Friday, April 17, 2015

My Sweet Miracle Turns One and a Half


After the Third...

I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but I just have never found the time. I am pretty swamped here with planning for a baby shower for my sister, getting my new home business up and running, and trying to keep up with my one and a half year old. It's been busy! But it's been fabulous.

Easter is here! Lent was very interesting. Praise God that I had such amazing priestly counsel at the start of Lent or else I would have been feeling very downcast about my inability to commit to my usual fasting and prayer. The Monday before Ash Wednesday I buried my third child. Can you think of a more solemn way to enter into the holiest of seasons? I wept at the gravesite of yet another one of my sweet babies that I did not get to hold in my arms. My heart was absolutely broken when I began Lent. Even now there are times when I cannot even breathe. I am so consumed by my grief that its hard to breathe. And I've come to learn that this...this heart break...is okay to feel. I do not need to push it aside. I do not need to offer it up and move on. I desperately need to ask God into it. I need Him to be with me in the suffering. To come into my boat and not leave me alone during the storm. If I try to move on, it doesn't work. A life lived with Christ and for Christ is not calm waters. But if I invite God into my boat, I'll be okay. I will keep moving. I will keep moving.

And I think this has been so beautiful for me. I have really felt God calling me to His side. Now don't get me wrong, my prayer life is still very difficult. I am still wrestling with the reality of my family and how God would allow such suffering to enter into my soul. But it is what it is. I had a wonderful late night conversation with a dear friend who was suffering too, and I told her that when I gave my life to God many years ago, I said yes. And here we are today. I didn't know the road I'd be on. But I know that I have a God who will stand by me. And even if I stand by Him not looking at Him and just quietly next to Him, that is okay. We are okay.

The grief has been harder this time. (Note: I don't want the following sentences to make anyone feel bad. We had a lot of support during our grief, but these are just some of the things I felt.) When you lose your first baby, people are very sorry and sympathetic. Many of them lost their first babies as well and can share in that with you. They are very sad but since it is so common-don't necessarily think you should dwell too long. When you lose your second baby, people come out of the woodwork for you. They come right to your side because oh my Lord, how could this happen a second time! We got cards and had a special Mass for our baby. We got flowers and people made us meals. Someone bought us a brick at a local prayer garden. When you lose your third baby, there isn't much. People don't know what to do with you. Maybe they just think this is your life-losing babies. We received one card. I still get teary when I think that my dear Frances Anne has ONE card while her other siblings have so much more. Now my close girlfriends brought meals and I am grateful for their kindness every step of the way. But in the big picture, the third loss is just different.

So I spent this Lent coming to terms with my grief. I didn't give up a lot-other than TV. And that's okay. I was walking the road to Calvary, carrying the cross of giving my third baby back to God. And carrying the cross of my infertility and uncertainty of any future children.

When I was praying yesterday, I remembered that in the darkness of my infertility and sadness after losing Peter, a few months later, God gave us the gift of Mary Claire. All things are possible with God. All things are possible. God has a way better plan for my life. That might include a child in a few months or a few years. I need to change my prayer. I need to pray that God would help me to accept His will. To be okay with the wait.

Praying for you all today.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Praise God!

Yesterday was my surgery. I was extremely nervous going into it. But Praise the Lord! It was a very manageable experience. It was extremely sad and low, but I was treated so well at the hospital. I feel very blessed. This post is very long so read what you want. :) It feels good to write it down.

When we arrived at the hospital, I was taken to a preop room that was very big and nicely decorated. I got all changed and such, and then all the nurses started coming in. Most of their first words to me were those of empathy and consolation. It was very touching. Many of them had experienced miscarriages as well, so that made it more comfortable for me. They just got it. We waited for quite a while. I was still very nausous and wanting to throw up. The nurses were on top of things. The made so much effort to make me not nauseous. Adding extra fluids to the IV, finding the anti nausea patch from the anesthesiologist. They were so accommodating. The hospital also has a position called Perinatal Support and she was a great resource too. Just really added to the knowledge that this really was our baby and the hospital was acknowledging that. I've heard many nurses and staff that have not been so pro-baby!

I had to put on those blow up leg booties for blood circulation. And I had total flashbacks to Mary Claire's birth. I had to wear those for SO long and they are so annoying. After birth, the hormones are crazy. Think extreme hot flashes. So in the middle of the night, I literally ripped them off my legs! In a rage! DH and I had a great laugh about. that memory!

\The anesthesiologist was amazing. He was so helpful. I felt like he really took my reaction to meds seriously and did everything in his power to make me comfortable. I cannot thank him enough! I even asked him if I could request him if I needed a csection or surgery in the future. He said of course...but I'm moving to another state soon. BAH!

When they wheeled me to the OR, my doctor was already in there waiting. We have our differences sometimes, but it was extremely comforting to see him there. As they got me all ready, he just held me hand until I went to sleep. What a great doctor!

In recovery, I guess I was extremely sad and emotional. I was crying nonstop. My doctor told my hubby that everything went extremely well and that I was very very sad. I have no memories of this, but it was probably just everything hitting the fan so to speak. Can you imagine being the recovery nurses? I bet they see and hear some crazy things with people coming off meds. I bet they have more funny stories than I had even teaching first grade. And that's hard to beat!

I went to the next recovery for awhile. It took a lot longer here because they were trying to figure out all the death certificate information. Because of Francis Anne's size and gestation, it might be very difficult to get her body to bury. The pathologist at the hospital has to run a lot of tests to make sure that there is no additional threat to my health. (Think ectopic.) So I'm praying that there will be baby/sac that we can bury. That was one of the saddest parts of the day-realizing that we could be doing everything right and still not be able to bury our baby.

I feel very great today. No nausea or pain even. I took pain meds this morning for a headache. I went to sleep last night from 6:15pm-7:15am. And then I was still exhausted. But overall, I feel amazing. I want to just pretend like I'm 100% but I need to take it easy on myself. It is very strange feeling to not have enduring extreme physical pain to bring this baby into the world. But I think I endured more emotional pain with this pregnancy and birth.

It's weird. Usually I feel very empty after the miscarriage. That it was just me and not baby. But I don't feel that way this time. I think its maybe because this baby was really not with me very long. She was meant for Jesus and heaven. I feel like she has been there her whole life. I think she was only with for a few days. I can't wait to see all my children in heaven.

So overall, I am very glad that I did the D&C the way that I did. I waited almost three weeks and then had the surgery. My doctor said that he was glad I waited because when you do it too early, the baby and sac provide more resistance and there is a longer period of dilation. I guess my cervix was soft so it was very smooth. Praise God. Even if he just said it be nice, I am so glad he did. What a blessing. It made me feel very much at peace.

Next steps include getting all my hormones and such back in order before we start trying again. I'm not sure how long that will take. But I'm hopeful that one day I can give Mary Claire an earthly sibling. My doctor in Peoria is going to evaluate everything when my cycle returns. I'm praying for a swift return. In the past, it has taken about a full month for it to come back. So we shall see.



And to think, when their little eyes opened, the first thing they saw was the face of Jesus. -God knew that you too were to special for earth. I'm one lucky mommy Taylor  Alex that God would see my babies as to special and wonderful that He had to keep you up there:)


Thank you for all your prayers and support. I really felt them and I am so grateful. 
If you could continue to pray for us and for my relationship with my sister. She is very pregnant right now with her first baby, and I am having a hard time pulling it together.  And being happy. 

Love you all!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tomorrow

Well, it's been over two and a half weeks since we found out that we were miscarrying. And since then, nothing has happened on that front. My body has not figured it out that there is no baby to keep alive. What is fascinating about our bodies is how much of a woman's body is made for protecting the life of a baby. My body has not realized that it doesn't need to produce HCG or stop growing the sac. It is bizarre. The past few weeks have been full of extreme morning (all day) sickness. This made it extremely hard to really come to terms with the fact that I am no longer growing a baby. I can't even begin to tell you what this process can wreck on a soul. I think the suffering I have endured the past weeks has been way more intense than previous miscarriages.

Last week, we planned a d and c surgery. But I couldn't do it. It was too soon. Last Wednesday, I received the anointing of the sick from a dear priest friend. Praise God. I really needed every single word of those prayers. For serious.

 But this week, we decided that since nothing was happening and DH is going out of town next week, we should schedule one. It is scheduled for tomorrow at noon. Unless I go into labor tonight, that's the plan.

If you could please pray for a successful surgery and for no uterine scarring or damage. I'm sure all of you IF ladies know how scary and stressful it can be when anything is near the precious uterine wall. I'm afraid of tearing and adhesions to form. So prayers for peace would be great. I do not think it is an accident that the surgery is scheduled for Our Lady of Lourdes feast day. Praise God for Mama Mary. :)

Happy St. Valentine's Day from our sweet miracle baby, Mary Claire!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Suffering

Does anyone have any book recommendations on suffering? I am at a point where I'm looking for a spiritual director, but I'd like something to read/reflect on in the mean time. I'm really struggling with the purpose and meaning of suffering in our lives.

I really want to cling to our Lord, but I'm just struggling to do so because I can't quite see the purpose to it all.

Not sure if any of that makes sense...but recommendations are welcome!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Francis Anne

Little Francis Anne is home with our Lord. He or she has joined Peter John and Cecelia Joy. My heart is heavy simply writing that sentence.

On Friday, we traveled to Peoria for our first official doctor's appointment. We had an ultrasound a few weeks ago that showed a gestational sac, but nothing else. We were told that it could be totally normal since it was so early in the pregnancy. At this appointment, we had an ultrasound and it looked almost identical to week's prior. There was a large gestational sac, but there was no fetal pole, yolk sac or baby in sight. No little jelly bean, no little flicker of a heart beat.

I was trembling when I waited for the ultrasound to begin, but I was somewhat calm when I saw the screen. I knew there was no more baby. I think my heart knew this the whole pregnancy. Everything was so different this time. My levels were shockingly low and I was way sicker than I'd ever been before.

I feel like this has all been one giant case of the flu. I want so badly for there to be some sort of happy memories to remember this life with.

It's been one week since I've taken progesterone so hopefully, my body will get the memo that it no longer needs to provide HCG for the sac. I'd like to miscarry naturally and peacefully, but I'm not sure if that is possible.

My thoughts are very disjointed today. I am asking for prayers. I am very numb. I'd like some closure .
Prayers for you all.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A BFN turns into...

A BFP!

Can you believe that? I tested last Thursday, Christmas, and I got a negative test. But because I still didn't have my cycle, my doctor told me to get my bloodwork done for peak +17, and I waited the whole weekend expecting my period to come... and then on Monday, we found out we were expecting. Well to be specific, my labs were "consistent with that of a pregnancy"...:)

My HCG level tripled like it should have but it is still very low and my progesterone isn't making any new strides. It's actually the lowest its ever been (well post napro that is). So that makes me very nervous! Currently I'm on oral and injectable progesterone. We had a priest friend of ours do the blessing of a child in the womb today which gave me some peace.

Praise God for our fourth baby. I pray and beg God that we will be able to meet this little one!

Grow baby grow.

Also, I got St. Raymond Nonnatus as my patron saint for 2015-and yeah, he's the patron of pregnant women, midwives, etc. Perfect!

Thank you for your prayers!