*NOTE: This was originally written in early December 2016
Heaven and Mother Earth… there’s only one place where I feel connected to you and thats the majestic island of Maui. I don’t know if its the sound of the ocean, the tropical weather or the sand between my toes. However, I do know that it is a very magical place for my family. The last time my husband and I were there, our precious baby boy Aiden worked his super powers to make us feel close and connected with him. Although he’s in heaven, he is able to make his presence known to us in so many ways. This last time we were there, Aiden expressed so much excitement and enthusiasm in being a big brother. Nestled deep in my belly I could feel Aiden comforting me and our little Poppyseed. For the first time, I was embracing the thought of being a mom of two beautiful babies; I felt so very proud.
It was my husband’s birthday when we found out our little Poppyseed was going to be! It was a very special moment for us, all three of us. We were no longer the 3 peas in a pod, we were now 4 peas in a pod. Being grieving parents, we were bombarded with a range of different emotions. A combination of fear, anxiety, sadness, and excitement were among the emotions following us on a daily basis. That all being said I did have some trouble trying to connect with Poppyseed once we came home from Maui. Being at home really makes me feel closer to Aiden. The connection with Aiden is so innate, so spiritual, so kind and so real. The way he’d look at me when I walked passed him, the way he responds to me with a smile that could light up the whole universe, his sweet little voice, his smell…..it all just hits me when I’m home. I thought…..how am I possibly going to be a grieving mother and yet be a mother to a living child at the same time? These feelings were overwhelming me….I just felt like I didn’t fit into the mold.
I had started my Angels Ark Project website before our second trip to Maui. It’s a website where I’m able to connect with grieving parents by creating a card commemorating their little Angel. Connecting with others suddenly didn’t feel right because Poppy was going to be living while Aiden and all these other children were not. As time passed, this became super conflicting for me. Aiden helped me with connecting better with Poppyseed. Some days, I felt Poppyseed encouraging me to make the cards because he/she liked her big brother’s angel friends.
At this point, it seemed like there was a lot of stuff going on. I was eating right, exercising (teaching my Zumba classes), taking Yoga and practicing my breathing techniques….and of course continuing my work with the Angels Ark Project. And out of nowhere, it was time to go to our first pre-natal visit. Maybe I wasn’t ready, but things took a steep decline from there.
Our first prenatal appointment was traumatic. We waited in an office for 4 hours while the same questions were being asked of us over and over and over again. At the end of the monotony, we realized…they really did not do anything….no sonogram, no listen to the heartbeat, no advice, no future appointments, no information on where I would be delivering, no nothing! Everything you expect at that first visit was seriously out the window…it was a huge angry exclamation point.
After that appointment, I knew that we needed to make a change. So I contacted some doulas, changed primary care physyicainas, and kept persistent in making sure we would get the medical care we deserved.
Finally, the time came for our second prenatal appointment, and I was so excited. I knew that we would finally hear Poppyseed’s heart beat, get our questions answered and maybe even get a glimpse of what Poppyseed looked like.
I remember everything about that day, I packed some yummy fruit, sliced some cheese and crackers and I eagerly waited for my husband to pick me up at the Hotel we stayed at when we got married. I remember feeling that magical daze from Christmas ornaments and the lights that had just gone up at the Hyatt. I wore my scoop neck black dress with my pumpkin orange cardigan and leopard flats. I thought it was the perfect fall outfit for a pregnant woman like myself that was just starting to show a little bit. I prayed to Aiden and God that this appointment would be better than the last and to please stay close to me and Poppyseed. For the first time in a while I was excited with anticipation.
As I write this next part, I can’t help but take off my red glasses because I’m anticipating the waterworks to be over flowing. I remember finally being called in and feeling at ease when we were in the office. The first thing the NP did was an ultrasound…my favorite part! I couldn’t help but get a little excited because we were about to see our little Poppyseed……until….we saw nothing. A bit of panic set in but we remained calm while the NP did an internal Ultrasound…..and still….nothing. No heartbeat, no sign of movement….there was nothing. There was nothing but the gestational sac which was empty at this point and the NP had then expressed her concern for miscarriage.
Hearing the words of concern that I could be actively miscarrying will haunt me forever. I tried so hard to seem like I was holding it together….but it was unbearable….I broke down.
At this point, everything was happening super quickly. I was sent to radiology because they wanted a formal ultrasound done to ensure that the pregnancy was not ectopic. I had to once again surrender my everything to God. Each minute that went by was like 100 more knives stabbing my heart…it was horrible. Finally, I was assured that the pregnancy was not ectopic and we were give the green light to go home. To say the least, it was the longest ride home ever.
Over the next few days the bleeding began to flow. Seeing the evidence of a miscarriage is the worst heartache you can imagine. Every time you go to bathroom you think a piece of your unborn child is leaving your body…it’s a feeling you’re forced to accept. The acceptance was the hardest part for me. Accepting that my stomach was getting smaller and smaller on a daily basis. Bleeding out more and more day after day was agonizing. I prayed that I would bleed to death and end this miserable existence and just be with my babies. I was pissed at my body for not doing it’s job in holding my baby and keeping him/her safe so I starved myself at some point and went on without eating or drinking water. When I did eat, I just filled my body with crap. I suddenly didn’t care what I put in my body because my body was useless. Feeling depressed was an understatement. Things I enjoyed doing messed me up. I stopped writing letters to Aiden. I stopped making cards. I stopped teaching Zumba. I want to say I stopped living. I just…stopped.
Once again I was saved by the magic of JK Rowling. “Fantastic beasts and where to Find Them” had just come out and the endless world of mystery, magic and countless possibilities took my heart again. A short-lived moment of relief in her work so subtly took me away again, but the lingering pain still haunts me. As it wore off, the pain (both literal and physical) would continue taking it’s toll on me on a daily basis. I was malnourished, had constant suicidal thoughts, and needing my children more than ever….but they were nowhere to be found. How can I continue?