This is not the post I imagined writing. Not even close. Here in a week or two, I imagined telling everyone that I was pregnant and we were so thrilled to welcome baby number 5 into our house. I was going to talk about how, despite having 4 kids (including twins) we felt we were being led by God to add one more to our family. It was something we felt so strongly about. I was going to talk about this and so much more. I could not WAIT to do that post.
Unfortunately, God had other plans. This past weekend, I was 10 weeks pregnant and miscarried. I had not told many people I was pregnant because I had miscarried once before (pre-twins) at 12 weeks and was "gun-shy"- not wanting everyone to know until I was past 12 weeks and all was well. However, now that the worst has happened, I find I don't really care if people know- and I think I figured out why, but I will explain that later.
On March 17th, St Patrick's day, I took a pregnancy test that came out positive. It was a bright spot in an otherwise awful day. (It was one of the days my girls threw up all day...) I had actually been off birth control for two years, so to get that positive was a miracle. I had a lot of spotting early on, but early ultrasounds showed all to be okay. We saw a heartbeat and saw the baby progressing. I had had at least some spotting in other pregnancies, so I tried not to be too worried. And, after a few weeks, it stopped altogether and I felt good!
This past Saturday, April 30th, my back was sore all day long, but I didn't think much of it, until I felt worse as they day progressed. By late evening I was spotting again, but it improved overnight so I wasn't too panicked. Then, Sunday morning, it started again and Aaron convinced me to go the ER. They did a pelvic exam, ultrasound and blood test. The blood test showed my HCG levels to be 15,000. The doc said at this point, it should be over 100,000. The ultrasound showed a 9 week size baby with no heartbeat or blood flow. I was instantly devastated. She was waiting on a call from my OB office to see what to do, but we were trying to make Jacob's piano recital (it started at 1:30 and it was already 1- at least my mom was able to take him- We barely made it to watch him play, but more on this in another post.) So, we left with instructions to follow up with my doc Monday morning to see about a D&C or another plan. But, as the evening progressed on Sunday, I gradually started to feel cramping. I woke at 2 am (after not getting to sleep till midnight) with strong, painful cramps. At 3 am, after a particularly hard cramp, I felt a gush of blood and fluid. I will spare details from here, but it was a horrible painful night. I have never seen anything like it or felt anything close, aside from childbirth, but that was in a hospital with a much more positive outcome (not to mention an epidural). At two different times, my bathroom resembled a crime scene. I didn't sleep a wink the rest of the night. The days following involved bouts of crying and occasional periods of sharp pain. I saw my OB Tuesday who confirmed that no evidence of the pregnancy remained so a D&C would be unnecessary. (With the first miscarriage, it did not pass on it's own, so I had a D&C. Having experienced both now, the D&C was so much less painful and way less traumatic). That follow up appointment in itself was so painful and so humiliating. I am glad that is over. So, my body is healing at a good pace, but my heart will take quite a bit longer. I just feel so sad and the disappointment is all-consuming right now. Why is it that our bodies often heal quick but our hearts stay broken for so long?
What went wrong? We will never know. I do have several fibroid (benign) tumors in my uterus, but they have been there a while and I carried the twins full term with them in there. The doc does not believe that they caused this or the previous miscarriage. He believes both to be just a natural genetic problem that would not allow the baby to thrive.
So, I did some thinking figuring out why I felt it so important to keep the pregnancy secret, but now that it has failed, I am so willing to tell people? I am sure part of it is the need for support, but it goes beyond that. To me, this baby was real. It was a real being with a heart beat that was growing within me. (I will now refer to the baby as "she"- it was too early to determine gender, but I can't stand referring to a baby in the womb as "it"). She was growing and we loved her and were excited to have her as part of our family. We are so sad in the loss. I guess I feel it is my way of honoring her life, though very brief. I just can't go on and pretend all is okay when it is not, or that it never happened when it did. That is ultimately why I decided to write about it too. At first I was not going to, but I felt I could not move on with the blog without talking about this. I have other happy posts to do, but could not do them until I wrote this. This was a child I loved and I realized I do not want to pretend that it never happened. Of course, when I look back on this I will feel sad, but she was real and was a real part of me that I will never forget and she deserves a page in our family history (considering this blog is my only journal right now that I will print regularly). That is how I am honoring her brief life, by letting people know she was here and she was loved.
I know I am so blessed in so many ways. I do not know what the future holds- if there is another spirit to come to our family or not. I really don't know what will happen at this point. What people need to understand is how hard and painful this is despite having 4 children. I had a miscarriage with two children and again with 4 and it is just as painful. I have 4 beautiful children that I love dearly that I literally thank God for every single day (I really do, every day in my prayers!) But, the one comment that has not been helpful is when someone says, "Well, just be thankful you have 4". If you have read this far, please don't say that. I am eternally thankful for the 4 I have and if this is our complete family I will show gratitude every day and be happy. I just don't think anyone should judge the right size for someone else's family. I feel the "magic" number of children is different for every family. For some, the right number is 1, for others it is 10. (no, I do NOT envision 10 children in our family....) Only God knows the right number for each family and families should consult with Him in knowing when their family is complete.
The one blessing here is the reminder of the amazing friends and family I have. The support I have received has been so wonderful and I have felt so loved. I have received so many supportive phone calls, letters, cards, friends and family that have brought meals (despite me telling them it wasn't necessary), help with my kids, treats to lift my soul, hugs and so so much more. I seriously have the best friends and family. God allows us to go through trials, but He also gives us the strength and the people to help us get through. To all of them (you know who you are), I am eternally grateful to them all. I hope I can serve others as they have served me and that I can help to lift another soul.
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