My story starts on November 13, 2016. This was the day that I conceived my wonderful bundle of joy. I went through the next fourteen days unknowingly growing a life inside of me. On November 27, a week before my period, I took a pregnancy test. And then another one, and another one, and another one. All of them came back with those bright pink lines. It felt like they were lined up on the bathroom counter screaming “Pregnant!” right in my face. I was shocked, nervous, scared, happy, and confused. I told my fiance immediately, and we began our journey through pregnancy and parenthood that night.
I woke up every morning feeling like my pregnancy symptoms were going to be the death of me. I had no idea at the time that I was going to deal with something much worse in the future. I took my pregnancy day by day, my fiance and I downloaded an app so we could watch our baby progress through the stages of his life. I felt like I was pregnant with a boy, so my fiance and I decided to give him his father’s name, Leonardo. The name means “the strength of a lion” so for short we called our developing baby boy Lion.
A month went by of my pregnancy, and I felt like things were finally getting settled. Financial plans were being put in place, family members were being told, clothes and shoes were being bought… everything was going well. My life was changing. Looking down at my stomach and knowing my baby was growing in there gave me so much comfort, pride, and fulfillment.
On January 2, 2017, my life changed drastically. I went in for my very first ultrasound. I got to see my baby for the very first time and I’ll never forget the pure joy I felt when I saw him, or the sorrow I felt when his heartbeat couldn’t be found. No fetal movement and no heartbeat was seen or heard. He was measuring on time, exactly 9 weeks. I was told he had passed within 24 hours before my ultrasound. My fiance and I were put in a separate room after the appointment to gather ourselves before facing our family members in the waiting room. I will never forget how much I cried that day, how much my fiance cried, how much our family members cried.
A second opinion was needed. Everyone was in denial and couldn’t believe that Lion had passed. My second opinion confirmed my miscarriage. I was given my options: to naturally miscarry, take pills to induce the process, or have a D&C. I waited for six weeks to naturally miscarry, but nothing happened. My body didn’t want to come to terms with the fact that Lion was gone. I was forced to take the pills, a D&C was not an option I was willing to take. The process was painful, emotionally and physically. But I got to pass Lion the way I wanted to, I got to see my baby, I got to put my baby to rest and have a memorial service for him, I was able to put his tiny body in a planter pot with a tulip flower, and now I get to look up in my windowsill and see the beautiful flower Lion is giving life to.
There is nothing more damaging to a mother than losing a child. The emotions you feel afterwards are so jumbled and confusing, sometimes I can’t even make sense of what I’m feeling. I go from sad, to hurt, to angry, to confused, to “why me?”. There is no better way to honor your baby than to grieve. To grieve and work through it. Lion will always be with me, I will think about him everyday, and his younger siblings will know all about him. I will grieve and cope with his loss, but never forget him.