August 2016, Brian comes home one night with a pack of pregnancy tests asking me to take one. I refused and laughed, I wasn’t pregnant. He told me he could feel it and that I need to take a test. A few minutes later... a positive!!!
I don’t know how he knew or felt it but he was right. I hadn’t skipped a moon yet either. He just knew!! I was a little anxious since the girls were so close in age... was I ready for Baby #3?!?!
Early on, I knew the calls I had to make with the doctors. I knew I needed to see a specialist and start on medication ASAP! I made my appointments and didn’t get to see a specialist until I was 10 weeks. I wasn’t given insulin until I was 14 weeks which I knew wasn’t good. I had to advocate for myself with the doctor team who I had with Quizani and it wasn’t feeling right.
I was scheduled for an ultrasound on December 2nd. We took the girls with us since we were going to find out the gender that day. I was 16 weeks.
As soon as the ultrasound tech started, my heart dropped.... I knew and said out loud, “there’s no heart beat!!” The tech looked surprised and slowly made her way to confirm. There was no longer a heart beat. She apologized and left the room. That’s when I knew, he was a boy. I felt him then and knew that so far the pregnancy had been so different for me physically that I never felt pregnant... I didn’t feel anything and now it all made sense.
Brian and I didn’t know what to do. Our girls were in the room and we couldn’t hold back the tears!!! Our hearts had broken and we didn’t know what to do. A doctor came in the room to talk with us and said “it happens” and shared with us how she had experienced four losses herself and how she always wondered if her son looked like Ricky Martin. I’m sure she was trying to console us but it didn’t help. They waited to hear from my doctor about when I needed to go see her.
This was a Friday, I didn’t get an appointment to see my doctor until Monday morning. This meant I was carrying our son for the weekend. We felt helpless. Lost. We hadn’t been through this and we didn’t know where to begin.
We immediately thought of ceremony and prayer. We needed to prepare ourselves. Prepare my body and our communities. My cousin lived close to the doctors office so we dropped off the girls to play with their cousins. Brian and I tried to get some food and sat there in shock. Brian called one of our elders and asked for prayers for us. I called one of our comadres and just cried. It was surreal.
We thought of having a sweat lodge to prepare us for the coming days. We met with our Compadre to discuss a name for our son and my though was something with water and creation and he sat in my womb surrounded by fluid. Ayocoyani, our creator of water.
The sweat lodge helped us pray and put things into prospective. We felt the love from our comadres y compadres and I knew that physically I was preparing for a different experience. I was going to vaginally deliver our son.
Preparing for Monday, our CoMadrita Angelita assisted us as our Doula. This was the best support for us. She was our rock! Other CoMadritas stopped in throughout our hospital visit and left us postpartum items which was great. Angelita helped us navigate the hospital system with a loss and didn’t allow them to push things on us. Again, we were still processing everything, still in shock that we were having this discussion with the doctor. I was angry with my care providers for not getting me the insulin I needed, for not getting me Into their offices fast enough. Could this have been prevented?!?!
We were asked if we wanted a D&C (dilation and curettage) which is a procedure where they go in a scrape your uterus. I asked about how the baby would end up and they said they couldn’t guarantee he would be in one piece. We asked about other options and they said they can induce labor and I can deliver him. We chose to induce labor. We wanted to protect him and make sure we had our placenta and every piece of him with us.
After about an hour, a nurse come to walk us over to labor and delivery. We had our cedar box with us and we asked her to give us a few minutes to smudge off and pray. She did and we continued on to L&D. While I was being prepped, I was told by one nurse that I could deliver at home if I wanted. I didn’t think this would’ve been an option for us since we had the girls waiting at home. I told them I would deliver at the hospital. They began talking to me about an epidural and asked if I wanted it. I said no, I was asked about another 5 times that day.
Around 1 pm, I was given a pill. I was told that this pill was for patients that had problems with their bowel and it was noticed that if the patient was pregnant, it would induce labor. They said it would take a few hours to kick in and a second dose would be given later in the evening.
CoMadritas came the next few hours, have hugs and support. Our friend Armida traveled from Cornville, AZ to be with us and texts came in from our loved ones in New Mexico, Texas and California.
Around 7pm, I was given the second dose and that’s when labor kicked in. We had our rebozos ready. Brian would place it around his neck and put knots towards the top to help me support myself during contractions. My back ached but I couldn’t sit still. The nurses would tell me to get rest and lay down. I couldn’t. I would walk the halls of the hospital and knew that my body was doing something different than I had experienced before.
Our compadres were there with us until about 8pm. I told them to head home and enjoy their night. Around 9pm, I was beat. I had to lay down and rest in between contractions. By this time I didn’t want anyone to touch me and needed quiet. I began to feel some pressure and then felt a little pop. My water had broke. I called the nurses and told them it was happening. No one came. The next contraction a few minutes later, Baby was born at 9:30 pm. It was just Brian and I in the room. I called the nurses again and they came in a few minutes later. They cleaned him up for us and confirmed... it was a boy.
As we waited for the placenta, we just sat in silence. Our hearts broken but happy to have birthed him. We were able to hold him. Take a few bitter sweet pictures with him and once everything was done. He was taken from us and held along with his placenta.
I don’t remember our nurses name but she was very compassionate and made our experience better for us. We were able to stay two nights for ourselves and make sure I was physically ok.
We drove home holding our son in a medical container. We knew we wanted to have ceremony for him but hadn’t the slightest idea of what or when at that time. Once we got home, Yolehua asked about Baby, hugged us and felt our sadness.
We rested and were blessed to have had a meal train organized for us upon getting home. We didn’t have to worry about meals for a few days and that allowed for us to process and spend time together. After a few days, CoMadritas gathered to have a belly binding ceremony for me which was different from our other births.
Brian and I decided to honor our son with services in ceremonia and have danza, a family cremation ceremony and private burial. We had so much community support, it meant everything to use during his time.
Our experience was a trigger for those that had suffered from a loss in our ceremonial communities. We of course didn’t know this at the time but we wanted to share our experience with others as our way to heal and to allow for healing among others.
A few months later I follow up with a specialist who had told me in the past that I had stage 4 liver disease... after a blood test, my liver was within normal function and no longer an issue. My A1C was at a 5.4 which is not considered diabetic! I was amazed at the healing our son brought to my physical body during the time he was with me. We saw his visit with us and his birth as a healing one and am thankful for the blessing he left us.
It is still painful for us but we are grateful for those that walked with us and that hold our son and family in their hearts and prayers.
We will love you forever Ayocoyani! You have taught us so much and continue to bless us.