Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To Lose A Baby...

This morning I was reading a blog written by a friend of a friend on miscarriage etiquette.  While reading it, I thought this is "common sense", but it occurred to me that it really isn't.  I realized that even though I had experienced a loss, I still have made some of the mistakes talked about in this blog.  Chances are that even if you haven't experienced a miscarriage yourself, you have known someone who has.  It is a loss like no other.  There is no making it better.  If it is your loss, you most likely dealt with it in your own way, and in your own time.  If it was someone else's loss, more than likely you were at a loss yourself!  A loss of words.  When a friend or family member experiences a miscarriage, as a general rule of thumb, we don't know what to say!  So, we open our mouths and insert our feet!  When you don't know what to say, it is probably best NOT to say anything!
From experience, I didn't really want to talk at all.  We experienced a miscarriage before we got pregnant with Abbie.  The miscarriage taught us a few things.  1) Even though we thought we weren't ready to have a baby, we were.  Losing the baby showed us that we were ready to be parents.  2) It is possible to be completely in love with something so early on.  I lost the baby at 8 weeks.  It didn't matter how early in the pregnancy it was, I had already fallen in love with my unborn child, and was excited about being a mommy.
We had already picked names for the baby!  We had a boy and a girl name, Caleb & Emma.  We were in love with that baby.
With that being said, there was NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that anyone could say to make it better.  It amazed me when people would call and say things like "It's just God's plan."  I didn't care what his plan was at the time, I simply wanted to grieve.  I can remember sitting on the couch with all of the blinds closed, staring at the cable box, and watching the clock change.  I stared at the box for over 2 hours.  I didn't make a single phone call, however my phone exploded.  When I finally was able to answer and talk, you could tell that people didn't know what to say.  However, they said the things that no one going through a loss like this wants to hear.  I did have one phone call from someone that was pretty perfect.  My pastor called me, he is so wonderful.  Pastor Don from Westover Church in Greensboro, NC, had married Derik and I, and we love him dearly.  He called and said this "Jessica, I am so sorry for your loss.  I know how hard this is on you, and I want to pray for you.  (Then he prayed.)".  He prayed for God to give me peace, and for God to take care of the little one that I had lost.  It was the phone call that snapped me out of my silent depression.  On my way to work the next day, where I taught 2 year olds, I had to call out.  I couldn't bear the thought of spending the day with kids, after losing my own.  That was really the worst of it, and after, I dealt with it in my own way.  I had many people, especially parents of kids that I taught, say even weeks later "I heard you were having a baby", and I would have to discuss it all over again.
Eventually the pain stopped being so present.  It still makes me sad, but I am grateful for Abigail & Brayden.  I am not sure how things would have happened if I had not lost that baby.  I most likely wouldn't have the 2 wonderful children that God blessed me with.  Maybe that is my own personal way of accepting the loss.  Everyone has there own recipe for dealing with a loss.  Unfortunately, I know many people who have experienced this loss and pain as well.  Most have all dealt with it differently.
At 10 weeks pregnant with Brady, I was sure we were having another miscarriage.  We left our vacation early and headed to our doctor.  The ultrasound showed that Brady was fine, and we had a simple issue that seemed for the most part to fix itself.  However, in the 5 hour drive to the doctor, I experienced the same empty depression all over again.  If you know someone who has had multiple losses, it never gets easier.  Do not assume that just because they have experienced it before that they are okay, and numb to the pain.

For those of you who have lost a baby, I am truly sorry for your loss.  If I said something inappropriate to you, I apologize.  I know how hard it is to lose a baby, and I wouldn't wish that pain on an enemy.
The blog I read this morning, is a GREAT read for miscarriage etiquette!  Click HERE to read it.  Maybe it will help when you are at a lose of words in the future!  I have a box of some of the sweet cards I received during that tough time.  I will say "Be Sorry from a Distance" is actually what I wanted! 


In honor of the little one we lost...
Emma Caleb January 2009
"To think when your little eyes opened, you saw the face of Jesus."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Post-Op Praise

Well, since I last posted on July 16, we have had all kinds of chaos in our household!  After Abbie & Derik both dealt with full, HORRIBLE cases of Hand Foot & Mouth, I ended up with my own medical issues!  My back pain reached it's peak, and after a chiropractic adjustment provided no relief, my chiropractor suggested going to the ER and have an ultrasound done to check my gall bladder.  Turned out, I had many, and I mean MANY gall bladder stones!  That was Friday, July 27th, and they sent me home.  They told me that I needed to call back on Monday and schedule my surgery.  And on I went with my weekend. 

Saturday morning we went to a birthday party for one of Abbie's best friends!  I wasn't feeling very good toward the end of the party, and I decided I needed to take a nap when I got home.  I woke up from my nap in some of the worst pain I have ever experienced.  One of my amazing friends, Meredith (who has carted me to the hospital too many times to count), picked me up and we headed to the hospital!  After some AMAZING pain meds were administered, the doctor came in with some bad news.  My levels had sky rocketed, and I needed immediate surgery to have my gall bladder removed.  So, off to surgery I went!  Derik barely made it to the hospital in time, and I was so glad that he did!

After surgery, I was given the good news and the bad news.  Good news, my gall bladder was out, and I should be feeling better soon!  The bad news, one of the stones jumped ship from my gall bladder and plugged my bile duct.  That meant that I needed a 2nd procedure.  They scheduled it for Monday, and after waiting a LONG time... we headed up for the procedure to be done.  The procedure was successful, however... it created another issue, pancreatitis. 

At this point, I was so sick, and so tired of being at the hospital, that I swore they were making this up!  I had bad jaundice, and the pancreatitis rendered me unable to eat ANYTHING!  I was ordered to not have ANYTHING by mouth for 2 days.  When I was finally able to eat again, I took it slow, and it paid off.  I was FINALLY discharged to go home on Thursday, Aug 2, and was so happy to leave!  I would have skipped to the car, but they make you sit in a wheelchair! 

My dad and his girlfiriend, Carol, had picked the kids up on the Saturday of my surgery.  They spent the night here Saturday, and took the kids back to Greensboro, NC, for the week.  My mom brought them back home to me the Friday after my discharge.  That was by far the hardest part my hospital stay.  Not seeing my kids sunk me.  I had no cell phone signal, so skype wasn't even an option.  However, they came home to me in one piece, and were just as happy to see me as I was to see them!

As a mommy, sometimes I forget to take care of myself!  I have to remind myself, and really work hard to make sure I focus on recovering!  I wasn't supposed to pick up Brady for a while, but how can you not pick up that sweet chunky little thing!!!  Recovery has been hard, and I know it isn't over, but I am getting there!

Thank you to all of you who helped us out (in so many ways) and to all of you who kept praying for myself and our family.  We can't say thank you enough.  We are truly grateful to have such amazing friends and family!

 - Jessica