I intend to find ways to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and support grieving parents in honor of my precious daughter. I intend to share my story and not to be ashamed of my loss or how people respond. My intention is to never forget my first.
To my sweet girl,
Even though you weren’t with us for very long. I am proud that you were a part of me and your father. I will always cherish your memory and love your forever.
I came across the Carly Marie Project Heal this past week in a ‘what to expect’ group. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and to honor that, this daily project helps capture grief and healing through writing and pictures.
Day 1. Sunrise
I was driving to work when I snapped this picture. My phone is mounted on my dashboard and it took one click. I obviously did not bother checking the quality of the picture while I was driving, so its a bit blurry…which is kind of appropriate for my state of mind.
This was take on the FDR north bound in Manhattan, NY around 6:45 AM, a few minutes shy of the official sunrise time (6:52). This, I believe, is the Manhattan Bridge.
The project encourages participants to enjoy their surroundings while they take in their sunrise for Day 1. I, unfortunately, lack the luxury of time in the morning. I am out of my house before 6 and cherish every minute of sleep I can get. Instead, I take my morning commute to reflect. This morning, I let my mind wander to the time I shared with my daughter while she as still with me. This Saturday is her expected due date and instead of welcoming her into this world, I am remembering her. I dedicate this project to the short time I had with her. The short time that has forever change my life and made me a honorary mother.
To anyone out their grieving the loss of a pregnancy, infant, or child, you are not alone. I hope you find the love and support you need while you forever grieve and heal.
I had the follow up appointment today. Two weeks after a termination, you have to go back to your OBGYN to make sure your parts are healing properly from the surgery. The second I entered the doctors office I broke into tears. There was a woman sitting in the waiting room and my eyes immediately scanned to her midsection. I am going to loose my mind if she is pregnant. This is now how I think when I see pregnant women. I start to curse in my head and resent them. This is how I felt about this woman when all I saw was the back of her head… She wasn’t expecting. I was relieved. I then, immediately, felt guilty.I hate feeling this way.
It seemed like everyone knew my story and everyone was giving me looks of sympathy. By everyone I mean the two nurses and the receptionist. Prior to me being called, the receptionist, who is also married to my doctor whispered to the nurse. I am assuming she was explaining the purpose of my visit. I averted my eyes when she looked up, but I felt them on me…I knew she knew. This same nurse then called my name and asked me to follow her to the exam room.
As I entered the exam room I broke down even harder. The nurse, without hesitation, took me in her arms and hugged me so tightly. She kept telling me that it as going to be okay. The only thing I could mutter out was ‘is he going to have to do an ultrasound?’ Naturally, I was terrified of having to see my empty uterus. Seeing the space that used to house my baby girl was about the last thing I could bare. The nurse reassured me that it was only going to be a pelvic exam and I need not to worry. I didn’t know this woman, but her act of compassion was everything I needed in that moment. She was absolutely lovely.
Once the exam was over, (thankfully everything looked fine), my husband and I met with our doctor in his office. We have a lot of questions and no answers right now. Its terribly frustrating. My doctor told us that in his practice of thirty years he has never seen the genetic marker that our daughter had. We won the shitty lottery! We are still waiting on the carrier test results, but our doctor feels like this is most likely a fluke. My husband and I are healthy and neither of us have a family history of genetic disorders. Hypothetically, we shouldn’t be carriers. On top of that, if this has never been seen before, wouldn’t it make more sense that this a a de novo case (new to the baby and not inherited)? I am trying to make sense of something that I can’t make sense of. We will hopefully have an answer next week. I am crossing my fingers that this is a fluke. Please be a fucked up fluke, please, please please.
I failed at going into work today. I set my alarm for 5am. Mornings are the most difficult for me, so I thought if I had 2 hours before needing to leave for work, I’d be able to get myself strong enough to take on the day. After pressing snooze 4 times, I realized I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get myself up and ready to face a day of work. I failed.
This might sound silly, but I also feel like I failed in general. I failed at making a healthy baby. I failed my husband. I failed my parents, my in laws, my sister and my sister and brother in law. I failed at creating another family member. I failed at giving everyone a piece of joy. I failed.
My husband assures me that these things happen and it’s not my fault. The alternative would of been much worse and we should be thankful we had the choice that we had. He is right. I know he is right. But that doesn’t take the pain away.
I feel like there aren’t any answers. I can’t even search the internet for the chromosomal problem our daughter had. It is that rare. There is no research or information on how and why it happened. Maybe genetic, maybe not? If there is no information out there on it, then could it really be genetic? Wouldn’t this mean that it is just a fucked up fluke? We find out next week. We find out next week if having a healthy baby will come easy to us or not. It’s like the torture doesn’t end.
I am not religious, but I pray that this was just a fucked up fluke. A fucked up fluke that made me appreciate and love my husband more than I thought humanly possible. I pray that this was just a hardship that we had to endure to appreciate the miracle of life and the value of family. I pray for a glimmer of hope that will allow me to heal from this. I pray for a healthy baby. I pray.
The last three days have been a roller coaster of emotions. I surprisingly felt fine on Friday. In fact, I didn’t even cry! I was well aware that that was a fluke and the feeling of being okay was going to be short lived. As Saturday rolled around, I started to feel pretty crappy again. I cried in the morning. I find the monring to be the most difficult time. More specifically, the moments between sleep and waking, when you are in the process of waking up and you have a sense of reality. As I enter this state, my heart becomes heavy and the wishing and bargaining begins. Please let me eventually have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Please let this suffering be worth a greater reward in the end. Maybe this suffering will allow me to a better, more patient mother?…please please please.
Tomorrow I return back to work. This past week I took a medical leave. I knew I wouldn’t be able to rush back to work after the termination. I knew I would need some time to emotionally heal. I am no where near healed, but I am on my way… Everyone at work knew I was expecting and were excited for me. I guess I am just not emotionally prepapred for anyone to ask me how I am doing. How do I not breadown when someone asks me? How do I avoid the question. I also jsut don’t feel like myself. I lost a part of myself last week. A part of me I am not sure I’ll ever regain. I lost my innocence and I lost the ability to feel excited.
It has been a week and three days since the termination and I don’t think my family and friends know how to respond to me. They call and ask me how I am doing and if I am honest and tell them that I am not doing so well, they try to fix me. It’s hard to explain to them that this isn’t something fixable, that this isn’t something that will just go away. This is grief and mourning, and it will take time for me to feel okay. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a person that everyone knew, This was a person growing inside me, that really I only knew. With this being the case, sharing the grief is really difficult and very lonely.
To be honest, I really need hope. I need to know that I will have a healthy baby and that I will be a mother. I need this to be the truth that will help pull me out of this dark, painful time. I need to know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.