Disclaimer this blog post was emotionally heavy for me and could be a trigger if you’ve suffered a loss like mine but I feel like it’s a story that’s been haunting me because I haven’t shared much of it with others. I haven’t done my part well enough to break the stigma against pregnancy loss. Also please, do not comment on how I handled the situation at the time. I was in pain and didn’t understand what was happening to my body and why it was happening, no one prepared me for that night and I cannot rewind time and change my actions so please don’t make me feel any more guilty of them than I already do.
To the mother’s who didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day yesterday, know that I love you and support your motherhood journey. How did a mom get skipped over you ask? Well, her child is in heaven. She is a mother but her baby didn’t make it outside the womb. She is still very much a mother and I know [because I’m also a mother to an angel baby] that she has a deep love and remembrance for that child. A connection so strong that no one else can comprehend. She may not speak of that child but she thinks of him or her probably every single day. She holds back tears as people ask “When are you having kids? When are you having another kid?” For me it’s, “you have 5 kids how blessed you are or your hands must be full…”
My Ceci often wants to tell people there are 6 kids, she loves her sister in heaven. I say sister because Ceci is my rainbow baby and was the one to say “the baby before me was a girl named Jules.” When Ceci was born I felt a peace within me that I had never felt before. She had a huge birthmark on the back of her head and I used to think that my loved ones who went before me gave Ceci a kiss and that mark appeared as a sign to me saying “It’s ok Liz, this storm is over.” Spare me any of your other beliefs or scientific evidence against my theory please because sometimes even the scientific can’t exist without the mystic.
On this past Mother’s Day weekend as I write this and reflect on my life as a mother I think back on my regrets in life. Sophia asks me how I can live without regret and I tell her I only have two regrets in life really. One is that I wish I hired a better photographer for my wedding and that I had more pictures from that day but that’s a slightly silly regret and I know now that moving forward I’ll make sure all of my kids have amazing photographers when they get married or enter whatever vocation they choose in life. My second regret is one that haunts me on a regular basis. It was the night Baby Jules didn’t survive.
Jules was supposed to be born in early November of 2011. Instead, she arrived in mid-May. I had entered my second trimester with spotting. I had been told oh it’s ok that can be “normal” during pregnancy. The spotting got worse as the days went on. I was sent to ultrasound and told everything was ok but that her due date was off. The spotting continued and got heavier so I went into the ER. I was told there was nothing they could do. That everything would have to naturally take its course but that it appeared as if I was having a miscarriage [that’s not the term they used, I can’t use the terminology they used because it haunts me still]. I went home and the spotting continued. Then one night as I was on the toilet I felt like I had to poop. Except, I didn’t. My body expelled my baby into the toilet. I could see her teeny tiny little version of a body in the toilet and I cried and didn’t know what to do with her or myself. There was blood all over and after a while I was able to compose myself, clean myself up and flush. I went back into the ER and told them what had happened. There was nothing they could do. They left me completely alone, I waited at the ER for hours as my body continued to rid itself of any remains of that pregnancy. I had never felt so completely alone in my life. That was 8 years ago and I relive that night all too regularly. My biggest regret in life is not burying my child.
When I was pregnant with Audie I had severe antepartum depression. I was blessed to have an amazing counselor. During a hypnotherapy session one day she helped me to cope with my biggest regret in life. It’s one of my calls to the ocean now. When I go to the ocean I sense that my child is out there. Again, if you have any disagreement with me in this keep it to yourself please. Having that therapy session helped me to be able to live with what I had done. I know losing Jules wasn’t my fault and that I wouldn’t have my rainbow baby Ceci if that hadn’t happened but God I miss her and long for her daily. I know she watches over her mama.
I try so hard to not live with regret because it is something that brings me down too much. I can’t rewind time but I can move forward with the knowledge I have gained from the regrettable experience. For this one the knowledge is in support to others. To other mothers, I love you and support you and know that your motherhood pain is unique to you. Just please know you’re not alone. The knowledge is in sharing this story and helping to end the stigma surrounding not just pregnancy loss but also mental health. May is mental health awareness month. I am ever thankful for my therapist who after years of living in darkness with this regret helped to bring it into light for me. Again, know that you’re not alone and know that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of in any circumstance and that it doesn’t matter how much time has gone by since your loss, seek assistance when needed to help you through those dark days. At the end of a storm, there is always a rainbow and I hope you find your rainbow. A storm may come again and again but always there will be light at the end. To the mother’s who didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day – I see you, I love you. ((Hugs))