Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Empty arms, Empty uterus

Sometimes I feel like the entire world is moving around me & I'm standing perfectly still just watching it fly by. Like I'm standing in the center of a tornado, motionless, completely unable to get out, break free. I feel imprisoned by my grief & anger. I carry it everywhere I go. I feel like everyone can see it. The mom in the grocery store with her newborn, I hate her & I think she can see it in my eyes. The pregnant lady down the aisle from me, I hate her for living a normal life while pregnant & she knows it. The father with his children, I hate him for having what my husband has lost & he sees my envy. The mom shouting at her children, I hate her most of all & I know she sees my judgmental stares.

Hate. I don't like that word at all, but it's a real part of my life & I can't control it no matter how much I try. I hate people I don't know. I don't even have a real reason to hate them. I don't know their story. I don't know that they haven't been through the same or worse than me. Except I do know. Or at least I think I do. When I see these other people, it doesn't seem possible that they could have endured what I have, or worse, & still be able to walk around so blissfully. If that were the case, then that would mean that kind of happiness could be in my future & that just doesn't seem like a remote possibility.

***I feel the need to clarify what I've just said as much as I can. I don't hate everyone that's pregnant or has a baby or children. I don't even know if I really hate the people I think I hate. Or if I just hate myself when I see them. I love my friends, I envy those around me. The one thing I know I hate is this empty feeling.***

I can't envision a time when I'm not always on the verge of tears just sitting in my house. A day when I don't sit in my car, in the Target parking lot, for 10 minutes before I go in, just mentally preparing myself for what awaits inside. Will there come a day that I don't try to strategically plan my errands around the times I see less likely to be bombarded by people with what I lost? A day that a nurse's casual chatter about her children won't be a knife to the heart? A day that I can truly be happy for others without the pangs of selfish desire for what they have taking over?

I used to be a happy person. I swear I was. I only have faint memories of that girl. When my friends talk about the past, it doesn't even seem like me in their stories. Sometimes I think that happy, carefree person died with my children. Will she come back if I ever get my rainbow? I get glimpses of her, here & there. Maybe she's not totally gone. How do I live without the things I need most? How do I find happiness in the meantime?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Catching up on the shitty shit (part tres)

Here's where everything goes to poo. TMI & loss warnings.

So at my last appointment, NYE, everything was hunky dory. That Sunday, 1/4/15, I had gone to the bathroom. When I wiped, I felt something bulging at the end of my vagina. I knew instantly what it was, it was the sac. FUCK.MY.WHOLE.ENTIRE.LIFE. I screamed to Sean that we needed to leave for the ER immediately. We were out of the house in about 3 minutes & I was at the ER being wheeled in in about 10 min.

Once I was checked in & wheeled back to a room, S & I both broke down. Bless his heart, he was still trying to be positive, but I knew this was the beginning of the end. A doctor came & did an exam, she told me that she believed the sac was in my vagina. Then sent me to ultrasound. The tech didn't say a word, but did let us hear our little guy's heartbeat. Then wheeled me back to my room. About an hour later, they admitted me & brought me up to L&D. Unfortunately, this was a much smaller hospital than the one in NJ which had a separate high risk section. So, we had to roll by the nursery & I knew we'd have to hear little lives entering the world during our stay.

Once we were in the room (the exact room I had been in recovering from the TVC less than 2 weeks before), the nurse set me up in the all too familiar Trendelenburg position. We were back to hoping for the sac to retreat into my uterus. The ER nurse said that one of the doctors in my OB practice was coming by, but she had no idea when. So we were just waiting around. S called my mom & dad, they both rushed over. My dad & stepmom hung around for a couple hours, but needed to get going because my stepmom had to get up early to get her chemo port put in (My poor dad was having to watch me go through this shit & his wife was starting chemo the same week.) My mom decided that she was going to stay with me overnight since S had to go home at some point because of the dog.

Around 10:30, the doctor finally showed up. He did a quick digital/visual exam. Explained that we were waiting to see if gravity would help & if so then they would try a rescue cerclage & then hospital bed rest from there out. He explained all the risks & possible outcomes. S & I assured him that we were very aware of all of that & told him about Rowan's loss. He said not to lose hope & that if the situation was going to reverse it usually does so in 12-48 hours. He asked if we had any more questions & then headed out. A little while later, my nurse had come in to change my IV & she told me that the doc "couldn't visualize anything" during the exam, so things looked promising. With that small glimmer of hope, S headed home for the night. My mom went to sleep & I stayed up all night watching TV. I passed out for about an hour around 6.

Around 8 S got back to the hospital & we were waiting for Dr L to come do his morning rounds. He got there around 8:30, right after ultrasound had come by. He confirmed everything from the night before & repeated over & over that he swore he put the stitch in right & tied it tight. He was distraught. He had never had this happen to a patient in over 20 years. He did a quick check of everything, but said he didn't want to use a speculum until things looked a little better on the ultrasound. He said he'd be back in a few hours, but in the meantime he wanted to start antibiotics to try to prevent infection.

After he left, my mom went home. I don't remember too much of the rest of the morning. S was there, some nurses came through & tried to give us some hope. It's a blur.

My doc came back around at about 1 just to check on me (the benefit of his office being across the street). He didn't really have much to say. A lot more "I'm sorry" & "try to stay positive" & "all we can do is wait right now."

After he left, I paged the nurse for help with my bed pan. When she came in she told me that Dr L had approved the use of a bedside commode for me. At this point, any hopes that I had been hanging on to, were dashed. Until this point, I had been 100% restricted to the bed. I knew that him allowing me to get out of bed to use the bathroom meant that things were getting worse or at the very least not getting better fast enough. I declined the commode, I couldn't give up until there was something certain. I expressed to the nurse what I thought the doc lifting the bed pan restrictions meant for me & she just gave me a look that said "Yeah, it looks bleak." She came back a little bit later to fiddle with my IV & said "I'm probably not supposed to tell you this, but ultrasound thinks you may already be leaking fluid. The fluid around the baby is very low." Because of how frequently I had been going to the bathroom, I really had no idea if I was leaking or not, but I didn't think so.

Somewhere in there, I guess right before I called the nurse to let me go to the bathroom, S ran out to grab some food for himself & to fill a script for P17 that my doc wanted to start to try to help prevent labor. ($100 dollars later, I was able to use a single dose out of a 10 dose bottle & now I'm stuck with this shit that I have no use for & will probably be expired by the time I need it again...I digress). While he was gone, my friend came by & she lost it the second she saw me. I told her what the nurse had told me & we just hung out sobbing together. She asked if there was anything she could help us take care of. So I asked her to swing by the bakery & cancel the cupcakes we had ordered for that Friday that we were planning to use for an announcement photo. She headed out & within about 10 minutes S was back. I told him what had happened while he was gone & then we were back to waiting. S called the vet to set up boarding for her the next day so he would be able to sleep at the hospital that night.

Around 3 my doc was back & reviewed the report from ultrasound with us. He confirmed that the fluid around the baby was low, but he didn't think I was leaking. Instead, he believed that much of the fluid had shifted into the portion of the sac that was in my vagina. He did a ph test to see if there was any fluid in my vagina & that came back negative. Small win. He said he had to go do a c-section & then he'd be back to check on us.

He came back around 6. He didn't have anything new to say. It was all over his face. He was devastated by this. He told me to try to get some sleep & he'd be by first thing in the morning.

Around 7 some of my friends came by & hung out for a while. My mom came back at some point. It was nice to have some people there who could lighten the mood, people who refused to give up on my baby boy. After my friends left, the nurse came with all the surgical consent forms for me to sign "just in case." Just one more sign that things were coming to an end. She offered to give me a catheter so I could get a break from getting on & off the bed pan. S & I talked about it, I was scared to have that done, but in the end we decided that it might be for the best so I said yes. It hurt like a mother fucker, but was over fast. I kicked S out around 11 to go get some sleep, I had a feeling the next day was going to be a long, hard day. A little after that, a guy from the lab came to draw some blood so they could type & match that & label me in case i needed blood at some point. Then the night nurse came in to check vitals & doppler Carson. She had a really hard time finding him & his heart rate was much lower than his normal. After that I decided to take an Ambien & passed out quickly.

I guess around 6:30, I decided that I might need to go #2, my mom left the room & the nurse set me up with the bed pan. I waited & waited, nothing happened. I pulled the pan out & there was fluid in it. My water had just broken. I called the nurse, she rushed in, tested it & confirmed things. I called S, he was already on his way up. My mom came back in & cried with me & then went into the bathroom & threw up. The nurse called Dr L. He ordered ultrasound & they were in the room in about 10 minutes. Before she left, I asked her to show him to me & print a pic for S since he hadn't made it yet. She of course did, here's the last picture of my guy on the inside.

I didn't take the time to look at the picture at that moment, just gave it to my mom to put somewhere safe. If I had looked, I would have been prepared for what Dr L was going to say. 

S got there about 5 minutes after ultrasound. We cried & cried, he sat on the floor next to my bed just holding my hand waiting for Dr L. He was there by about 8 I guess. He told me that Carson was already partially in my vagina. Looking back at the ultrasound, I can clearly see his poor head lodged in my cervix because of the cerclage. He said that we'd have to go into the OR to remove him. I was upset, I wanted to at least be able to deliver him like I did Rowan, but that just wasn't in the cards. There was no way for Dr L to be able to remove the cerclage around him. We reviewed what happened after I delivered Rowan & all of those concerns. Dr L explained his game plan with me & told me that he really wanted to avoid another D&C/E if at all possible. He said I had been extremely fortunate to come out of that with no scarring & he really wanted to preserve that. He headed out to call the office to let them know he would not be in for a few hours. The nurse came back & advised that Dr L thought I should get an epidural, but was leaving that decision to me. I decided to get it, not knowing what I was in for.

It took the anesthesiologist about 30 minutes to get there, they made everyone (even S) leave the room. They rolled me to my side because they were concerned that sitting me up might cause things to progesss before they were ready for me. The epi was seriously so painful I almost passed out. Once that had started to work, they wheeled me to the OR, got S in a gown & mask & let him in. I started to shiver/shake, the anesthesiologist said that was a normal effect of the epi. Dr L began working almost immediately. I just tried to focus my attention on S, but I kept hearing Dr L swearing. Every time he did I immediately thought "FUCK! I'm bleeding. I know I'm bleeding like crazy." & I could see it in S's eyes he was having the same thoughts. At some point, he said something about the baby being out. A moment later, he stood up & said "You wanted to see the baby?" We both replied that we did. He made a face & hesitated, then told the nurse "Show them the head" 

SHOW US THE FUCKING HEAD????? I immediately had the most morbid thought, that I was going to look up & just see my son's head in someone's hand. Of course that was not the case. They lifted him up, all bundled in a blanket or something & all that was visible was the head. He was perfect. His tiny little mouth was open, it was so precious. 

Then he got back to work. A few minutes later, a nurse came over & whispered "Your placenta is out, it looks in tact & no bleeding." Thank you thank you thank you! They wrapped things up & began to clean me up. Dr Landry came over & said it went relatively well & he'd be by to talk in a little bit. He left & S left with him. I started shivering more & more. It was completely uncontrollable. They started piling warm blankets on me & assured me that this was all normal. All I could think was that I was bleeding a ton & that's why I was so cold. They must have missed something, this can't be normal. But I had to trust for now.

They wheeled me back into my room, where I continued to shiver like a crackhead going through withdrawls. After begging, they brought another 10 blankets & piled them on me. I finally started to warm up some, it took about 45 minutes for the shivering to stop. Finally Dr L came in to review things with us. He explained that Carson's head had been stuck & he had a very difficult time getting him out. He said something that implied that he had not come out in tact, but wouldn't tell us explicitly what happened.

He said that the cerclage was still in tact, but had pulled through a portion of the wall of my cervix. Based on this his only recommendation moving forward was a transabdominal cercalge (TAC). I had read about that, so was familiar enough with the procedure. He said that he had only ever scrubbed in on the procedure once, 20 years ago when his ex had it done. He had never done it himself, so we'd need to do some looking around & find a qualified surgeon. I love that he knows his limits & isn't willing to take that kind of risk with us. He apologized again & again, told us he wished he could have done something more to prevent this, looked like he was going to burst into tears. I think he said some more stuff, but I honestly don't remember. He headed out for the day.

The nurse came in & we reviewed everything that we wanted for Carson (we had talked about it a few times before), but I had this fear that they would do something & lose my baby. I asked her if she could come back with his weight & stats at some point. She said she'd probably not be able to give us a length, but she would do what she could. She removed my catheter & went off to tend to Carson. My dad got there, my mom left & I sent S to go get himself some food & bring the dog to board. 

When the nurse came back, she said that Carson was delivered at 9:55a & was 80 grams. She had some forms & needed to get my thumb prints. She had gotten his tiny footprints for us, he was so much smaller than his sister even though he was only 8 days younger. His teeny feet were smaller than the thumb prints I had to do. But it gave me some pride to fill out forms as his mother. 

The nurse said that they were going to need to move me to the postpartum area of the floor. I really had no desire to go there, but didn't have much choice.

(It's been about 3 or 4 months since I started this post, but I needed to get back to this.)

Once I got to the my PP room, Sean got back & my dad headed out. My best friend came to visit & brought us some dinner. Once she left, we just kind of hung out for hours, both of us completely numb & in shock. Sean stayed at the hospital with me that night. Despite taking Ambien again, I was up every 2 hours all night. I took a walk around the halls because I knew that my doc was going to want that before he'd discharge me. On one of my walks, I ran into the CNA from my first night in the hospital. She had come over to that side to look for me because she had just gotten in & found out what happened. She gave me the biggest hug, told me how sorry she was & told me she was praying for us. It meant a lot that she cared to come looking for me. I went back to my room & tried to get some more sleep. 

The next morning, Dr L came to see us. He was a mess. He apologized again & again. He excused himself from the room for a few minutes, then came back. He had clearly been crying. He talked about next steps for us, told me to come to the office in a week for a follow up & that he'd call me RE in the morning to go over it all. He told me that when they brought Carson to us, not to remove his blanket, just look at his head. "He was damaged." Those words echoed, "He was damaged." My perfect little boy was "damaged" because I failed him, we failed him. He hugged us & headed out. After that, we called the nurse & asked to have Carson brought to the room. While we were waiting, an aide came skipping into my room with a clear bassinet & a waving ALIVE baby, singing "Here he is to see you!" I lost it. I screamed at her to get out. She looked at me completely confused. I said something along the lines of, "That's not my baby, my baby is dead." She looked at me horrified & scooted out of the room. She came back 10 minutes later, sobbing & apologizing. I couldn't even be sympathetic, I just told her to leave. That was so fucking awful. I'm sitting here waiting for my son, my lifeless precious boy, & this chick overlooked the sign on my door that indicates what happened, & brought me someone's very healthy, very alive baby.

About 20 minutes later, the charge nurse came with Carson & she said the same thing that Dr L said, "leave his blanket on." Then she handed him to me & said she'd be back in about 45 minutes, she had to have him down to pathology by a certain time if we wanted him to be able to be released to the funeral home in a day. Apparently, we didn't have a choice, the state of Louisiana requires autopsies to be run on all births before 20 weeks. Or something like that, I spaced out. She needed to hand my son to me & leave. Finally she handed him to me with his face covered & left the room. I could feel, through the blanket, that something wasn't right, but couldn't tell what. Sean told me I could hold him the whole time, he would be ok if he didn't get to hold him. I wasn't going to fight with him, I knew he'd change his mind. I uncovered Carson's face. He was breath taking. I know every parent thinks that, but I literally couldn't breathe. I just sat there with tears streaming down my face. He had the most perfect tiny lips & sweetest nose. Finally Sean spoke & said "Can I hold him?" So I gave him to Sean. I don't know if I'll ever be able to express what it is like to see him holding his child. It's just the most beautiful & heartbreaking thing ever. He loves his children so much, it just breaks my heart that he always has to say goodbye to them. He brought him to his chest & mumbled something, kissed his forehead & handed him back to me. We took a couple pictures of him & then, before we knew it, the nurse was back to take him away from us. I don't know how I managed, but I kissed him & gave him back to her knowing it'd be the last time I would ever hold him. We asked her if they had a list of funeral homes or anything, she wasn't sure but she'd be back. So she left, we cried for a while, then I went to take a shower so we could get out of that hellish place. While I was in the shower, the nurse came back & gave him a few places. I could hear him on the phone when I was drying off. When I came out, he told me that he made arrangements with one home & told me what it'd cost us. It was 4 times what we paid in NJ, but he didn't want to call around. I begged him to call another one, so he did. He left a message because they said the owner likes to take care of these cases personally. Immediately, I felt better about this place. A few minutes later, we got a call back & the price from them was much better. So we arranged for them to pick Carson up & we'd go there to take care of paperwork in a couple days. After that, we gathered up all our stuff & left. The last time we drove away from this hospital was the day after my cerclage was done, we were so confident, so foolish to think that the next time we drove away from there our son would be in the backseat & we'd finally have our little family. What fools we were to think we'd gotten so lucky. 

We came home, cried some more. Someone brought us something to eat I think & then we passed out. The next day we went to the funeral home. We sat in the parking lot, completely paralyzed by sadness. For the second time in 9 months, we were making final arrangements for our child. No parent should ever have to do this, ever. Somehow we mustered up the strength to go inside, make the arrangements & pick out his urn. A couple of weeks later, we went back to pick him up & bring him home. He now sits on our mantle with his big sister.

This post is hella long, but I'm just about done. I don't know if anyone is reading this, but if you are this is your warning. I'm going to share the only pictures I have of my children.

This is a picture of their little urns next to each other. I was so happy that there was something similar to Rowan's when we picked out his. Rowan is the blue one with the butterflies, Carson is the silver one.

This is a side by side of each of them. Rowan is on the left born at 17w4d, Carson on the right born at 16w3d. It amazes me just how different they were, but they had the same nose & mouth. These are my children, my son & my daughter. They are my heart, my everything. I miss them more than I have words to express.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching up Part deux

So the week of Rowan's due date was pretty eventful. The next day ended up being CD1 & some friends from NJ came down to visit. It was awesome of them to come down. They wanted to be here with us over the EDD & my birthday was coming up. That Friday, my birthday, I got up early & went in for CD3 monitoring. After the last failed Femara cycle, I had gone to visit Dr T with the numbers from the Clomid cycle. He had agreed that cycle looked pretty ideal & wanted to revisit Clomid. So, once monitoring looked good, I was off to get a script to start Clomid that night.

I went back for monitoring a week later & things looked ready to go, so we scheduled my IUI for the next morning (Saturday 9/27). Sean's numbers looked fantastic & the IUI went pretty well. Into the 2WW we went. The following Wednesday, I caved & tested early because of something S said. Lo & behold, there was a faint line. I was hesitant to call it because I hadn't tested out my trigger. I tested again the next day with a digital & FRER, "pregnant" & a much darker line. S was out of town, so I waited until he got home & told him. There were a lot of tears from both of us. We were happy, but scared shitless was definitely the overwhelming emotion.

Betas went well & first ultrasound w/ blood flow check was at 4w6d. There was nothing on the u/s, but doc wasn't worried. A week later we went in again & there was our squirt with a heartbeat! A week later I started bleeding heavily, but things looked good on the u/s. I was put on bed rest for a week & then that was lifted. For the next couple of weeks, bleeding continued off & on, but my scans remained positive & Squirt was growing perfectly.

I was discharged from the RE & started care with my new OBGYN, DR L, around week 10. I was instantly in love with this doctor. He wanted to do everything & anything possible to prevent another loss like Rowan's. So the plan was to stop vaginal progesterone at week 12, start baby asprin at that time (Pre-E preventative), around week 14 have a transvaginal cerclage placed, & start P17 injections at week 16. I met with a new MFM at 12w, he was on board with everything. But, problems were already starting. My cervix was shortened, but still above 3cm, & I was funneling slightly. I put myself on bed rest for the week & by my next appointment with DR L, my cervix had lengthened some & the funneling was not showing anymore. 2 days later, I went to the hospital for my TVC. That went well, Dr L placed the stitch as high as he could & then kept me overnight for observation. I went home the next day with only pelvic rest as my limitation. Pelvic rest according to my husband is basically bed rest, so I wasn't exactly up & doing tons of stuff.

2 days before my TVC, we had gotten the envelope with the sex of our little squirt. We took that over to Carter's & picked out a couple of outfits, then had the saleswoman look & wrap up the outfit that went with the surprise inside. Christmas morning, we opened that & found out that we were expecting a son, Carson Quinn.

As much as I hate to admit it, especially now, there was some initial disappointment. We both desperately wanted a little girl. That feeling passed quickly & we both began to really look forward to & plan for our son.

On 12/31, I went in for a follow up with Dr L & everything looked fantastic. My cervix had lengthened further & the stitch looked like it was healing nicely. We left feeling incredibly optimistic & finally allowing ourselves to feel excited. 

A picture of my little alien boy on New Year's Eve:

Little did we know....

Monday, January 19, 2015

Catching up (Part 1)

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted. So much has happened over the last 9 months & my head is such a mess. I have no idea how coherent this post will be. I should probably break it into multiple posts.

Oy, where to start?

So, after the loss of Rowan we really didn't have much time to grieve. We had about a month to pack up our entire lives & move to Louisiana. We spent about a week crying our faces off & then bucked up & got shit done. During the move, we spent a night at doodmama's house. When I got there she gave me the most amazing gift from her & all the ladies of SAIF & IDOB. This necklace has become one of my most prized possessions. I never leave home without it on, I feel like I'm carrying Rowan with me everywhere.

After we got to the new house, we immediately turned our attention to getting back to TTC again. I met with my new RE, he ran a repeat loss panel & tested me for Asherman's; everything came back just fine. My first cycle with him was an unmedicated IUI which ended in a probable chemical pregnancy. I never had a chance to get a beta so I'll never know if that faint line I saw was all in my head or if it was really there. What I do know is the period that followed it was unlike anything I've ever experienced in my entire life. 

My RE wanted to start with Femara for me, so we tried that for 2 cycles. I responded poorly both times.  We decided to take a break over Rowan's due date. On her due date, we went downtown to the insectarium to see the butterflies. They were so pretty. It was definitely a nice way to spend that day. There was one that landed on S & stayed on him right up until we get ready to walk out. I can't say that I believe it was her, but it was pretty damn cool to have this little guy hang around our entire visit.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saying goodbye

I woke up this morning crying already. Today was the day. We were going to meet our little girl & say  goodbye to her. I honestly didn't think I was ready to do it. I was completely terrified of my reaction. But, waiting wasn't an option. It was today or never.

So we headed to the funeral home, sat in the parking lot crying, got our shit together & went in. They showed us to the room that they had her in. We walked in & I broke down as soon as I could see the box they had her in. I composed myself & took about 5 more steps before I got a glimpse of her tiny head, broke down again. Took a final deep breath & kept walking.

We got up to her. She was simply beautiful. There is no other word. I was speechless at the sight of this tiny, perfect little baby that we made. They had all 7.5 inches of her wrapped up in a newborn onesie & laid in a tiny bed; both of which were to big for her. She looked at peace, happy, loved.

We sat down in front of her, both of us completely mesmerized. Rowan means 'little red one' in Gaelic; we had inadvertently picked a perfect name for our sweetheart. I expected to be more, bothered isn't the right word, I dunno, taken aback(?) by her appearance; but all I saw was perfection. The first thing I noticed was that she had my mouth & my jawbone, S's nose(at least based on his baby pics). S told me that she resembled me, I thought he was being crazy pants. How can someone that young, developmentally, look like either of us? But she did. She looked like me, with touches of S mixed in.

Her tiny left hand was peeking through the blanket, S asked if I wanted to see the rest of her. I did, so we gently pulled the onesie back. Her feet seemed so huge on her tiny little body & she was tall, at least we thought so(I checked later, at 17 weeks she should have been 5-5.5 inches, my girl was 7.5!) She had long legs like me(yes, I'm short, but my legs are proportionally long) & S's long torso. S stuck the tip of his finger in her hand. He told me that if you pushed, super gently of course, on her palm, her fingers would 'close' around your finger. So I did it. It was the closest we'll ever get to holding Rowan's hand. <3

We both wanted to hold her, but were so scared to break her. Finally, I got up the nerve to do it. I scooped my hand under her & lifted her out of the bed. It was just completely remarkable. I told her I loved her, apologized to her(not 100% sure what for, different things I guess), gave her a kiss on her head & carefully put her back down. After a few minutes, S said he wanted to pick her up. He was still scared, he's a bit of a bull in a china shop. After I promised him it would be ok, he picked her up. It was so amazing to see him hold his baby girl. He brought her up to his chest, leaned over her & said a bunch of stuff that I couldn't really hear. Then he kissed her & put her back.

We sat there for probably another 30 minutes or so, smiling, crying, talking about what we thought her personality would be like. I couldn't tear myself from her. After we'd been there for, I don't know, an hour or more, it was time to go. If we didn't go then, I don't know if I ever could have. We took a few steps & both went back over to her, held her tiny hand one more time, kissed her again & turned to leave the room again. I made it about half way to the door, before I dropped my purse & went back to see Rowan one last time. Put my hand on her, said "I love you" & walked away.

After we got back in the car, we just sighed. There was a sense of relief & peace. We had closure, I guess. I never really understood that concept, but I guess that's what this feeling is. I'm still in so much pain(emotional, I'm mostly ok physically), but it's different somehow.

The hardest part of the whole experience was leaving her there. She'll be ready to come home Friday or Monday, I think I'll feel so much better having here home where I can make sure she's safe.

(I started this post on Wednesday; it took longer than I expected to finish. )

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is this real life?

I've been a horrible blogger. I haven't been supportive of my fellow bloggers. I haven't posted much about my pregnancy in the last 2 months or more. I'm here with awful news.

On Tuesday of last week, we went for an elective scan & found out, after a lot of poking & prodding, that we were expecting a wonderful little girl. We were elated. (obvi not the awful part)

*******WARNING: The following will be graphic, detailed & probably hard to read(maybe, I don't really know what I'm about to say). Please skip to the bottom for tl;dr*******

On Tuesday of last week, we went for an elective scan & found out, after a lot of poking & prodding, that we were expecting a wonderful little girl. We were elated.

Thursday morning, I woke up & felt like I peed every time I stood up. I realized that I had been feeling that way more & more since Monday night. My first instinct was to shrug it off, pregnant women pee themselves nbd. After a short discussion with the SAIF ladies, I decided to trust my gut & call the OB's office. My OB(Dr. G) was on her way out for a delivery, but wanted me to come in immediately with a urine test. So I did. I waited about 10 minutes & the nurse(who has less personality than a brick wall) came to tell me that my sample was negative for any amniotic fluid. I'm not really sure how it would be there, I guess they assume some would transfer to the container while I was giving my sample. Anyway, she told me that Dr. A would need to do an exam to 100% rule out a problem. Then she asked if I wanted to do that, like any person in their right mind would leave without an exam at that point!(This will be addressed on Friday) So I waited until she could see me.

Dr A looked in & asked if I had any cramping over the last few days. I had. Since Monday, I had pretty consistent cramping on the right side, but nothing excruciating. She told me that I had begun to dilate & that my membranes were protruding(I had no idea what the fuck that meant). She wanted to send me over to see the MFM. She then paused & said, "No, I want you on your back. You're going to the hospital." My heart immediately sank. I was supposed to meet a friend across the street for lunch, so she came right over to take me. I called S while I was getting dressed & he started getting ready to meet us there. We rushed over, I was admitted & before I knew it I was in a gown & forbidden to get out of bed. They had me laying in Trendelenburg position (flat on my back, feet higher than my head by about 15-30 degrees). I was only allowed to sit up to get on the bed pan(those are a J-O-Y), other than that, I could roll to my side as long as I kept the angle I was supposed to. Suffice it to say, eating was exhausting & I usually gave up a few bites in.

I spent Thursday & Friday like that. Dr G came by a few times & really tried to just get us to prepare for the worst. Generally, this leads to an infection that causes preterm labor or water breaking that leads to the same. The MFM was supposed to come see me & never did. There's more to that part, but he never came & it wouldn't have made a difference, so why get into it.

Friday morning, S showed up at the hospital with a surprise. He had flown my mom up from New Orleans. It feels juvenile, but sometimes you just need your mommy.

I woke up 4 or 5 times Friday night & each time I had some discharge, but not much. Saturday morning, I went to the bathroom & had a ton of bloody cm. I told the nurse about it & she told me that it was likely due to pushing to go to the bathroom. I knew that wasn't the case. This was the beginning of the end, I was pretty confident of that. My mom, S & I were in the room attempting to eat lunch & I felt a gush of something. I sent S to get the nurse immediately. She came in & told me it was blood. The resident from L&D(Dr H) came to examine me. She didn't say much, she went to call Dr G who was on call. The nurse started an iv & started me just one some liquids. Dr H came back & told me that my water had broken & the bag was completely gone. I was going to need to deliver. She told me that I could do it now or I could wait for Dr G to arrive in about 30 minutes. We asked for a few minutes to decide.

While she was out, we asked the nurse about how we'd treat the body after, could we cremate her? She said that we could & that they'd review it with us after. She told us that they would be taking her after & cleaning her up, wrapping her in a blanket & taking some pics. She asked if we were going to want to see her or hold her. Neither of us thought we'd be able to do that(in hindsight, there wouldn't have been time before my surgery anyway). She said that the pictures would be available for a while if we ever changed our mind.

Then Dr H came back & we decided to get started. It was fast. 2 quick pushes & she was out. Rowan Elizabeth entered this world sleeping at 2:20pm on 4/12/14. Thankfully, it wasn't physically painful. But emotionally it was devastating. After you push, you're supposed to hear beautiful crying from your baby, not you & your husband sob. Not your mom who is just a few feet away, breaking down completely. It was just all wrong. Dr H told me what a great job I had done & to just relax a little because it'd probably be a while for the placenta to detach & deliver. So I sat & waited. She came to check & gave it a bit of a tug & said we needed to wait more. A few minutes later, she came back & said that Dr G wanted to start me on pitocin to help move it along & that if nothing had changed by the time she got there, I was going for a D&E.

The pit did nothing. When Dr G got there, she checked me & I heard her say something about me being full of blood & we needed to get me to surgery. She said tat the nurse told her about our wish to cremate Rowan & she wanted to make sure that we really wanted to do that, extra cost and all that stuff. Before 20 weeks, you're not legally required. The alternative was to allow her to be discarded as medical waste. There's no way we could have done that, this is my child we're talking about. About 5 minutes after that, I was whisked off, on a table & being prepped. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery with S by my side. I guess I knew something wasn't right. I was covered in layers of blanket & had another one wrapped around my head, all that was exposed was my face. I could hear people around me, something about a bag of blood, getting another blanket; I couldn't make out the rest. I remember the anesthesiologist asking if I was in pain & muttering a "yes", so she gave me more pain meds. I remember hearing the lab tech saying that there was no where left for her to draw blood & hearing someone snap at her about that. All I could really see was S's face out of the corner of my eye. After a while, the room cleared out & eventually it was just S & I. I guess we sat there for about an hour before they started peeling blankets off me & gave me some ice chips so I could try to rehydrate some.

Not long after that, I was being wheeled to a new room(I asked not to go back to the room I had been in).  While we were walking S told me that I had lost a lot of blood, but he didn't say much more than that. He told me he had taken the time to call a few people & that one of our friends(who works at the hospital) was in the room with our parents. We spent some time in there with them, S called some more people, my dad included, to update them. My dad got on the phone with me, got a few words out & just completely lost it. It crushed him to not be able to be there. Some time around 11, everyone cleared out & S & I were alone. He told me tat I had been in surgery for almost 3 hours & that when Dr G came out to talk to him she was white as a ghost & just told him that I'd lost a ton of blood & that it had been extremely complicated. She said she'd be by in the morning to check on me & review everything. We talked until about 1 & then we both passed out.

Around 6, my nurse came by to remove my catheter. Not too long after that Dr G came by. She started reviewing the surgery with us. She said that as soon as I was out, she put my knees up to start & blood came gushing out of me. They had to start transfusions immediately. She couldn't see to get to my cervix(she also included that I have a 'long vagina' & that my uterus was severely retroverted). She had to do the entire procedure by ultrasound. My placenta refused to detach from my uterus, she had to stick her entire hand in there & tease it away from my uterus wall. She then had to make multiple passes to get my lining to whatever thinness they need. She said that when she got home, her husband said she looked awful, her response to him, "I just had a patient try to die on me." WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK??? Losing our daughter wasn't enough. I was that close to death?

She said that I needed to have an SHG done in a few months & she also said that I was at risk for Asherman's Syndrome now. I need to read more on that, but it boils down to scar tissue in the uterus & more fertility problems. Fucking great! But I guess we'll have to deal with that later. And I'll have to probably consult with a MFM before we start trying again just to get a plan.

So anyway, they continued to monitor my heart, pulse-ox, & hemoglobin levels. Finally, around 6, they told me I could go home. They were really surprised by how well I was doing, but all my numbers were stable, so I could shower & GTFO.

***********SAFE TO READ AGAIN, well as safe as it gets**********

TL;DR:   On Thursday, I was admitted to the hospital with an incompetent cervix & the membranes from my sac were exposed/protruding into my vagina. I was immediately put on bed rest, in Trendelenburg position; flat on my back, feet higher than my head by about 15-30 degrees. Saturday morning, I had a large amount of bloody discharge & continued to leak urine or amniotic fluid all day. Around noon, they checked fetal heart tones & Rowan was doing well. 2 hours later, I was in labor. My precious girl was born sleeping at 2:20 on 4/12/14. I was sent for a D&E to remove the placenta, I hemorrhaged a dangerous amount. My body has been a rockstar & I bounced back much quicker than anyone expected. I was discharged about 24 hours later.

They sent us home with a memory box that contained her baby hat, blanket & a picture of her. Our plan was to wait to open it, but I knew S wanted to see her. When I woke up Monday, Sean was out of bed. I went to the bathroom. When I came out I noticed that the box was not where we left it & I didn't see S anywhere. I went back in the room & his face said it all. He had opened it. He needed to, I knew it. He said she was beautiful & already looked so much like me. He also told me that one of the documents they gave us was a "In memory of" certificate that had her tiny footprints on it. He's always been against tattoos, but says he wants to have her footprints done as a butterfly. It's absolutely killing him not to have his little girl here. Seeing him in this much pain is almost more than I can take.

Today(Tuesday, a week after we found out we were having a daughter) we got up & went to the funeral home. We had to sign a bunch of stuff & pick out a memorial box for her. The director asked if we wanted to see her before she was sent to the crematorium. My immediate reaction was no & S agreed, but I could tell that there was hesitation in that. I told him he needed to be sure, this was not a reversible decision. The director told us that we needed to take time & make a decision. So we left & were going to call back later. As soon as we got in the car, I told him that I wasn't sure about my decision not to see her. He admitted that he would regret not doing it & I agreed that I was almost confident that I would too. So that's where we are now. Tomorrow morning, we're going to say goodbye to our precious little Rowan. I don't know how we'll get through it, but I know, in my heart, that we both need it.

I'm sorry this got so long & I hope it's somewhat coherent.

I need to thank the ladies from my IF & SAIF groups & a handful of women from the Sept '14 board. It's impossible to name everyone, but your kindness, love & support have made it possible for me to push through each day. I love you all.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I'm a couple days late, but better late than never. I was supposed to have my last ultrasound today, but because of some pretty bad weather here, S wasn't going to be able to make it home in time. So, I decided to move the appointment up to Wednesday because I was going nuts waiting to see Thumper.

I had to wait about an hour once I was at the office because they were trying to see all the Thursday patients too. Finally it was my turn. The u/s tech came in & got the machine ready. As she was starting I couldn't see the screen, but right away she goes,, "I know you're very anxious. Your baby is doing great. LOOK!" I looked up & I didn't even recognize Thumper. There's been so much growth over the last 2 weeks. S/he was measuring exactly 9 weeks & had a beautiful HB of 174bpm. I can't even begin to describe the sense of relief. Here's the updated pic of our babe, the head is to the left & the body is to the right. You can see tiny had & legs getting started. <3

After the scan, I talked to one of the nurse practitioners. They gave me my records & set me free. Next Friday, I have my first visit with my OB. I'll get another peek at baby then :)

In other news, S took advantage of the weather issues & drive from Houston to New Orleans to look at some houses. He spend today with our Realtor & is coming home tomorrow with lots of pics. There's a chance we could be putting in an offer by the end of the weekend. It's so strange to say that right now. 2 months ago, we thought we'd have to wait until we were closer to 40 before we were able to get a house. Crazy how everything can change in such a short time.