Pregnancy After Loss

October is a hard month. Honestly every month is hard, but October has its own special sting to it. October 19th 2012 my baby, my Lily, grew her wings.

miscarriage

Since then I have had what is referred to as a Rainbow Baby. She is perfection. While she completes our family, there will also be a piece of our family that is missing.

I have spoken a bit about my miscarriage and loss. Its hard. To this day my breath catches, my hands tremble, my body shakes, my heart skips a beat and starts to break all over again. Despite so many other woman going through pregnancy loss, I felt and still feel so alone with it. I still can’t seem to find the right words to talk about it.

What I have never really talked about is my pregnancy after my loss, after my Lily. I could never bring myself to really talk about it, enjoy it, or celebrate. I was paralyzed with fear the whole time.

I lost my baby on October 19th, 2012. It broke me in a way that words can never describe. Not that long after I found out on in August 2013 that I was pregnant again. My doctors immediately told me to take it easy and rest as much as possible. On October 5th 2013 I started bleeding and was put on bedrest.

I spent the rest of my pregnancy on bedrest and in and out of hospitals. I didn’t go more than 2 weeks without seeing a doctor/ hospital/ or having an ultrasound done. At 19 weeks they thought that my placenta was detaching. At one point they thought early labour at 21 weeks. It was always something.

My entire pregnancy I was counting kicks, laying in bed praying my body could hold on just one more day. Every day I prayed for just one more day. I prayed my body would not fail me once more. I prayed I would be enough, strong enough, good enough, to carry this baby to term. My heart could not handle another heartbreak.

I was so scared that if I talked about my pregnancy when it was happening, if I got too excited, if I got too happy, it would all come crashing down. I was so scared that if I got too happy something would happen to pop my little bubble. I thought maybe if I was quiet about it, staying safe in my bed alone in my own little world it would some how protect me and my baby.

Speaking about my daughters pregnancy still makes me feel sick. I never forgot that feeling of helplessness I had during her entire pregnancy. The fear I felt every day, every night.

It was by far the hardest and most emotionally draining pregnancy I have ever had. But looking back at it also makes me sad. I never got a chance to enjoy my last pregnancy. I never got a chance to celebrate my growing belly and the sweet baby inside.

Now my daughter is here, happy and healthy as can be. She was worth it. Worth the stress, worth the worry, worth every dreadful minute I spent in bed alone crying, every sleepless night I got, every bit of pain I felt both physical and emotional. She was worth it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my Lily, wishing she was here. But at the same time a day doesn’t go by that I am not grateful for the chance and strength to carry another baby.

Pregnancy after a loss was such an emotional roller coaster. So much joy every time she kicked and then suddenly scared waiting for the next kick. Always counting. Always waiting. Always praying.

Looking at the date on the calendar it is hard to believe how long ago this was. Thinking about it, it feels like it just happened. My heart is still broken, still pieces missing, still healing, but still at the same time oh so happy and in love with my children that I have here with me.

Please know that if you have experienced pregnancy loss, infant loss, or any loss, you are not alone.

~ Michelle

What should have been my due date 3 years ago…


A 3 year old.

I should have a 3 year old. But I don’t. I should be starting to think about kindergarten. But I’m not. I should have a small child out of the diaper stage and probably the nap stage. But  I don’t. My baby who I believed was a girl, I named her Lily, never got a chance to grow.

She was only with me for a short time, not even 8 weeks, but it was long enough to change me forever. I fell in love. My heart changed. My should changed. I changed. And then I lost my baby. And I broke. Broke so badly that I can never be put back together. It broke me to the point that it changed me. I will never be the same.

I blamed myself for the longest time. I still do sometimes. I know it wasn’t my fault. But I had to blame something, someone. I needed a reason, and explanation of the unknown. It is getting better some days, some days I don’t fully blame myself. Some days a small part of me believes I had no control over it. But some days, especially around this time of year, my due date… I can’t help but wonder, blame, cry, but mostly I just hurt. And I break all over again.

I hurt so much. I miss the baby I never got hold. My arms still ache to hold her. My heart is still broken, and shatters more and more. I didn’t even think it was possible, I never knew it was possible, until I lost my baby.

I can’t help but wondering what my baby would have been like, who she would have looked like, who she would grow into. Its the little things that get me, what music would she like, movies, cartoons, animals, foods. Would she sleep on her side with her hands under her face, or would she starfish. I’m always wondering.

But now I have my rainbow baby. I am so grateful that I was granted the chance to carry another baby and become a mommy to another beautiful baby. It was something I didn’t know if I would be strong enough to do again, the what if’s clouded my mind. But I did it, and I have her. I love her to the moon and back.

But I can’t help but wonder sometimes. Wonder what life would have been like. What it would be like to not live with this pain every day. Wonder what it would be like to know the baby I lost. But it always comes back to the same thing, IF I hadn’t lost that baby, I wouldn’t have my daughter I have now. I can’t imagine life without my rainbow baby. But still… I wonder.

But you can’t live life wondering. You can’t live in the past. You just have to live with what it is and keep on going. Some things you can never change or escape, sometimes despite what you wish, no matter how hard you wish, you have to learn to live with it.

I love my baby I never held, and I love my baby I have now, a baby I would never had had the chance to hold if I didn’t lose my baby. It is the most ultimate bitter sweet situation ever. Words can not even describe it, and unless you have lived it, it can be so hard to understand.

Every day I live with pain and joy. My heart is full, but still a piece is missing. My family is complete with my children, but still always missing someone. My heart aches from pain and swells with love. All the time. Every single day.

I would have had a beautiful 3 year old, but instead I have a beautiful 2 year old.

My baby may never have stepped foot on this earth, but she was still my baby, she was real, she was still every bit loved just as my other children, and she will forever be in my heart.

~Michelle

 

My Rainbow Baby

Right now I’m sitting here listening to my baby snore over the baby monitor. It is the sweetest sound ever. I can’t even count how many times I have sneaked into her room to look at her. I could listen to her all day and night, actually I did listen to her all night as I had to co-sleep with her.

As I sit here listening, tears are streaming down my face. I have so many mixed emotions. It is hard to explain.

My daughter is my rainbow baby. Every time I feel a surge of love, happiness, joy, any and all happy thoughts and feelings it is followed by guilt and sadness. She is my rainbow baby. I love her. I am grateful for her. But I’m sad. I’m sad for the baby I lost. Less than a year before I lost my baby, I lost my Lily.

It’s so, so, SO confusing when it comes to my emotions. I love my daughter, so beyond grateful for her. But I lost a baby, and I miss my baby, I loved my baby, and if I hadn’t lost her, I wouldn’t have my daughter I have now.

I don’t know the words to use. My daughter is 2 and I am still trying to figure out what it means that she is my Rainbow Baby. I am still trying to figure out my feelings. Wondering if the feeling of guilt whenever I am happy will fade?

My daughter is 2 and I still have a hard time talking about her pregnancy, a pregnancy that scared me out of my mind the whole time, a pregnancy that was so beyond bitter sweet.

I don’t know how I should feel. My daughter is my world, my sons are my world, but I’m missing a piece of me, I will never be complete again. Without that missing piece I wouldn’t have my daughter I have now. Yet if I had that missing piece I never would have known my daughter. My life could have gone down such a completely different path. See what I mean? I don’t know what to feel, or think.

I love my kids, all my kids, including my angel baby.

Will the pain of losing my Lily ever fade? Is it a part of me forever?

At this point I think I will always feel guilt over losing Lily. As if there was something I could have changed. But at the same time I am so over the moon thankful for my daughter I have now.

If there was a way I could have had both my baby I would, in a heartbeat. But there isn’t. There is no changing what has happened, there is no forgetting it, there is just living with it.

miscarriage

~ Michelle

Why I Did Not Reveal My Baby’s Gender During Pregnancy

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Two years ago on this day, November 19 2013, I had my 20 week ultrasound scan. After having 3 boys everyone was excited to see what this baby would be. EVERYONE seemed to have an opinion, family, friends, strangers who after finding out I had 3 boys said I needed a girl, to everyone at the doctors office, to the staff of the hospital (that I visited way too much during my pregnancy). Like I said, everyone had an opinion.

Most of the opinions were the same; I NEEDED a girl. Some how the world viewed the fact that I had given birth to 3 beautiful, healthy, happy, boys as a bad thing. Apparently I had “paid my dues”. Apparently I had “too many boys”. I would like to call total B.S. on that.

Back to my 20 week ultrasound. While there, my sweet baby was being shy, my technician gave me a 60% chance of having a girl. She couldn’t get a good look. With that I decided not to tell anyone. Not because I didn’t want a girl, but because after 3 boys I know certain people in my life would go nuts buying all things pink, and with the 40% of a boy, I didn’t want to have to worry about the hassle of returning stuff, or people complaining of wasted money. I also didn’t want to get people attached to a girl, and when a boy showed up, well lets just say I didn’t want to deal with stupid remarks that would be made. I have known people who got the gender wrong and got attached to a child that wasn’t really there in a sense. I wanted to avoid that if possible.

However I was back to the ultrasound tech 2 weeks later where she confirmed that it was in fact a girl. I was back about 3 more times, each time she said the same thing, girl, girl, girl. And she was right.

But here is the thing, I knew that whether I had a boy or girl, I would get the same comments. “You need a girl.” “Another boy?!” If I told them during pregnancy the comments would get worse, some how people think that when they baby is still inside a person they can say whatever rude comments they like and it doesn’t matter, because they baby isn’t “here” yet.

So I kept my mouth shut. When people asked what I was having I simply said “I don’t know and I don’t care”. That would end the discussion.

Truth be told, I did not care! My love would not have changed if I had a boy. If I was a mom of all boys I would be just as happy as I am now with 3 boys and 1 girl. My love for my children does not depend on their gender. The gender of my children never mattered to me, only my child mattered. The fact that I was carrying another human life inside me is what mattered, not what was between their legs.

~ Michelle

Her name is Lily

In October 2012 my life was forever changed.

Society likes to think that because I miscarried early that my baby some how did not matter, that my pain and heartbreak was not real. I am here to tell you that all of that could not be further from the truth. My baby matters! My love for her is real, and my heartbreak for her is real. My baby matters. Her short life matters.

I believe the baby I was pregnant with in September – October of 2012 was a girl. Every night of my short pregnancy I had a dream of a baby girl, it was the same dream every single night. And her name was Lily.
I still have that same dream every so often, it both comforts me and haunts me.

Her name is Lily.
I love her. She touched my life and heart in ways only a baby can effect a mother.

Her name was Lily.
I loved her. I never got to know her. I never got to meet her.

Her name is Lily.
She taught me so much in such a little time, and continues to teach me life lessons and teaches me things about myself.

Her name was Lily.
She tested my strength and love in such a short time.

I never got to hold my baby, hear her cry, feel her sleeping body on my chest, I never got to see her first smile. I never even got to feel her move in my belly. But I loved her so. She touched my life in such a strong way in such a short time. I was forever changed in that moment.

I will never forget that day. The day I became a mother to a baby I will never know.

My arms have never felt so empty, my heart so crushed, my body so hollow and empty. Emptiness, I felt so empty, it was all around me. The emptiness crushed me.

It’s been 3 years since then, and my heart still aches for my baby. My arms still reach out to hold my baby.

Life has moved on, others have moved on, and some people have forgotten all about it. I haven’t. I never can. I am forever missing a piece of me, a piece of my heart.

I may not have been pregnant long, but that doesn’t change my heartbreak or the fact that I lost my baby. I am a mom to an angel baby.

Every single detail of that day is forever burned into my mind, it is on auto reply every so often. It comes to me when the light is just so in my room, and I remember laying in my bed sobbing and begging for the pain to stop. It comes to me when I look at my beautiful children and think of how blessed I am and then it crushes me all over again that one of my babies is gone forever.

Its been 3 years and I have a healthy happy daughter here with me now. My rainbow baby. I love her. I’m thankful for her. But my heart still aches for the baby I will never get to hold.

This is the first time I have said her name aloud to anyone other than my husband. It hurts so much to say it. Every time I do there is a gapping whole in my heart being ripped apart anew. But at the same time I take comfort in it. She was so very loved. She was not with me for long, but she still matters. She is still important. I will not hide her memory away because society says I should, because I miscarried before I reached 12 weeks. I had a life growing inside me, and she had a name, and I loved her, and she mattered then and she matters now. Her name is Lily.

On October 19th 2012 my baby grew her wings.

My family will forever have an angel watching over them.
Her name is Lily and I love her so.

miscarriage

~ Michelle

The Day My Heart, Body, And Soul Broke

On September 30th 2012 something amazing happened. Something I had been dreaming of. Something that would change my life in ways I never dreamed of.
I took a home pregnancy test and it came back positive! I was in shock! I’ve been waiting so long to finally see that little plus symbol. Two years of trying were finally behind me. I felt like a weight was instantly lifted off me. I took a huge sigh of relief and instantly fell to the bathroom floor and began to happy cry.
I made an appointment with my doctor right away, got checked out, got blood work done, everything was great. My numbers were amazing, my doctor was highly impressed.

I was so over the moon excited that I was already in the baby stores looking at stuff, and I had already bought my youngest a “Big Brother” book. I was thinking up cute ways to tell my boys and family. I already had baby names picked out and rubbed my belly all the time and was already talking to my baby. I was so blissful. Everything seemed amazing at that moment, colours were brighter, food tasted better. I was on cloud 9.

My husband and I finally agreed on a way, and Thanksgiving Sunday when we were all together we were going to tell everyone. I had every detail planned.
However something happened to change that.
Thanksgiving morning I started bleeding. It wasn’t much. I called my Dr. and I called the hospital, and they said with the amount and how far along I was it was probably just implantation bleeding. No big deal apparently. But to get checked out if it continued or got worse. I still got my blood work done and my numbers were great, going up at a great rate. Even though I was told this was “normal” I was still scared, I had never experienced this with my other pregnancies. For the next few days I couldn’t breathe, there was a giant weight on my chest. I had never been so scared, so worried. I never knew a love so deep until I had children, and I never knew a fear so deep until this point.

On October 18th I had an ultrasound. I was 7 weeks 2 days.
Before I got my ultrasound I started bleeding. More blood than I had ever had while pregnant.
That ultrasound felt like the longest ultrasound ever. And most heartbreaking ultrasound I have ever had.
They lady that was giving me the ultrasound was 7 months pregnant and I could see her reaching for her moving belly every so often, however she never said a word to me. The look on her face said it all. I spent 30 minutes in silence as I watched this lady ignore my every request to answer my questions. Her silence spoke volumes. I hated her in that moment. I hated her for not answering my questions, I hated her for her silence, I hated her for rubbing her belly in my face. But my hatred for this random person quickly turned to heartbreak that took over my body. In that instant I was broken.
They couldn’t see anything. They couldn’t see my baby, just an empty sac.
I was sent to see my doctor right away and I got even more blood work done and my numbers were still going up.
I left the Dr’s with them thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was earlier along then they thought. My Dr was still holding out hope for me, bless his soul. Too bad that would all come crashing down.

On October 19th my world forever changed.
I was 7 weeks, 3 days.
I miscarried my baby.
My little baby.
Gone forever.
Gone before ever even having a chance.

I have never felt so empty. So heartbroken. So helpless. So beyond devastated. So broken.
It hurts to breathe still. My whole body aches still.
My heart hurts for the loss of my baby. My arms ache for my baby that I will never be able to hold.

It has been almost 3 years since this happened and it still feels like just yesterday.
It has been almost 3 years and I am still living through all this pain. It has not gone away.
I have never felt the same since. I was changed that day, changed forever. I have a hole that will never be filled. I have dreams that will forever be nightmares.

I have a baby I will never meet and will forever love and miss.

I never got to feel my baby kick, never got to see my baby on ultrasound, and never got to hold my baby, but I still loved my baby with all my heart. My baby wasn’t with me long, but long enough that I fell in love and have forever been changed.


~Michelle

Would Would You Do If Your Daughter Ends Up Like You?

Someone recently asked me, what I can only guess is what they thought was an important question. They asked me “What would you do if your daughter ended up like you? How are you going to stop her?”

Now I will be completely honest with you my first reaction was to punch the person, next it was the ever classy “wtf” moment. Which was all followed by “What?!”


Pardon me, but what the hell is so wrong with me that I would have to be worried about my daughter ‘turning out like me’? Then I realized that they were probably referring the fact that I got pregnant at 16.

So this got me thinking.

First off why is this question only directed at my daughter? I’m sorry, but it takes two! My boys could just as easily ‘turn out like me’. Why are males always over looked when it comes to teen pregnancy? Trust me, the girl didn’t get there on her own. Just because females carry the baby it does not mean they made that baby on their own and carry all the ‘blame’.

Second off, if any of my children, my sons or my daughter turn out like me, so what? Do I want one of my children to come home at 16 years old and tell me that they are pregnant or got someone pregnant? No of course not, but if they did it would not change my love for them or my view of them.

There is nothing wrong if my children ‘turn out like me’. I kind of hope they do. I hope they get my creative side. I hope they get my love of reading. I hope that their imagination is as big as mine if not bigger. I hope they are dreamers with the courage to go after their dreams. I hope they get my sense of humour. I hope their hearts are as big if not bigger than mine. I hope my children get my level of devotion and love. I hope they get my sense of adventure. I hope they get my love for nature and animals.

Most of all I hope my children are happy. I hope they find themselves. I hope they enjoy life. I hope that whatever path they take in life that it is one filled with love, laughter and joy.

Now onto the second part of the question. How will I stop them from turning out like me? I can’t. I won’t. That is not my place. How can you really stop anyone from doing something? If you could there would never be any teen pregnancy, now would there? I will educate my children. I will talk to my children. My children will grow up knowing how hard it is to grow up away from their brother. My children will grow up dealing with the after effects of my own teen pregnancy and me placing my son for adoption. And after all that I will talk to them some more. My children aren’t like most children, they are growing up in a situation that most don’t, and that will shape them. How will that shape them, well only time will tell.

Whatever path my children take I will love them and be proud of them. Even if “I can’t stop them and they turn out like me”, would that really be so horrible, because there is a whole hell of a lot to me than just a person who got pregnant at 16. But if they do, if any of my children find themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy I hope they have the strength to do what is right for them, which will be easy to do with all the love and support I will have for them.

~ Michelle

It Is Never Too Soon To Share Pregnancy News.

Last week a couple announced their pregnancy, actually the husband surprised his wife with her pregnancy. Yes you read that correctly. Their names are Sam and Nia. The are YouTube sensations. You can see their YouTube channel here.  However a few days later they posted a much different video online. Nia had suffered a miscarriage. Here is the heart breaking video.

My heart breaks for them. For any and all parents who have suffered through this. I can relate. I can relate to the heartache, heartbreak, and empty feeling. I can relate to it all.

As a mother, as a mother who has suffered a loss this story really struck a chord with me. I cried for them, I cried for me, and I cried for all people who have felt this loss.

Here is what I can not relate to, people complaining that it was “too soon” for them to announce their pregnancy. This breaks my heart. When I had a miscarriage no one even knew I had been pregnant. I was only 7 weeks along, I had not even told my parents yet. I have never felt so alone. No one got to share in the joy with me I had for those first couple weeks I knew. They only got to see the aftermath, see me broken and hurting. I learned that it is never too early to share pregnancy news. That even if something happens and you miscarry, whether you have told people or not it will not take away a couples heartbreak and pain, it will not make it hurt less if no one else knew they were pregnant.

To the people who say to wait till 12 weeks, please don’t. There is no need for a pregnancy to be kept a secret because of the risk of miscarriage. It doesn’t make it any easier when someone suffers a miscarriage. There is no shame in miscarriage and loss. For me, I wish I had told people as soon as I knew. I could have used a support group around me when it happened.

Women should be free to make the choice to tell their news whenever they want, without shame, without worrying, just with pure happiness. If something happens to take comfort in knowing that they will have a support system around them.

To any person out there suffering, please know you are not alone. It is ok to talk about it. It is ok to let the world know. It is ok to feel broken. It is ok, there is support out there for you.

It has been almost 3 years since my miscarriage and I still have a hard time talking about it, a part of me still feels like I should hide that away from the world, and that is not right. I lost a baby. I lost my baby. And my heart breaks for my baby that I never got to know, never got to hold, but still in 7 weeks loved with all my heart.

Lets end the secrecy around early pregnancies, around miscarriages and loss. Lets come together and support each other. Lets not make a woman feel as though she needs to hide her pregnancy. All life should be celebrated and supported.

~ Michelle