A Word To The Mom Who Will Never Hold Their Baby

A Note To My Past Self

I still remember the day my world came to a screeching halt for what seemed like an eternity. I was happily pregnant with my fourth child. I had three high risk but healthy babies so I didn’t think twice about sharing the news to everyone the day those pregnancy tests turned positive. I saw those positive tests and a smile slowly came across my lips as I fell in love instantly with that baby. I was nervous about going from 3 to 4 like any mother would be but I was happy and in love.

We’re Pregnant

I remember how I felt tired during those first few weeks. I remember how I craved Mexican food like I have never craved it before and haven’t since. I remember my need for Reese’s peanut butter cups like I never needed them before. I remember how I was so emotional so early and how our dog began to get extremely protective of me and followed me everywhere. I also remember how at just a few weeks my belly was already starting to bump out a bit to make room.

Pregnancy Craving Meme

We were all so happy. The kids were happy. My husband and I were happy. The grandparents were happy and our friends were happy for us. Then one day quite suddenly a family member was rushed to the hospital and things didn’t look good. When it was requested we be there with the kids we didn’t hesitate to pack up quickly late at night and make the drive to be there for this beloved family member.

Emotions were high. Everyone was stressed and things were tense. Not everyone understood the request for our kids to be there by the person in the hospital, but despite misunderstandings, the kids and I stayed. One particular tense night I began having intense stomach pain that kept me up most of the night. I brushed this pain off as some bad gas, but the spotting I had in the morning should have told me differently.

Image from The NY Times

Looking back I know now that’s the day I lost you. It is the day you left us and joined the family that already left this life for the next. I look back and wish I had listened to the signs. I wish I had given myself the opportunity to wrap my arms around my stomach in your last moments and say goodbye. I wish my husband had gotten to say goodbye. I wish my kids could have told you goodbye as well. We loved and still love you so much.

So when I went for my 9-week prenatal appointment just a few weeks later I was still happy. I thought you were healthy, growing, and still on your way. I told the doctor about the light spotting and he had the ultrasound technician squeeze me in to make sure everything was still okay. Another sign I should have seen, but I still thought everything was fine.

It wasn’t till the ultrasound technician suddenly got quiet that I began to realize something was wrong. It was when I saw the ultrasound student suddenly have a heartbroken look in her eyes that I knew something was wrong. When I heard the doctor ask if there was any movement and the ultrasound technician tried to say no so I couldn’t hear then I knew something was wrong. The doctor just looked at the screen and silently nodded before leaving the room. The technician cleaned me up, put away her equipment, and told me to go ahead and get dressed again and the doctor would be in in a few minutes to “talk” with me.

Miscarriage

I got dressed and thought about how this had been the first time I hadn’t dragged my husband along to my prenatal appointment. That this was the first time I had been confident enough to go alone. I now feel like this was foolish confidence and I wish I had dragged him along after all. Those moments of waiting seemed to stretch out for eternity and the buzz from the lights in those moments seemed like a deafening roar.

When the doctor came in he shut the door behind him. He sat next to me and began to explain to me what had happened. I don’t remember exactly what was said but I remember he did a good job explaining something so heartbreaking in a heartfelt way. I remember him explaining that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and my first thought at this fact was that it must have been my turn.

I remember him explaining my options. I could wait it out a few weeks and hope things progressed naturally or I could opt for a D & C. He explained the procedure and a few times caught himself from almost saying the word abortion. He tried very hard to avoid that word as he knew that would make the hurt even worse. He remarked how I seemed to be taking the news pretty well.

The thing was I wasn’t taking it well. I was using every ounce of strength to hold back the tears that were trying to get out. I knew if I broke down now that I wouldn’t be able to leave that office on my own two feet that day and I had come alone. I needed to get myself home.

I barely made it out of that office and to our van before breaking down. The damn of emotion broke in that van. Soon I realized I was too upset to drive. So I somehow managed to text my husband and soon himself, the kids, and the church secretary was on their way to pick me up. My husband drove me home in our old green van and the secretary drove the kids behind us.

The rest of that day is a blur. I do remember that our house came to a quiet stillness that could have sapped away the joy of anyone who came in. I remember I spent the rest of that day in bed crying and when I wasn’t crying I was passed out from the exhaustion of crying.

Saying Goodbye Poem-Miscarriage

I remember how a week later my body was still trying to nurture my dead child and how I felt like a walking tomb. I had been through a lot in life but this was too much. So I called the doctor and asked for the D&C because I was breaking and I needed to save what was left of me for my other three kids.

Beauty From Pain-Superchick

If I could go back and talk to myself at that moment in a time when I felt so broken there are a few things I would say:

It’s okay to hurt and not be okay.

It’s okay to mourn your baby even if the world wants you to get over it.

Give your baby a name. It will help you say goodbye.

Go ahead and see a therapist. She’ll help you find the pieces again.

Social media will be hard for a while because Facebook still thinks your pregnant. You will be bombarded with pregnancy ads and posts and each one will break you, but you will be okay.

You will suddenly hate the abortion debate. Both sides will suddenly seem cruel and callous. One side will hear you had a D&C and call you a murderer and the other will try to convince you that your baby’s life didn’t matter. They are both wrong and it’s okay to say something.

This wasn’t your fault. I will say it again this wasn’t your fault.

To make sure you get it…one more time…THIS WASN’T YOUR FAULT.

Thinking of your grandparents holding and caring for your baby will help you through the hard days. It helps to know the baby is in loving arms so picture that every-time you feel like you are going to break into pieces.

Finally, it may seem impossible right now but one day you will feel happy again. You won’t forget your baby, but you will be happy again. It’s just going to take time and that is okay.

To the mom who just had a miscarriage-Kristina Kuzmic

Dreaming of a School That…

As a child going to school was something I dreaded. So much so that I actually felt ill every morning as I got ready to go. School made me feel stupid. I just was not good and still am not good at memorizing information word for word and then regurgitating it for some test. However I am able to learn information in my life and use it, but ask me to give a detailed review of a chapter in the textbook using correct definitions and direct examples from the book and I will likely fail.

My mind has never worked that way. Instead, my mind has always taken the information and transformed it in a way I could use in my life. For example, when learning about a time in history my brain will take that info and find a way to apply it to life today and extract a lesson I should use to avoid making the same mistakes from long ago. I may never memorize the details of a battle, the exact dates from an event, or the life details of some historical figure but I will remember the lessons that stood out and allowed me to apply them to my own life.

I Sued The School System-Prince EA

So I have very real issues with the way our schools exist today. They are outdated and have not kept up with the times. They may have worked a couple of hundred years ago but if we want to have a school system that helps children from all backgrounds to thrive then things have to change and the following is what I dream school would be.

1. I Dream of a School That is Safe.

I remember when I was a teenager and the tragic shooting at Columbine High School unfolded. As a teen, I had no way of knowing or understanding that this wasn’t just a one-time tragedy, but instead the beginning of a heartbreaking chain of pointless and tragic death. If you had told me then that kids would continue to be shot while going to school I would have looked at you and asked why nothing was done to stop it. It’s a question I still struggle with. Why have we done nothing? While we bicker about solutions…kids die, people die and that is one of our greatest sins as a country. One that I too am guilty of.

So I dream of schools where active shooter drills are not a thing. Where we don’t need to have off duty police officers patrol the hallways. Where we don’t need metal detectors at all the entrances. Where we don’t have to lock the entrances while school is in session. Where we don’t need to buzz parents in to read a story to their child’s kindergarten class. I dream of schools that are so safe that the worst things that happen are unexpected medical emergencies such as seizures during class or the occasional fight between students because kids are still learning to manage their feelings and how to work things out without inflicting harm, but no children die because of a senseless act of violence.

2. I Dream of Schools That Prepare Our Kids for Independence…

There was a time when the current curriculum our schools taught helped prepare our children for the future. There was a time when parents all were able to easily teach their kids necessary life skills like how to sew and cook, but sadly not all parents are able to pass along these life skills because they themselves never learned them. Parents can only teach what they themselves have been taught or learned themselves.

6 Problems with Our School System

There was also a time when wood-shop, home economics, art, and other classes were all commonly taught at schools. For funding reasons, these subjects have fallen by the wayside in many schools and because of this many now adults didn’t learn many skills that were once commonplace.

So why aren’t our schools helping to teach our kids things that they will really need when they reach college age. Why aren’t they taught about finances, cooking, cleaning, sewing, and what decisions they will need to make to live on their own? Why don’t they have a class about opening a bank account, doing your taxes, and what all those things are that come out of your check from work? Why aren’t they taught about ways to finance college or other options to college like trade schools for example? Why do we assume that if we just teach some mundane facts that they will be fine? Why do we assume that all parents have the skills to pass on to their children. Many parents were at a disadvantage and only have enough skills to barely keep a roof over their heads. Why do we assume all kids need to learn advanced algebra when many may end up in professions where they only need basic math skills?

Should High School Students Be Taught Life Skills?

Once we accept that we all do better by caring for each other and helping each other out the better our society will be. Once we accept that education may need to differ depending on the child and their career goals the more effective their schooling would be.

3. I Dream of Schools That Teach Self Care…

Sadly many adults never learned to properly take care of themselves and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that our children struggle with this concept as well. We have a serious mental health problem in this country as rates of depression are spiraling out of control. People of all ages are overweight and heart problems have continued to increase as a result. Stress levels are high as adults and teens struggle to find a proper balance in life.

Mental Health Statistics in America

Imagine how much smoother things might just go in everyone’s lives if we had been taught in school how to care for ourselves mentally and emotionally. Imagine if you had been taught different ways to manage your time and how to set tangible goals you can achieve. Imagine if you had learned how to eat healthy and balanced and to see through a diet fad and choose the healthier option instead. Imagine if you had been taught different ways of exercising so that everyone could find a way to work out that’s enjoyable.

A Self Care Action Plan

If we were taught these things in a class like health class or even changed physical education a bit so it wasn’t sports based but instead showed you all kinds of fitness how might your life be different? How might our culture be different? Would there be fewer suicides and mass shootings because we were taught how to handle tough emotions? Would obesity still be a problem? Would people have more balanced and relaxed lives because that was taught as something to value and strive for? How much better would our lives be if we weren’t left to figure these things out ourselves? Do we really want our children to face the same struggle we have in trying to figure these things out?

4. I Dream of Schools That Prioritize The Health of Our Children…

While schools have been forced to make some changes for the upcoming school year because of the current pandemic that’s not quite what I mean. This one ties into my dream for self-care being taught in schools. What I mean is I dream of schools that each has at least 2 school nurses on duty every school day. Instead, it’s not unusual for several schools to share one nurse. That doesn’t sound like we are prioritizing our kid’s health to me.

Can Schools Prevent Suicides?

I also dream of schools that have mental health counselors for any student or even staff members present to unload on safely. While many schools do have counselors its rare if they actually get to do any counseling. I am talking about people with counseling or a psychology degree that are there solely to be a safe place to talk, help kids come up with reasonable plans to deal with whatever their struggling with, and to be there to intervene when kids are in a dangerous situation or are a danger to themselves or those around them. Imagine if these counselors were utilized properly? How many children could be helped? How many kids could have the person to listen and help instead of feeling alone and lashing out later?

What’s The Job of A School Nurse?

We say our kid’s health is a priority, but how our schools handle mental health and the lack of nurses in schools sends a different message. The fact we penalize students for getting sick too much sends a different message. Let’s start acting like we mean what we say and actually make children’s health in schools a top priority and not a hazard.

Our schools haven’t really been updated in over 100 years. I’d say we are overdue for an overhaul. What changes do you dream of for schools?