Thursday, July 21, 2016

We Lost Her

We Lost Her

On New Years Eve 2015 I was shocked to find out we were pregnant. This was not a planned pregnancy, or something we wanted at this time in our lives, but I was over the moon. Matt-not so much. He eventually started talking about the baby around 11 weeks, and I was starting to feel more positive. I was scared, but trusted the Lord that this was His plan for our family. 

The boys (especially Liam) were ecstatic about welcoming a new baby into our home. Every night Liam would tell me how excited he was, put his hands on my belly, and remind me that my belly is going to get "SO BIG"! He would put his hands out in front of him, and want me to tell him just how big this baby would grow before she came out. Liam was convinced it was a girl, but we didn't know for sure. I was convinced it was another boy, despite that I had never been this sick with the boys. 

I craved sushi, banana's, and LOVED coffee. I limited myself to one small cup a day, but could easily have drank the whole pot. I was exhausted everyday, and Noah began to realize that mom's routine was getting home from work, changing into pj's, and laying on the couch watching movies until bedtime. No, it wasn't my finest parenting moments, but I don't regret any of it. I loved the time with him, just snuggling. 

We saw her at 10 weeks, healthy heartbeat, and floating around. At that moment, I completely fell in love. Once you see that baby, everything becomes real. The pregnancy was progressing normal (or so I thought). I started to feel much better at 12 weeks, and was so thankful. It seemed "normal" to start feeling better around this time. I was so busy with everything, that I didn't worry much about her, although I feel guilty about that now. 

It was March 11th and I was 15 weeks, 2 days pregnant. I took Liam to my check-up so he could hear her heartbeat. He still remembers going with me to listen to Noah's. He was very excited. The next moments were a blur. I remember the doctor asking me about feeling her "kick", my heart dropped because I hadn't even thought about this. What kind of mother doesn't notice her baby isn't kicking? OMG-my baby hasn't moved, and I'm 15 weeks pregnant. He laid me down, with my eager, sweet 5 year old standing next to me, with a huge smile on his face, holding my hand. Matt was not with me, and I was so mad at that moment. The doctor searched for a few minutes, and I just laid there in shock. I tried to stay strong for Liam, and brace him for what was going to happen next. While the Doctor went to get the ultrasound machine, I calmly told Liam that the baby was not alive anymore. That the Lord needed the baby in heaven, and was no longer in my belly. I told him that these things happen sometimes, and it's ok. It's ok to be sad, but that we will see her again. He was very confused, and got really nervous. The doctor confirmed my worst nightmare. She was gone. We lost her. She was physically there, a little bigger than thelast time we saw her, but she wasn't moving. I will never forget the stillness. Just a few weeks prior, we when saw her, there was a bright flickering light in the middle of her chest beating with life. This time she was still, there was nothing...

I couldn't break, I couldn't cry. My other baby was with me. He needed me. He needed me to stay strong, and calm. And that's what I did. I sat up, didn't shed a tear, and we walked out holding hands. Liam who usually asks 100 questions about everything was unusually silent. I still carry guilt about exposing him to that scene. I told Matt to come right away and pick up Liam so I could have a moment, and talk with the doctor about the next steps. Matt was in shock too. Sadly, my first thought was "You got what you wanted". It breaks my heart that that was my first thought when I lost the baby, and it was something that we had to work through together. It wasn't easy.

According to measurements she stopped growing at 12 weeks 4 days. I ended up having her in the Emergency Room four days later, 2 hours before my scheduled D&C. It was a horrific scene. One that will be embedded in my heart forever. I am glad that Matt and I both got to see her, but it was a very traumatic experience filled with so many emotions. I will never get the image of her out of my head. I still see her everyday. She was perfectly formed, all ten toes and fingers. She had her hands clasped in a prayer position. She looked perfect, and I wasn't expecting that at all. They ended up taking me back for emergency surgery because I could not pass the placenta, and they couldn't stop the bleeding. The pain was excruciating.

We did all the testing they offered. They autopsied her, and sent my placenta to the lab to check for any abnormalities.  We opted not to find out the gender, as I felt it was safer for my heart. Weeks passed as we processed this loss, and I drug myself through the trenches of grief (which is a whole other blog post). We finally got the call we had been waiting for. I will never forget it. I was in the Wal-mart shopping for work. I rushed to the Subway and sat down at a booth with a notepad and pen. I wanted to make sure I wrote down everything, so I could let Matt know. The conversation was much shorter than I had hoped. The doctor said "I'm sorry, we don't know what happened, the test came back, healthy female".  My heart dropped, surely he hadn't just told me the gender? I repeated "female"? My voice quivering. The doctor then gave some schpeel about how these things happen and we don't always know why. After we hung up, I literally had to run to my car to avoid bursting into tears in public. I sobbed. I sobbed so hard for that little girl that I didn't even know I wanted. In my car, big ugly cries. I screamed. I called Matt sobbing "It was a girl, a perfectly healthy little girl" "What did I do"? In that moment and for months afterward I completely blamed myself. It was the sushi I ate, it was the coffee, it was the hot dog I had a costco. I forgot to take my prenatal's some nights. The pain and guilt were almost unbearable.

It's been a little over four months now. The grief process has been hard. Some days it was hard to get out of bed, and then others I just felt numb. I can honestly say that the bad days are almost non existent now. Maybe one day, I will share how God's grace saved me, and got me to this time in my life. A time where I feel completely accepting and at peace with losing her. I can say now, that it was all part of His bigger plan. A plan that I could not see. He is so good. All the time, God is good. Disclaimer: Please do not say this to anyone deep in the trenches of grief. Their heart can't understand it yet. Just be present. No words are necessary.

I contemplated posting this. However, she was a part of our story and I want it documented. She will forever be a part of my heart, and be the little girl we wanted so bad, but never had.


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