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Saying goodbye

July 26, 2009 5 comments

On Saturday morning, I received a phone call from Dr. Henry. Let me emphasize that it was HIM that called, not a nurse… I love having him as a doctor! He wanted to check in on me and to tell me the results of the chromosome screening. They found that it was an abnormal pregnancy. Something in the splitting of all the chromosomes didn’t go as it should. He said it is a very common cause of miscarriage. This was a relief in the sense that we now don’t have to move forward with surgery and we can feel confident that our next roll of the dice will go better. He is keeping me on estrogen supplements for a week and then will have me on birth control for a few weeks. After that, everything should be back to normal, at least physically.

Emotionally is another story. We also found out that it was a girl. I wasn’t surprised… somehow I already knew. I have said for a while that I would be the mother of boys, yet from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew it was a girl. Aaron and I talked and as soon as I knew the sex, I felt a need to give our baby a name. So, we thought it over and we have named our baby Sidney. Before we were even pregnant I had brought that up as a possible girl’s name. I like it and it is the name of Aaron’s paternal grandfather that passed away last year. So, it seemed fitting that our little angel share the name of her great-grandfather who she is in heaven with.

Healing from this so far has been an interesting ride. It is so different from the last time. That was our first pregnancy and the normal feelings of loss were compounded with a fear of never being able to have kids. I wasn’t able to be around women that were pregnant or young babies. It was all too overwhelming. So it is a blessing this time around that I don’t have to deal with those fears. I don’t have to overcome jealousy and fear. However, that time we never saw an actual baby, it was more the loss of the concept. When we had the ultrasound that time they couldn’t find anything, so the baby never really “took”. That didn’t “lessen” the pain, but it was different than this time. Sidney was as real to me as M was when we first laid eyes on him. Seeing the shape of a baby and her heartbeat solidified her place in our lives. At that moment we became a family of four. So this time I face a true mourning of that loss. It is more concrete. It is more tangible. In is no harder or easier, just different. We are taking it a day at a time and trying to find our way. It is good to have M to keep us moving and laughing. And there is the need to be there for him that keeps us moving forward. But I do find myself totally overcome with emotions, usually out of the blue. I will simply just be moved to tears at a given moment. I try to just let it come when I feel the need.

I pray that the healing continues and that Sidney is in heaven and knows that, although we never met her, we loved her all the same. She was a blessing to us, truly a gift from God.

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Tomorrow starts a new day

July 13, 2009 2 comments

 

Monday, July 6, was one of the best days of my life. And Friday, July 10, was one of the worst. Monday I got to see the heartbeat of our little surprise. I was comforted to see the baby, heart racing, snuggled safely in my tummy. It was perfect. Everything was perfect. Our little peanut was already almost 8 weeks along. Our chances of bringing that baby home in 7 months was over 95%! We started imagining our life as a family of 4. Things seemed to be more complete, more right. However, the rest of that week was a roller coaster of fear and hope. From one crazy episode of bleeding to another, but all without the tell-tale pain. Still having a good feeling about this one, we chose to have an ultrasound done on Friday to ease our fears before the big wedding weekend. I was so nervous before the ultrasound that I nearly had a panic attack. I could feel my heart in my throat. The nurse began the ultrasound and I explained how we hadn’t told M about the baby but were planning to as soon as we saw the heartbeat again since he was with us. My first indication that something was wrong was when I caught a glimpse of a measurement and it measured 7w3d. I knew we measured 7w5d 4 days earlier. I tried to not worry about that since it is all based on the screener’s mouse clicks and we had a different nurse this time. But I did notice that I wasn’t picking up that little beating speck like last time. Still, nothing seemed too alarming. But before I know it, half the screen became a series of flattened wavy lines. I hadn’t seen something like that before on an ultrasound and I asked what it was. As I asked and saw her face I knew the answer. I said to her “there is no heartbeat is there”. And that is the moment my life changed. That is the moment I lost my baby. I have miscarried before and it was life altering and terrifying. But there was never a heartbeat, never an image. This time we came home to the pictures we had taken of our baby just 4 days ago hanging on the fridge. Never in my life have I been so high and so low in such a short time.

Tomorrow I will be going in for a D&C… my third. My body really loves to be pregnant. Seriously. It refuses to let go of anything inside of me. I find this to be an interesting metaphor for my personality. So, we faced a difficult decision. Do we allow nature to take its course, knowing that my body will likely refuse to give up on this baby? Or do we take the chance of more scarring and complications? Knowing that this was a healthy pregnancy until the 8 week mark, I know I couldn’t endure this miscarriage. There would be no way to miss the loss of this child. It would be painfully obvious. And then I would likely still have to have the surgery. Instead we will take this opportunity to find some answers. We will have the D&C in the hands of one of the most wonderful doctors I have ever met. Our baby will then be tested to discover if it was an abnormality that caused it to not survive. If it was, we will be comforted to know that we have good prospects of the coin landing the other way next time. But if it was a normal, healthy baby, we will know that the scars of my past D&Cs likely caused this. And we will then be headed for a few months of recovery and another surgery. We will also learn the sex of our baby through all this. I am simultaneously excited and terrified about this prospect. A part of me that needs this baby to be validated as real feels that knowing the sex will make my pain more relevant, more understandable. A part of me that needs to push this pain away just to survive can’t handle knowing if I lost my first little girl or Maddox’s little brother. It will be a gift and a curse to know.

I don’t know how to handle this. I bounce from positive and hopeful to panicky and blurry-eyed. I have been overwhelmed and lifted by the love and support of my family and friends. I have found peace in the stories of my sisters out there that have lost and gone on to have beautiful babies. I have wept for those that have lost too. I feel guilty for wanting more. I question if I should even try. I have a perfect, wonderful little boy and I know so many that are fighting so hard to get that. Should I be fighting for MORE? I feel guilty for not being able to keep safe Aaron’s little joy. I know in my head that I have no control, but there is guilt regardless. I am brought back to the anger at my body, the frustration. The same things that it took 2.5 years of an amazing nursing relationship to heal. And I am angry to be feeling these emotions again! I feel robbed, I feel cheated. From moment one, Aaron and I were calling the baby a girl… did I lose my chance for my little girl? I can’t believe that I am here again. And then I feel guilty for all this self-pity because I know how lucky I really am.
Tomorrow will be a day of mourning. It will be a day of recovery. And I hope it will start the days of healing.

 

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