Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Just Being Honest

It has been an emotional week for me. We went to a memorial service at the hospital where I delivered Madelyn last Sunday. At the service, we were asked to say some gift that our babies gave us--- something that we are thankful for. If I am being honest with myself, I have to say there isn't one. I could say that I appreciate my son more, but I would still love and care for him even if I hadn't gone through her loss. Sam says at least we know about my conditions, but I would rather have my baby girl and so would he. Is it really fair to ask me to be thankful for something so horrible? Each and every day, I feel forced to look on the bright side. I was kind of hoping for one hour of my life where I could just feel sorry for myself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trying to Move On

There was a baby dedication at church today. I cried. I tried not to, but I still cried. It isn't that I'm jealous. I really am happy for people who have healthy babies. It's just that every time I see a baby, I'm reminded of the baby I don't have. I know it is suppose to get easier. I know at some point I need to move on, but for some reason, I just can't.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Day of Remembrance

When I came home from work tonight, I helped tuck Micah into bed. After Micah was all set, Sam and I gathered the few items we had that reminded us of Madelyn--- the ultrasound picture of her scratching her nose, the bracelet with her name that someone at the hospital made for us, and a rose from the flowers we bought for her grave. We set the CD player to play Sissy's Song by Alan Jackson and then lit her candle. Sam held me. I cried. No words were spoken. Usually memorials are about remembering, but for us it was about what will never be. We will never hear her cry, feel her breath, watch her first step, or hear her first word. We'll never send her off to kindergarten, celebrate her graduation, or see her walk down the aisle. Today we grieve for all the moments that will never be.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

Tomorrow is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. It is a day that those of us who have suffered loss can share our grief.
"Whereas each year, approximately one million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a newborn baby; Whereas it is a great tragedy to lose the life of a child; Whereas babies sometimes live within or outside their mothers’ wombs for only a short period of time; Whereas even the shortest lives are still valuable, and the grief of those who mourn the loss of these lives should not be trivialized; Whereas Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day would enable the people of the United States to consider how, as individuals and communities, they can meet the needs of bereaved mothers, fathers, and family members,and work to prevent the causes of these deaths."

We will remember Madelyn Mae by lighting a candle at 9:00 pm.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting Answers

My doctor had ordered a series of test while I was in the hospital. I think they took at least 12 tubes of blood from me. Quite honestly, I didn't think I would have any answers. I had been doing some online searching of causes of miscarriage and I was reading the book To Full Term by Darci Klein, so I was familiar with medical terms and different diagnosis going into my postpartum appointment. I was nervous. To be honest, there wasn't any good news. There was no news, bad news and worse news. I was hoping for bad news. I found out that I have two different disorders: MTHFR mutation and a prothrombin mutation. I still haven't quite figured out the significance of the MTHFR, but the prothrombin mutation is a clotting disorder. A blood clot had formed and caused placental abruption. The good news is that going on a daily shot of heparin during pregnancy should keep me from miscarrying again. Even though I have answers, I still worry. It will never be like it was with Micah when it didn't even occur to me that something could go wrong. Once you've lost three babies, you can never go back.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Funeral

We chose to have a private graveside service for just Sam and me. As we pulled up to the cemetary, Sissy's Song by Alan Jackson was playing on the radio.

"Loved ones she left behind just trying to survive and understand the why. Feeling so lost inside. Anger shot straight at God. Then asking for His love. Empty with disbelief. Just hoping that maybe---She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels by the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees. And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting. And I know she's smiling saying don't worry 'bout me."

It was so strange to say good-bye to someone we never had a chance to know.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Labor and Delivery

Four days after we found out we were having a girl, I started spotting. I called the emergency doctor on call and was assured that spotting was normal. I couldn't sleep that night. Even if spotting was normal, I needed peace of mind. I went in for an emergency doctor's appointment. I knew something was wrong right away because the nurse couldn't find Madelyn's heartbeat. By the time the doctor came in to do the ultrasound, I was a wreck. I anxiously watched the screen for the heartbeat but there wasn't one. I knew even before the doctor told me, that I had lost my baby. I kept repeating "I just don't understand." The doctor told me the only thing I had to understand was that my baby didn't have a heartbeat.
I managed to drive home to meet my husband. We had to take our son and dog to his parent's house before going to the hospital for labor and delivery. It was like I was walking in a dream. I was waiting for someone to wake me up from my nightmare, but no one ever did. The staff at the hospital was super supportive. We had everyone from nurses to the chaplain to a social worker visit me. I requested an epidural early because I didn't want to feel any pain. Unfortunately between the epidural and the two doses of Nubain, I was knocked out. I delivered my baby girl in my sleep and didn't realize it until the nurse came in to give me a catheter. I was mortified. At first, I was hesitant to look at her. I wasn't sure what I would see, but eventually we held our baby girl. She fit in the palm of my hand. We had a naming ceremony in the hospital and scheduled a private graveside service for the next day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Madelyn Mae, Our Third Loss--- April 2009

I was ecstatic to find out I was pregnant again in January. I was just sure that this time everything would be okay. Since I had already had one "successful" pregnancy, my doctor was confident that my first two losses were just "bad luck." I was more guarded this time. While I wanted people to be able to share in my joy, I also realized that these same people would be forced to share in my pain if I had another miscarriage. I only told a few people and I swore them to secrecy. At eight weeks, I nervously went in for my first ultrasound. Sam held my hand the whole time. Without saying it, we knew we had been preparing for the worst. Then we saw the baby, and the doctor didn't have to tell me everything was okay because I could see her heartbeat! A weight was lifted. I had a 95 % chance of carrying the baby to term. I wanted to wait to tell people, but Sam had already told his co-workers. I decided to share my news as well. At 12 weeks I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. We were finally out of the first trimester, but I was still guarded. At 18 weeks we found out we were having a girl! The doctor said she had passed her first physical with flying colors. For the first time, I let my guard down. We picked out the name Madelyn Mae and we announced our good news to the world. I even started window shopping for pink stuff. I couldn't help but walk down the newborn aisle and picture Madelyn wearing the little sleepers. I hadn't been that happy since the first time I held Micah.

The Second Loss--- October 2008

By October I was pregnant again. I couldn't believe my luck! I thankfully decided not to tell anyone about this pregnancy until after our first ultrasound. We never made it to the ultrasound. In fact, we never even made it to the first doctor's appointment. Three days after my positive pregnancy test, I lost the baby. I was only five weeks along and at work when it happened. I hadn't even had time to get used to being pregnant. Sam thought I may have been better off had I not known, but deep down, even without the pregnancy test, I think I still would have known.

My First Loss---- August 2008

After trying for so long with Micah, I did not expect to get pregnant easily with my next child. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant while taking the pill! While it was a little sooner than we had planned, we were excited. We didn't think anything of announcing our good news to anyone and everyone. We even received gifts for our new baby from family. Gifts that are still hanging in the closet waiting. It wasn't until our first ultrasound that I realized something may go wrong. By my calculations I should have been 9 weeks, but I was only measuring 6 weeks. The baby didn't have a heartbeat, but my doctor assured me that it just may be too soon to see it. We scheduled a follow-up ultrasound for the next week. Five days later I started spotting. When I went in for an emergency appointment, the doctor said I was probably miscarrying, but I would have to wait until my ultrasound to be sure. By the time I had the ultrasound two days later, I had already lost the baby. Because the miscarriage was "incomplete" I had a D&C. Even though we weren't trying to conceive, the loss left a hole.

Micah---- Our Miracle Baby

I always thought trying to get pregnant meant going off the pill. After all, most people I knew either "weren't really trying" or not trying at all when they got pregnant. When Sam and I got married in 2004, we weren't actually "trying" but we weren't "not trying" either. A year went by and I was honestly surprised I wasn't pregnant yet. Once I realized the baby thing wasn't as easy as it seemed, I started to research online and read books. I was introduced to the world of infertility complete with basal temperature readings and charts. I started tracking my temperature and tried to time the baby dance perfectly. Still no baby; in fact, I was was so heart broken that I started an antidepressant. We started seeing an infertility doctor who scheduled a lot of tests. Sam was fine. My blood work indicated I was ovulating. I didn't have a thyroid disorder. I had the HSG test and my "pipes" were open. I fell into the large group of women with unexplained infertility. Our next step was to have an IUI (Intra-uterine insemination), but once I realized how intense it was, I decided I needed a break from baby making. Four months later I was pregnant. We were so surprised to get a positive pregnancy test that I took three of them! We went on to have a healthy baby boy in February of 2007.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Motherhood has not been an easy journey for me. I struggled with infertility for 2 1/2 years and then went on to have a healthy baby boy in 2007. Since then, I have had three miscarriages. My last loss was at 18 weeks--- five days after we had the a perfect ultrasound and found out we were having a baby girl. Even though people are more open to talking about miscarriage than they once were, I have still found it to be awkward to be completely honest. My last loss was in April, yet I am still grieving and trying to heal. I think most people expect me to be "over it," but I'm not. We are currently "trying" again, which can be a painful process. I created this blog as therapy to help me deal with my pregnancy losses and to help others who may be going through the same thing.