5 scary pregnancy symptoms and what you can do about them

Once upon a time I was super cool and would skydive and bungee jump and do all kinds of scary stuff but let me tell you that NOTHING holds a candle to pregnancy. Pregnancy will make you google the most ridiculous stuff in the middle of night as you wonder what you got yourself into. Let’s talk about a few of these scary but weirdly normal pregnancy symptoms.

Got Weird Skin Pregnancy Symptoms? It could be PUPPP’s

First off, where does it get off having such an adorable sounding name? Don’t fall for it, it is literal torture. This is a rash that makes you incredibly itchy. Most women who develop PUPPP’s will begin to notice a small rash later in pregnancy.

I had this with my second and still think about how miserable that was. I was itchy all day and night. I couldn’t sleep because I was so itchy. Scratching didn’t make it feel better.

I tried everything.

I bought all the creams out of pure desperation.

If you are struggling with PUPPP’s, I am very sorry because it is horrific. One of the things I found helpful was oatmeal baths in room temperature or colder water. If you like scalding hot water when you bathe like I do, this extra sucks because you definitely don’t want to waste your delicious bath but I promise it will be worth it. After this, I would immediately apply Sarna Sensitive Skin Lotion to any itchy spots and that would usually feel okay for a few hours. Yes, I said hours. This is all all day everyday symptom.

A friend bought this cream after I mentioned I had PUPPP’s and I will forever be grateful.

Lastly, I bought Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soup. I don’t know why but it works. It is magic in a bar. Buy the 3 pack because you will need it. Good luck.

Scary Symptom Number 2: Hemorrhoids

This is a straight nightmare, one of the worst but most common pregnancy symptoms. If you don’t know what these are, good for you. If you do, you are not alone. It is extremely common. It can be itchy. It can be painful. It is always terrible.

Don’t google it though. You will have regrets if you do.

Also, fun fact: once you get them, you are more prone to continue getting them. Isn’t that a fun nugget? No. No, it is not. I live in constant fear of hemorrhoids.

Some good ways to prevent hemorrhoids for you lucky ducks that haven’t experienced them are eating fiber-rich foods like veggies and fruits and drink tons of water to help with pooping. It is also good to avoid pushing too much while pooping or sitting for too long on the toilet.

If you already have them, I am so sorry. I know it’s uncomfortable and just all over terrible. Here are some ways to experience relief:

  • witch hazel pads. These things are magical. Get two, fold them in half like a taco and stick them between your butt cheeks. Not pretty or comfortable but so so worth it.
  • water and high fiber foods will also help to get more regular stool movements
  • wipes. Toilet paper is your enemy. The best solution I found is a bidet to spray your butt and then a cloth wipe. These are the absolute best ones. It is so gentle on your upset booty. If we use it on our baby’s butts, why wouldn’t we want to use them on our own right?
  • ice packs. If you have a super aggravated bottom, this is going to feel just incredible. Put the ice pack on your bottom and enjoy the cool feeling that will surely soothe some of the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
  • definitely don’t sit on the toilet for too long or push too hard. This is a sure fire way to make an uncomfortable situation even more so. I know this is extra hard since pregnancy tends to go hand in hand with constipation because of course it does.

Pregnancy Symptoms are more than Morning Sickness: Enter Food Aversions

Everyone knows that pregnancy comes with some interesting cravings but I don’t see many talking about the aversions. For me, this was peanut butter. I loved peanut butter prior to getting pregnant. One of my favorite snacks was peanut butter energy balls or celery with peanut butter. In fact, I used to put it on a bunch of different things: smoothies, pudding, pancakes, etc.

As soon as I became pregnant, I could no longer stand it.

My husband loved having peanut butter smoothies when he was running late for a meal. I would have to skip it and it would nauseate me for him to consume them because I could now smell it on him.

I am not exaggerating when I say that he would have a smoothie for lunch, come home at 6, and I would instantly smell peanut butter on him even if he brushed his teeth or had chewed gum. I have no idea how. I guess a nose like a hound dog is another pregnancy symptom. It also made me want to vomit though.

Even after my first was born, I still didn’t like it. I have only recently started tolerating it in certain foods. 4 years later I can eat it every once in a while.

Pro Tip: Always carry a safe food with you, as hunger can also add to nausea. Don’t let yourself go hungry if you’re surrounded by food you can’t stomach. Pack your favorite crack or snack in a bite bag and keep it on you on the go!

I have had friends who stopped consuming meat, coffee, all kinds of things. There is really nothing you can do about this other than avoid the food until you are ready again.

Expect the Unexpected: Nosebleeds

This is one of the weirdest for me. I had only ever had one nosebleed in my life when I got elbowed while playing soccer. When I got pregnant, I was getting constant nosebleeds. I still get constant nosebleeds for seemingly no reason. It is the worst.

These are some of the things that have helped me and others:

  • moisturizing. I use a saline nasal gel to keep my nostrils nice and moist.
  • dry air humidifier. This is amazing. Everyone should have one. It helps add moisture to the air which helps keep those nostrils happy.
  • stay hydrated. Water really is the key to a more comfortable pregnancy.

If you have never had a nosebleed and you want to be prepared if you do, here are some tips:

  • keep your head higher than your heart
  • lean forward. I had always been told to put my head back but quickly learned that it is not good.
  • pinch the top of your nostrils and maintain the pressure for a few minutes
  • cold water or an ice pack can help slow bleeding by constricting the blood vessels.

Call your doctor if you are having trouble breathing, bleeding won’t stop after 30 minutes, you become disoriented. When in doubt, it’s better to call and find out if your symptoms are within the range of normal.

The Smelliest of the Pregnancy Symptoms: Farts

Nobody told me this would be a thing. As soon as I became pregnant, I was basically a farting machine. I had ZERO control over my gas. Expect some serious flatulence during pregnancy. It can happen at the beginning or all nine months if you’re extra lucky.

Funny story, I used to teach and my body particularly loved to fart in the middle of a class. At the time, I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear but in retrospect, it was kind of hilarious. I have accepted that this is a normal bodily function that should not be shamed. In fact, I have made sure my kids never feel ashamed of their gas. My daughter always says “sometimes you just gotta fart” when someone comments on it and she’s not wrong.

I still have an insane amount of gas that I never had before but I definitely don’t walk around farting left and right. I control my gas until a more socially acceptable space because I want friends.

It helps that we haven’t gone anywhere in almost two years.

Pregnancy is filled with all kinds of interesting symptoms that are not always talked about. Hopefully, this quick read gave you a little more insight into pregnancy or at least made you feel more normal.

Your body is creating a whole human being, a little bit of gas is totally worth it. At least, I think so.

What are some of the weirdest pregnancy symptoms you experienced/ are experiencing?

Everyone Who Has a Toddler This Halloween Needs to Read This

The first Halloween is usually more for Mom and Dad. A cute oversized costume, themed onesie, or a matching family set, and if you do get candy, it probably all got eaten by the grown ups right after bedtime. Then comes the toddler Halloween.

The second, third, and fourth Halloweens are when the party starts for our littles. Whether your kiddo just started walking in time for Trick or Treating or is having their first Preschool Halloween Party this year, here’s what you need to know.

1. Pumpkins & Halloween are a great pair; toddlers & knives/open flame are not

With kids under 4, its ok to skip the intricate Pinterest pumpkin, and go for a closely supervised sensory play time instead. Pumpkin guts and seeds make a great mess, and you will have your hands full with this without adding any sharp knives to the mix! Or make the activity all about staying clean with a pumpkin sensory bath. Don’t forget your smocket!

Image Credit: Dez B.

If you still need to carve a pumpkin this year for a toddler Halloween photo op, do it away from the toddler and skip the candle for an LED light instead.

2. Glowsticks aren’t just for college raves anymore.

Another safe pumpkin light option. Jewelry to help with visibility as kids toddle off into the evening. Making your very own spooky scavenger hunt if you’re still staying home due to COVID19 restrictions. There is no problem glow sticks can’t solve on Halloween night. Stock up and enjoy, the leftovers make a fun sensory bath the next day in a dark bathroom! Just activate and drop in a warm bath.

3. Toddler Halloween Costumes: Dress for safety & comfort

You’re toddler will have way more fun on Halloween if they are comfortable than if they have the most elaborate costume in the world. Skip the heavy masks, extra props, and anything that could get tangled in legs.

The perfect toddler costume is just 3 pieces: Shirt, pants, and a silly hat! Nothing crazy that gets in the way of that little waddle.

As a former preschool teacher, I can tell you this is so important. Our classes always enjoyed seeing the costumes on the big kids, but we always asked them to simply wear orange and black. Costumes are fun, but being able to move and play when you are still unsteady on your feet is way more important. I can’t tell you how many older kids I saw ditching their costumes mid way through for comfort.

The best advice? Keep it simple. These holidays seem to get bigger and wilder every year. For a toddler, Halloween should be about community, candy, and comfort. Enjoy your kiddo, explore the neighborhood, and don’t forget to collect the ‘parent tax’ on that candy bucket after they are in bed.

What is your little going as for Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author

Caitlin lives in Alberta with her husband, 2 little girls, and too many animals cause she is a sucker for a rescue. When she's not chasing kids and changing fluff bums she spends her time crocheting, gardening, and binging true crime docs.


Sorry-Not-Sorry: 6 Things Parents Should NEVER Apologize For

The stress and pressure of parenting are no joke. Admittedly, I probably should have known that bringing a whole other person into the world would come with the potential for some mistakes. But I was not at all prepared for the level of self-doubt that seems to come hand-in-hand with parenting. Even for folks who are all about embracing their inner Ms. Frizzle, it can be jarring. BUT, after being at this for a lil while, I have come to realize that just because you are making ALL the mistakes and getting (hot)messy, it doesn’t mean you need to spend your whole life saying sorry. In fact, I would argue, there are a fair number of things that parents should never apologize for.

Here are a few.

Things Parents Should Never Apologize For

1. The Way You Feed Your Kid

breastfeeding burp cloth things parents should never apologize for
📷 Jocelyn P.

Oftentimes, as a parent, it truly does not matter what you choose to do, someone is going to judge you for it. And feeding your kids is a perfect example of this. It is truly mind-boggling to me that anyone aside from my child could take such a strong stance on how they are being fed, but here we are.

If you breastfeed, you are spoiling them. If you bottle-feed, you should be breastfeeding. If you take them out for dinner, you are lazy. Heaven forbid you have the audacity to breastfeed a baby where someone else may see you… you know someone is going to be like:

There is no winning here. So do what works for you and your littles on any given day. As long as your kids are fed, how that happens is something parents should never apologize for or justify to anyone else.

2. Your Parenting

Photographer: Kelli McClintock | Source: Unsplash

This one is another minefield. And a minefield that outsiders seem more than willing to wade into with unsolicited opinions. Which can leave even veteran parents feeling extremely miffed.

unsolicited parenting advice
Source: @kidsaretheworst

Bedtime routines, screen time, discipline, values, boxers or briefs. You make about a gazillion choices a day that center around teaching and raising your tiny human. Uncertainty is part of the game and sometimes parents are tempted to apologize for the decisions they make.

Are you going to make the right call every time? Absolutely not. Should you admit that you were wrong and apologize to your kids when you do make a mistake? Absolutely, yes. No one is a perfect parent. But you owe no apologies to anyone outside of your household about how you choose to parent your littles.

3. Your Kid’s Behavior

tantrum kids things parent should never apologize for
Photographer: Timothy Eberly | Source: Unsplash

We seem to forget that kids are people. They are tinier and more adorable than most people. But they are still people with thoughts, opinions, and feelings. They are also people who have good days and bad days. Just like us. By forgetting this important fact, we tend to hold kids to unreasonable standards when it comes to their behaviour. And because they don't have the skills to cope as well as adults with their bad days, meltdowns and misery ensue.

But absolutely none of this is a reflection of you as a parent. Even if their behaviour is rooted in something you did or didn’t do, they are still their own person and they are going to make behaviour decisions that are out of your control.

Obviously, we should always be doing our best to teach them coping skills and morals so that they can learn behaviour that better aligns with our values as a family. There may even be times when you need to explain this to someone or gently remind them that your little one is still learning how to human. But your kid having a meltdown or misbehaving is not in your direct control and is, therefore, one of the things parents should never feel the need to apologize for.

4. Missing Out

things parents should never apologize for
Photographer: George Pagan III | Source: Unsplash

They say there are seven wonders of the world, but I disagree. The undisputed 8th wonder is any parent who has the ability to leave their home with their womb goblins in a timely manner without incident. Leaving the comfort of your home- and all the gear and goodies you need to feed, diaper, and clean up after your kids- is no joke. Let’s not even talk about the degree of thought and energy it takes to plan around nap times, potty breaks, and other staples in your babe’s daily routine.

All of this adds up to missing out on time with friends, family, and other social events that would have been an automatic “yes” before. And that is 100% okay. Sometimes you can’t swing it. Sometimes your kids need their routine more than they need to go to their cousin’s birthday party. Setting limits on your precious time and saying no when you need to is another thing parents should never apologize for.

I’d also like to petition to add not apologizing for being late anymore (for all the reasons outlined above)… but that may be being greedy.

5. Needing Time for Yourself

self care parents reusable menstrual pads

You will find a lot of content out there related to self-care for parents out there on the interwebs. And for good reason. Parents need to do things just for themselves now and then.

And when I say “for yourself” I mean really, really for yourself. Not, “Oh I will leave the kids with my partner while I grocery shop.” Or, “Oh I will take a shower without the kids interrupting me.” Those things are undoubtedly awesome and 100% necessary too, but they are just necessary tasks made easier.

What I’m talking about is taking the time to do something that no one else in your house is going to benefit from but you. It is undoubtedly a luxury and not something most can swing often. But it is necessary and is something parents should never apologize or feel guilty for.

6. Not Loving Everything About Being a Parent

Photographer: Juliane Liebermann | Source: Unsplash

“Soak up every moment because before you know it they will be grown!”

“The nights are long but the years are short!”

Are these phrases accurate and well-meaning? Probably. Do they also seem systematically designed to make every parent feel guilty? Heck. Yes.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: parenting. Is. No. Joke. It is beautiful but exhausting. Joyful but infuriating. Wonderful and hard. And it goes without saying that parents love their kids. We appreciate the crap out of everything our offspring bring to our lives. We don’t take for granted the fact that we have them and that there are many who aren’t so lucky. Most of us chose this path and understand that responsibility and a certain amount of self-sacrifice are part of the package.

But we also don’t stop being human when our babies are born. And being patronized, dismissed, having your feelings minimized, or your needs ignored when you are struggling should not be as normalized as it is for parents.

Anyone who tells you that they enjoy everything about being a parent is lying to you. No one enjoys wiping someone else's butt. No one.

So not soaking in every single millisecond, or even occasionally looking wistfully back at your pre-kid life does not make you a bad parent and is definitely one of the things that parents should never apologize for.


About the Author

Amanda is a teacher and mom of two from small-town Ontario. When she isn’t struggling to keep up with her boys, you can find her reading, crocheting, or writing poop-jokes for Lil Helper’s website, emails, and blog.


What do you think? Did we get something wrong? What other things do you think parents should stop apologizing for? Let me know in the comments below.

Surviving the Storm of Late Miscarriage: Ami’s Story

Content Warning: This article is a deeply personal story of late miscarriage. This article contains medical descriptions & details pregnancy/infant loss.


Introduction:

Ami is mom to two girls and one angel boy. She works full time, as well as having her own Reiki practice. She loves foraging, earthing, painting, and anything with a little bit of magic in it. She is a friend of our regular blogger, Caitlin, who reached out to her after seeing the strength and vulnerability with which she shared her story of late miscarriage on social media. At Lil Helper we are all about supporting each other. Since October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, we are honored to share Ami’s story.


Late Miscarriage: The Longest Weekend

One Friday afternoon, while my husband packed up the camper for us to be out all weekend, my mother took me to the city for my midwife appointment.

We joked. We laughed. We did all the official intake forms. Then she checked me out. Uterus was exactly where it needed to be for my 16 weeks 4 days. But baby's heartbeat was missing.

Anterior placenta, maybe baby is just hiding? We'll do an ultrasound at the hospital to confirm and so my nerves aren't shot all weekend. She calls over to get me in. Then I hear the words.

"Viability check."

Suddenly, this has become more real. More serious. My vision starts going a little darker. But it's sunny out. Why is everything so hazy?

We head to the hospital. Mom is refused at the door. I walk the hall alone. I wait alone.

I see you in my head – learning to walk with a sister on each side. Playing peekaboo after changing your diaper. Your beautiful face. I can see it. Deep breath.

The tech finally calls me in. She does all her measurements. Tells me the doctor will review.

I wait. Alone.

She comes back. "You said your mom was outside? We've also contacted your midwife to come." No. That doesn't sound good. No. This can't be right.

Everyone comes. Our midwife confirms. Late miscarriage.

I am 16 weeks and 4 days.

Baby is 14 weeks 1 day. There is no heartbeat and no additional growth.

My husband comes. We go upstairs to L&D. Now to explain over and over that I have allergies. I need the pharmacy to go over ingredients with me. Please give me a day or two. Let my brain catch up. While my heart is breaking, I also know I need to be safe, I need to be HERE for my children.

Saturday, everything is arranged. We go to the campsite with the kids. Splash in the lake. Toes in the sand. And grieve together.

Sunday morning, we take the kids home and continue to the city.

Bedside ultrasound confirms what I already know. But I had to be SURE. I had to have my husband see and confirm with me. Just in case.

We had the option of a D&C. But I wanted to hold my baby. I needed to. That option meant baby would not be whole. I couldn't give him the life he should have had, but I could still deliver him. I could still give him a "dignified birth".

I was told I would be given doses of Cytotec (only 3 needed in total), every 4-5 hours. First dose at 9:45am. Cramping started immediately. So did the chills (teeth chattering chills – side effect of the medication). Our midwife is there, the nurse, my husband. We talk. About everything and anything. We laugh. It all feels so surreal. So wrong. I cry a little. But I feel calm. I try to shower to ease the pain. It helps.

Second dose at 1:50pm. More cramping. Contractions begin. They attempt to put a port in me "just in case". That looming impending potential emergency – what if I hemorrhage? With my allergies… what will they do? 3 nurses, 1 anesthesiologist and 6 stabs later, they get the port in. Contractions stop due to all this new pain.

Third dose at 7pm. My husband tells me to walk. I'm in pain. The reality is setting in. We walk the long hallway twice. Back at our room there is the tiniest bit of blood. My husband goes for a smoke. I text our Midwife to come back. I try to shower again. I feel pressure. I'm scared. I call the nurse. She helps me out of the shower and back to bed. At the bed I panic again. More pressure. Nothing visible. I give that nurse credit, she got down on her hands and knees to look UP and make sure. I sit so that I'm closed off completely (heel tucked basically in me). I'm not ready yet. My husband comes back. The midwife comes. We talk through it. OK. I turn on my knees. And everything comes.

That night, at 8:38pm, I delivered our Baby. 34 grams. 12.3 cm in length. All 10 fingers and 10 toes. But no first cry. No heartbeat.

The Eye of The Storm: Saying Goodbyes

We held him. Cried. We said our goodbyes.

16 weeks 6 days.

My brain knows baby was gone almost 3 weeks. But in that moment, and even now… so many questions and no good answers.

What could I have done? NOTHING. I did everything right.

Why did this happen? We don't know and won't know.

He rode home on my lap. Not in a car seat.

We decided to call him Nate. It came to me in the shower. My first shower at home in what felt like months, but had only been a short few days.

It means "God has given".

And we were given the gift of Nate, if only for a much shorter time than we would have ever imagined.

Fast Decisions in Times of Grief

Less than 48 hours later, after much discussion between myself, my husband, and our amazing midwife, the day went from calm to extremely busy.

With my allergies, medications become an issue. Injections, vaccinations, treatments… I need to know everything. Now factor in I am Rh-. While that might not seem like much, as a woman, as a woman who has had babies, this can become a huge issue. If a positive blood type baby is made, and the blood crosses to the mom (trauma, during birth, a miscarriage), the mother will form antibodies that will then attack baby, and any future positive babies… meaning possibly facing further miscarriages.

We were told we had 72 hours to make a decision. And the only version in Canada has an ingredient I am allergic to in it. While I have some faith in our health care system (mostly the nurses), this is real life, not House or Grey's Anatomy.

So we talked. We hadn't worried about it after the girls. I believed if I was antibody free after each, then that was our sign it was ok to have another. But this was different. We didn't get our healthy baby. We weighed the pros and cons. I rationalized – a 1.3ml dose with 10% allergen… it's small. So small. And the option to have more children, so much bigger. I don't like having my choices removed without my say.

She called/faxed it in. He took me to the local hospital. I loaded on Benadryl… and got the shot. 30 minutes waiting at the hospital. No reaction.

There is so much relief in that. But the fact remains I wouldn't had that knowledge and been brave enough to try it if not for Nate. A major decision to work through, while all so fresh.

After the Storm of Late Miscarriage

"How are you?"

Physically, emotionally, in my soul, I felt bruised (the physical bruises healed the fastest). We have all had to heal. My oldest took it pretty hard. She wished she could have come to say goodbye. But we have pictures thanks to our amazing midwife.

Bruised. Not just on the outside. The bruising from the port attempts… This didn't even touch on the physical pain inside. Sitting, standing, sneezing, laughing… any small stomach contraction and my uterus reminded me that it was bruised too. You couldn't see it. It's like nothing happened. But I could feel it.

My children were a constant light. My oldest was so snuggly and wants to talk through everything. By helping her process, it helped me process. My youngest is like her father – she's a fixer. A do-er. She swept the floor "because she wanted to help". She helped fold laundry, bake muffins. If she saw me crying, "oh, mama's crying again? *runs for a tissue* here you go, mom!"

The grief comes in waves. The hollowness a chasm in the moment. Tiny cramps, my brain trying to remind me it is cramps, not kicks. "Phantom kicks", the same I thought I was feeling those last couple weeks.

I made comfort food. Homemade tomato soup and bread/ham sandwiches. Which in itself brought tears – I avoided deli meat while pregnant. You're "supposed to". And the main thing I craved was a ham sandwich… and now I can eat it. And I hate it.

The call to say his ashes were ready, while we were still deciding on an urn. I asked if it was ok to leave him at the funeral home until it's ready. "Yes. He's safe here." 3 simple words. And they crushed me a little. Because I should still be that safe space. I should be the "here". But I'm not. And that… sucks. When I did pick him up after, they did everything as an actual service. It hurt… but it helped.

Grief & Loss

When you have a baby, it hurts. To put it mildly, it hurts. Things stretch to unimaginable sizes, your uterus basically creates a time-able Charlie Horse in your entire abdomen and lower back that last minutes at a time and comes back quicker than you can catch your breath in-between. Afterwards, you cramp and bleeding for "4 to 6 weeks", and just when you think the bleeding has stopped… JUST KIDDING.

But through that, you have your new baby. This new "bundle of joy", this life YOU helped create, that YOU grew and made and can snuggle and kiss and touch and talk to.

Now we look at miscarriage.

Understanding Late Miscarriage

Early miscarriage occurs before 12 weeks. Baby doesn't look a whole lot like baby yet. Most of these are passed in the comforts of your home unless there are complications.

Stillbirths are after 20 weeks. Babies are tiny. There are so many pictures of these precious angels available to see…

But there is this grayed out area… "late miscarriage", that falls between the 12 to 20 week mark. Many women choose the D&C option – it's supposed to be one of the safest in order to control bleeding. You can be put under and the doctor goes in and just… removes everything.

I'm a stubborn one… I needed to birth Nate even if it wasn't the birth I had so desperately wanted. I had had plans, damnit. WE had had plans. On where and how and who and EVERYTHING. But for my own mental health, I needed to do it myself instead of them "taking him away" if that makes sense?

It was not without it's own issues.

My placenta tore and left a chunk in there. I feel like it came out fairly quickly afterwards, but our doctor present was… amazing. I hate her a little but am also super thankful. She explained that she understood my need for the least amount of medical intervention (unless we started getting into life and death because I may have felt like I was losing my mind but I had Shawn as a very vocal reminder that I still needed to be here after this was over). She explained that she did not want to do a D&C just to "explore". Made sense. Instead, at 1 cm dilated, she had to reach in, hook her finger in my uterus, and do a sweep. Twice. Honestly… at that point… I'd have taken full blown labor pain over that.

I was then monitored for 2 hours, every 15 min, to check bleeding and have them push down on my stomach to contract my uterus and slow the bleeding. By push down, I mean I think the tiny nurse came off the floor a couple times. Your uterus doesn't start making the connections for Oxytocin to have any really beneficial effects until after the 17 week mark. I was 16 weeks 6 days. They basically were trying to manually make my uterus contract down. Think a balloon with a pin hole, you squeeze it and ever so slowly it shrinks and is less likely to pop (or in this case, continue to bleed). Thankfully… this was enough. 2 hours after delivery, we got to finally see him.

The bio-nerd in me was fascinated afterwards. The entire sac came out, still intact, with him inside. Part of me wanted to just find some way to… I don't even know. Put him in an incubator like you do with eggs. It works on those, right? But this was a human baby and he had already been gone for almost 3 weeks. There was no trauma, there was no "accident", he was just growing one minute and gone the next. And my brain still needed to catch up.

When they opened the sac, he was perfect. For the size of him (34 grams), he was perfect.

If you have ever been around birth, either for yourself or on the farm, there is a smell that comes with birth and the fluids. It doesn't smell awful, it's very faint, and that's what I smelled to start with. But I've been on farms enough to also pick up on the other smell… the very faint smell that was death. And once I smelled that, I knew. I knew he had been gone for almost 3 weeks. Hearing it told to me vs smelling it was a totally different thing.

Then the realization of how bad that could have been for ME. This was the smell after 3 weeks. What would have happened had the sac broke? What would have happened if he had continued to be left until the ultrasound on the 8th? Because our supposed "doctor" did not check for heartbeat even once. Our Midwife was the one who did everything in a VERY short amount of time.

I still had to do all the post delivery things. And no baby.

No pushing.

No pulling.

No bending.

No squatting.

No lifting.

No baths.

Cramping.

Bleeding.

Hormone changes (woo… hoo…)

A week later and I could finally lay on my stomach without crying in pain but definitely not "comfortable".

When I picked Nate up from the funeral home and they…. did all the things. I was shocked. I was prepared to go in and sign whatever they needed me to and then take him home. I was not prepared for… all the things. I cannot thank them enough for the care and consideration they have taken at the Stettler Funeral Home.

Which then led to me sitting in my car for 45 min, and use my "phone a friend" card… who proceeded to let me sit in the dark place, in the car, in the rain, and cry. My gosh did I cry. Then she helped me shake it off, rise again and continue on with my day.

Again, as shitty as this situation has been, I have had the best support, the best nurses, the best midwife, the best doula, the best all around everyone reaching out and being there.


Thank you again to Ami for sharing her powerful story. We hope that by talking about pregnancy and infant loss, all who have experienced it can feel less alone.