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Monday, November 16, 2015

Three Years Ago Today

Three years ago we experienced our first ever loss of a baby. It was shocking after having Sofia. Many tend to believe miscarriages and stillborns happen to other people not them, especially if they have had a healthy living child. I found this especially true in the green organic naturopathic communities I belonged to at the time. And then it happened to us. It was about 6am, Rick and I were sleeping in bed when I felt warm blood pour out of me. I immediately woke up and said, "Rick I think I am having a miscarriage." He instantly started screaming, "NO!, NO!, NO!" His response was so raw, real and heartbreaking. 

We ran to the bathroom. While sitting on the toilet bleeding I instinctively asked Rick for holy water and then baptized our baby who we did not see with our naked eye. Using the holy water I made the sign of the cross and said, "as your parents we baptize you in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit." This was something we felt a responsibility to do as baby's parents. It was also all that we could do in that moment. We could not save him or her which was such an awful feeling. We told baby that we loved him or her and really wanted him or her and are so sad and sorry that he or she was gone. 

I ironically had a Doctor appointment scheduled that morning at my PCP's office as I was going to get my vitamin D level checked and I was sick with a cold/ scratchy throat. My PCP's office was probably not the best place to be that morning as she called my OB with our news and in a panic sent me down to imaging for a vaginal snd abdominal sonogram. By this time I had been bleeding heavily for 3-4 hours so I knew baby was gone. I refused the vaginal sono from a male sonograher I had never met and who did not actually work in an OB office. I allowed the abdominal sono to which he told us he did not see the gestational sac which was no surprise to us given the amount of blood loss. I then had blood drawn to check on my HCG levels which came back extremely low at a 4 signifying a completed miscarriage. 

After the commotion at the Doctors office we went home and cried. The only people that were really aware of our second pregnancy and loss were our immediate family and a small handful of friends as things happened so quickly. That night we decided to name our baby Sam Frances.

We then had a very quiet Thanksgiving with three of our single friends and after dinner we walked over to the Chapel to pray which ironically was closed. ;) Our wedding anniversary on the 30th was rather somber but we went through with plans to celebrate with dinner at Hotel Saint Germaine which was quiet, beautifully decorated for Christmas and delicious. For Christmas we went to Florida where only my immediate family and a couple of friends knew about what we were going through. It had taken us four-five months to get pregnant with our second baby, our longest time ever TTC and then our baby died. :( We were quietly sad. Grieving but yet determined to try again right after the New Year which we did get pregnant on the first try... It wasn't unti we lost our third baby, Christian, that we began talking about pregnancy loss. It was hard not to since everyone knew we were pregnant and I was starting to show. 

An old middle school friend made a comment to me recently on how we are so open with our losses and it hit me... Would I/ we have been open about pregnancy loss and then repeat pregnancy loss if it were not for losing Christian??? Carrying Christian for 17 weeks and 2 days and then birthing him is what led me to be open and what led me to MEND. If all my losses had been earlier before I heard heartbeats or physically delivered, saw, held my baby I am not sure how open I would have been. Would I have suffered in silence? Would I have broken the silence? Would I have become an advocate for pregnancy loss awareness? Would I have spoken about grief? Spoken about post traumatic stress? Spoken about pregnancy after loss? Would I have joined support groups? I don't know... but I am sure glad I did. 

I know that being open has helped me, helped others and has really helped us now three years later in my sixth pregnancy with Baby Girl Macias who had an awesome 28 week sonogram today. Pregnancy After Loss (PAL) juggling joy, hope and grief. 

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