Thursday, March 27, 2008

How it all began.

I found out I was pregnant the day after my 31st birthday. I was totally stunned because my doctor had told me years ago that I didn't ovulate and probably couldn't conceive. After the initial shock, I quickly became excited. I knew right from the beginning that I was carrying a girl, which excited me even more because I had always wanted a little girl.

I was worried right from the beginning because I had been having a bit of bleeding. I went to the ER the next day (it was a Saturday). After several ER trips and doctors visits, and many diagnosis of a "threatened miscarriage" I learned I had a low laying placenta and it would heal on itself. It did, the bleeding stopped and I saw a healthy, wiggly baby on the ultrasound. Seeing that melted my heart. My due date was August 8, 2008 (08/08/08) which was pretty neat.

he rest of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I hadn't been pregnant for almost 11 years, but I was definitely tired and felt run down. I just chalked it up to being older than I was the first time. I got excited when I started feeling the baby move, and when I got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler.

My stepdaughter (who's 22) got married February 23rd. It was a super busy weekend for all of us, and I didn't check my answering machine until Sunday night. There was a message from my OB that my quad-test had come back with some results he was worried about and he wanted me to all him back. The quad tests for things like Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida. I got really upset and starting thinking all these terrible thoughts. Finally, after a few minutes I said a prayer and told God I would take whatever he gave me. If I was meant to have a Downs baby, then so be it. I put the baby in his hands, and stopped worrying about it. The next day when I talked to the doctor he said that my levels were slightly elevated which is a marker for Spina Bifida, but he thought I was further along than they originally thought (which was possible). He wasn't worried and told me not to be so I wasn't. I knew my baby was healthy.

That Wednesday I got what I thought was the flu. My stomach hurt so bad I could hardly walk. I was throwing up, but I figured it was a 24 hour thing and I just had to wait it out. I didn't have a fever so I didn't' worry to much. The next day I felt better and by Friday I felt fine. Over the weekend my grandson came to stay with us, and I didn't think anything was wrong with me. I felt run down but I thought that's because I was pregnant and recovering from the flu.

On Tuesday I woke up and didn't feel that great. I took my son to school and my stomach hurt as I walked into the house. I took a hot bath and then took a nap. When I woke up I threw up and figured the flu was coming back. I called my husband and told him that I needed to go to the ER when he got home. I felt faint and just plain crappy. I was sick of being sick! When he got home we went to the closest ER to us, even though my OB didn't have privileges there. By the time I got there my husband had to get a wheelchair for me because I was so light headed I couldn't walk. I remember seeing my reflection in the car mirror and realizing my had no color. I was literally white as a sheet.

When I got in the hospital they took one look at me and took me back. My blood pressure was 69/40 and my hear rate was something like 70. I didn't realize how sick I was. They immediately started an IV in each arm because I was dehydrated. The ER doctor called me OB and they agreed I needed to go to Hurley hospital which had a specialized OB floor. That was my first, and hopefully last, ambulance ride.

As soon as I got to Hurley a ton of doctors came in. I still didn't realize it was anything serious until a surgeon came in and told me that he thought I needed surgery. Being knock out is one of my biggest fears in life and I tried to talk them out of it but they were convinced that something was wrong with one of my internal organs. Since I was pregnant they couldn't do and MRI. Instead they did an ultrasound. I saw the baby moving around. The tech even gave me a picture. They also saw a lot of fluid in my belly, which they assumed was blood because of my low hemoglobin.

I was really worried. I remember asking my husband, "Why is this happening to us?". I honestly wasn't worried about the baby. I just had this feeling she was going to be fine. My OB and the surgeons assured me that they didn't think it had anything to do with the baby, and that "the pregnancy" was going to be OK. They were thinking I had a ruptured spleen or something like that. I was 100% confident that my baby was going to be OK. After all I had put her in God's hands. I went to sleep praying for us.

The first thing I saw when I woke up was my husband looking at me. He was crying. I said, "What's wrong?" and he said, "We lost the baby". My only reaction was to say, "It's OK" and close my eyes.

That day is kind of a blur for me. I remember some parts really well, and others are fuzzy. I don't remember anyone telling me I had a girl, or that my uterus had ruptured. But that's what happened. I remember my husband saying he wanted to name the baby Brenna, which is our daughter Jenna and son Brendan's names put together. I didn't even think about it, I knew that's what I wanted to name her. I do remember a doctor coming in to tell me that I lost a tremendous amount of blood, and that I almost died. I also remember another doctor telling me that if I ever got pregnant again it would "be fatal". My heart sank. That was the second worst thing I could have heard.

A nurse came in with a picture of the baby, but I didn't want to see it. She also told me that she could bring the baby in if I wanted to see her but I didn't. I hadn't shed a tear, and I just didn't have it in me. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. My mom wanted to see the baby, and my sister went with her. My stepdaughter went downstairs and then my husband and I were along. I asked him to hand me the envelope that had her photo. I took it out and started to cry. I could barely cry though because I had 30 staples in my belly and the pain was tremendous. The first thing I thought of was how much she looked like my son.

After everyone left for the day, my husband and I asked to see the baby. We were both so shocked by how small she was. She

only weighed about 6 ounces but she had every part a baby is supposed to have- even fingernails! It was amazing. I held her and looked at every part of her. Just like I thought, she didn't have any signs of Spina Bifida. We didn't have a camera with us so my husband went and bought a disposable one. I'm glad we took some pictures because I look at them often. We just spent time looking at her, talking, and taking pictures. I kept her in my room that night, even though I didn't hold her again. Babies that are born that early don't really look that great after while, and I didn't want to remember her like that so that's why I didn't hold her. The nurse came in and told me that the funeral home was coming to get her and they would have to take her. I felt this panic set it. Like, I'm not ready to let her go. Luckily, a medicine they gave me made me sick so I was preoccupied when they came to take her and that actually made it easier.

I had to tell my son what happened, and that was the hardest part for me. He's almost 11, but has never really had to deal with death before. I made sure we were alone in the hospital room, and then said I had to tell him something. He smiled at me and said, "You know if it's a boy or a girl don't you?" My heart broke because I knew his life was never going to be the same after I told him. He cried, which broke my heart. I cried, which broke his.

I got to go home that Saturday, and I was ready! I spent the day on the couch since I could barely walk. My husband waited on me, which I kind of liked. :)

The next day is when I really got to let it all out. I spent that whole day crying. I looked at the picture from the hospital and just let it out, which was good. It was over due.
We had a memorial service for her the following Saturday, when I could get around better. She had the tiniest casket I've ever seen. It was only like 12 inches long. I thought it would be the most horrible day of my life. Instead, I didn't even cry. Not a tear. I don't know why, but I was at peace. I knew she was in heaven and how could I be sad about that? My sister-in-law lost two babies, and we are going to bury Brenna next to them in the cemetery down the road from our house. My husbands parents are buried there too.

I've been working through the grieving process. Nothing can prepare you for going to sleep pregnant and waking up with a dead baby. I never, ever expected this to happen in a million years. I was mad at God, wondering why he would deny me this one thing I so desperately wanted. I put my baby in his hands and he took her away from me! But, I know he loves me and knows better than I do, so I will put my trust in him.

It's been three weeks since this all began. I still cry every night before I got to sleep. I still wonder why this happened. I believe there is a lesson in it. I'm not sure what it is yet, but I hope that one day I will look back on this and say, "Yep, God I see what you were doing there. Thanks!" I'm not quite there yet, but I'm working on it.


Lissa Lane said...

I'm so so sorry for your loss. I'm crying so hard. I feel almost like I've lost my baby girl all over again. Just the pain your words bring back.

Brenna was beautiful! Such a beautiful angel

Amy said...

Brenna is beautiful. She's just beautiful.

Zackery's Mom said...

Brenna is a beautiful little angel. Her story brought me to tears.
I am sure she is being taken care of by my Zackery. He would have turned 5 at the beginning of May.

Akul's mama said...

Brenna is so beautiful. I too put my baby Akul in God's hands and was just as shocked when he did not survive eventhough he was 36 weeks old when he was born. I still do not understand why this happened. People tell me "there is a reason." I cannot figure this reason out. Losing a child is so hard. I wept when I read about how your son asked you if the baby was a boy or girl. It must have been so hard on him. Hugsss to you both.

CandyAnn074 said...

It's weird how I miscarried at only 10 weeks but I still feel the same loss as you do. I was lucky enough to become pregnant 2 months later and now I have 3 children, but there is not a day goes by that I don't think about Sam (I'm convinced he was a boy). I believe that God takes extra good care of our dear angels.

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean about being changed forever after such a loss. i not only lost my daughter at 24 weeks, i lost myself. it has been one year now and the pain is still so severe. i want to have another baby, but i am so scared and also don't know if will ever happen as marriage has been on the rocks since.

i wasn't able to see my daughter, you are very lucky to have "met" yours.

take care and thank you for sharing.

Anna said...

I was only twenty weeks pregnant with my son, John Parker, before we found out he was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Anencephaly. On May 22nd, it'll have been a year since we lost him. This just brings back so many memories. Thank you for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

I'm writing to thank you for sharing your story with us on Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. I'm very sorry for your loss of your sweet baby girl, she was so beautiful. Keep your chin up and stay strong.


Anonymous said...

you dont know me but ypour story is inspiration, a work of art. I believe in God and i thank you for those words. Gos is right and he will make the best choices


Becky said...

I am so sorry for what you had to go through. Thank you for commenting on my blog, yes we both have had quite big surgeries although it saddens me to hear they told you that you can no longer have children.
Since having my fetal surgery my biggest concern right now is having a uterine rupture since now I am at a higher risk and scared to death to get pregnant for that reason but I want kids so badly. You mentioned talking to you sometime about this and I would love to not sure if you would like to through email or calling, either is fine with me.