Forget "Where Babies Come From"…Where Do They Go?
by Kristy Campbell
There’s nothing like “Poker Face” to get your kids in the rally mode for school. I got a phone call recently during one of our on-the-way-to-school jam sessions. I turned the radio down and listened. A friend’s friend lost her baby at 15 weeks and is devastated, and my girlfriend wondered if her friend could call me.
“Sure. Have her call me.”
My 9-year old daughter asked why I was so quiet since before the call we were all grooving to Lady Gaga. “And, who is supposed to call you,” she said in her matter-of-fact voice.
As a sidebar, 9-year old girls hear everything. I can be on the other side of the house in the closet buried behind the hanging garments and when I emerge, my daughter will ask pointed questions about my conversation indicating that she has some knowledge of what was discussed. I think I’ve been wiretapped by a tween.
“Corie’s friend is going to call me. She lost her baby and wants to talk.”
5-year old: “How do you lose a baby?”
9-year old sister: “You don’t LOSE a baby. It dies, ok?”
5-year old: “Oh.”
When my twins were 2 years old, I got pregnant. I wasn’t thrilled about having so many kids so close together and spent the first couple weeks in a state of panic combined with happiness and occasional anger. As the weeks progressed, I got my head around the idea and began to prepare for the ensuing insanity. Finally, at 18 weeks, I was excited on the way to the amnio appointment.
I’ll never forget that day and how the technician moved that ultrasound device around on my swollen belly, stared at the screen, moved that thing around, and stared back at the screen all the while saying nothing. “Let me go and get the doctor,” was the last real-time moment I remember. Doctor came in. No heartbeat. So sorry. Can’t do procedure until Monday. Go home and rest. My husband burst into tears. I had no breath to cry, talk, or inhale.
I remember weeping in the shower when I got home thinking about all I had lost and how I had to keep a dead baby inside of me for 2 days. I thought it was my fault because I wasn’t excited about the pregnancy at first. As I wept, I saw two little smiling faces waving at me through the glass shower door. How was I ever going to get through this? I knew I had to rely upon my faith, my family, and my knowledge that my kids needed me more than I needed to go down that drain.
The rest is a blur. I somehow got through it…until the following year when I got pregnant again. This time, though, I was really happy from the start. We talked to the kids about the baby. We picked out names. We took bets on whether it was a boy or girl. Soon I was at 18 weeks and heading to the amnio appointment. When the technician asked me if I had any bleeding or anything unusual had happened, I knew. She left to go get the doctor. Baby dead. Husband cries. I wanted to punch someone.