‘I was on an airplane with my husband heading home. Before long, I was bleeding. I brushed it off.’: Woman miscarries in hotel bathroom, ‘our beautiful little boy was born in the most unconventional way’

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“My husband and I started trying to conceive about 6 months after we got married. Because we both come from big families and had no history of any health problems that would interfere, we never imagined we would have to walk the road of infertility. Sitting in my OB’s office that fateful day, being diagnosed with infertility (failure to conceive for one year or greater), it felt like our lives were over. But we kept fighting. We did all the exams and tests we could to determine what was wrong. It felt really hopeless at times, but we never once felt like giving up. The entire process, as grueling as it was, made my husband and I so much stronger. We felt like if we could get through this, we could get through anything together.

Kaitlynn Deboy Photography

I was so in love with our sweet baby from the moment I knew he was growing in my womb. After 1.5 years of infertility, horrific odds given to us by specialists, and countless negative pregnancy tests, blood draws, exams, and screenings…our chance had finally come.

We heard our little miracle’s heartbeat at 8 weeks gestation. We were over the moon, of course. I’ll never forget watching my husband’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree as he watched our little bean wiggle around the screen. This was a day we dreamed about and thought it would never come for us. Everything seemed to be going so perfectly. We really thought this was it for us. And, truthfully, why wouldn’t we? Like I said, everything was seemingly falling into place.

Courtesy of Ginny Helmer

When I was 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I was on an airplane with my husband heading home to Indiana (where I’m originally from) to see my littlest sister graduate high school. I remember feeling a little off. Before long, I noticed I was bleeding some. I brushed it off initially, as it can sometimes be normal. Unfortunately, cramping soon began to follow. I sat through the two hour plane ride completely uncomfortable and scared to death. I told Ben something didn’t feel right. We both prayed a thousand prayers, hopeful this was all just a fluke. I knew miscarriages happened, but I really didn’t think it would happen to us. I had completely pushed the thought out of my head. But now, the possibility was very real.

Courtesy of Ginny Helmer

Later that day, when we made it to our hotel, I noticed my cramps were worsening and my bleeding was getting heavier. I decided to rest, get some sleep, and that’s when I woke up in the morning, everything was going to be fine again; at least, that’s what I was praying would happen. In the back of my mind, there was still so much fear. The uncertainty of it all was terrifying.

I was jolted awake at 3:00 in the morning by harsh contractions. I panicked and didn’t know what to do. I stood up and felt gushes of blood, so I quickly made my way into the hotel bathroom. I felt my body pushing and contracting and I had no control. I started to shake and whisper, ‘God, please…save my baby. Please save my baby.’ I knew it was too late, but I pleaded anyway.

At 3:45 a.m., our beautiful little boy was born in the most unconventional way. Even though he was so tiny, he was so incredibly perfect and loved. I started to weep as I stared at his precious little being and realized what had really just happened to me. I managed to finally call my husband, who came running to my side. I will never forget the broken-hearted look in his sweet, hazel eyes, as I told him through my tears ‘Our baby is gone.’ I never imagined how painful it would be. We held each other and sat in that wretched bathroom for hours as I bled and passed more tissue and remnants of the lost pregnancy. Ben spoke calming words over me as I felt as though I was barely breathing (honestly, we both were). ‘It’s ok, baby. We’re gonna be alright. We’ve been through tough stuff. We’ll get through this, too.’ Then, in tenderness, he said, ‘I’m so glad you got Mother’s Day, baby. I wish I could’ve had Father’s Day…but I’m so glad you got Mother’s Day, babe.’ In that moment, I had never loved him more.

Two days following, i went to my doctor for what was supposed to have been my 12-week appointment. Instead, the doctor scanned my uterus to ensure it was emptied. Staring at that ultrasound screen was one of the hardest parts — once so full of promise and life, was now empty and dark. ‘Judging by the way the scan looks, you most definitely did have a miscarriage.’ I cringed at the words. It made it feel so real, now that a medical provider had confirmed it to be true. My doctor went on to explain how miscarriage is common, and it wasn’t my fault. It didn’t seem to matter to me, though. All I could think was what a failure I was and I had let everyone down. He promised it would get better, and my body would be back to somewhat ‘normal’ fairly soon. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t think it could ever get better.

Courtesy of Ginny Helmer

In the days following, I continued contracting and passing tissue. It felt like a nightmare that would never end. I found myself never wanting to leave the house. I wanted to cry all the time and felt like such a failure and a horrible person. I blamed myself. I looked for ways to cope, but not grieve. I didn’t want to grieve. Neither did my husband. We just kept going with our lives, hoping it will all just work itself out.

But, it didn’t. Months later, the grief was still just as real and not dealt with. People just assumed we were fine because a certain amount of time had passed. I felt weak because I wasn’t. The truth was, I had only begun grieving the loss of our sweet son. I got crazy looks, rude comments, and pity parties given to me more than I care to admit. This grief is complex, deep, and OH so difficult. It takes time. It’s crazy hard. There’s no shame, and there’s no timeline for when you have to be ‘done grieving.’ That’s not up to anyone but you to decide.

We chose to name our son Noah Amos. Noah means ‘rest’ and Amos means ‘carried by God.’ Both of which seem to fit the situation so well. It helped us achieve some closure and validate his importance. It gave us a name to call him by that had meaning. He is important and will always be a part of our family. We will never stop missing him, or honoring his name. Not ever.

Courtesy of Ginny Helmer

Until we meet again in heaven, we will share his story, and continue to make his name known. One in 4 pregnancies end in loss, and the stigma must end.

As for me and my husband, we enjoy our life with our two dogs and hope soon, we’ll get the opportunity to grow our family. Right now, we are focusing on healing and living in the now in as much contentment as we can. As much as we want children, we know God’s timing is impeccable and we can trust Him to provide when He sees fit. We truly do have so many blessings in front of us, if we choose to recognize them.”

Courtesy of Ginny Helmer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ginny Helmer. You can follow her journey on InstagramDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more inspiring stories of women battling infertility and loss here:

‘How can you allow a dead baby to stay inside you?’ ‘Because it’s my baby.’ I’m keeping her safe.’: Mom suffers multiple miscarriages, loss of twin, says ‘to me, every child matters’

‘He had ‘no idea’. I waddled up the driveway with terror of dropping my insides out on the cement.’: Woman recounts emotional miscarriage, ‘My husband was pale, quiet’

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