Sisters In Loss
BY: Erica McAfee
I’m Erica McAfee, a wife and mom of 3 (2 angels in heaven) and my rainbow baby who we affectionately call Super Mighty max. In 2012, I married my college sweetheart. A few months later I found out I was pregnant with our first son we named Brandon Jr. I went through that pregnancy without many issues up until the end when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I labored, pushed, and Brandon Jr. entered this world at 39 weeks via C-section and did not cry. I can remember it like yesterday where the doctors and nurses worked to revive my son for 41 minutes before he became my guardian angel in heaven. To say we were devastated, angry, mad, upset at God and the world would be an understatement. Picture this going to the hospital pregnant, after having numerous baby showers, a fully furnished nursery to be faced with the most traumatic experience of leaving the hospital without a baby.
After many nights crying myself to sleep, journaling my thoughts, praying and asking God why, and going to therapy consistently we tried again. 5 months later we conceived a little girl we named Brielle. Being pregnant after loss comes with much anxiety, fear, and feelings that your body may fail you again. At 18 weeks pregnant we were faced with the news that we did not want to hear. I had woken up in incredible pain, we went to the hospital and found out I was in labor, dilated, and my baby girl was coming. I had my baby girl and I was told she would not cry and they couldn’t do anything for her. She was angelic and looked just like me even at 18 weeks and weighing less than 1 lb. Here we were facing a similar experience we had 10 months earlier. I had another baby that did not cry, and we were leaving the hospital emptied handed. I was frustrated and mad at myself, the world, and God. I questioned God and why he would take me through such a painful experience again. Losing two babies back to back will shake you to your core. But thanks be to God for grace and mercy, and for a praying husband and family.
But we persevered, continued working on ourselves, continued going to therapy, and tried again. Why? Because we knew and had faith that God would grant us the desires of our hearts, a baby. Our pregnancy with our rainbow baby was faced with weekly doctors visits, numerous specialists seen, and a surgery at 19 weeks to stitch my cervix so it would not open like it did in my previous pregnancy. Then at 32 weeks prematurely we welcomed our rainbow baby Maxwell Immanuel who we call Super Mighty Max. It was the closest to death I had ever been. My family was called in because they did not think I was going to make it. I lost so much blood due to a placenta abruption, where your placenta detaches from your uterus, needing multiple blood transfusions. My husband had to be strong and make a decision to save my life by signing off on giving me a hysterectomy. So, at 28 years old I was faced with the news I would never be able to carry another child again making me infertile, and due to my son Maxwell being born without oxygen he would be physically disabled for the rest of his life.
Now, I help black women share their testimonies and stories of loss and healing on my weekly podcast Sisters in Loss. Black women experience miscarriage and stillbirth two-three times more than white women according to the National Institutes of Health. Sisters in Loss podcast spotlights faith filled black women who share their grief and loss stories and testimonies. Whether you have experienced a miscarriage, infant loss, stillbirth, or infertility, you will learn about resources and strategies to heal, gain clarity, peace, hope, and find an empowering path forward after loss. Weekly I interview Sisters in Loss who have healed from such a painful and traumatic experience by sharing their testimonies to inspire and help others to turn their pain into their purpose. I have learned throughout my grief and healing journey that your loss is just a chapter in your story, but sharing it will empower others to share theirs. You will begin to heal as others heal from your words. There is power in your story and your testimony. Time to begin to share!
Find Out More About Erica and Sister In Loss HERE!