Instead, I'm afraid my memories of this Christmas will always be a little tainted with the pain of losing a baby. Matthew and I found out, after many months of trying and praying, that our biggest Christmas gift was going to be a new sweet baby due next August. We were so excited that we even sent out a picture announcement to close family to share the news.
We found out at four weeks, and the nausea started at five. I was prepared to be exhausted and extremely sick for the first four months or so, just like with Eli. Week five passed slowly, with the sickness staying all day every day. I could barely get through the day with Eli, and crawled into bed every nap and bed time. We talked about names, and decided to keep the sex a secret. We started planning how to rearrange our rooms to fit two babies. We taught Eli to point to my belly when asked where the baby was.
We sent out the picture and were so excited to celebrate with our families this Christmas. When we got to Franklin, I started feeling better. I could eat all the meals, help in the kitchen, and I stayed up late. Right away, I thought something wasn't right. I know my body, and knew it didn't react this way to growing a baby. Of course, Matthew tried to reassure me I was just lucky this time. I prayed for my baby's health and prayed to be severely nauseous every day. I was very anxious to get to my first doctor's appointment and be told everything was fine.
On Wednesday the 28th, I had my first ultrasound. There was my baby, measuring 7 weeks 4 days, a little big, just like Eli always had. I cried tears of joy. The doctor was very quiet when she told me everything looked great size wise, but the baby's heart rate was a little low, and she was a little concerned. She also told me it might just be the ultrasound machine not picking it up very well. I left that day with hope and a follow-up appointment the next day with the offical ultrasound tech. Matthew and I prayed all night and the next morning.
When I had the second ultrasound, the tech was very quiet and was also very kind. My baby now measured 7 weeks 5 days; he or she had grown that morning. She showed me everything she saw; a healthy yolk sak, healthy looking baby...but no heartbeat. She kept telling me she was so sorry, and let me lay there and cry for awhile, telling me she had gone through the same thing three times.
My doctor came back in after that, and we discussed my options. I decided to have a DNC the very next day, on Matthew's birthday. I knew my baby was no longer alive, and I didn't want to pass the weeks waiting and wondering when my body would start letting go. I called Matthew on my way home and he was waiting for me in the driveway when I got home.
We've been doing a lot of crying, praying, and healing these past few days. We are very sad, and I am mourning our sweet baby, but know God has plans we don't always understand. I am now in a club I don't want to be in, but I have also felt so supported by friends and others who have gone through the same thing. I know God was with me from the beginning. The tech and my doctor both had multiple miscarriages, and both held my hand and let me cry, fully understanding my pain. I have a few friends who have gone through this, and they have offered many words of prayer and advice over the past few days.
I wasn't sure I would write about this,but I have read many other's stories on blogs over the weekend, and it has really helped me with not feeling so alone. Unfortunately, Matthew couldn't be there with me for the ultrasounds, so he never saw our baby with a beating heart, and then our baby with none. A mama's heart is a wonderful thing; I read somewhere that as soon as you find out you are pregnant, you prepare another place at the table for that child.
We did. We talked names, bedroom arrangements, we imagined next Christmas with a four month old. We moved our summer vacation up so I could still go. Those plans will now have to wait. My mama heart still has some healing to do; We still know God is good, and he loves us beyond comprehension. He opens and closes the womb, and we pray he will choose us again to parent his children. Thank you for your prayers. I hope none of you ever have to go through this, but if you do, I also pray you know you are not alone, and I know God hears our prayers.
I am repeating Psalm 61:2 lately:
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Isaiah 55:9 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
and my thoughts than your thoughts.