You hear about them, but never imagine that you'll experience it.
As healthy as you are, you never expect that you'll become one of the statistics.
Knowing that you have one job in life, and to have 'failed' at that job is more than you can understand.
Even though you know things happen for a reason, wrapping your head around it is nearly impossible.
"If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." We have tried, tested and proven that this is true.
July 18th 2012.
A day that as hard as I try, I dont think I'll ever be able to forget. This is the first time I've written about this experience, and as painful as it has been, and will continue to be, laying this experience out there, raw, for people to read, will not only confirm to us that we are not alone in this journey, but also show others that there is light on the other side.
A large majority of you dont know this, but Brandon and I suffered a miscarriage in July. We had been loosely trying during his time at the police academy, but didnt anticipate we would get pregnant as soon as we did. When I got the first postive pregnancy test result, I was completely shocked. Yes, we are both young, in great health and take good care of ourselves, but to see that positive sign is an unbelievably beautiful shock that many get to experience, but sadly for some- this time for us- it didn't come to fruition as it we thought it would.
We went to the doctor's office with such high hopes. The euforia of being first time parents was more than we could stand, and like usual, the ultrasound tech didn't say much during our appointment. She showed us the grainy images of the little blob that was meant to be a baby, but the reality was that the promise of that little life on the screen was over before it even began. I had known that the techs are usually quiet through the appointments, so at the time I thought nothing of it. Until I got the phone call from our doctor saying that they had a few concerns, and that they wanted me to go in for some blood work, just to make sure things were on track. From that moment, I should've known something wasn't right, but I was still completely over the moon at being pregnant that it didnt register. The nurse who took my blood was very kind, reassuring just as she should've been. We got our HCG levels that afternoon and while they were a little low, they said not to worry, it happens to people, maybe we were just off on our dates and that I needed to go back in a few days to see if they had doubled like they were suppose to. I began to panic inside, but Brandon did his best to reassure me that things would work out. I went back in for the second round of bloodwork hoping for the best, and waited for the doctor's phone call. This time it took longer to call back. She called my cell phone while I was at work and delivered the news. She didnt sugar coat things, which I appreciated, but having a bandaid ripped off a wound I didnt know existed.. there was no way to prepare for that. She said that the levels had increased but not like they should've, and confirmed that we had lost the baby. We had tried to anticipate the best but prepare ourselves for the worst, but honestly, hearing that news said out loud was worse than I could've imagined. For those of you that have experienced a loss, unfortunately you know the feeling. Or nearly a lack of feeling.
Despair. Heartbroken. Fear. Panic. Doubt. Hopeless.
The list could go on and on, but there really aren't words to adequately describe it. Brandon met me at home and just held me. We cried together. Prayed. Tried to understand what had happened, and prayed desperately for comfort and direction for where to go from here. Our options at this point were to wait it out and let nature take its course, or they could administer some medicine to start the process and move things along quicker. We decided together that getting the medicine was our best option. Start things off quickly, and no matter how hard it was, we would be on the road to recovery that much sooner.
Going into the Dr.'s office, we had to sit in the waiting room and wait for our doctor to get there. Sitting there, surrounded by successfully pregnant women, their blessings visibly showing, was a slap in the face reminder of what we had just lost. We finally went in, saw the doctor, and she gave us a final ultrasound to help quash any lingering doubts we may have had that the ultrasound and blood work were wrong. The final ultrasound showed us the deterioration that had already occured, and showed us the distinct lack of heartbeat. Having this final image to confirm the doctor's news was what we needed to see- however painful it was. After briefly discussing our options, she administered the medicine and sent us home with some instructions as to what we could expect, but said that things usually progress at different rates for each person, so to be on our toes.
We headed home and I hunkered down on the couch in anticipation of what was to come. I dont know what I had in my mind, what the experience would be like, but what happened was nothing I had prepared myself for- physically or emotionally. The pain came at me like a truck. Out of the blue and caught me completely off guard. Vicodin did nothing, and after a phone call to the doctor, Brandon carried me to the car and took me to the ER. By the time we got into a room at the ER, the contractions were about a minute apart and lasted 15-20 seconds each. Knowing what was going on was so hard. We knew it needed to happen in order to move forward, but actually experiencing it was by far the hardest thing I've ever lived through. Hours later, we left the ER with some strong pain meds and prepared for a rough few days.
The physical pain subsided after a few days, but the emotional pain stretched out longer than either of us had anticipated. A large part of me has pushed the whole thing to the back of my mind, using the 'ostrich mentality' and burying my head in the sand until it passed. The more that time goes by though, I realize that the memories of the physical pain slowly fade, but the emotional pain, -the jagged scar left by this experience- will begin to heal, but will never go away completely. Our hearts will take on a new shape to help accomodate this hole.
We know deep in our hearts that God truley has a reason for everything. Something was wrong that was insurmountable- for us, for the baby, or both. The only way we were able to get through this was to rely on God and trust that he has a greater plan. The assurance of knowing that the baby that we lost, we would one day meet him or her, up in heaven, where God met that little blessing when it passed from this world. He is able to give it a love and caring that we humanly couldn't. He needed another angel in heaven rather than letting it walk this earth with us.
Our doctor said we could try again right away, once I had fully healed, and we were ready to take on this challenge again. She warned that the physical healing would take place long before the mental healing would, and boy was she right. Preparing myself for the idea of being pregnant again was exciting, but we both knew not to get our hopes up too high, just in case something happened again. Amazingly enough, God blessed us with another baby in our first month of trying. We were absolutely overjoyed, but naturally, nervous. The first call I made to the doctors office was full of joy, but also serious doubt. What if this was lingering hormones left from before? What if the same thing happened again? Mentally, I dont know if I would've been able to handle two losses back-to-back. We made the decision to switch doctors and went in for our first ultrasound full of hope. When she showed us the little blob on the screen, she immediately told us it was viable and to try not to worry that things would go wrong. We've had a few more ultrasounds than normal at the beginning, a few just to re-assure us that things were going according to plan, and one to calm our nerves when I had some unexplained bleeding. We saw the heartbeat on the day it began, and things have been fabulous ever since. Pregnancy has been a dream so far, and when I voice my concerns to our doctor about my lack of morning sickness or major weight gain, she gently reminds me that this healthy, easy pregnancy may be the universe's way of paying us back from before.
If you ask anyone, man or woman, if they think losing a baby will happen to them, I guarantee you they will tell you no. We didnt anticipate it happening to us, and yet it did. And looking back, I know that I will one day be grateful for the experience- from start to finish. I'm slowly getting there. Slowly healing, and my amazing husband always takes the time to hold me when I forget how far we've come. He has ben my human rock throughout this entire experience, and without him, I dont know where I'd be, or how I would've made it through this.
On this day, February 22nd, 2013, what would have been our baby's due date, I look back on the list of emotions I felt immediately after hearing the news and know that some have passed. Others are still being dealt with, and more importantly, many of them have been replaced.
A small part of our hearts will always be broken for what was lost. The despair we felt in that moment has been replaced with hope. The fear and panic we felt has been replaced trust. And the doubt and hopelessness has been replaced with certainty.
This experience has not only taught us so much, but also brought us closer together as a married couple, and as soon to be parents. As the days pass, and we can feel this healthy baby grow bigger and stronger, we count our blessings everyday. We know how blessed we are to have had this experience, and come out the other side stronger because of it. We are fortunate to be part of the group that goes on to have a healthy 'rainbow baby' with no other losses in between. We also know how heartbreaking it is for those who never get to experience this portion of the journey, or the recovery process.
What we went through was incredibly painful, and yet makes us appreciate this blessing that much more. We pray over this baby daily, and eagerly await the day when we are able to meet this little one. We will welcome him or her with more love than we ever thought possible, but deep in our hearts, there will always be a special place for the life that God needed more than we did.