Monday, May 19, 2014

Where Do I Start?

Where do I start and what do I say? I kept thinking I needed to make a post about the pregnancy, how things were going, how we found out, our plans for the future, names, ultra sound photo's, how we announced the pregnancy, what everyones reactions were… I never got around to it.

The first person I had to tell that we had lost the baby was the receptionist for ultrasounds at the doctor's office.  We came out of the room and walked right past her.  She said "Well that was quick! Wait, you still have to have your finger pricked!"

We had gone in for a regular checkup.  Afterwards the doctor asked if I wanted that defect screening where they measure the baby's neck on ultrasound and then do a blood test on the mother. I said yes and asked if it were possible to just do it today. I was so sick of tests or doctor visits every week! We were in luck, they'd recently and one of their ultrasound tech's  come back so they were less busy than usual. I was excited to see our baby again.  It had been a month since we'd seen our little bean on the screen, seen the heart beat and had proof of our second miracle. I had shared the ultrasound photo's with my family and friends and felt a rush of love when my parents responded with excitement and tears of joy.  With high risk pregnancies sometimes you get the perk of having more ultrasounds, so every week I hoped we'd get to see our baby again.

I sat on the table in the hospital gown waiting for the ultrasound tech to return. She hadn't been able to see much from the outer US - "because I wasn't very far along"… but I had a knot in my stomach. I felt nervous. I told Danny I felt anxious for some reason. And where had she gone? She was taking too long.  For the past two weeks i'd had irrational fears that something was wrong with Rowan or that he'd stopped breathing in his sleep. I'd become anxious and have to check on him, I always found my perfect little son snoozing away soundly.

The ultrasound tech was taking too long examining my… ovaries. Unease increased inside of me. Why was she doing that? Why weren't we seeing our baby? Then the doctor entered the room and I knew.  The tech turned the view to our baby. The doctor asked how far along I was supposed to be, she respond with "12 weeks 5 days."

"It's not is it?" I asked. Finally realizing we should be hearing a heart beat right now. And we weren't.

"No. It looks like the baby no longer has a heart beat. And stopped growing at about 8 and a half weeks." The doctor said.  He went on, about options and how this just happens sometimes when things weren't developing correctly. He said we could have the weekend to decide "What to do." I told them I understood.

After dressing and returning to the room Danny tried to hug me, I pushed him away and said "Not here." I just couldn't break down there, in front of strangers. My baby was dead.

The unease I had felt that something was wrong with "my baby" suddenly made sense. I had been carrying my baby who was no longer with us for weeks, I just hadn't realized it and been focusing on the wrong baby; Rowan. From the very beginning this pregnancy seemed different, but everyone says that each one is different. I knew I was pregnant long before it was showing up on home pregnancy tests. I was becoming more and more frustrated as symptoms kept showing and the blue line never did. Eventually I started worrying maybe it were ectopic or something so I went in to the doctors, the did a blood test and got a very low positive result. We returned a few days later to have the hcg levels in normal ranges. I wasn't near as sick with this pregnancy. In the beginning I worried, maybe something wasn't right? For having been so sick with my first it was unusual to not be… and a sign that things weren't normal. I told friends I was concerned, they assured me things were fine.  When we saw our baby on the ultrasound at what I KNEW to be 9 and a half weeks, heart beating away my fears were calmed, although I was a little bummed they moved the due date  back according to the baby measuring only 7 weeks.

The pregnancy continued, or so I thought and I just wasn't near as sick as before. I was so grateful and thought "What a blessing!" My biggest fear with trying for another baby with Rowan being so young was if I would be too sick to take care of him. I just thought that heavenly father must know what I can handle, and he knew it was time to send us another baby so he lightened the load. I was so grateful.

I'd be lying if I didn't say how stupid that makes me feel now. How foolish I feel for all of those times on our knees we prayed for a baby who was no longer living and had no idea.  Don't tell me I don't "need" or "shouldn't" feel that way, I just do. For all of those times I looked down at my abdomen in the shower and smiled at the miracle or stroked my belly while falling asleep wondering if we would have a baby girl this time… I feel so, so, just dumb.  I feel lots of different emotions though. That's how grief is. Anger, sorrow, pain. And in that first week after, when shock was still present there were times when I felt so much love, between my husband and I and from dear friends. I felt myself exploding with an overload of raw, human experience.  I was deeply upset by the knowledge that our child was no longer living inside of me. When I finally made the decision to have the d&c procedure I was flooded with peace. And fear. I was very worried i'd be having a living baby removed even though I knew that i'd seen there was no heart beat.

My mom came to stay for almost two weeks a few days after having the procedure. It was great to have her support and the distraction. It has only been three weeks since we found out and people somehow seem to expect me to be "fine." To be ready to "get over it." I'm not going to apologize for feeling. I'm human and that baby was a person who was to join our family in 6 short months. It's hard for a society to acknowledge such a loss while aborting children of the same age at the same time.  It's hard for a society to not look down on someone for being honest and saying "I need more time." For not jumping ahead and throwing themselves back into life, into distraction. For not just saying "I'm fine."  I understand myself and that emotions must be addressed instead of stuffed away, or they will exhibit themselves in unhealthy ways in time.  This is not me being negative, this is not me thinking I cannot handle it. It's me, dealing with my loss in my own way in my own time.

The distraction for the first two weeks was good… except for at night, when my subconscious brought the pain to the surface to haunt my dreams. I took some time to feel the pain and grief a couple of nights ago after my mom left and while Danny was on a field exercise.  I took the ultrasounds from the fridge.  I got the "Only Child Expiring" onsie out of Rowan's drawer and I wrote my angel baby a letter. I felt the loss, the unfulfilled dream and I told my child how they were made in love, and how much I wanted and love them. I told them how much I wished I knew if they were a boy or girl so I could give them a name. I told them how I knew we would be together someday. That they were mine and I theirs for eternity.  Then I placed them, along with a newborn sized diaper i'd purchased for our baby all in a little box wrapped in pretty paper.

I hope we never have more ultrasound photo's to add to that box.

People keep asking. How far along are you now? Do you know the gender yet? I know it's not your fault.  How do I look at you and say it? Over and over?

Where do I start?

I know I will see my baby again. I know others have gone through this as well. I know there will be other children. I know we will be fine.


  1. Megan I feel for you. Take your own time to grieve, don't let anyone rush you. I lost a baby last fall at 8 weeks. I was so broken hearted about it especially since we had been trying for 6 months. I know that Heavenly Father gives us these challenges for a reason and I know we will be able to see our little babies when we return to live with Him. You will be in my prayers.

  2. Ugh, I"m so sorry to hear about this. :(