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Something very personal… for the Day of the Lost Child

February 1, the day of my birthday. Then I received a completely unexpected gift – information from Monica about a positive pregnancy test. We already had two daughters together, the second of which we tried for 3 years. Here, on the other hand, it has barely been three months since the last IVF attempt, which was unsuccessful. We came to terms with that, high-fived each other about moving on and enjoying what we have. And here suddenly such an unexpected shot. Of course, there was no end to the joy, especially since no one had predicted it.

Two weeks later, the joy increased. At the doctor’s appointment, it turns out to be a twin pregnancy. At first a huge shock and joy, then a moment of reflection. This will be the third cesarean, on top of that a twin pregnancy… red lights are starting to come on that this time will not be easy.

After that, the standard. Regular visits, the need to take care of yourself more than with previous pregnancies. But also, on the other hand, huge confusion. We realized that in our apartment, it would be difficult to accommodate 6 people. We won’t fit into any car together either. Quick action – we are building a house. Big surprise – no one will build us a house in 6 months. Well, who would have thought. Prefabricated houses were already in play and nothing. In this case, we are looking for something new. We managed to find a twin near Poznań. Access is good, decision is quick.

And it began. Work, plus kids, plus pregnancy, plus finishing the house so as to get it all done in time for the arrival of the new children. There is also a 6-seater car already parked under the house. We seem to master everything. We laugh as it is at the new table, all the seats will be taken by us. In the back of my mind the thought, how are we going to embrace this, after all, the nearest grandmother lives 150 kilometers away. There are friends. We can do it. Besides, those who know us know that we always have to have a lot on our minds to function normally.

At first, the doctor said it was probably two boys. Well, finally! Two weeks later, a change – but two girls. Well, how else. That is, a total of four daughters plus a wife. We can do it.

A beautiful, warm June day. We are driving together for another appointment. Monica in the office, me with Hela and Mery in the hallways playing. It always required ingenuity, because in the end the visits lasted up to 40 minutes. This time, however, a nurse came out and asked me to come inside. Well, I take the team and we go. She, however, suggests that I go in alone. Yyyy…what do you mean alone? What for? After all, the kids are there. Hela embraced as always, said that she will take care of Mary and they will sit together. Ehh..well I’m going in.

Monica is not there. She was in the study bathroom. He’s probably changing his clothes, I thought. I sit down at the table and reflexively look at the computer screen. After all, Ela and Gabrysia were already more than 6 months old. You could see their heads, arms, legs, and you could see how they fit together in the tummy. But the doctor something unclear. She tells me the standard story of what she found in the examination and at the end says that no second heartbeat can be heard. In the milliseconds that followed, a million thoughts ran through my head. What do you mean you can’t hear it? That what, the KTG broke down? Did it go bad that it can’t be listened to? Maybe you need to go to the hospital to listen there? What’s going on? Then a weeping Monica comes out of the bathroom and I already understood what happened. No, that’s not possible. What do you mean, after all prenatal tests passed exemplarily (done just 7 days earlier) , everything was OK, after all, we went together for a check-up and nothing happened. What is going on? We are supposed to go to the hospital, because most likely at 28 weeks of pregnancy it will be necessary to bring the baby into labor immediately!

We left, a quick action, organizing child care you need to go to the hospital. Tears obstruct the road, we have to hold on somehow. Stay at the hospital, 11 pm, confirmation that Gabrysia is no longer with us. That is, there is no spirit. The body is still…in the tummy. A decision on what to do next. At the time, we didn’t realize what a huge threat this was to Monica. It was decided that the pregnancy would be carried as long as possible, so that Ela could prepare herself as well as possible for the exit. So it continued for another 1.5 months…Recently, a case emerged where a dead fetus caused sepsis and death in the pregnant woman just hours after its death….

Monica is bravely holding on. The day of delivery is approaching. I stand on my head how to organize everything here. Monica in the hospital, friends and family help with the children. I, meanwhile, have to get everything ready for the birth and…the funeral. I’m doing the paperwork at the Municipal Office. I go with the papers to the Funeral Home. I struggle to figure out all the details. We go down to the basement. Which casket and urn do you choose? This is not happening I think, hearing this question. This white one with an angel will be just right. And a blanket to go with it. It is known to be dead, but after all, paternal instinct tells me that the naked child will be cool in this coffin…where is my rationality here.

The day of delivery, I see Monica in a wheelchair as she enters the operating room. I see her blank stare. He is afraid of what will happen. This is the third cesarean and with such complications. Will I see her again? Minutes drag on like hours in a hospital corridor. Finally, a nurse with a wheelchair comes out and invites me into the nursing room. I ask along the way what’s up with the wife or is everything okay? Everything was OK. Praise for all on Polna Street in Poznan. First injections, I get Ela to kangaroo. Wonderful wonderful…why one… The nurse on her way out also threw in that the second daughter was also successfully extracted without complications. He asks if I want to know what happened. I say. After all, if it was good why did it become bad. I hear that they had to unwind the umbilical cord several times from the cervix…shock…So little was missed… 1.5 months….

Monica has to stay in the hospital for two more weeks because Ela has jaundice. The hospital is also pushing for us to pick up Gabrysia already, as the standard is that they can only hold the corpse for a week. Procedures. A few days later, a final farewell. I’m going alone because Monica is still in the hospital. I’m waiting at the crematorium in Poznan’s Miłostow. The rooms of the former fort enhance the mood. Finally, I am asked into a room where a small coffin that I had previously selected was brought. They suggest not opening it, however. I accept that. They go out for a while and leave me alone with her. Then everything lets go. Everything that kept me going, to be brave, tough, because family, because everything on my mind. I sobbed like a small child who hits his little toe. Then, behind the glass, only the view as the coffin enters the oven.

Little Ela already at home. He gives us a nudge. It was as if she felt she was missing someone… A few days later, a funeral. We are already together. Plus there are friends who support us. Funeral short. Civil, because the priest did not agree to the ceremony, because she was not baptized. Back then it still mattered to us.

We all live on together. We visit our daughter and sister at the cemetery, I hope it will be important for Ela to be able to visit her twin. We will always think that we have 4 daughters, only that we will only meet one in a while.

World Day of the Lost Child

Why am I even writing about this? Why bring up such topics? It is precisely to connect with those who have experienced the same thing or something similar. It’s just that writing about it helped me internally to come to terms with it. Although this will probably never be possible, and it’s been 3 years… Today is the Day of the Lost Child.

The goal of this day is to raise awareness and sensitivity about miscarriage. I myself know how I needed it for someone to understand me, to understand what we as a family went through. So that he would at least listen to me.

This is what many families in Poland and around the world unfortunately go through. We see people every day, smiling, talking to them, joking with them, going to the movies or to matches together. But we often don’t realize what baggage these people carry. Just like in that children’s movie (which I love) “In Your Head” – where every memory whether good or bad stays somewhere in our psyche and determines who we are. All of us who have children enjoy their presence and it is obvious to us that they are next to us. But next to us there are also people who have lost their own children, even before they were born. Let’s be aware of the trauma they faced. Let’s try to be there for them, especially on a day like this and whenever they need it.

We join today with all those who are suffering from the loss of their beloved child. We open up to you and if you ever want to talk about it, just write to us. We will be with you always.

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