Farewell Dear Ava
Farewell Dear Ava,
I will never forget the first time we spoke – it was after my first miscarriage. It had been weeks since my D&C and I was still sad but was moving along with life as expected. For me, the fact that I’d only been pregnant for 10 weeks didn’t lessen my sadness – I’d already made plans with my baby and had hopes and dreams for his or her future. Somehow it felt like no one else really understood. I woke up one morning immobilized with the grief of losing my baby. I only stopped crying long enough to call in sick to work that day and later call the health unit nurse who told me you had started a support group for women who’d lost a baby. When you called me back that day, I heard the voice of an angel. You cried with me and helped me get through that day and many other days that were to come. You were the first person to acknowledge that I was already a mom. You were the first person to understand that even though I’d had a first term miscarriage, I felt the loss of my baby and was entitled to my grief. I suddenly didn’t feel so alone. You introduced me to other wonderful women who’d also lost babies and we helped each other get through our grief and our next pregnancies.
When I got pregnant again I called you with with every little twinge and worry, you were so patient and supportive. When I had another miscarriage you were there for me so I didn’t have to go through it alone. You helped me come to the decision to avoid the same horrible D&C experience I’d had the first time. I allowed my miscarriage to happen naturally and you were there for me every step of the way.
You weren’t there just for me – you supported all of us that you brought together with your kindness, generosity and understanding. Oh how many of us grieving moms did you help? I don’t even know the number but I know you were there for every us who lost babies and you were there throughout our successful pregnancies too.
Besides being the most supportive person in my life at that time, you taught me something that changed my life. You taught me to be my own health advocate. You set an example for me as I watched you successfully advocate for yourself after you lost your precious twins and then go on to have a beautiful baby boy! You taught me to do my own research about my miscarriages (which was a feat in 1998 with very little information on the internet). You encouraged me to figure out what tests and treatments I wanted and to walk into my doctor and tell him what I wanted. So I did just that. I walked into my ob/gyn’s office and told him I wanted him to prescribe me progesterone because I believed I was losing my babies due to insufficient progesterone production. He told me it was a “placebo effect” and recommended we simply try a third pregnancy to see what would happen. Thanks to you I stood my ground! It was powerful and it worked – he wrote me the prescription. My first baby was born in January 2000 because of you! I almost named my baby Ava, I wish I had. Because of you, I have never had another miscarriage and I went on to have three beautiful children!
Somehow along the way, I started to forgot to advocate for myself but thankfully I eventually remembered the valuable gift you gave me and I will never forget again.
Today I am a woman’s health advocate because of you. I help other women educate themselves about their own health. I want to be for other women what you have been for me – a supportive friend who guides women to become their own health advocate. You’ve inspired me to help other women feel empowered.
We lost touch when I moved all over this vast country so I didn’t know you were sick. I was going to ask you to contribute articles about things like incompetent cervixes and supporting moms who’ve lost babies and advocating for your own health. I am sad that I never got a chance to help you like you helped me. I’m sad I never got the chance to tell you about what I’m doing today because of you. The impact of a single person on your life can be profound and for me that person has been you.
Instead of you sharing your story on my site I am sharing with the world the story of one of the most amazing women I have ever had the privilege of knowing – my dear friend Ava – your legacy lives on. Thank you for the most wonderful gift.
Rest in Peace dear friend.