I Have Hyperemesis Gravidarum | Delivering my Son at 17 Weeks
Mother of Grayson:
I had a really rough pregnancy with Grayson as I did with my other son, Beckham. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), which is a pregnancy condition that causes extreme nausea and vomiting that often causes weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, and more.
With our first child, Grayson, I was sick from shortly after my positive pregnancy test at four weeks, until I delivered him. This isn’t normal morning sickness, I had many ER visits, hospital admissions, a medication pump in my belly 24/7, a PICC to give myself IV medications and daily fluids at home, I had a home health nurse out multiple times a week, high risk appointments, etc. It is extremely hard to work, impossible to eat, and mentally challenging to say the least.
The only way I got through each and every day was to talk to my little belly and thinking about all that was to come when I brought home my sweet boy in December, or so I thought.
Every appointment was beautiful. His heartbeat was so strong at each and every visit, he was super active and wiggly, and had the cutest little features. On my birthday, July 20, I felt really off. I couldn’t explain it, but something wasn’t right, I always felt bad, but this day I felt especially awful.
Nothing could of prepared me for the moment I stepped into my OB office the next day, alone, for a routine 17 week appointment to hear the words “I’m so sorry Taylor, but I don’t see a heartbeat”.
My life has forever been divided, from that moment on, into a before and an after. I called my husband and through the tears and mumbling I told him the news and told him to meet me at the office, once he got there we discussed our options. I could have a D&E in the OR, or I could be induced to meet him, hold him, and say goodbye. We decided to schedule to be induced a few hours after we found out. We went home to pack our bags, call a few people, said out goodbyes to Beckham, and headed to the hospital.
Going to Labor and Delivery is supposed to be a happy experience, you’re supposed to be excited, you’re supposed to enjoy walking through those double doors and hearing them lock behind you knowing the next time you see those doors you’ll be headed home with a baby.
Nothing prepares you for knowing the next time you’ll walk out those doors, you’ll no longer be pregnant and you won’t have a baby with you, you’ll have a box.
The walk down the hallway into the back corner of the unit felt like eternity. I put on my gown knowing what was to come and just sobbed while doing it. Before the induction could begin, the OB had to confirm that he had no heartbeat. Once that was over, we started the induction process at 3:30pm on July 21st. After 3 rounds of Cytotec, very intense contractions, and a terrible birth experience due to my actual OB not being present,
at 2:40am on July 22, 2021, Grayson was born.
Every one of my nurses and OB’s that took care of me that day were amazing. To them, thank you for constantly handing me tissues. Thank you to one specific OB for telling me something I really needed to hear and I carry with me every single day. When you told me his heart stopped you said “I’m so sorry” to which I instinctually replied. “it’s okay” and started bawling and you went on to say “no, it’s not okay and it’s okay that you’re not okay right now”.
This loss has impacted me in so many ways. I have learned that it’s okay to cry out for help, literally cry, scream even. I’ve learned that it’s okay to need that help, even if it’s a lot of help and a lot of leaning on others. I never imagined I would be going through this, no one does, but it’s absolutely life changing. You don’t just mourn the loss of your baby, you mourn the life you thought you would have. The holidays and birthdays you don’t get to spend with them, the first day of school pictures you’ll never get to take, you lose everything with them and that’s a really hard reality to face.
It has changed the way I live my life, who I spend my time with, what I pour my energy into, and so many other things. My life went from counting down the days until I could meet him to counting down the days, weeks, and months without him. Nothing about this is easy, and I still have really bad days, but I’ve learned that that’s okay to admit that.
I think the biggest things that has helped me with my grief and healing is connecting with other loss mamas, and keeping his memory alive.
He existed, regardless if the world wants to acknowledge that, he did. He’s a part of our lives forever and I will never stop thinking about him, parenting him, talking about him, he’s my child just as much as Beckham is. I created a project in his honor, Gifts From Grayson and it is be dedicated to helping mothers in the Dayton, OH area. We provide boxes to families facing this unimaginable loss and resource guides to hospitals and OB’s so those going through this don’t have to search for them when it seems impossible to know where to turn.
Having people reach out telling me they received a box and are thankful and sharing their stories is so powerful. I wish there was no need for these boxes, but there is. I am thankful Grayson has been able to touch so many lives through this. Another thing my husband and I have done to honor him is getting tattoos of his name, birthday, and his actual footprint. We also enjoy doing memory walks, and participating in the wave of light.
Click here to read more of our pregnancy and infant loss stories. This blog was written by Taylor Naas in Dayton, Ohio. She has been with her husband Ben for ten years, and married for four. Together, they have three dogs and two sons - Beckham, who is 3, and Grayson, who was born sleeping.