Spotlight On Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss: My First Little Forget-Me-Not
The creation of human life is one of the most complex and shockingly beautiful things that our bodies are designed to do. The microanatomy that goes into this task is so astonishingly complicated that it’s a miracle any of us walk around at all.
And yet, most of us do. Most…but not all.
When a baby dies, we are fragmented. Shattered, we must pick up the pieces and put them back together as we pay tribute to our children, our tables forever missing one, our families incomplete, our treasures in heaven, our babies alive only in our hearts. It is through our stories that they live forever. These children were here and they mattered.
They were loved.
They are loved.
If you’d like to add your baby’s name to our Wall of Remembrance, please fill this out so we can properly remember your lost little one.
There are some dates that will forever stick in my mind.
January 2, 1999 - a date I can’t seem to forget. That was the day my first husband and I officially started trying to have a baby.
Eventually, I met an amazing man who made me laugh; a wonderful father to my little girl. We had a whirlwind romance and were married just seven months and one day after our first date. We started trying for a child of our own right away.
January 1, 2009 - exactly ten years after I had first started trying to have a child, I was finally pregnant! My dream had finally come true!
The pregnancy was over-the-top from the very beginning. The morning after conception, I almost threw up on my husband when kissing him good morning. Pregnancy symptoms aren’t supposed to show up that early.
Things were calm again until twelve days later when the morning sickness began, which was followed by the extremely strong sense of smell. I developed Restless Leg Syndrome. To my amusement, I also craved fresh raspberries and a very specific fast food burrito.
My ultrasound was scheduled for February 2, six weeks into my pregnancy. My husband met me at the office, where we held hands and waited excitedly for our first glimpse of our new baby.
The ultrasound tech was very professional, but she hardly spoke. She didn’t say what she was (or wasn’t) seeing. The more time that passed without her speaking, the more nervous I became. After a while, she told us that she was having some issues - she needed to bring in the radiologist.
He came in, moved the wand around on my belly, and finally gave us the bad news: they weren’t able to find the baby. I was sent upstairs to my doctor’s office. She was sympathetic, but told me I should prepare for a miscarriage.
I knew I couldn’t just accept that. I’d lose my mind if I just sat there, waiting for everything to be over. I turned to the Internet where I discovered stories of misdiagnosed miscarriages. I clung to the hope that they’d all been wrong; that my baby was going to be fine.
Exactly one week later, on February 9th, the spotting started. I tried to deny it for the first day, but when it turned to full-on bleeding, I had to admit that I was losing my baby.
To say I was “devastated” was a gross understatement - I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think.
Obsessively, I went into the bathroom once an hour. I was horrified by the idea of passing my baby’s tiny little body into a toilet. I searched through every clot, every little bit of tissue hoping to find something, ANYTHING that I might be able to bury. Realistically, I knew that any traces of my baby’s body would be microscopic, but I couldn’t stop myself.
The pregnancy symptoms stuck around for two weeks while I continued to bleed. I felt insulted and betrayed by my body. There was not going to be a baby at the end of it all, but my body continued to make me feel I was still pregnant.
But worst of all was the immense feeling of being alone.
My sweet husband was so loving and caring, but it didn’t seem like he was bothered at all by the loss of our child. Women at church were kind; some of them even mentioned having miscarriages of their own. But they would talk about it like it was the common cold. Didn’t ANYONE understand how tragic this was for me? After ten years of waiting and dreaming, I’d finally gotten pregnant only to lose it quickly.
After a couple of weeks, a woman I didn’t know very well called me. She said she had been thinking of me; she’d been meaning to bring by a meal, but had been very busy. She choked up while telling me about a miscarriage she had suffered through between her second - and third - children.
She offered to have a pizza and salad sent to our home so I wouldn’t have to cook that night. She gave me advice on how I could deal with the stress and mood swings. I finally felt like someone else got it.
Later, I found an online support group who were a great help. But the biggest help was when my husband admitted that he was terribly upset by it. He’d been afraid to let me see how hurt he was because he didn’t want to make me feel worse.
I needed a memorial.
I needed something to cling to when I couldn’t handle it anymore. During those very short, few weeks, I’d rub my belly whenever I felt the need to feel attached to my baby. But now there was no connection at all. I found a website that sold memorial jewelry and selected a small forget-me-not flower pendant. When the necklace finally arrived, I had something to cling to again.
It took therapy and a lot of time for me to feel better. But even now, more than three years later, and after the birth of our adorable little boy, I almost never take my necklace off, and I still hold on to it when I think of my lost little one.
And I still cry when I think about it.