Our Second Loss

Saturday, October 29, 2016

WARNING: This post is long and its personal. It is mostly for my own healing, being able to write out what I have been through and what I am feeling and the ability to look back and remember this in the future. 

As I sit here writing this post, I feel almost numb. It has been a little more than 24 hours now when Luke and I and our youngest, Walker, sat in the ultrasound room and heard the words "I'm so sorry" from the doctor. Words you never want to hear when you gaze at a black and white screen searching for the baby and listening for the heart that you have already fallen so in love with.

This pregnancy was the greatest of gifts as it was quite a surprise. If you have been a reader of this blog or know me on any personal level you know that while we are incredibly blessed with not one or two but THREE incredibly beautiful, sweet, healthy and precious lives, 3 under a 3 year time period in fact (although we did cheat a little with twins :) You would also know that these sweet babies didn't come easy. While our story doesn't begin to touch so many others that struggle with getting pregnant, we did have a road to getting pregnant that required medical intervention and it has always taken a year to get pregnant with each pregnancy. (You can read more about our story HERE and HERE) We aren't one of those couples who can get pregnant right away which is why were shocked and thrilled to find out we were expecting our 4th baby. 

We were planning and hoping to be pregnant with number 4 in the spring which meant sometime in November we would start the process that we have always followed. The emotional process of inducing periods and taking ovulatory meds and waiting and praying and hopefully in the next 6-12 months we would get that beautiful positive test that is so wanted but at times seems almost impossible. But while Luke was in Colorado a month ago, I was thinking it had been 70 days or so since my last period, which is not unusual for me. My breasts felt larger and I felt super hungry so for some crazy reason, I thought it might be fun to test and had some intuition to test. It was so bizarre because I really didn't feel pregnant and I was 99% sure I wasn't, but it was almost as the Lord put it on my heart and I almost like a robot just went into the store without even thinking to buy the test. Luke and I hadn't been preventing pregnancy in any way since early summer. We have done this a lot over the last 5 years (not preventing) because we know how challenging it can be for us to conceive so we always say, it can't hurt to try, and even though it may be a little sooner than we would "like" as far as planning spacing between our kids ( I LOVED our gap of 2 years and 9 months between the twins and Walker) we knew we would be ecstatic to get pregnant on our own and we might also kick ourselves for preventing if our fertility journey ended up being a super long one. So I was SHOCKED and ECSTATIC to see a positive test!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I begin praising Jesus, and thanking Him for this miraculous gift! I was getting ready to pick my husband AND my mom up from the airport in a few short hours. They just so happened to arrive with in an hour of each other, my mom was visiting for the week and Luke was returning from a business trip. I told the twins and recorded it and showed them both in the car at the same time when I picked them up from the airport! It was so awesome to celebrate with my mom and my husband at the same time. Life was GOOD! I was a bit anxious to have Walker and this new baby about 25 months apart, but I was just happy to have gotten pregnant on our own and knew this baby had such a purpose and was meant for our family.

Over the next week I begin to get VERY sick. I had zero morning sickness with the twins and had about two weeks of manageable queasiness with Walker so I considered myself to be on of the lucky women who don't get sick with pregnancies. From about week 6 to currently ( I am still "pregnant" at 8/9 weeks as I type this) I had a CONSTANT sick stomach with no break or relief. It was really hard and pretty miserable to feel so sick especially while feeling the fatigue of the pregnancy and taking care of my other three babies. I had to be put on prescription meds that helped but never fully relieved what I was feeling. I told family, my community group and the other pastor's wives at our church since we went on a trip together and I had to explain why I felt so sick and I had to explain my baby bump. You guys, this is honestly the hardest part of losing a pregnancy when you are showing and look so pregnant. I had had an ultrasound around what we thought was week 5. My last period was back in July and so because of the dating, how far my last period was, the doctor wanted to check things out. I had spotting a couple weeks before my positive test that looking back I assumed was implantation bleeding and  I took one of those at home tests that told me how far along I was based on my hormone levels. My doctor agreed I looked about 5 weeks along, and because of that, he could see a healthy gestational sac but couldn't see a baby yet because it often takes until week 6 or 7 to see a baby. He wasn't too concerned but did want to draw some HCG blood levels 48 hours apart and make sure they rose appropriately to confirm it was a viable pregnancy. If the levels were appropriate he would schedule me another ultrasound in a couple of weeks. They came back PERFECT. They had more than doubled and he was happy with my levels, but I did have low progesterone which is the hormone responsible for keeping the baby alive until the placenta takes over at 12 weeks. I was low with the twins too and was supplemented with them. He wrote me a prescription for progesterone and I began taking it. I didn't like that they were low but I had been through this before so I wasn't too worried. I had found enough strength to run to the grocery to get some essentials like bland crackers and sparkling soda to get me through the nausea and after coming home, I got out of the car and started feeling some cramping. I walked in the house a felt myself starting to bleed. I went to the restroom and confirmed the blood. I have had a miscarriage before which you can read about HERE so I thought I was loosing the baby. I began to weep and called my husband  who came home and stayed with the kids the rest of the day so I could rest. I called the doctor and he told me my levels had looked good the DAY BEFORE and usually you wouldn't see blood that soon after good levels. They said bleeding in the first trimester happens sometime and just to watch the amount of blood and just wait until my already scheduled ultrasound which was about 10 days away. My bleeding stopped almost immediately and for the next 10 days I had NO bleeding, constant nausea and my bump kept growing. I KNEW I was still pregnant. I went on a retreat with the other pastors wives from my church to Las Vegas (yes, that is super funny, I know) where I had the sweetest time with these sisters. Growing as women and learning to be better daughters of Christ, wives and mothers. It was the best time and I felt super pregnant the whole time. I actually threw up into the puke bag on the plane lol. I looked so pregnant that people off the street would ask me how far along I was. The pregnancy was HARD but my ultrasound was one day away and I was just excited to be reassured. 

I had flown back into Dallas the night before my appointment. The next morning we dropped the twins off at preschool and Luke and I took our toddler with us to the appointment. When the doctor began the ultrasound I could immediately see the sac and this time it looked much larger than last time. I was trying to see a baby, and I could tell, my doctor was too. He kept moving the probe around, and said "okay, I can see the sac" he began to measure it and start taking pictures. I was waiting for him to say and theres the baby, but he didn't. He said "unfortunately, I am so sorry, but I don't see the baby." My heart sunk immediately but somehow it didn't register with me until I began to hear him explain. Apparently, when my egg became fertilized, the chromosomes were not correct or healthy enough for the embryo to progress. This is call a blighted ovum. Your body still thinks you are pregnant. My hormone levels increased appropriately, my womb grew and is full of fluid. I have a full formed placenta, I have a sac, I have everything I need, but I no longer have a baby. 

Tuesday I will have a D&C to get rid of everything that is formed inside me. I am sad about this. I always said if I had the option I would opt to pass naturally but I can't bear to look down at my pregnant tummy and continue to feel sick and know that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. He said I am pregnant enough that the miscarriage would be painful and messy. I don't want to go though that especially if no baby will even be passed. I also don't want to wait around for this process. The doctor said the pregnancy will continue until my body finally figures there is no baby. That could take up to a month. I can't bear to walk around with people asking me about my pregnancy having to explain. At this point, I just want to not feel pregnant anymore. The next steps are waiting for period to come after the D&C and whenever we are ready we can try again. I don't know what this will look like for us yet. I don't know when I will be ready again but I what I do know is God is still good. I know His plan is greater than mine and I know He has drawn me so close to Him through this. I have felt His presence so closely and I am more in love with Jesus than I was yesterday. It has been beautiful to walk through this along side my husband, it has brought us even closer together. It has been beautiful for the twins to process this and for us to say Jesus is still praiseworthy and good. They are sad. They were so excited and now they are having to learn the hardships of life. But they are excited to see their two little siblings in heaven one day.
The most amazing part of this has been seeing Christ's church at work. Guys, the friends and family who have reached out with calls, texts, flowers, meals, prayers and love has been overwhelming. They truly have been the hands and feet of Jesus and I know that God is looking down on them with adoration and thankfulness. They are loving me so well and He delights in that. 
So, right now, I look pregnant, I feel pregnant, and I am pregnant but the major piece in pregnancy is now gone. It is hard to understand but I know that He is so faithful and we will be blessed again when His timing is right and I appreciate this experience. Its painful but this is shaping me into the woman the Lord wants me to be. 
Thank you guys for your love and prayers. If you could please pray for me on Tuesday. That my procedure would go smoothly, that my body would fully heal and that my heart would continue to heal. I had several friends give me different scriptures that my heart has clung to and I wanted to share those verses with you.

So do not fear, for I am with you;

    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  
Isaiah 41:10
Thank you Mia.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:6-7
Thank you Chelsea.

I had to add words over my belly in this to hide it on my Instagram, but now I just want to remember it.   

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