Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Getting Thru Your Due Date

When Your Due Date Comes For The Baby You Lost

December 1st has been written on my calendar for months now. Nine to be exact. It was the due date for our baby that we lost this spring. I would be lying if I didn't say that I have been dreading it. I feel like once the date passes by the chapter will finally be closed.

I should preface this by saying that I am so so so grateful that I have another baby on the way now.  I can only imagine the hurt that those who also go thru this experience feel when another isn't on the way. We are the lucky ones. The ones who will be getting a baby soon as long as all goes well. While today still hurts us, it's not as sad as it could be and for that I am grateful. The pain that they must be feeling when this date passes by for them must be even more upsetting. Is today still a hard day for me? Absolutely but today is also part of the healing process.

This post is not a pity post. I don't need you to feel bad for us. I needed to write this for myself as part of moving forward and also to share with others what I did to get thru it all incase they are sitting in the same boat that we were.

In late February of 2016 I'd like to think a miracle happened. Finally after two and a half years of trying for a baby, I was able to get pregnant. We learned we were expecting in early March. A few weeks into the pregnancy we also learned that things didn't look well. The heartbeat was slower than it should be and the baby just wasn't growing enough. They also noticed a subchorionic hemorrhage. This meant a lot of visits to the doctor for us in the coming weeks. It meant lots of ultrasounds, lots of praying and sadly lots of not so great news.

As we neared the end of the pregnancy the heartbeat began to get slower and slower. I remember coming in for the ultrasound on a Friday morning and it barely being there anymore. Since it was obviously still "alive" we had to wait it out. The next week felt like the longest week of my life. We knew what the outcome was going to be, it was just a matter of when. I prayed and prayed for a miracle, but I knew in my heart that the baby wasn't going to make it. My husband and I went in that Thursday morning and sure enough the heartbeat finally had stopped. They put us in a "private room" while we waited for the doctor. I had a hard time keeping it together knowing I had a dead baby inside of me while all the other women were there because they had babies on the way. An OB office is the last place you want to be when facing this news.

About 30 minutes later we waited for the doctor to share our options with us. I was given advice from friends and family who had went thru it to opt for the D&E to just get it over with. I had went thru enough trauma in the last few weeks I didn't want to have to see it or pass it on my own. The OR schedule for Friday was already full so I had to wait until Monday morning. Talk about torture. We were instructed that if it started to happen on it's own to go ahead and come to the ER. That weekend was the only weekend in my life I had ever taken anything for anxiety but I decided I needed it.

Monday morning came. We dropped our son off at daycare and headed to the hospital. We spoke not much of a word to each other the whole way there. We rode hand in hand both sad for our little family. I was admitted and prepped for surgery around 9 am. I remember lying there just crying. I wanted the nightmare to end. The day was a blur. It took me awhile to come out of recovery. We didn't get home that day until 4:30pm or so. It will forever be one of the worst days of our marriage. We faced it together but it rocked us. It was a kind of sad that can't be explained.

The coming weeks were a whirlwind of emotions. I had taken most all of that week off of work and never left my bed. I was emotionally spent and sad. I stayed off social media, I ignored phone calls, visits and messages. I shut the world out and I don't regret that. I had to mourn the loss alone.
As the weeks passed by I started to "come to terms" with the fact that we were not having another baby. I struggled as friends around me shared the news of their own pregnancy. I watched as their bellies began to expand while mine didn't and now nine months later, I am now watching many of them welcome babies into the world.

I would never say that I am "grateful" to have lost a baby. But I will say that I am grateful for the journey that this loss took me on. I couldn't have said that then, but today nine months later I can. I am forever changed because of this. That journey brought me closer to God. It tested my faith, it showed me that marriage has hard days and that life will sometimes give you lemons. It helped me to be even more grateful for our son and the family that we did have.

There were days of crying in the shower and crying myself to sleep. There were workouts that were more like therapy sessions and there were books I read and podcast that I needed. I clung to Joel Osteen messages for hope and I spent time being a little broken. There was healing in all of it. Today I am able to share my story and it doesn't make me cry like it used it.

There is no answer of how long it will take you to feel better if you're the one going thru this. Maybe you will heal quickly, maybe it will take months and maybe even years. It will happen at different times for all of us. Sometimes it takes going thru something really hard to appreciate the joy in new beginnings. While this pregnancy I am going thru has been a wonderful unexpected blessing, it's also bittersweet. I look at it thru new eyes. It makes me appreciate each day even more than I would have had I not lost a child.

There will be a blessing in your own storm if you're the one going thru it. I can't tell you when, but I can tell you to keep your faith, keep your chin up and know that you're not alone. If your friend or family member is going thru this, send them a card, make them a dinner, bring wine. Whatever you feel like doing, just show up because they need you more than they will ever let on.

Today I am planning to purchase a lemon tree for inside our home because I have no idea what your supposed to do on your "due date" other than be sad. It's going to be my way of not just remembering the baby, but also remembering the journey we have been on while learning a hard life lesson. We took one of our most sour lemons that life handed to us and made something that resembled lemonade.We grew stronger in our marriage and my roots grew deeper in my faith. I wish I could say this is our only lemon we will be handed in life. I know it won't be and I probably won't be ready for it when it happens, but I will approach it with grace just like we did when life handed us this lemon.

Thanks for supporting us on this journey. Keep the prayers coming for our rainbow baby. We appreciate them more than you know. I know God is using me to be a light for others going thru this. My hope is that I give you hope for your own family.


1 comment :

  1. My heart goes out to you and your family. I don't know what words of comfort I can give. I hope you and your family are comforted. 💞