Lissette

Lissette was my husband’s mother. 

A year ago today, she tragically and suddenly lost her life. 

She should still be here, but she isn’t. 

She was in my life for a short time, just shy of 3 years. It’s easy to embellish a relationship when people die. I think it helps some people cope. I dont’t do that. The truth is we, unfortunately, never got to know each other as well as we could have. Just another reminder that we’re on borrowed time – and that every person you meet could be gone in the blink of an eye – so use your time wisely. 

I don’t speak about her death often. Like most uncomfortable things in my life, I think if I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not real. But in honor of her life, and her death, I want to share a story I’ve never shared with anyone until now. 

About 7 weeks into my pregnancy, I found myself in an Emergency Room waiting room. I had terrible abdominal pain and an off the charts white blood cell count. I was alone. 

I had betas done to test my pregnancy hormones – they came back high. Astronomically high. I relaxed. 5 hours later I had a follow up blood panel done. As I sat in that crowded waiting room, alone, with a Picc line still stuck in my arm I got the results back on my cell phone. My hormone levels had dropped. Significantly. I knew at that moment what was happening. I was losing my baby. Again. I sat in the waiting room with tears streaming down my face. I think at one point I sent a text to my husband that read “I don’t know why this is happening to me.” I felt like I was being punished. I had prayed for this baby every day. My rainbow baby. This was supposed to complete my family. How could this happen? I felt like a failure. 

 I was then on hour 6 of waiting. I was tired. I was devastated. I just wanted to go home, lie down and not wake up for a couple days. But a voice in the back of my head told me to stay. A calm washed over me. 

So I decided to stay. 

I had an ultrasound (during which I wasn’t allowed to look at the monitor) and was released back to the waiting room. Minutes passed like hours. The anxiety started to creep back slowly, but surely. I was tired. I was afraid. I wanted my mother, who was out of state. I wanted my husband, who was home with our son. I swallowed a golf ball sized lump in my throat and got up to ask for discharge papers. But a voice told me to stay. So I sat back down. I took a deep breath. I struck up conversations with some kind families waiting nearby. I felt that familiar calm wash over me. 

After 9 hours of waiting I was finally ready to see a doctor. My eyes were swollen, my contacts were foggy, my skin was sunken and sallow and I just couldn’t seem to stop shaking. A kind nurse gave me a warm blanket. I waited for the doctor to walk in and tell me what I already knew. 

He walked in and told me the unthinkable. 

There was a 7 week old fetus growing inside me. There was a perfect little heart beating. There were tiny bud-like limbs exactly where they should be. My baby was fine. I was fine. 

He walked out and I sat there for a good 5 minutes and let the news sink in. I walked out of the hospital after almost 10 hours like I was walking on air. I got in my car and drove home in complete silence.

All of a sudden I was overcome with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude. And in that moment I spoke to my mother in law, Lissette. 

I told her I knew she had been in the emergency room with me. I told her I knew she was the voice telling me to stay. I told her I knew she was the calm that would intermediately relieve me of my pain and anxiety. And I thanked her. 

I thought I was alone. But I really wasn’t. 

She was there. 

In Memory of Lissette

01.07.1969-08.24.2015

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2 thoughts on “Lissette

  1. As I read this entry I was consumed with nostalgia and emotions. I too suffered a miscarriage two years ago at 4 months; the most excruciating pain of my life (physically, mentally, & emotionally). I too felt like I was being punished or facing my karma for something I had done in my past. Losing a baby gives you such a sense of worthlessness that no one else understands unless you’ve experienced it first hand. My husband and I just found out we are pregnant again. We made our baby in Greece while on our honeymoon last month 🙂 We are both happy but also very aware of the possible outcomes. It sucks to be robbed of the undoubted happiness one should feel when you find out you are with child, but here we are. I’ve prayed to God, my grandma, and dad every day that I am blessed with a chance to be a mother. Reading this totally gave me hope bc I went through the same thing in the emergency room but my outcome was different than yours. I’m hopeful and staying positive that this time around it will be a happy time and that I will be able to hold my baby in my arms in 9 months. Thanks for a little glimmer of hope I so desperately needed this morning.

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