Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da...

Warning: This post is not happy or funny or light-hearted. And I apologize in advance. But, as I have said many of times before, this blog is my therapy. I am warped in a way that for me it is good to pour my heart out on the internet for all the world to read. That is how I roll. I also am about to talk about something that is considered taboo. A subject that is only whispered about in certain company and is usually not mentioned in a crowd. I don’t think it should be that way. This is something that happens more than anyone cares to notice. This is something that happens to every 1 in 4 women. This post is about losing a baby. A baby that has not yet been met, but is still loved in so many ways that it just makes it unbearable. This has happened to me. My husband and I were blessed with a pregnancy that is now just a memory. This is my journey through it. This is going to help me cope and I hope that in some way it touches someone that reads it. I hope that it helps others who have been fortunate enough not to fall in this category to understand more and not be afraid of it. This was my second baby, and here is my story.

For all of you that know, Louisa turned our lives upside down in a matter of minutes. She was the most difficult baby that I have ever seen. She cried non-stop, she didn’t eat, she didn’t grow, she didn’t sleep, she didn’t sit still. Byron and I were shell-shocked and I decided that I didn’t think I could have more children. She rocked my world. But we got through it all, and Byron and I finally decided that we might both be ready to venture on the journey again. We were finally ready to try for another little one. It took a lot to get to that joint decision, but we were there. Kickback number one…I didn’t get pregnant the first month. I did with Louisa, and so I was devastated. Granted it was only a half-month since Mallard (my chocolate lab) ate the rest of my birth control (for those of you that don’t know Mallard, he has a serious case of PICA and loves to eat anything including glass Pyrex pie dishes and shoes, just to name a few) and we didn’t really count that month, but whatever. Then, the months kept passing and I wasn’t pregnant. I by NO means took forever to get pregnant, I know of tons of people out there that struggle for years, so my 4 months looks petty in comparison, but I also happen to be one of the most impatient people on earth. But, we got there. The positive pregnancy test, the happiest and most wonderful sight in the world. And we were so excited. It was hard not to crawl up on the roof and shout it out. And here is how it all unfolded.

5 weeks (yes, I said 5 weeks) was my first visit. Most doctors have you wait until 8 weeks, but mine said to come on. So I had my first sonogram that didn’t show much other than thickened endometrium and a small gestational sac. But, we were on track. Things looked great so far; doctor wanted me to come back in 2 weeks for another sonogram and visit.

7 weeks another visit. However, this time by sonogram I only measured 6 weeks, but everything else looked perfect. I saw my sweet baby with a heartbeat just a fluttering and floating in its sac just as happy as can be. There was my second child. The doctor said that depending on cycle lengths sometimes the dates varied. We couldn’t get an audible heartbeat this time, since it was so early still, so they asked that I come back in a week for another sonogram. We had Louisa with us at this visit since we had just told her the big news that she was going to be a big sister. She was over the moon. We let her be the one to tell friends and family. She was so excited.

The following week….went to the sonogram and within seconds and the look on the sonogrammer’s face, I knew. Something was wrong. The baby hadn’t grown twice the size it was supposed to. The heart was beating maybe 10 times a minute. Things were not happy like they were last week. She asked if I still had pregnancy symptoms and while swallowing back down the bile that was quickly rising in my throat, I told her I was. She asked that I come back later that day (are you counting yet…that would be sonogram numero quatro) when the doctor was there so she could look. Wow. There I was by myself at the doctor’s office being told that we needed to come back later to let the doctor look. Unfortunate for me, I wasn’t born yesterday and I had seen sonograms in nursing school and did know enough to be dangerous. I knew. I knew right then and there. But I didn’t accept it. We came back later that day, thankfully with Byron by my side to see the baby again, but this time I saw no baby heartbeat. It wasn’t painfully slow like it was in the morning…it wasn’t there at all. But, we were told that it was probably all just positional and that once a sonogram was done and the baby’s heartbeat was seen like it was the week before there was less than a 5% chance of miscarriage. Well, haven’t I told you our luck before? So, we were told to go home, be positive and come back on Thursday. I tried. I tried really hard to be positive, but I knew. Sadly, I knew.

That was March 29th. March 30th is Louisa’s birthday. So, just 3 years and 1 day apart…there were two days in my life that my world was torn upside down. I mean, what do you do at this point? How do you wait 3 days to see what another sonogram tells you even though you already know what it is? How do you put on a happy face for the sweet little toddler who is having her birthday week and has no clue what is going down? This is when this post is going to start going all over the place since there are so many thoughts in my head and no organized way to put them out there.

Do you know how it feels to know that you just saw your baby dying and there isn’t a thing in the world that you can do. Sadly, I do now. It takes your breath away and not in a good way. I saw the heart, the sonogrammer saw the heart. But not that afternoon. I watched my child suffer and couldn’t do anything but watch. It is one of the most gut-wrenching feelings as a mother. It made my heart and my lungs hurt. I saw those last few minutes of life, and don’t know if that was something that I wanted to see or not. Most pregnant people would not have seen it since they would have yet to have a sonogram, but that image is imprinted on the back of my eyelids. It is what I see when I close my eyes at night. I can’t stand to look at a sonogram right now (have you ever noticed how many commercials show them?) without having thoughts of panic.

Fast forward to April 1st, April Fools Day. A day when so many people “fooled” that they were pregnant when in actuality it was just in jest. But not for me. I really wasn’t, and it was confirmed for sure on a sonogram. If you are still counting, that was sonogram number 5. And I wasn’t done. I had to have another one for the doctor to confirm. I felt so violated at this point that I was furious. Maybe it is one of the stages of grief. Who knows. I just knew at that point I was just ready to go home. I didn't want to see anyone anymore. I just wanted to go home and just be in the privacy of my house. I think maybe for security.

Anyways, we decided to let things happen on their own. Let this baby pass by itself. I thought with our luck, certainly it would happen on Saturday afternoon right in the middle of Louisa’s birthday party. But, it didn’t. It still hasn’t. So, here I am in limbo with all the hormones of pregnancy, with no baby. Well, technically there is a baby still in there, but not really. It is very hard to feel like you are pregnant when you aren’t. Actually, it just sucks. I have read numerous forums online (thank goodness for the internet right now) of women speaking of their experiences with their losses and their miscarriages. I still would love for everything to just happen on its own. But, it hasn’t started. Not even close. So, I am on the books for surgery bright and early Thursday morning. I don’t really know if I want to have surgery, but I do know that I cannot play the waiting game any longer. I am emotionally crushed. I am emotionally unstable. I never know when I am going to break down or not. With each and every twinge in my abdomen I think, “Is this it? Is it starting?” But nothing….still nothing. It is starting to rule me, and I don't think that is a good thing. I think that closure might be easier with it happening naturally, but I don't know how much longer I can wait it out. I know the right thing will happen and I have faith in that, but I also feel as though I need to have control over the situation and know when and where. It is an emotional roller coaster. It is one of the hardest things I have ever been through. Sometimes I just want to cry and scream and throw fits because it isn't fair. Sometimes I remind myself that there are so many other blessings in my life that I need to refocus on. Sometimes I just don't understand. But, all of the time I am sad. Sometimes I am able to go into my sewing room, dive into my thousands of orders and just forget about it for a minute or two and then think, "Who in the world am I kidding? I cannot out-run this. It is still here, I still need to deal with it." But, how? How does this work? Where do I draw the line of me just having a pity party for myself? When do I realize it is going to be okay and I just need to move on? Do I just wake up one day and it is all better? And then the panic sets in, what if this happens again? Will I be able to make it through? My mind is so occupied. Selfishly I want to have it gone from my mind. But I know that will never happen. I do hope that Thursday when I wake from my anesthesia fog that I will be able to have some sort of closure. Maybe with the pregnancy hormones gone it will be easier. Maybe the emotional aspect of it will finally match up with the physical part and things will just be at peace. Who knows. What I do know is that I am going to Savannah in a two weekends. I am staying for a week. I am so looking forward to a break. Some time away. Away from Jackson, away from the sewing machines and most importantly...some time with my toes in the sand and a Miller in my hand. One of my most favorite ways to have peace. I have no doubt in my mind that the salt water and salty breeze of Tybee combined with some alone time on the beach will give me peace. It always has. I am thankful for that. I just hope that all is okay and I can make it until then. And hopefully all will be okay, at least until November 15th, the baby's due date. That day will be hard. As will the following March in which I am sure Louisa's birthday and Easter will always carry the memory of a very, very bittersweet time.

So, these are my feelings. Out there in the open for all to read. It has been a very, very hard week and I honestly know I couldn’t have made it without the most amazing support system in the world. I have the most amazing friends here in Jackson and I am so lucky to have them there for me. I also have some great friends that have been through this that are so sweet to open up that wound and talk to me again about their experiences. I know that it must be tough, and I hate that we have to share this thing in common, but so thankful they are here and open with me. It has been a ride. And I only hope for it to stop soon. I need to move on. I need to get out of limbo. I need to close this chapter and move to another one. I need closure.

So, thank you for reading and listening. I certainly hope my next post is filled with smiling faces and laughter and crazy Louisa stories. But, this is my journey through life and as I said before, sometimes those not-so-fun times need to be remembered too. And it is strange, to have a time in your life in which your world just all of a sudden just kinda stops…but the rest of the world keeps spinning, keeps going on. It is hard to understand. It makes it easier when I am emotionally stable, but those other unfortunate times it only makes it harder. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Life goes on, Bra….Lalalala life goes on.

Until next time…

15 comments:

Ryan, Jenny, Crew and Carrington said...

I'm glad we were able to 'chat' yesterday...even though I'm not sure I made you feel better in any way. I literally understand your pain and can feel your emotions so easily. Praying for healing for you and your spirit. I think some time away is just what you need. Let me know if I can do anything, because I'd love to...

Penny Ginn said...

I'm so sorry, Amy & Byron. My normal tears of laughter when reading your blog are replaced with tears of sorrow. I pray for God's healing for you both.

Misty said...

I'm so sorry Amy. If you need to talk to someone, please e-mail or call. I know all too well what you're going through. With my second miscarriage, the same thing happened to me. It was the second time in three months that I found out that I had been pregnant but was no longer-- at seven weeks. With my first miscarriage, the baby passed with no problem, but the second time, it didn't. However, my doctor said to give it two weeks, I think. It just 'reabsorbed" according to them. Nothing ever passed, but I was no longer pregnant and everything was clear on sonogram. All I can tell you is that you need to feel what you feel and don't question yourself. It doesn't matter that he/she was only seven weeks old;he/she was your baby already. I understand completely. I promise that it WILL get better. You never forget, but the intense hurt does fade. You are in my prayers, and I am so sorry that you and Byron are having to go through this.

Misty said...

Amy, I am so sorry. I, of all people, know all too well what you're going through, unfortunately. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I had almost the exact same experience as you with my second miscarriage. I wasn't as brave as you are to share it with people. But, please know that while you will never forget your little one, the hurt does fade. Call or e-mail if you want to talk. I don't think there is anything worse than losing your child, no matter how old they are.

Misty said...

Sorry Amy. I thought my first post didn't go through because I'm retarded and didn't read where it says you have to o.k. it before it will be posted. So, you got two, I think!

Jessica said...

Thinking of you and praying for your healing and praying for you to have peace and closure. I'm so sorry for your loss. Hope your surgery goes well tomorrow and you heal quickly.

lmckenzie said...

Amy,

I am so sorry! I will be thinking and praying for you and Byron. I went through the same thing two years ago. It broke my heart and took me a very long time to heal. It was wild that Ashlyn was born the same week 2 years later that we found out we had miscarried. The Lord works in mysterious ways. My advice would be to just keep trying. I am not going to go through all the cliches everyone says, but just know, when it does happen it will be right, and the baby will be just as beautiful as Louisa.

Take Care,

Laura

Keri Sullivan Ninness said...

crying with you Amy. I know the peace that tybee and home bring and pray that it wraps you up. Seeing the waves ebb and flow with the breeze on your face will be so cathartic. And having LK spoiled by grandparents while you spend time alone will be so healing. I know it. love you much. praying much.

Keri Sullivan Ninness said...

Crying with you Amy. But I'm glad you get some time away. Tybee and home are so cathartic- for all of us. And Lula will be spoiled by grandparents while you and your heart have some time. much love and many prayers.

Megan said...

Amy,

I just wanted to let you know my thoughts are with you, Byron, and Louisa. While I have not experienced a miscarriage as a Mother my heart clenches tight when I think about losing a child. No mother should have to experience that. Life just sucks sometimes! Many prayers sent your way today and for days to come!

The Ainsworth Family said...

please know that i will be thinking of you and your family tomorrow and through all this. please, please let me know if you need anything. dinner, sitter anything... you let me know.

Nora said...

Amy I am soooo sorry that you had to experience this pain! I know how you feel as I miscarried my 1st pregnancy at 8 weeks almost 6 years ago (april 10, 2003), I cried so much I didn't think I could do it anymore.Please call me if you need to I really hate that I won't be able to meet up with you in a couple of weeks! My prayers are with you all!!!!

Russ, Anna, Pepper and Vesper said...

thinking of you

Callie said...

It's thursday, and I can't imagine the day you have had today, but I am thinking about and praying for you, Byron, and your precious baby. Xoxo, Callie

lnichols said...

I have been on vacation with no internet access. I just read. Scuba- I am so sad. Keep your head up and I know in time it will get easier. Love you!