As I sit down to write this, my heart is broken. Today would have been our daughter’s due date. Chloe was born 4 ½ months into my pregnancy.
My husband, Rick, and I tried for over a year to have a baby. Our doctor eventually ran some tests and put me on Clomid. We tried that about six months without success. We just seemed to have one disappointment after another. Eventually, our doctor referred us to a fertility specialist. We tried Clomid again for another three months with an intrauterine insemination. Still no success. We then switched to Fertinex. The second try with Fertinex, and we were finally pregnant. We were so excited. We couldn’t wait to share our good news with our families and friends that had supported us the last two years.
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I felt great. No morning sickness at all. Then at 16 weeks, I started spotting. I immediately called the doctor. I was told to stay off my feet, lay on my left side and do nothing. We were both so scared. I couldn’t believe this was happening. The bleeding stopped the same day. I didn’t start spotting again until the end of that week. This time I went into the doctor’s office to hear the heartbeat. It was very strong. Again, I was told bed rest for a few days. The bleeding again stopped the same day. The following week I started spotting again, called the doctor and they scheduled an ultrasound for the same day. We went in, heard the heartbeat, and the ultrasound was fine.
They could not find any reason for the bleeding. We were so glad we had the ultrasound. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was the only time we would see our child alive. We even remembered to bring a videotape with us to our appointment. We had a very active child.
Two days later I had my regular check up and was told I could go back to work, just take it easy. The next day, I started bleeding more heavily. I called the doctor again, and was told to just stay in bed. I was so emotionally raw at this point, I could not stop crying. I could not understand why I was bleeding when they couldn’t find anything wrong.
Early the next morning I woke up with cramps, lower back pain and more bleeding. I woke up my husband, and we called the doctor. He suggested we go into the emergency room if we felt the cramps and bleeding were bad enough. We went in, and heard the heartbeat right away. That seemed to ease our minds a little, but we were still so scared. The ER doctor did a vaginal exam. We were told everything was fine. I was sent for another ultrasound, everything was fine again. We were then sent home, with instructions for bed rest. We just prayed that everything would be okay.
The next day, late afternoon, the cramps, back pain and bleeding started again, coming every few minutes. This time they were much worse. I was so scared and so uncomfortable, I just couldn’t stop crying. We called the doctor again, and he suggested that it might be a kidney stone or kidney infection. He told us to go to the hospital right away. This was our first pregnancy, so we didn’t realize I was in labor, plus it was too soon. By this time, I was in so much pain, and I was nauseated. Rick pulled me off the bathroom floor and got me into the kitchen just as I threw up and my water broke. Rick called 911 for help. They wanted him to get me to the hospital on his own. We didn’t realize until I started to undress that we had lost our child. We both just screamed when we saw our daughter. I was just hysterical. Rick was able to wrap her in a towel and get me to the floor before I passed out. He called 911 again, and they sent help. I was in shock. Rick was too, but he was so strong for me. I don’t know what I would do without him. He never left my side.
The hospital was very sympathetic. They did whatever they could to help us. Our hospital has a support program called Resolve Through Sharing for parents who have lost children. One of the nurses cleaned our daughter up and brought her back for us to hold. They wanted us to have a better memory of her than what we had already seen. We then named her Chloe Jo. She was so small, just 6 ½ ounces. Rick and I just cried and held our Chloe.
I was then scheduled for a D&C right away. The hospital arranged to have a memorial service after my D&C. Rick’s parents and sister were there and my sister was there also. My parents were in Oregon and wouldn’t be home for several days.
When we went to the doctor for a check up after losing Chloe, we were told I probably had an incompetent cervix. Also, there was an inflammation in the placenta. We also found out that when we were in the ER and they did the vaginal exam, I had already started to dilate. Unfortunately, we were never told any of this. If only the doctor would have told us, maybe we would have made it to the hospital sooner, and I wouldn’t have delivered Chloe the way I did.
In the past few months, I have met three wonderful women who have also had miscarriages. We meet about once a month to just talk and give support to one another. I’m not sure where I would be without them. It has been good for me to talk with my new friends and know that they understand.
So here I am now, five months after losing our daughter. I think I am stronger, but I’m still sad and still ask why. I will probably never know the answer to that question. We started trying to have another baby last month. The waiting is hard, but somehow we manage to get through it. We just pray for God to give us the strength to go on. Chloe will live in our hearts forever and she is never far from our thoughts.
Laura, Chloe’s mom
Lisa and Edward Montalvo
I had a miscarriage a few weeks ago in January 2000. This was my second pregnancy, and once again I lost my little boy, this time at 19 weeks.
This was especially hard because after our first loss, where the doctors found no baby in the sac, my husband got thyroid cancer and spent a lot of time in surgery and treatment. When he was finally cancer-free for two years, we were told we could try again.
I had an ultra sound at 17 weeks and saw the baby. Everything was fine, so at Thanksgiving we told everyone at the dinner table what we were thankful for. Needless to say everyone was overjoyed and close to tears of happiness for us. Then, right after the new year, everything came crashing down.
I delivered the baby in the emergency room, and the doctors rushed him out of the room. They said he had some facial deformities, perhaps caused by chromosomes. I feel so shameful now that I couldn’t even bring myself to see my little boy, although my husband briefly saw the baby. We were told to have an autopsy done to see what the cause was. I’m scared to even read this report when it is available.
Our family keeps saying to try again after awhile and this was God’s plan, but I’m not ready to hear this now. Soon, I hope, but not now.
After five years of trying to conceive, we finally had two healthy children, so it came as a complete surprise to us to learn that our third baby had died at about 16 weeks. I had felt very faint movements at around 15 weeks, but they did not increase, and so I was a bit anxious when we went for our 18-week ultrasound.
The technician was very kind, and after taking all the measurements she broke the news to us that our baby had died. She showed us his head and where his heartbeat should be. The news was devastating, but one thing was clear to me. After being given all our options I knew I could not undergo any of the procedures that were offered. I would wait until the baby delivered naturally. My husband agreed, and we spent the waiting time planning.
We wanted to deliver at home, so we would have lots of time with him and not be rushed. We decided to have a small service for him, feeling that we needed to share his short life with our friends, and to do for him the same as we would do for our other children. Since we are military and have no connections with the city in which we now live, we decided to have the body cremated, so we could later take him and bury him where we eventually settled down. These decisions were so difficult, but I am thankful for the time we had in which to make them, and am glad we did things as we did. Two weeks later, 20 weeks into the pregnancy, there were still no signs of labor, so we decided to let the doctor induce me. That too was a most difficult decision, and I shed many tears in the doctor’s office before agreeing to go ahead. Our son, Isaac, was born at 11:50 pm on March 15, 1999. He was 6 1/2 inches long and weighed a mere 3.2 oz. He was perfectly formed and I marveled at his tiny fingers and toes, complete with nails.
We spent about four hours with him. I will always treasure the memory of holding his hand as I slept. This is something I have done with all my newborns, and it was very special to be able to do this with Isaac as well.
Though we will never know with certainty what took Isaac’s life, circumstances point towards a cord accident. The following weeks and months held many surprises. I had no idea that the grieving would be so difficult. We have no family in the area, and just a few friends. I found support on an e-mail list where I met many wonderful ladies who had been just where I was. During the months of grief I found most of my comfort came directly from God. I had known Him all my life, but He had became more real and more present than I had ever known Him before. If it had not been for His sustaining grace, I am sure I would not have found the peace I so needed during that time. He gave me comfort for the present and hope for the future. After losing Isaac I wanted to conceive again right away. I just needed to be pregnant again. After becoming pregnant in June, I discovered this too would be difficult. Facing another pregnancy now that I knew first hand the sorrow of losing a baby, brought a whole new set of fears to me. But God has sustained me through this as well. The new baby has given me such hope. We are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new baby girl, and plan to name her accordingly: Kathleen Hope. We are so thankful for this new baby and praise God daily for giving her to us. But we will never forget Isaac, and hold his memory very near to our hearts. My five-year-old daughter often talks of her brother Isaac, which warms my heart and helps keep his memory alive. We know that one day, when we are all together in Heaven, our family will finally be complete.
“But I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)Heather Penner
Update: Heather’s baby girl was born on March 4, 2000. Both Mom and baby are doing well.
Feel free to add your Second Trimester Story in the comments to share your experiences with other women and help us learn about the many ways we endure and cope with our loss.