Remembering Baby Shim
“Moore to Love coming November 2016” was what the announcement was going to say. I hadn’t yet decided what the picture on the announcement would be. Was it going to be a picture of me, Chris, and the dogs or a picture of Chris and me on a 3-seater bike. I wasn’t quite sure yet. We had only told our close friends and immediate family of the news as the “world” warns you of telling too many people before 12 weeks. Our first visit to the doctor was at 7 weeks, however during that visit the Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks. This was impossible for me to understand but after doing some research it sounded like this type of thing happens often. I wasn’t too worried as the doctor didn’t seem worried. The heartbeat was a tiny flickering light on the sonogram. It was amazing realizing that there was a real Baby in my belly. You know it happens every day all the time and still that miracle is surreal.
When you find out you are pregnant especially when you have been trying for a while there is a huge sense of excitement that is immediately followed by fear. I am not sure if everyone feels that way or if it was just me. However, I do that with life in general. I am always preparing myself for heartache so that if and when it happens it won’t hurt so badly. Chris and I named the Baby “Shim” short for she/ him since we didn’t know the sex yet and wanted to give the Baby a name. I started praying for Baby Shim actually prior to pregnancy but in particular for Baby Shim from the minute I saw the first positive pregnancy test. We were told that we couldn’t get pregnant right now as there were some issues that we needed to resolve first. Again the fear of finding out we were pregnant when we were not supposed to be pregnant in itself created a bigger fear. Through the fear there was so much excitement! Vivid images of being pregnant, rubbing my belly and waddling around during the last couple of months made me smile. Thoughts of holding Baby Shim after birth and taking in a deep breath of Shim’s smell for the first time helped push the fear aside. I prayed for Baby Shim every day all day to be healthy. I prayed that Baby Shim would become a shining light for Jesus in Shim’s lifetime and do wonderful things.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5: 14-16 I even prayed for Shim’s spouse and family because Baby Shim was alive and had future in this life.
Nine weeks into my pregnancy (7 weeks measuring) I noticed that I felt a weird feeling after having lunch with a friend. I didn’t think too much of it as I was hoping it was nausea kicking in. I had read that if you experience nausea during your first trimester you have a higher chance of having a healthy Baby. I hadn’t experienced it yet but wanted to experience it desperately. Through all the worries I would read verses in the Bible about having faith and not worrying.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 NIV I have faith, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but I know horrible things happen every single day and it is part of this world that we live in.
After hoping the weird feeling was just morning sickness I woke up the next day and again didn’t feel so great. I was tired, weak, and very cold. My coworker kept having me check my temperature but I just didn’t think anything of it. I went to bed early and did not sleep well at all. I tossed and turned thinking I was just having indigestion issues. When I woke up I saw blood and we called the doctor. She wanted us to come in. She pulled up the ultrasound and there was Baby Shim, heart still flickering but slightly slower than before, but alive and well! I felt relief for a short instance until she told us that I was bleeding internally and she didn’t know why. Her voice got really stern and she started spouting off medicine that we needed to go get right away, I was not allowed to go to work, I needed to go lay down, and I was on Miscarriage Watch.
Miscarriage watch, miscarriage watch, miscarriage watch…….
Those words just kept repeating in my head. I immediately started to go through my week to figure out what I had done wrong. I went home and started to realize that the cramps I was having were happening every ten minutes and would last for about 30 seconds. Throughout the day the intervals got closer and closer together. In my head I still had hope that maybe we caught this early and the baby aspirin and bed rest would stop the process. As the day went on and the worse and closer the cramps got I realized what was happening. I was having contractions and I knew what was about to happen. I am not sure I can explain the anger and frustration that is felt just knowing and waiting for our unborn baby to be abandoned by my body. We were sent home from the doctor to just wait for this to happen. Nothing could be done.
At about ten pm I felt an intense pain for about 2 minutes and after it passed I went to the bathroom and without even pushing everything came out. I was saddened, angry, in shock, relieved, guilty, shameful, and at a complete loss. I went and got Chris and showed him what had happened. Then it hit me, pains so piercing that I didn’t know what to do. My body was going through shock, everything was tingling, I remember looking at my thumbs and I couldn’t move them. Chris called the doctor and she sent us to the emergency room. The trip to the hospital was a horrible experience. I realized that my body was going through the steps of labor but the Baby was already gone. My body was trying to get everything else out. I got very sick when we arrived to the ER, but thankfully we were admitted rather quickly.
I was rolled into a dark room where I was to have another ultrasound. I knew what to expect but I still had a small hope that we would see the Baby and this was all a false experience. The room was dark, the man doing the ultrasound was soft spoken but his radio was playing rock music. Not the most comforting of music to listen to while you wait to see if your Baby is still alive. As he moved the wand around he confirmed that the Baby was gone. I had zoned out for a second as the radio was playing No More Tears by Ozzie Osborne, I wanted to cry but in a weird way I wanted to laugh at the irony of the stupid song that was playing during this horrible moment in my life. We had just seen Baby Shim’s heartbeat 14 hours ago, how could it all be gone. When did Baby Shim’s heartbeat stop, why did it stop, did it hurt, I wasn’t there to comfort Baby Shim. My heart sank for Baby Shim. My Baby would never know what it felt like to be held I can only hope that Baby Shim heard my prayers and felt the love that we had for Shim. From there more doctors and nurses came in to talk and look over me and eventually sent us home with no information other than the Baby is gone and you are no longer pregnant.
The day after was rough. Severe cramping lots of blood and a loss so severe I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Even though I had only known about Shim for four weeks it felt like I had known and loved Shim forever. I had already created so many memories in my head and imagined who Shim would be. I was/ am so angry, frustrated, hurt, and sad. The emotions were/ are running high and I was in pain physically. Why would God let this happen? I would get frustrated at myself when I would think it isn’t fair. I know life is unfair to millions of people every day, not just me. I know several friends who have gone through a miscarriage, but I didn’t understand the full pain of it until now. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18-19
I am Grateful to have Jesus on my side because without Him this would be way more miserable then it already is. I can’t imagine going through this and not having my faith as guidance or not having my close Christian family and friends who have been praying and mourning with us. I apologize to my family and friends who didn’t know and who were not able to pray as I know you love Shim too.
What I can’t seem to get over is that how can a Life that was so important to us not be important or known in this world because Shim was only 7 or 9 weeks old. We were told and read that you should keep your pregnancy quiet until you are in your second trimester just in case you have a miscarriage. It made sense at first, if you miscarry you don’t have to go back and tell people that the Baby is gone. However (to me and this is just my opinion about my Baby) it only makes sense if I didn’t want the world to know about my Baby or that my Baby does not deserve to be remembered. I regret not telling more people, more family, and not announcing it to the world because Baby Shim deserves to be mourned.
Baby Shim was a human with a heartbeat, a brain developing 100 cells a minute, Shim had eyelids, a jaw, ears, internal organs, everyday something new developed and every day Baby Shim was getting bigger. I doubt we will ever know what caused the miscarriage. Most miscarriages, which happen in 10-25 percent of all known pregnancies, happen due to chromosomal abnormalities. I think that is a normality in the medical world but not known in the outside world because we are told to keep quiet. No one at the hospital even acknowledged that a death had occurred, it seemed so normal in their eyes and that I was just another patient and we were just another miscarried pregnancy. Baby Shim didn’t get a death certificate, Baby Shim had a horrifying burial. For goodness sakes we had our foster dog cremated and put in a pretty box and our human Baby is in the sewer system and it’s all supposed to be ok.
This isn’t a political or religious post it is just our story about our Baby. If you haven’t figured it out yet I don’t want to be quiet anymore, I don’t want Baby Shim to be just a statistic. This is our Baby's story and I want the world to know who Baby Shim was to us. I want the world to know that Baby Shim existed and died on March 18, 2016. I just can’t accept that Baby Shim’s death is normal, ignored, and not relevant. Baby Shim had four loving grandparents, two uncles and two aunts, four cousins, and multiple friends who had prayed for Shims life. Baby Shim already had two baby books for me to read to Shim and a box of blankets to keep Shim warm and cozy every night. Because society told me to keep quiet Baby Shims 7 grandparents and our extended family and friends never even got a chance to pray for Baby Shim. If we all believe that Baby Shim’s life deserved to be prayed for when Shim was alive then Baby Shim’s death deserves to be recognized and mourned and not just be a secret, another statistic, or another pregnancy failure.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 Baby Shim will be remembered and loved forever.