Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We Never Got to Meet You...

Last week I had to give a quick oral health history for a mammogram I had done.  

"Number of pregnancies?"  4

"Number of live births?"  3

Quickly done, over with, on to the next question.

But wait.

4 - 3 = 1

I give it every year, but this year, it hit me harder.  It took me a little while to understand why.

Why this missing "1" is a  special little person that I never was able to meet.  Someone probably regularly remembered only by daddy and I.

And it was because that little person would be twenty years old next month.

And I still wish...somehow, that I had something other than that yearly oral health history to remember--to prove that little person by.  

I have forgotten the exact date I was due.  I had written it down somewhere, but I am sure that calendar is long gone.  

And the doctor that was my OB-GYN has long since retired and I have no idea where my medical records are.  They are lost out there somewhere sitting in a warehouse.


That 1 person lives in the memories of both my husband and me.  Every now and then he'll say to me--usually each spring:  "Want to know who I was thinking about today?"  And I know.  We both thought of that 1 the year he or she would have graduated and I had a good cry one day while I mowed the lawn, remembering and missing that 1.

And once in awhile, usually every March (that was the due date) we talk about that little person, and how we miss that member of our family.

 I think since the baby was due in the year 1991, the years that end in "1" are the hardest.  

To the health care workers, a D&C is very routine, and they move you through and on out the door from surgery in quick fashion with medical discharge papers, all without telling you anything about what you will experience because of a miscarriage.  

At the follow-up doctor appointment, there are reassurances recited to you that are supposed to make you feel better.  Like...

"You can try again, soon."  
"It's nature's way..."
"You're young yet, there's time for more."

I had what is called an "empty womb syndrome"...and was dismissively told, as if it made any difference to me:

"There never really was a baby in there anyway."

That is what I was told by the attending nurse when I awoke from my surgery crying with grief because my baby was gone.

(Not to mention how upset I was that the word "abortion" appeared in the wording on the pre-surgery release form.  I questioned the doctor and asked "I am not having an abortion am I?".   He said it was just medical terminology.  I went into surgery thinking about that horrible word.)

Yes, I was.  
After surgery.

Did I know my womb was empty for the three months I "carried" that little one?  
Did I know we were naming a child that didn't exist?
Did we know that as we were telling friends and family about our new little addition?

Something happened in the separation of cells sometime in the first month that caused my baby to stop forming at a certain point, but it took more than a couple of months for anyone to know--a smaller than normal measurement at a routine checkup was a sign for the doctor to have me get an ultrasound--very quickly done, and then I was informed that I needed a D&C as soon as possible.

It all came, and it all went, I recovered and we ended up soon moving to this old house, and we got busy making this place into our home, and after a few years, we had another baby.

But I will never forget and I will always wish I had met that little 1 that would be turning twenty this year.

Would you be our daughter?
Our son?


We miss you.

1 more thing....
I was able to be in the delivery room that March.  My littlest sister was in need of a labor coach.  I was there with her and cut the cord when Holly was born.  It was a very special day for us, for me.  I am so happy --a special day that worked out just the right way.  It was healing, makes the memory easier.  


Linda said...

I can not imagine the pain and heartache you went through and the days that followed afterwards. It is only our "Great Lord" that gets us through it.

God Bless You....

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

My heart aches for you and your husband. You'll never forget--no matter how much time passes. I answer that question with 5-4. Only my 1 was an abortion. I was 17 and my parents gave me no other choice. That was 1975 and after all this time, I still mourn around Feb 23 (the due date) and July 7 (the other date). In 2006, we experienced the unexpected death of our oldest daughter. It's been 5 years already, and while the pain isn't as sharp, it's always there. May the healing comfort of faith embrace us both.

Shirley said...

Oh, I am so sorry. Rejoicing that you will get to see 1 again!

Deanna said...

Dear One,
I am saddened by your loss. You did not get to meet your baby on delivery day.

I can see where one would think about this child every year.

I remember hearing at a Ladies meeting the story where a woman was grieving for the loss of her baby that she never saw. Grieving is very real and it is alright to grieve. One woman comforted the grieving mother by telling her that her baby was in heaven and one day she would see her baby in heaven. She was comforted.

If you are heaven bound, you will get to meet this precious child you didn't get to know while on earth.

May you be comforted by trusting God.
Celebrating this child,

Cindy said...

I too have to answer..6 and 5..it was 33 yrs ago..I was just 21..my oldest had just turned one..I was in a state of shock..lolMe pregnant again? Are you kidding me.
None of my friends were married..much less with 2 children.
It was all about me..whaa..whaaa..whaaa.
And then that day happened...flu like symptoms for days...then the massive bleeding starts..I crawl to the phone..passing out several times..panic sets in..my one year old crying..brings me the phone..I call my husband..a trip to the Dr. and the knowledge..that I had miscarried..2 days later a d/c because of infection..was I aborting..me who was soooo against abortion.My Dr. comforted me with the knowlege that he was just cleaning house..God had already took the little one home.

Me who was soo all about me..had a massive turnaround in attitude..shock..I wanted children..more of them..lots of them.God had opened this selfish minded little girl..and emerged with a mommy ready for more babies.
I have great comfort that someday I will know my baby in heaven..and those dates are always on my heart every year..and always in paperwork.
What a great story on your little one.
It is sad to me that so many women never talk about this time.Thank you for sharing.

Hugs Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

Kathie Truitt said...

Oh sweet one. I know that pain. That ache. That emptiness. Don't let anyone tell you that wasn't a 'baby' in there. That was a beating heart, a child. That child was real and that child was loved.

Everything you are feeling is normal. You will never forget 1 and you shouldn't - just like you'd never forget any of your children.

Thank you for sharing this Joni.

Falling Leaf Woodworkers and Primitives said...

Thank you for this post... It made me cry as I have also lost a baby and had to have a D&C. and when I fill out forms as to how many pregnancy's I have had it breaks my heart. I have a box of stuff that we bought for our baby that I have put away in a safe place. I will always remember how happy we were for our number 2. So Thank you again for reminding me that it is ok to remember and it is ok to be sad at times. Just--- Thank you for this post

Jaclyn Hicks said...

My answer is 1-1....the first and only baby my husband and I have had is residing joyously in Heaven. I can not tell you how many people told me 'you're young', 'this is nature's way' and on and on and on.

This year, February 4th, was a difficult day, seeing as how that was my due date. I remember because it is a week before my husband's birthday. I was so excited to give him a child, especially since it is his 30th birthday this year. God had other plans.....

I have learned and grown so much from this whole experience, that I wish I could just hug and swaddle and kiss my sweet little one who gave so much to me in the short time we had together....I look forward to our reunion in Heaven.

I know that 1....I understand that 1.....and I pray everyday, the whole left behind, the emptiness still there, begins to heal a little bit more.....

Prayers for you my friend....our 1's are happy and healthy in Heaven. Wish there was more to say, but unfortunately, there is not.....

Take Care.

Boho Farm and Home said...

Thank you for this post. It made me cry reading your story for it is my story too, I have 4-2. I would have a 12 year old and a 6 year old and I hadn't really though about that...God has used it to refine me and to trust Him. Thoughtful post...I am a follower now.

Mandy @ Creekside Creations said...

I'm sure you have helped someone today with your post - thanks for sharing your experience and your feelings with us.

Carol said...

This is a beautiful post. You are not alone. I thank God for His comfort and hope.

mary your sis said...

Even though I have never experienced this pain, I still hurt for you...

aimee said...

Dear Joni,
I'm so sorry for your loss-my mom lost her first baby too and at different times in my life I have found myself wondering about this child--my older brother or sister.
Mom is now reunited with her firstborn and someday I will be reunited with them both, as someday so will you and your family all be reunited.
May God's perfect peace, love and comfort be with you(Hugs)