One of the hardest things about going through the loss of our son is that not very many people out there understand what it is we went through and how we feel. I know I’ve said it before, but I would never wish the pain and heartache on anyone, but I wish more people could understand. I wish more people talked about it so there wasn’t this huge stigma surrounding the subject. I know it’s not an easy thing to talk about and no one likes to feel sad, but I think if more women and even men shared their experiences and feelings it would really help a lot of people out there going through it themselves to know they are not alone, and to help others better understand what they are going through.
I’ve had several people relate to me how they have lost pregnancies of their own or even several of them, such as having a miscarriage, and while I will hug you and tell you I’m sorry and be here if you need me, and I understand that having a miscarriage must still be heartbreaking, and that it was still a lost baby, it was not the same thing as I went through. When you have a miscarriage you have cramping, and bleeding, and you lose the baby naturally it isn’t a baby that comes out but more blood and tissue, while I know this was still a baby most miscarriages happen before the baby has developed to a point to be viable. Also, most miscarriages happen early in pregnancy and before most people find out the sex of their baby or pick names and do most of those things. Sometimes the mom has to go in to be cleaned out, or is given a pill to expel the rest of contents of the uterus. I am in no way trying to downplay the emotional and physical pain of having a miscarriage, because I’m sure it hurts so much, emotionally and physically. I would just like people to understand that this is different from losing a baby in the way that we did. This is not what happened to us, and it is a different situation almost altogether.
Our son was not a lost pregnancy. Our son died because of a disease that develops in my body when I become pregnant that causes the baby to no be able to grow properly. I got the same disease with our daughter and luckily she is a little miracle and she survived it and was able to grow big enough to be born 9 weeks and 1 day early, even though she too was measuring about 4 weeks smaller than she should have been. This time though, the disease was more severe. Our son was old enough to be born. He was developed with all his fingers and toes, and eyes, and nose, etc. If my body did not get the disease of pre-eclampsia, and he would have been able to grow properly he might have been able to be delivered and survive. The doctor told us at our first MFM appointment that he would have delivered right there if the baby was big enough. And while having a preemie is a very hard thing to deal with it would have been better than the alternative. Unfortunately for my son, the disease I get when I get pregnant, wasn’t letting him grow and his environment couldn’t sustain him any longer for him to grow big enough for the doctors to even have tubes and things small enough to help him, and he died. His heart stopped beating just like when any other person dies. I know that he never took a breath of air outside my womb, but he was still a person, a baby. I had to go through partial labor, then an emergency c-section, I had to deliver just like any other person who gives birth to a baby, except we already knew ours was no longer living. I gave birth. I had a baby. They cleaned him and wrapped him in a blanket and put a hat on him and handed him to me to hold just like when any other baby is born. I held him in my arms, I kissed his head, I touched his skin, I have his actual tiny footprints forever tattooed onto my skin. I have pictures of my husband and I holding him and crying. He was a baby. After he died he had to go to a funeral home where we could have chosen to have a full viewing, service, and burial if we wanted to. We chose to cremate him and do something special with his ashes. Just like when any other person dies, I have an urn filled with his ashes, or we could have chosen a casket and had him buried. This is what I need people to understand. I did not lose a pregnancy. I did not just suffer a tragic circumstance. I lost my son. I had to hold my baby boy in my arms and tell him goodbye forever.
I know that there are others out there who have lost children, in many different ways, be it a miscarriage, or something happening before the baby was born like us, or SIDS, or a disease, or some other tragic incident, I don’t claim to understand how any of those other mothers or fathers feel because I did not walk their path, I did not lose my child in the same way. Would it be harder if he had been born alive and then died? I don’t know. I hope I never have to know. Would it have been easier if he had been a miscarriage and I had never known he was boy, or held him, or given him a name? I don’t know and hope to never have to know that either. I understand in situations like these when people don’t know what to say that they try to relate to you with experiences from their own life and that is fine, please continue to share with me your stories, I do the same, I’m not asking people to stop relating to me with their own sadness or their own stories of loss, I know talking about it helps, and even if our paths are different there is a level of understanding there that I appreciate. I am just asking people to understand that what I went through was different.
As I said before I wish more people would talk about their experiences with losses such as these. I feel like it would help people out there to know the difference between the situations. I think it would help people going through the same or similar things to be able to read or talk to other people who have been there. I think it would help family and friends of people going through these situations to better understand how they might be feeling. So here I sit again. Pouring out the thoughts overwhelming my brain today. Writing this helps me not keep it all bottled up inside. Writing this helps my family and friends know how I am feeling. And I hope writing this is helping others out there with their own stories of loss know that they are not alone, it has helped me know that I am not alone. I hope it helps others begin to understand the pain and heartache of someone they care about even if they haven’t felt it themselves. The biggest thing I hope is that anyone out there who is suffering a loss finds the outlet, the love, the kindness, the support and/or the understanding they need to make it through to the next day.