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Miscarriage: A Mother’s Love Never Dies

Sunflower, sunflower, yellow, and tall you were the prettiest sunflower of all.

THIS POST CONTAINS PHOTOS THAT MAY BE DISTURBING – VIEW AT OWN DISCRETION.

On July 27th 2006, I lost a baby girl so tiny she could fit in my hand. She was 15 weeks old and absolutely perfect; her features delicate and complete, simply needing to plump up. She had fingernails and a cleft in her chin.

The day before I miscarried she had fluttered inside of me for the first time and the severe morning sickness that I had experienced throughout my early weeks of pregnancy had lifted. I was happy to finally look pregnant and feel slightly normal. I welcomed the next phase of my pregnancy.

One Minute There…The Next Gone

The doctors said it was a group A strep infection that traveled to my uterus and caused my baby to overheat and her brain to hemorrhage. Only took a second and she was gone they said. One minute the nurse said “your baby is fine, she’s got a steady heartbeat”, the next minute my fever spiked and the baby’s heart stopped. Within hours my body went into labor and i gave birth to a baby girl, weighing just 2 1/2 ounces.

When she arrived, I held and kissed her. I wanted to swallow her whole; take her body back inside my own. Tuck her back in where she belonged. Everything about that moment felt wrong. Even after all these years, I am easily taken back to the moment of her birth, when she slipped out so effortlessly for me to hold her … inspect her from head to perfect toe. That one hour that we got to spend with her was like no other. Bitter-sweetness all rolled up in one.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

miscarriage-1Maybe the infection that I got came from the under-cooked burger I had eaten earlier that day at a barbecue. I knew I should not have done so. I knew it was made with poor quality meat, but I was so hungry and didn’t want to wait and stick it back on the grill. And so I ate it and later that night woke up in a sweat with incredible stomach pains.

Most likely, the larger factor that played a part in why I lost my baby was due to a prenatal condition I had, called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). I had this condition from the time I was one week pregnant – I vomited around the clock, unable to drink more than a teaspoon at a time. I would easily go three days without eating because I could not think of anything I wanted to eat and if I couldn’t imagine it then I could not stomach it. It was a weird thing, but that is how it worked. I was put on a medication designed for patients on chemotherapy and this drug was an immuno-suppressant, which meant it suppressed my immune system.

I lost my baby exactly one week after my HG had lifted, like fog it was one day just gone. I was left in a vulnerable state; dehydrated and malnourished to say the least. So, this is where I was at when I ate that burger; physically exhausted with a weak immune system. I couldn’t have beaten off a fly, let alone fight off an infection that the hamburger may have caused. Once the cramps, vomiting, and fever hit there was no stopping it and just hours later my baby was gone.

Who knows, the doctors would not say it was one thing or another; maybe they just did not want to make me feel more guilty.

Was it the Pizza?

The weeks after were a blur. I wavered between wanting to die just to be closer to my baby. My body needed to integrate one heartbeat where there once was two. But I wanted out, I wanted nothing to do with the process at hand. I was empty but could have sworn I was pregnant. I was sad for a long time, a mother’s grief turned inside out. Isn’t that the saying? I didn’t want to shower, move, eat, or do anything that supported the very body that had failed me and my baby. When I told my 4 year old that there wasn’t a baby in my tummy anymore he asked if she had died because of all the pizza I ate during pregnancy. I smiled and hugged him and let that one be.

Thankful To Be Alive

Within 2 hours of having my baby, my fever spiked even higher from a systemic blood infection. I lost consciousness and needed full blood transfusions. When I woke, doctors and specialists surrounded me with concerned looks on their faces. When I came to I discovered that I had nearly died from sepsis. I’m glad to be alive. Though at the time I could have cared less. I was told to take a handful of antibiotics for a number of weeks and sent home. Years later I still miss that baby girl and I apologize to her every time she fills my belly with her presence. 

A mother’s love never dies.

miscarriage

Rest well baby girl…2 ounces, 6 inches long.

A Poem I wrote 3 days after miscarrying

My Experience with Hyperemesis Gravidarum in Pregnancy

Eating to Prevent GBS+ Infection

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4 comments to Miscarriage: A Mother’s Love Never Dies

  • Tara

    Hi Jeannie. Thank you for your kindness. It felt good to write this post – through tears nonetheless. Yes, you are welcome to use the photo’s (and the posting itself) from this page. I simply ask that you include a photo credit for Happy Bellies website. If you need them emailed to you please let me know, tara@happybellies.net.

  • First, let me express my sympathy for your loss. I am the founder of a non-profit organization and teach hospital and church staff about the importance of helping a family in grief when a miscarriage occurs. I am writing to request permission to share pictures of your precious little one in my teaching. Thank you for considering my request.

  • Tara

    Thank you Rosie,
    Once you carry a child in your womb you are a mother. Even if your child is unable to continue to grow and stay with you physically. I will always feel connected to my baby girl and to other women who have lost a child in this way.

    Warmly,
    Tara

  • Rosie

    Im terribly sorry for your loss. And admire you for the strength you hold even tho you went through such a loss. Your baby girl was beautiful and very lucky to have a mother who will never try to forget her forever she will be with you. And love you very much for the memory you hold of her.Thanks your story is very touching!

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