Your Stories

Everyone loves to tell their labor stories. The one about the 29 hour labor (actually, that was mine), the one on the side of the highway, the surprise twins or just the perfect labor. I've found that stillbirth and miscarriage are no different. I had the same urge to tell the story of the labor and deliveries of my sons that I did with all of my full-term living children. It's just that people typically don't want to hear it. I'm not alone in having this experience.

Sharing your own story will probably be of benefit to you. But remember, in addition it will probably benefit someone else who is looking for help, encouragement or information. Despite the knowledge that miscarriage is not uncommon, I felt very alone when I first miscarried. Hearing others' stories helped me more than I can say.

If you would like to share your story, please send it to my email address and I will post it. If necessary I will contact you for clarification before posting. You certainly do not have to use real names and initials are fine. Alternately I would be happy to post a link if you have shared your story on your own blog.

[Stories are roughly in order of gestational age. 
If the baby's photos are on the Photographs page it is noted below the story.]

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Matthew's story: Benjamin
Early first trimester loss; this is unique because it's from a father's point of view.

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Vicki's story: Gabriel
Early first trimester loss; empty sac discovered at 9 weeks and delivered at home just before a D&C was scheduled. (NOTE: contains discussion of current pregnancy subsequent to loss)
 
It was the best anniversary gift we could have hoped for; a positive pregnancy test after so many months of waiting and disappointments! Our due date was near the feast of the Annunciation.  It was perfect after so many prayers asking Mary’s intercession, our last feast of the Annunciation spent in such disappointment.
A few days later, we learned that my hcg numbers were not going up as they should. We should expect a miscarriage. It was surreal as we found out via cell phone call in a canoe of all things! As we frantically paddled back to the boathouse, all I could think of is going and crawling into bed.

We waited a whole week in a strange state of grief but anticipation: nothing happened. Finally, I called the dr and he ordered blood tests. I wasn’t sure not what to hope for: my child was with God what could be better for him. Still, couldn’t help but hope the dr had been wrong. It felt like wishing my child out of heaven. Finally, I received the amazing call: my hcg levels were normal for 5 weeks!!!  I walked in a fog for several minutes processing the miracle we had been given. I would dedicate my life to being sure our child knew he was a miracle, directing him on the path to heaven!

I carried our sweet baby for several weeks with a rare sense of surrender. I counted every day, not in typical 1st trimester anxiety but in joy…another day with this baby that I didn’t think I would get. Still deep in my heart I don’t think I ever let myself believe it was all really ok.

At 9 weeks, we went in for our 1st dr appt and ultrasound. I was beyond nervous yet anticipatory. After this appt I would finally believe it was all ok!

The dr tried, he gave our baby every chance. Measuring and measuring, searching my womb for any sign…but as soon as the ultrasound screen came up I knew… The sac was empty. I was stunned but not surprised. I’ll never forgot the sound of my dr.s voice analyzing it all, trying to help it make sense when all I wanted to do was run out of there and curl up in my bed.

Our dr encouraged us to name our baby, keep remembrances of him, to always know that we had a child with God and to treasure that. The nurse gave us a packet about grief of unborn children. I couldn’t wait to get home and tear that envelope open and be alone in this strange world I found myself in.
That evening I brought up naming our child. It felt so foreign…maybe even exaggeratory after all, we weren’t even going to have a body to bury. Yet our dr had been so adamant that it was a good thing to do…that our child had a soul even if there was no body. Oh how I hated that there was no body…still do. We decided on the name Gabriel. It was perfect: the saint remembered on our anniversary and with a due date of the Annunciation. It felt weird and forced to say it aloud for a while, yet I was amazed at how good it felt to do something for our child. It made him real in a different sense.

Now all we could do was wait for the actual miscarriage. Oh what a wait it was. It is such a difficult time to be grieving what will happen but yet you cannot grieve completely because it has not. Going about your days when everyone is moving about like normal. You are not normal and you don’t know how to be.  Through the pain though I had peace that my child was with God. I felt so sad for me but resigned and at peace.
Finally at 11 weeks the dr recommended a D&C. This is where I lost my peace. I have such a fear of general anesthesia and the surgery felt like an abortion to me…even though my dr was very reassuring that it was far from that. I felt inconsolable, extremely depressed and angry….at God. I didn’t want to be, I felt guilty that I was, but I couldn’t escape how I felt. I had been a good champ through all the disappointment of infertility, and even the news of our miscarriage. Wasn’t that good enough? Why was He making me go through this too? My priest surprised me” If I was in your situation, I’d be pissed too!” (never thought I hear a priest say that!!??)” But this is where you bring it to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you understand, or at least find peace” It didn’t help right away but over the next few days I did come to a surrender. It was ok to be mad but I also had to trust that God was there even in this terrible hurt. I loved God and needed Him too much to let go now.

I poured my energy into giving Gabriel proper honor. Together my husband and I made a little box to put any remains that we might receive. I was an especially poignant moment we shared…helping such a surreal experience feel real. In addition, I sewed a little pouch with Gabriel’s name on it. I put so much love into that little pouch and it felt really good to do SOMETHING for my child.

Five days before the D&C was scheduled,  I finally started bleeding. I didn’t know how to feel. I wanted it to stop! Yet I knew it just might be the answer to my prayers to avoid surgery. It felt hopeful too.  Two days before the surgery, I had timeable contraction like cramps…ironically Labor day. But they stopped after a few hours . Still, I had hope.

Then another setback: at my pre op appt, I learned that I needed to work with a funeral home to retrieve Gabriel’s remains. I was frantic! I did not want my Gabriel’s remains burned in an incinerator like some hospital waste!

I spent the next several hours on the phone sorting out how to handle this! It was during this time that my labor began. Of course I felt sorrow that it was really happening but also such relief that I was being given the opportunity to birth my child.

I was surprised how much like my previous labors it was. As I listened to hymns to Mary, I was so blessed and humbled to cherish this time . It was very painful but very blessed. I finally climbed in the tub to try to relax (I had always wanted to try laboring in a tub but had not had the opportunity). Shortly after, my husband arrived home. He held my hand through some contractions and we talked. Then the contractions stopped. He thought it was warmth of the water and urged me to get out. I told him I needed a little break from the pain. I sent him downstairs to check on the other children and I promised him when he got back I would get out of the tub. Just as he left, I realized that I had delivered Gabriel’s sac. I sat alone in the tub for a few minutes in awe. Then I began to cry not heartbroken sobs like I thought it would, but in relief that he was in my arms . I cried softly that I was sorry, so sorry. Looking back, I don’t know what I was sorry for: Gabriel is with God, yet I think I felt like I failed him in this life. Finally, I called for my husband and he found something to put Gabriel in. My husband helped me into bed and we just held each other for a long, long time, talking and crying. It was a very blessed time. I am so very grateful that God allowed us to say goodbye to our child in this way. I felt relief, I felt strong, I felt grateful.

After a few more contractions I passed a few more clots and then things seemed finished. I wrapped Gabriel in the little pouch I made and placed it in the box we made. We slept with it in our bed that night…just needed to be close.

It was after my husband fell asleep that I started to face reality. Gabriel was gone, I was empty, my arms were empty. Oh how they ached. This is the point in my other births that I have cherished, all alone with my baby in the quiet of the night. Now I was just alone and it felt so very wrong. I didn’t know how I would ever feel better. It felt so long until I would ever hold him again.

The next morning the dr wanted to see me right away to be sure a D&C wasn’t still needed. I felt confident it wasn’t.  There wasn’t time to wait for my husband so I drove myself.

Again, I hated the sound of my drs’ voice when he said there was still tissue in my womb. He tried unsuccessfully to remove it. I was given the option to do something more invasive in the office to avoid the surgery. I consented. It wasn’t very painful but it was emotionally terrifying as they scooped out the contents of my womb.  It felt like forever yet I know it was very short. The compassionate dr examined the tissue for anything that might be part of the baby. This he gave me in a little jar, they rest they sent to pathology. I sat in the car and cried and cried. I’m not sure if it was because it was finally all over or because I was traumatized by the office procedure : probably both.

That evening we went to church where our priest said some prayers for Gabriel and for our family. I was very healing for me to have the opportunity to remember Gabriel in church. Our Orthodox faith doesn’t do memorial services for unborn children as they have not yet had the opportunity to be baptized, but recognizes that in God’s love and mercy God welcomes these precious children to be with Him. Theologically I understand this but a Mom’s heart wants to be sure her child is remembered. When we got home, we buried Gabriel and planted a hydrangea plant nearby. It was  hurried because it was getting late. I still regret that we did not anoint Gabriel with holy water 1st.

Leaving him in that ground was by far the hardest part of our loss. We knew he was not there, but still it was a separation that felt so permanent. After we composed ourselves we had some time alone. It was a beautiful talk about our willingness to be open to more children even through this hurt. It stemmed more from knowing that Gabriel got the best scenario in this….always in the arms of God.

The weeks that followed were very difficult. I wanted to find the off button, but my responsibilities for our family left very little time to nurse my hurt. I found all I wanted was to be alone and cry. I was trying process all that had happened but there just wasn’t much quiet in order to do this. It was intensely personal to me. It was entirely reasonable to me that our friends and family wouldn’t grieve/know Gabriel but I found that fact extremely isolating. I just wanted to be alone.

After several weeks, I fell into deep grief. I was surprised at it’s intensity. I went to a place I never thought I’d go. I wondered why. I knew what my dr had said…our blighted ovum was the result of genetics…not out fault, couldn’t have changed it. Yet I began to wonder, was it the intense workout I had in the grief after we learned we would miscarry the 1st time? Was it missing prenatals during this time? Was it the little electric shock I got plugging in a lamp shortly before we learned we were pregnant?  I wanted to know why. I wanted to beat myself up for letting this happen. I was not supposed to be running at this point, but everything in me wanted to run this pain out of me.

In the midst of this, I felt a strong need to keep trying for another baby so a lot of mental energy went to worrying about my cycles and if I was “normal”. I felt so broken and I needed to know I wasn’t. I was blessed to regain cycles within 4 weeks but they definitely were off and that thought consumed me.
After 3 months, (it felt so much longer than that!) we were blessed to conceive again! That cycle was a time of digging very deep to find hope, to trust that God had good in store for us and that we would be ok even if that meant another baby was not in His plans for us.

As I traveled through the 1st trimester, it was very anxious time. I was still grieving hard for a Gabriel and I was so fearful of how could I dig out of another loss. At 6 weeks we were blessed to see a little baby and a strong heartbeat. I learned that my due date is the same day I lost Gabriel. I’m still processing that fact. It’s complicated b/c I want to remember Gabriel on HIS day but I also know God has a plan better than mine.
One day I dreaded was my due date for Gabriel. I was very emotional in the weeks that lead up to it. I was blessed to have a visit to the monastery the day after. It was a wonderful balm on my heart. I had some special time of prayer and I felt a wonderful closure in doing that.

Grief pops up at times I don’t always expect. When I realize someone is missing, when I wonder what Gabriel would have looked like, when I think about meeting him in heaven. I think that will always be there. I am learning that is ok. I never want Gabriel to be forgotten. I know it is primarily my job. I am grateful for the times I see my husband’s moments a grief for then I know I am not alone.

Going forward we intend to remember Gabriel on his birthday every year by donating a layette to a crisis pregnancy center and each Christmas to buy a gift for a child in need the age he would have been. I know I will always carry Gabriel in my heart. Losing him has created a longing for heaven in my heart and I intend to honor him best by loving God more b/c I am Gabriel’s mother.

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Amber's story: "Our Angel Baby"

Story of her baby's loss at 7 weeks, 4 days, discovered at 9.5 weeks and miscarried naturally at 11 weeks, 5 days after expectant management.

On April 21, I discovered we were expected another baby.  This would be my fourth pregnancy in less than five years.  We were excited and nervous:)  Since I was still breastfeeding out 13-month old, I was not sure of the due date because the lack of my period.  So, the doctor scheduled an early ultrasound to date the pregnancy.

Starting a week after the positive pregnancy test, I started getting morning sickness, extreme fatigue and heartburn.  It was a lot worse than my other three.  On May 15, I had our first ultrasound.  The doctor found the heartbeat easily!  It was wonderful.  There measured our sweet baby at about 6.5-7 weeks along.  I guessed 7.5 weeks at this point, so it was close.  Then the doctor spotted a second sac, or so she thought.  She was not sure if I had another gestational sac or if it was a small blood clot.  She called it implantation bleeding.  She checked out my lab results and thought my hormone levels were slightly high for me to only be 6.5-7 weeks.  So....she suggested I come back in two weeks to see if the sac was indeed another baby or a small blood clot.

She informed me that if it was implantation bleeding I may spot a little or it would just be reabsorbed by my body.  I guess I should have 'googled' implantation bleed in the uterus or blood clot, etc.  However, I thought nothing of it. 

On May 29, I went in for my second ultrasound.  This time the u/s tech did the sonogram, not the doctor.  She immediately found the one sac, one baby, and....no heartbeat.  She measured the sac at about 9.5 weeks and the baby at 7 weeks 4 days.  So almost immediately following my first u/s, our baby stopped growing. 

The u/s also showed the second sac; however, it was no sac...it was indeed a blood clot.  It was a lot larger than before and more than double the size of the gestation sac of our baby.  It had caused the baby's sac to separate from the uterine wall and detach. 

My doctor encouraged me to take medicine to cause me to miscarriage (or expel the baby).  I was also informed I could have a D&C or miscarriage naturally.  She was ok with naturally but concerned with the amount of blood I'd lose since I had a large clot and so much in my uterus.  I opted for natural. 

The following Thursday, (10 weeks  and 6 days pregnant and about 3 weeks after the baby quit developing), my pregnancy symptoms slowly stopped.  I had energy again and no more morning sickness.  My body was slowly recognizing the loss.  Saturday morning (1.5 weeks after the u/s diagnosing me with a miss miscarriage), I started spotting, nothing major. 

Monday morning I was still just spotting and light cramping.  Then that evening, I started feeling contractions.  I remember telling my husband that I thought I was in early labor.  It was strange.  The contractions were not consistent but were semi-intense. 

Tuesday morning (11 weeks and 4 days pregnant, 4 weeks after the baby stopped growing), I started having full on contractions that were lasting 60 seconds and coming every two to three minutes.  I was in pain.  Finally, I felt like I my insides were just going to fall out and I ran to the bathroom.  I passed an extremely large clot.  For the next three hours, I had consistent contractions and passed several clots.  I assumed I passed the baby.  After about 4 hours, I was feeling much better, just light cramps. 

Tuesday evening-the contractions started again.  And again...Wednesday morning I was having consistent contractions every 2-3 minutes.  So, I Googled "labor and miscarriage" and found a lot about women actually delivering their babies (and your website!).  I knew I had to pretend I was full term and treat this like labor and delivery.  So we went for a walk, drank lots of water, did some squats, rocked, etc.  For three hours I had steady 2-3 minutes apart contractions.  I was hurting.  Finally, at 1:30 that afternoon, I was having nonstop contractions!  I was balled up in tears.  Finally, I got in my shower and sat there with the hot shower going.  I felt I had to push and I did.  I passed a couple of blood clots and then out came our sweet gestational sac! 

I was shocked.  It was in perfect tack.  It was about the size of an orange and filled with fluid.  Inside was a tiny baby.  You could not fully tell it was a baby, but that was our baby.  Only 7 weeks or so gestationally, but it was our baby.

 While to some this story is gross and has no place being told, I disagree!  A baby is a baby ....in utero or out.  I was told I would bleed heavy and have bad cramps.  I fully labored and delivered the gestational sac with my baby in it.  What an empowering and wonderful feeling.  Some would say it could not be like labor....well, I've had THREE before this--it was labor, let me tell you!  I may have only dilated to 4-6 cm (my guess of checking myself) and I may not have pushed the big head out, but other than that-it was labor.

Two things I want women to know--it's ok to let your body take it's own course!  I went for my follow up u/s and all tissue was gone and my body did what it needed to do in its own time.  This helped me emotionally and physically go through this.  Second thing--your intuition plays a lot in everything.  From the beginning of this pregnancy, I felt something was not right.  We share, usually, immediately that we are pregnant, but I asked immediate family to know make it public.


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Kh. Patty's story: Constantine
Story of spontaneous miscarriage at 8 weeks

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Lisanne's story: Shiloh Rune
Story of Shiloh's loss at 8 1/2 weeks (born at 12 1/2 weeks after expectant management)

I just had my second miscarriage last night, just after midnight. I guess it was what you call a missed miscarriage. I was 12 and a half weeks, but the baby stopped developing at 8 and a half weeks and we found out a few days later at my first appointment. These last few weeks have been awful so when I started having brown discharge last Thursday night I was so relieved. I went into what was basically labor last night around dinner time and had contractions every 2 minutes for a long time. The pain got so bad I wasn't sure I could take much more (and I've had two medication free births) and then it was over. It happened in the shower and I moved the baby to one side away from the drain and just sat on the other side and cried until I couldn't anymore. I opened the little sac so I could see my baby. So perfect. My husband was at work so I was all alone for about an hour and by the time he got home at 1am I had passed everything and was just sitting on the bed. Today I am sore and exhausted.

 
Story also told in these blog posts: (1), (2)
 
[Photos]

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Valerie's story: Little One
Story of Valerie's baby's loss at 9 weeks, 4 days, discovered a few days later. Born at 10 weeks, 3 days a few days after an attempted Cytotec induction at home. Valerie retained some placenta and required emergency assistance at the hospital.

 [Photos]

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 Candy's story: Kendall
Story of Kendall's loss at 9 weeks, 5 days, not discovered until 11 weeks. Born at home after induction.

 I would like to share our story. We were trying to conceive since October 2012. On February 20, 2013, we found out we were expecting. My hormone level was good and everything seemed to be moving along. We saw our baby and heartbeat on an ultrasound at 7w3d. We thought we were in the clear. I went home back to Ohio for my best friend's wedding in Ohio the last week if March until April 6, 2013. I was a bridesmaid and pushed through the morning sickness and fatigue for her big day. Last Friday I had an ultrasound after more IV fluids. I was so sick, I was losing weight. Ultrasound showed a 9w5d baby with no heart beat. I was supposed to be 11 wks Friday. The baby died two days before the wedding. I feel guilty that I pushed myself so hard and when we were preparing and celebrating a precious union, my precious baby was dying. I had no idea. My doctor told us to take the weekend to decide if we wanted to do this naturally, use cytotec or have a D&C. It was a long weekend of confusion and tears. Sunday I found a funeral home that said they could cremate the remains for us so I purchased an angel wings urn necklace and a wooden box. Monday, we went back to the doctor and all had a heart to heart on our wishes. We wanted our baby intact but didn't want to wait days to weeks, so she prescribed me cytotec and pain medication. I inserted the 4 tablets yesterday morning after hours of procrastinating and lots of trips to the store to prepare for what was inevitable. Yesterday, I had just cramping and yesterday evening the bright red bleeding began. Finally, I felt the water break. After pacing and multiple trips the bathroom with just tissue and no baby, I went to bed at 4:30 am this morning. I woke up at 10 am to no more cramps and contractions. When I went to the bathroom, I felt something passing. It was the baby. Still connected to me. My angel didn't want to let go and I didn't want that either. I called the doctor and she said I could come in this morning so she could help it along or if I was comfortable doing it myself, I could. I decided to do it myself. I had to break the connection between my baby and I. Now I am sitting here feeling empty but some closure with my little angel in the box beside me. Eyes, nose, mouth, 10 fingers and 10 toes. I'm in awe and heart broken at the same time. I would like to share a picture. I pray for all the others who have to experience this.

 [Photos]

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 Stephanie's story: unnamed baby boy
Natural miscarriage story, also linked on the "Actual Process" page under "Natural miscarriage stories". Stephanie is a certified doula and a "Birthing from Within" mentor.

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Juliana's story: Philip
Story of Philip's spontaneous loss at 12 weeks, 3 days

We knew you not but loved you so.
This is not a typical love story. I could tell you the story of how my husband and I met and our long-distance courtship. I could tell you about his declaring his love for me as I was being wheeled out of the Empire State Building on a gurney. I could tell you about his proposal in the little church on the top of Lekavitos, overlooking Athens in Greece, whilst surviving the Big Fat Greek Vacation, but our real love story started only a short time ago.
From the early days of our courtship, my husband and I talked about our shared desire for a large family. After we got married, we ran into many difficulties in trying to start our family. We cried and prayed through the ordeal and finally, last fall, God blessed us and we conceived. It is here that our love story begins. From the moment we knew about our child, we fell madly, passionately in love with him. We prayed for him every day and prayed fervently that my pregnancy would be safe and uneventful. My husband became very protective of me and tenderly touched our child in my womb as if caressing his beautiful face. He drove more carefully and wrote a beautiful poem celebrating our child’s life and our lives together as soul-mates. I marveled at the life growing inside me and sang songs to him in my head. The Georgians call pregnant women “orsoli” which means two-souled and my husband and I were grateful for the little soul entrusted to us and looked forward to meeting him in July, around my birthday.
We spent the holidays traveling to see family and friends, and in early January, I started having some problems with bleeding. We went to the ER and they assured us that our child was well and healthy. We watched him playing on the ultrasound, waving his tiny arms at us and turning lazy sommersaults. We were overjoyed and relieved. We both felt love for our child welling up in us and overflowing into our own relationship. Later that day, I felt the first flutter of life and gave thanks for that wonderful gift. We were awed by the life that we had created.
The next day, January 10, I went into labor, and delivered a tiny perfect little boy in the early hours of January 11. Our son Philip was born much too soon, and went to rest in the arms of the Lord. I held his tiny body in my hand and cried, wishing that we could have kept him a while longer.
We buried Philip several days later in a tiny casket lovingly built by my father, in a section of the cemetery reserved for infants and children. Our son is in good company. We cried in anguish that day and for all the days since, even though we know that Philip is with God; we take great comfort in that fact. We marvel that we could love someone so much that we hardly knew. We find we both have a Philip-sized hole in our hearts, missing and loving the child we’ll never know. We mourn that we’ll never teach him Greek or Russian, or show him those lands, which have meant so much to my husband and I. We wonder whether Philip would have been brainy like his papa, or musical like his mama. Would he have been gregarious like my husband’s Greek father? Would he have inherited my father’s kooky sense of humor? My father will never teach Philip to fish, nor will my mother get to spoil him as grandmothers do. I take great comfort in the image of Philip sitting on my Grandpa Vanderaa’s lap (he’s been gone 16 years) with his cousin Evelyn. I know Grandpa Vanderaa is reading them stories from the Bible and telling them tales from the Childcraft books.
Our love story is about our son, who we will always love and always miss, but we hope and pray that one day soon, Philip will have many brothers and sisters to whom we can tell our love story. 
[Five years later, Philip now has two little brothers and a little sister here on earth.]
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My story: Innocent
Story of Innocent's loss at 12 weeks 5 days (spontaneous miscarriage
at 15 weeks after expectant management).

I found out I was pregnant during the second half of January 2011. It chokes me up to remember how happy I was. Innocent was to be our sixth child.


I was more tired and more nauseated with this pregnancy than with any since the first one. Other than that, I had no problems and I wasn't expecting any. I was planning a home birth with a midwife. This would be my first time as all of the others were born in hospitals, most being less than thrilling experiences. Father and I went to talk to the midwife first before he made up his mind. A few weeks later I scheduled an appointment with her and went for my first visit. I was only 9 weeks at this point so we didn't try to find a heartbeat. I needed to be seen locally for lab work so I set that up. Part and parcel with the lab work was a physical exam. By the time I went to this appointment I was 13 ½ weeks.


I had noticed that my fundal height was higher for gestation than with the other children, although not enough to seriously suggest twins. It did cross my mind though. The nurse practitioner noted I was measuring 16 weeks. Then the happy moment of getting to listen to the baby's heartbeat. Except they couldn't find it. I wasn't at all worried because I've had babies “hide” before only to wave at us from the ultrasound later. They scheduled an ultrasound at the hospital for the next afternoon to check for the heartbeat and any reasons for the discrepancy in dates. I was actually happy about this because I was going to get to see my baby sooner than I had expected. I was hoping to get pictures to take home.

During the ultrasound the tech didn't talk and I was unable to see the screen. I'm used to the techs doing all of their necessary measuring and such, then turning the monitor around and taking me on a guided tour. I stared at the ceiling while she worked and waited patiently. She had to leave the room at one point. When she came back she scanned for another ten minutes or so then put the scanner back and announced I was all done. I was surprised and asked if she were going to show me anything. She said that when I came in for a problem with the baby, I wasn't allowed to see the screen. (Actually, I had peeked while she was out of the room and was able to catch a glimpse of head, torso and the measurement “12 weeks 5 days”.) My heart went cold and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I managed to get out of the hospital and to the car before I fell apart. I called Father and sobbed out what had happened. We knew nothing was necessarily wrong, but I just knew.

I got a call the next day, the feast of St. Innocent, during Liturgy. I listened to the message afterward. It was one of the nurses asking me to come in at noon to discuss the ultrasound with the doctor. I knew this was it. There was no way this was good news. We dropped the children off with friends and went to the office. We had to wait an hour and a half. When we went in the exam room, the doctor and two nurses were in there. I clutched my purse in front of me like a shield. The doctor introduced herself, then said, “I'm sorry – there was no movement.”

I died.

I didn't actually cry at that point I guess because I was in shock – even though I had known this was coming. The doctor talked about coming back to make arrangements for a D&C. I said I didn't want one and wanted to pursue medical management. They weren't happy with this, but I agreed to make an appointment to come in the next Monday. I think they thought I would change my mind by then. We went out to the car and I fell apart again. Father dropped me off at home before picking up the children. I don't want to detail the next few days. I didn't eat anything, dropped several pounds, cried a lot.

I saw the doctor on Monday. He started talking about a D&C right away. Again, I said I wanted medical management instead. He too was shocked. He said that at this late date (Innocent measured 12 ½ weeks) that almost never worked and I'd have to have a D&C anyway. He had me make an appointment to come in Thursday for an ultrasound and to discuss it again. We dropped the children off again so Father could come with me this time. I had had a terrible time Monday because the office was full of BABY things.

We had the ultrasound first. I knew the first one had been correct so I was hoping just to see my baby. I wanted Father to share this with me too. Seeing him was the first bit of happiness I'd had in over a week. The tech was very sweet and printed photos for us. We saw the doctor together. I felt a little stronger with Father with me so I held out on an immediate D&C. We made a date for surgery 10 days hence, just in case nothing had spontaneously happened by then. It would be Holy Tuesday.


I prayed that I would miscarry naturally. I couldn't bear the thought of my child being torn apart by suction. I asked God to give me the grace to endure if it came to it. I had had absolutely no signs of miscarriage with the exception of the cessation of all pregnancy symptoms. It was surreal carrying him around knowing he was dead. It didn't horrify me, but it was very strange.

Saturday night at about 10:30 I noticed I had started spotting. I was overjoyed, because I knew there was no way I wouldn't complete the miscarriage before the date set for surgery. Previously I had been to the store for supplies so I started getting things ready. [note: The more detailed medical portion of this will be found on "The Actual Process” section near the bottom.] About 12:00 I was lying in bed reading and I felt an odd “popping” sensation. Nothing happened, so I ignored it. A few minutes later I gasped out to Father, “I think my water broke.” Mercifully I had protected the bed because it turned out to be blood, not amniotic fluid.

Father helped me into the bathroom and I settled in the tub. Within a few minutes I delivered Innocent, still in his amniotic sac. I picked him up and looked at him. I couldn't see through the sac very well so I opened it up and there he was. He was beautiful, tiny and perfect. I shed a few tears, but I was so happy to have delivered him on my own and in one piece that I couldn't be very upset. It took another hour to an hour and a half to deliver the placenta. After cleaning up I took some pictures of him and got back into bed. I was so grateful that my prayers had been answered that I just lay in bed thinking, “thank you”. My stomach felt so flat, and I felt so suddenly alone.

The next day was Sunday. I stayed home from church. I was hyper-conscious of the container containing Innocent's body in the refrigerator.

Monday morning I called the doctor's office and left a message for the nurse. She called back later and obviously hadn't been given a very clear message. It took several minutes to convince her that I had delivered the baby on my own at home, was fine, and was only calling to let them know and see if they wanted to do a follow-up ultrasound. I went in that afternoon for an ultrasound and it was confirmed that the uterus was empty. I was also examined by the doctor. He too was amazed I had done everything myself and was fine. I brought the camera with me and showed him Innocent's pictures. I also showed them to the nurse. She said I had “blessed her day”. I actually felt an odd pride when showing him off, rather like that you get when showing off baby pictures of your living child. They all said they hoped to see me back in in several months under happier circumstances. God willing.


We had the burial on Wednesday morning. I had converted a jewelry box I bought into a casket. On the drive out to the cemetery (a family one in the country), I held him in the box on my lap. I couldn't quite grasp that I was carrying the body of my child to bury him. I looked out at the countryside and wondered how it could look so beautiful when my baby was dead. The burial service itself was lovely. I was unable to sing anything but a bit of “Memory Eternal” at the end. My throat hurt too much. I left part of my heart in the Mississippi earth that day.

On Pascha we went back out to his grave and planted an Easter lily. I feel better knowing that even after we leave (only God knows how long we'll be anywhere) there will still be flowers blooming every year by his grave. I've had decent days and nightmarish ones. I'm trying to find a new normal and not focus on what won't be. Since I'm still working through grief from such a recent event, I hope to be able to update this story in the future and share how I've done.


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My story: Andrew
Story of Andrew's loss at 13 weeks with a medical induction at 15 weeks

I found out I was pregnant with Andrew a few days before Innocent's due date. I had not been expecting it because I had been disappointed so many times. I was very happy, but was, of course, worried as well. We hadn't known what happened to Innocent so I worried the same thing would happen to Andrew.

My pregnancy with Andrew was uneventful. I checked his heartbeat with a doppler almost every day from 9 weeks on. At my 11 week appointment the ultrasound showed a perfect little baby. I started to relax as I approached the 12 week mark. I was still checking with the doppler frequently and was reassured every time. The last time I heard his heartbeat was the night of November 29th . The next day he turned 13 weeks. He also fell asleep in the Lord. I didn't check that day so I didn't know until the next morning, December 1st, when I couldn't find the heartbeat after searching for an hour. I called my doctor and we confirmed with an ultrasound that Andrew had died the day before, the feast of St. Andrew. I already knew that he was gone, but there was that tiny bit of hope that was destroyed when the doctor quietly put the ultrasound wand down, turned around and said, “I'm so sorry.” The four younger children had had to come up to the hospital with Father and me, so now we had to tell them the baby was dead.


Because Christmas was coming so quickly we decided to set a date for induction of labor on December 12th. I began losing my pregnancy symptoms although I still had a pregnant stomach. I started making a tiny shroud, tiny blankets, anything I could do to take up the time I was waiting. I typed out a birth plan. I wrote emails to the doctor asking for details of how the hospital handled the baby's body. I cried a lot. I didn't eat. I just couldn't believe this was happening to us again.


Friends took the children to stay with them on the 10th. The morning of the 12th we headed to the hospital very early. I made it clear from the beginning that we wanted to take Andrew's body home with us that day and that we did not want to have any testing done on him. The staff were agreeable. They started an IV and double-checked with an ultrasound (confirmed by two doctors) that Andrew was not living. Even after all this time an irrational part of me hoped a miracle would happen and he'd wiggle around. He didn't, of course, but the doctor took her time and printed out several pictures for us. I wanted pictures in case I had to have a D&C and wasn't able to see his body.

They inserted the misoprostol tablets vaginally, 400mg to start with. They also attempted to place a balloon catheter between the cervix and the wall of the vagina, inflate the balloon, and thereby encourage my cervix to dilate. Instead what happened was the beginning of a hemorrhage that took a while to stop. They removed the catheter and waited for the bleeding to slow down. I was in danger of having to have a D&C to avoid dangerous blood loss but after prayer the bleeding stopped. After that they simply relied upon the medication to induce labor. I had some contractions off and on but nothing steady. They placed the medication at 8AM, again at 12PM (400mg) and then again at 4PM (600mg).

The time went by very slowly. Father stayed with me the whole time except when I sent him to get some lunch for himself. I was fasting, of course, in case I needed surgery. I tried to read but couldn't concentrate. The little shroud and blankets were laid out on the bedside table. I wanted the staff to see that I was going to deliver a BABY, a person, my beloved child, not a blob of tissue. I needn't have worried because they were very kind and sensitive.


By a little after 4 the contractions were painful and steady. They placed the balloon catheter again, but this time inserted it into the cervix itself and inflated it. The pain was terrible. I stood it because I desperately wanted the medical induction to succeed – I did not want a D&C. I had refused all pain medication because I wanted to have a clear head. After an hour and a half of almost continuous contractions, as painful as any I have had in my term labors, I called out to say that I couldn't stand the pain any longer and either wanted the catheter removed or some pain medication. Father was in agony watching me in this much pain and felt helpless.

The doctor and nurse came in and removed the catheter. They checked and I was 4 cm dilated. They asked if I wanted pain medication or if I wanted to try to push. I thought about the pain medication, but the pain had diminished so much when the catheter came out that I decided to wait. I waited for one more contraction to start and then I pushed. Andrew was born in the sac at 5:45. After waiting for another contraction I pushed out the placenta. I was surprised the placenta was so small but they said it was a normal size. (It was much smaller than Innocent's had been.)

I sat up to see Andrew. I was immediately struck by the silence. None of my other births in the hospital had been attended by complete silence. I could see Andrew floating gently inside the sac which had been placed on a towel between my legs. Because I had requested it they permitted me to cut the cord and cut open the sac. I did so and carefully lifted Andrew out of the sac. He was the same size as Innocent and beautiful. Dark fluid had collected under his skin in places, including around his neck and over part of his head. This was distressing to me and I nicked his skin in an inconspicuous place to let the fluid run out. After this I could see his features better. We checked and the consensus was that he was a boy. It was a little less obvious than it had been with Innocent. We decided that Andrew looked closer to 12 weeks gestation than 13 weeks.

The staff did some minimal cleaning up and left quickly so we could be alone with Andrew. Once we were alone we both broke down. Our son was dead. I held him in my hand on one of his blankets (the blue, since he was a boy) and kept telling him how sorry I was. He lay there, helpless, his tiny head lolling to the side unless I held it.

In a few minutes when the nurse came back in she checked my bleeding and was worried that it was too much. She put another pad on and within a few minutes it was soaked. I was still contracting but I thought it was the influence of the medication that they had placed right after delivery to encourage the uterus to clamp down. She called the doctor back in. She checked and realized I had retained some placenta. They brought an ultrasound into the room and one doctor controlled that while my doctor manually removed pieces of placenta and clots. This was very painful but I knew there wasn't really time to get anything for pain. I was very grateful that the nurse recognized the situation so soon while I was still dilated to 4 cm. Otherwise I probably would have had to go to surgery to have everything removed. They were successful and removed at least as much placenta as I had delivered to start with. This explained why the placenta had been so small. When they were done the pain was essentially gone and the bleeding was much less. I received additional medication to encourage the uterus to clamp down and some Ibuprofen for pain (I refused the narcotics.)

The nurse did a more thorough job of cleaning up (blood was everywhere) and this time Father and I were able to be alone with Andrew for much longer. I took several pictures of him before I tried to dress him. I knew he would be fragile and I thought that once I got the shroud on it wasn't going to come off. Once I felt like I had taken what pictures I could, I put on his tiny shroud with much difficulty. I cried because I wanted everything to be perfect for him and it wasn't. Father picked up the camera and took a few pictures of me holding Andrew at this point. The photos were blurry, but he managed to capture in a few frames my complete anguish. After I pulled myself together I took many more pictures of Andrew in his gown.

I noticed that Andrew's legs were starting to shrivel. I cried even more because I started to realize I would have to put him in saline unless I wanted him to completely dry out. His skin was just much too thin to contain moisture. We called out and the nurse was kind enough to provide us a plastic container of saline to put him in. I removed the shroud and carefully put him in. I hoped he would rehydrate a bit. We put that container in a larger one full of ice.

The decision had been made to keep me overnight and to start antibiotics. We had been looking forward to going home to our own house that night and this was disappointing. We packed our things so I could be transferred to the postpartum floor. Not long after this while we were waiting we found out that the nursing supervisor would not permit us to take Andrew with us to the postpartum floor. She said he had to be checked into the morgue or pathology. We refused. I had already discussed with the staff our wish that Andrew not leave our side and everything had been worked out with the morgue director, the nursing staff and my doctor that morning. For a little while it looked as if we would have to check out AMA rather than relinquish the body of our son. My doctor was called at home and pitched a fit. We were not privy to the behind-the-scenes battles, but our wishes were eventually honored and Andrew traveled in his bucket on my lap to the postpartum floor with us. While we were being wheeled to the elevator I had a sudden flashback to the time when my last living child had gone with me from labor and delivery to postpartum. He had traveled on my lap too, but had been swaddled in blankets and was warm and breathing. This realization struck me like a physical pain.

We were nicely treated in postpartum but were very exhausted. Because of all the wrangling it was 1 AM before we were settled in that room and later before we were able to go to sleep. I slept poorly and we were very ready to go home the next morning. It was late morning before we were released. My discharge paperwork included information about grieving and postpartum depression. I noticed all of the baby-care parts had been carefully crossed out. Again I was put in a wheelchair and we headed for the discharge area. Andrew was again on my lap in his plastic container and the contrast between this discharge and my last discharge was ludicrous. That time my son had rolled down the hall while nursing, so well wrapped that no one knew. This time I had to fight tears the whole way to the car. I put Andrew in the back seat and got in the front. We pulled away from the hospital. I fell apart.

I cried all the way home. I ranted, I pleaded, I begged God for answers. Nothing was forthcoming. Father drove and held my hand. We got home and I was eventually persuaded to go to bed. Andrew was in the refrigerator.

We picked up the children the next day. That evening I took Andrew out of the saline and carefully put him on a little blanket. He had re-hydrated and looked almost better than when he had been born. We called the children in, the girls, then the boys. We allowed them to see him, hold him and touch him. We talked about what happened. We answered their questions. We let them cry. After they had gone to bed I got Andrew back out and held him. I took his picture next to the little icon of St. Andrew we had ordered. I had Father take my picture holding him. When the photo session was done, I sat in the rocking chair in our room and rocked and rocked him. I talked to him. I kissed him. Eventually I returned him to the saline and put him back in the refrigerator.


The next day was the burial. We did it in the afternoon after the oldest was out of school. I took Andrew out of the saline for the last time. I took more pictures of him. I put him in his casket, wrapped in his little white, ruffled blanket and took pictures of him there. The time came to go. I closed his casket and thought how wrong all of this was. So wrong.

We buried him next to Innocent. The wooden cross was made by the same kind man who made Innocent's. A friend had provided some poinsettias and we had put one behind each cross. When we left we took them with us and brought them to the church. It was so hard to see the dirt fall upon his casket at the end and I had to turn away and hold onto the wire fence. When it was over, I walked over to the graves and sat down between them. I rested a hand on each grave and looked through the trees to watch the sun set.


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Amanda's stories: Rowan and Levi
Stories of spontaneous miscarriages at 13 weeks and 19 weeks (PROM).


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Kara's stories: Julia and Evan
Story of Julia's loss sometime before 14 weeks (spontaneous miscarriage at 17 weeks after expectant management). Story of Evan, born full term but resuscitated at birth and died four days later.

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Laura's story: Nicholas
Story of Nicholas's loss just before 14 weeks (D&C for missed miscarriage at 14 weeks).

In the fall of 2009, we were surprised to learn we were expecting a new baby.  Because of the surprise, and the hyperemesis that came with the first trimester, I felt terribly unprepared.  My husband, mother, and in laws took turn taking care of me and our children throughout the first trimester because I was too sick to do much of anything.  I was scared and frustrated.  However, at 13 weeks, I returned to semi-normal health, and I slowly began to wrap my mind around this new child.   We began to work out the details of how this new member of our family would affect our finances and living arrangement.

At 14 weeks, I drove to my appointment with a glimmer of hope, and a naively comfortable attitude.  In my head, I was still laughing at the inconvenient timing, but finally learning to accept, as my husband John assured me, “God’s time is not our time.”

Then, an hour later, I sat looking at the ultrasound of my baby curled up very still, without the blinking little heartbeat on the monitor.  He had died a few days before, and the reality of his life finally felt fully present. 

I was in shock and unprepared for a miscarriage.  At my midwife's advice, I scheduled a D&C.  The news was so sudden, and because of the surgery everything was completed quickly.  I gave birth to my other children naturally, and loved it.  I wished that I had had the presence of mine to do the same for him.  The day of my surgery, when they took him out of me was the feast of St. Nicholas, lover of children and known for his kindness and goodness.  So we named him Nicholas. 

We had to make several phone calls and special requests to have him released to us, and even then only after he had been cremated.  We regret this very much and wish that we had been more prepared to make better arrangements.  Our priest was very kind and offered some advice.  He assured us our baby is praying for us in heaven. 

We had a small funeral with only our immediate family.  We buried Nicholas a short walk away from our house site on our small family farm during our first winter snow.  We are only inquirer's so we read the Trisagion for the Dead as a reader's service (without the priest's parts) and sang "Christ is Risen from the Dead."  Our daughters put palm crosses in the grave with him.  We came back when it was warmer to bring some flowers and walk in the woods nearby.  

When we gather as a family to pray, we believe we step out of our time and into God’s time.  We are united with Nicholas, as well as our loved ones and all the saints, before God in eternity.  In those precious moments, I am now especially grateful that God’s time is not our time.

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Amelia's story: Micah
Story of Micah's birth (at the age of 15 weeks) many weeks later by induction at home. Very detailed.

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Jamie's story: Gabriel
Story of Gabriel's birth at 18 weeks (at the age of 17.5 weeks) after induction in the hospital. Very detailed.

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Natasha's story: Jeremiah
Story of Jeremiah's loss at 18 weeks possibly from a twisted umbilical cord. Born after induction.

My twenty-week ultrasound was scheduled for January 21, 2010, and we found out during that ultrasound that our baby’s heart was no longer beating and that he had stopped growing at about eighteen weeks, on or around January 7th. At first, my doctor was thinking that his death was caused by one of two things: Either the massive fluid build-up around his brain had compressed the area that regulates the heartbeat, or he had died as the result of spina bifida. (It had looked on the ultrasound as though there was a hole in his spine.) My doctor was speculating that my body could possibly be unable to metabolize folic acid correctly, which could have caused spina bifida. She referred me to a fetal medicine specialist who performed an amniocentesis on me on January 22nd and did another ultrasound. It was at this ultrasound that we learned I was pregnant with a boy. We spent that night looking up names and their meanings because it was very important to me to name our son names that carried with them promises of hope from God.

I went in to the hospital to be induced on the evening of Saturday, January 23rd. Being on the maternity floor was an emotionally difficult experience for me. For reasons I don’t understand, they don’t separate live births from known stillbirths; and, as a result, we walked down a hallway of doors with pink and blue ribbons on them hanging next to joyful birth announcements. One nurse also mistook me for another expectant mother, asked me if we knew what we were having and congratulated me. That brought me to angry tears; but, other than that, everything went fine at the hospital for the most part.   My parents and brother flew in that night, and we had a very healing time just laughing and relaxing, along with my husband’s parents. The nurses began to induce me at around 10:30pm, and contractions started about two hours later. I was able to sleep surprisingly well, despite being woken up for more induction medication every few hours. My husband was able to sleep in the room with me on a bed provided for expectant fathers, and I can’t tell you how much of a comfort it was to have him there.

My contractions become more and more painful and frequent throughout Sunday morning, and I found the contraction monitor to be a wonderful diversion. Every time a contraction would come, I would excitedly ask my husband to come over and see how high the contraction registered. We named them “Tasha quakes.” Humor in small things can be a saving grace in heartbreaking situations.

Jeremiah Zachary was born on Sunday, January 24th at 3:15pm. Because my nurses weren’t expecting me to dilate so quickly, they weren’t in the room when I delivered, but everything went just fine. He was too small to cause any complications. He measured nine inches from head to toe and weighed seven ounces. I guess one would expect me to say that we all wept upon seeing him; but, to tell you the truth, I think we were so in awe of his beauty that there was no room for sadness. Jeremiah was perfectly formed, just very, very small. He had a perfect little button nose, amazingly detailed hands and feet, and even little fingernails. His hands were each about the size of one of my finger tips, and I had the incredible privilege of holding his little hand between my pointer finger and thumb. My husband and I were able to hold him and keep him in the room with us until about 10:00 that night, and those hours were some of the most precious and joy-filled of my life. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful Jeremiah was. We were able to take many pictures of him and with him; and, looking at them now, I still can’t believe how perfect he was. God is such an amazing artist…

I was discharged from the hospital on Monday the 25th, and my husband and I were able to say goodbye to Jeremiah that morning before he was taken to a local funeral home to be cremated. We were able to hold him, kiss him and say what we needed to say, which I am infinitely thankful to God for. How many parents do not get that chance?? Before we left the hospital, one of the nurses on the bereavement committee came into my room and provided us with a life certificate bearing Jeremiah’s name, our names and his tiny footprints. (Yes, they took the time to painstakingly get his footprints for us… What a gift!) Later that day, two men at our church performed a small, private memorial service for Jeremiah to honor his life, and it was such a healing experience. The sermon was incredible, and we all huddled together at the end and prayed out loud. To have the opportunity to recognize the sacredness of Jeremiah’s life was such a blessing to my heart. God is so good in how He takes care of His children. My parents and brother left the following morning for home, and my father-in-law took my husband and me to pick up Jeremiah’s ashes that afternoon. I had a box made with his beautiful face on it, and we are keeping his ashes there. I know based on Scripture that he is now with Christ and will not need his body again until Christ’s second coming, but it is such a comfort to my “mommy heart” to have him near me in a way.

We found out from my doctor on the 17th of February that Jeremiah did not have spina bifida as we had thought. All tests came back completely normal. However, Jeremiah’s umbilical cord was severely twisted, which most likely kept his heart from getting the oxygen it needed to keep beating. It is possible that brain damage caused Jeremiah to move erratically enough to twist the cord so much, but the cause is ultimately unknown. Knowing that my body was unable to give him the oxygen and nourishment he needed to live is very, very painful for me, and I have moments where it feels like the grief will consume me; but I know that there was nothing we could have done. My husband has been such an amazing pillar of strength and gentleness through all of this, and his love for me and refusal to judge my grief have been used by God to keep me from falling apart. I am so proud of how well he is living out his vows to me. God has blessed me beyond measure in giving him to me as a husband. The death of a child can tear a marriage apart; and, by God’s grace and as the result of my husband’s faithfulness to me, I am more in love with him now than I was before we lost Jeremiah. I am so blessed.

God has been so faithful to give us little reminders along the way that He has a good purpose for this and that He is taking care of Jeremiah. After the memorial service on the 25th, I learned that Jeremiah was born on Sanctity of Life Sunday, the day each year when churches emphasize that life is sacred from conception in God’s eyes; and finding that out was an amazing confirmation that Jeremiah’s life was not in vain! That afternoon, I also ran across Jeremiah 1:5 unexpectedly, which reads: “"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Believe it or not, this verse did not factor into naming Jeremiah. Reading it that day took my breath away, and I instantly started to cry. Jeremiah is in God’s hands now, and this goodbye is only temporary. Praise God for that hope!! We will see our baby again!!

We named our son Jeremiah because it means “God will uplift” and Zachary because it means “God remembers.” These promises are sustaining us, and we are just taking it one day at a time. It is our prayer that God would continue to use Jeremiah’s life and our witness in this situation to draw others to His amazing truth, love and beauty. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, death is not the end!! PRAISE GOD!! We do not mourn like those who have no hope. THERE IS HOPE IN CHRIST!! Soli Deo Gloria!! To God be the glory.

[Photos]
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Kristi's story: Naomi Faith
Story of Naomi's loss at 18 weeks during an emergency involving a serious illness.

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 Caroline's story: Savannah
The story of Savannah's loss just before 19 weeks due to a band around her umbilical cord.


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Makayla's story: Joshua
The story of Joshua's loss at 21 weeks due to pre-term labor

 November 16, 2012 we found out we were expecting (2 days after my birthday!) It was quite the surprise, let me tell you! We had just moved into our first place, my then boyfriend had just landed a steady job, everything was looking up. Becoming pregnant was not in our plans but it was obviously in God's.. We felt embarrassed at first (since we weren't married), but we embraced the blessing nonetheless.

   It took me awhile to be okay with the fact that we were soon-to-be parents. From the beginning I worried constantly,  about EVERYTHING; everything except losing my baby.. We knew he was a boy from the very beginning and finally decided on a name around 21 weeks: Joshua Jackson, or JJ for short. 

   Friday, March 1st was the day it all began.. I woke up feeling normal, but for some reason at work I began experiencing discomfort in my pelvis/ uterus; not pain, just discomfort. I discovered some spotting at work, which worried me. I had seen the same thing a few days prior after intercourse, but this spotting was out of the blue. When I got home from work, the spotting was more abundant, so I called my doctor and spoke with his nurse. She told me not to worry and advised me to seek immediate medical attention if I experienced cramps or bright red blood.. So I tried to go about my Friday evening as normal. My fiancè and I went on a date and later did some shopping for comfy maternity clothes. As the evening progressed, I grew more and more uncomfortable. Around 7pm I began feeling "cramps" (I knew they were contractions but I was in denial). I thought if I slept them off, they would be gone by morning.

   Boy was I wrong. I woke to use the restroom around 12:30am Saturday morning and discovered bright blood, much like a period. I panicked and decided we should go to the ER. That was an experience all its own; the nurse was very displeased that I hadn't gone to the women's hospital. She proceeded to tell me she hated babies and would be really upset if she had to deliver mine. They performed an internal and external ultrasound to check on everything; Joshua was moving around and seemingly perfect. However, they discovered my cervix was shortening and my body was preparing for labor. The ER doctor told me since I wasn't 24 weeks there's nothing they would do for me; he told me to "go home and hope for the best."

   As Saturday went on, the contractions got much worse. I tried everything to soothe them, but nothing seemed to help. All I could do was pray, and I prayed A LOT. I eventually called the OB/GYN on call at the hospital and he basically said the same as the ER doctor; he also said "if you're predestined to lose a pregnancy, you will." I cried after hanging up; I knew I was in a helpless situation. I was able to cry myself to sleep and managed to get a few hours of rest before waking again.

   By Sunday morning, I was in agony. My contractions were back to back and lasted about 60 seconds each.. I was in so much pain I couldn't even stand. At that point all I could do is lie in bed and sob. After 2 hours of me crying, my fiancè woke up and decided we need to go to the hospital NOW; I agreed.

   On the way to the hospital, I made my fiancè pull over; I thought I was going to be sick. And there was so much pressure, I was sure I needed to pass a bowel movement. I pulled my pants down and sat on the side of the freeway; I couldn't get up. I couldn't move, I couldn't talk; I'm almost certain I was in shock. My fiancè ended up calling an ambulance and I had to be transported to the hospital.

  By the time I arrived at the hospital I was in a state of hysteria; I couldn't talk, refused to move, and wouldn't even open my eyes. I remember asking my nurse if my baby boy was alive, and she grabbed my hand and said "I don't think so sweetie." Oleg (my fiancè) showed up shortly after and we sat there crying hysterically. My water broke on its own after about 30 minutes of being there and Joshua came shortly after.

   The nurse took him, wrapped him in a  blanket, and carried him back to me. As soon as I saw him, I started bawling. It took about 5 minutes of sobbing before I could even hold him. He was so tiny; I'd never imagined a baby could be so small. He was the most precious thing I'd ever seen, but I knew I could only hold him for a few hours..  We had Joshua blessed and had a burial for him less than a week
later. 


    I must say at my young age of 19 that is the most pain I have ever felt; I can't imagine women who experience this repeatedly. Burying my child was unfathomable; my life will never be the same. I thank God for the chance to know Joshua, to feel him move inside of me. I thank God for knowing what He's doing, and accept that I am completely out of control of this situation. There are so many What-ifs, but that will drive me crazy. I think about him every day, and I don't think that will ever fade. Mommy loves you Joshua<3

                                  [Photos]

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Trish's story: Evelyn
Story of Evelyn's loss in utero at 33 weeks from unknown causes. Born after induced labor. T. also wrote the "Specific to Stillbirth" page.

January 28, 2011

Dearest Evie,

I wanted to take a moment to write about your birth story. Just a few months before I became pregnant with you, we lost our little boy Elias at 10 weeks. I remember feeling sick at work for a couple days. I took a couple pregnancy tests and couldn't believe I was pregnant with you. It had taken us much longer to get pregnant with your big brothers. I decided to wrap the pregnancy test up in a box and give it to your daddy. He was so happy when he opened it. I told him right away, "I think we are going to have a little princess." He just laughed at me.

We were both a little nervous when I first got pregnant. We were afraid of losing you. For some reason I felt peaceful and calm. I felt confident that you were ok. I had always thought you were a girl, but then I started to doubt myself a couple weeks before your ultrasound. But when we went, you let us know that you were indeed a princess! We were so excited. When we went home for Christmas we got lots and lots of cute girlie clothes and blankets. It was so fun to look at all your new clothes and imagine how pretty and cute you would look in them.

On 1-11-11 I had a prenatal appointment. Everything went well. You were growing and had a strong heart beat. We were planning on having a water birth at home.

I love you so much and loved you since the moment I thought I might be pregnant. I treasured the sweet moments we shared. I loved feeling you twist, turn and wiggle. You weren't a big kicker but you liked to stretch--sometimes until my skin became sore. I loved watching my belly bounce and move. You seemed to move the most when I laid down for bed at night. I loved having you with me everywhere I went. I loved spending my days with you. I would smile and rub my belly and tell you how much I love you. Your daddy would often kiss you good night. Your big brother loved rubbing my belly. He would snuggle up to my belly and loved rubbing my belly with his belly. You were loved by us all from the very beginning my dear one.

The last time I remember feeling you move was Friday night when I was in the bath tub. I laughed as I watched my belly jump over and over. I rubbed my belly and thought about you, looking forward to meeting you. The next day while we were at Vespers, the thought entered my mind that I hadn't felt you move much that day. I thought that I probably hadn't been paying attention. I prayed and prayed that I would feel you move, but I didn't.

When we got home I decided to go to bed early, hoping I would feel you move when I laid down. Again, I didn't feel you. My mind starting racing through so many different scenes. I tried to calm myself down and tell myself that I was paranoid and overreacting. I remembered my mom telling me that I had scared her when she was pregnant with me because she couldn't feel me moving. I took a shower and went back to bed where I eventually found sleep. I awoke around 5:30 am and thought I felt you move. I later realized that this was probably a contraction but it reassured me at the time. Before liturgy I told your daddy that I wasn't feeling you move. We both prayed for you during liturgy.

That afternoon I called my midwife and told her that I wasn't feeling you move. I poked and prodded my belly. Daddy jiggled you, I laid on my side. I feel like I knew in my heart there was something wrong, but I kept trying to convince myself that I was probably worrying over nothing. I thought maybe you had moved towards my back and I just couldn't feel you.

I remember laying down on the couch before we left to see my midwife, desperately hoping I would feel you. I felt you fall to the side with the movement of my body. I knew it was not an active movement. We met our midwife at her office that Sunday afternoon. All she could find with her doppler was my racing pulse. My hope sank along with my heart. Your daddy was in shock and I began to cry. We decided to go to the hospital where they would induce my labor.

At the hospital they confirmed what we already knew, your beautiful little heart had stopped beating. They induced me at 11:30 pm on Sunday 1-16-11.

By 11:30 am the next day I had only dilated 2 cm. They thought you may not be born until Tuesday.
Your daddy had to make funeral arrangements while I labored. It all seemed surreal. A couple friends came to visit, and even rubbed my feet. My contractions were starting to get stronger. After they left, I went to the restroom and then sat down in a chair and then I was suddenly in hard labor--and I was all by myself. Daddy came in and was trying to ask questions about the funeral but I barely had time to talk between contractions. I ended up getting an epidural shortly after that. I got about 20 minutes relief when I started having to breathe through the contractions again. I was also starting to feel the urge to push. I told the RN and she had the hospital midwife come to check me. I was fully dilated. I had opened 5 cm in about an hour.

As soon as I realized I was ready to push I started crying uncontrollably. The pain of losing you was so great. I felt such pressure as they were preparing for me to deliver. I remember asking if I could push. When they were finally ready I began to push, sobbing the entire time. It only took a few pushes--probably less than 5 minutes and you made your quiet entrance into the world.

The nurse handed you to me. At first I could not look down at you, but once I did I was overwhelmed with a complex mixture of emotions. I had feelings of such deep pain and sorrow mixed with the feelings of awe and wonder at holding my beautiful newborn baby girl. You were so perfect and beautiful. You had dark hair and looked like your momma. You were much bigger than we expected, you were 4lbs 3oz and 19 inches long. We took turns holding you. We touched your hands and feet and little nose. We sang to you and kissed you and told you how much we love you. A dear friend arranged to have professional photos taken of you. We are so thankful to have such beautiful moments with you captured in pictures. A woman in the room next to us delivered her baby just minutes after you were born. Hearing her baby cry was such a painful contrast to the silence that filled our room. You were so peaceful and lovely. I remember thinking, "why won't she just wake up?" The medical staff was not able to find any physical reason for your death. There was nothing visibly wrong with you or me or the cord or placenta.

I love you and miss you so much my sweet baby girl. I wish I would have been able to bring you home. Please pray for me.

Love,
Mommy

[Photos]

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

iam in limbo 7th of oct i found out i was preggie the best day of my life... then it went down hill.13 of octi start bleeding and clotting rush to hospital 2 times but they keep sending me home... 15th of oct went to my GP told her i might of lost my baby she said tomorrow we go and get a scan to see.... wed come told the lady i been bleeding since sunday i think i lost my baby.... she like hmm and shoe me there was and preggie scac and lil dot was what going to turn into a baby i was really shock went back to my Gp she like i have good news i was like yeai know iam still preggie she like yea twins :O... but wtf i getting the miscaggie signs bleeding clots and pains sunday 20th be a week that i been bleeding and clotting for but i dnt know if i keep the faith and think the worst.. i go back to the dr within 2 weeks time iam sooo scare.everyone telling to kep + but i dnt want to keep my hope up if it going to be the wrost answer i dnt want to hear

Matushka Anna said...

Anonymous, I hope your story turns out to be a happy one. May God give you peace.