Ok, folks…this is a hard entry to write. We have lost our baby. I had a miscarriage, and had a procedure called a Dilation & Curettage(D&C) today. I am doing ok-both physically and emotionally. It may sound crazy, but I am really at peace about this. I know that when miscarriages occur, it’s usually nature seeing a problem and taking care of it. That may sound kind of cold and harsh and clinical of me, but it’s really a blessing when you think about it. Had this child grown to term, he would have(more than likely) been fraught with chromosomal issues. And, especially after seeing and hearing about the many patients of Marshall’s who have a variety of chromosomally-based problems, I realize that all children are blessings-but a whole new set of issues, and whole new level of parental responsibility come into play when a child is born with something like that. I know God gives me free will, and I gladly embrace that. But I’m glad that he made this decision for me. Even amidst the pain of today, I can see that it would be infinitely more agonizing if this child had been born, and we then had to make the choice that so many parents have to make. I feel so much for those parents out there who have to be concerned with the quality of life for their child versus the validity of life itself. I honestly thank God for not having to do that. And I will never pray harder than today for those who do have to deal with that day in and day out. (Sorry for the bluntness, but I can’t seem to word things quite like I want to tonight.)
As we greet a season full of thanksgiving, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by how amazingly blessed I already am. I thank God for my wonderful family and friends, who have rushed to be at my side. I thank God for my two sweet, adorable children who love me, and whom I love more than life itself. I thank God for my wonderful husband, who always does his best to make me happy. I thank God that I have a phenomenal physician taking care of me(not only physically, but emotionally, too). I thank God for allowing me to have a life so full and happy that sometimes I am quite amazed that it’s actually my own. And, finally, I thank the Lord for this baby. I never had proof, but I know this baby was a boy. I don’t know why, but I just think he was a boy. (Even Tucker would tell you that Mommy had a “boy baby in her tummy”!) And even though I will never see his face or hear his voice, I know that he is safer in God’s arms than in mine. I know it sounds hokey, and I’ve probably made fun of people saying things like that before, but now I understand. And, just in case you were wondering, his name was going to be Elijah Ellison Ivey. Thank you God for Eli. Thank you for blessing me with him, even if it was a short, short period of time. If heaven is anything like I imagine it might be, I pray that I will be able to see his sweet, angelic face someday.
As we enter a season of hope, I rejoice in the fact that miscarriages do not determine the fate of other pregnancies. I hope that God will bless us again with another wonderful child. And I hope that all of our children will grow up to lead happy, healthy lives.
As we enter a season of joy, I pray I will continually be reminded of how much joy there really is in my life. I want to more fully embrace the joy that my children bring to me. And the joy that I see on Emerson’s face when she comes down a slide, or on Tucker’s when he finally gets the lyrics right on a song he’s singing. And I want to remember to not only embrace these joys, but share them with others, too!
As we enter a season of awe and wonder, I want to be fully aware of the incredible fact that so many happy, healthy babies are born. If you can look at a newborn baby and not be struck with a sense of awe, then there’s nothing that can get to you! It’s amazing that God created a process so seemingly simple, yet so immensely complex. I hope that each time you see a new baby, you will be reminded of the awe of that simple, fascinating process. And I know that I will be awed by the impact that this will have on our lives, and the essentials of who I am. (For those of you in my bible study-or who have ever been to one of Jane’s classes, this is truely a numinous experience.)
And not that I think God did this to teach me empathy, but I really think that this experience will allow me to be a better and more empathetic Obsterician. Never before has that calling been so strong to me as it is right now. If I had ever doubted that this was really the path I was supposed to take, this has solidified in my heart of hearts that I am truely called to be a physician.
So in my irrational, hormonal moment I would like to ask each of you to stop, thank your Lord for baby Eli. And for my health. And pray for healing in our family. And if you have children, hug them tight and praise God for them, too.
Well, it’s late…and I’ve had a long day. I love you all, and thank you for all the thoughts, prayers, phone calls and texts. (If I haven’t responded to you yet…I will. I promise!)
One more thing. I know some people like details, and others don’t. For those of you who do, keep reading.
I started cramping last weekend. I had some light-very light-spotting on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday night I had pretty nasty cramps, but it seemed to pass. But I just didn’t feel good about it. I didn’t tell many people-only 3 actually-Marshall, Jennifer Bartley(for advice; she’s an OB), and my friend Betsy(she straight up asked me-I guess she saw it on my face). Anyway, I called the office on Monday. They said I could come in for an ultrasound if I wanted, but I chose not too. Honestly, I knew things weren’t right. I just think I wasn’t quite ready to accept it. Monday evening, all day Tuesday, and most of Wednesday the bleeding was pretty scarce. But on Wednesday afternoon, the bleeding got worse. I went in, and as soon as I saw the embryo on the screen, I could tell there was no heartbeat. Yes, my heart sunk to my toes. Yes, I cried. Yes, it sucks. But I’m doing okay now. I know bad moments and days will come, but right now I’m okay. Anyway, that was at 3:30. And after that, things went quickly. I was sent to registration and pre-op. And before I knew it, it was time for the D&C. Coming from most people, this next statement would probably be weird, but you all already know I’m a little nuts. 🙂 I did take some comfort in knowing exactly how the D&C works and how it’s done. I saw several being done when I shadowed Drs. Chance, Bartley and Cook this summer. It’s quick, efficient, and relatively painless(some mild cramping now). But most of all, for me at least, it’s almost emotionally cathartic to know that everything is now gone-except that little spot in my heart where Eli will always live.