No Amount of Reading Could Prepare Us

never prepare

November 11, 2014: The day that my life changed forever.

And maybe not for the worst, although I cannot see much of the good now. I believe things happen so we can learn from them. So we can grow and embody love and light. You can call me a spiritual person, yes. I believe there is a higher power, a source of all knowing.

Reading and writing helps me “forget” if only for a little while that I am a Mom, without a physical child to nurture. I’m going to share my story with you and hope that it gives a Mom and/or Dad some hope in those aching, empty days.

When you are certain that nothing will ever help ease the pain.

When you don’t know if you will survive this.

 I’m still alive. I am surviving this. I am strong and so are you.

 It was March when I sat in awe on the toilet at my positive pregnancy test. I took about 6 tests and all of them were positive. I never had any problem conceiving, it happened on our first attempt, but I have health problems and just couldn’t believe it could happen so “easy”.

The months that followed were filled with planning, joy, fear, heartburn and nausea. I read everything pregnancy related like most pregnant women do. We were a little different in that we planned a home birth and had a Midwife for our care. Nothing could go wrong. My baby was growing perfect, her heartbeat was strong. Nothing could go wrong. I have always tried to look at the positive side of everything and live life as naturally as possible. I knew that our birth would be perfect, and we would have an uncomplicated birth at home.

Wrong.

No amount of positive thinking, eating well, yoga, walking etc could stop what was to happen to us. I didn’t feel Sadie moving much the day before I went into labor, and it never even occurred to me that something could be wrong. I never thought anything could go wrong that far into a pregnancy, no amount of reading could prepare us for that horrible day.

Our family was over the day I went into labor, the mood was light, and we expected to have a baby soon. The contractions started around 7 pm the night of 11/9. I decided to sleep as much as I could through the night and called our midwife to let her know what was happening. My husband and I didn’t get any sleep because he was timing contractions and I was in too much discomfort to sleep. Morning rolled around and I had my husband call our midwife to see if she could come over, but she was at another birth. She sent us a midwife I hadn’t met before and that bummed me out. When she arrived she checked my cervix, then she said let’s check the heartbeat. She was looking for quite a while, longer than it ever took before.

I had no worries at this point. Nothing could go wrong this far along.

I assumed Sadie had turned differently than she had been. She then said, “I think we should go to the hospital”. I started crying, not because I thought anything was wrong, but because this wasn’t the plan! I was having Sadie at home. We got to the hospital labor department and they started to look for her heartbeat with the Doppler. It was taking too long to find her heartbeat than I was comfortable with.

At this point, I finally started to worry.

The on-call doctor brought in the ultrasound machine, and showed us the horror, Sadie didn’t have a heartbeat. There was her little fetus just floating lifelessly in my womb.

How could that be? I was in such shock, I don’t remember even crying. I just repeated “I don’t understand”.

28 hours later, Sadie was born, so quiet, so beautiful, right on time on her due date. I still was in such a state of shock that I didn’t even hold her very long. This wasn’t my baby. My baby was supposed to be alive, crying, trying to breast feed and bond.

This baby was, quiet.

The next morning the shock started to wear off and I realized, we were parents, with no baby coming home. I held her lifeless, cold body and covered her beautiful head with tears. I will never forget how her little body felt in my arms, to have her weight on my chest, her sweet baby smell.

I didn’t think I would survive the pain, but I am. And you will too. You are not alone. You are loved, and you didn’t do anything wrong. You will have some light again, I promise.

Photo credit: adapted from 55Laney69 | Flickr

— Sarah

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