Friday, September 19, 2014

Loss and the life that follows.

It's been six months since we lost Zoe.
Six Months.
It's almost impossible to believe.
Half a year has gone by.

I think often about where I would be in my pregnancy with her now.
I would only have seven weeks left till my due date.
I think about the things we would be doing to prepare for her arrival.

We grieved hard when we lost our baby.
I got lost in a sea of depression for months.
I moved about in a fog day in and day out.
Blogging about everything helped my heart to process and to heal.

My heart felt so raw and so broken for a really long time.
It felt like I would never feel remotely ok again.
I wanted to hide away. To stay in bed all day.

I had a lot of support from so many people.
People who I had never met sent me little things to remember my daughter by.
So many privet messages, emails, comments, and even cards to let me know that I wasn't forgotten and neither was my child.

And I did begin to heal.

I remember one night sitting with a couple of girl friends drinking coffee.
We were talking about how my husband and I were doing after our loss.
The question got brought up about if we would have any more babies.
My answer was that I really didn't know.
I told them that my heart wasn't ready to try for that again.
Thinking of getting pregnant again and the thought of another loss was almost unbearable.
But I did confess that if it did happen I would be ok with it.

That was one of the last conversations we had on the subject for a while.
I stepped away from the blog world for a while needing time for my heart to just be quite.
The beginning of August my husband and I had planned a week long trip.
We needed to get away. To reconnect. To just be husband and wife for a while again.
To temporarily leave the roles of parenthood, jobs, and every day life.

Around two weeks before our planned trip I began to have pain in my back.
I didn't think too much of it as I have issues with my si joint from my first pregnancy.
But the pain got worse.
We were going to be driving out of state.
We had plans in place that couldn't be refunded
I began to not feel well at all.
I waited till the Monday the week we were to leave hoping maybe that I would wake up feeling better.
That morning I woke my husband up and told him my fears.

I was late.
I was having a lot of one sided pain.
I was scared.
An ectopic pregnancy?...
Could I really do this?
Could I go through this again?
Could our hearts really handle this?

And what about our trip?
We had been planning this for months.
Our marriage needed us to get away and reconnect
but it wouldn't be possible if my fears were coming true.

We agreed I would make a Dr's appointment for that day and find out what was going on.
At first I couldn't get in that day.
My usual midwife was fully booked and the other midwife in her practice was off that day.
I asked if my son's Dr was by chance available. She happens to be a friend and I knew if  I was going to have to hear that kind of news that day I would prefer it to be a friend.
But they couldn't get me in till late. And my husband would be at work.
I had to figure out what to do with the kids or come up with a different plan.
I called my mom but she was headed with my sister to a Dr's appointment and wouldn't be able to make it in time.

So I panicked.
I decided to go to urgent care.
I just needed to know.

On the drive there I considered just stopping at a drug store to buy a home pregnancy test
but I had told my husband I was going to urgent care so that's probably what I should just do. Plus if it was positive and I had to wait for a dr's appointment till later
I knew my mind would go crazy.
After a few minutes in the waiting room I was called back into an exam room.
I answered a lot of questions.
Then I waited.
After a while the nurse came it.


The pregnancy test came back positive.
They were sending me for an ultrasound to see if they could locate anything.
I cried on and off.
Waiting in the waiting room for the ultrasound was so lonely.
I tried hard to keep my tears to myself.
A husband, wife, and mother all sat down.
I don't think I've ever been more grateful for a complete stranger as I was in that moment.

He cracked endless jokes and his care free demeanor pulled everyone in the room in.
I started laughing and then sobbing. They asked me what was wrong and I shared my fears as well as the fact that we had lost a baby earlier in the year.
I told them I felt like they were angels sent there for me that day.

I was finally called back into the large ultrasound room.
I couldn't believe how large it was. The lights were dim and there was a nice couch for family or friends to sit on. I thought of how nice it would have been to have a place like that for healthy pregnancy sonograms. But I felt in my heart that wouldn't be the case for us.
After a very long ultrasound with no conclusive answers my friend and doctor called me.
She wanted me to keep my appointment later that day.
The only things that could for sure be seen was a cyst on my left ovary, a dilated Fallopian tube, and no baby could be located.

I tried to keep my composure as I walked out of the room and into the waiting room.
The tech I'd had was wonderful but I felt like I didn't have any real answers still.
The strangers in the waiting room asked if I knew anything.
I shook my head no.
They told me they would be praying for me and the baby I was possibly carrying.

My husband called into work.
I ran to get some blood work done.
I called a friend from church to see if she could watch the boys for us so my husband could go to the appointment with me. She was more than happy to do so.

We went to the appointment and talked for a long time with Dr. C.
After a long discussion we decided to repeat blood work again in 48 hours and if anything got worse to go directly to an ER but she felt confident that I was just very early in pregnancy and that the cyst was causing the pain.
With permission from my Dr we decided to go forward with our vacation plans.
She told us to go, have a lot of fun, relax, and to enjoy every bit of vacation.
So that's what we did.

Our vacation was wonderful.
We needed it more than we realized.
The kids had fun with their grandparents.
My husband and I laughed harder than we had in months.
We talked and connected.

We came home from vacation and I had to have another round of blood work done.
My doctor called me as soon as the results came in.
The first round of blood work said that my HCG numbers were in the 450 range.
In 48 hours they were hoping to see them double.
By having them double it would make my chances of an ectopic pregnancy smaller.
They doubled in the 48 hours.
When I had the next round of blood work she was hoping that my numbers would be at least to a 6,000. They ended up coming back at over 14,000. Things were looking good.
We had another sono and the baby was so tiny. The size of a grain of rice.
My dates were off. No one could believe I knew I was pregnant as early as I did.

I have since had another sonogram done and the baby is looking wonderful.
We told our boys. Bug doesn't really understand as he's 2 but Monkey is over the moon about this baby. He prays for the baby every single night that the baby grows healthy and strong and that it's a girl. Apparently he wants a sister really badly.

I plan to write more about our journey of pregnancy after loss.
How we talked to Monkey about the new life growing inside of mommy after having only told him a month earlier that we had lost a baby.
I plan to get back into the groove of regular blogging about other things as well.
But for a few more posts my heart needs this space.
Thank you all so much for all of your love and support both in loss and in new life.