JULY 25, 2018 

My story began shortly after my husband Adam and I got married in October 2010.  We first tried naturally – you know just having fun as newlyweds. But after a bit and nothing, I followed up with my OBGYN. They did the standard 20 questions, played the overweight card and sent me on my way to track my cycles, etc. Again time passes and nothing. Family and societal pressures barring down we decided to see a specialist. I had a polyp the size of an 8wk old fetus in my uterus. Aside from that and my being overweight… I was healthy. Polyp removed, and the theory was I should get pregnant. Spoiler: that theory was wrong. 
At this point, we were emotionally drained with anger, confusion and felt let down. Then my father in law died suddenly, and we put TTC and everything to the side for a little while. When we decided to pick back up, we decided to go all in. We revisited the infertility specialist, got the blood work and sonograms done. Again, I was healthy but too heavy. He challenged me to lose 15 pounds and come to see him in 3 months. I was angry, but I understood. Its been now seven yrs of me trying and another three months seemed like an eternity. Not to mention the whole clock ticking nightmare inside my head as I see baby after baby popping out everywhere I turn. 
So three months go by, and I lost 30 pounds!! I was high on life and ready to try IUI. I should also mention that my husband was checked and he is great – lots of strong swimmers!  I wasn’t expecting the first time to work because well… everything has been difficult so far so no way would it be that easy. We get to round two, and somehow we miss the window completely!! Third round comes, and I am still optimistic with just a sprinkle of a doubt. I had too much disappointment in the past not to. Fourth round and again we miss our window. Even with doctor guide and medicine injections, my body was my foe. Finally – round five arrives, and I tell myself it’s not going to work, and I’m going to surrender with my white flag of defeat. 
The ten-day waiting period was worse than the shots. About halfway into the wait, I begin to have severe heartburn. It gets so intense that I frequently grab my chest and give a few strangers a jolt in public.  I test before the ten days and see very faint two lines. I start to shake and then quickly talk myself out of it. ‘There is no way this is real, its just the meds.’ I literally test every day for six days, and each time the lines were faded. I purchased the fancy ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ one to eliminate any doubt and sure enough I was pregnant!! 
In October of 2017 when I saw those two pink lines, I was flooded with so many emotions.
I was in shock and had some denial – had I finally gone mad enough to be imagining this?
I was so happy that I stopped breathing. It wasn’t intentional it was my first reaction to drop my jaw and hold my breath – to feel that overwhelming euphoria of pure joy.   
I was scared, but this is what I had worked so hard for. This is what my heart aches for. 
It turns out my fear was real. It all was too good to be true. At 12 wks we learned our baby was sick. He had a lot of fluid on his brain.  I couldn’t even think – all I could do was cry.  My heart felt like it stopped. I had flashbacks of all I had been through up to that point. Countless trips to Pittsburgh, painful procedures and a million sonograms and no answers as to why this happened. 
Fast forward and at 17wks 3days our baby boy was born into heaven on Monday, January 22nd, 2018.  The night after my amnio I began to miscarry.  I didn’t think my heart could hurt anymore and I didn’t know I had any tears left to shed. I imagine having my heart ripped from my body to be less painful than how I feel. 
We just passed his due date June 30, 2018.  It was a mixed bag that day. I was emotionally exhausted. I was eager to get through the last leg of this hellish nightmare. I saw it as my final goodbye. I have come a long way in the last 5-6months. 
I can get through a day without crying, but he never leaves my mind. Almost everything makes me think of him or the journey we took to get him. I have done and tried everything to help me with my grief, and it continues.  Baby Z made me a Mama, and I am so blessed for that. He’s not sick in heaven, and I am blessed for that. I am learning to love myself more and have confidence because of him, and I am blessed for that. I have opened up and shared my story, made new friends and I am blessed for that. 
My sweet angel baby boy Baby Z has blessed me with so much. My love for him is far greater than I could have ever imagined.  For now, I can only dream of his smile and laugh and holding him tight in my arms until the day I get to join him. 
At first, I was hesitant to reach out to Emma’s Footprint. I wasn’t ready to talk about my story especially with strangers. I sent an email that was probably a book long and I am even certain it was coherent.  It took me two days to write it – I would burst into ugly crying and get myself so worked up I would cough. But I pushed through it. 
I received a response shortly after. It was so kind and heartfelt. We chatted back and forth. I was offered all sorts of options in terms of ways to talk to others who know how I feel.  I was then told they would send me a little something to help me. I declined the resources as talking about it was still too fresh and I couldn’t say two words without losing it. 
A week or so later I received the sweetest package. Again I cried but it was happy tears. Complete strangers were so kind-hearted and made me feel included. I wear my necklace every day. I cherish it! 
About a month later I decided to attend a support group. Totally out of my comfort zone but again I felt so welcomed and supported. It broke my heart that so many others were feeling what I was. NO ONE should have to go through this! 
A short time later I reached out again and asked for a resource. I now have a new friend. 
Emma’s Footprints gave me comfort, they gave me support, they gave me love and kindness, they gave me a friend and they gave me tokens to help me and that I cherish. We look forward to walking in Emma’s Footprints Memorial Walk on October 13th. 
Cassandra Zaborowski
Baby Z’s Mom