J.H. story of HOPE

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I lost my first child, a boy in May, 2013. The pregnancy was going smoothly all along and I felt like there was no issues until that last unfateful week. I felt like he wasn’t moving often enough. I had a doctor’s appointment on the Monday prior which was three days before he died and they said his heartbeat was great. I told the doctor that he wasn’t moving often and I was concerned he told me that’s normal as the baby gets bigger because they run out of space.

At 36 weeks, my Jay was stillborn and it felt like my whole world collapsed. It brought me to a very low point in my life and I didn’t really speak about it. When I lost my baby, I shut down for months, I would just cry and I wouldn’t talk to anyone at all! I put on my best face to look like I was okay because I was so conditioned into being that strong person to just deal with things on my own. I realise now, looking back that that was unhealthy. The hurt never goes away, you just learn to deal with it just to get through. I still cry every time I think about it and it has been over 5 years.

They say blessings come after the storm and in December, 2013, my partner and I found out we were expecting again. You’d think I would be extremely overjoyed because I have been given my rainbow baby, but I was terrified of going to the doctor because I was feeling so paranoid of them telling us something was wrong. I didn’t go to the doctor until January, 2014, when I finally built up enough courage to go, I was 11 weeks pregnant.

They did an ultrasound that day and that’s when they told me we were expecting twins. I had switched doctors and the new doctor I had took everything seriously, I was having visits once a month. I was completely paranoid the entire pregnancy. I barely told anyone I was expecting and I didn’t even have a baby shower. It was like I was waiting for something to go wrong.

An ultrasound at 20 weeks showed that I was starting to dilate and I was taken off of work. By this time, I was trying not to stress too much because here I was, with not 1 but 2 babies and already things were not looking too well. I didn’t want to think that God would give me double for my troubles to just have them taken away from me again. My next appointment at 24 weeks, they said I was still dilating and had me transported to a high risk hospital where I stayed for one and a half months. They monitored the babies blood flow weekly and I was not allowed to get out of bed besides going to the bathroom. At 32 weeks, the doctors felt I was more stable because my cervix seemed to have stopped dilating and so they sent me home. When I left the hospital, I still needed to go back weekly to do a non stress test and an ultrasound to check blood flow to the babies.

At 35 weeks, I went for a non-stress test, I was there for 30 minutes and it was almost time for me to be done and everything seemed fine. Suddenly, I felt a change like something was wrong. I alerted the nurse, who checked my blood pressure and she exclaimed it was too high after being normal just 30 minutes prior. She said I might have preeclampsia, which is just pregnancy induced high blood pressure and is deadly for both mom and baby. I had to be rushed to do an emergency c-section.

My two perfectly healthy baby boy and girl were born in July, 2014. But the worst was not over yet! My blood pressure wouldn’t go down- they had to take the babies from me and tried everything possible to ensure my blood pressure went down.

Thankfully, all returned to normal and the joy I felt at finally being able to hold them was indescribable! The twins were born premature at 6lbs 5oz and 6lbs 6oz, without having to be in the NICU- they had no medical issues at all! The weight that lifted off my shoulders to hear those words- all I could do was cry and thank God.

Looking back on everything, losing my first child and then getting pregnant afterwards was a very scary situation to deal with. I remember I went back to work after a week his death because I didn’t want to be home. We had all the baby stuff arranged in his room, which was right next to mine and I kept the door closed. I kept telling myself “I need to get through this” and doing that broke me because I wasn’t fully grieving. I was too busy trying to be strong. Once I realized that I couldn’t keep doing this, I started facing everything. My partner took it very hard, he tried to put his feelings aside to make sure I was okay. But I also think he still didn’t fully deal with it himself, because he didn’t work through his emotions. I think the whole situation just changed him. It changed me. It changed US.

My loss has taught me that self care is so important. Being patient with yourself and allowing yourself to go through grieving is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. When we try to mask grief is when it manifests in the different areas of our lives, until we can’t cope. I think parents who tell their stories of loss are so brave and strong for letting others know they’re not alone and it’s okay. It’ll be okay!

Submitted by J. H. (🇯🇲🇺🇲)

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