Never Say, "Get Over It."
Today I am sharing Crystal Flowers' story with you all. Please take the time to read and share some encouraging words. Again, this month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I am sharing these wonderful ladies' stories in hopes that it can help and bring hope to anyone who has experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. Please check out Talysa McCall's story as well. Thank you, below is Crystal Flowers' story.
I was 27 and she was my first baby. Chloe Alexandria Elyse Flowers. It took us forever to decide on a name but when we did, we fell in love with it. I talked to Chloe all the time in my womb. She was a calm baby and I had a great pregnancy. No morning sickness, no medical issues, no weird cravings. Unless oatmeal is weird, lol.
I was 36 weeks pregnant, my hospital bag was packed and I had THE cutest little outfit to bring Chloe home in. A little cream 2-piece with ducks embroidered on it. I started to feel some pain late into the night of Oct. 5th and I got excited. Was this it? Was I in labor? I had no previous point of reference and my Mother wasn’t close by. So, I sat up and watched A Baby Story on TLC until the sun came up.
The whole morning of the 6th, the pain gradually grew until it became unbearable. I decided I would go and see my Doctor so I prepared to go. As I was about to get dressed, my water broke! Excitement kicked into overdrive and my Husband and I hopped into the car, calling all the relatives and friends to let them know that the Princess was on her way!
I got to the hospital and when the nurse checked my vitals, she immediately started calling for a Doctor. I asked what was going on and she told me, "Ma’am, we need to prep you for an emergency C-Section. The baby’s heartbeat is very low and we need to get her out immediately."
I started to get anxious and everything moved so quickly. Within less than 20 minutes, I was prepped, wheeled into the operating theater and being told to count backward from ten as they lowered the anesthesia mask over my face. I remember getting to “three” and everything went black.
I don’t know how long I was out, but when I woke up, groggy from the meds, I saw my Husband sitting by my bed. I asked him where was the baby and who did she look like. He smiled and said she was beautiful and that I should rest. I fell asleep and when I woke again, my Father was sitting there. I once again asked for the baby and he told me to rest. I fell asleep again, and when I woke the third time, I knew something was wrong. Then a whole team of medical staff entered my room and I knew. I knew. I braced myself as best as my morphine laden body could and I lay there as the Doctor told me that they tried to save Chloe, but they were not successful.
Her umbilical cord had been around her neck and the pain I was feeling all night was her fighting to get it off. She fought so hard that she ripped her sac away from my uterus. I had experienced what is known as a Placental Abruption. The damage was so severe to my uterus that they said it looked as though I’d been involved in a major accident. I had been bleeding internally and had lost so much blood, that had I waited an hour longer to get to the hospital. I would have also died. I went numb. And it wasn’t just the medicine. I compartmentalized my emotions and accepted this news very stoically. I didn’t cry, I just asked to see her. She was beautiful. A perfect mix of me and her Father. Head full of jet black hair, tiny and perfect. And gone.
I held her, kissed her head, and handed her back to the nurse. I think they took my soul out of that room along with my precious angel. I kept a brave face and tried to comfort the visitors that came to comfort me. When the emotions finally came to a head, it was very primal and devastating. I screamed and cried from the core of every cell in my body. That grief nearly stole everything from me. My sanity, my marriage, my faith in God. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around making it to the end of a successful pregnancy and then have all my dreams and plans canceled so abruptly. Those were some very dark days.
Somehow, I managed to keep going and my faith, what little I had left, was enough to help me pull through and come out of that depression. Less than a year later, I got pregnant again. I was determined to not let fear and anxiety control my life. I had another great pregnancy, no issues and a craving for homemade banana pancakes. This time, I was monitored by a specialist and I can gratefully say that I gave birth to another beautiful angel. She looked JUST like her sister at birth and she is one of the great joys of my life. She is so vibrant and full of life and enthusiasm. Her name is Amaya and she is now 7 yrs old, going on 8.
If you have suffered the loss of a child, please give yourself permission to grieve. Don’t feel like you have to be strong or keep it together. That is a broken moment and it must be processed. Surround yourself with people who love you and will support you through that process. If your friend or loved one has suffered the loss, reach out to them. Offer a listening ear, void of judgement and void of rushing them through their grief. Never say, “Get over it.” Instead, tell them, “We’ll get through this.” Let them set the pace. If professional grief counselling becomes necessary, please get it. Do what you can to get back to a healthy headspace and emotional state.
I know everyone is not blessed with another baby so quickly, and my heart goes out to them. This is as much a mental and emotional battle as it is a physical one and it requires a great deal of support and faith. I pray every Mother who has known the pain of losing a child is strengthened and surrounded by love and support. Our story details may vary but our hearts carry the same scars. We’re in this together and I hope to be able to rejoice and celebrate when they, too, receive their sunshine after the rain.
- By Crystal Flowers