little boy lost

For me, a blog is not the place to express tender feelings and innermost thoughts.  But, because I have posted at some length about my pregnancy, it now seems necessary to share that we lost a little baby (he was only at 16-weeks development, but believe me, he looked like a little tiny person) this week.  I’ll choose not to go into a lot of detail about this experience, but I would like to share a few things I’ve learned this week, since I think the great value of writing and reading blogs is to learn from the experiences of others.

First of all, can I tell you how grateful I am for competent and compassionate healthcare professionals, including EMTs, nurses, and doctors?  We had a few scary minutes, punctuated by a fall onto the bathroom floor, but when the big, strong paramedics arrived to scoop me up, I knew everything was going to be ok.  We’re pretty sure that had I been a frontier woman, I would be dead, and we are so, so thankful for modern medicine.

Have you given blood lately?  If you are able, will you go do so sometime soon?  I needed four units Monday night, and boy am I thankful that people are willing to donate that life-giving fluid, at their own inconvenience, and with no personal benefit.  I have never thought about this much, but it becomes clear pretty quickly when you’ve lost a lot of your own blood.

I know a lot of women have struggles with getting and staying pregnant, many much more difficult than mine, so some of you already understand this well, but please never, never take your ability to bear children for granted.  Every baby born is a precious miracle.  I now have a less than 50% success rate (nine pregnancies, four live births) and am feeling pretty blessed and lucky to have four healthy children.

Finally, I have learned how fragile my own health is.  I am the kind of woman who considers myself tough and strong, both mentally and physically.  But, especially during pregnancy, things can change very quickly.  During a ten minute time period, I lost enough blood to go from alert, walking around, talking on the phone, to passed out on the bathroom floor.  Things can turn on a dime.  Almost everyone I have talked to this week has known someone who had a scary post-birth or post-miscarriage experience with bleeding.  It is important to know that heavy bleeding is dangerous and you must act quickly.  One person I know told me that they thought it was just normal because of the miscarriage, so they waited quite awhile to call — I’m pretty sure she almost died.  Oh, and if you’re feeling lightheaded, for heaven’s sake, lie down!

If you’d like to comment on this post, please don’t offer your condolences.  I know you’re sorry that this happened to us, and we are too.  We’ve been well cared-for by friends, family, and neighbors.  Instead, tell me about how blessed you are, how things like this help you to appreciate your life better, or what you feel motivated to do for yourself, or for someone else, as a result of reading this.  That would make my day.


15 thoughts on “little boy lost

  1. Rhall

    I love you so much, Liz. You have been an inspiration since you were a little girl. This was hard for me to read, but I’m so glad you shared, and gave it such a perspective. You know I am always concerned about women giving birth at home, sometimes alone by their own wish. We are blessed by modern medicine at times like this and should avail ourselves of all the best available. You have learned lots of things. Some lessons are so good for us but so hard to bear.

  2. kira

    This has been quite the week. On monday I found out that my cousin’s wife had a stillborn little girl and then when I heard about your miscarriage it made me very reflective. Parker had his 6 mo. check up on wednesday and let me tell you I’ve never been so grateful for a healthy, happy baby. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but my bro.and his wife had a DS baby in May, a little boy who was supposed to be Parker playmate, but we aren’t sure how long he’ll even live. I guess I just wanted to say that in the last few days I’ve been holding my kids a little closer and been a little more loving to my hubby ’cause you are right every life is precious. I’ve also found myself inspired by your strength. You are a pillar! I’m sure you have your moments, but your positive outlook on life has made family things a whole lot more fun. we love you guys!

  3. Katy

    I feeling pretty frustrated that I can’t be there with you, making chicken picatta or something comforting. I’ve been scheming on how to get some to you or at least something since my sister is Utah right now, but I am not sure that you want some stranger showing up at your doorstep when you are trying to take it easy. I am thankful for modern medicine, since I would hate to lose you. I am terrible about sending fun packages (mail in general really) to those I love, but I am going to really try to get something to you. Even if it just some cute pictures of your kids.

  4. robinbl

    It actually really amazes me that anyone manages to successfully give birth, since there are so many things that can go wrong from start to finish. Every day I still get a little nervous if I don’t feel the baby move for a while. And at my last appointment, the doctor told me that they just had a uterine rupture during a VBAC at his hospital and that they lost the baby. Bringing children into this world is no walk in the park. I did have a rather poignant insight the other week in the temple–I hope it’s not inappropriate to share here. I just happened to understand a little of the symbolic meaning of the bridal/temple veil that women wear. We are the “gatekeepers,” so to speak, for our children, as they cross through the veil on their way into the mortal world. The veil represents that special privilege we have been given. I think it also represents the danger that we risk, too, as so many women have died, crossing the veil the second time, as a result of that desire to bring children into the world. I agree with you–thank goodness for modern medicine, for the risk is much less now than it was in times past. But as we all know, being a mother is the greatest sacrifice you could ever make, both before and after birth. Even if your ratio of pregnancies to live births isn’t perfect, Liz, I think your success rate is 100%. You have four beautiful children, and you are an awesome mother. No matter what the Lord has in store for the eventual size of your family, you have been blessed and continue to bless them in return. We’re so glad that you made it through this and want you to know our prayers are with you.

  5. Jodi

    Liz, I am so thankful for modern medicine and am so glad that you are OK. You are so right, pregnancy is nothing to take lightly. Yes, women were made to bear children but we often take that for granted and don’t recognize the physical and emotional toll it can take. As you already know, my daughter was born 2 ½ months prematurely about a year ago. She and I both almost didn’t make it (I thought I was “just” going in for an emergency C-section and then woke up 2 days later in the ICU on dialysis and had to have numerous transfusions). Thankfully, she is doing great now (after over 2 months in the NICU) and I am doing much better as well. PTL that most women never have to go through the same. Guess you and I both weren’t meant to live as frontier women. I am sorry for what you have had to go through and can only imagine that you are hugging your children and husband even more.

  6. Christina

    Well, to try and help make your day I went to donate blood tonight. I have never donated blood before, and have always been scared to do so. But your post was more than enough motivation for me. Unfortunately, my iron levels were to low to donate. If your iron levels are low, they defer you for 56 days. So I will try to get my iron levels up for the next attempt in a couple of months. Jason offered to donate blood when he gets back from YM’s camp next week. If there’s anything else we can do to help “make your day” let us know. We love you and your family and wish we were closer.

  7. Katie

    Thanks for sharing… I too am so grateful to be able to bear children with minor complications- and I am also sooo… grateful for modern medicine- Two weeks after giving birth to my first child- I started to bleed like a hose and knew something was not right- the ambulance came and long story short I had to have a D&C because some of the placenta was left in me (like the size of a pinky fingertip) and later I found out that I was lucky not to have had a hysterectomy(?) to stop the bleeding. I feel so blessed that I have been able to have 3 more children with just a few hiccups (bells palsy, bed rest, and thyroid problems) and to be under the care of wonderful doctors and nurses… I have learned not to take the wonderful things my body is able to do for granted… what an absolute miracle and blessing. I always tried to be positive about being pregnant- not knowing what the next person has gone through or is going through.

  8. liz Post author

    Thanks so much, everyone, for your loving words. A couple of responses —
    Jodi, you know that what I just did was small potatoes compared to what you’ve been through. You and Bekah are a miracle as far as I’m concerned, and I’m so glad you both made it.
    Christina, and anyone else who has low iron — I have had this problem for years, and there is finally something that really makes a difference for me — a new thing called SlowFe, which is a slow-release iron supplement. I can’t believe how much better I feel when I take it. Just thought I’d pass that on, because it’s a common problem for women of childbearing age, and this new form of iron has worked so much better than the old, standard tablets.
    Katie, I’m just so amazed by how many women have had this bleeding problem. Aren’t we lucky to get such good care? I’m so glad you’ve been able to have four healthy children — it sounds like you’ve had more than your share of troubles.

  9. Andrea

    I too am grateful for all of you who are able to donate blood. My sweet little girl has had several ‘blood bags’ over the past year and I am grateful every time for the people who are kind enough to donate. Her B+ bags have been just the things she has needed. I am also grateful for the two little girls I was able to have and ever since my baby got sick, I have been more grateful. I know no condolences are needed, but you have my love from 1,000 miles away ( in either direction as it may be!)

  10. alice dewitt

    I am fortunate to have three healthy children. It might not have been so. I had preeclampsia with the last one (and he was breach), and we both could have died. As much as I had always dreaded the possibility of having a c-section, I was (am) so grateful that modern medical science allowed for the safe delivery of a breach baby within minutes, and under difficult circumstances. I can’t have any more children (I never thought I would have less than 4), but I am so grateful for the three healthy ones I have. And, I am grateful that I am alive to raise them. Best wishes!

  11. Kate

    It is so true that there is a reason it is called the miracle of life…for it is truly a miracle. I feel very blessed that we have a birthmother ready and willing to place her first born in our family. Without her pure unselfishness, we would have a very hard time experiencing the blessing of parenthood. I have certainly grown stronger for having been blessed with this trial and for that I am forever grateful! Lots of love to you.

  12. liz

    wow. i know you don’t want condolences, but i have tears in my eyes and I just want to send you my big internet hug (please don’t delete me for breaking the rules in this comment section, I’m getting to the part you asked for!!!!)

    I have been really struggling emotionally today and your post has put me in my place the way I needed it to. I have been too stubborn to do what I know I need to do, which is pray to understand and see pregnancy and birth the way He sees it. Your post has helped me know I need to work on changing my current attitude.

    Also, I never thought of donating blood that way before. Nor have I known what an impact it could make.

    I am glad you are writing, and okay. I really like you. Even though you are my stranger-danger-blog-friend.

  13. danielle

    I have just been thinking a lot about you this week and I have hesitated to comment because I just don’t know what to say. But what I do want to say is that I really really have appreciated your willingness to share these experiences– both your pregnancy and miscarriage, because they are just so real life…you know. And sharing these kinds of things is the stuff that enables others to grow and heal by being able to sort of share in them with you. I hope this makes sense.

    Anyway, I am inspired by your perspective and your strength. Thanks for that.

  14. Traci

    Liz you are strong & wise, amoung many other things. :)
    What an enlightened perspective you have! My mother in-law was told that she would never bear children and she had many struggles with pregnancy. And she never ceases to acknowledge her three miracle children. I love and admire woman who are able to endure trials of child birth. Love you lots!

  15. Ellen

    I would like to add my thanks to the health pros. we have a daughter that has scolliosis four years ago she had spine surgery. After the surgery the doctor told us that the spine surgery is more agressive than open heart surgery. She now has a fused spine and has restrictions, had she not had the surgery she would not be with us today.


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