When I went back to work after a couple of weeks off following the miscarriage of my first baby, a co-worker tried to help me feel better by saying, "It's much more common than you hear about, 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage.". She got her coffee, and went down the hall to her office. As far as I was concerned, I was the 1 in that 4, and didn't care much about statistics.
Our first baby had just about made it through the first tri-mester. We were excited to tell the whole family, and had traveled back to see them all for the 4th of July. I wore a tshirt with a pink and blue megaphone on it proclaiming "I'm Pregnant!". We told them all at a big party full of fireworks and excitement.
The next morning, I woke up with some cramps and found I was bleeding when I went to the bathroom. We went across the street to the hospital I as born in, where I was told I had had a spontaneous abortion.
Within 24 hours, I had told my entire family we were going to have a baby, then that we had lost that baby. Quite a shock for us all.
Once we were back in Colorado, I went to my doctor, where it was confirmed that the baby did not live, and my body was holding onto it. The doctor did an ultrasound, and said I needed to do a procedure called an D&E, or dilation and evacuation in order to "clean out the womb".
I just wanted to get it over with. I had already started to grieve the loss of the baby I was so excited about, but it was all such a whirlwind of events.
After the D&E procedure, I went home on a hot July afternoon and rested. I slept, and when I woke up, went outside to call my Grandma since it was her birthday. She offered her support by saying, maybe it was for the better, maybe there was something "wrong" with the baby. I think now of the preparation those words were for me with Max. I told her I wouldn't have cared if there was anything wrong with it. I would have loved it anyway.
As the days and weeks went on, I felt blue. I didn't know anyone else who had lost a baby. I knew of aunts that had, but somehow it didn't seem the same. Funny how now I can see they would have been a good shoulder to cry on. But, in that time, I just felt alone.
We have a pretty good sense now that there was indeed something "wrong" with the baby. More than likely, he or she had the same metabolic disease that Max has. Perhaps there was more damage from the disease, who knows. We will never know.
October 15th is Baby Loss and Miscarriage Awareness Day. Max's blog has always been a place for us to share our journey, in hopes that someone else would see that they aren't alone. Today, I remember those short weeks I had being pregnant for the first time. And I think of my many friends who have had miscarriages, still-born babies, and babies who have died within days of being born. We're all around...and we're not alone. I think the reason for awareness days like this one, is really to let others know that they are not alone in the journey. So today, we light a candle in memory of baby #1, and for all the mothers who had angels instead of babies.