In honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I thought I would share two of the most tragic things to happen to me. I knew it would make it in this blog one day, so I thought today would be a good opportunity to share.
In 2013 I met a man not long after I left a four-year relationship. He opened my mind to a lot of new, wonderful sexual experiences and, boy, I could not get enough. The relationship lasted for a few months and was intended just to be a little fun; until I realized I was pregnant in the Fall.
I dodged his calls for weeks before I knew what I wanted to do. The thought of abortion briefly went through my head, but I didn’t even need to consider that an option.
Knowing that this man was adamant about not wanting kids and he didn’t exactly have a job or a home, I decided to tell him and give him the option if he wanted to be in the babe’s life or not.
I invited him over, we will call him Ben, and I decided just to get it over with. I think the fact that I offered him a beer but I drank water gave it away. To say Ben was slightly sociopathic is not saying enough. He wanted me to have an abortion, he claimed I got pregnant on purpose. Yes, I wanted to have a baby at the age of 25 with a jobless, homeless 34-year-old.
We separated for a few weeks until he called to, I thought apologize, turns out he just wanted to tell me he’d pay for half of the abortion. So we went a few more weeks without talking until he called again. He had finally come around and we decided to do this together.
Throughout the pregnancy he was just plain mean.
“My feet hurt and I am tired.” I would complain after working all day.
“You were the one who wanted this baby.”
I don’t know why I stayed.
In the springtime the baby came and I was just so proud at how beautiful he was. The birth was pretty quick and easy, then the next day momma and baby went home. My mother was there to help me while I healed and I am not sure if Ben held the baby more than twice in three days. He “had to work”.
Three days after he was born, his skin started looking blotchy, his breathing was labored, and he wasn’t eating. So, we went to the ER and I could not hold myself together. Seeing all of those nurses and doctors hovering over this tiny baby while they tried to figure out what was wrong is the worst thing a parent can see.
Hours later, they moved my son upstairs to NICU and told us we would be here for a while. We spent the first night sleeping in chairs while they came around the clock to draw blood from his fragile little body.
One specialist was flown in from Washington state and another from California; days later no one had any answers. This was the time we had to sit down with several doctors in a room and decide what to do. In other words, he wasn’t going to survive and no one could tell us anything other than he had some sort of viral infection. I felt numb, but I could not let my little angel suffer any longer.
Hi body was swollen and his skin was stretched out, shiny, and red. He wasn’t breathing on his own, most of his organs were shutting down. So we had to call it quits. I knew it had to happen and there was no hope of him recovering, but making that decision is the hardest decision I will ever have to make.
I held my son as he passed away in just minutes. I don’t think I will ever get that vision out of my mind. When I went home to see his little clothes and bassinet I just wanted to die so I could be with him again. We didn’t even have enough time together. Three days at home and four days in the hospital. After 37 weeks of feeling his little feet move in my belly and wondering what he would grow up to be like and we only spent seven days on this Earth together.
“I hope you are happy, you wanted him to die and you got your wish.” I wanted to say to Ben.
But that is not the type of person I am. Clearly, the relationship didn’t last for more than a month after that. I think the baby was the only reason we were together. Even though I think about my son every single day, I am grateful that I am no longer with Ben.
I know my son is much happier now, he is not suffering, having tubes put in, or blood drawn hourly. I miss him but I will see him again one day.
A little over a year later I found myself pregnant again. This time, the gentleman I was with was very excited to be a dad again. We had a good relationship even though we weren’t together for long. I wasn’t being as careful this time around, so neither one of us were surprised that it happened.
I was happy but I was very scared, given what happened to my son and I don’t think I was finished properly grieving yet. I hadn’t talked to a therapist, I hadn’t really accepted what happened yet. I was jealous when I saw other parents with their children. But the thought of having a child gave me joy and hope.
I had made one appointment to have blood work drawn, speak about a birth plan, and confirm the pregnancy. The next appointment I scheduled was for an ultrasound. It was still early, but I wanted to see that little kidney bean on screen.
About a week later, we will name this man Trevor, and I went out to breakfast then we were going to look at a car. Even though it was the morning, I had fish and chips, coffee, and shared a chocolate shake with Trevor’s son. I was starting to have cramps, but they weren’t bad and I decided to ignore it. In hindsight, I think I knew what was happening but didn’t want to admit it.
We arrive at Trevor’s friend’s business, he was renting a pole barn to service vehicles from a couple that he didn’t know personally. He had a great vehicle for sale and as soon as I walked in the pole barn I felt liquid rush down my leg. I pulled Trevor to the side and said I need to use the bathroom…NOW. Seeing the fear in my eyes we walked into a complete stranger’s house and straight to the bathroom. The liquid was not urine. Then, I felt the baby slide out of me, still attached from the umbilical cord.
I pulled Trevor into the bathroom and we called paramedics. They directed me to lie on the floor until the ambulance arrived. Here I was, pantsless and on a stranger’s bathroom floor, but not in a sexy way. He held the baby that was hanging out of my body while we cried. I started to shake, I am not sure if it was shock or what, but I couldn’t control it.
On the way to the hospital the paramedic who rode in the back with me let me know that she had a miscarriage at 12-weeks gestation and years later went on to have three beautiful children and everything would be ok. At that time, she checked me under the blanket to see that I was losing far too much blood. I was sort of in and out of consciousness and heard her ask the driver to turn the lights on and go faster. I was bawling by now.
I had to have three pints of blood transfused and then a D&C. I was feeling alright, physically, but emotionally I felt empty again. I also felt guilty; here is another innocent child, dead, due to me.
A few months later I came to terms with everything, I knew it wasn’t really my fault, but if you’ve had a loss you just blame yourself if there is no one else to blame. I never, EVER, wanted to be pregnant again.
And now, after a couple of years and several buckets of tears, I have a lovely, strong, smart, healthy baby girl. I am glad I didn’t give up. ❤