This was it! We were officially going to be called…”The Jackson Five”!
My husband is a natural. We call him the baby whisperer. Give him a baby and BAM! That baby melts into his arms. It wasn’t quite as easy for me. But when I became a mother, something changed. I changed. The best thing I ever did (well, other than marrying said Baby Whisperer) was having our two baby girls.
Adding to our family of four and feeling fantastic, I was enjoying every minute of this 3rd pregnancy.
Fast forward to my 17 week doctor appointment after a family trip to Florida – the most magical place in the world.
Here we go! I was almost HALF way there! I couldn’t wait to hear the little pitter patter sound from that machine. With a smile from ear to ear and a skip in my step, I hopped up on the table and waited.
My smile quickly faded. That sound wasn’t there today. Something was wrong. A look of worry hit the doctor’s face. You know, that worried look that you know is bad but you don’t want to believe it’s bad.
The next thing I knew, I was admitted to the hospital. There I was, alone. Scared. Shaking. Every time the door opened, I hoped it was my husband. I was holding in my tears and I needed him to tell me everything was going to be okay. He always made things better. He always had the right words. But stranger after stranger opened that revolving door. Each expressing their deepest apologies, but every time they had an update. What was going to happen next. Where I was going to go. What I was going to do. It was all a blur. I felt so confused.
Finally, my husband came in. But this time he didn’t have the right words. He didn’t know what to say. He just looked at me with his big, sad eyes.
The outpouring of love that occurred in those next 24 hours was unforgettable. Friends and family visited. (They even brought my starving husband Mighty Taco). My mother and in-laws took care of my girls at home. Every single person in that hospital was so loving and caring. So sincere. It almost made me forget why I was there.
The question of the day: “Do you want to see the baby?”
“No, thank you.” I answered repeatedly.
After many emotional hours, it was time. So many doctors. More strangers. More apologies. And then something happened when the baby arrived. I saw the look on my husband’s face and this time when they asked THAT question again, I shook my head and mumbled, “Yes.”
A face I will never forget. I have pictures, but I only looked at them one time. Maybe someday I will again.
Now we were back to a family of four again. Being the stubborn woman that I am, that feeling for another baby grew deeper. So a few months later, I took another test. Just the sign I wanted to see. Positive. Eagerly arriving at our first sonogram, 14 weeks along, with my 2 year old in tow. Only to see the same look of worry. No heartbeat.
Maybe the Jackson Five was not meant to be for this family. We would be okay. There are bigger losses in life, I reminded myself. We were blessed with 2 children. I know there was someone suffering more than me. We would be okay.
A few things I learned:
- Your spouse needs to heal too.
I remember my husband coming back from running an errand and he said “I just had to drive around and think.” He was suffering a loss, too– but hiding his sadness because he was busy taking care of me.
- Let people help.
They WANT to help. We had so much food delivered to our door. Cards. Texts. Let them help. It’s the only way for people to let you know they are with you and feeling your pain.
- Don’t blame yourself.
This one was hard for me. I questioned everything I did. “Did I do too much in Disney?” “I should have eaten better.” “Why did I fly on an airplane?” “Should I have worked out more?” “Should I not have worked out?” “Did I do something wrong in life?” In those moments, I felt like this was MY fault. But it’s NOT.
- Find support.
There are so many places to go for support. Whether it be through that computer of yours or in person, find it and use it.
- Remember that you are not alone.
So many have suffered this same loss, but so many don’t want to talk about it. This part is a struggle for me still because if I hear that someone had a loss, I don’t want to say “ME TOO!” and immediately tell my story. It’s about THEM and their loss. In time, you can share with them or remind them that they have a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.
We are a strong family. A day doesn’t go by that we don’t think about those babies, and it changed me. But it’s okay. Just like those vows…”For better or for worse.” We will be okay.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. “We remember… the babies born sleeping. Those we carried but never held. Those we held but could not take home. Those who came home but could not stay.” If you would like to share your story with the readers of BuffaloMoms, please contact us at Buffalomomblog@gmail.com
WRITTEN BY AMY
Amy Jackson lives in Lancaster where she has mastered her selfie taking skills and loves to keep her family busy with forced family fun outings.