jennifer John

October 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today there is a post on the Stir at Cafemom written by Jeanne Sager that I contributed to.  Today is  Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  Today I tell you that I have been there, several times.  The first one was the hardest.  It shattered my bubble of what pregnancy was.  


When Seth turned one we decided to start trying for baby #2.  Seth was a honeymoon baby, but as a result of having undergone four ovarian cyst surgeries I had been told that getting pregnant wouldn’t come easily to me.  After how quickly Seth was conceived we thought we had proved the doctors wrong.  We started trying in May.  In June I was late.  I took a pregnancy test.  There were two lines.  I called my OB’s office and they told me to schedule an appointment to confirm the pregnancy and have an initial appointment.  


A couple of weeks went by.  My appointment date was drawing closer.  I had a lack of morning sickness that I was thankful for.  We were getting ready for the summer camp season at the camp and conference center where we worked.  I had a bit of spotting.  I called the doctor.  They told me to take it easy and not do much.  I did.  And then in the middle of the night I woke up with horrible cramps.  Horrible.  Just like labor.  And then the severe vomiting began moments later. 


We drove in the middle of the night to the emergency room.  One year old Seth in tow.  I laid in the bed and they drew blood work.  They examined me.  Matter of factly I was informed that the pregnancy was most likely terminating.  I was to go home, rest, and come back in 48 hours for more blood work.  My HCG level would probably drop significantly and hopefully it would “resolve itself without a D&C”.


I was devastated.  So was John.  It was so clinical.  So cold.  We tried to hope, but in our hearts we knew.  Two days went by.  Blood was drawn.  I sat by the phone and I waited.  The call came.  I can remember every single detail about the next few moments this many years later with a clarity I cannot even express.  I remember the dress I was wearing.  The sound of the phone.  The voice on the other end.  Numbly calling John and having him meet me at the house.  Watching as he walked up from the shop where he worked.  


I remember walking down the steps and then almost sprinting to him.  Collapsing in his arms covered in dirt and grime from maintenance work.  Under the hot June sun.  His chest damp with sweat.  Sobbing and him bear hugging me as my shoulders heaved.  And I remember the feel of his tears running down the side of my face as they fell from his.  Pain beyond measure.  Knowing we would not meet our darling baby in this lifetime.  Loved and cherished even before conception.


Secondary infertility followed.  It took almost two and a half years of trying, doctors visits, miscarriages and the like to get pregnant with Gabriel.  Our baby named for the angel babies that watch over him.  People laugh when we tell them we had infertility issues.  To us it is not funny.  We adore the four children that we have with us on earth, but often we still mourn the ones we have lost.  It comes up unexpectedly.  When people ask the boyz ages.  2, 4, 6, 10 I reply.  Well what happened to 8, that would have been perfect?  I reply that yes it would have.  I don’t tell them what really happened to “8”.  


When we were packing to move I found my box in the top of my closet.  A non-descript Adidas shoe box.  Yet inside it is my memories of this time in my life.  Positive pregnancy tests.  Lab reports of HCG levels.  Emergency room discharge slips.  Doctor appointment cards.  My hospital bracelets.  All the things I kept from my other pregnancies that are proudly attached to pages of baby books.  But for these, they serve as a reminder.  Of the memories, of the joys, of the heartache.  


No matter what, I always want to remember all of my pregnancies.  Right now, amidst the towers of moving boxes still unpacked, there is my special box.  I will undoubtedly come across it in the next month or so.  And I will find a place for it in my new house.  It  belongs with us, in the life we created.  Miscarriage is not something that you readily talk about.  After awhile it isn’t something you think about every day.  But it is woven into the fabric of who you are.  What your life story is.  Today I remember.


Be sure to read the article over at The Stir dealing with 5 Things to Say to Mom After a Miscarriage by Jeanne Sager

One Comment

  1. I don't know if you remember me, but I went on the Sex and the City tour with you at BlogHer this August.

    I just needed to thank you for sharing this. I think miscarriage is one of those things that women don't talk about for so many reasons, but it makes it feel like no one else understands what you are going through.

    I had a miscarriage two weeks ago and the pain is still really fresh. I really needed to read this this morning.

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