Mothers Day: A First, the Worst, and My Miracle Baby

I’ll never forget this year’s Mothers Day. I can’t imagine a year will go by, from now on, without me remembering it was the day I lost my miracle baby.

My Miracle Baby

After years of trying and struggling, Dean and I conceived our baby completely naturally. No thanks to science and all the specialists, fertility clinics, drugs, and medical procedures. We’d taken a break from it all, including acupuncture and all the dos/donts advised by the nutritionist. We were way too stressed with selling the house and busy with work that I figured we’d start the baby-making later. Ironically, it was during this stressful period that I got pregnant.

We were at the doctor’s office to discuss our options when he recommended taking a look via ultrasound to see where I was in my cycle. The intern gasped as she discovered a lima bean of a baby, swimming inside. Feeling left out of the action, the doctor asked the intern to step aside as he pointed to the baby’s flickering heart beat and shared in this unbelievable moment. Dean and I clasped ours hands ecstatically. It was love at first sight. When the doctor and the intern left the room, Dean and I jumped for joy. “We have a baby! This is our baby!” Our hearts swelled.

My life changed instantly as I became laser-focused on the baby: pre-natal vitamins, a whole new nutrition plan. I stopped looking at my ever-present To Do List and made a point of resting and sleeping as soon as I came home from work. Every minute of every day, I kept thinking, “This baby is my whole life. It’s all about the baby.” I avoided certain San Francisco hilly streets because of the potential to fall. I stopped jay walking and used cross walks. I paid attention to traffic signals and was even more mindful of speedy renegade cars. I crossed the street to avoid smokers.

At the next ultrasound, the doctor said the baby wasn’t growing and that he’d expect to terminate in the next two weeks. We were excruciatingly devastated and I was beyond comfort. After processing the shock, I refused to give in. I had a baby still with a heartbeat inside of me and I had to be its advocate. For God’s sake, I am its mommy and my baby is relying on me! I have to be strong enough for the two of us. This was my miracle baby conceived against all odds. I was certain this baby was meant to be, meant to be born into this world, and held in my arms.

I prayed more than I ever have. I slept even more. I ate fresh fruit and vegetables every day. I sang lullabies and Broadway show tunes to the baby. I went for walks, sat outside, and soaked in the sun. I’ll distinctly remember getting chocolate chip cookies and whole milk, or vanilla malted milkshakes and enjoying the surprisingly good San Francisco weather with my baby. And I’ll forever be grateful that we got to take the baby on vacation to wine country.

As my weight increased and morning sickness set in, I felt the baby growing stronger. I hoped it would pull through. Then when blood appeared the Friday before Mothers Day, I was beside myself, sobbing uncontrollably in the bathroom. I knew it wasn’t a good sign.

On Mothers Day, we visited my family after attending mass. My mom greeted me by looking at my tummy and asked, “Getting bigger?” I broke down. My parents wrapped their arms around me, heartbroken at the news that I’d been progressively spotting more and more all weekend, and pained for their barren daughter. The following day, the doctor confirmed the baby had no heartbeat.

You may wonder how I can become so emotionally attached to a baby that was not even born. I’ll ask in response, when do mothers start loving their children? Is it only after they’re born? After its first cry? I’ll venture, as with me, it’s when you first realize you’re carrying a child or when the adoption papers are signed. It’s instant, unconditional love.

Losing this baby has been the most painful experience of my life. There is, and will forever be, a permanent hole in my heart. This is not some thing that can be replaced. I am not comforted by the potential of having another child. I am grieving over this unique baby, this human life form that was growing inside of me, that was half me, half the love of my life.

I know that so many of you prayed for me and the baby during this very difficult time. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your support.

While we mourn our baby, we know our baby is in the good hands of God.

John 16:20-23

Jesus said, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.’

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Comments

  1. Michelle says

    May your angel look over you now with all the love you gave them.

    My first miscarriage changed me forever. Changed for better or for worse i do not know, just that there was no going back.

    Take time to mourn and take care of yourself and each other. Sending you all my love and support.

    • Catherine says

      Oh Michelle, you always know what to say. Your comment has brought on the waterworks. I never thought to consider that my baby’s watching over me right now. Thank you, thank you for that beautiful image.

  2. Jim Wolff says

    Vixen, very sorry to hear this news. It must have been so difficult to go through this and then to get it all down in writing. Take care and stay strong.

  3. Amy says

    Catherine, While I haven’t experienced a loss like this, my heart breaks for you and Dean. We’ve been through so much with our own daughter, it’s taught me just what a miracle our children are. You’re in my thoughts.

  4. Cynthia says

    Thinking of you during this difficult time. Your comments were very touching and hopefully therapeutic for you.

    • Catherine says

      Cynthia, thanks so much for your comment. The writing actually comes easily when there is so much emotion involved. Also when a baby is lost during miscarriage, there is nothing to mark its presence; I hope my post honors its short life.

  5. Sandra says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I will be thinking and praying for your sweet angel baby and you. Take your time. Sending you healing love and hugs!

    • Catherine says

      sandra, i was going to send you an email as you were one of the first i confided in. cannot believe what started out as excitement and hope has ended in this manner. thank you for your prayers. they are very much appreciated.

  6. Evelyn says

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and Dean, and sending you warm hugs during this difficult time.

  7. Dana says

    I am so sorry for your loss, Catherine. You write about your baby so poignantly in the midst of such pain; may you and your husband find comfort in one another as you grieve.

    • Catherine says

      Thank you, Dana, for your kind words. I think the writing comes easily when speaking from the heart.

  8. says

    I’m so sorry to hear this. My late aunt lost her first baby on Mother’s Day, and the day lost its appeal to her. I hope that you can find the support and healing that you need in this time. Love.

    • Catherine says

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by. The fact that this occurred on Mothers Day has been particularly painful, but I know that time will heal.

  9. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, your pain. We were married for 10 years before I got pregnant. We tried for 9 1/2 of those years. I never miscarried. I can’t imagine what that would be like. It was hard enough learning every month that I wasn’t pregnant. I now have three grown children. It was a God thing. I will pray for you.

    • Catherine says

      Hi Laurie, it is heartening to hear that others have struggles similar to mine. I think trying for 10 years is just as challenging, I commend your resilience…as it clearly paid off! Thank you for your prayers, I know they will help.

  10. says

    I’m sorry for your loss and I’m praying that God will send some sort of healing your way. I’m Jennice visiting from #SITSsharefest

  11. Happysuz says

    Vixen, I just stopped by from SITS. I have been where you are. Don’t give up. Sending prayers and hugs.
    Suzanne

  12. says

    You’re right! You start loving your baby from the moment you realize their conception. I understand your love and your pain. I pray that comfort finds you, your husband and your extended family.
    #SITSGirls

    • Catherine says

      Mariann, thank you for your comforting words and prayers. I know that time will heal, but genuinely appreciate your support at this time.

  13. says

    I noticed my earlier comment is awaiting moderation. I do hope I didn’t offend you in ANY way. I am so sorry for what you went through and I am praying for you and your husband.

    • Catherine says

      Oh Laurie, no offense taken. I have been away from the computer all day, finally taking the time to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Thank you for commenting!

  14. Krimey says

    I just read your post Cathee. My eyes are welled up with tears at work as I type this. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Dean during this difficult time. I can only imagine the pain that you are going through right now and my heart aches for you and your sweet baby that was taken from your lives far too early. I hope that you get the chance to meet that beautiful soul again in this lifetime, and that you find comfort in the belief that, for now, he or she is shining down on you from heaven, offering you guidance and grace. Big hugs to you and Dean, and a prayer for your guardian angel.

    • Catherine says

      Kristen, your message was so touching. Thank you for sending that and brightening my day. I do have faith that I have an angel watching over me and even though I’m not an earthly mother, this experience has changed me to want to be the very best person that I can be and make my baby proud.

  15. says

    SO many hugs and prayers Catherine. This was so beautifully and tenderly written. Your babies are up there with all the other Neverborns, waiting for you. It’s just heartbreaking they weren’t to join you in this world. But yes, you absolutely are 100% a mother.

  16. says

    Hi Catherine I just found your blog you’re a new follower on Twitter. After reading your about page I already felt like I knew you and had to send my prayers and hope your way. There are no words of comfort for the loss of a child even one not yet born. I think it’s hard for people who don’t have children to understand why you mourn, but from the moment you know there is a life beating inside you, that child is yours and you plan for the life you will share. It’s a pain I know too. In January 2009 just before my 35th birthday I suffered a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I was devastated and though I had a 5 and 3 year old I was unable to shake the feeling of emptiness and failure. Every-time I saw a pregnant woman I was reminded that my baby died and I blamed myself for all the wrongs I’ve done. By the fall I started feeling terribly sick – after a trip to the Gyno I discovered that we were pregnant again this time with TWINS!
    My little ones are now 3 and I feel so blessed – you just never know what God in store for you. Please do not give up I believe you will know the joy of motherhood.
    I still think about the baby I lost and a friend told me to celebrate the baby by naming it and making a keepsake as a way to give the child closure and peace. I wish the same for you and your Angels.
    jmm

    • Catherine says

      juliette, thank you for commenting and sharing your story with me. it has been a difficult year for sure. i still cry, i still get the blues, but i am definitely hopeful. i never knew this would be my path, but it is what it is, and it makes me feel better to know that my kids are probably running around and playing soccer in heaven. i will meet them one day and it will be pure joy.

  17. Ann says

    Catherine,
    I, too, lost my baby. I grieved for a long period of time after my miscarriage.
    We will meet our babies one day. God says in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…”
    I’ve asked the Lord to Bless you and Dean.
    Peace,
    Ann in New Jersey

    • Catherine says

      ann, thank you. your comment means so much to me. i have all the faith that we will be reunited with our babies when our earthly lives are complete.

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