Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Morning

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

I am feeling very sad this morning.

It was hard to say good-bye to Hubby and The Prince this morning as they left for work/school because I didn’t want to be alone. It doesn’t help that it is dreary and raining this morning.

This last week, even though I’ve written about the miscarriage quite a bit, I have been in a bit of denial. My life has had a slight tinge of unreality and I am still reeling and am stunned that this happened to me again. I haven’t had a really good cry yet but feel I am on the verge of tears all the time.

Mysterious Lord of Life and Death, a very part of my own life has died in the death of my child.

My soul is weighed down with sorrow and bears the wound of a lifelong scar.

Send to me Your angel of consolation for the pain is heavy and deep.

Do not take my tears and sorrow as a sign of my unbelief that all who have died are resurrected to eternal life in You, but, rather, see in these tears a sign of my great love for my child.

As I held him in the embrace of love, may You, his Divine Parent, hold him close to Your heart forever.

Help me, Lord, for I do not seek to understand the why of this mystery of death as much as I desire to accept it in a holy way and to be healed and once again whole.

Support me, my Lord and God, and wrap me in your gentle love as I attempt to carry this bitter cross as Your Son, Jesus, carried the cross which you gave to Him.

Amen

I received this email from Silent Grief this morning and it really spoke to me.

March 31, 2008

Sometimes things happen and we doubt the very wisdom of God. We wonder "Why? Why did this happen in my life?" When grief enters our lives, we are filled with questions and we want to hear answers. But, there are times when there really are no answers - at least not answers that we can find. And, we are left asking the age-old question, "Why?"

One thing we can know for sure is that God is near, and He has not left us alone in our pain. God is watching over us day and night, and He will place a beautiful rainbow in the clouds for us to see so that we can be reminded of His love.

When you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, look to God, and place your burdens at His feet. You don't have to carry the pain all alone anymore. Hand it over to God, for He is your friend.

And, create pockets of time when you can rest and think thoughts of relief. When you do, hope will come knocking on the door of your heart, and carry you through!

--C. Hinton

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Acknowledgment

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

After a miscarriage the doctors and/or hospital staff can be very dismissive.

Miscarriage is so common in the medical community that they become a little detached and cold.

I realize I am generalizing greatly but I have read over and over how badly a doctor or a nurse or someone in the ER made a mom who just lost a baby to miscarriage feel.

In this aspect, I have been greatly blessed with caring medical personnel. My doctor is phenomenal and the people in ultrasound and the ER at the hospital where kind, patient and sensitive to my pain.

The hospital where I had both D&C’s has a wonderful program for patients who have a miscarriage at their facility. Both times when I was in recovery there was a little note and a small quilt by my bedside.

This is the one I received after my first miscarriage.
Isn't it beautiful?



This is the one I received last week. You can't really tell from the picture but some of the fabric is sparkly. It looks amazing!




This was on the back of both quilts.

A volunteer group meets at the hospital once a month and makes these quilts. I do not know who first started this program but I think they are wonderful!

When you have a D&C (or a miscarriage in general) it is always so sad to leave the hospital empty handed.

It was such a comfort to leave the hospital (both times) with a little tangible remembrance of my lost angel.

Hubby and I talked about this a lot last night and we are going to send a thank you note and a donation for materials to this group. I know for them, making the quilts is something they do for fellowship and for fun but for us it gave a little validation to our loss.

With a miscarriage you have very little to memorialize your baby. We were lucky to have an ultrasound picture but this small gesture from the hospital gave us something else concrete.

Most importantly someone acknowledged our loss.

A Poem by Gary Winters to "Little One"

We had wanted you for so very long,
Or so it must have seemed at times.
Now we know we'll have forever,
To keep you in our minds.

On that joyful day when we learned
That you were on your way,
We opened our home and hearts,
And planned for a permanent stay.

We never saw your smile.
We never held your hand.
You never had your birthday.
How can we understand?

To hear you laugh, to dry your tear
To share your life each day
To see the wonder in your eyes
As you find your rightful way.

We're told we should forget you,
"You'll have another some day."
Don't they see the pain we feel,
Is bruised by what they say?

We never saw your smile.
We never held your hand.
You never had your birthday.
Someday we'll understand.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Evening

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

One of the saddest things physically about a miscarriage is the point where you don’t “feel pregnant” anymore. This week because I was on progesterone and had a D&C I still had some of my pregnancy symptoms as all the hormones were still working their way out of my body.

When I found out I was pregnant I reveled in all the symptoms…good and bad…because of what they meant.

Today, I don’t feel any of the symptoms. It makes the whole thing more real…more final.

I had a pop with my lunch yesterday and a margarita with dinner because I could. Neither tasted any good to me. Nothing really tastes good right now…maybe I’ll lose some weight (silver lining anyone?).

I am really trying not to overly focus on anything negative right now but I have to get this out.

Not many people knew I was pregnant so I did not have to tell many people about the miscarriage. With that being said…the people who DID know obviously are very close to me. I know it is difficult to know what to say to someone who is dealing with this but there is more than one person in my life who knew about the pregnancy and has been told about the miscarriage who hasn’t said anything to me about the miscarriage. In fact they haven’t said anything to me at all period. I didn’t expect people to rush over and comfort me or anything but I did think I would get some type of acknowledgment. I didn’t tell many people about the pregnancy (for obvious reasons) and there was a lot of consideration on the people I did tell. I am really trying not to obsess on this but to say my feelings are hurt is an understatement. As I said previously, I know it is hard to know what to say to someone and I know that I am not a big sharer but not to hear anything from either of them seems strange. I know that everybody has stuff going in their lives but I thought these two people were my friends. I know that I am probably transferring some of my pain here to something else but it is really making me reevaluate some of my friendships.

I found this poem in some of my readings and it really spoke to me.

Just Those Few Weeks
Susan Erling

For those few weeks-
I had you to myself.
And that seems too short a time
to be changed so profoundly.

In those few weeks-
I came to know you...
and to love you.
You came to trust me with your life.
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!

Just those few weeks-
When I lost you.
I lost a lifetime of hopes,
plans, dreams, and aspirations...
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.

Just those few weeks-
And no "normal" person would cry all night
over a tiny, unfinished baby,
or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day.
No one would, so why am I?

You were those few weeks my little one
you darted in and out of my life too quickly.
But it seems that's all the time you needed
to make my life so much richer
and give me a small glimpse of eternity.

Saturday Morning

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence


I am slowly trying to get back to a normal routine.

It would be so easy to just retreat to my bed and sleep all day but that is not fair to anyone.

Hubby has been phenomenal. I am so blessed to have him. He worked from home Thursday & Friday to just be around if I needed him. He is so good at just knowing what I need and when I need it. He knows when to let me talk, when to crack a joke or when to just sit quietly with me. He baked me a carrot cake that was beyond moist and yummy. He is truly a good man.

I put a lot of personal stuff in this blog but in my real life I am a pretty private person. I have a couple of extremely close friends that know my business but I am not really a sharer and not big on displays of affection or emotion. I internalize my feelings and this makes it difficult for my friends and especially for Hubby to know how to comfort me. I almost never cry in front of anyone. I am trying to let Hubby in more but I find it very difficult.

I had to get out of the house yesterday so I went to the library and then did a little shopping. It was a sunny and warm day so it was nice to get out a bit.

Last night Hubby, The Prince and I went out to dinner~Mexican food~it was way yummy! The Prince had a really good week so he earned a Mommy sleepover. He always wants to sleep in our bed so every once in awhile we let him earn the chance. Fun for us~not so much for Hubby as he ends up on the couch!

It’s been quiet this morning. The boys are at karate and then they have to get fitted for tuxes so I am alone for the rest of the morning. I have been reading some material on grief and miscarriage I picked up yesterday and am feeling a bit weepy. I haven’t been alone in the house since the miscarriage so now I am alone with my thoughts and am a bit emotional.

I do want to thank all of you who have left comments or sent e-mails. Your kind words, thoughts and prayers bring a smile to my broken heart.

A Mother's Prayer/Affirmation After Miscarriage

In this time of loss I call upon my spirit within to guide me to my strength so that I may find peace and completion.

I will use this strength to demand of myself and others my need to grieve completely, for this will be my first step to healing.

During my time of grief I will seek guidance not only from my inner spirit but from loving persons who may offer wisdom and comfort.

I need to understand that the soul as well as the physical body needs healing and to pay attention to this. I will learn to accept that the soul may never heal completely.

I will learn to live not in fear and once again see beauty in my world and purpose in my existence.

In spite of my new knowledge that things happen that cannot be controlled, I must call upon the places within me that tell me I do have control over much of my life and use this control to aid my healing.

Let me recognize the gift in my ability to conceive and carry life however briefly.

Let me take joy in my ability to love so deeply and desire to nurture a soul unbeknownst to me.

Let me find healing in the belief that this soul knew my love for it and that that love helped it to pass to another place.

Let me honor this short life not only with my love but in finding meaning in its existence.

Let me recognize this meaning in not only my ability to survive, but in my fullest appreciation of all the moments motherhood will bring me, along with my deeper compassion and sisterhood to other women who've experienced loss.

Let a part of this soul be reflected in the spirit of my future children, born or adopted, so that I may know it through them.

I will listen to and trust the place in my deepest heart that tells me I will once again be reunited with this soul and will fulfill the need to hold it in my arms.

I will help myself to feel comfort in the knowledge that there is a star in heaven that belongs to me.

by Stacey Dinner-Levin

Friday, March 28, 2008

A little history

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

When I miscarried the first time I didn’t write about it.

I had not yet started this journal.

I did start reading a few other journals at the time where the authors talked about their own miscarriages.

Those journals were a lifeline to me then as I was so lost and alone.

Those journals inspired me to start this journal over two years ago.

I have talked about my previous miscarriage in this journal but mostly in entries about our secondary infertility struggles.

This time I want to write about the miscarriage…the physical and the emotional aspects.

The writing has already started to help me in my healing process and I can only hope that maybe my words will help someone else who is going through this not feel so alone.

In my previous entries where I noted that these entries were more for my benefit than for anyone else’s what I meant was that even though I always write my entries for me these entries will be filled with some very personal information and be a bit depressing for others to read.

I have some regular readers who comment pretty faithfully but my feelings will not be hurt if you choose not to comment on these entries as I know how hard it is to know what to say to someone dealing with miscarriage.

The Physical Toll

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

Most loving God, losing a child is devastating.
Comfort me in my loss.
Give me hope for children to come.
Bless me with an abundance of love that as my body heals, so too may my heart.
Give me the courage to face each new day in the confidence of your love.
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.


Again~I am writing this more for me and a lot of this entry will have TMI for the casual reader. This entry is more about what happened to me physically. The emotional entry will be another time.

I had my annual gynecological appointment at the beginning of the month and found out that I was pregnant!!

What a happy surprise!!!

Unfortunately, I was pretty crampy right away. At first I assumed it was from the pap smear as I am always a bit tender after that. After more than three days of cramping I called the doctor who was not concerned as I did not have a fever and was not bleeding and had no other symptoms. He indicated the cramping was my body preparing for the next few months and told me to take it easy but not to stress. So I settled in and after a few days I was still cramping but not worried.

I went to the doctor the next week to do all my labs and blood work and things looked great. I was given a due date of October 29th and an appointment for a little over a week later.

After having had a miscarriage in the past there was always this little voice in the back of my head that worried about every twinge and pain but I was feeling pregnant and happy and thankful. Every night Hubby & I would thank God for giving us one more day. Hubby and I started talking about names and we were cautiously optimistic.

The only people who knew about the pregnancy in my real life were my MIL & FIL (and we only told them because my doctor didn’t think it was a good idea to take her to chemotherapy so I had to tell her so she could make other arrangements), by best friend Jen and my friend Stephanie. I also had to tell The Prince's teacher at school as well as the Principal and school secretary as I was not going to be able to volunteer in The Prince's class or be a substitute for the school. Every time I subbed in the past I picked up some bug and we didn't want to take any chances.

At the beginning of last week I was still cramping but not badly and I was okay. We had a good week.

Things took a turn for the worse on Friday afternoon. I started bleeding. I called the doctor. After describing the blood (the rest of this entry could be a little TMI for many of you) he was still not overly concerned because it was not a lot of blood and appeared to be old blood. He told me to take it easy but unless the cramping got worse or the bleeding picked up I was okay.

By 4:30 that afternoon the bleeding had increased and the color was more brightly colored so the doctor sent me to the emergency room.

At this point the terror had set in.

My symptoms and time line were almost exactly like when I miscarried the last time. They tell you that you can not compare experiences but in all practicality it is impossible not to.

They were great to me in the ER. They did more blood work and labs and then sent me to ultrasound. I was preparing myself for the worst but we saw the baby and a strong heartbeat!! After a physical exam they indicated that everything looked good and to follow up with my doctor on Monday.

I took it really easy all weekend. We canceled our family Easter dinner as I couldn’t deal with company and just wanted to be with Hubby and The Prince.

Monday morning came and Hubby and I went to see my doctor. He said things looked good especially as the ultrasound put my due date two weeks later (November 12). He said the bleeding was not as big of a deal at six weeks as it would be at 8 weeks and now that we had seen a heartbeat he was not concerned.

There was still the little voice in my head that said “We saw the heartbeat last time too!” but it was nothing I said out loud.

Hubby of course is Mr. Optimistic but I couldn’t shake that voice and the bleeding and the cramping hadn’t increased so I was thankful.

Tuesday morning the bleeding appeared to have almost stopped. I was thrilled.

Things changed mid-morning and by noon I called Hubby in tears because of the cramping. The bleeding had increased but I was not passing any tissue. I still knew this wasn’t right.

I learned after my first miscarriage that nature is very cruel. My first miscarriage happened at 14 (or 16 weeks depending on which date I used as they kept moving my due date) weeks (right after we had told The Prince about the baby!). I had bleeding on a Friday but no cramping. We went to the ER on that Saturday and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. Since I wasn’t in pain the sent me home and I went to the doctor on Monday who scheduled a D&C for me on Tuesday. But by Monday afternoon my body had other plans and I basically went into labor. I had read a lot about miscarriage and I know every experience is different but no where had I read that it was possible to have very strong labor pains to expel the baby. I found it very cruel to have to go through the same pain with no baby. I ended up in the ER that afternoon for an emergency D&C.

This time I knew the pain immediately. It makes sense now. Your body does what it is expected and the motions are going to be the same. The contractions and the pain are strong (I will say this time was not as painful as last time and last time was not as bad as labor~makes sense as the baby is not as big). The contractions come just like labor where you could time them and I felt the need to push. I expelled a small mass of tissue (or products of conception if you want to get technical) and the cramping basically stopped as did the bleeding.

I called the doctor (again) who gave me a glimmer of hope.

He was not convinced I had miscarried. He said if I had really miscarried I should still be bleeding pretty heavily and maybe I just passed a clot and that is what had been causing all the cramping and bleeding as my body was trying to get it out.

He scheduled me for an ultrasound and an appointment with him for first thing in the morning.

Hubby and I were clinging to the little bit of hope but in my heart I knew. It felt the same as last time and what my body delivered was not a blood clot. I didn’t even feel pregnant anymore but the little bit of hope was still there.

Wednesday morning the cramping started again but I was still not really bleeding. We went for the ultrasound which confirmed what I already knew.

My womb was empty and what they had seen Friday night was no longer there.

I went to my doctor’s appointment and he sent me back to the hospital for a D&C as I was cramping so badly.

I do have to say that both of my D&C’s were done at the same hospital and the hospital staff was amazing each time. They were gentle and considerate of our feelings and did everything they could to make me comfortable.

I was in a room by 2:00 and in surgery by 4:30. The D&C took about 5 minutes as I had passed most of it myself but there was quite a big clot trying to get out which was causing my pain. We were home by 7:30.

I am so grateful that the doctor went ahead and did the D&C. I was so early in pregnancy some doctors would decide to let you pass the rest naturally. My doctor gave me the choice and we chose the D&C because that gave us a finality that we needed to start the healing.

I am doing okay physically. The bleeding has been almost minimal and the cramping has been minor. I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks and we have to decide where to go from here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Prayer

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

The entries I will be posting over the next few days will be more for my benefit that for anyone else's. I am working through some things and hope to be able to do a real entry soon. Right now I am praying for peace.

O God of love, source of life, please hear my prayer.
My baby died before it ever came to birth.
The blessing of your love was torn from my body, leaving me empty and devastated.
Comfort me now in my sorrow.
Restore my hope for a child to come.
Give me courage and new delight in the days ahead.
In good time, grant me a new life that my soul may rejoice and my body give birth.
In Christ's name I pray. Amen.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sad

Feeling Quiet
Hearing None

Happy news quickly turns to sad news.

Things did not work out as we had hoped.

We found out at the beginning of the month I was pregnant and yesterday I had a miscarriage.

I’m not ready to say much more about it yet.

If you are so inclined please keep us in your prayers.

I am feeling very lost right now.