One year ago today was our appointment with maternal fetal medicine and the perinatologist that we saw. One year ago today was when we found out our little boy might not make it. My placenta was failing, he wasn’t growing, he had very little amniotic fluid, and my blood pressure was very high. The doctor said normally he would have delivered right then, but Renix was too small and had very little chance of survival if we did so. We made another appointment for 24 weeks and hoped he would grow as big as possible. I was very worried of course, but I never thought we would actually lose him. I feared how early and small he was going to be, I feared him having surgeries or other procedures that come with being premature, things we learned about with Z. I feared the possibilities of down syndrome and/or hydrocephalus that the doctors had seen chances of on the ultrasounds. I feared many things, but never in my wildest dreams did I actually expect to lose him. But then again, why would I? Who could expect such things?
I can not help but go back to that day, over and over and over and over again. What if we would have delivered that day like the doctor normally would have? Maybe he still would have died, but maybe I also would have gotten to see him alive. Maybe he would have lived for long enough for his parents to hold him and tell him we love him. I have heard other stories of babies who were born his size and survived, or who only survived a few minutes, or hours, but even then at least I could have touched him told him how much I love him. If he would have been born alive and only lived for even one single second, he would have received a birth certificate, but because he died without ever actually taking a breath, legally it’s like he never existed and that fucking sucks! I can not help but think if I had delivered him that day then even if we ended up with the same outcome at least we would have a legal document of his birth, other than the memorial certificate made by the hospital.
Though I guess we do have a legal document because though he didn’t get a birth certificate, he did get a death certificate.
I don’t know what it is, because it’s not like there are people out there telling me that my son isn’t real, but I feel this extreme need for everyone to know that he wasn’t just a lost pregnancy, he wasn’t just a stillborn, he wasn’t just some tragic situation that happened to us, he was a baby, he was my son, my one and only baby boy. And there is this emptiness in my heart that will never be filled, but also in my arms that I can not get over. I long to have him in my arms, it’s almost like an aching that never goes away. There should be a baby in my arms but there isn’t. That is such a horrible feeling. I have left the hospital twice after giving birth without having a baby in my arms. At least I eventually got to hold Z and bring her home, but now it’s just this incredible longing and emptiness of wanting to hold my son and squeeze him to my chest and kiss his cheeks, that will never happen, and can never be filled.
On top of losing our son, another thing I am having a hard time dealing with is the fact that we don’t really have an option to try again. The doctor did not say that I couldn’t, however they did say that the pre-eclampsia could get worse, and that my best case scenario would be to make it past 24 weeks. That’s scary. Babies born at 24 weeks have so many chances of things going wrong, or needing surgeries or other complications of being underdeveloped. Ben and I both agree the risk to my health and the risk of losing another child or putting another child through so many health complications just isn’t an option for us. I feel like it would be extremely selfish to be willing to put another child through that or risk losing that child. Not to mention putting my husband at risk of losing his wife and my daughter at risk of losing her mommy. The more I have read and learned about pre-eclampsia and eclampsia and all the complications that go along with it, it’s just not something that I would or should willingly put myself or my family through again. But even though logically I know this is the right choice, it also means no more babies for us, and that Zenavieve will be an only child and that hurts, it not only hurts my heart for the longing of more children, but it makes me feel like a failure as a woman, a wife and a mother.
I guess as per usual I just needed to get some things out of my head. These upcoming days of Christmas and New Year are going to be very hard knowing my son isn’t here where he should be, and I am at a battle with myself to be happy for my daughter and my family when I also just want to cry and scream and be angry for the way things should have been.