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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How We Do Spring

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones then you know the words of House Stark: Winter is Coming. Well this year in Michigan Winter came. And kept coming. And felt like it was never going to leave. Feet upon feet of snow fell. Everything was covered in a thick crust of salty ice. The Cold had a tendency to creep right into your bones and take root, never really leaving, no amount of blankets or layers or pair of socks could break its hold.

And through this mind-numbing, bone-chilling, soul-sucking Winter, we were house hunting.

It’s almost ridiculous to think about now. Michael and I (and occasionally the girls too), trudging about on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon. Walking precariously over unsalted walks in search of our Forever Home. Thinking about it now, we’re a bit crazy, aren’t we?

Slowly. Very slowly, the days began to lengthen. The sun began to melt the glaciers of ice on every curb and street corner. And suddenly it was 50 degrees and it felt like the Sun was a brand new thing. Something we had forgotten, that we had been missing for too long.

As soon as that first thaw took hold we broke out of our frozen ice palace and headed out to do all the things we couldn’t during the Winter That Almost Never Ended. It didn’t bother us if there was snow on the ground as long as we could wear cool hats, warm coats and the sun was shining.

Here’s some of the things we did to say goodbye to Winter and welcome to Spring..

1. Just got out and walked. Usually to visit Dad at Spartan Spirits.

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2. Even if it was still cold we joked around on Sandy the Pony at Meijer. Sometimes 2 or 3 rides at a time if there wasn’t anyone waiting.

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3. Birthday Parties (like this one for our friend Claire)!! Especially if there were crafts involved. A few hours at a birthday party made us forget that it wasn’t summer yet.

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4. Bike Riding on the Deck. At the old house we didn’t have a yard and with a pretty busy sidewalk and street out front, so we rode around on the deck a lot. Don’t forget your helmets folks! Can’t be too safe!

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5. We went to the Potter Park Zoo with our friend Kierce. And you know what? Apparently the lions were sick of Winter too and were super vocal in their complaints about it.

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6. We hung out at the library music and story time with our friends Nia, Mia and Imani.

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7. When in doubt and super bored. Go visit Dad at Spartan Spirits, build a beer case Castle and play!

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8. We got out to walk and play on the swings as soon as possible. Someone can never get enough of the swings!

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9. We visited the farm when all the baby lambs were born and got to feed them.

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10. One day the magnolia tree next door was blossoming and the next day the snow was falling. Didn’t matter. We played outside anyways.

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11. And when the weather cleared again, we blew bubbles and played for hours on TeTe’s stoop in Hamtramck.

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12. For weeks Izzie carried her Doc McStuffins bag around with her to give mobile checkups to all those in need.

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13. Take in a baseball game! Just don’t forget your blankets, it’s Michigan after all. My MIL Becky invited us to a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game. So BIL André and his lovely girlfriend Merissa came into town and joined us for a night out. So. Fun.

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14. Take the kids to see Sesame Street Live. Cause Elmo and Big Bird can pretty much make every day look like a sunny day and sweep all the clouds away. It was Izzie’s first show. She wasn’t nearly as enraptured as Ella and Anna though.

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15. Field Trips!! In the midst of all the packing, closing, cleaning and schlepping boxes to our new house Preschool helped keep Cedella busy and engaged. I couldn’t pass up a chance to go to the MSU Horse Farm. She absolutely loved it there. Even if the stalls were a bit stinky for her taste.

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Despite all the excitement we managed to sort, purge, bag, box, donate, transport, sell or move all of our worldly possessions to our new home.

And somewhere along the way Winter stayed gone. Now it’s nothing but blue skies, hot days and mosquitoes. But we’ll talk about those little buggers another day.

How’s your spring been going? Any big plans for summer? Family vacations around the corner? Tell me all about them in the comments!!

 

Week in My Life 2013: Monday

It’s that time of year again! The time in which the lovely Melissa at Adventuroo and MomComm delivers a torturous yet rewarding weekly meme all about capturing one week in my family’s life.

It’s intimidating and exhausting but looking back each year at how our family worked at that moment. At the things we did, the places we went, the things we ate, what we said, what we looked like. It’s priceless.

So without further ado (and already late at that) here’s Monday…

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Over the weekend we drove to Canada for our cousin Kifah’s wedding (more on that and tons of pictures next week), so we arrived home at around 10pm on Sunday night. Since they had been in the car for about six hours and took late naps, we battled the kids to get them to bed. Izzie finally passed out around 11:30 and Cedella around midnight.

Needless to say we were all exhausted on Monday morning and had done no prep for the next morning. And being a Monday morning it was a school morning. ::forehead slap::

So when I rumbled awake at 8:15 I was in a panic. No one else was awake. And there was only 45 minutes until school started. NOT a great start to the day.

I jostled Cedella out of bed and she picked out some clothes, surprisingly without much issue.

But by the time it came to brushing hair and teeth and washing her hands…melt. down.

In the midst of fighting with her to wash her hands she woke up Izzie who was hysterical with her need for Mama Milk.

No time for that I put Iz in bed with Michael and rushed Ella downstairs to have breakfast. And it was already 8:45.

Yea. That’s not enough time for a picky, distracted eater to eat.

Suddenly I felt a million times sorry to my own mom for all the times she dealt with me being up late on school mornings. And for not being prepared. And for fighting with her about what to wear. And for never eating breakfast.

I made a cup of coffee for the road. Poured a glass of juice in a sippy and a bag of cheerios for Ella. Threw some semi-healthy food into her lunch box and attempted to get out of the house.

Only it was pouring rain.

And someone wouldn’t put on her rain boots.

Cause why on earth wear rain boots when it’s raining?

So pink ballet flats were agreed upon. In which she promptly fell down and got her leggings and socks all wet.

We quickly changed her pants and I picked her up and swept her into the car.

It was 9:01. It takes 15 minutes to get there on a good day. Sigh. We were late. But Ella was happy to be back at school.

After such a crazy morning it was time for a little yummy breakfast. So I grabbed Dunkin Donuts and headed home. We ate sammys and donuts and drank copious amounts of coffee. Well, I drank coffee. Izzie slammed a donut then had some Mama Milk and all was right in the world.

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Izzie got a chance to watch some Sesame Street while I checked emails, Facebook and edited some photos from the weekend. As usual, Kira is never far away from a child that may be eating. She’s the best vacuum dog ever.

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After Sesame Street we got in the car to go pick up this little beauty from my friend Meghan who was kind enough to order for me. I’ve been stalking Scottish-made Oscha wraps for a while. And now it is mine!! ::maniacal laugh::

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And then we headed to the complete opposite side of town to pick up Cedella from school. I tried in vain to keep Isora awake so she could actually play at Play for a change. But of course, even screaming ‘Signing Time’ songs at the top of my lungs, was not enough to keep my over exhausted kid awake. So I put her in the mei tai and headed in to grab Cedella. Could her little sleepy face be any cuter?

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I was pleasantly surprised to see my girls Cindy and Laura and their little ones there playing. And Cindy was kind enough to let me hold her sweet baby boy Atlee for a while. He made my ovaries a bit achey, not gonna lie, I need a baby boy in my home.

While I chatted with the ladies, Izzie woke up and played a bit. It was getting close to 1 and I finally got both girls to the lobby and eventually got both of their shoes on and finally got them both out to the car. And as we drove into downtown East Lansing Ella insisted on going to visit her Daddy at work. So we stopped in for lunch.

Yep. A picnic in a liquor store. Nothing like it!

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Don’t you wish you had beer cases for climbing blocks?

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Once we wrangled them into the car Cedella fell asleep on the ride home. So I popped her into her bed. Izzie was wide awake. So I popped her in my Romeo. Yea, that’s the name of this wrap. Romeo. Isn’t he dreamy?

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Even got some kisses from my little lady before she finally fell asleep.

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Nearly three hours later (I know! Three hour nap?! Oh shit.) Cedella woke up and she was surly. Izzie woke up as soon as she heard her sister whining.

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While the girls played and watched some ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’ I cleaned up this mess from unpacking the car the night before…

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On the menu? Butternut squash soup and smoked sausage. Can you say fall is here?

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World’s Cutest Kitchen Helpers…

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Izzie even snagged Daddy into her favorite past time. Checking out all the pictures on the fridge. She loves seeing all the faces and saying everyone’s names. It makes Michael nuts, but he does it every time, cause he knows she loves it so.

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Since it had been a long and kind of stressful day we decided a cocktail was in order…Caramel Apple Cider. Ummmm. Yum.

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Finally, and a little late to accommodate for late naps, it was bedtime. We got the girls in jammies, got clothes ready for tomorrow morning, picked out and read four books (one for each year of their ages).

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And that’s when the proverbial wheels came off the train. Cedella was simply not tired. And in my exhaustion I didn’t even remember to get out the melatonin pills. There was a lot of shouting and arguing and punishment and overall it was just a disaster. Everytime I nearly got Isora to sleep Cedella would shout and wake her up.

She actually ended up telling Michael to “go away, I don’t want you in my room” and “I don’t like you Daddy” and “leave me alone”. It was awful. Poor Michael. He was just trying in vain to keep her in her bed and trying to be calm and maintain some order. My heart broke for him hearing those things coming out of her mouth.

After explaining to her that she hurt her Dad’s feelings and that I couldn’t stay awake any more I left her in her room and went to bed. It was 11:30. And guess who squeezed her way onto my bed about five mintues later? Um, yea. No real rest for the weary, right?

Be sure to keep a look out every day this week for more Week in My Life fun!! And check out Adventuroo’s link-up for more WIML goodness.