No one acknowledged my baby.
After years of trying to conceive, doctor after doctor, and heartache after heartache, I had finally came to terms with the fact that I would never bear children. Many times I found myself crying and feeling ashamed because I felt like as a woman, the one the God created women for was to create children, and I could not. I saw women every day that did not want the children they had, women at the doctor planning their abortions, women giving their kids away to total strangers! And yet here I was, wanting nothing more than to be someone's mommy, and I had finally been declared infertile. Just when I thought all hope was gone, I started to feel sick. I was moody and irritable. I felt bloated and my breasts hurt so bad, just wearing my work shirt was killing me. A friend suggested I take a pregnancy test. I, however, assumed my period was on its way and refused. After a few days, I grew tired of the insistence that I take a test and decided to prove her wrong so she would drop it. After work on Monday August 15, 2011, I went to Dollar General and purchased the cheapest test I could find. I went home and told my sister's what I was doing. They agreed it was the only way to silence the suggestions, so I went upstairs and peed in a cup. I didn't even bother to read the box or instructions, seeing as how I had done this thousands of times. I put the drops of urine in the test and began to fasten my pants and wash my hands. I looked at the time and pulled out me phone so as soon as my three minutes were up, I could send the negative test picture to my coworker.
There was a feeling of confusion when I looked down at the test and saw two lines. I thought for sure I was imagining the second line. I held it up to the light and looked as close as I could, and still I counted two lines. After a few minutes, I decided that this test must read differently than any of the thousands I had taken before. I pulled the box out of the trash and studied the instructions. Sure enough, just like every test I had ever taken, two lines meant positive. I flew down the steps faster than I had ever moved. My sisters looked at me like I was completely insane until I told them there were two lines. One took the box, the other the test, and they studied the result as I had. I sat on the steps completely shocked, while I waited for their response. Not even thirty seconds later, they were screaming and crying tears of joy; running and laughing like the test was their own. I couldn't even think straight. A million thoughts raced through my head, but I could not believe I was pregnant, literally.
After a few minutes, I regained control of my brain, and decided the most logical thing to do would be to take another test. We went to the store, (the cashier must've thought I was completely off my rocker) and I bought every test on the shelf. We went home and opened every test, I peed in a new cup and just went down the line, one test at a time. Sure enough, eight positives! At this point, most women would probably be convinced they were with child. Me on the other hand? Not even close. I called a few people and shared my news. My mom screamed with excitement, my best friend almost fainted, and the women at work were just as excited. The next morning, I went to the pregnancy center. I had braced myself for them to tell me I was not pregnant, that all of the tests were false positives, and that I was still infertile. I peed in a cup for the third time in less than 24 hours and waited. The timer went off and I looked to the nurse and braced myself for the word negative. It did not come. Her exact words were, "Yup honey! You're gonna have a baby!". I couldn't believe it! I broke down and cried right there in the office. I could not believe that this was real. After all those tears cried because of all those negative signs, it was my turn. I thought of all those times people said when you stop trying it will happen, and it seemed to have proved true. I was in perfect bliss the whole next week. I just knew I was carrying a boy, don't ask me how, but I knew he was a boy. I had him named and had already begun to shop for him. Every time I got sick, I smiled, because I knew at the end of this nine months, I was going to have a perfect baby boy.
Just as fast as my whole life changed for the better, it was about to come crashing down around me. On August 22, 2011, I woke up with the most excruciating pain I had ever felt in my life. I could not move without out screaming out in pain. I knew right then, it was all too good to be true. I cried and cried and fought with my family about going to the hospital. I knew that going would force me to realize what I already felt, was true. After an hour of fighting, my baby's father finally carried me out of bed and to the car.
We got to the hospital around 11 pm. My mom had already called my job to let them know I wouldn't be in in the morning. I sat there for what seemed like hours, while they took my vitals, did blood work, and questioned me endlessly. Slowly the pain subsided, and so did fear. At around 4:30 am, the doctor came in and said everything checked out and we were going to be ok. I was so relieved I almost cried. He said unless I wanted them to do an ultrasound I was free to go home. I had scheduled my first ultrasound for the first week of September, but my excitement took over and I decided I wanted to see my baby any chance I could.
They took me down to the ultrasound not too much later. I was disappointed because the screen was not facing me and I couldn't see a thing. I should have known something was wrong when I tried to talk to the tech. I asked him if he could see my baby, but his response puzzled me. He said, "I'm sorry ma'am, I don't know how to read them. I just take pictures and the doctor reads them." Despite the feeling of confusion, I let it go. The tech took me back to my room, and we waited for the doctor.. At this point, it was almost 6 am and I was exhausted! I fell asleep waiting for the doctor to come in. The first thing he said was, "Well, this is not a normal pregnancy at all." I told him that I was far from normal, and was not surprised that my pregnancy wasn't normal either. He then said, "The baby is ectopic." I had no idea what that meant, and he must have gathered that from my expression, because he proceeded with, "The baby has implanted himself to your right fallopian tube." I don't know if it was that I actually did not understand what this meant, or I just refused to acknowledge it, but my response was, "So go in there and move him to where he should be." The last thing I remember is the words, "I'm sorry Sharon, we have to terminate the pregnancy." After that, I couldn't hear anything else. Those words just crashed around in me head over and over and over. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk. All I could do was sob uncontrollably. I remember screaming out that I was gonna be a good mom. Other nurses and doctors were crying. My mom and baby's father were crying. I was devastated.
For two weeks I did nothing. I laid in bed and cried and slept. As gross as it sounds, I didn't shower, or even brush my teeth. I completely hit rock bottom. I have two God daughters that I couldn't stand the sight of and I wanted nothing to do with. I had never felt so alone, so empty, so angry. I thought for sure I was crazy. Women miscarry all the time right? And they get up and keep going. Why couldn't I? Why was it such a big deal to me? Everyone said well at least you weren't too far, or I'm sure you'll get another chance. But I couldn't think of it that way. This was my baby. My first baby and I loved him from the very moment I discovered him. Even if I could have another chance, it wouldn't be the same baby.
That's when I started to believe I might have lost my mind. Was it crazy of me to acknowledge this baby as my child, even though he was never born? I began to keep to myself. I didn't want other people to think I was nuts on top of my own feelings of insanity. I tried to tell myself that this wasn't normal and I needed to let it go, but that just wasn't working. After a almost a year and a half later, many nights of hiding my tears, faking smiles, and grieving alone, I snapped. No one acknowledged my baby. They just pretended that it never happened and went on with their lives. I think that's what hurt me the most. How could my life have changed so.drastically but everyone moved on like it never happened.
One day, while scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I saw an ad for a support group for miscarriage and infant loss. I decided to take a look. That page led me to other pages that led me to more pages, and for the first time since my baby was lost, I didn't feel alone. I listened to other women who had been through similar situations and realized there were many, many women like me. I wasn't crazy at all. When I saw this post on Facebook, I thought of how many other women go through the stages of loneliness and emptiness. I thought of the impact this might make and decided to share my story in hopes that other women can benefit from it. I think that there should be an outreach program that is notified as soon as a woman suffers this kind of loss, just so they know they're not alone. So they have the option of having someone to talk to, instead of thinking they're alone.
I now speak about my son on a regular basis. I celebrate his life everyday. I write him letters almost daily, and every year I celebrate his due date. He would be two now, and I am the proud mother of a baby with wings. I am the voice of loss and I am no longer ashamed to speak!