Well, it is time I share my story of loss. Four years ago tomorrow, I decided to take my first baby girl off of life support. I can’t believe it has been 4 years! While all of my other children are growing and changing, sometimes I still feel like I am back to those months immediately following my little girl’s death.
The loss of a child is something that no parent should have to go through, but the more I talk to other parents, the more parents I realize have actually experienced this loss. My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced this loss. The feeling of loneliness that a parent feels, when going through a trial like this, is so strong. I don’t think anyone can really take the pain or loneliness away, but there is comfort in knowing that others have survived these type of trials. I hope my story can bring some kind of strength to others who have, or who are experiencing any type of struggle with their children.
Until quite recently, I thought I had done a lot of my grieving and that I have become pretty whole again. I am finding that I am more wrong than I realized. I talked with a couple of blogging friends recently, about trials that we have been through. Some of them have written about their trials, and it made me question why I haven’t written the story of my sweet baby girl, Gianna. I thought I was pretty well healed, so why hadn’t I written it? A friend said to me, that if I haven’t written about it, then maybe I just wasn’t ready yet. I think she was right. As I sit here and write, my heart swells with aching. The pain and grief that I have experienced is much more near the surface than I realized. I suppose this grief isn’t something I have had to talk much about, which is why I thought it was farther from me.
I’d like to start at the beginning.
I was pregnant with my 4th baby. My oldest son had just turned 5, and my twin boys were 3. After three very active, red headed boys, I was praying and hoping for a girl. Taking the three boys to the grocery store was always a challenge, and never a quick feat. Because of the red hair, people would stop us (and still do) all the time, while running errands, to comment on the beautiful hair. You would think that nobody has seen a redhead before! Because my boys are so active, people would look at my pregnant belly, and say, “I sure hope you have a girl coming your way!” I couldn’t agree more.
Because of my history with twins, and I never know how far a long I am, I got an early ultrasound. I had an ultrasound around 11 weeks pregnant, just to confirm how far along I was. So far, so good. This was the first pregnancy where I wasn’t constantly sick and throwing up. My boys all made me so sick. While pregnant with my oldest, I lost 16 pounds before I started gaining. I didn’t feel 100%, but I wasn’t sick to my stomach, and I could maintain a pretty normal life.
At around 17-18 weeks, I had my next ultrasound, to tell us the sex of the baby. I was so excited and nervous, all at the same time. I took my whole family with me to the appointment, including my mom. My mom stayed out with the kids for most of it, but brought them in to get a peek too. This ultrasound was longer than normal, and I was a little nervous. The ultrasound tech took measurements and did their thing. When it came time to tell the sex of the baby, the technician couldn’t ever get a good look. The baby wasn’t overly active, so they had me go for a walk and come back. Baby’s legs were covering things up. So I went for my walk and pled with my baby to please wiggle enough so we could get a could peek! She listened! I went back into the ultrasound, and the technician was fairly certain that it was a girl! I was so absolutely thrilled! The ultrasound went on for a while longer, and the technician brought in someone else, to look at the ultrasound. They didn’t tell me anything right away though. It just seemed a tad unusual. Right after my ultrasound appointment, was my doctor’s appointment. My doctor was pretty casual about it, but he let me know that it appeared there was some fluid in the amniotic sac. That was all I was told. He didn’t have all of the details and final report, but he referred me to a specialist just to get it checked out.
I didn’t know what this meant, so my mom and I went home and began to google what this could mean. Of course there is already fluid in the amniotic sac, so did they mean there was some other kind of fluid? Was it blood? Was it urine? What was this mysterious fluid? The questions that ran through my mind were frustrating, because I couldn’t find an answer. I had another appointment, with the perinatologist, which was a whole new term to me, about a week away. With Google, we found a couple of things that this fluid could mean, but I can’t remember the names of them now. All I knew was that there seemed to be something wrong with my first baby girl, and I didn’t know how serious. I had to wait a WHOLE WEEK to find out. I’m sure all of you mommas know how long a week can feel, when dealing with pregnancy and children. Hopefully tonight, or tomorrow, I can tell you about that Perinatologist appointment. It was either the worst day of my life, or pretty close to it.
You can read about my First Visit to the Perinatologist, which is the next part of my story.