When I was around seven or eight my parents got divorced. We stayed with my Dad, while my Mom packed herself up and moved in to a tiny apartment about ten miles down the road. That ten miles may as well have been another State. We rarely got to see her, and when we did, I had no idea when or if we were ever going to see her again.
Ah, the joys of being an overly anxious child-right?
It was at that young age I began to learn that some people are more ‘maternal’ than others. The nurturing, cuddling, dinner making Momma was not what my little brother and I had. There’s no doubt she loves us deeply- she just doesn’t know that type of empathy. Our Mother showed her love in mainly material things, and thank God she did- she was our only source of clothing. Our Father suffered from severe depression and anxiety, so our shopping times with Mom were always a welcome escape.
We watched a lot of movies, and inevitably saw the stereotypical, more ‘maternal’ Moms- tying shoes, forehead kisses, and blankets tucked tight. These families had connections with one another that I craved…this was the type of Mom I knew I wanted to be. A baby snuggling, snot wiping, lullaby singing, booboo kissing Mom. Unfortunately, my journey in to Motherhood hasn’t quite been what I’d imagined.
When I was 18, I got pregnant. It was an abusive relationship, and I was terrified to now be ‘tied’ to him. That all came to a screeching halt during a physical fight in which I was deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, causing me to miscarry. A couple of weeks after what I thought for sure had to have been a full miscarriage, I still felt pregnant, so I decided to go to the hospital. Upon arriving I learned I was pregnant with twins, and my body just didn’t want to let them go- my D&C followed shortly after, as did the end of that horrible relationship.
A little over a year later, my husband came in to the picture. He was sweet, funny, and chivalrous- the polar opposite of what I was used to. Although I hid it well (in my opinion), I fell fast. Every day was magic…a new wonderful adventure full of love and laughter.
After being together for 3 years we found out we were expecting our first child. Albeit completely financially unprepared, Josh and I couldn’t wish for better news. We learned that our little peanut was a girl- and decided her name would be Adeleida Sue. We call her Addie, our Sweet Pea. The pregnancy was fairly uneventful, as were her movements in my womb…which is why I suppose it took me almost two days to realize I hadn’t felt her kick.
Once Josh got home that afternoon I told him I was worried, and we needed to go get Addie checked out. The first hospital we stopped at got me back in to triage quickly, checked all of my vitals, and then informed us that they do not have any maternity ward, therefor nothing on site to check on our girl. We scrambled to get to the next hospital, where that triage nurse immediately asked me “You don’t think you’ve felt her for two days? Why didn’t you come in sooner?”…her face of disapproval, and that comment, will stick with me forever. It was at that hospital, in a dark, quiet room that we were told our Sweet Pea had no heartbeat.
I chose to leave that hospital and meet with my OB at our registered hospital the next day to start the induction process, I couldn’t imagine delivering her with someone we didn’t know. The wait was agony. There are no real words for how it feels carrying your knowingly deceased baby…everyone you pass looks at you with congratulatory joy, not knowing the devastation inside of you.
Our sweet Adeleida came in to this world on December 3,2012. She was absolutely gorgeous, with no tests proving any reason for her passing. We made it through 33 weeks of pregnancy just to say goodbye. The funeral, and the few months that followed were a blur.
Six months or so after losing Addie I let my empty arms get the best of me and wanted to try again. We got pregnant very quickly, but learned at an early appointment that the baby had passed away around the 8 week point. Once again, my body did not want to let go, so we scheduled my second D&C. Test results showed nothing more than she was a healthy little girl, and I had ‘characteristics’ of a blood clotting disorder. Our Avery Lynn.
On January 26, 2014 Josh and I got married- it was a beautiful event (shout out to my in-laws), and we once again decided to have another baby. Shortly after our wedding there were those two little lines. This was it. This has to be our time. My doctor started me on progesterone, baby aspirin, and blood thinner shots- we were on the road to success. Not long in to the pregnancy, due to his total lack of couth, we found out we were expecting a boy.
November 29, 2014, Charles Reno arrived. He was healthy- a beautiful, thriving baby boy. Our Charlie, my Pickle Boots. The light of our lives, the warmth in my soul. He’s almost 4 now, and I can honestly say I have no idea how we were so blessed with this boy- he is the most loving, happy hearted little guy. I give thanks for him hundreds of times a day, everyday.
We decided in the Summer of 2017 to bring Charlie a little brother or sister, and were pregnant by Fall. Christmas time brought the welcome news of another girl….I’d hoped and prayed, and hoped and prayed for a girl- after all, we had everything from Addie, and being 5 years later I was ready to see all of these things finally put to use.
I was following the same protocol as I did with Charlie, same medication, frequent OB and MFM appointments, NST’s…everything was perfect. Tuesday, May 15th, I went in for my weekly NST and she passed with flying colors. 10/10- perfect score. I remember watching her fight with the monitors on my stomach, she was so active.
Thursday, May 17th, I felt off all day…she seemed to be less active than usual, but I found her heartbeat right away with the Doppler so I dismissed my fears on my nerves from us being in the 33rd week. All day my stomach was in knots…I couldn’t sleep any that night. My thoughts kept going to the worst case scenario, but I knew I was just letting my fears get the best of me and did not want to wake everyone up.
The next morning once Charlie came in to the room talking and she didn’t move was when I knew for sure she was gone. I tried to find her with the Doppler and couldn’t. I told Josh I needed to go see the doctor, and asked him to stay with Charlie. I knew what I was going to hear, and I couldn’t lose myself in front of him. I didn’t want him to see me like that.
It was in the back corner ultrasound room that my fears were confirmed. She was gone. There was no familiar flicker on the screen- everything about her was still. All I could say was “please bring her back, I can’t do this again”. But, I was given no choice- so there we were a second go-round.
This time I had to wait to deliver due to being on blood thinners. We would be admitted to the hospital late that night, where we would start preparing for an induction the next morning.
She was my shortest labor of all our babies, at only 13 hours. May 19, 2018, our beautiful Viola Louise was born. We ran a gamut of tests, and just like Addie, everything was normal. She was a completely healthy baby. They told us “some things just happen”.
Just happen? Twice? Both girls, both at 33 weeks? How can there be no reason for this when there are so many parallels?
Needless to say, we’re not only completely devastated, but lost as well.
So here I am, a mother of 6. One here, five there. I’m still a baby snuggling, snot wiping, lullaby singing, booboo kissing Mom- I just don’t get to do the amount of tying shoes, forehead kisses, and blanket tucking that I wanted.
Our journey of grief will be lifelong. Things will come in waves, and some days it will be hard to stay afloat- but to get to them again, I’d swim the Pontchartrain.