Friday, February 28, 2014

Raw Pregnancies

*Warning:  You can't say I didn't warn you.  This gets graphic and I open up about the truth of something I never knew about until this past year.  I share details of what it was like to give birth to three babies: one with a heartbeat, two in heaven.*

At five weeks pregnant no medical care is accepted.  No one runs to "get you in."  They calmly ask you to flee.  Return at eight to ten weeks they say.  It's as if your baby is not worth checking into.  At 12 weeks they nearly faint if they hear you have not gotten medical care.  As you start puking you try not to chuckle about you picturing yourself barfing in their waiting room...while munching on cracker number 50.

At sixteen weeks you finally "get seen" and you try to get a good look at your moving baby.  Your heart skips a beat as the "student" who comes in first has a hard time finding your little one's heartbeat.  The ultrasound shows a highly mobile baby, so much so measurements can't be done and gender unknown.  Another ultrasound is set up for a few weeks later.

Anxiously, your husband holds your hand.  The baby on the screen is moving and showing good signs of health.  Your husband knows--it's a girl.

5.18.12
A few months later you give birth to a beautiful, 7 pound 4 oz girl named Ellie Marie.  The birth story rocky, the aftermath quite an ordeal (did I mention yet the rest of my placenta came out when she was three weeks old?), but your beautiful daughter smiles and sweet personality changes your life forever.

...and that was just a brief description of some details of our first pregnancy.

Little did I know...
Early the morning of March 21, 2013 I saw two lines.

Pregnant.

For the next couple weeks I'm puking beyond my control.  More miserable than Ellie's pregnancy sickness (for that part of the pregnancy at least).

I told Jon....
"This is my last pregnancy.  I can't do this to you or anyone else.  again."

(Not because I didn't love my babies.  But because I didn't want to be a burden on anyone.  It was also hard on my body to be pregnant.)

I'm desperately miserable and helpless when pregnant.  I envy those beautiful women and "easy, sickless" pregnancies.  Women who can sleep and not puke before moving in the morning, or smell food and crave something instead of barfing.  Or brush their teeth without gagging to the point of well....throwing up.

But I'm not one who gets easy pregnancies.

All of a sudden I questioned our baby's health.  I don't remember the exact moment when I sensed something was "off."  My sickness was getting better, but I was praising Jesus for the grace of sickness 24/7.  I felt His mercy on me.  But I should have been grieving my baby.  Just days later I was spotting.

I called people..."please I just need to know--is my baby okay?" and "please I have a sense...I'm losing my baby.  Please help me!"

No one would take me in. [Hem, like I was Joseph and Mary...and they were telling me--no room in the inn!]

But they were saying, "Only if you will sign to say you will continue your pregnancy and delivery with us."

What?  (Didn't you hear me?  I think my pregnancy is ending!)  I'm practically in labor now...

Thanks.  So comforting.

Nails were pulled.  Hair lost.  (Literally on the hair part.)

I got an ultrasound.

The sac was empty.

Taylor was born at home--in the night of May 17th.

All I remember is blood.  Lots of clots.  Like softballs.

"This is gross,"  I thought.

(umm literally felt like I was pooping out the wrong end)

But did I mention contractions?
oh man, did I have them!

Now, with Ellie's birth I had no meds for her delivery.  I felt every contraction...even after being induced.  They came fast, strong, and hard.  I also felt her head.  Oh, that head. (Baby heads use to seem so small.)

But laboring a baby not full-term your body responds differently.  It's like a period gone bad.  Pain.  Blood.  Laundry.  Seriously stomach pain!  Body not dilated like it would be for pushing out all that comes out at 40 weeks.

I'll never know what Taylor looked like or exactly when my sweet baby was gone.  But looking back my serious sickness had probably got so bad because my body was fighting.  My body wanted to grow a baby.  My hormones were working overtime.  (I feel like they are still fighting.)

Taylor was due November 21st.

And as that date passed, I also remembered-
I'm still grieving.  Another due date would arrive.  God blessed me with two pregnancies in 2013.  (Yes, if you count Ellie's pregnancy I was pregnant three times in one year.  Sept 2012-Sept 2013)

At about five weeks along we suspect it.  It was July 22nd.  By the time August hit family and close friends knew.  However with sickness I knew it would get pretty obvious.

I was a wreck.  Ellie was gaining teeth, pulling herself up holding onto furniture, and I even remember nursing and barfing at the same time.

Getting an appointment was rough.  With knowing we were moving to Ames, I didn't know who would end up delivering our baby.  With Ellie's pregnancy we moved halfway through.  It brought on unwanted trials yes, but such is life.

Finally, appointment scheduled.  But had to get cancelled and things changed.

Timing is everything.
Beginning of September I was questioning how things were going.  I'm hoping I'm just over thinking things.  I was still nauseous but not nearly what I "should be."  September 10th they let us go in.

1:30 ultrasound we see our beautiful baby.  We should be about 12 weeks.  But Alex has no heartbeat and measuring 8 weeks 4 days.  (I cringe at remembering I couldn't bare the idea of asking for a print of the ultrasound.  Wish I had the courage.)

September 15th I wake up in the morning with extreme pain.  Most moms know this feeling.  You can't speak.  It's already passed the beginning of early stage of labor.  I don't call for help.  I want to labor at home.  My hubby is home (Sunday) and we're living with my parents.  All this support helps with the physical part of the ordeal.  The pain gets WORSE.  I try to go to the bathroom.  Nothing.  Hurts worse.  I get back in bed, but can't lay still.

Contractions every minute.  Each minute.  More intense than the last.  So much pain I can't contain it.  I moan.  Jon wakes up.  "You okay?"

I tell him, "the baby...I'm in labor."

He rubs my back.  (Remember, we've been through this before.  He knows to just help me with the physical pain and then be on alert for what to do next.)
Ellie wakes up.  Jon helps me nurse her.  He takes care of her needs and puts her back to bed.  She moans with me.  It's sweet to hear a baby while birthing one I'll never get to hold.

*Let those sweet, Momma sobs begin.*

Ellie's voice gets me to smile on this worst, darkest moment I've ever had.

10:30am I run to the toilet.

Do you want to know?
Well, I wish someone warned me....
I had to pull "it" out MYSELF.
Lots and lots of tissue.
Big enough to cause those hours of contractions--
that had me clawing sheets, Jon, or whatever I could.
(Or I could just say probably the length of a ruler and thicker than a bratwurst.)

A week prior I was feeling queasy.  My hormones unbalanced and saying "pregnant."

A week can change a life.

Two days passed after the labor but it was not done.  Apparently my mind AND body wanted my baby.  September 17th I had an ultrasound.

No more baby, but more tissue needed to come out (or fear of infection or for future pregnancies).

D&C was the answer.  But in the office.

I was awake.  Thee. Entire. Time.

I left feeling numb (and it wasn't just the shots talking).
Thank God for that shot.
I was to return in 6 weeks as if I did give birth to a baby.

I returned in six weeks looking at pregnant women holding their bellies, moms with six week old babies, and hungry toddlers in the waiting room.  I held my daughter so tight and kissed her to pieces.

This Momma never lets go of her babies.

March 26th is coming.

We would be anxiously awaiting his/her arrival.

Instead I surround myself with numerous moving boxes for our move and thinking what that life would be like.

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