On April 29, 2019 my life changed forever and the woman I once was no longer existed.
I had already been blessed with 6 healthy pregnancies that resulted in 6 Healthy Babies so when I found out I was expecting baby number 7 despite my age and being told I would automatically be put in the high-risk category, I was naïve in believing I would be bringing home a healthy baby this time as well.
My pregnancy was unexpected due to being in a relationship that was toxic however my baby was loved and wanted from the moment those two lines appeared before my eyes. I was closely monitored and was able to see my baby many times which continued to reassure me he was healthy and growing right on track. My pregnancy was perfect, I had my energy and no complications, I was able to work until the very end. I was proud of myself and my age despite being told this was a geriatric pregnancy.
Before I knew my baby’s gender, I decided on two things, one being that my baby’s name would be Phoenix because to me the meaning was powerful and appropriate given my baby would Rise Up From the Ashes of my relationship in The Rebirth of a new and better life. The other being the first outfit that I purchased being a rainbow outfit that read “I am the rainbow After the Storm” as this represented my baby being the rainbow resulting in the storm of my relationship. I had never heard of the term “rainbow baby” and being completely naïve little did I know just how powerful and meaningful the name Phoenix would be as well as the rainbow outfit.
My OB decided that the plan would be to induce me on Monday, April 29th. On April 28th, I decided to finish cleaning and prepping for my baby. I had been so busy but it wasn’t until I sat down for the first time that day that I realized I hadn’t really felt Phoenix move all day, so I decided to have an ice cold drink which always got him moving around, but not this time. I rubbed my belly because that always got him interacting with me, except this time he didn’t react. I hadn’t had a chance to eat so I grabbed a salad because I thought for sure that would help him to move around but it didn’t. I was worried but have never experienced that before and I felt perfectly fine but I knew I needed to get to the hospital.
After arriving at the hospital they sent me straight to labor and delivery where they began to run a series of different tests starting with the non-stress test. I immediately heard his heartbeat and I felt a sense of relief until the doctor came in and told me he was not satisfied with the results although Phoenix seemed to be doing ok, he did not pass the test the way he wanted. I was sent for further tests and the doctor was satisfied with the results this time. I had lots of questions and was not comfortable with the results of the further testing, so I continued to ask the doctor and nurses if my baby was okay and I was reassured that he was okay numerous times. The doctor decided he would keep me overnight for observation and keep the induction as planned for the very next morning.
The doctor’s decision ultimately led to my son’s death. I left the hospital with a box in my arms, a broken heart and shattered dreams instead of my baby. The days, weeks, months, and years following Phoenix’s death have been full of sadness, pain and darkness, as well as strength, hope, and determination to carry on Phoenix’s Legacy as long as I live. I have and will include Phoenix in everything I do until I am with him once again.
On October 27th, I found out I was pregnant with my rainbow baby. This news has brought me as much happiness and excitement as it has fear and anxiety. As I write my story, I am 37 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby boy Declan. I am so thankful and grateful for Phoenix and Declan as they have both taught me about love, life and loss and how to survive and hold on to hope. My angel baby boy and my rainbow baby boy have both taught me how strong I truly am and I am beyond blessed for all eight of my children.
Photos taken by J. McCarty Photos.
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