Monday, October 15, 2012

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

 Today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  We remember those babies lost as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, and any other infant death. 

In March of 2008, I was teaching kindergarten, in grad school, and loving life with my 8 month-old daughter.  My husband and I were shocked to learn I was pregnant.  I was having another baby.  Then, less than a week later, I wasn't...

I had what was considered a "threatened miscarriage" with my first child, but I knew what I was experiencing this time was different.  Of course, it was a Friday.  I didn't want to spend the weekend wondering and worrying.  Since my regular doctor was unavailable, I asked to be seen by any doctor or nurse practitioner who could fit me in.  Then came trying to arrange for a substitute teacher to cover my class during the middle of the day. As I drove to the clinic, I realized I hadn't eaten lunch and decided that could be contributing to my increasing stomach pain.  It was a Friday during Lent, so I ordered a fish sandwich at the drive-thru, but couldn't eat it.  Four years later, fish sandwiches still trigger memories of that day.  At the clinic, I met with a nurse practitioner who sent me for an ultrasound.  For as kind and understanding as that physician was, the ultrasound tech was the complete opposite.  She went so far as to tell me "I don't know why she's having you do this when you haven't done any blood tests."  I felt like a failure...and that was before she performed the ultrasound.  I was then sent back to the waiting room.  As this was not my first ultrasound, it was obvious to me what the technician did (or didn't) see, even if she didn't have the authority to tell me.  I looked around the waiting room and wondered how many of the women were there for prenatal visits.  Then, I noticed a coworker also waiting.  It took all I had not to make eye contact with her, as I knew I would burst into tears.  When I was called back to meet with the physician, the second I stepped into her office, I lost it.  She didn't need to tell me what I already knew.

I went home and slept and was comforted by my husband.  That evening I had grad school.  It was the final weekend of class and we were presenting final projects.  I went early to talk with my professor.  He told me to go home and that I could come the next day and give my presentation.  The perfectionist in me knew I had to stay.  I wanted to see others give their presentations.  I watched, then went home and made some changes to my own final project, all while so many emotions were flooding through my head. 

Time went on and I was sad, but knew all along that I had not done anything to cause my miscarriage.  I believed God had a plan for me and my family.  Three short months later, I was pregnant again. 

As I write this, a spunky three-year-old is snuggled up beside me.  She was part of God's plan for our family.  As hard as it is to know that I lost a child, I also know the one beside me now would not have been...

Earlier this year I read Heaven is for Real.  I have always believed there is a baby waiting for me in Heaven, and the book has only made me more excited to meet him/her someday!   I pray for strength, love and support for all the women and families remembering a baby, today.