This is always a topic that is hard for me to talk about, but I feel like it needs to be addressed. So many people out there that still view miscarriage as something that shouldn’t be talked about and brushed under the rug, but I just can’t do that. Even though I only got to carry him for a little while, he was still my baby and I will always carry him in my heart.
When I found out that we were expecting our second baby, the word excited is an understatement. I actually got up to go to the restroom at 4:30 in the morning and decided to take a test just to see. It seemed like those two pink lines appeared so quickly like he couldn’t wait for us to know he was there. I ran in and jumped on Leighton to tell him the great news, but since he’s not a morning person and never will be, his excitement didn’t come until closer to 11 later that morning.
I did the math and figured out that I was about 4-5 weeks along. We were working out of town together at the time so I figured by time we got back home I could just go to the doctor then. A couple of weeks went by and I noticed blood when I went to the bathroom. I freaked out and called my normal OB and he said that it was fine and bleeding was normal early in a pregnancy as long as it’s not a lot. It wasn’t so I did my best to calm down.
The next day the bleeding continued. Worried me decided it was time to go to the hospital just to get checked out and make sure that everything was okay so I could finally have some peace of mind. It seemed like it took forever, but we finally got back into a room to be seen and after a little more time we got to see him!
The doctor told us the same thing that my OB told me the day before, that bleeding is normal and usually fine as long as it’s not too much and I’m not having any pain. Which I wasn’t so I was relieved enough to leave. He also told us that our little one was about eight weeks along. Based on my math I was nine, but thought maybe my days were just a little off and of course the doctor knows better than an app on my phone.
Days went by and I was still bleeding at least a little every day. I wasn’t having any pain, but I still felt like something just wasn’t right. I decided we should go to the hospital again because yes, I am that crazy person that constantly Googles my symptoms and works myself up. Once we got up there it was the same drill. they said everything was fine and I was about 8 1/2 weeks along. I looked at Leighton confused because I should definitely be further along than that now. I asked the doctor and he said sometimes it’s a few days off and when I go see my doctor they’ll give me a more solid date. By this time I was getting anxious to go home so I could see my normal OB.
We went back to the hotel and I felt so bad that I kept dragging Leighton up to the hospital just for them to tell us that everything was fine. So even though the bleeding continued I just kept reminding myself that I wasn’t having pain and it wasn’t that much so surely I was fine. I just have to get out of this first trimester and everything will be fine.
Two weeks went by and I was so excited that I would be in my second trimester soon and I would finally be able to rest easy. Unfortunately that time didn’t come for me.
Later that afternoon while I was taking a shower I could feel it in my heart that something wasn’t right. I prayed to God crying just asking him that if my baby was in pain or suffering to please just let him come home, to take his pain away and give it to me instead. I went to the hospital again and the entire experience was different from the last two. after a couple of hours and Leighton trying to be strong for me and tell me everything was okay, the doctor came in and told us that our baby no longer had a heart beat. For the past few weeks I was experiencing a miscarriage, but our strong little baby continued trying to survive until he just couldn’t anymore.
I had to be checked into the hospital and given medicine so that he could come out. On June 26, 2013 he was here and gone all at once. My heart was broken, but I continued to pray to God and sent my love to our angel in heaven.
I asked the nurse what would happen now and she told me that the would be sending my baby down to the lab to be examined and then “discarded as medical waste.” What was left of my heart fell to the floor and I told her I didn’t want that to happen and that we just wanted to take him home with us. She tried telling me that he was “only a clump of blood cells” and that there was nothing for us to take home. I was crying so hard that another nurse had to come in to try to console me. After I told her what the first nurse had said to me she immediately went to get the doctor to tell him what happened. I could hear him in the hallway yelling at her for what she done then he came into my room and told me that he was our baby and we could do with him whatever we wanted. He even took it upon himself to call a funeral home nearby and they offered to cremate him for us at no cost.
More people came in and asked if we wanted to name him and have him baptized before the funeral home arrived. We decided to name him Leighton Wesley Ashford III. They even had a nurse bring him in to our room so we could see him and say our goodbyes before he was taken away. He was so tiny, but he definitely wasn’t just a “clump of blood cells”. You could see his little body with his face, hands, and toes. He was perfect and I finally felt at peace for the first time in a long time.
We went to the funeral home a few days later to pick out an urn for him and they sent him back home to us a few weeks later. As years went by and we continued to travel for work and vacations, we would always bring him with us. This past year we found Ashes Into Glass and we were able to get a ring for me and a necklace for Leighton. Now we can always have him with us no matter where we go! It was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for grieving your baby. You’re allowed to be sad, cry, and miss them. If you need someone, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Because even though they were only here for a little while our love for them is forever. Take your time and lean on the Lord because he heals the brokenhearted.
I’ll never in this life know why God chose me to have my baby born in heaven, but I do know that he is keeping him safe at home waiting for us to get there. One day I’ll get to see him and hold him the way I do his brothers and sisters. Knowing that is enough for me. One day I’ll get to tell him how much I wanted him and missed him and he will tell me that he already knew because he’s been watching over us.
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:27-28