Thursday, May 26, 2011

10 Months and 12 days ago

It has been that long already.  How is it time flies so, so, so, fast?  I was actually talking to a co-worker today about our family trip to Disneyland last year and how I truly believe that helped me begin to process our loss and to cushion so to speak the initial blow.  I think that trip was good for my psyche, my family, and it enabled us to still live our lives, feel joy, have fun, despite our recent tragedy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Say What?

My nephew turned to me in my mother-in-law's kitchen one day when we all got together and asked, "Did your baby die?" I thought I heard him wrong, so asked again and was shocked!  I thought I'd cry, but instead, I started laughing hysterically NOT because it was funny, but just so out of the blue.  My poor sister-in-law was mortified and kept apologizing to me.  I just kept laughing.  I think healing is going well.

Healing Wounds 10/14/2010

Fall is officially here, and I love cooking in the fall!  This has always been my favorite season since I was a kid.  I love Halloween, pumpkins, indian corn, fall foliage, and Thanksgiving-a lot!

So, over the last three weeks, I have been overwhelmed with the desire to learn to sew using a sewing machine, make pies (this happens every fall-I love pie!), jam, apple butter, and learn to do some canning.  It just hit me one day, has intensified almost daily since then, and I didn't know why until today.  Today happens to be the 3 month anniversary of my induced miscarriage.  Today, Aunt Judy's comment helped me figure it out.  I had posted my desires for creativity on Facebook and her comment was that creativity helps heal wounds.  I am wounded, I'm trying to heal.  It makes perfect sense now, and although I kind of knew it in the far recesses of my mind, I guess I never really acknowledged it.  I also read an article written by an OB/GYN who longed to have another child but was too busy to realistically get pregnant as she had a medical practice, books just published, a book tour, and speaking engagements.  She said that her new projects using her creativity was like her new baby, that she had to nurture and see through to the end.  As a result, she was at peace with not having another baby and she is now in her mid-40s so that plays a role as well.

I do want to be creative, I want to learn to do these things, and do them well.  But, that doesn't mean I'm done, I will have another baby.  Finding out we were pregnant again was a surprise to us, but we were ready to have three children in the house and we want it still.  Olivia is always with us wherever we go, she has made an impact on our family that will never cease, if someone asks, I tell them I have 3 girls, and I will always include her when I sign our names in a card. (this is important to me therefore, I mentioned it)  In the far recesses of my psyche, I had a feeling I would end up having four children.  May the next little person we are blessed with be strong, resiliant, and may we be able to raise this child.

I Will Never 9/8/2010

I was in the living room this past weekend staring out the window while I was supposed to be dusting.  I was watching a little boy playing basketball alone in his driveway and it hit me: I will never get to watch Olivia play...because I will never watch her grow.  I began to cry silently as I dusted.  Here is what else I knew but never truly thought about:

I will never see her smile but I'm sure she will from above
I will never see her crawl or move but she is free in heaven
I will never feed her, she will not need food
I will never have to buy her diapers or clothes, God has provided what she needs
I will never have to discipline her, she will never misbehave
I will never be frustrated by her, I will only miss her
I will never enroll her in preschool, or any school for that matter
I will never teach her to tie her shoes as I have taught her sisters, she will never need to wear them
I will never teach her to read
I will never hear her voice, she will never say Mommy or Daddy but she reminds me of her presence in other ways
I will never throw her a birthday party, but will gather with family in remembrance of her.
I will never know what could have been had she lived.

I do know that eventually I will meet Olivia in heaven, I will hear her voice, see her smile, and be able to embrace her.

From the Beginning Part 2 MD appt/Disneyland 9/2/2010

We arrived in Anaheim in record time with minimal traffic considering the departure was later than planned.  We stayed at a pretty great hotel for the price, called The Portofino Inn and Suites.  It has Family Suites where the kids have a bunkbed, couch, television, and activity table in their section of the room which is spearated by sliding french doors.  The adults have their own tv, nice king size bed dresser and closet in addition to a microvave and refrigerator.  This was where we spent part of the following 5 days of our trip.  It was less than a mile to the park entrance so we walked the first day and Elli was very tired on the way back!  We ended up purchasing Anaheim Resort Transit passes for the rest of our trip because it was faster to get to Disneyland, and we could take our ice chest back and forth without overexertion. (plus it minimized complaints after a long day)

I will skip the main details of our trip, the main purpose of this post being about my experience.  Going to Disneyland/CA Adventure for 5 days really helped us process this missed miscarriage as a family, and allowed us to be together every minute of the day.  We got to get away, have tons of fun, get lots of exercise, visit with other family as my mom, her hubby Devon, my brother Jeff joined us Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday, we all went to my aunt & uncle's house for breakfast and to visit with them.  Being able to talk about this, cry about this, and seeing those who support me was priceless.  I don't have the luxury of seeing my mom often, she lives in Salinas, Jeff lives in Santa Monica, and my aunt & uncle live in Orange.

We did have a small hope that there was some sort of error, we never had the option to hear any sound during the ultrasound, sometimes people make mistakes, maybe this was all just a mistake and everything was going to be fine.  I felt like everything was fine, I mean, wouldn't I know, wouldn't I feel like something was wrong?  Deep down, I knew that it was unlikely a mistake was made, but held on to my shred of hope nonetheless.  I wanted another ultrasound and I wanted whoever was doing it to show me my baby, let me hear the lack of heartbeat, add to my closure, and help me continue to the next step as much as I didn't want it to happen.  I must admit, it is really odd walking around, riding rides carefully (oh yes I did), looking pregnant, but knowing the pregnancy will not continue past the middle of the next week-it is over.

We returned home on Monday, July 12th and prepared for the next day.  Tuesday, we dropped the girls off at my in-laws' house, and went to Dr. Thomas' office for our appointment.  We discussed the ultrasound, my appointment with my OB, how we were emotionally, he gave us information on our options to remove the baby, and we asked about doing another ultrasound.  He had an ultrasound machine in the office so we went to the next room and did another one.  As previously reported, there was no heartbeat, she measured at 14weeks 2days, and she was exactly where she was before-the same position.  Dr. Thomas explained that babies sink to the lowest part of the uterus as time passes, they get soft, and discolored.  We really appreciated his willingness to do an ultrasound and to be prefectly blunt with us as far as our options to remove our baby.

One option was to insert lamineria into my cervix, they absorb all fluid over a 24 hour period, then at the hospital the MD removes the baby, but, it may not come out intact.  We weren't going to consider that one, our baby needed to come out intact.  Our second option was the one we chose: I would go to the hospital, they would insert misoprostol tablets into my cervix every 4 hours to induce labor, and eventually I would give birth to our baby.  There was slight concern about the scar on my uterus rupturing since I previously had a C-section with Elli but it was not likely.  We knew this was not a happy situation but we were put at ease, we were informed, and we knew what to expect the following day.  The MD asked us what hospital we preferred, St. Agnes or Community Regional Medical Center.  We said we usually go to St. Agnes.  He told us that is fine but that if he needed access to certain resouces, CRMC was a better place to be.  We had no problem with that, if he needs something, we want him to have it!  They also have staff trained to handle the delicate issue of miscarriage as well as people to provide resources to grieving families.  We didn't need to hear anymore, it sounded ideal to us.

Wednesday the 14th, we got to the hospital @ 7am, checked in, was shown to my room, changed into a gown, and waited to begin.  My nurse was so wonderful, explained the process to me, made me feel comfortable, etc.  My first issue was that they could not get an IV needle in successfully. I knew my veins were tricky to begin with, so knew this was not a quick process.  But, in my preparation for my hospital stay, I hadn't had more than a sip of water and they could not get my veins to cooperate!  I ended up with a blown vein in each hand before a sucessful placement in my forearm.  Each attempt was made by a different nurse.  I knew it was my fault, both hands hurt, and boy did I learn a lesson!  Proper hydration is key to IV placement!  Once the IV was in place, the misoprostol tablet insertion was next, and it was uncomfortable, she had to put 6 tablets in to get me started.  Ugh!  This process repeated every 4 hours but with 4 tablets until about 7pm.  We basically hung out, watched the news, talked as my labor began, and gradually escalated over the course of the afternoon. 

At about 7:15pm, I was ready for pain medication & told my day nurse when she came in to tell me goodbye.  My night nurse was informed by my day nurse that I needed medication STAT, she came into my room & I told her myself, she came back & I had to tell her again.  I never got it.  Upon my last request, my water broke, I told her, she verified that was the case, put a dry pad under me, and went to get the MD.  While she was away, (within 30 seconds or less) I gave birth on my own.  It was effortless due to the small size of our baby girl.  She just sort of slid out & I looked at my husband with what had to be a very shocked/concerned facial expression and told him I thought the baby had come out.  He looked under the sheet, and sure enough, there she was.  He called the nurses station & told them what had just happened & they sent my MD in with the nurse trailing him.  They went to work on me immediately, getting the umbilical cord cut, cleaning me up, ensuring the placenta came out intact.  The nursing supervisor came in during all this & carefully cleaned our baby up the best she could without harming her very delicate, softening body. 

On a side note: the MD who was attending that evening, was not the one I saw in the office much to my disappointment.  In his attempt to remove the placenta, he put me through a lot of pain as he dug for it in my uterus while gripping my newly acquired green bruise on my right shin courtesy of hopping the fence railing @ the Haunted Mansion to get to the end of the line.  Ouch!

We were able to hold our third daughter, Olivia Ann, take some pictures of her, of us holding her (she was not visible) in the blanket that we got to keep but ended up losing @ midnight when I was moved to a different room & it was left behind.   Scotland took a picture of her on each of our phones so we could look at her whenever we want to.  To be continued.......

From the Beginning 8/17/2010

So this is my first blog ever.  I have never considered writing one, I read a few from time to time, but it wasn't something I consciously decided to do until I was in my bathroom the other day thinking maybe I should journal my thoughts and experiences since my induced miscarriage.  In all honesty, I just stumbled upon this option to write a blog while I was looking at my Yahoo! updates and avatar.  The opportunity presented itself and Voila!  Here I am. 

While I appreciate anyone who reads this, it is mainly a means for me to deal with my grief, confront my thoughts/feelings, and come to terms with the fact that I have three girls, but only see/raise/discipline/play with two every day.  If anything, maybe this will serve as a voyeuristic means to see what I have gone through, what my thoughts are, and who I will become as a result.  Maybe my story helps someone experiencing the same loss I did; if I can help ease a mind, let someone see my vulnerability as a grieving mother as normal, then great.

It is only fitting that I start from the beginning:

On July 7, 2010 @ 18 weeks 2 days, I went to my ultrasound appt. with high hopes of finding out if we were having a boy or a girl.  Afterwards, we were leaving for Disneyland.  Our bags were packed, our kids were excited, and we were excited.  I worked half a day, met my husband Scotland at the Women's Imaging office, and while we were in the ultrasound room, everything seemed normal.  The tech was talking to us, letting us know what measurements she was taking, and asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby once she was done.  We told her we did want to know and then she became quiet.  Abruptly, she got up, helped me clean the ultrasound gel off my stomach, and told us to wait in the room across the hall because she had to show the radiologist the images she took.  This has never happened to us before.  We didn't know what to think.  Scotland thought the worst.  I however, from the vantage point of the exam table, did not see arms (and she didn't mention them) so thought there was a developmental issue with the arms.  Scotland told me he saw her measure the arms so my concern was unfounded.  After waiting what seemed like 30 minutes, staring at the wall, asking questions of each other, we were told to go to my OB's office, they had been contacted, and were waiting for us to arrive.  My heart sunk and my mind began racing with all the implications of what this meant.  We rushed out of the office, jumped in our cars, and flew across the street to the office.  I was so glad the office was so very close, less time to jump to insane conclusions.

Upon arrival in the waiting room (about 2 seconds literally), the nurse opened the door and ushered us into an exam room to wait for Dr. Griffin.  We just looked at eachother, waiting for what Dr. Griffin would say to us, wondering if this was minor (in my eyes) or a major blow.  Dr. Griffin walked in the exam room, looked from me to Scotland, and asked what we were told at the imaging office.  I told him that we were told to wait while the radiologist was consulted, the tech could not tell us anything, we were told to come to the office, and here we were.  Dr. Griffin proceeds to drop the bomb on us as calmly as he can: "looks like we have a fetal demise, there was no heartbeat detected".  We were blindsided!  I started to cry, as he asks me questions like have I had any bleeding, how have I been feeling, any pains he needs to know about...I told him everything has been going fine, I felt fine, and I swore I felt movement the previous day.  He tells me he is referring me to a high risk OB, to assist in the removal of the baby, but he needs to call him & get some idea of our options for removal so he needs to leave the room.  Once he closed the door, I then proceeded to fall apart, Scotland practially flies out of the chair in front of me, hugs me tight, and we cry together until Dr. Griffin returns.  He tells us that his colleague, Dr. Thomas can see me the following Tuesday which is the day after our scheduled return from Disneyland, the day I was to return to work from vacation.  Dr. Griffin tells us the options, Dr. Thomas thought would be appropriate, and I agree to the appt.  We told Dr. Griffin about our trip, how we were supposed to leave that afternoon, and told him we still wanted to go but were wondering if there would be any reason not to.  Thankfully, he said if we wanted to, we should go.  We did but that's a story for another blog post.

With our appointment set, we left the office in our separate cars.  I went straight home to make phone calls to my family/work, and Scotland went to his parents' house to pick up Aubrey and Elli who were anxiously awaiting our trip to begin.  Scotland didn't say a word to them until they got home, so we all gathered in my bedroom, I was sitting on the bed red-faced, tears streaming, and we told Aubrey and Elli what happened.  We all cried, hugged, told each person how much we loved them, and appreciated them.  We told the girls we were still going to Disneyland, but that when we came back, I had to see a doctor who would help me take the baby out since it went to be with God already.  I called my mother, my father, my brothers, my cousin Jennifer, and my boss to let them know what happened.  Scotland called his family as well, sending texts to his friends informing them of our loss.  I sent my friends (those in the country) a text about what happened, I couldn't talk about it anymore, and one text covered a group of people nicely.  We double-checked our luggage to make sure we didn't forget anything, and hit the road.

Our drive to Anaheim was a tearful one with songs, even single sentences or words in songs, opening the flood gates in addition to the thoughts already running through my head.  I attempted to sleep since I was at work early that morning and it worked for only a little while, but it helped.