17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Love, Loss and Lessons in Mexico

A few weeks ago I set off for a one week vacation with my husband, sans our two children, to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We had been looking forward to it for months. This vacation was extra special because I was 12 1/2 weeks pregnant...so this would be the last feasible vacation alone together for awhile.

I remember roaming around Old Town Puerto Vallarta with my little belly pushing out a gauzy white shirt I was wearing and thinking, "I am SO happy". It was the first pregnancy I had actually planned, executed and was excited about (our other two are miracle children who showed up when they darn well pleased - there was no real planning).

On the 4th day of our vacation at 12:10 PM I started bleeding. A lot. My husband was elsewhere in the hotel at the time - I was alone in our room. I started hypervenilating...then abruptly stopped because I decided THAT was not how I was going to deal with this crisis. I remember holding onto the doorframe of our bathroom, tears falling down my cheeks and pleading out loud with all of my might to Heavenly Father to PLEASE save my baby. Please.

I laid down on the bed, propped up my feet and continued to plead that my baby would be saved. And I heard a very quiet, still voice in my head say, "You are asking for the wrong thing". "NO. NO!" I fought that feeling for a few minutes, then relaxed my body...thought...cried...and said out loud "Alright, I understand that I am going to lose this baby and this is what is meant to be. But I need you to help me cope with this". This was my first lesson that day. Sometimes...sometimes we ask for the wrong thing and are blessed with the strength to deal with what will actually happen.

My husband returned to find me sobbing in the bed. He gave me a blessing, we went quickly to the clinic inside the hotel and 10 minutes later I was strapped to a stretcher inside a Mexican ambulance. I remember thinking "Well, this is quite the exclamation point to an already strange situation. Who'd have thunk I'd be in an ambulance in Mexico?!"

One hour and two ultrasounds later, 3 doctors and a nurse in a small dark room stared at the screen looking at my dead baby. No one was saying anything. I tearfully asked "Is there a heartbeat?" "No senora, no". I sobbed like I had never sobbed in my life. For 10 minutes I was in pieces. I remember my husband covering me in a hug, holding my face. "I don't know how to do this" I cried. "Yes you do, hon" he replied. I remember thinking that this moment was the saddest moment of my whole life.

And then...I sat up, wiped my tears and accepted it. My second lesson of the day? I'm stronger than I gave myself credit for.

I had a D&C later that night. None of the doctors really spoke English but they were kind and empathetic in a way that doesn't need words. I remember laying my hand over my belly protectively as I got up on the operating table...then removing it quickly - there was nothing to protect anymore.

When I woke up from surgery, I was speaking near fluent Spanish. My husband was quite amused that I was rattling off phone numbers for him to call in Spanish. Please note that I do NOT speak Spanish, just the stuff I have gleaned from Sesame Street and Dora. Lesson number three that day? If you go through something traumatic in another country you become temporarily fluent in that language. Seriously - it really happened.

We left the next morning and returned to our 5 star resort. I took a glorious shower, ordered an enormous room service cheeseburger and fries, drugged myself with painkillers and slept for hours in a fluffy white bed. Lesson 4? If you're going to have a miscarriage, it's pretty nice to come back to room service and a gorgeous hotel.

I miss that little tiny baby. I miss being happy about being pregnant. We were so excited, so happy to add a third child to our family. But you know what? Heavenly Father really DID answer my prayer. He blessed me that I would be able to cope with this loss, that I would find lessons in my experience, that I would be stronger for it. I am a better, stronger, more empathetic woman because I went through this. I rediscovered my own inner strength. I rediscovered faith. I fell in love with my husband all over again. The commitment I have to my marriage and my family is stronger than before. Life is precious - it can end quickly. Tragedy can strike at any time. I love my husband, my sweet and crazy children, my life. And THIS experience in Mexico made me remember ALL of that all over again.

Lesson number five? Be grateful for everything that you have and hold dear...and be willing to learn from the tragedies.


  • Chloe,

    You've got me crying. Thank you for sharing so beautifully. I am so sorry for your loss, but can appreciate the lessons learned. You are right....we are stronger than we think.
    posted by Anonymous Marianne at 4/13/2007 04:40:00 PM  

  • I too am all teared up after that story - how traumatic!! You are a stong woman to be able to see the lessons learned from this expreience, rather than the negative parts. I don't even know you, but definitely admire you for your courage. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so so sorry for your loss.
    posted by Blogger Bubbles at 4/13/2007 04:53:00 PM  

  • I don't have the words I need... You shared that beautifully and I am so, so sorry about your loss! I'm crying with you.
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 4/13/2007 05:30:00 PM  

  • Thanks so much for sharing. I lost a much wanted pregnancy four weeks ago, (I was 7 weeks at the time), and it was terribly sad for my hubby and I. I never thought 7 short weeks could mean so much to me. I never knew something so tiny could break my heart into so many pieces. I always used to say, 'I won't be upset as long as I miscarry early on.' I wish I could go back and smack myself upside the head! I knew nothing! This experience has taught me so much....
    posted by Anonymous Tally Girl at 4/13/2007 05:40:00 PM  

  • You wrote your feelings so well, and of course I am sorry you went through it, but you helped a lot of women with their own personal healing today.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/13/2007 06:46:00 PM  

  • Chloe, I too am so sorry for your loss. I am writing this with tears in my eyes, relating to those feelings that you felt in that hospital room. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. I agree with Kage - talking about miscarriage helps others (and ourselves oftentimes) to heal. I am so grateful that you have such a wonderful DH. And you are so strong. Thinking about you....
    posted by Blogger Beth at 4/13/2007 07:14:00 PM  

  • I just also went through this, at 7 weeks. Funny how such a little thing inside you can change your entire outlook in such a short time. Thank you for putting words to my feelings.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4/13/2007 08:59:00 PM  

  • That was beautiful, thank you.
    posted by Blogger Inexperienced Mom at 4/13/2007 09:28:00 PM  

  • Oh Chloe, I don't even know you but I'm so sorry about your loss. I've been there a few times. It's so heart breaking and painful. You have been blessed with a great perspective and attitude through such a difficult experience. I hope for you healing and a miracle in your arms sooner than later. I'm so sorry.
    posted by Blogger rebecca at 4/14/2007 09:12:00 AM  

  • Funny how so many of life's lessons are learned through pain, huh. Just wanted to say been there, done that (although admittedly, never in Mexico!), and it's true--when we forced to go through it, we always find something inside ourselves we didn't quite know was there.

    Thanks for sharing.
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 4/14/2007 11:26:00 AM  

  • It is sad but sort of a blessing to have trauma in our lives to remind us how precious our family is to us, and also cause us to stretch and grow into a more empathetic and loving person with every experience.

    I miscarried with my #1 at 17 weeks, and I learned the hard way to appreciate what I had. I was so clueless- I totally did not even realize how sad I would be until it happened. I had taken my quick pregnancy and the gift of it all for granted.

    One of the hardest memories I have is when I was waiting for the anesthesia before the D&C, I felt the cold metal of the bed they layed me on, and even though I knew my baby wasn't alive any more, I held my tummy just as you described- and I felt so desperately sad to let him go. I was suddenly taken with the fear of being alone- no longer with my baby. It was very distinct and I will never forget that experience nor the many lessons I learned from being destined to go through it.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 4/14/2007 04:46:00 PM  

  • Thank you for sharing something so personal. It sounds like you grew so much from such a difficult experience. I think we all will love our babies a little bit more tonight.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 4/14/2007 06:22:00 PM  

  • Rachel H, that is so unbelieveably sad. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing a baby that far along - I'm so sorry.

    For those who have been through it, those few moments before the D&C are torture - you know that it's over and yet...you want desparately to hang onto what is still inside of you. It doesn't make rational sense, but there it is.

    Beth, I agree - talking about miscarriage helps. For some reason it isn't discussed very much, which can lead to feelings of isolation, which leads to even more depression.

    Thanks everyone for the support - we have a great crew here at Tales...
    posted by Blogger chloe at 4/14/2007 08:29:00 PM  

  • Chloe: Thank you for sharing this terribly sad and beautiful story. I have often found myself wishing away the insanity of being a mother to young children, until I'm reminded how fragile that beautiful insanity is. Your story helped me do that this morning...
    posted by Anonymous Maralise at 4/15/2007 04:12:00 AM  

  • Chloe-
    Thanks. It does help me to talk about it too. It is kind of like- You never want to forget, because forgetting would feel like you weren't appreciating the lessons from that experience.

    Another thing we have in common on that, we actaully went on the most romantic trip of our marriage so far while I was pregnant with that baby. We spent 8 days in Paris as our "last big trip before baby". Those days were unbeleivably sweet and wonderful, and my husband and I will always laugh about my insatiable appetite due to being pregnant. We must have stopped and eaten at every cafe in Paris!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 4/15/2007 07:27:00 AM  

  • Crying at work is not a good thing. Chloe, dear, my heart reaches out to you and your family. And like Katie said, I will be holding my baby a little tighter tonight.
    posted by Blogger Amy at 4/15/2007 02:39:00 PM  

  • WOW! Thank you so much for sharing. It took us long time to conceive and I feel your loss and strength all at once. This too shall pass.
    posted by Blogger Jaime at 4/15/2007 06:33:00 PM  

  • chloe-
    This was so beautiful. It's amazing how we can take the awful and learn from it for the better. I'm glad for the miracles you had and I'm glad that you are doing okay...I'm sorry for what you endured, but I'm in awe at your strength...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 4/16/2007 10:16:00 AM  

  • Thank you Chloe, for sharing. I ache for your loss.
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 4/16/2007 12:06:00 PM  

  • Please let me add my condolences, Chloe! You showed so much strength in such a difficult situation.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 4/16/2007 02:58:00 PM  

  • Chloe, I am so sorry for your loss and grateful for your strength. You are an amazing lady and I'm glad I've had the chance to have you in my life even for a short period.
    posted by Blogger Kadee at 4/17/2007 06:50:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger klew at 4/17/2007 08:10:00 AM  

  • Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments - much appreciated.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 4/19/2007 09:23:00 AM  

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