Photo Credit: Angie Albaugh
Three months before I found out I was pregnant with our son Elliot, we suffered our first loss—our son Avery John. His pregnancy was rough from the start and sadly it only got worse. My body went into labor the day we hit 14 weeks, and I had to go through it all alone.
Miraculously without trying, we got pregnant sooner than expected. But we were prepared. And hopeful. And very scared.
But Elliot’s pregnancy was easier with fewer appointments and hospital visits. We made it past 14 weeks. And then 20.
Just when we could breathe a bit easier, at 21 weeks, I started leaking fluid. Minutes later my water broke. While my 3-year-old was comforting me, I was scared out of my mind that we were going to lose another son. After being admitted, we were told I was not in active labor. Thankfully.
I stayed in the hospital for two weeks trying to prevent my body from realizing my water broke. My mother-in-law and husband were back at our home taking care of our 3-year-old who couldn't understand why he couldn't see mommy.
Oh, did I mention this all took place in the middle of the pandemic?
After two weeks of being poked and prodded, and having a magnesium drip (which was excruciating), his chord prolapsed and his foot slipped through my cervix.
I was 23 weeks, 2 days pregnant. I was rushed in to have an emergency cesarean. Elliot John Albaugh was born very much alive at 1lb, 2oz. He was 10 inches long, and was beautiful, and so strong.
Twelve hours later our lives changed again for the worse. We were making the decision to let him go because both his lungs collapsed, one shortly after the other. And his other organs were following.
My husband I had no sleep for 48 hours because we had to spend all the time we could with our Elliot. We had to. We had 24 hours before we let him go on without us, to be cremated.
Twenty-four hours with our rainbow boy who we should have gotten to bring home. But instead, his urn sits on a shelf next to his big brother Avery.
Our hearts are forever broken. But life goes on. This is a new battle that I wish on no parent. And my heart reaches out to everyone who has lost a child.
Thank you Angie Albaugh / @along_the_coast for sharing your story. Shared with permission.
Coping with the grief of pregnancy loss can feel impossible and isolating. Surviving the Unimaginable is a guide to surviving loss, told through the voices of loss parents with the help of a clinical psychologist.
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