Category Archives: miscarriage

Celebrating Baby on Board!

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It was the best cool temperature, sunny and exhilarating Saturday

ever! It began with an early walk down through the busy farmer’s

market. My youngest daughter was running through her speech

for her health coaching session later. We were on our way to a

delicious cup of Choffey’s coffee.

As we passed some strawberries and raspberries in their little

baskets, we slowed and paid for a pint of each. We put them in

my daughter’s mesh Delaware Community Market bag and

continued on. I slowed at the maple frosted cinnamon buns that

Hamburger Inn specializaes in. With a grim look at me, she “let”

me stop and purchase one. We made it to our coffee destination

and I had a shot of caramel added to my iced house coffee. My

daughter chose the “coffee of the day” which was blueberry coffee.

We then left, leaving a donation in the Relay for Life bucket on the

counter and a tip for the young barrister.

When we went past Veritas Restaurant, there were nice herbs and

flowers in big pots and planters outside their doors. Veritas specializes

in little ‘tapas’ (small plates) of snack foods. “Little bites”: is what we

call them, and you might like the flavor but go home hungry if you like

loaded plates. Quality vs. quantity is the choice to make.

Across the street, the Strand Theatre has the “Hangover 3” and “Now You

See It” movies. The latter has been recommended by several friends who

viewed the magicians who rob banks that include several major actors.

We looked at the times for the Sunday showings.

Finally, we quickened our pace and crossed a few roads until we got to the

bridge that separates the “East” side and “West” side of Delaware. We

arrived at the Eagles’ building where EZ Fit has their exercise classes and the

ongoing Pilates class was coming to a close. The teacher, Cheryl Felton, was

having the women breathe deeply and relax.

The unwinding, breathing exercises lead to the Health and Wellness class

that is held once a month by my daughter.

The class focused on summer, exercise, bee pollen, and an essential nutrient,

iodine. She had a great presentation with an open discussion where we talked

about seasonal subjects. I brought up my ear cancer to remind the class to put

sunscreen on their own ears, others’ tender places and especially slathering it

on little ones.

If possible, little sunhats, adult mesh or straw hats with broad brims would

also add extra protection. She closed by passing out handouts with several

facts on the nutritional parts of our discussion, including some delicious

sounding smoothies’ recipes.

After the group coaching session, we walk briskly home. My youngest daughter

is off to Dayton to spend time with a good friend there. I needed to change my

clothes and wrap my gifts for the filipino baby shower held for Felda. She

is the friend who I mentioned having a miscarriage but now is expecting a

second child in July. Her daughter, Kridia Dawn, had asked me recently to

make an updated pen and ink with watercolor paint name picture, “with lots

of fairies, Robin!”

I also had completed the expected baby, Zachary’s baby name picture. Both

pictures were placed in matted frames, then wrapped.

The cell phone let me know that Peggy and Anna were waiting outside and

we drove in my car to the closest fire department township center where they

have a common room that can be “rented” for occasions. We all had brought

our gifts along with a potluck dish.

The magnificent spread was already beginning to cover three long tables with

filipino treats such as chicken strips in a meat sauce with green pea pods,

thin fried egg rolls, sweet and sour sauce, a pineapple, mango and chicken

mixture that is poured over the white rice. The tantalizing smells were wafting

out the door and hung in the air along with the scent of beautiful, fresh flowers

in vases on the tables. Each place setting had a little silk bag filled with

wrapped chocolate candies, including Hershey’s kisses in blue foil.

There was a very detailed baby cake, a flan type of dessert, an apple dumpling

baked dish, what sometimes people call “ambrosia” and another similar

whipped dessert with pistachio pudding and fruit. We set our potato salad,

beverages, and chocolate cream cheese roll, that we had brought, down.

The games, the laughter, the children running around, playing their little

games all made for exuberant chaos! Children had the choice to play penny

toss, ring toss or ball throwing and rolling. This created a happy, warm

and busy atmosphere that is very common for such occasions when more

than 60% of the guests are filipinos. We heard that Felda’s husband had

another gathering at their home with the husbands and other male guests.

Jason had made a “vodka slushy” pitcher and had half of the dishes that

were displayed on the tables for them to indulge in along with some video

games, too.

Everyone wore very fancy clothes, which I had expected. Felda has included

me in at least 2-3 parties a year since we met 5 years ago. I had mentioned

to Anna and Peggy this, so they also wore dressier clothes than we would

normally wear to a casual gathering such as a baby shower. My colorful

flowered skirt had coral, light green and  turquoise colors and I wore a

peach embroidered camisole with a cream lightweight sweater over it.

My jewelry emphasized the turquoise in a necklace and earrings.

Upon entering, we all got hugged and Felda also kissed my cheek. We

were equally warmly met by the ones we did not know and the ones that

I had met over the years.

Felda and Peggy were among several gutsy women who belted tunes into

the microphone of the karaoke machine! I do not feel comfortable in

a totally sober setting, such as this, singing. But I have been known to

join the same coworkers in duets or trios after imbiding in a wine cooler

or glass of wine!

I cannot express how much this fantastic two hours of celebrating the

upcoming birth of Zachary lifted my heart up! My family gatherings are

usually very happy and easygoing, but somehow this shower was ever so

meaningful to me. Always nice to have such a feeling with friends from

a different culture who make you feel just as good or BETTER than family!

Serious stuff

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I have a fellow coworker who miscarried her first baby recently.

It made me think of the 2 times it unfortunately happened to me.

I passed on a few tips about how to handle it emotionally.

I gave her hugs.

I told her that the memory will never pass totally. Maybe someday,

if God willing she got pregnant again, she would carry her baby to

term. Holding that dear, sweet baby will erase most of the hurt.

If that would not happen someday, maybe she and her husband

could try adoption?

I almost wrote this post at Christmas.

Sadly, now it is almost Valentine’s Day.

Neither seem appropriate times, but my friend’s pain just seemed like

it needed to be addressed and validated.

It has been weighing on my mind how to write this without too much

pathos.

My very first pregnancy came along unplanned after only one year

of marriage. I had an IUD inside my uterus. I got scolded by my

parents-in-law. What were we thinking? We were ‘only 23 years old’

and were supposed to be on our career tracks. I did use some firm

comebacks, since I was no longer going to be a doormat!

I had a professional, teaching job as a sixth grade Language

Arts teacher. Their son, on the other hand, was still playing

around, had a bartender job, for Pete’s sake!

The first OB/Gyn that I went to was adamant. I was going to

need to schedule an abortion or termination. An IUD would

produce an abnormally developed fetus and therefore, my baby

would be needing special needs’ education. Another idea

presented was, he or she would have some kind of deformation

and would require extra funds for special accommodations.

I would not decide nor could my husband decide to terminate

my pregnancy. We found a Christian doctor who said, “God will

decide how this baby develops, no one else should do it for you.”

We breathed a sigh of relief at that time. I went ahead and told

my principal the time schedule, told my students and family. This

went on for four and a half months. Reading the pregnancy books,

I found out I should be feeling movement. I had a nice, round baby

belly. No movement.

When I started cramping and miscarrying the baby, I was wearing

an adorable maroon maternity dress with a pair of support black hose

and boots.

I was reading the book, “The Yearling.” I had to gasp and stop reading.

I had one of the students go all the way down the hall to the principal’s

office. Mrs. Lee hurried back with all kinds of concern and tried to hide

her suspicions from her face. This was 1980, with no classroom intercom

system to connect with the office. We could hear announcements but could

not send out an alarm.

I bought a beautiful crystal teardrop ornament with a baby in a manger

engraved in the  crystal. The silver prongs are a little tarnished now but

I hung that up on our second Christmas tree instead of the two “Baby’s

First Christmas” ornaments I had already received at baby showers.

My second miscarriage was a little more unexpected. The whole pregnancy

had been so much smoother. I had been on the pill and somehow I had

become pregnant. (Side comment: I have 3 children besides these two losses

and only one of the five pregnancies was PLANNED! Remember to tell your

teens this! When a birth control is 99% effective that still means 1 out of 100!)

I reassure you, I had my first full term healthy baby girl (8 lbs. 6 oz.) almost

18 months after my first miscarriage.

My OB/Gyn had delivered my second and third child also. He knew my body

and capabilities (I really was blessed with each pregnancy after that first

disaster.)

He believed I was going to be fine. Birth control does not create deformities

nor does it cause Down’s syndrome. I did not want any tests (did not for any

of the pregnancies/miscarriages.) I lost this baby after only 3 months. It was

less unnerving, less painful and I had my complete trio of children to comfort

me.

We found a Snowbaby ornament. My children took turns with each of the two

ornaments throughout the years putting them on the tree. Remembering the

babies is part of my healing suggestion. Other women who have miscarried

have told me of their special rituals or memorials. I also have met women

who have buried their fetus or fetuses. There are some who do not think about

the fetus as a baby and that is also okay.

I also heard a beautiful song by a country group called the Greens. They

performed at Ohio Wesleyan University years after what had happened.

It was titled, “There’s A Rocking Chair In Heaven” about the angels rocking

the babies that don’t make it in this world. It was not focused on abortions

but babies that were part of families, were wanted but for some physical

reason were not carried to full term. The idea of seeing my babies in heaven

gave me a lot of comfort and also, that the angels take care of them.

If any of this is helpful to you or you feel it may be to someone who lost a baby

feel free to share these small helpful and hopeful hints. I hope this doesn’t

offend anyone by being open about my personal decisions. Instead of the

holiday I mentioned, Christmas, you may celebrate different holidays, light a

candle or incorporate another way to remember or symbolize the lost baby.