11 May
2016
Posted in: parenting
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A Birthday and Loss

Boy viewing cliff dwellings at Canyon de Chelly

Today our third son celebrates his ninth birthday. I cannot believe he’s already nine, but also feel he’s older than those short nine years. He’s a joy-filled, sports-loving boy who was born at a time when his mama needed him most.

Ten years ago I was pregnant for the third time and over-the-moon excited to add to our family. Eleven weeks into the pregnancy I experienced cramping and was placed on bed rest. Two days later the cramping turned to spotting, and I miscarried our precious third child. It happened at night after our two toddlers were in bed. We quickly realized I needed medical attention. A neighbor was called to stay with the boys while Craig took me to the hospital. I was losing blood at an alarming rate.

My memories that night are framed with grief and the delirium that comes from a body struggling to physically heal itself. Those hours in the emergency room were awful and were entered into my book of life as the darkest I’ve experienced. There was talk of a blood transfusion and a medical staff that was inconsiderate and unkind. Eventually, I wrote a letter to the hospital and took several phone calls dealing with things said by hospital staff that night and procedures not followed.

We had hopes and dreams for that baby we never had the chance to hold. I was physically not well for days after the miscarriage and was emotionally shattered. I struggled with the loss of our child. Four months after the miscarriage, I was pregnant again and a nervous wreck.

newborn baby sucking his fingers

I held my breath as the 11th week of that pregnancy approached. I was worried and tense. The 11th week passed, then the 12th, and at 20 weeks we were told we were having our third son. My tension eased with each passing week of the pregnancy. The day C was born I understood the word relief. When I heard the first cry from that 10 lb., 11 oz. baby boy, I felt a literal wave of relief wipe away the tension and worry I carried for 40 weeks. I sobbed as I snuggled our baby boy and allowed those buried emotions to flow.

He’s been a joyful person since day one and the one that healed the emotional mess that was me. His birth didn’t erase the presence of the baby we lost. That baby is part of our family, just not in the way we had hoped. May 17 is the day I celebrate our sweet boy and also think about the sibling he doesn’t have so we could have him.

Happy birthday C! You mean more to your mama than you’ll ever know. Thank you for being your brilliant, lover-of-life self. You are a marvelous gift.

 

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