I recently read a blog about what childloss really looks like and it resignted with me and captured me word for word and emotion by emotion. I felt trapped by her very words. So I decided to follow lead and tell what pregnancy loss looked like for me.
When we got the news Ethan's heart had stopped, I don't remember much other than the shattering echos of the doctors words, "I'm sorry we don't see any caradiac activity". I felt myself melt into the very ground below me and I just wanted to die.
"How could this be possible, I just felt him last night?", "My friend just lost her baby last year, how on earth could it happen to two people so closely intertwined?", and most of all "Why my baby?"
I went home and dreaded doing anything, I didn't want to look at my other two children in fear they would see my crumble in front of their very eyes, I felt dead, out of body and I couldn't believe this was my life.
I sat on the internet looking for a way to prepare my self for what I was about to go through, and there wasn't much. I had to just be prepared for what I saw my friend go through and how her son looked.
The cold dark red lips, cold skin, peeling possibly. And little did I know until I had my son, how much their skull moves around since they have passed and the skull bones are fussed. I think the first time I moved Ethan I almost lost it.
Going to the hospital that night to deliver my dead son was nothing like the other two childrens births. People avoided contact with me, no one really said anything. How could they? No one knows what to tell a mom who's body is carrying a dead child. As I was told "I'm sorry just didn't seem good enough".
I constantly rubbed my swollen belly in hopes they were wrong and he would kick and my nightmare would all be over. My body had failed me and I failed my child.
And here I was in the hospital to give birth and go through the same thing women in every room there were going through but in the end I recieved no rewards for the hard work behind it all.
I still had to push and yes I got lucky I guess it only took three pushes, but I promise those three pushes were much harder than the women in the other rooms going through many hours of pushing. Plain and simple I would be in a slient room after, other than the cries I made which felt earth shattering. I remember before the third push they said he was coming and I just screamed " I can't do this and I don't want to do this".
I didn't want to see my lifeless baby and I didn't want to make this nightmare a reality. I didn't get to see my babys eyes, hear him cry and make this 12 hours of labor worth it.
If I pushed and delivered him my life was going to stop. Or so it felt at the time.
After my son was born no one came around, who would want to go into this cold room, when nothing they could do or say would make anything the slightest bit better?
In-fact the only person I saw outside my family and a couple close friends was my ob who came over that afternoon, she wanted to check on me and make sure that if I wanted to hurt myself I would tell her.
I was very close to her and I think her stepping into that room, putting her arms around me and letting me sob was the first step besides holding my son into healing.
But while waiting hours later after giving birth I realized how alone my life was going to be from those moments on. I was abadonded by hospital staff, purposely maybe or maybe not. Maybe it was to protect me and not make me feel worse, or maybe they werent educated.
But no one ever came back to make sure I was ok, in fact the next time we talked to a nurse again was at 5pm that night so only 9 hours after giving birth to tell them I wanted to go home I couldn't stand to be there anymore.
I had to let someone else take my baby and know I would never ever get to hold him again or touch his face. I had to be wheeled out of a room where my baby sat alone and none of it was natural.
On the way home it was silent my husband and I didn't know what to say, I could of said I am sorry for not protecting him and now I life is going to be a living hell for a few years, or he could tell me as he did a year later, it was his fault he didn't really want another baby buy did it for me. So by him not wanting another it was his fault. All things irrational, yes. But felt.
Then not only do you go through the whole birth process like everyone else, sign papers for your baby to have an audtopsy to find out why only to feel like shit because you chose to have your baby cut open and messed with, to getting your milk in and being slapped in the face because your body doesn't know your baby died, to sitting in a hospital room calling funeral homes and trying to pick the best one, if thats even possible in your state of mind, to life has to go on even if you want it to stop. Then you get to be the plague to the rest of the world.
People avoid you at all costs, why because baby loss is unimaginable, frightful especially fro pregnant friends and family and then not only that but no one wants to say the wrong thing or knows what to say. So plain and simple your avoided.
Its no ones fault I get that and I am thankful for the few friends I did have. The ones who came and looked at my dead baby in a casket trying to make sense of the world we live in and how bad things like this just don't happen.
But in fact they do, to 30,000 plus families every single year.
As Laura Schubert states
Infant loss is nature's cruelest practical joke. It's investing all of the required time and effort into pregnancy, only to be robbed of the result. It's cradling a body that grew within your own and trying to reconcile the cold, lifeless form in your arms with your memory of the baby who turned double flips in your womb.
It's worrying that you'll forget what your child looked like and snapping an album's worth of photos that no one will ever ask to see. It's sobbing so hard you can't breathe and wondering if it's possible to cry yourself to death.
Infant loss is handing off a Moses basket to the nurse who's drawn the unfortunate duty of delivering your pride and joy to the morgue and walking out of a hospital with empty arms.
It's boxing up brand new baby clothes and buying a 24-inch casket. It's sifting through sympathy cards, willing your foolish body to stop lactating, clutching your baby's blanket to your chest in hopes of soothing the piercing ache in your heart.
It's resisting the urge to smack the clueless individuals who compare your situation to the death of their dog or who tell you you'll have another baby, as if children are somehow replaceable.
Infant loss is explaining to your 7-year-old that sometimes babies die and being stumped into silence when she asks you why. It's watching other families live out your happy ending and fighting a fresh round of grief with every milestone you miss.
It's being shut out of play groups for perpetuity. It's skipping social events with expectant and newly minted mothers because, as a walking worst-case scenario, you don't want to put a damper on the party.
It's listening to other women gripe about motherhood and realizing that you no longer relate to their petty parental complaints because, frankly, when you've buried a baby, a sleepless night with a vomiting toddler sounds something like a gift.
Infant loss is pruning from your life the friends and relatives who ignore or minimize your loss. It's recognizing that, while they may not mean to be hurtful, the fact that they don't know any better doesn't make their utter lack of empathy one whit easier to bear.
My baby girl would have been 5 years old this month. I don't know what she'd look like, what her favorite food would be. I've never had the privilege of tucking her into bed, taking her to the zoo or kissing her boo-boos. I will never watch her graduate or walk down the aisle.
Infant loss is more than an empty cradle. It's a life sentence.