Saturday, October 27, 2007

Now & Our Story

Two weeks now. Two long weeks since we lost our baby. I wanted to write more in depth about that fateful night, but before going into that I would like to say something first. Amazingly, after a horrible first week, this last week has been much better. Better in that I am now able to receive some measure of hope and peace in my heart. Each day the first week there was something that came to remind me we weren't alone in sorrowing, we were remembered. It helped just to know that when I felt too overwhelmed to choke out anything in my prayers but tears, somehow other believers were lifting us up.

I took some time one evening to specifically seek out Truth, Biblically and Intellectually, about suffering. Outside at Starbucks alone, I read A Greif Observed, the chapters 'Is Christianity Hard or Easy' and 'Counting the Cost' in Mere Christianity, the chapter 'Waiting for the Morning during the Long Night of Weeping' in Suffering and the Sovereignty of God (written by a man whose son died shortly after birth). I gained fresh perspective, again having the truths I knew made unambiguous in my mind again. I had all the tools for battle and had been given fresh vision, yet I felt so weary knowing we're still in the trenches. God still requires much of us. But he knows how frail and weak I am, and without shame I can tell Him I don't feel I have the mental energy and spiritual stamina for this battle. He will be gracious not to rebuke, but to enable. Just a little at a time though, I know enough to be aware God wants a daily reliance on Him to be the cornerstone of my existance.

So, whoever has prayed for us, the Lord is answering. I can't thank you enough. I feel a bit shy sometimes that we need SO much prayer, but that is pride.

So, without further drivel, I wanted to tell our story. It is sad, but I'm not depressed in writing it.

Two weeks ago today Jonathan woke at 5 so he could go hunting. I reset the alarm for 7 and slept until then. I didn't feel great upon waking, I had a sore throat that threatened to become worse. Once up I showered, took my vitamins, ate breakfast and started about cleaning the house. Feeling better and especially productive, I pulled out the vacuum. It was terribly hard pushing it and I felt I shouldn't be vacuuming. But I did. I brewed myself a pot of tea and started about writing my cousin Lauren a letter. Jonathan walked in midway through it, so I set it aside.

I really don't recall what we did that day. We may have gone out for some errands. We definitely just had a relaxing and fun Satruday with each other. I think I practiced shooting arrows on my brand new bow outside in the target. We agreed to fix "breakfast for dinner" together. Around 6 we started preparing an English fry up, hash browns, cheese grits, and so on. We set a table outside on the patio and ate. It was a lovely 70 degrees and balmy and we enjoyed it so much. We were so happy to be pregnant and living our lives together. We felt good. Toward the end of the dinner the cramps started again with force. I mentioned them to Jonathan and he insisted on my laying down while he cleaned. That's when I headed to the bathroom and found the shocking, horrifying, scary blood. Not much, but any amount in pregnancy is reason for worry. I tried to tell myself it could be nothing, but I couldn't just let it be. I called the ob and was told it was normal in early pregnancy. My ultrasound was scheduled for Tuesday, but they said I could try to get in Monday morning. She mentioned that if I was really in trouble I could go to the ER and get an ultrasound.

Well, I knew the night was already ruined in terms of my mental wellbeing. I told Jonathan I would not rest assured even if I stopped bleeding unless I got an ultrasound. So off we went shortly after 7 to the hospital.

At the hospital I expected a wait. It took 3 hours until we were called back to a room of our own. In that cold waiting room, we watched football, Jonathan dozed, yet I don't recall a single thing but unnerving fear in the pit of my stomach. I'd go to that small, cramped bathroom every half hour and find blood still there, but so little. I kept hope against hope that things were ok. Maybe I'd exerted myself too much. I had cramps that were getting intense. I began timing them and at worst they came every 5 minutes, at best every 37. Though I wouldn't admit it, I was having contractions.

As we got our room, again it took hours to be seen. I got blood drawn at 11. Cramps, doubling me over in pain, came and went. I stopped watching the clock. We hardly talked. I continued to see blood, sometimes more and sometimes less. Every time I returned from the bathroom, Jonathan would ask how things were. I kept hoping.

Around 1am I went to the bathroom... As cramps came painfully, something slipped from my body... Our little one (I assume it was only one, I really am not totally sure, it could have been two). You don't have to look, but this is a picture of what a 6 weeks old fetus is.... Yeah. So sad. I came out, calm and unbelieving, and told Jonathan, "I think I just miscarried our baby" and I showed him. He cringed and grabbed me in a hug. I just kept hoping, saying "Maybe there are twins and one is ok." I knew it was unlikely, but I just couldn't believe it would be all over.

We quietly waited and in 10 minutes were wheeled to the ultrasound room. The lady said she'd been waiting half an hour for us. I didn't care, I knew seeing it earlier would not change the outcome. As she started taking pictures, I didn't know what to think. I knew I didn't see her measure a heartbeat. I've never seen an ultrasound of my uterus, so I didn't know what to look for. I've seen hundreds of my ovaries, but never this. I didn't think I saw a baby, though. She couldn't tell us anything, but had to send the pictures to a dr in India. Said we'd hear back in an hour. I remember feeling dread being wheeled back to the room. We waited, not long it seemed. The doctor came in and I think I prompted her with, "Bad news?" so she'd have a way to break it. She said, "Well, we didn't see a yolk sac or fetal pole or heartbeat. Your HCG is already at 42. I'm sorry." Tears just streamed down my face. I don't know what Jonathan did or said. The doctor asked if I wanted an exam, but I said no, I just wanted to get out of there. She told me I should, and I just didn't care. I remember lieing there and just weeping, tears pouring down into my hair, not hearing her go on about how I'd get pregnant again and I just needed to relax and not think about it. I gave her the remains of the baby, so they could do karotyping on it if possible. She told me to wait for her to give me discharge papers.

As she left the room, Jonathan and I just grabbed one another and cried. It felt like a Biblical mourning and weeping aloud. I remember hating seeing this hurt him. I said something dumb about not needing to cry anymore. I just wanted to be gone. I said, "I want to leave, get away from here" and Joanthan agreed. I dressed, but we had to wait another half hour until we were released. We drove home in mournful silence, I don't remember if I cried or not, but it would have been soft weeping. The outright angry, hurt, painful weeping was to come later. The drive took forever.

We got in bed near 3am, exhausted and dumbstruck. We didn't have a baby with us anymore. Suddenly, we had grown up so much. We now had a dead child. When did we become adults? Sleep was a mercy we both wanted, to put aside the fresh searing-hot pain this night had brought us. And so we slept.


Herb of Grace said...

*weeping with you*

Susi said...

Denise, thank you for having the courage to share these details. It is part of the healing process to be able to share all of it with people---I know this from experience. You are loved, Dear Friend.

The Pennells said...

Thank you for your humility. It's definitely part of the healing process to share your heart...thanks you.


Anonymous said...

my name is shalonda i understand your pain i just had a miscarriage 4 days ago on saturday febuary 9th i was also 6 weeks pregnant...i was spotting a little bit at home and then i rushed to the emergency room and they had me waiting 2 1/2 hours before they saw me and as i was waiting i was bleeding more then wen they took me back there they put a tube in ma bladder for 2 hours and when they took the tube out the baby just fell on the bathroom florr as soon as i stood hurts so bad becasue it was my first child and i cry everyday not knowing what to do or blame all i can say is that i want my baby back so bad but i know i will never get the chance to even hold him or her