Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic images of child loss that may be triggering to some
“I was only 17 years old when I got pregnant by my boyfriend. We’d only been together for a year at the time. One day, I was feeling cranky and my boyfriend told me, ‘I think you might be pregnant.’ I decided to take a test because I didn’t think there was any way I could have possibly been pregnant. After taking my test and waiting impatiently, I saw two bold lines on the pregnancy test. I immediately texted my mom to tell her the news.
I walked out of the bathroom, trying to hide the smile on my face because I was so happy to be carrying a little baby inside of me. I walked into my room and told my boyfriend the news. He was happy but also worried because of his family. We told his mom the same day because we lived with her at the time and there was no way I was going to be able to hide my pregnant belly. His mom was upset at first and then the next day, she was extremely happy.
The next thing you know, we were out shopping and buying baby stuff for a little girl to come.
My pregnancy went pretty smoothly until one day. On October 15th, I woke up to bleeding and not just a little bit of blood. I lost 7 liters of blood that day. I was emotionally numb the day I gave birth to my daughter, Elizabeth. Even though I knew what was going on, I didn’t want to believe it was happening. My boyfriend immediately called 911 while I sat in the bathroom texting my mom, freaking out, not knowing what to do, and wondering, why me? The lady on the phone told my boyfriend I couldn’t sit down because my daughter was coming. That’s when it really hit me I was giving birth to my baby who I wasn’t going to be able to keep.
The lady on the phone told me I needed to get off the toilet and prepare to deliver my daughter. That’s what I did because even though I knew I was going to lose my daughter, I didn’t know what to do and she did. I grabbed a towel and placed it down on the bed and my boyfriend grabbed a shoelace and a blanket for the baby. Right when I was about to push, we heard a knock on the door. It was the EMTs, and they asked me a bunch of questions. They put me on the stretcher and carried me down the stairs since we lived on the second floor. We arrived at the hospital, and there I was told I was 7 cm dilated. Since I was only 22 weeks pregnant, there wasn’t anything they could do for me.
I was completely broken and mad. I was mad at God. Why would he let this happen to me? I was mad at the doctors for not being more prepared when they knew I was coming. I was mad at the doctors because my child breathed on her own for TWO hours and they did nothing. I was mad at myself for not being able to protect my child.
Some of the things that got me through losing Elizabeth include painting, praying to God, and Facebook support groups. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of my daughter.
‘Whenever I am missing you,’ I tell myself when I speak to my daughter in my heart, ‘I remember how fortunate I was that you were in my life. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world.’
What would she have been like? What would she look like?
‘In life, we loved you dearly. In death, we love you still,’ I tell her at other times. ‘In our hearts, you hold a place no one else will ever fill.’
I discovered the reason I went into labor with Elizabeth is I had a complete placenta abruption. It didn’t change anything, but it was nice to know the reason I went into labor. The time went by slowly at first, but then days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and then months turned into a year. It’s hard to imagine that a year went by in the blink of an eye.
A year later, I found out I was pregnant again with Elizabeth’s little sister. Even though everyone was excited, I was terrified.
Corinthians 13 tells us, ‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.’ To be completely honest, I wasn’t ready to be pregnant again. A part of me was hoping I was having a boy because the thought of me having another girl made me feel like people would think I had replaced Elizabeth. This time around, I went to a different hospital, one that had a NICU to take care of my baby if I went into labor early.
I decided to go and buy boy clothes by the time I was 15 weeks pregnant because I was so certain I was having a boy. It was difficult when I hit 22 weeks because that’s when I went into labor with Elizabeth, and I was afraid I was going to go into labor again. I put my faith and trust in God to guide me through my pregnancy.
At 22 weeks and 4 days, I lost my mucus plug and decided to set up an OBGYN appointment. That weekend, I went to see my OBGYN to get a check-up, and she told me I was 4 cm dilated and I needed to go to labor and delivery. When I got to labor and delivery, they checked me and told me I have an incompetent cervix. I was having a girl, which I found funny because I was so certain I was having a boy.
We decided to start me on magnesium to keep my daughter in as long as possible. I would have gotten a cerclage, which is basically a stitch to close your cervix but my sack was bulging so I didn’t have that option.
I made it to 23 weeks and 4 days. We had to stop the magnesium because I was on a liquid diet, and I needed to eat something better. We then waited for my daughter’s arrival. On October 5, 2019 — 10 days apart from Elizabeth’s birthday — I gave birth to my second daughter who we decided to name Winter. She weighed 1 pound 2 ounces. Since my second daughter was born extremely premature, she was rushed to Cook Children’s NICU where they took care of her for 135 days!
I am beyond thankful for all the people who took care of my daughter while she was so small and fragile. She is everything to me, even though she is a booger sometimes. Winter is currently on a feeding tube because she is a picky eater and will eat and drink everything else but her formula. Other than that, my daughter is as healthy as can be, thanks to Cook Children’s and Baylor Medical Centers.
Most of all, I want to thank God for giving me a second daughter. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise you! If you have ever lost a child, I’m here for you. I see you. I stand with you. I wonder what it would be like having an almost two-year-old running around my house while I’m taking care of her baby sister. I’m sure it would have been crazy, but it would have been worth it.
Samuel 1:27-28 says, ‘For this child, we have prayed.’ My journey, and my daughter’s journey, isn’t anywhere nearly over, though. It has just begun.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jazmine Carter from Glen Rose, TX. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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