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My story

by Zachary's Mommy

Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000

My story started in March, 1988. That was the first time I found out I was pregnant. In May, I started to bleed. The baby was gone. An emergency D&C WAS performed to save my life. at 16 weeks along, I miscarried an 8 week "fetus".
I carried death within me for 8 weeks and never knew about it. When I returned to my job as a cashier, a co-employee hollered across the store, "Hey, I heard you had a miscarriage." I ran to the boss, said "I quit", and ran out of the store never to return. How callous can some people be. I dismissed this miscarriage as just not meant to be. It was easier to do this because at the time I was not married and had just graduated from high school. I thought I was not supposed to grieve since this was not a planned pregnancy. So when I did grieve this baby of mine nobody ever knew about it.
In 1993, I had a wonderful daughter who brushed too close to death from the umbilical cord being around her neck once, then around her wrist, then back around her neck! She made it OK, though!!!!!!!!!!!!Then in 1995, my husband (the father of my miscarried child) and I decided I would quit working & devote my time to my daughter & having another child. Since I was a little girl I had dreamed of having 2 children. I wanted my girl first, then a boy.
I found out that I was pregnant, then that my baby is a boy. I was so elated & so smug in my "perfect life. "At 34 weeks something was wrong. I was not feeling movement. I thought when I went to bed I'd be sure to feel him move as he was a typical nighttime athlete. Nothing. Then I thought I'd eat an apple because this very active child would get so active when I ate apples.
I'm sure they would be his favorite food had he survived. Nothing again. My husband had left early that morning- all I had told him was that I was beginning to get concerned about the lack of movement. I decided since it was Friday I'd go into the Dr. so that she could reassure me with a heartbeat. I called my husband & asked him to meet me at the Dr.'s office. At the Dr.'s there was no heartbeat. My precious baby boy was gone forever. While waiting for my husband to arrive (he was over an hour away) I got a call from the state police saying that my husband couldn't be there right away as he was just in an accident. He was ok, but he had to remove our trailer that was in a thousand pieces off the road, and secure the van door so that it didn't fling open while driving. I couldn't sit in that office one more minute. My then 3 year old daughter was with me and just kept saying "Zachary's dead.
Zachary's dead. Zachary's dead. " My Dr. told me not to cry so that I wouldn't make her cry. How can you not cry when you've lost your hopes & dreams for your future? As soon as I could get my parents here, I went to the hospital for an induction of labor. I'll spare you the details of the labor & delivery. But after the longest night of my life my son was born @ 6:33 am.
Dead from a "true knot in umbilical cord." We borrowed a car so that we could make funeral arrangements. I have never done anything in my life that was as hard as leaving my beloved baby at the cemetery. Forever. Never to be held again. Fortunately, I went on to have 2 more uneventful pregnancys which resulted in first a beautiful baby girl, then a wonderful wonderful baby boy.
But there is still pain- especiallly as my sons fourth birthday is on Thanksgiving Day this year. And we just helped some friends of ours bury their 2 month old precious baby boy that died of SIDS on Halloween. Today the term "freak accident" makes me want to scream! But what really hurts more than anything is that it appears my son meant nothing to 95% of our family.
But my son has made a difference, not only to the other 5% of the family, but to other families who are struggling with infant bereavement. My mother & I both became certified infant bereavement counselors. She is an OB nurse who uses her training far more than she cares to. Since I am currently not using my nursing license and am a stay-at-home mom, I have been fortunate enough to help only the one family. My goal would be to see that nobody suffers alone!
The death of an infant truly is one of the loneliest deaths. If you are reading this you obviously care, please take the time to reach out to bereaved parents. Remember it is never too late to acknowledge a life snuffed out way too soon! PS- Instead of celebrating Thanksgiving this year we are having a birthday celebration. My son after all lives on in all of us, and we are who we are because of him. And I have him to thank for 2 of the most wonderful children ever- after all if he hadn't died I would not have either one of them (we were going to stop after his birth.) This does not take the pain away, but it sure does help make it tolerable. Thank you for caring!!!!!!!!! Zachary's mommy

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