To think about it from the outside looking in, finding out your baby is dead and then still having to go through the process of labor and give birth to him, and then the subsequent recovery, sounds nothing but torturous. The reality, like many experiences I’ve had so far in this grief journey, was bittersweet.
For seven months my baby was connected to me by a cord, plugged in essentially, and he was in constant, vital need of me to survive. He needed me to eat, take vitamins, and stay hydrated. My blood flowed through his placenta, supplying him with the oxygen and nutrients he needed to grow and thrive. With every beat of his heart, that demand for sustaining his life was there. Continue Reading
All of the statistics I have found surrounding chromosomal abnormalities:
The risk of having a child with Trisomy is not higher than normal unless one or both parents have chromosomal abnormalities. Our chromosome test results were normal, so we have an average risk.
The risk of having a child with chromosomal abnormalities does increase with age, from 1/526 at age 20 to 1/8 at age 49. At age 27 my risk was 1/455, so still fairly low, but somebody always has to be the ‘1’ in statistics.
About 95% percent of embryos with genetic problems are miscarried. Chromosomal anomalies are responsible for about 60% of early miscarriages.
About 1 in every 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth. Chromosome disorders account for 15-20% of all stillbirths.
Only 2 -3% of live-born infants have chromosomal abnormalities.
Six years ago today, we promised each other to stick together through the best and the worst of times. The birth of our son Finn, which should have been one of the best experiences in our relationship, simultaneously became the worst when he died. Through everything, good or bad, there’s nobody I’d rather have by my side than my hubby, Phillip. I recently looked back at our wedding book and one of the verses we chose to be read during our wedding ceremony was Song of Solomon 8: 6-7:
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Easter, the day of hope after death had seemingly stolen all hope, when love endured death and won. What a fitting day for our anniversary to fall on!
Wow baby boy, has it really been two months already? Two months since your heart’s last beat, two months since your movements ceased? Two months since I said hello and goodbye, and held you for the last time? I spent seven months waiting to meet you, from that triple-inversion roller coaster ride that made me first suspect you were in there, to that shocking night I found out you were no more. You were always living it up in there and danced around during the ultrasounds; you had us all fooled.
You made me crave chocolate that I tried to avoid due to awful acid re-flux, which was certainly a testament to the head full of hair you were sporting at birth. You played this game where you would poke out your little feet through my belly and I would poke you back. Your big brother liked to use you as pillow (sorry about that) and listen to your “helicopter” heart beat. I’m sure you had no trouble hearing him, even over all of the womb noise. You could probably hear your daddy talking to you through my belly too.
I thought I would be bringing you home this month, but instead I’ve been back at work three weeks already. Sometimes it’s easy to forget I gave birth to you only two months ago when my reality is so different, not having you here to remind me. Even though I am two months away from when I last saw you, I’m also two months closer to when we’ll meet again. For now, enjoy the beautiful view and know I am thinking of you and loving you always. – Mommy
With empty arms, I kissed my baby goodbye and touched him for the last time in my life. The hospital man said he would take good care of him. I watched through tears as he was wheeled out of the room until he disappeared from view.
With empty arms, I walked down the hallway of the maternity ward that seemed to stretch a mile, past the nurses’ station receiving many the sympathetic look. It felt like the walk of shame, with nothing to be ashamed of.
With empty arms, I left a place that held so many new lives, one already finished. From one of the rooms, I heard a newborn cry, the first cry since I arrived. The cry of a new life just beginning, still so many kisses to be given.
With empty arms, I walked through the double doors, down the elevator, through the lobby, and waited by the front doors. A proud father walked out with a smiling big sister to bring around their car.
With empty arms, I waited for our car with my nurse. I looked back inside the building where I had parted with my baby minutes before. In the lobby, another nurse stood behind a mother in a wheelchair, a cart next to them bearing gifts and a car seat with their most precious gift of all.
With empty arms, I sat in the passenger seat with a memory box on my lap, all that remained of my baby to take home. Empty arms, empty womb, full of memories.