My angel Jake....
I am writing this hub because I believe that we can all gain from each other's experiences. I have a story to share that I hope will help others. My story started in 1981 and I have long since "healed." But this is the kind of experience that not only never leaves us, but is a good part of what shapes us. I hope this can help anyone faced with a similar situation.
“No one can know how much I love you, because you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.”
I was young when I lost my first baby. Only 22. It was hard and sad, especially as I was already in the the second trimester. But...even though at the time I wasn't prepared to hear those old adages, like "Time Heals all wounds", they were true. I continued on with my life, worked and played and tried again and again to get pregnant but to no avail.
an angel in the Book of Life wrote down my baby's birth & whispered as she closed the Book: "Too beautiful for this Earth"
8 years later
Finally, after 8 years and 4 in vitro fertilization attempts, our first child was born. A beautiful baby boy weighing in at 2 pounds, 13 ounces! Still a pregnancy loss, but at last, we had a son!
3 years later
A beautiful, bouncing baby girl! She was full term with only the minimum of fertility intervention! Oh happy day!
“Some people believe in angels. I held one in my arms.”
2 years later!
What a joyous discovery! Pregnant with no fertility help at all! Such a happy time for us. Until...the doctors said our baby didn't do well on the alpha fetoprotein test and we would need further testing. So began the nightmare. Our beautiful yet to be born child was sick. Very sick. Unlike many people, I had chosen not to know the sex of my unborn babies. I wanted it to be surprise. But as time and tests went on and his life lay in the balance, I needed an identity for him. We named him Jake. At six and half months, I delivered Jake, stillborn. It was the hardest, most painful delivery. The few days before, I set about making him a memory box. One to go with Jake and one for me. When he was born, they let me hold him, this tiny one pound, beautiful, beautiful boy. I don't think anything in life prepared me for that pain. Nor do I think anything in life has hurt me as much as losing our baby boy. In part, I know it is also guilt. I conceived him. I carried him. I felt that I'd failed him.Although that was 17 years ago, I don't forget Jake. There is a place I like to walk that helps me to remember. A butterfly garden. Join me?
Another 2 years
Sadly, a little less than 2 years later, I was pregnant again. This time, the joy wasn't anywhere near the same. This time, I was afraid. Every little twinge worried me. I only told people on a need to know basis. I most definitely didn't tell the kids. They had already been saddened and confused by the loss of Baby Jake. I couldn't allow them to hurt again. But really, it was me I was protecting. I was scared and frightened. And for good reason. At the end of my first trimester, I began to spot. A few days later, I lost this baby at home. That evening, I woke up in the recovery room, disoriented and weak. I had hemorrhaged and was in the process of receiving a complete blood transfusion. They told me it had been touch and go for a while there. I had so wanted a large family but laying there shivering, I thanked God. I thanked him for the children I had. I thanked him for sparing my life so that I could raise them and see them grow. I knew there would be no more babies for me. My children needed me. They needed me healthy and strong.
No farewell words were spoken, no time to say goodbye. You were gone before we knew it and only God knows why
Allow yourself to grieve
One of the hardest parts about pregnancy loss is that often, it is not recognized as a "legitimate" loss. The same with stillborn and fetal death. I don't want to even get started on how I feel about the term "legitimate" In my opinion, anything that makes you "feel" is "legitimate" You don't need anyone's permission or approval besides your own, to feel or to grieve. Please give yourself that permission. There are many books and support groups out there to help you. Don't isolate yourself and don't berate yourself. Get as much help as you need to get through this difficult time.
These are two hubs that I read. I found them comforting. I hope you will, too.
A poignant song about pregnancy loss.
”There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms.” -Charlotte Bronte