Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello ... and Good-bye

When Paul and I were first married it didn't take us too long to decide we wanted to have babies. We went to a doctor in town who was the OBGYN at the time. He gave me once over, said he wanted to do some tests, but declared confidently that he could get me pregnant. I went in a few days later for an endometrial biopsy, which days later deemed me to be "anovulatory." He prescribed Clomid and sent us on our merry way to go make a baby.

A few weeks later we were pregnant! I know that having babies is nearly as old as time itself, but we were the most excited couple to ever get pregnant. We called everyone we knew, bought onesies and bottles and bedding for the crib that Tater and I slept in when we were kids. We hit the 10 week mark and the nurse put he doppler on my belly so we could hear our baby's heartbeat. We couldn't, but she told me not to worry, he was probably hiding behind my liver or something. Four weeks later she still couldn't pick up the heartbeat, but my fundal height had grown and things were otherwise normal. The doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound just to check things out.

We were so excited to see our baby on the screen! Having never seen an ultrasound before, we had no clue what we were seeing. The tech was quiet as she took the measurements and declared me to be ten weeks, four days pregnant. Uhmmm....no......I told her she was wrong, that I knew exactly when I got pregnant and I was 14 weeks pregnant. She fiddled around some more, poking and prodding, but still came to the conclusion that I was only 10 weeks pregnant. Then she left the room. She came back in, put things away and told me to keep my regular appointment with my doctor.

Things didn't seem right, but I was a whole 21 years old and unassertive and didn't want to get myself labeled as "one of those" patients. Paul assured me that things were fine even though I could not shake the nagging feeling that something was wrong. My mom told me that gut instincts are more important than wanting to be a "good" patient and suggested maybe I see a different doctor. After calling my doctor and getting the runaround I called a different doctor, Dr. Lacey, and after explaining things to the receptionist, got an appointment for the next day. We both loved Dr. Lacey the minute he walked into the room. He patted my leg as I voiced my concerns and said he'd do an ultrasound right then to set things straight.

Lying on that table, wanting so desperately to see my baby again, Paul by my side holding my hand, I had no clue my life was about to become the saddest it had ever been. After a few minutes of poking, prodding and profound silence, Dr. Lacey turned the machine off, took my hand and said, "I'm sorry. Your baby is no longer alive." We had never seen his face, never even heard his little heart swooshing, but we loved him so very much. We hadn't said hello, but suddenly we had to say good-bye.

The ride home was silent except for my sobbing. We went home, but the house was smothering. We paced, we held each other, we cried, we sat and stared at the carpet. Paul called his mom and cried so hard I felt my heart breaking even more. I called my best friend at the time because I wanted her there when we told Mom. We were at Mom's house when she got home from work. Then again we became the bearers of bad news, telling my mom her first grandchild was gone.

The doctor had said that miscarriage would soon follow. I wanted it to happen because I wanted closure, but at the same time, I didn't. I was holding onto anything I could. A week passed, then two. I called the doctor who again said to let things happen naturally. When I looked at my defunct pregnancy calendar and it declared me to be 19 weeks pregnant I lost it. I think I was as close to a nervous breakdown as one can get without going over the edge. I called the doctor, sobbing, nearly screaming, telling him to do something because obviously my body hadn't gotten the message. Two days later it was over. Well, physically it was. For weeks I was numb. Paul and I didn't talk, we didn't touch, we didn't do anything more than exist. It was the hardest thing I have ever endured and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I had heard my whole life that no parent should ever have to lose a child, that it isn't in the natural order of things. Until I experienced it myself, though, I had no idea how true that statement is. Whether your child is no bigger than your thumb or that child is 25 years old, you just aren't supposed to have to say good-bye. I know that God is sovreign and that He has a purpose for everything that happens, yet sometimes it is hard to remember that. My faith is stronger than it used to be, but even the strongest of faith is threatened at times.

Our baby would have turned 13 this past March. Would he have been tall? What color hair would he have had? Would he look like me or Paul? I have so many questions - why did it happen? What went wrong? What good came of losing our first child? I miss him, miss him like crazy, but I know there was a reason. I may never understand that reason while I'm here on earth, but my heart rests in the promise that my child is in the presence of his King.

My friend T-Racey and her husband had to say good-bye to their son this past week. They are hurting so very, very badly. As they held his tiny body and wept rivers of tears I know they are asking questions that have no answers. I pray for them almost continually that they have peace and understanding and comfort. It isn't easy and it's so unfair and I know their pain in a sense. I have no advice, I hold no wisdom. All I can do is pray.

My friends, please remember this family in the coming weeks. They need to feel God's love around them.

7 comments:

MrsCoach said...

Very well put. Only those who have experienced know it's as tragic as if the you had held that baby in your arms. Doesn't matter the age or size it's still your child.

Cricky (Who Is More Than Just A Girl) said...

Very well put indeed.
My son was 4 months old when he passed and I will NEVER understand the concept of death when it relates to children.

A month before Al and I got married I miscarried due to doctor negligence. The pain difference between losing a living, breathing child and one that hasn't been born isn't as much as you'd think it was.

Each of my children mean the world o me, no matter their size, weight, life.

Casa Murray said...

Reading this story was like reading my own. We lost our first baby at 5 1/2 weeks pregnant and it was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Only someone who has gone through it can truly understand.

Shannon said...

It is the hardest thing on earth to do. We lost a baby @ 5weeks when Brady was three. We lost another baby when I was starting my fourth month (there was no heartbeat at the ultrasound when we (all 3 of us) went in to see what we were having)that was when Brady was five and then had Trey in 2005 and lost him 22 days later. I would not wish this on anyone. I will just be glad to see them when I get to Heaven.
I felt so bad for T-Racey & family!

Michael said...

Dear God, that is awful.

It is truly a sin to have a parent lose a child.

My heartfelt sympathy to all of you.

Beth said...

I happened upon your blog by chance, but your story is so sad and touching at the same time. I just said a prayer for your friends who lost their baby.

aka_Monty said...

I'm glad you shared your own story as well as your friend's.
Lots of prayers and love for all of you
xoxox