It was bad. It definitely could have been worse. But… it was still bad.
A month ago I had a miscarriage and gave birth to a 16 week old baby boy: induction of labor, delivery, hospital stay, raging postpartum hormones… all the typical physical ‘joys’ of childbirth, except a baby to bring home. Sorry for the drama, but it still feels fairly dramatic.
I was 16 weeks pregnant and our pregnancy was going well. We had a great ultrasound at 8 weeks, which looked completely normal, and we heard a healthy heartbeat at our 12 week appointment. By week 14 we were feeling great. I was over the first trimester funk, my belly was growing, and we busted out the maternity clothes. We were scheduled for our routine 16 appointment with our OB. With no abnormal symptoms, we were shocked when the doctor could not find a heartbeat. The ultrasound tech happened to be in the office, so we were able to walk down the hall for an immediate ultrasound with our doctor. It was there the doctor told us she did not have good news. The baby no longer had a heartbeat and measured about a week smaller than anticipated. The doctor talked with us about our options and let us know that because I was 16 ½ weeks pregnant, they would need to induce labor, and I would need to deliver the baby.
We stopped by our house to pack a quick bag, swung by to see little Sammie G, and then headed to Mercy where we checked in for labor and delivery. Around 3:00p.m. on a Monday afternoon they began the process of inducing labor, and I delivered a baby boy around 6:40 Tuesday morning. We were able to see the baby and have him in the room for the majority of the day. He was tiny, but really did look like a little baby with tiny fingers, toes, eyes, and a nose. After I delivered the baby, we had a few normal complications which kept us in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon. I will spare you the details!
We did have as much time as we needed with our little baby (considering the circumstances), and it was truly amazing to see how human a little 16 week old baby can be. The Mercy Heartprints team provided us with a bag of mementos to take home complete with photos and little footprints of our baby. Our baby will be buried next week, with other pre-mature losses.
This entire experience has been surreal, and I still don’t really understand what is in store as we continue to move forward. We are heartbroken and disappointed, but continue to be amazed by the outpouring of love and support from our amazing family, friends and co-workers. I am overwhelmed by how our loved ones seemed to instantly mobilize and surround us with genuine warmth and kindness… and both emotional and practical support. I will never be able to adequately thank everyone, but we will carry this experience with us and pay it forward.
As we continue to mourn the loss of our baby and the loss of all the expectations, excitement and emotion of our pregnancy, we will remember how much we are loved. We will also continue to cherish our time with little Samantha… temper tantrums and all (okay, the temper tantrums may be a slight overstatement).
While our experience was awful, I know that it could have been worse. My heart truly aches for those who have experienced miscarriage, early loss, loss, complications or really anything sad… The emotions are pretty much out of control…damn hormones!
Confession of a *wannabe* blogger… I realize that this may seem like a serious over-share for social media (trust me, I am judgy too), but it is important for me to share my story. It seems so taboo to talk about experiences like this publicly, which is a bummer, because at least for me, it is the talking, sharing and support that helps the most. An old friend from high school shared her story through a blog and even though I hadn’t spoken to her in years, I found it strangely comforting as we moved through this process. You just never know what the day will bring, where you will find comfort, and how you will heal.
BrianNovember 21, 2013 at 7:24 am (10 years ago)
Thanks for the cry this morning, even though I knew most of this and having been talking with Allen your blog really makes it real. Thanks for sharing your story, it is the only way to move forward. Big hugs to all of you!!!
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:14 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks, Brian! The sharing really does help… as do fabulous friends!
SamNovember 21, 2013 at 8:26 am (10 years ago)
Oh Annie, I was hoping you shared your story knowing you were a blogger. Mike and I had a late first trimester loss with D&C and all sorts of glorious things before Samuel. It was life altering, marriage altering, everything. I never talked about it with people who weren’t our parents Or siblings, and it was heart wrenching to carry that secret. I will hold your little family close, and if you need anything at all, please let me know.
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks for the kind words, Sam, and I am so sorry to hear that you also had to go through drama. You are right… it has only been a month, but it is amazing how much your life can change in an instant! I hope you all are doing well… we may have to get together for a Sophia the First playdate with the little ladies sometime soon!
Monica HansNovember 21, 2013 at 9:50 am (10 years ago)
Thank you, Thank you for sharing your story. I am heartbroken for your loss. I’m a friend of Michelle’s and have unfortunately experienced a similar loss. 2 1/2 years ago we lost a baby boy at 20 weeks. Similar to you our daughter was 3 at the time of our loss. You said it perfectly ” we will carry this experience with us and pay it forward”. It is an experience that you carry with you forever and it changes your life in many ways. Paying it forward will not only help you but helps others as well. Society tells us that pregnancy loss is taboo and unfortunately I have fallen victim to this many times as well Sharing your story not only helps you but helps others who have experienced similar losses or who may experience a loss someday. Sharing also pays tribute to your son and continues his memory.
This journey your on will never be easy, it does get easier. That being said there will always be days that hit your harder than others, especially when you least expect it.
Everyone heals differently and at different times-do what is best for you and your family. We had amazing family and friends and support resources. I would be happy to share what helped us if you ever want to connect-sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who truly understands your experience.
I will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm (10 years ago)
Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. While I hate knowing that others have experienced such loss, it is comforting to know that we are not alone. I do find that sharing helps, and I love that you mentioned that it also pays tribute to our little baby. Thanks again for you note and kind words.
Kathleen BasiNovember 21, 2013 at 11:44 am (10 years ago)
I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine, I can only pray.
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm (10 years ago)
Thank you, Kate, we appreciate the prayers and support!
Jen SeigelNovember 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm (10 years ago)
You are a strong, caring woman. And a great mom to Sammie! I know it is hard to deal with unexpected things in life and I wish you guys did not have to experience that. Just know you are and always will be surrounded by people who love you guys, no matter what life brings.
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks, Jen, you provide some pretty amazing inspiration!
Annie CashionNovember 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm (10 years ago)
I think you are amazingly courageous to share your loss with others & let others share your grief & send you any kind of love & support they can at this difficult time. I wish you nothing but the best & my heart is sad to hear what your family is enduring. You can bet you are in my thoughts & prayers.
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks for the message, Annie! We appreciate the love and support!
Carey KriegerNovember 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm (10 years ago)
Thank you for sharing, Annie, and I think it is so important for you to share. A good friend’s first child, a little girl, was stillborn. She said it was extremely hard to go back to work because other women in her department had also recently had babies. While her coworkers peppered the other women with questions about their new babies, they were afraid to ask my friend about her baby girl. Although their intentions to avoid hurting her feelings about her daughter’s death were good, they unknowingly hurt her more by not acknowledging her daughter’s life. It was very isolating for her to feel as if she had to walk around pretending the whole thing had never happened. A coworker who lost her teenage son in a car accident shared a similar sentiment. After he passed, no one talked about him anymore. She didn’t want her son to be forgotten. Thank you for sharing and reaching out to others. Losing a child at any stage is heartbreakingly sad and never makes a bit of sense, so the best that can be done is to make those who are going through it know they are not alone. We love you Annie, Allen, Samantha, and Baby C!
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm (10 years ago)
I hate that it is so awkward to talk about, because it is also so awkward to ignore! I am truly so thankful that I have such amazing people around me.
MomNovember 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm (10 years ago)
Annie, thank you so much for sharing this. You express yourself so beautifully in the written word. I was so impressed with how Mercy Hospital cared for you and Allen. I’m so glad that we can now talk about and share such experiences that at one time we had to keep hidden and more or less pretend they didn’t happen.
annieNovember 21, 2013 at 9:38 pm (10 years ago)
Thanks, mom! I had no idea what to expect in the hospital, but I was also so amazed and impressed with all the kindness and support we received in the hospital. Hopefully we will continue moving toward a place where it is not so taboo to talk about these “personal issues.”
Yuri Flores - OttNovember 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm (10 years ago)
Dear Annie, I still remember you as a little 10 year old girl. You write beautifuly and express your feelings and emotions so well, I can see you still have a wonderful heart. I am very sorry for your lost. I had no idea this had happened to you. Thank you for sharing, my prayers are with you my little sister. There is a very special place in my heart for all the Hammond-Becker Family. Big big hugs to you and your family. Love you all dearly… Yuri
annieJanuary 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks for the love, Yuri! It has been a hectic 2 months, and we are wrapping up a much needed holiday break :) It is amazing to think how quickly time passes and how fast we grow!
JulieNovember 22, 2013 at 7:38 am (10 years ago)
Oh, Annie, I am so sorry for you and for Allan. How heartbreaking. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for all of you.
One of my very good friends very unexpectedly lost her son when he was just 18. She told me that when her heart broke, it broke open. The only way to heal was to let people in—which meant sharing her story—and to let them fill her back up with love, and even to heal by giving love back to the world. I’ve never lost a child, but often think about this image of healing when I face my little losses in life.
I’ve cried with too many friends who have gone through similar losses and seen the pain get stronger by keeping it in, forcing themselves to publicly “get over it” too quickly, and they turn it all inward to anger and self-doubt. It’s so brave of you, but so good, to break open.
Sending hugs from Nairobi, Julie
annieJanuary 1, 2014 at 2:13 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks for the comment, Julie, and for the love from Nairobi :) I hope you are well and spreading your love all over the world!
Sheila FawcettNovember 23, 2013 at 9:06 am (10 years ago)
I am so sorry that you and Allen lost your precious son. A few years ago my co-teacher lost her baby boy. He was still born on her due date. All of us at school grieved this loss, as we had watched her normal pregnancy progress with no complications. Each year she takes a special baby blanket to the nursery, for a family in need, in the hospital where she delivered Maddox. She also organizes a team each year for the Annual March of Dimes Walkathon. The March of Dimes devotes much of their research and efforts to miscarriage and stillbirth. She was never given a medical “reason” for this devastating loss, but none of will ever forget little Maddox. He brings a winning team to a great cause each year, as his Mom, Trisha, organizes Team Maddox and lots of pre-race fundraisers for the March of Dimes. Thinking of you as you grieve the loss of your baby boy.
Casey’s Aunt Sheila
annieJanuary 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks for the comment Sheila and for the suggestions! I am definitely hoping to stay involved in some way to give back to everyone who has helped us in our journey. Thanks again!
Kimberly MantiaDecember 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm (9 years ago)
Annie– I am so sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine what you all went/are going through! You are so strong to share this personal journey that you have experienced. I’m sending loving prayers and thoughts your way!!
annieJanuary 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm (9 years ago)
Thanks, Kim! This was definitely a much needed break to relax and spend time with family and friends!