I didn’t expect that my first post as a contributor with the HDYDI family would be one about loss but it is. You see, before I knew the joy of being a mother, I experienced the pain of losing a child. As part of the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Loss Day I want to share with you my path of closure and remembrance.
On 2008 Christmas eve, Santa outdid himself. After 3 years of trying to conceive, I had a positive pregnancy test. Life became really surreal for me and I’m not sure my feet touched the ground in those first weeks of finding out that I was pregnant. Once my first trimester was over, I made the big announcement – WE’RE HAVING A BABY. I could exhale. We’ve made it through the riskiest part of being pregnant. It was time to start picking out names and furniture and cute baby clothes.
The next day, the proverbial shoe dropped – I started bleeding heavily. The doctors confirmed that I had a twin molar pregnancy. Molar pregnancies occur 1 in 100,000 pregnancies. A twin molar pregnancy with a coexisting normal fetus is even rarer. So that’s what I had – one normal perfect fetus and one mole with potentially fatal consequences. 3 weeks later, I had a miscarriage. While waiting to be seen by the doctor, I went to the restroom and that’s where my little boy was born – 16w2d – perfect in every way but too tiny to live.
Recovery was hard. On the day of my miscarriage, my beta Hcg was over 2 million. I spent the two days in the hospital before I could go home. I had difficulty breathing, my blood pressure was very high and my thyroid hormone levels were so low that my body had the jitters and I was having heart palpitations. It took 6 months of monitoring by the MFM and gynecologist oncologist before my body was back to normal. It was another 6 months before my hearth was ready to try again.
I made a remembrance bracelet for my son and wore it for a year afterwards – until the day I didn’t feel guilty about taking it off. When I got pregnant with my twins, I didn’t inform my family until the pregnancy was 36 weeks. I refused all ultrasound photos. I had already amassed a collection of ultrasound pictures with no baby to show for it. I was scared to lose again
But this time, I didn’t lose. My beautiful baby girls were born at 39 weeks. After their birth, my sister came to help out and she saw my son’s teddy bear and bracelet in the closet where I kept them. She asked why I still kept it, assuming that part of closure was that I got rid of everything related to what was a tragic event. I smiled and said nothing. She didn’t understand and that was ok with me. Sometimes people who truly love you may still not get it. Let it be ok.
To a lot of people, a 16 week old pregnancy is just a blip on the radar. To a mother, it’s a little person that’s managed to grab a hold of your heart before you ever met. Yes the miscarriage is among the worst moments of my life. I could never erase the memories if I tried. But I also have good memories – memories of a very boisterous little boy who liked to give the ultrasound techs a run for their money. In just 16 weeks, I fell in love with him and that love is still strong. I still miss the way things could have been. Yes I have closure but I will always remember.
Have you been in a place of loss before? What would you say or do for a mother who’s experienced infant or pregnancy loss to honor their angel?
Yetunde has 3 year old twin girls and dishes about her experiences on the blog aptly titled mytwintopia.