This is going to be a tough post to write, but I’ve given it some thought, discussed it over with my Husband and I think that it’s time you all know what we’ve been going through over the past year.
As you may or may not know I was pregnant a little over a year ago & due about June 2012. I had an extremely healthy and relaxing pregnancy. No morning sickness, no aches or pains. I was at home able to really just spend as much time relaxing and prepping myself for the beautiful baby that we were going to have. I actually started this blog when I was about a month pregnant to have something to do throughout the pregnancy and it was really nice because whenever I would put the computer close to my belly, Maddox (Our baby) would kick it as if to tell me to move it because it was bothering him, I connected to him as if he where already here.
I was home alone all day throughout the week until my husband would get home from work, so I would talk to him (my belly) and he would keep me company by kicking and moving around (in my head I guess that meant he was responding to my words).
It was Sunday March 4th, 2012 and it was not such a nice day; I told my husband that seeing I was 6 months 3 weeks pregnant and we might not have a lazy Sunday when he was born that we should take advantage and not do anything, stay in bed all day, relax and have special me and him time, so we did. We watched movies, cooked and just relaxed. We really enjoyed ourselves this day; we went to bed said our goodnight’s to Maddox as we did every night and dozed off to sleep. I woke up to go to the bathroom Monday in the early morning around 6am and didn’t feel him move and had a nudge that something was off, but I didn’t think much of it. The next morning I woke up at 8:45 and thought that it was odd because since Maddox had started kicking I woke up every morning at 8 max 8:30am and to wake up late without even a kick made me feel strange; I tried to think of what it could be and then thought that maybe he was just being lazy and that he might be resting, I had felt him be a riot all day on Sunday so I thought he was just resting and relaxing.
I had a Dr. appointment anyway on Tuesday morning so I decided to wait, but all day Monday I had a gut feeling that something might not be right I tried calling and talking to friends to see if it is normal to not feel the baby kick and they said if it’s only been a couple of hours then yes, so I tried talking to him, I played music, I ate sugary foods. I did occasionally feel as if maybe he would stick his butt out or something so although no kicks he was still moving somewhat. Monday night when my Husband told him goodnight he didn’t move or kick which is what he would normally do, I was sick to my stomach and that’s when both my Husband and I started to get really concerned; we didn’t sleep that night. I guess in certain movements that my body would make his body would move and stick to one side and so I thought that that was him coming up for a little rub. Tuesday in the AM I went to the Dr. and told her I had felt him all the way until Sunday night but Monday AM I didn’t except for the little nudges, she said that we would check for a heartbeat but not to worry because I had been perfect so she didn’t think that anything could be wrong. She started up the monitor and when we went to look for the heartbeat it wasn’t there, so she said that she wanted me to go to the neonatal hospital about 20 minutes away and told me to tell them that they couldn’t detect a heartbeat and try to get a second ultrasound.
We got there had an Ultrasound done, the technician said nothing stepped out of the room and in came the Dr., he showed us the screen and that’s when we saw him there not moving just laying inside there and not one movement not one heartbeat. If I have to describe what that moment felt like I would say ‘hell’, I couldn’t even start to believe that I would not be having a baby, it’s the worst pain I have ever had to deal with.
When they told us that the baby had infact passed and that they would have to induce labor we just wanted to die! I asked them what happened? What could it be? I had felt him kick? How is this even possible? They said that it happens, they said that the development was right up to the time 26 weeks & 4 days, so that means that yes we would’ve felt him move around all the way until then and then he just suddenly would’ve passed, no warning, no sign, no nothing we could do about it!
They admitted me Tuesday night to induce labor and I just had to ask for another ultrasound before we started the process just for peace of mind and the picture was the same as the first. My heart was shattered into a billion sad, angry, distraught, mortified, empty pieces.
They started giving me pills every 3 hours that would make me start having contractions and dilating, I was up all night with my Husband crying and with horrible contractions, they said that they were going to make sure that I wouldn’t feel any of the pain, (because when I found out that I would actually have to give birth, I was angry, I explicitly said that if I had to go through that and not have the joy of a baby I did not want to feel a thing) so they had me on a “morphine drip” and yet I still felt everything. I ended up giving birth naturally at around 7:30am on Wednesday March 7th, 2012 and felt the whole thing and it was the worst pain ever, I screamed and yelled and cried. At this point they asked if I wanted to see the baby all the while telling me that he was perfect, beautiful and gorgeous, but I asked to see my husband and when he came in the room I asked if he wanted to see Maddox and we both agreed under this shocking, stressful and completely out of this world moment that we did not want to remember our baby lifeless, we wanted to remember him lively and kicking. (I can’t say it was the right or best decision, but I can’t say that it wasn’t. All I know is we had to make a decision that we didn’t even know was to be made. We were caught off guard and made the best decisions for the state of mind we were in.)
They then asked if we wanted to get an autopsy performed and we said yes. We wanted to know what went wrong. What could they potentially tell us that could give us some sort of closure; peace of mind, an Answer is what we needed. So, they had us sign papers for the release of the body. Then they also asked us if we wanted to bury him or if we were fine with them burying him at the local cemetery. I honestly was caught off guard. I had no idea about all this; I guess I never thought about what happens in situations such as these. But it is a body and you have to bury it. So, we decided that seeing as they bury all the babies in this one lot at the cemetery that we would like him to be surrounded by other babies and so we told them to do it and hence signed more paperwork. They said that it would all take about 2 months before everything was done and he would be at the cemetery.
They left the room and said that they would be back to check on me and make sure that everything was fine and my uterus was clean. I had delivered the amniotic sac intact, so they said they assumed that the uterus must be clean but they need to check with the monitor.
When they checked me later the PM they said that everything seemed fine and that they would double check in the morning. In the meantime we stayed a night in the hospital grieving and I think still in complete unbeknownst shock of what was going on. The next morning they checked me and cleared us to go home. They prescribed some shots that I would have to administer to myself for the next 12 days and also some pills to take to dry up the milk. Again, I was in total shock that I would have milk coming out for about the next 4-6months. I thought only if you have a baby would that happen and then the Dr. mentioned to me that I did have a baby; and that was just crazy for me to think about. I had a baby but I wasn’t bringing him home.
It all happens so fast. Literally! One minute you’re trying to plan parenthood, making lists about what you want to do, how you want to raise your child, talking to your belly, and the next minute you’re in a hospital signing papers, taking pills, making decisions that you didn’t know about or planned to make, and then you stop to look down and you can see your toes, no belly, no kick, no life growing inside of you. The world stops and you feel lost, like you don’t even know what just happened and what you are going to do next. Plans die and you just want to cry forever!
When we got home and opened the door to the house everything seemed to stop. And all you feel is a hole in your heart where there was to be love, love for the baby you planned to bring home after such an event. Everything makes you think about him. You crawl into a ball in the bed and just let yourself cry and be angry. Nothing really matters at this point, how can it; the most precious thing you and your Husband have ever created is gone and you don’t know how to feel, think or be.
It happened to be National Women’s Day here in Italy (which is a major Holiday) so my Mom and sister’s decided to come over and cook and just keep us company. (I have to admit I really didn’t want them there, I just wanted to cry and I knew if they come I wouldn’t be able to just sit there and cry). They came anyway; I just didn’t have the strength to hold up a phone to my ear & tell them no. All I can really remember is I was not hungry and the minute they left we crawled into bed and cried.
This is part of the letter that I wrote to my Mother-in-law and I just wanted to share it because I wrote it literally when I got home from the hospital, it’s what I felt at that moment and it’s the best description I have for you of our feelings:
“What hurts more is looking down and not seeing him anymore, nights are extremely hard because it was our family time and I honestly hate to look at my stomach because it is flattening out really fast and I just wish he was there. I miss his kicks. I miss his nudges. I miss him. Nothing at the moment is truly consoling me and I just am so angry that he is gone, I wanted to finally have a family with Terry and I was so into it. I MISS HIM! It makes me so mad to know that he is gone and we didn’t get the chance to become parents. We were doing everything so perfect. I know that he is an angel watching over us but I wanted him to be our son.”
This is what I wrote to her the second day:
“Things will get better I know, I just don’t know how long will it take. We will never forget M. We loved him more than words will ever be able to say and we just still can’t believe it’s all done and he is gone. This is the second day home and it hasn’t been easy as we had planned so much around him, waking up this morning in our bed for the first time without M. has been really hard, I opened my eyes and before they were fully opened tears where already rolling down my cheeks. There is no reason to get up because I don’t have to feed anyone, and no one is asking for mommy’s attention anymore. I know it sounds silly, he never asked for anything, but every morning at 8:30 sharp he would start to kick me as if he was asking for breakfast and that is what I thought those kicks meant atleast. Also, looking at my blog bothers me some, because I started it when I found out I was pregnant and now trying to write without him kicking my stomach makes me feel empty. Alot of things have no meaning at the moment, and I know that I can’t give up. I just have to find some internal peace and learn how to cope and move on. Terry has been great with opening up and it has definitely brought me alot closer to him (I don’t know how close we are going to be after this, we already are so close) We are just taking it one moment, one step, one thought and one feeling at at time. I never know what the next thing is going to bring. I love you very much and so does your son.”
It’s tough to re-read this and go through these emotions but I want you to know what happens in the real world sometimes and people need to be informed that things like this can happen and it’s not as uncommon as you may think. There are emotions and I think that it’s nice to know that it’s ok to feel in certain ways and you are not crazy if you go through these same thoughts. I’ll give you the last piece of letter I wrote her a week later:
“Yes I decided to post something yesterday, I am not inspired but I feel like I owe it to M. and myself to not give up yet, if in a couple of month I still feel uninspired then I will stop but when my mind is a little more cleared.
Thanks for all the prayers, we really need them and although I am angry and my faith is dwindled, I appreciate the prayers. Time is flying and that is another of my fears, I am scared to death of moving on and forgetting what once was to be the most important person in our family. It’s tough because I want to move on and turn a new leaf but I feel like I am abandoning M. I know in my heart that he knows my love for him and how much he means to me and that a piece of my heart left with him and is there to comfort him, so therefore I could never truly abandon him, but I sometimes catch myself really hating the fact that I have to move on.
It’s so tough, I am a strong person and love to take care of others and like to absorb the pain so it doesn’t have to hurt anyone else, but I find myself to be the opposite in this situation. I am trying to be strong but I am so weak. I am trying to move on and yet I want to stay in the past. I know he’s in a better place and it happened for a good reason, but I want him to be here this was to be his home and no good reason can change that. I am trying to see the positive in the situation and all I can see is the negative. I try to distract myself but all I am truly and ever thinking is what happened. I know that I should eat and all I can think is that there is no one to feed. The days are changing and beautiful and I don’t want to go out because I wanted to enjoy them with him. I love Terry and I am trying to not bring him into my sadness because I want him to be happy….he deserves it more than anyone. I just have so many, many, many emotions.”
I want to mention that throughout this whole process I made sure that my Husband grieved just the way I did, for me it was extremely important that he feel comfortable enough to express himself, I insisted on him opening up and us crying together, I did not want him to hold anything in and just be strong for me because he lost his son as well. I didn’t want him to look back and resent me for not allowing him to be himself and express his feelings and emotions. Yes, I went through all the physical pain and I had all the signs still on my body of him, but both of our hearts were broken and it was our son, not just mine. I wanted us to experience the stages of grief together. And I certainly didn’t want this to tear us apart. I wanted him to tell me what he felt. As a woman you feel like a failure when something like this happens (atleast I know I did), I was the one that carried our son and he didn’t make it. I didn’t know if my husband resented me for that so I flat out asked him. He was just in shock that I would even ask something like that but I needed to heal correctly without any questions or concerns left behind. If we were going to heal; honesty and love was the only thing that would get us through this.
We got the results back from the Autopsy just like they said 2 months later and they didn’t find anything abnormal or any malformations, they said that they had found pneumonia developing in the lungs but they couldn’t define that as a COD because that’s the first place that infection develops in young bodies, so it could’ve been while we were inducing labor. As for the rest of the paper it describes every inch of your baby’s body, his head circumference, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his nose, his heart, his length everything is described and that is one TOUGH paper to read. At this point you cry because you can only imagine what your child would have looked like by piecing it all together.
Now, comes closure time, because up until now you are going to doctors visits, researching, reading, gathering information, and trying to get by. But when you get the ok to go to the cemetery it’s done, you are visually seeing something that you only imagined and you are seeing that this is truly over. It really has happened. That is how we both felt. It was a rough day to go to that cemetery and see this tiny little space. We had bought flowers and an Angel to put on his tomb and we just sat there and cried for a very, very long time.
Life at this moment sucks, you are exactly what you need to be angry and disappointed with everything that has occurred and that you are going through.
No one will ever understand the pain you have inside and no one will ever understand that telling you that everything is going to be fine; is bullshit. Yes, we will be fine eventually but our son will never be fine because he is gone. Again he’s in heaven but a parent doesn’t want to hear that. You shouldn’t have to bury your children, it’s unfair and my heart goes out to anyone that has had too.
It’s not like you lost your job and now u need to find a new one and someone pats you on shoulder and tells you “it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be ok”, yeah it will be you’ll find a new job and deal with this sucky period for now.
But how can you be fine when you lost something that no one or nothing will ever replace. You will always have a son that passed away so even if I have other children and we take family pictures there always will be Maddox missing. Birthday’s missed, first steps missed, first word missed, first day of school missed, our Son missed. And that’s the reality of it all. You get through it, and learn to live with it. But you can’t change the hurt that is left behind because you’ll forever miss and love someone you didn’t have the amazing chance to meet!
It’s sad the things that we humans have to deal with. It’s nice to know that I have come to a place where know I don’t have to move on; I learned to live with. I have a scar that will never disappear, but it’s healing; and although a year later I can go to the cemetery without balling my eyes out I still randomly cry and miss Him! There is never a day that goes by that he doesn’t pop in my head (well maybe a day), but I’ll never forget and although people don’t like to talk about it for fear that they will make you remember or make you sad, well I say I never forget and I’ll never be happy about it; it’s not you that makes me sad it’s the thought that does, and no I don’t cry every single time I talk about him, but maybe sometimes I do, and so what! Who cares!
I am allowed to feel, I have a right to talk about something that is a part of my life. I do have a child, he may not walk or run around like others; but I know that one day I’ll meet him. He’s gone and why should I not talk about it for fear to make others uncomfortable. I should be uncomfortable. It happened to me. To us!! I only recently found out that the type of birth that I had is called an Angel Birth, so I know I have an Angel. But if we don’t do some research or talk to people you would never find out things. You’d be amazed out how many people out there can relate to our situation and yet until it happened to me I never even considered it being a possibility of an event that could occur.
A year and a half has passed and the emotions are many and just so different everyday, sometimes you feel hopeless, sometimes you cry, sometimes you want to talk about it and others you don’t. We got ourselves busy with trying to enjoy life and eachother and look forward to the future trying to create positive thoughts and just be there for eachother. I’ve learned that life is short and I have no problem eliminating people that aren’t a positive influence. I don’t walk around crying and playing the poor me card I try to have fun and be happy. When I talk about him it’s to inform and help others and not to make people pity me, I don’t need the pity it won’t change a darn thing. All I need is for people to be open and honest. I know that my Angel is looking at me and I want him to know that I am a happy Mommy and I love him.
Thanks for listening. I hope that this helps you if by any chance you are going through a similar situation. I want to inform people that things do happen and I wouldn’t want anyone to be caught off guard or unprepared as we were. We get so much information about what pregnancy and bringing a child into this world is about, but we get no information about what happens if you don’t, or can’t, or something (God forbid) goes wrong, what are the things you will be asked, decisions to make, feelings to deal with. I want to help and if putting my story out there helps you; then I’m glad I mustered up the courage to do so.
May god bless you, and thanks for supporting mythineats and keeping this blog alive.
In loving Memory of our Precious Angel Maddox De Francesco–Thurston
On a side note, I am not associated or affiliated at all with this project, atleast not at the moment hopefully I can help them out now. But, I randomly found this website the other day and I just want you all to take sometime to go on here and see what a wonderful project this is and what they are putting together. I was in awe when I saw this trailer the other day and how these people are trying to help all the families that lost a child or had pregnancy loss. Please check it out! Watch The Trailer, You Must! You can donate $5 to help get the documentary done.