Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lost

We lost our baby.


My bleeding got significantly worse yesterday, as I had said in previous posts.  I knew when I woke up last night that it was happening.  I have never experienced bleeding like that before.  Not even last time. It was awful.  Words can't even describe the feelings that I went through.  From midnight until about 4 I sat in the living room and stared.  I sat on the toilet and watched the blood stream out. I layed on the bathroom floor, waiting to change my pad again.  I listened to wonderful songs that made attempt to heal a piece of me.  I talked to God.  I got mad at God.  I asked him to hear my prayers, which were to take this baby in his arms and hold him tightly and envelope him in his love.  I talked to my mom and she gave me words of comfort and strength.  Finally, I went into Aiden's room and layed with him.  The second I layed down he curled up next to me and put his head on my shoulder.  It's what I needed to start breathing again.

I knew the baby was gone, but Jeff needed to know for sure, so we went down to the ER this morning.  After a couple hours the ultrasound tech did her thing.  She was completely silent.  Did. not. say. a. word.  About 5 minutes after she left, the doctor that we had been working with while there, came in.  He was sympathetic, comforting, and gentle with his words. He told us that the ultrasound showed no baby, no yolk sac, no gestational sac.  I had passed it all last night. He touched my shoulder and told us how sorry he was.  He asked about Aiden and told us in a confident voice, that Aiden will have siblings.  Someday he will have siblings. 

Jeff and I cried...  The baby had a heartbeat.  He was alive.  And now he's not.  We got mad...  Why is this happening AGAIN? It's not fair.  We were confused...  We JUST saw the baby.  We got sad again.  We prayed for our baby; that little baby on the screen.  We asked God to join him and our second baby and let them feel our love, and to let them know that we would be with them one day.  But in the mean time, to hold them close and love them. 

And through all of this I haven't been able to forget the children who lost their lives yesterday.  The parents who lost their little babies.  The hearts that are shattered and lives that are forever changed.  We never met our babies.  We saw this baby's heart beating, but we never held him in our arms.  We didn't kiss him goodbye yesterday and then find out that it was our last morning doing so.  Our losses have dug a hole in our hearts and we will never forget these babies, but when I look at Aiden I can't help but feel so incredibly blessed.  It doesn't erase the pain, but it does help ease it.  To know that my sweet, precious Aiden is safe in our arms. 

All last night and this morning I kept thinking, "I can't do this a third time.  I don't want to do this again, my heart can't handle it and nor can my body."  But after a day of hearing the words and prayers of our families and friends, I am already feeling enough strength to push those feelings away.  We will have another baby.  We will.  One way or another, we will.  And we will never forget the two babies we have lost.  They have carved a permanent place in our hearts and we will never stop praying for them. 

Please continue to pray for us.  That in our moments of sadness, misery, and anger, that we may find the strength we need to continue being the kind of mommy and daddy that we need to be for our son. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

12:07 A.M.

This is the time I woke up and thought, "I'm losing my baby."

I am bleeding more than I care to say on here.  The cramping is what woke me up.  It's painful.  And I feel empty. 

It is now 12:21 A.M..  I can't go back to sleep and don't know how I will sleep for a long time. Please pray for me that I can make it though the rest of this night and the next day. 

So confused

I am so confused right now. 

I woke up with a new-found hope, and although still skeptical, I was feeling joy and not sadness over what is happening.  I put the picture of the baby on the table beside my bed so it would be the first thing I saw.  And it did make me happy.  Still nervous.. but at least happy TOO.

Later in the morning I started bleeding significantly more than I have been.  It's not "spotting" anymore.  And its scaring the crap out of me. I'm cramping a lot as well and starting to pass blood clots. It's been a week and a half since I started bleeding and now its getting much, much worse.  Again.. so confused.

I called and moved up the ultrasound to next Wednesday.  The woman I talked to on the phone told me if it continues this way or gets worse to call the on-call doctor.  I asked if they would just send me to the ER and she said yes.  Ugh.  I hate the ER.

After I had started bleeding more this morning, and was extremely nervous, sad, angry, confused.. on and on, I happened to open my computer to check my school mail and had an email from Jana, a parent of students I have had in the past, a co-worker, and a friend.  She told me about a similar experience she had with one of her children while pregnant.  I had him in class a few years ago and he has always held a special place in my heart.  And he is a happy, healthy little boy.  She also shared a quote with me that she tells her kids;  I have held onto this one today.  It's from Going on a Bear Hunt, "You can't go over it, you can't go under it, you have to go through it."  So true.  It was what I needed to pick myself up and continue on with my day.  She also was my angel yesterday.  She brought in a gift to my classroom during the morning.  I had no idea what it was but when I opened it, I knew it was God working through her.  It was a beautiful angel chime with a quote that says, "The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning." Ivy Baker Priest.  That quote and that angel and the letter she wrote me was the only reason I made it through my day yesterday. 

God does give us miracles.  And he does give us angels.  I know this because I have witnessed both through my experience earlier this year and now.  I truly believe he will walk with me through whatever lies ahead.  But I also know that I am struggling.  Big time.  The uncertainty is wearing me down like nothing else and even though I am trying to just "leave it in God's hands", I am finding myself extremely on edge and feeling negative, tired, and weary.  I know I need to focus on the heartbeat that we saw yesterday and the baby in the picture...but it's easier said than done at this point. 

Continued prayers are so appreciated.  More than you know.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Believe

If there were ever a time in my life to believe God gives us miracles, now would be it. 

We went into the ultrasound this afternoon expecting the worst.  Expecting to leave heartbroken and empty again.  But we left with this instead...


I am completely and totally shocked.  All of the symptoms I am having, the bleeding, the cramping, the tissue.. it's all just like last time.  Which is why during the ultrasound I had my eyes shut.  When she told me to open them and look at the screen I didn't expect to see this.  She pointed at the little blob that has an arrow pointing to it and said, "This is your baby.  And see how it's blinking?  That's it's little heartbeat."

Jeff and I just looked at each other and started crying. 

She measured the baby at 5 weeks 6 days, which is definitely earlier than what we thought we were at; 6 weeks 5 days.  But she said everything looked good in there.  Amazing.

Of course I had a million questions for doctor Smiley Face, which of course couldn't be answered with 100 percent certainty.  As far as my symptoms go, she said there can be lots of different reasons for them and at this point they are calling it a "threatened abortion" (stupidest name EVER).  There is a heartbeat which is very, very, good, but because of my symptoms its a day to day thing, and just like any pregnancy this early, it can still go either way.  If things get worse I have to call them, otherwise they scheduled another ultrasound for us on December 26th, so hopefully we will get to see this precious baby again then.

I want to be jumping up and down for joy and smiling ear to ear and getting out the pregnancy books again.. but I can't.  Not yet.  I'm still so afraid.  Especially now that we saw the baby and they found a heartbeat.  All the bad scenarios that could happen in the future are still playing in my head.  But.  I am still pregnant right now.  And that baby's heart is beating right now

I told my mom tonight that this baby is purely and simply still there because of the prayers you have said for us, for him or her.  A baby of prayers.  I am so unbelievably blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.  Please continue to pray for that little baby on the screen.  And I will keep believing and hoping.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sinking and Swimming

Sinking: 
Saturday.  I woke up and started passing tissue.  I gave up.  I went and layed in bed and cried.  And cried.  And cried.  I was feeling it again.. that darkness that I could reach out and touch.  I stopped crying long enough to go to the store with my family.  On the way there I told Jeff that maybe we should start thinking about adopting.  Just like that.  I told him I wasn't sure I could go through this a third, fourth, fifth time.  It is tearing me down piece by piece, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  

We had a wedding Saturday night.  I forced myself to go.  After the wedding a woman asked when it was time for us to have another baby.  I walked away.. took Aiden outside so I could catch my breath.  About 5 minutes later a friend of ours announced she is pregnant with their third child.  Due about a week before this baby would be due.  Punched in the gut.  I did all I could do to not yell out "why???" to God. I want to be happy for all of these women that are pregnant but it is SO HARD.  I hate myself for not being able to gush and goo and gaa over their news but I just CAN'T.

We went home for a while before the reception.  I just completely lost it in the car and it continued for some time at home.  It was that kind of sadness that literally hurts inside. 

At the reception two more people made comments about it "being time for us to get Aiden a playmate".  I know they were not trying to hurt me in any way, but let me tell you..it hurt like hell. 

The friend that announced her pregnancy at the wedding approached me at the reception after finding out what was going on with us and said to me, "You need to relax. You look way too tense.  Just relax."  I don't think she meant to hurt me with her words but they stung.  And Im going to be honest.. I almost hit her.  For anyone wondering what NOT to say to someone going through a miscarriage... see above. 

This day was HARD.  I was still bleeding and cramping and starting to pass tissue.  My back hurts sooo bad and my left thigh is painful as well (apparently both symptoms of miscarriage).  I had sunk.  I had almost completely given up. 

But there is always tomorrow.

Swimming:
Sunday.  Church never ceases to help give me strength, if only enough to get through that day.  Even on that day, when babies and baptisms were everywhere, the message Pastor Mike gave was relevant and true, as always.  I can say the same about my mom.  I talked to her that day and told her about my Saturday.  At this point I was feeling pretty numb but held on to one thing she said.  She told me to fight.  Fight to find out what is happening and fight to have another baby.  She told me not to give up.  I needed to hear that... badly. (see Saturday)
 

So I have decided to fight.  I know I am going to have to get through the pain of losing another baby, but then... I will fight. 

Two more things:

1.  Please pray for our new niece.  She is beautiful and as much as it hurt driving to the hospital and walking down the hall, the second I saw her I fell in love. And I am TRULY happy for Leslie and Ryan.

2.  Please, please pray for a good friend of mine who is going through a difficult time in her life right now.   Ask the Lord to give her hope and strength, just like you have prayed for him to do for me. 


Friday, December 7, 2012

Just when..

Last night I was feeling my hope return, if only just a little bit.  This morning before I left for school there was more blood and it was a lot.  Bright red.  The hope that I did feel is gone again and I'm back to being terrified, and feeling like now all I'm waiting for is the inevitable. 

I feel selfish to keep asking this, but will you keep praying?  At this point I need prayers to keep me strong enough to be a good..and present.. mommy and wife when I'm home and a good teacher when I'm at work.  I'm EXHAUSTED, mentally and physically but I know with your prayers I can make it to next Thursday to find some answers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Two Days of Doctors: Day 2 - The Ultrasound


Day 2:  Thursday
Jeff came with me, thank God.  The ultrasound showed a gestational sac and a yolk sac.  No fetal heartbeat, but they did warn us that its probably too early for that anyway.

Meeting with the doctor was... confusing.  She had a smile plastered on her face THE ENTIRE TIME and didn't explain things very well so we were really getting mixed signals about what was going on. I'll tell you what I think I understand:

The ultrasound ruled out a tubal or eptopic pregnancy - good. 

The ultrasound showed a gestational and yolk sac - good.

The ultrasound did not show a fetal heartbeat - don't know yet whether it could show up, so not good, but not bad.

The ultrasound showed that I have what's called Venous Lakes - not good. 
    What she said was basically these are areas of large blood vessel collections outside the placenta that could, or could not go away.  She did say this COULD be the cause of my bleeding, although she can't know for sure.  She also said its something to watch because it can restrict growth and could have something to do with the placenta detaching eventually.  Scary.  Even though I knew she wouldnt have an answer, I asked if she thought this may have been what cause my last miscarriage.  Her answer was, "Each pregnancy is unique and different."  Okay.  I flat out asked if this could cause me to miscarry this time.  Her answer was, "I wish I had a crystal ball."  Okay. 

I scheduled another ultrasound for next Thursday.  I will be 7 weeks so they should be able to pick up a fetal heartbeat.  So basically we are back to playing the waiting game, which is the worst game in the history of all games.

I had pretty much lost all hope this week, but today a little returned.  It wasn't the best news, but certainly not the worst.  Lots of prayers floating your way baby.  Please, please, please keep growing.  There are many people here that want to meet you next summer.




Two Days of Doctors: Day 1

Day 1:  Wednesday
Unfortunately this appointment was 2 hours of waiting around and getting pretty much nothing done.  They took my blood and then after getting undressed, told me I needed to see a doctor not a nurse practitioner since I was bleeding (duh) so I waited for the doctor.  The doctor told me she wanted an ultrasound done so I got redressed and headed out to the waiting room.  After about an hour(of watching 3 different couples emerge from the ultrasound room with pictures galore of their babies) the nurse that was working with me came over and said they had informed her it would be another hour plus until I got back to do an ultrasound.  Soooo, she said I could reschedule for Thursday because Dr. Lyons would be there.  She took me up to the scheduling desk and asked for them to get me a time.  The lady there told us Dr. Lyons wasn't going to be there and there weren't any doctors available at the one time they had an ultrasound open. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure something else out she told me she was just putting me down for the 3:45 time and would tell the doctor she would have to make time for me.  Bless her. 

On my drive home I was a wreck.  I yelled and told God I was mad at him.  I hated the state of mind I was in, but could. not. help. it.  I just barely held it in the entire time I was there.  Being back there was a kick in the gut.  If it weren't for Dr. Lyons being there, I would be finding another place.  Although I will say, the nurse that worked with me was an angel in disguise.  It was clear she knew every piece of my history the second she walked in the door.  She was the one who said I needed to see a doctor, not a nurse practitioner. She was the one who found me in the waiting room.  She was the one that walked me up to the receptionist desk and did all the talking and explaining.  As she was leaving for the night she happened to look back at where I was standing at the receptionist area ( there was a couple that went in front of me because it was taking forever to find me an appt... and then it took them 12 minutes to schedule theirs... ).  I was literally on the verge of sitting down on the floor and crying, for many reasons.  Just as I felt that wave come over me, she walked over to me, squeezed my arm and started talking to me. She apologized for the scheduling troubles, she asked me about my last miscarriage, she talked to me about Aiden.  Good people win out this time too..

Also.. I said this last time and Im saying it again.  They need a separate place for people going through miscarriages or difficult pregnancies.  I know that's just me being dramatic.. but still.

I apologized to God for being angry at him that night and asked for his forgiveness, even though I knew I already had it.  I don't want to go down a road of anger and bitterness and I'm working REALLY hard not to, but it's hard.  So please pray for me.  That no matter what happens I won't walk down that road, and that I will choose better.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The difference between two days



"There isn't a way to get through life unless you know how to get through suffering - and there is no way to get through suffering unless you have a living hope." Tim Keller.

"Lightness always trumps darkness."  Pastor Mike.  :)

These two quotes were the focus of Pastor Mike's sermon this morning and they fit perfectly with what I want to write about today. 

August 8th was when darkness started to surround me.  Darkness I had never felt before. It's when I started bleeding, and when I started to understand that my plans for my life were not the end all be all.  My plans were taken away from me.  A future I foresaw faded away each day for many, many weeks following August 8th.  I was in that kind of darkness that you can actually reach out and touch. When I was with my son or just thought about him it did fade, but never completely went away.  Even when I started to "see the light" and could laugh, smile, be truly happy, I still had moments; minutes, hours, or days, when I felt surrounded by that dang darkness again.  Mike preached over and over again that this darkness settles on everyones life at one time or another.  Its inevitable.  But he also then preached over and over again about the lightness.  I'll write about that in a minute.

Mike also talked a lot about HOPE, and the advent candle that was lit today was the HOPE candle.  The quote that sits on my desk on a rock that Amy gave me says, " For I know the plans I have for you...plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.  The sign that Aliison gave me that sits on my desk says "Faith Hope Love".  The little plastic flower pot that Karen gave me says HOPE on the front.  In every email, text or letter I received throughout my darkness, somewhere in there is the word HOPE.  I don't think I ever completely lost HOPE, but it was covered up by the darkness I had surrounding me.  I knew it was there, but I couldn't see it. 

August 3rd, 2013, almost one year from when my darkness settled in, is the day we HOPE and pray will bring the light back in full force.  This is the day our third baby is due. 


I wrote this Sunday, Dec. 2nd.  I hadn't posted it to the blog yet.  I was waiting until we told all of our family in person.  But now I need prayers.  Now I need prayers of our family, friends, and people who simply stumble across this blog in an attempt to find someone else who is going through the same thing. 

I started bleeding yesterday.  When I saw the blood it felt like someone stabbed me in my heart, punched me in the gut, and crushed my hope all over again.  When I watched the bloody toilet paper flush down the toilet the question that has haunted me since August came back in full force:  "Why?" 

I walked out of that bathroom shaky and not sure what to do.  I immediately went and emailed Amy and then found Allison and kept saying that exact thing, "I don't know what to do."  Bless her, she took care of getting my kids from lunch and had someone cover my room for a bit while I just went and sat in my car.  I called my mom, cried, and felt those feelings of loss coming back.  I thought I could make it through the rest of the day but the second I walked back into my room I knew I couldn't be there.  Dan was in there so I pulled him into the Pod and just started crying and said, "I can't be here."  He gave me a hug and told me to go home and not worry about my class.  He went and got my purse and keys for me and I left.  



The rest of the night went by in a daze.  I played with Aiden, ate supper, talked with Jeff and my mom and my friends, who were all so wonderfully supportive and just "there for me".  But all the while going through scenarios in my head and praying to God that this wasn't happening again.

I have a doctors appointment today.  I'll be honest.. I don't have a lot of hope left.  So I'm asking you send your strength and your hope my way over the next several days. I'm asking you to pray for this baby.  Because one thing I know for certain - prayers are powerful.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sucky

This week we would have found out whether we were having a boy or a girl.

These milestones suck.

Last night I had girls night with Amy and Stacy.. we watched a kids movie, snuggled Kepler, ate popcorn, and talked and talked.  I told them it was just what the doctor ordered and nice to go to bed happy for a change.

But this morning at church I had a hard time holding it together.  There was a baptism, which I am usually okay with, but then Pastor Mike introduced two new "church-goers".  One was a 10 day old baby and the other was a 10-15 day old baby.  There have been several times in church over the last couple months that I have very nearly lost it because of the sermon.  Today the introduction of 3 babies into our church sent me over the edge. 

Jeff put his arm around me and Val happened to be sitting behind us and she gave my shoulder a squeeze.  Still the tears came.  I don't know what the sermon was about today.  I was too busy trying to keep myself upright in the pew.  These moments suck. 

I have been making more and more peace with it as time goes by, but sometimes it hits me so hard I can't escape it. And all I can think is "I WANT THAT BABY BACK!!"

A couple weeks ago I sent this email to Amy.  She asked me to put it on my blog.  I think I will. 

Last night I was watching that stupid show Private Practice for some reason and a woman was told by Jake, one of the main doctors, that she had another miscarriage... her 4th one.  Another doctor told Jake that he needed to tell this woman that it was time to stop trying, but he couldn't do it. Then a woman came in and gave birth in the ER because the rooms were too full and the woman that had had 4 miscarriages witnessed them handing the baby to the mom and she burst into tears. 

And then I burst into tears.  I haven't thought too much about the fact that I could very well miscarry again.. and again.  But strangely enough, yesterday on my way home from school I started thinking about how many times would be too many.  And then my mind took me to adoption.  I had some super in depth convos with God.  But I still didn't have an answer.  Then I watched that show and it just really hit me that that could be me.  I could have many more miscarriages before I get my baby and in the end it may come from another mommy.

I have kept thinking next summer or fall we will probably have another.. but I am so selfish to think that way. I think Ive just been terrified of thinking the alternative. 

I don't think I can go through this again, and again, and again.  I still get so sad at times and it feels like I cant breath.  Like right now. 

And pregnant woman are EVERYWHERE.  They are "haunting" me at work, in my family, in my circle of friends outside of work, on facebook, on blogs I follow, even on the damn TV shows I watch.  Its been excruciatingly hard to try and work through my feelings when every where I turn there is another pregnant friend. It's something I have had to put COMPLETELY in the trust of God because if it were just me I would literally dig a hole and stay in it.

And then I think of the baby I do have.  And how awesome he is.  And how even though I don't think I would ever feel complete if I didn't have another baby, I am so blessed to have the one I have.  Deep breath.  Okay.  My saga for today is over. 


Amy's response was perfect, as it always is.  She always knows just the thing to say.  I still don't even have a response to my email that day. 

I do know that having family and friends and God to turn to when I "crumple" at the milestones, or just a TV show, continues to lift me up and give me the strength to have a better day the next day.


Monday, October 8, 2012

In a perfect world..

In a perfect world the last post would have been my last and things would have went on "happily ever after".  But unfortunately it's not a perfect world. :(

My son's second birthday was yesterday.  Best day EVER.  Except I stupidly decided to get on facebook and post some pictures and saw that one of my teacher friends is now pregnant.  Due in April.  I'm happy for them..and for all the other teacher friends I have that commented that now they are all pregnant together and will have babies close in age...but I also felt so MAD.  I told Jeff I feel like everyone else in our lives gets their way.  They have a plan and they get to see it through. They get to be pregnant and have wonderful pregnancies with healthy babies at the other end.  And we don't.  I have had such a wonderful past month and really felt at peace with everything, but the last week I have struggled and the news of another pregnancy just sent me over the edge.  I pulled it together and pushed it to the back of my mind for the day and DID NOT let it take over on my baby's birthday, but today it came back. 

It started to creep back up on me last week when the new season of "fall TV" started up.  We watched a new show called the New Normal and it was all about a same-sex couple who found a woman to give them a baby.  The episode was about their 12 week appointment and hearing the heartbeat and happiness and smiles and tears.. of joy.  Then Modern Family was about Gloria announcing she's pregnant.  Then Private Practice was all about people having babies, pregnant women..etc. etc.  Even the damn commercials were all about pregnancy and shows about pregnant women and babies.  Ugh. 

I know they are just TV shows, and this is irrational, but I kept thinking "Even the fake TV people get babies." 

And I'm on my second week of having my period, which should be a "good" thing right?  That means I'm ovulating and we can try again.  And even though my mind is happy and relieved that my cycle is starting up again, my heart is still not ready.  I'm not ready.

It doesn't just disappear.  I wish it did, and I wish once I was through the pain it NEVER returned, but it's just not a perfect world.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

And now..

I got a call from my doctor's office today.  They told me the blood test I took Friday showed my levels at 4, which means I don't have to take another one.  I'm done. 

I'm starting to feel almost like myself again and it's wonderful.  And this news today made me feel like after almost 6 weeks, I can truly start to move forward.  Physically I am finally okay, no more bleeding, no more cramping, no more blood tests or ultrasounds.  Emotionally and mentally I think I am okay too.  I can laugh with the best of them and have nice conversations with others again.  I forgot how nice it was to just talk and have your mind not be elsewhere. 

The focus in church this Sunday was prayer.  The whole time we were listening to the sermon I kept thinking about what a blessing it has been to have all of our family and friends praying for us throughout all of this.  Val left a card on my desk on Sept. 11th, the day we were supposed to hear our babys heartbeat, that said "Prayers will carry you today."  I truly believe they did and that they have carried me since the beginning of all of it. 

In the last part of "What Was Lost" it talks about making your miscarriage a part of your life story.  Figuring out what you are going to do with the experience and how it will or won't change you and your future.  My pain has subsided so I have been starting to think a lot about this.  I do know that I am more sensitive to others and what they are going through. I saw a quote a few weeks ago that I have been replaying over and over in my head.  I can't remember word for word and I dont know where it came from (so if you know, please tell!) but it went something like this: "Be kind.  For you do not know the mountain I have asked her to climb." 

I have talked a lot in this blog about the small things and how important they have been to me.  I want to give away those small things to others and help them feel joy, even in times of pain and sadness.  There have been a couple small things I have been able to do for others in the past week and it felt SO GOOD.  Because I know what it was like to have people on my side, in my corner, rooting for me to be okay, praying for me to heal.  Because I know how good it felt to know that people cared and even if for one day, or one moment, they were thinking of me in my time of loss and mourning. 

I have a wonderful and loving husband, an awesome family, amazing friends, and the BEST little almost-2-year-old I could ever ask for.  I am blessed.

People are good.  God is good.  Life is good.






Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Heartbeat

Today is the day we were supposed to hear our baby's heartbeat. 

Today I am very sad.  These milestones were supposed to be happy, not heartbreaking.

I'm trying to not cry.  I'm trying to be okay.  I'm trying to only think about the happy things in my life.  But today it's nearly impossible.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

White Pants and the "other side"

Two things that are big for me right now:

1.  I switched to panty liners on Sunday and as of Monday am no longer bleeding.  I still haven't heard from my doctor about the ultrasound on Thursday, but I'm not in any hurry to schedule another one or go in for more blood work so I am just going to wait until they decide to call to give me the results.

2.  I wore white pants today.  Seems like a silly little thing doesn't it?  But I haven't worn them in 4 weeks... for the same reason women don't wear them when they are having their period.  I'm going to say it again.. it's the small things.


I felt really, really happy yesterday and today.  I've been able to joke around with others, laugh at funny things, smile at people passing by, and make small talk.  I love it. 

I think I'm finally almost on the "other side".  Am I "cured"?  Am I "okay"?  Am I "fixed"?  NO.  But I don't feel empty and desolate and depressed anymore.  I still have sad moments and angry moments and confused moments.  I still can't even think about what September 11th will be like, the day I should have heard my babies heartbeat.  But I feel, to put it simply, happy.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thank God for weddings

These last couple days have been an emotional roller coaster.  Thursday I took off early from work to come home, meet Jeff, and get to the doctor's for our ultrasound and lab.  They took my blood first and then got us right in to the ultrasound room.  This time we went to the other OB office in town and the nurses seemed very much "in the know" and didn't ask any stupid questions like, "Are you having a regular period?".  They also didn't try to get me to talk about my summer...

I went in feeling strong and thinking about the night to come, Sarah's wedding rehearsal, and how much fun it would be.  But the second we checked in, it sunk in and I started to feel those awful feelings of loss and pity washing over me.  There weren't as many pregnant women, but there was a tiny little baby in the waiting room who was crying.  The sound of a baby, even if it is crying, always warms my heart, but this time it made me feel tense and sad.  I kept thinking back to when Aiden was a baby and trying to focus on how blessed we are to have him, instead of thinking about the baby that we were supposed to have in March crying that "baby cry".

I had prepared myself for another terrible ultrasound experience, but that wasn't as bad either.  I kept wondering if I was becoming numb to it all.  The tech only did the "vaginal" ultrasound this time which was good.  I didn't want another belly ultrasound.  For some reason that really got to me.  The tech didn't say much at all except to ask how the bleeding was.  I told her today it wasn't as heavy and was even brown occasionally.

Dr. Lyons wasn't in Friday, so she will call next week with the results.  I am hoping and praying that I won't have to do another ultrasound or blood test.  Please let me be done.

When we were finished at the office, we checked out, walked out hand in hand, got into the car, drove away, and then I lost it again.  I told Jeff the same thing I have said over and over again for the last 3 weeks, "I just want it to be over."  and of course... "It's not fair." 

When we got home I sat in the car for a bit and cried hard, then came inside and started packing and getting ready for the rehearsal.  Something to keep be busy, keep my mind busy, but the ache was still there.  This thought had been nagging at me all week but I was still refusing to bring it to the front... "I was supposed to be almost 11 weeks pregnant at this wedding and we were going to tell Jeff's family." And I was still nervous about people asking me how I was feeling if they didn't know what happened.  Jeff told me he took care of it all and I shouldn't worry about it, but I did anyway.

Nobody said a word.  Thank you husband.

The rehearsal was beautiful, exciting, happy, and fun, as was the wedding the next day.  I was in my own world and starting to bleed heavier again with some clots, but it's hard not to feed off of an ecstatic bride and an adorable little ringbearer named Aiden. (see below)  :) I danced with my husband, we danced with Aiden, chatted with family members, and watched a happy Sarah and Brent dance the night away. It was a good day and night.

I want the feelings of being happy, excited, and giddy to be my normal again, it was really nice to feel that way. 

Thank God for weddings.

 I remember looking at this picture after taking it and thinking, "I am smiling with my teeth showing."  Strange isn't it?  I love how happy I look, and look at my Aiden.  How can I not be happy?


My little ringbearer.  And my angel.




Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What I hold onto at school

There are a few things I have kept at school to give me reminders and help me regain strength when I feel like I'm losing it. 
 This is the rock Amy gave me.  Sometimes I literally hold it in the palm of my hand.

This is a gift from Karen.  She wrote me a note that said it is a "good reminder of what to hold on to."  She is so right.

This was from two teachers I work with, Wendy and Mary.  I cried and cried when I found it on my desk one morning last week.  This picture is the background on my phone right now.

At home I have cards and flowers everywhere.  I was wondering this morning how people who don't have loved ones in their lives get through loss.  I wouldn't have made it through those first few days without the people in my life.  Family, friends, acquaintances, authors. other blog writers.  And they are still there for me, still praying for me.  I can feel it.

At school today I had a bad moment.  Bad, as in, I thought I was going to need to run out of the room because I was going to break down in a sob in front of 6 other teachers.  We were having a meeting and talking about when our next one would be.  The date that was thrown out there was September 11th.  That day has a double meaning for me now.  It was the day our 12 week appointment was scheduled.  We would have heard our baby's heartbeat that day.  I held it together, just barely, but I swear to you, I felt my heart twist in pain. 

As I was writing this entry, I got really sad again.  I let the computer sit idle while Jeff hugged me and let me cry on his shoulder.  I almost was angry with myself because I have had such a wonderful last couple days.  I don't want to shed more tears. I am so tired of crying. 

But I know I am still healing and I know from listening to others that I need to allow myself time to heal. 

It's okay to cry.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The small things

I'm having a hard time focusing on big things, big events.  But the small things, they are my lifeline right now.  Like listening to Aiden sing me a song or watching him jump off the coffee table to the sofa and laughing hysterically, or my mom making Aiden's animals do "olympic diving" in the bathtub, or Jeff making a silly joke, or an email from Amy about her girls, or eating an entire cookie cake in 4 days.  These are the things that are getting me through each day and helping me focus on the fact that I am SO incredibly blessed.  These are the things that are making me smile and laugh again.

This weekend was wonderful.  Family, church, puppies, Target, Aiden, Aiden, Aiden. 

Today was pretty good.  My nurse called to tell me that my HCG levels have gone down to 400.  That's "good".  I still have to go back for another blood test and ultrasound on Thursday.   My body is continuing to empty itself (I've tried saying that in so many different ways..nothing sounds right).  Still a lot of blood and some clots but not as much cramping.  I decided not to take the pills Dr. Lyons gave me.  It was so awful last weekend, I don't want to go through that again.  I will wait and see what the ultrasound shows on Thursday and go from there. 

I have started thinking about things like, "What will I do when I need my hair cut again?"  I told my long time hair stylist I was pregnant, last time I got my hair cut.  She will be expecting me to be bigger when I go in next time.  Will she say something?  Should I bring it up? Should I tell her on the phone before I go in?  Will I cry?   Or,  how I will react and what I will say when people ask things like, "When are you guys going to have more kids?" or "Why aren't you on your second one yet?"  And people do ask, and they mean no harm whatsoever,  but what am I going to do when they ask me?  I will never, ever again ask anyone a question like this.  I know I shouldn't bother myself with thoughts like this, but I do and sometimes I feel it consuming me.  I thought about the hair question for a half an hour getting ready yesterday morning. 

I will continue to hold on to the "small things".... I put them in quotations because I have realized that the small things in life are NOT small at all. 



Saturday, August 25, 2012

The "baby" folder



This was the day we found out. 

video video

Tonight I saw the folder on my desktop named "baby".  I opened it and found the collection of pictures and videos I had already started for this new baby.  I want to drag it to the trash on my computer but first I needed to put them somewhere safe so if I ever need or want to come back and look at them, I can.



Today I got to spend the day with Aiden, my mom, and my sister's new puppy.  My mom told me it was good to see me smile and hear my laugh.  Minus the cramping and bleeding, I felt really good today and I did smile and laugh.  I even went for a run.  It was a good Saturday.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Angry


I was angry today.  On my way to my ultrasound I got angry that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  Then I turned on 89.1 to hear some soothing music and literally the first thing I hear is Eric talking about Mandy being gone because she is 9 months pregnant and… and then I turned it off and got mad again.  Then I got to Mercy and saw Jeff and was a bit better.  Then we walked inside.

Everyone was pregnant and happy or had a tiny little baby and happy.  So while I was filling out a form asking if I was having a regular period, how many pregnancies I have been through, and if I was feeling depressed, I had to witness all the happiness that pregnancy brings.  I was so mad.  I wasn’t mad at the women themselves, I was mad at my situation and that it had to be me. 

Then they called us back to have the ultrasound.  I waited for the tech to get out a robe and have me undress from the waist down, but instead she had me lie down and pull my dress up over my belly.  I didn’t know I was getting that kind of an ultrasound and it took me off-guard.  The only other time I had that done was when we got to see Aiden for the first time.  I started crying and Jeff rubbed my arm and the tech said, “So how was your summer?”.  Excuse my French, but “what the hell?”  I don’t know if I said anything but after a bit Jeff said, “Well it’s over now, back to school.”  Bless him for filling the awkward silence and turning my thoughts from smacking her. 

After the torture was over, she asked me to undress from the waist down and empty my bladder so she could now do “the other kind of ultrasound”.  So the torture wasn’t over it seemed.  She didn’t say another word to us and I decided to just empty my head and stare at the blank TV screen to the left of me.  It worked until I realized the screen I was looking at was supposed to have our baby on it.  Will I ever be able to look at things the same?

She had me clean up, dress, and head to the waiting room to wait for them to call me back to see Dr. Lyons.  So back out the pregnant women and babies we went.  I just kept my eyes on my chair and Jeff talked to me.  He made me laugh once, which was a giant feat at that point in time.  I can’t even remember what he said.  After about 30 minutes they called us back.

The nurse came in after an hour of waiting in Dr. Lyon’s room.  She asked more stupid questions, like “Are you having your period?” and I continued to become angrier.  The only other time I felt this angry with another person was just an hour and a half earlier in the ultrasound room, and when I called to schedule my first ultrasound earlier in the week.  After I had explained what the ultrasound was for, the lady said “Okay, so do you want me to go ahead and cancel your 12 week appointment with Dr. Lyons then?”  Again, excuse my French, but “What the HELL!”

Dr Lyons came in after another 15 minutes and told us that I still had a lot of lining in my uterus.  She gave us our options:
1. Schedule a D&C, which at this point she didn’t completely recommend, but did say that it would be one procedure and it would be over.  However she made a point to say, “It is a surgery, you will be in the surgical room, you will be put under, and it is costly.”  Bless her for being honest. 
2.  Get more pills from her, do that whole thing again, and come back for an ultrasound in a week and more blood work.
3.  Just let my body take over and come back in a week for an ultrasound and more blood work. 


She recommended number 2, since I had “good results” with the first set of pills.  I hate writing that.  Good results?  I truly love our doctor, but please stop saying that.

We got the pills, she very gently took our hands in hers and shook them, and then asked if we had any more questions.  I asked one question. “When can I start running again?”  Seems silly doesn’t it?  At the time its all I could think about doing.  (Proof that running out my anger must really work, because I was very angry and all I wanted to do was run.)   She smiled and told me it wasn’t a silly question (which is what I prefaced my question by saying) and I can start running whenever I want to. 

Then it was off to the lab for more blood work. After the nurse poked me 2 times, unsuccessfully (and OUCH..really, really OUCH), she said “I’m going to try your other arm I think…oh, and don’t let me forget to keep some cotton ball beneath the Band-Aid afterwards.  I forgot to do that with another patient this morning and there was blood everywhere.”  I’m not making any of that up.  Third time was a charm, thank God. 

Just when I thought things could not, in any way, get worse during this trip to Mercy, they did.  We were waiting in line to check out and a friend of Jeff’s and his very pregnant wife and 2 kids get in line behind us.  Jeff, being the wonderful person he is, made small talk, asked about their pregnancy, and said HI to the kids.  At this time I was just trying not to crumple up into a little ball on the floor and sob.  He introduced me and while I gave a pathetic smile and waved all I could think was “Please do not ask us if we are expecting.”  They didn’t.  I wonder if they could see on my face the pleading.  I wonder if everyone can? 

Finally we scheduled our next ultrasound and left.  Before we even hit the outside world I broke down.  It’s NOT fair.  This should have been our appointment to hear the babies heart beat.

Jeff hugged me hard and then I called my mom and cried. 

When I got back to school I was still not in a good place.  But when I walked in my classroom I found a giant cookie cake (my favorite) and flowers and cards sitting on my desk. My team is thoughtful and sweet and caring and loving.  I went and found a plastic fork in my cupboard and dug in.  I started feeling a little less mad.  People love me, and I love cookie cake. 

The day drug on and finally it was time to go get my Aiden.  Best part of the day yet.  Every time I look at him I remember that even though this awful, awful thing is happening, I am truly blessed.  My baby angel.

Val brought us supper.  Chicken, noodles, salad, dressing, bread, and brownies (with sprinkles, per her kids’ request).  The simple act of dropping off supper is not a so simple act.  It lifted our spirits and gave us more time with our son tonight.  It was an incredibly generous thing to do and we appreciate her.  I know I keep saying this, but people are so good.

Jeff and I went to a movie tonight.  What did I want to do?  Not go to a movie.  But Jeff thought it would be a good idea for us to go, so I did. And I’m glad I did.  We saw the movie “Campaign” with Will Ferrell and I laughed.  I laughed at several parts and I felt good. I love laughing.  It is such a simple thing that I took for granted. 

I woke up angry, very angry. And now I am going to bed not angry.  I can’t say happy, because I’m not there yet, but I’m okay and I am excited to see Aiden in the morning.  And we get to see Ashley’s new puppy.  And I get to see my mom. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Today is the day

Today is the day I have decided to share my story.  It has been 2 weeks and 1 day since I first saw blood and began to feel that something wasn't right.  It has been 1 week and 5 days since I couldn't see a baby on the ultrasound screen.  Those numbers seem so small.  I used a calendar to figure them. If you were to ask me how long it's been without seeing a calendar, I would say a lifetime.  The person I was 2 weeks ago was a different person than I am now.  I am forever changed. 

Today I woke up with no blood to be found, save for a few drops, on the pad.
I felt a sense of relief wash over me. Maybe it would finally stop and I could rid
myself of one more reminder. I was so wrong.

When I got to school I started getting bad cramps and there was a lot of pressure “down there”. I went to the bathroom during specials, which was about an hour and a half after getting to school. There
was so much blood and lots…and lots .. of blood clots. I called my doctors office.
The nurse told me that she suspected the pills had done their job and now my body
was taking over. She also told me I needed to rest, drink lots of water, and probably
head to the E.R. if the clots were still large and hadn’t stopped by afternoon. Just as I
thought I was beginning to heal physically, it started over again. Not being sure how much
more I could handle, I decided to go home for the day. I called in a sub and left. I
had never, ever in my 6 years of teaching, done that.

The clotting did get better.  It didn't completely stop, but it got better and the cramping did stop.  I picked Aiden up early from Lori's, which made him happy, which in turn, made me happy.  We went over to Amy's house to play with the girls.  It's nice to have company to try and combat the isolation that I feel. It's also nice to be around a friend that doesn't need you to explain your feelings because she already knows and understands. 

My story doesn't stop here.  It will continue and I will continue to write for as long as I need to.  Some people have asked if I will join a group or see a therapist.  I'm not sure yet.  Right now, THIS is what I need. I need to write it all down, I need to recognize my feelings and share them with the people I love.  What I need from you?  I need prayers for a brighter future...and hope.  


Pastor Mike

Wednesday morning I was sad, mad, and confused again. School, being my own
little therapy, was good. The students need me and I have to be “okay” when I am
there. Karen came in to check on me in the morning. We talked a lot about God and
the fact that even now she has a hard time accepting it. She let me talk to her about
what has been going on physically and emotionally the last couple days. It really
did make me feel better to talk about it with someone who truly knows what its
like. Val came in after school to talk too. We talked about grief, pain, coping, and we
talked about being mommies. She was wonderful. I have found peace and solace in
people I never thought to turn to.

That night Jeff and I met with Pastor Mike. He told us how sorry he was for our loss
and asked how it all came about. I started but then couldn’t finish and Jeff picked
up where I left off. Mike said a lot of things to us but I took Val’s advice and tried to
find one or two things that he said that I could hold one to. Those things were this:

He quoted the verse in the Bible from Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you.” He told us that God was holding our baby when he was with us and he
is still holding our baby. That even though we will never hold the baby, or live with
the baby the way we had planned, He will. That our baby is with him, and we will
be someday too.

I told him that people have said to me a lot, “This was God’s plan, “ and I didn’t think
that God would do this to me, he wouldn’t want me to feel this way. He told me that
he didn’t like when people said that. He just had a funeral for a little boy that day that ran out in front of a car. Someone at the funeral said, “Well, this was God’s plan
for him.” Pastor Mike said he got very upset because God didn’t do that to that little
boy, that was an accident. Just like God didn’t say, “I need more unborn children”
and choose our baby to take. However, he did say that God looks after us all and
this baby was not going to be okay. So nature, which in essence, was God’s doing,
stopped the pregnancy.

He asked what I had been doing to cope. I said I was just trying to get through one
day at a time. And praying, a lot. He asked what I had found in that. I told him
that I asked God “Why?” a lot, and I also told him my story of finding God in burps
and farts the night before. He enjoyed the latter and his response to the prior was
beautiful. I can’t reproduce what he told us exactly, but what I took from it was that we
will always be asking “Why?” and sometimes it takes time to find the answers, and
sometimes we will never know the answers. He said that we don’t always tell our
children the truth because they can’t comprehend the answers and/or they aren’t
ready to hear the answers. God does the same thing with his children. I will never
really know “Why” this happened to us, at this time, with this baby, but eventually I
will be okay with that fact.

He gave me a small booklet to read and prayed with us. The prayer I will never
forget. He prayed for our baby. I hadn’t done that yet. He told the Lord to continue
to be with us through this time and that we would be able to be with our baby
someday and then forever more.

Did he fix everything and make me feel normal again?  No.  But I came home feeling more at peace and continued to replay those 3 things in my head that I chose to hold on to. 

One day at a time.

Answered prayers

Monday was back to school. It was hard to leave Aiden, as it always is. The day
went well. I kept busy at school and when I got home my parents were here to greet
me, make supper, and keep me company. This was the first day I didn’t break down
into sobs. I couldn’t believe I went the whole day, especially because there was still
a lot of blood, and I scheduled my ultrasound for Friday. Again, I starting feeling like
I may actually be okay.

Tuesday morning was back to feeling sad, mad, and confused. I didn’t want to be
at school, I just wanted to be at home with my Aiden and my parents. I talked to a
teacher at school, Val. Her dad is a Methodist minister and I wanted to ask her if
she would talk to him about scriptures, books..anything,  that he could give me to help me
cope. I knew I wanted to talk to Pastor Mike, but didn’t think I was ready. I didn’t
want to go in there and treat it like a therapy session, I wanted to go in there and
know that he is my Pastor and I need him in that way alone. Val cried with me and
hugged me and told me that she didn’t know my pain, but she knew grief. She lost
her brother several years ago and she told me that I needed to allow myself to feel
sad and grieve for my loss. She said she went to Pastor Mike and it was very good
for her, and she encouraged me to think about it. She emailed me that night and said
a few things: That she was bringing us dinner Friday night, that if I needed to move
one day, hour, or even minute at a time, I could, and that she had talked to her dad.
He offered to call and talk with me if I wanted. After thinking about it, I decided to
meet with Pastor Mike first. I needed it and realized, for some reason just at that
moment, that Jeff would be there with me and if I couldn’t talk he could.

Tuesday night I felt okay, until bedtime. I was changing my pad…again, and
thought, “This blood was supposed to be for my baby.” And I lost it. The sadness
washed over me completely and I sat on the toilet and sobbed and sobbed and
sobbed. I also prayed and prayed and prayed. I asked God to get me through this
and help me find the other side of this. That time I was only talking about this moment in time. I knew it would come back, but I wanted Him to take the sadness away, at
this moment in time, and give me peace, at this moment in time. Jeff came in after a bit and told me to come to bed. I didn’t want to yet so I went out to the living room. He followed me
out, lay down by me on the couch and rubbed my back. He told me “It’s going to be
okay.” And I got angry with him. Because at that point I didn’t think it was EVER
going to be “okay”. We lost a baby we were supposed to have forever and it was not
going to be okay. And he just continued to rub my back and wipe my tears away.
A great man. A wonderful husband.

I calmed down a bit and just when I thought I could get up and go back to bed I felt it coming back. Just as it hit me again Lilly trotted out, jumped up in my lap, got right in my face, and burped, loud, and it stunk.The sadness moved back and I even smiled. “That was God. That was Him.” I got
up but instead of walking into our bedroom, I walked into Aiden’s room. I needed
to see him right then. I lay beside him and rubbed his back for a bit. And then I
felt that sadness coming back and washing over me again. Just as the tears started
spilling over, Aiden farted. Loud and long and juicy. And the sadness moved back
again and I giggled. “That was God. That was Him.” He knows that Lilly and Aiden
have been my strength through this and he used them to help me get through the
sadness that continued to wash over me that night. He answered my prayers.

The calm, and the storm

Saturday morning we went to a parade with Aiden and it was nice. He loved it and
that made me happy. It was good to be outside in the fresh air and see my son get
excited about tractors and monster trucks. I felt…okay.

That afternoon I talked to Dr. Lyons. She told me what the nurse had told me on Thursday, that yes, my numbers had dropped. She also told me I could take the pills if I want to speed up
the process. She warned me that I would have some severe cramping and probably
a lot of bleeding depending on how much is left. Even to write that last part is
almost unbearable. That “what was left” was my baby.

That night I inserted the 4 pills and laid down for an hour and a half, as instructed by
my doctor. Jeff made me a bed on the sofa and we cuddled. I didn’t feel much over
the course of that time, just some mild cramping.         

Calm before the storm.

I thought I had been pretty prepared for what was going to happen to my body,
but I was completely mistaken. When I went to the bathroom before bed I noticed
I had started bleeding. It was devastating, but I still had no idea. I woke up
at 12:20 with the worst cramps I have ever felt. I couldn’t breathe and soon I realized that I was having actual contractions. I timed them. They lasted about
40 seconds with about 20-40 seconds in between. And the blood. There was so
much. I couldn’t even cry, I think I was in shock. It didn’t seem real and I kept
thinking, “I don’t understand.” “This can’t be happening, this feeling was supposed
to happen in March and there was supposed to be a baby after this feeling stopped.”
And I prayed…like crazy. “God I need you to get me through this.” “God I need
strength.” “God please make it stop.” “God…why??” I was up for a couple hours until
finally the Tylenol Jeff gave me kicked in a bit and I was able to fall asleep.

When I woke up the next morning, Sunday, the bleeding was still extremely bad. I kept
thinking about how long it would have taken me to pass all of this without the help
of the pills… and it wasn’t even over yet. I hated what I was going through but I
knew that I couldn’t have done this for weeks and weeks. The cramps had subsided
a little bit, but were still disabling, and I was still in shock, so Jeff told me to go back
to bed. I slept for another couple hours and woke up to more blood and cramping.
I had no idea how long this would last and it was terrifying. This day was another
broken one, until my parents got here. I saw my dad for the first time, which I had
not stopped thinking about all day, and it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I thought I
would fall down in a heap at his feet and sob, and I didn’t know how he would react.
When we saw each other, he hugged me and told me he loved me. That was all I
needed from him. And then we started talking about Aiden, my saving grace. It was
good to have my parents there that night. I even caught myself laughing two times,
and I meant it and felt it. It was so amazing to feel happy, even if it were only for a
short period of time. I felt like I may actually be okay, eventually.

Results

Thursday was the second day of school. Once again, it was therapy for me. When I
was walking to my room Monique saw me in the hall and asked how my arms were.
I was confused for a moment, but then realized she was talking about where they
draw my blood. I showed her my bruises, we got teary eyed, I thanked her again for
the card and for caring, and we went our separate ways.

I got an email from Jeff saying that the doctor’s office called him with results from
my bloodwork. He said I could call if I wanted or wait until after school. I called at
lunch. Even though I knew the results before hearing them it was still hard. I called
back after school to talk with Dr. Lyons nurse myself. She said my HCG level was
at 19,000 on Saturday and Monday it went up to 21, 000 which is why they wanted
me to come back Wednesday. Wednesday it was at 17,000. I asked what I was
supposed to do; I didn’t know what to do. She said Dr. Lyons would be back in the
office the next day and she would decide what the next step was, but she thought
she would want me to come back in a week to have my blood drawn again. She said
she was so very sorry and then we hung up.

I’m so glad my mom and sister were at our house. I broke down again. I cried while
my mom hugged me and told me she wished she could take it all away. I wished she
could have too.

Jeff and I decided to go out to T.J. to get something for ourselves, maybe that would
make us feel a tad better. The second we got there I didn’t want to be there. It
didn’t make me feel better. Not at all. We pulled back in the garage and I just
couldn’t stop the tears. I just didn’t understand how I wasn’t pregnant anymore. It
didn’t make sense, just a week ago I thought I was almost 8 weeks pregnant and had
a baby inside of me with a beating heart and organs and arm and leg buds. How?
Why?

Friday was an okay day. Third day of school. Jeff’s parents came over. His mom
hugged me and talked to me about her experience and told me the same things that
everyone that has been through this has said: “It’s okay to be sad.” “Let yourself
grieve.” Because this has been a trend I thought more and more about it and
realized that they are all right. I DO need to let myself feel the pain and hurt and not
try to be “strong”.

Amy and Stacy came over because Jeff went to a movie with Joel
and I didn’t want to be alone. We talked and watched a movie together. I was so
grateful to have them with me. So blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.

Others

Wednesday was the first day of school. It was like therapy to have the students
there and needing me. I still couldn’t be around the adults much. Small talk seemed
so…irrelevant. And I didn’t want people asking me if I was okay. Because what
would I say?

At the end of the day I felt exhausted, because it was the first day of
school and because I had gone many, many hours without breaking down. I was
walking back to my room to let loose when Monique, a fourth grade teacher who
I don’t know very well and I’m a little intimidated by, came up behind me and
asked how my day was. I very briefly turned and said, “Okay” and turned back
around to keep walking. Then she said, “Mandy” and when I turned back around
she was crying. Hard. She grabbed me and hugged me so tightly. I was completely
taken off guard. She said lots of things to me all at once, “I’m so sorry”, “It will get
better”, “Time will help”, “I know how much it hurts”. I didn’t say much to her
except “I’m so sad.” She gave me a card and said she went through it and the card
would explain a bit more. We were interrupted by another teacher so she went on
her way, but I will never forget that moment, nor will I ever look at her in the same
way I used to. She told me in her card that she went through it at the beginning of
the school year many years ago. She said she was thinking of me and her door was
always open if I needed to talk. There are angels everywhere.

As I was getting ready to leave school to go to yet another lab appointment Wendy
asked how I was. I couldn’t hold it in after the encounter with Monique and I lost it.
I told her I wasn’t okay and she pulled me into her room and hugged me. I told her
what had happened and she listened and hugged me again. People are so good.

I rushed over to Lori’s to get Aiden, then rushed down to Mercy..again, to have my
blood drawn..again. They wouldn’t know the results until the next day.

We took a walk that night, which was nice, but toward the end I started cramping
pretty badly. It hit me hard because I kept thinking, “I should be having cramps
because my belly is growing, not the opposite.” It’s not fair. The next morning
my stomach hurt like I had just done an ab workout. I knew it was from the night
before. So many reminders.

Back at school

Tuesday I went back to school. It was very hard, which I knew it would be, but I had
to be there. Both for my sanity and because the first day of school was the next day
and I wasn’t near being ready. I got an email from Amy right away when I got there.
She told me I was going to be okay, because I was going to do what I was meant to
do. She told me she sent something with Stacy.. it was a promise she held
onto for awhile and she wanted me to have it now. To keep it as long as I need it and
when I know someone else who needs it someday, pass it on. It was a rock with a
verse etched on it: For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to give you hope and a
future. I held that rock all day.

I had a several people stop in or text and say they were thinking of me. It was
hard every single time I heard it, but at the same time comforting to know I had
people who care surrounding me at school. Two teachers came in to tell me they
went through it as well. Karen and Chris. They hugged me, told me their stories,
and listened to mine. They told me it is okay to hurt, its okay to be sad, its okay
to take time for myself. They told me that after 12-15 years they still feel the pain
sometimes. I’m grateful to them.

I talked to Jana, who had just lost her dad a week earlier and was also grieving for a loss of a loved one. We talked about how it didn’t seem right that everyone else’s life moved on and ours had stopped completely. When I walked in the building that morning, that is exactly what I felt, "How is it possible that everyone else's life continues to move forward, and mine has so totally stopped?"

I kept thinking, “I just want this to be over.” And it just kept happening. I had more blood, more brown discharge, and a blood clot this day. I simply stopped going to the bathroom at school. Each time I did, it broke me further.

Tuesday night we spent some really great family time together. I missed Aiden
terribly that day and it was his first day back at Loris. We played when we got
home, we read books, we made supper, we played outside. When Jeff got home we
took a walk to the park and played, gave Aiden a bath, and lay in bed with him to
read him books before bedtime.

Normal. Nice.

Desicions

Monday morning I went to school early to tell Dan. It was only the 4th person I
had told and it was all still extremely raw. I didn’t have to say much. He has gone
through this himself so he didn’t have to say much either. I told him, I cried, I went
home. I knew the second I walked in the building there was no way I could be there
that day.

Jeff and I went to my appointment with Dr. Lyons at 10:15. She was so wonderful to
us. Again, saying everything we needed to hear. And by this point I just didn’t want
to repeat it all and talk it about it, and she didn’t make us. She did want my blood
work again so I was poked for what felt like the 200th time. She gave me pills to take
once we got the call from the nurse after my blood work came back.  They would
"speed up the process".

The absolute worst part of this trip happened in the bathroom  at the office. I passed tissue.
I looked in the toilet for what seemed like forever trying to process it. It didn’t look like a baby.
It didn’t look like anything. Just a very small piece of tissue.
But Dr. Lyons words came back to me at that moment, she told me Saturday morning on
the phone that if I chose to wait and not go to the ER and passed any tissue, I would
have my “answer”. So it seemed I was looking at my answer. I almost screamed. I
almost fell on the floor and sobbed. I almost was sick. I almost scooped it out of
the toilet. To write it now, it seems almost..crazy, for lack of a better word, to say
that. But at the time I just didn’t know what to do. “Do I flush it?” “Is that part of
my baby?” “Should I go get Jeff?” “Should I show the doctor?” After searching my
head and heart for the answer I finally decided I needed to flush the toilet, wash my
hands, and go back to the waiting room to hold Jeff’s hand and wait for our name to
be called.

The nurse called later that day with directions from Dr. Lyons to not take the pills yet
and to come back in for more blood testing on Wednesday. I asked no questions.

Monday night was Meet and Greet at school. I knew I had to be there, for myself
and for the kids. I thought it might make me feel “normal” again, and it actually
did, if only for a couple hours. Allison came in to give me hugs and ask if I needed
anything. Jan and Jaime came in to do the same. It means a lot to have people care,
but it was hard to get those hugs and hear their words and not cry and ache again.
Every time I feel like I am out of tears…they start flowing again.

Monday night Amy and Stacy, my two angels, came to our house with flowers,
veggies and cupcakes. The flowers were beautiful, the veggies and cupcakes
yummy, but best of all, they just talked with me. Talked about normal things, like
school, and being a mom to toddlers. Once again, I felt almost “normal”. Thank God
for the people in my life.

Emotions

The next day, Sunday, wasn’t much better. My mom did come down and stay that
night. She did exactly what we needed; took care of Aiden, did the laundry, the
dishes, made supper, rubbed my feet and my back, and was just…my mom.




The sobbing is something that I have never experienced. It comes on quickly.
Occasionally something will trigger it (seeing my Pregnancy apps on my phone that
I had been checking every day for a month, or taking my Prenatal vitamins), but
usually it was just out of the blue (in the middle of taking a bite at supper, standing
in Pizza Hut) I know it sounds cliché, but I can feel my heart
aching and breaking. It hurts..quite literally.

The emotions I felt were unlike anything I have ever felt. I was sad, angry,
confused…lost. I stared off into space thinking and not thinking. My eyes hurt from
crying and my head hurt from crying. I felt empty. Little things like brushing my
teeth or chewing my food seemed so irrelevant. I was scared to think how long it
would last.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, August 11th, I started bleeding again. It wasn’t a whole lot, but it
was more than Wednesday and it was at that moment that I knew… things weren’t
okay. Jeff and Aiden had gone to the store to get diapers so I just got in the tub and
sobbed…hard.

I called the on-call doctor. It just so happened that it was my doctor, Dr. Lyons,
who saw me through Aiden’s pregnancy and delivery. I hadn’t seen her yet for this
pregnancy, but to hear her voice comforted me, if only for a moment. She told me I
had two options at that point: wait until Monday and be seen in the office, or head
to the ER. Waiting wasn’t an option for us, so we packed up Aiden and went to
Mercy.

Little did I know that trip was turn out to be the single most emotionally exhausting
thing I have done in 28 years.

They took my blood, had me pee in a cup, took my vitals… then on to the things that
would give us some answers. Pelvic exam: looked good, no immediate bleeding was
seen. Then the ultrasound….

If they train these ultrasound techs to not show emotion, the one that did mine
missed the course. Almost instantly she looked…confused. That “off” feeling
of mine continued to creep forward and was taking over at this point. No more
thoughts of “It’s going to be okay.” Jeff and Aiden had taken off to the waiting room
because Aiden didn’t like it when the tech shut the lights off. About a minute after
they came back in and Aiden decided it was okay, she asked us if we were sure about
our date. “Yes?”

At this point she turned the monitor around so we could see it and said, “Well the
reason I ask is because I see a yolk sac, which is a good sign, but no baby. I measure
the sac at 5 and a half weeks.”

My life stopped. I have seen it on movies, heard about it, but never experienced
the “my life stopped”/ “my heart stopped beating” moment. I wish I never had
to. I don’t really remember what happened next, except that the tech left and said
something about being sorry for confusing me. I started crying and was exactly
that…confused.

The doctor came in next and sat down by me to explain that two things could be
happening. One, our dates were way off and its just too early to see a baby. Two,
I was in the process of having a miscarriage. My gut feeling told me the latter was
true, especially since it would have been almost 3 weeks off the date and to be
honest, it would be physically impossible for that to be true. She said some other
stuff, once again, I don’t really recall exactly what. At that point I had turned into
someone else. It was surely someone else’s life. Someone else’s results. Someone
else’s body. Surely. She left. I cried. Hard. Jeff held me and we didn’t say a word.
Aiden didn’t like it and kept telling me to “Stop crying Mommy, don’t do that.”
Normally I would do ANYTHING for my son, but I was hurting in a way I didn’t know
was possible and it wouldn’t go away.

Another nurse came in to talk with us some more, give us discharge papers, and tell
us all the things they are supposed to say. “It’s nothing you did.” “Hold out hope
that your date is just off.” “Here is the name of a support group..” Everyone was so,
so nice to us and very respectful. But I will always hate them for giving me
news that would so drastically change my life. Juvenile, probably, but I cant help it.

We left the ER. Once we hit the “outside world”, that I briefly forgot existed, I broke
down again. I literally was feeling my heart breaking and it was awful. I don’t
remember much of the ride home, just that I kept thinking, “I have to call my mom.”
When we got home I did call her. We cried. We were sad. We were confused. She
knew what I was going through. She knew the pain I was feeling. She told me it was
okay to be sad and cry.

I went out to school because I knew Stacy was there and I knew I needed her too. I
told her and she hugged me, told me it was okay to be sad, and took my hands and
prayed with me. I knew I needed Amy as well, but it was her little girls 1 year birthday
party so I decided to wait until after that. She did call me that night and we cried
and she said all the right things to me. The people in my life are remarkable, to say
the very least.

That day was etched in my memory forever. I broke down sobbing several times;
in the middle of taking a bite at suppertime, sitting on the couch watching TV, reading a book with Aiden. Jeff
and I were emotionally drained and didn’t do much talking, if any. We tried hard for
Aiden, but I know it was just a broken day.

The beginning of an end

July 16th, 2012 I found out I was going to be a mommy, for the 2nd time! We had been
trying for a few months, and in June, though too early to know for sure, thought it
was a possibility I miscarried, so we were VERY excited about this positive test.

I went through the usual symptoms; cravings (“Honey, I know it’s 9:00 but will you
go to the store and get me some popcorn and chocolate milk?”), extreme tiredness
(“No, I can’t walk from the bedroom to the bathroom, I’ll just pee my pants),
moodiness (“What do you mean we are out of popcorn?!??!?!?!), and having a nose
that could pick up ANYTHING (“I’m going to puke if you don’t take that hamburger
of the stove”).

So on Wednesday August 8, 2012, our 4th wedding anniversary, when I noticed
blood on the toilet paper, I was scared. I hadn’t bled with Aiden, so I didn’t know
what was normal and what wasn’t. To the books I went! The phrase “50 percent
of the time women who bleed go on to have a full term baby” did NOT make me
feel better. I tried some blogs. Those were a bit better, as I chose to only read
the “happy ending” ones.

Thursday proved to be a good day, no bleeding, no weird cramping or fever. So even
though in the back of my mind something was telling me things weren’t right.. I told
myself “Everything is okay, no more blood. It was just one of those things.”

Friday wasn’t as great. No blood, but lots of brown discharge. I called my doctors
office. The nurse I spoke with was very nice, and told me that as of now they just
want me to wait and see what happens. If I start bleeding again or pass blood clots
they want me to call back. And again, having that thought that somehting wasnt right
in the back of my mind, but not willing to bring it to the forefront yet.

This was the beginning of an end.