reacts at high levels to anything.

When I got downstairs to see my husband, I felt a lot better. It’s horrible to go through things like that all alone and with horribly miserable and careless medical staff. He showed me some things that he bought in the gift shop, little angels and crosses. He told me that he went to a church and he prayed for our baby. A chaplain came to us and told us that they bury preterm babies from the hospital together at a cemetery and have a service every several months, which we wish we’d been told before so we wouldn’t have been so stressed about Angel just being “thrown into a hazardous waste bin” like the doctor said.

Then, just before we left, the hospital tried to talk me into getting another rHogam shot. Despite the paperwork, this hospital wanted to be sure they covered themselves in case something happened. I declined, spoke to their doctor who urged me to do it, but then declined again and finally left. We could finally put these hideous days behind us but forever our baby would live in our hearts.

We bought little keepsakes to remember Angel by:

On May 6, 2011, our baby was laid to rest in the cemetery. Our children came with us and I was 11 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby at the time. Even though our baby gets buried with other babies who passed too soon, we were the only parents to attend but so many wonderful hospital staff members were there with us and the chaplain read beautiful prayers. I am still so thankful that the hospital gave our baby a beautiful resting place and that we can visit and leave little gifts.


Feel free to share or link your story or pictures of/that remind you of your angel baby(ies) in the comments. And hugs all around. <3

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