by Shellie Spradlin
I became pregnant with my third child in July of 1995. My youngest at that time, Krystan, was eight months old. When I realized that I had not had my period in a month, I went into denial. Surely I couldn't be pregnant again, could I?
I had an appointment at the local health department for Krystan's WIC, so Presley talked me into a pregnancy test. When the lady came in with a smile on her face I thought surely it was negative. I mean, sheesh! I had an eight-month-old baby. Usually they frown on having them so close. But she was happy and it was positive.
I was devastated and in tears. We were living with Presley's parents at the time and in the process of looking for a house. How were we going to do this with another child on the way?
After a few days, a lot of tears and the family freaking, we became use to the idea of another child in our lives. So the plans began. We started intensely looking for a house and planned our move. All the while my tummy had already started to expand with proof of the precious being inside.
The thoughts of what could it be -- a boy or another little girl had already entered into the everyday conversations. I had started rubbing my belly and talking to "him". For some reason, I always knew this child was a boy, as I knew all of my other pregnancies were girls.
We had decided to visit one of Presley's friends one evening. They had just moved his grandmother in and she adored kids. so we took Chelsea and Krystan to visit. I had felt a little crampy, but nothing really to cause alarm. We had planned on telling them about the new addition that night, but for some reason we never did. I brought that to Presley's attention on the way home, but he had no explanation as to why he hadn't told them.
When we arrived home, of course the first place a pregnant woman heads is to the bathroom. When I wiped, my worse nightmare came to reality. There it was crimson, bright red, but only a little bit so I tried to remain calm.
I told Presley about the "spotting" and it was decided that we would see how it was the next day and call the doctor. That night was miserable! I didn't want to get up to go to the bathroom for fear of what I would see. I finally found sleep and when the next morning came the cramping and bleeding was worse, so we called the doctor. He insisted that we come up and get an ultrasound. I knew this wouldn't help, I knew my child, my precious baby boy, was gone. By this time I was wearing a pad because it had turned from spotting to full fledged bleeding. I was devastated
The ultrasound proved what I already knew. The doctor looked for a half an hour for a heartbeat from my precious boy. His heart had stopped. He was 14 weeks. My D&C was scheduled for the next day. That night was very painful; knowing that inside of me was my lifeless child. I spent that night wishing that this was a dream; maybe I would wake up and it would have been an awful nightmare.
This was something that I always thought happened to "other" people. Now it had touched me, I had lost one of the most precious things that a woman can be blessed with -- a child.
The emptiness that engulfed my body was very intense. I had never felt so much pain. I virtually shut down, wouldn't talk about it and lived life as if it hadn't happened. I lived this way for a very long time, up until after Lyndsey was born as a matter of fact. Presley would bring it up, the concern when I got pregnant with Lyndsey. But other than that "he" was never mentioned.
One night while talking to my best friend, she had mentioned her angels. This prompted me to remember and begin my grieving process. I had lost my child, but I had never allowed myself to grieve for him. She encouraged me to name him, he was, after all, my child, He deserved that. That night "he" became Isaiah. My son finally had a name. Since then I talk about him freely, I cry for him often and most of all, I have told my children about the brother that they almost had.
I want to thank my dear friend, Janine, for bringing me to the point that grieving was possible. She has helped me through many hard times and listened to me as I cried about many things. I am very thankful that I have her. If not for Janine, my Isaiah would probably still be a nameless angel.
Shellie Spradlin is a long time Pregnancy.org contributor and beloved member. As mom to three beautiful girls, two terrific boys and a 1995 angel baby, Shellie has experienced both the pains and discomforts of pregnancy along with the excitement and joys! Shellie resides with her family in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky.
Copyright © Shellie Spradlin. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC