Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine | Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Edition October 2021
I Became A Mother But Never Got To Be One
Written & Photo by Stephanie Mendoza
Hi My name is Stephanie, I’m 23 years old and my son was still born on April 30, 2021. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, since I was a little girl, being a mother has always been my dream. On October 6th, I found out I was pregnant and let me tell you, I couldn’t believe it. My whole pregnancy I couldn’t believe I was growing a human being.
When I was around 29 weeks along, at a follow up appointment, I was told my son Joshua had Esophageal Atresia. We weren’t told the type until after he was born and that he would be in the hospital for a few months. On April 28th, I realized that I haven’t felt him move and he was very active. I was sent to the emergency room and that day at 2pm I was told Joshua’s heart was no longer beating. My husband and I felt like our world shattered into pieces.
We notified our families and close friends and that’s when we realized how much he was loved by so many people. My son’s death united our family closer together. I barely had a relationship with my mom and after his passing, she became my best friend. My son had a purpose and that was to unite.
I was so excited to become a mother, to have a love so strong, to feel loved, feel needed and to have someone to go home to other than my husband. I was so ready to give my full attention to a baby.
Unfortunately, I never got that. You know what the worst thing to experience is? Going in the hospital pregnant and leaving with a box. That was the worse thing to go through. Coming home with a box filled with his things and a death certificate. Never in my life did I ever think I would go through something so painful, I don’t think anyone does.
I’m a positive, bubbly and happy person. How does someone like that go through something so painful? You don’t expect it to happen to people like me. Everyone tells me I’m so strong, amazing and so positive. But to be honest, I don’t feel strong and I don’t feel amazing. Positive? That’s hard to do some days. There are so many questions in my head, every day. How do I keep moving forward? If I want to have another baby, how do I get rid of the fear of losing another baby? How will my next pregnancy be? Was it my fault? Did he suffer? Was he in pain?
I got the autopsy report just a few weeks ago and my son had so much going on. Not only did he have Esophageal Atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula but he had a hole, a defect and the right side of his heart was dilated. He had more going on but just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. Just to think my beautiful, innocent baby boy, who was born still at 36 weeks and had all of that going on. No one knew about everything but one thing. What calms me is knowing he would’ve suffered so much if he were alive.