I had my first son at the age of 25, it was an unplanned pregnancy. I was with my son’s father for 6 years before we became pregnant. We were not planning on pregnancy and also did not mind if we ended up pregnant. We did not have a plan to follow just to live day by day.
Things did not workout as we planned and we parted ways after my son was two years old. We have a great co-parenting relationship till this day and I would not change things.
I met my now husband when my son was 6, I was taking care of myself and we did not plan to get pregnant until we moved in or married. In 2019 we bought our home and everything was going as planned, the check list as I called it was working perfectly for us. I took my IUD in April of 2020 a week before my 38th birthday and we became pregnant 3 months after that. I went the holistic way to better help us when trying (i.e., vitamins, herbal teas and some acupuncture). I only sought support for a month and then I stopped due to financial reasons. In July of 2020 we found out that I was pregnant with Jameson, we all were excited and we shared the news immediately with friends and family.
The pregnancy was a “perfect one” no symptoms of any kind, I had energy, my appetite was good and only gained the weight of the baby. The pregnancy was full of laughter and love the feelings that I wanted to transmit to my unborn son.
During the times that I was going to the doctor I was seen by a midwife due to not having any complications I was treated as any other patient, meeting once a month and minimal check ups. I was only checked with a doppler at all my appointments with the exception of the 20 weeks ultrasound. Again, I did everything in my part to follow what I needed to in order to have a healthy baby. The baby would move and no concerns arised throughout the pregnancy.
Fast forward 35 weeks of gestation, I was cleaning as usual and did not feel him move. This was on a Friday afternoon. I didn’t think much of it due to the midwife mentioning that the “space would run out” and sometimes it is hard for babies to move. Came Saturday and no response from baby again I didn’t put to much thought in it due to thinking the baby was fine. I felt fine no abnormal signs for me to worry and continued on with my day. Came Sunday and I told my husband early morning that we needed to go to the hospital.
March 1st 2020 after three nurses and two doctors trying to find my babies heart beat, it was confirmed that my babies heart had stopped. The only explanation that was given to me after I had him vaginally was that the placenta was “smooshy”. No other information was given.
We named our son Jameson Noe, the nurses cried with us and the doctor as well. Writing this takes me back to that day where my trauma began and my heart broke, life has not been and will never be the same. There are no words of the loss of the experience and if there is one felt experience it would be that a piece of me died that day too. I felt robbed from not raising my son and the life experiences we had to have had.
I spend as much time as I needed to spend with him during the hospital and in the funeral home a week after I left the hospital. Jameson was born at 6:06 am March 2, 2020 and left the hospital the same day at 5pm. I felt like I could not breath and could not sit in the hospital without my son in my arms.
No parent should go through this and all I could think was how much money goes into research yet we have babies and cancer patients dying everyday. I took pictures of him with my phone camera and prayed for strength because I too thought I too was dead. I felt guilt due to trying to be strong from my eldest son and blame because I blamed my body. The doctor consistently kept telling me that I did not do nothing wrong, yet I felt different.
Before leaving the hospital I was given several referrals to help me cope with my loss. I called them a week after I came home. Luckily I have a great support system that helped me daily. I also found a grief group of pregnancy and infant loss from Elizabeth hospice that also was a great support system. No one should belong to that group, yet if it has happened to someone is the only group that others will only understand. I started individual therapy and met with two groups one with Elizabeth hospice and the other support I found through Instagram. I messaged a couple of people but only two answered back. The relationship with both groups became really close and we continue to have a relationship. We message each other and we send messages of hope and continue to carry our children’s legacy.
After the shock of losing my son and begging to accept that it was a nightmare that I was truly living. I was pregnant and I my baby had died, I till this day continue to have grief waves and emotions that one can think of. These waves come unexpected and I have learned that all I could do is embrace them they are a part of my life. After receiving intense therapy one to two times a week, I was able to incorporate happiness to the waves. Grief and happiness intertwine in my life and I love them both.
My physical body was also affected. I was diagnosed with asthma and an umbilical hernia. I never had asthma until my trauma I am a firm believer that some how this is how my body dealt with the loss. I began holistic treatment and after a couple months I was granted by my insurance to have surgery to fix the hernia. I was fortunate that my surgery was move sooner. June 7,2020 I had my umbilical hernia surgery, the surgery was a success with no complications. I healed from the surgery and in August 2020, I was given the “go” to try and conceive again.
Due to my age we did not wait and began our journey to conceive another baby. We were scared and felt the grief waves of guilt. I talked to my therapist to help me process through the thoughts and feelings. After 3 months of trying and not getting pregnant I sought support from an infertility specialist all of the test came back good and they stated to keep trying. Disappointed, I began to seek other alternatives to help me; I got a mayan pregnancy massage, holistic teas and vitamins and also fertility acupuncture. During this time I felt guilty due to not enjoying my life due to taking “extra care” of myself that my emotional and mental health were suffering. Seeing my friends drink, wearing open toe shoes, spaghetti strap shirts and not participating with them I felt like I did not belong anymore, my whole focus was trying to get pregnant.
I needed change just as I felt happiness and grief, I needed to incorporate it to my daily life with my friends and family not just me alone. I decided to make a promise to myself that I will live life in another light not focusing on getting pregnant but enjoying life. One thing that Jameson taught me was that tomorrow is never promised and that is what I live by now. New years 2021 I had a blast I talked about Jameson and told others that I will forever carry his legacy. My neighbors and family joined us and we toast for blessings and positivity. Each gathering I would join with my friends and make the best of each day. Continuing to try but not being the focus, I said a prayer and left it in Gods hands. May of 2021 I found out that we were expecting our rainbow baby.
As I write this I am 34 weeks pregnant and my anxiety is too the roof. I continue to call my support system, the ones that have walked in my shoes only they truly know how these emotions hit and how to ride the waves. This pregnancy I have felt all the emotions at ones including guilt. I use a lot of self talk because I know that nothings is promised, but what I am certain of is that I could make the best of today even if it looks ugly to others. This is my journey not anyone else’s. All I want to transmit is love as I did for my babies.
What I do for my son Jameson is that I have an alter for him with things that I have purchased for him and pictures. Every month I would celebrate his milestone as if he was here, it brought me comfort because I would have done that if he was alive. I celebrated his first Birthday by going to the San Diego Zoo and leaving dinosaurs behind for other kids to find. I added a sentence with his name and the day he was born sleeping. I will continue celebrating his birthday every year doing something special. I also include him in the holidays by decorating his alter and for Dia de Los Muertos I have an alter for all of the babies that were gone too soon and also we include other family members.
If I can share somethings with parents that have gone through pregnancy and or infant loss is that you are not alone. The experience can be felt as an isolated one, please know that help is out there and other grieving parents are a phone call away. Find a support group that feels comfortable and available to help you process through your feelings. Speak about the children, say their name aloud, talk to others about the “what if’s” and carry their legacy even if where you feel comfortable.
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