A third trimester loss. After 39 years, I still have tears in my eyes.
I had a fantastic playgroup with my first child where everyone except one was pregnant and due within five months of each other.
I mentioned to one of those friends at 28 weeks that something was wrong. I no longer felt pregnant.
I subsequently called the doctor and told him this information and thankfully he listened to me.
Once I saw him he said that there was no heartbeat.
I stayed at home for three weeks, with seaweed in me to encourage my vagina to expand. Imagine spending three weeks with a dead baby inside of you. I still have not gotten over that. I still look at those friends’ thirty-nine-year-old sons (all of them boys) and think about my lost son.
For three weeks of isolation, I would let no one in except for a friend who had lost her husband at a very young age. After those three weeks, I went into “labor.”
I delivered a stillborn baby on Tisha B’av of 1982. It was the only one of my children to be delivered vaginally. Although drugged, I remembered feeling the baby slipping out of me.
The doctor strongly recommended that we not see the baby as he was dead inside for three weeks.
To this day, I regret that decision.
Regardless of the sign on the door, one nurse came in cheerfully and asked what I had had.
I have no words to describe my emotions at that moment.
The nurses told me that they were unable to reach the Rabbi. I told them that due to the holiday, he would be unavailable until after sundown and NOT to do anything until they reached them.
Our dear friend visited me and found me in hysteria. Not a good idea to visit.
Our son was buried in the cemetery but we were not told of the location. I resent that.
A friend also had a loss, but as her son was born breathing, they gave him a name – I envy them.
As to our subsequent pregnancy, I refused to have a pregnancy test until my husband insisted after nine weeks. Thank God this pregnancy ended with our healthy, second daughter born via C-section.
My third pregnancy just happened. We got pregnant by “accident”. This means that we did not acknowledge that we were trying for a fourth pregnancy. I had serious problems and ended up in bed with placenta previa-12 weeks of bed rest, half hospitalized-with two young girls at home.
After hemorrhaging twice, once at home with our eldest child observing, we were blessed with our son. My doctors tied my tubes and said it was too risky to have any more children.
After 39 years, I sit here sobbing as I write the story of my loss. I can’t see the words on the computer in front of me. I miss him.
by Jeanine Bekerman