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I have lost two babies

Image credit: http://www.babbcenter.org/
Image credit: http://www.babbcenter.org/

October 15th is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day. As I sit here and stare at that last sentence it becomes difficult to know what should follow it. I will try.

I have lost two babies.

I remember each positive pregnancy test in vivid detail, the excitement and promise held in those pink lines is awe inspiring. In my wildest dreams I had never imagined I would covet and adore something I had peed on, but that is how I felt about that stick.

Yet, as vividly as I remember those pink lines, I also remember the first pinky red streaks. Their contrast with the white paper and the fear that then gripped my heart. I remember the hot tears staining my cheeks as I white knuckled my husband willing the blood to stop. It didn’t stop. The cramping came and went. When it was over I felt empty. I hurt so deeply I felt numb. I cried until there were no more tears, my red-rimmed eyes the only evidence left of my expectation. The days that followed became a blur; I put on a happy face. No one really knew, and it was too hard to say, “I was pregnant and now I am not.” Loss becomes a lonely road.

My second loss was during my time as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. My first day back to work was awful. I just wanted to cry. It is so hard to be happy when everything you were dreaming of is in your patient’s room. Then I attended a delivery of a rainbow baby. The joy in that room when the baby cried was thick and infectious.

I remember that being the first moment I didn’t feel numb. I remember the distrust of my body, and the anxiety as we tried again. I remember those feelings Traci so completely described. There were months when I feared pink lines because what if? I was so anxious my stomach turned into knots and I couldn’t eat.

I also remember someone close confiding in me, it was 5am at the balloon races, and she was ecstatic to be expecting. I remember the first call, late one night and the tears in her voice as she told me about the blood and the cramping. I cried with her, I told her my stories, but still felt like I didn’t know what to say. “I love you.” Was the best I could manage. I sat with her as the worst was confirmed and she cried all over again. I watched the numbness creep in.

I have collected other stories, someone dear to me whose story ended with a liter of blood and a D&C, another whose confirmation of pregnancy ultrasound was the first clue. Loss happens in so many ways, and can happen at any point. It is estimated that 1 in 4 or 5 pregnancies end in loss, about 25%.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss aren’t always openly discussed topics, hopefully sharing my story will help start a dialog and encourage women to share their stories to increase support for mothers who are grieving.






About Jamie Schnell

Jamie Schnell
Jamie Schnell is an RN and full-time mommy to three boys. Her husband, Adam, keeps track of all the stuff that she can never remember where she had it last, and she loves his geeky-wonderfulness. He is definitely the best daddy. Jamie has a BA in English to accompany her BS in Nursing, and recently completed her Master's in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner track. Jamie loves reading, writing, crafting anything and everything, green beans, having little parties to celebrate life, coffee, camping, cooking, spa days, Cheetoes, naps, and just being outside.

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