~10 years ago today, Noah-Alexander came silently into this world. I don't have words to explain how this feels, but I'm going to share him today, which is something I haven't felt comfortable enough to do in years past.
I have this blog for his baby brother Bennett-Chadlen "Nimkee"-----because there was no denying his existence in our lives. Noah's story is a bit different.
I remember being apprehensive about becoming unexpectedly pregnant, Tristan wasn't quite a year old yet and I knew that some would be compelled to tell me what a stupid idea it was. My husband and I wanted to have 4 children together, but our financial situation wasn't good at this particular time. We also had an older son Brendan who was 12.
The day I told my husband that I thought I might be pregnant, he didn't waste a second going to the pharmacy to buy a test for me to take. A few minutes passed, and sure enough----POSITIVE! I came out and handed it to him in tears. He smiled at me and gave me a big hug and told me everything was going to be ok.......then he left!!! I couldn't believe he left me there stunned, knowing I was feeling so apprehensive about it all. He said he'd return in a few minutes.
He took the kids with him to give me a little bit of space. A short while later they returned with a dozen roses and a nice card, letting me know how happy they were that we were going to become a bigger family.
I didn't share the news with anyone else until I couldn't hide it any longer.
Skip ahead a few months------
I remember my mother asking me if I was feeling ok? I told her I was fine, I was just really scared about this pregnancy. She told me I should really try and allow myself to enjoy it because it was something that wasn't going to go away. I didn't want him to go away, but there was just something that was nagging at me. I felt different, like I knew something wasn't right.
Haweater Weekend (which we just celebrated last weekend) came around. Michael decided we should begin our home reno's which we had planned when we purchased the house before Christmas. He and Brendan wasted no time in swinging the sledgehammer and taking down a couple of walls. What a mess!!!!
I kept Tristan away from the mess......and we went to bed that night completely exhausted.
That night I dreamt that something was wrong with my precious cargo. I woke up crying and Michael asked me if I was ok. I told him about my dream, cried some more while he comforted me....and then I got up to start the day. It wasn't long before I felt a slight bit of cramping, etc. I had my husband take me to the ER. They told me it was probably nothing, but decided to do an ultrasound and take a look.
We were excited to see him, but a little nervous too. Never did we think we would find out he had already left us. We saw his tiny feet, and his hands and fingers----his face----everything seemed fine. We were smiling as the tech showed us all of his parts. THEN came time to check for his heartbeat. She tried, asked me to go to the washroom and try again. She tried again.....told me to completely empty my bladder this time. Still nothing. She then decided to try internally----then suddenly she turned off the monitor and told me someone would be right there to speak to us. She left the room very quickly. I was in tears, I already knew.
I was wheeled back down to the ER and the doc there told me to go home and save whatever passes in a baggy. Looking back I don't know how he could be so heartless and non-chalant about it. He wasn't one of the regular docs here, he was a young replacement for the docs who were taking summer holidays.
I was in complete shock. I couldn't think straight, all I wanted was to be in a private place where I could grieve without anyone looking at me, or hearing me. I just wanted to get home and give Tristan a great big hug. I didn't question his poor advice, I just came home and told my grandparents who were here babysitting, and I quickly scurried to bed.
By day 3 the shock began wearing off. Late that night I told my husband I didn't think it was wise for us to possibly deliver a baby at home alone, what if something went wrong?? And I certainly couldn't fathom placing him in a plastic bag and bringing the remains to the hospital. First thing in the morning we returned to the ER and saw a doc whom I knew very well. He was appalled at the advice we were given and gave me a couple of options.
I could be admitted and they'd give me something to induce labour and the nurses would help me through it, OR I could go to the nearest surgical unit on the mainland and have him surgically removed.
I knew that there was NO way I could struggle through labour and not lose my mind completely. I was completely aware of what I might possibly see and I just couldn't do it. Off we went to Sudbury-----I barely remember the trip. I was terrified!
I was prepped for surgery by some nurses who were so busy talking about their upcoming weekend plans they didn't even seem to be aware of why I was there, or what was about to happen. Perhaps it was just their way of not thinking about it????
I did have a couple of very nice "sister's" come by to provide me with some comforting words---I was at a Catholic hospital. I did thank them for their thoughtfulness and told them about the nurses and their lack of compassion. They stayed with me until I was taken into the OR.
The rest of the day is just a blur. I came out of recovery and they told me they didn't recommend that I see him due to decomposure. Because they took him by "dilation & evacuation" (suction which enabled him to come out whole---he was small for dates)---I was able to go home that night if I wanted to......and I wanted to. The trip home was silent.
Over the next couple of days I began to feel horribly ill.....nausea, pain, chills and extreme sweats alternately. I was admitted to the local hospital and treated for a perforated uterus and septic blood poisoning. I wish I could say those were the worst 9 days of my life.....and at that time they were.
The most appalling of all was that I was treated like I had just had surgery for a hangnail. The nurses didn't seem to have any idea what I was in for----until I told them. Finally my husband requested that I be allowed to have my door closed, and they put a note on the outside informing anyone about to enter what had just occurred. I did have one nurse who felt compelled to tell me that I should just consider myself lucky that I already had 2 sons......bc she was never able to conceive. She adopted a boy. I didn't have the strength to say anything......I just looked away towards the window and cried silent tears, and she left.
I came home and everyone acted like nothing had happened. I didn't receive condolence cards, no one said a word.
The day I returned to the hospital for a check-up, one nurse stopped me in the hallway and put her hand on my arm and said gently....."I heard what happened, I'm so sorry for your loss". I tearfully said 'thank you' and tried to summon a smile to show her some appreciation. Her final words were "there must have been something wrong so it's best that it happened this way and he wasn't delivered alive".
I walked away thinking......
Uhm......gee.......ya think?? I wish I'd had the courage to say....."No, what would have been best is if there was nothing wrong, and he was delivered alive and healthy".
I've had many years to reflect back on all of the details and feelings, the lack of support, the ignorance.......and how I felt completely ignored like I had a contagious disease.
The nuns had offered to assist with burial services for Noah. My husband and I attended alone with our son Tristan. No one else came. I am so grateful for their help.
It was a cool and quiet October day. The sky was grey, and the leaves were changing colours and falling. It was the kind of day that seemed as though it had taken its cue from my moods to create the atmosphere around us.
A tiny casket was donated, and services donated as well from a funeral home/director from the city where he was delivered. We had a very touching graveside service and we were allowed to place letters and gifts in a separate box which was buried on top of him. Refreshments and fingerfoods were served in the main building, and it was handled beautifully. I will be eternally grateful to those very thoughtful people.
We stayed until I felt ok enough to leave, and I asked my husband to take me out for dinner. It had been 2 and a half months since his passing and I hadn't yet been out in public since that day it all began on August 6th. I knew my son was finally laid to rest, and all was going to be ok. I knew that the people around us didn't know who we were, or what our story was---it was ok to shed a few tears if I felt the need to.....but I knew I had to put myself back out there in society. Our dinner went well and we returned home after dark.
I've suffered in silence for the last 10 yrs. It's been awkward to speak my son's name because nobody seems to remember him. He went nameless for 9 yrs due to the fact that I didn't have anyone to talk about him with, no one told me it was ok to talk about him, or to give him a proper name....so I just stayed silent.
Following the passing of my other angel Bennett-Chadlen, I decided to allow myself to mention my prior loss. I thought of all of the hurtful things that were said to me and I had no voice to speak how much it hurt.
This time around I decided to share my angels with the world, and hope to be able to help others who also have to walk this path, or know someone who has.
Today I embrace my pain and I'm not ashamed to share it. A mother's heart may heal, but it never, ever forgets.
Rest in peace sweet boys----Mommy loves you.