Thursday, December 15, 2016

Deacon's Birth Story - Part One

Of course I couldn't dive into the actual birth without the journey there, so I've done it in parts again. If you want to skip straight to the birth click here.
Deacon is 3 weeks now. His birth definitely wasn't the serene home birth I had imagined. This whole pregnancy was challenging. He gained the title Rainbow Baby because that is what babies born after a loss are called. Something beautiful after a storm. That name has been amplified for Deacon for sure. 
A shortish recap is that I became pregnant after trying for a couple years in September of 2015. We got a positive pregnancy test on October 4th . November 17th we went in for our 1st midwife appointment. No heartbeat could be found. They did an ultrasound where we saw that our tiny baby had only grown to 10+3 weeks. It took another week for his/her body to be born naturally at home on November 24th. Here is my complete miscarriage story.

I got pregnant again with Deacon in April of 2016. At 10 weeks I started spotting. I went in for an ultrasound and saw that everything was fine. I spotted on and off until 18 weeks. More here.

Kidney stones were my next bump in the road. I started having mild flank and bladder pain at 12 weeks, the beginning of July. On September 11th, I had the worst pain ever and when to the ER. Morphine didn't touch it so they put me on a dilaudid pump. That lessened it but didn't stop it. I started having non painful contractions every 2-3 minutes, so they gave me terbutaline. It stopped the contractions and my pain went away as well. I had a few little episodes over the next month, but on October 15th, it got bad again. Not as bad as last time, but bad enough to send me back to the hospital. This time one shot of dilaudid knocked it out. Thank the Lord it never got that bad again, a few minor episodes, but my CT after he was born showed it had passed at some point.

At 28 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes for the first time. I was able to stay diet controlled, but it was hard. I'm not sure I would have made it without medicine if he hadn't come early. 

Next was the threatened preterm labor. At 33+4 I started having more contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I went to the hospital and they gave me terbutaline again to stop them. It slowed them down, but didn't stop them so they also gave me procardia. They sent me home with another dose in case it picked back up when the medicine all wore off. 

I'm going to insert a bit about my home birth/provider struggle. When I first found out I was pregnant again, I was going to go back to the same midwife I went to when I had my loss, but I just couldn't do it. It was still too fresh to go back there. The only other CNM in town was pregnant too, and due around the same time as I was. I made a few appointments with local CPMs, but decided to interview with a CNM out of Danville as well. I sent her a list of my questions and she was very through. I ended up canceling my other appointments and going with her. She asks that you also establish care with a provider with hospital privileges. I decided to go with the doctor in Stanford that signs off on her because I knew the he was supportive of homebirth. My other pregnancies and deliveries had been so smooth, I really didn't think I'd need him anyways beyond ultrasounds. But after struggling with GD and being afraid of going early on top of kidney stones and everything else (by this time it was November and I was dealing with all the emotions of it being a year since my miscarriage), I had decided to transfer care to a hospital midwife. Since I wasn't 35 weeks yet, it made the most logical sense to go to someone who had privileges at the closest hospital with a NICU. I went and saw two. I decided to go with the 2nd because I thought she would be able to empathize with me because she was a homebirther herself. In the office, she gave me a steroid shot to help develop Deacon's lungs in case he did come early. That same evening, at 34 weeks, I started having contraction again! My care did not go how I had envisioned it though.

I'm just not a big hospital fan when it comes to labor and delivery. First of all when I started having contractions, I didn't even get to talk to see the MW I had just transfered care to. The OB she works with was on call. I hadn't planned on having any vaginal exams during pregnancy, but this whole preterm labor thing had thrown me for a loop. Cervical checks are very subjective and don't really tell you much unless you are assessing change with the same person checking. In the office that day I let my new MW check me so if I went back into the hospital, she could tell if there had been any change. Little did I know, she wouldn't come to the hospital unless I was confirmed to be in labor. Homebirth spoils you. I had to see another hospitalist when I arrived. I had found out there is a test for preterm labor called a fetal fibronectin test, but being checked in the last 24 hours can give a false positive. He decided to go ahead and do it because if it was negative it would mean I wasn't in preterm labor, and wouldn't likely give birth in the next 2 weeks. If it came back positive, they would have to redo it because I had let my new MW check me that day... grr. Of course his shift ended and I had to see yet another hospitalist. They tried to stop my contractions with just procardia this time and it wasn't working. They thought maybe the steroid shot triggered them and wanted to keep me that day on magnesium while I got my 2nd dose. That was awful. I was on it for 12 hours. I couldn't get out of bed. They had to catheterize me, put air compressions on my legs to prevent clots, and check my blood pressure every 30 minutes. It makes you feel like you're burning from the inside out. Turns out the test they had done got messed up at the lab so we decided to just wait until the next day to redo it. The mag didn't stop the contractions, so before it ended, they put me back on procardia and gave me something to help me sleep, but it didn't work. The procardia made my blood pressure drop and my heart rate go up, making sleep impossible. The next day I thought I was going to finally get to see my midwife, but apparently it was her day off so the OB came in and redid the test. It came back negative. PHEW! The contactions had finally stopped overnight, so I went home with a diagnosis of irritable uterus.
The next day I called my homebirth midwife and asked her if she'd take me back :) We thought that I wasn't going to give birth until at least 36 weeks. At that point I could give birth at home or at the hospital in Stanford, if I thought I could make it. If I could make it until 37 weeks, I could have my homebirth no question. Everyone said I didn't need to be on bed rest, but I was afraid that if the contractions started again, that they would cause my water break. Turns out I was half right....
Thanksgiving fell on November 24th this year, Dani's birthday, the baby we lost last year. I decided I didn't want to go to Louisville this year. I wanted to stay home and mourn where I had birthed and buried my baby. We have a few families at our church that are from out of town and don't have family close by. Some of them couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving. Our church is a family. When we lost Dani, they prayed and they cried with me. They give me strength through Him. We invited over a couple of families with the understanding it would be nothing fancy. Summer prepared the turkey breasts. Scott and Joshua did the rest. We used paper plates and throw away serving trays. What little dishes were dirtied, were washed by Jacob. Summer had cleaned the house in the days prior. I am truly blessed. I took it easy. I even did the shopping through Kroger's click list. It was a good day. I went to bed with no contractions. 
Read Part Two Here 

Deacon's Birth Story - Part Two

To read Part One click here
I woke up on November 25th, 2016 at 8am with no contractions. I took my blood sugar as normal for the last 7 weeks or so. It was just a little high, so I thought I'd go wash my hands and take it again. When I stood up, I felt fluid soak my panties. I was 35 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I knew I hadn't peed myself. I'm 39 and have gone through seven pregnancies, this one with kidney stones.. I've peed myself before. I started looking for dry panties with toilet paper tucked between my legs. I woke Scott and told him I was pretty sure my water broke. I knew it had, but there's always a little doubt. I felt more fluid come out and remembered I have depends. I got on the couch on my left side. I was trying to keep the fluid in and I didn't want the contractions to get stronger. I was having a few, but I wasn't in labor yet. I called and texted my midwife. Then called the hospital in Stanford to let them know I was on my way in. My MW offered to come in with me for labor support, but I declined. I figured it would all be smooth sailing and I'd have a baby in a couple of hours. Not quite... 
We got to the hospital(an hour away) at 10am.The 1st stage of labor was fine. I didn't want to be checked when I first got there because of course I was GBS positive and I didn't really want to risk pushing that bacteria up into my cervix without knowing if I'd get enough antibiotics in. I got the 1st dose at around noon. They were really good about me declining the eye ointment. The nurse was also very nice about me not wanting to be checked, but I let curiosity get the best of me. After the antibiotics finished, I was going to walk and if the contractions picked up I wanted a reference point to know if I was progressing. I knew being in the hospital with ruptured membranes was putting me on the clock, and I was feeling the pressure. I was about 3cm. 
We walked for about an hour. Scott went and got Arby's for lunch. I ate half Summers sandwich :) When we got back to the room I started bouncing on a ball. 
waiting for my ball
I could trigger some decent contractions there, but still not in labor. At about 4 they did my 2nd dose of antibiotics. I went ahead and laid down to rest my back and legs while we waited for it to finish. Then it was back to walking. 
We walked for close to another hour. The hallway made a square it took about 3 minutes to get around it. I started having a contraction about every lap. We went back to the room. They had my dinner waiting for me. All liquid, but better than what most hospitals will feed you during labor, which is nothing but ice chips. I had the chicken broth. The other stuff was sugary: juice, jello, sherbet, 7up, so I skipped them because I didn't want to chance a glucose spike and Deacon's insulin be too high and his sugar crash after birth. I asked to be checked at 5:30 to see if the contractions were doing anything. I wanted to get in the tub before it got intense. I was 4.5 cm. Progress. Finally in labor! 
I got in the tub and munched on some cashews. I browsed FB for a while then Summer and I watched watched a little Supernatural on our laptop :) At about 8 I guess, they started me on another dose of antibiotics. This is the part I don't like about being in the hospital though. I start feeling like a watched pot. They'd say, "You'll let us know as soon as you start feeling a change, right?" So like a good girl when it finally started to feel just a little more intense... like I couldn't focus on Sam and Dean anymore... I asked to be checked. I got out of the tub and found out I was just 6cm. This was at about 8:30 maybe. Time starts to get blurry. But it goes into fast forward from here.

I got right back in the tub.  I started a low moan to help me focus on opening and to stay relaxed. The doctor, who by the way ended up not being the doctor I had established with (he was out of town for Thanksgiving), came in shortly after and asked if he could check me while I was still in the tub. I was 7. Summer was by my side the whole time. My belly was sticking out of the water a bit, so she would pour water over it during a peak. Then I had 2 contractions that were really intense and I didn't feel like my uterus was relaxing all the way in between.

I got out of the tub and asked to be checked again at 9. When I walked out of the bathroom, it felt like there were a million people in the room, all staring right at me. My anxiety was rising. The doctor was there with his tool box of supplies. 
He checked me. I was 9, but Deacon wasn't liking these contractions. His heartbeat was dipping after them and he was still high in my uterus. I got out of the bed to try to get him to come down. I heard the doctor say to grab the vacuum. My anxiety went up another notch. After a few contractions, I started to feel a little more pressure and asked him to see if I was complete at 9:11. He said to be prepared, that if Deacon kept showing signs of distress and wasn't coming down, they would have to help him out with the vacuum. I was complete, but he was still high, so I didn't have the urge to push. His heart rate started dropping again, but he did better when I was standing, so I got back out of the bed. In hindsight, I should have squatted or got on all fours in the bed. When I stood back up, I'm not sure if I started having an anxiety attack, or my sugar was low, or what, but I started feeling a little faint. I started thinking I should just try pushing, but of course as soon as I laid down, Deacon's heart rate went down. They had me turn onto my left side. I was torn between not wanting to "purple push" and deprive him of even more oxygen and just trying to get him out. I was grunting through the contractions, looking for the urge to push, but it wasn't happening. They had me turn over to my right side and gave me oxygen.  The doctor was checking me during every contraction, which was super painful, and distracting from my task. I sort of yelled/cried out after one, "why do you keep doing that!?" He said he needed to know if I was making any progress because Deacon heart rate wasn't coming back up between each contractions and we may need to act soon. There wasn't an in between at this point though, they didn't feel like they were really going away completely before another peak would start. I decided in my mind I was going to have to either push with everything I had and get him out, or give up, and let them vacuum him out. So with the next contraction I held my breath and pushed. I felt him come down and kept pushing until his head was out. I asked if he had his cord around his neck, which he did pretty tightly.  The doctor looped it off then I reached down as I pushed the rest of his body out and pulled his slippery body to my chest at 9:34. I did it. 
He was breathing, but his heart rate was still low, so I let them take him across the room to get a little ventilation and oxygen after Summer cut the cord. 
His apgars were 6, 8, and 9... so he recover quickly and was back in my arms in less than 15 minutes. 
I took his blankets off as soon as I got him and put him back to my chest. I had let the doctor manage my 3rd stage, by pressing on my fundus and putting just a small amount of traction on the cord, mostly because I knew the sooner the placenta came, the sooner the room would clear and I could relax with my baby. It came quickly, with minimal bleeding. 
We cuddled and nursed for over an hour then Summer got to hold him at 11:12. 

We took him to the nursery to be weighed and get his Vitamin K and Hep b shots. I don't really think hep b is necessary, but we fully vaccinate and don't think it's worth finding a new pediatrician for. He was 4 lbs 15 oz and 17 3/4 in. His blood sugar was also great.
Summer took the 1st shift to let me try to get some rest a little after midnight. She held him skin to skin in a babywearing shirt. I probably slept for an hour. She woke me at a little before two.
I fed him, changed him and cuddled him until 4 something, then woke Scott (he had been asleep since midnight) for his turn to hold him skin to skin. I slept another hour and a half or so, until about 6. 
I fed and changed him, then woke Summer back up for another cuddle. This went on most of the next day. I slept an hour or so here and there when I could. Scott left at around 10 to pick up the other kids minus Joshua, who had to work. My parents came the same time as them. Everybody took a turn, then were ready to go, which I was thankful for. 

Scott stayed home the 2nd night to be with the littles. Summer stayed with me. I had napped a lot during the day, so I let her get a little more shut eye that night. ;) I did wake her up to go with me to get him reweighed. Instead of losing any, he gained 2oz. I had told them my milk had already started coming in! 
His last hurdles as a 35 weeker the next day, to get to come home, were his bilirubin and car seat tests. He passed both but his bilirubin was a little elevated so we had to follow up with our pediatrician the following week. He ended up on a biliblanket for one night, but it has been slowly coming down. At his 2 week check up it was 12 something. They'll check it again at 3 weeks. He's still been gaining weight like a champ. He was 5 11.5 at 2 weeks :)
Everything I went through was so worth it. Deacon is awesome and perfect in every way. Of course I wish that he could've cooked a little longer. Maybe he wouldn't have had such a hard time at the end of my labor, and maybe he wouldn't have had to have had his poor little foot lanced so many times, but he is my rainbow and for that, I am grateful. God is so good. Maybe him staying in the womb longer wouldn't have changed those things. Maybe it was God's intervention for me having a homebirth. It apparently wasn't meant to be this time. I think I knew deep down. I always write an in depth birth plan and this time I just couldn't.
Just pictures from here that Summer took :) 


Friday, April 22, 2016

Here we grow again!

After we lost Dani, as soon as I got a negative pregnancy test, I started charting my cycles again. There is no right time to get pregnant after a miscarriage. Something will always be wrong. Some people like to wait 1 cycle, some 3(especially if they had a d&c), some after their due date, some after the anniversary of their loss. The fact will always remain though, that it will forever be wrong. The order of our kids are all messed up. If your miscarriage was your first pregnancy, next time around everyone who doesn't know will ask if this is your first. After they're born people will say, "Do you just have the one?" I'm on the other end of the spectrum. My last announcement said, "Seventh Wonder of the Fertig Family... Coming June 2016" What do I say now? Can I say baby #8 is on the way? I can say I have 6 kids on earth, 1 I'll meet in heaven, and 1 on the way. That's a mouthful. Later it'll be a little easier. 7 on earth, 1 I'll meet in heaven. We will be a family of 9 though, when it feels like it should be 10, on paper... It will feel wrong. I've pondered the idea that everything that happens for a reason. That it's all part of Gods master plan, but it's not. He doesn't want us to suffer. He'd love for everything to be perfect, and it will be someday. The fact is, in order for us to love, we had to start out with free will, which brought sin into the world, which brought suffering. He mourns with us. His master plan was to send Jesus Christ to saves us from eternal separation. So we can experience His perfectness someday. His plan for us on earth is that we will use our suffering.
Romans 5New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hopeof the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

No matter what I say, there will be that twinge in my heart for Dani. It's something I'll carry until we meet in heaven. I didn't want to wait to start trying for another baby. I will never "get over the loss". Trying gave me something else to focus on, so I didn't get swallowed in my grief. I'm no spring chicken and I felt time was running out and my cycles are crazy.

My 1st cycle was 53 days and my second was 59. Each time I started was a kick in the gut. A painful, both physically and emotionally, reminder that where life should be, there was none. I didn't have my Dani and I wasn't getting a new baby in 7-8 months. This cycle was a little different, shorter. I ovulated on day 23 and my luteal phase it usually on 12 days, so it was setting up for a 35 day cycle... Almost normal. I had a lot of acne, so hormones were high. I was afraid we had missed it because I hadn't started taking my predictor tests yet, but I saw my temperature shift. It had been almost 3 days since.... You know :) A week went by and on day 7 past ovulation(dpo) I got anxious and took a pregnancy test that is suppose to detect 6 days before your expected period. It was negative, and so it was the next day, and the next 2 days, or so I thought. I had gotten my hopes up the 1st cycle, I was pretty sure we missed it the 2nd one and was right. I even missed when I ovulated that time, but in back tracking, I thought we had missed it by 3 days, just like this time. I just really expected to be negative again. So I was just going through the motions. It was first thing in the morning, I didn't even put my glasses on. As soon as I would see the control line I assumed I was right again and toss them back in the wrapper and back in the cabinet. A friend of mine had thrown her test in the trash once, right before I came over. She thought it was negative, but I pulled it out and it was a faint positive, so I never pitch them. I hadn't used this brand with my other pregnancies. I'd always used generic ones and I guess I was far enough along that you didn't have to wait the 2-3 minutes.

After the 4th test I gave up. I ran out and wasn't going to buy anymore. I figured I'd start by Tuesday. But I didn't. I was having a hard time going to sleep and started thinking that maybe I just tested too early. Then I started thinking about the ones I had already taken. I decided to go check them again... At 1:30 in the morning. Two of them were positive. I didn't think I was EVER going to get back to sleep. Scott was leaving for Detroit in the morning and I didn't want him to leave without telling him, so even after I did go to sleep it wasn't restful. The emotions ran the gambit. From disbelief, to not wanting to get my hopes up, to excitement, to guilt. I thought... What if it IS too soon. Am I dishonoring Dani by not waiting until the due date. But the way I see it due dates are arbitrary. None of my kids were born on their due dates. Dani died in my womb and was born November 24th 2015. Waiting wasn't going to change that. I honor Dani's memory continually. That is the rational thought. But I kept thinking, "I'm so sorry Dani".

The next day I told a few people who are close to me. I am so blessed to have different people to understand the different aspects of where I am and can support me uniquely. The tears came and I let them. I have learned to take grief like the tide. Let it well up and wash over you, then let it recede. I had read that sometimes after a few days, you can get evaporation lines on a pregnancy test that some people can mistake for a positive. I went to the store for more tests. I couldn't wait until the next morning, so I just waited until I needed to pee. It took a minute or so, but a faint second line started to appear. Still in denial, the next morning I pee'd on yet another stick hoping for a bright neon line. I'm definitely pregnant.

The next question is do I wait to tell people. I knew from the time I started trying that I would not wait the customary 12 weeks "just in case". I am trying to be a little bit cautious. I have read that early pregnancies can turn out to be chemical pregnancies where an egg is fertilized but doesn't implant and start to develop. Then there are cases of blighted ovums where it implants, the gestational sac and the placenta develop, but no embryo. These are still losses, but I look at these a little different, especially when it come to explaining to my little kids. I want to know there is a baby developing before I tell them I'm pregnant. I don't want an early ultrasound, so I am hoping that my midwife will agree to check my hcg levels every few days or so. That away I can see if it is progressing as it should. Then I'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate the life within. Right now... I am cautiously optimistic.

I waited for my blood test to post this. My HCG was 173 on Thursday. I thought I was 15 dpo then but the range for then is 17-147 with an average of 59. I must have ovulated the day before, just after I took my temperature. My 1st positive would have been on 8 dpo... Which I think is the earliest it can be detected. That puts my due date at December 27th. My progesterone level was REALLY good. Anything above 10 is good and mine was 23, so they said there is not reason to redraw. I'm excited to start this new journey, come what may.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Miscarriage Story - Part 6

This is my miscarriage story, but it starts many months before our baby passed away... I'm posting it as series in case someone just wants to read part.

Part 1 - Trying to Conceive
Part 2 - Pregnancy
Part 3 - The Decision- Natural or D&C
Part 4 - Limbo
Part 5 - The Process
Part 6 - The Burial and After (contains pictures of miscarried baby)

Part 6 - The Burial and After

After I let it soak in a few minutes, I called Scott into the room. We took pictures. We're pretty sure the baby had some kind of neural tube defect that caused his head to be more fragile, so we don't have pictures of his face. We prepared him in a little wooden box for the burial in our flower garden. Then let the kids come in, told them the baby had come out, and let them see the pictures.

We named our baby Baby Dani. Short for Daniel Ray if he was a boy and Danielle Rose if he was a girl. We waited until the next day to bury him. My mother in law sent me a beautiful Angel statuette. We had already gotten a little memorial statue for the grave. Later that evening my friend Sarah brought me sweets from her sisters bakery that she works at. Like I said... I'm blessed.

I spent that whole day writing Baby Dani's story. I couldn't bring myself to tell everyone about his death before I was able to tell more about his life. It was very short... only 59 days from conception and probably about 45 days that he had his own blood cells. His heart was beating for at least 31 days. There is all kinds of controversy over when life begins and I have no urge to debate it. The only authority I have found on the subject is found in Leviticus 17:11... "For the life of the flesh is in the blood..." The only thing I know for sure, is that my baby was alive inside my womb until he wasn't.

1 Samuel 1:27-28New International Version (NIV)

27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

I had to give Baby Dani to the Lord in a different way than Hannah did, but I know I will get to see him again. I don't know for sure what Heaven will be like, but I'd like to think that people like me, who love having babies, will get to be pregnant there. That I will still get to feel Baby Dani's 1st kick inside my womb. But there will never be any pain or sadness for him.

I don't know when the numbness will ended. How long to grieve.  I know I am comforted in my Father's arms and that in time I will think about it less and less... but I will never forget our baby.

My Miscarriage Story - Part 5

This is my miscarriage story, but it starts many months before our baby passed away... I'm posting it as series in case someone just wants to read part.

Part 1 - Trying to Conceive
Part 2 - Pregnancy
Part 3 - The Decision- Natural or D&C
Part 4 - Limbo
Part 5 - The Process
Part 6 - The Burial and After (contains pictures of miscarried baby)

Part 5 - The Process

Monday at about 3:30 I started cramping and spotting more steadily. After a while I got Scott to watch a movie with the kids while I spent some time alone, coming to terms with it soon being over. I decided go to bed and try to rest up at about 11. I woke up at 4:30 having inconsistent contractions, more than a Braxton Hicks, but still not too intense. I fell back to sleep after about and hour and woke back up at 7 with the same thing. I was suppose to go in for my ultrasound at 11:30. At 9 or so, I texted my midwife, told her what was going on and asked if she thought I should still come in. She asked if this was a labor pattern for me. I told her that by the time I know for sure I'm in labor, I progress pretty quick.

With Jacob through Raiden, by the time I got to the hospital it took less than 2 hours. Then with Sierra I had a 19 minute precipitous labor after 2 days of what just felt like pre labor. You see, I don't have typical labor and deliveries, so I really didn't expect my miscarriage to be typical either. I mean I was prepare for a lot of pain and a lot of blood, but I didn't think I would have either. I read other people having not horrific ones, but it's important to know that just like any other kind of birth... They run the gambit. No two, pregnancies, labors, births, or miscarriages are the same.

Because I was afraid of getting out and it hitting hard and fast, and since Frankfort is 45 minutes away, we decided it was best I stay home. I got up and started about my day... I started to think it was stalling, but I knew my body was ready. I took a dose of my tinctures to try to keep things going at about 10. We watched the movie that Scott had watched with the kids the evening before.

Just as the movie ended, at 11:30, I felt a little contraction, and a little pop. My water had broke. My baby wasn't going to be born in the caul(sac). I didn't tell anyone. I told Scott I was going to take a bath. I needed to be alone. I got in the tub and tried to relax and let it happen.. During the contractions I would bleed a little, but it would stop in between. I'm not sure how many I had, but they still weren't painful.

After an hour, I thought maybe I needed to get out of the water for them to get stronger. I started to drain the tub and dry my upper body. As I started to get up felt something coming out. I guess the contractions were more effective that I thought. I stopped the drain, sat back down and inspected what I passed. It was just a large clot, but as I was cleaning up the smaller ones from the water... I saw the tiny little body. I had a bowl with water in it, ready on the edge of the tub. I scooped him up and placed him in. I will be saying him, for lack of a better pronoun. I don't want to call my baby an it. In the pictures that I took, the baby appears to be a boy, but after researching, I found out that both sexes appear that way at this stage.

I got out of the tub and moved to the bed. This is where I had my strongest one or two contractions. Not as bad as transition labor, but probably about like the after pains I experienced with Summer when they gave me pitocin to help stop my bleeding. The placenta was the biggest part though, so that's probably why. It took about 35-40 more minutes. By 1:15 it was over. My bleeding afterwards was very minimal. The cramping was comparable to regular after pains, but this time I didn't have a baby in my arms to distract from it. One to nurse and release all those feel good hormones. Just my sadness.

My Miscarriage Story - Part 4

This is my miscarriage story, but it starts many months before our baby passed away... I'm posting it as series in case someone just wants to read part.

Part 1 - Trying to Conceive
Part 2 - Pregnancy
Part 3 - The Decision- Natural or D&C
Part 4 - Limbo
Part 5 - The Process
Part 6 - The Burial and After (contains pictures of miscarried baby)

Part 4 - Limbo

On the way home we stopped and picked up a few things. My midwife had suggested emergen-C and I got an extra iron supplement and some heavy duty pads. I hadn't eaten much red meat in the past few years, but anything to boost my iron and blood count would be a plus, so we stopped and got burgers and I started loading my body with extra water.

I won't say waiting was easy. I felt like I was on pause, but I also welcomed the opportunity to prepare. I started combing the internet for stories and advice. The next day I picked up some motherwort, evening primrose, and raspberry leaf tea to help my body prepare for what was coming. I bought a plastic shower curtain and an extra sheet to protect our mattress and some extra towels. Actually, it was everything I would have done to prepare for any homebirth. I took the kids to the park for a little hike. It was fittingly gloomy. As if nature was sad too. Just as we were leaving the clouds released their tears. I took everyone but Summer home. We went and ate a steak dinner with spinach and brocolli and potatoes... iron, iron, and more iron.

I told a few people, my sister, my closest friends, and my church family. I wanted their prayers and support, but I didn't want to tell too many people until it was over. I also reached out to a friend from co-op, Bethany. We met when we first started homeschooling. Her and her family had moved to Florida a few years ago. Back in April she had lost her baby at around 4 months. She was very outspoken about breaking the silence of grief for pregnancy loss.

My dear sweet  friend Annie brought me my favorite no bake cookies the next morning. Bethany had just recently moved back, so we met at the park Thursday afternoon for the kids to play and us to visit. It was nice to be able to talk to someone who could truly get it, who understood what I was going through and why I had made the choice I did. She even offered to be there when it was time if I needed her to be. I praise Jesus for the loving people He has placed in my life to encourage me in such a dark time. My mom and my sister already had plans this week to have lunch with my niece here in Lexington that day, so I met with them at Cracker Barrel. My evenings were spent researching.

I woke up early the next morning, about 5. I can't remember exactly what my dream was about, but I knew it was about Bethany and her baby she had lost, Blue. In the back ground of my dream part of the George Straight song, Baby Blue, was playing... "like a breath of spring you came and left, but I just don't know why..." I decided to look up songs that were about miscarriage. I found a lot of good ones. Some were about pregnancy loss, some infant, and some child. I had cried nearly every day since I found out my baby was gone, but I had been holding back. This time, reading through the words of those songs, I let go. I felt all the raw emotion going through me.  That afternoon Summer and I went shopping for more herbs... I got black and blue cohosh, yarrow, and women's moon cycle tea. I could tell the herbs I had been taking were helping. I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions and the primrose should have been softening my cervix. The cohoshes were suppose to help strengthen those and ripen my cervix even more. I also picked up pads for the bed... the medical supply store had been closed when I had tried to pick them up before.

Again Saturday I awoke in the wee hours of the morning. I knew the Lord must have something else for me. I found a great Christian website that has a collection of stories and photos and practical advice. It was then that I knew the Baby Dani would have a purpose. At the very least I would share my story to help other women going through the same thing. I also hope that through this I would be able to show others the humanity of the unborn, even if only to my own children, but hopefully more. "A person's a person, no matter small." -Dr. Seuss

I wanted to keep myself moving, so that afternoon Summer and I went to the grocery store to shop for Thanksgiving. We were originally going to go see Scott's grandma in Maryland. We debated, depending on when it happened, going to my parents house, but I just didn't think I would want to get out so soon. This whole week I had chosen not to go to all the places I normally go to. I didn't want to be around a lot of people who knew I was pregnant, even people who knew what was happening... I didn't want to do crowds. I have a big family though, and did have company, and was getting out, so I wasn't being a recluse. Just dealing in my own way. Someone else may choose to try to keep things as normal as possible. Only thinking about the impending miscarriage may drive someone else crazy, but it was therapeutic for me.

Sunday I decided to take a break though. I had been gradually increasing the herbs and I was tired of finding excuses to walk. I just needed to rest my mind and body. I had prepare as much physically, emotionally, and spiritually as I possibly could. It was in God's hand now. Summer and I stayed in the bed and watched movies and TV all day.