Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Pregnancy Journey:Part 3 - Goodbye Without Hello

This morning I woke up 9 weeks (and 1 day) pregnant.  Tonight I am no longer pregnant.  The baby passed away some time between Monday and today, Wednesday.  Today's ultrasound revealed that Baby no longer has a heartbeat. She is now safe in the arms of God.

(I do not know the gender - but something I've learned with 10 losses is personalizing the child helps with grief.  I'm choosing girl because my hyperemesis/morning sickness is far worse with girls than boys in my personal experience.)

Late Sunday night I went to the emergency room to score some IV fluids and nausea meds (they are more effective in IV form for me).  I had lost 15 lbs (8% of my body weight), was dehydrated, weak, and could not stop throwing up or keep anything down.  I did feel much better after a few liters of fluid and a new anti-nausea med prescription. I've even been able to eat a bit the past couple days!

While we were in the ER an ultrasound was performed.  This one had my gestational sac still growing (about 8 weeks along in size) but the baby measuring about 6 weeks. The heartbeat was 88 bpm.  This SOUNDS like an improvement but Baby needs to be at least 120 to be healthy.  The doctor was not sure how long the process of waiting for my baby's heart to stop beating would take, only that he was certain it would stop.

Nothing is bigger than my God; with Him all things are possible and any obstacle can be surmounted. Dan & I (him especially) held out hope God had a different plan in mind for this child than passing away.  It's been tough clinging to hope, delaying grief, and blocking out emotion - being numb, strong, positive, practical...

    [Photo Credit CarlyMarie Photography - for our 9 unnamed babies]

Now we are able to move forward in our grief - and in healing.  Today, again the gestational sac had grown appropriately but the baby had not - growth halted at 6 weeks 1 day. Her heart has stopped beating and the waiting is done.  And there is some peace in that. It's tough though to experience yet another NEW thing - a new pregnancy complication, a new way to lose a baby. Each pregnancy and each child has had such unique obstacles and outcomes.

Since I am on blood thinners and have had many surgical complications in the past a D&C is something we really want to avoid.  But, since I am so sick my doctor (who I really, really trust BTW) had me induce labor to speed things along.  I took the meds when I got home today and the pain is brutal.  This is actual labor contractions to expel (TMI) contents of the uterus.  So right now I'm in the throws of very intense cramping and sharp shooting pains.

The physical pain is what finally broke my wall down. I've been witholding tears since Week 4 when I began spotting. Delaying grief but unable to conceal the joy I also felt. This has been a very emotional (and LONG) 9 weeks of pregnancy. I'm sad, really, really sad.

Saying Goodbye to a child I never even said Hello to, never welcomed to this world, never held in my arms... is difficult. It's not something I ever wanted to do again. I couldn't imagine the pain of being here, again, and so desperately did not want to go to that "dark place" ever, ever again, so I tried so hard to block it. But there is no denying the love I have for my child or the bond that happened the instant I found out I was pregnant.

Being early on in pregnancy or having been through this all before doesn't change the grief - the depth, the intensity, the rawness of it.  I have still lost a child.  But here's the thing: God's got us ALL in His hands - Baby, Mommy, Daddy, all of us. I do know that we are capable of getting through to the other side as He has carried us there before.

As I look around me I know my arms are very much FULL.  There are no empty arms when I am so immeasurably blessed by these children God has entrusted me with.  Although there is no replacement for what is lost, joy and healing are still found in all that I DO have.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me, even if it was shorter than I like and we did not travel as far as expected.