It’s a fancy name for something so brutal . . .
It felt like being called a liar, or more accurately – crazy. “You’re not having a baby,” I heard. In a moment, the image of last September’s blood flashed in my mind. I’ve been here. I know this feeling. I just want to grab someone and shake them and make them believe me – “I really am pregnant!”
“No. Your baby has been dead for weeks.”
How could I not know this? What kind of a mother am I? There was actually a moment in time when my child’s heart stopped beating, and I was too busy to notice. What could have been more important than my child’s heart?
Within just minutes of finding out my second child had died, I was asked to start making big decisions.
“When your first child died,” the doctor said, “it was like, ‘Okay. That’s just something that happened.’ Now, we’ve had another unexpected loss, so we need to get some answers.” She seemed to be saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
The only way to have a chance at finding out what caused Tater Tot’s demise was to do a D&C. Lab tests would be done on his/her remains. I wanted to keep my baby with me one more day, so I requested that the surgery be performed on Friday (this was Wednesday). You have to understand that, for me, holding a dead baby is better than holding no baby at all. I knew that once the surgery was over and my baby had been scraped out of me, he/she would be gone forever – just like Gaby was gone forever once I laid him in the ground. I have had dreams/nightmares about digging him back up and running away with him – far, far away so that no one could take him from me. I didn’t care that he was dead; I just wanted to hold him again. Thinking back to those dreams, I was in no hurry to hand over my baby.
I carried Tater Tot with me the next day and said my good-byes. Mostly, I told my sleeping baby that I was sorry. Before his/her conception, I thought there was no way that I could ever have it in me to take my child for granted after what happened with Gabriel, but I did. I let myself get upset. I let myself get so caught up in the woes of this world that, at times, I actually spent more time crying and worrying about life’s troubles than rejoicing over my miracle.
“I did this to you, my baby, and Mommy’s sorry, so sorry. I’m glad you get to go to Heaven and be with Gaby Baby, though. He loves you, and I know you two are gonna have so much fun.”
Skyler and I arrived at the hospital at 5:15 AM for the 7:15 AM surgery. Just to give me peace of mind, another ultrasound was performed. We saw our precious baby lying so still. We heard the silence inside my womb where his/her heartbeat should have been. At 11 weeks 2 days pregnant, our baby measured only eight weeks growth. How is that even possible? At Tater Tot’s eight week ultrasound, he/she looked completely perfect – perfect heartbeat, amazing movements, a tiny little spine forming. The baby’s yolk sac was visible at this ultrasound as a tiny little circle that appeared to be positioned above the baby.
“It looks like a tiny halo,” one nurse commented.
“It just proves the baby really is an angel,” the other nurse replied.
I wanted to set her straight. “My baby is NOT an angel!” I wanted to say. But, of course, I didn’t. She didn’t know any better. She didn’t know I already had an angel and didn’t want another one.
Just days later, Tater Tot flew away.
I cried as I lay down on the operating table. I remember the nurse laying warm blankets over me and drying my tears. I remember her prepping both my arms with IVs. I remember the anesthesiologist saying, “I’ve just put some medicine into your IVs.” I remember . . .
Waking up. Crying. Realizing what just happened. Crying and begging the nurses to get Dr. Leinenbach. “Where is she? I need her!” I cried. I remember that I thought I had something important to tell her, but I know what I wanted to tell her because I couldn’t quit telling the nurses. “I miss my babies. I miss them, and I want them back!”
I begged God for my children. I know God made them for me. I love them very much, and I am very thankful for them. But, what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to feel? I laid my newborn son in the ground eight months ago, and now I just had my second baby scraped out of me.
Dear Lord, what do you have for me now?