5 years ago today I gave birth to my first son. However, it wasn’t the joy filled event that you would think it was. 5 years ago I gave birth to my first son, at 18 weeks gestation, after a routine ultrasound discovered that he had passed away a week earlier. 5 years ago my heart shattered and I’ve been missing a piece ever since.
Brandon was my first child with my husband. He had accepted the thought that he may never have children because it hadn’t happened up to that point. So, you can imagine how ecstatic he was when he found out I was pregnant. He was in the National Guard and away in Haiti when I found out. I had bought a onesie, wrapped it up, and surprised him with it when I picked him up from the armory when they got home. I still remember his reaction when he opened it. He looked at it, said “I’ll be right back”, and went back into the armory. I was dumbfounded and thought he was upset. His first thought was, “How do I get insurance for this baby” and he went back in to ask. His immediate reaction and thought was that of “I need to take care of my baby”.
Everything about the pregnancy was normal. I had morning sickness, I gained weight, we heard his heartbeat, and we felt him moving. When we went in for our routine anatomy ultrasound on 12/8/2010, we were so excited to find out if he was a he or a she so we could start planning.
When the first words out of the ultrasound technician’s mouth were “I’m sorry. There is no heartbeat” I was stunned. I thought that I had misheard her. I thought, “She has to be wrong. She just can’t find it”. These thoughts, of course, were unrealistic, yet normal.
The next 24 hours were so emotionally, and physically draining. I was admitted to the hospital and given the option to have surgery, or to be induced. I opted for induction. The process was started that day, and the following day, on 12/9/2010 I delivered my son. He was perfect. There was nothing physically wrong with him. We were allowed as much time as we needed, provided with footprints, a disc with photos (which I still can’t bring myself to see), and the blanket he was placed in.
Every year I dread this day as soon as it is December. I dread the sadness, the memories, and the thoughts of what he would have been like. I have since had 2 amazing boys, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I’d give anything to have him here with me.
Fetal loss, infant loss, and the loss of a child is something that parents should never have to go through. My heart goes out to each and every single one of you that has experienced this.