Tag Archive: miscarriage

It catches me off guard

This year Thanksgiving passed me by without me even remembering.

Last year we were at Disney.
The year before we were anxiously awaiting Asa’s arrival.
The year before that we were sitting-quite unexpectedly-at our little house in northeast Georgia.

I can still hear the voices of my family, my friends whispering in the other room.
Not sure what to say, but just being there…

I can still remember sitting in the ultrasound room, my eyes straining to see what was no longer there.

I can still remember my OB coming into the room.
I’d held it together until she walked into the room.

I can still remember waking up in the recovery room to friendly faces.
Friends who postponed their own holiday plans for me.  For me.

I can still remember calling the mom of “my girls” that I nannied.
And I remember being so grateful that she was a doctor because all I could eek out on the phone was,
“I’m having a D&C.  You’ll explain to the girls?”

I can still remember sitting alone at my basement desk, writing this post.

I can still remember talking my friends into going to a movie with me-
A movie that I loved, they hated.

I can still remember so much about that day, those days.
I can still close my eyes and end up in any one of those moments.

(Although in my mind they never occur in the sequence that they occurred in real life.
Like my mind was trying so hard to take it all in, that there was no time for proper sequencing as it was all being filed away.)

I can still remember so much and yet…
There are times that I forget.

It’s always right there, hidden in the back of my mind.
But sometimes it just gets covered up by all the other stuff, all the other chaos that defines my life.

And then I read something like this:

I was okay, and not okay.  I changed diapers and folded laundry and wrote…and I flinched every time I saw the date on the calendar, the date that would have been the due date…How do you mark a birthday that isn’t a birthday at all?
(from Shauna Niequist’s book “Bittersweet“)

And I remember.

I see pictures of babies who were born when my baby was supposed to be born.
And I remember.

I talk to someone who has recently had a miscarriage.
And I remember.

I hear another child called by his name and my throat catches.
And I remember.

I will never forget…and yet, I am thankful that I don’t always remember.
That baby, forever known in my heart as my sweet little Elijah, is as much a part of me and who I am as my other children.
But as I get further and further away from the day that changed me,
I find that I think of him less and less.

And sometimes I feel guilty about that.
But mostly…it makes me more grateful for the children I do hold in my arms.

One Year Ago Today

A year ago today I was wearing a purple sweater with freshly purchased maternity jeans and a pewter flower necklace.

A year ago today I went to work despite my aching abdomen and hoped that no one could tell that I was hurting.

A year ago today I knew before I actually knew that something was wrong, but I wasn’t ready to admit it.

A year ago today I called my OB’s office and talked with her nurse, who convinced me to come oin for an ultrasound just to be sure everything was ok.

A year ago today my heart stopped when I realized that the tiny heart inside of me had also stopped.

A year ago today I cried as my husband and my doctor took turns hugging and comforting me.

A year ago today I sat in my OB’s office as arrangements were made for a D&C.  I’d seen them done before, and I knew the drill from the medical perspective.  Very little was said because I already understood the process logically.  And there are no words to express the process emotionally.

A year ago today I went down to pre-op alone so that Marshall could go home and gather the things that I would be needing.  I was both tormented and relieved to be alone.  I wanted to be held, but I also wanted time to process it all.

A year ago today good friends and my family came to check on me, help with the kids, and do whatever they could.  I’ve rarely felt so loved in all my life.

A year ago today my OB came in to tell me it was time for the D&C, and before I knew it I was in recovery.  I t was still and quiet there because it was Thanksgiving Eve, and almost everyone else had gone home.

A year ago today I came home with my family and I wrote this post.  I sat at my desk and typed and cried for well over an hour, probably more.

A year ago today my heart was broken, but by the grace of my God who loves me more than I love that little baby…I began the healing process right then and there.

And now today I am 34 weeks into a new pregnancy.  It’s been a hard one, but everytime I complain I remember the pain of not being pregnant this time last year.  And my heart hurts for those who have had multiple miscarriages or who have wanted, but never been able to feel the kick of life inside their womb.

And these days I am often achy and exhausted, but excited that in just a few short weeks I will be able to meet the baby we affectionatly call #3A.

And these days I still often think about Elijah Ellison Ivey and who he would have been, could have been.  He would be about six months old by now-squealing, smiling, kicking.  And I am sad that I will never know him like I know my other kids.  But I suspect that he’ll always be a part of who I am, who I have become, and who I will be.

So…little Eli, I’ll never forget you, and you’ll always be in my heart.  I’m sure I’ll always wonder what it would have been like had things gone differently.  And I’m sure I’ll always miss you.  But I won’t be sad beacuse I do believe in God, and I do believe that you are with Him.  The Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you…and give you peace(from Numbers 6).

Sad news

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.