I read “To the Momma Whose Child Was Just Diagnosed” over and over because each word rang so true. Except, it wasn’t my child that was diagnosed. It was me. Miscarriage, no fetal movement detected, no heartbeat. That’s what the paper said and the doctor too. The words seemed so rehearsed, but each medical staff member said them with sad eyes. The eyes that make you break down when you’ve done everything to hold it together. And we held it together while they spoke. Numb. But as soon as that door closed behind the doctor on his way out my world crumbled into the arms of my husband as he crumbled too.
It was three days before my 20th birthday when the test finally read positive. We were excited, we were nervous, we were ready. Ready to take on the biggest and best adventure of our life. According to the app on my phone, my due date was January 5, 2016, but that changed at my first appointment. We had an ultrasound, we saw our sweet baby on the screen, and we heard the heart beating. It was strong. It was beautiful. Baby Dillard measured about 4 weeks smaller than we had previously thought, making our new due date January 29. The doctors showed no concern, so, as first time parents, we didn’t either. But that was the first red flag.
I read online that there is a 4 percent chance of miscarriage after hearing the heart beat. I tried to stick to the status quo and keep my precious little one a secret, but we were too excited. And once we heard the heartbeat, we were in the clear. We announce to my entire family on Father’s Day, and the miscarriage started within hours.
What happened after the announcement is a blur of tears and pain, both physical and emotional. We got ice cream, it started, I could not sleep, and we rushed to the doctor then to the ER, blood test, ultrasound, devastation. No words can explain how it feels to hear your child has died. Nothing can explain the helplessness that a mother feels, nothing can prepare you.
It was weeks before the physical pain of the miscarriage subsided, but I doubt the emotional pain will ever go away. There’s been days where I can’t get out of bed, can’t stop crying, can’t stop eating. I have never felt more off in my entire life. My life feels so empty.
I didn’t know how people would respond to me writing this, but it weighed heavy on my heart to do so. Roughly 80 percent of women will experience one in their lifetime, but I don’t think it is any less tragic just because it is common. It’s been just over a month since we lost our baby, and I already feel like people are surprised that I still am not ok. So that’s why I wrote this. For the mamas who didn’t even get to hold their sweet babies. For the mamas that are suffering quietly, because so often we do. For the mamas that have to answer no when asked if we have children. I see you and I want to tell you that you are still a momma. God knew what He was doing when he sent you that baby. It was your baby and you were its momma, no matter how long or who knew. And I’m still a mom too, to one sweet baby that couldn’t stay.
We named our baby Will, even though we never knew the gender (and we weren’t going to find out). William is my husband’s first name, so Will was fitting, and Will also reminded us that all of this was God’s Will, no matter how much it sucked right now. I wrote this for baby Will. I wrote this because I should have told everyone the moment I knew. Will was here, Will was real, and Will mattered. I don’t want to live my life like Will was never here, because he came and took a piece of my heart back with him.
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