Kim - posted on 06/23/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )
I was my first pregnancy. My husband was nervous to become a father but I was ready. All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. As the pregnancy progressed my husband became more accepting and more excited. The pregnancy started out rough. I found out I was pregnant in the hospital. I was having horrible cramping and excessive vomiting; something was definitely wrong. Turns out I was pregnant. For 2 weeks I was incredibly sick. I couldn't keep anything down and couldn't go to work. Throughout my pregnancy I was sick and sore but nothing I couldn't handle. One day at work I noticed my ankles and legs were swollen and filled with water. I could push on a spot and the indent from where I pushed would stay for a few minutes. I pointed it out to a co-worker because I thought it was kind of funny. She suggested I call my doctor; so I did. They had me come in just to check it out. By this time I was 6 months pregnant. They did the normal check up routine on me but when it came to checking the baby’s heart beat they had a hard time finding it. Right away I began freaking out because at previous appointments they were able to find the heart beat right away. They kept thinking they were hearing it but my heart was racing so fast they couldn't be sure if it was my heart beat or the baby's so they took me in for an ultrasound. No heart beat. The doctor explained to me that the baby had been deceased for a week. *I had been to an appointment 2 weeks earlier and the baby wasn't moving much. The doctor gave me some juice and the baby started moving. He told me if I didn't feel him (the baby was a boy) move more within the next 2 weeks to come back in.* When I found out the baby had passed, I was alone. I drove home right after. My husband and I were in the process of moving to a larger apartment so we could have more room for the baby. I didn't call him from the doctor's office because I didn't want to tell him this news over the phone. I began crying as soon as I opened the door. I could barely get the words out of my mouth. He was devastated, and so was I. Since I was so far along I was going to have to be induced. I carried him around for 3 more days after that because of the move. May 15, 2006 is the day he was delivered. I think that day was harder on my husband and my family because I was on SO many drugs that I was numb, physically and mentally. I had everyone leave the room (including my husband) when it was time for him to come. I told myself that I wasn't going to look at him but I did sneak a peak. He was only 1 pound. It took a while after that for the doctor's to figure out what had gone wrong. Turns out it was Trisomy 18. I had never heard of this disease before then.
We didn't have a funeral but we did have him cremated. Now, I had been through a lot in my life up to that point. I was raised by my great-grandparents and both of them passed away when I was a teenager. Losing my son was the absolute hardest thing I had ever gone through. I was seriously depressed for a long time after that. I even found it hard to be around my friends and family, except for my husband. When I was around strangers I would sit by myself in silence and hold back tears because I was so uncomfortable. I am a very outgoing, happy person so this was definitely not like me.
3 months after the loss I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, but I did. 1 week later I miscarried. It was just too soon for my body to carry a life.
In March 2008 I found out I was pregnant again. I was SO nervous. The chances of the baby having Trisomy 18 were very small. Once you have a baby with the disease it is not likely that you will have another with the same disease. Still, we had all the tests done to make sure and thank goodness, this one did NOT have it. We now have a 7 month old son who is happy and very healthy.
I still think about my first son every day. And even though we have another son, he doesn't replace my first son. For the death certificate we needed a name; we didn't want it to say "baby boy Hooker" so we named him Donovan Michael Hooker.
Our son now is named after his brother. He is Donovan James Hooker. Michael is my husband's first name, James is his middle name. We loved the name so much and thought it would be a nice tribute to name our 2nd son after him. It is hard for me to call him Donovan though. I call him Van.
Every now and then when I look at Van in the rear view mirror I picture 2 kids in the back seat and wonder what it would be like. I often wonder if they would look alike. I would like to think that the whole thing has made me stronger but I'm not sure of that. There are still times that I cry my eyes out, missing my little boy. It's funny how you can miss someone so much that you never even met...
This is the first time I have shared my story with strangers.... thank you for taking the time to read it. My heart goes out to all mothers who have, in one way or another, lost a child.