Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Most people don't know this. To be totally honest, I knew that there was a day, but didn't know the exact date. Kind of odd to say that since it is so near and dear to my heart. But I guess that I don't really need to set aside a specific day on the calendar to remember.

See, I have lost 4 pregnancies. The first time I had a miscarriage, I didn't even know I was pregnant until I was losing it. I had all of 30 seconds to celebrate the fact that I was pregnant until the doc told me "but I think you are having a miscarriage." I was in North Carolina with my 19 month old son. Miles and hours away from family. My husband was on assignment and away from home. I remember calling my mom and telling her that I was pregnant, but that the doc thought I may be having a miscarriage and that more blood work would be drawn in about 3 days to know for certain. I remember telling her that I really wanted this baby. I can remember saying that I would go on bedrest from that moment on if I could just have a healthy baby. And then I remember her telling me that I was being selfish for being willing to do that.

The second time, I had been trying for a while to get pregnant. I lost that one in April, about 3 days after I had a positive blood test to confirm my suspicions of pregnancy. It didn't hurt any less than the first time.

The third time, I had been going through so many fertility treatments to get me pregnant. I had all the signs and symptoms and the home test showed that I was pregnant. I called the fertility clinic office (which was 2 hours away) and told them. They wanted me to wait until after the holiday. They said "if you are definitely pregnant, then waiting another few days until after Christmas will not be a problem." On Christmas Eve, I woke up and knew I had lost another pregnancy. I remember finding myself curled up on the kitchen floor crying over that loss. I don't remember anything else about that Christmas.

The following May, I lost another pregnancy. (This is kind of graphic, so skip this part if it makes you upset.) I got up early one morning with lower abdominal pain. When I went to the bathroom and wiped, I passed what looked like a very large blood clot. When I called my doctor's office, the nurse there laughed. She then went on to say that it was quite probable that I had had a miscarriage.

It is kind of odd the things you remember in a traumatic situation, huh? I decided after my first loss that I would not tell anyone anything if I ever got pregnant again until I was actually needing maternity clothes. Matter of fact, my mom didn't know until several years had passed that I had lost three more pregnancies besides the one she knew about. She just thought that I was having trouble getting pregnant.

The docs all tell you that it gets easier with time. I don't know if I believe that or not. I can say that I don't think about these losses continuously on a daily basis, but when someone asks how many kids I have or when June rolls around, or when a teenager is pregnant and doesn't want it, or when I am invited to a baby shower, it definitely isn't easy. It feels new and raw and angry all over again.

When I was working in Labor and Delivery and we had moms come in whose baby was not going to live or whose baby had already died, the nurses didn't want to take care of her. Honestly, neither did I. But I always volunteered to do so. Why? The way I see it is this: This is a very hurtful and traumatic situation. They are going to remember this moment for the rest of their lives with pain. Maybe, if I am there to help ease this pain for just a few minutes, maybe it won't hurt so much to look back on. Maybe I can be the one bright spot in a dark day. Maybe they can look back and say, "you know...there was this nurse who cried with me that day...and it helped to know that someone else was just as sad for my loss."

That, I think, really is what most moms know that someone else remembers her child.

1 comment:

  1. this is such a heartbreaking post...I am speechless