When I was younger I never thought that bad things would happen to babies. I thought women went through normal pregnancies and brought home their babies.
That innocent perception changed my senior year of high school.
I was 17 years old when I got pregnant with my son AJ. It was such a memorable time for me with all my friends around, as we were all getting ready to graduate high school.
Even with a child I never felt like that would stop me from accomplishing the things that I wanted to.
I did everything right. I went to all my appointments and had no complications. I had a normal pregnancy besides spitting and being sick all the time, it was an amazing experience.
On February 23, 2012 I had a normal appointment scheduled. I took the bus with my mom. I remember bringing french fries because I love to snack a lot.
My mom and I sat on the benches outside the doctor’s office before going into the appointment and we talked about how excited I was. I didn’t know that it would quickly change in a matter of seconds.
It was around 2 o’clock when we decided to head into the building. The nurses checked me in and they called us back shortly after. They asked me a series of questions that they normally would like “how was I feeling?” If there were any concerns. At the time I truly had none because I was just excited to be expecting my first baby.
The student nurse came in, grabbed the doppler and put it on my belly. It was silent.
Then we heard what we thought was the baby, but it was my heartbeat speeding up from anxiety. She continued to move around the doppler and that’s when things began to feel off.
I remember pulling out sour patches and eating a few to get the baby moving because he wasn’t all of a sudden. I didn’t notice a change in anything besides feeling heavier.
She told us to wait a moment and walked out the room to grab the doctor. The doctor came in and attempted to find Aj’s heartbeat, but was also unsuccessful. They then moved me to the next room to check on the ultrasound monitor.
There was a baby.
This precious little one was there in my belly, but he didn’t move. The room grew silent as my mom, the dr and myself realized what was happening. The doctor then looked at me and as he began to speak I remember hearing a ring in my ear and muffled sounds.
Then he said “these things just happen and sometimes we can’t explain it. I’m sorry but your baby has no heartbeat.”
My heart broke and the world felt like it was shattering into a million pieces. I could hear my mom trying to make sense of what he said but by then I knew that the perfect world I planned would no longer be the reality.
The hospital was directly across from the drs office. My dr led us to the waiting room of his office and said the hospital will be expecting you. We were the last appointment in the office so it was quiet and filled with sorrow. I gathered myself for a moment only to be met with a full cloud of grief covering me. My mom and I walked over to the hospital so I could be induced.
I called my boyfriend at the time to tell him what happened but the only information I could give was ”He’s gone.”
Over the course of 2 days I just remember being so heavily sedated. I was out of it and part of me was okay with that. I was carrying the weight of my dead baby and it was so much to take on.
Almost 36 hours later with my family around, we were all met with a silent delivery room.
I got to hold my sweet Aj on February 24th. He was born at 11:11 pm at 6lbs 1oz. A perfect little angel.
Leaving the hospital was also one of the hardest things I had to do. I was empty handed and felt so cheated from experiencing motherhood.
Going back to school was weird. All my friends and the staff knew what had happened so I got the look of sympathy. I just wanted life to go back to “normal” whatever that meant. I didn’t want eyes on me for anything.
I did go to prom and I graduated by a hair but I crossed that stage in honor of my baby.
The years following I really chose to focus on myself. I let go of the relationship I had with my baby’s father because it wasn’t healthy. We were so young and still had a lot to learn.
5 years after Aj’s passing I met my husband. We dated and got married in 2018.
We moved to Washington State where I would experience the most healing I had ever felt through my journey with yoga. I focused so much on myself and building the relationship I had with my husband it made the experience more memorable. I was having a hard time getting pregnant but I was optimistic.
6 months into that experience we were met with a beautiful surprise. We were expecting our first baby together. This would be my rainbow.
It was a struggle getting through pregnancy. I was sick most of the time but there was so much love and support around which made things easier.
During one of our routine ultrasounds our midwives observed that my rainbow baby may be measuring small. They were concerned he had IUGR. After all the performed tests and my anxiety so high by the time we were 36 weeks I was ready for our little guy to be out.
At 39 weeks we decided to give up the idea of a water birth and be induced at the hospital. With the due diligence of my midwives we may have saved my rainbow baby’s life. Although we weren’t considered high risk, they supported us through the experience of life after loss and any choice we made.
On January 22, 2020 my rainbow Tristan was born.
I call him my rainbow because after all the storm I am grateful to be able to see the beauty in the situation.
He is now a year old and healthy as can be! Right before Tristan’s first birthday we found out we were pregnant with our second child. Another boy!
My husband considers Aj to be our family angel. We believe he sent his brothers to us at the most precious time and he protects his brothers.
Not everyone gets to experience this kind of feeling. I used to feel guilty for being happy that we did have the chance to experience our rainbow and pot of gold. I remind myself that everyone is on a different path and this was our chosen one. To be parents to these beautiful little boys.
It took some time to come to terms with the fact that we were having babies back to back and I wanted to spend lots of time with Tristan but having more kids only expanded the love we already had to share.
I still grieve. I still have triggers especially during pregnancy, I still seek out support and counseling to help me move past the grief and past trauma. Every day is a new opportunity to grow and embrace what is.
I walked alone for quite some time with my Aj on my heart. I look back and remember the times I cried for days that I have today.
Every day is a day we can honor our little ones and remember them. Every day is a new day to try again.
I am a mama to 3 boys. 2 living and 1 in heaven.
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