Friday, March 23, 2012

A week ago today...

I was preparing myself for surgery, but nothing could really prepare me for the way it would make me feel.
I fear it's the first of many painful milestones to mark in our future.
I wasn't going to write about what happened last week, but I'm a writer... and it just seems like the natural thing to do. Maybe someone experiencing what I did will come across this blog and it will help them just like so many personal accounts helped me.

Because I'm not only a writer, and always have been, but I'm also a reader. When I started spotting a couple weeks ago I read everything I could get my hands on about spotting during pregnancy~ medical books, pregnancy books, blogs, forums, any and everything.... it didn't really help, of course... but I still do it, every time anything goes wrong. I start looking for answers.

The answer I found out last Thursday is the most deeply painful, devastating and disappointing thing I've ever faced. I had been spotting for about a week on and off (nothing too scary and the doctors were not concerned at all) when I started more than spotting Thursday morning. Bright red, scary, immediately start crying blood. I knew something was wrong. I called my Mom, my husband and the Dr. and went in for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound confirmed my worst fear... our baby's heartbeat was gone.
All I could see was the outline of our 11 week old baby (which totally looks like a real baby~ no more seahorse alien) inside my belly with no little heartbeat. It is the hardest and saddest image that I've ever had to take in and accept. Even though I knew something was wrong, I never imagined that the baby would have died.  

To be a mother and know that there's nothing you can do to help, to nurture your baby is so painful, but it gets worse.... the baby is still inside you. They say you 'lost' the baby, but it's not lost at all. It's still inside you. Right there... you didn't lose it or miscarry it... it's not gone. That may have been easier...

I guess in naivete I never thought about what would happen in that circumstance. I always thought 'miscarriages' were when you just had a period... and the baby was gone and usually very early in pregnancy. I always thought it was sad but it was natures way of getting rid of an imperfect embryo. I never imagined it would happen to me at 11 weeks. My baby wasn't an embryo anymore, it was a little fetus with a brain and heartbeat, arms and legs, a perfect tiny baby~ the size of a prune. We had already told the world, picked out names, bought things... I was so attached to this baby already in so many ways. When you find out your pregnant, you change instantly, feel differently.... not just physically, but mentally, you eat better, exercise more, cuss less, sing spontaneously, dream, count your blessings, connect with nature... all those wonderful emotions that new life and pregnancy brings.

I could not have been more excited or surprised to learn that I was pregnant. I've always, always wanted a big family and more children, but my husband didn't. I was content and happy with our life and our family and really felt that planning for a baby would've been foolish at this point, but becoming pregnant and dreaming of life with a newborn and toddler again was the sweetest and best surprise of my life. While planning for a baby was out of the question, getting one without trying seemed like a little message from God. He knew I wanted more kids, knew my husband was a great father, wanted my kids to have more siblings, for our family to grow and I could not have been more overjoyed. I could not wait for the opportunity to mother a newborn again, to nurse, sing lullabies, snuggle a sweet, fat, warm baby with tiny toes and tiny hands. I would see babies and toddlers everywhere and think "I can't believe we're gonna have a baby again". It was wonderful.....

To have that taken away from me is the deepest and most painful hurt. Saying good-bye to that dream again.
Explaining to my kids that our baby is in heaven, that it won't come to live with us. Sharing the news with my friends and family who knew... who know me so well that I couldn't even mask the deepest disappoint of my life. Trying to grieve a loss so great, while still being a good mother and wife. Enduring this would-be pregnancy and birth... watching along as my sister in law and sister go thru their pregnancies (that we were supposed to do together) All of that could not compare to the heartache of going thru the actual miscarriage.

They all say they're sorry and send you home with three options: natural miscarriage (where you wait for the baby to come out on it's own- never knowing how long it could take), natural miscarriage with the help of drugs (they give you medicine to induce labor, so to speak~ but sometimes it doesn't take) or a d&c (surgically removing the baby).

I opted for the first choice, figuring it was 'natural' and the best for my body... but after a day, I just couldn't take it. I couldn't endure the wait, never knowing when it would come. I was scared for the kids to see me that way... apparently there is a lot of blood and pain and the worst of the worst... I just could not imagine flushing my baby down the toilet. That was something that I just could never do.

So Friday morning, I called the doctor and asked for the d&c. My body had already started the miscarriage, but I just didn't care. I couldn't stand the thought of doing it at home. I had questions about what would happen in the hospital, too, but at least I would be asleep... for a little while. I cried for hours and hours. I could not stop- even going into the operating room and woke up in the same state. Thank God for my husband and the sweet nurses and the minister that came and did a little blessing for the baby. It seemed so horrible not to do anything.

I wanted to know so badly if my baby was a boy or a girl. If he was a boy, we were going to name him MacArthur James (after my Uncle and Grandaddy) if she was a little girl, she was going to be Mary Alice (after my Aunt and my brother) or Millie Josephine (after my Granny, my husbands grandmother, and my brother). I had a feeling the baby was a girl and I found myself singing "It's a jolly holiday with Mary' to her all the time, but we'll never know.

It's so strange... to be pregnant and planning and dreaming and hoping and full of joy to being the complete opposite. I've never had a pregnancy that didn't end in the joyous birth of a sweet, tender, perfect baby and it's just awful. My heart goes out to all the women who've had to endure this pain and I know there's many, many women and families that go thru this. It's such a personal, aganizing pain that many women go thru it alone. I could never do that. I shared my grief with my friends, my family, with you... my inbox was flooded with stories from friends who went thru it and never said a thing. I'm not that strong. I rely on my friendships for comfort and support... and I have certainly gotten that and more. The bond with my husband is the strongest it's ever been....

...and while I know that this experience will make me a more compassionate and grateful person,  I still wish it never happened. I still wish I was pregnant, I still wish I was going to meet my baby, I still wish I never had to see that image of our baby in my tummy, so sad and still, with no heartbeat, I still wish I was naive about the medical part of miscarriages. I still wish I didn't have to read "We were gonna have a baby, but we had an angel instead" to my kids (which is actually a very good book in this situation). I still wish...

so I hope that you'll continue to pray for me. It does bring me comfort to know that so many people care. Just like it brings me comfort to imagine my Granny and Aunts and mother in law welcoming my baby into heaven... I sure hope that's true and that they're holding my baby in their arms.

The milestones start today... one week ago, our angel left us and went to heaven.
My uncle says that it's a really special thing to be called to heaven that young... so I'm gonna try to focus on that.




12 comments:

BBT said...

Thank you for sharing your pain with us. I personally have not experienced losing a child but know many women who have. Your uncle is right, only the "perfect" souls don't need to go through mortality. The rest of us need to perfect ourselves here so that we are worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again. Your little one is definitely being welcomed into heaven by those loved ones who have gone before. They are rejoicing and looking down on you and your family waiting for the day that you are all reunited. Keep your chin up and and continue to love those you have here. They need you as much as you need them. The Lord will in time heal your heart. Thank you for your blog an the inspiration it is for me. My family and I will continue to pray for you and your family.

m&em said...

I have not experienced what you have, but have been at the side of a friend who had. Hugs and prayers to you and your husband and children.

lmb09 said...

Thank you for sharing the details of your painful journey. I have been thinking of you all week. Your blog has provided many cheerful moments for me and,I'm sure,for many others like me who don't really know you but care very much about you. I hope time will bring healing for you and that there will be many joyous times ahead for you. You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

BConky said...

Love Ya

Florencia said...

I've been thinking of you and your family all week and praying for you.

Chelsi said...

Wow, this was s well written. Thank you for sharing this Nicole. You have not been far from my thoughts since I heard the sad news. Please know that I continue to pray for you and your family.

Simple Simon & Co said...

Still in my prayers.
liZ

angie.a said...

I'm still thinking of you and your family Nicole. Thank you for writing your painful but really beautifully written story. I'm sure your thoughts will help someone who is looking for answers and support.

Goosegirl said...

I am so sorry. I am so sad for you and your family. It is an awful pain. And yes, the milestones are hard. I have had 6 miscarriages and know that my little ones are waiting for us in heaven. I pray that God blesses you with peace and love and encouragement.

Amy said...

So sorry to read this. I just got onto your site to show my husband the cute stuff you make and came across this post. Praying for you. Unfortunately we just went through the same thing. Our baby's heartbeat was gone on January 3rd at 10 weeks. Never easy.

JennyLyn said...

One can never say the right thing, but Love and comfort for your family as you continue to feel heartache. You wrote a lovely sentiment to what you went through. I am one who was like you, never really knew what it would be like. {{{HUGS}}}

JennyLyn said...

That sounds misleading. I still don't know but your writing made me cry and feel great sympathy for all those that go through the experience. Sending Love and keeping you in my prayers.