Trigger Warning: The story contains mention of child loss and miscarriage that may be triggering for some.
“I met my husband in sixth grade. We had been best friends for years and got married in 2018. With coming from a large family, and my husband always wanting a family of his own, it was no secret we wanted to start a family together and fast. The day before Father’s Day, I found out I was pregnant. From the moment the lines on the stick crossed, I knew I was having a boy. I could feel it! On Father’s Day over breakfast, I told my husband and my parents, ‘We are pregnant!’ It hit the ground running from that point! I was so thrilled, overjoyed, nervous, and most of all, scared. I always wanted a baby, but did not know the first thing about being pregnant or taking care of one! My husband was the Google master and I was the rule follower! We drove ourselves crazy, but quickly became obsessed and in love with this new adventure.
Our appointments went great and we seemed to be on the right path. We planned a gender reveal, went through the phases, and hit the second trimester with a home run. We accidentally found out our gender by a sweet nurse in our doctor’s office. I was right, we were having a boy! And we were elated! We had a name picked out, plans for what sports we would introduce him to, the works. We were getting so used to the idea of our little boy running around and looked forward to every appointment just so we could ‘see’ him. The last appointment we had was when they checked the fluid measurements behind his neck. We left thinking we were just at another checkup, confident and more in love than ever.
Almost a month later, our lives would change forever. Our doctor called us in for an unplanned appointment. He started out with our last ultrasound and the concerns he had. He was worried Jaxson had too much fluid behind his neck. He said, ‘There is a chance it will go away before he is born, but…’ His next words still shake me to my core. Our doctor said, ‘But if it doesn’t, we will have to discuss what we plan to do about this pregnancy.’ I knew what he meant. The tears came pouring down, like a summer rain with no chance of sun. I knew in my core something was wrong, and I could not muster the strength to vocalize a single question.
Our doctor got out his tiny ultrasound machine and it would reveal the last few heartbeats my boy would ever have. We watched his heartbeat fade in front of our eyes instantly, and I frantically asked, ‘Is there something we can do?’ I thought this would be my most helpless moment, but it would not. I was rushed to the hospital to deliver my boy. The process was so far beyond out of my reach for a control freak like me. I could not process or navigate this to steer my way. The floor I was on was specifically designated for child loss and deliveries, and I was one of many going through this.
Every nurse who stepped foot into my room had suffered a miscarriage. And with every story, from every nurse, I grew angrier. I did not want to relate to them. I did not want to be in this situation. I did not want this to be apart of my journey, my story. This was not supposed to happen this way. I switched between so many emotions during my 2-day stay/delivery. I was engorged with sadness, with anger, and most of all, I was scared. I feared the unknown. So many questions flooded my head. What do I do now? How does my husband feel? Is he okay? How is he coping inside his mind? How did my body fail me? How could my body fail my child like this? Something I was created and built to do… how did I fail my growing family so early? Will I ever recover from this?
After being induced and going through labor, I grew more scared. I prepped for this moment with the expectation of it being joyful, happy, unlike anything I would ever experience—picturing what holding my baby would be like. And now, I was dreading it. I was dreading the thought of giving birth to my lifeless baby boy. When the moment came, I was surrounded by my husband and my family. They were all there during my delivery. The room was so quiet, yet the silence was deafening.
On August 17, at 10:10 a.m., my first born love’s body entered this world, and a massive hole in my heart began to overcome me. When they handed Jaxson over to me, I held his lifeless body in my hands, and I remember telling him, ‘I’m so sorry.’ It was not supposed to happen like this. We were not supposed to meet this way, this was not what I wanted for either of us. I hated that I failed him.
Jaxson had more complications than originally thought. His life, which had a timeline of 7 or 8 years old from initial birth, would have been a struggle for him. I remember coming home from the hospital, a shell of a person I once was. Moments where I would walk around my house screaming at God, ‘Give me my baby back.’ I just wanted my little boy back. I still long for him every day. I think about him constantly, and I have never stopped wanting him. The race to get pregnant again was in full force. Not to replace my son, but to attempt to fill a void we now had eating away our hearts.
We lost two more babies after Jaxson. I can never fully describe what it is like watching your children’s heartbeats fade on a screen in front of you, in comparison to how it actually feels. The helpless feeling of wanting to reach inside of you, hold them, comfort them, and tell them how much they are wanted, loved, and beyond needed. The pain grows along with the hole in our hearts. We went through fertility treatments with our second, only for us to realize getting pregnant was not the issue, it was holding onto them. We did genetic testing, chromosomal testing, picked and prodded to find out what we could do to have a successful pregnancy. When we stepped back and took a breath, a miracle happened.
John and I recently just gave birth to a beautiful, precious, amazing little girl. Our little rainbow baby. A little girl we have prayed over, we have desperately longed for. We made it through the furthest in pregnancy we have ever been, and we are beyond grateful. John and I have been through every face of fertility. We have learned more about our own bodies and each other. I had to learn my husband’s grieving process would not mirror mine, but he would be the biggest support to save me from walking off the edge.
I had to learn when the time came for my husband to grieve—a good solid month or so after I began—I would see a side of him so deeply tucked away, the over-analyzer in me had to step back and go into autopilot care taker. Consoling a 6-foot-4 man, who is the support and love of our family, is a position I had to navigate through carefully. Learning more about our love than I thought I already had down in stone. We still have days that are not easy to walk through. Mother’s Day was a difficult first time this year, as was Father’s Day for John.
We walk forward with our new baby, full of gratefulness and understanding of how lucky we are. However, we take time to look back. We look back at our losses, not in a sense of wallowing, but to never forget our family and how it got started. A mother of a lost child’s biggest fear is someone forgetting her babies. We talk about them often. They are apart of us and always will be. And one day, we will tell our little girl how she was hand-picked in heaven by her other siblings.
We will walk forward, and glance back when we have to. Watching the journey we went on, and being grateful for where we are right now. I want to say to other women and families, you will get through it, and it will all work out the way you want it to. However, anyone going through the struggle of fertility knows the last thing they want to hear is, ‘It will happen when it’s supposed to,’ or, ‘If it’s meant to be it will be.’ These toxic statements are not positive—they are infuriating!
I will tell you, however, you know your body best. You know what you are capable of. Time will help, but may not completely heal in this case. Take time for you. Take time to walk forward and at the same time, never ever be afraid to look back. Your strength is uncanny, and you will overcome any challenge set in your way. Have faith and believe. You got this.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley J. You can follow their journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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