Tiny One’s Story
Hi! My name is Joanna Ahti. On February 22, 2018, I woke up feeling like I had a really bad menstrual cycle beginning. I was actually relieved to have it starting again, because since I had my Son 16 months ago, my periods were all over the place and extremely painful. I am still breastfeeding so having a weird cycle wasn’t odd. However, I felt like I couldn’t just sit still any longer and when I got up, it felt like I had lost control of my bladder. When I gave birth to Liam, my water was broken by a nurse while at the hospital, as a way of trying to not need medication to progress labour. I had no idea, that on this day, it was my water breaking. I had no idea that I was pregnant.
The rest of the day involved me laying on the couch and trying to ease what I thought was just really bad cramps.Right before we had to get Liam to bed, I was cleaning up his toys and I just knew I had to go to the washroom to hide whatever was happening away from my 16 month old.
I felt the need to push, and there he/she was. I sat there crying before even standing up because I knew. I knew my life was about to change. I knew I didn’t want to look down and see what could have been. I also didn’t want them left there. Because of my shock and denial, I came out of the bathroom and told my SO that I think I miscarried but I couldn’t believe it and I needed confirmation.
My SO went into the washroom, looked down, and confirmed my worst nightmare. Now what?
My SO kept saying he would take care of the remains but it felt like it was something I had to do. Liam gave me a bear hug, and I then went to hold my other baby. I saw its arms, I saw its eyes, I saw my baby. Whether you agree that it is a baby at this point or not, this is MY experience and I am refusing to let anyone make me feel like what I am feeling is silly, or over “nothing”.
I could no longer handle the situation, and as I prepared our Son for bed, my SO put the remains in a box. I am so thankful for having a partner who was so strong during this time. While women carry most of the physical pain, your partners are also affected. Do not forget to appreciate them and hold them even closer during this hard time. They are grieving in their own way.
I held my Son extra tightly as I put him to bed, and I never wanted to let him go. I called my Mom for support and then called 811. I could hear how awful the person on the other line felt as she had to tell me to get to the ER as soon as possible. I was losing a lot of blood and needed to be seen, and bring the remains of our little one with me.
I was in denial. I didn’t want to disrupt Liam’s sleep schedule… I simply could not “be” anywhere at that moment. I would go to the hospital in the morning. I got two hours of sleep that night, nightmares being a huge part of it. I did not want to have my baby in a box. I did not want to hand my baby over to strangers.
The next morning, we got up, fed Liam, and told him that we were going for a car ride. Liam held my hand the entire time and just kept staring at me. His favourite song came on, which he usually dances to and instead he just stared at me. He knew. He knew I needed him.
We got to the hospital and I had to carry the box holding what could have been in my hands. Jesse kept Liam preoccupied all day for a Father/Son day while Mommy was at the hospital. A woman looked deeply concerned because I couldn’t hold back my tears, and she led the way to the ER. I sat in the waiting area, and an elderly woman saw me, held my hand, and gave me tissues. I don’t know her name, I don’t know her background, but I will never, ever forget her.
As I was waiting for triage, a nurse came over to me and made sure I had taken a number. She had the kindest manner about her I have ever seen. I went to triage and told them the basics. “So you took a pregnancy test?” No. “So… you have heavy bleeding but aren’t pregnant? How would you know otherwise?”
That is when I burst into tears and pat the box. The nurse said she would be right back with a container. Once she got back, I started to open the box but felt completely overwhelmed and dizzy. The love I had for this little one was already so immense but I couldn’t handle seeing it again in that state. I burst into tears and said I was so sorry, but I couldn’t. She took the box from me, and after one glance, she said she would be back to get a bigger container. The baby was much larger than she had expected and the one she brought was not big enough.
At this time, I held the box, and cried. I wanted to say goodbye. I didn’t have the right words. I kept saying “I’m sorry, I love you. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I love you.” and then the nurse came back in with a specialist. She was introduced, they looked inside the box and kept saying “So, I don’t know… I don’t know.” The specialist looked at me with the eyes I had been wanting to see all day. The eyes of comfort, and understanding. She put her hand on my shoulder, and I burst out crying again. I saw her sadness, and I gained respect for the nurses and doctors who deal with seeing such pain on a daily basis.
They told me they would take the remains and that I did the right thing by bringing them there. I was sent back into the waiting room. This time, everyone who had been waiting with me beforehand saw that I didn’t have my box with me. One woman just kept staring. The elderly lady looked at me, and silently gave me another tissue. Again, I will never forget her, or her kindness.
After this, I was rushed into a room and I even skipped registration. It was at this point that the “kind nurse” came into my room. Her name is Samantha. She held my hand. She asked me about whether we wanted cremation or a burial, internal or external autopsy, and at this point my head was spinning. I never thought that I would be having to answer these questions. I asked if an internal autopsy would help other Mothers and Babies and she politely said that it was really just up to me whether or not I wanted to search for answers.
After everything this little one went through, I could not imagine it being looked into. I understand that things happen for a reason. This baby already went through me not being able to carry it properly- that was enough. I can’t stop picturing its heart stopping to beat inside of me and me not knowing it was happening. I will never forget this feeling.
As I cried, she looked me straight in the eye, shared her own personal experiences and said “I can’t believe you’re still standing.” She said she was proud of me for being there at all, and for taking these steps. She took 5 vials of my blood, and brought me juice. That juice was the only thing I had to eat or drink until I left the hospital 8 hours later. As I told her how thankful I was for her kindness, she left by saying “The world is awful enough. It’s moments like these when people need to come together and be compassionate.”
I have no words for how much I appreciate the kindness I received from all of these workers. On such a bad day, they really did what they could and I am so grateful.
After my blood was drawn, I went back to the waiting room and Samantha eventually brought me back to Room #10. There were two women there from social services. Since it was seen as a traumatic loss, they wanted to make sure I was given resources and a chance to talk. At this point, I had been at the hospital for about 5 hours and I was exhausted from crying and being there. Having to tell them the same thing I had told 4 other doctors and nurses made me even more exhausted and reliving it all made me cry even harder. One of the social workers also shared her different, but relative experiences and looked at me with understanding eyes. However, there were many awkward pauses between me crying. I did not want to talk anymore, and I think I thanked them about 1000 times. I just wanted to go home and be with my Son and SO.
After this, I waited to hear about the ultrasound I needed to have. To make sure everything had been naturally extracted from my body, we needed this ultrasound. The whole while I was texting my Mom, keeping my Sister updated, and answering texts from close friends. This made time pass more easily, but with all my body was going through, and not eating, I was getting more and more drained. I was exhausted. A woman finally called my name and told me to go register for my appointment which was at 1:15. I went upstairs and did so. I was then sitting in the exact same chair I had sat in waiting to get my ultrasound for Liam.
Newly pregnant women, and pregnant women with huge bumps surrounded me and I cried. I couldn’t hide it and I didn’t care anymore. I thought about being there two years earlier, being so excited and happy to see Liam. I had never thought about people around me who were there for different reasons. I may have been looking overjoyed and a woman next to me could have been going through a horrible day and I had no idea. If I get pregnant again, I will be so careful to be mindful of others.
Even with my appointment, 2 PM came around and I hadn’t been seen. I was getting even more tired and wanted it to be over. I knew this ultrasound would show me nothing on the screen and I just wanted to get past this and go home. My name was finally called, and an external ultrasound wasn’t good enough. They did an internal ultrasound, which caused more cramps and discomfort and I was then sent back to the ER.
I moved spots waiting in the ER a billion times, I kept texting my Mom and Jesse, wanting to see everyone but being unable to move and not wanting my Son to be subjected to the hospital- I was just completely finished. I fell asleep while leaning on my coat and I woke up after 20 minutes with the pattern of my coat imprinted on my face. As I was rubbing my cheek to make it go away, there was Jesse with Liam coming to visit me. I saw my Son smile at the sight of me and I felt comfort. I hugged him closely. They had brought me food and Jesse went to get me a drink too. I told him to leave all of his bags and jackets with me, since there was “No way that they’d call me after waiting this long”. I opened my food, took two small bites, and of course they called my name.
I went into the room and spoke to one of the women I had spoken to earlier on in the day. Our baby was about 8 weeks from what they observed, but my placenta was much larger so while I should have been about 3 months pregnant, it had stopped progressing at two. My hormone levels were very low so the baby had passed away much earlier. She said that my scans showed that everything had been passed at home, and I just needed a follow up in a few weeks. At this time, she asked me how I was and I said I was completely exhausted after 8 hours at the hospital and from everything happening. I had been losing blood all day but because I was alone, I had not gone to the washroom once. I couldn’t risk leaving and having my name called. I had been hungry, thirsty and drained. I was so glad to be going home. I shook her hand and stupidly said “It has been a pleasure.” Of course the reason I was there was not a pleasure, but I had meant she was a pleasure to have dealt with throughout the day. I think I will always feel silly for saying it that way, but I was on the verge of delirium at this point. It was time to go home.
Since then, I have slept a lot thanks to my SO being so amazing and taking care of Liam. I also hug Liam closer each time I see him.
Each time I fall asleep, I have nightmares about me losing this baby. I wake up in pools of blood still and each time I go to the washroom, it’s a reminder of what happened. I know I have to be strong and make life normal for Liam and my Stepson. I know time will help me heal but it’s easier imagined than accomplished. Little one, I know I will relive 02.22.18 every day for the rest of my life. Do not feel like I have left you. I am always going to be your Mommy. I will never forget you.
Rainbow Peanut’s Story
In February, we experienced a pregnancy loss at 16 weeks. I thought it was the worst experience we would ever go through. When we discovered I was pregnant again a few months later, I was more than ecstatic. Extremely apprehensive, and terrified? Absolutely! I was also thrilled. I was constantly holding my breath to reach 16 weeks. I thought that since we had lost our baby at 16 weeks the previous time, there was absolutely no way I would lose another one after that amount of time had passed.
The last time, I had not known I was going to be a Mother again. The guilt follows me to this day, and will probably follow me forever- I was unaware of our tiny one growing. I wasn’t taking the right precautions. This time, I knew. I knew to watch what I ate and drank and I had followed my Doctor’s suggestions.
I had done everything right.
At the end of 16 weeks, I felt a kick. I cried. Several emotions were present, but most of all, I was relieved. I couldn’t wait for our next appointment to confirm that our baby was doing okay. However, I felt in my heart and in my gut, that something wasn’t right. I tried to brush it off. I thought it would be impossible to experience a loss and not be worried. It was normal to constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was okay to feel like something was wrong, but that it was surely just in my head. We had been through the worst. There was no way it could happen again…. but then it did.
On the morning of our appointment, I woke up from a couple of hours of sleep in a very excited and nervous mood; I was constantly moving. I was worried we would be late due to the rush hour, “Monday Morning” traffic. Pulling up to the hospital, I told my toddler to be good for Daddy, kissed my husband goodbye, and said “Wish us luck.”
I anxiously signed in, and distracted myself with emails for work. I was accepted as a blogger for one of the bigger newspapers in the area. Excitement of what was to come was overwhelming. In the waiting room, I glanced at a beautiful newborn with his Mother and I was thrilled to have the privilege of experiencing it all over again myself. I was then called by my Doctor’s student. It was my turn. It was time to hear the heartbeat of our beautiful baby.
I was smiling the whole time, and I was prepared to answer any question she had. Nights had been dedicated to me analyzing how I was feeling compared to the last time. She was so kind. She took my blood pressure, said it was perfect and I sighed in relief. I never had high blood pressure during my pregnancy with Liam, and I thought it was a good sign. I was okay.
It was time to use the doppler to hear the heartbeat. I turned the video setting on my phone on. I wanted to have the heartbeat recorded as a reminder. It would be a reminder that yes, I would worry during the entire pregnancy, but, I would also hear that beautiful heartbeat and it would all be okay.
She tried finding the heartbeat for a few minutes. Within the 4 minutes and 12 seconds that I had been recording, you can hear me start crying. You can almost hear my heart drop into what felt like the never-ending pit of my stomach. I knew. I now have one of my darkest moments recorded.
The student looked at me and said it may be her inexperience, and she would go get my Doctor. She put her hand on my shoulder, glanced at me quickly with eyes that told me the truth, but told me to not worry just yet.
My Doctor walked in, and since she knew our history, I could see it in her face right away. She began to look for the heartbeat herself. She tried to comfort me, saying that it once took her 30 minutes to find a heartbeat at this stage of gestation. I knew she was trying her best to keep me calm, but I had a flashback to hearing Liam’s heartbeat. It had been found easily, and it was loud and clear.
While I knew it was possible that the baby was hiding, it should not take this long to find that quick drumming sound I was longing for. They then resorted to bringing in an ultrasound machine.
He looked perfect and cozy in the ever growing space my body and heart was making for him. It was clear he was meant to be taking up this space. It was also clear that he did not have a heartbeat.
I looked up at my Doctor, and said “There should be a flutter in that beautiful space. There isn’t.”
She turned to me, put her arms around me, and said while they needed confirmation, she was so sorry. I was hugged by my Doctor as I burst into tears and the nightmare truly began. This is when shock took over and the next few hours were out of my control.
She called a few other doctors as I used half of her Kleenex box, and arranged the confirmation ultrasound. It was time for me to stand up and walk to the other part of the hospital and I was rooted. I stood up, but almost threw up all over my doctor and this poor student.
My doctor showed me that she had her fingers crossed. As I walked into the stairwell and let out my first unaccompanied wail of grief, I heard her speaking gently to her student. She was making sure she was okay after needing to give this news. I am so glad she did that. It comforted me knowing that while I probably gave this student one of her first experiences with a patient’s loss, my Doctor was taking care of her. The mind is a bizarre thing. I was so worried about her… meanwhile, I could barely get down the stairs.
I somehow managed to get to the right part of the hospital. Due to our previous loss and my firstborn Son, I knew to prepare myself to be surrounded by pregnant women. These big bellied women were waiting for their babies to make an on-screen appearance too. No, I didn’t want to see them, but I also did not want them to see me crying. I stood as far away from all of them as I could, while still being able to see my number flash on the screen to notify me that it was my turn.
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs.
Usually, I am a very quiet person but during this time I wanted to yell. In the quiet waiting room full of women and their significant others, I wanted them to know that I had once been just like them. I had a dream perfect pregnancy too at one point. I had waited in the exact same chair that they were currently sitting in, without any doubts that my child was okay. My firstborn Son was absolutely perfect in every single way but there I was two years later, losing a second child.
Who was I kidding? Yelling would not help anyone. I would not put those feelings on anyone; I cried as quietly as I could.
My husband and toddler came to check on me at this time. I want my Son to see that tears are okay, but this was not the place for that. I told my husband that I didn’t know how long things would take, and that I didn’t want our Son there for everything that followed. By husband hugged and kissed me. He showed strength by taking care of our Son in a time when I am sure he just wanted to be with me. I don’t say it as often as I should, but I am in awe of my husband and what he does for our family, and for me.
I went up to the window, and handed the woman the papers. “So, you have an appointment?”, she asked. “No. This was unexpected”, I replied. She looked at the paper and I saw her look at where it stated that Dr Luskey had been notified. She glanced back up, and said, “Ok…. so you don’t have an appointment. I don’t understand.”
“There was no heartbeat!!!” I said quickly. It hadn’t fully registered for myself yet and I was far from wanting to say the words aloud. I instantly felt horrible.
She referred to her colleague, who said to highlight the note that the doctor was aware. The receptionist could not find a highlighter. She spent several minutes looking around the office, and couldn’t find one. She eventually got one out of her purse that she had poured all over the counter. Weird details to remember and write about? Sure. But in the moment, I had to focus on one thing at a time. This highlighter was a big deal at this moment. I focused on this woman, and how she used her own personal items to overall make sure the work was done.
As soon as she came back to her desk, I said “I am so sorry if I snapped at you, or if I was rude. I didn’t mean to be.” She looked up at me and said, “You weren’t at all. And even if you had been, it would be okay.” It was an act of kindness that I wasn’t expecting, and it helped me breathe.
I went back to stand and wait for my turn. I ran to the washroom to cry, away from the eyes of others as needed. My husband and toddler came back almost an hour later, just in time for my name being called.
We went into the room, I explained the full story to the ultrasound technician and she began taking measurements.
I was 18 weeks and 5 days, but he measured a week behind. When I saw her look for the heartbeat, the screen filled with static. There was nothing. The pit in my stomach grew deeper and my Son looked at me on the table and said “Mommy Okay.” I nodded, and said yes, I was okay.
Dr Luskey then came into the room and confirmed there was no heartbeat. They got papers organized and I had to go back to my Doctor. As soon as she saw me in the waiting room, her arms embraced me once again.
We spoke about starting the process of genetic testing in case we wanted to try again in the future. I had said after the last experience, that I would not be able to handle another loss. This was going to be our last try. However, maybe there is an underlying issue that would help Liam and his family later on, if he chooses to have one. That alone is guiding us to make sure the recommended tests are done.
I was then admitted, and was put in the room I would give birth to my Son in. It was in the postpartum unit of the hospital, and I constantly heard newborns cry. It made me hurt and feel happy all at the same time. A nurse and social worker understood me more than I understood myself at this point.
I will say now, that I have the names of everyone who took care of me listed in my phone. I made notes of their names and will be making a point of saying thank you to them. Everyone was so kind and gentle, and I can’t say thank you to them enough. Truly. No words are good enough.
I knew it could be a long process, so I told my husband to go home with our toddler. Later on I texted him, saying my Mom would be able to watch our Son if he wanted to be here. I explained he could hold our baby, say goodbye, and say whatever he needed to. If that would help him eventually heal, I didn’t want him to miss that chance. He declined, saying it would make it too real for him. I understood. I wasn’t even having contractions yet, and I didn’t know how I was going to say goodbye.
17 vials of blood, an IV, tablets inserted, and several interactions with nurses, doctors and an amazing social worker later, I just had to wait.
Alexis, the social worker, cried with me. She cried. I told her how nice it was and how much it meant to me that she showed her emotions. That I was sorry and I didn’t mean to put a black cloud over her, but that I didn’t know how she did this job, and her emotions were monumental for me.
I had been studying to be a social worker in college, and I thought that it wouldn’t work since I was so emotional myself. How can I help others when I would cry with them? Alexis showed me how it was possible. It is brilliant that she is so open and her natural reactions help whoever she is working with. She is one of the women I will now never forget. She is a huge page of this chapter of my life, and I hope everyone strives to be as caring as she is.
We had not been sent information about the burial of our last tiny one. I had been waiting months to hear about the ceremony and Alexis told me it had already happened in May. I am not upset, I do not hold a grudge at all- I understand. The circumstances probably made it all get lost in the daily shuffle and I do not need a ceremony in order to remember the life that was. I remember and relive the experience every single day.
Alexis, however was embarrassed and felt horrible that we were never notified about anything. She took the time to speak to the pathology unit and confirmed that our baby is buried and has a resting spot. Alexis also told me that our Rainbow would be buried next to his sibling. I cried more than ever before.
I found comfort in knowing they will be together.
I had been speaking to my Mom all day and she was there for me.
She didn’t want me to be alone during this time. While I knew that I needed to be in my own bubble to mentally handle it all, staying in contact with her all day helped me. She is remarkable.
There were other plans in place that could not be changed prior to this occurring, and so my parents could not stay with me. I hope if they read this, (like I know they will), that they know to never, ever, feel guilty or upset that they could not stay. They wanted to try to rearrange plans, but I told them not to. It means more than words can express that they were there at all.
They had surprised me. I had been able to tell which nurse was coming in my room with every knock on the door. Then, there was a familiar tap on the door, but I knew it wasn’t a nurse. In the reflection of the windows, I saw my Mom. There she was. I heard her tearing up before I even saw her. I slowly said “Mommy?”, and then she gave me one of the most important hugs of my life.
My Mom and Dad stayed with me as the contractions started to get painful. I was swaying back and forth, trying to find a way to lessen the pain. We would talk about the burial, about the baby, and about normal day to day things. As my Mom left the room, she hugged me and rubbed my stomach. She was saying goodbye to her grandchild. It meant so much to me, and I know it wasn’t easy for her or my Dad. Not only were they seeing their daughter go through something they had no control over, but they were saying goodbye too. During times like these, you may feel so alone, but you’re not. You’re not the only one feeling the pain.
I LAUGHED A FEW TIMES.
It is so hard to be going through something so terrible and still be able to laugh at something. It’s okay. Please, let yourself laugh.
You may not feel like you deserve to laugh, but you do. My parents made me laugh, and then I tried to make the nurses laugh later on. Yes, laughing at a time like this feels impossible. I thought I would never laugh again. Your body and mind will do amazing things to at least try to help you cope.
The dinner at the hospital that night was meatloaf, and I saw it as a sign that I needed to eat. I refused food all day, but Alexis brought me a plate full of fresh fruit and a homemade pecan bread. “It’s NOT hospital food” the nurses said. I laughed and I tried to eat.
Meatloaf is a dear recipe to me. It was one of the first things I cooked, and it makes me think about my Mom and Grandmother. However, eating it made me want a toothbrush and I was not prepared. My Mom brought me one along with hair bands, a facecloth, toothpaste, soap… tiny things that mean so much to me now. She also brought her care blanket. She got through breast cancer comforted by this blanket, and there I was with it at my feet. It was an honor. In the hours following, I grasped onto it tightly. I thought of my Mom, my Dad and I was comforted.
I used the face cloth to wipe the day and tears from my face. It’s not that I disrespected the day, but I knew that just that simple face cloth would help me get through the rest of the night.
It would be a long night…
From around 8 PM until the birth at 2:23 AM, the contractions were quite painful. By 7 PM, I was on my second dose of the tablets that were meant to induce labor. I had struggled with allowing myself to get morphine. Since I had gone through losing a baby a few months ago with no medication, I thought I could do it again. I wanted to do it again, except this time it was different.
This time, I honestly thought that I deserved to feel the pain. Women give birth all the time without medication, and it was apparently my body that didn’t let him survive. It was my fault. I deserve anything that came my way. I could do it for him. However, my parents helped me realize that I was going through enough emotional pain. I hadn’t slept, and I knew I would not sleep until after he was born. I needed to conserve whatever energy I had left so I asked for the morphine.
The pain was at an 8 and the morphine barely gave me relief, so the lowest it got was a 5. The nurse seemed concerned that I wasn’t getting much relief, so I tried to wait as long as I could before asking for more morphine.
With every single contraction I had, I would say “It’s okay. You’re not hurting Mommy. This has to be done so I can hold you. I’m okay. This is not your fault. I’m here for you. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
My Mom had brought photos of Liam, and of other family members. As contractions made me squirm in pain, I held the bar tightly and looked at the photo of Liam. I had to do this. I had to be okay for him.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and a rainbow song that was important to my Mother and I ever since I was in Grade One was on repeat in my head. For three hours straight I sang to him. I told him about his family and our friends. I can only hope that he knows how much he was – and always will- be loved.
Two nurse changes, two doctor introductions, and two requests for ice chips later, I felt the pain that I knew was the sign that I’d be able to hold my baby soon. My nurse had just left the room, because I had “greedily asked for another cup of ice”. I had been unable to drink anything since 6 PM, and I was in need of something to help my dry throat. Almost as soon as she exited the room, I felt my body change. It was time to push. It was time to meet my Son.
I pressed the call button, and almost screamed “I feel the need to push, URGENTLY”. I needed to make sure he was safe and taken care of right away. My nurse came in and at that point I was in an upright fetal position. I kept saying that it felt like a waterfall should be coming, but it was blocked. My nurses seemed to not believe me, since there was no liquid or blood coming out yet.
I told them I may throw up. They provided me with a container to use, and I was transported back to my memories of giving birth to Liam. It had all happened so fast with him. I had wanted to meet him for so long. Now, I wanted to meet this little one and tell him that it was okay. The thought of him being away from me killed me. I had waited for him, our rainbow, and I wanted to meet him so badly, but…
It wasn’t time. He, we, I… we all needed more time.
I felt a gush and my nurse said “There’s the waterfall.” I knew my body and I knew it was coming. I knew he would be there soon.
I cried and wanted to scream. I asked to know what time it was, and I almost asked if he was okay.
At 2:23 AM, I met a beautiful boy.
It was the first time I heard that we were having a little boy.
While they cleaned him up, they tried to deliver the placenta. Little did I know that they would monitor me for the next six hours so I could deliver it. Part of it, was a cord hanging from me that was meant to be my connection to our Son. A life giving cord… that had a knot in it.
It was a true knot that limited the oxygen supply to our Son. A knot that may have been there since the beginning, or maybe it formed as he was being active and was jumping around in the womb. I know the world can be cruel. I am not naive. It simply doesn’t make sense to me that someone so tiny, so innocent, would die due to doing something good. He was active, he was moving around and it may have caused a knot. We are still waiting for the pathology reports, but for now, that is what they gave us as a cause of death, and honestly, I’m mad. It makes me sick.
They asked if I was ready to hold him and if I was prepared for how he would look. We were almost halfway into the pregnancy, so I knew that he wouldn’t look like most people would expect. I was ready, and I needed him in my arms.
There he was, with his ten tiny toes and ten tiny fingers. I looked at the slight smirk that his lips formed. I looked at the knot in his umbilical cord. The knot was so clear, yet it was so small. I was worried that he was cold, so I bundled him up in his blanket. He needed to be as safe and as comfortable as possible. I felt like I couldn’t do anything, and it was too little too late. I didn’t know how to let him go, but I’m so glad he was being looked after by people who were so caring.
Before I could let him go, I took photos. Yes, he will always be remembered without them, but I look at those photos every single night now. I miss him in my now empty body, I miss him growing.. I miss him.
I didn’t sleep at all that night. It felt like I was already in a nightmare, so closing my eyes made it seem like when they opened, everything else would fade away. Maybe I would wake up and I would be back to being anxious for my doctor’s appointment. That wouldn’t happen and I knew it. I simply couldn’t sleep.
I closed my eyes between the 30 minute intervals of the nurses checking on me. The entire staff was amazing. They will forever be in my heart for making a terrible situation go as smoothly as possible. I told each and every one of them that their kindness made all the difference. I hope everyone truly knows how much their sensitivity helped me during that time.
Joanna Ahti have created a blog called At Home With Joanna. Click on this link to check it out: https://www.athomewithjoanna.com/
Also, her story was featured in Love What Matters: https://www.lovewhatmatters.com/she-must-have-known-she-was-pregnant-i-was-four-months-pregnant-and-i-had-no-idea/