Thursday, July 25, 2013

Difficult Days

I stumbled upon this post via pinterest and has some AMAZING points on helping parents through some difficult days after miscarriage.  It's a very quick read and will truly help you understand the pain parents go through.

I can tell you that points 1, 2 and 3 were especially hard for me the beginning of this year.  Almost unbearable even though I was expecting again. Number 5 was so true.  Todd even said he felt I wasn't excited about my pregnancy at all.  I was numb and I was trying to protect myself emotionally.  Number 6 is more true than I'd like it to be, but I rejoice in their blessings. 

This is not something I'd ever wish upon anyone.  EVER.  I really do hope there will be more understanding in the future. 

Dear Lord

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Been Two Weeks

As she walks on the city streets with a broken heart and tear stained cheeks
Holding on to the hope that someone’s listening
She looks to the stars above as they barely shine thru the evening fog
Takes her mind of the fact that she’s stopped breathing

And she thinks back to the days before hope had slipped away
To a time when life was still worth living
Like the thief who called out his name
Will you please remember me
She is crying out Jesus save me

So I raise my hands and call out on your name
My heart is yours and I’ll never be the same
Does your grace still save or am I on my own
I hear you say
You’re never too far never too far gone never too far gone
I hear you say you’re never too far gone

So I raise my hands and call out on your name
My heart is yours and I’ll never be the same
Does your grace still save or am I on my own
I hear you say
You’re never too far never too far gone never too far gone
I hear you say you’re never too far gone

You’re never too far gone

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Do I Move Forward?

This question has been on my mind an awful lot lately.  How does one simply accept what happened and move on?  The pain of what should have been and what won't be are inescapably overwhelming.

Back in January, I shared that God had changed my heart.  That I was open to whatever he chose our family size to be.  After all, if He gave us the surprise pregnancy of twins, he wants our family to grow, right?  That becoming pregnant with Solomon was his will, too?  That the desire to have my womb filled with life again was given to me by God himself? 

I am just so confused as to how God is working this all out.  One loss, I understand.  Losing both twins, I understand that, too.  Losing a third baby is just a bit more than I can handle. 

So now we pray, AGAIN, for God's will in our lives.  I pray that he will give us direction. 

At night, I pray through my tears for answers.  Almost every time I feel God interrupting me with just two words: TRUST ME!

As I sit here typing I'm experiencing 'phantom kicks' which are a terrible reminder.  For a brief moment I get excited thinking I feel a little person in me.  Then reality kicks in and the harsh reality of what happened in brought back.  I feel empty.  I feel useless.  I feel alone. 

What does this TRUST feel like?  What does it look like?  What do I DO now?

Each day I do my best to pour my love into the blessings we have earth side.  I hug them as much as I can and let them know that they are loved.  That they are precious and we are SO thankful for them. 

Even with those precious reminders of how blessed we truly are, I still. feel. stuck.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One Week Later: July 10th

It still feels like a dream.  A nightmare. I knew that the possibility was there.  I never let myself get too attached.  I didn't really believe I was pregnant.

I don't know if I ever felt movement, but I knew I was pregnant.  The pregnancy tests and the ultrasounds proved it.

6 weeks
11 weeks
I was excited to share a due date month with many friends; from church, our homeschool group and online friends I had met in previous birth groups.  It was starting to feel real.  I was getting a bump, had crazy nasty heartburn and had cravings that Todd couldn't keep up with.  I was up at night to pee, had a hard time sleeping, all those wonderful, joyous parts of having a living, growing being within you.  Marvelous.

July 3rd brought 19 weeks and the *BIG* anatomy scan.  So thankful that Todd was able to go with me. 

We got to the center early.  We were both incredibly nervous.

When we were called back to the room, I noticed the tech was new.  So new, she was still being trained in.  Thankfully, the tech monitoring her was one I was very familiar with.  She found a twin last time and was the one to tell us it wasn't living.  She also did several other scans for us, both last time and this pregnancy.  I was so happy to see her. 

I laid down, the newbie tech started scanning, and was having a hard time.  The other tech, I'll call her 'M', said "frequency is your friend."  I thought it was cute, but I knew it wasn't good.  As soon as that wand hit the belly, it should have showed something.  So M took over.  She moved the screen away from Todd and I, and was pressing rather hard.  She had to move the head of the bed down, and I just knew.

I just knew...

"I'm so sorry" is what we were told.  It happened again.  I sobbed.  Todd sobbed.

It happened again.

I asked M to see if she could tell the sex and she couldn't.  I asked her to measure baby as best as she could, and the measurements came out to around 16 weeks. That means baby had been dead, inside me again, for three weeks.  Three weeks.  No wonder I didn't feel movement...

We got to see our baby and she was able to get a picture printed out for us.

Head is tucked in, hands are by the face and legs are curled up in the fetal position.

I got up, and immediately felt like I was going to pass out.  I couldn't take it. After getting myself together, I knew what had to be done.

See, we were planning to do a gender reveal with the kids.  They were so excited to be adding to our family.  The boys were, obviously, hoping for a brother and the girls were hoping for a sister.  Natalie had even said several prayers asking God for it to be a girl.  So cute. Needless to say, going home and telling them was hard.

They took it well.  Much better than last time.  I think it's still sinking in, though.  I don't know that the older kids really thought it was going to happen this time.

Todd and I knew what we had to do.  I messaged my midwife, who was on her way to Tennessee to visit family for the 4th Of July.  She called the local clinic and talked with someone about having us at the hospital for a delivery.  Our dear friends were willing to watch our kids, so they were covered.  We snuggled our kids, packed our bag (something we knew we needed to do after last time) and headed to the hospital. 

Because I was being seen for a home birth, I had no reason to register at the hospital.  Never mind that I was not far enough in gestation for it to be a viable birth, I needed to register at the Family Birthing Center.  Name and birth date given to the woman at the desk; primary care physician, OB (or in my case, midwife) and reason for admittance (induction). 

She obviously didn't see my belly, nor did she have my files to see how far along I was.  She took out a sheet of paper from her filing cabinet and said "this is a release for your baby."  I about died.  My heart was already broken and I have to go through this?  I told her this was an induction for a loss, to which she said, "so there will be no baby?"  No.  There will be no baby for me to take home.  Again.

We make our way from the registration area to the desk in the FBC.  They still had not received any information from my provider, so they put me in the first room available.  One of the closest rooms to the door.  You know, the door that everyone goes through to visit their family members who just had a baby.  Yeah.  You get the picture.  Joyous talk.  Kids skipping up and down the hallways.  All things you'd expect when you're going to see someone and their beautiful new baby.

Our nurse was fabulous.  Super sweet and tender.  She happened to be part of the bereavement support group through the hospital.  Just the right person to have on board. 

My first dose of cytotec, used to ripen the cervix and aide in dilation, was at 10pm.  A lot later than we had hoped.  We knew this process could take a while.  The OB even said he's seen it take a couple of days.  Last November, it took one dose of cytotec and roughly 5 hours.  That time, however, my body had already started the miscarriage process.  This time, I was closed and tight. 

I was moved to a room that was much further away from the entrance.  It happened to be the biggest room the FBC had. I would say a good 40-50% of the room was windows.  We had a fabulous view of the Mississippi river.  Well, from what we could see that late at night, anyhow.  You can see the room on the video here if you really want to. 

Over the course of the night, I was given a 50mcg dose of cytotec every four hours.  Lots of peeing at night due to the IV, so very little sleep was happening.  We knew exactly how everything would go, so the fear wasn't as bad this time around.  Maybe that part was a bit easier on the nurses?  Not having to deal with crazy emotions all night long? 

Morning came.  I watched the sun rise over the Mississippi.  It was so beautiful.  Majestic. Almost beautiful enough for me to forget what was going on.  Almost.

Around 11am I got up to use the bathroom and my water broke.  This is the second time it's happened spontaneously.  The first time it was for my first miscarriage.  ::sigh::  The fluid was a light brown which was indicative of a loss. 

The day was slow.  Todd got in a bite to eat, my great aunt stopped by for a visit with flowers and cookies and we received lots of phone calls.

Later in the evening, I was informed by the nurse that I had received my max dosage of cytotec.  Being a VBA2C patient, that was about it.  However, the OB on call had done some research and was *comfortable* giving me up to 200mcg doses of cytotec to get me moving along.  I knew the risk of rupture was there, but I was being monitored and I felt comfortable with it, so we did another dose. 

We had friends stop in around this time.  I knew Todd needed someone other than me and our nurses to talk to.  It was nice to have them there.  Unfortunately for them, they're a bit queasy, so when the anesthesiologist came in to do the epidural (I didn't need to be a hero), they NEEDED to leave. 

After the epi was placed, I got to wear the lovely blood pressure cuff and heart monitor.  The nurse was nice enough to turn my bed around so I could see the fireworks as they were being shot off of a barge on the river. It was really nice to be able to watch.  Our kids were just across the river being cared for by other friends of ours.  I was sad we couldn't be with them.  I was thankful to see the fireworks celebrating our freedom.  I was crushed knowing what was to come.

After the fireworks display, I was starting to itch like crazy thanks to the epidural.  Benadryl was given to counteract the epidural.  I became VERY lethargic.  I tried to talk to our friends who made it back up after the fireworks, but my brain was moving much faster than my lips, making me very entertaining to listen to.  I heard the three of them cracking up a few times.  Unfortunately, the benadryl made me so lethargic/sleepy, that my blood pressure went REALLY low.  So every 15 minutes, when the cuff went off to take my bp, it would beep because it was so low.  Call in the nurse for a retake, bp is fine, start the whole process over again.  It seemed like it was ALL NIGHT LONG.

7am on the 5th came another shift change, the fourth nurse change.  We had the same two nurses the entire time except check in.  They were both fabulous.  So gentle and understanding.  I was too afraid at this point to pee in the toilet, knowing that things were moving along and baby could come at any time.  The nurse offered a bed pan to pee in.  I felt bad for her, but happy baby wouldn't be delivered in the toilet. 

Around 9:30, she did a cervical check and noticed I was almost there.  She did another check a minute later, and found baby.  She had baby in her hand and called for the OB.  Once the OB was in, she put baby in his hand.  He clipped the cord and immediately noticed the cord was thing and stringy.  The intern then grabbed baby laid the body in a container on the table.  My heart was broken. I was angry at where they put my baby.  Sterile.  Cold. 

I asked to hold our baby.  Our wonderful nursed grabbed a hand knit blanket, scooped baby up and let us have our time.  She did check for us and saw we had a boy.  She asked if we had a name for him. 

Solomon Joseph.  Our son.

I had picked out a name for a boy and a girl before we had even conceived.  Solomon means 'wise' and Joseph means 'God will expand'.  Guess He just wanted to expand our heavenly family.  Again.

Todd and I both took our turns holding him...going over all his features.  They were so tiny.  So beautiful.  Just too small.  We examined his cord and it was so thin.  So thin and VERY twisted.  The doctor was fairly confident that this was the reason he passed away.  Solomon just didn't get what he needed through the cord and it couldn't sustain him. 

A fluke.  Something that shouldn't happen, but did.  Something that could happen to ANYONE.  

Our nurse said she'd like to take him to get footprints and measurements.  She asked if we would like him back when she was done.  Todd and I looked at each other, asking the silent question "do we?"  This was our sweet, precious son, but it was just his shell.  Just his body.  He had been with Jesus for three weeks already.  So we let her take him after Todd took a picture. 

We cried and held each other.  It wasn't fair.  How could this happen?  Why would God allow this to happen AGAIN?  AGAIN!?!?!

A bit after another dose of cytotec, the OB was able to work the placenta out.  It came out intact which was good.  I avoided another D&C.  We okayed chromosome testing on baby to see if we could find any other answers.  I also had blood work done, six vials worth, to see if anything on my end caused this and if anything could be prevented in the future.

I don't remember time at this point.  It was a few hours later, and the nurse came in to give me a RhoGham shot.  She then stopped the epidural drip and removed my IV.  Todd and I stared blankly at each other.  I felt like it was all my fault and apologized to him many times over.  Deep down I *know* it's not my fault, but after failing to keep THREE babies alive in my womb, how else should I feel?

Two friends came by with a sweet gift and a sandwich for Todd.  It was nice to have a distraction.  It was wonderful to have friends pray over us.

After they left, the nurse brought in our box.  ANOTHER box

Our nurse, and another nurse whom I actually went to high school with, put together this scrapbook page.  It will be framed and hung on our bedroom wall
Solomon was over an ounce heavier and was two inches longer than our Chelsea, lost at 13 weeks. What a difference three weeks in the womb makes.
His footprints, measurement and a lovely blanket made for us by a local crafting group.  So thankful for those women.
This time, with our baby being a bit bigger, we were given a hat.  Solomon wore it for a bit.  I will treasure it.

We wanted to increase our family.   We felt our family was incomplete.  All we wanted was a 'take home' baby this time.

Instead, we went home with another box.