Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Have you ever lost a baby?

Photobucket I got an emotional email from a woman who lost an unborn child six years ago. The baby was growing in her falopian tube instead of her uterus (ectopic pregnancy.) She was newly married and conceived the baby during her honeymoon. If you have ever had a miscarriage, you know what it's like to think you are having a baby and find out you will never see that smiling face. You go into the doctor's office to get a routine ultrasound and you can tell by the technician's face something is terribly wrong.

Ronald Reagan created Pregnancy and Infant loss month (PAIL) in 1988 to recgonize the emotional strain put on the millions of families who lose children to miscarriage, still births or the death of a newborn child each year.

A woman who does not want to be identified was willing to share her emtional story with us today. On October 15th, women around the country will light a candle at 7p.m. in honor of the baby they lost.

Six years ago, October 12, 2002, I got married and we conceived a baby on our honeymoon. It was not planned but we were so excited to be welcoming a baby into our lives. I found out I was pregnant right away and went to the doctor to make sure everything was going well. The doctor did an ultrasound and could not find the heartbeat or the baby and suspected that it was an ectopic (where the baby has attached to the fallopian tube). I went through such an emotional roller coaster over the next few days, as I had to do blood tests, more sonograms, and finally laproscopic surgery.

I had to be sure that the baby was really not in my uterus before I agreed to take the methotrexate, which would stop the growth of my baby. I felt like taking the medication was ‘killing’ my baby but yet I knew that it was the only option, as the baby would not survive in my tube. However, I hoped that the Doctor was wrong and that the baby would not be found in my tube. But he was not wrong.

I had to receive 2 shots of the Methotrexate and it gave me horrible stomach pains, one time even sending me to the emergency room. I also had to go to the lab a couple times a week to have my HCG levels tested. It was very hard for me emotionally to not be able to move past my loss. For 6 weeks I had to continually be reminded (with physical pain, blood draws, trips to the hospital) of my new reality. Family and friends tried to be supportive but didn’t know what to do or say. I really didn’t know how to deal with it either and even now, after 6 years, I am still working through all the emotions. I have since had two healthy, beautiful girls but I still think of my first child and wonder how things would have been with that baby here with us.

I have received so much support from the message boards on Ivillage as it helps so much to talk to others that have been through similar situations. My hope is that the word will get out about October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (PAIL) and that October 15th is PAIL Awareness Day. All those that have lost a baby whether it was from ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or infant loss will be lighting a candle on the 15th at 7pm to create the “Wave of Light”. This is to honor the babies that were lost and if all time zones light a candle and keep it lit for 1 hour; there will be a continuous “Wave of Light” over the entire world on October 15th.

Written in honor of my baby-due date 7/10/03.

Have you ever lost a baby? We would love to hear your story!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


Shannon said...

Thank you for posting this.

I lost a baby to miscarriage on December 7, 2001.

My best friend lost her daughter 44 minutes after her birth on July 6, 2006. We still do not know why Natalee died.

Both of these tragedies have taught me so much and opened my eyes to the vast numbers of women and families who have been through similar experiences. The national day of recognition just became official two years ago and I'm so grateful for it. is also a wonderful resource and has beautiful gifts for those who have had a loss. said...

Here's a comment I got via email:

I also have had an ectopic pregnancy.

Mine happened in May of 2006.

It was a Friday night and I was having horrible hip and thigh pain and decided to take a trip to the ER. The doctor asked if there was any possibility of pregnancy and I said that we had been trying for about a year so yes. The test came back positive. I was so excited!! The diagnosed me with a UTI and sent me home and was told to follow up with my OB/GYN. I made the appt for the following friday. Unfortunately I woke up the next Wednesday with diarrhea and horrible cramping. I didn't want to go back to the ER since I had just been there so my husband decided to call the doctor in a panic he dialed the fax number. I immediately said hang up you need to call 911 something is not right. AMT arrived and I was taken straight to the hospital by the time I arrived I was passed out I was rapidly bleeding internally. The next thing I remember is waking up in the ER and the doctor telling me that I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and they were going to rush me in for emergency surgery and my doctor was on his way over. I was devastated. You wonder to yourself was there something I did wrong, I felt like I had let my husband down. To this day I think about the baby I lost.

I had never heard of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (PAIL) and that October 15th is PAIL Awareness Day. I think it is fantastic that those of us who had lost a baby can unite even while not being in the same place.

I now have a 14 1/2 month old and another one on the way in december. So there is hope after losing a baby.

Jenny said...

I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for both of the losses posted on here (above).

My story was the one that Jen posted on the blog yesterday, so I understand what you are feeling. Hearing your story of rushing to the ER just brought back all those memories for me too. It's been since 2002, so it's not as vivid now as it was before. However, different things can 'trigger' memories or emotions.

Just know that you are not alone and I am so glad that you learned of PAIL day/month so that you can have that added connection with your baby and others that have gone through it. I would also like to share the message board on Ivillage (if that's ok) on ectopic pregnancy. They also have other boards for miscarriage, pregnant after loss, and loss of an infant. However, here is the link for the ectopic board if anyone would like to connect with others that have gone through it.

And thank you (again) Jen for doing this story. Some women tried to get their news stations to acknowledge this month/day and they were not even contacted back. I feel blessed to have reached you and that you were willing to share! said...

Jenny, we ran the story on HOI 19 last night too. Every Thursday at 5pm I do a NewsAnchorMom segment. Pail was one of my topics this week. I am happy to help. It is a horrible experience and sharing seems to help.

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