“I am 1 in 4″

The story below is of a mother who lost her child during pregnancy. Please read and share. So many women are affected by pregnancy and infant loss and it isn’t spoken up about nearly enough. Help break the silence.

-Natalie McCain (Creator of The Honest Body Project)

“I am a member of the club. Nobody wants to be a part of the club. The club that no one speaks of but, just like that, in seconds you are a member. I know I didn’t even think there was a club like this. I was naïve.”

jenniferDjpgs (34 of 43)

“My husband and I welcomed our son via emergency c-section on May 23rd. Before he turned 2 years old, we thought we would expand our growing family. It was the natural progression. It took us a while longer to get pregnant the second time than the first time. Both my husband and I were concerned when we didn’t get pregnant within a 2 month span like we did with our son. However, when we did, we both were over the moon with joy! Around 13-15 weeks of gestation, I went in for a checkup. Everything was looking great, I just wasn’t gaining weight. I continue to be on a strict diet, GAIN WEIGHT they all said! I intended to do so and I did! A couple weeks later, 20 weeks to be exact, we entered the doctor’s office to hear the news of the gender. We planned to hear how everything was moving along nicely and progressing, just as we thought, just like our son. So, now If was a day like any other day… I was so completely excited and couldn’t wait. I was crossing my fingers and praying it was a girl. I wanted to share all these experiences and my absolute favorites with her (love of chocolate, love of DISNEY, love of Ariel, love of girly girl things, love of nail polish, love of dresses, etc..). My husband didn’t mind what the gender was but I could see in his eyes he was hoping for a girl. The NEWS came….A GIRL!!! I burst into tears. I asked the technician to say the gender again. I remember saying to her “can you repeat that?” I remember saying “are you 100% sure?” I started in my head all those questions. Oh, what should her name be? What will she look like? What outfits should I get? Will she love purple as much as me? The questions just went on and on and on…. It was dreams come true….out of a fairy tale. A Disney Fairy tale too! I was seeing the amazing credits roll and the happy ending…Then 5 minutes later, the doctor entered our exam room… The nightmare began.”

jenniferDjpgs (9 of 43)

“The doctor came in to the exam room. He says he wanted to explain the measurements on how the baby (OUR GIRL) was growing and how my body was reacting. He went into further details and that’s when my heart dropped. My cervix wasn’t holding her and I was starting to thin out (basically, my body was starting to prepare for labor). Both my husband and I were in complete shock. How can this be? What can we do to fix this? Why? Why? Why? How? How? We both just didn’t understand.  We both looked like deer in headlights. More questions than ever before. Our doctor explained to us to see a specialist. We received a time to go, immediately the following morning. We left the office more confused than ever and I was scared, not for me, but for my baby. My child. My girl. My daughter.”

jenniferDjpgs (14 of 43)

“The specialist had a plan. He gave me all the options and said “If you were my wife, I would want you to do this.” A transvaginal cerclage (basically stitch my cervix shut). As I sat in the exam room, alone, (my husband went to work that day, on my command to do so), I had no idea what to do. What was the best option for her? What do I do? I felt so helpless for information. I called my husband and desperately begged for an answer. He spoke with the doctor over the phone and we all decided to go ahead with the cerclage. During the cerclage procedure, the doctor found – scar tissue on my cervix. He later mentioned this can happen due to laboring, pushing on the cervix during childbirth and having an emergency c-section). Unbeknownst to my husband and I prior to this procedure, we were stunned and the doctor said he didn’t have any choice to complete the cerclage differently than routine. He came out of the procedure not happy with what he had to complete and he said 50/50 chance of saving the baby.”

jenniferDjpgs (16 of 43)

“I was sent home after the normal post-op and recovery time of just a few hours with important instructions to watch for infection (vomiting, high fever, chills) and water breaking. The doctor placed me on mild bed rest (allowed to take shower, go to the restroom and make a small meal). After a few days of bed rest and lots of help from the grandparents with our son, the weekend rolled around. Easter weekend. After all day, Saturday, watching my parents help clean the house and my husband help with our son, I realized late afternoon, that my water was breaking. My parents had left for the evening and my husband took our son to the park. I was getting out of the shower when I had a gut feeling that isn’t supposed to be what I think it is. I didn’t even know it was my water breaking because it was a trickle of water and a feeling of needing to use the restroom excessively. Besides the fact that with my son, the doctors prior to my c-section broke my water for me and I was on pain medication for it so I didn’t even feel it. I was losing water! I was losing amniotic fluid! I panicked and immediately called my husband to come home! We all piled in the car, called my parents on the way, rushing to the hospital. When we arrived, I was placed on machines and the on-call doctor confirmed I was in preterm labor. I demanded to stay and see my doctor when he arrived in the morning (Easter Sunday). Both the on-call doctor and my specialist doctor (the one who placed my cerclage) said there wasn’t anything they could do. Due to gestation time (20 weeks 5 days), the baby wasn’t viable. VIABLE! VIABLE! You hear that heart monitor. That baby is alive, ALIVE! Kicking!! What do you mean not viable!? My husband and I googled on our phones anything to help our situation. We found several options. We told the doctors we will be doing these options and they sent us home. They explain to us to watch for signs of infection (vomiting, high fever, chills). By the way, I forgot to mention our baby, our precious little girl, was kicking and heartbeat was normal and strong this whole time. We arrived home Easter Sunday late afternoon and settled in. My husband was so worried and checked my temperature every 5 minutes. I took a shower and relaxed on the couch. Or so I tried. All of a sudden, I was shaking, shaking. I couldn’t stop. I was cold…my mom placed a blanket on me. I was cold…really cold. My parents looked at me, gave kisses, and said their goodbyes. Left for their house again (30 minutes away). Shaking got worse…and worse. Tried relaxing, went to bed early. Convulsing now. Then the vomiting started…I couldn’t take it and started crying. My husband and I decided it’s time. Call 9-1-1.”
jenniferDjpgs (23 of 43)

“I was rushed to the hospital. I left an imprint on my son while he watched me be carried out in a stretcher and placed in the ambulance. I’m not sure he remembers but I sure do. While in the ambulance, my memory faded in and out. I was really bad. I remember the EMT asking “when is your birthday?” I remember saying “what is a birthday?” All I needed to know was she was still kicking and for me I knew we are okay. SHE is okay. When we arrived at the hospital, I was so out of it. However, I do remember two things. One was trying to pee in a cup by myself in the restroom and struggling very hard with it.  The second memory is the nurse calling out “I can’t find a heartbeat. I need another machine so I can try again.” They never found a heartbeat. She was gone. In a matter of seconds, she had kicked her goodbye to me and grew her wings. That is when I became a member of the club. I couldn’t process the thought of losing her because I was on my way to growing my wings as well. I was desperately sick and the doctors scrambled to figure out why and what to do to heal me. After hours in intensive care, in and out of consciousness and pumping me full of antibiotics, doctors removed my cerclage. My body went into labor and our baby girl, my baby girl, my daughter was vaginally delivered on April 6th. Then, I fought for my life. Hours away from dying, per my doctors, I struggled in ICU for a few days with sepsis and e-coli. I received lots of antibiotics, pain medication and the attention of 10+ doctors and nurses helped, and I thoughtfully thank, in my recovery. I was in the hospital for a week after losing my daughter and also on a PICC (receiving antibiotics through a needle without staying at a hospital) for another week. I am fully recovered, healthy and grieving always the loss of my baby girl.”

jenniferDjpgs (29 of 43)

“It is different. The loss of a child, than that of a loved one. Not saying the loss of a loved one is not of importance. Just…different. It will always be there. Different days, different kind of grief. I am grieving the loss of the future. Things I will never do with her, moments I will never have with her. qualities of who she will never be. Holidays of missing her. The list can go on. Everyone – mainly friends, relatives who don’t understand – keep telling me I can just get pregnant again and have another baby. But what they will never understand is that I wanted that pregnancy. I wanted that baby. More than ever – she IS loved more than she will EVER know.”

jenniferDjpgs (30 of 43)

“I ask you to not pity me or have sympathy for me. I have accepted the angel wings of my child. She was ready for her wings even though my heart wasn’t. I do my absolute best every day to make her proud. To cuddle, love and play with her brother more, pay attention to the little things. Not stress about the big things. I try my best to get up every morning on my bad days when it is a struggle to even get out of bed. Don’t feel sorry for me or feel uncomfortable when I talk about my child. Every time I have the chance to talk about her, yes, it makes me miss her, but I believe I am honoring her just by the mention of her name. Do not be afraid to say her name. I’m not afraid to hear it. I might cry but they are tears of love and joy that you remembered her.”

jenniferDjpgs (42 of 43)“So the club I was telling you about. It is the “I lost a child” club. I am a member. I am 1 in 4 women who have lost a child from pregnancy or infant loss. Break the silence of my quiet club.”


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