In December of 2015, I found out I was pregnant the day before Christmas. I was filled with so many mixed emotions. I was worried what people would think since I was not married. It was hard not to think of this baby’s future, so I did.
On New Years Eve, my partner and I told a few family members we were expecting. Everyone was so excited! This was a relief as I was so worried.
January 2016 came and we were still working on settling into our new home. The Sunday before January 14, while I was unpacking some clothes, I got a sharp pain to my left side of my stomach. I didn’t pay it too much mind as I had read while you are pregnant lots of parts in your body stretch and grow like never before.
The next day, I woke up feeling under the weather. I again brushed it off since the weather in Houston can be all 4 seasons in one day. As the week went on, I didn’t feel much better and contacted my gyno to see what I could take. And to my knowledge, nothing.
On the morning of January 14, 2016, I woke up to light spotting. I was very concerned and contacted my gyno office to see what it could be. At the time, my best friend was working in the office and was able to get me in that day to see what was going on. I had no idea that this day would change the rest of my life. I went in excited but nervous to confirm my pregnancy and check out what was going on with my partner.
During my transvaginal ultrasound the room was silent. I do not recall every exact detail but I will never forget the tech asking “Are you ok? Are you in pain? When was your last period?” and rushing out saying “I need to call your doctor.” She quickly came back and showed us the screen that had all kinds of colors in the ultrasound and said ” your abdomen is full of blood. Your right fallopian tube has ruptured. Your doctor is rushing you to emergency surgery.”
From one minute to the next, I was in a hospital gown being told that I only had seconds to be in surgery before I became septic and would die. I didn’t know if I should cry, scream, ask questions, or just ask them to stop. I was terrified though. Terrified that I would die. Terrified of all the unknown that was about to happen. My doctor shared that she didn’t know how I was in no pain given what was going on inside me.
I woke up in outpatient recovery hours later in horrendous pain. My side hurt so bad. I couldn’t move and all I could do was cry. As I woke up I recall seeing my mom, my sister, my best friend, and sister in law all looking so sad. I stayed in the hospital overnight since I was in no shape to go home in all the pain I was in. I would learn during my stay that I was allergic to the pain medication they gave me and the anesthesia. Having a reaction to these two caused me to vomit over and over. I just had my abdomen cut in 3 places and was now vomiting. That by far, was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life.
I was released and went home. I remember being home and crying so much. From the pain, from the loss and from not being able to do anything for myself. I struggled so much after all this. Emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually to function. I was so angry! Angry at God, the world, basically anything and anyone I could blame for losing my baby. The baby I was scared to have but wanted so much! Lots of life happened after losing my baby. I was not the same.
On Mother’s Day of 2018, I would find out I was expecting again. I remember showing my then husband my positive test. I cried so hard as he held me. I was terrified I would lose this baby too. During the few weeks I was pregnant I didn’t let myself hope and dream about this baby’s future.
On the Friday before May 25 of 2018, I would start to experience some spotting. I went to my local hospital where I was told “just go home and let your body take its course. Come back if you are in pain.” Given my history of having a previous ectopic pregnancy, I knew this was not ok. I called my gyno to share what was going on. She gave me directions and told me to come in when I wanted too, especially if more spotting happened or if pain occurred.
At 2am on May 25th, I woke my husband up because I was having terrible leg pain. Pain so bad I wanted to vomit. Pain so bad, I couldn’t do anything other than cry. A 45 minute drive to the Houston Medical Center felt like a 25 minute drive. I went to floor 11 as told, and would leave floor 11 that day, with no baby, again. I was given two choices: let my body take its course but risk my only tube-my left tube rupturing or to take methotrexate to dissolve my baby wherever it was in my body. I was so conflicted as I worried by what would align with my faith but didn’t want to have emergency surgery again. I choose to take the pill. Again, I would struggle in all the ways but so much worse.
Later in 2018, I lost my grandmother after losing my grandfather 9 months before. I was in the worst place ever. I had lost so much. Losing babies impacted my marriage, my job, my faith…..my entire life and I was trying to run from it all and I could no longer run.
In January of 2019, I decided to join a grief group at church and start attending therapy with a clinical psychologist. It has been almost 3 years since I accepted that I needed help. I couldn’t fix myself and admitting that was very hard. But what I could fix was how I went about learning and healing from all the loss and grief I went through.
As I have walked this journey of healing, I have named both my babies. The babies I dearly wanted and grieve every day. My first baby is named: Emelyn Rose. My second baby: Baby Joel. Each baby has given me so much in their absence. Emelyn gave me my life (literally) and Baby Joel gave me my voice.
Losing them has changed me in ways I never thought. I am better because they existed even if it was only weeks. They both showed me God is real. He is faithful and He is close to the broken hearted. I exist today because my babies and God. This journey has been far from easy and I have been in very dark places but I refuse to give up…..
“There is more to my story……#mamaofangels”. Here’s to speaking Emelyn’s and Baby Joel’s name in places they will never enter but their legacy lives on.
Photos taken by Debra DeLeon.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
Pin and help spread the project!