Thursday, February 7, 2013

Life After a Loss

I am having a hard time keeping up with the blog these days!  We have been dealing with a lot of illness and I, quite frankly, am exhausted.  Sleep is not easy to come by these days and I am praying that I do not become the next victim of the strep throat bug that is making its way around the house.  I have to get ready for the big birthday party this weekend and then turn right around and get organized for our vacation.  I am looking forward to warmer weather and few extra sets of hands for a week!  Maybe, just maybe, the kids will be so worn out from running around outside that they'll sleep well (fingers crossed!).

The end of last week marked the five year anniversary of when we found out we had lost our second baby.  I got pregnant when our oldest son was nine months old and had an uncomplicated pregnancy up to that point.  A few days before our twelve week appointment, I began spotting and knew something was wrong.  I can recall the night it happened.  We were watching American Idol on a Wednesday night and my husband was preparing to fly out of town at the end of the week for a job interview.  We called the doctor, were told to come in the next morning, and an ultrasound confirmed what I already knew.  Our little Peanut was gone.

When we first found out, I think I just shut off my emotions.  I don't recall crying at the doctor's office and maybe not even on the long drive home.  They gave me the option to have a procedure or wait it out.  We opted to wait it out for a few days to see if nature would take it's course.  The next day, things began to happen, and in the wee hours of the night our little one was "born."  I know that sounds like a strange term to use, but to me that's what happened.  It was awfully painful and then it was over.  God graced us with a snowstorm and delayed my husband's flight, so I at least got to see him once it was over.

I recall the next few days being terribly painful physically and emotionally.  My mother-in-law came out to help with our little guy and I rested in bed for a few days.  I was still nursing and remember crying each time I would feed him, both for the baby we would never know and the sweet little boy we were lucky to have.  Those next few months were terribly difficult and a lot of tears were shed.  I thought for sure we would get pregnant again right away, but my levels took forever to drop off and it took longer than I had anticipated.  After five months of not-so-patiently waiting, we were blessed with positive pregnancy test, and our little Princess began growing away.

Needless to say, we've been very blessed since then with our Princess, the little guy and the baby on the way.  Having a miscarriage is a very painful and difficult time for both the mother and the father, though I feel  the mother struggles more.  Naturally you look to yourself and try to think if there's anything you could have possibly done to harm your child.  It's very sad when you realize that you are no longer growing a little one inside.  If you are like us, you had shared the news with everyone never thinking that anything could go wrong, and then you have to break the bad news.  It's a very hard thing to do and seems to make many people very uncomfortable.    

But then something happens.  Once you become a member of the miscarriage "club," people begin to open up about their own experiences.  You soon realize that there seem to be more people who have had a miscarriage than haven't.  It was my experience that many people who shared their own experience with me seemed to have lost their second pregnancy.  As odd as it sounds, it was quite comforting to know that I wasn't alone and see that most of these women had gone on to have successful pregnancies.

For me, healing took a long time.  I continued to think in terms of how many weeks I should have been all the way up to the due date.  I then moved onto how many weeks or months old the baby would be.  Over time, the raw pain subsided, but the thoughts of our Peanut have never gone away.  I like to think that the grandparents we had lost wanted a baby of their own to love.  It brings me some comfort and I hope that it's true.

Miscarriages happen.  As our wonderful doctor explained to us then, having a healthy baby truly is a miracle.  There are so many things that have to line up just perfectly for that baby to make it here safely.  When you have a big family, like ours, I suppose it's bound to happen.  It doesn't change the fact, though, that it is a terribly painful time in one's life.  I am happy to say, that with time the pain has softened and I finally feel like I am at peace with it all.  I do not shy away from talking about it, because I think it's healthy not to.  I want to acknowledge that he or she existed, if only for a few months.  So, here's to our little Peanut!  I hope you're having fun up there with your great-grandparents!

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