Jason and I got engaged in December 2017 and by January we started thinking about children. Both of us have always wanted kids and it was well established from the start of our relationship that we’d be parents together someday. At this point I was in my second year of law school, so we were very conscious of timing and we decided to aim for a December/January due date to minimize my absence from school.
First of all, L O L at us thinking we could plan parenthood and it would just work like that. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that pregnancy and parenthood and children are unpredictable and uncontrollable. That being said, we were very lucky – we just decided to have a child and it happened. We found out that we were expecting our first little one in April 2018. We called him Nugget, because I’m a huge fan of chicken nuggets and Jason didn’t like the nickname Peanut. After losing him, we would go on to name him Noah, hence the reference to both names here. We told our friends and family, we announced on social media, we made a Babylist registry and planned for his arrival. For the first and last time, I experienced the bliss of a pregnancy free from fear and doubt.
On May 25, we went in for our 8 week ultrasound, excited to see how Nugget/Noah had grown and to finally hear his little heartbeat. The ultrasound tech got started and I could immediately tell something was wrong. She just looked at me, with this deep sadness in her eyes, and said “Things don’t look right.” What did she mean things didn’t look right? I had no idea what we should be seeing on the ultrasound, but I saw a lil bean and everything looked fine and dandy to me.
We were sent back to an exam room, where my OBGYN came in and explained that our baby had stopped growing around 6 weeks gestation, and that he didn’t have a heartbeat. She talked about options, about why and how this happened, and probably many other important things that I never really heard. All I could understand was that my son was gone, just like that. We only got 4 weeks with him, from the first positive pregnancy test to that terrible appointment.
After this loss, I received so many well-meaning but insensitive and hurtful comments. My favorites include “Well you’re still young so y’all can try again” and “At least it happened so early before it was really a baby.” Now everybody grieves differently, so no judgment if you or someone you know has had an “early” loss that didn’t break their heart, but Jason and I loved Noah from the moment we knew he was growing within me. He was planned for, yearned for, his creation was intentional and surrounded in love and hope. He was, and will always be, our first child. So if you are reading this and ever have a friend or family member experience any kind of pregnancy loss, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY. A quick Google search will give you all sorts of ideas of what NOT to say and how to best support your loved one in their loss.
As many loss mommas will tell you, life becomes broken into before and after. Before we lost Noah, Jason and I were living a relatively blessed life with few burdens outside of the typical college debt and occasional disagreement. But barely a week after we learned of our loss, Jason was in the hospital for an emergency surgery to remove a benign, but very large, tumor in his neck. I spent those first days of June, and all 7.5 hours of his surgery, fearing that I would lose him too. It was during these dark hours that I found the first flicker of faith.
I hope people of all faiths, and of no faith, can find some sort of help from my blog but I like to disclose the spiritual aspects of my posts upfront. I don’t push religion or faith onto anybody but my faith is a part of how I am coping with the loss of my sons and how I intend to experience any future pregnancies. Losing my child and then living in fear of losing the love of my life made me seek God. My first miscarriage taught me so many important things, but perhaps the best thing it brought me was gratitude. Every day that I wake up with Jason by my side, I thank God, and I thank the Universe, for this beautiful life and for my two sons in heaven.