Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little Lady...and Remembering.

The little pumpkin loves dressing up...what little girl doesn't, right? So today she was super excited to don her butterfly fairy costume and head to Lovi's Ladybug Birthday Party.Bzzz, Bzzz...sweet friends McKinley & Grace ready to have fun at Lovi's. Three little ladies having fun decorating ladybug cupcakes...Red velvet - YUM!Jewelry...a girl's best friend ;)
Off to the land of unicorns and fairies, I go... Everybody gather around for......LADYBUG RELEASE!Happy 5th Birthday, Little Lady!Changing course for a sec...

Today is
National Infant & Pregnancy Loss Day...a "club" I wish I didn't belong to, no one does.Before we had our sweet Grace, Lance and I had a surprise pregnancy. Unplanned by us...but not by our sweet Lord in heaven. From the moment we found out about our little miracle-to-be, we were overjoyed. Head-over-heels in love. I remember wanting to wait a bit to tell our family and friends, but Lance was sooo excited to become a dad, he wanted to shout it from the rooftops. We ended up deciding to tell our families and closest friends. Everyone was surprised - as we were - but excited all the same.

Then on April 28, 2006, at my dear friend Bridgette's rehearsal dinner, without a single symptom other than a full bladder, I went to the ladies' room and suddenly realized something was very wrong. Lance and I made the 1-hr drive back to our city and headed straight to the ER. One of the longest hours of my life! I remember the silence from the ultrasound tech...I remember looking at the screen, knowing by now we should have been able to see more, a heartbeat. But nothing.

The doc came in, tried to reassure me by saying maybe I was just mixed up on my dates and I was only about 5 weeks along. Nope, no mix up on the dates. The baby had just died between 5-6 weeks gestation. An ultrasound 2 days later at my then OB's practice - thank you Dr. L, the on-call doc, for opening your practice on a Sunday afternoon to do a courtesy ultrasound! And thank you for making that call, Mom! - revealed a little pocket of blood where the placenta was already separating from the uterine wall (sorry if TMI). Things weren't looking good.

A couple of days later and several labs later, a D&C was scheduled for May 3rd since my body was not reacting as it should. I remember riding up to the OR and the well-meaning nurse telling me, "You are young. You will have other babies. It happens all the time. I had 3 miscarriages myself." Well-meaning, but not the thing you want to hear when you are in the middle of losing your baby. The baby you love, the baby you want to still be growing inside of you.

I remember the diagnosis on all the paperwork..."missed A/B"...that's "missed abortion" in case you didn't know - a medical term meaning your body has not spontaneously released the baby following a miscarriage. By God's great love, why on earth would you put the word "abortion" next to a person's heartbreaking miscarriage. Adding insult to injury - that's exactly how it felt. I wept.

The physical recovery was very easy. The mental & emotional recovery, not so much. I remember completely breaking down the day before the D&C, sobbing in my bed. Lance trying to console me. My mom on the phone loving me through her words. Feeling like my world was crashing down around me. But God is good. He is faithful. He was there for me even when I felt completely alone and abandoned. Even when I questioned the purpose of what I was going through. And 2 months later we were blessed beyond measure...we were pregnant again - this time with our sweet baby girl Grace.

I know everyone is different but for me the 2 hardest things from losing a baby through miscarriage were this: 1. having people pretend it didn't happen/afraid to acknowledge the loss/thinking you should be "over it" and 2. losing the ability to have a worry-free pregnancy the next time. Once you've lost a baby through miscarriage, every other pregnancy is one scary ride of "what if...", "please God, not this time" and so on. You worry over every little symptom. You count down the days until 12 weeks (end of first trimester), 20 weeks (mid-way), 27 weeks (viability greater than 90%), 37 weeks (term) and so on.

Don't get me wrong, there is still joy all along the way, but it's not that free, glowy, nothing-could-ever-go-wrong joy. It's a cautious joy. It's a let's-wait-to-tell-until-it's-safer joy. It's a please-check-my-hcG levels-over-and-over joy. It's a check-the-progesterone-levels-too-while-you-re-at-it joy. It's a forget-running-and-exercising-maybe-it-had-something-to-do-with-my-previous-loss joy.

If you've made it this far reading - thanks for still hanging in there! - Maybe it's because you've had a loss yourself, and for that my heart is heavy for you and I pray you've been comforted by our Heavenly Father. If you have not experienced a loss, I hope you take away this: don't be afraid of bringing up the loss to a friend for fear of "reminding" her of something hard. Believe me, she has not forgotten. Your kind words will not hurt her, but silence will. Compassion heals.

To my sweet angel in Heaven: I can't wait to meet you one day!
To sweet baby Hannah (08.15.07 - 08.15.07), my BFF's baby girl born at 19 wks. gestation - I'm thinking of you today touched many lives in the short time you were here with us on earth.

Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn't get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me? - author unknown

This scripture has always been special to me and it has carried me through some dark days more than once...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6.



Cupcakes and Lemonade said...

Loved reading this post. I too had a miscarriage before getting pregnant with Preslee and Mason. You are right, silence is the worst. It's so nice to know that others acknowledge your baby's life, while short, it was still a life, your baby. Thanks so much for helping us remember today and all those that are suffering. Without faith in God, I don't know how else you would get through it!

Em said...

Thank you for sharing.
I myself have two angels in heaven, patiently waiting for me to meet them. They bookend the children I have now-the first and the last-sent to heaven at the end of my first trimesters.
I often feel that I am missing a bigger family-until I realize that my family is bigger, just not all are here on earth.
My heart rejoices in the knowledge that my little ones will never know pain or heartbreak, and that one day I will see them for eternity.
Thank you again for sharing, and you too will be in my prayers.

Spears said...

what a beautiful post. so sorry you too have experienced such loss. I lost one angel right before my Grace, and then again last month. So grateful for your blog and the uplifting words!

Mendy said...

Jessica, this was so uplifting. Thank you so much for putting into words exactly what a miscarriage feels like and the pregnancies after. Thank you for helping us remember today all of those little ones in heaven awaiting to meet their mothers. Bless you!

Virginia said...

My dear Daughter:
I (too) will never forget my first grandchild. I always picture him/her safely tucked in Abuelito's arms. I know that he,
with God's blessing, is taking good, loving care of his great-grandchild and loving him/her as much as he loves you.
Love, Mom

Jessica said...

Sweet friends - thank you for your words of encouragement and at the same time, I'm so sorry you too have walked that road before. It is heartbreaking. Praying peace and comfort over you all.

And mom~ thank you for being the best mom in the world - you truly are!

Amy said...

Sometimes I don't understand nurses and why they say the most ridiculous things! I would never want to be a nurse myself and I'm sure it takes a special kind of person...but sheesh!

Very touching mom had a miscarriage and I know she always thinks about how old that baby would be today. We'll meet in Heaven one day.

Bettie said...

Thank you Jessica for sharing this post. I too have been through this experience three times. My first pregnancy was perfect until my 6th month 2nd week, I developed pre-eclamsia, gained 33 lbs in 3 days and delivered my precious Emily Grace at 30 weeks on the dot...3 lbs 3 1/2 oz. God was so good to precious babu girl only stayed in the hospital for 20 days. This is my miracle baby. Three pregnancies after my Emily Grace ended in miscarriage,,,late in my 2nd trimesters. The Dr. told me that I wouldn't be able to carry any more babies. I ended up getting pregnant, my Dr. ran a whole different group of blood tests and found out what my problem was. I went full term with my 9 lb 2 1/2 oz Elijah Garrett. God had a plan the whole time. I often wonder what it would be like to have my 4 boys and 1 girl, but I'm ever so thankful to have my 2 children here with me. Some things are beyond my comprehension and that's where faith comes in. I believe God has my 3 precious angels waiting for me. My heart gets heavy at times, but I know God is in control. You take care Jessica and know that you are not alone. I'm thankful to be able to share my experience because my husband doesn't like to talk about it at all. So it helps me to be able to share with others who have felt my pain.

Teresa said...

Dear Jessica, thank you for sharing this experience. What a beautiful and heartfelt post, such beautiful sentiment expressed for your little angel.

Beth said...

I too have a sweet baby waiting for me in Heaven. Our experiences are similar in that we both had a loss and then rather quickly got pregnant again with our daughters. People assumed that since I was pregnant again after only 2 months, that I must be "fine" about the miscarriage. They acted as if it never even happened. It has been 2 years since I lost that baby and I still think about him daily.

I also learned during that experience that there are lots of women that lose babies. But each has their own experience, their own pain, their own faith. NO one truly "knows" what someone else is going through. Since my loss, I have learned to simply say how sorry I am and if there is anything I can do for them. I am more then happy to share my story with them, but respect their experience.

God Bless you! and thank you for sharing!

Jessica said...

Thank you all for your heartfelt comments and for sharing your personal stories with me. My heart goes out to everyone who has walked this road before, especially those who have done so multiple times. Continuing to pray God's peace & comfort over you...((Hugs))

Anonymous said...

{hugs} Thank you for sharing. I have lost a child during pregnancy too and it's so hard because nobody got why it hurt so much. Making it even harder was the fact that I had lost one child of a set of twins so I heard "well at least you still have the other one" as if having one child makes the loss of another ok. I'd love to connect with you on Twitter if you are there...I didn't see a button for it (I'm @aliciamarie112). I love your blog by the way! I just discovered it from Pinterest and am looking for your turkey craft but glad I landed upon this post on the way there!

Courtana said...

Really respect how you opened yourself up here and told people about what had to be such a heartbreaking time; I also appreciated you saying that you'd rather that people pretend it didn't happen, because I have never been sure of the "right" thing to say to a woman who's gone through this.
God bless you for sharing and for keeping on believing in miracles

Rosemary said...

I have a little soul in Heaven too. They went to be with the Lord on Easter sunday seven years ago. I'm 53 now and certainly didn't expect to be pregnant, but it still broke my heart to lose that baby. Whats weird to me is the sadness that overcomes me when the anniversary of the miscarriage comes around. You never forget :/

Jenn Korolewski said...

Thank you for sharing this.