It’s been just about two months since we lost our sweet baby boy: Sig Marvin Mathis. These past few weeks have been difficult to navigate.. we had to lay him to rest, we had to have tough conversations with our other children about the loss of their brother (multiple times with our youngest children), I’ve had to deal with my body + hormones continually changing, and we’ve been wrestling with so many unanswered questions. Why did we lose Sig? Why now after four successful pregnancies? Why us? Do we try again? Will the same thing happen then? Only time will tell with many of these questions.
As difficult as things have been, I feel called to share our story. So many women I know suffer in silence.. never speaking about their loss(es), afraid to tell their story. It’s important to me (and to my healing) to tell our story so that maybe it’ll inspire others to speak up. When I found out I was pregnant, I started a journal to document the pregnancy and the things that were happening in the world at the time. We were living in such a unique time with the breakout of the coronavirus, kids out of school, events being cancelled, people working from home, my leaving my employment, etc. that I felt it was important to document the history so we could look back on it one day.
So today, I’ll be sharing all about our pregnancy + loss through excerpts taken out of my journal. Next week in Part 2, I’ll be sharing about the induction and burial of our baby boy. You will notice below, but I will be speaking in the voice as if I’m speaking directly to baby Sig!
You’re Pregnant Again?
We learned about your existence on March 21, 2020 (your Grandpa Howie’s birthday)! Your father knew I was pregnant even before I did.. He kept making comments to me about how my body was starting to show signs of pregnancy. I didn’t really believe him at first until I started to have constant nausea throughout the day and constant hunger pangs. I decided to run into Target to get a pregnancy test when I dropped off your older brother, Owen, with his Dad for the weekend. When I woke up the next morning I immediately took the test, but decided to not look at the results. I set the test in my make-up drawer and covered it up so I wouldn’t be tempted to look at what it said. Normally, I would want to find out the results immediately, but I decided I really wanted to learn the news with your father. Every other time I found out I was pregnant with your siblings I tended to be away from home! I thought with our last baby we should find out the results together.
After the kids had breakfast, I fessed up to him that I had indeed taken a test and we went into the bathroom together to see if we would be welcoming one more member to our family! Since I had hidden the test under some toilet paper I grabbed the entire thing out of the drawer and set it on the counter. I turned to him and said, “Are you ready?” I pulled off the covering and in bold letters it said “Pregnant.” We immediately hugged each other and I found myself apologizing to him. Your Dad asked.. “Why are you apologizing?” I responded with, “Because I knew you didn’t want to have anymore kids.” After we had Emilia we weren’t really sure if we were done with having kids or not.. I wanted one more boy and your father was ready to be done. He responded sweetly with, “I am happy about this and excited!” We indeed both were 🙂
Later that evening, Grandma and Grandpa Mathis came over to drop off some dinner in honor of Grandpa Howie’s birthday. We had decided to wrap up a little onesie and give it to him to open. Your Grandma knew exactly what it was before he even opened it.. They were both very surprised and excited to be welcoming one more grandbaby into the family!
We slowly started to tell all of our family and friends over the next few weeks.. Most people were shocked as they thought we were done after four. It tends to be a bit uncommon nowadays for people to have five or more kids! We told your older siblings and they were so excited to be welcoming another family member later in the year!
The week after we found out about you, I called to schedule a few appointments so we could determine how far along I was. I first had to do a blood test and then they scheduled me for a dating ultrasound. When we went in for the ultrasound I was thinking I was only about five or six weeks along.. We were surprised to find out I was actually much farther along at 9 weeks and two days! You are scheduled to arrive on November 2nd, 2020.. Just in time for the holiday seasons!
April 28th, 2020
It’s my first doctor appointment with you! The first appointment tends to be the longest as they ask lots and lots and lots of medical questions.. They did a medical exam, lab tests and I was able to hear your heartbeat for the first time on the doppler! You were lying to the left of my belly button when they found your heartbeat.. It sounded beautiful at 157 beats per minute. It’s always such an exciting thing to hear that sound for the first time!
May 13, 2020
The Day We Lost You
Today we learned that we lost you. I went in for my routine check-up and to meet with our new doctor, Dr. Johnson. When I went into the appointment, the nurse asked me some different questions, discussed how the future appointments will play out and then she got me ready for an ultrasound. She just wanted to take a look to see how big you were growing and if everything looked good. She found your face immediately– we could see your mouth, nose and the little hollowed out area where you eyes would be. She then measured your length, which came out to 14 weeks (we were 15 weeks so you were a little behind, nothing out of the ordinary). She then looked to check the heartbeat.. I watched the screen the entire time curious about what she was looking at. She then reached down, touched my arm and said, “not to alarm you, but I can’t seem to find a heartbeat. I’m not an expert in this so I’m going to go grab Dr. Johnson to take a look.” My heart instantly dropped and I felt so so scared and nervous. What’s going to happen if there isn’t a heartbeat?
I waited to for a few minutes and then Dr. Johnson came in. He greeted me warmly and told me he was going to take a look to see if he could see a heartbeat.. “Sometimes they like to hide,” he said. He spent a few minutes looking around and the nurse again grabbed my arm and started rubbing it.. I knew right then you were gone. Dr. Johnson apologized, the nurse apologized and he explained to me why things like this may happen (something wasn’t functioning correctly, chromosomes weren’t correct, etc). He then set up another ultrasound with a professional radiologist to see if they could see what caused the miscarriage to happen.
As I waited for them to come get me for the next ultrasound, I immediately called your father. He was working at the farm when I called, but he picked up the phone. I asked him if he was free to talk and I started to feel the tears welling up in my eyes.. I took a deep breath and said, “they couldn’t find the heartbeat. I miscarried.” Your father responded with, “oh, honey, I’m so sorry.” I wish he would’ve been there.. It would have made everything to deal with a bit easier. I was in shock, to be completely honest.. I didn’t know what to think..
The nurse came and took me into the ultrasound room where the tech did the ultrasound. It was so hard watching, knowing there wasn’t a heartbeat… you didn’t move at all. The last ultrasound you were kicking your arms and legs. It was just so difficult to watch. The tech took a bunch of different measurements of your body and of my anatomy to see if they could find what was wrong. After the ultrasound, Dr. Hoshimoto came in and discussed the results with me. You were measuring at 14 weeks 2 days, which was a week behind. They aren’t quite sure when you had passed, but he was thinking it was a week before. He couldn’t say for certain, but that was his best guess. There was also some extra fluid around you and a little around the heart, but he said he isn’t sure if that is what caused it either since it could be due to postmortem.
I went back and met with Dr. Johnson again after the ultrasound to discuss the next steps. I have to go into labor and delivery where they will induce labor, which will bring you earth side. They said we can hold you as long as we want and they will provide us with footprints, handprints, casting, and pictures to remember you by. I set the date to the following day, May 14th. After you are born, they are going to take my placenta to run some tests to see if they can figure out why you passed that way.. I sure hope it gives us some answers.
As I write this, there are so many things going through my head.. Did it hurt when you passed.. Were you in pain? Are you a boy or girl? Do we have to name you? Do we bury you or cremate you? How do I tell your grandparents, aunts, uncles.. Your siblings?? How do we move on from here? It’s going to be the hardest couple of days from telling our family to meeting you to deciding what to do after you are born. Gosh- I just don’t understand why this happened?! Knowing I’m going to be pregnant with you for only a few more hours is such a difficult feeling.. I have loved growing you in my tummy and I wish there was something I could’ve done to protect you. I’ve loved you for the past few months and I’ll continue to love you until we meet again.
Next week in Part 2, I will be sharing about the induction + meeting Baby Sig and his memorial service. If you’ve been in a similar situation with a loss of a child, please reach out to me! I would love to have a conversation with you. We are all in this together! <3