In a world of social media overload, where everyone expresses their opinions and showcases their lives, it’s funny how we as individuals have a tendency to only share the happy moments and deflect when things do not go as planned. Today is going to be different…
“We lost you today. We were hoping to see your heartbeat and instead you weren’t there anymore. I never knew I could miss someone I had never met, but my whole heart hurts I miss you so much.” – A
Last month, October, was National Infant Loss & Miscarriage Awareness Month. Those that have experienced a loss or infertility, do not just recognize this once a year, but they recognize it every single day. In October, I started a project that began as a way to honor all those women & couples that have gone through infertility struggles, miscarriage and infant loss, as well as honor those sweet babies that are not physically with us on earth. During this process, I never expected myself to help others and I definitely didn’t think it would bring me healing as well. I figured, if I can experience healing from this project, I had to share with everyone else, hoping others can know they’re not alone, and they are not the only ones experiencing these pains, heartaches, and thoughts. Over the past couple of months, I worked with over 10 incredible women, most of which haven’t shared their story but have kept it to themselves, myself included. I’m here to share all their stories with you in hopes it will bring you peace and comfort through what you may be experiencing.
“Emotionally, I was drained. I felt more emotion in those few days [after miscarriage] that I can remember, from any experience in my life. Angry, frustrated, sad, confused, alone but most of all, I felt I was responsible for my baby not living.”
I was 12 weeks. I started feeling sharp pain in my stomach, I associated it with the pregnancy and figured it was normal. As the pain increasingly got worse I ended up in the emergency room. I was told everything was fine and that they heard the heartbeat. Relieved, I went home but still felt a little uneasy.
The next day the pain came back even worse and while traveling to a different hospital, my worst fear was a miscarriage. Laying at the hospital the doctor said the words that I will never forget to this day…”I’m sorry but, what you are experiencing is a miscarriage” My sister held me and I cried. The following days brought more pain and bleeding then a third trip to the ER.
Emotionally, I was drained. I felt more emotion in those few days than I can remember from any experience in my life. Angry, frustrated, sad, confused, alone but most of all, I felt I was responsible for my baby not living. What had I done to cause this miscarriage? I searched and searched for this answer. I was told that there was probably a medical reason why I miscarried, for instance…maybe the baby wasn’t forming properly. That answer wasn’t good enough for me. It wasn’t fair. I was lost and I prayed.
Through this experience I have found my peace in God. God is the Father for my baby in Heaven. Although the selfish side of me wanted to hold and kiss those cheeks….God is kissing them for me. God is holding my baby. There is a peacefulness in this thought for me. I will, one day, hold my baby…my first born that I never met, I never named and that I don’t even know the gender of. I know she watches over us every day. (I typed that without even thinking….I never knew the gender…. Oh, my heart.) Sorry…that was really unexplainable for me. – I know this wasn’t apart of her story to share, but this was so powerful to me that I left it just as she had written it. Even though some haven’t met their children physically, we still know who they are. – Chasnie
I also believe that my son now carries my baby’s spirit with him here on earth. That may sound odd, but that’s how I cope. I know each of us find our own peace and although we never forget, we find a way to smile about this little soul that lives with our Father in Heaven.
“My pregnancy had been picture perfect! I went for a weekly checkup at 37 weeks pregnant to find out that Jacie had passed away. They couldn’t find a heartbeat…”
My husband, Justin, and I had been married for 2 years and were very anxious to welcome our baby girl, Jacie, into the world in 2004. My pregnancy had been picture perfect! I went for a weekly checkup at 37 weeks pregnant to find out that Jacie had passed away. They couldn’t find a heartbeat…
I was sent upstairs and induced. I can honestly say, as a mother, a part of me was waiting for them to say to me, immediately after she was born, that they had made a horrible mistake and we had a perfectly healthy baby girl. I think I knew deep down that would not be the case but as a parent you hold on to that last bit of hope. I remember how painfully quiet my delivery room was at the very moment that she was born.
I will never forget the moments that we were given to hold her and be with her. It’s those moments that will haunt me as well as give me peace forever. My thoughts from this point on did not happen overnight! I had a very dark period of time before I accepted my “new normal”.
First, God chose Justin and I for this journey. I may not like or agree with his choices but the fact remains that He chose us! The fact that He chose us is an honor to me! I feel like he gave us this journey because he knew that we would fight for our marriage and learn to live this “new normal” and come out the other end a stronger person, stronger couple, and a good Christian example.
I also decided that if I could help just one person to get through the unthinkable then I had made something good come from what is the darkest part of my life. I have had the honor of sharing this journey with some other mothers that have needed someone to relate to, someone to cry with them, someone to tell those thoughts that we are afraid make us crazy to other people!
Last of all, as a challenge to myself, I try my best to live every day in a way that makes Jacie proud to have me as her mother! I still make mistakes and I still fall but I feel like I am doing my best to honor her and make her proud.
This November would be 11 years since we gained an angel in our family. I have faith that we will meet her someday. That faith is what gives me hope and the courage to keep going every day! I can also proudly say that my husband and I have defied the odds and are most definitely a stronger couple and have been married 13 years and I can’t imagine this journey without him!
The death of a child is something that you NEVER get over, you’re NEVER healed, and you certainly NEVER forget! You learn over time to live a “New Normal”! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and wonder … What if….? – The Bebb Family
“We lost you today. We were hoping to see your heartbeat and instead you weren’t there anymore. I never knew I could miss someone I had never met, but my whole heart hurts I miss you so much.”
I knew this was a possibility but at the same time, I didn’t have any idea how it would feel to lose you. I worry about if I did something wrong, even though the doctor said I didn’t. I feel like I could have maybe done something better to have prevented this, but the doctor said I couldn’t have. “What if?” is such an endless question but the fact still remains, we lost you today.
You changed my life. Although I wish we would have never lost you, I feel as though God might be trying to show me how to appreciate life more. I will never forget you and the way you made me feel, never made me sick and made me crave apples with lemon juice. You made me look forward to the future, and made me grow up. Thank you for being a part of mine and your daddy’s life. – A
“…I was worried, stressed, and just wanted to be “normal” like all other women who got pregnant so easily.”
Through my years of youth and growing into my adult life, I have always wanted to be a mom. Being the oldest daughter or four girls, it seemed as though it was in my DNA to be a mom. I cared for my sisters just like they were my own. Shortly after my husband and I were married we decided that we wanted children right away! We started trying and after six months I felt some frustration, but wasn’t completely alarmed. I knew that most couples conceive within the first year. Soon the year mark was here and I was getting the same questions over and over, “So, when are you guys having kids?” I started seeing an OBGYN who told me that clomid would “work.” I took that for 3-4 months and still not pregnant. I decided to do some research and learned about a doctor who specialized in helping women get pregnant, naturally. I worked closely with this doctor for a year. From blood work to different tests he felt at the end of the year he did all he could for me. He referred me to another doctor who was located in the Omaha, Nebraska. At this point I was worried, stressed, and just wanted to be “normal” like all other women who got pregnant so easily. After a few months I was able to get my first appointment with this doctor. The doctor advised that I undergo surgery to see what exactly is happening. After surgery I found out that I have stage 4 Endometriosis. I was shocked! Since then I have undergone 3 surgeries to remove all the endometriosis in hopes that I can someday get pregnant on my own.
I try to stay strong and pray to God that someday he will bless me to be a mom. If you are dealing with infertility please remember that you are not alone. Continue to pray and be hopeful that your dreams will come true. I know that God has a plan and everything happens for a reason. I am not sure what His plan is, but I am hopeful that someday my dreams will come true.
“….After the first child was told I had 50/50 chance of ever having another one. That was heartbreaking.”
I have 3 kids, after the first child was told I had 50/50 chance of ever having another one. That was heartbreaking. Seven years of trying after my first child, we had our second child. Two more years later we had our third child. We went from little to no hope to being blessed with so much more.
As my children are all grown now, and are experiencing some similar things I’ve been through, I just want them to know… it is difficult when everyone of your friends are having 2 or 3 kids and you just want the first one! Ignore all the negative things and continue to move forward. Positive thoughts and energy bring positive miracles into your lives and most importantly pray about it, share your thoughts with God. And share your stories with others, your friends and family so they can also pray with you. There is no need to keep it to yourself, share it! There is power in prayer, especially large volumes or massive prayer!
“As a woman, losing a baby makes me feel like I have failed at motherhood and womanhood. God made our bodies so amazingly intricate so that we can carry a little human body for 9 months. I find that quite incredible. I know I have other talents, but childbirth is a big part of what makes women so awesome. A miscarriage has had the horrible effect of making me feel inferior. I can’t even give my husband a child. What kind of woman am I?”
Before our miscarriage, I thought there was no way I could ever deal with losing a child. And, for some time after our miscarriage, I still didn’t refer to myself as a grieving parent. I mean, I hadn’t ever got to meet my baby and hold him/her in my arms. I never got to kiss them or tell them about their big brother. Maybe it was a form of denial for me. But as the weeks and months pass, we learned the news that broke our hearts into a million pieces, I am starting to realize…I AM a grieving mother.
I have lost a child. Even just typing that puts a lump in my throat and brings tears to my eyes. And it hurts. It hurts a lot. Everyday. Some days it is all I think about. Other days, simple things remind me and I find myself in a world of ‘what ifs.” What if I had found out sooner and taken better care of myself? What if I hadn’t drank so much caffeine? What if…What if…What if. I could ask those questions all day. Seriously, I have done it and I am sure I will still have more days where I continue to ask these unanswered questions.
Fortunately, with loss come some lessons. First, I learned that it isn’t me against the world. It is my husband and me as a team. I could talk all day about how I have a truly amazing man in my spouse, but I will leave the gushy stuffy out. Even when I didn’t want to lean on him for support out of my own stubbornness, he was there and will always be, no doubt. Second, I have learned that I will never understand why this happened to us. I believe that God has a plan for everyone and everything we encounter. However, that does not make grieving any easier. Sometimes, it actually makes it harder because we have to let go of that want to know ‘why’ and have faith that our Lord knows exactly what he is doing. Maybe someday we will look back and say Ohhh, now we get it.” Maybe we won’t. And that has to be okay in order for us to move forward in our lives.
Finally, I have learned that I am not a failure. This is one that I am still working on for sure. As a woman, losing a baby makes me feel like I have failed at motherhood and womanhood. God made our bodies so amazingly intricate so that we can carry a little human body for 9 months. I find that quite incredible. I know I have other talents, but childbirth is a big part of what makes women so awesome. A miscarriage has had the horrible effect of making me feel inferior. I can’t even give my husband a child. What kind of woman am I? My husband and I are now at the point where we are beginning to throw around the “trying again” option. Honestly, it scares the heck out of me. What if we lose another one? (See, more ‘what ifs’) I find myself dreading the usual baby comments (“When are you going to give that boy a sibling?”etc) by people who usually mean to be playful. They just don’t know how much it still hurts. Unfortunately, the loss of our pregnancy has left a bad taste in my mouth. I pray that one day I can be excited again. I want nothing more in this world than to give my husband a baby. He deserves it. I am determined though. Although, some days they are so strong, I will not let the see motions deter me from our goal. One day, one way or another, we will add a child to our family.
“I constantly debate with myself on when I’m going to take a [pregnancy] test. It’s gotten to the point now that I dread taking a pregnancy test, because I hate always seeing the 1 line.”
Every month there is the waiting period of am I or am I not pregnant. I impatiently await for the day to come and go when I’m supposed to start. I constantly debate with myself on when I’m going to take a test. It’s gotten to the point now that I dread taking a pregnancy test because I hate seeing the 1 line. It’s takes a lot of courage for me to finally pull one out and do it. It always seems to work out that as soon as I do it I start my period soon after that. The thing that has helped me is putting a time limit on my grief after this happens. I had a very difficult day about 6 months or so ago. I was extremely hopeful and thought that I was already late and then out of nowhere I had started. I was not pregnant. It was devastating more so than every other time, and I’m not sure why. I spent all night that night crying in the basement, by myself curled up on the couch watching TV. After that night I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to do that anymore. I gave myself a time frame, (1-2 hours) every month after I would start and that would be all I had to be upset. Then after that I had to but my big girl pants on and do something. Lately it’s been making myself run errands, anything to get out of the house, so that I can keep my mind on other things and not continuously on my inability to get pregnant. Usually that works for me. I’ve been able to keep my crying to a minimum and not get too upset. These last couple weeks though I was thrown a curve ball when I realize how upset I would get with my own self when my sister had a baby. Please don’t take this in the wrong way I am over the moon happy for her and love my nephew with all my hard, he is the cutest thing ever!!! But I never expected to feel the sadness and depression that I am for myself. It’s taken a lot out of me and I’ve cried myself to sleep more times than I would care to admit. It hasn’t helped that I’ve seen countless couples announce they are pregnant.
I saw a quote recently and it stuck with me, “I want others to know that every pregnancy announcement is devastating, not because you’re not happy for them, but because you are sad for you.” That is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately and I wish that I could share that but unfortunately, I don’t feel like I can.
“In a stressful moment this morning, you came across my mind so I threw the nearest item by me against the wall, simply because I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t take you being gone today.”
My heart aches, every day without each of you. Each one of you has a different story, a different beginning and a different ending, all of which are unique in your own way.
In a stressful moment this morning, you came across my mind so I threw the nearest item by me against the wall, simply because I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t take you being gone today. I walked by that container full of pointless stuff on the floor and refused to pick it up because I didn’t want to acknowledge why I threw it. I just wanted to be mad… I finally stopped, picked each item up, and acknowledged that you weren’t here with me, not today. Even though I didn’t get to meet any of you, the battle within of losing you is constant. Days I will be excited I had the opportunity, other days I find myself trying to pick up the pieces. I’ve loved you three more than you can imagine and I can’t wait for the day I get to show you my love in person!
In the meantime, I know you’re filled with God’s love. So much more love than I can even imagine. And I know He has a plan and I will meet you someday. Although it may not be the easiest for me to understand what His plan is, I do look forward to watching His plan play out and to see what adventures God has in store for us.
To my future little ones, I look forward to the moment that I am so tired I can barely function because you were fussy all night. I can’t wait til I have to break up an argument between you and your brother. If you wet the bed, get impatient, hit your sister, throw a tantrum in a busy grocery store, get in trouble at school, spill your milk and refuse to clean it up…. I will not be embarrassed, I will not complain. I will be thankful. Thankful I was given the opportunity to experience it with you. Thankful God has chosen us to have you. Just thankful. Thankful that God has chosen me to overcome the hurdles and be you and your siblings mom. – Chasnie
“If we would have listened to our initial doctors we wouldn’t have had the time that we got.”
My little one, Kamry’s story begins in heaven on October 24, 2013. Our little girl’s heart was filled with so much love but wasn’t able to stay here on earth with the one she had. She passed away peacefully before surgery even begun. She was born on Oct 15, 2013 and lived 9 amazing days. Doctors didn’t mention the time we had with her would be life changing and beautiful. Follow your heart when it comes to your child’s journey and advocate for your baby. If we would have listened to our initial doctors we wouldn’t have had the time that we got. When you are told your child has a genetic disorder that most children do not survive, allow yourself time to grieve all that you thought you would have, and be honest with your pain with others.
Without prayer from family, friends, and complete strangers we wouldn’t have been able to endure our journey with Christ’s love. Kamry’s life was about God’s love to all children and adults no matter what challenges lay ahead of you. He loves you and cherish each and every one of us. Life is precious no matter how long, and we take the extra time to love and appreciate the things because of Kamry. Our daughter Kamry is a blessing to us and we talk about her every day. She has changed our lives for the better. We miss her, and can’t wait to see her in heaven someday.
Our mission is to help other trisomy families, to connect and for them to not feel alone in your journey. We realized finding a passion or cause in memory of Kamry was healing. We donate heartbeat bears for other families with a trisomy diagnosis so they will always have their child’s heartbeat. We do believe each child is a gift and want the parents to feel that support. – The Thompson Family
For more from Krista & her family’s story and how you can join their support, visit her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PrayForKamrySuperGirl/?pnref=story
“While we have endured almost 10 years of wondering, and an almost equal length of time watching what seems like “everyone else” become parents, we’ve been all but standing still throughout that time. It’s been quite a journey. We have been through trying, hoping, crying, seeking, yearning, questioning, grieving, and even avoiding.”
Oh how I wish that my purpose in sharing today was good news. I would be eager to get the words down, rather than sitting here struggling to find the courage to move forward.
We often talk about the fact that I grew up with a love for photography. Before I had a clue what I was doing, I’d make an imaginary lens with my hand or tote Mom’s point and shoot around the farm. Looking at the world as a potential image is more than something I do. It’s who I am. If I could never hold a camera again, I’d still see the abundance of beauty all around us through the eyes of a photographer.
Yet if you went back and asked young Melonie what she wanted to be when she grew up, I’m pretty sure she’d say a mom. I may have occasionally held a camera in my hands, but it was an almost constant that I had a baby doll in my arms.
You can’t imagine how delighted I was when I met and fell in love with Kelly, and he shared my desire for a family and even longed to support my dream of staying home with the kids one day. At 20 and 21 years old when we got married, we were excited to spend a few years enjoying our lives as newlyweds, followed by pursuing the dream of a growing family. I don’t know if anyone ever feels completely “ready” to be parents, but a few months after our nephew was born, we had the discussion.
We have three nephews now, so to be clear the infant that sparked the “we’re ready” conversation turned 10 last month. That means we’ve spent almost a decade questioning when it would be our turn – if it would ever be our turn. For anyone wondering… yes, it’s been the most excruciating thing we’ve ever been through. There hasn’t been a moment of wondering that has been even close to easy.
Letting others in to this deeply personal aspect of our lives is new and scary. At this time, it doesn’t feel like a release to talk about it. Honestly, it’s more like a heavy weight. I’m sure in time we will learn how to not be in this alone, but for so long that’s what we were comfortable with, so it’s a little strange to have that “protection” removed.
Yet even as I type these words, I realize that God is going to show us so much more through this process than we thought. Like maybe we need to learn how to let others in a little more. Maybe the best way for our Father to wrap us up in His arms, is by placing individuals in our lives who are willing to wrap is up in theirs. Maybe it’s good to receive that. And just maybe that means what I thought we were sharing for the sake of others, is for the sake of us as well.
While we have endured almost 10 years of wondering, and an almost equal length of time watching what seems like “everyone else” become parents, we’ve been all but standing still throughout that time. It’s been quite a journey. We have been through trying, hoping, crying, seeking, yearning, questioning, grieving, and even avoiding.
At this time, we are simply waiting.
We spent a long time fighting to have things our way. And when we couldn’t get our way, we simply asked for a compromise. Negotiating with God isn’t really an option though. So He’s been growing us up a lot over the past several years, and it turns out it feels good to surrender our earthly desires.
So waiting it is.
Waiting for His direction – whatever that is. Waiting for His perfect timing.
To be clear, it isn’t that we are above all of the frustration and difficulty. We’ve just spent so long in that mode, that we are striving to be in a state of being more teachable than we’ve been in the past. That being said, I am willing to admit that if in five years I’m still waiting, I just may have an entirely new set of choice words with the Giver of Life. But yet I remain hopeful.
In the meantime, we are trying to enjoy the fact that we’ve been given an extended honeymoon phase of sorts. Our marriage was never intended to serve the sole purpose of extending our family, so we fight to keep our marriage a focus and priority. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and our marriage throughout this process, and I wouldn’t trade what we’ve gone through for anything. I’m so thankful that my husband is with me in all of this. Not in the “he’s so perfect I don’t have to rely on God” sort of way. But in the “he’s MY husband in the good times and the bad, and we strive to make the most of every moment” sort of way.
It’s not all bad. It’s difficult. But we are thankful for the joy that can be found in the waiting. – Melonie
For more about Mel & Kel’s journey (along with some stunning photography & videography), follow their blog: http://theelleinlove.com/the-rest-of-our-story/
“Fears were soon awakened as he [our doctor] informed me that our ultrasound from last week revealed some very concerning anomalies. My heart stopped beating. My body broke out into a sweat. No, he must have the wrong number; the wrong patient. Our baby is just fine. He’s wrong.”
“Well, here we go, ready or not,” is what we sat around saying and laughing as my husband, Adam, and I discussed the positive pregnancy test I had just taken. We were ecstatic. Others may have thought we were crazy since our first born was only 10-months-old at the time, but we couldn’t have been happier. We always hoped for a big family and having our kids close in age is what we had wanted. We both had great jobs, a house we called home, a healthy and happy little boy, with our second on the way. Life was great. Everything was going according to plan, our plan.
Throughout the first and second trimester with this second pregnancy everything had gone perfectly. I had no morning sickness, baby’s heartrate was always strong, my vitals were excellent, and our quad screen (a blood test to screen for Down Syndrome- Trisomy 21) had come back negative. I was eating all the right things, staying away from all the bad things, and then some, taking my prenatals, and really concentrating on staying healthy. Everything was right on track for what we expected to be another textbook pregnancy and delivery with a healthy and happy baby.
Our perfect plan soon began to crumble following our 20-week, what we thought to be, a routine ultrasound. We knew the drill. The sonographer would take measurements of various things the doctor requested, listen to the heartbeat, and hopefully be able to tell us if Corbin would be getting a baby brother or sister. We were overjoyed to see our baby again on screen. Boy had she or he grown. Our excitement soon altered as the ultrasound seemed to be taking a rather unexpected turn. The sonographer was very quiet. She hardly spoke. We only knew the images that she was taking if we asked. And when she had to call in another lady for help, I really started to worry. She acted like she needed help to reposition the baby, so we could get a gender reveal, but I felt there was something else. Once the other sonographer entered the room, she began scanning all the same images, and taking lots of pictures of what we were told was the heart. When it was all said and done, we left not only not knowing our baby’s gender, but with a very unsettling feeling that we weren’t being told something. My husband and I both tried to play it off. Surely if something were wrong, they would have said something, right?
Fears were soon awakened as he [our doctor] informed me that our ultrasound from last week revealed some very concerning anomalies. My heart stopped beating. My body broke out into a sweat. No, he must have the wrong number; the wrong patient. Our baby is just fine. He’s wrong. The doctor called us into his office the following day to talk more in person. He revealed to us that the concerning defects (yes, as in more than one) involved the abdomen region, heart, and foot. [After finding out several concerning defects, we had another test taken] The test results showed a 98% positive screen for Trisomy 13, a genetic disorder that causes an extra third copy of chromosome 13, as opposed to the usual two, and can potentially affect every cell of the body, depending on the variation. Our hearts shattered. Again, another medical challenge that opened a whole new world of uncertainty and fear, and in reality changed everything we already knew.
As soon as I got home from our appointment I started my research. I was given some medically sound sites to use for correct information. However, the internet is never a friendly tool for a desperate mother in search of information. All sorts of words popped up on my screen… “incompatible with life,” “1 in 10,000 births,” “physical abnormalities,” “severe intellectual disabilities” “demise within the first year;” the list went on and on. And all over again, my world began to crumble beneath me. I knew I had to stay strong though, for my family, myself, but most importantly, my precious son I was carrying.
Often times, we would catch ourselves asking, “why.” Why us? Why our baby? But then our perspective began to change. Why not? Gerard was OUR son. God had chosen US as Gerard’s parents, and no matter what the circumstances, we wouldn’t have it any other way. God knew, not how badly Gerard needed us, but how badly we needed him. We embraced Gerard, our son, and all the challenges that lie ahead. He inspired us to be better people; to have more faith, compassion, and love. He inspired us to share his story. We wanted the world to know our son. It was initially difficult to share our vulnerability, but our friends and family were all quick to rally around us. They showered us with more support, love, and prayers than we could have ever imagined. We have been forever blessed by the warm hearts of our supporters, but more importantly, we have been blessed to know the lives that Gerard has and continues to inspire each day.
My advice for any you on this similar journey is to share your story. Whether it’s fertility issues, or the loss of a beautiful child through miscarriage, still birth, or infant loss, I encourage you to speak up. It’s always uncomfortable at first, because of the vulnerability and emotions you may feel, but don’t let that stop you. You’d be surprised of the amount of women or couples that can relate in some fashion, and it’s your story that may just help them. And if it’s a child you lost, don’t be hesitant to speak their name and remind the world of the angel in heaven that holds a piece of your heart forever. Yes, your angel in heaven. For it was Jesus that said “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14. I hope you find peace and comfort in these words and believe that someday, you too, will have the opportunity to either meet your little angel for the first time or see him or her again. God bless you, and your family on this continued journey of life full of grief, struggles, joys, love, and happiness. May you find peace and comfort. – The Myers Family
This is just a snippet of Gerard’s story, for the full version with details and questions answered, read Gerard’s full story: Gerard’s Journey
“We wake up empty, praying for God to stitch our hearts back together one thread at a time while words from friends, family, and those who mean well either heal, hurt, or do nothing to numb the pain.”
There is no other kind of empty like the bowl scraping, end of yourself, emptiness of losing a life growing inside of you. A part of yourself, your heart, once thumping steady inside and filled with the hope of a billion memories made, and tiny parts to be cherished never realized. It’s a kind of pain that no one knows, no one who hasn’t experienced it. It, meaning miscarriage. The word no one wants to say in a voice louder than a whisper and yes I had one. A MISCARRAGE. My husband and I are parents of identical twin angel babies. And by the way, Dad’s hurt too. They may not carry a life in their wombs, but they carry their child’s life in their hearts before they are ever born. So if you share part of my story you know that every day after losing our littles, we wake up empty, praying for God to stitch our hearts back together one thread at a time while words from friends, family, and those who mean well either heal, hurt, or do nothing to numb the pain.
While our hope and trust is in Christ and He begins to mend our open wounds, moments and the seemingly mundane bring up wells so deep in us that our eyes fill with tears when we least expect it. Those are the moments when we beg God to cover us with his feathers and under His wings we find refuge.[Psalm 91:4] His promises are true and His words like medicine to the soul in times like these. And we go on living, one day a time, finding our strength in Him and holding on for dear life until he makes us whole again and slowly we can feel hope rising up in us with the passing of weeks and months. We will never forget them and three years later, tears well up in me as I talk about my angel babies. There will be a piece of us gone here forever, but there is hope knowing that we will see our angels in heaven again someday.
“In the blink of an eye my world flipped upside down. Everything I had prepared for and thought I had under control, I realized I had no control over.”
December 28th, 2008 my husband and I found out we were expecting our 4thchild. We were so very excited. With that being said that also meant that we were going to have 4 kids under the age of 5 years old. All of my pregnancies I had been pretty sick for the first 4 to 4 ½ months. This pregnancy seemed to be a little different. I was not really sick at all. I’m not going to lie, I was dreading the thought of being pregnant all summer long because I was not due till the end of August. I will say this was the best pregnancy I had. It was about 23 weeks into the pregnancy we found out w were having a girl! So that was going to give us 3 girls and 1 boy! Our first two were girls and our third was a boy. I’m the type of person who has to have everything prepared and organized. Therefore, my husband and I decided we would think of name, which with the other kids we seemed to have a hard time agreeing on. My grandma had called me one day and mentioned the name Jacinta, and I absolutely fell in love with it as soon as she told me.
I just knew since I loved it he would not like the name at all, but to my surprise he loved it as much as I did! I felt like everything was perfect and falling into place like it should. With this being my fourth pregnancy I knew what to be expected, this was going to be a piece of cake. As my scheduled c-section date gets closer I am getting more and more excited to meet our perfect beautiful daughter Jacinta. Her room is ready, the car is ready, my bags are packed and her siblings are all ready to meet her! August 31st, 2009 my husband and I head to the hospital for my c-section. I have everything so planned out. My sister had stayed the night and was going to be watching the 3 other kids and bringing them to meet Jacinta around 11:00 am. I was taken to the surgery room around 7:00 am. We welcomed our precious most beautiful daughter Jacinta Marie into the world at 7:47 am. Jacinta weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces, 19 ½ inches long, with a head full of dark black hair. She was so perfect!! After the doctor took care of everything with me I went into a recovery room for 1 hour. When my hour was up I was asking to see her and how she was doing? I just had a weird feeling something wasn’t right by the way the nurses were coming in, but also avoiding my questions, telling me the doctors will be in to talk to me in a minute. The next thing I see is my husband, mom, dad, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and our priest walk in my room with my doctor, Jacinta’s pediatrician, and a couple nurses who I knew. In the blink of an eye my world flipped upside down. Everything I had prepared for and thought I had under control, I then realized I had no control over. As Jacinta’s pediatrician explains to my family and I that she has a heart murmur. They told me they had a helicopter on their way to transport Jacinta to a bigger hospital that was able to take care of her needs. At that moment in time it didn’t matter what they said, it all sounded so foreign to me. I wanted to get Jacinta baptized before they transported her, so our priest baptized her. They finally brought Jacinta to my room once they had put her in the incubator that she would be transported in. They let me touch her hand threw a hole for a couple of minutes. I told her I loved her and they wheeled her away. My mom got to go in the helicopter with her and 10 minutes later I was telling my husband bye, so he could go be with her at another hospital. My husband’s brother and our priest drove him to Kansas City. Jacinta was diagnosed with a heart defect called Truncus Arteriosis. I begged and pleaded with the doctors to let me out of the hospital the next day, but they did not because I was running a fever and they said I would not be able to handle the drive with just having a major surgery. For 3 long days I got updates through my husband, my mom, and Jacinta’s nurses. My dad stayed with me at the hospital and my sister would bring my 3 other children to the hospital to see me. During my long 3 day stay I had several visitors.
On September 3rd I was finally released from the hospital. My husband came and picked me up. I could hardly wait to get there, to finally be able to hold Jacinta for the first time! 2 ½ hours later we pulled into the hospital parking lot and I started to get knot after knot in my stomach and felt like I was going to get sick. For the first time since Jacinta had been born I didn’t think I could go in the hospital and face what lied ahead of me. At this point in time, sitting in the car crying so uncontrollably my husband doesn’t know what to do he just kept telling me it’s going to be okay, you can do this, you are so strong. I called my mom and told her I don’t think I can go into the hospital and every time I think about going in it made me feel even sicker. I felt like the worst mother in the world because I couldn’t bring myself to walk into the hospital. As my mom calmed me down and reassured me it was all going to be okay, I pulled myself together and my husband and I walked into the hospital. After checking in, getting my bracelet, name tag, and everything else that I needed for identification, my husband walked me through a couple of doors; we scrubbed up and I was finally on my way to go see Jacinta. I could not wait to have her in my arms! We get to her cubicle area in the NICU and there she lays sleeping, just so perfect, peaceful, and looked so comfortable. The tears started coming again as I see all kinds of cords hooked up to her. The nurse reassured me that she is in no pain and very comfortable. I get settled in a chair and the nurse picks her up out of her little bed and places her in my arms. The moment I hold her for the first time I kiss her soft most beautiful face and tell her I love her and she smiles. Time stood still and my heart was so happy, she knew she was finally in her mommy’s arms. My husband and I sat there for hours just holding and kissing her, watching every movement and every noise she made. My husband, mom, and the nurses just kept telling me what a great baby she was. The only time she would fuss or cry was if she needed to be changed or was hungry. I could not nurse her because of her condition, so when it was time for her to eat she would suck on a pacifier and they would put her nutrition threw her tube so she would know how to suck when she was healthy enough to breastfeed. I pumped every 2 to 3 hours and the hospital stored my breast milk for me. It was just so hard for me to believe something was wrong with her because she just looked so perfect. We stayed at the hospital till 7:00 pm that night, then we had to leave because the NICU does shift change from 7:00-8:00 pm every night and 6:00-7:00 am every morning. After we left we went to the Ronald McDonald house and brought my bags in and got something to eat. We were going to go back to the hospital after the shift change but after being at the Ronald McDonald house for about 10 minutes I started running a 101-102 temperature and shaking uncontrollably. I didn’t know what was happening, but I did know I wasn’t feeling good at all. I knew there was no way I could make it back to the hospital, so my husband took care of me and got me settled in and I ended up falling asleep. My mom showed up late that evening. The next morning after shift change all 3 of us went back to the hospital talking to the doctors, nurses, and fellows on how the night went and they would just update us on everything. We knew she was going to have to have open heart surgery and we kept asking the doctors what the timeline would be for the surgery, they would tell us she needed to be 5 days old, then it changed to 6 days, then it went to 2 weeks old. We just couldn’t seem to get a definite answer, and I felt like they weren’t being 100% truthful. We asked on numerous occasions to talk to the surgeon, but they always had some reason why we couldn’t meet with him. It was getting very frustrating not knowing for sure what was going to happen or when they would decide to do the surgery. The main thing that they would always tell us was they would never let her get too sick to where they could not perform the surgery.
As every day came, Jacinta would have her good moments and bad, but to us she seemed to be getting weaker. Although the doctors kept telling us she wasn’t, but the mom in me was just not believing everything they were telling us. We had several family and friends come to the hospital to see us and Jacinta. We had been getting many phone calls and texts wanting to know how things were going. My husband, mom, and I stayed at the hospital all day and evening till shift change. When we had to leave at 7 pm we got something to eat and went back to the Ronald McDonald house. My mom had decided to stay at the house while my husband and I went back to the hospital for a couple more hours and to tell Jacinta goodnight. We ended up leaving around 10:30 that night and went back to the house to try to get some rest. Early Friday morning on September 4th all 3 of us headed back to the hospital. Once getting there we of course talked to the doctors, and nurses about how Jacinta’s night was and what the game plan was. They were having a meeting this afternoon to see when they would do surgery. We would all take turns holding her. She would have her ups and downs and I just really wasn’t feeling comfortable at this hospital anymore. We just didn’t feel like they had a game plan. Every day they just continued to give us different reasoning’s on why they would not schedule her surgery, us knowing she had to have the surgery quickly in order to survive. We had been in contact with her pediatrician back home where she was born. He was also not feeling comfortable so he had already been checking other places who specialized in doing these kinds of surgeries. That afternoon my dad and sister came and brought our 3 other children to the hospital to see their new baby sister Jacinta, my husband, and I. When our kids got to the hospital I was so excited to finally have my whole family together! Each one of the kids got to hold Jacinta and we took many, many pictures. One of the nurses took a family picture of us. It was such a happy moment for me to have all my children with me. We enjoyed the rest of the day getting to be a family and everyone getting to enjoy Jacinta. As it got later in the day we decided to go to the Ronald McDonald house and get the kids fed. While the kids were eating my mom, husband, and I decided to go to church. After church my husband and I went back to the hospital to see Jacinta. We held her a few more hours and kissed her goodnight. After the doctors and surgeons meeting today they still did not decide on a surgery date yet. Saturday, September 5th, the next morning bright and early, we were all back at the hospital and we once again talked to the doctors and nurses about her night. We were still requesting to be able to talk to the surgeon, and we were still getting the same answer, that we would get to talk to him the day of the surgery. We still did not have a surgery date set and also knowing Labor Day was on Monday, knowing they would not schedule surgery then. The one thing they promised us was they would never let her get to the point where it would have to be an emergency surgery. Later that afternoon my parents and sister brought the kids. We all enjoyed the day at the hospital with Jacinta. That evening we went to church and after church we went back to the hospital to see Jacinta for a little bit before heading back to the house. When we got back to the house my parents went to the hospital after shift change. They ended up staying at the hospital that night and during the night she started struggling to breathe. They said they would put her on the ventilator but wanted to do another blood gas first. The blood gas came back ok so they held off on the ventilator. So around 6:45 am on Sunday morning, September 6th, my husband’s cell phone rang and it was Jacinta’s nurse, she was calling to tell us she had a pretty rough night, but she was doing good at that point. They were getting ready to have shift change then we could come see her. We got ready as quickly as we could and got to the hospital and waited till they would let us in. My parents and sister were going to take the 3 older kids to church. Once we were able to get in and see Jacinta and hold her I felt better. For the first time we got to have skin on skin and it was the best thing ever for us to experience that. We had contacted her pediatrician from back home and let him know about the night before. He said another hospital who specialized in doing the open heart surgery, which she needed so badly to survive, said they would accept her.
We were so excited to hear the great news, so we needed to start getting things going on our end to get her transported out of there. We enjoyed our morning with Jacinta knowing we had a few family members coming in a couple hours. We had a big day ahead of us with trying to get things ready for her to be transported. My husband and I noticed she just didn’t seem to be as alert as she had been. We of course, questioned the doctors and nurses about it and they just continued to reassure us that she was just fine and this is all just normal. As a mother, my gut was telling me things were not right or normal. Jacinta was struggling to breathe and the only thing she had helping her was a little oxygen. Early afternoon my husband’s sister and brother-in-law came to see Jacinta for the first time, so I went out in the waiting room so she could go back to see Jacinta and her brother. She had been back there for about 7 minutes and ended up coming back out into the waiting room and told me to get back there now. I told her to call my mom. As I entered the room and saw Jacinta laying in her bed and the nurses yelling cardiac arrest, code blue, and people coming from every direction, my husband and I stood there holding hands, crying, and praying over here that this was not really happening. As we stood there hopeless and numb still praying and watching the nurses initiate her with ongoing chest compressions and multiple doses of epi given. They continued to work on her for 30 minutes with reattempted repeat of epi, chest compressions, and ongoing bagging, with no success. Jacinta passed away at2:04 pm on September 6th, 2009. They took us to a private room to where we then called our family and within about 10 minutes my mom, dad, sister, and our kids showed up at the hospital. As my husband and I sat in this room just crying and in total disbelief the nurse brought Jacinta in and put her in my arms and told us we could spend as much time as we wanted in the room with our daughter and family members. I sat there for hours just holding, rocking, sing to her, kissing her, and just smelling her. By the evening time the majority of family and our priest had gotten there to see her and help support us. It had been about 4 hours later and the nurse came in and took her in our of my arms so we could go back to the Ronald McDonald house and gather up all of our belongings. My parents and sister took our older kids home since it was getting late and it was a 2 ½ hour drive back home.
After we got all of our belongings my husband’s brother drove my husband and I home. It seemed to be the longest drive of my life. We cried the whole way home because I knew when I got home to my kids I was going to have to be strong for them. When we got home there were several people at our house to give their condolences and support. The next few days were just as hard. Especially walking into Jacinta’s room all ready for her to come home to. Having to go over all the arrangements. Making arrangements I thought I would never ever have to make. On the day of her funeral it poured and poured, but it was a beautiful Holy Mass. My husband and I made it through all this hard time with the love and support of each other and our family.
To this day our struggle continues. There are days where I’m sad and mad and I believe I will always have those days. Although there are also days were I’m grateful, grateful for getting the chance to be this beautiful baby girls mother. It is so hard to find the positive in my tragic event in my life, but what I have found is how it has made me a stronger person. I don’t have a good way to end my story because my story is never ending. It’s life and it’s my life and I will continue to be strong. And now I have the most beautiful guardian angel. – Brooke Schibi & Family
Our stories are not finished, nor will they ever be. There is hope….and I challenge you all to share that hope with others, be open because you never know who you will heal along the way.
In loving memory of all those little ones that aren’t here physically with us today. You are loved, you are missed, but we will see you someday.
Thank you to all the wonderful families that were brave and strong enough to share their story. As a huge thank you, I’ve offered to take family photos to all those that shared. Just a very small thing we can do to give back and support.
To share and support each other or hear others struggles and stories, below is a small collection of great resources that have been shared with me over the years.