Our Sweet Joey

On September 2020, we found out we were pregnant with our second child. Everything was going according to plan. We were going to have our kids 3 years apart and we were excited. My first pregnancy was a breeze so we never imagined anything but the same experience this time around. We were wrong.

On a Friday morning during my 14th week of pregnancy, I woke up to some spotting. I was rushed into my midwife’s office to get checked out and listen for the baby’s heartbeat, which sounded good. They told me they could not rule out a miscarriage, but there was nothing we could do besides wait and that they would send me for an urgent ultrasound. The ultrasound showed nothing but the baby developing normally. The bleeding stopped a few days later and we thought we were in the clear until the bleeding came back. Another urgent ultrasound and bloodwork/tests to try to find out what was going on with no answers. This pattern followed until my 20-week ultrasound, which showed I had marginal placenta previa and the end of my placenta closest to the cervix was lifting.

After finally finding some answers and now under the care of an OB, I held on to the hope that my placenta would move up and away from my cervix as the pregnancy progressed and that the end of my placenta would eventually reattach… everything would be ok. Things only go worse. The bleeding became consistent (instead of off and on) and my amniotic fluid levels were lower than normal (due to a suspected hole in my amniotic sac brought about by the bleeding). From 20 weeks to 23 weeks, I was in and out of OB triage and told every time there was nothing they could do as long as I was still ok and until viability at 23 weeks.

On January 25, 2021 (at 23 weeks on the dot), I woke in the middle of the night to heavier bleeding and a clot the size of my hand. I went to the hospital in an ambulance and was admitted to the antenatal unit. At this point, I was told I would be there until the baby arrived which would most likely be premature. Due to Covid, I was not allowed any visitors including my husband and 2-year-old daughter. To be admitted to the hospital alone in these circumstances was scary and I never felt more alone. So many unknowns about our baby and how long I would be separated from my family. I spent most of my time trying to distract my mind with reading, tv shows and phone calls with family/friends. NICU consulted with us and informed us that they resuscitate babies 25 weeks or later given better outcomes for the baby, but from 23-24 weeks it is up to the parents. They presented the risks to us. This was the hardest decision as a parent we had to make and it weighed on us…the implications for this baby’s future, our family’s future.

Ultimately, I went into premature labour and delivered our beautiful son on Feb. 3, 2021. I was a few days into my 24th week of pregnancy. He did not survive the delivery. My husband and I got to spend time with our little Joey before the nurses took him away and we made arrangements for his cremation. We walked out of the hospital that same morning brokenhearted with a memory box in our arms instead of Joey. Not a day goes by when I do not think about him and what life would be like with him here.

—Sophia Briard

every story matters

The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre is a non-profit registered charity that helps families connect to support on their path to healing after pregnancy or infant loss.  Families like yours can work with us and get support with a variety of services that hold space for your unique story. No matter at what stage of your parenthood journey you find yourself, your story will be heard here.

If you are ready to share your story, or you need help with your journey, get in touch with us.

For more stories like this, visit our Stories of Loss page
or visit #sharingmystoryofloss on Instagram

Book with Erin Winters

In order to book with Erin, please connect directly with our Program Assistant, Shelagh via email at shelagh@pilsc.org

NOTE: Refrain from providing detailed personal information when emailing Shelagh. Feel free to describe your challenges in brief, and leave out personal details that you only wish to share with Erin.

Shelagh

Shelagh (she/her) brings with her a solid background as an admin in a variety of areas from business, academia and now with a charitable organization with the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Center. She feels passionate about working in a role that benefits others in the community.

Shelagh was exposed to bereavement and deep grief at an early age and it left her with a profound sense of how fragile life is and how we need to find joy and light wherever we can. She feels privileged to be able to take this sense with her into her role with PILSC while putting her strong admin skills to good use.