Monday, October 21, 2013

Disney 2013

Losing Baby Taylor

I need to preface the following post with this: I am speaking about my miscarriage because [to me] it felt like no one else did. Miscarriage is such a private thing, and I totally understand why its something people chose to not talk about. But for me, because no one I knew really talked about it, I felt alone. I felt like even though the statistics say almost half of women will experience a miscarriage, I only knew 3. And only one of those three friends openly discussed what happened to her regarding her miscarriage. I felt like just going on about life as if I hadn't just lost a child was [for me] preposterous. I DID just lose a child. And I found that [for me], talking about it, particularly with other women who've experienced the same thing, really helped me. So, if anything, I hope that if there is someone out there who feels alone, or like they have no one to talk to, know that you are indeed not alone. And if you need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to contact me. For me, talking about it helped me heal.

We found out at the end of July via home pregnancy test that we were pregnant with baby #3! Because of numerous things going on at the time, I wasn't able to see a doctor to confirm the pregnancy until the end of August, and by then I would be over 9 weeks pregnant. I was very uncomfortable waiting this long to see the doctor since both my other pregnancies were high risk, but the receptionists would not more my appointment up any sooner. We hadn't announced our pregnancy because we wanted that confirmation from the doctor and also the ultrasound picture to show. Our appointment was set for August 28th. That weekend, we planned on announcing it to Kevin's side of the family at the annual family vacation to the hunting camp.

The morning of August 28 we excitedly were getting ourselves and the boys ready for the appointment. While doing my makeup, I turned to Kevin and told him the following:
I had a very scary dream last night. I dreamt that I awoke in the middle of the night with a pain in my stomach, followed by a gushing sensation. I reached down under the sheets and discovered I was miscarrying. I pulled out from under the sheets a bloodied teeny, tiny, perfectly formed little baby. The baby was only an inch or so long, but it was perfect. I am so glad we don't have to experience a miscarriage like that...I can't even imagine...

Off we went to our appointment! We were SO excited to finally see our little peanut.  We took the kids with us, and Elias understood what was going on. We told him all about how we were going to see a picture of the new baby and hear the heartbeat, and he totally got it. When we got in the room, the midwife was just feeling around my belly, and she turned to me and said, "so do you think there's only one in there?!" I started showing at 6 weeks, and while I knew twins were so unlikely for us, the fact that I was showing 4 weeks before I started showing with Gavin, I couldn't help but wonder...and that comment by the midwife made me wonder even more!

She started the ultrasound, and there it was! Our little peanut! She moved the probe around a bit, trying to get better views. Having had so many ultrasound before, I knew where to look and what things were. After a few moments, I knew something was off. She said "I'm having trouble finding a heartbeat. Lets measure to see how far along you are. Sometimes if its too early we don't see it yet". I knew though I was most definitely 9 weeks at least, and I knew that we should be seeing clearly the flicker that seemingly takes up the whole body of the baby at this stage. But there was nothing. She measured, and the baby was measuring right on 9 weeks. According to my dates, the baby should have been 9 weeks 3 days. She then said "I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat". The baby's heart stopped just a day or two before.


That was it. The ultrasound was over, and she left the room. We sat there sobbing hysterically. How could this happen? Why did this happen? Was it something I did? I asked the midwife if there was any chance at all of the ultrasound just not picking up the heartbeat. She said no. We called my mother in law, and she came down immediately to watch the boys so we could go to maternal fetal medicine for another ultrasound. That ultrasound lasted maybe only 30 seconds and confirmed that there was no heartbeat.

We then sat in a conference room with a doctor and discussed our options. I could either just wait and let things happen on their own, take medicine to induce the miscarry, or have a D&C. We had planned on going away the next day for the holiday weekend to the middle-of-no-where PA, and I knew there was no way I could have a procedure before all that. I decided I wanted to miscarry naturally. The doctor said it could be days or it could be weeks before it happened, there was no telling how long. We decided we'd give it two weeks, and then we'd come back and talk to the doctor again. Those next two weeks were the longest two weeks of my life. Every time I went to the bathroom I held my breath. Emotionally, I was an absolute wreck. Its all I thought about. Every time I rocked Gavin before bed, I bawled my eyes out. I would never have that opportunity to rock that baby to sleep or kiss its sweet face. I pictured Jesus rocking my baby to sleep, and the angels singing a lullaby. It was a beautiful picture...but I wanted to do that! I wanted that to be me! It just didn't seem fair.

After 2 weeks went by, I went back to the doctor. I saw a new doctor this time, and I explained to him how I really wanted it to happen naturally but I wasn't sure I could emotionally handle the wait any longer. I also told him how since it hadn't happened yet, it pushed me into some sort of denial that the baby was actually gone. So he immediately offered another ultrasound right then and there to put my mind at ease. He did the ultrasound, and there the baby was. It hadn't budged, and didn't look like it was going anywhere anytime soon. He said because of how far along I was, the longer my body waits to miscarry, the higher my chances are of infection from the dead tissues, as well as heavy bleeding that could be dangerous for me. I decided I needed the D&C not only for myself, but for my family. I was totally checked out those past two weeks, and I felt like my kids and husband needed me back. There was nothing I could do to bring the baby back, and I felt like I just needed to physically move on. So we scheduled the D&C for that Friday.

Friday September 13th (I know, great date right?!), Kevin and I went in for the D&C. I was a hot mess, but all the nurses were so incredibly sweet and understanding. The one nurse even prayed with us beforehand. I have to say, not one single person treated our miscarriage as just a "fetus". All understood that it was a baby that we lost, not just a clump of tissue, and that in itself was something I was very grateful for. With a D&C, you have to be put the sleep, so when I was wheeled into the operating room, and the nurse who was there with me looked down at me, I just lost it. I ugly cried for maybe 20 seconds. Then opened my eyes, looked at the nurse, and said "okay...I'm ready".

The next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. My throat was dry and sore, and I must have asked 5 times if they had to put a breathing tube in (they didn't). But I was so slow to come out from the anesthesia that I would ask the question and then drift off before he could even answer! The nurses said they couldn't wake me for a good 15 minutes after I got back to the room. It took me almost 2 hours to snap back to it. But thankfully, I had no pain at all.  And much to my surprise, I had a huge sense of relief. I felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Its not that I was relieved that my baby was gone. I was just relieved that I no longer would be waking up every morning wondering when I was going to miscarry. I was relieved that my body could finally realize what had happened and get back to "normal". But most importantly of all, I could finally rest in knowing that my baby was in the arms of my Savior. While I know for a fact that I will emotionally be dealing with this the rest of my life, I needed physically to move on. 

On our way home from the hospital, I thumbed through a folder the nurses had given me when being discharged. Down in the folder was a delicate little pouch. Attached was a little note that said something to the effect of "since you are leaving the hospital with empty arms, here is a little bracelet to remember your baby."

This pregnancy felt different than my previous ones with the boys. My gut told me it was a girl. Since it was still too early, unless we wanted to shovel out nearly a thousand dollars for genetic testing, there was no way of knowing whether it was a boy or girl. We decided we needed to name our baby. This would give me some sort of closure, and I wanted my child to have some sort of identity, not just "the baby". Its what I needed to do to move on. We chose a unisex name that would work for both a girl or a boy.