I have been with my husband since I was 15 and got pregnant with our oldest child at age 16. Since learning we were going to be first time parents, we felt in love with our little bundle of joy and blessed to have the privilege to form a family. We decided we would eventually love to have four babies — two boys and two girls, spaced four to five years apart so that we could give each baby quality time, care, and love before adding a new baby. As it happened, we had two boys, now 12 and 17, and two girls, now three and seven. We thought we were finished having kids. Then, my husband said he wanted to have one last baby! He is an exceptional, awesome husband and a wonderful dad, and together we thought it was an excellent idea. We discussed it with our children and they loved the idea. So, we prayed and asked God if He could bless us one last time. A few weeks later, we received the great news that we were expecting again! The last thing we ever expected was that I would miscarry.
We gathered our children and our preborn baby’s future godparents and shared the great news. For the first few months, everything seemed perfect. My first prenatal appointment was scheduled for Monday, November 20, 2017, but we couldn’t wait to meet our baby, so three days before, we had an ultrasound at a “Hi Mom” 4-D ultrasound business. We took our four kiddos to meet our new baby, thinking it was going to be the happiest day of our lives. Instead, it was the most horrible, heartbreaking and sad day.
The first thing we saw on the screen was a beautiful, completely formed baby with both hands on his face. Our hearts melted, and all I could think was, “Thank you, Jesus.” Then, suddenly, the lady said, “Who told you you were pregnant?!”
I was so confused, because I could clearly see my baby on the screen. I told her that my doctor’s office said I was 12 weeks. She replied, “I think you need to go see your doctor. There’s no heartbeat.” It seemed our baby stopped developing at 11 weeks. I had miscarried. It felt as if the whole world crumbled down on me. I couldn’t think or react. As soon as I left the examination room, reality hit me and I broke down crying, and prayed that all this was a horrible mistake. I thought, How can she tell me my baby has been dead for a week if I never had any symptoms or bleeding indicating something was wrong?
My husband decided to take me to the ER, where we waited for hours. They didn’t allow my husband to be with me during the ultrasound. I remember the sad look on the nurse’s face. I was weeping the whole time. “Sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” She, too, confirmed that our baby died a week before and measured exactly 11 weeks.
All I wanted to do was hold my baby close and kiss him and tell him we loved him, and say I was sorry I couldn’t save his life. I felt guilty and worthless, like a failure. My heart was missing a a huge part and I knew it was never going to be complete again. My husband and I were crushed and cried in the waiting room. After talking to the doctor, she assured us miscarriage is common and often for unknown reasons. We were sent home with little to no information on what to expect. I felt like I died that day and they just forgot to bury me.
After searching online, I learned that I was going through a “missed miscarriage” in which my body didn’t yet know my baby was dead, and that was why I hadn’t experienced symptoms.
We went to my Monday prenatal appointment at the Chula Vista Clinic and even though I told them my baby had no heartbeat, I had to go through an intake including questions about whether my pregnancy was planned, and whether I was considering abortion or adoption. They even asked me if I wanted to breastfeed, and if we had a car seat to take the baby home after birth! It was a cruel process, making me answer those questions when they knew my baby had no heartbeat, and he was obviously planned and loved!
Days later, after another ultrasound, my doctor said it was dangerous to wait to miscarry, and suggested a D&C. I didn’t want to have my baby cut apart and thrown away as if his life didn’t matter. I told the doctor I firmly opposed this, and he said, “Your fetus is decomposing,” hinting that I could be harmed by waiting. He then said, “Okay, don’t plan to see a baby in any form; it’s just clumps of cells and tissue and blood clots.” Then he gave me some vaginal pills to induce labor, which I never took, because I thought, “What if my baby is really alive and I induce labor?”
We found a ministry that makes caskets and urns for unborn babies and even provides pictures on the miscarriage process. It was a gift from God that we got plenty of time to prepare for what was to come — and to remember that one day, all this suffering will be gone, and we will see each other in Heaven.
I carried our beloved angel baby for nine days and finally welcomed Joshua Jair Zaragoza in to this world — silent, sleeping, but beautiful and perfect. We had the blessing of holding him. We got to see that he was a human being, not a clump of cells or tissue like the doctor claimed.
After I recovered from a D&C necessitated by some severe bleeding, we held his memorial service on Saturday December 2, 2017. Joshua’s ceremony and burial touched a lot of lives, especially of people who went through the same process but had never spoken of it. I thank God for my loving husband and my kids, and my cousin Mariela, who showed me unconditional love and support every step of the way.
God gave me a scripture two days after we buried Joshua. It was, “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 66:9) And now, we are 25 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby, Jacob. We are truly thankful, grateful and blessed!