Grateful Despite the Grief

Today I share a special guest post by Jenny Albers here on Wanted Chosen Planned. Welcome Jenny – and welcome everyone reading this! We are just a few days into the new year and it is a perfect time to share powerful stories of the “new normal” lives we find ourselves in after loss – and a perfect time to celebrate the children who are not with us.

Grateful Despite the Grief:

 

I found out I was pregnant in October 2014, after experiencing an ectopic pregnancy earlier in the year. As much as I would like to say that I immediately began plans for bringing a baby home, something just didn’t feel right. Despite a number of ultrasounds that confirmed all was well, I remained skeptical. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with my baby. As the weeks passed and my pregnancy progressed into the second trimester I continually told myself that everything was fine, but I never quite believed it.

On January 13, 2015 my water broke in the early hours of the morning as I lay in bed. In that moment, I knew that my instincts had been correct. Something was most definitely wrong.

I visited the specialist’s office the following day, and was advised to terminate my pregnancy. At just 17 weeks, 6 days gestation, there was no amniotic fluid and I was told that my baby would certainly die.

My instincts about something being wrong had turned out to be right. Only it wasn’t a problem with my baby, but instead with my own body. I had experienced Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) and because of that my baby would never experience life outside of the womb. Without question, I knew I would carry on with the pregnancy despite the doctor’s recommendation to terminate. After all, my baby had a strong heartbeat and I had already felt those precious kicks from within. I knew that I would lose my baby, but that little life was too precious to terminate. I would wait for it to end naturally.

The doctor had told me that I would likely go into labor within a few days of that initial visit to the specialist’s office, but labor didn’t begin for nearly three more weeks. During that time I was able to see ultrasound images and listen to that precious heartbeat. I was able to feel the faint sensation of my baby pushing against my womb. These would be the only ways in which I would ever know my baby and these moments were precious, although bittersweet, as I knew they would quickly come to an end.

And on January 31, 2015, those moments did end as I endured a short labor in which I delivered baby Micah, at just 20 weeks, 3 days gestation. While I wasn’t grateful for much in those moments, I was grateful that I had those three extra weeks to carry my baby, and to prepare my heart and mind for the inevitable. I was grateful that I had the opportunity to see and hold my baby who was fully formed, yet weighed less than a pound.

I experienced months of deep, dark grief in which I cried more tears than I ever knew possible. In which I experienced every negative emotion possible – jealousy, anger, hatred, envy, and more. I avoided society for months because life just didn’t make sense anymore. But, I remain grateful for baby Micah’s short life as it has given me the ability to feel and show compassion in a way that I never could before. It has changed my perspective on life and shown me just how fragile and spectacular life truly is.

 

Thank you, Jenny, for sharing Micah’s story. I’m sure there are many mothers, fathers and others out there who are experiencing similar “deep, dark grief.” Yet, the message of gratitude is a powerful one. We are not alone on this journey and while that is a sad reality, it can bring comfort and support – and that is something to be grateful for.

Jenny blogs at: mannainthemadness.com : )

Pregnancy loss and infant loss is an experience known by many, unfortunately. We who have lived it can be an amazing support for each other. If you would like to share your story, please email Alexis Marie Chute at info@alexismariechute.com

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