2018 update: I wrote this back when I started my blog, after a long fertility struggle. I am writing from the perspective of having one child, when we now (thankfully) have three boys…
My name is Melissa. I’m 28 years old, and a first-time mom to my son, we’ll call him “J” for the purposes of this blog. I was born in New Jersey, and moved to South Florida when I was 10 years old. So, I pretty much have grown up in Florida.
Over the next 2 years we had two more early miscarriages at around 5 weeks. In January 2011, I became pregnant again, and this time the baby stuck around for a little longer than usual. We found out that we were having another boy. We decided to name him Max.
|29 weeks pregnant with Max – enjoying the beach|
Max’s pregnancy was not completely uneventful, as I was taking Lovenox injections daily, as it was suspected that I had anitphospholipid syndrome, which is essentially a blood clotting disorder. Other than that, Max seemed to be thriving and growing well. On August 4, 2011(I was 29.5 weeks pregnant at this point) I went out to dinner with a group of friends. Upon leaving the restaurant I became increasingly sicker and sicker. I was sweating and nauseous. Being pregnant, I didn’t think much of it.
When I got home, I got really horrible chills. I couldn’t stay warm. I called the doctor and they said to head to the hospital to get checked out. I was shaking uncontrollably from the chills. They finally got me into a bed in the triage section of labor and delivery. The took my temperature (it was around 99.5, which wasn’t a cause for concern apparently). They hooked my belly up to the monitors to listen to my son’s heartbeat. It was beating much faster than normal, but they said it wasn’t abnormal. The kept me for a few hours to observe me, and released me saying nothing was wrong.
When I got to the lobby of the hospital, I had to use the rest room. (It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to pee about 4,697 times a day!). I was horrified to see that the toilet water was filled with blood!! It was coming from my urine. So, back into the triage bed I went.
The on call doctor from the practice I go to came in the morning and said I “most likely” had a UTI. The blood test results wouldn’t come back for 2 days but she gave me antibiotics anyway. I went home. It was Friday morning, August 5, 2011.
Over the course of the weekend, I complained that I couldn’t feel Max kicking as much. My husband and I thought everything had to be ok, as we were *just* released from the hospital and he was “fine”. By Sunday I couldn’t feel him at all. In retrospect, I should have gone back to the hospital right away. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I thought they would think I was crazy. (If you are pregnant and reading this, please always contact your doctor if you are ever worried about decreased fetal movement).
On Monday I called my doctor to get checked out. They had an appointment for that afternoon. I showered. I stopped for something to eat, which I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t be eating again for quite some time. I didn’t feel him moving all throughout the morning…not in the shower, or at lunch. I was petrified. I think in the back of my mind I was in denial, but never in my worst nightmare would I ever imagine what was about to come next…
I had to then call my husband and my mother. They came as quickly as they could, but nowhere near fast enough.
Fast forward, and we made our way to the hospital to begin inducing labor to get Max out of my body. It wasn’t registering in my brain. I don’t know how I was functioning because my heart was shattered into 50 million tiny shards.
The next day, Tuesday August 9, 2011 the most beautiful little angel I have ever seen was born sleeping. Max Anthony was 3 pounds 10 ounces and 17.5 inches long. Everything about him was amazing. He had a lush head of black hair. Cute cheeks. My husband’s feet. Tranquil blue eyes. Gorgeous. Yet, somehow he wasn’t alive. It seems silly…to give birth, to death. It still doesn’t make sense to me, and I’m sure it never will.
After he was born, my life was at a standstill. I was lost. I saw a therapist. She helped, but no one could bring my son back. I would sit in his nursery and cry, scream, pray. Healing from giving birth without having your baby by your side is one of the most torturous and unnatural experiences someone could ever go through. No one should have to suffer like that. No one should have to lose their child, at any age.
There was no explanation for Max’s death. No reason. Also, it was discovered through testing that I, in fact do not have a blood clotting disorder.
After 3 months I was given the clearance to try to get pregnant again. We weren’t going to give up. We were scared out of our minds. In early December 2011, two perfect pink lines popped up on a pregnancy test. A whirlwind of emotions flooded my mind and heart. Would it work this time? Why would it. Can I go through this again? Can we deal with the stress of another pregnancy? What if we lost another baby?
To say I was monitored closely through out J’s pregnancy would be an understatement. I had countless ultrasounds, NST’s, and BPP’s. I went to the doctor for anything and everything. I went to my ob/gyn and perinatologist two times every week, sometimes three if I was too scared. I was in the hospital at least every 3 weeks. It was so stressful. It was so worth it.
On July 20, 2012 I started having regular contractions. I was in denial that I was in labor, as I was only 36 weeks along. When I got to the hospital I was already dilated to 4 cm.
Baby J was born at 12:28pm July 21, 2012. He was 6 pounds 13 ounces and 20.5 inches long. He has the same luscious black hair as his older brother. They look so much alike. Finally, my boy is here. I found my strength, all in the eyes of my boy.
|Baby J – minutes old – LOVE at first sight!|
That is our Journey to Baby J. We couldn’t be more thankful for the bright-eyed, happy, loving, sweet, smart, kind little boy that we have finally been blessed with. The boy of my dreams became the boy of my reality.
Update: in September 2013 we became parents again to Baby L. Our little boys are 13.5 months apart, and they are certainly keeping us on our toes! We couldn’t be happier for our family to expand again with the birth of Baby L! 🙂
In June 2017 we welcomed our newest baby boy!! You can read his full birth story by clicking here.