Owen's Story (Part 8): Trigger Warning Pregnancy Loss, TFMR

On October 10 we had our follow-up appointment with Dr. Jones--our regular OBGYN that we had been seeing up until our MFM appointment where we found out about Owen’s condition. It was hard. There were pregnant mothers and recent mothers in the lobby with us while we waited for our turn to go in. That was supposed to be us. We’d be close to 25 weeks with Owen if he was still alive. When we got to our check-up room, I kept looking out the window and fantasizing about jumping out of it. I had a lot of those thoughts since his termination. I knew I would never do it; I couldn’t leave Justin or further traumatize my class of 2nd graders, but it sounded nice to be done. To be with my baby.

I had to talk to Dr. Jones about how my body had been recovering. 

Is your milk coming in? Yes. 

Is it painful? Not anymore.

Do you want to do anything with your milk? I’m wearing a tight sports bra and hoping it will dry out soon. 

What about your uterine/cervical bleeding? It comes and goes. 

It will probably be like that for a few weeks. Have you had cramps post-procedure? Yes. 

That’s your uterus going back to its pre-pregnancy size. 

Are your cramps mild, moderate, or severe? Most of the time they’re mild, but I’ve had two instances where they’ve been severe. 4 Advil tablets seem to help. 

What did the MFM doctors tell you about future pregnancies? It’s highly unlikely that we’ll have another child with this condition, but there’s a placenta test we can do at 11 weeks if we want to double-check  and they can get us in at 16 weeks--instead of 20 weeks--for an early anatomy scan next time. We’ve talked about maybe trying again in February or March of next year, but it all depends on how I recover from this. 

What post-care supports have you connected with? Justin scheduled a therapy appointment for me tonight. 

Are they a specialist in pregnancy loss? No. We were just looking for where I could be seen the quickest. 

I had a patient before you who lost a baby at 18 weeks. I’ll see if I can pass on her therapist’s information to you since they were a pregnancy loss specialist. Thank you. 

Is there anything I can prescribe to help you? I’m already on fluoxetine. Justin called my primary care doctor and got my dosage upped from 20 mg to 40 mg right before the termination. 

We can get it upped some more if things get worse for you. That’s what we’re here for if you need it. 

You did everything you could to have a healthy pregnancy. You managed your sugars, you went above and beyond. This wasn't caused by your genetics or your diabetes. This really was genetic lightning. I know. 

You two are so strong. You’re going to make it through this. ...Thanks. 

I’ve decided I hate it when people tell us we’re strong. We’re not strong, we’re traumatized. We’re barely holding it together at any given point. You think we’re strong because we aren’t getting emotional or crying in front of you. You don’t see what goes on when we’re alone or when you leave our apartment or when you get off the phone with us. You don’t see even a fraction of our pain or sadness. If we seem strong, it’s because we have no other choice. We don’t want to be strong. We shouldn’t have to be strong. It’s not a compliment.

I cried on the way home from the appointment and shut myself into Owen’s room to be alone. 

I had gone to therapy for the first time later that night and my therapist, Brittany, told me that everything I had been experiencing was valid and part of the grieving process. My anger, my sadness, my thoughts of dying to be with Owen, my struggle with having an appetite, my guilt, my crying, my insomnia, my grief caused by my breast milk coming in, carrying around Owen’s blanket. It was all normal and natural for someone in my situation. After our appointment it felt like a weight was lifted off my chest. I went out to the car where Justin was waiting for me, feeling sad, but a different kind of sad than before. A more hopeful kind of sadness. 

Before I went to bed, I saw that my mom had posted this poem she had written for Owen on his obituary page: 

For dearest Owen and mom and dad ❤️,

If we could visit heaven—even for a day,

Maybe for a while, our pain would slip away.

We’d fold our arms around you and whisper words of love,

Hoping, too, we might receive peace we’re so in need of.

And when our visit’s over and our time together through,

We’d hold you closely once again and kiss you softly, too.

No matter how we spend our days,

no matter where we go—

Our yearning to be near you will forever ebb and flow.

As morning dawns turn into nights and moments into years,

Our love will be reflected both in happiness and tears.

We’ll feel you in the summer breeze and when the cool winds blow,

When clouds drift by and raindrops fall, we’ll cherish each rainbow.

A lifetime is a long time for broken hearts to wait,

But for now you’ll be our angel baby, waiting by heaven’s gate.

We love you all so very much Alyson, Justin, and sweet Owen. Your sadness is our sadness, and one day your joy will be ours, too.


grandma Tiersa and grandpa Mark ❤️

No comments