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  • Writer's pictureJen Chappell

Share Your Story Tuesday- Mitchell Kayde Chavez

I found out I was pregnant two weeks

before Christmas 2017. My fiance and I were so excited and happy to grow our family by one more. We hoped and prayed we would get that little boy to complete our family of what would have been, five. We announced our pregnancy on Christmas day in such a cute way for the family allowing our two daughters to do the honors when they themselves didn't even know the surprise yet. I wrapped two picture framed messages for them to hold up. My oldest daughter opened and held a sign saying "Santa granted my wish..." as my youngest opened and held up a sign that said "Santa FINALLY granted my wish... I'M GOING TO BE A BIG SIS!" It was a beautiful day that brought my family so much happiness. I went to my appointments and ultrasounds and everything looked perfect.

Strong heart beat, great blood flow, even growing a week ahead of estimated gestation.

That baby was beautiful. At 12 weeks I began to bleed and rushed to the ER and they done an ultrasound. Baby was moving and kicking and heart rate looked great. They sent me home and told me it was normal and not to worry. I was terrified and heartbroken thinking that was it...'Was I losing this baby!? No it can't be!' The next day my ob informed me I had a hematoma under the edge of my placenta but assured me I had nothing to worry about and told me everything would be fine. Bleeding stopped and everything continued to go smoothly. 'Okay! Great! My baby is healthy! I'm growing my family! I can't wait to see who this one will look like! I can't wait to hold my bundle of joy!' Week 15 came and baby looked fantastic with a wonderful and strong heartbeat except my blood work came back slightly abnormal and they wanted me to see a specialist but I couldn't get in until almost a month later. On April 6, 2018 just three days before I was set to go in for this appointment I had my 20 week routine appointment and ultrasound to identify baby's gender. I was ecstatic! Planning our reveal for two days later and thinking up how I would tell my fiance if he would be outnumbered by another or if he finally got his little hunting buddy. The tech began and said nothing for several minutes. I couldn't see a whole lot on the screen but waited patiently in

to get a good view of my growing peanut. She tried for a heartbeat...nothing....she continued moving around my belly...nothing. Again for a heartbeat...again nothing. I began to panic. Finally I ask "There's no heartbeat, is there", she said “no” as she got up and walked out of the room leaving me there to cry, alone, in my most vulnerable state. Absolutely devastating! 'How could this happen? Why? There has to be a mistake! There's no chance!?'

All I saw on the screen that day was my son's tiny foot and his leg. 💔 I just wanted my baby. It wasn't until later I found out my baby was a boy and that he had stopped growing at 15 weeks, 2 days. I carried my son at least 4.5 weeks and didn't even know something was extremely wrong. I guess deep down, I knew. I felt it. Something deep down inside me told me 6 weeks prior to finding out, that I wouldn't need the baby items I eagerly began to collect. Self continuously, my body was trying to prepare me for what was to come...

My d&c was scheduled for a week later, April 12, 2018. I was so afraid. I didn't want them to take him. I went into that procedure room and went under anesthesia and awoke almost 45 minutes later in recovery. I was awake maybe 30 seconds before I told my fiance I needed help because something was wrong. I didn't feel right. He walked out to get a nurse as I yelled out for help. I flatlined. Went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated almost 5 minutes later. They rushed me back to surgery to discover my uterus had been punctured during my d&c and I had bled internally. They had to perform an emergency hysterectomy to save my life. I was in the hospital for 10 days recovering from that and complications after surgery. Going through my miscarriage and then the devastating chain of events afterwards within a week's time took so much out of me. I became very depressed and hopeless. I pulled away from family and friends. I began seeing a therapist for the PTSD that was brought on from it all. I didn't want to leave my room. I felt so lost.

I realized I couldn't live that way forever and i knew that isn't how Mitchell would have wanted things to be. I had to make myself better for me but mostly for my girls here with me. So I created my own support group on Facebook to reach out to the community of bereaved parents of Pregnancy and Infant loss. I wanted to turn my pain and experience into something good. I wanted to give other Mother's and Father's like myself, a sense of hope... An outstretched hand to let them know they are not alone and it's okay to not be okay sometimes. We all need time to grieve. It comes in waves and all we can do is take it one wave at a time and do our best to enjoy the calmer days as it subsides until the next. Most of that hopelessness and depression has gone away since I started my support group-Forever in our Hearts and our Newly launched public Facebook page, Mitchell's Memory Memorials-PAIL support. I wanted to bring comfort to parents who have lost a child at any gestation and to those who watched their child gain their wings much too soon after birth. I’ve had the opportunity to turn my mess into a message and use it to honor not only my son's life but others babies lives as well. It has brought great healing to my heart knowing I can bring just the slightest bit of comfort to other Mom's and Dad's of Angel babies that I know are up there playing with my Mitchell.

I do all that I do, for him and for all babies flying alongside him 💙

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