I wrote this post on 8/27/19 and shared it with all of my friends on Facebook, and figured I should also share it here on the blog. Thank you for reading.
My Truth About Loss – 8/27/19
I want to note that this is not intended to be an attention seeking post. I just want to be open, honest, and share what we’ve been through this year.
I’ve been debating for a long time, when and if I wanted to open up to my world about this. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’m talking about loss. Not talking about just any loss (not disrespecting any type of loss), but I’m talking about miscarriage and stillbirth, the losses of your very own children.
Many don’t know this about me, but my husband and I have experienced now, 2 losses of our own babies. We had a loss in February 2019 at 6 weeks, and our most recent loss of our 18 week old (utero) baby girl Aaliyah on July 22nd 2019. Neither loss was short of devastating to not just us, but our immediate and extended family.
The hardest part, for me, about losing our children (aside from of course losing our children), was the shame, embarrassment, and guilt I felt both times. I can just remember in February blaming myself for everything that I had done leading up to the loss.. Not eating enough, not drinking enough water, taking too much Tylenol (though deemed safe by the FDA and almost all certified OBGYNs), intimacy with my husband, and the list goes on. I pondered daily about things I could’ve done differently… “If I had just,” “Maybe if I had,” “I should’ve,” etc etc etc.
I was devastated.. It had taken us 7 months to conceive and we finally did it, with the help of God of course. We were pregnant. I was due on October 12th 2019. From the second I saw those 2 pink lines, I started planning our entire lives around our baby-to-be. In 2 short weeks, all of the hopes and dreams I had begun having about our precious baby, were wiped clean away from me. We were stripped of ever being able to know that child. It was nothing short of devastating. I found myself falling into a deep depression.. I pushed everyone away. It was a darkness I had never known before.. Loss was nothing I had ever had to go through.
I won’t lie, my faith was shaken up. My faith that God had my best interests at heart vanished. I blamed him (though only temporarily) for what had happened. I couldn’t understand why he would let this happen to us.
Slowly but surely, my faith returned, we picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off, and started trying again.
It didn’t take us long. On April 12th, I found myself staring at another positive pregnancy test. I was immediately terrified.. And I felt guilty that I had fallen pregnant so quick after the loss of our first sweet baby. Aaliyah was due on my own birthday, December 23rd. I was so happy to be sharing my birthday with her… again, planning our lives around the thought of having our first daughter.
I had several bouts of bleeding throughout the first trimester. I had an ultrasound after each scare I had, and we were constantly reassured that our baby was growing and was perfectly healthy each time.
We didn’t tell anyone, but we had decided to find out the gender at 12 weeks through the NIPT testing, mostly to ease the anxiety I was having about something going wrong. I was believing God that everything was okay, but I’m only human and it’s natural for fear to creep up on us, even when our faith is strong.
We found out we were having a beautiful baby girl.. I instantly fell in love with the idea even though I had always wanted a boy growing up. The first loss really stripped me from the naivety and luxury of wishing for one or the other. I was just so happy that we were having a healthy baby. To see her jumping around on each ultrasound was just such a blessing. I thanked God daily for blessing us with Aaliyah. She was exactly what we needed, especially after the loss of our first.
Around 13 weeks, I started noticing my mucus plug falling out. I mentioned it to my OB, and they didn’t seem worried. They reassured me that “mucus is completely normal.”
14 weeks came and I started noticing Braxton hicks. I was told this was also normal and that my body was just gearing up for the real thing.
At 16 weeks, my water broke.
At 18 weeks, on July 22nd, the cord dropped from my cervix. I was induced and gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl I’ve ever laid my eyes on. And just like that, it was all over. She was born still. No breath in her body, no heart beat.
We lost her.
I won’t go through those details, but this is the most painful thing I either of us have ever had to go through. It’s been 5 weeks and I still am not 100% there. This was not “His plan.” This was something that we had to go through for a reason we may never know, but I know God never “plans” for couples to lose their children. And it’s not His fault. We don’t blame Him. He will get the glory from this though.
I think the most embarrassing part of what happened, was my age. I’m 21 years old and already have lost 2 babies… not that it’s okay to lose a baby at any age, but I started this journey under the naive idea that this type of thing doesn’t happen to people my age, and that It surely wouldn’t happen to us, not once and most certainly not twice in a row. I’m supposed to be in my prime… supposed to be able to conceive easily, and go full term with a beautiful, healthy, living baby at the end of it all. I was so wrong and honestly embarrassment and shame don’t come close to describe the way I felt each time.
The reason I’m opening up about this is because I know from the outside looking in, we appear to have it all. We have a great life! We have great families, we just bought our house, we have a successful business, and really the list goes on. We truly are blessed and we are grateful for all that we have. But we don’t have it all together. And something I wish I had when I experienced my first loss was someone I could relate to… someone else who had experienced a miscarriage that I was comfortable with, someone who could talk to me about how they dealt with it and how they were able to move forward. But I didn’t have that because people don’t open up about this type of loss. It’s taboo. Baby loss is scary and horrible… too horrible to speak up about often times. It wasn’t until later that I realized more women go through this than I thought
Something I learned on this journey of losing our 2 babies, people don’t always show you what’s actually going on. That’s one that I’ve really struggled to understand. Why don’t people open up about their pregnancy/infant losses? Are they ashamed? Are they scared? Do they think it doesn’t matter? Regardless of their reasoning, I felt it was the right thing to do to share my story.
Then I realized that I’m no different… I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know about my losses. I was so much more ashamed when we lost our sweet girl in July… I immediately wished we had told no one about her at 12 weeks. I wished we had waited until I was further along, and then I began to realize how incredibly selfish that thought was. Aaliyah deserves better than that… it was not her fault. She doesn’t deserve to be hidden and tucked away from the world. She is our baby, even if we don’t have her here with us physically.
Both of our babies were very real regardless of how far along they were, and now they’ve both gone on to be with Jesus in heaven. As hard as it is, it’s selfish of me to wish it had been any other way. They are in the best possible place now, with or without me. I love them with every ounce of my being. I would’ve given my own life for both of them to be here.
Though it has been hard for me to see, there is hope.. Even if I do have to remind myself of that multiple times a day, I know that God loves us and wants us to have children someday. When? I have no idea. But I can’t stop moving. Though he slay me, yet will it trust him.
This was not meant to be a post for gaining sympathy, that’s the last thing I want.
What I want to do here is bring awareness about child loss. Though it’s a grim subject, it happens to 1 in 4 women. Many women go through this and you may never even know it. I don’t want to hide anymore. Though we don’t have our happy ending yet, I know it’s coming and it’ll be sweeter than we could’ve possibly imagined.
But for now, while we wait, I hope that I can help someone else who has gone through this. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It hurts, and it sucks, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. After a storm, a rainbow lies just ahead.
If you’re reading this and you find yourself needing to talk to someone who’s been there, I’m here. My inbox is open. If there’s one thing I needed on this journey, was someone who had been there and could understand this type of loss and what I was going through. I want to be a support for anyone else that has been through this. No one should go through this alone.