Ruby Rose was our angel baby right from the beginning. Getting pregnant for us was a surprise, we were not trying or planning on having a baby any time soon. We were both still living in apartments and wasn’t sure what the next couple years would bring. Although unplanned this was a pleasant surprise that made taking some big steps in our “pretty new” relationship easier. My pregnancy with Ruby was truly a rough experience, I was sick throughout the entire pregnancy. Food aversion was a constant struggle, although I did not lose any weight, I was not eating like I should have. We made it all the way to 32 weeks before any issue arose, finally finding out once she was born my placenta was abrupted. This was due to an auto immune disease called antiphospholipid syndrome, this caused a blood clot in my placenta and eventually erupting my placenta.
It was a Tuesday, and I was feeling OFF, sore neck, very weak, just not myself. Called myself out of work and proceeded to rest; there is a small part of me that will always live in that what if moment. What if we went to the hospital on Tuesday instead of waiting? So, we waited to see if I would feel better and proceeded to bed as usual only to wake up early on Wednesday to me bleeding a small bit. I truly was not concerned when I woke up but called my DR just to be safe. As soon as I explained my symptoms my dr said get to the ER ASAP.
Once at the hospital we were with the ER nurse, and they could not find a heartbeat; BUT because they were not “ultrasound techs” we had to wait for one to come in. After what felt like a lifetime the tech came in TURNED THE SCREEN and proceeded to not give us any information and left the room. The Dr came in and told us the worst news we could have ever imagined; there is no more heartbeat. My placenta was effaced and again I wasn’t aware of this until after we lost her as I didn’t feel her as often as I should have.
When I was admitted into the hospital, they figured out my blood pressure was not in a safe zone, indicating I was having a pre-eclampsia issue. This was the first and only sign of this that ever arose in the pregnancy. Because I had to put on medicine for my high blood pressure, they gave me the epidural as soon as they could. They informed me that the medicine they gave me should automatically induce me, but we would see. After half of a day of my body not taking the hint, we started on Pitocin.
The next morning on 7/1/21 I gave birth to my angel Ruby Rose. We truly did not have any definite names picked out for her yet; I wasn’t even sure I wanted to name her knowing she was not coming home with us. After a couple minutes holding her, I decided to name her Ruby Rose. The hospital we gave birth at was truly AMAZING, they put us in the quietest place on the nursing unit, so we were away from the living babies. I was lucky enough they had a cold cot so we could spend as much time as we wanted with her. Along with the cold cot they had a service that took photos for free. At first, I didn’t want to take photos, but I changed my mind on Friday morning. I spent some time with her on my own on Friday, the next day my husband, my mother and I all took photos with our beautiful angel before sending her to get cremated.
My husband who was my fiance at the time was truly the rock for me during this entire process, but the support the hospital and my Dr’s offered was beyond my expectation. We were lucky enough to have an amazing support system in place before this tragedy occurred. Between family and friends, we were able to turn in every direction and have someone to lean on. To my surprise some friends came out of the shadows with experiences like us and supported us in ways I could not have imagined. I also experienced a couple family members along with friendship losses during this time, not everyone knew or even still knows how to support us.
Once we returned home our emotions were all over the place, I think I speak for everyone in the household that we were just surviving. The anger and sadness came in waves; some days we could barely breath and other days we were enjoying everything by involving her in our day. I had decided that for me and my body we needed to wait at least a year to morn her. I needed time with all those hurtful feelings along with time to mend the bits of me that were still not whole. With all those emotions swirling we wanted to make sure that her birthday was something we celebrated for the rest of our lives. So, we decided to plan our wedding for the day after Ruby’s birthday, the day after she would turn one, we would forever be a family. This was a way for us have our family surrounding us on one of the hardest days of our life. On Ruby’s first birthday we had all the important people together for our “rehearsal dinner”. On this special occasion we released 50 butterflies in our back yard to commemorate the occasion and bring new life in to such a hard time.
After we were officially wed, we did go on a honeymoon followed by a trip my husband won with work to Orlando. During all this celebration we decided we were ready to try again, the decision was truly mine and how I felt about having to go through the process again. Once finding out that I had antiphospholipid syndrome the consensus was that I would receive a shot every day once we got a heartbeat in the baby. So, once we found out I was pregnant at the six-week appointment I was prescribed the shots I would receive daily. Saying this pregnancy has been work would be an understatement, my husband has been the best co pilot giving me the shot every morning. Besides the shots, compared to my pregnancy with Ruby this rainbow baby has been a treasure to carry.
I know once this rainbow baby arrives, I will feel lots more emotions and grief when I think about Ruby. There will never be an upside to what happened with her; and we will remember her every year on our wedding anniversary. Better yet we will continue the tradition of releasing butterflies on her birthday because bringing life into this world on that day is something I will cherish forever. To the parents to are still battling those demons after losing their child nothing will ever fix it. No one will ever say the thing that will make you feel better, only time will make it easier. Nothing will ever make it better, even your rainbow baby will not fill that hole. I choose to live in the moments I knew her, moments I lived with her living inside me. The moments I had with her earth side and intention in how we continue to include her in our life, that’s what makes it a little easier.
Read more about antiphospholipid syndrome.
Photos taken by Heather Bates Photography.
Find out more about Project Finding Your Rainbow.
Pin and help spread the project!