She bit her lip and that to me was an instant giveaway. She took a deep breath and squinted at the screen as if trying to concentrate her focus. She promised to turn the screen if she could but she never did. She just kept taking pictures, clicking, and moving the wand. The silence was deafening and inside my head I was screaming at her, “SAY SOMETHING!! Anything, PLEASE!” But she didn’t. I closed my eyes for a brief moment and felt like it was August 15, 2011 all over again. Why is this happening again? Wasn’t one time more than enough?
* * * * * * * * * *
On April 27th, Brian and I walked into Trinity Hospital to get a first glimpse at our little peanut. According to my dates, I was 7weeks 2days along and I was pretty excited to see and hear the heartbeat of Makenzie’s baby brother or sister. The ultrasound started and the tech located baby right away along with a heartbeat of 113 bpm. However, based on measurements our little peanut was showing much smaller than expected, only 5 weeks 5 days. This obviously puzzled me because I had found out 3 ½ weeks prior I was pregnant so only showing 5w 5d really made no sense at all. But we saw the heartbeat and that was good news. My OB wanted to schedule a repeat u/s in 2 weeks to make sure our peanut was growing appropriately and everything looked good and so over the course of the next two weeks we prayed and asked God to bless us with another healthy baby.
Two weeks had passed and it was the day after Mother’s Day. I felt the same as I had been feeling for the last 3-4 weeks, tired, nauseous, but happy. Aside from being tired, feeling nauseous 90% of the day was something totally different to me. If I hadn’t randomly peed on a stick JUST because I missed a period I never would have known I was pregnant with Makenzie! It is one thing to feel nauseous when you are sick but when you have a life growing inside of you it’s something completely different and manageable. To me, those symptoms put me at ease and made me feel like everything was as it should be. It was a warm day in the Quad Cities on that Monday. The sun was shining when Brian and I walked hand in hand back into Trinity Hospital for the repeat u/s. The butterflies started to kick in as we were sitting waiting to be called back. I took a couple deep breathes and said another little prayer to God asking that our peanut had “caught up” and grown as well as had a nice, strong healthy heartbeat. Finally my name was called and once we got into the room the tech had me verify my name and birthdate and I went ahead and lay on the table while offering Brian a small smile.
She got started with the ultrasound and I knew immediately what I had feared in the back of my mind was coming true. She bit her lip. She did not say one word. The room was quiet. So quiet. My eyes did not leave her face as I searched and searched for some sort of reaction but she never said a word. She moved the wand and all I could hear was click, click, click. She was taking picture after picture, measurement after measurement. Finally, she stood up and said, “I’m going to have to talk with your OB,” and with that she left the room. After what seemed like an eternity, she came back and said, “Your OB is going to speak with you regarding the results.” I stood up, somewhat dazed and walked back downstairs to my OB’s office. I already had a scheduled appointment at 2p there and I knew prior that I was “supposed” to pee in a cup as all pregnant women have to do at each appointment. When I walked up to the desk, trying to hold myself together in a room full of pregnant momma’s, the lady at the desk didn’t hand me a cup like she should have which basically stomped on the last bit of hope I was holding onto at that point. I went and sat down with Brian and caught the eye of one of the receptionist who gave me the “I’m so sorry” look and I lost it. I couldn’t hold back the tears so I quickly walked into the bathroom and let it out. I was having déjà vu. Weren’t we just here 3 years ago? Doing this same thing? The nurse ushering us quickly into a room so I wasn’t sitting in the waiting room sniffling and holding back tears in front of a bunch of pregnant women? As I walked out of the bathroom a nurse called my name and we went into a room where she quietly took my vitals.
After she left, Brian and I sat in silence both wrestling with the thoughts in our heads. Moments later a soft knock sounded on the door and in came my OB. She looked at me sadly and said, “I don’t have good news for you today. I’m sorry but there wasn’t a heartbeat.” I closed my eyes, shook my head, and let the tears pour out.
I wanted to know details. She said the baby was only measuring a little over 8 weeks, so still a good week behind where he/she should have been. It’s possible the baby had caught up but then passed the week prior or the heart had just recently stopped beating within a few days time. She offered to do a repeat ultrasound in her office just in case the tech missed something. I jumped at her offer right away as I felt I needed to be absolutely positive this was truly the outcome. After what seemed like minutes of silence she softly said, “I’m sorry Stace, I’m not finding anything.” She assured me it was nothing that I had done but as a woman that’s not the easiest thing to accept.
After some thinking, talking, and consideration, Brian and I decided to go ahead and schedule a D&C for Wednesday that week. It was the week we were closing on our new house, in a new state, and my OB told me she had no idea when I would miscarry if I decided to do it naturally. It could be tomorrow or it could be in 2 months. The thought of feeling pregnancy symptoms each day when I was no longer carrying a growing baby was not something I could bear to go through.
I left the hospital that afternoon feeling a variety of emotions. I was sad, mad, frustrated, and even though we had only found out an hour and a half prior I felt completely emotionally drained. I walked to my car barely able to see from how dry and foggy my contacts had become and I pulled out my cell phone and made the first call to my sister. Her cell phone rang twice and she answered with, “Give me good news, Stace.” I choked out the words, “I wish I could but I can’t.”
Brian and I both went to get Makenzie from daycare after our appointment. I think that we both just longed to give our little baby girl, our healthy miracle, a hug and kiss. We walked into daycare and I’m sure I just looked like hell with blood shot eyes and hair in a bun all a mess. The girls there know Brian and I very well and they knew something was up. Makenzie saw us walk in and she immediately ran over to us, embracing her daddy first and then reaching out for me and hugged me just a little longer than normal. It’s amazing how perceptive they can be.
That night after Makenzie was in bed, the rain started falling from the sky and the thunder began rumbling, getting louder and louder. Brian and I sat in silence in the living room just listening to the storm outside. Finally, Brian looked at me and said, “I think this rain is God showing us he is crying too.” And I couldn’t have agreed with him more.
* * * * * * * * * *
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason even if we can’t see or understand what that reason is at the time. The way that I look at it is that Brian and I always pray for a healthy baby and although a miscarriage isn’t the way we want God to answer our prayers it’s what is in his infinite plan for us. This was his way of telling us our tiny little baby wasn’t healthy and because of that, God took our baby to be amongst the angels in heaven.
Brian and I suffered our first loss on August 15th, 2011. That day we were told our baby wasn’t growing appropriately and my hcg pregnancy levels were not doubling as they should have been. An ultrasound was done and the tech could not locate the sac, which led my OB to believe the pregnancy was somewhere else other than my uterus. I was given Methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy incase it was located in my tubes.
On August 15th, 2012, exactly one year later, I was induced at 36 weeks and Makenzie was born the next day. I like to think that during those stressful hours of labor and the emergency c-section, our angel baby was looking over his/her little sister and making sure she came into the world safe, happy, and healthy.
If Brian and I had not suffered our first miscarriage, Makenzie would not be here today. I can’t imagine our lives without her and it makes me sad to even entertain those thoughts. I do believe that Brian and I were meant to have Makenzie and that Jesus is holding our sweet babies in his arms waiting until the day we get to hold them and meet them for the first time.
* * * * * * * * * *
It’s been over 3 weeks since we found out and had the D&C. Thankfully God allowed this to happened during a time when most people would say, “As if you don’t have enough going on with the move and all the change.” But honestly, it’s helped me so much. I’ve stayed busy. And having a toddler to chase after and see smile and hear her laughter every day makes a huge difference. In the days after the D&C I posted on my Facebook page that the smile and laughter from my child is the best medicine in the world. And it really was and is. I would see Makenzie’s smiling face after a rough day of constant reminders and she made everything better for me. At first the mornings were incredibly rough. It was hard to get up and want to get out of bed but I knew that I owed it to her to be the best mommy possible and the best wife to Brian. I can’t forget about him because although I am going through a lot of physical and emotional pain, he is right there with me with pain and grieving of his own.
Based on measurements and ultrasound pictures, our baby’s due date would have been December 24th, Christmas Eve. I was on Facebook the other day and I saw two different friends posted their pregnancy announcements for their babies due in December. A mixture of happiness and sadness flooded over me, which I think is totally normal. I was obviously incredibly happy for this exciting time in their lives because it is the most magical and special feeling but it was also a sad reminder for me too.
* * * * * * * * * *
I know that this can be a touchy and tough subject for a lot of people and I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I wanted to write about it or not. I’m truly amazed at how many people have experienced a loss. Whether it be an early miscarriage, infertility, or stillborn baby. I have one very good friend who delivered her full term son sleeping. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. I think she is quite possibly one of the strongest people I know. To have to endure the pain that she has dealt with is something that I never, ever want to have to experience.
I feel very strongly in my heart that Makenzie will have a sibling living on this earth one day and maybe even 2 siblings who knows. We don’t know what God’s infinite plan is but I do know that I trust him, no matter how rocky the sea’s may get, it’s important to simply trust in him.
I’ll end saying this. The other day while looking on Pinterest I ran across a few poems that gave me a sense of peace. I want to share them with you in hopes that they may do the same for if you have ever suffered a loss or know someone that has.
I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn’t get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me?
And to think
when their little eyes opened
the first thing they saw was the
face of Jesus.