Mikayla’s Story

1. Describe the process of getting pregnant.  Was it easy for you?  Was it hard?  Did you have to go through fertility treatment?

I had a chemical pregnancy the first time we tried who we named Riley. We had been so excited already coming up with names and when we’d tell family. I remember when I wiped and saw blood, just before we were talking about when we’d tell people. We kept trying but didn’t expect to get pregnant for a bit when I realized I was several days late the next month. I took tests for second days before we got excited and we set up appointments and told our parents. 

2. What was the pregnancy like?  Was it easy and smooth?  Hard with a lot of pregnancy symptoms?

My first symptoms were moodiness and taking naps and going to bed much earlier because I was so tired. My first trimester was very hard because I had all day nausea and was so so tired. I was going to bed at 7pm or earlier and my mum had to cut my hair because I was having trouble taking care of it. Around 13/14 weeks the nausea was done. But then we found out our rent was increasing by a lot. We moved across county from New England to a family home in FL and lived with my In-laws until it was ready. 

3. Did you have a reason why your losses occurred?

I don’t know why the first chemical happened or why this newest one in February happened. But my daughter we were told passed from a nuchal cord on the way out. 

4. How far along were you?

I was 40+6 and we induced because we were worried about her not leaving and my blood pressure was getting high. I was also having pelvic pressure and having trouble walking. 

5. What are your babies names?

Riley (miscarriage), Ellabeth (nuchal cord at birth), Renee (miscarriage)

6. What was the birthing/loss experience like?

My midwives induced my with midwives brew (absolutely disgusting by the way) and Labored from 7am to 5/6 pm when my water broke and they had me labor at the birth center. I labored for another hour or so almost falling over from how intense the contractions were before I started pushing. I pushed for 5/6 hours before they couldn’t find her heart beat(said it sometimes happens that low but they needed to get her out(I was exhausted and scared and angry because I was trying my best and they said I was pushing perfectly) they got me on my back and two grabbed my feet and prepared to pump my legs by pulling them out and shoving them into me and the other told me she’d give me an episiotomy during a contraction and I wouldn’t feel it(absolutely felt it and she went almost all the way down) and they pumped my legs right after two or three times while my body took over pushing. It was like strong ripples down. Apparently the main midwife reached in me after the cut to guide her out and they put her on my stomach and started wiping her and I was dangling off the bed because they let my feet go. And then everyone’s faces changed and they were cutting the cord and running away with her to give her medical care. Shortly after they were calling 911 and getting me on the bed and covered. The paramedics, police, and fire station responded and I remember not caring if I was covered and seeing them ask questions and take her out, I remember trying to see her and her arm falling off off the paramedics arm and dangling as they rushed out and talking my husband to go and my mum was with me. To take care of our baby and she’d take care of hers. My Dad came to us and an hour later my husband called my mum and told her and they told me. I called my mum a liar and sobbed before the midwives sewed me up and prepped me to go to the hospital where my husband and daughter were. I could barely walk but managed the stairs almost falling outside. I had a wheelchair when I got there and his parents had made it and were comforting him. He wouldn’t let anyone touch or hold her except for him until I did. 

7. Did you get to spend time with your baby or get any keepsakes?

I got an hour before they took her for an autopsy. I was shocked for a moment realizing she was actually gone and she was just a body now. I held her and sobbed and sobbed. My arms were so weak from the labor that I had to be propped up with pillows to hold her. The amazing team there came in after a half hour and asked if they could make us keep sakes. When we agreed they rushed to get some hair, to hand and foot molds, and get prints. All of his siblings came and both of our parents were there. They took many photos for us which I’m grateful for. We got another hour with her at her funeral. Before everyone came in.

8. How was the medical treatment/support during your loss?

I was examined at my in-laws house where we were staying 24 hours after the birth. They checked my blood pressure and said I needed to check it multiple times a day for several weeks and told me to stay in bed for a week and then maybe the couch the week after. I wouldn’t get that though as two maybe three days after birth we were at a funeral home planning her funeral and then 6 days after birth we were burying her. I was in a wheel chair both of these times. 

9. Did you receive support from family and friends after your loss?

I was in bed all other times for two or three weeks. I had to walk over one house ( his aunts house) to shower because I couldn’t go upstairs. I couldn’t lift my legs that high. My parents and parents in-law brought me food and drink and told me when and how much to eat. I remember them giving me medicine and CBD to help me. I ended up needing to pump because I became engorged and as soon as I started I began to wean it off. I got enough to save for jewelry someday. But had to stop when I experienced psychosis and freaked out looking for Ellabeth. All the women in my life rallied around me to help me heal and then to help my milk to dry up. My husband and I turned to each other and clung to each other. We were grateful to be living with his parents at that point and my brother came for the funeral along with all of my family that could. My parents stayed for a couple months as they’d planned to stay to help. Shortly after the funeral our family packed up all the baby stuff and put it in a storage unit for us and have committed to paying for it for a year. 

10. How were your emotions after loss? (Angry, sad, scared, confused, etc)

I had panic attacks and at least one moment of psychosis. I was angry and devastated. I felt shattered into pieces and exhausted. My husband and I separately considered death but cling to each other in a way that inspired our parents and they all commented on it. I couldn’t understand that my baby was gone. That everything I’d been through was for nothing. I didn’t get my beautiful baby girl, and she was just a beautiful mix of us both. I see her in my husband and he sees her in me. It’s sometimes hard to be around each other but we cling to each other harder and cry. 

11. How did you know you were ready to try again?

We had planned to wait a few years or even be one and done. But that day we knew we wanted to adopt and have more kids. We looked for a Doctor before trying because we wanted to try as soon as it was safe and to have a planned C-section as she had gotten stuck. She was small 7pounds 7oz. So we knew we wanted to be safe, which was three periods after stopping postpartum bleeding and I needed to be able to function without CBD gummies. I’ve been in Therapy for several months which has helped.

12. What has the pregnancy with your rainbow baby been like? 

Not pregnant yet but I expect I’ll try to enjoy however much time I have and only believe it when I’ve had my baby.

13. Is there anything special you do to remember your angel baby/babies?

I have a sun powered light in our kitchen window and a matching one at her grave. I also have a Molly Bear which is a volunteer service which makes bears the weight of your baby for people who have had a loss.

14. Is there anything you want others to know about going through loss?

Grief is like a ball in a box. At the beginning it touch all sides and hurts all the time. As time goes on the ball gets smaller and more manageable. But it never goes away and when it rolls and touches the side whether expected or not it hurts. (My mum told me that). But also someday you’ll be able to breathe again and we try to live a life she’d want us to have. 

Mikayla stands in front of water and holds a teddy bear.  She wears the rainbow skirt.

Photo taken by Hannah Luttrell.

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