My oh My, How Things Change!

IMG_0443To say these past few weeks have been a learning experience would be the understatement of the century. I’ve had monumental highs to incredible, dark lows of despair that I wasn’t sure I would ever find my way out of. I learned to rely on those close to me, because without them, I’d be forever stuck. I accepted help when every ounce of me wanted to refuse it for the sake of my husband, son and myself. I even went as far as entering into a intensive outpatient treatment facility in hopes to deal with grief and pain I’ve done nothing but run from for months on end.

I guess you could say the day we buried our son, a huge part of me stayed with his vessel in that grave yard. While his soul, I’m certain, has moved onto something far more beautiful than words can describe, the last “thing” of my son was just right there beneath this stone. If I could have, I think at times I would have dug the hole and curled up ready to die right next to him. I didn’t know how to mourn; How to grieve such a heavy grief; How to even cry in front of my own family. My own two year old son had rarely seen “momma” cry. I refused to let him see that emotion in fear of scaring him or confusing him.

Now, with time, and intensive therapy, I’m learning as a child, he needs to see these raw emotions. While throwing things at the wall, smashing or punching things, or screaming aren’t necessarily the healthy routes to take to express and convey my grief, the tears are a normal and natural process that he needs to know are more that ok. If not for himself, than for his future wife and children (or husband if that’s what he chooses.) Don’t get me wrong, this whole crying in front of others’ thing isn’t like a on/off switch; It’s certainly a gradual process, but one I’m willing to work on, for not only my health, but the health of my family.

Also with therapy came new medications (Some days I feel like a walking pharmacy and have went as far as carrying a list so I don’t forget them all!!) The new medication, while not a magic wand and instant fix, gradually is bringing me out of the depths of total darkness giving me quite of a few days of sheer joy mixed in with a few days of utter despair. Hopefully, with further therapy and continued better communication with my husband (oh and this fabulous new hobby I call a regular sleep schedule) things will slowly keep improving and the days of despair will merely be a distant memory.

Along with this, we’ve been pondering ideas to honor Caden’s life, no matter how short. At first I thought something small and gravesight would be nice, but after thinking more and discussing it in therapy I decided mentally, I wasn’t too sure that would be benefitial to ANYONE involved. So instead we are thinking of ways instead to give back. I see Caden’s life as a true, however unexpected, gift and miracle. Even with him gone, I still stand firm in my belief. God gifted us with a miracle for 20 weeks, so how can we not “return the gift” in some small way?

Now as we begin the week, I pray the Lord leads us to where we could do the most good,guides another secretive project I’ve been throwing around and gathering ideas for, and also watches over our family as we proceed with a few doctors appointments and testing that could potentially be life changing for us as a family. I pray over not only my family of three, but also some other members currently having their own struggles. May God give us all his peace, loving and caring guidance and clarity as we go forward this week!!

Much Love!!

Lets re-route!

So, as some have noted, I took a bit of a hiatus after my first two blog posts. I needed time to process and think a little about what my desire was for this blog. Obviously, if my experience can help just one person, I have fulfilled part of my goal. Now whether that be a woman who is going through a similar situation, their spouse or partner, or even those that are friends, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles….it does not matter to me: One person reading this and knowing that while we lost something significant…HUGE….completely life changing, not all is lost.

Do not give up my friends.

Now after saying that, I do want to emphasize the fact that a loss of this magnitude may have a dramatic effect on not only the parents but everyone close to the couple experiencing what I like to call the rollercoaster ride that never seems to end and that I never remember purchasing a ticket for.

 Do not despair.

Do not throw in the towel simply because today, this week, or this month was bad. You certainly have to LOOK (and I mean really search some days), for something “good” in each day. Some days are easier than others, I’ll be the first to admit. Some days I had to use the same “good thing” as I had used previously (ie: my loving supportive spouse, my living rambunctious son, the fact that even if I had no appetite at I knew we had food in the house that I could eat at whatever point I chose;  see where I’m going here my friends?) However, I made it a point from the day we buried our son Caden to do just what I’m telling you. I would look at my entire day and pinpoint at least one good thing and then, being a Christian and making a huge step in building a foundation in my faith, I would not only thank God but PRAISE him.

Odd? Maybe to some, but to me God deserved at least that much from me. Yes, my son was “taken back”, as I say. However, in an attemot to see the silver lining, if I put in my very best effort in this life, I will see him again. Hopefully he will be waiting for me at Heavens gate. Also, I lost my son which is life altering in itself, but reflecting on my entire life, I could have lost SO much more.

God blessed me by allowing me to keep so many really spectacular people, things, and memories in my life.

All you readers out there who are unfortunate enough to be in my families shoes, I virtually embrace each of you and hope you know…

You are not, nor will you ever be alone. Satan stole a piece of your life, don’t let him steal your entire soul in the process.

 

And The End Begins…

For those that have followed my two previous blog posts, I thank you for letting me use you as an outlet to release the pain and anxiety that has riddled me since May. I thank you for the kind messages I have received. I merely write this as a therapeutic outlet for myself as I continue to learn and grow with God’s loving grace. If anyone can even grasp a minute sense of what I have gone through, you yourself are going through, or even maybe a friend or family member is going through…well then I have succeeded in this avenue of therapy for myself.

After my ultrasound and being on the receiving end of such devastating news, we were told to go home and think things over. We quickly escaped from the back door of the OB’s office, out of sight of all the other patients both those that were expecting and new moms alike. To say my head was spinning would be the understatement of the century. My heart felt like it had been ripped from my chest, stomped on, set on fire, and then returned to the vacant cavity where it once were happily beating away and full of love and life.

I immediately picked up my phone when we reached my car to call my mother; to this day, my mom admits she knew when the phone rang that something was wrong. (Yeah, my mom is that amazing!) I do not recall the conversation we had. I do not recall who Josh called or talked to or what he said, but I do remember vividly what my mother said when I told her the news. “It’s going to be okay.” She said it so calmly and with such certainty that I believed it that afternoon. I still wonder how she did that…how did she calm her daughter who was falling apart with such a simple sentence. Where did she even come up with that? How did she know? What was going on in her head at heart in that moment and how was she so darn strong? My mothers strength was exactly what I needed in that moment.

My husband drove the hour drive back to the house and we made plans for our impending delivery. I remember we did little things to busy ourselves as we awaiting his mother and step-dad to arrive with Mason. I remember sitting in our desk chair and calling my OB to explain to her we wanted to proceed that night. I remember we discussed risks and possible challenges for delivery including possible need for a cesarean section or a D&C after delivery to remove the placenta. Other than that, I have no recollection of what we did really or what we said, but I do remember a lot of crying. When Mason arrived he sensed that his parents were not okay. I’ll never forget that tiny grin as his bright blue eyes searched our faces for the parents he knew; the parents that had dropped him off that morning at the sitter but were no longer sitting there in front of him. All we could do was hug our little boy and cry as each parent arrived with condolences, hugs, “I love you’s”, and food that I would never eat.

We set off for the hospital for induction at about 8pm on May 19th, 2016. When we arrived it was 9pm and we were instructed to go to OB. At that time I was working in OB so I knew where to go and what to do. I knew more than I really wanted to in that moment. I knew what room I’d be going to. LDR 5. That was our designated stillbirth room. It was still in labor and delivery, yet off to the side down a quieter corridor. We made our way to the third floor and walked to the labor and delivery desk where my co-worker greeted me and instructed me to go to room 5. I remember feeling so numb and thinking about the stillbirths I had saw come and go in this exact room…now I was one of them. It felt so strange to be a part of that number now.

By 10pm the IV was in place and the first induction agent was in place. I asked for something to sleep and fell asleep at some point. I awoke at about 5:30 am to intense cramping. I knew this was the beginning of the end for us…I was beginning to make progress.

 

Changed Forever

So,  day two of this blog stuff. I decided to take a break from the first because, well, our loss is still pretty fresh. Everything that I wrote about in the first post took place in the early afternoon of May 19, 2016. To speak so openly of the events that took place still makes my heart ache. I often wonder if this ache is something that will ever dissipate or if maybe, perhaps, I’ll just become used to it…similar to the way we get used to scars we see on our bodies from various illness, injuries, or surgeries. Only time will tell I suppose.

After our ultrasound tech dealt us the horrendous words of no heartbeat, I vividly remember looking to my husband Josh. I don’t know what I expected in that moment; for Josh to laugh and tell me she was only telling a sick joke or that he would fix this like he had fixed everything in our lives up to this point? I honestly don’t know what I was looking for when I looked at him, but to see him cover his face with both hands and gasp, “Oh my God”, was entirely too much. My world quickly crumbled, and this is where my memory becomes shakey.

You see, in traumatic events our brains have ways of protecting us. Our brains begin blocking things out and over time, traumatic events become difficult to recall in detail. I still find myself looking towards my husband to fill in the blanks that my innermost being craves to know but my brain refuses to release.

I vividly remember following suit and covering, almost grabbing, my face. The only difference between Josh and I? I refused to except what was clearly in front of us. I began shaking my head and frantically yelling “No, no, no, no, no!” I remember hearing another patient’s baby’s heart beating steadily through the paper-thin walls of the OB’s office. I remember glancing at the screen thinking surely at some point I’d see a flutter of my baby’s heart or a sudden kick or punch. There was and would be nothing.

As I violent sobbed, my husband brought his chair over and grabbed my hand. My entire body was trembling by that point and as the ultrasound tech fought against my trembling abdomen to obtain the proper measurments she needed prior to getting the OB, all I could think was this couldn’t be happening to us. Not after what all we had been through. Infertility for years, a IUI that led to our ectopic pregnancy and a emergency surgery, then being told the chances of us ever conceiving on our own were slim, to proceeding with IVF to conceive our baby boy, to a long weekend getaway and HUGE surprise less than 2 weeks later….God “wouldn’t” do this to US. Thinking clearly now, God wouldn’t do this to any of His children; but the devil sure would. There is evil in this world, and we were simply on the receiving end of Satan’s evil work this time.

I remember the ultrasound tech instructing me not to cover my abdomen, “In case the doctor wants to get more measurements” and left us alone as she went to get our OB. I’m sure she was only gone a couple minutes; in that moment however, listening to the baby’s heart beating next door with my dead baby on the screen, it felt like a eternity. I do not recall the words, if any, that were exchanged between my husband and I. Vaguely I want to say I asked Josh “why”, but honestly it could be something I’ve dreamt of in the many dreams I’ve had since that day.

When our OB entered, she was already tearing up. That was my answer. This was real. This just happened. The doctor quietly wiped the gel from my belly and pulled my shirt back down, all the while tears falling down her cheeks. All I could think of at that point was now I have to deliver my stillborn child. Now I have to proceed with a induction and deliver my stillborn baby or possibly, due to a prior section, have a repeat C-section if things didn’t go well. How was I going to do this? I wasn’t stong enough. I couldn’t handle this.

We discussed delivery options, but I knew a E&C was NOT a option for us. I worked in surgery and knew what they consisted of and I could not do that to our child. Besides, I needed to see and hold this baby. I needed to name this baby. This was my child. I needed that much. After deciding on delivery method, we decided to go home to discuss when to proceed. Frankly, before leaving I made sure to ask for a sleeping aide and antidepressant. I knew they both were must’s to get through this time. We were instructed to go home, think about it, possibly sleep at home in our own bed, but to text or call when we had come to our decision.

There wasn’t much thinking I had to do. I knew I wanted to proceed that night. We just needed to go home first to hug and kiss our son Mason, make plans for him for that night and the following day and possibly night, and see our parents. I knew I’d never sleep that night because I’d obsess over what I was carrying inside of me; my child that was there yet gone. A child I was supposed to protect, and yet, didn’t.

The After…

I’m completely new at this blog stuff, so bare with me as I learn as I go. My name is Sarah, I’m 30 years old, wife to Josh, mom to son Mason and two fur babies Jet and Colt, and two angel babies Caden and our heavenly surprise baby.

All my life I’ve written down my feelings, my thoughts, and my wild ideas and dreams. Through my short thirty years on earth, I’ve been quick to pick up the pen and paper during tough times to unload what is on my mind. However, I have been just as quick to drop my healthy way of releasing anxiety when life turned around or just got busy. Funny, writing that I think of the Bible and how I seem to do the same with the good book. In hard times I rely heavily on God, but seem to drop Him as soon as things “look brighter”. Wow, may this whole “blogging thing” will be a good outlet afterall.

This year my husband and I experienced something I would never wish upon even my biggest and worst enemy. You see, after years of infertility, a IUI that led to a ectopic pregnancy, IVF that gave us our rambunctious little man who can’t seem to wait for ANYTHING (let alone his due date!!), we got pregnant unexpectedly in January. Talk about a huge surprise. 5 pregnancy tests later and I still was in shock. It wasn’t until we saw the little dot on our first ultrasound that it sank in. We were having another baby. We would have two under two. Two children, 18 months apart. In a tiny 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom house. How was this going to work?! How could this be?! We didn’t care, because no matter what happened, this baby was a miracle like none other for us. A reason to believe and proof above all else that God DOES exist and still works in our lives every single day.

The pregnancy started out rough. You name it, this pregnancy I was lucky enough to have it. I found myself miserable early on and complaining frequently. Something just two years prior, I swore I would never do if God ever blessed us with a pregnancy. I found myself critizing my husband far more. I was short and frequently lost my patience with our almost one year old at the time. Chalk it up to hormones or sickness or whatever you want to call it, but I call it being ungrateful and unaware of how quickly you can lose it all.

At our 20 week anatomy scan Josh and I decided (much to our families disappointment) not to find out the gender. I mean this pregnancy was a surprise, why not let he or she be one too in October. Our hour long drive to the doctors office that day was mostly filled with silence. We had taken our son Mason to his sitter that morning, signed the papers to close on a loan to start a addition to our house, and then made the hour long treck to the doctor. Something inside of me told me not to get excited. Its odd looking back. For Mason’t anatomy scan I was so excited and anxious. For this one, I just felt nothing. No anxiety riddled my body, no excitement radiated from core. I literally felt numb. I think now, that was God’s way of proctecting us. I think inside, I knew, yet couldn’t come to terms with it. I think my body knew something was wrong so my brain went into denial and protect mode.

As we quietly shuffled into the ultrasound room, we were happy to know the same ultrasound tech who was with us for both our ectopic as well as for the majority of Mason’s ultrasounds, would also be there for this one. We started small talk as she prepared. We were asked if we wanted to find out the gender and we politely said, “No, not with this one.” I slowly laid back and watched the the tech as she placed the probe on my abdomen. It was only when I saw her face that I looked at the screen. Working in th medical field I knew what we were “supposed” to see. There wasn’t a flutter of the heart beating; no kicking or random punches. In fact there was no squirming around at all. It was then we were told the words that changed our lives; changed the core of who we would forever be.

“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”