With the news of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court on Friday, Facebook, Instagram and the mainstream media have been filled with both pro choice and pro life opinions on the matter. I have found myself reading and scrolling through social media as we all see the drama that unfolds across the country.
Now, I’m not usually one to write and or speak on political matters, but today I’m going to. I’m going to because this issue really shouldn’t be political but has certainly become political. In many ways I fear that I will lose friends on this matter, but in other ways I don’t care. We live in a free country and if they have the right to speak their mind then so do I.
I am a born again Christian. I am pro life. I believe life begins at conception. I do not like abortion. I understand that it is done and for many women they either choose that option and or feel that is their only option. I do not hate women who feel this way. I just know it’s something I could never do. At least that’s what I thought before this past Friday’s ruling….
On Friday, I started reading about women who use the pill to have an early abortion. They went on to say how this option will be illegal in some states and will no longer be available. This discussion reminded me of my first miscarriage. I had a missed miscarriage meaning my baby’s heart stopped beating at 8 weeks and 5 days but I didn’t find out until my 11 week ultrasound. My sweet baby, laid lifeless inside me for 2 weeks and 2 days until we found out at my ultrasound.
After my ultrasound I was sent to another room to discuss my options. They said I could take a pill to help my uterus contract and pass the baby, I could have a D & C procedure, or I could just allow my body to pass the baby on its own. At the time I remembered struggling on deciding what to do. Ultimately, I decided on a D & C.
It occurred to me on Friday that I technically had an abortion. I had an abortion procedure not to kill my baby and not to terminate my pregnancy but to clean out my uterus for my own health, so I didn’t become septic.
With the most recent ruling, I can’t help but wonder Did I do the right thing getting a D & C? Should I have not done anything? Should I have let my body pass my baby naturally? Did what I decided go against my ethics and morals?
These thoughts troubled me for a while. I know I didn’t kill my baby, but I did allow medical intervention for my own health. I also started to wonder how this new ruling will affect other women of pregnancy loss. Will they now no longer have the option for a D & C or a pill after losing their pregnancy? Are more women going to die from pregnancy complications and pregnancy loss?
I’m not sure. I don’t think there is a clear cut, black and white answer.
Do I think I had an abortion? Technically yes. According to the medical definition… yes. But if Jesus were to take me today, and I were to go before God, I don’t think I did anything spiritually wrong for putting my health first and choosing to have a D & C instead of naturally miscarrying.
This Roe v. Wade overturn is complicated and I don’t completely know what this means for our country. I’m scared and interested to see what happens next.
Already 33 weeks pregnant, with 7 weeks to go! The third trimester is flying! Baby Boy is the size of a stalk of celery and roughly 4 lbs.
This week mama is trying, but mama is tired. Testing positive for Covid and being quarantined for almost two weeks was not in the plans, but thankfully Baby Boy and I are surviving and getting through.
Baby and I had a non stress test done and a check in with our midwife this morning and so far all is going well. Since I have GD and tested positive with Covid so close to delivery, I am now considered to have a high risk pregnancy. From here on out, baby and I will be monitored closely through non stress tests and at least one more ultrasound.
Covid is scary, and Covid is exhausting. I’m truly thankful for my husband who has been taking such good care of us as well as my doctors to make sure we will be on the mend very soon.
On the plus side, since I have been home so much these past 10+ days we have been able to…
Get hospital bags packed and ready to go.
Finalize our birth plan
Wash all of baby’s clothes
Watch endless hours of movies on Disney+ 🥰
Thank you everyone who has been praying and checking in on us. Please continue to pray for us as we get through this Covid junk as well as the rest of my pregnancy. ❤️
Officially 8 months pregnant! 32 weeks and Baby Boy is the size of a squash! We only have 8 weeks to go!
This week has been crazy and I’m a little late posting a bump update, but trust me… I’ve had a good reason. About a week ago I was exposed to someone with Covid. I got a test on Wednesday and tested negative. I started to develop Covid/flu like symptoms Wednesday night. I got retested yesterday (Sunday) and tested positive for Covid.
This week has been exhausting, challenging and scary to say the least. I am fully vaccinated, and have known full well that I could still get Covid while vaccinated but I can honestly say I did not expect to get Covid 8 months pregnant. I have developed pretty much all the symptoms of Covid these last 6 days including cough, fever, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, headaches, loss of smell and partial loss of taste.
A lot is up in the air at the moment as I am still waiting to hear from my OB about any testing or extra monitoring for baby and I that may need to be done. All in all, I’m doing okay. It honestly depends on the moment.
Baby is still moving and grooving which gives me great peace of mind. I am also doing my best to rest and take it easy at home while I can before I return to work and leave for maternity leave in a few weeks.
I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts for my hubby, baby and I. It’s a scary time and there is so much unknown still about Covid. Regardless of our fears we are still doing our best to trust and have faith that we will get through this and all be okay and healthy very soon. ❤️
At my last OB apptiiontment with a midwife, I was offered some optional prenatal testing called sequential screening. The tests looks for various genetic abnormalities including Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrous, Spina Bifida and more. The test is done by looking and measuring baby through ultrasound as well as testing for different hormones through a mother’s blood draw.
I considered this test when it was first offered to me, and decided to do it for two reasons. 1) because of my history with miscarriages I wanted to know all I could about baby. and 2) with the family history of my brother dying as an infant I knew I could be higher risk for different genetic abnormalities.
On the day of the test, I was a bundle of nerves, as I always am. I went to work that morning as normal as possible. Teaching preschoolers was a good distraction for most of the day. However, as the time drew closer and closer to the test, my fears and worries started to creep up on me.
I confided in many of my coworkers, and they encouraged me and sent me many positive vibes before leaving for my test. The funny thing is, at the time I wasn’t even concerned about the results of the test or any genetic disorders that may be found. I was actually scared of the actual ultrasound. We all know how ultrasounds give me anxiety since my last two losses. I was more concerned that I had lost baby and didn’t even know it. What if baby’s heart stopped beating? What if baby stopped growing? In between work and my test I also confided in my family and friends, read my bible and did some deep breathing.
Charles and I headed to our appointment. I prayed and talked to him the entire time. Charles reassured me that everything would be just fine. When we arrived, we were called back immediately and shown the ultrasound room. Before laying down and preparing for the heated jelly, I confided in the tech and told her I was very nervous.
I laid down and prepared for the worst but hoped for the best. The tech turned on the screen, asked me some questions and began the exam. I held my breath and watched as she looked for baby. She said “There’s baby, and there’s the heartbeat.” I sighed with relief and thanked Jesus. The tech measured baby’s heart rate and it was 163. Perfect. She then started to take images of baby’s heart, stomach, head, and spine.
Baby made little movements here and there but actually looked like he or she was sleeping. The tech still had a few more images to take. She tried nudging baby with the probe and getting baby to turn or roll over… that didn’t work. She then thought she’d take a moment to look at my ovaries then come back to baby. She continued nudging baby with the probe, asking me to roll to my left then roll to my right then flat on my back. She asked me to roll quickly and roll slowly. She asked me to walk around, do some stretching, and anything to get baby to try and move.
As the tech tried nudging baby again, baby turned it’s head and looked at us. It was hilarious and obviously trying to tease the tech. Then baby started waving it’s arms and tried sucking it’s thumb. Baby even put one hand on its forehead, as if feeling irritated and trying to be dramatic. Baby was just stubborn and really wanted to nap. I told the tech during the appointment that this time of day after work is normally my nap time, so it’s understandable why baby wants to take a nap. Eventually, baby cooperated enough to where we were able to get all the photos needed for the test.
After the test I was given a bunch of pictures of our photogenic baby and sent to the lab for some blood work. I was told all of my scans and blood work would be sent to the Mayo Clinic and I would receive results from them within a week or two.
When it was time to go home, all I could do was stare in awe over baby. So many pictures. I got to see baby move and I got to see baby’s heartbeat. Charles actually enjoyed himself too because baby was starting to look like a baby! I shared the good news with my family and friends. They were excited, relieved and so happy for us.
I even shared this little update on my Facebook page as I truly want to not only share in my pregnancy with others, but also share the struggle of pregnancy after loss. I wrote:
It’s funny, now that writing is my hobby, I’m usually really good at explaining what I’m trying to say. But today, I’m at a loss for words. I guess I’ll try and speak from my heart, and maybe just maybe it will make sense. . I’m going to be completely honest, pregnancy after loss is freaking scary. Sometimes I lay awake at night worried, and over analyzing my symptoms hoping and praying baby is okay. Other times, I am happy, I am at peace and I am content. . Today, I didn’t know what I was feeling. I was hoping and praying for the best, but truthfully planning for the worse. When you’ve gone through loss you know what the heartbreak feels like and you remember the never ending grief, and in someways you never really escape it. . This afternoon we had a special appointment. I walked into the room holding my breath and giving it to Jesus. The minute I heard the tech say “there’s the heartbeat.” I knew it was all okay. . Baby is happy, healthy and stubborn! Heart rate was 163. And I’m measuring a few days early so we are already at 13 weeks! I don’t think I could have asked for better news even if I tried! Baby is okay. We are overwhelmed with joy and feeling so blessed!
On Monday, June 14th I made an appointment with my midwife to check for a UTI. I was scheduled to see a midwife a week later, but was notified that my appointment was cancelled due to a conflict with the provider.
When I got to the appointment, I explained to the nurse that I was 10 weeks pregnant, and needed to be checked for a UTI. She listened and understood. She also expressed how she found it odd that I hadn’t seen a midwife yet for the initial first pregnancy appointment. I explained I had an appointment scheduled but it got cancelled. She said she was going to try and figure something out and see if since I was already there, if they could just do everything at once.
When the midwife came in, she introduced herself and explained that we were going to get everything done that day. She asked how I was feeling and we went over symptoms. She explained different testing that I can get during pregnancy in order to test for various genetic disorders. She also did a Pap smear, checked for a UTI and STIs.
However, before doing all the hard “down there stuff” she said she was going to use a Doppler to check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to the midwife that I was very nervous about hearing the heartbeat. After having two losses, ultrasounds and dopplers give me anxiety. She told me to try and stay calm. She said I had only about a 50/50 chance of hearing the heartbeat that day since I was only 10 weeks and a couple days. She encouraged me to at least try it, and if we didn’t hear a heartbeat we could always do a ultrasound.
As I laid back on the table, I prayed to God that his will be done and that he would help in whatever would happen. She put the Doppler on my belly and searched for the heartbeat. I was fully expecting her not to find it, and after a few seconds I heard the quick swishing sound of baby’s heartbeat. The midwife said “there it is. That’s your baby” I started crying, and looked at Charles. We got to hear baby’s heartbeat. Baby was okay. Baby was growing. This was the furtherest along I had ever actually gotten in a pregnancy. I was on a high and beyond thankful. The heart rate was 166 and absolutely perfect.
On Wednesday of that same week, I had an appointment with centering. Centering was a support group offered through my hospital designed to help empower women and build relationships with other moms. I showed up to my OB office to check in with the support group 10 minutes early. I was directed to wait with the coordinator just outside the office. We waited and waited and waited. It was quite awkward to be honest. After waiting an extra 10 minutes, so 20 minutes total, we decided to head over to the classroom building.
At the classroom building I met the midwife and the community health worker. They expressed their gratitude that I came and apologized that I was the only one that showed up. They said centering was a great program, and they would do their best to try and get me in a group, with more people. The midwife said, since I came all that way, I might as well check my vitals and be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat.
I had my blood pressure taken and it was somewhat high for me 129/91. The midwife wasn’t too concerned as I did walk across the hospital campus and was kinda bombarded with information. She said after hearing the baby’s heartbeat we would check my blood pressure again. I also stood on the scale and lost a pound. She said that was completely normal especially since I had been experiencing morning sickness.
After taking my vitals, I was then moved to a bed, where they would pull out a Doppler and check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to this midwife that Dopplers and ultrasounds make me very nervous after experiencing 2 losses. She said she completely understood. She did warn me that on the Doppler she was about to use, it was very rare to find the heartbeat before 12 weeks. She said she didn’t want me to panic if we couldn’t find it. If that did happen then she would just take me back to the office to have an ultrasound.
As she pulled out the Doppler and placed it on my belly I took a deep breath. I convinced myself she should be able to find it since, they were able to find the heartbeat using a Doppler before. I prayed. The midwife searched and searched and searched but she could not find a heartbeat. She was able to detect my heartbeat over one of my arteries but she couldn’t find baby’s. I began to panic. No, this can’t be happening again. Baby was fine just two days ago. After a moment the midwife said, “Well, it’s your lucky day. We’re going to take you to get an ultrasound so that you can see your baby again.” She must have saw the panic and fear in my face because she then said “Don’t let that worry you. Like I said, this is a crappy Doppler and very hard to detect a heartbeat before 12 weeks.” I took some more deep breaths and said okay.
The midwife and I walked back to the OB office. I got settled into a room while she searched for a bedside ultrasound machine. I laid on the bed and prepared for the worst. She put the jelly and probe on my belly and looked for baby. Only a few seconds went by and she said “See! There’s your baby. You see the little flicker? That’s baby’s heartbeat. It’s beating strong. Oh look! Baby is dancing!” After hearing this I was finally able to look at the screen. Baby was okay. Baby was on the move. Baby was precious and such a gift. I took pictures of the monitor so I could show Charles later. She said everything looked great and my mind was put at ease. I thanked her for taking such good care of me and baby. She gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Before leaving she took my blood pressure one more time and it was completely normal.
What a week! At 10 weeks, baby reached two major milestones. 1) Baby’s heartbeat could now be detected on a Doppler… depending on the Doppler they use. and 2) Baby is now moving in the womb. I had never seen my baby move on ultrasound before, and it was quite a site to see. Thank you Jesus for this gift! 💕
A few months back I wrote a post about being more like Hannah from the Bible. Coincidentally, I was writing that post around the same time I got pregnant. In that post I talk about how all Hannah really wanted was a baby. She prayed and cried out to God about her longing to be a mother. However, God made her wait and it wasn’t until she humbled herself and dedicated her unborn baby to the Lord, that she became pregnant and gave birth to her son.
When my pregnancy hit 5 weeks, I started to become very anxious. the shock of finally being pregnant again started to wear off and reality started to hit. My life was forever changed again. In 9 months I would be giving birth to a beautiful baby or at any point I could suffer another loss.
When I hit 5 weeks in my pregnancy, I laid in bed crying. I texted my friend Andrea and talked through my anxieties. I stayed up talking to Charles and praying to God about the baby.
A Mother’s Prayer
Lord, please forgive me of my sins and I just want to thank you so much for this little blessing.
Lord, thank you for this baby, no matter how long we may be blessed with him or her.
Lord, I want to dedicate this baby to you. This is your baby, that you have simply allowed me to care for. I am going to do my best to care for and love this baby.
Lord, thank you for this baby. Thank you that we are both healthy. Thank you for allowing me to get pregnant and thank you for this pregnancy. In Jesus name, Amen.
After saying this prayer, I felt peace and went to sleep. 💤
The morning I found out I was pregnant again for a third time, I went about my day as normally as possible. I went to work and taught preschoolers. On my lunch break, I came home and showed Charles the pregnancy test and he was happy but not surprised.
In the middle of the day at work, I went to the bathroom. I was happy to step out of my classroom and get off my feet for a moment. However, when I went to the bathroom I was surprised to see a little bit of spotting. Oh no…. not again. I instantly started to panic and thought I was having another miscarriage. I prayed that what ever would happen would be the Lord’s will. I was scared but I just had to trust and stay calm.
About an hour later, I went to the bathroom and saw no blood. I was relieved and filled with peace. I went about my day staying calm and trying to relax.
The next day while Charles and I were on a drive running some errands, I had to stop at the store to use the bathroom. While there I was surprised to see yet again a tiny bit of spotting. This time, I didn’t panic. I felt like what I was seeing was normal. With my miscarriage in the past when I was bleeding, the bleeding didn’t subside. It just got heavier and heavier until I lost my pregnancy. Whereas, the bleeding I was seeing now was still very light, and only happened once or twice.
Based on my symptoms, I am assuming that what I was experiencing was implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding sometimes occurs when the egg implants into the wall of the uterus. It usually occurs around the time you start your period, so women sometimes mistake implantation bleeding as a period. Only a certain percentage of women have this, and is completely normal.
As I reflect back on my previous pregnancies, I don’t remember having any implantation bleeding with Mackenzie. With Chase, I remember having a very tiny bit before the pregnancy test turned positive.
Based on the research and what I know, I was not going to fret. The bleeding stopped, and I felt fine. So I was just going to trust that everything was okay.
My second pregnancy was different than my first. For my pregnancy with Mackenzie, I was in shock for days and not at all prepared. For my pregnancy with Chase, I was very prepared for the first trimester as I knew what pregnancy symptoms to expect. At 6 weeks I was already feeling nauseated, tired, hungry and hormonal.
THOUGH THESE EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMSWEREN’T EXACTLY FUN, THEY GAVE ME COMFORT KNOWING MY BABY WAS DOING OKAY, AND MY PREGNANCY WAS ON TRACK.
For this pregnancy, I had my mind made up that I definitely didn’t want too many people to know. I didn’t come to this decision lightly. The reason I didn’t want to share about our pregnancy isn’t because we didn’t want people’s love and support; more less, we just wanted to keep it under wraps until I was further along. I don’t in any way regret telling people I was pregnant before my first miscarriage….. but I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that people will look at you differently when you go through a traumatic event. I also learned that though people may have good intentions… they can say some really hurtful things on the topic of miscarriage. Due to all of this, Charles and I decided to keep things a secret until we were ready to handle other people’s opinions.
At this stage in my pregnancy, I had so much peace. I had peace knowing and believing my baby was going to be okay. All the statistics and stories I had read, told me I was more likely to have a healthy pregnancy than a repeat miscarriage. My HCG and thyroid levels were great for a healthy pregnancy. I was ten times stronger than I was before experiencing a loss. Lastly, my faith, my education, my relationships and my job were all in a good place. Things were starting to go right for once.
At 7 weeks pregnant… I started to feel better. My nausea started to subside, and food was starting to appeal to me again. I think that since I had already experienced a loss, this symptom made me really nervous and anxious. I feared that I was losing my pregnancy symptoms and I was going to lose another pregnancy. However, I also wondered if it was just my nerves talking and this pregnancy was different than the first.
Around 6 weeks and 6 days I started to experience a really weird symptom. It was an aching pain deep near my cervix. It kind of felt like a menstrual cramp, but also just felt sore. I started to get concerned about this symptom as I had never experienced it during pregnancy before. I asked a friend and even a nurse at my OB clinic. They all said it sounded pretty normal. I also Googled the symptom, which probably wasn’t a good idea. The only term I could find was lightning pain. This is a term used when a woman experiences pain at the start of labor. I figured that probably wasn’t what I had and just decided to trust that everything was okay.
At 7 weeks exactly, I had my first OB appointment. I ended up going to the appointment by myself since Charles had class. It was just like last time as I had to sit with a nurse and talk about my medical history. I also met with the community health worker. In this meeting I felt compelled to share with her about my previous loss and how I was treated. I expressed to her how I was given promotional offers, samples and other reminders from various places. I shared how hurt I felt that I wasn’t given any resources until 3 months later. I expressed how I wasn’t treated kindly by my doctors. Lastly, I shared the struggle in the waiting room and how it can be hard on any woman of loss to have to sit among other pregnant moms.
THE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER WAS SO KIND AND SUPPORTIVE. SHE LISTENED INTENTLY AND ALLOWED ME TO FEEL HEARD.
Saturday September 28th, was supposed to be a very relaxing day. I didn’t have any plans that day except for studying and relaxing at home. I spent the morning in my pjs, drinking decaf coffee and catching up on some reading. Charles headed to our university’s football game and hung out with friends. I felt completely fine, except some cramping around my pelvis and cervix. However, I was convinced that this cramping was completely normal in early pregnancy.
Around 1:30pm I made myself some cheesy potatoes for lunch. I then went to the bathroom for probably the tenth time that day. When I went to the bathroom, I felt completely normal and pregnant. When I went to wipe though, I froze. Blood. There was blood. I was bleeding. I was spotting. Oh no! I instantly started to panic. It wasn’t a lot of blood, and if I were to describe it…. it was like the color of pink lemonade. Regardless, it was enough blood to scare me.
WHY WAS I BLEEDING? THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! NOT AGAIN! I CAN’T HANDLE THIS! I CAN’T HANDLE ANOTHER LOSS! I FRANTICALLY STARTED PRAYING. GOD PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP BABY CHASE SAFE! I DON’T WANT TO LOSE HIM!
I immediately called Charles. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I told Charles what was going on and he immediately headed home. While I waited for Charles I called my friend Andrea. She prayed over Chase and I. I also called the midwife on call. I explained to her how I was feeling, and what I was seeing. The midwife explained that unfortunately it did sound like another miscarriage, but I could always go the hospital to get checked out if I wanted to. When Charles got home he hugged me, and reassured me things were going to be okay. Then we headed to the hospital.
Going to the ER on a Saturday afternoon, I knew there would be a wait. However, I didn’t anticipate a full hour wait. When we were finally called back, I was able to relax and rest in bed. My cramps were still mild and the bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was thankful for that. I explained to every nurse and doctor I saw my symptoms and medical history. I had a variety of tests done including CBC blood work, urine test, pelvic exam and three ultrasounds.
One nurse that particularly stood out to me was Doug. He was the best male nurse I have ever had. He went above and beyond to take care of me, my baby and my husband. He was funny and very willing to answer my questions. He also disclosed to us that his wife has had three miscarriages, and currently has two sons at home, and an infant in the NICU of the hospital. One thing Doug said that truly stood out to me, was this: At this point we don’t know if you are going to have a miscarriage or have a healthy pregnancy. But just try to take care of yourself and rest. Know that you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be at this time….
DON’T BE SCARED, BECAUSE YOUR BODY KNOWS WHAT TO DO, AND IT IS GOING TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. SO, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND BE THERE FOR ONE ANOTHER BECAUSETHIS AFFECTS BOTH OF YOU.
Based on all my tests, everything was completely normal. My blood work showed that my HCG was in the 2000s which was higher than I ever had with my first pregnancy. My hemoglobin, and thyroid levels also looked great. My urine was fine and no UTI. My pelvic exam was normal besides some uterine bleeding. Lastly, my ultrasounds all came back fine. The reason I had three ultrasounds is because the doctors had a hard time finding the fetus. The ER doctor first used an ultrasound machine beside, which apparently has a difficult time picking up a fetus smaller than 12 weeks. I was then sent to an ultrasound room where I had another test done over my belly. The tech also had a hard time finding the fetus, so I had to have an inner-vaginal ultrasound. During this test, the tech and Charles were able to see the baby. Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks and 2 days… which was strange since I was supposed to be two weeks further in my pregnancy. However, the doctors said it was a possibility I had ovulated late. Besides that, baby was still attached to the uterus and everything seemed normal.
That night around 6:30pm we were sent home. I called and texted family and friends to let them know what was going on. When we got home, I forced myself to rest and take it easy. Shortly after arriving home, I had to go to the bathroom again. Though I was hoping the bleeding had stopped, I was still anxious by what I saw. I was still bleeding and it was getting brighter and thicker. Even though I was cleared to go home, I still feared I was going to lose this baby. Charles took the evening to hold me, and reassure me that it was going to be okay. That night when I went to sleep I had peace and faith I was going to wake up in the morning, with no bleeding and feeling so much better. I was convinced my baby and I would be fine, until I woke up at 12am the next morning……
At 12am on Sunday September 29th, I was startled awake. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. I had just gotten home from the ER a few hours prior. I was advised by my doctors and nurses to get some rest. I had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke up at midnight. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was sweating and I felt really uncomfortable. It’s just anxiety. Calm down. Relax. Baby is okay. I tried talking myself down from my minor panic attack.
I NUDGED CHARLES AWAKE. HE HELD MY HAND AND WE BOTH FELL BACK ASLEEP.
I woke up again around 2:15am. I woke up sweaty and gross and had to go to the bathroom. I was scared to see I was still spotting and it was getting worse. I was now seeing bright red blood instead of light pink. In wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was getting darker. I prayed, prayed, prayed then fell back asleep.
I woke up at 4am in pain. Cramps radiated from my groin throughout my back. I couldn’t get comfortable. I held my belly, then curled up in a ball. It wasn’t taking the pain away. I got out of bed and tried stretching my legs and my back. I was so confused. What was going on? Why was I in so much pain? After a few minutes of stretching the pain died down. I laid back down. Fifteen minutes later it happen again. Sheering pain was radiating through my core. I tried stretching, pacing and slowly breathing, at that moment it dawned on me. Oh my gosh… I know what this is. Cramps that are painful that radiate throughout my back. Uncomfortable positions. Pain every few minutes. This pain wasn’t just cramps, these were labor pains. I was in labor and I was going to lose this baby.
When this realization hit me, I wanted to throw up. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was my mind and emotions trying to catch up with what my body already knew. I had cramps every fifteen minutes, then every ten minutes, then every five. I paced through my apartment, tried laying in bed and tried sitting on the toilet. Nothing helped with the pain. Around 5:15am, I found myself laying on my bathroom floor sobbing.
I FELT SCARED AND ALONE. I CONSIDERED WAKING UP CHARLES, BUT I DIDN’T. I DIDN’T WANT HIM TO BE SCARED.
At 5:36am I cried out to God. I pleaded with God to help me. I knew my baby was already gone, and my body had a job to do. I knew this was completely out of my control. I knew the end was coming, but I couldn’t bare to think about it. I asked God that if this was it, if I was truly going to lose my baby, then could He just please make it quick. Ten minutes later at 5:46am, I felt my baby leave my body. I felt blood pour out of me and I felt my heart shatter yet again as I said I’m so sorry to my baby, and left the bathroom.
I went into my room and woke up Charles. I sobbed and told him what happen. He was confused and saddened. He held me and we cried together. That was it, it was done. My second pregnancy and my Rainbow Baby Chase were gone.
The next morning we woke up and tried to wrap our minds around what had happen. I took it easy that day, since my body was truly drained. I reached out to family and friends and let them know what had happen. They sent their love and condolences. I couldn’t believe it. We lost another baby. Why? That afternoon, Alli and Andrea sent us some flowers that read: In Loving Memory of Baby Chase. Reading this made me cry, and after that I didn’t cry for awhile. I didn’t feel like I should.
On Monday February 25th, I woke up bright and early. I was officially 11 weeks pregnant and I was gitty about our ultrasound that afternoon. It had been three weeks from our last ultrasound, so I couldn’t wait to see how much baby had grown. Since that ultrasound, I had begun to show and felt some twinging and pulling on my sides… but no cramps which was a good sign. My morning sickness was slowly starting to subside as well. I looked it up to see if it was normal for morning sickness to taper off around 10 and 11 weeks. Apparently, a certain percentage of women say their morning sickness ended around this time of their pregnancy. Charles and I were also excited because after this ultrasound we were going to make the public announcement about our sweet baby. I went to class that morning with Charles, and then went to my internship meeting, I let my internship coordinator Danielle know I would have to leave a little early to make it to my appointment at 2pm. When I left for my appointment, I let Jeanie know I would be texting her soon with baby’s newest glamour shot. Since Charles had class all afternoon, my parents picked me up and we headed to my appointment.
When scheduling for this appointment, I was informed that both of my OB’s office ultrasound machines were down and I would need to go to Out-Patient testing instead. Out-Patient testing was located on the opposite side of the hospital. When I arrived in the office, I remembered coming here when I was fourteen. I was having issues with my gallbladder and also had to have an ultrasound. This gave me a little comfort knowing it was a familiar place.
When they called me back, my mom and I headed down the hall to the ultrasound room. My dad decided to run a couple errands while we were at the appointment. When I walked in the tech asked me my name and birthdate,
“So, what brings you in for an ultrasound today? Is it your first ultrasound?” He asked.
I explained to him that I had had an 8 week ultrasound at the Alternatives Clinic. I went to that appointment on Tuesday February 5th and was 8 weeks and 1 day, however baby was measuring at 7 weeks and 4 days. The tech listened as I laid back on the table and lifted my shirt. My bladder was full again but not nearly as much as my previous ultrasound. The tech put the warm jelly on my belly and placed the wand back and fourth. He grew quiet for a minute which made me slightly nervous, but I just told myself he was looking at my ovaries and then he would move on to baby. My mom sat next to me watching the screen and asking questions about any tests I should have done. The tech continued to stay quiet.
He zoomed in on baby and I saw her again for a second time. She was starting to look like a baby. I could see the outline of her head and body. She was so tiny but had grown so much. The tech asked me again when I had my last ultrasound. I found it really strange that he kept asking me questions but he didn’t really answer any of our questions. I then saw him check the heart beat. He brought the measurement scale up on to the screen and I didn’t see anything. That was weird.
“I’m sorry… I’m having some issues” He said nervously. Oh great, this ultrasound machine isn’t working either, I thought. “I’m going to go get our radiologists, because I am seeing that the baby is only measuring at 8 weeks and 5 days.” He said then left in a hurry.
My mom and I both looked at each other. My first thought was, good baby has grown…. but wait, I’m supposed to be close to 11 weeks, not 9. I immediately got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something was wrong.
“See, I told you you’re having twins!” My mom said jokingly. On the way to the appointment I asked my mom how she would feel if it was twins. She said she would just laugh because that’s how life goes sometimes. I continued worrying about baby. Maybe she’s disabled. Maybe she has a serious health problem. Maybe she’s a dwarf. Maybe there is twins and one is just hiding behind the other and one is taking the other’s nutrients. Maybe everything is fine. There was one thing I knew for certain, I wasn’t having any bleeding or cramping so baby was still alive… I thought.
The ultrasound tech returned with the radiologists behind him. He introduced us to the doctor and he shook our hands and sat down. “Hi Kaylee.” He looked at me with pity eyes… why was he giving me pity eyes? “So, we took a look at your ultrasound and it seems that the fetus has died. Their was no heart beat. I’m very sorry… I know this isn’t an easy thing to hear.” I stared at him. He was lying. This was a sick joke. I’m still pregnant. My baby didn’t die. “I do want you to know that it’s nothing you did. More that likely it was due to a chromosomal abnormality and the baby was just unhealthy.” I continued to stare at my doctor. My breathing quickened. I felt something touch my hand that startled me. Turns out it was my mom holding my hand and crying. Was this really happening?
“She fell a few weeks ago on the ice. Could that have caused this?” My mom asked with a cracked voice.
“More than likely not. In early pregnancy such as this it’s usually something wrong with the baby. 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, unfortunately everything has to go perfectly right for there to be a healthy pregnancy” He said. I could tell he was trying to make sure I didn’t blame myself… too late.
“So, when did the baby die?” My mom asked. That was my question too.
“At 8 weeks and 5 days.” He said matter of factly. We were concerned that if my baby had been dead inside me for approximately 11 days, was that going to make me sick. The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about it since they caught it now. When the doctor left, I was grateful. I was done talking to him anyway. Even though he was just doing his job, a part of me hated him. He just gave me the worst news of my life, and I wasn’t about to be nice to him. When he was gone I got up and went to the bathroom. My mom wanted to hug me but I didn’t want to be hugged. I knew if she hugged me I would start to feel it, and I didn’t want to. At this moment I just wanted to be. I wanted be in this state of shock where I didn’t feel anything. But more than that, I wanted to rewind time. I wanted to go back and make sure I did absolutely everything perfectly in my pregnancy… but according to my doctor that wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
When I returned to the bathroom I was hoping it was all a dream. Sadly, no. My mom was still crying. From this point on I blocked everything out. As I write this and try to remember, I really can’t. My mom tells me that the tech was very shaken up and said he was sorry, he wasn’t expecting this at all. He shared with my mom that him and his wife had lost two babies… one at 6 weeks and one at 7 weeks. My mom also tells me that I called into work and got the night off since I was suppose to go in at 5pm. I guess I also texted Charles and told him what happen. Looking back I probably should have been more gentle than I was, but in this state of shock I was not thinking clearly.
Somehow, we ended up at my doctors office. I have no recollection of how we got there. I do remember going up to the front desk of the office.
“Can I help you?” The receptionist asked. I stared at her. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. I started shaking. I couldn’t speak without crying, and I didn’t want to cry. So I stood there with my mouth hanging open probably looking like an idiot. My mom came up behind me and told them why I was there. They told us to have a seat and I would get called back. I sat in the waiting room feeling like every pregnant belly was staring me in the face. This was not fair. I couldn’t sit there. I couldn’t sit still because I knew all my emotions would hit me. I went to the bathroom. When I returned they called me back. Thank goodness.
We followed the nurse down the hallway to our exam room. She asked me for my name and birthdate as I stood on the scale. I then sat on the table and stared at the floor. This is not happening, I repeated in my head over and over again. Shock and denial were what comforted me in this moment. The nurse asked me about any medications I was on.
“Prenatal vitamins…. well I guess not anymore obviously!” I said with a passive aggressive tone. I didn’t know why I was so rude to her. She didn’t do anything wrong, I was just mad. She explained that I could still be on them if I wanted to. Some women just take them as vitamins whether they are pregnant or not. She then came over to me and took my temperature and my blood pressure. She asked about cramping and bleeding and I told her I had had none. She then looked at me with sad eyes. These weren’t the same eyes that the radiologists gave me. These were empathetic, I’ve been where you are and it hurts eyes.
“Can I give you a hug?” She asked. I nodded my head yes even though I knew what was coming. She hugged me and held me and I felt it. My world shattered. Everything I had hoped and prayed for was gone. This pain was unreal. It hurt. My baby was gone and I didn’t even know it. I sobbed in anguish and cried all over her scrub top. She held me tight for a long time. She said she had been there and even though I wouldn’t believe it now, I would get through this. After she left I met the doctor on call. He was very clinical and not at all compassionate. He said he was sorry but his tone and body language said he didn’t care. He gave me three options. He said I could allow my body to pass my baby naturally, I could take a pill that would speed things along or I could have a D & C procedure where they remove baby and the dead tissue. I chose to have a D & C.
When I got ready to leave the exam room my mom gave me a hug. She said she loved me. I melted into her arms and sobbed. I couldn’t believe this was happening. As we left the office I walked through the waiting room. Tears shed down my face as I felt like I was moving in slow motion, and yet all I wanted was to get out of there. I wanted to get away from the constant reminder that I was still pregnant but my baby was gone. As I walked past the pregnant women in the waiting room one of them locked eyes with me. She grabbed her belly that looked to be about 6 months along and covered her mouth. The emotions of shock and devastation came over her face as she looked at my tear stained face. She knew. I kept walking. Even though no words were exchanged I can imagine that if I had stopped she would have said “I’m sorry and I’ve been there too.”
The drive back to my apartment is a complete blur. I don’t remember returning home. All I remember is sitting on the couch in the living room crying. My mom sat next to me hugging and comforting me. She sent my dad out to go get us some comfort food. I wasn’t hungry. I sat there and stared at the laundry baskets full of baby items I had accumulated in the last few weeks. They were a mixture of items I had made or already had, as well as items from friends and my mom who would splurge on the baby clearance items every chance she got.
Sitting there on the couch, I felt so numb. I wanted this to be a bad dream. This was not how the day was supposed to go. I was supposed to see my baby. I was supposed to hear her heart beat for the first time. I was suppose to send the picture to Charles. We were suppose to make our big announcement. It wasn’t suppose to be this way. I did everything right and I showed no signs of a problem. How did I miss this? How did I not know that my baby had died?
While my dad was gone, I asked my mom to bag up all the baby items and just take them away. I didn’t want to see them. I didn’t want to be reminded of what almost was. However, as she did this, I felt crushed. I wasn’t ready to let go of the excitement and dreams I had as I looked at the baby items. I decided to keep a few things out to keep with me. I placed them in a cardboard box and decided that when I was ready I would create a memory box.
When my dad returned he brought me back a shamrock shake. Bless his little heart. Charles also returned home around this time. Charles hugged me and held me and allowed me to cry. My parents were concerned about us eating and kept asking what we should do for dinner. They offered to pick up food and bring it back so we could eat in. I told them I wanted to go out. I didn’t want to be in this house anymore. It just all still reminded me of baby.
We decided on Red Lobster and drove separately. I rode with Charles. In the car, Charles and I talked and he tried his hardest to comfort me. I told Charles I wanted to name our baby. I remembered seeing in the movie Heaven is For Real, how the daughter that the mother miscarried was up in Heaven without a name. I didn’t want that to be our child. I wanted our baby to be up there in Heaven with a name. For awhile I had been having strong feelings that we were carrying a girl. Charles was hoping for a boy. We talked about it, talked about why we felt the way we did and discussed different names we liked. We decided on naming her Mackenzie. It was beautiful.
At dinner my parents tried there hardest to try and put a smile on my face, but I wasn’t having it. I was in mourning. They respected that but I know it hurt them to see me this way. Throughout the evening I texted the people I had originally told I was pregnant that I had lost the baby. Most responses were I’m so sorry and Is there anything I can do? and Oh Kaylee, my heart breaks for you. It was comforting that so many people cared but was also just another reminder that this was not a dream, this was reality.
I decided to stay with my parents that night. I started cramping and was terrified that my body would try passing the baby over night. As much as I wanted to be with Charles, he was in the middle of his midterms and I didn’t want to stress him out even more. I didn’t want to keep him up all night with my worry and grief. I also didn’t want him to have to take me to the hospital if I started hemorrhaging or something else went wrong. So, I stayed with my parents, snuggled some kitties and tried to mentally process the day. This was the worst day of my life.
The night I found out about our baby, I laid awake. I tossed and turned. I couldn’t go five minutes without crying. As the hours passed, the more my new reality would hit. I’m not having a baby. I’m not gonna be a mom anymore. These thoughts just broke my heart over and over again. As I laid in the bed awake, I thought back to when this all started. I thought about Andrea asking if I could be pregnant. I thought about Alli bringing me the pregnancy test. I thought about the excitement and disbelief we all had about me being pregnant. I thought about my mom and I shopping for maternity clothes. I thought about my crazy pregnancy cravings. I thought about both ultrasounds. I thought about the dreams that Charles and I had for this little girl…. I found myself holding my breathe still in a state of shock. How can this journey suddenly be over? Just like that.
By 3am I couldn’t take it anymore. The series of events that occurred in the last 7 weeks kept swirling around my head. As much as it was torcher to think about, I didn’t want to forget. This was my story. This didn’t all happen for nothing. I didn’t understand the reason, but I knew I wasn’t meant to suffer in silence. I thought about the pros and cons of sharing my story. People may give me pity or think I just want attention. People may say something insensitive or just the wrong thing and it could hurt more. People would forever look at me differently.
That night I wrote a brief status on my Facebook of my pregnancy and miscarriage. I outlined it as a letter to Mackenzie. The decision to write my story wasn’t an easy one to make, and I knew I was taking a risk. However, I chose to tell my story for three reasons.
1) I wanted control. I felt like I had lost all control in this situation. That’s one thing that made this situation fall into the category of a traumatic event. I the victim or survivor lost all control in the loss I was experiencing. I not only wanted to find some grasp of control in this situation, but I also wanted some control of what others may say to me. Ever since Charles and I got married, it never fails that every few weeks someone is asking us when we are going to have kids. Due to what had just happen to us, I didn’t want anyone to ask. I thought that if people knew our story they would be respectful of our loss and allow us to choose when we want to talk about starting a family.
2) I knew I wasn’t alone. As much as it hurt and as much as I felt like I must be the only woman in the world to feel this pain… I knew I wasn’t. I knew there were others out there like me. Many have suffered in silence while others have shared their story publicly. I wanted to be able to connect to those who have gone through this pain, so that I could find some glimmer of hope that I could get through it too.
3) I wanted the world to know Mackenzie. Naming her, talking about her and sharing our story made her real. I didn’t want her just to be an idea, or dream. She is real. She did grow inside me and sadly she was called home.
So I did it. I shared my story around 4am on Tuesday February 26th. To this day I still can’t believe the impact of sharing my story….
The night of February 26th, I was absolutely restless. I tossed and turned in bed until about 12:30am. I finally got up and started pacing. I was still staying with my parents. My dad woke up when he heard me awake pacing throughout the house. My dad kept me company and talked to me throughout the night. My cramps kept getting worse the more my anxiety increased.
Around 3am I felt the need for comfort. Food and my dad’s company wasn’t quite meeting my needs. Honestly, I wasn’t going to be okay no matter what I did. I wanted my baby to be okay, but she wasn’t. I went down to my parents basement and found the garbage bags full of baby items that we had packed away two days ago. I dug through them in the dark until I found what I was looking for. I started to get frustrated and almost give up… and then I found it. I found Mackenzie’s quilt. The quilt that Alli made for her. The very first gift that Mackenzie received, but would never be able to use. I pulled the quilt out of the bag and hugged it tight. This is exactly what I needed, something to hold.
I headed back upstairs with the quilt in hand. I rested in the recliner chair in the living room and watched Jimmy Carson with my dad. Ever since I had received the news of our baby at the ultrasound, my arms ached. They ached and felt like I had recently carried a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of grief or what exactly, so I did a little research. Apparently, some women experience pain and ache in their arms after a miscarriage. This is because of the psychological longing of wanting to hold their baby. This information gave me comfort. I wasn’t crazy. I was grieving a longing for my baby. Holding the quilt helped immensely. It wasn’t my baby, but it was a tangible item that gave me comfort.
By 5am I was absolutely miserable. My dad had given me 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and I was still in a boat load of pain. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lay down. It hurt to stand, and it hurt to walk. My cramps were intense and at least at a 8 on the pain scale. Every time I went to the bathroom I feared there would be blood, but there wasn’t. By 5:30am my gut told me to go to the ER. When I had scheduled my surgery the nurse said if my cramps became too painful or I was bleeding uncontrollably then I needed to be seen. So, as my dad got the car ready, I woke up my mom and we headed to the hospital. I called Charles on the way, and scared him out of his sleep. I felt kind of bad. He had two midterms that morning and I didn’t want to be selfish… but I needed him.
My trip to the ER is pretty fuzzy. I remember Charles meeting us there. I remember him holding my hand. I know I had a pelvic exam done and they said my cervix wasn’t dilating yet. I remember it was painful. I got a shot in the arm for my pain and it made me incredibly loopy. I remember the PA talking to me and telling me I was going to have my surgery tomorrow as scheduled. I also saw an ER doctor. He prescribed me Norco for my pain. He told me “Normally, it’s not safe to take when you are pregnant, but since you are not choosing to continue the pregnancy, it’s the best option.” His words hurt me. I wasn’t choosing to go forward with the pregnancy. Excuse me? I didn’t have a choice in any of this.
Even though it’s all a blur, the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind about the ER visit is prayer. I was furious with God. I had developed a hatred for Him and how He took away my baby… but at the same time I needed him. I was scared. I didn’t want to live this life but also didn’t want this pain anymore. I wanted God to either kill me or get me through because I couldn’t do this on my own. My faith was shaken but it wasn’t gone completely. I needed God to get me through this because I felt literally everything slipping out of my control.
On our way home from the hospital, we stopped at the pharmacy to get my pain med prescription filled. Despite the fact I had had a shot for my pain less the three hours prior, I was still in some pain and discomfort. It wasn’t as bad sitting down, but if I had to stand for more than a few minutes, the pain was intense. I don’t remember much, but apparently I got very frustrated with the pharmacist. They tried telling me they didn’t accept my insurance, when in reality I had straight Medicaid at the time and everybody accepted straight Medicaid. Not only that, but I had just picked up meds for my husband a few days earlier. We have the exact same insurance and there was no issue. According to my dad, he could tell I was in a lot of pain as I leaned on the counter at the pharmacy. My Dad said I was very close to climbing over the counter and strangling the people at the pharmacy because they kept arguing with me… but I didn’t. We ended up going to a different pharmacy and had absolutely no problem. Thank goodness.
When we got back to my parents house, my mom pulled me aside and hugged me. It’s almost like she knew I needed that hug before I even knew to ask for it. She’s a really good mom. “You need to embrace this baby. Spend some time by yourself with just you and baby. Talk to her. Because tomorrow… you are going to feel so empty when she’s gone.” She said hugging me and holding me tight. I sobbed all over her shoulder. I did not want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my baby. I didn’t want to stop being pregnant. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was gone. Charles came over in the afternoon. He brought me flowers that were sent from Andrea and Alli.
That evening around 6pm, I went into the bedroom I was staying in and closed the door. I sat on the bed and stared at the wall. I was snuggled in many layers of blankets and gripped Mackenzie’s quilt and held it in my arms. As I sat there, I realized that my mom was right. I was spinning out of control and trying to avoid the loss and pain that was currently consuming my life. I tried just to breathe. As I started to calm myself down I began to feel it. All the emotions of pain and sadness came to the surface. My baby died. I had a miscarriage. No. No! This wasn’t happening! Why did she die!? Why did she have to go? For two hours I sat in that dark bedroom crying over my baby. I gripped my belly wishing so much that I didn’t have to say goodbye. I would have given ANYTHING for this not to be real. My mom came in to check on me. She comforted me. In many ways I felt better. The physical pressure of needing to cry was gone but the pain and sadness continued. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye.
The morning of my surgery I woke up confused. I actually got more than three hours of sleep and felt slightly rested. It believe it was due to the amount of crying I did before falling asleep and the pain meds I was on. I called Charles when I was more awake. It was around 5am and I needed to be at the hospital at 9am. Before the miscarriage and everything had happen, Charles was offered the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for a conference. Since we had already payed for the trip, I told Charles he should still go. As hard as it may be for him not to be here, I still wanted him to go and try and enjoy himself. I felt that everything had been taken away from me, so in my effort to protect Charles I still wanted him to go on his trip. When I called Charles he was getting ready to leave for the airport. I don’t really remember the conversation but I know we were both pretty emotional. After hanging up, I regretted telling him to go on his trip. I wanted him here, but it was too late.
Before leaving for the hospital I took my final pregnancy bump pictures. Taking the pictures was something I needed to do, but it also broke my heart because I knew it would be for the last time.
The minute I arrived at the hospital on Thursday February 28th, I started to cry. It was going to be a long day. When we walked into the building I called Charles. He was at the airport and at a lost for words. He so badly wanted to be here for me, but also wanted to respect my wishes by going on his trip. He was very gentle and comforted me over the phone as best he could. I tried my best to be strong for him. I didn’t want him to beat himself up for going on the trip even though I told him to go.
Since we arrived to the hospital early, my parents decided to go downstairs to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. I wasn’t hungry anyway. While in the cafeteria, I sat at the table waiting for Alli. She promised she would come visit me on her way to work before my procedure. I sat there snuggling my quilt trying to keep it together. I felt my tears start to well up again in my eyes. When I looked up I saw Alli walking towards me. Her face of sadness and compassion told me it was safe to fall apart. I stood up and ran over to Alli. I hugged her and began to sob. I felt my body collapse into her embrace. I could feel Alli crying too. She was heartbroken. We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria of the hospital sobbing. Some might say it was an inappropriate place to fall apart. But considering it was a hospital, I’m sure they see it all the time. In that moment, I didn’t care who might be staring or judging us. All I cared about is that my friend was here. She was the first person to know I was pregnant and she had been a huge support for me since day one. I’m so glad she came.
When I went to the Out Patient Surgery Department they got me registered and asked me for a urine sample. I asked them why they would need it. I mean…. they already knew I was pregnant. I had no energy to argue with them so I did what they said. Later a nurse named Sara came back to the waiting room to help me get prepped. She apologized that they made me give a urine sample. The system does not allow them to see what surgery I am scheduled for, therefore they didn’t know I was pregnant.
She brought me back to a small pre-op room. She asked me questions and we talked about medications and standard health information. I told her that I had a lot of questions to ask my doctor about what to expect following the D & C. Sara told me she was happy to answer any questions I may have. I asked all my questions of anything from a decrease in pregnancy symptoms, to pain, to bleeding to mental health. She was very open and honest in answering all of my questions. She also disclosed to me that she could only share from her own experience as she had suffered from 5 miscarriages. When she told me this, my heart broke for her. How are you still standing? I thought. Before leaving she saw I began to cry as I knew my procedure was quickly approaching. She looked at me and said “I know Sweetie… I know.” She then opened her arms and gave me a hug. Sara was absolutely amazing, and to this day I feel so blessed that God allowed me to meet her before my procedure.
My mom helped me undress and get into my hospital gown. I laid on the bed and covered up with a blanket. More surgical nurses and techs came in to ask me questions, start my IV and prepare me for my procedure. Alli and my dad joined us in the room about an hour and a half before I had to go back to surgery. The room was very small and crowded, but it was comforting knowing they were all there. At about 11:30am Charles texted me and told me his plane landed. I was able to sigh with relief. I was very stressed and emotional with the procedure, but knowing that Charles had landed safely before my procedure made me feel a lot better. My anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the room. They both asked me questions and prepared me for the procedure. I had peace and good vibes from both of them. I knew anything could go wrong, but I was confident I was in good hands.
My surgery was pushed back to 12:30pm. I was told that the social worker was too busy to come see me but I was still able to visit with the Chaplin. When the Chaplin came in I was kind of stunned. He looked just like my husband! The only real difference was his accent and long beard. It was so uncanny. The Chaplin introduced himself to my parents, Alli and I. He gave me some sympathy cards, a book about miscarriage, and a praying bear. He talked with me about my story, our baby’s name and my faith. He led my family in prayer, and prayed over me that I would be safe through the surgery. He prayed that the doctors would have wisdom during the procedure and that I would be able to find God again through this grief and sadness. As he continued praying my dad suddenly burst into tears. He had sadness in his face since my ultrasound, but I had yet to see him cry. Maybe he was trying to be strong for me. He cried hard, and I could tell he was trying to fight it. He held my hand. It broke my heart but also gave me joy. He loved this baby too.
After the prayer the Chaplin left and Alli left for work. The nurses came in and said it was time to say good bye to mom and dad. I squeezed my prayer bear one more time and handed it to my mom. My parents both kissed me on the head and started to cry. I tried to be brave and told them I was gonna be fine. I felt the surgical people pull my hair into a hair net and put booties on my feet, I started to panic as my parents walked away. I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Just then it all hit me. The drugs… the wonderful, feels like you’re flying and floating on a cloud drugs. I wasn’t panicked anymore. I felt GREAT!
They rolled me to the operating room. I remember thinking my arm hurt. It was the arm with my IV. I kept saying something to the nurse and they kept trying to adjust it. When I got to the room I had to move onto the table. I laid down and tried to relax. Then I felt my other arm hurt. They kept asking me what hurts. Turns out it was just the blood pressure cuff. Then my calves tickled. I began giggling. I was loopy. I remember my surgeon getting concerned. I tried telling her something was tickling my calves. She told me it was the compressor that helps you not to get blood clots. That’s a relief. I looked up at the ceiling and realized it was all about to change. When I wake up I won’t be pregnant. This gave me sadness. I prayed to God one more time. Please God, forgive me of my sins and keep me safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Then I was out.
I remember being rolled to the recovery room. I remember not feeling any physical pain. I remember thinking the lights were way too bright. I remember feeling really confused, not sure where I was or why I felt so incredibly out of it. Then… I remembered everything.
I felt the weight of my broken heart throughout my entire body. My baby was gone… spiritually, emotionally, mentally and now physically. She was gone forever. I began crying, screaming, and yelling. In my head I didn’t think I was that loud, but apparently I was because the people in recovery continuously told me I was being too loud. I felt my nurses trying to comfort me by holding my hand and rubbing my arm. I remember a nurse trying to have me take some pills and a sip of water. I think the pills were for anxiety. I remember I would hear a beeping noise every time I would hold my breath, my nurses would remind me to breathe.
“Why God Why!? God killed my baby! God took her away!” I continued thrashing in the bed. I was so overcome by emotion and heartbreak. “God how could you do this to me!? I want my baby! I want Mackenzie! I hate you God! How could you do this to me!? Oh Mackenzie!” I continued screaming this in recovery. I remember hearing the nurses talk about bringing my mom back.
When my mom came back, I was still a heart broken mess. My mom did her best to calm me down. I know it was hard for her to see me like that. My mom ended up giving me my bear and I held on to it tight. My arms ached. I needed something to hold. I came into the hospital pregnant, but I didn’t get to leave the hospital with a baby.
“Why? Why did my baby have to die? What did I do wrong? I’m her mom, I should have known!” I was entering in the stage of bargaining. I pleaded with God and couldn’t fathom why God chose to take my baby. As I pleaded with God, a nurse came over to me. She told me not to do this to myself. She said not to beat myself up and go down this dark road. She told me I did nothing wrong. It wasn’t fair. There’s so many moms in the world who don’t take care of their babies, and their babies live and have rough lives. Where as I would have done anything to be the best mom I could be and take care of my baby. It wasn’t fair.
Eventually, the drugs kicked in and I settled down. I ended up staying in recovery 2 hours longer than expected because I was so emotionally unstable. My nurses and parents got me ready and took me home. Everything from that day after this point is a blur. I’m assuming I just slept the rest of the day but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that by the end of the day, I was no longer pregnant and I was heartbroken.
This post was written a year ago, and though a year has passed, I still believe it holds some truth today.
It’s okay to not be okay… and today I am not okay. A year ago today I was happy. I went to a doctor appointment that I thought would leave me joyous and thankful. Instead, it left me with every emotion imaginable, and this is when my grief first began. I was 11 weeks pregnant. I was supposed have an ultrasound and hear my baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Instead I heard the words “I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Instead of feeling joyous, I left feeling empty and broken.
My life changed that day. I became an angel mommy. I had to learn how to let go of a child that I fell in love with but didn’t get to meet. I learned who my true friends and family were. I learned how incredibly common pregnancy loss is, even though no one talks about it. I learned that there are good people in the healthcare system who go above and beyond for their patients. I also learned how the healthcare system let’s so many women like me down. I learned how to grieve, how to live, and how to be happy again. It wasn’t easy, and trust me… I’m still working on it.
Grief is a burden that we all have to deal with in this life. There is no telling how or when you’ll go through it. But we grieve because we love. It hurts because we don’t want to say goodbye. It’s confusing because we don’t know how to handle it until it happens. But more often than not grief brings people together. Whether it’s losing a parent, losing a sibling, losing a friend, losing a child, losing a neighbor, a coworker or even someone well known… it hurts, and it unifies us.
So today I am not okay. I am giving myself permission to grieve my baby. I’m not going to feel guilty for not being my best today. I’m going breathe, rest and remember what I had before I had to say goodbye, and that’s okay.
I love you Mackenzie! Daddy and I miss you so much. 💕
I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.
Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.
When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.
Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.
So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.
19 years ago today, one of the worst terrorist attacks happened on American soil. A group of hijackers from the Middle East stole 4 comerical airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Where were you on 9/11?
I was 6 years old on 9/11. My mom and I just moved into our new house maybe a week before. I had just started first grade. Since I was only 6, I don’t remember a lot about that day, but there are a few things that stick out in my mind.
I remember being in the classroom while my teacher was teaching. I remember my brother had a nosebleed and went to the office. I remember him coming back and telling our teacher two buildings were hit by airplanes. I remember my teacher asking him to repeat it. I remember her looking really sad.
The rest of the day is blurry. I don’t remember if I stayed at school or if my mom picked me up, but I remember coming home. I remember seeing the news on for hours, replaying the footage over and over again. In my young mind I remember thinking “Why do they keep crashing planes into buildings? Someone should stop them.” It took me awhile to realize it was the same buildings and they just kept replaying the footage.
As the days followed, I remember my mom trying to explain to me what happen. I remember her being really sad and even scared to send me back to school. I remember my grandma being at our house and getting very sad and angry at the tv.
I remember that fall it was very patriotic. There were so many American flags being flown. I remember many people singing patriotic songs on tv and asking for money for the victims and families effected. I remember my teacher drawing the shape of a pentagon on the white board and explaining that a plane crashed into this building as well as the towers.
As I have reflected back on this day over the years, I have realized that I remember a lot more than had thought. I am also seeing that much of my education and childhood was certainly effected as I like many others had to grow up in a world after 9/11. I can recall numerous accounts of class conversations with our teachers about Osama Bin Ladin, terrorist attacks, 9/11, war etc.
Around the age of 16, I found an interest in 9/11. I think it is because it is a historic event that occurred in my lifetime that I somewhat remember. It truly is a sad moment in our history, but at the same time I find so much strength and resilience in hearing survivor’s stories. Though I know it will be hard, one goal I have is to someday visit Ground Zero and walk through the 9/11 memorial and museum. I say it will be hard because it is one thing to read and see the history and events of that day on a screen, but it is another to experience the location of that day and see it at that large magnitude.
Now that I am an adult and teaching preschoolers, I often wonder if anything like this will ever happen again. I hope not. I really really hope not. But if it did, how would I respond as a teacher. Personally, I don’t think I would be able to hide my sadness, as much as I would want to. I think I would try to protect and give to my kids love and comfort as best as I could… much like my first grade teacher did.
I do want to take a moment and say, I am thinking of all the people who were lost on 9/11 including the first responders and the average hardworking Americans. I am praying for all the families and friends who lost a love one that day. I also want to thank the many men and women who went to war right after 9/11 to fight for our freedom and the war against terror.
I also want to leave you with one last memory I have. This memory isn’t from 9/11 exactly but the many months after. I remember my class was on a field trip in the spring. It was very rainy and I don’t exactly remember where we were coming back from, I want to say it was from the nature center. Anyway, I remember riding the bus and playing with my friends on the bus. At some point the bus driver turned on the radio and the song God Bless the USA came on. Many of us kids started singing since this song was played often, we knew it very well. Before long the chaperones, my teacher and the bus driver were all singing to this song. To this day it still gives me chills thinking about how many of us children could not comprehend the magnitude of what happen that year, and yet we learned so much about violence, terror, bravery, freedom and how to be proud Americans.