It's not over yet...but the light is coming back into my life...slowly, steadily, thankfully.
I know that most people would rather not know the gory details of what I've been through, and I've struggled with this post because I've no desire to make people pity me. Some of the thoughts I've had dance in my head this last month have not been pretty honestly they where down right ugly.
When you go through something horrible you suddenly find lots of people that have done it, yes the story has variations but the end result, a lost child...is the same. Everyone handles things differently and in their own way. Yet its been on my heart to share this experience and the things I've learned from it with the hopes that maybe, just maybe my tiny little blog might reach someone standing where I was a month ago...with the bottom of their world gone, a broken heart, and no hope left.
It's really heartbreaking how common miscarriage really is, how often you never find out why. Our baby looked fine, the heart the liver, it should have been fine. I digress.
Most of you know we waited almost 6 years for our turn to have a baby. We were told almost 5 years ago we would never be able to have a child. That journey was enough of a nightmare for my husband and I. The process I went through to get to where I was at the begging of summer took nearly 5 years and I had more peace with our circumstances then I'd ever had before. Than I took a positive pregnancy test. Its hard not to be bitter. Emotionally I had a rough start to a pregnancy just the way my hormones reacted...but eventually I found the excitement and we started planning and dreaming and moving forward. Life was finally happening for us in more ways than one. Until the day we were suppose to go in hear our babies heart beat for the first time.
3 weeks before we had gone in for our 12 week appointment (we measured at 13 weeks and 3 days and were able to see our baby moving, and waving on the ultrasound.) oh the joy, I'm so grateful for at least that experience. This was going to be the first official ultrasound... and other than what I thought was a flu bug a week and a half before I had a very healthy pregnancy.
Then when your midwife is holding the wand on your abdomen and searching for a heart beat...and well she can't...and she tries to play it off as okay that maybe my baby is just riding low...but she can't find the heart beat...That's when it starts to hurt..because you know even if you don't want to know. Then you get to cut in line for an ultra sound and go through the back doors to get to the ultrasound room...you know...you know and you are already trying not to cry. You get to see your little precious baby, but its not moving...not at all...and the ultrasound tech isn't talking and your midwife isn't saying anything...and a flash of red and blue falls away with your dreams. silently the tech leaves the room and your midwife says.. "I'm sorry" and you hear nothing else...for months...like your floating...out of your own body...
I'm crying all over again...God I wish no one else ever had to go through this...but I know they will. There are a lot of choices to be made the next day. I tell you when you can't process anything these choices are crippling... So if you are standing by the abyss and you have no clue what choices you should make. Its normal.
Our midwife was amazing, and my husband was a rock I kept breaking against... but I couldn't understand anything that was going on. Not when we were on the phone with her discussing what happens next. We could wait a while but because I was 16 weeks she would rather we come in. we were too far along she didn't think we could do a D&C safely I would have to have labor induced...I'm sorry yesterday I was told my baby was gone and now I'm being told I'm going to have to birth the child...yes things can always get worse. I could't do it...we decided to try to wait a while.
For us this was our first wrong choice. For others it could be the right choice...mentally knowing my baby was still inside me and dead was the worst. I give huge credit to the woman who though they miscarried earlier were strong enough to wait for their bodies to take care of itself. I couldn't do it... I couldn't sleep, I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't stop crying. I needed it to be over. So we called and got in.
The darkest night of my life. Here is another point where you are given choices and you have no clue what to do...none.
you are asked if you want another ultrasound just to be sure. K did because he didn't have the feeling in his tummy to know like I did... so you get to see your still little child one last time on a screen but K needed it and I understand completely....I kept my eyes closed.
You are than asked to decide about testing beyond what the hospital already does we opted out due to money and the fact that most of the time you pay for that and still have no answers.
You are asked if you want to see your child, hold your child. The first choice through this whole process we made that I have complete peace with. No. Again I give huge credit to those who would chose to look at yet alone hold their little baby. I could see the closer you could get from such a process but I didn't want that memory I wanted the dream memories.
You are asked what you want to have done with your child. Do you want the remains to have your own burial. Do you want the hospital spiritual staff to take care of it. We asked what the hospital does. They told us they have a mass burial every month or so with all the little lost babies that its not individual graves, we would be given the option of attending, and a map to the grave site in this huge cemetery by the hospital...Such impossible choices...and i just sat and stared angrily at nothing still trying to process the words, "I'm sorry". At the time the easiest choice was let the hospital take care of my child, maybe that would be easier than taking ashes home.... If you find yourself standing at the point you need to know that no choice you make is wrong. But some may very well be wrong for YOU. This was wrong for me...
It was the longest night of my life...with contractions, shadows, pain, blood, tears, and some wonderfully nice nurses...so so so grateful for the midwives who cried with me, prayed with me, talked with me, and during the waiting even made me laugh.
We named our baby River. It's fitting as I cried a river waiting for my baby and I've cried a river since. Rivers lead to freedom and wide open spaces...
The sun rises on a new day, after even the darkest nights.
if it's your night...hold on to that. even if you night lasts for months.
We went home, and tried to figure out what to do now...how do you go back to 3 months before like nothing happened? You can't so don't try... just move forward and don't let your pride stop you from asking for help counseling, pills, your not weak if you need these things your strong for admitting you can't do this on your own.... Postpartum depression. Nightmares, insomnia, endless crying, panic attacks. My poor wonderful husband. Thats a whole different blog.
Peace, I couldn't find peace, I had nightmares about 100's of little tiny tiny babies being tossed carelessly into a huge hole in the ground and one baby would turn it's head and look at me crying. for weeks every night I had this nightmare. I had to sleep with a light on when I slept at all. Finally K called the hospital and we found out we could still get our River they hadn't done the burial yet.
Something I wish they had told me at the hospital is the prices. Part of the reason we shied away from taking our child home was we had no clue on the costs and you don't want to ask because it's such a trivial thing. Some places will do cremation for free for this type of situation. We only paid 62 dollars. and 11 of that was the certificate. If we would have known that then I might have been spared the nightmares and the emotional struggles that come with insomnia.
We now have our baby...the peace the thankfulness I feel for that simple fact is overwhelming. I can't explain it. We haven't decided what to do with his tiny container of ashes yet but at least it will be my way. Between the meds, and the being able to sleep without nightmares there is light in my soul again.
We are looking forward to the future what ever that might hold. I'm loving on my wonderful children in my classroom. No I'm not over it I will never be over it. I still cry, I still have depression and anxiety. I still ache from the loss a ache no one can see, and that might make it even harder because they can't understand. K and I have a lot of problems to work through in our near future...but God gave us the strength for all of this...hes not going to stop now.
Don't compare your loss to others. though you will for me it's "but they have other children" our midwife at our follow up talked about the next time I get pregnant...and in my head I screamed "6 years....it took 6 years there is no guarantee we even will." Does that make my loss more than anyone else. No, if anyone even has to go through a little of what I've been through the loss of a child is a loss...and it is felt to your very bones. It makes it different because it's our loss and not theirs...but that difference does not make it more or less.
If you are at any part of this dark journey know you're not alone, and you are strong, and though you won't feel it there is always hope. Lean into your support, take comfort in the people in your life that hurt with you, care for you, and love you. You will get positively tired or hearing the words "I'm sorry" you will hurt when someone missed the memo and asks hows the baby. If your not blessed with other children you will hurt every time someone asks when you will have children. You will hurt it wont go away but you will also heal, and laugh, and move forward.