She and Scott lost the first one, then had Owen, and then lost four more before turning to In vitro fertilization (IVF) for help. Kayla conceived twins and lost one early, she said.
Then during a routine exam, the remaining twin’s heartbeat could not be detected with a hand-held fetal monitor.
“I was a plus size at the time and thought – maybe – that’s why they couldn’t find it,” Kayla said. “But once the ultrasound wand was on the baby, I could tell. I’d had enough losses before. So even before she had the opportunity to say anything, I had to muster up the strong face and tell my husband to take my son out to the car.”
Owen was playing a game on an iPad when Kayla finally arrived outside. Kayla said she told Scott the news and they “cried in the parking lot like crazy people.”
Kayla didn’t think Owen was paying attention. But when she got into the car, Owen asked,
“Mama, your baby died?”
“At that moment, you have to figure out how to explain death,” Kayla said. “We just decided to be as open as we can and let him see us grieve...it’s been a process; we’ve dealt with some behavior issues. Even something as simple as when my aunt’s dog passed away – he didn’t know the dog very well – set him off for another month, acting up and asking questions.”
On Dec. 11, 2018, Kayla went to Edward Hospital “to go through the whole induction, labor and delivery with them.”
While Kayla was there, a representative from SHARE stopped to see her.
“She came in and was immediately super gracious,” Kayla said. “She gave us a lot of informational pamphlets and walked us through what happened to us so we knew we did not have to be alone.”
But even losing the first pregnancy shortly after learning she was pregnant forever changed the experience of pregnancy for Kayla.
“You never feel 100 percent safe. Bad things could happen,” Kayla said. “We were terrified to say Evan’s name out loud until 38 weeks.”
Evan is the couple's newborn, Kayla said.
What Kayla loves about SHARE is its inclusivity. Anyone who’s experienced a pregnancy loss is welcome to attend. People don’t have to qualify their grief at having lost a pregnancy at “only six weeks,” she said.
“There’s no ‘only’ when it comes to pregnancy loss,” Kayla said. “It all sucks.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “Perinatal Sibling Loss: Helping Your Child Grieve"
WHEN: 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 17
WHERE: Edward Hospital Education Center, Room E301, 801 S. Washington St., Naperville.
ETC: Free. Registration or membership in SHARE is not required.
INFORMATION: eehealth.org/shareresources or call 630-527-3263.