This time last year, I noticed Facebook friends posting about National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, a day I’d never heard of, and I made a note to hold space for those expectant parents who lost their babies.
Three days later, I started bleeding and was devastated to learn that my 7 week embryo was not viable. One moment I was pregnant and the next day I was officially entered into the club that no one wants to join.
When my partner and I conceived again in March of 2020, we were thrilled to be expecting our third and final baby to complete our family. The only problem was I was sick–very sick. After weeks of doctor visits and taking five different prescription medications to manage the nausea and vomiting, I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
Every day was a struggle; it felt like the walls of my bedroom, where I spent most of my time lying in bed, were closing in on me, and I was slowly fading away. At the same exact time, COVID-19 was making its way to the US and eventually to my home state of North Carolina. My anxiety was at an all-time high. I was terrified to lose the baby. Every time I used the bathroom, I checked for blood and reminded myself to take deep breaths.
The start of the second trimester was a welcome mark, and I finally started to let my guard down. The news that my baby was a girl and passed all of the early screenings was the best news I’d ever received. It was a bright spot in an otherwise dark time. Little did I know that the darkest days were ahead.
At my 17 week appointment, an ultrasound confirmed that there was no heartbeat. It was the most crushing moment I’ve ever experienced. The next hours and days were a whirlwind. Since it was a “missed miscarriage” and my body wasn’t registering that my pregnancy was over, I would need a D&C. A kind nurse talked to us about our options while I hyperventilated under my tear-soaked mask.
We named her Quinn and chose to have her cremated. We hesitantly agreed to have her footprints taken. I shudder to think that we almost declined because that image of her two tiny perfect feet is one I will cherish forever. A friend gifted us a wind chime in her honor, and every time there is a breeze, one of our sons will gently point out that Quinn is with us. She will always live in our hearts.