Chris’ Story

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Tell us about your pregnancy loss(es).

From the time I was a teenager, I was told that getting pregnant would be difficult, if not impossible. I didn’t care until I got married when I was 30 and we wanted children.

We went to a reproductive endocrinologist where I was diagnosed with PCOS. We tried various medications and types of fertility treatments. On May 12, 2003 we finally conceived. The day we found out I was pregnant, we had movers at our house for a military move from MD to CO. We were so very excited!! My pregnancy was great until the last month when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and put on bedrest. But even then it wasn’t bad. He was a very active baby and we cherished listening to his heart beat and watching him do flips in my belly.

The day we went to the hospital for a planned induction was a sunny January day in Colorado. His birthday would have been 1/23/04. Everything was going ok. We watched a couple of movies. I had to have the epidural twice because the first didn’t take. Then. Then the nurses couldn’t distinguish my heart rate from his. Either mine was too fast or his was too slow. Things were a blur from then. I was rushed to the or for an emergency c-section. I was put under and my husband was left outside watching through the small window. When the doctor opened me up, my uterus had ruptured and our son was dead. He was still alive an hour before the c-section.

I remember waking up in recovery and seeing my pastor, parents and husband. Scott’s eyes were red from crying. He told me Luke was gone.

Due to the type and severity of the rupture, I was not able to get pregnant again. We tried so hard to get pregnant and he was gone.

What do you remember most about the initial stages of grief immediately following your loss? How did you feel? What were you thinking?

Initially I was numb. I escaped to a family cabin for a couple of weeks. I forced myself to take a shower and get dressed every day. I tried to go to church but usually left the service in tears.

Then I stuffed everything and put all my energy into adopting our two children. I missed Luke every day, but let myself not feel the grief. I should have been over it according to “people.”

The pain of pregnancy loss doesn’t ever go away. The waves of grief seem to come and go throughout time. Do you have a story to share of a moment when grief hit you when you weren’t expecting it to?

When we moved to NC, six years after Luke died, grief hit me hard and the pain was unbearable. I hit rock bottom and was hospitalized for a few days. Now, I accept it, acknowledge that it is ok to miss him and remind myself that he is in heaven and we will be together again. The pain is still there, but the path is well worn and more easily traveled after all this time.

Approximately 1 in 4 women experience pregnancy loss. What would you like someone who has never experienced it to know?

It is different for everyone, but the best thing to do is to just be there. No words need to be said. Don’t expect your friend to reach out for help. They can’t in the midst of the grief. Even after you think they should be ok, the grief is still there. They still need a friend to just be there. And to let them know their baby meant something and was loved.

–  Chris

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