I was 20 weeks pregnant, had just flown into Orlando that morning, my husband was deployed, and my water broke.
After dinner, I got up and thought I had laughed so hard that I peed on myself (after all, they say that’s common when you’re pregnant)! Looking at it, I knew it wasn’t that I peed myself, so I called the OB and went to the hospital. Did I mention it was my dad’s birthday?!
So here I am, in the hospital with my mom next to me when my husband calls and says he made it to their destination. I told him “I’m in the hospital because my water broke.” Neither of us knew exactly what that meant, but I was under proper care. My body had drained all the amniotic fluid I had, so the doctors told me without it, the baby can’t develop properly and that I should terminate the pregnancy. However, that wasn’t an option for me. I wanted my baby regardless of how they were going to come out.
After about a week, they told me the plan was to go home on bedrest and let the baby develop a little more but by this point we still didn’t know the gender. Without the fluid, they couldn’t see if it was a boy or girl. So, I would go home and come back knowing the baby would be premature. The morning I was supposed to leave, I started to have this strong pain in my leg and back, so they ran tests and as the nurse was taking out my IV the doctor called and said I had developed a blood clot and had to stay in the hospital.
That’s when things got real. They told me my life was at risk, we had to send a Red Cross message to my husband so they could release him from his deployment to be with me, and I still had my baby to worry about. After a while, more complications occurred and I couldn’t keep the baby in any longer. I would have to give birth knowing our baby wouldn’t survive.
So the question became “who tells my husband?” Not me! I wasn’t ready to tell him that and I just wanted him to arrive. At this point, he was finally in the U.S. taking all the flights he needed to get to us on time. My dad spoke to him and told him what was going on, and that was the last I heard from him until he arrived in Orlando.
I started to labor when my husband landed and he arrived at the hospital 30 minutes before I had to start pushing. I’ll never forget, I went to use the bathroom and gagged so hard from the medicine they gave me, that our baby’s legs came right out. My husband screamed for the nurse and got me to my bed where I started to push. Three. Three pushes is all it took to get our baby out. The nurse said “it’s a boy.” I told her “I know. I knew he would be.” My pregnancy never felt right but I dreamt three times that I had a boy and knew exactly what he looked like at different stages of childhood. I know now that God knew he would take him back but was so gracious that He let me see him in my dreams. That night, it was my husband, parents, and siblings in that room and it was the best moment considering it was the worst moment in my life. We named him Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand,” and later most of us got his name tattooed somewhere on our right arm. He’s buried in a military cemetery where the family visits him, even if we can’t because we live out of state. All his cousins know of him and we all make sure to keep his memory alive.
A few years later I got pregnant and my husband deployed again. My water broke at 7 months this time, but we got to keep our boy. His name is Daniel, and he was born in the same hospital with the same nurse as Benjamin, a few rooms down from where he was born.
Losing a child is something you never get over, but with time, you learn how to live life and be happy even if you have those days where the thoughts creep up on you. If/when you have kids after the loss, keep their memory alive and let them know about their sibling. It’s so sweet to hear them talk about the angel that’s looking down on them.
When I started my business as a pediatric sleep consultant, I knew I wanted to incorporate pregnancy and infant loss in any way I could. I know the fear and questions that come with a child after a loss and sleep training can bring up some of those fears. I’m here to help in any way I can and would be honored to work with other families and their rainbow baby.
Because October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, it’s my pleasure to give 10% back of any package purchased to https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org. Simply, I wrote his blgo post for let me know you read this blog and are wanting to give back to this organization.
I wrote this blog post for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org, a wonderful organization who offers different services for families dealing with the loss of their baby. Please head on over to their site to see how you can make a difference in a grieving family's life.