Being both an educator and a woman who lost her baby is mentally exhausting. I anticipated being out from the end of January through the remainder of the school year. Leave was granted and plans were made. Life changed November 30. Not only did I deliver my daughter, Aaliyah, still, but I needed to return to work mid-February. I returned to teaching children, all day long, after I had just lost my own.
Part of being an educator is teaching children how to love and respect themselves and each other- how to create goals, accept and grow from mistakes and realize that if something doesn’t turn out the way you want it to it’s okay, just try again. All of a sudden the phrase “practice what you preach” is almost impossible. I will always make an attempt, but when I think about the fact that I should be at home taking care of my child but instead I’m in a classroom taking care of other’s people’s children, it’s hard to keep going.
While in the classroom you can’t help but think of the milestones your own child would be making in one. Yet here you are, no child, but needing to help other children reach theirs. I became an elementary teacher because I love children, challenging them and expanding their ideas- my love for teaching is still present but it’s changed so much.
Every job needs resources for mother’s after pregnancy or baby loss. Reentering work after such a trauma can be triggering and, as an educator, adding children to the equation can make it much more difficult. I encourage conversations among women in education who have experienced loss to lean on one another during those dark days, of which there are many. We all know how strong our teacher networks can be - as teachers we also need to have a strong community as it relates to pregnancy loss. Remember, you are not alone and this tribe will have your back during your darkest and most challenging moments. We push forward for our children and will no longer accept the screaming silence around our losses.
I had a hard time conceiving and we decided to try to adopt. The day we were going to have our house inspection I found out I was pregnant. We were over the moon.
Throughout the pregnancy I had bleeding and clots, but my OB said it was normal. He finally put me on bed rest. My paperwork from insurance was back tracked so I couldn’t go back to work for some time afterwards.
Spring Break came and went and I returned to work being 21 weeks at this point. That Tuesday I thought something was wrong as all day; I did not have to urinate. I made myself go and saw pink when I wiped. I was worried and called my doctor he said I might’ve irritated the uterus. That night I felt a pop and now I know my water broke. The bed was soaked. I called the OB again and he opened early to see me. He looked at me and said, “Your fear is confirmed, your water broke and I have to induce labor or you can risk becoming septic. The fetus still has a heartbeat.” I couldn’t do it and he sent me to a high risk doctor. The high risk doctor told me to go home and my body would tell me when I was ready to deliver.
I made it until Friday and began to run a fever and have contractions. We rushed to the emergency room and I delivered my baby boy the next morning. March 24, 2012. I went back to work 2 weeks later. Nobody said anything about my loss. Not flowers. Nothing. It was like my pregnancy nor son ever existed. I knew that I could no longer work there. I have not been able to conceive since then. We will be moving forward with IVF in the hopes of finally becoming parents.