I had contemplated not sharing my story. I don’t want to upset people or make people feel sorry for me but I want to remember and tell my baby’s story. To honor it and never forget that it’s feet may have never walked to earth but it sure left imprints upon my heart.
My pregnancy started fairly typical except that my cycles had been irregular and I didn’t know how far along I was. I was also gaining a lot of weight at a pretty fast rate. I got into the doctor pretty fast and got a confirmation of pregnancy.
The week after my confirmation I went in for an ultrasound to find out a tentative date and was told I was 8 week 4 days pregnant and was given an estimated due date of Feb 8, 2013. Baby was happy and healthy and had a heartbeat of around 173.
On Friday, three days after my ultrasound I hopped into the shower and when I looked down I noticed that my entire body was covered in a lacy rash. I had felt sick the entire week of my ultrasound and continued to feel ill with what I had thought was the flu. Headache, fever and terrible joint pain but I was shocked when I saw that rash.
I texted a friend of mine, Amara, and asked her if she had any idea what the rash might be and she texted back and said that it looked like Fifth disease.
I googled fifth disease and was scared to find out that it might cause complications with the pregnancy. So, I called the doctor first thing on Monday morning and went in for blood tests. I waited several days and got a phone call from the nurse who confirmed that I had been recently infected by fifth disease.
Fifth disease is also called parvovirus B19 or erythema infectiosum and during the first trimester it can cause miscarriage, though the risks are much lower the earlier in pregnancy that you have it. So, the doctor was fairly confident that everything would likely be ok.
Two weeks after my infection I went in for a routine visit to check on how I was doing after the infection. I was 10 weeks exactly and we found the heartbeat that day. Happily beating along and moving to avoid the doppler. We felt pretty safe and like we’d dodged the proverbial bullet.
At 11 weeks I began to have terrible dreams about the baby dying but I tried to put it behind me and to have faith but at 12 weeks exactly I had a very vivid dream that I was alone in a field and I delivered a tiny baby that fit into the palm of my hand. Out of no where my deceased aunt, Peggy (that died before I was born) showed up and reached for the baby. I heard my mom’s voice say “It’s okay, Kristin. Give the baby to Peggy. She will take it to mama. Mama will watch over the baby in Heaven” The next night I again dreamed that the baby had passed and I was very much at unease the rest of the week.
The next week rolled around, putting me at 13 weeks. I’m a small girl and I always start to feel movement early. I began to worry…no movement. I was also starting to look thin and not as pregnant as I had been. I know for most people this is when the body naturally thins down due to bloating but with this being my seventh pregnancy I knew this was not normal for me and it was not normal for me to feel no movement.
The next morning I worked up the nerve to call the office and I begged to be seen. The doctor was out but the tech was in and she said she would see me and do an ultrasound to ease my mind. We drove to the office and just as we pulled into the parking lot I saw a car with a large sticker on it with a Bible verse “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” I smiled sadly. I knew that this was a direct message to me. A little comfort before I would face a horrible darkness.
I went into the room, hubby and the tech were trying to reason with me, they were in denial. They kept telling me the logical thing “No bleeding, no cramping, your baby is fine!” But I knew. I knew the baby was not fine. She began the ultrasound and silence fell. She didn’t have to say a word. Hubby started crying and I just stared at the screen, only barely hearing the tech say, “How did you know? There is no heartbeat”.
I had experienced a missed miscarriage. It’s a rare type of miscarriage in which the heart of the baby stops beating and there are no physical signs of miscarriage. Our baby’s heart was estimated to have stopped beating at 12 weeks 1 day. The very day I had dreamed it had passed.
I set an appointment to talk to the doctor about our options and he let me make the choice if I wanted to miscarry naturally or have the D&C. I had talked to my husband and I was adamant that unless an infection developed I wanted to try for the natural miscarriage, even though we were warned that it may take weeks to happen. I was okay with that. I wanted a chance to deliver the baby and give it a burial.
As the weeks passed by the doctors were giving little hope that I would deliver an actual body. At three and a half weeks after the passing we were told that the chances that the body had not decayed were very slim and I was told what to look for to insure that I had passed everything with the absence of a body.
Each day that went by, through all this pain and grief, I was getting strength. Peace that cannot be explained. It seems I would read something or God would send along a song or just the exact thing I needed, when I needed it. And as each day passed I knew that my baby needed a name.
When I had become pregnant, Tom and I were discussing names and I was sure what I wanted to name a baby girl, Evenstar. Through the early part of the pregnancy I had a certain song that was stuck in my head. I would listen to it and cry but I didn’t know why. I couldn’t get enough of it and I would listen to the song often. May it be by Enya. The song reads “May it be an evening star, shines down upon you. May it be when darkness falls, your heart will be true” And as the days passed and I waited for my body to pass my little baby…I knew my baby’s name had already been given to me. It was my Evenstar. It’s light too precious for earth and had to return heaven.
I began to feel at peace. I accepted that this all had a reason. It had a purpose and a plan and I prayed for the grace to handle however things would end with the delivery of my little baby. I was worried and even grossed out at the thought that the body was breaking down and I prayed and begged God to please spare the body. I wanted to see it. I wanted to say my goodbyes with this little one that had so touched my heart.
The days dragged on and on the day when I would have been 16 weeks 3 days, after 9 hours of intense pain…I delivered my little Evenstar. The first words out of my mouth when I saw the perfectly preserved, three and a half inch beautiful and perfect baby was “God is so good. I couldn’t believe it. There was a body and it was a baby, my beautiful baby.
He or she was perfect in every way. All five fingers and toes were recognizable, and the cutest little ears and the sweetest face. We cleaned the sweet babe up and some of my daughters wanted to see. I wasn’t sure if they should but they wanted to and they got their chances to say goodbye. A couple asked questions like “why did the baby have to die?” and “why is it so little?” It had been their choice to see the baby and I think it brought some closure and peace to their little hearts as well.
We laid the babe to rest in a weatherproof box beneath the flowers in my flower garden that happened to be in full bloom and my seven year old knelt down over the grave and gave thanks to our Heavenly Father for allowing our baby to be in heaven with him and our other baby we lost at 6 weeks in 2009.
Two days ago we said our final goodbyes. Today my 23 month old pulled up a newly bloomed purple flower and placed it over the grave and whispered a very audible “bye bye baby, love you” I hugged her and told her that it was only goodbye for a little while. We’ll see our baby again one day and forever and always we’ll have our own precious Evenstar shining down on us.
My heart will always ache for this baby but I know the message it has for me and I hope I always remember “Light the Day, Mom” I’m not alone and I will journey on. I have a reason to be happy and always remember. I plan to never take another day for granted because life is too short for us to use our time unwisely. This was my baby’s purpose and I plan to keep that purpose alive and remember the lessons well.
Thank you for reading!