Warning: Long post… emotional & ‘girl stuff’ discussed. Just a warning. Also, I really debated on sharing this via blog, but I thought that it might be able to help someone. I felt so helpless, however, all of my sweet friends who shared so openly and honestly with me were a God-send! I’ve decided to close the comments, as this is very dear to my heart. I know that all (10 of you -ha!) who read my blog offer your condolences to our family, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I just want to protect my heart and the tenderness that comes with this from any comments that might hurt more (even though people mean their best).
Our November was filled with lots of family and love, as well as, receiving some exciting and shocking news. We found out we were going to be adding a new little one to our family! I took a pregnancy test November 9th (on a hunch that I might be pregnant), and that little line darkened declaring our family would be growing again! It was definitely a sweet blessing from the Lord because at the time we were actually not trying but ‘preventing.’ I started all the lovely pregnancy symptoms over Thanksgiving week.
However, we had a sad turning point in our December. I had my 1st appointment on December 10th at 8 weeks. Well, we went in and had an ultrasound done, and the baby’s heartbeat (just one baby) couldn’t be found. The baby was measuring at 6 weeks and 2 days when it should have been measuring at 8 weeks. The weird thing is, everything else was measuring at 8 weeks, and I was still feeling sick and yucky.
My body hadn’t started to do anything to release the baby- no spotting or cramping at all. We waited through the weekend, and then called on Tuesday. I had the option to do a D&C since it had already been almost 3 weeks since the baby had passed away and my body wasn’t doing what it should. I talked to some sweet friends who had let the miscarriage happen naturally and some who had gone with a D&C. I opted for a D&C for several reasons:
1. My mom was in town. She had already planned to come to celebrate an early Christmas. When you have surgery, you want your mom near!
2. I couldn’t think of going through a natural miscarriage if it was just me at home with the kids. The Dr. said it could take anywhere from a few days to months for my body to figure out the baby hadn’t progressed.
3. My mom and aunt both had miscarriages, but STILL had to have a d&c because their bodies didn’t get rid of everything.
4. This is more of a practical one, but it did play a part in our decision making: finances. Our insurance deductible had already been met for the year. A surgery that could have cost over $5000 only cost us $250. If I had waited, I still might have had to have a d&c in January, and paid a TON for it.
5. I had already had one before, so I knew a little of what to expect. (It wasn’t for a miscarriage, but for polyps in my uterus…the reason I couldn’t get pregnant to begin with)
The day we found out our little one didn’t have a heartbeat was one of the hardest days I’ve walked through. I was shocked by the amount of grief I went through. I cried and cried and cried. I remember taking a bath, and getting the water as hot as I could stand it – maybe to counter some of the pain my heart was dealing with. I just wept in the bathtub. It was the worst bath of my life. I was so thankful Chris was off of work that day, and my mom was on her way because I needed to grieve. I was shocked at how much I loved this little baby, even though he/she was such a surprise to us. A mother’s love runs so very deep…you don’t have to ‘think it up’ or wish it to be, it is already there – in the heart, the marrow.
One of the silly reasons I thought about not sharing this so publicly, was because I thought others wouldn’t understand why I was so pained since I already had children. Even though the Lord has graciously blessed us with children, I was grieving for this 5th child that I had already come to know and love. I had written his/her due date (July 23rd – a week after the boy’s 2nd birthday) in my calendar, as well as all the weeks of the pregnancy…waiting to check another one off. I understand that this grief may not be the same kind of grief, cutting as deep, if this was my first pregnancy or subsequent miscarriage, but it was still grief.
The day we found out, I would get sweet kisses and hugs from Harper, Warner, Crews, and Maverick and was so thankful for the blessing of these four. I would do what they needed me to do : diapers, meals, hugs, snacks, etc…and then go upstairs to cry. That night, I let out some really good sobs in my bedroom. Sobbing is very healing. Harper must have heard me because Chris carried her into the room to check on me. She crawled up in the bed with me and got under the covers. She put her little hand on my face and looked deep into my red, swollen eyes.
She asked, “Mommy, are you crying?
I said “yes.” She asked why and I told her I was sad. (We hadn’t told her about the baby yet). I told her it was okay for mommys to be sad sometime.
She said “yeah, I get sad sometimes.”
And I told her I know.
Then she reached over and hugged me around my neck with her little arm…her sweet scent was healing to my heart. She said, It’s okay, Harpers here, and the patted my wet cheek. Then, she grabbed my hand and said, “Here suck your thumb.”
Chris and I died laughing, and just like Steel Magnolias says,”Laughter through tears is the best medicine!” So true! Out of the mouths of babes.
The next morning I woke up and felt empty and weird. The baby was still inside me, but with Jesus. I knew the only thing that would make me feel better was spending time with my Savior Jesus, the one who gives and takes away. I spent a long time that morning reading the Word and seeking Him. I wrote out a praise list of all the ways we have seen His hand in this. Yes, He allowed this little one to be conceived and not born for only reasons that He knows. It is easy to sometimes look at God as though He was cruel to take this from us, but I know that God is good and not a cruel God, so I asked Him to show Himself to me…show me where He was… and these are some ways that He did…
– I was able to see the Dr so early. The last two times I’ve been pregnant, the Dr wouldn’t see me until 10/11 weeks. This time, she scheduled me as early as she would see me – 8 weeks. If I hadn’t seen her this early, I may have had to go through this at home, with out any help (I’m sure God would have provided for me in that situation, too, though)
-When I went to the Dr. they called us back to meet with the financial people first. We thought it was very weird. We didn’t have any history of bad credit or not paying the hospital (praise the Lord!), so I don’t know why they did this first. However, due to some insurance changes that went into effect in 2011, we realized we would have to pay $300 per visit plus the delivery cost. We also had counted up that we needed a new car with a 5th baby! We had just worked so hard to get out of debt, that we were a little overwhelmed while waiting to see the Dr. We prayed for the Lord to provide for all of our needs, that we were trusting Him in it all.
-I had the option to have a D&C. Sometimes that is not even offered, and you just have to wait. (I really struggled with this decision on waiting vs. surgery, but was so glad with my decision in the end. It was not traumatic at all, and I felt very taken care of… more on that to come.)
-My Mom was here. Enough said.
– Just the fact that the appointment was on a Friday, when Chris was off. He was there to hold my hand, and let me cry. He was sad, too. He cared so great for our kids so I could grieve as I needed. He even got up with Harper, as she had a poop accident in the middle of the night (constipation issues). He cleaned it up and put her back to sleep – without me even waking up!!!! He got up with the kids the morning I originally wrote this list out & fixed them pancakes so I could spend time with Jesus. Oh, and he brought me coffee in bed!!! He is so precious to me.
I wrote this in my journal:
Thank you for walking us through this difficult time. Thank you for preparing the way ahead of us. Thank you for the amazing friends and family that you surrounded us with, Jesus. You are so good and your love does endure forever. In time, YOUR time, you will show us the plan you have for our family. Thank you, my LORD, for guiding us. Give us strength today and help us to enjoy one another.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Jesus Calling devotional, and just for my records,I wanted to record these days that spoke so vividly to me : December 11th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 21st – they felt like they were written just for me at that time – maybe it was because I was extrememly tender, vulnerable to the Lord and what He was up to, but God’s word and my time with Him was gentle, healing, comforting. I know Satan so badly wanted me to doubt God / be angry with him – I’m so glad there was a different option that I had to choose!! One filled with hope, joy and peace!
After spending that time with Jesus, I was at peace, and I was able to see His hand in this over the next few days. Our precious friends offering to bring us dinner that night. Cards and flowers from friends and family arrived letting us know their hurt for us.
I had surgery on December 17th (after a follow up ultrasound on the 16th to make sure there wasn’t a heartbeat & our dates were just ‘off’. There wasn’t). The whole experience was very peaceful. The staff kept telling me how sorry they were for our loss. Chris went with me and it was a nice time to be alone together. We were able to talk some and just hold hands in the quiet. We prayed together, and truly were at peace. After my surgery was over, I was pretty sedated, so we had to wait until that wore off. We went home that night, and I slept hard. I was a little dizzy throughout the night and felt off the next day, but I had some good sleep.
Chris’ family came into to town the next day, since my mom had to leave. They took wonderful care of the kids. Chris was also off of work for the next 2 weeks, so I was able to rest and recuperate. I spent a lot of time in the bed or on the couch as I just didn’t feel good. I was told not to pick up the kids for a week, and was able to do that because of the wonderful help I had!! I savored the kisses and cuddles I received from Harper, Warner, Crews, and Maverick. They were a balm to my heart.
Tuesday Chris’ parents left. I’m not sure if it was just because I had finally been alone or if my hormones were to the point where my body could release everything, but I started what I describe as the worst period with terrible PMS on Wednesday. I stayed in bed crying, weeping, and bleeding that day. I think my body was just releasing everything as my hormones regulated. (the dr. said it would be a few days after my surgery before my body figured out I wasn’t pregnant anymore, and would adjust). I went through that for about 2 days. I felt helpless and frustrated that I couldn’t do what I wanted to with the children. I wanted that little baby back that I had lost. I wanted to drown out my sadness with my regular routine. However, I was just sad and didn’t feel good. Chris, the patient man that he is, just stayed by my side, helped me with the kids, told me that I would be back to myself again, and to give my body some time. It was about a week before I felt like my hormones had leveled out, and 2-3 weeks before I stopped bleeding (normal – much like after you deliver a baby)
I did my best to seek the Lord during that time. I really wanted a name for this baby, and anything that Chris and I spoke about just never settled…just felt like a ‘name.’ While I was reading the Psalms one night, I came across ‘Selah.’ I remember studying about it when I was at Liberty, and if I remember correctly, the meaning was never really given but guessed upon. I did some researched and found that it was a musical term…one that meant to give breath, take a break or pause, or reflect on what was just read/sung. Oh that resonated deep in my soul. This baby is exactly that to me. Selah. A reflection. A pause in my life.
Since our sweet miracle boys have been born in July 2009, I have not stopped but for moments here and there. I haven’t truly reflected upon what the LORD had given us, what miracle HE had performed! While I was going through their pregnancy and birth, I knew it was a miracle. When I held them and gazed at their tiny little perfectly formed bodies, I knew it was a miracle, but I hadn’t reflected upon it in quite a while. We have been in survival mode for a good while now. I would still do my quiet time (reading God’s Word), and would trust that the Lord is gently leading me, but I hadn’t recounted His goodness to me in a while. This sweet baby, Selah, gave that to me…a time of rest, a choice of looking at something terrible and choosing to be grateful instead of bitter. This sweet one gave me the gift of loving my four children more and more. A wake-up call of sorts. I have been able to look at the boys as individual people instead of just ‘the triplets.’ It may sound funny to you, who have had one baby at a time, but because there is so much to do and survive in that first year of triplets, it was hard to individually bond with each child. I did what I could, but have realized it just takes time. I am learning their little personalities now, their cries in the night (or day, for that matter), their different laughs, and how they are communicating with me. I’ve been able to see this all along, however, now all of this is deep in my heart, running through my veins. It just took some time to see it, to pay attention to it, and my sweet Selah, you gave me (and your brothers and sister) that gift. I so wish I could have held you in my arms, little one. I do wish that you were still growing inside, tucked away safe and sound. You are safe in Jesus’ arms now, and I look foward to the day I will meet you.
God, you are so gracious to us. Thank you for showing me all that you did from what seemed to be such a devastating experience.
Praying for all of you who have had a miscarriage(s), are struggling with infertility…may you see the hand of God. He hears and hasn’t abandoned you.