Saturday, January 4, 2014

Empty

On Monday, December, 30, 2013, I went in for a regular prenatal checkup at 15 weeks 3 days. I had had an ultrasound at 12 weeks because my doctor had trouble finding a heartbeat with the Doppler still. Everything looked perfect at that time--a wiggly baby with a fat belly and sweet little nose. When my doctor couldn't find the heartbeat on Monday, I wasn't worried. I just thought that we had a stubborn baby and was excited that she took me back for an ultrasound in the clinic (maybe I could get them to guess the sex). She couldn't find the heartbeat and baby wasn't moving, so they sent me to the hospital for a second ultrasound. I held my breath hoping. Brandon watched as the tech and my doctor examined the screen. It didn't take long for my doctor to tell me that our baby was dead. My heart broke right then, but I held it in until she said that she wanted to induce labor soon. I couldn't wrap my mind around that one; I was terrified.

We went home to tell Elliott and Asher. I decided that I needed to go in that afternoon. I couldn't bear the thought of waiting. The induction didn't work after 24 hours of first having cytotec and then pitocin. I couldn't take it anymore. I hadn't made any progress on the pitocin but didn't want the D&E. What if something went wrong, and I died? I was desperate to see my kids. Brandon had my sister bring our sons to the hospital to help calm my fears. My doctor listened to my fears and put me at ease. The surgical team was wonderful.

When they brought me back to the OB floor, I came to enough and reality hit, "I'm not pregnant anymore, am I?" And the nurse said that I wasn't, and I rolled over and just sobbed. I swear she broke down, too, but I have no idea if that was real.

I wanted to labor and deliver my baby without pain meds as I had done with Elliott and Asher. I wanted to feel the pain of all of it. I wanted to see my baby and get tiny little prints. I didn't get to have it my way, but it doesn't really matter. My baby is dead, and we will honor our child and grieve this loss. I am anxious to get the ashes and the results from the autopsy. At least we will know whether we had a boy or a girl. We can use the names that we had picked out.

My world is broken right now. I'm trying to hold it together and have some special time with my family. My boys are amazing. They made a mii character in the wii to represent the baby (with a little piece of each person in our family--Brandon's nose, Elliott chose hair, my favorite color, Asher's chubby cheeks). I am so thankful that we told our boys early and had these past months to celebrate and love our baby.

I will return to work on Monday. My students and colleagues knew that we were expecting. I am terrified of facing those people but need to get it over with.

I hate that this happens. I hate that there is nothing that we can do to fix this. I keep waking up and remembering that my body is empty. On Thursday I tore and smashed a window screen (it was in line for the trash anyway). I can't stop time or reverse it, but I want to. I want to go back a few days to when my baby belly was growing every single day. Back to when my biggest problem was so minor that I can't even think of what it might have been.

I am praying for healing for any baby losses and health for all of the babies who are growing rapidly to prepare for a beautiful screaming arrival into this world. The sounds of the babies on the OB floor were such a comfort to me. It's the best sound. The absence of it in my life has left a gaping hole.