Trigger Warning – Childloss
This time last year I like a lot of you was stuck inside. Working from home, enjoying zoom happy hours, facetiming my loved ones and wearing a mask every time I left the house. Like a lot of other women who have quarantine babies I discovered I was pregnant too.
I sat in the doctors office, because of one thing. I didn’t feel good though. I had been so dead tired that I struggled to get up and get logged in for work. Something told me to just cross out pregnancy. The results came back negative, and I was on my way with a treatment for the other issue and told to just rest and that maybe it was my notorious PMS making me tired before my cycle.
I got in my truck and headed home, then I got a call that changed my life. “Ms. Peters, please come back to the office, we made a mistake and your pregnancy test, it’s positive”. I have never felt my soul leave my body, but that day it did.
I pulled over to make sure I was hearing this correctly? I immediately got scared because for so long my doctors told me my health was not the best that I wouldn’t be able to carry a child to term. I immediately got scared for my little baby. I wanted to be happy that I was pregnant, but all the words from previous doctors rang in my ear all day that day. I called my best friend Jen, then my mom. By the time I got home. I was crying and stressed for this child already.
I wish I could say that every experience with my pregnancy was blissful but it wasn’t. However, I did everything I could to make sure this child would be born as healthy as possible. I started taking insulin, I was militant on taking my meds on time. I made every appointment. I started walking on a regular basis. I made it to 20 weeks, and felt some relief that I made it that far. I finally felt okay to celebrate, to take pictures, to tell people I was pregnant.
Within that week, I was in the hospital. My BP was sky high and they wouldn’t let me go home. I was scared the entire time, but tried to maintain some look of stability, calmness. Inside I was screaming please God just let her be okay. I wanted to be a mother to this baby so bad. I was ready to tackle this new chapter. I talked to her all day in my stomach and told her she is strong and that i’m doing everything I can to go home and let her bake until she’s ready.
Eventually my blood pressure got so put of control I had to be taken to ICU, which was a traumatic experience. The entire time I was told how strong I am, and how the nurses were inspired by my strength. I didn’t want to be strong. I wanted to go home with this little girl and come back when I was ready. Throughout the stay, I found out that she was too small, her growth was behind. Doctors started saying that she may be disabled, that she might not have a good quality of life, all of the odds were stacked against her. The only thing that kept me going is that I heard her heartbeat everyday. I had faith that God would turn this around. That I would take my baby home.
At some point, my mom and my husband were called in and everyone was told that I had to make a choice. The truth is that I didn’t have much of a choice. The only choice I could make is weather to give birth vaginally or surgically. I was out of options and my health was at risk that even my husband told me to stop pushing this. He didn’t want to bury me. So I choose to see her, to get a little bit of time with her and see her face. I knew that she would more than likely pass during the birthing process and she did. The hospital staff dressed her in a tiny hat and a handmade receiving blanket. I looked down at her face and a flood of memories I made for her came in.
I would never see this little girl laughed, or cry. Run outside, play with toys. Sass me as a teenager, get married, have children of her own. I wanted all of that for Genesis. I wanted her to be a beautiful girl who I’d give all the love I had. The hospital prepared an ice bed for her so I could just be with her, but I held her the entire time. Giving up and watching her be taken off was one of the worse memories I have now.
Genesis was a beautiful girl. She looked like my mom. She was tiny, a long. She had feet like her dad and lips like her mom. My pregnancy was so many things for me. I truly enjoyed carrying Genesis, I was happy at the idea of being her mom and excited for the experience. Yet, worry was always there. In the end, I became a momma to a baby that fought hard.
I wish things turned out differently and burying a child is one of the hardest things I’ve every had to process and go through in my life. I pray for other moms who had to experience this because it’s been a roller coaster of emotions since this time last year.
I get triggered by babies, black girls especially. It’s hard to be around pregnant women, it’s hard to be present around friends who are pregnant. The grief never gets better even with time. So I have to be gentle with myself, I have to take care of myself, I have to be aware that some days I will totally not be okay around pregnancy or babies. I have to give myself Grace for the emotions I feel guilty for having sometimes.
Genesis changed my life.