Honoring Baby Wiley

We lost our baby this month. The pregnancy was still early but it was so real. We had slowly started telling people, buying onesies and planning how to “reveal” the good news to the rest of the world. (I used the letter board to tell Keith the news- we were growing sugar baby watermelons at the time so it was perfect!) I had to stay off Instagram because I was just TOO EXCITED and honestly didn’t trust myself to not spill the beans. (plus nothing else seemed as important tbh!) We had 9 wks of bliss, excitedly planning, obsessing over all the things we didn’t know yet and absorbing as much information as we possibly could. We chose the perfect name for our little grain of rice, Wiley, after my great grandmother. We loved the name for either sex and affectionately referred to my growing belly as “baby Wiley.” We celebrated the weekly food comparison milestones and were overall just so full love and hope.

We had a little scare when we went in for our first ultrasound and they saw what looked like a collapsing sack and no heartbeat. We were heartbroken but hopeful, we knew the dates they were giving us were wrong (I am a crazy person when it comes to tracking these kinds of things, and my super irregular periods didn’t make for an accurate ovulation date). The next week I had an appointment at the birthing center I’d hoped to give birth at, and they immediately sent me out for a more invasive ultrasound to get an answer either way. I ugly cried when the tech told me that there was in fact a baby, with a little heart beating at 116 bpm. It’s impossible to see in the photo, but there’s a teeeeeeeny “grain of rice” inside that sack within a sack and that was all we needed!

We learned the good news literally the day before we left on an epic two week road trip, so we scheduled our first prenatal and dating ultrasound with the birthing center for three weeks later, when we’d be 9 wks along! Our road trip was definitely epic, and OF COURSE my morning sickness kicked in HARD nearly the moment we hit the road. 😑😂 We drove from Texas to a beautiful wedding in Michigan (my bestie’s!), then UP into the upper peninsula, crossed into Canada and then drove down into Vermont. SO MUCH DRIVING FOR A SICK MAMA!!!! But the vacation was still magical, we bought the silliest souvenir for Wiley and excitedly told strangers that we were expecting.

The week we got back was a week of recovery! I got some new prenatal vitamins that dramatically seemed to help with morning sickness, and eating heathy again helped me regain my strength. My grandmother asked us to send her a postcard from Vermont and we used that to share the good news! It is soooo much fun to come up with creative ways to tell people you’re pregnant, but I think my favorite way was to just slide it into a conversation or text message! Catching people off guard with good news is so fun! 😂😍

A week after getting home we finally had our dating ultrasound and were SO excited to see how much our little baby had grown! The 9 week food size comparison is a grape, WAY  bigger than a grain of rice! We had a little bit of confusion about the appointment & ultrasound being on two different days (the birthing center didn’t have a tech available the day of my apt), so Keith wasn’t able to join me for the sonogram. 🙁 The tech started the ulrasound and I instantly noticed how much our baby had grown! It was so wild that you literally couldn’t see it just weeks before, and now you couldn’t miss it! The tech pointed out the “little baby” and then talked me through a tour of my ovaries (riveting) before coming back to the baby and taking a minute to look things over. She got quiet before suddenly telling me that she had some bad news, there was no heartbeat. She said the baby was measuring right on schedule, so we had likely just lost him. She did a scan of the heartbeat and I held my breath the whole time, hoping it would help her pick it up, but it was pointless. A nurse came in and hugged me and told me my options (wait for a natural miscarriage, take a pill to induce labor at home, or have a procedure to manually clear out my womb.) Then they took my blood and sent me on my way! I didn’t even make it to the car before the tears started rolling, all I could think was “WHY?”. Why me, why us, why MY baby? I stopped by Keith’s work and told him the news. He was heartbroken as well, but my heart swelled when he wanted to see the ultasound pic. (the tech asked if “I wanted a picture or no?” and I’d felt like saying yes seemed weird, but it was still my little baby!) Our cute, sweet, tiny little baby that I got to carry for his whole life, I am so grateful to have this picture!

I immediately received so much support from loved ones and from strangers on the internet. I posted in a pregnancy Facebook group that I’m in and was truly overwhelmed by the outpour of love and kind words from total strangers. Almost every person who reached out to comfort me had experienced a pregnancy loss as well, or at least was close to someone who had. So many mamas in my family told me about their losses, I have SO MANY rainbow babies in my family! Friends and coworkers told me the same thing, almost everyone has a personal connection to miscarriage. The midwife told me that nearly 1/3 of women experience miscarriages, but hearing the experiences of so many women in my life was really eye opening for me. It’s so easy to feel alone in such a dark time and it makes me sad to think of all the women who have felt isolated because miscarriage isn’t something we talk about. Its ugly and heart-wrenching and not a topic that we prefer to discuss, I understand that. But it’s a really hard part of life that is true for so many women, I feel like we’re doing ourselves a disservice by not acknowledging that suffering. Everyone grieves differently, so of course talking openly may not be healing for all, but talking about my loss has been very therapeutic for me.

I went in for a DNC earlier this week (the surgery to empty my womb). After waiting for a natural miscarriage, having ANOTHER ultrasound to confirm the loss and talking things over with my doctor, I felt like this procedure would offer me the most closure. It was terrifying and also pretty emotional, even though my baby was gone I still physically had him, so the thought of losing that connection made me sad. I have found peace since the surgery, and I’m grateful for the closure that the procedure helped give me. I’ve wrestled with trying to find a way to memorialize my baby, because the thought of Wiley being forgotten breaks my heart. I thought about getting a plant, since that’s kindof our thing, so that I could watch it grow in Wiley’s honor. Keith wasn’t on board with this; having a daily reminder of our loss was too much for him, which I definitely understand. I put together a little box of mementos from my pregnancy (basically every photo in this post) that I can keep and maybe look through one day. I know it seems a little morbid for my first ever blog post to be about such a heavy topic, but it’s exactly what I needed. I’ve been trying to start this blog for over a year, I literally have draft posts saved and I’ve been too afraid to pull the trigger. Writing this post in honor of my little baby was a wonderful way for me to grieve and TALK (write) about my feelings, I love that little Wiley pushed me to start something I’ve been so afraid of doing. Future posts will be much lighter and honestly probably kindof frivolous, but this was the perfect first post. ❤️❤️❤️

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