Here's to the mothers who have lost a little one whether through stillbirth, miscarriage, or another type of loss.
This is the story of my pregnancy journey and loss. I tell it not only to share my experience, but (hopefully) to inspire others that even through our losses, we can find the strength to keep going. I hope my story can help others find peace and hope for the future.
It was my Junior year of college when I found out I was expecting. I had just transferred to a 4-year university and it was my second semester. I found out that I was expecting during midterm week after I ate turkey and couldn't hold it down. I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I was so freaked out because I didn't know what was going to happen. After speaking with my better half, we agreed that I would continue school until I had to take a leave of absence to care for our little one once she entered the world.
Once we had figured out what the "plan" was, I started filling up my planner with my work and school schedule, as well as doctor appointments.
I wanted to be prepared for what was going to happen. I was scared, but excited for the next chapter in my life. In the fall of 2018, I signed up for my internship course so I would not have to be away from my little one. At the end of it, I was 8 months pregnant and halfway done with classes. I thought I was ready, but nothing could have prepared me.
On September 21, 2018, I was admitted to the hospital as I was in pain. I had gone into labor. As I was waiting for the nurse to let my better half and I know what was going on, I noticed a look of concern on her face as she called the doctor on duty for a second opinion. After what felt like forever, the doctor looked at us and gave us the news that changed everything and made me feel as though someone had just sucker punched me in the gut.
He said, "We can't find a heartbeat."
I told him "It can't be possible! I just had a check-up yesterday, and everything was totally fine."
But just like that, in less than 24 hours, my little girl was gone. The nurses asked me if I wanted to give birth naturally. Without hesitation, I said "Yes.”
I wanted to experience bringing my little girl into the world in hopes that they were wrong. At 9:22 p.m. that night, we welcomed our daughter Leah Faith Aguillon. She was stillborn.
Photo by Eunice Latu
I prayed to God that day to bring her back, but I felt like my prayers had hit a wall. I was in such a shock that I fainted. The ground had finally collapsed from underneath me. Even in my grief, I emailed my professors to let them know I would not be able to attend classes for the next few weeks as I had just lost my daughter and I needed time to grieve and do my homework in my own time.
After much support and understanding, I was able to take the time I needed. It was already mid-semester, and I didn't want to fall further behind. There were two choices I could have made, I could have let my grief consume me or I could push past my pain and channel it.
I decided the only real choice I had was to keep going. I told myself "My daughter would not want me to give up. What would she think of me?"
So I kept pushing through—despite the pain and heartache, I kept going. My professors didn't think I would return, and against all odds, I graduated on December 20, 2019.
Each and every day up until I graduated was a struggle. There were many people that I saw day in and out who saw me during my pregnancy ask me how it feels to be a mom, and every time, I would tell them (with tears), "I wish I knew. My little girl passed away two weeks before my due date."
Even though it has been two years, there are some days I cry until I can't cry anymore. We all grieve in our own way and it might take some of us a little longer to grieve - and THAT'S OKAY!!! It has taken me 2 years to get to a better place - and I am still healing. Each day that passes I feel a little bit more at peace.
However, it is through my pain and the loss of my daughter that I found my inner strength and I know I couldn't do it on my own. Even though I do not have my little one next to me, she has blessed me more than I could have hoped for. She has given me the inspiration and passion to become who I was meant to be.
Shortly after her death, I woke up one day and decided to pursue teaching. I just knew, in my heart, that being a teacher is who I am meant to be. In less than seven months (once I pass my teaching CSET's), I will graduate with a Master's in education and embark on a new journey.
R.I.P. Leah Faith Aguillon. You will always be missed, but never forgotten.
Thank you @eunisunshine for sharing your story. Shared with permission.