Love Story

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's time (part 3)

Continuing the story....(here's part 1 and here's part 2):

I really didn't expect to feel the things I did as this all sunk in. Normally I am an open book, love to share my life in detail, and walk besides others through the good and bad. But this was different. I remember telling my mom as I talked to her on my drive home that I didn't want to tell people. I didn't want to have to talk about it, I didn't want to be in a position to need their sympathy, I didn't want to hear "I'm sorry." I wish I could have had some time to hide. Somehow I thought that if I could just keep it to myself it wouldn't become reality. But the reality was that I had to go home, not to an empty house, not even to just my husband. To three little ones, two of which were very aware of the fact that we were expecting a new baby and that our family was supposed to be growing and changing. In fact, there wasn't a single day that had gone by where they didn't talk about the baby. Nathan prayed daily that the baby would grow healthy and strong and they had endless questions about how the baby was going to come out, what we were going to call it, the pros and cons of brother or sister. How was I going to look them in the eye and tell them that this was no more? What words could I use to explain something that I couldn't begin to understand myself?

As I pulled into the driveway I didn't know how it was all going to happen. My husband met me outside, just the beginning of what I believe was a gift God gave him to give to me over the next few days. The very first of many times in those days to follow that he demonstrated knowing my needs before I knew them myself. He gave me that time to just lean on him and cry before facing the kids. We decided that we needed to rip the band-off so to speak and tell them now. I couldn't hide my grief so it only made since to do it sooner than later. We sat them down and told them in the best way we knew how. We explained that something was wrong with the baby and it had died and now it was going to be in heaven with Jesus. That we were sad and it was okay to be sad. That there was nothing that any of us did, that these things just happen sometimes. They each reacted in their own way. Jordan was angry. He didn't understand and thought I had the baby but didn't show it to them. He wanted to see the baby and was angry that it was living with God and not us. Nathan was sad. He was hurt and said that nobody else's babies die, how come ours has to? I hated that he had to know this truth. That babies do die sometimes and that this wasn't just happening to us. We told them that God had a plan in all of this and that we can trust in that even if we don't understand it. I am glad that they heard me and I knew they did as in the days and weeks to come I would hear that in Nathan's prayers. "God we don't understand but we know you have a plan. Watch over the baby now that it lives with you and tell it we miss it lots."

That evening we had to make plans. I had to be at the hospital at 6:30am the next morning and we needed a place for the kids to be. I didn't want anyone in my home, I didn't want to see anyone so Jeremy made arrangements to take the kids bright and early to a family member's house. We got offers for dinner that night, offers for visits, but I couldn't accept any of them. I knew what it was like to be on that end, to desperately want to help someone in their hurting, but I had to be selfish in that moment. I had to keep them all away and keep this to myself. I had to mentally prepare for what was going to take place in a few short hours. As much as I didn't want people in my space at that moment, I was almost physically ill over the idea of people having to be in my body the next day. What an invasion. If I could have left my body for that period of time I would have done it. I felt so trapped in all of it and there was no way to escape it.

In these painful moments I made a decision. I couldn't carry this all by myself. I would whither up and die if I had to carry this grief on my own. So I gave it to God. I told him that it was His to carry and that I would let him have it. I wasn't going to ask why because that was a question without an answer. I wasn't going to think about what if. I wasn't going crush under the weight of it all. I think this decision saved me. It saved me from depression, from going to a place I would have had to fight really hard to come back from. It allowed me to mean what I said to my children and to live what I was teaching. That things happen that we don't understand and that we don't have to worry because we have a God that is bigger than all of it.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 

 “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

--I just have to say thank you. I never thought I would be able to put this into words (I know, hard to believe since I am never one that is short on words!). And boy has it been a blessing to share. It's put something so real out there for anyone to see. But the stories that have been shared with me, the encouragement, the prayers, have all added to the healing process. The story isn't over. I will continue to write it over these next few days and I hope that you will continue to read it.--

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's time (part 2)

In case you missed my first post yesterday, you can find it here.

So where did I leave off? Ah yes, the ultrasound tech was escorting me to a private room. At the end of the hallway she handed me off to a nurse who just happened to be the one I spoke to on the phone when I was calling to see if I needed to come in because of the spotting. She introduced herself and gave me a hug and asked if she could get me anything as she got me settled in an exam room. My OB was out of the office that day so she told me that another one of the OB's would be in shortly to talk with me.

At this point so many things were going through my head. I so badly wanted to call Jeremy to hear his voice and it was bothering me to know he was just sitting at home waiting and worrying. But I didn't know how long the doctor would take and I didn't think I would be able to talk to him without losing it again, so I waited. And waited. And waited. I felt like I was in that room for an eternity. I was trying to keep my mind occupied so that it wouldn't fully absorb the news I had just received. I wasn't ready to start processing it...not in this place. I tried to find something of interest in the room to focus on. The painting on the wall of the two lounge chairs on the beach. Oh how I would love to be there instead of here. The calendar on the wall. March 7, I will never forget March 7. Pregnancy magazines...nope, keeping looking. Birth control advertisements. Birth control...I don't want to go on birth control again. Are we going to want to try soon? Are they going to let us? I don't want to think about this...I shouldn't have to be thinking about this.

At this point I started contemplating leaving. It had been a good 15 to 20 minutes and I couldn't occupy my mind anymore. I was ready to lose it and needed to be far away from this place. I started convincing myself that they couldn't keep me here and that whatever they needed to tell me could be said on the phone. I went back and forth on this when finally the doctor came in. The first words out of her mouth were, "I'm so sorry you've had to wait this long." And I just started crying. I didn't want to talk to her. I didn't want to talk about it at all. She was as sweet as could be though and even though we were strangers she sat in that room and cried right with me. She told me that our baby had died right around 10 weeks, probably just days after the ultrasound where I had seen it and thought everything would be fine. Why couldn't I have found out then? Why was I given such a false sense of hope? She laid out the statistics, that 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and having had 3 healthy pregnancies already I would likely go on to have another one if I chose to. Do I want to have another? Can I do this all over again? Was it just "my turn"?

She then began to talk about the next steps. She told me that anything past 8 weeks is very painful to miscarry naturally at home and that there is a risk of complications if it doesn't all take care of itself. She told me that if I was her sister she would tell me to get a D&C. And so I agreed. I can't believe I have to make this decision right now. I never thought I would do this. I never thought this would be my choice to make. So she began to fill out the paperwork so that I could be admitted into the hospital first thing the next morning. And that's when I saw it. She had written out 'D&C for missed abortion @10weeks'. ABORTION. Yes, yes, I know that that is just what they call it. They call it an abortion when you miscarry because your body is aborting the baby. But we all know the weight of that word in our culture and that was all I could see. Abortion, how could they write that? An abortion is a choice. I didn't choose this. I want my baby.

They went over what the next day would entail, signed some paperwork, and I got another hug from a different nurse and finally I was on my way. As I walked out the doors into the waiting room a hugely pregnant woman was staring back at me. Met my eyes and just kept staring as I walked out. Though I had calmed down I am sure I looked all out of sorts. Be glad this isn't you. Be glad you don't know what I know. I made it all the way into the elevator when my phone started ringing. It was the receptionist telling me I need to come back for my Rhogam shot. Are you kidding me? LET ME OUT OF HERE! So back I went, right past the same pregnant woman, into the room I had just been stuck in for what felt like forever. This time they sent yet another nurse in who either had no clue what was going on or didn't really care. Carrying the needle she said in the most chipper of voices, "Hi! How are you doing today?" At this point I just wanted out so I said fine and prepared to receive the shot. She made small talk, told me when I could take the bandage off, and walked out saying, "You have a good rest of the day!" Yeah, I'll do that.

Once again I headed out into the waiting room, past pregnant lady who is really puzzled now, and made it all the way to my car. I couldn't wait another second so I called Jeremy as I was leaving the parking garage. "The baby died," I said as the tears started to flow. His voice...I could hear the heartache. And I knew it was just killing him that he wasn't with me in that moment. I rattled off the details and got off the phone to call my mom who also knew what was going on and had been waiting to hear from me. Our conversation went much the same and she offered to fly up if I needed her. Again, I knew that it was hard for her not to be here with me as I went through this but there was nothing she could do so I told her to stay. Fittingly it was pouring down rain as I made the drive home. And as I drove in the rain, the song I had heard just hours before began to play. And this time I knew that it was for me and that I was going to have to let the words wash over me and carry me home.

--This could take awhile. Hope that you can stick with me as I walk through this experience with you. Really, it's more for me anyway, but I know that there is someone who will read this and be able to relate. I wish that wasn't true. I also hope that as you read you realize that what I am sharing is if something I say in my pain is somehow offensive, I apologize.--

Part  3 of my story:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's time (part 1)

Hi old friends. It has been so long since I sat down and shared my life with you. There are so many times that I thought about it, even wrote a few posts in my head but never could follow through. I think I'm ready and the time has come to share why I've been gone and get back to this place that I have grown to love.

The last time I posted I was sharing the news of my pregnancy. Unexpected but very, very welcomed. Days after I shared the amazing news, I got a call regarding my blood work and some concern over my progesterone levels. Nothing that had ever been an issue in my other pregnancies. The words possible miscarriage where casually thrown out by the nurse but they were going to start me on medication nonetheless. "If there is already a problem, it won't do anything to stop it but if it is just low hormones it will help." I was to take 2 pills a day until I hit 12 weeks when the placenta should be capable of creating these hormones on it's own. I let myself freak out for a little bit but soon gave it over to God because I knew I couldn't let the worry consume me and that ultimately it was out of my hands anyway. Friends and family covered me in prayer and I went on with life as normal.

At 9 weeks 5 days, I had my first appointment with my beloved OB. I knew that I would likely be getting an ultrasound because we weren't completely sure about the dating of my pregnancy and she likes to get a heartbeat which can be hard to get on a doppler at this stage. So I was trying hard to think positive but had braced myself just in case the news wasn't good. I had been feeling all the normal pregnancy things that I have experienced in previous pregnancies...extreme exhaustion, nausea, food aversion. But I knew the medication I was on can intensify pregnancy symptoms so I didn't let that reassure me too much. Like I had expected, she did want me to follow up with an ultrasound which was available right then so I laid anxiously on the table unsure of what I would see on the screen. An ultrasound tech that I had seen so many times before was training a student so she let her perform the actual ultrasound. The warm goo went on my belly and she began to search for our little bean and right away I could see it. My baby moving around a million miles a minute it seemed. A strong heartbeat of 190, so strong in fact that the student asked if that was too fast. But the tech brushed it off and said it was perfectly fine and that maybe I was carrying a girl in there. The baby measured right around 10 weeks, just where it should be. She printed out two pictures of our little one and I walked away from the office on cloud nine. Everything looked great and I finally could take a deep breath and enjoy the pregnancy.

Later that week my symptoms started to let up. I was still tired as could be but I was finally able to eat almost anything and smells weren't bothering me like they had been before. I was counting my blessings and assumed that I was getting close enough to the second trimester that I was due for some relief. 12 weeks came and I stopped taking the progesterone, as I had been instructed to do by my OB. I was nervous but looking forward to moving on from that stage of my pregnancy. The next day I awoke at 4 am sick as could be. Several hours into it I began spotting. I thought maybe the intensity of my sickness was to blame. My husband came home from work to be with me in case things didn't improve. Later that evening as I began to feel better I prayed that the spotting would stop as well. Over the next 2 days I continued to have spotting and just knew that it couldn't still be from that day of sickness. I finally broke down and called my OB's office on Wednesday and they wanted me to come right in for an ultrasound and to make sure I got a Rhogam shot (I am Rh-). I was so full of dread but was desperately trying to cling to hope. My husband rushed home from work for the second time that week. I didn't want to be alone, I needed someone to keep me company and tell me everything was going to be okay. But he needed to stay with the kids so I sucked it up and off I went all by myself.

I can remember the drive so clearly. It takes about 20 minutes to get from here to there and I had on my favorite Christian radio station. God often uses worship music to speak to me and I remember begging for a song to bring me peace and comfort. "Lord, remind me that your here and that this is all going to be okay." I got downtown and a song began to play on the radio. My heart became heavy and I held back tears as I listened to the lyrics of The Hurt and the Healer by Mercy Me. This can't be the song. I don't want this to be my song.

I got to the office and waited in that waiting room for what seems like forever. 2 women were sitting nearby each with a long string of newly printed ultrasound pictures. Please let me leave with that too. I don't want to go home empty handed. Finally the door opened and I heard my name being called. It wasn't anyone I was familiar with and she took me into a room I had only been in once before. I tried to make chit chat but am sure I was obviously nervous. As I was getting ready I asked her if she was going to let me see what was going on. I have always heard stories of tech's not letting you see the screen if something was wrong and making you wait to hear from a doctor. I knew I couldn't bear that and she assured me that everything would be visible like always.

So once again the warm goo was put on my belly and she began to press down with the wand. I looked at the screen and I just knew. In all my pregnancies I have had more than a dozen ultrasounds. This looked nothing like any of those. My baby was the exact same size as it had been almost 3 weeks prior but this time there was no movement, no beating heart. She didn't say anything for awhile and then asked if she could do a trans-vaginal ultrasound to get a better look. I asked her if that was really necessary and she said that she understood if I wasn't comfortable. She then finally spoke the words that I had prayed I would never hear..."I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat. Your baby is gone." I knew. I knew but when she spoke those words I couldn't hold it back any longer. There I was laying on the table, pants zipped down, her wand still on my belly, sobbing uncontrollably. I remember apologizing profusely. I felt bad for this poor woman who was stuck giving me the bad news. She asked me if I knew something was wrong and all I could say was, "I.....don't....know." She gave me time to collect myself and went to find a room that I could be in so I didn't have to wait in the waiting room with all the happy mom's-to-be. I was grateful for her compassion but wanted so desperately to get out of there. I didn't want to wait, I wanted to run.

--I think I am going to stop here for now. There is more to share and it feels good to get it out but I think I have gone as far as I can today. Thank you for taking the time to "hear" me.--

Part 2 of my story:
Part 3 of my story:
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