Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas weekend 2011, I'm sure, will be one that I will remember for a very long time.  But the details of this experience are already starting to fade -- I am forgetting dates, people, and faces.  But those are the dates, people, and faces that belonged to our first baby, and I don't want to forget, no matter how devastating the experience was.

Friday night we left Urgent Care with heavy hearts.  Dr. Wong hadn't been able to confirm the miscarriage was happening, and Damon and I walked out to the parking lot holding tightly to each other, and to that small glimmer of hope that we would be ok.  We called our parents, and Hollie, and I know that everyone was praying extra hard that night. 

I cried myself to sleep, knowing in my heart what was happening inside of me.  As I walked in and out of sleep, I remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing more blood.  And I knew.  I knew baby wouldn't make it.  I finally fell asleep sometime around 3 a.m.

I woke up Saturday morning and for a brief second, the world felt ok -- the sunlight was warm, and the hope of Christmas Eve filled my heart.  Then, the nightmare of the last evening came flooding back, and the tears started to flood my eyes.  I got up and cried by myself for a while in bed, waiting for Damon to get up. 

Damon and I were determined to be positive -- to spare each other the grief, I think.  We got up and acted like it was any other day, focused on helping each other cope and celebrating Hollie's birthday.  Thank goodness we had things to do -- it kept our minds off of what was happening to our precious little one.  We went to Porto's to pick up Hollie's birthday cake, picked up some good food and brought it back home. 

The rest of that morning is blurred in my mind already -- I think we spent the morning cleaning up, and I know that at some point we went to the grocery store.  I remember that I had left my phone at home, but didn't care because I knew our loved ones could reach Damon instead. 

Once we got home, I noticed a missed call from my sister on my phone.  I checked my voicemail and heard the voice of Dr. Wong.  "I have your test results.  Please call me back at Urgent Care," he said.  I called the office but he was with a patient.  Damon and I sat on the couch quietly, while I called my sister back and she said, "Are you ok?"  No one had told her what had happened, since she had been away from home the night before.  But a bad dream about the baby made her worry, and she called to check up on me.  Just as she asked her question, my phone beeped.  It was the doctor.  I switched over, holding the phone between Damon's face and mine.  My hcg levels were dropping and we were definitely miscarrying the baby.  Dr. Wong continued talking, telling me that these things happen, that he was sorry, that I needed to take care of myself now.  All I remember is the look on Damon's face - that last glimmer of hope had faded.

I called my sister back and gave her the bad news that she had already dreamed the night before.  We called our parents, and Hollie, and then I just broke down and cried on Damon's shoulder. 

Eventually my parents came over, then Damon's, then my sister.  Not knowing how to cope, I focused my energy on baking Christmas cookies for the family and Damon worked on his Oakley case.  It's as if we each needed to take our love for baby and put it somewhere new.  Somehow, having a project and people around us gave us the strength we needed to get through it.

Somewhere around 3 or 4 o'clock that afternoon, I felt it start.  The blood was rushing out in waves, completely unexpectedly.  Our parents left back to their homes, and I was getting scared.  The waves were coming more frequently now and I eventually gave up managing all the blood and decided to shower before getting ready for Hollie's birthday dinner.  In the shower I cried the hardest I had ever cried in my life, as I saw all of our baby's life go down the drain.  Every wave of blood was another reminder that we were losing our baby, and I heaved heavy cries with each one.  My heart was breaking.  But that's when I stopped crying.

An hour later, I was trying to get dressed, but the blood kept spilling out.  It was so much and so frequent that I couldn't even get dressed without having blood spill out on the floor and all over me.  I got back in the shower, thinking that I could wait it out, but the pain worsened.  Our friends had come over by then, and I tried to see if the blood would subside, but it didn't.  Eventually I had to tell Damon to let them go on without us.  Maybe, just maybe, we could make it to dinner as planned.  Maybe it would stop and we could go on with our lives and pretend like the nightmare wasn't real.

I ended up spending 3 hours in the shower that night.  The most horrifying 3 hours I've ever lived through.  And yet, it was very peaceful.  I was blessed that as baby was leaving my body, baby didn't cause any pain.  I was blessed that Damon sat with me, holding my hand and offering his support through each wave of loss.  At one point, though, the pain in my stomach grew very strong.  I could feel small contractions and that's when baby left me.  My face grew cold and I was dizzy.  Damon and I got scared and called the doctor's office.  The nurse told us to go to the E.R.

We got in the car and drove what seemed like forever to get to Beverly Hospital.  They admitted me right away and we went through the same motions of the night before - taking blood, an exam, and an ultrasound.  We were done by 10:30, and waited a long time in the waiting room for the results.  I was eventually discharged just seconds before midnight Christmas morning, with a stack of papers showing that baby was no longer with us, and the only evidence of pregnancy a small number of hormones still left in my blood.  We were numb with the cold of the night and the emptiness in our hearts.  But I still didn't cry.

Thank goodness our friends came to spend some time with us at home.  We played games and still had a chance to celebrate Hollie's birthday, although it was a bit somber.  I went to bed that night and although my heart was heavy with our loss, it was also filled with all the love and support of our family, our friends, and especially of Damon.

Though I am still bleeding, and still going through the loss, I am counting my blessings today.  Despite the fact that this experience tarnished the holiday, I am very grateful that I have been continually surrounded by friends and family as we go through this difficult time.  I am so very thankful that this nightmare happened when I was at home, on vacation from work, when I didn't have to worry about my students or hiding what was happening.  I am so lucky to have had Damon with me, every step of the way, so that our loss wasn't one that I had to handle on my own.  I am so glad that my body was able to handle the loss on its own, without surgery or medicine to force baby out.  I am grateful to baby that the exit was quiet, quick, peaceful, and without physical pain.  Thanks be to God that this happened early in the pregnancy, before Damon or I got to hear our baby's heartbeat or see their beautiful face.  It would have been so much more devastating had this happened later in our pregnancy. 

Although I fear that this could happen again, I'm also determined to have that happiness once more.  I know that Damon and I are going to be great parents, and I hope that God will bless us with the chance, completely this time.  I pray that our baby made their way to Heaven and is looking down on us now, our own little Guardian Angel.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What Makes a Mother? - Author Unknown
I thought of you and closed my eyes and prayed to God today.
I asked, ’What makes a Mother?’ and I know I heard Him say,
A mother has a baby, this we know is true,
But God, can you be a mother when your baby’s not with you?
Yes you can, He replied, with confidence in His voice
I give many women babies, when they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime, others for a day
And some I send to feel your womb, but there’s no need to stay.
I just dont understand this Lord, I want my baby here!
He took a breath and cleared His throat and then I saw a tear,
I wish that I could show you what your child is doing today,
If you could see your child smile with the other children and say.
’We go to earth to learn our lessons of love and life and fear,
My mommy loved me oh so much I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom who had so much love for me,
I learned my lessons very quickly, my mommy set me free.
I miss my mommy oh so much, but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep, on her pillow’s where I lay,
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek and whisper in her ear,
Mommy don’t be sad today, I’m your baby and I’m here’.
So you see, my dear sweet one, your children are ok,
Your babies are here in my home, and this is where they’ll stay.
They’ll wait for you with me, until your lesson’s through,
And on the day I call you home they’ll be at the gates for you.
So now you know what makes a mother.
It’s the feeling in your heart,
Its the love you had so much of, right from the very start.
Though some on earth may not realise until their time is done,
Remember all the love you have,
And you ARE a special mom!

"Daddy please don't look so sad, momma please don't cry.
Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.
please try not to question God, don't think he is unkind.
Don't think he sent me to you and then changed his mind.
You see I'm a special child, I am needed up above.
I'm the special gift you gave Him, a product of your love.
I'll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night.
Look for the brightest star and know that's my halo's brilliant light.
You'll see me in the morning frost that mists your window pane.
That's me in the summer showers, I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a gentle breeze from a gentle wind that blows.
Know that it's me planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing and your heart feels a tug,
Don't be sad mommy, that's just me giving your heart a hug.
So daddy don't looks so sad and momma please don't cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies!"

"These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy's hearts.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 23, 2011

Dear Sweet Pea,

It's been over a month since we found out about you.  I was nauseous and exhausted, but so excited with every passing day.  We told your Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunties about you, and some of our closest friends.  With each passing week we were more and more confident that you were on your way.

On Wednesday, November 23, I went to the doctor to have my pregnancy confirmed.  Then, on Friday, December 9, I went to the OBGYN's office to have blood work done and my medical history noted.  I was worried that so much time had passed with no sign of you, other than those two lines on that little stick, but I took care in knowing that everything seemed and felt fine.

A week or so after that I noticed that my symptoms had gone away...which made me worried.  I felt like my old self again - no nausea or exhaustion.  On Tuesday, December 20, I had my first prenatal appointment.  All of our tests had come back fine -- I was now 11 weeks pregnant with you, and so excited to close in on our first trimester -- when things would be safe.  The doctor took out the doppler to find your heartbeat and we couldn't find it.  But, she said, sometimes it's too early for the heartbeat.  So she looked for you on the ultrasound monitor.  She saw you and pointed to you, but all I saw was a gray shadow :(

Tonight, December 23, was the scariest of my life.  I had gone grocery shopping with my Mommy, and had lunch with your Daddy and his parents.  I was enjoying baking and getting ready for Christmas, but had indulged in lots of sweet treats, so I was drinking lots of water to make up for it to you.  When I went to the restroom, though, I saw lots of red.  I was bleeding.

I called the Medical Advise number and the nurse I spoke to said to go straight to urgent care.  After 3 hours of tests and exams, we're still not sure what's going on.  I think for sure that I've lost you, little one.  There's so much blood!  We saw our first real ultrasound today, and you are only measuring 7 weeks.  But the doctor says he's not sure what's going on.  I could be having a miscarriage, or I could just be bleeding, and you might be ok.  My body is still pregnant, and you might be small because we miscalculated your arrival.  You're still too small to have a heartbeat, so the awful silence I heard on the ultrasound today might actually be normal.

Sweet Pea, right now I'm so confused.  I've been crying non-stop because I feel, in my heart, that you're gone.  But my brain still hangs on to that glimmer of hope that you might be ok.  I truly hope that you are, but at the same time am asking God for strength for my body to get through this safely...and hoping that at least your soul will get to go to Heaven and be with God.  Sweet Pea, if you are still ok, please hang on VERY tightly tonight.  And if you're not ok, then be with God and I'll join you one day and give you the hug I always wanted to.