3 sets of feet on Pregnancy & Infant Loss Ribbon ornament and 3 babies laying in angel wings on our mantle.
During my grieving and healing process I made a discovery, one I have long known but pushed away because it was too hard to bear. The discovery was that I needed to face the pain and acknowledge all my losses. I needed to give voice to that which I silently mourned and didn’t talk about because my losses were not verified by a doctor. As the years passed I didn’t feel I fit with mothers of loss because mine were so early and when a family member went through hers I didn’t know what to say and didn’t want to sound like I was minimizing her experience by mentioning mine. My heart hurts for all the mothers that lose a baby at any stage, from the moment you realize you’re pregnant everything changes and you imagine how life will be. Then the day comes when it’s ripped away and you’re left with heartache, questions and pain from every dream lost once your baby dies. I have had 3 known losses possibly more before I began closely tracking my cycle while try to have a baby.
My first loss was in 1999. We had decided we didn’t want to start a family right away so I started low dose birth control pills 3-4 months prior to our wedding so my body would have time to adjust properly. I did well with them and regularly cycled just as the pills were set for me to. Until one cycle I had bleeding right in the middle which typically indicates implantation bleeding in a normal cycle. However due to the birth control the lining of my uterus must not have been thick enough to sustain pregnancy and I had a very painful and abnormal with clots period. The pain and confusion of it happening while on birth control was too much for me to process. I now acknowledge it was a early miscarriage at 4.5 weeks. At the time I felt guilt and confusion because it happened when I was trying to prevent pregnancy and I felt like I had essentially killed our baby. I didn’t talk to anyone about it because it was just to painful to accept and I was afraid people would refuse to see it as a baby I lost and just say it was just an abnormal period. I pushed the terribleness of it all to the side, continued moving forward and completely immersed myself in newly married life.
Our second loss was early 2002 after we had been trying to conceive for over a year. It had been quite some time with taking supplements and trying to get timing just right. My cycle was always very regular so I realized my period was about 3-4 days late and took a pregnancy test around 6pm. I was surprised to see a faint line on a brand of test I had always seen glaring negatives so I was going to test again in the morning in hopes of seeing a darker line I could use to announce my pregnancy. I would have been 4.5 weeks. Around 9-11pm horrible cramping started followed by a heavy flow of bright red blood with clots. I didn’t even bother retesting in the morning. My way of not dealing with the emotions, I dismissed it as a faulty test and rationalized it as a late period. I didn’t tell anyone of the loss I was experiencing and bottled it inside. We would just try again next month maybe that would be the month I would get pregnant and stay pregnant, it wasn’t.
Battling infertility and being disappointed at seeing negative tests month after month it was too much for me, it in it’s own way was
a loss each month, loss of hope. It took going to the doctor getting testing done and told to track basal body temperature and about 9 months after my loss I was pregnant and went full term with a handsome, healthy baby boy born September 2003.
I was diagnosed with secondary infertility when we ttc again. I charted for months and just wasn’t getting pregnant. My husband went on deployment and I continued talking my temperature every morning before moving or getting out of bed. Due to stress my cycle was long and I wondered if I would ovulate, he returned home on day 42 of my cycle and I ovulated day 46. It took 18mo to get pregnant but we had a beautiful, healthy little girl born almost 6 weeks early in June 2006.
I had my tubes tied after that pregnancy because I was scared of having losses, unexpected pregnancy or not being able to physically keep up. I ended up having a rare reaction called Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome and the symptoms were debilitating. I tried all kinds of medications to alleviate the symptoms but they didn’t help and often made it worse in other ways. The only fix was surgery to clear up adhesions from cesareans and to put my body back the way God intended by reattaching the tubes. Surgery wasn’t covered by insurance so I finally paid out of pocket and had it done August 2015.
Even before surgery our children were asking for another sibling even though they were already years older. I had wanted another child for a while and Hubby had brought it up a few times in the year before surgery. So we said pray about it and we will see what God says maybe yes, no or not now especially with my past infertility. I conceived Nov 2015. With low dose aspirin, progesterone along with prenatal vitamins and lots of prayer I had a beautiful healthy baby girl born full term in August 2016.
Many are aware that we were suddenly confronted by the loss of our baby during my pregnancy. He was a miracle baby I had just had one cycle after I stopped breastfeeding and then on the day of ovulation I asked hubby if he wanted to make our May baby boy. All it took was one time. The early spotting I had was resolved with extra progesterone. I had nausea and difficulty eating but otherwise no problems but I continually prayed for our baby and started to pray that if the baby wasn't going to be healthy or would struggle and suffer that God would take him home and spare him (I thought I was having a boy). It wasn’t until I was induced on October 30, 2017 in a hospital delivery room much like the one I had been in August 2016 that we learned baby was a perfectly formed little boy. He was 13w2d when his heart stopped beating and I delivered him at 13w6d. I was also on low dose aspirin, progesterone and prenatal vitamins. We were told if they took him for testing we wouldn’t be able to bury him so I’ll never know the exact cause of his death. Losing Ean was a horrific experience I would never wish on anyone. It really bothered me that we were rushed and had only given him a first name as that's the only one we knew for sure so a month later we decided on Ean Rigel. Ean: God is gracious, gift from God and Rigel: 7th brightest star in the sky (I nicknamed him my little star) and is the left foot of the Hunter, Orion Constellation. We were able to bury him so that is a comfort and I will have a birth certificate for fetal demise that will arrive in a few days, I had to ask for the hospital to do it because they don't automatically file one unless baby is 22 weeks and over 500grams but I'm happier knowing his life is legally documented. Mommy, Daddy, Brother and both Sisters were looking forward to his birth so a certificate will at least indicate acknowledgement by the state too.
I do not know what the gender would have been for our first two babies. So I nicknamed them Baby Wichita for the first and Baby Augusta for the second. They never lived long enough to have a heartbeat but they were still my babies regardless.
We have three living Children and three in Heaven. We will try again once my body and heart has healed more. Lord willing God will allow us another little one to raise for His glory, to love and fill our hearts and life with overwhelming joy.
Precious Boy so loved by Mommy, Daddy, Brother and his two Sisters. He arrived in Heaven when his heart stopped at 13w2d on October 26, 2017. His body was delivered October 30, 2017 @ 10:30PM. He was 4.25in long and weighed 0.96oz. He was laid to rest November 4, 2017 @ 2PM. He will be forever loved and remembered. Ean Rigel is his first and middle name for privacy reasons last name is withheld.
Click to join Facebook group Remembering Ean Rigel, "My Bright Little Star", Pregnancy Loss Support.