Surviving a Pregnancy Loss

I need to pause my usual content and share something deeply personal today. Out of respect, care and concern for my kids I’ve changed how I post about them. In particular not sharing their faces for their privacy.

However, this child and sharing this story I have a few photos that are more open about who my kids are.

God was about to send our family a surprise.  Not one I was ever anticipating. It wasn’t a happy surprise that’s for sure. 

Our little Gloria was born too soon through a second trimester miscarriage. She is loved forever and not forgotten

So what happened 5 Years ago in January 2014?  

First off, we were celebrating our sons birthday.  Here in this photo you can see my already growing tummy.

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For 17 weeks I carried our little one. I honestly felt like I was walking on a cloud the whole time, or living an awful dream. I was working to get my “second mat leave”. I felt sick the whole time, plus had started spotting. 

Just to highlight something here. This month and today specifically October 15th at 7 pm is International Wave of Light.  This month is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness month. There seems like so many days now in our culture are raising awareness for something.  Now there’s a day, that I never wanted to participate in and I now do.

I went to work after a busy weekend with my husband off for a retreat.  Here’s the part that’s going to sound funny. I emailed our midwife. Yes, e-mailed. Up until this point I was always spotting. Every trip to the ER or seeing our midwife we were reassured with a heart beat.

That email sparked a quick phone call back. “Carrie, I booked you into the hospital to see radiology, you need to go now”. In my email I shared that the spotting had changed color.

At the hospital I didn’t know what to expect. But that moment will stick with me forever. As the tech put it, “Your babies body is collapsed, there’s no heartbeat, they have been gone for a while, I’ll give you a few minutes so you can call your husband”.

Just like that the next hours where grueling. I bumped into a friend in the ER line who gave me a “why are you here?”. She opened up and shared losing a baby at 5 months many years ago. 

Then I had to sit through, “how to give birth to this baby whose gone”. That’s an awkward conversation to have with a Dr. 

I was brought up to the maternity ward.  Which I have learned is a blessing. Got a room and was induced to deliver. FYI, yes that maternity ward is a blessing but also SUCKS. Especially when the women beside me gave birth at the exact moment I did. What a contrast, one room is rejoicing and the other side of the wall has a baby that’s the size of our hands not supposed to be here yet.Grandpa Reitsema Funeral

Looking back there’s so many things that happened that I didn’t know how to deal with or handle. We said no to a photographer.  I was toooo angry at God that this happened. I couldn’t even hold her.

We said no to a support worker, we said we had a church community and we will be “fine”. Our pastor who was leaving to serve another congregation and asked if we wanted a memorial and I thought that it was odd to have one and said no. 

Then at my grandfathers funeral while placing a carnation with my son did I feel peace about not having our own service for her. It made me realize then that as a Christian I believe my grandfather is in heaven and had more peace that our little girl is with him.

I don’t know how different our story would be had we said yes to all those things. I do know when we got back to our everyday life, it was super hard.  I couldn’t go back to work. It was unbearable. I did try after 8 weeks, only to be faced with 2 pregnant co-workers. One was due 2 weeks after me. It was brutal. 

I still remember dropping my son off at daycare and the tears started and couldn’t stop.  My boss took one look at me and knew I wasn’t ready to come back.

I attempted a support group and walked out super heavy hearted. It wasn’t faith based and it actually scared me if I was ever going to get over it. Let alone as an empathetic person I can put myself in their shoes and hearing their stories was heart wrenching.

IMG_4150My husband and I on her due date went far away in the backside of Chilliwack Lake and picked wild flowers, prayed for our family and others who have been through this. Then we released the flowers one by one off the bridge we were standing on.

Almost 9 months after our loss I did find another support group.  A Faith Based Support Group. This time I didn’t say no. My husband pointed it out in church in the bulletin and recommended I reach out. 

I not only attended I got involved.  I had said no to all the other support but, yes to this group.  I had to pray about saying yes.  Not that this is a sure thing, We got pregnant a month after I stepped into ministry.IMG_5468

I look back after 5 years and wonder how different my life would be if I had continued saying no.   I quickly got into organizing and leading this group, I knew I was heard, felt valued and accepted. God has worked and called me to something I never felt qualified for.

The amount of times I got reminders of what I was apart of has been incredible stories with too many to share in one single blog post.  I’m going to put this out there. Please comment below if there’s interest in reading the FULL STORY. This has been an experience where tragedy and walking with God collide and my faith is beyond stronger for it.

IMG_5471If you follow my blog you know I have had 2 more children.  They are my rainbow babies. I walked through my next pregnancy and completely ignored the baby.  Let me be clear, getting pregnant again is not a happy answer to the grief I went through for my little girl.

Medically through many other complications I’m no longer medically able and have been instructed to no longer have children. From just this one experience I’m ok with that.

Tonight we light a candle for our Gloria Joy. 

It’s been a long journey to Peace. Triggers of grief still hit like waves, but they are much smaller waves now.

I’m not sure who this post will reach?  Again, I’m open to writing the full story, it might take a bit to put it all in words, but I feel I’m able and willing too.

Are you lighting a candle?  Do you know about lighting one?  I know I’m not alone.

Love to hear your thoughts on what I shared. Again, not my usual content, just needed to be written.

Gloria’s Mom (Carrie)

Author: Notefull Living

Hi, My name is Carrie. I'm Canadian and live in the Fraser Valley outside of Vancouver BC. Notefull Living is my blog about our Home and Garden. I’m a Wife, Mother of 3, I'm passionate about my family and providing a good home and healthy lifestyle. I Hope you enjoy learning about my life with tips that are useful or noteworthy for your own home.

5 thoughts on “Surviving a Pregnancy Loss”

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