Tag Archives: miscarriage

Wish You Were Here

Its been 8 years since I had to say “See you later”.

How has so much time passed?  How can it have been 8 years, when I can still remember every single vivid detail from the day we found out we had lost you?  It doesn’t seem fair that time plays tricks like that- making some good memories feel like its been decades  (like feeling you kick), while I can still remember how I lost my breath when I KNEW we had lost you, and I wanted to shout for your brothers not to look at the ultrasound screen, but I couldn’t find my voice.

Sometimes I get jealous of the moms that can easily name off how many kids they have.  For me, I have the option of either going into detail (which can be akin to picking at a scab until it bleeds) or naming off all but the ones I lost, carrying with that choice the mom guilt of not acknowledging the life- however brief- of one of my kids.

Moms of miscarriages and stillbirths, though- its a completely different club; not better, not worse, just… different.  We ONLY had a “fetus”or a  “clump of cells” or whatever society wants to claim.  Since we never had to stay up late with those babies, kiss their boo boos, worry about fevers, laugh at their silly antics, etc, our babies don’t seem to usually “count” as much as those who’ve lost a child.  Sure, people will say they’re sorry for our loss initially, but after a while, its felt as though we should just “get over it”.  They’ll tell us to “look at the bright side”, or (if we had kids after our loss) they remind us that “if we’d had the one we lost, we might not have the ones we have now.”  Don’t they know that’s ALWAYS on our mind when we start to miss our babies we’ve lost and then hear the ones in our arms call us “Mommy”?  We aren’t wishing we could have one instead of the other; we’re just wishing that there was some way we could have had them all.

And yes, I know what you’re thinking, Christopher- if I’d had your brothers AND you, there’s a chance I’d be more crazy than I already am, and we’d be WAY worse off financially; but to hear you laugh along with your brothers right now- I’d happily live in a cardboard box and eat Ramen noodles until you all graduated.

I know that “everything happens for a reason”- it was my mantra for getting me through those difficult, heartbreaking weeks and months after you were delivered; but despite staring into the eyes of each of your brothers, I still try desperately to understand the reason behind my losses.  I told myself-as I’m sure any mom who’s had a “Rainbow Baby” has- that maybe our new baby might have the cure to cancer or bring about world peace, but then I have to wonder what the world lost out on when we lost you.

See, each pregnancy starts off the same way: you see the “+” sign, and you realize you’re actually carrying another life inside you.  If its happy news. you start imagining what he (or she!) will look like, who they’ll be, what kind of addition they’ll make to your family, how your life will change…

And that’s the only part where I think this club I’m a part of has it a little worse.  Our babies we lost never even had a chance.  I never got to experience your personality, Chris.  You never had a nitch in our family tree, and since you passed at 15 weeks along, we never even got to examine your features to see who you looked like, because -as your dad has said, all babies look like aliens the earlier they’re born.

The only question I most definitely had answered was how you changed my life- and an overabundance of “what ifs”.

I think its time that the world should recognize any loss of life as significant and not something that they should be told to “move on” from.  It shouldn’t be marked as “less than” simply because the world never met our babies.  The fact of the matter is, WE did.  We had hopes for them, visions of their futures; we changed physically and emotionally with the anticipation of meeting them; we saw them squirm on the ultrasound and joked about paying them back for the heartburn and nausea; we felt them kick and just KNEW they’d have a career in soccer.

Shouldn’t that count for something?

Shouldn’t it be normal to acknowledge their due date or the date we had to say goodbye?

Shouldn’t we be able to count and celebrate their Heavenly birthdays without being told to move on?

I AM moving on.  I know time hasn’t stood still, as much as I wanted it to.  I take care of the kids, the house, the pets; I live my life; I keep moving forward; just, sometimes, I want a day to remember a life that was so extraordinarily important that he left a mark on my life without ever living IN it; who’s tiny footprint never touched the ground, but touched my heart; who’s sole purpose, as far as I can see, was to come into my life to teach me that sometimes love means letting go and trusting that God not only knows what He’s doing, but that He’ll fill the hole that was left behind.

Shouldn’t a life that important be counted?

I miss you, Christopher Scott.  Now, forever, and always.

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Counting Kids

How many kids do you have?

Its been 5 years and I STILL don’t know how to answer that question.

Such a simple question- unless you’ve lost a child- and it really doesn’t matter at what stage you lost them, too.  In any case, they were, and then -suddenly- they weren’t.  Does it REALLY matter if 2 of mine never lived outside of the womb?  Does that mean I loved them less?

Sometimes I get jealous of the moms that can answer that question with ease.  They tick off the names of their kids on their fingers, as if checking off a list.  Its so simple for them- all their kids are standing in front of them- or running around like midget insane asylum patients.  In any case, its not an issue for them as they count all their kids.  For moms that have lost a baby, though, we have the option of either going into detail (which can be akin to picking at a scab), or naming off all but the ones we lost, carrying with that the mom guilt of not acknowledging the life- however brief- of one of our own children.

Moms of miscarried or stillborn babies, though, we’ve got a club all our own.  We had a “non-baby”. a baby that didn’t live long enough to “count”.  Since we never had to stay up late with those babies, kiss their boo boos, deal with colic, worry about fevers, laugh at their antics, etc., our babies don’t “count” in the eyes of many.  Sure people will say they’re sorry for our loss initially, but after a while, people feel we need to “get over it”.  They tell us to “look at the bright side” or -if we had kids after the one we lost- they remind us that we wouldn’t have the ones we have now if our other baby had survived. 

Don’t they know we know that?  That every time we mourn the loss of our baby, we get to feel a stabbing pain of guilt because its like we’re saying we wish we had one over the other?  That when we’re having a truly happy moment with our babies we have now, that a thought of our angel babies can enter our mind and it feels like a betrayal?  And then we feel bad for feeling bad?

We aren’t wishing we had one over the other, though; we’re just wishing that there could have been a way we could have had them both.  We know “everything happens for a reason”- it was our mantra in the heartbreaking days and weeks and months after, but despite staring into the eyes of our sweet little kids on Earth, we’re still trying desperately to understand the reason behind our losses.  We tell ourselves that our new baby might have the cure to cancer or bring about world peace, but then we begin to wonder what the world lost when our others passed -or does that mean that their life wouldn’t have amounted to as much?

See, each pregnancy starts off the same: you see the “+” sign and you realize you’re carrying another life.  If its happy news, you start imagining what he (or she!) will look like, who they’ll be, what kind of addition they’ll make to your family, how your life will change-

And that’s where -I think- our little club has it a little worse in some ways.  Our babies never even had a chance.  We never got to experience their personalities; they never found their nitch in our family tree; and, if you lost them early on, there’s even a question about who they looked like.  The only question you got the answer to was how your life would change, but now you have a lifetime’s worth of “what ifs” to replace that one question.

I think its time that people recognize any loss of life as a loss equal to any other.  It shouldn’t be made light of simply because the rest of the world never met our babies.  The fact of the matter is, WE did.  We had hopes and dreams for them and visions of their futures; we grew physically and emotionally with the anticipation of what was to come; we saw them squiggle and squirm on the ultrasound and joked about paying them back for all the heartburn and nausea; we felt them kick and just KNEW they’d have a lucrative career in soccer.

Shouldn’t that count for something?

Shouldn’t it be normal to acknowledge their due date or the date we had to let them go?

Shouldn’t we be able to count and celebrate their Heavenly birthdays without being told with words and looks that we should move on?

We ARE moving on.  We know time hasn’t stood still, as much as we might have wanted it to.  We go to work, we take care of our other kids, live our lives, and keep moving forward; just, sometimes, we want to take a day to remember and count a life that was so extraordinarily important that they left a mark on our lives without living in them; who’s tiny footprints never touched the ground but they touched our hearts; who’s soul purpose was to come into our lives to teach us that sometimes love means letting go and trusting that God not only knows what He’s doing, but that He’ll fill that hole that was left.

Shouldn’t a life that important be counted?

 

I miss you

Before you read this, please understand that this isn’t going to be like any of my other posts.  Its not something I write with a light heart.  Its something I need to get off my chest.

Today marks a day that will forever be burned into my brain.  2 years ago I gave birth to an amazing little boy.  From the amnio that we’d had done, we know he was perfect.  From every ultrasound we’d had, he kicked and squirmed like he was determined to be a soccer player or something.  He was, by all accounts, going to be perfect- a handful, no doubt (hey, he had 2 older brothers to imitate)- but absolutely perfect.

On July 8th, 2009, I went in for my check up.  I was 19 weeks along.  I had my boys with me.  At first he couldn’t find the heartbeat with the doppler.  He didn’t act worried- he went and got the ultrasound machine, claiming that our baby was probably just lying in a weird way.  My doctor asked my boys if they wanted to see their little brother.

I knew something was wrong.  My little squirmer wasn’t moving. 

My doctor still tried to assure me that things might be ok.  He sent me down for a better ultrasound.  I knew my boy was gone.  They told me that, from the looks of it, he stopped growing at 15 weeks along, so that’s when he most likely passed.  It will always be a question in my mind if the amnio I’d opted for had been the cause- the 2 instances coincided so closely together.

After a lot of issues with insurance and what not, we ended up having to deliver my baby instead of getting the “easier” D&E.  Christopher Scott was born at 12:10 a.m. on July 10th. 

In a way, it was a good thing we had to deliver him.  I ended up getting an infection that they had to treat with antibiotics.  If we’d gone to PP to get the other procedure done, who knows what could have happened to me.  It was too hard to want to hold him after he was born- I couldn’t even look- but they gave me a box with some things in it, including a picture.  I’ve yet to look at it, but its there.

Now that its been a couple of years, I’m doing better.  Its still hard- like when I look at Nicholas and wonder what Christopher would have been like- but I’m not a mess.

There are some things I learned after losing him that you don’t fully grasp unless you’re in that situation- things like, don’t call someone who has just lost someone they love unless you can keep it together.  The last thing they should have to do during that time is help YOU with YOUR grief.

Also, I will NEVER say “I understand” or “Everything happens for a reason”.  You never actually CAN understand since every situation is different and -even if you can give the exact reason why God allowed it to happen- no one cares when they’re going through that.  I’ve learned that the best thing a person can say is “I’m here”- and then hold on for the ride, because its an emotional roller coaster.

I asked a friend the other day (who had gone through a similar situation) when I would ever feel completely normal, and she made a good point- this IS now my “normal”.  Some days I’ll feel great.  Some days I won’t.  Some days I won’t think about him at all- and that’s ok.  Some days I’ll remember that I haven’t thought about him and I’ll feel guilty- and that’s ok, too.

I also realized that there is NO timeline for grief.  Everyone says that, but what people say and what they expect are 2 different things.  Its one thing to say you feel down or upset about losing him a month or 2 after it happens, but after a while, most people patiently (and some not so patiently) listen to you, all the while wearing a “you’re not over it yet?” look on their faces and once you’re finished, they ask if you’ve talked to someone yet.

Well, duh- YOU are someone.

Not once did I say I’m DEPRESSED or SUICIDAL.  I just said I’m feeling “DOWN” or “OFF”.  I didn’t ask for answers or for you to even open your mouth.  I needed to talk.  To open up.  If people need someone to vent to about their crappy bosses and horrible traffic they encountered on the way home, shouldn’t I get to vent about losing my baby?  Not once would I ever listen to someone say,”Argh!  My husband is SO annoying!  He pissed me off SO bad!  He REALLY hurt my feelings!” and then come back at them with,”Have you talked to someone about how you feel?”  Tomorrow, your boss might give you a deserved raise; traffic will clear up, and your husband might apologize.  I won’t see my baby until I get to Heaven.

I understand there’s a reason for everything, or, more accurately,”Romans 8:28 (King James Version)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.”  I look at Nicholas everyday and think about the fact that -if we’d had Christopher- Nicholas wouldn’t be here.  And then the guilt comes.  I think about what the world lost when Christopher died and what the world gained when Nicholas was born.  I know God has a plan for all that has happened, and its not my job to “figure it out” but to watch it unfold.  Its not always easy to remember that- and its NOT something I wanted to hear right after we lost him- but I get that.

In the mean time, today marks a sad and special day.  It was the day I officially said,”See you later” to my baby and the day that my baby got to get his first hug from God.  Sometimes I remind myself when Camo doesn’t check in on time or when Jacob rides his scooter too far out of my line of sight, I ALWAYS know where my Christopher is- he’s in the safest arms of anyone I’ve ever known.

And I’m sure he’s running around, causing everyone in Heaven to laugh, and talking their ear off.  He IS, after all, my son.