This post is part of Carly Marie's Capture Your Grief.
In honour of this month of awareness today we give the outside world some insight into what it is like to be a bereaved parent by sharing what a certain experience that you had during your grief journey. This can be a positive or negative (or both) experience .Some experiences that you could share about are what it felt like to hear the words "There is no heartbeat" or maybe you had an experience where someone did something very special in memory of your children. Pick a moment and share how it made you feel.
Oscar and Bella: Finding out gender
We had told the nurse that we wanted them to clean up both babies and bring them back into the room after they were both born and cleaned up. We had asked to find out gender, but were told it might not be definitive at their gestational age. I remember the nurse walking in with a tiny basket and announcing we had a boy and a girl, and that it was very evident. I remember feeling so grateful. So grateful that we knew, that we were able to use the names we had chosen for our kids. Jon and I had worked so hard on coming up with four names (two boy and two girl) and it was quite a chore. Once we had the names chosen our nickname for the babies became BORC, signifying the primary and secondary girl and boy names (Bella, Oscar, Rose and Clark). To be able to give our kids their names, knowing that we would not be able to give them anything else in their lives, I am truly grateful for.
Tittle: The ultrasound
I had some spotting over the weekend, and it had changed from the spotting that has happened a few days prior. I wanted to go in for an ultrasound. Since I was released from our fertility clinic, and had already had my nurse appointment with the high-risk clinic, I called them right away on Monday morning. I left a message for the nurse and anxiously awaited a call back. When the nurse, the nurse in charge of the bereavement program at the hospital, called back and told me that a doctor (the fellow that provided my care for Oscar and Bella and that I did not like) didn't think I needed to come in because "an ultrasound wouldn't give any useful information" I was completely and utterly shocked. I began crying and responded with something about finding out if I was miscarrying or not. I was so angry, hurt and upset. This hospital, these staff members, knew my history. It was the same clinic that cared for me during Oscar's and Bella's pregnancy and delivery. They knew how scared we were of another loss, and to say we couldn't come in for an ultrasound to check on the babies and explore the bleeding was just a slap in the face. I lost trust in the entire hospital. That trust was eventually earned back, after a very frank meeting, but there there are still two specific people, one nurse and one doctor, that I don't trust as far as I could throw them.
Firefly: Telling Gus we weren't pregnant anymore
We told Gus right away that we were pregnant. He had been with us at some of the fertility appointments, so was somewhat aware of what was going on. I don't remember how long after we knew Firefly was gone that we told Gus, within a couple weeks? I don't know. It was awful, not for Gus, but for me to tell Gus we weren't pregnant anymore. I couldn't do it with the lights on, I didn't want him to see how crushed I was. I was putting him to bed, and as per usual routine, we said our goodnights, I turned the lamp off and was going to rub his back, when I asked him if he remembered that we told him there was a baby growing inside Mama. He said yes. I told him that the baby died, that the baby went to be with Oscar, Bella and Tittle. I wanted Gus to know why I was sad, why Daddy was sad and why I was sometimes crying. I just felt so much weight on me, that Gus already had 3 dead siblings, and now there was another one. Gus asked some questions, I answered them the best I could and tried to do my best. I then asked him, "Do you think the baby was a boy or a girl?" He said a girl. To this day, I love that he was involved in choosing if Firefly was a boy or girl, a brother or sister. There was never, and will never, be a way to find out for certain, but it made me feel like I wasn't just making things up, trying to fill in the holes that Firefly left behind.