August 31, 2009
August 30, 2009
I copied and pasted this. I was browsing a couple miscarriage/pregnancy loss boards and came across this, and thought that this was excellent.
When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.
This list was compiled as a way of helping other people understand pregnancy loss. While generated by mothers for mothers, it may also apply similarly to the fathers who have endured this loss.
When trying to help a woman who has lost a baby, the best rule of thumb is a matter of manners: don't offer your personal opinion of her life, her choices, her prospects for children. No woman is looking to poll her acquaintances for their opinions on why it happened or how she should cope.
-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible.
-Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out.
-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between loosing this child or stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children.
-Don't say, "Be grateful for the children you have." If your mother died in a terrible wreck and you grieved, would that make you less grateful to have your father?
-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her.
-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours.
-Don't say, "Now you have an angel watching over you." I didn't want her to be my angel. I wanted her to bury me in my old age.
-Don't say, "I understand how you feel." Unless you've lost a child, you really don't understand how I feel. And even if you have lost a child, everyone experiences grief differently.
-Don't tell me horror stories of your neighbor or cousin or mother who had it worse. The last thing I need to hear right now is that it is possible to have this happen six times, or that I could carry until two days before my due-date and labor 20 hours for a dead baby. These stories frighten and horrify me and leave me up at night weeping in despair. Even if they have a happy ending, do not share these stories with me.
-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone.
- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine.
-Don't say, "Well, you weren't too sure about this baby, anyway." I already feel so guilty about ever having complained about morning sickness, or a child I wasn't prepared for, or another mouth to feed that we couldn't afford. I already fear that this baby died because I didn't take the vitamins, or drank too much coffee, or had alcohol in the first few weeks when I didn't know I was pregnant. I hate myself for any minute that I had reservations about this baby. Being unsure of my pregnancy isn't the same as wanting my child to die - I never would have chosen for this to happen.
-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter.
-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that.
-Do say, "I have lighted a candle for your baby," or "I have said a prayer for your baby."
-Do send flowers or a kind note - every one I receive makes me feel as though my baby was loved. Don't resent it if I don't respond.
-Don't call more than once and don't be angry if the machine is on and I don't return your call. If we're close friends and I am not responding to your attempts to help me, please don't resent that, either. Help me by not needing anything from me for a while.
If you're my boss or my co-worker:
-Do recognize that I have suffered a death in my family - not a medical condition.
-Do recognize that in addition to the physical after effects I may experience, I'm going to be grieving for quite some time. Please treat me as you would any person who has endured the tragic death of a loved one - I need time and space.
-DO understand if I do not attend baby showers/christening/birthday parties etc. And DON'T ask why I can't come.
Please don't bring your baby or toddler into the workplace. If your niece is pregnant, or your daughter just had a baby, please don't share that with me right now. It's not that I can't be happy for anyone else, it's that every smiling, cooing baby, every glowing new mother makes me ache so deep in my heart I can barely stand it. I may look okay to you, but there's a good chance that I'm still crying every day. It may be weeks before I can go a whole hour without thinking about it. You'll know when I'm ready - I'll be the one to say, "Did your daughter have her baby?" or, "How is that precious little boy of yours? I haven't seen him around the office in a while."
Above all, please remember that this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. The word "miscarriage" is small and easy. But my baby's death is monolithic and awful. It's going to take me a while to figure out how to live with it. Bear with me.
August 29, 2009
August 28, 2009
I have to say that this has been the worst week of my entire life. I honestly don't think anything else tops this. Nope, nothing. Like I said, I woke up Tuesday afternoon bleeding. That night at work I was kinda freaking out, I just felt like something was wrong, couldn't explain why, but I just felt like something wasn't right. So we went to ER after the bleeding, empty sac, no baby, negative urine pregnancy test, call office on Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon, my OB calls me, asking how things were going, if I was cramping, bleeding, etc. She read the reports from the sono and asked me if I wanted to go ahead with a D&C or wait. She said she'd give me until Monday, but that the sono showed that the baby stopped developing around 8 weeks, and that it had been almost 3 weeks already and I was only bleeding a little, with very little cramping. I opted to schedule a D&C. Hearing that it had been about 3 weeks hurt. For 3 weeks, my baby was dead and I didn't know. We scheduled it for 11:30 on Thursday. My SIL and sister both came down to help with the kids and my sister was going to come to the hospital and sit with Husband, and to help calm my nerves. I had a phobia about general anesthesia. Anyway, doc said that if things did start on their own, the cramping would be pretty severe and I'd bleed heavily. But, I didn't think that would happen. 3:15 am, I wake up with horrible cramps. They progressively get worse until they started coming like labor contractions. I had no idea it would be like that. I started passing small bits of tissue. It was horrible pain, and horrible thinking that this "tissue" would have been my child. At 7AM, I can no longer talk through the contractions, so I call the office and they said I could go ahead and go in as scheduled, or I could cancel the D&C and let nature continue on. But they said it could last for days and I still might need a D&C to get all of the tissue. I opted to go ahead with the surgery, I couldn't stand the thought of days of that. It was horrible pain. I didn't hurt that bad laboring with Jacob. We get to the hospital and the pain suddenly went from every 2-4 minutes to constant pain with worsening cramping every couple minutes. I freaked the pre-op nurse a bit I think, because typically patients aren't cramping like I was right before their D&C. I went into the bathroom to change, and while I was in there, I noticed that I had passed more tissue, and that the pad I was wearing was wet with yellow fluid. I sat down, felt more tissue fall, but when I looked into the toilet, I was staring at my baby. The fluid was probably the small amount of amniotic fluid. The ER doc told me there wasn't a baby in there, it had been absorbed. They were wrong. So wrong. It looked like a 8-9 week fetus/embryo, whatever the technical term is. My baby. I wasn't sure what to do, and I was still hurting like I had been. I considered my options: I could call for the nurse and she may or may not fish it out and it could be sent for genetic testing, or I could say goodbye and flush. I chose number 2. It doesn't really matter the reason for it, my baby died at 8-9 weeks gestation and that's that. So I got back to the cart, they loaded me with fentanyl, which helped with the pain, although it was still uncomfortable, and Doc came in to see me. I told her about passing the baby, but she said there was probably still tissue there since I was that far along, and I was still having contractions. They gave me some versed, per my request because I had this huge fear over the general anesthesia. I think just seeing people going under and waking up freaked me out, but they reassured me, and said the versed would help. It didn't. They took me back ahead of schedule, I was still anxious, but before I knew it, I was waking up. I shouldn't have been so worked up, but I'd never been put under before. There was still quite a bit of tissue in the uterus and a good amount in the cervical os. Turns out I bled pretty heavily, and had to have methergine and hemabate to stop the bleeding. I'm also taking it three times a day for the next 3 days. Maybe that's typical, but I really don't know much about losses this early. Working L&D, we don't see people until they are 20 weeks, the earliest fetal demise I've seen is 17 weeks. Anyway, in recovery, it finally hit me what had happened, emotionally speaking. Got more drugs in recovery,the cramping was god-awful but nothing compared to what I had before, couldn't have the normally scheduled toradol because I bled too much so I had more fentanyl, which made me itch, given Benadryl for the itching, had to stay for an extra bag of pitocin, and shed a couple tears when they handed me a grief packet that I have handed out to patients numerous times. I never wanted to be on the receiving end, and I was quite naive, thinking I probably never would be. I'm okay most of the time, but then out of nowhere something gets to me, and I know I'll have that, probably forever. I feel that not only did I have to suffer this loss, and have surgery to remove all the tissue, but I had to labor for 7 hours before that, in pain worse than the pain I felt while laboring with Jacob. On top of the guilt I have for initially not wanting the pregnancy and all that I confessed to when we found out. I hate that I will always have that memory seeing my 8-9 week gestation baby in the toilet, but I feel somewhat better knowing its body passed out on it's own, that it wasn't removed during the D&C, as morbid as that sounds. I'm not quite as angry with God, but I'm still struggling with understanding why. I know I'm not supposed to know, and that He knows what He's doing, it's just hard to be on this end, hurting and not seeing the big picture. I feel a bit empty. I had thought I was pregnant with a live baby Monday morning, and now my uterus is empty, cramping. But, I knew deep down something wasn't right, I just hoped it was my paranoia over nothing, like my fear of general anesthesia. Women are smart when it comes to their bodies. There will be no baby this March. And Monday night, I return to work where there are 4 other nurses pregnant, due in Feb/March. I'll be okay taking care of pregnant, laboring moms. It will be watching my co-workers abdomens swell with baby, when mine is now empty. That will be the hardest part. I'm glad for them, but sorry for myself and the child I'll never hold. We've decided at some point, probably sooner that later, we'll try again for another baby. We had our hearts ready for 4 children running around the house. We wanted this child that God took home with Him. But right now, we are healing. And life goes on in our house, Jacob has football games, Clara has songs to sing, and Isaiah has hugs to give. We are blessed with 3 healthy, beautiful children here with us, and as my SIL(who lost her baby at 39 weeks) said "now Mirabel has a cousin to play with, and you guys have your own child angel in Heaven, watching over you".
August 25, 2009
I thought of you and closed my eyes and prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother and I know I heard him say.
A Mother has a baby this we know is true.
But God, can you be a Mother when your baby's not with you?
“ Yes, you can ” He replied with confidence in His voice
“I give many women babies; when they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime and others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb but there's no need to stay.”
I just don't understand this, God, I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared His throat and then I saw a tear.
"I wish I could show you what your child is doing today.
If you could see your child smile with other children and say"
"We go to earth and learn our lessons of love and life and fear.
My Mommy loved me oh so much I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a Mom who had so much love for me.
I learned my lesson very quickly. My Mommy set me free.
I miss my Mommy oh so much but I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep, on her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek and whisper in her ear
"Mommy don’t be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm Here".
"So you see my dear sweet one, your child is OK.
Your baby is here in My home and this where she'll stay.
She'll wait for you with me until your lesson is through
And on the day that you come home she'll be at the gates for you.
So now you see what makes a Mother - it's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of right from the very start.
August 23, 2009
August 20, 2009
Wt gain/loss: -2 lbs (up 2 lbs from 2 weeks ago though)
S/S: nausea, vomiting although I've not prayed to the porcelain god for the last 2 days, exhaustion, urinary frequency, constipation (Sorry, TMI) and extreme mood swings.
Cravings: Wendy's Frostys, Dairy Queen's Tag-a-long blizzard, rosemary and olive oil Triscuits
Aversions: Diet Coke :( and odors. I have been on this huge kick to rid my house of stink. Apparently I did this with my 3rd pregnancy, but I don't really remember it being this bad. I have thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and back porch and I just bought 8 Snuggle air fresheners for the house. Now the house smells Snuggle Fresh instead of old house musty! I guess it's good that Diet colas upset my stomach because I don't need them, but I don't drink coffee and could really use the caffeine in the morning!
Running: still going strong, with my last 5K race this pregnancy on Saturday. Averaging a 3+ mile run 3-4 days a weeks, depending on weather. I have had to stop and walk now and then when I run, depending on how warm/humid it's been
Not that there is anything really to see yet, but here's another belly shot. I put up the very first one I took, which really was probably only at 5 weeks, just for comparison. So far, my pants still fit fine, just a wee bit tighter.
About 5 weeks:
I did have these lined up next to each other fore a better comparison, but for some reason when i published it, it didn't line up right. Oh well. I never claimed to be a computer pro.
I can't see any difference, but I can definitely feel a difference! Maybe just a tad rounder lower now, but I don't know, it could just be my posture. In due time, though, in due time! I remember with Isaiah, by 12 weeks, I had to start using the rubberband trick to be comfortable. This time, I think I'm going to get a BellaBand. I've never used one before but it looks like it might work.
August 19, 2009
August 14, 2009
Later that morning, I admitted another patient who was supposed to be coming in at 3AM for antibiotic treatment for positive beta strep and would then have her water broken to induce labor for a macrosomic baby. When she came in, she immediately recognized me as I took care of her with her first baby. Her first was a long labor. I admitted her at the end of my shift and when I came back that night, I did her delivery at about 2AM. She had the most awesome doula that I've ever worked with and mom did fabulous. At that time she had a horrible doctor (who is no longer practicing) who kept badgering her to get an epidural. Mom had gone over her birthplan with her doc, who in the office okay'd it. She wanted to be able to squat to deliver but when the time came, this doc came in, saw mom standing on the bed, using the birthing bar, looked at me and asked "How the hell am I supposed to deliver this baby?" I kinda laughed, which irritated the doc, but I really thought she was joking, I mean, she was the physician! The doula then said "Well, mom is going to push, the baby is going to come out, you'll put your hands between her legs, catch the baby, hand her to mom and we'll have a baby". I about wet myself when she said that! But, in the end, doc made her deliver on her back. This time her labor was only 4 hours. She was 10cm when she came in, she had the same awesome doula, and a much more patient doctor. And she delivered a 10+ baby, squatting, like she had wanted. What was funny is mom, dad and her doula had remembered me and seemed to be thrilled I was there for this one also. As I was leaving at the end of the shift, I went to tell her good-bye and they said the next time they'll have to check to make sure I'm working because now it had to be a tradition that I was there. So it's been a busy week or two, which has been more challenging between my running to the bathroom to pray to the porcelin god, but I'm up for it.
August 9, 2009
August 4, 2009
This Saturday I have a 5K race in Husbands hometown. I'm not quite sure how well that is going to go. I have been running, despite the nausea and exhaustion, and actually I feel a bit better after a run. Depending on how this Saturday goes, I may decide to not run the race I had planned 8-22. We'll see.
Other than that, things are pretty busy around here. I got Jacob registered for 1st grade, and he started flag football yesterday. This is the first year for flag football, so they are still trying to line up games for the kids. They have one Saturday afternoon game so far. The first practice was yesterday and they just went over the rules and ran around. I can't wait to watch all these little 6 and 7 year olds playing football! We are also working on finishing up a few minor house projects. We bought the rest of the materials we need to finish our deck, I checked out textured paint to repaint under the chair rail (where we used to have wallpaper). I also have to plaster over some ductwork in our little bathroom. The kids were having such a good time helping me remove the wallpaper in the living room and toy room, they decided to start on the bathroom. I had painted over the hideous ivy wallpaper that was there, and a friends son had peeled off a small piece a year or so ago, so they had no problem starting in. I hadn't planned on repainting, but the bathroom really is the size of a closet and we rarely use it. I decided "Well, I guess I'll remove this wallpaper and repaint". In the process, I pealed off the mesh tape and layers of wallpaper that covered the ductwork running upstairs. *Sigh* Thankfully, it won't be too hard to fix. I highly doubt that all this will actually get done anytime real soon, considering all I want to do most days is lie on the couch and sleep!