October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. We would like to share a story from one of our patients to honor and bring awareness to this important issue.
Please be aware that this blog post is a story of pregnancy loss and may be triggering for some.
Jodie is known and loved by many at NBBC as the “placenta lady” with Tree of Life Placenta Services. Jodie has experienced two losses and she shared her stories with us.
In October of 2014, after getting sick in the shower, Jodie took a pregnancy test thinking it would probably be negative but it was positive! Overwhelm turned to shock which then turned into excitement.
At a 12 week ultrasound everything looked fine with the baby and Jodie fell in love with this new baby immediately. She began to make a plan to find out the gender of the baby. They scheduled a 3D/4D ultrasound at 16 weeks and brought the whole family to experience this special moment. As soon as the ultrasound started, Jodie knew that something wasn’t right by the look on the technician’s face. She asked about the accuracy of her due date and mentioned that the baby looked small. She said she would call her care provider and that Jodie could expect a call from the midwife later.
From there Jodie and her family went to dinner and while waiting for their food, she got the call from the midwife that confirmed that her baby was not expected to make it to term. Jodie was speechless, shocked and angry.
“I just started crying uncontrollably. My husband came out and grabbed the phone out of my hand. He was silent. The look on his face was one I had never seen. It was pure devastation and sadness.”
So many emotions.
“I couldn’t accept that there wasn’t anything to do to help my baby. My midwife met us at the birth center for another ultrasound. She did the ultrasound for over twenty minutes and there was no heartbeat and no movement. My baby was already lifeless. This was officially the worst day of my life.”
Jodie and her husband made a decision to deliver their baby at home so that they could say goodbye in a way that felt right to them. She delivered him in the water with the help of her husband and was able to see that it was a boy who they named Kasey James.
“Being able to say goodbye to our precious Kasey James helped me heal more than anything. I was blessed to have a great network of loving and supportive family and friends.”
There are some things that Jodie would like for people who are reading this to know.
“I was surprised how people reacted when I walked into a room. They would either stare or put their heads down. All I wanted was a hug. No words were needed, just compassion. I found most people saying things like, “Your’re young, there’s still time” or, “At least you have your other girls.” Honestly, I wanted to smack people for saying those things. That hurt me more than they knew. I knew that the pain would never end. I would just have to find a way to deal with it. I’m still dealing with it.”
In May of 2015, Jodie found out she was expecting again. Having experienced loss, she was hesitant to get too excited. She felt a lot of fear.
At the first ultrasound, once again, things did not look normal. The past came flooding back. She had lost another baby. She felt like her body had failed her. She wondered if she was being punished by God.
These are all very normal emotions to feel when experiencing loss and it is important to allow moms to express these emotions. For those of us who are close to those families who experience loss, being empathetic is the best thing we can offer emotionally. It’s important for us to recognize that we don’t have to say something to make people feel better. Nothing will make them feel better in moments like these. They just need to know that we see them and that we are there witnessing their emotions without judgement.
For Jodie, turning to her faith helped her walk through the waves of grief and pain which still come.
“After having two wonderful, healthy pregnancies, how could I lose TWO babies? How could I move on? These are questions I’m still asking myself. Some days it’s hard to breathe because the pain is so strong. But I truly BELIEVE GOD has a plan for my life. My FAITH has been a huge part of dealing with the pain and hurt. I get strength from my family and friends. I find comfort in knowing that I will see my babies again. I hope my story helps break the silence on miscarriage and infant loss. I hope someone finds courage to tell their story. Together we can and will BREAK THE SILENCE.”
Jodie has this advice for families who experience loss:
- Don’t let people dictate your grief. Deal with it the best you can and don’t worry about what others think
- Don’t forget that partners suffer too! Many times they are forgotten by others. They need love and empathy also. Many times partners are the ones who feel obligated to remain strong and not express their feelings. They need support too!
Jodie gave birth to her rainbow baby just a few weeks ago! They are over the moon in love with baby Riley James! And we are so happy for them.