Thursday, July 19, 2012

six.twenty-two.twenty-twelve.

A day I will never forget
(I have to warn you, this is really long. But this is written for me.)

Let's start back in April. 
We decided that it was time. 
We were ready to add to our family. 
Ellie was almost 16 months and I was finally getting over the PTSD I had from when she was a newborn. Mike told me he wanted a baby for his birthday (Feb. 26) which mean we had to get down to business. So I tossed out those little colored pills and we threw caution to the wind. I spent the whole month wondering if this was the month. One day I was sure I was pregnant, the next day I was convinced this wasn't our month. 
I took my first test on Tuesday, May 22. 
Negative
I thought maybe it was too early to tell so I put the rest of the tests in a drawer and promised myself I wouldn't test again until Thursday morning. 
I took my second test on May 24. Mike asked me what it said and I told him negative.
 Not a second after he closed the door to leave for work did that faint second line appear.
Positive?!
I took another test that afternoon and sure enough-positive.
This was it. I!was!pregnant!

I went back and forth in my mind on how I was going to tell Mike and when he called to tell me he was on his way home I knew how I was going to do it. 
When he came upstairs I told him I had a surprise for him...it was in the oven. 
He took out a package of hamburger buns and said "You made me hamburgers!!" I smirked and said "Nooo..." He said "Oh I know,  you found the manwich BBQ sauce!!" I laughed and said "Nope..." He looked at me confused and I said "Well you'll just have to figure it out cause I'm not going to tell you!" and that's when I knew he got it. His face lit up and he said "No, are you serious!!" I told him yes and he hugged me and we both laughed. That night we laid in bed talking about all our hopes and dreams for the new baby. Which room would be the baby's, how we wanted to paint, names we liked, what we were going to need etc. I could tell he was so excited. And so was I.
Ellie was a surprise. We weren't planning on trying for another few months when I found out I was pregnant.  Now don't get me wrong. We wanted her. We were so excited and happy to have her. But this was totally new to us. It was a completely different feeling. Knowing you were trying and hoping to see that second line. According to my handy dandy What to expect App I was due February 2, 2013. Our fifth wedding anniversary! What an amazing anniversary present!!
I went to the Dr's to confirm through a blood test and got the "Yep, you're pregnant." phone call. He told me he wanted me to have an ultrasound in 2 weeks. I would be 6 weeks 4 days, which was almost exactly how far along I was when we heard Ellie's heartbeat. We told immediate family so that we would have constant prayers over the next 9 months. I told one of my brothers the same way I told Mike and my SIL got it on camera. My sister told my brother that I made dessert for him, so I'm sure he was confused when he opened the oven door. 

video

 Tuesday
6.12.12
The weeks passed and Mike and I went in for the ultrasound. I was a little nervous, but trusted that every thing was in God's hands. The tech called  me back and when I was ready she turned on the screen. I couldn't see anything so I just went back and forth watching the tech and Mike's face. Then I saw his frown. My heartbeat quickened and I knew something wasn't right. She told me that there was a gestational and yolk sac but no baby. We went into a room to wait for the Dr. As soon as the nurse walked out I burst into tears. Mike sat next to me and just held me as I cried. 
The Dr. came in after what seemed like an eternity and told me the worst news I have ever heard in.my.life. 
"I just don't think this pregnancy is viable."
We were devastated. He told me that the sacs were irregular in shape and that every time he has seen this it has ended in miscarriage. They took my blood again to check my levels and he said he expected them to be low and not rising. He told me he would call me tonight with the results and set up a follow-up ultrasound for the next week. I asked him if we could expect to see anything different on the next ultrasound and he said No. Mike and I were devastated to say the least. 
My brother and SIL were at home watching Ellie and when we opened the door he looked at us and asked us how it went. I just looked at him and shook my head. He immediately got up and hugged me. Mike and I both cried and went to our room to have some time to talk and process things. That night my Dr called and said my levels have went from the original 227 to over 6,000. He told me not to get my hopes up and to still come in for my ultrasound the next week. After searching Dr. Goggle for hours on end I read story after story of women who have had the same diagnosis. Some who went on to have healthy pregnancies, and some that didn't. I tried to slap a smile on my face for the next week. I put on a brave face and stood up in my friends wedding trying to hold myself together. Even though I couldn't grasp the reality of it, I had come to terms with the fact that I was probably going to lose this baby. I prayed that if we were going to lose this pregnancy that it would happen before a baby ever developed because I thought it would be easier if we never actually saw a baby. I begged God for a miracle. He is the healer. He is almighty.

Monday
6.18.22
Mike and I tentatively drove to my Dr's office for our second ultrasound. My heart raced as I waited for them to call us back. When the tech came into the waiting room and called us back I thought I was going to puke. After I was all set she came in and turned on the machine. I lay there praying praying praying with my arm over my eyes. And then I heard it. The whoosh whoosh whoosh...there was a baby and a heartbeat of 126bpm. Our little baby was alive.
PRAISE GOD. PRAISE GOD. PRAISE GOD!!!
She tore off a picture for us to take home with us and we waited to talk to the Dr. 

He told me once again not to get my hopes up and that he wanted me to keep coming in for ultrasounds and he expected in the next few weeks we would come back and there wouldn't be a heartbeat. The whole time the Dr was giving me sad eyes and telling me things still didn't look good I just sat there smiling staring at the picture of my little baby. The little life that had formed inside of me. Ellie's little brother or sister. Our second child. Our baby.
I called and shared the amazing news with my family and asked them to continue flooding Heaven's gates with their prayers. I continued to have hope. I continued to pray for a miracle. Because my Dr was not God. He did not have the final authority. The Dr told me that my levels wouldn't rise. They did. 
He said that a baby wouldn't develop and we wouldn't see anything on our next ultrasound. We did. 
That week I decided that I wanted a second opinion. I wanted to use the midwives at my hospital for this birth so I made an appointment for that Friday. 

Friday
6.22.12
We drove the 25 minutes to the hospital anxious to meet the midwife and see what she had to say. We made small talk while we sat in the exam room waiting for her to come in. Once she came in I was instantly at ease. We had a conversation about what my Dr said, what my last birth was like, and why I wanted to use a midwife. She set my mind at ease and asked me when my due date was. I told her that they never gave me one. My Dr was so pessimistic for a good outcome he never told me. She said that I was due February 1, 2012. (Ellie was born 3 weeks early so I figured I would have a January baby.) She asked us if it was ok if she fit us in for an ultrasound this afternoon and of course we agreed. As I laid there on the table waiting for the tech I didn't know what to expect. But I was prepared either way. She turned on the machine and took picture after picture. I just laid there praying as I listened to the sound of her nails hitting the keys. And then it was time. I already knew. She turned on the audio and there it was...
nothing
A flat line across the screen. 
Sometime between Monday afternoon and Friday afternoon we had lost our baby.
I felt like I was instantly another statistic. I had joined a group, those of whom I felt such grief for, but never wanted to join.
She told us that the midwife would be in to go over everything with us. She came in and asked us if we were sure we heard the heartbeat on Monday. She suggested that maybe we just heard my heartbeat at the appointment. As much as we wished that were true we told her we definitely sure. Not only did we hear it, we saw it flickering on the screen. She said that I could go ahead and have a D&C or we could retest my hcg and make sure my levels were decreasing first. I told her I wanted to be 100% sure beyond a shadow of a doubt before we made any decisions.
They re-drew my blood after my appointment and we went home. Later that afternoon she told me my levels  were above 8,000. I had an appointment for the following Monday to re-draw my blood and talk about my options.
I was taking the news better than I ever expected I would. I had always wondered what I would do if I ever had a miscarriage. Would I cry? Would I be ok? How would I react? It wasn't until later that afternoon that it hit me. I went into our room and just laid on our bed sobbing. 
Hysterical. 
My baby was gone. Why is this happening? Why me? All the hopes and dreams that we had just talked about 4 weeks ago for this little one were just gone. I lost the baby. There is no more heartbeat. Mike lost his son or daughter. Ellie just lost her little brother or sister. There will be no baby come February. 
Our anniversary. How will I ever get through our anniversary knowing that I am supposed to be giving birth to a healthy little baby that weekend?

Monday
6.25.12
I drove myself to the hospital to have my final ultrasound that afternoon. We already knew what was going to happen so there was no need for Mike to take more time off work to come with me. They drew blood again. And then I met with the midwife who sent me over for one last ultrasound. There was a door in the room that connected to the bathroom. A girl in a purple shirt walked into the restroom and I saw her as she closed the door. When the tech came back in I stared at the ceiling while she took 100 more pictures-click, tap, tap, tap...and once again the thin straight line across the screen indicating there was no heartbeat. She asked me if I wanted her to explain what was going on and I said yes. She showed me the gestational sac, yolk sac, and the baby and explained that there was no heartbeat. She said that the yolk sac was larger than normal and told me she was so sorry. She asked me if I wanted a picture of the baby. She said I know it might sound weird, but it can help with closure. I told her that would actually mean a lot to me. So she printed me a picture and once again told me she was sorry.
My last picture of our baby
She sent me to the waiting room to wait to talk over my options with the midwife. It was just going to be "a few minutes". Which turned into well over an hour. There were no good magazines in the lobby, my cell phone was about to die so I just watched one pregnant girl after another happily walk in for their pre-natal appointment.
While I was sitting in the waiting room I saw the girl in the purple shirt walk out of the office. She was with her mom and holding hands with her boy friend. She couldn't have been over 17. Max. And in her other hand was a strip of ultrasound pictures. I caught a glimpse of the sonogram and saw a perfectly formed baby. She wasn't showing but I would assume she was around 12 weeks.
You've got to be shitting me.
She gets a baby? Really?
It took everything inside of me to keep myself together. Thankfully a nurse finally called me back to wait in an exam room instead. Maybe they finally realized having me sit out there was a horrible idea. While I was once again waiting a nurse called me on my cell phone to ask me if I was going to be coming in for my appointment. I thought I was going to jump through my phone and strangle her. I said I am at my appointment. I am waiting in a room to see the midwife. I have been waiting to see her. "Oh," she said "I guess I'll come down there then."
She walks in and tells me I am scheduled for 10:00 a.m. the next morning and grabs the door handle to leave the room. "For what??" I ask her. She tells me for my D&C. I almost yell "I don't even know if I'm doing that yet. The whole reason I'm sitting here waiting is to have someone explain everything to me and answer my questions." "Oh," she says once again. "I guess I'll send someone in." You guess. YOU GUESS? A few minutes later another nurse comes in and asks what type of questions I have and if someone can answer then over the phone. I told her I guess so and leave my cell number and head home.
I was so mad. So annoyed. So frustrated. So PISSED. No one, except the ultrasound tech, showed me any sympathy. I ended up scheduling an appointment with a different Dr the next day to talk over my concerns.

I know that miscarriages are common. I know what the statistics are. I know that I am lucky to have Ellie. I know that we will probably be able to go on and have another healthy child. I know we can try again. I know we can have another baby. But that doesn't mean that this hurts any less. I wanted this baby. And I know when people say these things they are just trying to help, or make me feel better. But it doesn't make me want to punch them any less.

Some days I'm ok. Some days I'm not. 
The first week I couldn't sleep. I would stay awake pouring over the miscarriage, stillborn, and infant loss board on baby center, getting comfort and words of encouragement from strangers. I would cry at night when I went to bed. Mike would lie next to me and hold me while I sobbed.
Now it comes in waves. All of the sudden out of the blue it will hit me and I'm crying. Seeing another pregnant woman, seeing yet another pregnancy announcement from someone who is due in January or February, the baby section at Meijer when I'm grocery shopping, little newborn clothes, the mention of our anniversary...etc. And don't get me wrong I am so happy for everyone who is due around then, but it's still a painful reminder of what I'm supposed to be preparing for. Instead I'm sitting here grieving everything that was to come. The sleepless nights, the joys and pains of nursing, giving birth, having a snuggly newborn, the teeny tiny onesies...

I'm supposed to be 12 weeks today. We were going to announce the pregnancy to the rest of our family next week. We had it all planned out. We took these pictures before we ever knew anything was wrong. I was going to give this to our Fathers on Father's Day. I ordered Mike a Fathers Day card that I made online and signed it from myself, Ellie, and the new baby.
We had already had bad news by the time it arrived.
It's amazing how things can change in just a month.
I'm supposed to be "in the clear" and instead I'm here recovering from the loss of our baby. I don't even know how I'm supposed to feel. I feel like I'm not sad enough I feel like I'm too sad. Should I still be a sobbing mess? Shouldn't I be over it by now?I feel like I'm doing it wrong. I don't know how I would have ever gotten through this without my amazing friends and family. One of my friends lives in Nevada and less than 2 hours after I told her we lost the baby there was a knock at my door with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a sweet note. I was blown away. 

I am reminded of  how blessed I am to have Ellie. We aren't promised anything in this life and God gave us her. I think all of this would be 1000 times harder if this was our first baby. Or if I was farther along. It helps that Ellie keeps me busy and has been a little more snuggly the past month. I know one day I will be able to talk about everything without crying, but that doesn't mean I will ever forget our sweet baby who blessed us with their presence for 8 weeks. 
God is good, all the time. 
All the time, God is good. 


4 comments:

April said...

Wow, I am so, so very sorry for your loss!!

Megan said...

Oh, Michelle. I am so so sorry for the loss of y'alls sweet baby. I can't imagine how difficult those weeks of waiting were and I hate that you had nurses who were so uncaring during that horrible time. I am just sitting here bawling my eyes out for y'all. I definitely know this pain and believe me, it has been 5 months for us now and it doesn't go away. Please please email me if you need to talk/chat/vent/cry anything! It's so important to support each other through this. Y'all are in my prayers and I hope that you can find some comfort in knowing that your sweet baby is with the Lord right now.

the workaholic momma said...

I am so so sorry for your loss and cannot even begin to imagine your pain. Sending up prayers and sending over hugs:(

Kelly said...

I am so sorry to read this... I really feel your pain. We went through something semi-similar this January. Unfortunately my husband was out of town with my mother in law having breast cancer surgery when I found out, I had to tell him over the phone. Talk about heartbreaking! Then I had friend after friend announce their pregnancies - it was so hard to hold myself together. I am thrilled for them, but it just broke my heart to not have my pregnancy with them! I completely understand the frustration and the confusion you feel over your emotions - I felt silly for being so upset (I was dumb). It it such a terrible experience and your roller coaster ride sounds like that much more of a struggle. A beautiful woman sent me this message when I blogged about my experience, so I thought I would share it with you in hopes that it brings you some comfort... "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."