October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I have joined a campaign called "I am the Face," the goal of which is to break the taboo of talking about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. My husband and I have decided to share the story of our sweet Angel, in order to take a stand saying "I am not ashamed to talk about my baby"
On Tuesday July 6th of 2010 after waiting almost a week for my period to start I took the pregnancy test that told me I was pregnant, and then I took another, just to be sure, in hindsight, I should have known, feeling nauseated all the time, constantly having to pee, pulling feelings in my pelvis/abdomen, all of the signs were there. I can honestly say that as badly as I wanted that baby, I was in a state of shock, I fell in to my husband, Michael’s, arms and just cried. The big news came the day that we were celebrating my birthday, and though I felt a little uneasy for reasons unbeknownst to me at that time, I can’t imagine a more beautiful birthday present than the one I received that day. We spent the day on Lake Michigan and all I wanted to do was to tell every person we encountered that I was carrying our first child. The next day we took a trip to Barnes and Nobles and I bought a week by week pregnancy guide and Michael got “the Cave Man’s Guide to Pregnancy,” I’m sure we were both glowing at the checkout line! It was a blissful few days for us, rubbing my belly and talking to our baby. Michael was leaving that weekend for 2 weeks of annual training with the Army and was so excited that he wanted to tell our families before he left, I wasn’t comfortable telling anyone yet, I was only 6 weeks along and something just didn’t feel right to me. Well Saturday morning Michael kissed my lips and my belly and told me how much he was going to miss me and the baby, and Sunday morning is when the bleeding started. I tried to convince myself that it was implantation bleeding and it would stop, but the bleeding just got heavier, I called him in tears, I knew something was wrong, but he was the only other person who knew about the baby, and I just wasn’t ready to talk to anyone else. I was spending the weekend with my family and tried to go about life as usual, not wanting to say anything to anyone, but I just counted down the hours until my doctor’s office opened Monday morning. I called the office, and they told me I could either come into the office or the hospital to have my blood work drawn, I didn’t want to go into the hospital, I just know too many people there. I called my parents on my way into the office with tears in my eyes, hating that I had to tell them they were probably losing their first grandchild before I could even tell them we were expecting her. As I sat in the exam room waiting for the nurse to find a vein she assured me that some bleeding was normal, what I didn’t tell her about was the cramping and back pain that I knew were not normal. The downside to being a nurse is having the head knowledge, unfortunately in that moment I didn’t have the nurses clarity, I was just a scared mom. She told me that I would have the results of my HCG levels the next morning, and even though I knew that first level wouldn’t tell me anything conclusive, I was anxious for that phone call and it still felt like an eternity waiting. I can honestly say I have never prayed so hard in my life, I spent the whole night watching the clock and begging the Lord for my baby’s life, it has been the most physically and emotionally painful thing I have ever been through. The call didn’t come as early as I had hoped, but by noon the doctor’s office called to tell me that my levels showed that I was between 4 and 5 weeks pregnant (my levels were in the 400’s), I still don’t know if I was truly only that far along or if my levels had already started to drop. I made a follow up appointment for Thursday to ensure that I would have my results before the weekend, the results that would tell me what was really going on. I went back into the office Thursday morning and after I left a strange peace came over me, one that I, to this day, cannot explain. I spent what felt like another eternity praying, and pleading with God, and waiting for that phone call Friday morning, only to get the news I had been dreading, my HCG levels had plummeted to 50. I didn’t cry at first, I was just in shock, I called Michael, and all I could say was “we lost the baby,” we both were in silent tears for what felt like hours. After sitting in stunned silence, alone, I finally called the American Red Cross, yes Frank from the American Red Cross was the first person besides my doctor and husband to know that I had a miscarriage, and I couldn’t have asked for a more compassionate and understanding case worker. Frank called my doctor and asked if he felt that this was an emergency which warranted bringing my husband home from military duty, to which my doctor said “of course!” (Thank you Dr. Barkow!). Frank called me several hours later to inform me that he had called Michael’s chain of command and that they were in the process of deciding if he could come home or not, yes my husband got his first “Red Cross Call” and hopefully his last ever. The Army didn’t let me down…they gave Michael a 3 day pass and told him that if he called to check in each day after that, they would extend his pass so that he would not have to come back and he could stay home with me. We spent that time alone, just being together, hurting, holding, and working towards healing. During that week we discussed getting a tattoo, I suggested a Sparrow because the whole week when I was waiting, I kept being reminded of the song “His eye is on the Sparrow and I know He watches me.” We looked online and found that the Sparrow is the symbol for love and freedom, how perfect for our baby, who was free from the pains of this earth. We also chose the middle name Liran, which is a Hebrew word meaning “my song, my joy.” Sparrow Liran was expected to join us in this world March 6th, 2011, but rather she flew to Heaven on July 16th, 2010, where we know she is worshipping the Lord with the family members she would have never known on this earth.
Though we never carried you in our arms, we will always carry you in our hearts, we love you Sparrow Liran.