Saturday, July 13, 2013

The things I wish I didn't know firsthand

I wish I didn't know that you can go through 9 months of pregnancy...with ZERO problems...and STILL lose your baby.

What it felt like to wake up panicked because I "just had a feeling" that something was wrong.

What it felt like to be induced for labor.  Or have an epidural.  Knowing that there would be no crying baby to greet me at the end.

The shivers that come when you're told that your baby has no heartbeat.

I wish I didn't know that they post a picture of a falling leaf on your door at the hospital when your baby has died.

How to come to terms with the fact that all the hopes and dreams and plans for the future would just...need to be erased.  

What it felt like to get wheeled out the back door of the maternity floor so as not to see "happy people."

What it was like LEAVING that hospital without my baby.

The ins and outs of mortuaries and arranging funeral services.

The pain of having to tell everyone I knew that we lost him. What it feels like to not get to announce something that everyone seemingly sees as a given when they find out you're pregnant and make it to the end. 

What it feels like to carry a full-term baby...that had already died.

I wish I didn't know what death felt like inside of me.  Or to be haunted by the memories of putting our hopes and dreams for you aside.

I wish I was new.  Unscathed.  Naive.  I wish my innocence wasn't shattered last September. 

I wish my first experience of motherhood was like seemingly everyone else's:  Filled with balloons and crying babies and sleepless nights and pictures and happy posts on Facebook and growing up and a lifetime of memories.

I was robbed of all of that.

And now I'm going to go through this again.  With a different perspective.  One that's deeply rooted in fear, but also deeply rooted in optimism that this time HAS to be different.  Because lightning can't strike you twice.  Because what happened to Luke was against almost all odds.


I wrote this about a month ago.  And everything I wrote just stung my heart even more today.

Today, your first cousin was born, Luke.  Madeline Ainsleigh.  She is perfect.  Beautiful.  And best of all, alive.

When Ali texted me late Thursday night to tell me she was going into labor, I felt the entire gamut of emotions.  Fear.  Happiness.  Pity for myself. Tears.

Yesterday I made it through the day with a rock in my stomach.  Waiting.  Waiting for my sister to get the ending that everyone should get for their pregnancy.  Deep down I knew everything would be fine.  They rarely aren't fine, right?  But then I felt that extreme loneliness that you feel when you join this shitty club.

Luke was still gone.  And Ali would get to have her first baby. And she did.  And all was well with the world.  Thank God.

I wish that the rest of my life wouldn't be tainted by this sadness that I have for what happened to me.  Today when I heard the news that Madeline was born and she was fine and healthy, I can't explain the relief that ran through my veins.  Happiness for another niece to spoil. Relief that she was alive and born without problems.  Relief that Ali was fine.  Relief that it was over for now.  Relief that...Ali didn't have to go through what I went through.

I'm going to go through this all over again sometime this coming week when my brother and Lauren have their baby.

And then again, when I have Bowie in December.  Except then, I'll be in the driver's seat again.  

The loneliness...struck again today.  I hadn't felt it in awhile, but there it was.  I thought back to the day we came home from the hospital after leaving Luke.  Led through the back halls of the hospital.  Emptyhanded.  Empty-carseated.  I remember that feeling of extreme isolation.  That no one I knew--Not a single person--Understood what it felt like to deliver their full-term baby after they already knew he was gone.

I know I'm in a different place now.  I've found my people.  You're all here.  You live all over the place.  My therapist is even one of them.  And I can't describe what a relief THAT is.  This isolation is one that you don't want to be in...and you don't want OTHERS to be in.    But you want nothing else but to NOT be the only one that knows these feelings.  These feelings are so thick, they can choke you on a daily basis.  There's no control over them, because they're maternal and wild, and so ingrained in human beings.

And in some ways, I don't think anyone can understand just how thick these feelings are until they are the ones giving birth.  Mothers.

We take life for granted.  One of my sister's friends who was at the hospital in Portland with them last night, texted with me, and she told me that while she was sitting there in the waiting room, a group of teenage boys walked into the waiting room.  And one was a baby's daddy who was being delivered as well.  He wasn't in the delivery room with his baby.  She told me she heard him saying that his life was over.  Everything was over for him.

And it made both of us so angry.  Life isn't fair.  There was a boy--A literal boy--Who probably got to see his baby and hear that baby cry last night.  He wasn't ready to be a father.  He clearly doesn't even understand what he's just been given.

It's not fair that he got to meet his baby and we didn't.

But I hope he one day understands just how lucky he is.  And I hope he never has to understand the pain of losing that child--no matter how much he thinks his life may be over because of it.

 Life's a beautiful thing
And it's a gift
And life's a beautiful thing

Oh don't waste it, doll

Thank you Ali and Madeline...for showing me, again, that babies can be born fine and healthy.  I needed that affirmation more than you knew.  


  1. This post put me right back into a place that I wish I didn't have to remember. One that I wish I didn't know first hand.

    I didn't deliver a dead baby, but I did lose my perfect full term baby boy because of his delivery. Because of poor decisions made by doctos. It is heartbreaking.

    Finley was the first grandchild on both my side and my husband's side of the family. Losing him hit everyone very hard. And when my sister-in-law gave birth to my beautiful and perfect nephew less than a year later, I literally thought my heart would break out of my chest.

    I battle everyday with trying not to alienate myself or my friends who have babies. And so many do. I see so many people living the life that I want, and it kills me. And yet, when I make myself, I can hold my nephew and some of the other babies, and it is nice. I don't hate it. But it makes me miss my son even more.

    "Thank you Ali and Madeline...for showing me, again, that babies can be born fine and healthy. I needed that affirmation more than you knew." I think this sums it up. It hurts when others get healthy babies, but it would hurt a lot more if their babies died. For us who lost our first borns at full term, pregnancy has led only to dead babies. And that is really hard. Because if it is so uncommon, how could it happen to us?

    Sorry for the rambling comment. I could so just relate to this.

    And with regards to the teenage boy - life is cruel. I often feel like it taunts me. Drug addicts and prostitutes and people who hurt their children get to take babies home. People who don't want their babies get to take them home. And we who wanted our boys SO incredibly much don't.

  2. Hugs to you, Lisa.

    Luke was the first grandchild/nephew for my side of the family too. And this whole experience has changed all of us. We've learned so much. Mostly about love, but also about what not to take for granted.

    Knowing that this has happened to so many of us, it's easy to get absorbed by our stories and it might seem like this happens all the time...

    But more often, it doesn't. Thank God.

  3. People just dont realize how precious life is!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I wish nobody had to know what you learned firsthand. The whole time I was in labor, I was thinking of you and what you went through and how unimaginably cruel it was. Of course I felt that way then, but I have such a deeper understanding now. And while we are all rejoicing in the births of Madeline and Ethan, we're also mourning again what we lost last September. Life IS a beautiful thing and Luke reminds us every day not to waste it. Love you and can't wait for Luke's little brother or sister to join us in December. xoxoxo

    1. I couldn't ask for a better, more supportive sister than you, Ali. I ♥ you more than you know. XOXOXOX

  5. Welcome to the unhappy club of babyloss (10 months late). I'm sorry. I'm sorry your beautiful son is gone... just like mine.

    I saw your post on Brooke's blog and had to come write because sometimes I just get the urge to support the newer of us. Since it has been 2.5 years, I can write about dead babies without crying on my keyboard, but it doesn't make it any more acceptable.

    I'm so very sorry. I wish I didn't know any of those things firsthand either.

  6. I know these feeling all to well. Hugs to you tonight.

  7. No, isn't fair. It isn't logical. How people who don't want to be parents get healthy babies when we who want our babes so very much, and take such good care growing them, end up where we are, it just doesn't make sense.