It is not Mother’s Day, but today is another important day for many, many Mothers out there. Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. So many times these women are encouraged to “just move on” or made to feel that an early loss was “meant to be” or that after they have another child, their loss won’t matter any more. But it isn’t true. No matter how early, no matter how long ago, the loss of a pregnancy or baby is painful. And sad. Forever.
We tried for three years to get pregnant. When I finally got a positive pregnancy test, we were so incredibly excited, I figured the hardest part of the entire ordeal was over! Finally, we did it! Getting here was the challenge, the rest would be a piece of cake. Two days after I saw two lines, I started cramping. I called my doctor, Googled and asked people and everyone said cramping was normal in early pregnancy. Except by that third night when I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep or stop squirming the pain was so intense. It was a burning, sharp and constant pain. Then, I started to bleed. I will never, ever for as long as I live forget the frantic, out of control feeling I had sitting on the toilet sobbing in my husband’s arms, just knowing that our baby was gone. That everything we had been through and finally achieved was being taken away. It seemed so unfair, and so cruel and like it shouldn’t be happening to us.
The next morning I went to my doctor’s office for an ultrasound. I cried in the waiting room. My blood pressure was so high because I was so upset, that the nurse just said, “Never mind, I’ll take it again after the appointment.” The ultrasound technician searched around for a few seconds and spotted two separate sacs, and one enormous fibroid in my uterus. One sac looked empty, and the other sac was filled with blood. She explained that that was where the bleeding was coming from. We wouldn’t know if the other sac was truly empty until I came back in two weeks. So, we lost one definitely, two possibly and we’d have to just wait it out. I spent the next few weeks going crazy, taking progesterone suppositories, going in for blood work to check my hormone levels, and wondering if my every move was hurting my chances of carrying one baby to full term. After two weeks I had another ultrasound and we saw one tiny peanut, with a strong heartbeat and the other sac was gone, reabsorbed by my body. I was so incredibly grateful to have one surviving baby that I pushed thoughts of the other one out of my head completely. I had to continue progesterone support and pelvic rest until 13 weeks, and had a lot of monitoring through out the remainder of the pregnancy to check the growth of the fibroid.
Months went by and every once in awhile the thought of that other baby popped into my head. I felt that I had no right to be sad because I was lucky enough to be having a baby at all. I wasn’t devastated, but try as I might, the loss of that baby still made me sad. After Truman’s birth, I thought often about what it would be like if he would have had a twin. Obviously, life with two babies would be harder, more hectic and busy; but also it could have been so amazing. It could have been so wonderful to have every beautiful aspect of this boy multiplied. I still imagine it sometimes. I consider myself so incredibly lucky and blessed that I made it through a loss and still ended up with one healthy boy. Many women don’t have that outcome.
I cannot imagine losing multiple pregnancies, experiencing a still birth or losing an infant. It happens every single day to many, many women. Please remember these ladies today, their babies and their families. Send them prayers or wishes of healing or just positive thoughts. Let them talk about it without offering a reason why or encouraging them to move on. Just be there to listen. A silent hug goes a long way.