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.
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.’