LIFE AFTER A LOSS
It’s been six years since I learned I was expecting my first child. It was one of the happiest days of my life. And like any first time mother, I started researching the best baby products, purchased baby clothing and I would just daydream about my baby all day. I already knew that I absolutely loved my unborn child. I was counting every single second until I was able to hold my baby in my arms. I’ll never forget the day I found out the gender, it was on my birthday and was the best gift to know I was expecting a sweet precious girl. I was simply so happy and excited to finally become a mother. However, all of that changed on Memorial day weekend. I started to feel random aches and pains. Little did I know, those aches and pains were a sign of something very wrong. I got a hold of my doctor and she sent me straight into labor and delivery. Initially thinking, it was going to be nothing bad and I would get checked out just to get sent straight home. It was the beginning of the worst and most heartbreaking week of my life.
What I thought was a healthy and normal pregnancy turned out to be my worst nightmare. The doctors diagnosed me with an incompetent cervix and I went into pre-term labor. My cervix began to dilate and I was losing amniotic fluid, so they placed me on bed rest and was put on antibiotics and medication to stop labor. A few days passed, and things took a turn for the worse and the doctors told me my body was ready to deliver this baby. Nothing else could be done to slow down labor at that point. My body started to do what it naturally needed to do. I gave birth to a little baby girl named Jade. She was only 24 weeks and her little lungs weren’t completely developed. We were asked if we wanted the doctors to intervene and see if they could save her. However, they couldn’t guarantee us and that it was extremely unlikely that she was going to make it. I had to make the decision to just naturally let her take her first and last breaths… That was the longest night of my life. I didn’t want to let her go. I wanted to hold, kiss, hug and smell her little sweet smell. It felt like I couldn’t wake up from a bad dream. The next few days I had all the signs of giving birth: my breast were engorged, I was sore, bleeding, but I had no baby to show for it.
We decided to bury her close from my home so I go often to visit her grave. I look forward to decorating it for the holidays and to make her birthday very special. It was a long and rough journey to recover from but I decided that I wanted to make the best of my life. Never take a day for granted, to be a good person and to just be happy. After all, I had a little angel watching my every move.
Earlier this year, God decided it was the right time and I learned I was pregnant again. This time was completely different of course. I kept going back and forth when the right time would be to announce I was pregnant but there was no right time. And to my surprise my baby had the same due date as my first daughter would had been born. So many feelings and emotions would run through my body. I knew the next 9 moths were not going to be easy. I had a high-risk OBGYN and specialist that I saw weekly. I had to get not 1 but 2 cerclage placed (not the most comfortable experience), my husband had to inject me with weekly progesterone shots that were so painful and I didn’t look forward to them. I was so scared and anxious that no matter how hopeful I was I still couldn’t help but question everything. So, I prayed every single day for a healthy baby and left it in God’s hands. I had moments of panic and just wanted to cry but I didn’t want to have the same thing happen to me again. I refused to let the stress and anxiety affect my baby, so I would set up monthly goals for myself. At first it was 24 weeks, 28 weeks, 32 weeks until finally I could breath. I’m so thankful that my husband was so supportive and optimistic. I appreciate the love that he has for me and our daughter. Once September hit I couldn’t hold my excitement anymore-- we were finally approaching the finish line. I’m happy to say we welcomed a healthy and happy baby September 17th, 2019. She’s almost three months now and completely warms my heart and brings me so much joy. She’s a little firecracker but also a little ball of love. Sadly she’ll never get to meet her big sister, but she has a very special little angel watching over her.
No one prepares you for heartache. Truth is most of us sadly have hurtful stories. In the beginning of my tragedy I felt like I was the only one that had such a horrible experience. But the more I share my story the more I hear of others going through the same thing. I appreciate all of the mother’s who’ve shared their stories with me and helped me get through those hard times. My first pregnancy taught me to appreciate the second one much more. Pregnancy and giving birth really is a miracle of life. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m blessed to have two angels. I’m so thankful for my rainbow baby Jade.
This story is dedicated to my beautiful girl Jade and all of the beloved mothers who have lost their rainbow baby’s.
By: Janet Villalta