Tuesday, August 9, 2016

8 Days

One week ago, I had a miscarriage.  Even just writing that sentence makes the reality of the experience so much more real, and somehow helps to solidify it as something in the past.  Knowing that it's been a week, somehow brings me so much relief and comfort.  This past week has been hard (I wrote about the experience in my last post).  There have been a few times during the physical recovery where I have had to remind myself to take it easy and very slow...something that's hard for me.  Emotionally, well, I think I am finally doing OK.  

At the end of the week, my husband and I went to bed, and I just started to cry, all over again.  It had been 5 days and I thought I was past the emotion, but I suppose my fluctuating hormones pushed me over the edge.  Kristoffer was doing his best to comfort me, but in his efforts, his perspective on the situation ...which was completely different from mine, became very apparent and I became even more upset.  I couldn't sleep that night.

The next day, we went to a baby shower for Kris's sister, who had watched our children the night we miscarried.  I wasn't planning on bringing up anything about the experience at her happy baby shower, but she must have know I needed a friend, because she had had the same experience herself less than a year ago.  In talking with Melodie, I felt so validated.  The pain and grief I was feeling...I somehow thought that because it was just a tiny little baby, and because I didn't really know this child...that my grief should have been lessened.  It wasn't.  It felt like a loss.  My little, tiny baby had died, and that's exactly what it felt like.  I kept thinking that I shouldn't be so sad over this little tiny thing that barely had received a body; but I was.  I thought that the grief I felt in losing this baby would somehow feel different than when I lost my dad; it didn't.  It felt like grief.  It felt like sadness.  It felt like I had lost something and I wasn't going to be able to see it again in this life.  I felt a sadness in knowing that all of those things I had hoped and dreamed for for this little one in just 11 weeks of being pregnant, were gone.  I talked to Melodie about all of these things, and she understood; she had felt the same way.  I talked to Melodie about the panic I had felt knowing I had to expel this dead child into the toilet and how horrifically macabre it was; and she understood, she had felt the same way.  I talked to Melodie about having to shift my mentality from being pregnant one day....to not pregnant the next day, and how distant I felt from my current self, like I was trying to catch up because I was still stuck in the past; and she knew.  I was so grateful to her that day and forevermore.  She validated all of my feelings...the feelings I thought I didn't have a right to feel.  She told me that the miscarriage was not my fault and said it was totally OK to be as sad as I needed to be, for as long as I needed to be.  The healing will come.  

I know I will hold this experience very close to me for quite some time.  I need to be close to it, because it's all I have of my little one who is gone, and my mother-heart will forever miss my lost baby.  Even though the memories are shrouded with sadness, I still loved this baby for 11 weeks.  I will heal the wound, and gently touch the scar and think of my lost baby, and remind myself that our baby chose us...our baby chose me to provide it with a body and to be reunited with some day.

The healing will come, day by day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Lost Baby

Yesterday was a terrible day.  I lost the baby.  A baby I hadn't really told but a handful of people about.  I'm recovering today, but I'm forever changed by this tiny baby that never knew me.

At the beginning of June, Kristoffer and I found out we were expecting.  We had planned the pregnancy, though it had happened fairly quickly after we began trying, and we were so excited.  The baby would have been due in February.  I was a little nervous going into this pregnancy for reasons of my own; I have been trying for so long to prepare my body physically for another baby...losing weight mostly, and it just wasn't happening.  Though I had begun to feel better since treating myself for adrenal fatigue since the beginning of the year, the weight was stuck no matter how hard I tried.  I decided I could have faith in God's plan for our family and that bringing a child into the world would be worth any sacrifice for me, even if it meant starting the pregnancy 40 pounds over my ideal weight (though I would have been happy with losing just 20).

The pregnancy began and July brought with it the nausea and also abdominal cramping; something I was familiar with since my third pregnancy.  I would have good days, and I would have bad days curled up on the sofa with a heating pad and my husband.  I felt relatively well if I could remember to take my probiotics.

Our first appointment was yesterday, and I was 11.5 weeks.  I had been having some mild spotting for a few days, and didn't think anything of it...or at least I tried to calm myself into thinking it was nothing.  It wasn't.

My midwife placed the warm jelly on my abdomen and began the ultrasound, and I waited to hear that swishing sound of a tiny little heartbeat.  It never came.  I could see the shape of my baby; a head, a torso, legs...but there was no heartbeat, no movement.  The baby was measuring smaller than the estimated gestational age, and it was confirmed the baby died between 8 and 9 weeks GA.  She confirmed with an internal ultrasound.  The baby had indeed died.

Lying on a cold table with just a thin plastic drape covering my whole body, and hearing my baby was dead, I have never felt more vulnerable in my life.  The wind had been sucked out of me momentarily to the point where I could barely breathe let alone cry.  My sweet midwife was running through the options we had and what our next step was and my head was spinning.  I kind of nodded and muttered a few "uh-huh's"...and then my breath returned, and with it, my tears.  My hands clapped over my nose and mouth and the sobs just started coming.  The midwife excused herself and my husband sat me up and held me as I sobbed.  I cried for a long time.  I cried for the loss of this tiny baby that had barely received the tiniest of bodies and was called home.  I cried with absolute panic over knowing I still had to expel this dead baby from my uterus that was meant to give it life and protect it.  I cried for the women who have done this exact thing before, and now I knew how it felt.

After going home, we both decided there was no way I could continue for days with this baby inside of me.  We needed to start the process instead of waiting for my body to start it by itself.  My husband drive the children to his sister's house and while I waited for him to return, I cried.  I cried to the Lord "I can't do this!!!  I can't do this!!!".  I panicked over the thought of delivering this baby into the toilet and not knowing what I'm supposed to do with it.  I searched for the only pair of underwear I own in preparation for the hemorrhaging, and I could barely catch my breath I was panicking with fear and grief.  I curled up on the floor and our little kitty came and sat beside me, alone in our house.

When my husband returned, he held me again and I wept my final tears of panic and anxiety...and I asked my husband for a priesthood blessing.  Words cannot describe my immense gratitude for having a husband worthy to hold and administer the priesthood.  He layed his hands on my head and offered a blessing from his heart to our Father in Heaven, that I might receive the comfort and peace I needed, and that I would be able to make it through the next few hours and be able to do what I needed to do for my body to heal.  He prayed for me to have wisdom and tenderness from this experience.  He prayed...for me.  

After the blessing, my heart was strengthened.  I was still sad, but I was able to find the strength to insert the pills to begin the process.  Neither Kris nor I knew what to expect.  We read mixed experiences from the internet....some good, some awful, some short, some long, some never worked.  My husband sat with me on a towel lined couch and we ate dinner that a sweet friend had dropped off and watched a movie, and another...and another.  After three movies, I only had some very mild, sporadic cramping, and it seemed it was going to take more time.  As I sat up, it felt as though I was beginning to bleed, so I hurried upstairs while Kristoffer closed up downstairs.  Just moments after sitting down, I could feel it.  It just fell out.  I was paralyzed as I sat there and called for Kristoffer who held me as I sobbed that I couldn't look...I just couldn't look.  He took care of things and the baby was gone.  As sad as I was, I felt like I could breathe.  The hard part was over for me.  I was no longer pregnant, and I could begin to come to some form of closure.  

The night, though full of trips to the bathroom and clothing changes, was beginning to weave healing into my heart.  My husband was with me for all of it, and I could start to move forward. Today I rest, with peace still in my heart.  My sweet little baby had only needed a body and was called home so I can see him again someday.  I am grateful for a healthy, working body that can move forward through this painful process, and hopefully give us a another chance very soon.   I am grateful for an understanding boss at work who immediately takes me off the schedule when I tell her.  I am grateful for the kindest friend who brought me dinner, and another who brought me diet coke (which I desperately needed with a migraine) and ice cream and a giant candy bar.  I am grateful for my sweet friend who called to listen and talk to me and share her own experience.  I am grateful for my sister in law who was willing to watch our three children overnight last night, even though she's only 7 weeks away from her own due date.  I am grateful for the flowers my RS president dropped off.  I am beyond grateful for my eternal companion...my amazing husband.  He dropped everything yesterday to be there for me 110%; he even drove to Wal-Mart at 1130 last night to buy me more underwear (which was not easy, according to him...especially when the checkout boy gave him weird looks).  And I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father.  He has given me a peace and comfort that nothing else can bring.  I have a clear understanding of the Plan of Happiness, and I know I will see this little one again someday, but I am so grateful that he chose to come to our family, even knowing he would never live with us on earth...he still chose us.  

I am sure there are more tears to come.  It has been a hard experience, but I truly feel my Savior's love, what a testimony it is to me of His enduring love for me...though He can't take away this trial, He has eased the load tremendously.  

I have lost a baby for a short while, but I know were he will be waiting, and I know I will see him again.