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The Connection Corner

Welcome! This website was created as a memorial to my daughter, Claire Sandra, who passed away on October 28, 2010. Today, it is also a connection place for those who are living with or who are interested in learning more about Infertility and Infant Loss. All of the resources included here can help you learn more about Infertility and Infant loss. If you have a personal connection to either of these experiences, remember: You are not alone. Find support, stay connected and you will persevere.

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No Prep Labor- The PreTerm Kind

I had a thought today… I realized that I labored Claire without preparation or even so much as a clue to what was going to happen. At only 23 weeks I was months away from reading about birthing classes, pain management, breathing techniques, dilation, contractions, a birth plan– the list goes on and on.

I had a rough outline in my head of what my labor would be like and it went something like this, “Around week 26-27 call the hospital to schedule a birthing class. Oh, an epidural seems like a good thing. I’m kind of a wuss.” As I entered my 22nd week, I had no idea that I would go into preterm labor and deliver my daughter less than a week later.

As I look back I’m amazed at how I handled the process of laboring and delivering Claire with as little guidance and preparation as I had. I had to work through contractions without an ounce of foresight into how to handle them. I had to suffer through the traumatic sensation of my water breaking without knowing what was happening. I was told I was going to deliver a breech baby with very minor knowledge of what that entailed (I actually had no idea that our OB would have to manually reach in and pull Claire through one arm and leg at a time until it was actually happening). I learned more lessons in birth planning by actually birthing Claire than I could possibly have learned while reading a book.

Even though the end result was truly heartbreaking and watching Claire die was and will always be the worst experience of my entire life, the act of conceiving, carrying and ultimately, delivering her is the best experience of my life. The moment that she was wrestled free from my body, I felt the deepest connection to my daughter. There are no words to describe the magnitude of that sensation.

In a way, it’s similar to my inability to describe the tremendous pain that I feel because she died. My love for her and my hurt over losing her fall on opposite sides of an emotional spectrum but both represent the pinnacle of two very different emotions: love and loss.

Having an incompetent cervix and living with infertility make me question my femininity regularly. In moments of doubt, I only have to remember that I have a beautiful daughter and recall the fact that my very feminine body was able to deliver a healthy child save only for her young age.

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7 comments to No Prep Labor- The PreTerm Kind

  • Wow..what a way to look at things. I remember I used to think that I was a failure as a woman because it was too hard to even get pregnant, and then once I did get pregnant I lost the baby right away..I still feel like a failure because I delivered a sick was a fluke, but why in the world was I able to manage a fluke when it was so rare supposedly? Who the heck knows. I applaud you for delivering Claire without any preparations..that is a daunting task!

    On another note..Telluride is also one of my favorite places to visit! I just love it there!

  • I went through very similar circumstances with our first son, Jake. We lost him to pPROM at 21 1/2 wks. When they asked me if I was having contractions, etc. and all I could think was…I don’t know! I haven’t gotten that far in my pregnancy book! These unexpected pre-term deliveries like ours definitely throw for a loops, and just go to show how strong we are and how well we can handle certain situations.

    I’m sorry that your beautiful baby girl is not here with you now, but I love reading all that you say about her and the joy it is to be her mom. It brings such a smile to my face in the midst of such sadness.


  • Belinda

    I can identify so much with question one’s femininity. After having four miscarriages I feel like my body has completely failed me. I don’t feel like a whole woman. It hurts.

  • Everything you wrote is so true. We had been discussing labor classes the day before I ended up in the hospital. Instead of a class, we had to learn by doing. I also struggle with feeling unfeminine. All the PCOS stuff, the troubles getting pregnant, all of it.

    It’s amazing how you can write exactly how I (and I’m sure others) feel.

  • Shandrea

    Wow! Such a beautiful post. Such a profound way to look at things.

  • You have an amazing ability to articulate your feelings so well. I can share a lot of what you have to say about preterm delivery. You weren’t planning on it, you hadn’t even started to think about delivery, and yet, somehow, your body knew, perfectly, what to do (it was just your mind, and for me, my heart, that were in denial). Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for sharing your story, as well as the information on Insufficient Cervix. I found your blog via Steph’s A House Full of Fairies and it’s been incredibly emotional for me to read of your loss.
    I, too have an insufficient cervix and begin my 38th week of pregnancy tomorrow.

    I wish you and your husband peace on this journey you are on. Since it’s clear from your posts that you are a thinker and a seeker, I’m sure you will find some answers along the way.

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