Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and as 1 in 4 - I want to share my story to help break the stigma around pregnancy loss. This is Chapter 1 of an inspirational story of love, loss and motherhood that I will share over the next few weeks.
It was the day after Thanksgiving, 8 years ago now. My husband and I were expecting our first baby. We were the couple that were MEANT to be parents. You know a couple like that I'm sure. The one who always offers to babysit their friends' kids, is called "Auntie" and "Uncle" by lots of kids who are not blood related, the ones who go out of their way to do special things for birthdays and holidays to make the kids in their lives happy. That was us. I babysat for years growing up and also worked at a daycare center and I my career was developing and marketing baby products. Even my friends called me Momma Erin WAY before I was even close to getting pregnant. Having a baby - made perfect sense.
So when we walked into the ultrasound room together, after getting up early and going Black Friday shopping, we were nervous but excited all at the same time. I was 11 weeks pregnant I thought. I remember laying there on the table, and the tech didn't say two words to us. I saw this little curly looking blob on the screen. It wasn't moving. Was it supposed to be moving? Is she looking at a picture? I had no idea; I had only seen this on TV. I didn't really know what was supposed to happen. I remember feeling sick to my stomach. I asked the tech if everything was normal and she said yes. She ushered us out of the room and told us to wait for the doctor. I was panicked. My husband Todd, told me to relax - I was overreacting, the tech had just said everything was fine. I saw another mom come out with a strip of ultrasound pictures. I didn't get any. Why didn't I get any ultrasound pictures? We waited over an hour before we were sent home. I was freaking out. Something was wrong with our baby and we didn't know what. I remember going over my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving leftovers and I didn't have an appetite. No one else was concerned about what had happened, they figured it was routine. By the end of the day I had finally started to calm my nerves and relax. I started wrapping Christmas presents I had bought earlier that morning. It was almost 8pm when my doctor finally called to tell me that the baby had died a week ago. I had suffered a missed miscarriage and would need a D&C. I remember I was on the stairs, I threw the phone and cried a cry I had never heard before. I cried all night long, sobbing into the early morning hours. It felt as though someone had ripped my heart right out of my chest. I didn't know how I could go on.