Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Loss but Great Gains

A little over a week ago I read this heart tugging blog post.  Little did I know that two days later I would be hearing similar news.  “The baby stopped growing about 3 weeks ago.”  I was in for my 14 week checkup. We were expecting our 5th baby.

I had come to the doctor for my 10 week checkup 4 weeks earlier, at that time they couldn’t hear a heartbeat.  They knew it was a little early but decided it was best to check things out on the ultrasound.  I had been feeling all kinds of different emotions and feelings with this pregnancy, so when I first went in I probably wouldn’t have been surprised if there was no heartbeat.  But there was. The baby was moving, everything looked great, and I saw it’s little heart beating strong.
That is probably why for this visit I came by myself expecting the normal routine visit.  Once again the doctor couldn’t find the heartbeat.  He checked for quite a while and then decided to do another ultrasound just to be safe.  That’s when I saw for myself that the little heart was no longer  beating. 

I did pretty good until the technician asked how I was doing. The tears started coming, I felt emotions I’ve never felt, and more than anything  I wanted to get out of there, have a good cry and talk to my husband.  The doctor gave me his condolences as well as options of where to go from there. I wanted to try and pass it naturally, and hoped that I would be able to since It had been so long. 

I left not wanting to return to pick up my kids from the babysitter yet, so with tears and all kinds of emotions I started driving, ending up in the parking lot of the temple, where I called my husband up and broke the sad news.
Savannah's Birthday 080

I don’t know that I had ever really planned on this or expected it.  We had 4 previous pregnancies that had gone wonderful.  I have had friends go through miscarriages before, and despite how much I tried to understand, and give condolences you never understand until you hear the news for yourself.  

About 11 years ago while I was in college I attended a Women’s Conference in which one of the speakers talked about her experience of having 7 miscarriages and the lessons she learned through them. Her first one she went through the miscarriage alone, she didn’t tell anyone and she described how hard it was. She decided after that if she ever got pregnant she would immediately tell people, and then she would let people know if she miscarried. She wanted the support and love that she needed so badly and should get. She knew she shouldn’t and it wasn’t God’s way for her to go through it alone.  

For some reason that has stuck with me for years, and as I was hearing for myself the news that I had miscarried, I knew in my heart I wanted people to know. I wanted the support.  That first day I couldn’t share it though. I was still dealing with the news myself.  I still needed to really talk with my husband and I just wasn’t emotionally stable enough too.  Finally that night I emailed my family asking them for their prayers that I could do this naturally and to let them know the news.  I also posted to my dear friends and co-workers at ScrapGirls who are so full of faith and love, asking for their prayers as well.

I then went to bed with hope and faith that we’d be able to pass it naturally and that I would be able to get through this personal loss. 
Astle Reunion 111
The next morning I started bleeding. I wasn’t experiencing any pain, and I was glad that it looked like we’d do this naturally.  Things were looking good.  That is until right after Beau took some of the kids and left for a little bit.  It was then that I started having hot and cold flashes, getting week and feeling light headed. I came to a minute later long enough to realize I was kneeling on the floor and holding on for dear life to some furniture next to me.  I laid down on the floor and passed out.

I came to a little bit later, and heard Isaac waking up in the next room.  Calling him I told him that mom was really sick and I needed him to go push a chair over to the phone and bring it too me. He didn’t say anything, walked over and brought me back the phone. I called Beau and told him something was wrong I needed him home now. 

He got home, talked to me, called our friends asking them if they could take our kids, and tried to make me as comfortable as possible.  I was feeling slightly better but could not move. I was completely exhausted, weak and all I could do was lay on the floor hoping to not have any more hot flashes, and to overcome the nausea. 
Our friend came and picked up the kids, and unexpectedly my sister knocked on the door letting me know that she had left her kids with a babysitter, had brought 3 freezer meals, hot rolls and asked if could she help out with something.  I was so grateful for her just dropping everything and coming over after she got my email the night before.  She helped do the dishes, clean up the house and helped Beau out while he took care of me.

I would have moments of doing good, and even made it to a sitting position, eating a little bit of food and feeling like my strength was returning…. it wasn’t before long though before the hot  and cold flashes hit again and I hollered out to Beau that it was happening again.

I don’t remember anything after that except Beau patting me on the cheeks asking me if I was with him or not.  I don’t know how long I was out, I had barely come to  long enough to make a sound letting him know I heard him.  He told me we needed to get to the emergency room.  All I could do was listen, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything except lay there and throw up occasionally.  I knew though that there was no way I could get myself into a car, even with his help to get to an emergency room. He finally realized it was not possible either and called 911 for an ambulance.  

I have to say that I have never been so grateful to hear him make that call, and so grateful to hear them come in and talk to me, getting me loaded and feeling myself move towards the hospital. I knew something was wrong, but I could not do anything myself to get me there. I was so glad to just relax and know that they would take care of me.


The rest of the morning was spent in the ER trying to get an IV in me. I was dehydrated, and my blood pressure was really low.  15 attempts later with absolutely no luck except a bunch of holes, bruises and pain they ended up putting one in my neck.  Once I started getting some fluids in I started feeling better.  After discussions with my doctor it was decided that I was bleeding too much and the best thing would be an emergency D&C.  I was wheeled into the operating room with the plan that I should be good after the procedure and be able to return home that night.  That was not possible. I was still so weak and unable to stand let a lone walk that I ended up spending the night in the hospital.  The nurses kept pushing me to try standing and walking to the bathroom, but I physically knew that it was not possible. I was so exhausted and weak that every time I attempted I could not even stand.  I felt like my blood level was still low and that my blood pressure kept varying. I was so glad to hear them say I could stay the night.  The next morning I awoke feeling tons better after getting some crackers, water and sleep.  I could finally walk and ended up coming home that afternoon. 
im 744

The next 6 days were slow. My mom had been planning on being here to help out until Saturday thinking I should be feeling better by then.  She didn’t leave until Monday.  I kept getting weak, not being able to think clearly. I was completely exhausted and would sleep for 3 solid hours shifts during the day. I was not able to really feel good enough to have her leave until Monday. I’m feeling better now, and know we’re on the upswing. I finally feel like my blood level is getting close to normal, although I am completely exhausted by the end of the day and emotionally unstable. It’s been a week of tears.  As long as I don’t think I can keep the tears under control. If I think too much then they come….

One thing I have been so grateful for during this is that advice 11 years ago from that woman about her experience with the miscarriages.  Her advice to let people know and so you could have support. Even though I feel the loss of the baby, I have gained so much in the last week.

I have gained a huge love for my dear friends who without knowing what was going on, and without question dropped everything, took my children in, watched them overnight until we could get out of the hospital. They made sure Savannah got to school, did her homework and took care of them when I couldn’t.  They will never know how much I appreciated that unconditional love and support even though they didn’t know at the time what was going on.


I have gained a huge love and appreciation for my extended family, my sister who just showed up that morning to help knowing that she could help.  My mother in law who just happened to be in town and showed up as I was being carted away in an ambulance.  She gave up the rest of her day and stayed at the house taking care of laundry, cleaning, and taking care of things there.  For my mom who dropped everything and came down and helped take care of things around the house and especially the kids while I tried to recuperate.  I am so grateful for the family members that had me in their prayers and called with love and concern. 

I gained a great appreciation for the love and support out there from everyone that I either told or found out. Who have given hugs, who have told us they are sorry for our loss.  For Beau’s employers who understood, told him to take care of me and let him go for the week.  I’m grateful for all the women out there who have said "I’ve been there, I’ve lost one or more of my own, I understand" and they do.

I’ve gained an even greater love for my husband who dropped everything since my first call to him, and has been an incredible help and support. Being there the whole time when I needed him more than anything.  I’m grateful for the priesthood, and the power it has in my life, and how grateful I was to get a priesthood blessing from him the night before the whole ordeal, a blessing of comfort, council and strength. To have him here when emotionally all I needed was him, someone to talk to, someone to cry to, someone to curl up next to.
I’ve gained a greater understanding of what this kind of loss is like.  I hope that I can be of better comfort to other women out there that experience the same thing, since I too have now experienced something similar.
 Astle Reunion 188
Most of all I have a great knowledge that God is aware of me.  Shalae. He knows exactly what I am going through, he knew what I would be going through and sent people at the right times to help and be a support. He knows what is best for me and my family. He has a plan for me individually but also an individual, personalized plan for each of my children.  He knows exactly when they need to be here in our family and who needs to experience this earth life.  For some reason this was not the time, nor the hour for another baby to join our earthly family.  It will be a part of our eternal and heavenly family, but this whole experience was the Lord’s will and was at his timing. I’m so grateful I know that, believe it with all my heart and can gain great comfort from that knowledge during  this time.

I have also realized I do not have it that bad. I have been keeping tabs on a close friends of Beau and I. His family and our family always hung out together when I was little. We'd spend hours together. Right now he is fighting a battle of cancer.  He has two little kids and amazing wife. I read their blog, I see what he goes through daily and am amazed at his wife as she watches him go through this.  I read his story and realize how little my problems are. How there are those out there with so much greater.  

It has been a couple weeks of learning, emotions, tears and immense gratitude.

Thank you to all of you who have called, expressed love and concern.  That you to all of you that have just jumped in and helped. I am doing so much better and only because of all of you. Thank you!  I love you more than you know.


Caroline said...

Oh Shalae, I am so sorry to read this post and but so glad to read that nothing worse happened to you. I am so sorry for your loss and send some hugs over the ocean to you! I will say a prayer for you and your family! Such great family and friends you have and so glad that you shared so that they could take care of you. I lost my second baby within the first three months of my pregnancy. I was glad that my dad was present at that moment to help me with Nicolas who was 1 year-old at that time. I didn't have the drama that you had, but lost a lot of blood and really was tired. I took every help I could get during these days. It has been great to feel how much I am loved and me too I am grateful for that. Again, many many hugs! Caroline

Queen Bee said...

Beau and Shalae (and family)-
Thank you for sharing your story. I was just thinking about your family, wondering how you've all been. I'm so sad to hear about all this, it is heart wrenching and I'm sure scary for you. I'm glad you've told friends and family, I agree that it's much easier to deal with a heartbreak like this with supportive friends than all alone. Shalae I'm also very very glad you're recovering. I had to schedule a D&C when I miscarried and felt like that was the right thing to do, even though part of me really would have liked to stay at home and let my body take care of it. I recovered fairly quickly but it's still hard when if you feel like you're recovering from giving birth but with no baby :( I am very sad for your loss, but also so grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and for your strong testimonies that have carried you through. We love you guys! -Melissa and family

Spencer and Kimberly said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've been through such an ordeal and that you lost your baby. I'm glad to hear you are doing so much better. Thanks for sharing your story. I know it's a personal thing, but it's so nice for those of us that read it, to learn from your example.

Tippetts Family said...

Shalae, you are one amazing sis in law. I learn so much from you and hope that you know what a strength you are to me. I am in awe what faith and courage you have and am thankful that you share it with me! We hope to see you all soon!

Brent and Jenny Colvin said...

Thanks for sharing! I too learned the hard way that sharing makes the grieving easier. You are an awesome mother and wife. How lucky we are to have the knowledge that we'll be able to raise these little ones at another time. We love you guys and will keep you in our prayers!

Leslie said...

I had no idea that you have been going through this! I can definitely sympathize with you. I also had 2 miscarriages with a D & C with one of them. It doesn't matter how far along a mother is, you feel a tremendous loss. I went through the mourning process just like when losing a loved one. I hope you can recover quickly and conpletely! We send our love, Uncle Kim and Aunt Leslie

Kellie DeMille said...

Oh Shalae, I am so sorry for you and your family. What a good example you are to me. I tend to get angry and ask why me? Thank you for your post and sharing such a personal experience.

Di said...

Shalae, I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. For you and your husband. Your eloquence in sharing your experience must have been, hopefully, cathartic. Sharing this with your nearest and dearest is so vital and I'm so happy that so much good came from this albeit a deep gratification for those around you and to know home much you are loved. Praying for continued recovery.
much love

Hawaii Heather said...

We've been praying for you and will continue to do so. All our love to you and Beau and your family.

Melissa Crowe said...

I'm so sorry to hear you went through this painful ordeal; what a strong person you are to reframe it in your mind as a growing/gaining experience. Thinking of you, my dear.