Last week on the blog, I shared Part 1 of our miscarriage story (make sure you check that out before reading on)! This week I will be sharing about the induction, meeting our sweet baby Sig, and his memorial. Before you start reading through, this may trigger some feelings if you have been in a similar situation!
On May 14th, we got to meet you and hold your tiny little body in our hands. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. After we found out about your passing, we scheduled the delivery for the day following.. May 14th. I chose this date because I was born on the 14th of November and your brother, Owen, on the 14th of December.. It just seemed fitting that you, too, would be born on the 14th as well.
When I got home after your appointment, your father soon showed up and he immediately hugged me and we cried together. It was a shock to both of us that we had lost you. Your siblings were at Grandma and Grandpa Sigurdsons for the day so we decided to go there first to tell them the news. I knew my mom would ask how my appointment went (as that is what she always does).. I replied by saying, “Not good.. We found out the baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.” There were many hugs, tears, sweet thoughts, but it didn’t make it any easier. We then went to Grandma and Grandpa Mathis’s home to let them know and ask if they would be willing to watch the kids while we were in the hospital. I knew I couldn’t tell them the news without breaking down so I told your father before we got out of the car that he had to tell them. We talked a little bit about what happened and discussed our plan moving forward. Gosh- it was such a difficult day and made it even more real that you are gone.
On the morning of May 14th, we left for the hospital at around 8:00 am. I had packed our bags for the night before just in case we had to stay overnight.. We didn’t really know what to expect. The nurses were waiting for us and promptly got us to our room after we checked in. The sign over the door of our room said, “Angels are watching over us.” We had the best nurses and doctor to take care of us throughout our stay.. They honestly made everything so much easier, answered all of our questions and were just so so kind. Kate was our initial nurse and she had the same personality as your daddy’s good friend, Hannah (we think Hannah trained Kate). The doctor on call that day was Dr. Sampson.. We just adored him. He explained everything so thoroughly and really helped us to decide how we wanted to move forward. We didn’t realize all the different options we had for testing (so we could find out why you passed) and for burial of your sweet little body. We had so many decisions to make in a short amount of time.. I was so glad your father was there to help with the decision making.
We ultimately decided we wanted to check if there were any chromosomal issues and bigger issues with myself that would potentially cause this issue to happen again in the future.. That would determine if we would try again. They did some lab tests and were going to take the placenta to run some tests. The second thing we had to decide was burial.. They did offer an option where they take all the babies that passed away too soon in a certain time frame (a month maybe?), cremate them together and then bury them together in the cemetery across the street from the hospital. We quickly decided that we wanted to take you home with us so we could bury you at our home. Since you were under 20 weeks the laws are a little bit more lenient, whereas, we can take you home and bury you.. If you were past 20 weeks it would’ve been much different.
Once we had talked through all of those options, we had to start going through the motions. First, Kate asked us a ton of questions regarding medical health, etc. Second, I had to get the COVID-19 test done since I was a patient.. My nose hurts just thinking about it. That test was some of the worst pain I have ever felt.. They took a swab and put it allll the way back in my nose where they were quite literally touching my brain.. She then had to rub it there for 10 seconds! Oh my goodness– I was in tears with how painful it was. When your Dad came back in, I just broke down and cried in his arms.. Due to the pain, but also due to the situation we were in. The results did come back negative.. Which was a positive in it all. After the COVID-19 test, Kate put in an IV into my arm just in case I needed it for pain medication.. She was pretty gentle with it so it didn’t hurt too bad throughout the day. After all of that was completed, Dr. Sampson came in and inserted the first round of medication at about 10:30 am. He indicated it may take a few rounds of medication for things to start happening.. The medication could be applied every 6 hours.. It was a waiting game from then on.
Your father and I just hung out for most of the day watching movies, chatting and reading.. He did a lot of online shopping/looking like he always does 🙂 We watched a variety of movies such as Twilight Breaking Dawn Parts I and II, and the latest Ghostbusters.
I didn’t really feel much with the first dose of medication until about the 5th hour when I had some mild cramping. At 4:20 pm, Dr. Sampson came in and gave me the second dose of medication. I felt cramping pretty much the entire time with the second dose and at about 8:30 pm I started to feel a gush of something.. Almost like my water was breaking. I had your father take a look to see if my water did indeed break, but he said he couldn’t tell. We called our nurse in (now it was Bianka as Kate was done at 7:00) and she said it was blood, not my water breaking. Bianka called Dr. Sampson in and after doing an examination he determined that I was about ready to deliver you. Luckily, the bag of water was still in tact and we were hopeful that the placenta would come out along with you.
The rest of the medical team came in to prepare for the delivery.. I had your father come to my left side to hold my hand through the final stretch of the delivery. After a few small pushes, you were earth-side. The placenta did not come out with you, unfortunately, so Dr. Sampson was going to wait a little bit to see if it would come out on it’s own after a bit of time. Shortly after her said that, I started to bleed quite a lot. I told the nurse what was happening and she went to fetch Dr. Sampson immediately.. He didn’t like how much blood I was losing so he decided to go in and remove the placenta himself. It wasn’t painful, but it was mildly uncomfortable. I held onto your father’s hand, as one nurse pushed down on my stomach and Dr. Sampson cut out the placenta. It only lasted a few minutes, but I was glad when it was over with.
Our biggest hope was that they could tell us your gender so we could properly name you.. Dr. Sampson did a bit of looking and determined you were a boy! After they cleaned you up a little bit, they wrapped you in a blanket and I was able to hold you. You were so so tiny.. All of your toes and fingers were there.. I could even see a little bit of your nails starting to grow in. Your bones and skin had not grown in quite yet so your body was a bit sticky like. We could see your eyes, nose, mouth and cute little butt. It was so surreal to see you in that tiny little state.
We held onto you for a few hours as we wanted to spend as much time with you as possible. We also wanted to be able to look at you when we gave you a name. Your father and I went back and forth on names.. We decided we wanted to use Marvin in some way after your daddy’s good friend who passed away of cancer in 2017. We had a few options for the first name such as Tommy (for your great uncle), Daniel (your Dad’s choice) or Sig. After discussing it, we settled on Sig Marvin Mathis. Sig is a nod to my maiden name, Sigurdson, and for the nickname your Great Grammy calls your Great Papa. She would never call him “Howard” it was always “Sig.” We thought your name was perfectly fitting for you!
After we named you, we gave you to the nurses who were going to weight, measure and clean you up a bit more. It was about midnight when we handed you over and we decided to try and get some sleep. Luckily, there were two beds in our room so the nurses helped to push the beds together so your dad and I could sleep next to each other. Rest came easily that night as I was exhausted from the days events.
We woke up in the morning and the nurses brought you back to us. We got to hold you again for another hour or so.. This time they had put a cute little hat on you and wrapped you in a tiny blanket. I just stared at you the entire time.. Dreaming about what you would’ve been like, looked like and how much I already missed you in my tummy. The hospital gave us a sweet remembrance box that held many items to remember you by.. The hat you wore, your tiny blanket, your hand + footprints, and a variety of other items. This is a box that I will cherish for the rest of my life.. I will be placing this journal in the box, along with any cards +mementos that we receive. It’ll be sitting in a prominent place where we can see you always.
When it was time to say good-bye, the nurse came and took you and placed you in a small box for burial. We finished packing up our things and were able to leave the hospital at about 11:30 am. Despite the pandemic going on, all of the nurses gave us hugs good-bye.. They were all so kind to us. It was a difficult ride home.. I held you tight in my lap.. And we sat in silence the entire way home.. I think we were both thinking about the events from the previous two days. When we found out I was pregnant with you.. I always envisioned we’d be carrying you out of the hospital in the car seat.. Instead, I carried you in a little tiny box that sat on my lap all the way home.
After much discussion, your Dad and I decided to bury you in a flower garden in our front yard. We wanted you to be close to us and in a place where we could see you always.. From when we come and go, to when we tuck the kids in bed, to sitting on the deck or eating dinner. We knew the spot we chose would be the perfect place for you to rest.
The flower garden was there when we bought the house and we cleaned it up for our wedding back in 2014. Since then, we didn’t tend to it much and it started to overgrow. We had a lot of work ahead of us to get it ready for your memorial! Grandma Wendy came over one day to clean it out, get rid of the rocks and dig out the old flowers. Your Grandma Kathy and I went flower shopping at the local greenhouse to pick out some perennials. I really wanted some flowers that would bloom in May to symbolize your birth and then some that would bloom throughout the rest of the year.. That way the garden would always be in full bloom!
We hadn’t quite got the flower garden finished before the day of your memorial so your Dad took the day off of work and your Aunt Liz, Uncle Mike, and Grandma Kathy came over to help us finish it prior to the memorial. We made the garden a bit bigger in size, planted so many beautiful flowers (your Aunt Liz and myself did most of that work) and covered the bed in a nice red colored mulch. It was such a beautiful site to see when it was finished!
We held your memorial on the afternoon of Friday, May 22nd. We invited only our immediate family to attend due us wanting it to be smaller (and COVID-19 we still couldn’t really having gatherings over 10 people). We would’ve held it sooner, but your Grandpa Howie had hip surgery the Monday prior so we wanted to give him some time to get home.. Your Aunt Liz and family were also coming up for Memorial Weekend so we decided to wait so they could be there as well. Your Uncle Mitch decided not to come down because he is in the thick of the coronovirus with working in a store and riding the bus to and from work. He didn’t want to bring it to us if he was infected.. He did send his love though!
Pastor Jacoba came to our home and performed the memorial. It was absolutely perfect.. Your father and I both held you in our arms during the memorial… it was the toughest 15 minutes I had to go through! At the end of the ceremony, Jacoba prayed over you and then it was time to bury you in the place we chose for you to rest.. Your Dad took your box from me and placed you into the deep whole we dug. Then each of us in attendance took turns throwing a little dirt over you. After everyone had their turn, your Dad, Uncle Sam and Uncle Mike placed the lilac tree over you and set it in place. Your Grandma Wendy started to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and we all joined in to sing over your resting place.. It was the perfecting ending to your memorial.
After the memorial, we held a small dinner. We all chatted about you, we shared our memory box with everyone to look through and we just enjoyed each others company. Everyone has been so kind and thoughtful throughout all of this.. We couldn’t get through it without their support!
This journal started out as a way for me to document this final pregnancy and share what was happening in the world so we could look back on it in the future.. I never thought my journal would be ending this way. Despite that, as difficult as it’s been to complete this, I knew it would be something my family, myself and generations after would look at. It was important to me to document everything we went through.. So we would remember the devastation, the loss, and the start of our healing.
I love you so so much, Sig Marvin Mathis. I can’t wait until I get to hold you again. For now, enjoy the cuddles from all of those gone before us. See you soon.
P.S. We did receive our results from the many tests that we did and everything came back normal. It was basically just a fluke that we lost you. I’m saddened that we don’t have any real answers as to why this happened, but I’m happy knowing that if we do try again we should have a healthy pregnancy. xoxoxo