The Fam

The Fam

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th

Today is officially Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. President Ronald Reagan declared October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month in 1988, and since 2002, October 15th has been the specific day. Everyone lights a candle at 7:00pm to remember. I came home from a photo session, and coincidentally, Hooper had a candle burning. I asked him if it was because of the day. He had no idea what I was talking about, and said it was because the living room smelled like dog pee. But hey, we had a candle burning. And of course I remembered our baby. I thought about it a lot today, but no more or less than any other day. The loss is still so fresh, and not thinking about it is a task.
Hooper got home last Wednesday, and my D & C was Thursday. It went very smoothly. I had to fast, and I'm always a real grump any time I have to fast. Not to mention my surgery wasn't scheduled until 12:30, so I was even hungrier than most surgery fasters. (Yes, I was!) When I was in the pre-op room, I noticed a rack on the wall with prayer cards/papers in them. I was really touched by the gesture, and it honestly put me at ease.
I was totally anesthetized for the surgery, and then I woke up to the sweetest nurses taking care of me. When the super duper sweet one passed me off, I just broke down crying. I know it was a mixture of the drugs and my emotions, but I just felt so sad. Right after that is when Hooper came back, and I cried to him, too. It was weird to think that my baby was no longer in my belly. We left the hospital and got something for me to eat (finally!), and came home. I felt totally normal on the way home- not like I had just been under anesthesia at all. I took about an hour and a half nap when I got home. Not because I needed to, just because I wanted to. I was expecting to feel totally drowsy and to take a deep, 4-5 hour nap. Then I expected to sleep a very deep sleep that night. My expectations were wrong. I slept horribly that night. In fact, I didn't start sleeping well until Sunday night. Friday I went to my mom's house and hung out with her and the kids to keep my mind off of everything. Hooper left town to play a gig in San Marcos. He was hesitant to leave me, but I assured him that all was well. Mom and Elliott and Bennett had a slumber party with us Friday night and we had a good time. Saturday night my best girlfriends and I went to dinner and saw "Legally Blonde" the musical at The Opera House.
It was really good for me to put makeup on and get out of my neighborhood. Finley saw me when I got ready and said, "You look better." (The night of the surgery she said, "You look different", and when I asked her what I looked like she said, "yike an old mom".) So her compliment gave me a little pep in my step. The next day Hooper and I took the kids to the State Fair to meet Eddie, Anna, Elliott, Beckett, Bennett, and baby Jude. 

The weather was absolutely perfect for the fair. We got there when they opened, which is the only way I'd advise going. 

Monday I returned to work for the first time since all of this. I was nervous that a client might ask me about the pregnancy, and that I'd have to tell them I lost the baby. I'm just not really sure if I can handle that sentence without tears yet, so it makes me nervous. Luckily, nobody asked me, and the day went just fine. It actually felt good to be back. Tuesday was my day off, and my cousin from Dallas met me in Glen Rose to go to Fossil Rim with the kids. She has 3 kids, and I brought Bennett, Finley and Fisher. It was an awesome day. We all had such a great time.






I'm totally blown away by all of the flowers, cards, and meals that we have received. People are so kind.I'm just taking things day by day, but I've actually gone 2 out of the past 3 days without crying. And Meatloaf once said, "two out of three ain't bad". And I love Meatloaf. More so the food than the singer. But I do like, "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I won't Do That)". 

I'm going to try to keep updating my blog throughout the healing process. If anybody is in the same boat as me, my secret to laughter is slumber parties with family, girls' nights, the State Fair, Fossil Rim, my children, and jokes about Meatloaf. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Loss

When I found out I was pregnant with Finley, I knew that I should resist telling everyone until the second trimester because miscarriages are more likely in the first trimester, and when you tell everyone, it's hard to make sure that all of those same people find out if something goes wrong. Even though I was aware of this, I couldn't wait to shout it out from the rooftops. Now fast forward to Fisher. When I found out about Fisher, I felt the same resistance about telling everyone. My 10 year class reunion approached, and I was about 10 weeks along and figured I'd go ahead and announce it since I'd tell everyone at the reunion anyway.
And now fast forward to this baby. I was hesitant on publicizing this pregnancy for the same reasons. Not that I've ever had a miscarriage before, but moms are generally just a little more freaked out in the first trimester. Despite my hesitation, we verbally told so many people that I was pregnant, so when 10 weeks rolled around, we were like, "What the heck", and we announced it on social media. The tricky thing about social media is that people might see one post, but then not see any other posts from you for a while. Even though we announced it on social media, and verbally told several people, the one thing I was holding back from was my column in the paper. I wanted to have my 12 week appointment before announcing it on such a large platform. Which brings us to yesterday.
I don't like seeing Dr. Deem in Granbury because they don't have ultrasound technology in that office, so I usually schedule all of my appointments at the Ft. Worth office. But I scheduled yesterday's in Granbury because I had a hair appointment afterward. When I went in, the first thing they do is weigh me (which I dread). I didn't gain any weight since the last visit, which I thought was awesome. Then I went in the exam room and answered all of the questions the nurse had for me. She reached for the doppler to measure the baby's heartbeat, and this sounds crazy, but I had a feeling of dread and fear and I watched in slow motion as she brought it to my stomach. She couldn't find the heartbeat, but said that's common with being so early. She said Dr. Deem would probably come right in and find it immediately. So she left the room and I sat there alone for what felt like a very long time. I was nervous. And something didn't feel right. Dr. Deem walked in and tried to find the heartbeat with no luck either. She didn't seem pessimistic about it, and said that the placenta was on the front, which can make it harder to hear the baby. She said that I could either come back next week for them to try again, or I could drive to Ft. Worth and have an ultrasound for peace of mind. I chose to drive to Ft. Worth. But only after I had lunch with Beckett (because I had already promised her) and went to my hair appointment (because it's hard to get in). I stayed upbeat and told Hooper and my family not to worry, but on the inside I was scared. Hooper is away at a work conference, and he wanted to meet me at the appointment. I assured him that it was going to be fine. Anna wanted to leave work and go with me, but I told her the same. My mom wanted to load up all the grandkids and all go with me, but I just wanted to go by myself. When I got there, they got me back pretty quickly. My ultrasound tech was a lady named Jeanie. She did our ultrasounds with Finley, and did one of mine with Fisher. She has a very sweet voice and she exudes a feeling of peace. She started the ultrasound and I saw no movement. I can't read ultrasounds very well, and I don't really ever understand fully what I'm looking at. But it looked to me like a large open area (my uterus) and a little withered pile in the left corner. I looked at her face and she looked concerned. She said, "Chelsea. This is your baby. And I'm very sorry to say that I'm not finding a heartbeat." My heartbeat increased and I said "Okay." Such a strange word to say because I was everything but okay. "Okay" means that you understand, you accept. But I didn't understand or accept. She said she was going to go get the doctor on call and call Dr. Deem. I called Hooper and told him then I called my mom. I texted Anna and my brother. Jeanie came back in and said Dr. Deem was on the phone for me. She handed me the phone and Dr. Deem was really sweet and apologetic. She told me that I can do this naturally and let everything pass on my body's time, or I can do a D & C. I chose the D & C, and set it up for Thursday (tomorrow) so that Hooper is back in town.
I left Ft. Worth and drove back to Granbury. Anna insisted on pedicures, so I agreed to that. When we were leaving, I saw someone I know in the parking lot and she said, "Hey! Congratulations!" and I smiled and said, "Thank you." It was a little preview of what I'm going to have to deal with in the coming months. I wish there was a way to make sure that every single person that knows I was pregnant could find out that I miscarried. I need a tshirt that says, "I miscarried. Please don't talk to me about it." That's another thing. I really don't want to talk about it. I don't like crying in public for multiple reasons. One reason is that once I cry for the first time in a day, it's like the flood gates have opened and anything can set off tears for the rest of the day. Another reason is that I have an incredibly ugly cry face. :) Oh yeah, and a bad cry voice, too.
Last night I told Finley about it and she bawled. She said, "But I want you to have a baby! Why did it die!?" And just like 3 year olds do, she quickly seemed to get over it. Then came up to me and said, "I'm sad. About the new baby. And that's why's I have tears." I went to Anna and Eddie's last night with the kids to keep my mind in a happy place, and then my mom came and spent the night. When my mom came over, Finley gave her almost a word for word description of what I told her about the baby. (By the way, Hooper wanted to come home and I insisted that he stay at his conference.)
While I was typing this out, Dr. Deem called me to check on me. I asked her when they think I miscarried and she said that the baby measured 8 weeks and 5 days yesterday, and at my last sonogram it measured 8 weeks and 0 days. Yesterday I was 12 weeks. She said it happened somewhere around September 20th. She also said that more than likely there was something wrong with the baby and it wouldn't have survived outside of the womb. Maybe doctors say that to make patients feel better, I don't know. But I'm gonna go with it.
So here I am. Tomorrow is the D & C. I'm nervous about it. How am I? Physically I'm fine. I haven't had any cramping or spotting or any signs or symptoms of a miscarriage, which is super weird to me since this has been going on for weeks. Emotionally I'm not very good. My baby died. My baby that I had decided was going to be a girl, that was due on April 21st, that I was going to have on either April 13 or 15 via C-Section, that was going to have an adorable nursery, that was going to look like Fisher and Finley, died. It's not just a fetus that almost turned into a baby. It was my baby from the moment it was conceived. And it died. And with it, part of me did, too. But I'll be okay. I tell myself that this happens to people all the time. Some people go through this multiple times. But then again, other people aren't me. And it's never happened to me before.
But I will be okay. I will be okay. I will be okay.
Here's the only picture I have, from the 8 week sonogram.