It has been about a month and a half since my I birthed my already dead baby. Is that called a stillborn or a late term miscarriage? I am not even sure. The doctor referred to it as a “Fetal Demise.” This is on the grief I feel from losing a baby- my baby!
Losing A Baby At 26 Weeks
At 26 weeks I saw a few spots of blood. Scary but not the end of the world. I tried to stay calm and I phoned my midwife. She said to meet her at the hospital. As a precaution, I should be checked. I left my children with the neighbor and my husband drove me to the hospital. I wondered what would happen. As my mind went through the possible outcomes, I figured I would probably get bed rest orders. I figured if worst came to worst and it was born early it could probably make it as a premie.
The doctor listened for a heartbeat. He couldn’t find one. He kept checking and still I tried to stay calm. “They are freaking me out for nothing,” I told myself. They will find the heartbeat soon. No. He didn’t find it. He kept checking things and I kept trying to tell myself everything would be ok. Then, he said, “I’m sorry to tell you but there is no heart beat.” I really hardly heard him after that. The blood was rushing in my head and I was thinking, “Stop talking. This can’t be right. Stop talking.”
Later I found out I what seemed so unfair and yet obvious really. I still had to give birth that day. Just the baby wouldn’t be alive. No words for this.
Coping With The Grief
Some days I am fine- like maybe I never was pregnant or maybe I still am. I try to stay busy so I don’t think about it.
Other days, I’m not. I’m sad. I’m so sad. The grief just comes bursting out and the tears rush down my face in the supermarket parking lot or while I am washing dishes. Often without warning. And sometimes I am angry. Angry that my baby died and there is no reason. Angry that the other pregnant ladies I know get to have their child and I don’t. Why me? I know there is no reason. No answer. I tell myself everything happens for the best. I understand it could be worse. But knowing and feeling don’t always connect. The emotions are so big and so hard to handle.
I am generally ruled by my rational side. I didn’t even know the child, why does it hurt so bad? When will it stop? Time heals everything, so I have been told. I have an angel watching over me now, someone else told me that.
But I feel older. Much older and much less joyful. I find myself not caring about other people’s problems. I want to say, so what?! Did you lose a child? But I know that is self-centered and not moving me forward. I suppose that I am lucky that my tragedy took 34 years to hit me. Some people’s saddest day comes way sooner.
My happiest day was the day I married my husband. My most amazing day was the day my daughter was born. And then the day my son was born. My worst day, was the day the doctor looked me in the eye and said, “There is no heartbeat.” How could that be? How could that happen? Why me?
I decided to share my grief in the hopes of dispelling it and also so that others who carry their grief around can know that they are not alone.
First Candle Supporting Families, Call their grief line at 800-221-7437