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Sam's story

by Melissa DeLlanos

Mon, 30 Sep 1996

I am Melissa. I am 27. My DH is John, he is 30. We are Salvation Army Officers (ministers). We have been married for almost three years.

Well, here it is my little story, for those of you who are new.

In June of 94, we moved to Birmingham, AL from Shreveport, LA. Of course, since it was just my DH and I, We had tons of boxes and stuff to move. And I did my share.

My "period" started not too long after we got here and got settled. I didn't even suspect I might be pregnant, so, it was no shock that I got my period. But, then within about a week, I got it again. So, I just figured maybe it was all of the stress of the move, new job, etc., so I didn't get too concerned. In July, I went by the first "period" and figured out when I should get the one for that month. I started spotting, but no real flow, so I figured I would wait a few days and go to a doctor.

In the mean time, I realized that I did have a few "symptoms", so I went and got a test, and did it. It came back with a faint positive. I waited a few more days, and took another. Positive, but darker this time. So, I called the doctor's office.

I got an appointment for August 10 (or around there). I was soo excited, we called our families and told them right away. And many friends, since we wanted everyone to know how happy we were.

When the day of my appointment finally came, my DH went with me. We saw the doctor, and did all of the blood tests, etc. He said he couldn't say how far I was till he got the tests back, since I wasn't sure of my last period. Since I had so much unexplained bleeding, he did want to do a sonogram, which would help determine due date too. He was guessing by the size and feeling of my uterus, around nine weeks.

So, we went in and had a transvaginal ultrasound done. The measurements matched what he had guessed, nine weeks three days. I knew when she wouldn't let us see the u/s screen, that something was not right. She had her helper go get the doctor. When he got there, they chatted for a minute, and turned the screen around for us to see.

The doctor explained that we should be seeing and little flickering heart beat, but there was nothing, only a "yolk sac" and the beginnings of the umbilical cord, etc. He wasn't really alarmed, because he said it could mean I am just not as far as they thought, and I was only at the very beginning of the pregnancy, before the baby was visible.

They sent my blood work to the lab, and made an appointment for me to come in the 15th for a follow up hormone test (blood test, hcg levels). He said that the levels should double everyday, so we could compare them and see how we were doing.

I can't really remember those days in between the two appointments. I know I cried a lot and I prayed a lot.

Finally, we went to the doctor, and they did the tests, and put a rush on them. While talking to the doctor , he told us what COULD happen, and then he prayed with us. He said that we would hear from the lab by 1:00. We should go home and be together, and prepare ourselves. I appreciated his honesty and his straightforwardness. Looking back, I think that helped me be ready for the phone call at one o'clock.

We did what he said, we went home and spent the few hours holding each other and wondering if God was going to take this little miracle from us before we even got to know him/her.

At 12:15 the phone rang. I answered it, and it was the Dr. He said it as easily as he could. "I'm sorry, the levels are zero." Then he told me to call back later in the day, after I was clamed down, and the nurse could prepare me for the next thing that was going to happen.

John and I were devastated. We had only known about this baby for a few days, and now it was gone. All of our hopes and dreams. Gone. We had bought a few things already, the day we found out we were pregnant, just to sort of make it real. His mother had already bought us a crib and a dressing table and stroller. She was so excited the day we told her.

The phone calls that day, to the families was very difficult.

After we had settled down little bit, I went to the room that we had decided would be the nursery, and I looked in and saw the boxes that held the crib and things, and I shut the door. I couldn't bear to see it all.

I bled very heavily for about ten days, the nurses had told me what to expect. Then I was fine. All of the symptoms went away. It was as if I had been in the middle of a sick joke, and it was done.

john went back to work, and I "recovered" at home. When I did finally go out for the first time afterwards, all I saw were children, babies, and pregnant women. It was soooooo hard.

I went to the doctor and he said that everything was back to normal and to wait through one cycle and then if we were ready, we could try again.

I read everything I could about miscarriage, and how it happens, and why, and how to prevent it for m happening again.

One day, about a month after it happened, I went in to the room. I knew that I had to put the things away, and get the room back to normal. I wanted my DH to take the furniture downstairs to the garage, and put it someplace where I wouldn't have to look at it anymore. But then, I decided that if he did that, he would just have to lug it back up the stairs again, when I got pregnant (positive thinking here!). So, I put it all into the closet in the bedroom. I sat on the twin bed that was in the room already, and I cried and said good bye to my "little one". I told him/her how much s/he was loved and how I missed him/her already. I also prayed. I prayed that God would take care of my little one until I could be there to do it my self, and asked Him to please help me to be strong and to help me to prepare for whatever He had in store for me.

Then, I went and bought the paint that we had been planning to buy, to paint the room. And I painted. It helped me to feel like I had accomplished something, and helped me to use all of the energy that I had on something that need to be done, instead of my grief and crying all the time.

We waited through the one cycle, and another one... and finally, in October, we did it (so to speak). In November, the week before Thanksgiving, I tested and it was positive. I called the doctor right away, and got an appointment for the 5th of December.

Those two weeks were hell for me. I remember feeling my breasts to make sure they were still sore in the mornings when I woke up. And looking for any little sign of blood when I went to the bathroom.

When I finally went to the Dr., he did the urine test and the blood work, and of course he knew by the urine test that I was pregnant again. He wanted me to come back in three days to check the hcg levels and make sure they were increasing.

This time we didn't tell anyone. By his estimates, I was around 5 weeks, too early for the heartbeat to really be seen. But the day that I went in for the other blood tests, he set me up an appointment for a sonogram to see what was going on in there.

So, at 6 wks, my hcg levels were high, and we saw the baby's beautiful little flickering heart beat on the screen.

I was very scared through out the pregnancy, but on July 20, 1995, my little boy was born. 7 pounds 5 ounces, and 21 inches long. Joseph Richard.

I didn't end this by telling you about my healthy baby to upset anyone. I did it so that you can have hope. Not all pregnancies end in loss. I have suffered a great loss, and I have also grown stronger and I know so much more than I ever imagined about the grief that is involved.

We have all lost at different stages, but none is more greater, or less significant than the others. We all have beautiful little angels waiting to be with us when the time is right. Now it is not the right time, if it were you would be together, just cling to that. Know that you are not a bad parent, it wasn't your fault.

I have a poem to share, but, this is longer than I planned already.

This group is a wonderful group of caring people, and we will be here to help you through your sadness, and anger, and helplessness. Just let us.

By the way, one of the things that I have learned since joining this group, is my baby was a person. It never breathed, or cried, or got to see me. I never even knew if it was a boy or a girl. So, since "it" was a person..."it " now has a name. Sam . Samuel for a boy, Samantha for a girl. Sam for a nickname for either of those names.

Please feel free to ask any questions that you want about us. I will answer all.

God bless you all.
Mommy to Sam(miscarried)8/15/94 & Joey b.7/20/95

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