I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant with my third child. I had a two year old and a 4 month old when I found out. I was stressed but reminded myself that God has a plan and this pregnancy happened for a reason. All of my appointments went well, my weight gain was on track, and baby was perfectly healthy.
I went in at 16 weeks and found out I was having my third boy. I was happy he was healthy but disappointed it wasn’t a girl; I remember I even cried and now I carry that guilt. On the drive home from that appointment, I prayed and thanked God even though I wanted a little girl. I can’t explain it but I had a gut feeling that something was going to happen.
At 16 weeks I started spotting: no cramps or any other symptoms. I called my doctor and she wasn’t concerned. To my relief, they found baby’s heart beat and again we were told baby and I were healthy.
A week had passed and I was still spotting so I grew more concerned. I reached out to my doctor again and she told me to go to the ER to get an ultrasound.
On February 16th I went into the hospital and the nurse found my baby’s heartbeat using the Doppler and said, “there’s your baby’s heartbeat right there I think you’re okay.” I didn’t feel heard or understood; it was dismissive and turned my stomach. I know my body and I knew something was wrong. I went ahead and got an ultrasound, the tech wanted to do a transvaginal ultrasound after he suspected funneling of the cervix.
The doctor concluded that there was a soft spot of minuscule concern and my anatomy scan in just 3 weeks would give me more information. I was discharged and told to return if bleeding or discomfort got worse. I went home and after the long day I told my husband we needed to decide on a name for our sweet boy. I asked him about Lincoln and he said I like that one. I asked if I could post on Facebook that we had finally picked his name and he said we should just wait in case we change our minds. I then agreed and went to bed. I woke up a few times throughout the night with cramps, and again something felt off. In the morning I called my doctor and spoke with the nurse but explained I hadn’t been bleeding but was having some intense cramps. The nurse said she’d call me back after talking with my doctor.
Throughout the day they were getting worse and worse. I told my husband I felt like I was having contractions. I called two of my friends who have received vaginal ultrasounds while pregnant and they both said they had cramps for a couple days after. I even googled it and it said the same things my friends said. With this being my third pregnancy and me not having any major issues, I felt I was just overreacting. I called my mom and told her I was going to come stay with her because I needed help with my two boys. My mom didn’t want me to drive and decided she would make the two hour trip to come get me and my boys.
I called her to tell her I needed to go in—the pain was getting worse. The nurse finally called me back at 4pm. She asked if I was passing any clots or tissue, I said no I was just spotting and having some bad cramps. She said they were closing the office early and that they wanted me to come in first thing in the morning for a sonogram. I didn’t want to wait but I agreed and told them I’d see them in the morning.
Finally, my mom made it to pick me up and we headed back to her home. We were an hour away when I felt a huge rush of water as if my water had broken. I called the on call doctor and explained what was happening; she wanted me to come in immediately for a stress test, sonogram, and to check on me. I made it to the hospital at 6:55. With covid restrictions in place, I wasn’t allowed a support person. I sat in the waiting room for a devastatingly slow five minutes. I was in tears from the pain, my pants were soaked, and I was freezing. The nurse came out and brought me in to sign some paper work. The receptionist told me I had a great team tonight and they’ll make sure I’m okay.
We went to the stress test room and I set my purse down, the nurse asked if I wanted to use the bathroom before they hooked me up for the stress test. I agreed and said yeah I’ll try. I went into the bathroom and then the nurse asked if she could come in with and stay with me. They had never done that before but I said yes. I went to use the bathroom when I looked down there was blood everywhere. I looked at the nurse and said, “oh my God there is a lot of blood.” She looked and said, “oh honey I’m so sorry,” and came to my side and held on to me. I didn’t understand why she was saying sorry at that point. I had just felt my baby kicking and heard his heart beat that morning. I looked at her and said I feel a lot of pressure I think I’m having my baby. I then felt the familiar feeling when the baby finally is born, but this time it was different. I was in a bathroom, without a doctor, without my husband, and without the victorious cry of a healthy baby.
I finally realized why she had said sorry. I looked at the nurse and said, “I just had my baby I can’t look.” I knew I just had him. The nurse helped me up and called for other nurses. Two nurses took me to a room while the other nurse picked up my baby. The nurse who hadn’t left my side held me while I broke down. I asked if I could call my mom to come sit with me because my husband was two hours away—without hesitation she said yes. I called my husband and told him he’s gone our baby is dead. He was in disbelief and I could hear the guilt in his voice for not being there with me. I called my mom and she didn’t answer, I knew she was dropping my boys off down the road at my sister’s home. I called my sister and told her I needed to talk to mom—it’s not good. She put my mom on and I said, “mom I need you to come back I lost him he’s gone.”
I laid in the bed with the nurse sitting next to me giving me a rhogam shot, a shot to stop the bleeding, and checking my blood loss. The other nurse came in and told me that my baby was born, he appeared “in-tacked “ and he was still in his sac with the placenta attached. She said the doctor would need to see him to make sure and then I would be able to hold him and tell him goodbye.
In the back of my mind I knew I had given birth to him alive, but I didn’t want to ask because that would have meant I had left Lincoln all alone. I was talking to the nurses and they asked if we had decided on a name. I smiled a little bit and said his name is Lincoln we had just decided last night. My mom arrived shortly after and she calmly sat next to me giving me the strength I needed in this moment. The nurse checked my bleeding again; my mom not knowing what I had just gone through, asked what would happen next and how would they get the baby out. I looked at my mom and told her I had already had him shortly after I arrived.
She was trying to stay calm but I could tell by her eyes she was hurt that I went through all of this alone. I sat there. Trying to understanding why. Why did I get pregnant. Why bless me with this miracle and then take it away. Why did my body fail Lincoln. Was it because I worked out too much, did I eat something I shouldn’t have, was it because I was sad it wasn’t a girl, or was it the stress I had. The on-call doctor came in and said she was sorry. She looked at Lincoln and he was all intact and I could see him if I wanted to. They also asked what I wanted to do with his body. They said they could dispose of him, cremate him, or I could take him home to bury him. Without hesitation I told them he’d be coming home with me and we would be laying him to rest. They helped me make arrangements to get him home.
My husband arrived two hours later. He asked if I told them his name is Lincoln, that he was thinking about that on the way down. He said he knew we hadn’t completely decided on the name but on his way down he knew his name is Lincoln. The nurses brought Lincoln in so we could hold him and let him know how loved he was. The nurse brought him in with a little hat on and a matching blanket. We saw that Lincoln had my nose but big round eyes like his dad. We left the hospital shortly after midnight. We came back the next day to pick up Lincoln and to take him home finally. We buried him in a cemetery on a hill and with an amazing view that one day my husband and I will also be buried at.
After talking with my doctor and my husband we decided to try again. We had so much fear but decided it was worth it. We became pregnant 5 months after we lost Lincoln. Pregnancy after loss is hard, scary, happy, and a mess of other feelings. I check babies heart beat twice a day, pray constantly, and have weekly appointments that started at 16 weeks. All of this is worth it though for my rainbow baby, I pray for the day I get to meet him. We found out right at 16 weeks we would be having our fourth baby boy. Our sweet boy is due April 3, 2022.
I’ve learned it wasn’t my fault. There’s no reason he died. It wasn’t that God did this, or I did something, or there’s a reason that he died so I could have another baby. Bad things happen to good people all the time and Lincoln died. It still hurts to think who Lincoln would have been, what he would have done, his interest, what color his hair or eyes would have been. There’s always the what if’s. When people ask I tell them I have three children and one on the way. Even though doctors and people who haven’t gone through this trauma just think it’s a miscarriage. I don’t see it as that. At 17 weeks he had all his fingers and toes, my nose, big round eyes, and will always be my third son. I know I’ll meet him again one day and hold him. I find so much love, comfort, and happiness in telling people about him and what a blessing he is to me.
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