Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday News Day

Well, everyone knows how my last week has been, so I would like to share some thoughts and inspirations from my past week, along with some thanks to so many people...

I am so grateful for prayers that have guided me and kept me at task this week.  This experience wasn't for me, but for me to share so that others could receive comfort, guidance, and knowledge.

I know that it isn't of me that I have appeared so strong.  I know that it was through the prayers of others, and the attendance of the Holy Ghost that I was given the strength and determination to write of my experience.  If the Holy Ghost were to entirely withdraw from me right now, I may break down and hide out for weeks.  However, there was a mission and a purpose for Taylor's short life, and that's what I've been empowered to help bring about.  It was to help others through comfort, guidance, and knowledge.  I have been so humbled by the outreach extended to me by so many.  I've been humbled by how many women have shared their own experiences with me.  I wish that these women would find the courage to share these experiences here where others can draw strength from them, sharing with all instead of just one.  These stories have been such a source of help and inspiration for me.

This has also been testimony and faith building for me.  This time, my trial showed me immediately that it was going to be helpful to others.  I hope that I can always remember this so that with another trial, I will remember to hold judgement and anger until I can see that something good will come of it.  Remember how Christ had trial after trial and suffered so greatly?  As women, when something as tragic as losing a child happens, the first thing we do is turn inward questioning what we did to deserve such a trial.  Christ didn't do anything to "deserve" his trials and sufferings.  It is the same with us.  We do not "earn" or "deserve" our trials and sufferings.  Sometimes they are to help us to grow spiritually somehow.  Sometimes they aren't about us, but rather to help someone else.  Christ suffered and now knows exactly what each of us feels with each of our own trials.  He did it to help us; He atoned for our sins so that we may be forgiven.  My suffering wasn't nearly on the same scale, but it helps me to remember that our sufferings can be for the benefit of others.  It's not our fault that we are tried in the ways we are.  It is merely what must happen so that we can help and empathize as we are called on. I know that so many women have suffered more than me by far.  I also know that I could handle it if this happened again.  I hate knowing that, in a way.  I fear that it will happen again BECAUSE I am able to handle it.  However, as much as it sucks, I'd rather go through it again than some other woman who can't handle it as well having to endure such a trial.  There are such amazing, strong, caring, loving, endearing, and sensitive women near me that I would rather take on such a trial than any of them having to endure it.  Not that they can't handle it, but I wouldn't want them to.

I just hope that I can remember things like "there must needs be opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11) and that you don't "deserve" trials and sufferings.  I hope I can remember that having opposition in all things means there is good to come of all trials.  I hope I can remember how incredible people have been to me, and I hope I can return the kindness to each and every single person.  I pray that I can be aware of the needs of others and help where I am able.  I pray that others will be able to feel of the love of their Heavenly Father as much as I have this week.  And I hope each of you knows just how important you have been to me this week.  Thank you, each of you, for your kind words, shared experiences, and kind thoughts and prayers.  Thank you so much.  I feel like Taylor's short life will not be in vain because of the wonderful things that have come from the experience of his/her life.

I wrote all of the above on Sunday night.  Monday was not nearly as spiritually minded.  Instead, I couldn't stop crying.  It is the most I've cried so far.  I just can't stop thinking about how it's all my fault that my Taylor ended up in the sewers with everything else that has been flushed.  That is NOT where my baby deserves to be.  Taylor should be in my arms.  Even if there was no need for him/her to live this earthly life, there was no need for him/her to end up in the sewer.  That was not the choice Ben and I made.  Yet that is what happened and it's my fault that it happened that way.  I didn't do enough.  I could have searched longer and harder.  It's my fault.  I hope he/she knows that I didn't want him/her there.  Oh gosh!  And referring to my child as him/her and he/she tears me up, too.  I could have known a gender, but because of my own mistakes, I don't know and can't even give my child enough respect to use the proper words.  I know people keep saying it wasn't my fault or there was a purpose behind it, but all it feels like is that it's my fault that I couldn't treat Taylor's body appropriately and respectfully.  I am to blame.

I know I put on a strong front, but Monday was anything but strong.  It hurt for the entire day.  Something tells me my Tuesday isn't going to be that much better.

In fact, Tuesday begins with Keith asking me, "Mommy, what's our new baby's name?"  Perfect 9am conversation after such a rough day yesterday.  I told him, "Sweetie, the new baby died.  There isn't a baby in mommy's tummy anymore.  The baby's name is Taylor, but [she's] already gone.  I'm so sorry sweetie."  He was sad, didn't want to believe it, and gave me a hug.  Then he repeated what he told me last night, "I hope we have a lot of kids."

Well, I can't say I don't wish for the same.  Here's to hoping today is better than yesterday...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Week

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Today we went in to see the midwife again.  We couldn't help but hope to see that Taylor was still inside.  Our hope was in vain.  Of course I was empty inside, in more ways than one.  It is all my fault that we didn't get to meet our baby.  Despite being on my knees searching through the toilet, I couldn't find my sweet baby.  It's my fault, and I can only hope Taylor will forgive me for not giving that body a proper resting place.  We know there was no spirit inside the body, but we both feel badly nonetheless.  People keep saying I can't blame myself, but I do.  Who else would be to blame?  I can't help but cry at the thought of where my child is laid to rest... in a sewer, being filtered out in a water plant somewhere before the water is sent to irrigate a farm or something.  And that's my fault.  I don't think I'll ever be able to beg for forgiveness for that enough to feel okay and at peace about it.

I suppose all I can do now is look forward to resurrection and the chance to meet my Taylor face-to-face where I can beg forgiveness.  I hope Taylor will allow me to raise him/her, to be his/her mother.  I hate that I still don't know a gender.  I want to say the name Taylor as much as I can to avoid the lack of knowing a gender, and to acknowledge him/her as much as possible.

I know mothers will understand more than fathers - I loved my baby.  As soon as a woman finds out she's pregnant, she develops a love for her child.  She immediately becomes protective of her child and her child's home (her body).  Taylor, please know that I loved you.  I do love you.  And I hope you'll forgive me.  I hope I can hold you one day.  You're in my thoughts always.

I'm going to choose to believe that my Heavenly Father didn't want me to see Taylor's body for a reason.  Perhaps it would have been harder on me than I imagined.  Perhaps I needed a lesson in faith.  Perhaps it was so that I can better empathize with someone.  Perhaps it is for the benefit of someone else, not me.  I refuse to let this be something entirely negative.  Someone is going to benefit from this in some way, even if I am never aware of it.  So if anyone has any questions, no matter how personal the question may seem, please ask.  I promise that, no matter how much it may hurt to answer, I will answer honestly and openly and entirely.  I also refuse to be angry at anyone else being pregnant or having a baby.  My pain isn't going to get in the way of the joy someone else is experiencing.  As far as that goes, I WILL be happy for others.  So don't shy away from sharing your joyous news with me.

Okay, I guess that's about all I can say.  Goodbye Taylor.  Though we never met face-to-face, your mommy loves you always.

Day 7 - It's Over

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Today I realized that it's most likely all over.  I hate having to admit that, it hurts.  I feel like I've been cheated out of my opportunity to hold and mourn the loss of my baby.  I feel like a terrible mother than couldn't even find her 3-4" baby among soft, squishy blood clots, and flushed her poor sweet baby without any recognition at all.  Ben had bought some white satin material from a fabric store to line the wooden box we planned to bury the baby in.  He has been pretty sad about things, too.  Now it seems even he isn't going to get the experience and moments that he needed for healing.  I feel we've both been deprived of the MOMENTS that our emotions and our souls were in such need of, all because I couldn't recognize my baby.  I searched though.  I really did.  I am sobbing silently as I type, as though I'm pleading with my baby to understand.  I really wanted those MOMENTS to hold my child, to find out a gender, to tell him or her that I loved him/her. 

In my mind, I envision what those moments would have been like.  A tiny pale purple body that fits in my hand.  Petting his/her head with my finger, stroking its back or tummy, telling him/her how much I wanted it and loved it.  Mothers create a bond with their babies much sooner than fathers do.  Almost immediately, we begin rubbing our bellies and professing our love to the child.  We hold our bellies at night and tell our babies to grow healthy and strong as we sleep. I envision taking a couple pictures with our wedding rings coupled with the baby to show size, or maybe the baby inside my hand inside Ben's hand.  I imagine gently laying her (I still think it was a girl) inside the box lined with the beautiful satin fabric for a last picture, then laying the extra fabric around her, enveloping her in the soft satin, putting the lid on, writing her name, date, and gestation on the box, and standing outside to bury her.  I imagine a beautiful scrapbook to remember my baby with.  Instead, it won't be quite so beautiful because my baby is gone without me ever getting to hold him/her.  I can't tell you how sad I am.  I have no words for it.  Perhaps in a less ceremonious way, I'll merely bury the placenta instead, just in a garden area where it can nourish the life of something else.

However, here are some images of my beautiful baby, gone way too soon.  We named him/her TAYLOR HARVEY, a name that will be perfectly appropriate for either gender as we meet him/her after the resurrection and raise our child in righteousness in the Millennium.  I hope Taylor will forgive us for the manner of birth and burial.  I wanted so much more for my baby, it just didn't happen as I planned.  Nothing about this was ever as I planned.  Taylor, you will always be loved and missed.  We'll see you, hold you, love you, and cuddle you before long....
15 November 2011

Taylor's heart was fluttering so quickly here.

It's a very low-intensity ultrasound, so you can't see it very well,
but at the top is Taylor's hand with fingers outstretched.

This was just hours before Taylor's birth.

DAY 5 - The Passing

Monday, January 23, 2012
I met with my midwife again.  She did another quick ultrasound to let me know the condition of the baby so I could prepare myself for whatever I might see.  Using 200mg of Cytotec at 5pm, I prepared myself for the inevitable.

Around 9pm as we were reading scriptures and preparing for bed, my legs had shooting pains and I felt a little like I might be contracting.  Bleeding had finally started. 

At 9:30, I went to the bathroom again, passed a few clots that I checked to make sure I hadn't passed the baby yet (I felt something pass that felt similar to when I passed my first miscarriage), but all seemed well so I flushed and washed up, then went to lay down for a while.  I felt like oxytocin was running strong because, even knowing what I was anticipating, I had feelings of elation about the birth of my baby.

Around 10:30, my "nap" didn't last long.  It felt like my water broke, though I don't know if that was it or not.  It was a gushing sensation.  Just odd.  But again, checked the clots and then went to go tend to Kiersten who had barely woken up and needed to nurse a little.

About 12am,  I got up to go to the bathroom again, and as I did, blood came flooding out.  Blood trailed all the way from Kiersten's room, through the hall, and into the master bathroom where I had a towel laid out on the floor to catch any mess.  Once there, I let all the clots and blood flow onto the towel.  Again, I checked every single clot searching for my baby.  Then I cleaned up and Ben and I began using peroxide to clean up the blood from the light colored carpet. 

Around 12:30am, I sent Ben into town to grab some more peroxide since the carpet wasn't yet cleaned and we were running out.  While he was gone, I sat back on the toilet and passed more clots, this time I put a towel under the seat loosely to make a straining bowl to catch all the clots, which I checked of course. 

Around 1am, I began to pass the placenta.  I could tell because I could see part of the cord.  However, no matter how much I pushed or tried to help it out, it just wouldn't come.  I sat there on the toilet for an HOUR and a HALF waiting for it to finally come out.  It was a pretty big placenta for being 13-14 weeks.  Ben mentioned how weak the end of the cord appeared.  The cord seemed thick and strong where it attached to the placenta, but at the end that should have been attached to a baby, it was thin and weak.  We examined it closely.  There was no baby jumbled in the mess. 

3am and I finally got to go to bed.  I woke up around 6am to nurse Kiersten again, changed a very full pad, and went back to bed.  Woke up around 8:30am, bleeding had slowed tremendously. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2012
Time to go about my day.  Ben took off work, so I let him tend to the kids while I sat puzzled in my room.  How could there be a placenta but no baby?  I emailed my midwife who, at first, said I must need a second dose, as she assumed that it was a clot rather than the placenta that I passed.  I explained to her that it was most definitely a placenta with a cord and then she said birth doesn't work that way, and I must have passed the baby without knowing it.  She even said, "how strange you didn't see a 4 inch baby."  WHAT KIND OF MOTHER AM I???!  How could I have possibly flushed my baby without ever seeing it?  I what?  I just flushed it.  No "hello."  No "goodbye."  No "I wanted you so much and miss you terribly."  No tender touch of a mother's love.  Nothing.  The only thing that I can possibly imagine is that, when I felt something (I assumed a clot) pass around 9:30, the baby must have sunk immediately into the back of the toilet where I would have had to stick my hand into where the water flushes out to search for it.  That's the only thing I can think of, though I am hoping with all my heart and soul that birth went backwards this time around and the placenta came first.


Yesterday I spotted just a little, but nothing since.  I was excited that things were starting so that this journey can end and I can actually start healing.  But then nothing. 

Today, I went to the temple with my dear friend, Ashley, and her husband.  Thanks for letting me borrow your wife, Jerom!  We did some of my family names, which was nice.  It was nice to be surrounded by such beauty and peace.

However, today I also started feeling like this has all been my fault.  I've been so angry with Ben and his computer/video games.  I'm afraid that I scared off my baby because of my anger.  I feel like she might have felt my anger and decided she didn't want me as a mommy after all.  I say "she" because I feel like it's going to turn out that the baby was a girl.  We'll hopefully see soon enough.  Anyway, me and my anger issues.  I don't know that anyone can refute my current feelings.  But I do know two things:  1) I absolutely love and adore my children, all of my children, with my whole heart.  They give life and joy to my soul.  2)  THEY know this.  Each of them knows that I love them more than anything in this world.  They know that their mommy adores them, despite the trials they give me.  I tell them more than a few times each day, and I hug them with my heart and soul poured into the hug at LEAST once daily.  I don't think I'm a bad mom because of these two things, these two facts.  With my first miscarriage (between Keith and Mitchell at about 5-7 weeks), I questioned if I was such a horrible mother than I wasn't worthy to parent anyone else.  This time, I know that's not it.  I may not parent in a way that everyone approves of, and I may lose my patience and raise my voice (okay, okay, so I yell) much more often than I'd like to admit, but I love each of them and they all know it.

Also today, I've done some research online and in talking to midwives and others who have had late-term/second trimester miscarriages, and I've decided on a way to hurry things along so that I am not a walking tomb for my baby for weeks on end.  I've started with mega-doses of vitamin C (planning on 5-6,000mg daily for 5-6 day per THIS site) as well as a Dong Quai tincture (planning on 2-4 dropperfuls daily until bleeding begins, per THIS site as well as midwife and sister-in-law suggestion).  If no bleeding starts by Monday afternoon, I am going to just ask the midwife for the Cytotec to induce labor to begin, which should help this to all end within 1-3 days.  I started the Dong Quai around 3pm today and the Vitamin C around 6:30pm.  Still no bleeding yet, but hopefully soon.  I am anxious for this experience to end.

Finally, just before bed, I went over to return dinner dishes to the Becar's and got a Priesthood blessing while I was there.  Jerom, of course, performed the blessing.  I was told to realize what a power and rock of faith I am to my family, and what an influence I am to those around me.  Being sealed as an eternal family was mentioned quite a few times, too.

Thankfulness During Loss

DAY ONE:  I went in to see my midwife on January 19th, 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  She and I went over all the normal stuff, you know, blood pressure, weight check, etc.  Then it was time to finally break out the Doppler and listen for that beautiful heartbeat.  I was so excited because she had done a low-intensity ultrasound at the previous appointment a month earlier and I SAW his/her heart fluttering so quickly and it just brings joy to my soul to know that I'm growing a beautiful baby within me.  We kept finding MY heartbeat (which was becoming elevated the longer it took), but she was sure that she heard the baby swim by.  So, she turned on the ultrasound again.  She said that the spine looked great, look there's an arm with all fingers extended like waving hello, but *I* couldn't find the fluttering heart like before.  Finally she addressed that.  She showed me where it should be, she searched all over in different positions but it just wasn't there.  At that point, I could go home and sit and wait, or I could go have a high-intensity ultrasound done so that I knew for sure one way or the other.  Of course I chose the latter.

The second ultrasound showed the same, only in much more detail.  The heart was not beating.  The umbilical cord wasn't even pumping blood into the baby's body.  There was no blood flowing to him/her.  My baby measured 13 weeks 1 day.  That was just 3 days ago.

I tried to keep my tears in as much as I could until I got out to my car.  After all, it was a place devoted to ultrasounds and there were sure to be pregnant women coming and going happily and I sure didn't want to rain on their parade.  Why should my sadness have to spread to someone experiencing joy?  However, I sat in my car for quite some time and let the tears flow.  "But you know I love my children more than anything.  I love my babies.  Why take one from me when you know I love them all so much?"  I cried until my head ached, my face ached, my eyes burned, and I just didn't have anymore tears.  Kind of.  Just not enough to stream down my face like a faucet.  I felt like I was a downer to the world as I drove out of the city, getting caught at nearly every light with cars next to me at each one.  Did they see me?  Did they wonder why I was so sad and crying?  It wouldn't matter to anyone else.  People were on their phones complaining about life and work, or making plans for the upcoming weekend.  People were living their lives, just as I had been a few hours earlier.  No one knew about me and my life.

I kept crying on and off as I made my drive out of the city and most of the way home.  I didn't want my kids to see me until I could control myself better.  I felt guilty for being hungry, but I had just a tiny little snack of a lunch and was hungry before I got to my appointment, and it had been a few hours, so I was really hungry.  I went by Subway's drive thru, sat in the parking lot, and made my facebook post.  I had already had to talk to Ben, and I texted a good friend of mine, but I really didn't want to rehash it over and over again for each individual.  My body ached from the crying.  I couldn't quite talk without it starting the tears again.  That dear friend texted me as I was sitting there. 
This is what she shared with me:

"The mother who laid down her little child, being deprived of the privilege, the joy, and the satisfaction of bringing it up to manhood or womanhood in this world, would, after the resurrection, have all the joy, satisfaction, and pleasure, and even more than it would have been possible to have had in mortality, in seeing her child grow to the full measure of stature of its spirit... When she does it there, it will be with the certain knowledge that the results will be without failure; whereas here, the results are unknown until after we have passed the test." -Joseph Smith

This gave me so much comfort.  It meant that, if I was right and resurrection took place around the time of the start of the Millennium, I would have the chance to spend the Millennium doing the thing I enjoyed most, being a mother.  So I am choosing to focus on that as I await the eventual labor and delivery I will experience as this baby passes from my body.  What an amazing opportunity that will be, to raise a child that I know will "grow to the full measure of stature of its spirit," to know that this child will be guaranteed the results that I wish for each of my children.  It may hurt now, but it is going to be such a wonderful experience that I am choosing to be thankful for, to look forward to, rather than being angry that I don't get the experience I thought I'd have here and now. 

All of this isn't to say that I'm happy or perfectly fine.  I am so fearful of delivering this baby.  I'm sorry if this is too much for anyone or at all offensive, but I'm fearful of how my baby will look.  At just 13 weeks gestation and deteriorating the longer he/she is inside me, will the baby look like a baby?  Since I'll be at home, what do you do with the body?  Right now, we're thinking we'll wrap him/her in a blanket homemade by family and use a small wooden box to bury our baby beside the apple tree we planted last summer.  I would like to give the child a name, so I am hoping that gender is apparent, but if not, I suppose I'll choose an androgynous name that I like.  I am fearful of talking to my children about this.  Keith is the only one that knows, and we had just finally told him this week.  I don't think I want them to see this baby's body.  I don't want to scare them or make them sad or fearful.  If I can just remember that quote above and my current feelings, hopefully I will make it through this delivery and burial as unscathed as can be hoped for.  I know it's going to hurt, and I fear that emotional hurt.  But I have the gospel to comfort me.  I have eternal truths to get me through.  Where would any of us be without Jesus Christ, His gospel, our Heavenly Father's love, and the comfort from the Holy Ghost?  I don't know how anyone gets through this without all that.


I have been writing about my experiences for the last week.  However, I have waited to publish them until now because I want them to read on the blog in order, rather than backward (I've changed this so that it reads in normal blogging order).  You should know from the beginning that I am a very open person, and I don't spare any details, no matter how personal or unpleasant they may seem.

I looked online, searching for stories of what to expect.  Everything was rather sugar coated WHEN I could actually find anything at all.  Miscarriage, especially late term/second trimester miscarriage, is a very hushed topic.  People share a few details verbally, but most of it is kept private.  This lead to me being surprised around every corner.

Second trimester miscarriage is said to be uncommon, though I keep running into people who have suffered at least one.  My midwife said I am only her 3rd client to suffer it, though she has managed the labors of over 430 women here in Utah, and has been in the medical/midwifery line of work since the 80's. 

So, just understand now:  This line of posting has been difficult (yet therapeutic) to write.  I am writing it because I want people who need this information to have it available.  I am not keeping anything to myself because some women need to know the unpleasant parts to prepare themselves for what to expect as they await the birth of their miscarried baby.  My emotions, the blood, the confusion, the spiritual aspects, all of it is shared.

If this makes you at all uncomfortable, don't read any further.  If you feel you might be offended or disgusted by any part of a home-birthed second trimester miscarriage, please don't read.  If I actually KNOW you, and you think it might make you uncomfortable around me, STOP READING NOW!  Otherwise, please continue knowing what you're getting yourself in for.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday News Day

So, I've been meaning to start this series of posts
for quite some time already.
But I keep forgetting.
Hopefully it'll help me be a better blogger though.
I'm modeling it after my dear friend, Ashley's blog.

This year has started out with some trials. 
Luckily, they haven't been TOO bad.
My vacuum broke.
That's about $160 out the window.
Mitchell took to shredding the arms of my couch.
But I sewed it up and that'll work for now.
And we woke up this morning to our furnace not working
and a mere 52 degrees inside.
Mitchell & Kiersten both had shivering, quivering chins.
But we just needed to replace the filter...
and learn how to take care of it better.
With that round of 3 trials out of the way,
I now feel open to the blessings that come with trials.
Kiersten is a year old now.
I would like to stop nursing now
but she doesn't much care for milk.
So I tried almond milk.
She LOVES it. 
This is the same girl that growls
if you take away her
green smoothie!
With all of our skin problems,
everyone except Mitchell seems to have them,
I'm trying Melaluca/Tea Tree Oil
to see if that helps.
Wish us luck!
I think that's it for now.
Have a blessed week
and remember that trials bring blessings
if you're open to receiving them!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Growing Sprouts

I figured, being the start of the year, I'd check my kids' weight and height to see how much they grow throughout 2012.  Here's where they stand:
Keith (5 yrs 11 months)
37.6 lbs - 6th percentile for weight
42.5" - 7th percentile for height

Mitchell (2 years 11 months)
32.6 lbs - 63rd percentile for weight
37" - 43rd percentile for height

Kiersten (12 months)
20.2 lbs - 31st percentile for weight
27.5" - 6th percentile for height

This is on Christmas Eve in their new jammies!