Gavin’s Surprises

Told by: Melissa

Today June 18th 2012, I sit here and all I can think about is in 2 weeks I should be holding my sweet baby boy Gavin Thomas. Instead I sit her feeling empty and without him growing in my belly. Although everything looked good on ultrasounds, his heartbeat was always within the normal range, and I didn’t have any major complications I still lost him. I remember like it was yesterday. I went to my regular check up appt on Monday April 2nd I was 26 weeks. I told the doctor that Gavin just didn’t move as much as I thought he should. I have 2 daughter and a son. So he was baby #4 and he just moved and kicked like the other 3. He said as long as he moving at least a little then his fine. Well…. He wasn’t fine. Wednesday I felt him kick around 3:00pm and that was it. That was the last time I would feel my baby move. It was around 8-9:00pm when I decided I should go in to be checked. I tried to use my home doppler 3 seperate times before going and I couldn’t find is heartbeat. I knew deep down that he was gone. The ride to the hospital (only 5 minutes) my husband joked and said I have a feeling this is the first of many trips to the hospital. I went for little things with my other 3 because my worst fear was having a stillborn baby. My worst fear came true. They took me back and hooked me up to the monitor and could find his heartbeat. The nurse said that he might just be to small for this (which I knew wasn’t true) she then tried the doppler which my nurse’s at the doctors office always found his heartbeat within seconds. She tried for what seemed like forever before she has another nurse come and try. I just laid there holding my husbands hand tighter and tighter as she tried all over my stomach only to find my heartbeat. The nurse then told me they were going to order a ultrasound and they both walked out. The doctor came in with the ultrasound machine and I looked at the black and white screen…all I could see was my sweet baby boy. No movement and no heartbeat. I looked at the screen and the words “theres no heartbeat” came out and the doctor looked at me and said “I’m so sorry he’s gone” I curled up in a ball and cried “no no why me? Why my baby?” My husband and I cried for a while and then I gathered myself for a minute and said “ok what do I do now?” He said “well you can go home and talk to your doctor in the morning or we can start the process now. “How could I go home with my baby not alive in my belly and face my 3 children in the morning? I said “there’s no way I’m going home” and we started the process. They put pills in my cervix every 4 hours until finally starting pitocin. My doctor broke my water when I was only 2cm dilated. It was the worst pain…but the pain wasn’t what made me cry. It was the feeling of my water pouring out of me knowing it wasn’t for the birth my baby that I wanted to hold and hear cry. It was for the birth of my baby that had already gone to be with God. I was on pit all day and only dilated to 2cm. Finally my husband had enough and told them that I just wanted a c section. I had asked for one shortly after I knew he was gone. Friday April 6th 2012 I delievered my angel by c section. He came out with a lot of different birth defects. My doctor said he’s almost 100% that he had trisomy 13. We won’t know for 100% because we didn’t have a autopsy done. My doctor said he was really surprised I didn’t miscarry in the first trimester. Deciding to have him cremated or buried was a hard choice but we decided to have hime cremated.  We had part of his ashes put in a locket inside of a teddy bear which has provided some comfort in this process. I sleep with it in my arms every night. The rest of his ashes we are taking with us on our first family vacation the 5 of us (6 counting our angel Gavin); we are spreading them in the ocean on July 2nd the day my scheduled c section would have been. Gavin Thomas’s birthday. I’m hoping that I don’t have regret and hoping that it doesn’t cause any sadness on our entire week vacation. In my heart it feels like the right thing to do. My other part to my story is I so badly want to get pregnant as soon as the doctor says its ok which he said to wait at least 3 months which would put us in July. The month I was supposed to delivery him. I feel like it would help move me in the healing process but my husband isn’t sure he even wants any more. Gavin was a surprise in the first place. He and I were pretty sure we weren’t going to have anymore but then I got pregnant and now I can’t picture not having another baby in my arms. I’m supposed to be a mother of 4 and I will be! It hurts that we’re on 2 different pages.

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8 Responses to Gavin’s Surprises

  1. Kerry says:

    I was also due July 2. Our daughter died on Mother’s Day at 32 weeks, 6 days. I love your idea of keeping the ashes in a locket! My husband couldn’t bear the idea of a cremation so we had Myra buried, but I like the idea of having something to hold onto. There are days I drive past the funeral home and I wish I could go in and see her and hold her.

    I understand your empty arms feeling too and wanting to have another baby. We were used to thinking of ourselves as a family of five and our boys were THRILLED to become big brothers and so glad they were having a sister. Now it doesn’t seem right. Fortunately my husband agrees and even suggested it. I find that as excited as I am, I can’t get pregnant yet. I’m still mourning and very nervous about another pregnancy because, unlike you, our doctors have no explanation as to what happened to Myra. What if it happens again?

    I have explained my feelings to my husband, who is being patient and understanding. He is ready to try now. I’ve been frank about my grief for her and needing to wait just a bit longer. Perhaps such a discussion would help you and your husband to come to a mutual understanding. I hope your heart heals and you can find a new “normal” so that your life can feel happy again. I’m hoping for the same thing! Prayers for you and squeeze your teddy for me!

    • Melissa says:

      Hi Kerry. Thanks for your kind words. I’m sorry for your loss. She and Gavin are up there looking down on all of us.
      I’m starting to get back to normal but the last few weeks have been a little rough with people around me having babies and coming up to the date that I was waiting for to hold him and have him enter our family. Now he’s forever in my heart and my angel looking down on me, my husband, his 2 sisters, and his brother.
      Cremation wasn’t my first choice but then after thinking about it and discussing it with my husband I knew it was the best choice for us. I love that I have the teddy bear (I squeeze it every night and I will squeeze it for you 🙂
      I hope that your heart heals soon. I know that it will always have a piece missing. Mine has moved forward over the weeks but here lately I feel like its at the same spot waiting to hear the words from my hubby that he’s ready. Next week is when I can begin to start trying and so badly want to as I have been waiting for that moment since we lost Gavin. I’m not trying to replace him I know that he will never be with me and he will always have a place in my heart. I just want another baby. A baby I can hold, cuddle, and watch grow with his/her brother and sisters. The whole baby topic is a very sensative subject between us. I understand him and I’m pretty sure he understands my feelings. I hope it doesn’t cause problems for us. (We have a AWESOME marriage so I’m not worried that it will) I know I can’t be selfish but I REALLY hope he see’s it my way.
      You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as I know how you feel. Take care and I would love to keep in touch. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

  2. Kerry says:

    I got the most wonderful gift from a friend yesterday at church and wanted to share it with you! It’s a necklace with three charms. The first charm says “Life” and has a gem the color of the birthstone of the month your baby was conceived. This honors the month a new life entered yours. The second charm is a butterfly with a gem the color of the birthstone of the month your baby died. The last charm says “Wish” and has a gem the color of the birthstone of the month your baby was due. My friend got it at I thought you might like to check it out. I like it so much, I may go to our local jeweler with the idea and get a ring or another necklace. She totally made my day, which was going rough. We discovered Myra was dead on a Sunday morning and yesterday she’d have been 6 weeks old. I find all Sundays to be difficult, tho.

    How are you around babies and pregnant ladies? We have a niece that was born 2 months before Myra. I love her and I love to hold her, but when it’s time to say good-bye, I cry when I get in the car. The rest of the day is depressing for me. That’s when I have the empty arms feeling. And pregnant ladies, I just want to say, “I was pregnant too; I should STILL be pregnant. But my baby died. Don’t take for granted that all will go well.”

    I still can’t believe this has happened. I can replay the nurse telling me there was no heartbeat over and over, but I still can’t believe it. I can still picture the doctor in my room trying to explain it to us, waking up from surgery, and telling my kids their sister was dead. That is all picture perfect in my mind and I remember it as though it were yesterday. I just can’t believe it really happened.

    I held Myra for 24 hours after she was delivered. I can still see her. I have pictures of her, but I can’t believe she’s not here.

    And I feel so preoccupied with the baby I lost that I worry that I’m emotionally neglecting the children I DO have.

    Oh, this is SO hard and just heart-breaking!

    • Melissa says:

      I have a neckless something like that that my mom got me. Mine has a flower charm and hanging from the flower is 2 gems a diamond for April the month we lost Gavin and then a ruby for July the month he should have been born. I wear it all the time. I’m glad you have something like it.
      My sister in law just had her baby boy 2 weeks ago. That was the hardest, I haven’t seen them yet because they live 2 hours away. I cried when I got the news that he was born. Her and I are pretty close and used to talk all the time but since I’ve lost Gavin I’ve pulled away. I feel so bad but it just brings on so many feelings. We both had boys and our boys were going to be like 3 weeks apart. I also watch kids in my home and one of the moms just had her baby boy the same day my sis in law did. So that week was really tough for me. I haven’t seen either baby yet though. I think I’m ready but don’t want to fall apart. As far as seeing pregnant women (which is seems like everywhere we go there’s a pregnant woman or a newborn baby) I do feel the urge to tell them that I should be pregnant but lost my baby. I feel your pain.
      Its been almost 12 weeks for me and I still can’t believe it happened. I don’t know when that feeling will go away. I hope you find peace soon. I know I sit back and think about that day over and over again. I know that my kids too are sad that they lost their brother. My youngest who is 3 (4 in august) our son, put his hand on my belly 2 weeks ago and said “baby all gone?” It broke my heart. So I know he thinks about him too. I hope your boys heal soon too…hugs for you all.
      My husband and I didn’t hold Gavin… We didn’t even see him. We just didn’t want that picture in our heads forever. Which I know seems odd but glad we made the decision we did because after we gave birth we found out about the birth defects he had cleft lip and cleft palet. Although I know as a mother I would have seen him as a handsome little man. Sometimes I think that I should have hold him but I know in my heart I did what was right for us. The hospital took pictures and foot prints and they have them in a book that I can pick up within a year, I have been really thinking about picking it up. I still have time so I’m not making any decisions yet.
      I’m sure your boys know that your hurting and that you need time to heal. Which your heart will start to heal more and more. I know mine is still healing and like I said it feels like it has went backwards a little bit with people close to me having their babies and with the date of his birth coming up. I just hope us spreading part of his ashes on July 2nd will fill our hearts with love and help with the moving forward process. I also hope that with July my hubby and I can start trying again.
      Again I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that I have someone to talk to that is feeling the same as I do but I’m also so sad that another woman/family is going through the same hurt as mine. It truely is really heart breaking.

  3. Kerry says:

    Happy due date (yesterday)! I hope your vacation is going well, and spreading Gavin’s ashes was comforting!

    I had several appointments in the city yesterday (1.5 hours away) and that kept my mind occupied. One was to the perinatologist and another with my counselor. Both gave me hope!

    I DID think of you and your family yesterday; I just didn’t get on here. Sorry! It was a long day!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks so much for keeping my family in your thoughts. I thought of you too. Glad tgo hear you made it through the day and kept busy. We planned our vacation for last week because of the due date. (My actual due date was the 7th but my scheduled c section would have been the 2nd) I’m so glad we planned it like we did. I have thought since I delivered Gavin that when July 2nd came I would be a mess but surprisingly I wasn’t. I had a feeling of peace and happiness all day. I honestly think it was god and Gavin who kept me feeling this way all day and being with my family helped a lot too.
      We went to the beach and it was a beautiful day. Skies were blue, there was a little bit of a breeze and all 5 of us were in wonderful moods. My husband and I decided not to spread all of his ashes but just some. It was like he was enjoying the water and with us. We walked out into the water and I just let his ashes fly out of the bag and into the water. I felt so at peace. Shortly after we all found our first sand dollars. I found one for Gavin. I’m going to put it in a frame with some sand from the beach.
      Its now July and its the month that the doctor said we can start trying. I want to SO bad. I honestly hope I can get my husband in the same boat. We talked a little about it over vacation and he’s really content with the 3 we have. I have told him that I can’t imagine not have our 4th baby in my arms. We’ll see how it goes. I feel so bad because I know I’m pressuring him and I know I can’t be selfish but I want another baby.
      I hope your doing better these days. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  4. Kerry says:

    Today was my first day back to work. It’s going okay. I am a secretary at a school so most of my co-workers aren’t here, which has made the day easier. My principal and I have talked quite a bit since I’ve been home so we didn’t have much to talk about this morning when I got here. I was able to just come in like it was a regular day, turn on my computer, and get to work.

    I feel pretty good, emotionally. I’ve felt in control of my emotions for several weeks now and find hope in knowing I’ll be having another baby sometime. The perinatologist wants us to wait for 6 months. We talked about waiting that long and decided it’s silly to seek the assistance of a perinatologist if we aren’t going to follow his suggestions. So Thanksgiving will be a highly anticipated time for us!

    I discussed a subsequent pregnancy with my counselor because I’ve really been trying to get a handle on WHY I feel so strongly about another baby. Am I mourning Myra and trying to replace her with another baby? It finally occured to me that I’ve wanted a third child since my twins were born over 7 years ago and we waited 2 years to get pregnant with Myra. I’m not mourning Myra; I want another baby because I’ve wanted one for a long time.

    That being resolved, I’m anxious to be pregnant again. But then I remind myself that my baby’s health is worth the wait. If I had to wait 6 more months to have Myra here with us, I would gladly do it. The upcoming baby is also deserving of my patience. Conceiving hasn’t been easy for us, tho, and I’m worried about it still being a problem.

    The prospect of the new baby has given me great hope. I don’t have to put away Myra’s clothes or take down her crib right now. That has been a big relief.

    Hope you continue to heal!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m so glad to hear that your moving forward in such a positive way.

      I know my husband had said that he thought I was feeling so strong about getting pregnant was to replace Gavin. I know its not that. I know Gavin is in heaven and I will have him in my arms one day but I just want a baby. We have 3 (2 girls and 1 boy) before we got pregnant with Gavin I was on the fence on if I wanted another one. Then we were surprised to be pregnant and became so excited and knew that I was meant to have 4 kids. Now I can’t picture not having another baby. I want a baby so bad. My husband is content with our 3 and I know in most situations I should be too but I’m not. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say to change my mind.

      I hope you and your husband don’t have a hard time conceiving this time and I wish you all the best. I know you will have a sweet baby in your arms soon. I know its going to be scary if/when I get pregnant but I know to leave it in gods hands and he’ll take care of me.

      If you would like to email me so we can keep in touch more and it be more personal. My email is

      Take care and I hope you keep moving in the forward position.

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