Friday, November 23, 2012

Didnt we almost have it all?

Its been months since Ive touched this blog. Life seemed to always get in the way and even though there are a thousand things to say, there isnt ever enough time to say them.

But now, I find myself compelled to put the words down, and to make sure that there is a place I can go to, in a few months, or a few years, if I want to remember. Inevitably, no matter how badly things hurt right now, I know they wont always hurt this way. And someday I might even forget how things happened. And even with the hurt, I dont want to forget.

On October 25, 2012, I went to a playdate with some of our friends here. I was telling them how horrible the last few days had been - I was tired, crabby, and everything hurt. Someone jokingly said “maybe youre pregnant!”. I laughed it off - even though we had been trying, since it took us so long to have John I never thought that we would get pregnant so soon.

The day we had John we knew we wanted another baby. It was instantaneous. Although I breastfed him for a year, I prayed my period would return so that we could try to conceive again as quickly as possible. It finally came back in July, after Johns birth in September, and we began trying right away.

So the idea that it could happen that quickly was crazy to me - I had only had 2 cycles since then. I called Allen on the way home, and told him what everyone had said. I told him I was on cycle day 42, but that wasnt a concern since I had really long ones after having John. He said hed pick up some of those dollar store tests on the way home anyways, so that we had a stockpile. I had been testing like crazy on the previous cycles since they were SO long.

He came home and I took the test, which was immediately stark white. It didnt hurt as bad as the last times, because I still had hope that good things were coming. I set the test down for a few minutes, and then went back to look again, just in case.

Sure enough, I saw a shadow of something in the test line. I took it out to the windowsill, where I culd see just the SMALLEST shadow of a second line. I immediately called Allen into the room, and asked him if that was what I thought it was ... and with a smile he said yes!

The day before I had a friend get a positive test, only to start her period a day later. With that news (which I had told Allen) we were super cautious about getting excited. We went to Devons football game like normal, and on the way home I stopped to get a pack of First Response tests. I took one and a second line appeared pretty quickly. Same thing for in the morning. At that point I let myself believe it - we were definitely pregnant again!

I told so many people that second day. There was something in me that said maybe I should wait, maybe this wasnt going to last, but I ignored it as paranoia. Looking back, Im glad that I did.

I went and had my first appointment, and everything looked good. We announced it to the world via FB later that day. Allen and I both were over the moon - we had actually tried, and planned, to have a baby and it worked. Anyone who knows our history knows that we have never been able to do that before. I was so excited for John to have a sibling close in age, and for our family to grow. Some people struggle when they bring kids into their marriage, but for us its been the opposite. Our bond grew, our love grew, everything grew. Were better as parents than weve ever been. It only made sense that adding to that would just make the good things greater.

On November 12, Allen was off for Veterans day. Though I had felt sick the week before, the few days preceding my symptoms had lessoned, and it caused me a lot of concern. That day I felt aches in my hips and back, so when John went down for his afternoon nap I took one too.

I had a terrible, awful dream. I dont remember everything, but the part that stood out was me on the toilet, with so much blood, losing the baby. I woke up scared, but felt okay. I went to use the bathroom and thats when I saw that the dream had come to life, and there was indeed a large amount of blood.

I woke Allen up, and he told me to keep hope. But as we got John ready so we could go to the ER, I knew. The cramps came in waves, and the blood was everywhere. I told Allen before we went in that he should expect the worst.

The ER experience was horrible. I sat in a waiting room with a newborn baby and a pregnant woman for 3 hours. My body was contracting in small waves, and as I went to use the bathroom I passed a great deal of what was in there. Allen had to take John to our neighbors house, so for an hour I sat in the cold room, alone, losing my baby. I was in the worst place of my life at that moment, and I hope never ever ever to go back to that.

By the time I was finally seen, I didnt need the doctor to tell me anything. I knew in my heart that our baby was gone. I went through all the required tests, and it was definitely over. By the time I got my sonogram there was very little left. The only comfort I have in this is that I didnt have to sit and wait and see - it was obvious it was over.

The next few days are a bit of a blur. I went home that night in shock. I left for that hospital pregnant and I came home not. All the joy, the excitement, the happiness ... it was all gone.

At that point, I was glad I told people. I know that not everyone grieves the same, but for me it was so much easier to have a support group. It was easier to have love and to not do it alone. I know that we werent pregnant long, but the second I saw those two lines I was in love. I was in love with our baby, and what was to be. So, even though the loss was early, it still crushed a part of my heart that I dont know I can ever get back.

It was wonderful to have so much love in those days. From my moms group, to old friends around the world, to my online moms group .... it was nice to hear how loved we were. That people cared. That they would pray.

The night we came home, I was able to go to sleep despite cramps. I woke up at 4 am in terrible pain. I never expected to have to go through so much physical pain after having so much mental pain already. It was like the early stages of labor, when the contractions are just getting to be unbearable. But labor is tolerable because you know what happens at the end and its beautiful. This pain was excruciating because I knew what happened at the end. And it was nothing.

Thankfully that was the worst of it. A miscarriage is the single worst thing I have EVER been through. I was so scared. And I was alone, on my bathroom floor, losing what was left of the baby I wanted so badly. I dont think you can prepare yourself for that. Ever.

Every day gets easier. I have so much happiness in my life, and I am so grateful for it. But still, there is that part of me that wonders, why? Why does this have to happen? Why, if we werent meant to have more children, why not just make us sterile? Why give us the one thing we wanted so badly, only to take it right back?  God and I have had some serious talks lately. But I will never forget that on that bathroom floor, I just prayed for Him to be beside me. The pain, all of it, was too much to bear and I thought my heart would stop from the sadness.

But it didnt. And He didnt let me do it alone. So even when I am so MAD at Him (and yes, sometimes its okay to be mad at God) I remember that He didnt want to do this to me. He doesnt love that we had to suffer. I may never know why this had to happen, but I know that Im still alive. So there is a purpose out there for me.

Some people have said “thank God it happened early”. And to an extent, I am grateful for that. Early, and naturally. But the pain is still there. I still miss what could have been. I should have been able to have an ultrasound that showed a little jumping bean by now. And at Christmas I would have started to show a little. After the new year we were going to find out what we were having. And in July, our family would have expanded.

All of these milestones are going to be hard. Thanksgiving I just sat down and cried until my heart wanted to burst, because that wasnt at all what I imagined it would be. I should have been happily eating to my pregnant hearts content. Instead I had to think about what wasnt going to happen for us.

Maybe we will be able to get pregnant again. I know that seems like a comforting thought, but sometimes its not. If this can happen once, there is nothing to stop it from happening again. Never again in my life can I assume that a pregnancy test = a baby. Never can we assume that getting pregnant is the end of the battle ..... its just one more step in a long and heartbreaking process to try to do something that seems to come so easily to the majority of the world. There are days when I dont even know if trying again is worth the heartbreak that it can bring. Maybe I am only meant to have two children. And I shouldnt complain about that, because its two more than so many people get. I have to remember to count my blessings.

Overall, we will survive. Sometimes I feel like I am perfectly okay. Other times my heart feels like lead. Like its never going to work right again. I feel like Ive failed everyone - John, Devon, Allen. All the people who love us and were expecting us to produce yet another funny and spirited baby. I feel like Ive failed myself, since this just shouldnt be SO hard to do. How many women get pregnant every day? How many women can produce multiple babies? And yet I cant just carry one. It seems so ridiculous.

I dont know what will happen in the future. Most of the time, I cant think further than today. All the times that we planned on this huge family seem so silly. So naive. So maybe just thinking about today is the best that we can ask for.

Well never forget. Even though we never held this baby, and we had so little time with it, it doesnt matter. It will always be a part of us.

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