Our Story

Our Story

Part 3 of 3

Life Without You

Preston and I opted to have our baby’s remains put in the new cemetery plot for the hospital network. While we knew our baby was gone, we felt that having a final resting place for our son suited the harsh situation we were facing. We were thankful we had that option and looked forward to finding closure visiting the plot with the service promised.

I contacted the cemetery the Monday after my procedure to get information. They gave me a cookie-cutter response, and when I asked when my son’s remains would be sent to the plot, they instructed me to call the hospital and speak with them.

I was connected to a woman in the nursing supervising station who assured me I would be contacted when my son’s remains were sent to the plot once it was finished. This option was brand new and was still getting finalized at the time. When I hadn’t heard in a few weeks, I called the supervising station again and they told me that she “wasn’t who I should speak with” and connected me, a mother who just lost her baby, to a nurse in maternity

You read that correctly.

I reluctantly tried to leave a message with that nurse with no returned call. Not that I was surprised. Why on earth would an L & D nurse have the time to speak to a woman wondering where her baby is? They have babies to deliver. I, on the other hand, did not.

I followed up with the hospital weeks later and asked to speak to this mythical maternity nurse apparently in charge of this plot. The woman who answered told me I couldn’t speak with her because she was “busy with a mom that is in labor, awaiting delivery!”


I hung up, feeling my heart start to race in frustration. Why would no one answer my calls? Why would no one call me back? Why would I be calling about a cemetery plot for pregnancy loss and someone would think it’s okay to talk to me about a baby being born?

I want to say that I called the hospital every day, and that I was “that mom” that asked to speak to the manager and did everything I could to ensure I would know the second he was sent over. But I didn’t. I was grieving and trying to get back to my normal routine, which helped tremendously. But, I also trusted what people told me. My entire pregnancy, I relied on the professionals that were dedicated to doing their job and trusted their word. 

A month later, I called the cemetery to find that our baby had been sent to the plot and buried a month prior along with a bi-annual service, and no one had contacted me.

My son had been buried for a month. And no one told me.

That weekend, defeated and hurt, Preston and I swallowed our pride and went to the cemetery. After more phone calls, we were finally told where we could find the plot at the cemetery 30 minutes from our home. We stopped to pick up flowers and quietly made the trip.

The large cemetery spanned for miles up a hill. Snow was melting from the unusually sunny February day. Our shoes squished in the slush as we made our way to the “infant section.” 

As if searching for the plot of your miscarriage isn’t enough, walking through an infant cemetery is, to put it lightly, brutal. Small graves, small spaces in between. My heart ached. There were too many. 

We began the task of scouring the ground for the plot that “belonged” to us. While we were looking, a mini-van drove up. The automatic doors opened, and out spilled a family with many small children in primary-colored jackets with security blankets and stuffed animals in tow.  Their mother, slinging a diaper bag on one shoulder and holding a toddler on her hip called to the crew, “okay guys, say hi to your brother.” A little girl ran up to the tiny grave and touched the stone. A little boy ran around in the open grass, too young to understand where he was. I choked back a sob.

We continued to walk up and down the rows, holding our breath for the moment we would find the plot and our son would be found. His only presence on this earth outside of my own body.

The plot wasn’t there.

Months passed. Again, I had to step away. More calls made. More frustration. More pleading to the hospital to do better by the women and families. They tried to make up for lost time by having a special private service with a Chaplain in Anthony’s honor. We were going to be moving across the state by then. Too little, too late.

It wasn’t until I called one more time to check before we visited on Father’s Day to find that the grave had been marked. Again, no one was notified. I was told 15 other babies had been buried there. That’s 15 families, mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents that weren’t given closure.

Throughout this experience, I begged for someone to listen to me, but no one did and I will always wonder why. The people I trusted, the medical professionals, strung me along with low-impact reactions when most moments warranted more.  

No one listened when I worried about his low heart rate at his first ultrasound. 

No one listened when I worried about the lack of development. 

No one listened when my symptoms stopped. 

No one listened when the ER ultrasound tech couldn’t find the heartbeat. 

No one listened when I tried to contact these “professionals” the week before our diagnosis. 

By the time I felt heard, it was too late. No one could save him. This, and many other reasons, are why I felt compelled to create this online community; so that women and families going through loss felt less alone, but also to cultivate conversions about loss and the silent pain that comes with this journey.

Do you know how difficult it is to call a hospital – multiple departments, multiple people just doing their job (and most of the time, their job is not to answer phone calls from a grieving mother) – searching for your “leftover tissue?” When in reality, I was searching for my son. I knew he was sitting there for months on end, and I wanted him out of there.

Can you imagine losing a family member, trusting the funeral home with their earthly body just to find out that they buried them without letting you know? The funeral happened, they were lowered into the ground, and you weren’t invited?

I want to be clear that I know my son is in heaven. This grave he would be put in; it is not where I will feel him. It is not where I believe he is. It is not where his soul lies. It’s merely the only other home he has had on this earth, besides the one I made for him. And, let’s be honest, little man, mine was so much better, right? It had sour gummy worms and chocolate chip pancakes.

I always knew his story would be more than just a statistic. More than just some “leftover tissue” or “products of conception,”or “worst period ever.” He is, and always will be so much more. It is amazing to me how someone could be a part of you for such a short time but have such a permanent hold on you.

He is and always will be my Anthony. My baby. 


One thought on “Our Story

  1. Pingback: Cemetery Visit | A pregnancy loss blog

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