October is very well known to be; “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” It’s a time of year that a large community brings everything together for one, great cause. There is an international level of organization among a large number of charities that raise awareness, and funding for treatment and cures. Among other things. October is also the month for another commemoration. That is; “Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness.” Every year there are tens of thousands of women that lose their child during, and after pregnancy. This is a tragedy that too many families are hurt by.
I don’t know much about the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month, or the community that supports it, but I have some insight on the subject and I believe I can give some inspiring words. It isn’t easy to describe everything, as this is such a hard thing to talk about, and the emotions that flare up inside are unexplainable.
I’d like to tell you a little bit about the loss my wife and I suffered, how we coped with it, how we helped each other through this time, and how we began moving forward again.
My wife and I were extremely happy with our lives, and with each other. Life was good, we lived and laughed, and genuinely enjoyed every second. We had decided already that we wanted to have a child, and we were anxious, ready, and excited for it to happen. We tried for a few months. It seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. We tried, and did everything we could to increase our chances of making it happen. We wanted it. Five months later we were starting to get very discouraged, we were scared something was wrong with one of us. I actually was scheduling appointments to get an analysis. Then, we were granted a very pleasant surprise.
I was just home for my lunch break. My wife was also home for lunch. I was getting some sandwiches and snacks ready for us, when my wife called to me from the other room. I often hear her calls from somewhere else in the house, but this call was different. I could FEEL a certain ‘force’ of positivity in the air. Sure enough. She flashed to me TWO positive pregnancy tests.
The immediate knowledge of her pregnancy was, overwhelming. So many thoughts and emotions began to flow from heart, I didn’t know what to say. All I could do was smile a huge smile, from ear to ear. I was in awe of this amazing news. We had been trying for what seemed like a lifetime, and we were finally blessed with a pregnant belly! I kissed, and hugged my wife so much and so hard. It was like a dream. We began calling friends, and family and updating them of the news. It was a joyous time. There were laughs, smiles, cries of joy, and pure awesomeness. After the news, we hugged and kissed each other goodbye. Back to work for the afternoon.
I was still in a dream. An amazing dream. I kept picturing our life in the near future, and in the distance. Our world was about to receive one of the greatest gifts life has to offer.
In the next few weeks, there was nothing but excitement, learning, doctor appointments, and more family sob sessions. We began registries at different stores online, and we also started some shopping of our own. We bought a few onesies, some toys, and a little bit of furniture. We began setting up our nursery with wall stickers, and we even created some crafts of our own to hang on the walls. We were so happy with everything we had going. Nothing could stop, nor contain our enthusiasm.
We had no idea we would be facing the most challenging time of our life in just a few weeks.
My wife began having concerns halfway through the first trimester. She was very worried, and I was too, but I couldn’t let her know that. I tried to be strong, and encourage her to stay positive. We did research on some of the things happening, and we found great advice. A lot of people experienced some of the same things, during the same time. It was reassuring. There were other stories though, stories of the worse happening. It was hard not to let the negative stories overcome the positive ones, but my wife stayed so strong, and I did the best I could to support her. We were taking things as we went along, and learning the whole time. Learning everything. No one really ever PREPARED us for having a child. We were new to all of it.
Even with all of the troubling suspicions going against us, we stayed strong. Supporting each other the best we could.
My wife was at the end of her first trimester and she had already had a couple appointments for our concerns. The first one or two were fine. Her ‘beta levels’ were on the rise like they were supposed to be, and everything was looking good. The only thing they did say was, things were moving a little bit slowly, but not to worry. The next two or three appointments were not as reassuring. They told us that things were still looking fine, but there were some real alarms to be aware of. Even though there were signs of the worse, they kept us filled with a little bit of hope. I held on to that little bit of hope as if it was the last bit of oxygen on earth. I never talked to my wife about, what if the worse did come? and I never talked about the possibilities. I was in denial; though, I didn’t realize it at the time.
I just wanted to stay positive and help my wife to be positive. It wasn’t a reality to me that we could lose our child, until it actually happened.
I was at work when my wife called me. Her voice was shaken, and she was holding back tears. I knew that the worse had come. I was so scared to even hear her speak the words through the phone. Then she told me, “We lost our baby.” She was crying, and she was alone at the doctor. I didn’t know what to say. I don’t even remember what I said, I only remember telling her that I was on the way. Our world had just been flipped, and the ground we stood on was shaking. The floor felt as though it was giving out on us, and we were falling into a dark pit. After I got off the phone, I told my supervisor that I needed to leave, as there was a family emergency. He went to go notify the bosses, and I had to wait. I began feeling hot as I fought the tears. I paced back in forth in the work space while I waited. Finally, I left. The drive to my wife was a long one. It didn’t seem real. I literally felt like I was in some parallel universe. I was so scared. I tried calling my mom, my dad, brothers, and no one answered. I felt alone. Then I realized that she was still at the hospital alone, and I lost it in the car. I began trying to make sense of everything, how to fix it. I was speeding and being reckless. I finally got someone on the phone to help me, and talk me down. It was my lifelong best friend. He really got my head level again, and I was able to stay clear. I needed that level headedness in order to be there for my wife. So I did my best to keep it together, for her.
I got to my wife, and she was in the hospital bed. Her eyes were puffy, and face was red. Cheeks still wet from tears. It broke my heart to see her like that. I still didn’t know what to say. So, I just said I was sorry, and hugged her as tight as I could. I didn’t know what to do. It seemed as though our lives had ended. Like, we will cease to be alive after this. So we held each other. The doctor came and expressed how sorry they were for us, and told us she had a miscarriage. The pain that I felt was unimaginable. I know that my wife was feeling a hundred times worse.
I honestly cannot remember the next 12 hours…
We took vacation days, and we went to our home town the next day, to be with family. The time we spent home was good. It really helped us get to a good place in our minds. Well, we started to anyway. After going back to our home after about a week of being with family, we tried getting back into the regular swing of things. We talked about going to see a counselor, but we decided we were strong enough to handle it on our own.
Not even a week later, my wife wakes up at 2AM with severe stomach pain. She was suffering from some constipation for a little while now, so she figured that’s what it was. I told her to let me take her to the doctor, but being the amazingly strong woman my wife is, she insisted to go alone, so I could get some sleep before I had to work in 2 hours. I was up at 4AM to get ready for work. I talked to my wife and she said she was waiting to be seen by the doctors, and was still in an enormous amount of pain. I asked again if I should come to her, and she said no, so I started heading to work. A little bit of time later I got a call from my wife, while she was in tears, saying that she was about to be rushed into emergency surgery and I needed to come to the hospital as soon as I could. I was at a loss. The last thing that crossed my mind when she left that morning, was her having surgery.
It turned out, after further examination that she had not had a miscarriage at all. She was suffering through an ectopic pregnancy. Our child was developing inside of one of her fallopian tubes, and got stuck. The pain she was experiencing that morning was her tube bursting. My wife was bleeding out internally. She could have lost her life, along with our child’s. What we thought would be the hardest thing to overcome in life, just got even worse.
My wife lives today with only one of her fallopian tubes. Her chances of getting pregnant are now less than before. She hurts every day because of the loss of our child, and the worry of having another, due to losing one of her tubes in surgery.
This hurt, and pain is not something that I can tell you about in words. You will not be able to fully understand what my wife and I went through unless you, yourself, has gone through this as well. Our lives have been changed by this. Life is now more precious. The life we want, and see for ourselves is now a burning desire. We had the world, and it was taken from us. Gaining that back, is hard, and we are doing the best we can to make it happen. The only thing that helped us get through this time of trial, was love.
The love we have for each other is what allowed us to keep our sanity, and return to happiness. Our love has allowed us to dream again, of the day we hold our baby in our arms.
Whenever you and your loved ones, or family members are going through a trying time, it is essential to be there for them. Even if you are just a spectator of the event, if it is within reason, it’s our responsibility to help them out. Having a shoulder to lean on, and cry on, and an ear to listen is worth more than you could imagine. Don’t hesitate to lend your hand to someone in pain. You never know if you will be the one they need. You may save a life, or help someone get back on their feet after a tragedy.
Be there to listen. Be there to talk. Be there to be held. Be there to love.
You may be the only person that can help someone in need. Don’t allow yourself to see and not say. Don’t deny something that is happening in front of you. It is our responsibility to help our friends, family, and loved ones when they are in trouble.
Stay in GoodCompany