We went to the local pregnancy center, as I didn’t have a doctor, to get our official test and on May 18th we had official proof that we were parents. We went straight out and registered at Walmart, Target & Toys R Us.
May 26 there was a carnival in town for tornado relief. I went with a few friends, and was having a great day. After a while, we were getting ready to have lunch, and were walking over that way, when I tripped over a tent peg. We weren’t sure exactly how I had fallen, or how hard I’d fallen. So we decided that it would be best to go to the hospital to get checked out. We headed over to St. John’s. We got to have an ultrasound done, and when the doctor came in to talk to us, he told us that our baby wasn’t there. That we had what was called a “blighted ovum” (for more information about blighted ovums, please visit: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/blightedovum.html).
When we arrived at the doctor’s office on June 1, they asked me if I was there for a follow up on a blighted ovum, and I told them no. That I knew there was a baby there. They just kinda looked at me like I was crazy, but took me on back. We went through the regular parts of the visit, the history, etc. Then they took me back for an ultrasound. The doctor first had the screen turned away from us, and after not much time at all, I heard a heartbeat! It was much different from the sound I’d heard a week before when it was supposed to have been my ovaries that they were checking. It was the best sound I’ve heard in my whole life. We got 4 pictures printed out, one that showed her heartbeat. That was Friday.
Wednesday night, I was sitting with my elderly friend, Mary, when I started spotting. I was concerned, but wasn’t too worried about it, until the next morning. It started picking up by the time I left her house around noon. My husband was supposed to go to work at 3, so we had him call in so he could be home in case something happened. By supper time, I was laying on the couch, cramping pretty bad, with the heating pad. I took some tylenol but it wasn’t cutting it at all. We decided to go to the hospital. By the time we got there I started passing large clots. It took a while to get back in the ER, and as it turns out, it was because they thought I was only having abdominal cramps. Somewhere between the nurses out front, who knew what was happening, the triage nurse, who knew what was happening, and the people in the back, there were crossed wires. Shortly after we got to the back, my mom’s best friend, my sister, my dad’s best friend & his wife arrived and stood around with us in the back. The doctors quickly took me to ultrasound. After I got back from ultrasound, the tech came in to take my blood and as he was finishing up, he got a call, not to take my blood. The doctor came in and told me that I had lost the baby. We waited around for what seemed like hours (though I’m sure it was not), and were finally discharged and able to go home.
We have spent a good amount of time in the last year trying to find things that we could do to keep her memory alive, and to honor her, by helping other mommy’s who have to wait until heaven to hold their baby. I started a memory box program, Hannah’s Tears Memory Box Program, originally to serve Mercy St. John’s Hospital, where I “delivered” her. As the time for the first delivery of boxes came, I found out that they were not in need of my boxes, and so I went in search of somewhere to take them. We decided upon Life Choices Crisis Pregnancy Center, here in Joplin, and also in Carthage. On June 18th, our first delivery of 10 boxes went into Life Choices, hopefully to impact the lives of mama’s who have lost babies far too soon.
I also started a business, Earthly Creations by Dawn. I have always loved crafts, and crafting, and have found it to be relaxing and comforting. I do yarn crafts (mostly plastic canvas), and paper crafts. A little of everything will be offered there.
I have also started a Facebook group for people who have lost babies in the Joplin area. Joplin Area Baby Loss Community can be found by clicking on the link. It is a closed group, so you can feel free to post anything, without worrying about someone else seeing it.
I hope by sharing my story, I help to bring awareness to the almost 2 million babies who go to heaven before they reach 20 weeks gestation. 1 in 4 pregnancies. And most go without any explanation. Mommies who have no answer as to why their baby is now in eternity instead of in their arms. Please don’t feel sorry for me, I have had enough sympathy in the last year. All I ask is that you do something in her memory. If you would like, when the time comes, to help with the programs at St. John’s, we’d be delighted to have you! Please help me keep my daughter’s memory alive