I’ve spent a few weeks wanting to write about this but I couldn’t figure out how to begin. So, I’m starting how I’ve started all my other posts. Fingers to keyboard and I wing it.
On December 30, 2020 I went for my routine 20 week ultrasound. This was my 4th baby, 3rd pregnancy. My other pregnancies were healthy with no issues whatsoever. This time around I had a ton of anxiety from the beginning. I had no idea why, but I tried my best to be calm. I laid down for my exam the same way I had before; needing to pee! The technician was very nice and as usual, I was talking away trying to pass the time. My husband was not allowed in the room because of Covid, so I was alone with my anticipation. Was it a boy or girl? Unfortunately we didn’t get that far. Half way through, the technician stopped and told me, “There is something I am not able to measure, I need to talk to the supervising technician and ill be right back.” So I was left laying there with absolutely no clue what was going on. My heart started racing and all I could do was lay there and wait. She came back in and told me that I had to go call my doctor in 1 hour, and she was unable to complete the exam or tell me anymore information. I start crying. Sobbing with panic is a better way to describe it. I left the building, sobbing under my face mask, with every pregnant woman watching me with horror. I got into my van & called my husband to tell him what happened. Afterwards I tried calling my doctors office but the phone lines were busy. There was no way that I was going to go home and wait around. So, I drove to my doctors office & walked in without an appointment balling my eyes out. I told the girl at the front desk what happened and pleaded with her to help me. Thankfully my doctor was still in the office, and they took me to a room right away. Still sobbing, my doctor walks in with a look of “wtf happened?” I tell him exactly what happened and he said he would go call for the results and be right back. I sat there in complete & utter panic. My thoughts were traveling a mile a minute. If the baby was handicapped in some way, so be it! If my baby was missing a limb, okay then! I didn’t care! I just wanted my baby to be okay. I prayed to God. I remember exactly what I said to him.
“God, whatever happens I know that ill get through it with you.”
My doctor came back in, and stood at the door. I will never forget the look on his face. “Oh Amanda, I’m so sorry. The baby died.”
I think this is the first time in my entire life when my heart actually stopped beating. There are no words in the English language to describe this moment properly. I broke down in utter despair, yelling “no!” He sat down in front of me and kept saying how sorry he was. “How? Why? When?” I was asking. Roughly 10 days prior, our baby passed away and I had no idea. I started to call my husband, but I was sobbing so badly that my doctor took my phone and offered to tell him for me.
I had to sit there without my husband. I had to drive home alone. During the drive home, my mind was silent. The news was not processing very well. I opened the front door to my husband who was waiting for me. We embraced and he broke down. 30 minutes later we were at the hospital checking into the maternity ward. They were waiting for my arrival to start the induction process. I was that mother. That woman who comes to the hospital to have a baby, and leave without one. I felt like it was all a dream. I had to give birth to my baby, and immediately start making cremation plans. How is this fair to anyone? Why did this happen? Did I do something wrong? Was it because I kept forgetting my prenatal vitamins? Did I eat something bad? Was it stress that I had dealt with? The doctor assured me there was nothing that I did to cause this. There was absolutely nothing that could have prevented this from happening.
The doctor and nurse kept asking us if we wanted to see the baby once he was born. My husband said yes right away. He lost a son before we met and he never got to see him, so I could understand his answer. For myself, I was not sure. What do other mothers do? What if I choose not to, will I be considered a bad mother? All I kept imagining is me holding him and not being able to give him up. How could I hold my baby and not bring him home? I knew myself. This would break me. Shatter me. So, while already judging my decision, I chose not to see our baby. Even as I type this confession knowing people will read this, I feel judged & I feel guilty.
On December 31st 2020 at 2:47am, our baby was born. He weighed 250 grams. The nurse took him and my husband went to hold him in a different room. When I overheard the nurse say it was a boy, I broke down. “I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT! I told you! I told you!” I sobbed while my husband held me. Sobbing is an understatement. My little boy, Nicolas. Gone.
For the next 24 hrs I laid in my hospital bed contemplating whether or not I should change my mind, and hold him. I had an infection from carrying him for so many days after he passed away, so I had some time to sit and think. I was comparing myself to other mothers who have been through the same thing. But, I forced myself to stop. I had to decide for myself. I just couldn’t do it. I could not give him back. I’m not that strong. I knew it would literally shatter me and I had 3 other sons to go home to. I left the hospital without seeing him.
My husband took photos that he keeps on his phone. The staff took photos and put them in a box with keepsakes that they put together for us. As I write this, its been a month and a half and I have yet to look at it. I’m not sure when Ill be ready to see him. I guess I’m not ready for that level of pain yet.
There are millions of other parents who have gone through the same situation and I know some hold their baby, and even take photos together. But I cant help but wonder how many decided not to, like me. I judge myself for not being strong enough to hold him.
I do not blame God for this. I know its common for some people to blame God for things that go horribly wrong, but I don’t believe he took him away on purpose. This happened and we don’t know the reason. It simply just happened. So it has me thinking, maybe everything doesn’t happen for a reason. Perhaps they just happen, and its up to us to move on with a lesson, or a blessing. In this case, we were blessed to have Nicolas for the brief time that we had. I immediately think about how incredibly blessed and grateful I am to have my other 3 sons. I feel as if I appreciate them all over again. I don’t want to miss a moment. I listen better, I put my phone down more, I get on the floor more with my toddler. I feel like I have fallen in love with my children all over again. Nicolas helped me do that.
When i think back about the anxiety that I had during those 5 months of pregnancy, I cant help but wonder if it was God trying to tell me something.
I must admit that I did think about drinking while laying in that hospital bed. As soon as I was discharged I thought a bottle would be justified. The alcoholic in me didn’t want to feel this pain. But, I’ve been sober now for 6.5 yrs so the tape played, and then the thought left my mind. I laid there angry & I resented anyone who could drink normal. I cant. I have to feel every inch of this heartache. I cant numb it with anything. That downright sucks.
But I’m feeling, and I’m feeling everything sober. Some days, one hour at a time. I’m not sure how I will feel tomorrow, but for today I choose not to drink. Drinking would eventually lead to me losing my sons, and since I just lost one, that is not a risk I want to take.