This is Day 1 of the 31 Days Blogging Series I’m participating in during October. Since my topic is 31 Days of Blogging Your Truth, it is fitting that I continue with our ongoing loss series at it’s regular time. Day 2 (tomorrow) will introduce one way to blog your truth – Shut Out Fear!
I don’t know Angela G. personally, but I know her story. I know it because it’s mine. At least, it’s very much like mine. She had triplets and lost one also. I wish I didn’t know her because of this, but I do. And, today, I’m happy she’s sharing her story with you.
Here’s her story…
- Many women have had more than one loss. Tell us about the loss that impacted you the most.
I have been threw two losses, the first one was what the medical field likes to call a Twin demise, baby B passed away in utero between 20-24 weeks… for unknown reasons. The second loss is what still makes me cry to this day. One year ago, I went to a routine OB appointment thinking we were going to add are third and final baby to the family – little did I know it turned into twins. Two months later at my 20 week ultrasound we found baby C!! YES TRIPLETS!! I could not believe it and neither could my ultrasound tech. We started the VERY long ultrasound with me talking (I do that A LOT). I was telling her about when I was pregnant with my first set of twins and that baby b had passed and she got very quiet and kept leaving the room. Little did I know that when she got to baby c and saw her heart, she needed her radiologist to look over something. When she came back, so did her radiologist, and he took a million more pictures of her heart and gave us a very non-survivable diagnoses. We later saw the pediatric cardiologist who gave our sweet Elizabeth a diagnoses of Hypo Plastic Left Heart. We were told if she can get through the first of three MAJOR surgeries, she had a 65% chance of surviving all surgeries. After talking and TALKING with our cardiologist, we decided to do everything in our power to keep her alive. I was admitted to the hospital at 29 weeks and 2 days for elevated BP, but I was able to carry to 34 weeks and 4 days. I had three BEAUTIFUL babies all weighing pretty good weights!! In order to keep Elizabeth alive, we had to keep a valve in her heart open, which required medication, that of course has side effects, one of which was shallow breathing. So at 5 hours old she was intubated, but this was expected, and she had her ups and downs and for 36 hours. I remember a nurse coming to get me from my room at 230 AM… I didn’t think twice about why she was coming to get me. I remember asking about her family, and the entire time she answered all my questions. THEN I asked how my babies were doing, her response: “We can talk about that once your daughters emergency is over.” I remember being wheeled into the NICU and the night desk nurse looking sad for me and I couldn’t figure out why, then she wheeled me around the corner and I figured out why. My sweet Elizabeth had coded and they wanted me to be there. I remember the one guy standing in front of her doing the chest compressions with his thumbs, one nurse taking notes, the Dr. giving orders for about two minutes, and finally they said they had a pulse. I thought SHE IS O.K.!! No reason to call her dad she will be o.k. and in the AM I will tell him and it will be o.k. But they lost her pulse again and the last hope was blood. One nurse called the blood bank, came back and said the blood bank is sending some but it is going to be twenty min. I will always remember the Dr. saying we don’t have twenty minutes, we need it NOW. He made a phone call and we had blood in five minutes, but after trying blood the Dr. looked at me and said they had done everything possible. I remember thanking him and telling him to stop touching my daughter. I also remember they had to call two more nurses in because Elizabeth’s brother and sister started crying right before they called code. After calling code, EVERY Dr. imaginable showed up at 330 AM to be with us as we started this unwanted journey that we were about to embark on. To this day, my two survivors still wake up a 3:36 am on the 24th of every month, for the last 18 months.
- What did others do or say that helped and/or hurt you during or after your loss?
After Elizabeth passed we asked for space as a family to grieve her loss, but also had many friends that wanted to help in any way. What I needed most was to someone to help play/keep busy our 2 older kiddos, so we had friends and family come over to play with them, read them books, bring dinners, take them to dinner, etc. It was super helpful. The most hurtful was when I had an in-law tell me Elizabeth really didn’t count because she was only lived for 36 hours.
- How does God, religion, or faith play into your loss and how you cope?
God was a HUGE helping factor with my grieving, coping, and recovering. I was born and raised a Christian. So after I went through EVERY emotion possible I had to tell myself that God knew how sick Elizabeth’s heart was and knew the toll it would have taken not only on her, but us. I was also given 36 precious hours with her on earth and I am forever grateful for that.
- Have you done anything special to remember your loss or to help you move forward after your loss?
In Honor of Elizabeth we have become in contact with the Tears Foundation.
- If you could go back and not have had the loss you mentioned in number 1, would you? Why or why not?
If I could go back, such a tough question… I want my baby girl with me every day I am alive, but I also don’t want her to have to go through surgery after surgery. Deep down if I had to go back and redo it, I wouldn’t do it. As much as my heart hurts for her, I wouldn’t want her to be in pain.
- What advice would you give to women that are dealing with the loss of a child?
My advice… Listen to your heart, when you need to cry, CRY!!! When you need help DON’T be afraid to ask for it. And always remember you are strong, there will be days you will not get out of bed, or take a shower or change out of your pajamas and THAT IS o.k. Sometimes we need to have a day or two of just crying and lying in bed.
- What are your plans for the future?
My future plans are to raise my four beautiful kids and to always honor are sweet Elizabeth in any way we can!
Readers, be supportive by leaving your comments below. After each interview, the mom who was interviewed will be available for questions, and we welcome you to connect with these moms further. Remember, if you would like to be interviewed, just contact me.
Click below to see all of my 31 Days Blog Series or click here for yesterday’s post.