Wave of Light: Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness. OUR Story.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

[Mt. Trashmore, April 2012]
For those that do not know, October is also Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month, and on October 15th is when they hold the wave of light. It is just a day for parents who have lost a child due to sids, still birth, miscarriage, etc to remember the little angels they lost. I actually do not know where to begin this post. It is a sensitive and emotional topic for me, but I have never been afraid to speak of my experiences. This may get a tad long and a little personal, but bare with me. 

Lets rewind a bit...You see, we were at a point in both of our lives where it would have been too chaotic to add another human being in the mix. It would have been unfair to the child to be brought into an unhappy home. Not many people know this, it wasn't all honeymoon and fairytale with us. We were at a rocky point in our marriage when it happened and we were just getting back to trying to rebuild and rekindle what we were so close to losing. The year before was just a year of lows and I felt like the roller coaster just kept dropping, where John and I could barely get along. I was at a point where I felt like I was gonna hit rock bottom, and eventually... I did. Many of you guys know that John and I have been together since we were 14/15, and I guess when you have been together that long you eventually hit a point in your relationship where you question a lot of things.  We went through an obstacle course, and we had to fight hard to get through it and survive. And that we did.

It was February of 2012 when John and I found out we were pregnant for the first time. Us... we were going to be parents. Most people would have been ecstatic, but I was in shock. Happy, but in shock. I still remember that day so vividly. I was so nervous to tell John who was still lying in bed that morning. It came as a big surprise because we were not trying at all, nor we're we expecting it to happen soon after I got off of my birth control, but it did and all we could do was accept it. Ready or not, it was a responsibility we couldn't turn our backs on and we knew we had to work hard at it. We tried so hard, but life just kept throwing challenges at us that sometimes made things very difficult. 

And then the unthinkable happened. We found out the baby had stopped growing and had no heartbeat during our first OB visit at a little over 10 weeks. I still remember the doctor doing the sonogram and the look of concern on her face when the baby popped up in the monitor. She was quiet for a minute and I already knew something wasn't right. I squeezed John's hand as she looked at me and told me the most horrifying news I have ever heard. I looked up at John and cried. She said "maybe we just have your due date wrong and that your earlier than we had thought, come back in a few days and we'll do another ultrasound." We walked back to our car devastated. We went to church that day and we prayed together. My mind was spinning, 'Why?' and then thinking, I deserved it. I wasn't fit and ready to be a mother, and He knew that. I didn't want to be angry nor upset, but as a human being, it came naturally. We didn't even have to go in for another ultrasound because later that evening John took me to the ER because I was spotting, and they confirmed there that the baby indeed did not have a heartbeat. So they asked me if I wanted to do a D&C or just wait it out and let my body do the work and do it naturally. I chose the latter. 

I was going into week 12 of the pregnancy when it happened. So imagine how hard it was for me to carry a baby that I knew wasn't growing. I was a wreck. It was in the middle of the night and John had duty that day so he wasn't expected home til the next afternoon. I woke up from really bad cramps, and at the moment I knew it was happening. I squeezed my belly in hopes that I could stop it from really happening, but there was no way I could have saved the baby because he/she was already long gone. Luckily, I wasn't home alone. I called John at work and told them it was an emergency and he immediately called me back. I could barely even say a word because the pain was that bad, I was speaking under my breath to try and tell him the baby is leaving. I don't remember exactly what happened after that but I assume he got in contact with our housemate who was sleeping across the hall because before I knew it, I heard knocking on the door. I was already on the floor crawling by this time. I let him in and he assisted me to his car to drive me to the ER. I just remember screaming and squeezing his hand because the pain was unbearable. Poor guy, I can tell he was panicking! When we got to the ER I was wheel-chaired in and seen right there and then. They took my vitals before taking me into a room. John showed up an hour later to blood all over the floor.  I was crying. He walked over to me, grabbed my hands and reassured me it'll all be okay. Was it going to be? After that hospital visit, we were going home... with no baby in hand. 

The loss broke me. It was the last thing that would bring me all the way down to rockbottom. I cried everyday, sometimes hiding it from John because I knew he was tired of seeing me cry. Our friends had no idea for days/weeks. I wasn't ready to talk to anyone about it. We saw friends during Easter that year and someone came up to me and rubbed my belly asking how baby was, and I just wanted to break down. But I held it together before walking over to John asking him if we could just go home. That was also the day we did our little memorial. We went to the park and let go of blue & pink balloons because we never even got the chance to find out if we were having a boy or a girl.

For a while, I questioned everything. I was back to my unhappy place. It hurt in all aspects; mentally, physically, emotionally. I was drained. I was angry. I was confused. I would never think of doing such thing, but at that time disappearing just seemed a lot better and less painful. I would talk to the baby and say sorry that I couldn't do anything. I blamed myself.  But I knew I had to get myself together. I had to pick myself back up, as hard as it was to do. If I wanted to experience being a mother someday, I had to get myself together. I grieved for weeks, months, but life kept on going and none of it stopped for me. So I realized I had to move on. 

I eventually started to look at the pregnancy and the loss with a glass half full. It helped me cope with the loss.  I kept telling myself that God knew we weren't ready and he wanted to give us time to work on ourselves and our relationship. And even though for a while I felt some kind of anger towards Him, I had to eventually let it go and find my way back and trust that God's plans are better than my dreams. I started going back to church, praying a lot more and seek in him whole heartedly. I surrendered. "Lord its not so easy, sometimes the pain in my life makes you seem so far away. But I'll trust you... through the tears and the pain, through the heartache and rain." Before I even realized it, I was doing just fine. I still had days when I broke down, but I was no longer angry.

There were still so many things we wanted to do and accomplish before becoming parents. That pregnancy saved us in ways we didn't know then, but looking back at it now, if it never had happened, sometimes I wonder if John and I would have still been together. And we could have easily given up on each other after the fact, but instead, that experience brought us closer together and realized that we can go through hell and back, so we worked on us. And that is why I say that the pregnancy saved us, it saved me. We may have lost the baby, but it served a bigger purpose in our lives for that short amount of time.  It gave way for us to work on ourselves and our marriage. 

And today, more than 3 years later, here we are... more in love than ever, stronger, matured, and ready to take on this role. Although it took longer than we had hoped for, I can't imagine our lives going any other way and I can't imagine going through it all with anyone else. In those three years we became homeowners, John got promoted, he also went back to school, I graduated and got my bachelors degree, became a licensed teacher and officially became a photography business owner and was able to travel to four different countries and took as many trips as we could. So you see, you really have to appreciate the tough times and the struggles because it leads you to a path where you could have only imagined back then. You never know how strong you truly are, until that is your only option. 

So on this day every year, I light a candle for an hour to honor that little angel of ours. For being our savior. Although he/she came and went, that baby left a big mark. When we found out we were pregnant this second time, I joked and said his big bro/sister whispered to God and told him "I think they're ready now." For 3 years, we struggled to get to this happy place.  A lot of tears were shed, heartaches, pain. This is the reason why Ive embraced this pregnancy so much because I promised myself that if we ever fell pregnant again, that I was going to treasure every moment of it.  As I type this, feeling the baby move and stretch is a feeling I once thought would never happen to me. But here we are, a little over 9 weeks to go. Having a good, healthy and normal pregnancy so far is still so surreal to us, but we cannot thank Him enough for this little miracle and blessing. 

Everyone copes with loss differently. Although I kept to myself the first few weeks/months, I decided to share my story because often times you don't hear of miscarry or loss stories because many women would rather keep it to themselves and struggle on their own, not because they want to act as if it never happened and it didn't exist, but because the pain of talking about it is unbearable. It hurts, and the pain never truly goes away. I still sit here and wonder how life would have been if the baby was born. What kind of characteristics they would have had, who it would have looked like. And the fact that October was our due date makes this month just a little bittersweet. But I can't be sad forever. I have just gotten to the point where I no longer cry when I speak about it... I will tear up, but not cry as hard as I used to.  That is totally fine. But I wanted to share my story for those who are trying to find comfort in others who have gone through it. Because I know when it first happened, I tried to find an outlet of people who can relate. However you grieve, cope or handle it, as long as you are able to pick yourself up and keep going. This goes for any of the struggles in your life. Failures don't matter, what matters is how you get back up.  Do not blame yourself. I learned from my experience that there really wasn't much any one could do and blaming yourself just makes the process of healing even harder. Life does move on, but you will always carry that little angel in your heart and memory. 

We are 1 in 4. We never thought it could happen to us, but it did. We share our story so that those who have experienced it won't feel like they have to go through this alone. To give them hope.  If sharing your story helps you cope, then share it. I'm sure someone out there would be glad to read and know they aren't alone. But if you'd rather stay silent and keep the pain to yourself, that is fine too. For everyone who has experienced some type of infant and pregnancy loss or know any one who has experienced it, light a candle up for them.


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