Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MIscarrying & Healing

So, being told that your baby died at 8weeks4days has passed away is hard news. But, having to prepare for the actual process was a different thing. That Monday after our appointment, we stopped to get some lunch, which seemed like something you do on a regular Monday. I kept my sunglasses on to hide my red, swollen puffy eyes, and to mask my flowing tears. I drove myself home and thanked the Lord for a beautiful day. I went home, got into some pajama pants and climbed into my bed. It seemed like that was what I was supposed to do. But, somehow it felt like the last thing I wanted to do. I didn't feel right in my own skin. I didn't want to sit, lay, stand, nothing. I wanted out of my body. But, instead, our small family of three put on our tennis shoes and we took a long walk through our neighborhood. It was the perfect medicine. I don't remember what we talked about but I remember feeling good. We went home and then visited Gretchen, our pastor's wife and we told her what happened. She sent us home with some yummy dinner, and we met my mom that evening at our house. She came to visit and be with me.

She and I sat on our front porch and just talked. It was a sad day, but it was calming. We left to go pick up my prescription, and a few things I needed to prepare. She left, we prepared for bed and I was able to rest.

Tuesday morning I planned to wake up and take the medicine. Inserting the medicine was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I didn't want to do it, but I knew it was the right thing for me to do.

But, I waited until all of my house chores were completed. I cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed, caught up on all the laundry, and made sure everything was just right. I took the medicine finally, showered and planned to go pick up glasses I ordered the week before. At 2:30, I started feeling the beginning of discomfort. The beginning of the pain was sad to me. This was it. Not long now, I will see the physical evidence of the death that happened within me. I was actually very scared of it. By the time I made it to the optometrist, and had to wait for the fitting, and feeling my abdomen tighten and relax every few minutes caused me to hurry along the office visit. "Just give me my glasses so I can go" and they hurried me through. Perhaps they knew I was in distress? The tech that helped me remembered me from the week before and I asked how I was feeling. For the first time, I had to answer the question. I told her the truth. She hugged me. She fitted me and I left. I got home and was really starting to get super uncomfortable. By 4:00 I was asking Dennis to come home early, which he couldn't. I was also expecting my mom to spend the night with me, so I was anxious for her to get there as well. No one could get to me until 5:30, and by that time, I was sitting on an exercise ball, with no pants, an electric heating pad rolled up on my lower abdomen, propped up next to my bed, getting through what I would consider labor. This is not a run of the mill period. My Dr. said it would be, and it came quickly to my attention that he evidently has not labored at all. Not a 9 month baby, not an 8 week one. I rocked back and forth, I laid my head on the bed, and I said "it hurts to bad." My mom rubbed my back, my hips, and I just made it through it. 
Around 8:00pm I wanted some cantaloupe and watermelon, so I went down to the kitchen to try to cut some up. While standing there, I felt what is described as the "big gush" and I expected a lot of blood. To my surprise, there wasn't much. I went to the bathroom, and I pushed and waited. When I stood, I saw my baby. A perfectly formed 8.5 week baby. Cord and all. It was beautiful, and unique. An answer to a prayer that I didn't pray. 

With that baby came out with it, what I believe to be her brother or sister. A much under developed incapsulated fetus. I won't ever get medical conformation of this, but I believe it to be true. When I saw them both together, I said: "Look, mom, there are two babies." 

I called Dennis to come in and see. And we (and by we, I mean my mother) spooned them out very carefully, and we sat and admired her. We adored her, and studied her. After tears and joy, Dennis buried her in a house plant that was given to us the week before by his parents. It completed things for me. I felt comforted and healed. (Of course not completely) We named her "Ella"

The pains let up a TREMENDOUS amount after I passed the babies and delivered the placenta the next morning. I wasn't expecting this type of experience at all, but I dealt with it the best I could. 

The next morning I woke up to my husband curled next to me, mourning our baby. It is something I won't ever forget. 

The next day, my mom stayed with us and helped me take care of Daniel, while I rested a good bit. I stayed in bed most of the day. I felt the absence of the life of my baby, and it made me incredibly sad. I never realized how much I loved this blessing and how aware I was of her presence until it was gone. It was a very sad moment for me, but I knew that even though I was void this precious little life, I was filled with the Holy Spirit, and for that there is no greater gift. For we do not mourn as those who do not have hope. And I truly felt the love and care of my Lord in this very very dark moment, and days. I know He will heal, and he will sustain me. 

The flowers pictures above were delivered to my home on Thursday by some special friends: Les & Suzanne. I was also delivered some DELICIOUS chocolate and calming tea by another dear photographer friend, Lindsey. I felt loved on by friends and calls, text messages, and small acts of love and kindness. 

I begin to heal and feel whole again, moving on with gratitude in my heart and joy for this suffering. 

The Lord Giveth and The Lord Taketh Away.. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Job 1:21

While I was in the laboring phase, I found this YouTube song that I have taken so much comfort from, and EVERY word is true. I listen to it daily. It is a wonderful reminder. Please take a moment to listen to this. 

Thank you all for reading my story! I have a picture of our sweet Ella, and I would love to share it with you if you are a family or friend. Please feel free to ask to see her, I will show her to you gladly. :) 

Finding Out Worse News

March 16th. A Monday.  A beautiful, warm, sunny, perfect day. We had our appointment. I was incredibly nervous. This time, we brought Daniel there. My reasoning was: If it were a positive appointment, he could see his baby brother or (insisted) sister. OR if the news wasn't good, he would be there to remind me of a blessing I already have.

We went in. I laid back on the table, and was hoping to see a large amount of amniotic fluid. For the week prior, I had drank so much water I was swimming in it, and stayed off of my feet, for good measure. So, she placed the probe on my belly, and the first thing I saw was a much bigger baby, and more amniotic fluid.

"There looks to be more fluid." I stated. "Yes, there is" She replied. And without even thinking, I asked: "Is there a heartbeat?"

"No, I am not seeing one"

I will go get the Dr. to confirm. She leaves the room.

I laid there in disbelief. Dennis asks: "Did she say there wasn't a heartbeat?" and I shook my head yes.

Dr. comes in and she rechecks. No heartbeat. My baby laid there lifeless. No blood flow. No beating heart. He offers some condolences. So, I sit up, and we were taken to a room to wait for our options. Options. Hmm.

And we waited and waited and waited. I could feel friends looking at their clocks waiting for an update. I am in disbelief. Crying. Praying. Thinking. It was horrible. He finally comes in, and he offers me 3 options after he gave me some "counseling" on the "why" of this happening..

Options were:
1. to wait for my body to miscarry naturally.
2. to have sugery to remove the baby.
3. to take a medicine called cytotec to kickstart a natural process.

We carefully weighed the options, I had already decided surgery was not an option, even though at the time, it seemed more appealing that I thought it might. We chose option #3. We had a trip planned at the end of the week that we really wanted to take, and I was ready to move forward.

So, we left the office. The sun felt good on my face, and we had a long road ahead.

I will post more tomorrow to tell the rest of the story.

Finding Out Bad News....

Monday March 9th came. I was a ball of nerves! It was my 8th week, and we were finally going to the Dr. Finally going to see our baby, and I was so so so NERVOUS. SICK nervous. But, I was trying to convince myself that I was just psyching myself out for no reason.

So, we go in. sign in. wait. We had a bunch of appointments that day. I was just ready to get this over with. Good news, and out of there. Or so I hoped.

We go in. The sonographer placed the probe on me, and we saw a baby on the monitor with a strong heartbeat of 179 bpm. Sweet little picture. Except that the baby was in the smallest gestational sac I had ever seen. Way smaller than Daniel's, way smaller than any ultrasound picture I'd ever looked at. At this point I am thinking that it's a bad machine. My baby was measuring perfectly, and the heart was beating.

So, before she was all finished, I asked her: "Does everything look healthy?" She replied: "I am concerned that the amniotic fluid around your baby is quite low, but I will let the Dr. talk to you."
So, feeling a little insecure, I dress, and we go to wait for the Dr.

So, we wait for the Dr. and he comes in. He was very honest with us... the baby has a 50% chance of survival. Half of the time this thing corrects itself, and half of the time, it doesn't. So, we leave. My world has just altered a little bit.

From March 9th until the 16th, I was in a waiting period that was hard. I found out a lot about this particular issue, and knew that our chances were iffy. This was definitely a danger and we were in no way in the clear. I started to prepare and process. 

The morning of the 16th, I read this, prayed, and prepared to go to my appointment.

Finding Out Good News...

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015 Daniel and I went to Target, Old Navy, and several other stores and I bought clothes because I needed them. I was waiting to lose weight, or get pregnant, and neither were happening and I had nothing to wear. So I spent a good amount of money on clothes. Even though I knew I was two days late, I never thought I would be pregnant because my tests for my entire life, except for once, were always negative, so I was basically just waiting for my period to come. I went to the Dollar Tree and picked up two $1 pregnancy tests, for the heck of it, and then I swung by Starbucks, and grabbed a Mocha Frapp and headed home. 

I put Daniel to bed for his nap, went to the bathroom, peed on my cheap test, covered the window up with something (which I NEVER do..) and walked downstairs for a drink. I headed back upstairs to set myself up for disappointment, because let's face it, I am always disappointed. Turned on my cell phone to take a video of the result for Dennis (I never do that.) Took a deep breath, and uncovered the test window... 
(I forgot about the video.)

There were TWO lines! the impossible happened. I was finally pregnant after 4 years of waiting. 4. I panicked. I had to call Dennis. I called. no answer. First time ever that UPS didn't answer the phone. I hung up. Called back. 

"May I speak with Dennis please.." I hurried. "Yes, one moment please...." 
"This is Dennis.." 
and then I probably exploded with excitement and told my husband I was finally pregnant! He was so excited. I was excited. It was an awesome day. Just elated. We thought we could wait to tell our small group until the next Friday when we were scheduled to go out on a group date. So I called my mom, my dad, a couple friends. 

We got ready for church. I walked in the door, and just couldn't contain it. My friends hugged me, a couple cried. We bounced up and down like giddy school girls. It was a fantastic day. 

I was probably four weeks and 1 day that day. I found out super soon!!!! 

It didn't take long before the exhaustion set in, the bloating was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Several friends thought I must be having twins because it took no time before I felt like I was already too big for my clothes. Yes, I could be "that pregnant girl" but I knew I wasn't imagining it, because even Dennis was like "How can this be happening to soon?" 

So, I scheduled our first appointment for Monday, March 9th and was blissfully content and excited for the future. I was happy to be adding to our family after a long wait, happy to be pregnant again, happy to give Daniel a sibling, just so happy. 

Our dear friend Kristin bought Daniel this shirt, and this was how we announced on social media that we were pregnant. Weeks passed and everything seemed just fine. Except for something inside of me nagging me that it wasn't. But, I just decided to borrow trouble and move on. Exhaustion and 8pm bedtimes continued, ginger ale drinking, and expanding belly continued. 
7 weeks picture. 
Story continued.... 

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