From our Broken Hearts

* I don’t normally find it necessary to make disclaimers for my posts. But this is regarding pregnancy loss and I know many friends who may find this upsetting.

It is from the depths of grief and sadness that I write this post. I thought waiting a couple of days would make it easier, but the pain is just as sharp.

I intended to post this Thursday for Thanksgiving how thankful we were for the blessing of our third child, safely into our 2nd trimester at 14 weeks.

Instead I come to you today, having lost our baby, who we have named Miles, this past Friday, November 21st.

This baby was so wanted. So loved. So celebrated. Dreamed of. And now he is gone.

It is fitting that the snow turned to rain as I suffered in the hospital for nearly 24 hours. My soul is full of tears that are pouring like the rain on these cloudy November days.

This pregnancy was so difficult from the very beginning. I felt nauseous from the second I saw a positive pregnancy test back in August. And tired. SO tired all day, every day. I thought it was a good thing. A sign how many awesome hormones were coursing through my body.

But then between 8 and 9 weeks I started bleeding. We spent a harrowing weekend resting and terrified of losing the baby until we went for an ultrasound and were told I had a subchorionic hemorrhage, which is essentially a blood clot between the uterine wall and placenta. I had just months before sat with my friend Jessi in the ER as she was diagnosed with the same problem, but she is well into her 2nd trimester, so I knew it could be ok. Plus we heard his heartbeat. Miles got his first and only picture.

So I took it as easy as I could with two active children to chase after. I scaled back on housework and socializing. I took a nap or rested every single afternoon. I was doing everything right.

Then last Thursday I started spotting again. Heavier. Darker. Scarier.

When our midwife, Audra, couldn’t find heart tones again I tried with all my might not to freak the fuck out. So we scheduled an ultrasound that I should be at right now. The bleeding stopped that afternoon. I felt normal. Thought that I felt the baby moving around.

We were having Nicole and Rola, two of my oldest and dearest friends, over for dinner, to see the house for the first time. We had just finished dessert and I felt a gush. I ran to the bathroom and blood.

So. Much. Blood.

I didn’t even think I could leave the toilet I was bleeding so much. I knew what was happening. I knew he was gone.

So we went to the ER at Sparrow. And after being shuffled around the hospital and being throughly disgusted by how I was treated by the L&D unit nurses, we were finally given an ER room and the most amazing nurse, Carmen.

How do you thank the woman that holds your hand and brings you warm blankets as you’re suffering such a tremendous loss? There aren’t adequate words. She was an angel. Even though she tried to hide it and stay professional, she cried with me.

What hurts the most is that our child wasn’t buried. He has no final resting place. He was lost somewhere between the shitty L&D unit and the ER unit bathrooms amongst the other tissue and blood I lost. And that pains me to no end. He deserved to be delivered, to be held, to be cherished.

The OB doctors performed an incredibly horrific and painful procedure on me without anesthesia or warning of how much it would hurt.

Then I lost so much blood that I passed out, went unconscious for a bit and had to have a blood transfusion.

All while my poor Michael had the scare of his life, with me every second, holding my hands and trying not to fall apart. He was so strong. He is my rock. I don’t know if I could have survived one second of this ordeal without his strength.

After spending 24 hours in the hospital, I was finally discharged and came home to my girls that I had missed terribly to tell them the news.

Cedella cried with me and told me so wanted our baby back and why was the baby sick. Isora seemed to take it easily and not quite understand. But now she sees me cry and says “Is it because the baby died?”

I know it seems harsh or somehow inappropriate to tell the kids the truth, but I don’t know any other way to talk to them. They deserve to know what happened. Why I’m sad. Why Dad is sad. Why we won’t be having a baby this spring. They have been a part of the pregnancy from the beginning and should be a part of its end. This was their baby too.

And now we have to figure out how to go on. How to get back to ‘normal’. How to grieve and process and try and make sense of this.

And even if I know this isn’t my fault I am so angry with my body. It did this to me. To us. Something went wrong in my body and that is the worst feeling ever.

I know we can try again. But that doesn’t make any of this any better or easier. Because I will never hold this child. I will never watch him grow. I will never kiss him or nurse him or hear him say ‘I love you’.

So while I certainly hope we will have another baby some day, it will never be this baby. And that just hurts.

Just as their aren’t adequate words for the nurses that helped me at the hospital, there aren’t enough words for those that have taken care of us in the past couple days.

To Nicole and Rola. I can’t thank you enough. For being my friends for nearly 20 years. For introducing me to Michael all those years ago. And for taking such good care of my girls while we were at the hospital. I can never repay you but will be eternally grateful for all you have given me.

To my Tribe. My amazing, supportive, incredible friends here in Lansing and all the way from California to Illinois. They sent flowers to the hospital and sent Trisha to hand deliver chocolate to me. These women are the best support system through good and bad and how fortunate we are to have this group in our lives.

To Sudharshan who was the first at our door, despite his wife (my dear friend Maha) and son being in India, to bring comfort and see if we needed anything. He made me a specific healing food and brought food for the family as well. How thankful we are for a friend like him.

To my girls: Leslie, Nicole G, Meghan, Jessi, Nicole H, Ashley, Kristy, Katie and Annie. You talk to me nearly every day. You have supported me throughout this pregnancy. And your phone calls, texts, hugs and gifts have made this just a little more bearable. I know that you all will be there when this still hurts months from now. I know you won’t hesitate to sit with me and cry. For that, I love you.

To Angela, Robyn, Niki, Kristyn, Jen, Natalie and Lucy thank you for your texts and love and for understanding.

To Klisti, Angelica, Desiree and Jessie, who dropped off food, supplies, chocolate and love. You are such incredible friends. I honor you for taking the time to help my family.

But I could not be here, could not do anything without my family and their love. To Mom and Tracey who sat with me for an entire day in the hospital, watching bad TV and eating terrible hospital food. You two are my world.

To my incredible inlaws, my second father and mother, John and Hilda, thank you for taking such good care of the girls and for supporting me, crying with me and loving me as much as your own daughter.

To Kylara and Robbie who didn’t know what to say to make me feel better but called none the less, who cried with me and who suffer this loss with me, I love you guys.

To my mother-in-law Becky, Michael’s grandma Cecelia and my grandma Rose for sending their love and prayers.

To André and Merissa for your love and kind words and beautiful flowers.

And to Sabah and Talia and Diana, my loves, for sending their prayers and kind words and love.

We are so fortunate to have such a big and caring and supportive family. This baby was loved and wanted by each and every one of them. His loss is felt by each and every one of them. Their hearts break with our own.

There is nothing more I can say to you Michael beyond thank you. Thank you my love. Thank you for our life. Thank you for your love. Thank you for walking this road with me. Thank you.

So now we try to go on. Each day will hurt a little less. Some days will hurt more. Today is just one step forward.

Many have asked what they can do for us. The food and flowers and calls and texts are all so helpful in this moment. It is next week and next month and next May that we will need you the most. What I ask is that you not forget us. Don’t pretend this didn’t happen. Don’t hesitate to ask how we’re doing. Don’t forget our sweet baby Miles.

Much love to anyone I have failed to mention that has kept us in their hearts or prayers. Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: One Year Ago

I’m going to keep this as wordless as I possibly can because I’m getting weepy just thinking back to one year ago and the urge to ramble about how my baby isn’t really a baby anymore is strong.

Something happens when your baby is about to turn one.

You lose it.

Even if I’m finally managing to get out of the house with two reasonably clean and well dressed children and make it to any function only ten minutes late, I still feel like I’m losing it.

Because I really wanted to savor every single moment of Isora’s first year, to document every new word, every single milestone. But it’s all gone by so fast. And here we are, days away from her big day, and I am a weeping emotional mess.

But today I went back. Call it a flashback. Here’s what I remember so clearly from one year ago…

It was HOT. In the 80’s. In Michigan. In March. We were playing outside for hours. In the water table.

And twirling around in the grass.

Cedella and I were spending some last amazing moments together. Like taking silly pictures. Notice the wedding rings around my neck. Yes, I was a bit swollen.

And eating crepes. Something I always wanted to do with her. We were both licking Nutella off our fingers. They were incredible.

Spending our last few moments of solo nursing. And snuggling.

And then just two days before I went into labor, on St. Patrick’s Day, my love came home with all of this. Flowers, a card and a Shamrock Shake. Mmmm…now I want a Shamrock Shake.

The card told me how proud he was that I had made it all nine months and that the end was in sight and he knew I could do it. I love him so much.

And then there’s this photo. Taken a mere 24 hours before Isora was born. Don’t I look thrilled? Did I mention it was HOT.

I look at that picture and can feel just how exhausted and yet excited I was. How much I wanted all of it to be over so I could just hold my baby already. It’s so vivid. And now she’s been on this planet for an entire year.

It’s crazy how time literally flies right out of your hands when you’re too busy living to pay attention.

Ok…I’ve got to go snuggle my Izzie and cry a bit about how big she is.

Happy Wordless and Wonderful Wednesday to you!

We’re Having a Baby: Week 30

Holy baby Jesus. We’re really having a baby. In about two months. Whuck?!

The strange thing is that you think there’d be a lot to do. But really it seems like we’re ready-ish. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop I guess.

Maybe I should get some bottles? Cedella never took them so I don’t even think we have any. And a pump. That works.

I’d like to get the bins of baby clothes out of the garage and sort through them so I can take what we don’t want to the consignment shop and the Goodwill. And get some clothes for this new Nugget to wear cleaned and put away.

And where oh where is the co-sleeper?

And the newbie diapers? Do I need to buy more diapers? I hoping that this is a yes 😉

At least the kids’ room is almost ready to go. Aside from the fact that Monk’s mattress is on the floor in the middle of the room. Cause the slats from Ikea and the Bunki Board from some furniture place don’t fit and the mattress keeps falling through the frame and if we put it on a box spring it’s too high for her to climb in and out of. So we can’t really manuever in there right now. Oh wait…by the time I finished writing this Michael hooked it up. Thanks love. 

And we’ve got to put a new rod up in the closet for Little Nugget clothes. And buy some more sorting bins. And sort stuff.

So I guess there are a few things to do. I’m tired just thinking about it.

We went to the Greenhouse for an appointment last week and had a lovely chat with Kendra. Now we know all of our midwives and are really confident regardless of who is on call that we all know each other well and have the same goals in mind. And Kendra? She rocks.

After I told her about all the stress I was going through and the worry about my blood pressure being high she took my reading and told me she was in love with my blood pressure.

I’m telling you…she rocks.

She also gave me a glucometer so I could test my blood sugar at home without doing that gross orange drink test. And I have to say I’d be a terrible diabetic (cause I HATE needles enough to even despise the little prick of the tester) but I don’t have to worry about that cause my sugar is where it’s supposed to be.

We talked about all kinds of things. She has travelled the world and was in the Peace Corps and worked as a midwife in the Phillipines. Really? She rocks.

And Kendra gave me a few tips to deal with my ever-growing heartburn issue. Raw almonds and Papaya Enzymes. Yay on both accounts.

Though my back pain is gone, unless I sleep weird, she still urged me to go to the chiropractor. Which I’ve  been putting off for no good reason. Gonna make an appointment this week. Can’t hurt, right?

Little Nugget is measuring great. Right at 30cm. And though I haven’t been asked once by my midwives what I weigh, I can tell you proudly I’ve only gained about 12 lbs. Nice, huh?

The best part came at the end of our appointment. There must have been a staff meeting or something cause all the midwives and doulas and receptionists were there. Heather, my awesome childbirth class instructor and friend, was there to give me a warm hug and tell everyone about my blog (thanks Heather!). Clarice, Audra and Shelley were all there too. We all got into a conversation about how delicious bacon is, cause all these ladies are awesome and love bacon, cause bacon is good, right?! We were all having such a great time (including Cedella) that it took about a half hour to leave.

I <3 this place in a major way.

Lucky me I got to come back later in the week for a massage with the lovely Molly. Every single woman who goes through the birth center for her prenatal care gets a prenatal and a postnatal massage. Ahhhhh…luxury.

Molly and I got along right from the first second and I felt totally comfortable in all my nudey pregnant glory getting rubbed down. She was wonderful. We chatted the whole time, and while that may not seem all that relaxing, it was. She’s easy to talk to and gives a hell of a massage. Little Nugget even got a rub down, which Molly admits is her favorite part of prenatal massage, cause Little Nug responded with flips and kicks.

Then she got me all pillowed-up on my side and rubbed my back and shoulders. Holy baby Jesus indeed. It was amazing. I almost passed out from the bliss of it all.

By the end of my massage I felt like a whole new Mommy. Ready to face the world. And the snow and sleet of this Michigan winter.

So I’ve been feeling good albeit a bit sore and achey in the pelvic region. Little Nugget just never moved up, seems like I’ve been carrying her pretty low throughout this pregnancy. I seriously have to pee all. the. time.

At this point with Monk I had a foot lodged in my rib cage. Not so with #2. Feet are nowhere near my ribs.

And I’d be able to tell.

This kid moves. A LOT.

All day long. All night long.

The only time she stops? When I’m moving.

She’s gonna be one of those kids that lives in a Moby Wrap and a swing, isn’t she?

Michael and I pulled out a flashlight the other night and rubbed it back and forth across the belly. Even he was surprised at the alien-like movements coming from my belly. She flipped out.

Feeling a lot more active too. On a sunny day last week that was actually 50 degrees, in Michigan, in January. Leslie & I walked a four mile loop, pushing the girls in their strollers. And I wasn’t winded (except for the epic hill at the beginning of the walk) and I wasn’t sore the next day either. Go Mommy go!

Still need to get into the habit of doing yoga a few times a week though, more than just my cat/cow poses every day. It’s past time to get some flexibility back into these legs and arms and abs. Hope it’s not too late. My bloggy buddy Brooke over at Whimsy Valentine gave me a couple of DVD suggestions so I waiting impatiently for an Amazon box to arrive…

So all in all: I <3 the Greenhouse. Feeling good. Measuring well. Blood pressure and blood sugar are awesome. Baby kicks a lot. Still a lot of shit to get done.

Pretty much sums up beginning my 8th month on this crazy journey.

And now…for your moment of zen. Oh wait. That’s someone else’s line. Now for your moment of pregnant belly bliss:

 

P.S. For those keeping score…we still have no name. Little Nugget, poor little lady, is still just Little Nugget.