We were only three and a half weeks away from our baby’s due date when our world came crashing down. Three and a half weeks away from a day that I was petrified for, but also ecstatic for. This was going to be a day that would change our lives forever in the best possible way. But instead, three and a half weeks before our baby’s due date our lives were forever changed in the worst possible way. It was like we had been training the whole year for a marathon; working out daily, eating clean, hyping up all of our friends and families who would be cheering us on, all leading up to race day just to have our legs broken… no, to be hit by a truck, right before crossing the finish line.
On the day that I first noticed that I wasn’t feeling our baby’s regular soccer player kicks in my belly, I was worried, but I couldn’t fathom how serious the situation really was. It wasn’t until the next morning, after eating a full breakfast and chugging cold water with still no movement from baby, that I really started to panic. When I called my doctor to ask if I should come in, she asked me to go straight to the hospital. My heart sank. With tears in my eyes and fear in my voice, I called my husband who left work immediately to meet me there.
When we checked in at the maternity ward, we were taken to a private room for me to have a fetal Doppler test and ultrasound done. A nurse came in with the Doppler, put the cold jelly on my stomach, which I was more than used to at this point, but what happened next was brand new to me. Silence. She moved the Doppler up and down, and side to side. Silence. I have never heard such deafening, torturous silence in my life. Tears started to fall down my cheek as I thought to myself over and over; this can’t be real. Now the ultrasound tech was in the room scanning around my belly. Up and down, side to side. More silence. She unplugged the machine and strolled it out of the room. Not a word. As the initial nurse stood beside the bed, I eagerly asked “what is happening?” She responded that we would need to wait until the doctor got there to tell us, “but I think you already know.” What did that mean?? I was livid and frantic, but she was right, I did already know.
After our doctor shared the heart shattering news that our baby had passed, we went home in an attempt to prepare ourselves for what would be the worst few days of our lives. We walked into a house where our brand new baby stroller greeted us at the front door. We walked upstairs and into our bedroom where boxes of diapers and baby clothes stood stacked in the corner of the room. It was everywhere. HE was everywhere. After gaining an ounce of strength after lying in bed together, without breathing, we powered through the deconstruction of my already packed hospital bag. We took out the diapers, the baby wipes, the swaddles, his going home onesie and top knot hat. With each baby article I removed from the bag, it was like removing each anticipated moment we had for our future with him.
On Friday, May 12th I gave birth to our baby boy. When my doctor initially asked me if I would want to hold him, my first response and reaction was to say no. However, that decision quickly changed and I am now beyond thankful that I was able to hold him, look at him, and tell him how much I loved him. Those moments with him mean everything to me because those moments will be the only moments, outside of my belly, that I will get to have with him. Leaving the hospital that Saturday, just a day before Mother’s Day, was the hardest part of all of it. I almost felt comfort in being at the hospital, and staying there, where he was. Leaving was just going to finalize things; it was over – my hopes and dreams for this baby and our future with him were at an end. I was going to be leaving the hospital without my baby. But somehow we did it. We left the hospital and started our healing journey. While the first few weeks were extremely rough, we got through it day by day with the support of our friends and family, and most importantly with the support of each other. We recognize that the healing is far from over, that it will continue every day, and may likely last a lifetime.