I never planned to share this story. It was too private, too personal to put out there, but as I browse through social media today, my heart hurts. It aches for all the parents out there that have felt the pain unlike any other pain, the pain of losing a pregnancy, or even worse, of losing an infant. My heart is heavy for my friends and family that have experienced this kind of anguish, and it just takes me right back to one of the most painful times in my life, just this past January.
It had been one of the most exciting holiday seasons for us. We had this beautiful, joyous little toddler to take shopping, decorate cookies, and walk around and see Christmas lights with. We planned trips to the chilly mountains and back home for the holidays, and we had the most exciting news to share on Christmas morning with our families! We were going to have another baby! We had J unwrap his brand new “Big Brother” book in front of everyone as our way of announcing the big news! It was happy, joyous, and we felt so blessed to be adding another little blessing to our family of three!
When we first found out we were pregnant, we, of course, read the usual weekly updates on how big our baby was and what developments the baby was making. Week by week, or little poppy-seed got bigger and bigger, developing more and more, and much like when people nickname theirs “little peanut” or “gummy bear”, we lovingly called ours “Tailor” in honor of a cute little story from Brendan’s childhood (he named his first pet fish “Tailor” because, Duh, it had a tail!) and because at that stage, all embryos have a tiny, little tail.
Not long after, our much-anticipated first prenatal appointment turned into one of the saddest days in our lives. A few short seconds into our ultrasound, I could feel the mood shift in the room. I watched my doctor’s shoulders drop in deflation as he let out a deep sigh. I heard the words I was so afraid to hear. I still remember them exactly, cutting deep like a knife, “Well guys, I’m not liking what I’m seeing.”
I’ll never forget the look on my sweet husband’s face. As devastated as I was, I knew it was worse for him. I had been a little worried for a while that something wasn’t right, but not him. His support and confidence was unwavering. So, to see the pain in his eyes was unbearable, and so painful to speak of, but we got through it together. We always do.
Weeks later, after we had done our best to begin moving on, we got a phone call from our doctor. He told us that our results came back from the labs, and that our pregnancy was actually a rare abnormal pregnancy called a Partial Molar Pregnancy. Long story short, in a normal pregnancy the egg receives one set of chromosomes from the father, but in this case it receives two. This translates to an embryo forming, but also a molar growth forms and pretty much takes over the uterus, not allowing the baby to grow and survive. So, in addition to dealing with the loss of our baby, we were now in fear of the potential risk of this molar growth returning and requiring chemotherapy treatment. Me. CHEMO. All because we wanted another baby. The idea was almost unbearable.
The kicker was that we had to now wait at least 6-12 months before trying to have another. We had to make sure the growth didn’t come back, and a pregnancy would interfere with monitoring. So, we waited. We went every week to have my blood drawn to make sure it didn’t come back. We waited in fear, in disappointment, and were reminded week after week of the pain of our loss. We were very fortunate that everything quickly went back to “normal” and that there were no signs of the growth returning and after 6 months of healing (physically and emotionally) we were given the green light to try again.
So, today on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, I’m sharing our story to honor our little “Tailor”. I wish I could hug every, single mom and dad out there that have experienced losing a pregnancy, and I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of losing an infant. I also shared our story to honor all the parents I know that have experiences this type of loss.
Shortly after our loss, I decided to get my first tattoo to honor the memory of our sweet, little “Tailor”. I got a cross on the inside of my wrist to honor my Source of strength and hope I relied on so heavily through this time. I couldn’t imagine going through something like this without the grace, healing and love of our God. It is also a simple reminder for me as a “T” for “Tailor”. It has brought me a lot of joy and healing to know that while we are able to move on, we will never forget.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13