Hi, I’m Meghan and I was expecting my first child in March 2014. I work as a midwife in Connecticut and live with my husband in suburbs. I love to read, to bake and to eat what I bake. I have a love/hate relationship with jogging. And I run a small non profit on the side- helping kids in need celebrate their birthdays.
As a midwife I was thrilled to learn I was pregnant and to finally share experience of pregnancy and birth. At thirteen weeks we got the news that our baby has Down Syndrome. This news took us by surprise and started us on a journey of acceptance. So began the start of expecting the unexpected.
Learning in the third trimester that our baby had a severe and possibly fatal kidney defect that could affect her lungs pushed us further down our unexpected path. The story of my daughter began with a positive pregnancy test and ended as I held her in my arms as she died six hours after birth. This blog follows me in my grief as I learn to live without my daughter and be a midwife again.
To see a video summary click here.
Carol shared your blog with us. I’m so glad she did. This allows us to share in your journey. We hold you, Chris and your baby close to our hearts. You are an amazing young lady and so strong. I’m sure you are not feeling that way right now but just from reading your blog I can tell you are. With that said being strong doesn’t mean never being sad or lost or without the need for shoulders to lean on. You have extended family in myself, Wayne, Lisa, Michael and Melinda. We are all here for you and Chris. We are sending you lots of prayers, love and positive thoughts. If there is ever anything we can do for you don’t hesitate to ask.
With love, Jan (Carol’s sister)
I just want you to know how much I appreciate your words….you have no idea. I am 16 weeks pregnant with a little girl who has a genetic problem along with a host of other issues that I just found out about yesterday. I cannot sleep and I am an emotional wreck. Although our situations are somewhat different, emotions seem to be somewhat similar. I am so thankful to hear that I am not alone. 🙂
I’ve spent the hour or so reading through your blog. Very touching and heart-wrenching. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Hi Meghan – I found your blog through Roo’s blog and have been VERY touched by your experiences. I have yet to start trying to have children, myself, so I cannot say that I have any idea how you feel, but know that you, your family, and especially Mabel are in my thoughts and prayers. Your blog is a beautiful testament to your daughter!
I found your blog through NiceGirlNotes and have been following silently since you started. I just wanted to drop by and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and tell you that I was thinking of you today (as I’m sure hundreds of people are). You are not forgotten. Mabel is not forgotten. Your motherhood is not forgotten and continues on. So, Happy Mother’s Day to a strong, loving, fierce mama.
I found your blog when I googled “newborn dialysis”. I wish I had found your blog while I was pregnant. My daughter does not have any chromosomal abnormalities but she does have renal failure. At 19 weeks at my anatomy scan they found cysts on her kidneys and I started going to the MFM specialist. At 23 weeks I was diagnosed with oligohydramnios, at 27 weeks with anhydramnios. I was admitted and given steroid injections. My prognosis was poor. I can relate to so many of your experiences it’s incredible. And coincidentally I’m also from Connecticut. There are 2 differences in our stories: my daughter does not have downs syndrome and my daughter beat the odds. She’s 7 months old and receives peritoneal dialysis every night. It is very real to me, every single minute I spend with her, how close I came to being a mother without her baby. To being grief stricken and trying to learn to live again. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being so strong.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m 30 weeks pregnant with a baby who has Trisomy 18 and I decided to carry to term after a diagnosis at 20 weeks. There are days when I wonder how I’ll ever get through this or if I’ll ever feel like myself again, your posts give me hope that its possible. I also live in CT and work as a nurse practitioner (family practice, thankfully not OB)- but every day I face patients who have what I will not. Your strength is inspiring, thank you.
I’m glad you have found my space here. I’m sorry you’ve been given a difficult diagnosis but I feel comforted you find some hope in my posts. That means a lot to me because I do worry I come off too gloomy sometimes. I remember well 30 weeks pregnant. I wish I could give you a hug through the screen. I remember someone wishing me strength when I was pregnant and that felt like the rightest thing. I wish you strength. (I’ve also sent you an email!)
Hi Meghan, I’m so sad for what you are going through but selfishly excited to have found another mother in the medical field who has lost their baby. I am a medical resident (family practice and I had planned on doing plenty of obstetrics, although now I’m not sure). My son died in February, one day after he was born. I’ve just started a blog today at wrappedupinparentheses.com. Looking forward to learning more about you and Mabel.
Hi Kaitlyn, I’m glad you found me but I”m so sorry you even had to look for me. Being in the medical field and loosing a baby is a special kind of cruelty. I look forward to reading about you and your son. You might also want to check out: http://pleromama.com/ She’s a nurse who lost her son too. And one of my commenters is a Family NP too.
@Kaitlynva, just wanted to respond to you…my son was stillborn at 38+ weeks, right after I graduated from medical school. After a break I went on to my residency in family med. It’s now more than 10 years later. I do OB and deliver babies and my experience has forever changed me as a physician and how I care for my patients. But it isn’t always easy, and it was especially hard when I started my ob training. Sometimes there are flashbacks when I don’t expect them, sometimes it’s just too hard. A couple months ago a baby came out with a tight triple nuchal cord and I immediately had images of my own son with his cord wrapped tightly around his legs, even as we worked to unwrap the cord (baby was fine).
You never, ever, ever will forget your own experience. But there are gifts that you can give your patients because you know what it is like to be in that darkness and to have your world come shattering down around you. You know how even very small things can make a big difference.
Thank you so much for your kind message. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son. A year after my son’s death, I’m still not back to a “normal” residency load yet (a code was called during my c-section, while my son was crying like a champ, so I thought they’d cut the uterine artery and I was bleeding out… I truly thought I was dying, so codes have been a really complicated trigger for me and have made being in the hospital very difficult – especially because I work in the same hospital where everything happened). I do worry a lot about my own career, so I am glad to hear that you’ve been able to make it work and continue to give good care to your patients despite having so much to cope with yourself.
@katlynva, oh my gosh, I am SO sorry. How terrifying that must have been. I’m not surprised at all that codes bring on symptoms for you now. I can imagine exactly how that feels since I have my own triggers. I will say that the intensity of the grieving does go down over time. A year is not very long in the grief world. And I’m not surprised you’re not back to full residency. It probably helps to have the space to still process (I just had several new family losses and am part time for a few months.) But I still have my difficult times, mostly in the summer when my son was born. It definitely shaped a number of my career decisions, though I ultimately decided I could do OB and I enjoy it. But not everyone will feel that’s a good fit. When we have a loss on service, I feel at ease and terrified at the same time. Unlike the other docs, I’m not scared of it and I do know how to work with the family, but it does take a toll on me personally. I wrote a JAMA piece of my mind you might be able to relate to. If you google stillbirth and Piece of My Mind, I think you’ll get to it. KG
I”m so glad you guys found each other 🙂 we need as much support as we can in the medical community.
I am so sorry. I lost my son at 40 weeks and 4 days on March 27th of this year. my pregnancy was uneventful and supposedly perfect. the cause of death is most likely a “cord accident”. I’ve become obsessed with finding other women who know this pain and this emptiness. I started a blog on blogger http://www.lifeafterhayden.blogspot.com but now that i am about to start contributing to Unspoken Grief dot come regularly I thought i would make a new blog, one for healing and baking and anxiety battles. I am new to wordpress- I will be following you.
Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your son Hayden. I look forward to reading more from you. a blog about “healing and baking and anxiety,”- my gosh you could be me! I remember in the early days I said I’d be getting back to myself when I started baking. I done a little baking now, so thats progress, but its not quite the same (it will never be, i suppose)
HAHA! as i am about to write a reply i realize my grilled cheese is burning… yeah… not sure how well this is going to work. I haven’t touched my kitchen aid mixer in 6 months. You have to re-learn things after losing a child, and re-learn how to be YOU. Ugh… well i figure this blog will at least FORCE me to try..
Very sad to hear your story. It is hard to lose children this way. I lost one of my children at the end of the first trimester so it was hard, but would have been harder had I carried the child full term. Thank you for sharing your story. I never talk about my loss with anyone because then it becomes real. Take care and God bless.
thank you for reading and for commenting. Talking about my loss does make her more real- for me, i prefer it. but it can be hard sometimes too.
HI Meghan! I was actually looking for a friend of mine’s grief blog and came across yours! I really like your blog and was wondering if you might like to know my story and what became of the loss of my son, 15 years ago. (Baby George, he died the day he was born of OI Type 2.) As a bereaved mom and a midwife I thought you might like to know about the Therapeutic Teddy Bear I invented in 1999. It is called the Comfort Cub-also a non-profit like your birthday group(which I think sounds like a great concept, btw.) Check it out and let me know your thoughts, please. I look forward to your reply. Thank you! Respectfully, Marcella Johnson http://www.thecomfortcub.com
so lovely Marcella- such a beautiful way to honor your son and help those who have lost. beautiful. thank you for sharing.
I hope that you and little Felix are doing well. I think of you and Mabel often. My son is a little older than Mabel would be, and he loves carrots. 🙂
I am hoping you can offer me some advice or words of wisdom. My friend lost her baby yesterday at 39 weeks. He had a chromosomal duplication (I’m not sure which one), and it was a very emotionally challenging pregnancy. She was amazingly strong throughout, and although they knew he might not make it, to have to deliver a still baby must bring unthinkable pain. I am at a complete loss as to how to help. I want to do so much to try to ease her pain, but I know that there is really nothing I can do.
When I found out that her son might not make it, you were the first person I thought of. I had heard about the amazing work you are doing to support baby loss families, and I am in awe of your strength. I have already sent her a link to your resources page. Do you have any suggestions for something tangible that might be helpful to her and her family? She and her husband also have a two year old daughter. I keep thinking about dropping off meals or something, but that seems so incredibly insufficient. I would really appreciate any guidance you can offer. Thank you for doing what you’re doing!
I am so sorry that we share this loss, my daughter Ruthie Lou lived and died in 2011. I am releasing a book at the end of January to help support families when they learn their child has passed away or that their life will be brief, and I would be honored for you to look at it. I would love to send an advanced copy in exchange for your honest review. Please email me if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.amielandsauthor,com