Stories from fellow loss Mom’s – Jen’s Story
It’s Thursday once again, which is always a day of mixed emotions for me. I am so honored to be able to share stories from other loss Mom’s, but the sadness that comes along with it is always so present.
This Mother has been such a great friend to me. We crossed paths on this blogging journey and I’m so happy I’ve been able to get to know her. I am extremely honored to share Jen’s story as well as her sweet Jeremiah’s.
Angel baby- Jeremiah
Type of loss- Pre-term labor due to chorioamnionitis from E. Coli after surgery for cervical cancer
Home state- Wisconsin
Best advice you’ve received- The bereavement nurse at the hospital told me that we should have a photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep come take pictures, because at the very least we would have pictures that were too painful to look at, but they would be there if we changed our mind. I would have regretted not taking pictures, and I look at them often.
Favorite place you’ve ever visited- I love to travel. I can only narrow it down to Acadia National Park in Maine, Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, Olympic National Park in Washington, & Sequioa National Park in California.
Biggest accomplishment- Putting one foot in front of the other while grieving the loss of Jeremiah, fighting sepsis, building physical strength after massive blood loss, and enduring many surgeries for cervical cancer.
Ways you honor your angel- I wear a butterfly necklace and a ring with his name. Our house is full of butterflies. I also had his footprints added to my angel tattoo that I got for my Grandma. I donate knitted hats and blankets for other loss families.
Describe yourself in 4 words- Adventurer. Outdoorswoman. Scientist. Passionate.
What food you’ve never tried and why- Liver & tongue. I don’t think I would like the texture of either.
What inspires you- Jeremiah inspires me to live life to the fullest. He saved my life and I want to make Earth a little better in his name. I want to help other loss families, and try to remember their angels especially after most people seem to forget them.
We were so excited when we found out that I was pregnant in February 2015. The dreams of our life together as a family began in those Winter days. We are grateful to have taken Jeremiah with us during our adventures over those few months. He went road tripping, hiking, fishing, and hunting with us. We told our families and friends that we were pregnant at 12 weeks.
In April 2015, my OB did a routine PAP smear. We found out that I had cervical cancer 2 days after we shared our news. We were referred down to the Mayo Clinic, because I had a fast growing, invasive type of cancer that required surgery. My oncologist said that they were able to find the cancer because my cervix was pushed out due to my pregnancy. Jeremiah saved my life!
I underwent my first conization while I was 16 weeks pregnant. The doctors thought that the surgery went well and that they removed all the cancer.
Almost a week later, I was having intermittent pain. I went to the local ER, and was diagnosed with a UTI. But later that night I woke up to more severe pain that I realized were contractions about 3 minutes apart. We drove back to the ER where they thought I was suffering from dehydration. The contractions stopped after IV fluids and we were sent home.
The next day, the contractions started again. This time we went down to Mayo.
I went in for an ultrasound before an appointment with the MFM. The ultrasound tech went to get the doctor, and she pointed out the sledge (infection) in the amniotic fluid. They rushed me down the hall to the hospital. I then realized that they brought me to labor & delivery, but I still didn’t realize the danger that I was in.
They started me on 15 rounds of IV antibiotics right away. I spiked a 104 degree temp, and I was septic with E. Coli. I delivered Jeremiah later that night at 17 weeks. He was 4.5 ounces and 8 inches long. Our parents were also there to meet him. We were able to spend time with him every day for a few days. I was hospitalized for 8 days, and had to receive antibiotics through a PICC line into my heart for an additional 2 weeks.
I have endured several additional surgeries since my oncologist found more cancer in the biopsies from my original surgery. My last major surgery was in August 2015. I am sedated every 6 months for cervical biopsies to see if there is more cancer.
My grief was different when I had to take care of myself, and I was so afraid of dealing with my grief when I no longer had to physically heal. It definitely hit me hard afterwards.
We just celebrated Jeremiah’s 2nd Birthday. It definitely felt more like a celebration this year, but the sting of his absence is still fresh.
My blog: Stumbling Into Strength: stumblingintostrength.