Well most of our posts are happy and filled with pictures this will not be either.
Brian and I laid in bed last night and chatted about the past few days. We had just gotten home from a long weekend in southern Illinois for my brother's wedding. We left Friday morning with our lil dude in tow and after a 6 1/2 hour trip (stopping at gma's for the rest of the crew) we managed to squeeze in a wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, a LONG night in a hotel, hair appointments, lots of pictures, a beautiful wedding, a lot of worrying about lil dude puking on my dress or Brian's tux, a reception, another LONG night in a hotel, two new teeth, brunch with the new in-laws, and another 6 1/2 hour trip home, and then we were home and back to normal. And normal meant talking about Thursday.
While we laid in bed we talked about our miscarriage on Thursday. I lamented how we would tell everyone. A lot of family knew due to the wedding, our church family knew thanks to a prayer email that went out, we knew we would have to post it on Facebook (although it just doesn't seem appropriate), but how in the world do you tell the random people that know you are pregnant but don't receive one of the previously mentioned announcement. I said, "Brian our neighbors will start to wonder where the baby is." I suppose we will handle it as gracefully as we can when we have to.
As we talked Brian said, "I think we should post something on our blog." "I think we should post details." "I wish I would have known how hard it was." "I wish someone would have told me some of the details so I would know just how horrible it was." Although, I don't care for writing (which is why our blog is mostly pictures and videos) nor do I care for being as transparent as Brian likes to be I agreed with his sentiments. So below is an account of our Thursday, October 20th. If you don't care to know details, don't read. We do not tell you our story to be morbid or get people to feel sorry for us, but we tell you are story to hopefully give a voice to the experience.
October 20, 2011
I woke up at 6am to Leo crying, so I reluctantly crawled out of bed to feed him. As I was feeding him my stomach was a bit crampy. Not thinking much of it I finished the feeding, put Leo back to bed, and also went back to bed. I laid there trying to fall back asleep but kept feeling crampy here and there. At 6:30 our lil friend decided it was time to get up for good so Brian got up with him so I could sleep in a little bit. So I laid in bed continuing to feel the cramps come and go. I slowly started to get worried realizing I was having contractions. I got up at 7am and told Brian I thought I was having contractions and I was going to take a shower. At this point I still wasn't too concerned. The contractions kept coming while in the shower.
When I got out of the shower I feed Leo breakfast and ate a bowl of cereal hoping something in my stomach would help. It didn't. I called my doctor's office at 8am thinking that is when they opened, but unfortunately they didn't open until 8:30. While waiting to be able to call when the office was open I went to the bathroom, and saw I had begun to bleed. At this point I knew it was serious and I started getting really worried. I called back to office and had the operator page my doctor. Brian called a friend of ours to see if she could come watch Leo. God showed his provision, by allowing her to be in town and only a few minutes away. When my doctor finally called back she told me to call the office at 8:30 and to make an appointment for this morning. I was pretty confused as to why she was not more concerned. So it was finally 8:30 and I called the office to get an appointment. They said a nurse would have to call me back.
By this time our sweet friend was there and was taking care of Leo so we could get ready to go. It was 8:45 by this time and the nurse called back and said to come in at 9:30 for a sono and I would see the doctor at 10. I told Brian this and both of us were so frustrated as to why people weren't more concerned. By this time I was bleeding heavily and the contractions were getting stronger, so I told Brian forget 9:30 we were going now. We luckily live about 3 minutes from my OB b/c in the car ride there was no break between contractions and I was in pain. Brian dropped me off at the door and went to park. By the time Brian got in the office I just couldn't talk to the people so I said deal with them and I went to the bathroom. I could hear Brian saying forcefully we either see a doctor NOW or we are going to the hospital. Well they said there was no doctor there so Brian said we were going to the ER.
They car ride was only about 6 minutes but I was in so much pain it seemed to take forever. I knew I was bleeding really badly and with the severity of contractions I knew we were in trouble. We got to the ER and they got me into a room right away with a nurse. I was bleeding very heavily by the time I got my gown on and the contractions were unbearable. Brian kept pushing our button saying we needed a doctor now, but we were told we got there at the same time as an ambulance so we would need to wait. The nurse came in and I told her I had to push. She said, "well, you can't do that you need to just breathe through it." Ha, easy to say. The doctor finally came in and checked me and told the nurse that I was having a miscarriage and he could see the sac. At that point Brian and I both began to cry and Brian started to pray. The doctor left and I asked the nurse for some pain medication. Luckily she was in the process of getting an IV in me and then she put some pain meds in me. It luckily took the edge off the pain but by that point it didn't really matter.
About 10 minutes later I again told the nurse I HAD to push and she just kept telling me that I couldn't, and all of the sudden it was as if the pain medication had worn off and all of the pain came back. I just kept telling her I had to push! Finally the doctor came in and he very slowly (he was trying to wait for my OB to actually get there) put on his gloves. As I was watching him put on his gloves at what seemed like a snails pace, I said, "Oh for the love of pete!" I felt bad b/c I didn't want to be rude, but really dude put your stinkin' gloves on!
Brian started praying and it only took one more push and our baby came out. Let me tell you this was not anything like the delivery of Leo. There was no joy or excitement. There was no whisking the baby away for weight and length. There was no cry of a baby. There was no nursing. There was, well, nothing. The doctor put our baby on the table in a a small container and he left. I asked the nurse if she could tell if it was a boy or girl, I mean we were after all supposed to have the ever so exciting doctor's appointment in just 5 days to find out if we were having a boy or girl. The nurse who had never done this before said she couldn't tell.
After a couple minutes my OB came in and checked me. She said that there was still pieces of the placenta in my uterus so I would need to have surgery to remove it. She was very nice and comforting. She asked if we would like to see our baby. We did. She removed the baby from the sac and brought the baby to us. The baby was tiny, but beautiful. I remember seeing just a tiny, tiny little fully developed ear and I was amazed. We asked our doctor if the baby was a boy or girl. Unfortunately, she said the baby was smaller than what a 19 week baby would be so she thought it had passed away a week or two ago, so she unfortunately couldn't tell if the baby was a boy or girl. That broke my heart. I had no intention of referring to my child as "it" now that I had seen the baby. So I decided the baby looked like a girl. I have no idea if I'm right, but I think b/c all of the features were so tiny I just imagined her being a girl.
The doctor left and we had a little bit of time alone with our baby. We cried, and prayed, and looked and then we put her down and covered her with a cloth. My OB came back in and we said we were done. She had given us the option of spending more time with the baby once my surgery was over but we said we didn't need any more time. Unfortunately, after everything was over I really wish I had taken more time later, everything was just happening so quickly I didn't know how I would feel later.
They then took me up to perform a DNC on me to remove the rest of my placenta. Luckily, I was put under and when I came to a couple hours later it was all over. In only about 7 hours our lives had changed so much. The doctor told Brian the surgery had gone well but I had lost a lot of blood and may need a blood transfusion later in the day if my blood count had not gone up enough. It had and by 5pm we were being discharged (at our request) we could have stayed the night but were eager to get home to Leo.
It was one of the best feelings to get home and have Leo see us and grin ear to ear and crawl over to give us some much needed lovin'.
I was in a lot of pain on Friday mostly just due to every muscle in my body contracting during the whole thing the day before, but by Saturday I was feeling physically okay. But now as Monday is here we are trying to figure out how to heal emotionally and how to deal with "normal" life. We are trying to deal with feelings when we see outfits that we were saving for the new baby, or when we have to put away the prenatal vitamins, or when I have to put back on my maternity clothes when I no longer am pregnant, and as we wrestle through thoughts of what we did to cause this to happen. We had no idea how hard this would be. We had already started planning where the baby would go and what we would name the baby. I was so excite to raise two kids so close together and now we have to deal with the thoughts and reality of do we try again, do we wait a long time, what is the right thing to do.
But through everything we really do know that God is in control. It sounds SO trite. But the reality is that our God was not surprised and he had not left us. He was there holding tightly too us. He was present in how Brian took care of me. He was present in providing care for Leo when we needed it. He is present in how people are lifting us up in prayer currently. We realize that everything we have is from Him and is ultimately His. We have dedicated Leo to Him and have consciously made a decision to acknowledge that Leo is His and He has the right to do with Him as he wants, and we must now understand the same is true of this child.
I know this post was long. We hope that it serves as a reminder to us what has happened. We hope it shows Leo later in life what has happened. We hope that those who have never experienced this never have to but have a better idea of what happens. And we hope that those who have experienced this can find hope and peace in our God that loves them and understands what it is like to lose a child.
Brian and Julie