Baby Loss – Our Story
I would love to start a network of resources for parents who are grieving their children, simply because I have unfortunately been trough that tragedy and trauma myself and know just how important it is to have a support system that can sustain anyone going through the ordeal.
Back in 2013, just a few weeks after I got married, I discovered I was pregnant on my honeymoon. Both my husband and I where thrilled even though we never expected this to happen so early into our married life. We always knew we wanted to become parents so the timing really didn’t make any difference. Months went by into what seemed like a perfectly normal and straightforward pregnancy. We discovered we were having a little girl and again we were overjoyed. Around my sixth month of pregnancy, I checked in with my doctor for a routine monthly check up and was quickly admitted to hospital with very high blood pressure. I had never had problems with my blood pressure before and I had no idea that pregnancy could make your blood pressure spike. I spent a few weeks in hospital undergoing a number of tests and steroid shots. Needless to say I was overwhelmed by the whole experience. I had never before in my life been admitted to hospital for any reason and I was never keen on doctor visits so I was rather distressed during this whole period. I was so scared that I never stopped shaking. My body constantly trembled. It shock so much that anyone who would visit me, doctors or nurses would ask me weather I was feeling cold…. But no, I was just scared for my baby’s well being and my own. Weeks passed and my Doctor was concerned enough to ask for an emergency c -section. I was relieved thinking this would be the end of all my worries, now both baby and me would be fine, I thought. The doctors reassured me that despite the baby being born two months prior her due date the chances of her surviving where very promising. So on the 17th December 2013 Valentina ( her name meaning strenght, health and courage) was born, she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. I was scared that she wouldn’t be a pretty sight since she was premature but she looked like any other baby, just really small. I was not able to hold my baby; they gave me a glimpse of her face quickly and rushed her to the N.P.I.C.U. First results where promising, she immediately started breathing without any help and I was encouraged to give her my breast milk, not in the traditional way of course, but the nurse would feed it to her through a tube. A few days went by and I was released from hospital but Steve and I would go back and forth to be next to Valentina whenever we could. She was doing well and the doctors told us that all she needed was to gain the desired weight and she would be able to leave hospital. Then one night, 14 days after her birth, at around 3am in the morning we got a call and instinctively I knew it was not going to be good news. I remember crying as I quickly changed waiting for my husband to drive us down to hospital. She had contracted an infection and since she was so small her chances of survival were limited. We called our parents who rushed by our side immediately. Our faith here played an integral part in the acceptance of such a hard situation as well as the healing process after. The doctor assigned to Valentina happened to be an evangelical Christian, I believe that this is by no coincidence. Since it was New year’s eve the doctor’s wife and son visited him at the hospital and he told us that he had explained to his son that he couldn’t be with them that evening because he was caring for a very sick baby, our baby and asked me if I would mind if he would pass on something his son wished to give to my baby. I was surprised and told him that I would not mind it at all so the doctor reached into his pocked and gave me a small piece of paper his son had scribbled on. He wrote ‘Gesu ihobbok’, Jesus loves you.
To me that was all I needed to hear and I am confident that God used that young boy to pass on a very important message to us, the parents before Valentina departed. Because as Christians we have come to know that all of our life’s events are not just coincidental but part of a larger plan set by the Father. Even the hardest days. At around 6.30pm Valentina left this world. And for the first time since giving birth to her I was able to hold my daughter. She was later laid to rest right after New Year’s Day. The difficulties that one has to endure after the death of a child can be just as hard as the actual day they pass away. Unfortunately we are not the only parents who had to go through this but hopefully our story can offer some insight on regaining one’s serenity after the death of a child. Because it is possible to be happy again even with so much pain and emptiness left behind. One has to seek comfort and a reliable support system. Family members can be very helpful but sometimes one needs to look for professional help outside of the family unit as well. I am hoping to write a post about the difficulties encountered after our daughter’s death and how we coped with regaining our strength as a source of help and encouragement for any parents going through the same ordeal.