A late miscarriage at 19 weeks
2008: I was a thriving college student who had just walked away from a manipulative relationship. I was finally free to make my own choices and the first thing I did was sign up to go with the German department to Berlin, Germany for 4 weeks at the end of the semester. My ex had forbid me to go, but now I was free and wanting so desperately to get away and enjoy myself, I began excitedly booking flights and researching things to do on my trip. Fast forward to the first day in Berlin. I was staying with a host family and I had requested a family with children, as I love kids, and with a musical background, as I was studying German and Music at the time. I got the music, but the "child" was 18, only 2 years my junior, and very attractive. Quickly, things got out of control and my host "brother" and I were getting drunk and fooling around almost every night of the week. We were careful and used condoms, and since I was on the pill, I figured I was safe. I was only 20 and I didn't want a baby just yet, especially not as a result of a summer fling in another country. But I didn't realize that antibiotics lower the effectiveness of birth control. And on the last night, we were so drunk, condoms weren't on our radar. We were both sad to part on the last morning and I cried at the airport, but I knew it was over. I walked away feeling happy and went on with my life. We talked online every once and a while, but for the 3 months after I came back to the US, we weren't in contact very often.
In mid-September, almost 3 months after I returned, I didn't get my period when it was supposed to come. I was taking a type of birth control where I only got my period 4 times a year and I had gotten it the first week I was in Germany, so the next scheduled time was September. When it didn't come, I did the logical and immensely scary thing and took a pregnancy test. 2 lines. 2 lines burnt into the back on my brain. I cried and all the thoughts of how my life would change in that moment flashed through my head. But mostly, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love for this tiny human growing in me. 2 weeks later, I told the father and he refused to believe me. I went to the clinic on campus and had an ultrasound. I was already 13 weeks pregnant. He believed me when I sent the pictures. His mom called me the next night and offered to help me take care of the baby. I would go to Berlin in January at the end of the semester, and live with them until the baby came. Then I would go to University there while his mom watched the baby. My parents were never going to let me go, so I didn't tell them about the baby. I just told them I had gotten into a study abroad program for the next semester and if they paid my flight, I would pay my upkeep for the 8 months of the program. I really did apply for the program, and planned on doing it, since it ended only 3 weeks after I was due and then continued a month later for 3 more months. Flights were booked and all was good, except that my parents had no idea that they were going to be grandparents to a child who would live more than 4000 miles away.
I was able to hide my growing belly and only the father, his family and I knew about the baby. But when I was 19 weeks pregnant, I woke in the night in pain. I was having contractions and bleeding heavily. 30 minutes later, I gave birth to my daughter, Hannah Christiana in the bathroom of my shared apartment. My roommate woke up to my sobbing and took me to the hospital. They took her tiny body away and wouldn't let me hold her. She was perfect in every way and I wanted to bury her, to have a place to visit her, but they wouldn't let me see her. Later, my roommate said I was yelling at the people at the hospital and threatening to call the police. They were worried I would run away with the body before I could get the medical help I needed. I was scared my parents would find out because I was on their insurance, but I ended up paying the medical bills out of pocket and keeping it hidden. I used my whole savings I had put aside from working the past 4 months, which I was saving for a new computer at first and then for the baby once I found out about her. I didn't need it anymore.
My parents still don't know about Hannie. I pray every night that she is safe in Heaven and I feel her watching down on me. I know that she was taken for a reason. I still went to Berlin for the study abroad program and I never went back to the US after that. I am still living here in Berlin 4 years later. I have no contact with the father, as he blamed me for "killing his child" and then admitted that he was happy that Hannie died because he never had to tell his girlfriend of 4 years about me or the situation we were in. This was the first I heard of her and after that, I gladly walked away knowing he was a jerk and I deserved better.
Hannah is in my heart every day and I know that when I have more children, I will tell them about their half sister in heaven who watches and protects them. She will always be my first baby, even if she never took a breath outside my womb.
You were very brave to go to Germany expecting to have your baby and make a new life for yourself. It is very sad that at the end of it you had a late miscarriage and lost your baby. I really admire your strength of character and agree that you deserve much more than what Hannah's dad was offering.