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Mommy for 4 Months

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Momlogic's Talitha: I complained about being pregnant, from not being able to drink to my mom's unsolicited advice about what I should or should not be doing, eating or drinking. I complained about the fact that, at three months, the buttons on my jeans were tight and my ass was growing faster than my belly...

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I complained about fatigue, lack of sleep and not going to the bathroom--and I was picky about food. I had a list:  "10 things I hate about being pregnant" and as a writer, displayed it proudly for everyone to see. It was funny then. I complained about having to step on the scale every single time at the doctor and was happy when I only gained one pound. I worried about what would happen after the baby, I worried about my body and my sex life and if we would be able to handle the financial pressure and all the changes that would occur come January 13, our due date. I worried about who would watch the baby if I had to go back to work, finding daycare, and not having time to run out and do things for myself. I worried about the toll it would take on our relationship to have a third person present. Of course, what I had inside me was a TRUE miracle, but that word didn't mean much until the day I lost the baby.

I realized how miraculous pregnancy was the day my daughter was taken out of my body and everything abruptly changed.

I will never ever forget my going in for a routine visit--I told my boyfriend he didn't need to come because I was just having some four month blood tests. Having gained no weight since the last time they saw me, the doctor decided to measure the baby, and putting her fingers on my belly, she frowned. "What?" I said. "I don't even feel anything in here." "What do you mean, what does that mean?" I started getting nervous. She reached over and grabbed the Doppler and rolled it over my belly. NO heartbeat. She ran next door to the ultrasound room and got it ready, and as I stared at that little monkey inside of me praying for a heartbeat as if the screen would magically change by me looking at it, she said "I'm sorry honey. I am afraid I have some bad news."

It's not any worse to lose a baby earlier on in a pregnancy, but at almost four and a half months, a doctor's visit isn't as scary, and you don't expect to miscarry. You expect to get bigger and you expect to buy maternity clothes. You start to plan the baby shower, and you've announced to the whole world--even to people you don't know, in a restaurant or at the gym--"I'm pregnant!" And though you do a lot of the above complaining, the majority of what you feel is pride. I am making a baby. We made a baby. I wonder what she'll look like, be like. I wonder how I'll grow. I wonder when I wake up tomorrow if my belly will be bigger. I wonder if she'll be stubborn like me but super sensitive. I am pregnant. I had to tell everyone.

I went to have the final procedure, which physically wasn't nearly as bad as emotionally. The only way to explain it is that it's as if you had your best friend in the world--that you made--living inside you and your sole purpose was to take care of this person one minute, and the next they are gone. It's an emptiness that's indescribable--part grief, part guilt, part shock: all heartbreak. In death, at least we have little moments of remembering a person, moments that make you laugh and help you move forward. When losing your baby, you have no memories yet. I only have the memories I created myself which was the complaining about being pregnant in the first place that I feel so incredibly guilty for now.

I wish I could have all of it back, the nagging, the nausea, the bigger jeans. I wish I could just go back two days. I wish I could still be a mommy.

People say "you will have another baby," but it doesn't help. I was a mom to THIS baby and this was the baby I loved. Who knows when or how difficult or how long it will be until we are ready to try again? This was a surprise baby that turned our life upside down at first, then brought us so close together--now she has left such a hole in my heart.

Where is she and what happened?

This mom will not be a mom for a while. I was a mom for four months, and now I know what I can do better the next time. And I guess that is what motherhood is about. I guess that is what life is about, the unexpected. One just NEVER, NEVER knows how fragile it is. We always hear it, but until you truly experience it for yourself, the words are just that. We don't know what will happen from one day to the next, so why complain, why suffer? It's this way of thinking I will change the next time. I will wear my fat jeans with pride. I will take the advice with pride. I will do it all different. I will do it all knowing I never want to take it for granted again, and though we can't control God, I pray we will never have to go through this ever again.

My life has to go back to "normal," whatever that is. I have to get up in the morning and go to work, and this time I can eat what I want and drink what I want and sit in the second-hand smoke and have a large cup of coffee and go out for happy hour. I can be by myself and I don't have to worry about how I'm going to balance having a baby with my workout schedule. I don't have to worry about the sex life with my boyfriend. I will slowly start to lose these boobs and the bit of belly still left, and I will begin to pull on my size 2 jeans again. And who cares? Who cares?  All of those things just seem ridiculous now. I'd take it all back in a heartbeat...a heartbeat...that word that changed my life.


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80 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amy Jo August 7, 2008, 7:59 PM

Talitha,
Your story is beyond courageous. I think you’ve just discovered where your healing begins. You are such an amazing soul. I will hold your words dear to me as I go through these last four months of my pregnancy, cherishing every moment with an enormously grateful heart.

Michael August 7, 2008, 8:59 PM

As a husband having watched my wife go through this, i have to say it was one of the hardest experiences in my life for me, not just losing the baby but seeing her faced with such grief. We realized just what you are talking about, the miracle of life, as we continue to try to have our baby. I think it is such an enormously powerful thing to remember is that we never know from one day to the next. what would you do differently if you knew one of your children wouldn’t be here tomorrow?
I pray that my wife and i will be able to bring a healthy baby into the world, because watching her cry everyday she sees a mother and baby breaks my heart. What can I do to help her? Thank you for your story, I wish you the best.

Ivy August 7, 2008, 9:23 PM

Tal,
I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.
Your story was so moving as it described everything you felt and experienced with an intense and unique element of honesty.
Your story was moving, inspirational, honest, and supportive; all essential characteristics of a good mom!
My thoughts and prayers are with you…and I know you will be a mother again to a beautiful and lucky little baby!



Kiza August 8, 2008, 2:40 AM

I am so so so sorry. There is nothing that anyone can say that will make this easier…something that I learned in losing my babies…but I do hope that your heart begins to heal. Your daughter will always be your daughter, and you will always be her mother, even if you didn’t get the chance to meet face to face. While I know that it’s difficult to imagine ever loving a child that’s not THAT child…it will happen for you when it’s supposed to happen for you. My husband and I waited fifteen years, suffered through several losses and were completely surprised to find out that we were expecting again. It was terrifying, but we have a beautiful seven month old son and he is so absolutely amazing. I know that all of our losses were to prepare us for him.

*hugs*

Jackie in Central NJ August 8, 2008, 7:28 AM

I wish that there was something we could say that will take your pain away…I think maybe that you talking/writing about your experience will help.I am so terribly sorry that you lost your precious baby daughter.Thank you for sharing your poignant story.
I agree with another reader in regards to creating a “memory box”of the short time she was on her way to you.She is your little angel.
May you have much peace and many more blessings.

renee August 8, 2008, 8:40 AM

I am sorry for her loss,she should do not feel guilty about complaining about weight gain,tight clothes etc EVERYONE does it and unfortunatly her loss can & does happen.

Denise August 8, 2008, 8:56 AM

Dear Talitha, What a beautiful writer you are. It’s so difficult to find the words to describe what you have gone through, yet you did and what an amazing job. Many of us who have shared your experience are finally able to recognize our own feelings - you made that happen. Thank you for that and my hope is that you will have a happy, healthy baby in the near future.

Tracy August 8, 2008, 9:00 AM

I lost my daughter when she was 2 days old. She was born at 23 weeks, I don’t think it matter’s at what stage you loose a child the loss is still there and very real. I was young at the time,21 and took it for granite that I would have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child. She was my first baby and after that experience it changed my life forever. I now have 3 healthy children and never took any of my pregnancies after her for granite. It’s true, you will have other children but none of them will replace the one you lost. You’ll grow from this experience and be a stronger person because of it. God bless!

shawn  August 8, 2008, 9:19 AM

Wow..your story brings back some painful memories.I never saw myself as having kids..and I too complained about every little thing. I went through a very similar experience last year. I was just about 4 months too. That image on the monitor of my lifeless baby still haunts me. Time does help but I have to admit..when my due date came..I cried for about a week straight.
Every now and again I feel really sad or angry ..like why me? I know there is not much to say to make you feel better but I really feel like our babies soul will come down again when the time is right.
Best of luck to you.

Stephanie August 8, 2008, 10:13 AM

When I read this I knew that I had to respond. Just as you did I went to the doctor on Oct. 1st, 2007 at 18 weeks for a routine checkup only there was no heart beat. I had also told my husband that he did not need to come with me because I had rescheduled my appointment at the last minute for an emergency and I was not seeing the doctor only the nurse. My pregnancy was planned and yet I still complained about everything you could think of. I even said that maybe I had made a mistake wanting to get pregnant. Now I know that I took my pregnancy for granted and am very excited to say that on November 20th, 2008 I am due to give birth to a beautiful baby boy. I have done everything different this time. It only makes me sad that I had to loose a life to understand the importance of the miracle of life itself. Keep your head up and now that when the time is right you will have your little miracle just as I am.

Autumn August 8, 2008, 10:40 AM

I lost a baby at full term delivery. And I know the feeling of how easily we take for granted the blessings we are givin.. God blesses us all.. We just have to open our eyes and see it. I have no doubt you will be a mother again.. And you will be better than you would have been before your loss. (I am not saying you would have been a bad mom because you weren’t, you will just be better). I applaud you for your strength..

Barbara August 8, 2008, 11:25 AM

I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my first baby at 7months pregnant and then had to go thru’ labor. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I now have 2 healthy boys and never complained about morning sickness that I had all day every day for 9months. I also have a memory box that I keep of our first little boy. You never get over it but time does help. Good Luck to you and thank-you for sharing your story.

UR Friend Stef August 8, 2008, 11:48 AM

I am so proud of you. You are doing all the things needed to move foward. Sharing this experience is so impressive. Thank you! I have faith that you are going to be fine and that in Gods time you will have a happy healthy baby. You are going to be a great mommy and I hope our children will get to play together.
Ikhouvanjou (cant spell Dutch, only know how it sounds)

Stefanie

M.L. August 8, 2008, 11:53 AM

I have never been through this, I am lucky to have 2 very healthy childern, but my heart aches for you. You’re in my prayers.

Faith August 8, 2008, 12:52 PM

My heart and condolences sincerely go out to you and your partner. I can wholeheartedly relate to the grief and suffering you are experiencing. My son died in my arms at 7 weeks old. I went to check on him while he was napping to discover he was not breathing. I performed CPR long enough to get him to the ER, however the only part of his brain still living was the stem so my husband and I had to make the heartwrenching decision to not be selfish and let him go. This pregnancy was a stressful one for me and my husband and I argued about it constantly before, during and after his birth and I truly believe that our lack of appreciation for the ANGEL we had been blessed with played a huge part in him being taken from us. I truly believe he came into our lives for a reason and to teach us a lesson: what GOD giveth;GOD can taketh away…I had someone ask me graveside, if I was ready to try again, so please don’t allow others ignorance to get to you. Just take one day at a time…you’ll NEVER get over the death of your daughter, you’ll merely learn to live with it! Although she never made it into the world you still have a DAUGHTER. GOD did not make a mistake,she was with you the amount of time she was meant to be and her reason was, like mine, to teach you a lesson…to count our Blessings daily, becasue they aren’t guaranteed and we are ALL on borrowed time. GOD BLESS!

casey August 8, 2008, 2:15 PM

wow! thanks for sharing. i went through a loss on January 2nd. On December 31 i was at the hospital for the first time but went home and was back two days later without my baby. I was only 5 weeks but should have been about 10 or 11 weeks. the first few days i was “OK” and tried to be strong for myself and my family, it would have been our first so everyone was really really excited. after the first week i could not stop dreaming with babies and how everything would have been, i stopped having time with God and started questioning everything he’d done for me, i thought he was punishing me for something i didn’t know…i was SO angry at him and myself then i started reading this book called In My Father’s House by Mary A. Kassian and every day i read it was one step closer to my healing. That was a few months ago and i can say that now i am ready to try again and my husband and i are excited for the moment we find out we are expecting again and hoping that we never EVER have to go through that again but we are willing to fulfill God’s will in our lives and not our own.

Anonymous August 8, 2008, 2:25 PM

Your words were incredible to me. I went through the same thing except I had a little boy. A baby boy that I was to distraught to even look at or hold. The pain is hard, but the whole in your heart is so large that it takes a good time to heal. You’ll have other babies, but you will never forget this one! Thank you for sharing!

Racy August 8, 2008, 3:45 PM

Thank you for being brave enough to write this story and to acknowledge what so many people take for granted. Life is a miracle, and one that we shouldn’t treat so lightly. I had two difficult pregnancies, nearly losing both at about the same time you lost yours, but I was fortunate enough to have the medical help I needed each time to give me my miracles (prematurely, but healthy). Every time I look at them, whether they make me happy or drive me crazy, I remember what we had to go through to have them and I am greatful for those miracles. Hang in there, stay strong and one day you will have your own miracle again.

marie August 8, 2008, 5:20 PM

dear talitha -
i am heartbroken for you. i am also confident that you will get another chance to shine as a mother. knowing that others recognize your strength and bravery i’m sure won’t lessen the impact of this loss for you right now…but perhaps someday soon you will find some consolation in knowing that your honest and beautiful words are helping others cope with their own losses. thank you for sharing your story. you are a remarkable woman.

Pam August 8, 2008, 5:24 PM

My condolences, I know what you’re going through. I had a partial hysterectomy at the age of 22 and all I could do was pray to have a baby. I got pregnant a year later and was so excited. In my 4th month I miscarried and thought I would never feel the joy of motherhood, it was the end of my world. It was my goal at the age of 10 to grow up and have babies like my mom did (she had 10) all I wanted was to be a mom. After miscarrying, I hated all pregnant women, couldn’t stand to be around babies, or even talk about babies because I was grieving so bad. I finally got pregnant again another year later and had a beautiful baby girl, then 2 more baby girls in the next few years. I was blessed! Everyone asked, “Are you sad that you never had a boy?” My husband and I both said “NO, we have 3 healthy babies, that’s all that matters to us”. Nothing will ever make me forget the first one though, even if I didn’t carry it long, it’s something that a mother never forgets, it was part of me. God gives you no more than you can handle. Babies are a precious gift from God, and when we are given the gift of being pregnant we need to learn to realize that weight gain, aches and pains, and all the other body changing things that happen to us goes along with being pregnant, except it, and thank him. I never felt anything but happiness when I was pregnant. I didn’t care how much I gained, as long as I was pregnant. I didn’t care about the aches and pains, the swollen feet, the tiredness, the bed rest every time, or anything. All that was on my mind was the baby I would have at the end of 9 months. All the other things such as weight gain, etc. could be dealt with AFTER the baby was born. If you want a baby, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t worry about the pounds you put on. Just focus on having a healthy baby. Everything else is unimportant. Someday you’ll be holding your baby in your arms and this will be a memory. I’m sad now because I am watching my oldest daughter go through some of the same things I did, but I told her to never give up. I didn’t and now hopefully I’ll be a grandma soon.


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