Michael Angela’s short little life

I found out that I was pregnant in December. Knowing that we were open to life, I was not shocked but, I was a little surprised. My due date was August 27, 2005. The date wasn’t great because we planned to be in Florida that week and the reservations were already made. I decided not to cancel the reservations until I was 4 months pregnant just incase anything would happen.

On Christmas, I knew I was pregnant but, I knew it would not bring joy to the extended family so I kept it a secret. On New Year’s Eve my dad became very sick, and I brought him to the hospital. I was there for several hours and I hoped that I didn’t become exposed to anything dangerous to my baby. Dad was also in and out of the hospital many times in early January and I was with Dad a lot while he was hospitalized.

I started worrying if it was dangerous for the baby so I told Dad that I was pregnant. We went ahead and told everyone. I felt really exhausted, and fairly nauseous during that month of January. Suddenly, on Saturday night, Jan uary 22nd around 11 pm, I no longer felt completely exhausted. I wasn’t nauseous. I told my self not to worry, and enjoy a few hours of feeling good. Sunday, I felt good and still on Monday I felt good. I chose not to be anxious but, I was a little concerned.

My husband left for Seattle on Monday afternoon. Monday night, Jan 24th, my sister brought the little kids home from religion class. While she was visiting for a little while, I went to the bathroom. There is was pink on the toilet tissue. “I’m spotting,” I told her. In my heart, I knew the baby was gone.

I called my husband on the cell phone. His plane was on the landing strip. “I can get back on a plane and come home,” he said. I told him, “We don’t even know for sure that the baby is dead. Stay there for now. There is nothing you can do to stop it anyway,” I insisted.

I told my sister that I needed to be with Jesus. She drove me up to church but the church was locked. There were two women in the parking lot talking. I asked them if they had keys to the church, and if they did let us in. One of the ladies insisted on getting a priest so I requested Fr. Don.

As she called to the rectory for him, I prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I asked God for the strength to accept his will for my child whatever that might be. My heart was tearing apart. Was my child dying right now? How can I protect him or her? Was my child dead? Is everything OK? I didn’t think so. I’d never bled with healthy pregnancies. God please give me strength.

Fr. Don came in and prayed with us for a few minutes. He asked me to call him, and let him know what the doctor said.

The next day, I went to see my obstetrician for an emergency visit. Frank, my oldest, asked to go with me. If my husband was home, I would have had him go with me to the doctor. I figured either he was really worried about me, or he wanted to be the man of the house or both. Frank waited in the waiting room as the doctor examined me. The doctor said the bleeding stopped, and I measured correctly so he wasn’t worried but, he would send me for an ultrasound to be sure.

We went straight to the hospital, and had the ultrasound. Frank waited in the waiting room again. The ultrasound tech said she couldn’t tell me anything, but it didn’t look like I was 9 ½ weeks pregnant, and was measuring 6 ½ weeks. I didn’t see a heart beat; I knew the answer.

The ultrasound tech called the doctors office and they told me that they could hurry along the miscarriage with some drugs. I said I wasn’t interested, and my husband was out of town. I came back into the waiting room and told Frank the baby was dead. He didn’t look surprised. We walked to the car.

When we got in the car, Frank said, “I knew the baby was dead. God told me in a dream that the baby was dead a few days earlier. I didn’t know whether to tell you. I told God that I would ask to go to the doctor with you, and if I was to tell you about the dream then you would say yes and allow me to go to the doctor. We had been having a hard time in homeschool, and had been praying for help. God chose to give us this baby who was to die so that we had another intercessor in heaven.

Wow! God sent a messenger who was my own son, Frank. What a blessing to know our baby was in Heaven praying for us. Praise be to God! Thank you, Frank, for listening and bringing me his message.

I called my husband, and told him the news. I explained that the baby was dead, and I had no idea when the baby would be born. Since our first miscarried baby was Raphael, I wanted to name this one after another archangel. I asked if we could call the baby Michael Angela and he agreed.

My friend was babysitting while I was at the doctor. I went home and told the kids that our number one goal is to get the kids to Heaven, and we accomplished that goal with this child already. Our baby had died, and was living in Heaven where he/she will always be happy. He/she has the best mother in Mary, and the best father in God the Father, and they will give our baby all the love it will need. We can add even more when we get there and hold him someday.

I noticed on the calendar that Thursday was the feast of St. Angela Merici. I called my husband and said wouldn’t that be just like God to have the Michael Angela born on its feast day.

The doctor’s office called and said my hormone levels were at pregnancy levels. That was why I was so sick. My placenta did not know that the baby had died, and was still growing and making me sick. The office wanted me to call them and update them on my situation.

After I left the second ultrasound, I started to bleed again almost immediately. The bleeding continued on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. As larger clots would pass, I would frantically search through the toilet trying to make sure that I didn’t flush my baby. It was a great relief to find a new way to catch the baby. I found a small 4 inch strainer to use to catch the clots. The seconds, minutes, and hours seemed to take forever as I waited in this limbo. I kept thinking it is just a dream. I kept picking up the phone and checking the e-mail for someone to tell me they made a mistake.

On Thursday another doctor at the office called, and told me that since my hormonal levels were up and the ultrasound wasn’t conclusive, they thought maybe I was a month less pregnant and still pregnant. They wanted to do another ultrasound next week to be sure. I knew they were wrong. My bleeding had been increasing, and I didn’t feel pregnant anymore.

I did not feel like making a meal on Thursday, so I asked my mom and dad to go with us to a restaurant. While we were there, I began to have some strong cramps. I tried not to show any pain, so no one knew I might be starting labor. I tried to act like I was perfectly fine emotionally and physically but, I felt torn apart emotionally and was cramping.

After we came home around 8:30, my sister stopped by. While she was there, I began to bleed heavily. I was not cramping anymore. I asked my sister to bring me to a hospital. This was too much blood. She went with me to the bathroom, and I bled heavily. The strainer caught many clots….one large clot about 1 ½ inch diameter. I asked my sister to look at that clot. She broke it open, and found our Michael Angela.

Michael Angela was not well-formed like my other miscarried child, but he/she was my baby. I continued to bleed heavily, and called a nurse friend to come down to help me to decide if I needed to call a squad. My husband called while this was happening, and he felt helpless 3,000 miles away as we tried to stop the bleeding. I called the doctor. They said I could try to stay home if I stayed perfectly still, put ice on by belly, and nurse my babies to cramp the uterus.

By 10:30, the bleeding was under control and I sent my friend and sister home. My sister did not go to sleep until 3 am waiting for me to call if I needed help.

My husband got home on Friday. Since he was out of town, he really did not understand all I went through and was still going through. He seemed cold and callous; I was deeply hurt. He had been so caring with the last miscarriage, I could not understand. We buried Michael Angela on Saturday in the plot next to my other miscarried baby. Fr. Don came to the grave to pray as we buried a second child’s body. Only their bodies are in the ground. Their souls are in heaven.

I am glad Michael Angela and my other baby have each other. So every Jan. 27th I will celebrate the day you were born, Michael Angela. I will look forward to the day my babies can take me by an arm, and present me to the triune God. Until then, we miss you. All the angels and saints especially my babies, pray for us.