Today is a day that is special to me, and not because it happens to be Easter.
Today was my sweet Elian’s due date, but his birthday came early, too early, 5 months ago.
I should be very round and pregnant, with maternity photos in hand, ready to greet my sweet second son any day now.
During his pregnancy, I didn’t get a bountiful, warm baby shower. I didn’t get to buy my birth supplies and nest throughout my home. I didn’t get to meal prep for myself for postpartum. I didn’t get to make a fun pregnancy announcement. I didn’t get a chance to let his big brother hear his heartbeat. Instead, I got to bury him, I got to be interrogated in court about his pregnancy and his death, I got to have the pregnancy attempted to be used against me, I got to be denied testing on his placenta to see if maybe, genetically, something went wrong that caused this loss, I got to watch loved ones completely disregard his existence and move on with their lives without ever saying a word to me about it, even though I shared about him in detail after his birth. All I have left from his pregnancy is a placenta print, a chunk of placenta still sitting in the freezer, court transcripts, prenatal records, and the knowledge of his existence in my memories.
But yet, I am so grateful.
If you are not spiritual and you do not believe in spirit communication, none of this will make sense to you. However, Elian has come to me several times before, and he did exactly what he said he would do.
Back in February 2019, I had my second miscarriage, at 5 weeks gestation. I watched the pregnancy tests fade from dark pink on the day of my missed period, to lighter and lighter until there was nothing left. On the day that I took my last pregnancy test from that pregnancy, where there was no line, a little voice in my head said, “I’ll be back mama.” WHOA. I definitely did not make that up, it was a sweet little voice, similar to Noah’s but not quite the same.
In April 2019 I conceived again, a couple weeks before Noah’s diagnosis and before I tested to confirm the pregnancy, I heard in my head in the hospital sitting with Noah on the first day of being there, “I am coming to save my brother.” I took a pregnancy test, and sure enough, it was positive, but just days later, I began to bled. I was so angry, I didn’t understand why my baby kept coming to me with brief messages, and then leaving me in my most vulnerable times.
In July 2019, amidst the absolute chaos with Noah, we miraculously conceived. I had all the faith in the world that this pregnancy was here to stay, and this is the mission, exactly what the baby said they were coming to do, save their brother, who needed saving so desperately. In my mind, saving him meant, that when he came home, he would have something and someone to look forward to, someone new, someone to play with, someone to nurture, that would help to heal him from all the bullshit he went through, and that this would save him from permanent trauma and long-term mental damages. This was not this baby’s plan whatsoever. I watched the weeks pass by, thanking God, the universe, myself, everything that I could thank for allowing me to carry this baby past the first trimester. I felt I was in the clear, my pregnancy was finally going to make it.
Just past 17 weeks gestation, we got notice that Noah was going to transition home, way sooner than we expected. We were granted unsupervised visitation, and everyone was moving for reunification. My emotions hit me so hard, my oldest baby was coming home. I thanked my baby in my belly endlessly, I thought this was him showing his purpose even more so, that somehow his existence was bringing Noah home sooner than anticipated. This was, however, still not his purpose.
I got very, very sick a couple days later. I was vomiting profusely all night long, I thought I had developed food poisoning or a stomach bug. I even had to cancel a training that weekend because I was too weak to drive. I firmly believe though, that this was an emotional purging from everything I was holding in revolving Noah. I believe this purging caused a silent placenta abruption, where the placenta separates in the middle of the placenta, rather than on the sides, so there is no bleeding or any other detectable signs of abruption. I was still feeling my baby move, so I was not concerned by any means.
On Monday, November 11th, I had some brown then pink spotting. I had had this before during the pregnancy, but all my levels appeared normal on my prenatal blood testing, so I wrote it off and moved forward, needing to be present for Noah at one of his traumatic oncology appointments that day. I had a prenatal appointment the very next day so I felt comfortable waiting until the appointment to address the issue and figure out what was going on.
The morning of the 12th, very early in the morning, around 4am, I woke up to pee and when I wiped I was bleeding red blood, like a period. I accepted that I was, in fact, having a miscarriage. From my previous knowledge of supporting women through miscarriage, it usually lasted weeks and weeks to pass, so at this point, I decided to go rest, feeling that I had a long while to go before anything happened. Not long after that, I felt the urge to pee again, and this time, over the toilet, my water broke. I put on a pad and went to lay back down, but instead tossed and turned between back to back contractions. At 6am, I felt the need to pee again, but I didn’t need to pee at all. A heaviness dropped into my vaginal canal over the toilet and I jumped up and moved to a towel that I laid on the bathroom floor, a tweety bird towel that I have had since I was a kid. I gave a gentle push and into my hands, came my little angel baby with his placenta. I looked up at the time, 6:14am, coincidentally I was born on 6/14. This was the first moment that I knew about his gender, we wanted it to be a surprise at the birth, and I was shocked that it was a boy. He was so detailed, fragile, BEAUTIFUL. And I was untouched by medical professionals gawking at me, my blood loss, trying to take my child and his placenta away immediately, I was alone for as long as I desired to be. Within a few minutes after birth, after taking pictures, and admiring my sweet angel, I called for Joshua and he came to me and was incredibly overwhelmed, but he too, admired little Elian, and we lovingly buried him in our yard.
I shared about his pregnancy, birth and death, a few days after, and little did I know how disgustingly the state would respond to A MISCARRIAGE. Their original documents when filing for a court hearing read as if I murdered a living, breathing newborn and then tried to cover up the evidence by burying the child in my yard, like a psycho. Just a week after my miscarriage, I was in court, being interrogated in every angle of my pregnancy, birth, and what I decided to do with my dead 18 week gestated baby’s body. They attempted to take my visitation rights with Noah away, and demanded a psychological evaluation, because clearly I was unwell. This was devastating to me, that I was being punished for miscarrying, while I was still grieving. Joshua bawled his eyes out the entire court proceeding, and in all honesty, the judge shed tears as well. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t going to cry, until the judge removed his glasses, looked me in the face with tear-felt eyes and said, “I am so very sorry for your loss. You have gone through so much.” The same man that ordered my son to remain with his grandmother just a couple months prior, then decided a week before my miscarriage that actually, Noah would go home soon-ish, was looking at me and apologizing. This man that I despised with all my being, this man that I thought was heartless, confused, and frankly, dumb, was empathizing with me, and all my emotions just poured out of my eyes. This man is no longer a judge in dependency court, and I firmly believe that that has everything to do with our case, and him realizing how large of a mistake he made by keeping Noah away from us longer than necessary.
Now, if you were waiting, here comes the part where Elian saved Noah. Due to that court proceeding over my miscarriage, we had to arrange another psychological evaluation. That psychological evaluation, we brought Noah. The psychiatrist interviewed and evaluated Noah, myself, and Joshua. His report saved Noah. He reported that Noah’s trauma was severe, and unjustly caused. He reported that Joshua and I were handling the grieving process well and that we were mentally sound. He reported that it would be in Noah’s best psychological interest to be back home, IMMEDIATELY. And just days later, Noah was reunified. Had it not been for Elian’s existence, and ultimate, death, we would have never had that evaluation, and we would have waited until January or February to be fully reunited. Instead, we were reunited the first week of December. Noah was to the point of being so traumatized at my mother’s house, that he was throwing glass picture frames, biting himself until he bled, beating his head into the wall, running into the street in front of cars, and more, on a several times a day basis, because he could not take the separation and mind games anymore. Any longer, could have very possibly, killed him.
Elian did what he came to do, save his brother. And I am so very thankful for that. It felt impossible to handle in the moment, and felt so wrong and unfair, but in the end, Elian’s life served such a great purpose.
He also taught me my body’s capability. I knew that I was capable of giving birth without any intervention, but I didn’t know what that felt like, or how capable I was, until I did it. He showed me that even in a birth that is sad, that is still, that there is PEACE in unassisted birth. I was not asked a million questions, I was not poked and prodded with needles and hands in my vagina, I was not hooked up to any monitors, I was not forced to take any medications that I didn’t want, I didn’t have to birth my baby under bright lights surrounded by people that I don’t know and don’t like, and I am here to tell you that you have that option as well. If you are in the process of miscarrying, do not run in fear. If you feel safer and better in the hospital, by all means, go there! But, I would never feel safe in the presence of people that put women’s and babies lives at risk on a daily basis, so home is where I stayed. You are allowed to stay home, up until usually 20-24 weeks (check your state’s laws, Florida is 20 weeks), and birth your sweet sleeping baby in absolute peace and comfort.
I encourage you to take pictures of your baby, so you can remember their face and features in the middle of the night when it feels like the walls are falling in on you. I wish so deeply that I took ink stamps of his hands and feet, so I could tattoo them on my body forever. I will never have those ink stamps, but you can, if you read this and go through a miscarriage (I pray that you don’t). I am so thankful I took the extra time to take prints of his placenta. Take the time to hold and admire your baby, kiss your baby, touch your baby’s eyelids, fingers, toes, belly button, cord, every little amazing feature, sing to your baby, remember the color of their eyes, their lips, the curve of their ears, the way their nose flares, the shape of their face, because you won’t ever have the opportunity to do it again once they are in the ground. If you can have someone with you to remind you to do all these things, please do so. If you are local and are experiencing a miscarriage, call me, I will show up, and I will remind you, I will cry with you, I will hold your hand, I will tell you how beautiful your baby and their name is, I will bring my ink pad and watercolor paper, I will make you a nourishing meal and tea and then make you go lay down and rest, I will honor your womb by binding you, massaging you, preparing you a steam, or just by holding space. You do not have to grieve alone. Miscarriages deserve to be honored, too.
Thank you for taking the time to sit with me and read my special story. I am grateful for the experience, the opportunity to carry Elian in my womb and be his mother, the impact he made on my life and others. I am grateful to be here to tell his story and his purpose and thank you for sharing that with me. Have a beautiful Easter if you celebrate, today I will be sharing time with my Noah and Joshua and deeply honoring what I thought would be a very different day for me, several months ago.
For Elian Aaron, “The Lord is my God, God is my family.”