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By Penny Kane.

It’s hard for me to write this. The emotion that it stirs up even after all of these years is intense.  It’s real.  I want to share my story with other people who are grieving, whether it be from the loss of a baby, or the loss of the opportunity to conceive a baby because they are both devastating.  I have experienced pain on the loss side, and the complicated pregnancy side.  Pregnancy never came easy for me, and I always wondered if I was different, and what was wrong with me.

The first loss that I suffered was when I was younger and barely able to cope with the shock.  I was blindsided by pre-eclampsia at the gestational age of 21 weeks.  It came on so quickly and with such fury that the baby died while in me and I became very sick.  I had never heard of losing a baby at five months and up to that point in my life I had never experienced pain like that.

I am teary-eyed as I write this because that pain is permanently etched in my heart.  Losing a child isn’t a feeling that just goes away over time.  The pain gets lighter, but reliving the moment is raw and very real.  A child is a gift from above and thankfully my little girl is up there just waiting for me.  Every time I hear the song “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton I am reminded of that.

The second loss happened in my first trimester.  When my husband found out that I was pregnant, he sent me a dozen blue roses.  I loved those roses, they were so bright and I had never seen that colour of blue before.  I hold on to the memory of the roses because they brought me hope and remind me of the happiness I felt to be pregnant with our baby ,who we called Baby Kane.

Unfortunately the happiness didn’t last very long.  Trying to remember the moment when I knew something was wrong is still hazy.  I remember feeling like I was in a tunnel and the lights and sounds were getting fainter.  I know I went through the motions, listened to the doctor and just felt numb.  You know they say that even if we dull the pain, our heart still feels it?  After I had my D&C to remove the baby, the doctor made of point of telling me that I cried the whole time while under anesthesia.  I don’t know why he told me that.  I knew I was sad, I knew my heart felt like it had been ripped out, I didn’t need to know that my psyche was permanently imprinted with the loss of another child.

In an attempt to lighten our spirits we left town to go to Jasper hoping that a good refreshing stay in the mountains would help to ease the pain.  I learned something that trip.

When my husband fell asleep, I spent the whole night tucked away in the closet crying. I felt so alone, and like a failure of a woman. Even when the sun came up and I had to pick myself up, I really wanted to stay huddled in that closet. I wanted the world to go away, and I wanted to cry. I saw no upside that day, I only saw grief. I felt like there would never be a time where I would conceive a healthy baby, and hold one in my arms.

You see, what I learned from that closet in Jasper is this, you can try to get away from the grief by moving physical locations, but it doesn’t work. That grief leaves a mark that you carry wherever you go and can be so heavy that some days you feel like you can’t go on.

My daughter Taylor came into this world by emergency c-section 8 weeks early due to pre-eclampsia complications. That word brings me shivers. I felt more scared than I have ever been in my whole life when I started to swell during that pregnancy. I put the call out to whoever it was that could help me, the call that begged for her to live. I didn’t feel I could handle another loss at that time. My pregnancy with Taylor had gone the longest that I was ever able to carry a child and I desperately wanted her. Thankfully, that call was answered. She was very sick and attached to breathing machines and tubes in her belly button, but she was alive.  She was so beautiful, so perfect and someone I had been waiting for all of my life.

The struggle with her health has been very minimal in contrast to the struggle that I had to bring a child into this world. It seems so long ago, yet so fresh. My heart pours out to all of the couples still waiting for their little angel. I understand your pain, I really do.

If there is one thing I can bring to you, it’s that it is not your fault.  In my quest to find out why I wasn’t “normal” I found out something really inspiring. I AM normal. I make up a part of the percentage of people dealing with fertility and pregnancy issues. There are many more people just like me. I have to admit that comforts me in some weird way.

When I think back to that closet in Jasper, I was sure that I was a failure, that it was my fault. But it isn’t any of our faults. I believe that much of this is an environmental problem that we can fix with awareness and by talking about it. More importantly, what we have been through is a journey — and one that we can use positively to support each other on the road to parenthood.

Photo Credit: Gail Lynne Goodwin

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I am the author of My Soul's Role, a speaker, a chemical reduction educator and most importantly a proud mama bear. I love children. I have a fire burning inside me to protect them. Children if kept pristine will continue the circle of life with little or no interruption. I believe children are meant to be bigger than us, they are meant to do better things, they are meant to pave the path toward perfection and deserve every opportunity to do that.

I never fully understood why I was so passionate about children's wellbeing until now. I always loved children, and couldn't wait to become a mother to someone. That reality presented itself in such a chaotic way that it revealed my why. I have had trouble with miscarriages, and pregnancies. My heart hurt so bad going through those experiences that I didn't know how I was going to make it. When I finally held my oldest daughter in my arms, she was sick. Not dying, but sick. Not only was she premature but she was allergic to everything it seemed. When my youngest daughter presented the same food and environmental sensitivities I was at the end of my rope. I had no idea how to cook and care for sick kids, and have spent the last 10 years learning on the job walking the walk. After having lived it, I can confidently say that an overload of chemicals in our environment is to blame. As a forever optimist I know that with awareness and small food and product changes we can take back the health of our children and the generations to come. 

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. How brave of you to share this story. To those who cannot personnaly relate to your story, it might seem that all it is is just that…a sad story. But to those who can relate, it is much, much more. It is comforting, validating and soothing. It is not a call to fight something, it is a call for awareness, for light to shine on the cause of this type of suffering. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Painful experiences can be seen differently because they are where the light enters the wound. I am so determined to be a voice for children and it is these exact experiences that fuel my fire.

  2. Very moving … I cried through the whole read. Very insightful Penny. I mourned a grand baby as well and seeing your pain made me love you more for your strength, determination and for you being a wonderful mother.

  3. Dear Penny,
    If a hug could have been transported – I just want to send you a tight hug as I’m wiping my tears and ttyping this test message to you. I can understand the pain that you have felt. Yet your spirit has overcome and shone through.
    And you had the courage to share it with so many who share the same pain.

    I always wanted and yearned for babies and kids (am still the Teacher Aunty to all my daughters friends in the neighbourhood !)
    Yet I was not conceiving.

    Then a stroke of fate – I became very sick almost died – had a Near death experience, was bed ridden and almost went up and came back – all this happened many years prior to my conceiving. All through my supportive husband and my family were with me.
    I would keep penning down poems and stories / sketches from my bed.
    After a long time I could again manage to walk without faltering or falling down.
    And then one day I was very excited almost as if a dream was going to come true… I was carrying our baby.

    I too have conceived myself with great difficulty and I can feel the anguish, the courage and the question, ‘Why me?’ that you must have felt all through. I have been blessed with a wonderful daughter but we too went through pre eclampsia and I am indeed fortunate that my baby was born normal (though she was under weight 1.45 kg like ‘a bubbly pepsi cola bottle light weight’ and went straight through to the NICU. ‘I am rather blessed to have her.

    I am glad though that the headache, high b.p. and swellings got noticed well by my Gynaec who immediately admitted me then.
    The doctors were very careful at each point with me (as it is a rather late pregnancy).

    In fact, she was too eager to come out in the 5th month itself and fortunately, the sonography revealed the opening and I had to undergo an operation and bed rest till the due date.

    There are so many experiences of pain that make us what we are.
    I am glad you shared this one. God bless you & your family and your little ones as well.

    I’m glad to connect and write to you. I put in a lot of my soul stirring poems together onto my First book ‘From the Silence Within’ – now available in paperback cover form via Amazon .
    Hope you do get to read it and like them.
    My poems helped me to stand back and move on my feet again. And to dream and helped me find the light in my life back again.

    Best Wishes and Regards
    Madhavi Sood
    P.s. – I’m sorry for this rather long reply, your words took me too back in time when I had experienced a lot of pain and I was fighting for my life so I could live my dreams again. Take care & hugs

  4. Hi Madhavi,
    Thank you for connecting and sharing your story with such honesty. I am so happy for you that you were blessed with your little angel after your heartache. Our stories are far too common and by talking about it we can let others know that they are not alone and that we can work together to fix it. Your poems are absolutely beautiful~You have a wonderful gift. Take care, Penny

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