To honor October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, The Finley Project is sharing Guest Blogs.
I always dreamt of being a mom. Even at a young age I can remember playing with dolls and preparing for caring for my children. I never planned to have a baby at 17 though.
I was young and not sure of how good I would be as a mom, but I was taking it one day at a time. My sweet fiance and I got married. It was not what I had planned. I wanted to go to college and be prepared for life.
But love had taken over and so I was pregnant. My biggest fear… letting my parents down and God. It was heart breaking, but the baby inside me was growing and I was preparing to be a mom.
My husband was working in another town, gone all week and only home on the weekends. He was doing ALL he could to financially help us out. He is and has ALWAYS been the provider. And my days were filled with school, yes I was a senior in high school, and trying to learn all about being a mom and wife.
I was always sad when I left the doctor’s office. The doctor was NOT supportive of me, a teen mother. He was NOT understanding of the issues I had going on physically, mentally and emotionally. He was NOT the doctor for me. He would NOT believe me on how far along I was.
I KNEW when I got pregnant, but HE WAS THE DR. I was a “stupid child.” So I asked to change to a different doctor. And I did. This was a great man. More of a father like man/doctor.
He was caring and he was SO understanding.. and it was ONLY my first visit. He made a statement to me that was not surprising, “you are measuring farther along.” So we had to plan an ultrasound.
My sister was very supportive and went with me to the appointment. It was supposed to be a routine visit, but as the tech was assessing me I could tell something was not right. Just by her actions. Then she called in someone else to look.
They couldn’t tell me anything, but they were concerned. They asked me to stay in the room and wait for the Dr. to come and talk with me. My sister kept trying to assure me that it was ok. I knew it was NOT good.
The doctor finally came in. He laid his hand on my shoulder and started telling me that there was a problem. I was measuring 20.5 weeks along, Bbut my cervix was dilated and the membranes were ballooning out of it. SO, I was immediately admitted to the hospital and put in trendlenburg position (feet elevated above my head).
I was scared and concerned and my husband was FAR away. He rushed home and rushed to the hospital. He stayed by my side the entire time. The plans were to have a surgery to stitch my cervix closed and allow me to hopefully carry the baby to term.
We were not sure how long the cervix had been open so the chance of infection was great. We waited till Monday to do the surgery and see if I would make it until then. Early Monday morning I woke to use the bed pan and I felt my water break.
But it was NOT my water breaking, the placenta had separated and I was bleeding. I was taken to the OR and I delivered my son at 20.5 weeks. He was 1lb 5oz and 12 inches long. He was perfect, but he was not breathing. We opted not to try heroic measures because his eyes were fused shut and he was not old enough to survive.
It was a hard thing to hold my baby and know he would never be able to see me and grow up with me. But I knew BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that he would spend his days with God.It was comforting. We held our son for a while and spent a little time here on earth with him. Then they took him away.
The nurses took a few polaroid pictures for us and gave us the blanket he was wrapped in. I treasure those items. They also gave us a little booklet on grief. The night was long and I was on the Mother Baby unit. I kept hearing infants cry and tt broke my heart continually.
In the morning as my doctor came in with tears in his eyes, we were released to go home. He said I needed to be out of the hospital and home where I could heal. I was ready to go. I was showering and heard the nurse come in to discuss “disposal of the body.”… HEART wrenching words.
I ran out of the bathroom and told her that we would be having a funeral, they were NOT disposing of my child. The words people use are SO hurtful. They don’t mean to hurt… but they do.
The next few days are pretty much a blurr. I remember going to the funeral home and seeing the tiny casket they would lay my son in. I had never been to a funeral or a funeral home. It was surreal.
Then I remember phone calls of people saying “I understand what you are going through.” NO, they didn’t, but I listened. I remember words from people trying to comfort me, but all it did was hurt. I remember talking about my son, Nathan, and how they would shy away.
The one thing that stands out above ALL is that I had this peace. The peace that I could not explain. I hurt. I cried. I laughed. I wanted to die, but the peace that God had surrounded me with was AMAZING! I don’t know how anyone can go through such pain and survive without God.
Now 26 years later, I still think of my son, Nathan. We have a scrapbook with his few photos and cards from people and pictures of his grave. I have told my 4 daughters all about their brother. My husband and I will never forget the pain we went through, but, we know that someday we will be in heaven with Nathan. What MORE could I ask for?
My prayer now is to help mothers who loose their children. It is unbelievable the pain you feel. It is something NO ONE should ever have to go through..but what I do know is that God takes the bad and makes it good.