Wednesday, October 13, 2010
“Something is wrong isn’t it? What’s wrong with my baby?” The woman put her hand on my arm, gave me a sympathetic smile and said, “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat; it looks like your baby died around 2 weeks ago."
I was 18 and almost 13 weeks pregnant. I was in the clinic alone because my parents were not happy about my decision to keep the baby and my boyfriend was at work. Why was he at work? Because I had lost my job for being pregnant as it was going to “hurt the image of the company” to keep me on.
The baby had been a surprise. I had been on oral contraceptives. My boyfriend and I had not made the decision lightly to keep our baby. A doctor insisted I have an abortion. It caused upheaval in our families but I rubbed my belly each night and told the tiny person growing inside me that I loved it, no matter what everyone else thought. That I would take care of it, even though I was still a baby myself. That even though it was not planned it would be loved. And that no matter what happened we would always have each other.
From the moment I knew I was pregnant my whole life changed to make room for a baby.
And my whole life was changed when I was told my baby had died.
Everyone was relieved and assumed I was too. I was even told that “nature had done me a little favor”. I was treated as if my baby didn’t matter when I was sent in for a D&C. That at 18 I couldn’t possibly grieve over a baby I had not planned in the first place.
But I was shattered. I grieved deeply and in private. I mourned and fell apart. I just couldn’t fathom why this would happen. I blamed myself. I blamed everyone else. I cried and cried. Eventually I healed. I’m 13 years older and have 3 wonderful daughters. But every year on November 12 (my due date) I wonder what my child would be like today. She (I have always thought she was a girl) would have been 13 this year and sometimes it still feels raw. Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you to know that it’s OK to grieve. That it’s OK to be totally devastated at losing your baby. Please find support. Talk to people who understand. Go gently with yourself. Accept help.
A dear friend gave me flowers when I miscarried another baby 4 years ago, the card read “in memory of those who blossomed so briefly”. I think that description of babies lost before birth is apt. Much love and support to those of you who have had babies who have blossomed briefly.
This post was kindly submitted by Shae of Yay for Home.
Losing a baby can feel like the most isolating experience in the world and it is something we often don’t talk openly about. If we can let one mother (or father or grandmother) know that she is not alone in her grief, then that is a good thing. You can help us support families experiencing baby loss by submitting your story, by leaving a comment below, and by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter.