Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Once upon a time, I doubted I could ever hold a pregnancy, never mind think of being a mom to three children as I am now!  Years ago, before having my first child I actually miscarried twice.
Today, October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and it made me think back on my own losses.  I really wanted to share on here in case it might encourage someone else.  {And I also want to share because I do NOT take for granted the blessings I have in my life now.}

My husband and I were married a couple years before we started talking about having children.  We didn't aggressively try to get pregnant, but I went off the pill with high hopes.  I always had a fear that if I missed one pill, BAM, I'd get pregnant!  But no... there I was off the pill and it didn't happen right away as I thought it would.  I learned a lesson early about not having much control over my own life as I thought I did!

{A pic of my pregnancy calendar.  I kept them all.}
We told our parents that I was pregnant the day after we found out in late Dec 2002.  We were just so excited!  Icky symptoms started in week 5.  I was tired, nauseous and lost my appetite.  Week 7 we went to the doctor and they did an ultrasound.  They couldn't find the baby and suggested it was too small and had me come back the following week.  When I went back in my 8th week, sure enough, no baby.  I cried.  I had what is called "blighted ovum".  Basically the sac and placenta grow without the embryo.

The doctor told me we could try again in 3 months but my husband was deployed the week prior so that wasn't going to happen.  {When it rains it pours right?  And we also lost Jay's grandfather two weeks before my miscarriage - the first of our grandparents to pass.  It was a sad time.}

I had the choice to carry the pregnancy til my body rejected it, in which case I could hemorrhage.  Or I could get a D&C.  I was so nauseated and wanted to move on so opted for the surgery.  Because my husband was deploying, I had to go through this without him by my side.  It was a very lonely time for me.
{spellcheck is clearly my friend - comedic relief for ya!}

So my husband was away though most of 2003 and it wasn't until 2004 that I got pregnant and again it didn't happen right after our reunion.  It took a few months!  We were living in Alabama and I was so excited to have a baby because I was no longer working full-time and I wanted to start a family.

But just a couple weeks after finding out I was pregnant, I started spotting.  I was hopeful that it was just the egg nesting into the uterus and I was put on bed rest just as a precaution but it was too late.  Heavy bleed started a couple days later.  The hope of a new little one gone.

With two miscarriages in a row, I doubted I could have kids.  "What if's" filled my head.
Eventually I focused on God and His plan for my life.  I trusted Him 100% and I felt that if He didn't want us to have kids, well then we'd have to do other things with this short life we live here on earth.
That didn't mean I didn't cry or was sad, but I chose to focus on that to get through the hard days.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  ~Jeremiah 29:11

PREGNANCY #3, #4 & #5
3 months later I got pregnant again!  That was a shocker!  The doctor in Alabama was AHmazing and had me take a progesterone suppository to help boost my pregnancy hormones.  9 months later we welcomed our first child, little Vienna.  2 years later her brother Lance and 3 years after that, our surprise Colin arrived!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." ~Psalm 139:13

When people see me now with my three kids, they say that I am so blessed.  I know this more than anyone and I do not taking getting pregnant for granted especially since it was a 3 year journey from going off the pill to holding my first baby.  With the delay in starting a family when we wanted it... having miscarriages and even a third unexpected child after a vasectomy, I see how little control we have over our lives.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. ~Isaiah 55:8

This is a great day of remembrance to allow parents to talk about our losses.  Some people think that miscarrying early isn't emotional but for many, we mourn the life lost no matter now short.  It was life and it was growing!  I was happy and hopeful when I got pregnant.  I still know their due dates.  I dreamed about holding them.  And family was excited knowing there new life on the way.  Each pregnancy offered us hope of expanding our family and that ended when they were lost.

I know many people... dear friends and family... R, A, P, S, R, T, L, L, D, S... come to mind quickly who have miscarried and I am praying for you today.

If you are reading this and had a loss yourself, I'd love to hear about it.  Tell me your due date and how far along you were.  Did you name your baby?  Someone once suggested I do that for healing so I did.  My babies were Amelia and Joshua.  What about yours?

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever." ~Revelation 21:4

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Kasey R said...

My daughter was born prematurely at 34 weeks gestation. I tried my hardest for to breastfeed, but my milk never really came in fully. It was a struggle for 5 months of breastfeeding, topping up with formula, and then pumping.. every 3 hours on the hour. I didn't want to take birth control because I didn't want to affect my milk supply. When I decided I was finally too exhaused and frustrated to continue struggling with breastfeeding, my plan was to wait for my first cycle to come along and then start birth control. Low and behold...that first cycle never came and I was pregnant again. At first I was scared because I was a first time mom who barely knew what I was doing with my 5 month old baby. The fear passed quickly and I accepted that God wanted me to have my two children close together. My due date was April 28th 2012. My children would have been only 13 months apart. I had to cut my maternity leave short so that I would be eligible to take another year off after baby #2 arrived, so I returned to work almost right away. I was really nauseous (just like my first pregnancy) and really stressed out about leaving my infant baby girl with someone else all day. But I was determined because I knew I HAD to do this for baby #2. When I was around 13 weeks, the nausea went away. I was rejoicing! Whoo-hoo! Goodbye first trimester! I thought I was home free!..Until I was almost 14 weeks..and started spotting. I felt invinsible like a miscarriage would never happen to me. I had not one worry when I went to the hospital the next morning. I almost didn't even go because I had no cramping and the spotting was so light. The DR from the ER came in with a little portable ultrasound machine and took a little peak. He explained that he couldn't see much on the screen and so he decided to take some blood from me and sent me down to get a real ultrasound. I sat happily while the ultrasound tech put the cold gel on my belly.. and I never even clued in when she said I couldn't look at the screen this time. She said she had to go get the DR to come and talk to me. It never even crossed my mind what was actually happening. The DR came in the room and I remember her exact words "Kasey, there is no cardiac activity." Those few words crushed my heart as I knew it. I broke down harder than I ever have in my life and I fell into a depression for over 6 months. I felt so guilty and ashamed. I had to keep explaining to people what had happened when I saw them out in public when they asked how far along I was, or if I had 2 kids now. I hated reliving the pain over and over again. It was close to this time in October when I lost baby #2 two years ago. I liked the part you wrote about naming the baby as a coping and healing mechanism. My baby #2 is named Evelina... <3

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing Kasey. I am so sorry you went through so much. It's a lot, nevermind with the hormones! I think we want to keep details private because they are painful and we don't want to burden others. But it's important to talk about. Your baby was clearly well loved for the 1st trimester and you put her first even if you didn't hold her in your arms. Such a good Momma!