It's a club no mother wants to belong to but many do in secret silence. It's not spoken of, most people don't know and nobody remembers except the mother and a few people. A mother never forgets and never stops thinking "What if?" and "How come?"
In June of 1999, I became a member of this secret society. We moved to Visalia in January of 1999 to start a new chapter in our lives. We both were unemployed and looking for work when I got pregnant unexpectedly. We were scared, excited and nervous all at the same time. We hadn't really talked about having more kids at that point, Conner was only 16 months old and quite a handful already.
My sister Kim had also gotten pregnant, making it twice in a row we were pregnant at the same time. She was so upset that I was pregnant again also. She thought I was trying to steal her spotlight once again. This wasn't the case at all.
We were excited to have another baby. We told our family and friends. I immediately was sick like I was with Conner and all the normal signs of pregnancy. As three months approached, that sickness started to go away. I thought "Wow, it really does go away! People weren't lying" since I had been sick the entire nine months including post delivery with Conner.
One afternoon, I was getting ready to go to work at my fairly new job. It was June, I was twelve weeks pregnant and feeling pretty good. I noticed that I had some light bleeding and thought it was odd. I had never spotted with Conner but knew that was normal for some pregnancies. So I went to work anxious but trying to not worry. I was working and things started getting worse, I started bleeding quite heavily and knew something was wrong.
I was sent home and Marty took me to the E.R. where we waited. They came in and listened for a heartbeat which couldn't be found. I was twelve weeks and so that maybe meant nothing. They did a exam and told me, " Your cervix is closed. So this could go either way" and sent me home.
The next morning I went to the Ob Gyn, still unsure of what was really happening. There they told me I was indeed having a miscarriage and I would lose the baby. I won't tell you what my sister said to me when they told me that. Really a painful memory and moment in my life.
I never saw my baby, I never even had a ultrasound picture to look at. This was back in the day you had to wait until twenty weeks to have a ultrasound. I don't have any reminders that our baby lived except my memories.
I knew it happened, I never thought it would happen to me. I remember calling my boss Jodi since she had miscarried several times. Her pain had never made sense to me until that moment and we suddenly shared a silent bond. People came out of the woodwork to share their stories and I found out that so many people silently share this pain.
This is one of those memories that I have really tucked away. I don't remember the exact date it happened which with my special memory tells you something. I know it happened in June and with a lot of prayer and support God carried me through. I do never forget that our baby was due January 1, 2000 and would be twelve years old now.
Two months later, I got pregnant with Elizabeth. We wanted another baby and were so anxious the entire time I was pregnant with her. We truly enjoyed each moment of that pregnancy and were so overjoyed when she was born. We truly knew how precious life was and that it could slip away in a instant.
Five years later, my friend Yvonne had a miscarriage. When she did, I truly for the very first time grieved my own loss along with hers. We bonded over our loss during a perinatal grief training class at work. I never fully understood perinatal loss until taking that class.
It's a silent grief that is often hidden, it is a grief that has no grave or marker to remind in many cases. A very dear friend of mine and blog reader lost a baby this year and became part of the club. Her loss and our conversations about my own loss prompted me to write this blog. I mentioned this blog as part of my blogging plans for this month to Marty. He simply said, " I have never forgotten." as I ran the idea by him. A reminder that even Dad's are a part of this secret club that nobody wants to belong to.
I thought it would be a good way to remember baby Dorie, a name I had always planned on naming my daughter. We actually had never named the baby but recently when I mentioned C and E to someone, they asked "What happened to D?" jokingly, not knowing. I decided that Dorie would be the name of our middle child since I had named Elizabeth after my grandmother and not used the name.
I never saw my baby, I never held my baby but I never forget my baby.
Just a way for me to remember even though I often chose to forget because it is too painful to remember. A way to have a marker of sorts for baby D and to share the life that was short. I know someday, I will see my baby for the first time. Until then, I remember and wait along with countless other mothers who are in this silent society that none of us wanted to join.
March 1999- June 1999