Mom to Grace June
February 25th, 2010
October 5th, 2010
and Angel Baby
January 10th, 2011
My daughter Grace was loved from the moment my husband and I saw her little gray shadow on ultrasound #1. She was our first- first pregnancy, first daughter, and first perfect thing we’d created. When I started bleeding around 9 weeks, I rested as much as any first grade teacher can, thought of the life my little one would have, and prayed that everything would turn out okay. The pregnancy was rough, but I could handle the exhaustion, the nausea, the stomach discomfort, the back pain- it was a small price for the final payoff! For a while, things went my way. Then my luck ran out.
I was 19 weeks pregnant and was finally coming out of my morning sickness and exhaustion fog. I decided to go shopping- I bought a pair of maternity jeans and a Carter’s diaper bag because it was WAY on sale. I came home and felt awful, so I went to my room to lie down for a while. After an hour or so, I got up to use the restroom and felt a gush of fluid. Even though this was my first pregnancy, I knew that it was totally abnormal to have that much fluid so soon. I called my doctor, who told me to relax and take a bath, which I did. After feeling more fluid, I called her back.
My husband and I met her at the hospital, where an ultrasound showed that my water had, in fact, broken. My doctor told me that it was way too early for my daughter to survive, and that since my water had broken, I would probably go into labor within the next 48 hours or so. She told me she could induce, but when I heard that I had a major melt-down panic attack, so I was admitted to the High Risk Perinatal Unit instead to “see if we could keep her in there a little longer.” I did NOT go into labor in 48 hours, in fact, I spent 3 weeks flat on my back in the hospital, drinking 2 gallons of water a day, cursing the blood that was present every time I used the bathroom and the pain that never went away. I prayed to God that somehow Grace would make it through all of this. Grace and I fought and fought, but her amniotic fluid kept getting lower and lower. We finally lost the battle and her heartbeat was gone. I was induced the morning of February 25th, 2010.
I was aware from the beginning of my pregnancy, when I had my first ultrasound, that I had a minor uterine septum. The doctors blamed it for my initial bleeding, saying that Grace’s placenta had partially attached in that area, which was not rich in blood flow and might cause rupture. In the months that followed Grace’s stillbirth, I did everything in my power to resolve my body’s flaw so that this would never happen again to a baby in my care- I felt I owed that much to Grace.
I scheduled lots of invasive tests- saline ultrasounds, MRIs, etc., as quickly as possible so that I could have the surgery I needed to never have to lose a baby again. I thanked God that my doctors would be able to fix my problem. I had surgery to remove my uterine septum in July, was cleared to “try again” in August, and found out that I was pregnant by early September. Everything was moving along just fine – we saw the baby’s heartbeat at 7 weeks. Just like last time I knew I was having a girl long before the doctors confirmed it, I was convinced that this time I was having a boy.
Then, at my 9 week ultrasound, my world crumbled again. This new baby’s heartbeat was gone, and I was scheduled for a D&C the following day- October 5th, 2010. I was beyond heartbroken. I couldn’t believe that God had allowed this to happen AGAIN. Although healing from the D&C was not physically as taxing as giving birth to Grace, losing another little life obliterated me, emotionally. My doctor ran a bunch of tests and found that I have two blood clotting disorders- Factor V Leiden and MTHFR.
During my next pregnancy, which I found out about in December and lost on January 10th, 2011, I gave myself shots of Lovenox (a blood thinner.) That time, we never saw a heartbeat on an ultrasound and my doctor thinks it was a chemical pregnancy. I’ll be on Lovenox shots for any future pregnancy I have.
I’ve had a normal cycle since my miscarriage, so technically I’m allowed to ‘try again’. A year’s worth of tragedy has worn me out and taken a huge toll on my optimism, my faith, and my belief that everything works out in the end. If these experiences have taught me anything, it’s that life is hard. Sometimes the only hope you have comes from the people who love you. I spend my time loving my first graders, my friends and family, and most of all, my amazing husband. I’m raising money for the March of Dimes and I’m pasting lots of semi-genuine smiles on my face. I’m trying to look toward the future. I’m hoping it holds good things for my family.
I’m also hoping that life brings you- the angel mommies out there who know all I know about love and loss- the good things you deserve as well.
You can contact Lindy at firstname.lastname@example.org