Monday, December 3, 2012

That Day {Part Two}

The nurse put the gel on my stomach and started to move the doppler around.  It was taking longer than usual to pick up the heart beat.  She kept picking up my pulse instead.  She explained to the kids that the noise they were hearing was Mommy's heart, not the baby's yet.  "How many weeks are you?"  the nurse asked.  I told her I was 15 weeks.  "Oh, maybe I'm just looking too low."  She started to check higher on my stomach.  I still wasn't nervous.  I thought I had just felt the baby move minutes ago.  And it's still early in my pregnancy.  Maybe the baby was just moving around in there too fast.  Or at least that's what I was telling myself.  That nurse went to get another nurse.  She checked for about a minute.  Nothing.  This whole time, Nathan was asking, "Is that the baby making a noise?"  He was so into this baby.  All of the boys LOVE babies and I was so excited for all of them to get to experience this with me.  They were old enough to really help me with the baby this time around.  

My OB knocked on the door, and tried to get a heart beat with the doppler for a few seconds.  Then she said, "Boys, I think the nurses have some candy at the desk for you.  Would you like to go see what they have?"

That's when I knew.

The kids left the room.  She looked at me and said, "I have to be honest with you.  I'm very concerned."  The sonogram machine was brought in.  I think I turned my head at first.  I really didn't want to look.  I can't remember what my doctor said.  But she told me, with tears in her eyes.  And then she turned the screen toward me, and I saw our beautiful baby.  Not moving, just floating around, with little hands clasped together.  I didn't cry at first.  I think I said, "But I've been so sick.  I still feel sick."  Then I just laid there, in shock.  My first thoughts were random.  I mostly thought about our last couple  months, all the sacrifices our family made to make it this far in the pregnancy.

I needed to call Chris.  My doctor stepped out for a second, assuring me that the nurses were watching the boys and that they were doing fine.  I tried to call and text him, but he had stepped out of his office without his cell.  I had to have him paged.  "There's no heart beat," I said.  I can't remember what exactly what he said, but he was shocked.  He said he'd be right there.  While I was waiting for him, I heard the heartbeat of someone's baby next door.  That familiar galloping noise.  I tried to be happy for them.  But I sat there jealous, of whomever that was next door, because her baby had a beating heart.   Chris works minutes away; he was there quickly.  He came in and was visibly sad.  He was trying to be strong for me, but I could tell he was hurting.  Hurting for me.  Hurting for our family.  That made me sad.  We hugged.  

The doctor returned.  She was caring and sympathetic.  She explained that this is really rare.  To have five healthy pregnancies, then three early miscarriages, and now this late one.  She said something about .1%.  We discussed options.  We talked about what the next couple of days would look like.  We hugged.  We cried.  The office had closed.  We were the last ones there.  We got the boys, who were all watching a movie in the waiting room, and walked out as quickly as we could.  My doctor told us later that she and the nurse watched us walk out and were crying themselves. 

In the parking lot, we put them all in the back of Chris's truck.  Chris told them.  He explained it perfectly.  He told them he loved them and that we had sad news.  He told them the baby had died, but that we still trust the Lord, even when bad things like this happen.  He told them the baby was in heaven.  They all cried.  That made it so much harder.  I hated making them sad.  After a couple of minutes of standing around and crying, Nathan chimed in with some comic relief, "Stop crying everybody.  The baby died, but he went to heaven, and now there's another baby in Mommy's tummy."  He was obviously confused by the fact that I looked very pregnant.  But we all laughed, and and drove home.

At home, we all just sat around in disbelief.  Crying.  I couldn't stop crying.  Sometimes crying and sometimes sobbing.  I wanted to stop but couldn't.  Chris texted a couple of friends and told them.  He read a few sweet texts to me from friends and family.  My parents made plane tickets.  Chris took the kids to go and get dinner.  He first suggested In-N-Out Burger.  I didn't want the kids to have a bad memory associated with a place we really enjoyed going as a family, so they went to Subway to pick up sandwiches.  I texted my friend telling her I wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be at the girl's night.  I didn't want anyone to come over or call.  And I just sat in a chair most of the night, not sure what I should be doing.  Samuel sat with me, snuggling, until he fell asleep.  I loved having him right there next to me.  When it was time for bed, I took a Benadryl hoping to just go to sleep.  But I didn't.  My head and eyes were throbbing, and I was awake most of the night, thinking about what I could have done differently to save this baby.

The next day was worse.  I couldn't eat and because my body was acting pregnant, I felt worse and worse.  By evening, I wasn't keeping anything down.  I kept trying to eat so I could stop throwing up.  And then throwing up.   I admit there were times that I wondered why this was happening.  I kept reminding myself of the truth.  This was what God had given for me to handle for that day.    Finally, at some point, I kept down half a Phenergan tablet (nausea medicine) and I was able to rest that night.

[Boys playing outside that day, a beautiful fall day]

The next couple of days were a little better, but very slow.  When I woke up Friday morning, I was determined to stop crying.  I wasn't trying to be stoic; I was only trying to get through the next couple of days.  It was too difficult to mourn the loss of a baby while at the same time feeling so terrible.  My crying headache was making my nausea worse.  So I didn't.  No more crying.  Waiting those days felt like a month.  I didn't go anywhere.  We didn't do anything.  We were simply waiting for Monday morning to come, and get the hospital part behind us.

On the brighter side, family and friends were amazing during these three days.  Chris's dad came and cleaned our entire house in 24 hours (and it was BAD).  I let him without any shame on my part.  It desperately needed to be done.  Meals were brought.  Kids were picked up and taken out to play or eat with friends.  Friends dropped by with gifts, notes, and flowers.  As terrible as it all was at the time, I felt very blessed by the love of those around us.

On Sunday night, we met with the doctor at the office to get a cervical dilator placed and to go over the procedure.  I'm a nurse.  I've spent many hours working in hospitals.  But I'm an anxiety-ridden patient.  I shouldn't be, but I am.  I was scheduled for a D and E (different from a D and C because of how far I was along in the pregnancy) in the morning and I was scared to death.  I'm not a fan of general anesthesia.  I'm not a fan of surgery.  I know what can happen.  I know routine procedures can go wrong, even under the best of medical care.  I couldn't rid myself of the nervousness I felt about the next day.

We cast our cares on the Lord before going to bed that night the best we could.  We had to be at the hospital at 5 a.m.  Yes, that's early, but in my mind, the earlier the better.  I needed this to be over.  There's something indescribably not right about having a dead baby in you.  I needed it out to be able to move on.

More later... thanks for listening, once again, friends.


Another Texas Family said...

Thanks for sharing Sarah. Crying with you and praying for your family during this season.

Blairish said...

My heart is grieving with full understanding of the pain and emptiness. I will be praying fervently for you.

Bloggy Mama said...

I read with tears in my eyes - mourning your loss with you. The beauty of the rawness in your descriptions foreshadows the truth that God always brings beauty from ashes. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Bless you, this brought back such sad memories. You have an incredible way with words. This is one of life's happenings that I can't explain or understand.Sending you all the hugest hug.

The Mitchell Family said...

Sarah, I am reading this with tears rolling down my face. I can totally relate, and I am so sorry. I had forgotten it was called a D&E...I'm so so sorry. I've been praying for you. Love, G

Sarah said...

So many memories brought's so hard. I am thinking of you always.

Becky Pike Pluth said...

I am crying as I read this. Sad for you and Chris and the boys. My heart goes out to you all and prayers for comfort. Thank you for sharing with us.

TJ Wilson said...

S - again, so glad you are getting these words down, it's a privilege to read them as we continue to grieve with you.

Kelli said...

I just finished reading your posts and mourning your baby all over again. Thank you for being brave enough to share 'that day' with us. I pray God will continue to perfect you and your family through this suffering. We are praying for you all.

Krista Sanders said...

Through our weeks of moving I have read this-- but never in a spot to comment-- you KNOW I read both and reread yesterday and still with tears. Thank you for getting this all down and bearing your heart. I KNOW it has ministered to others as they grapple with the pain of their losses. It will be a marker for your boys, I believe as you and Chris continued to DECLARE God's goodness. God uses you in so many ways-- far reaching in ways you will never know. We love you, friend-- we LOVE the Wolfes- all your darling boys {Chris is okay, too.}- and are PRIVILEGED to do life with you. I just wish you were my neighbor in this "small town" Fort Worth. Love you, friend.

hannah singer said...

well, sarah. i'm so blessed by your sharing. very soothing in a way to read these posts. you are not alone, and i'm grateful you're willing to share your hurt.
(thanks for commenting on my blog so i could find you!)

psalm 59:16-17