A Story of Stillbirth- Birth

At 7:30 AM, my water broke and I pushed the call button. My nurse rushed in, and I told her, “either the catheter just popped out, or my water broke”. She checked, and it was my water. She said that doctor would be in soon, and I would be checked then. I sent Husbandman to get breakfast, because I knew it wouldn’t be long before she came. I made him promise to not eat in the cafeteria and to come right back after he got his food. I sat and talked to mom for a while.

Five minutes after Husbandman left, I felt pressure. A whole lot of pressure. And like I had to go to the bathroom. (Apparently, that means that I felt like I had to push.) I told my nurse, who said that that doctor should be coming in at any time, but I asked her to do what she could to get him to come in. I needed the doctor to be there.

After what felt like forever, which really want’s long at all, the doctor came in. He explained that he was going to check me to see how close I was, and that I was probably ready for another dose of medication. He said that four hours after that dose, they would probably start a pitocin drip to help me progress further. In my head, the whole time he was talking, all I could think was, “No. I don’t need more medicine. It’s time for the baby to come now.”

He checked me, and as he removed his hand, he told the nurse to pull the cord, that it was time to deliver. I found out afterwards that after he checked me, Cora’s body was born. In two seconds, everything changed. Another nurse came into the room, and two other doctors materialized out of thin air. My nurse laid my bed all the way back, and Husbandman and my nurse held my hands. Momma stood at the head of my bed and stroked my hair. A senior doctor came in, because I was considered high risk because we didn’t know what happened to Cora.

Delivering her was a blur. I remember being confused and a little scared; Mom stroking my hair; Husbandman telling me that everything was okay; my nurse telling me that I was doing a good job. I don’t know how long the delivery took, but I knew that it was fast. The doctors told me to push, and I couldn’t figure out what they meant. I tried, and I guess it worked, because the epidural worked well enough that I didn’t feel much but they doctors told me I was doing well. After a few tries at pushing, I saw the doctor reaching for a scalpel, and I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. I asked him, and he told me that he was cutting the cord. I didn’t even know that she was born until then, because she didn’t make a sound when her body entered the world.

I have never heard such deafening silence. I had spent seven months imagining what she would be like when she was born, and when it actually happened, my heart broke. Instead of being flooded with relief and more love for her tiny life, my heart learned what loss truly felt like.

It was 8:24 AM on August 7th. All that I could cling to was that I knew the first voices she heard were mine and Husbandman’s, but the first face that she saw was God’s.

Throughout the month of October, I’m writing a series titled “Hopeful Grief” with a fabulous group of writers, doing the Write31Days challenge. To catch up, or see new posts, click here. Interested in last year’s Write31Days posts? Click here

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And the baby is…

stubborn baby

Yesterday, I had hoped to be able to share with you something gender-based about our baby (called “the Bean”). I have super cute plans for telling the whole world “what the baby is”. (FYI, the Bean is a baby. I’m not pregnant with a puppy.)

Notice that everything is yellow.

The above picture is not very recent. Because most ultrasound pictures make the Bean look like Skeletor. Let’s be real. Ultrasounds pictures are confusing. And because… the entire time we were having our anatomy scan, the Bean had its legs crossed and was sitting on its feet. And would not move its legs when I talked to it. Or poked my belly. Or pouted. (FYI, the baby is totally healthy, and so am I. We are very, very grateful.)

(This is the second time that we’ve tried to figure out the gender. The Bean hasn’t cooperated either time. They’re in no hurry to satisfy my curiosity.)

So, when I got back to work and had a chance to text our families, everyone asked “So, what is it?!”

Stubborn.

Just like me. I am not in control of this tiny person.

The Bean is already a person, with likes and dislikes and a personality.

  • The Bean already likes coffee, as evidenced by the wiggles I feel after I drink my allotted 8 ounces a day.
  • The Bean likes cold water, and when I bounce around in the pool.
  • The Bean likes bluegrass music, and kicks me when I turn it off because he or she just can’t get enough.
  • The Bean loves their Daddy (maybe his name will also be Daddy-Man in addition to Husband-Man), and the silly songs he sings.
  • The Bean hates it when I get upset, and let’s me know that I am making their house uncomfortable and that I need to calm down.

God already has big plans for the Bean; bigger and grander than mine. God knows the hairs on the Bean’s little head, and exactly who He has created them to be. And I’m blessed beyond measure to be growing this human. I’m blessed beyond measure to already be this little Bean’s Momma, and to get to see the Lord work through a tiny life. (Even if I don’t like if that life is a girl-life or a boy-life.)

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhorthose who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I’m pregnant. And it’s confusing.

Husband-Man and I are expecting our first baby. We’re thrilled, and I’ve felt every since emotion that  knew existed and more since I found out on Valentine’s Day this year.

This is new territory for me. This is terrifying territory, to be honest.

Brave

I’m elated. I’ve wanted this for as long as I knew what a “mom” was. I have longed and wept for this. I have prayed for it and prayed for it.

I’m scared. I don’t know if I can handle the responsibility of raising a child. I don’t know if I can get up in the night with a tiny human and be one-half of their parents. I still feel sixteen inside. How can I adequately love and train a little?

I’m hesitant. I don’t know what I’m doing. Why did God let me get pregnant? Does He really know what He’s doing? I mean, sometimes I forget to brush my own teeth. And to feed my fish.

I’m selfish. My body has already started to change. Several sweet friends have asked if I have a “bump” yet. Up until this past weekend, it’s been a pudge. Pure and simple. I’ve just looked like I’ve eaten too many burgers. (Burgers sound really good right now.) And I’m embarrassed. Today, maybe it looks like there’s a baby in there instead of just too much food. But I’ve always struggled with my weight. It’s difficult to transition to a place where mentally gaining weight isn’t a negative thing.

I’m resentful that I am not the only inhabitant of my body anymore. It’s very difficult to wrap my mind around. I’m an introvert. And I’m not alone. I have a human inside of me that is using my nutrients and my blood and my body as its home. That kind of weirds me out to be honest.

I feel guilty. I know so many people so struggle to conceive or who have lost their little ones. Why me? How can I hold so much excitement and joy inside coupled with such grief for others? I’m ashamed that I have any negative emotions. Deeply ashamed.

I’m tired. Until a few weeks ago, I was bone-weary. I was as tired as I was when my gallbladder stopped working entirely. I didn’t think I could make it through a work week, much less nine months. Thankfully, I’ve had a little bit more energy recently.

I’m shocked. I’m shocked that not all of the emotions that I’ve carried with me are positive. I’m embarrassed that I’ve felt negative and confusing emotions instead of floating around on a happy “pregnancy cloud” that I always imagined that I would live on while pregnant.

I don’t know if I can physically do this again, and I’m only 1/3 of the way done. For the first three months, I thought for sure that I would die before I felt any better. As I alluded to above, I had gallbladder issues about three years ago and I had mine removed, and the first two months of my pregnancy were plagued by gastrointestinal distress, dehydration, lack of sleep because of pain in my guts, and nausea. And I work full time. How do women do this when they have other children to take care of? For over a month, I didn’t work a full work week because I woke up feeling very poorly by the time the middle of the week came around.

Why am I telling you this? Because it’s my mess. It’s my heart. I feel unsure and excited and I don’t want to hide it, because that’s lying.

Are you surprised that I have had so many struggles with my emotions about something that I longed for for so long? Me too. But I’m not going to lie to you. I’m pretty sure that if I feel this, someone else does too. Maybe more than someone else.

I choose to trust God that He knows what He’s doing. I mean, from what we know, He chose a single teenager to raise His son. He knows what He’s doing. And He’s big enough to handle my mess. And He’s big enough to handle yours. Even if it’s unexpected. And even if it’s a complicated package of emotions that you never expected.

Jump

I know that I’ve been doing some serious writing on here recently, but I thought today I might attempt to make you giggle.

Husband-Man is a champion sleeper. He can sleep on boats, planes, cars, you name it. He also falls  asleep quickly. So quickly that in our almost three years of marriage, I have gotten used to being the last one to fall asleep every night. He is also not a night person. He starts to move in slow motion after 10:00 PM,  and at 11:00 PM, he’s sleepy enough that I ask him to tell me all of his secrets (he doesn’t ever have any).

One night, about two and a half months ago, Husband-Man and I were getting ready to sleep, and were playing with our respective electronic devices. I needed a drink of water, and went down to the kitchen to get myself a glass. I brought it back upstairs with me, and found Husband-Man fast asleep in bed. After one minute. He was out cold.

Confession time: I like to pull pranks on people. And Husband-Man was a prime target. He gets a really funny expression on his face when he’s startled awake. So, as any good wife would do, I decided to scare him. I jumped on him, and was very satisfied with the momentary look of terror on his face. I wish I had taken a picture of it. What was less than satisfying was the pain I felt in my right wrist upon landing in the bed. I sprained my wrist.

I’m planning on sharing more about the recovery process in the next few days, but it has involved x-rays, MRIs, and physical therapy. I try to focus this blog on finding and sharing the deeper meaning of what’s going on in every day life, but sometimes, I can’t find a deep meaning in it. I just have to trust that God has orchestrated things according to a plan that I can’t see.

And, I have a sneaking suspicion that He’s had a good laugh at how I injured myself just like my physical therapist has. Have a good Tuesday, everyone!

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