The Scariest Day

The doctor found the heart on the ultrasound.  It didn’t move.  Over the last nine months, we’d listened and watched that heart beat often, to see it frozen in time was devastating. How did we make it this far for all to be lost?

Zach and I never said we are going to have this many children, but after Lynzie was born, we were content with our family.  Then got a surprise and were elated.  When we lost that baby (and almost me), we felt like we were missing someone…so we began a journey of having another baby.

This pregnancy was pretty easy.  I felt great and I didn’t feel like I looked that pregnant the whole time, probably due to how much extra weight I had on me to begin with, but we won’t dwell on that.  I only gained 17 pounds the whole pregnancy…which puts me now on the same weight loss plan as when I got pregnant.

In the third trimester, things started happening.  I still felt great, but they were things that made me more high risk that I was just because of my age.

  1. I got Gestational Diabetes.  I’d done that before, so it was really no big deal for me, but it caused me to see a high risk practice for the rest of my pregnancy and document my sugars and send them in weekly.  Because of GD, by doc wanted to induce at 39 weeks.
  2. I got high blood pressure.  This was something that is still a debate on if it was caused by the pregnancy or if it was pre-existing.  It landed we in the ER one day because my doctor made us go for monitoring.  In the end the determined it was pre-existing and we took a more relaxed approach to my care for the remaining weeks.  This made the doc want to induce at 38 weeks.
  3. Baby Girl decided to be head down and then two weeks before delivery, she flipped herself to be breach again.  Then within the week, turned herself around again to face down.  Of course, a breach baby complicates delivery and my doctor is not a doctor that will deliver a breach baby.  So when we came in for the induction, we were instructed to have them double-check that she was still head down and if not we were prepped with possible outcomes.
  4. Several times, Baby’s movements would really slow down, and I had to be monitored to ensure she was okay, once in the middle of the night at the ER.  In the end, I think it was due to low blood sugar and a super chill baby, because she was fine every time.

At 38 weeks, we were scheduled to go to the hospital at 9pm.  They would start me on a drug to soften my cervix and in the morning they would start pitocin to really get the contractions going.  We did this with Lynzie and and she came by 12:30 in the afternoon with the absolute perfect experience.  I had visualized this happening again for most of the pregnancy.  My baby would be born on December 4th.

We got everyone in the car to deposit at their various locations….Rogue to Grandma and Grandpa’s; Diego to the boarding place; the kids to a family friend.  As we made this trip, I was super uncomfortable…..something in the way the baby was sitting was just not right.   When we arrived at the hospital, they got me all hooked up and I told them that we needed an ultrasound to ensure baby was still head down.  They questioned me a bit, but I explained she’d been flipping back and forth for weeks and although she was head down five days ago, the doc wanted to confirm it before we moved forward.

It took about an hour before they rolled in with the ultrasound and…..she was spine down.  Her head was on my left, under the placenta, and her but was on the right.  The nurse said she was going to check with the on call doctor and determine what the plan was.  Thankfully, she somehow got a hold of my doctor, who put the induction on hold until 7am when they would check the baby again and try an inversion, but they also scheduled me for a c-section at noon.  All wires were pulled and I was left alone for the night to do yoga and walk and try to get the baby to flip herself again.

At 7 the doctor came in when one of her practice mates.  They had the ultrasound machine and checked on baby again.  Sure enough, she’d moved, but not in the direction we wanted.  She was now full breach, head in my ribs, feet down.  The doctor explained that they would try to turn her, they would give me a drug that would help relax my uterus and they would take their hands and physically pull/push her into the right position.  They assessed where the baby was and what they thought the best route was–pushing her counterclockwise away from the placenta.  My doc assured me we would know in 5-10 minutes if it was going to work out or if we’d have to go through the the c-section at noon.

Both the other kids came vaginally, so the idea of a c-section really stressed me out, but I as I told my nurse, I didn’t have a birth plan because setting expectations, only leads to disappointment in labor and delivery.  My only expectation is to walk away with a baby who is alive.  I know that sounds rather harsh, but after the miscarriage, and all the challenges I’ve seen and heard of others experiencing, I just wanted a baby in my arms screaming.

The drug started working and my doc dug her fingers into my belly, right around liver level and pulled the baby’s head downward and she MOVED.  The doctor was able to get her to my pelvis bone and then she got a little stuck.  The other doctor was on the other side of me and had a better position to pull the baby towards her, so she took over and success!  One step closer to not having a c-section, now baby just needed to stay down during labor and we’d be fine.

And then they brought the ultrasound over again to verify she was okay.  They saw her head down, but as I looked over to the screen, I saw a perfect heart…with no movement….and then a slow flutter….and then nothing.

What happened next was super fast, I remember bits and pieces and I’m sure it’s not all in order.   My doc wanted oxygen for me, then she wanted us in the OR to deliver this baby.  NICU was called….some code was called….my bed was pushed out of the room by the two doctors and across the hall to the OR.  Zach was left behind.

My friend had texted me a prayer early in the morning.  As I sat in the hallway, waiting for the doctors to get their sterile gear on, I went over the words and prayed everything would be okay.  Seconds later, as we crossed the threshold to the OR, my mind was stuck on the fact that my baby was gone and her name would always be hollow in our home.  They asked me if I could quickly get on to the OR table….since I hadn’t had any meds, it was very easy for me to get up on all fours and crawl across.

There were so many people in the OR….everyone talking to me….doing something to me.  It was hard to keep up with it all.   I watched the anesthesiologist draw up the meds to completely put me under.  If my baby came into the world this way, she would not be greeted by either of her parents, only a bunch of strangers.

My doctor had assured me as we moved to the OR, that this still might end in a vaginal birth.  They would monitor the baby and if she came back we wouldn’t need to do the c-section.  Thankfully, in the OR, they found her heartbeat again….it was low, but strong….and slowly came back up to where it was originally in the high 150 range.  After 10 minutes or so, it was determined that we weren’t going through with a c-section at this time, but would rather be going back to our room to begin the induction….just about 12 hours late.

Before I was moved back to my room, it was decided to get my epidural going so that if we needed to go back to the OR, I wouldn’t need to be put under.  I agreed with that, because I didn’t want my baby joining the world without parents, but I really wanted Zach.  I asked for him over and over and some one said, let’s make you presentable.  I remember thinking it was the most ridiculous thing….my husband can see me however you have me laid out….its the rest of everyone that I need to be presentable for.  LOL.

By the time we got back to my room, the kids had arrived.  They hung out with their Grandma in the cafeteria for a bit while I was checked….2 cm dilated.  And it was decided to skip the softening step and move straight to Pitocin.   I believe this was around 10am, but I’m not 100% sure.  The day was pretty boring….like really boring.  The kids went to lunch, we play a moving game of Uno Flip.  Everyone had to gather around my bed and move sides based on how I was forced to face, but really nothing happened all day.

Around 1:30pm, my water was broken, in an attempt to get her head down and engaged.  I cannot explain the amount of water that came out of me.  And I could feel every little move the baby made trying to get into position as more water would come out.  I’m pretty sure it was at least a gallon over the course of the afternoon and evening.

The kids went to ninja in the evening and we discussed a new plan for them.  Remember, in my head, I was having this baby in the middle of the day.  The kids wanted to be around for her birth (although not IN the room so they said), but we had a place for them to stay overnight.  Now that it was looking like baby was going to come in the night or the next morning, we needed someone to be at the hospital to be with the kids, but our options were limited.

My close friend was in the visiting with us while we were trying to puzzle this out and had said she would come back at 1am to 6am if we needed her.  So we asked Zach’s brother if he could take the now to 1am shift.  He said that was fine, but he was going to need to Uber.  Obviously, these two were willing to assist us, but if another option was available, it might be better.

My best friend had said she was going to stop by around 8-9pm.  She’s a night owl and always has been and can function on very little to no sleep better than anyone I know.  It was around 7pm, so Zach called her and explained the situation.  Next I knew, she was coming for the night, the others were let off the hook and Zach was getting dinner and coffee too!

We made up the couch for the kids and moved it to an area of the room so it wasn’t in the way if things went down.  We asked the kids if they were asleep if they wanted to stay in the room or be woken up and taken out of the room….they said they wanted to stay sleeping.  So we explained vaguely, that some scary things might be happening when they woke up and to just turn away and know it was going to be okay.

We talked to Susie about her options….she had the same as the kids….you can leave if it’s too much, turn away, or if you are really feeling up to it, you can pick up a camera and take a few photos (I mean she is my photographer…lol).

We started a movie, we tried to sleep.  The kids eventually went to sleep.  Susie and Zach traded places back and forth, one with the kids on the couch, the other in the reclining chair.  Zach tried to get sleep.  Susie made lesson plans (if she was in it for the long haul, she’d have to call a sub for the next day), watched the monitor and took in the birth experience.

I got very little sleep.  Turned out the baby wasn’t dealing well.  She wasn’t moving much and her heart rate would drop with each contractions, so the nurse moved me about every 15 minutes, put me on oxygen, took me off. At one point, I mentioned the baby might not be moving since I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours and my blood sugar was probably low.  They checked my sugars and I was at 69 which is just low enough to do something about it.  So they switched my hydrating IV to include sugar and it helped baby out for a bit.  They also let me have as many popsicles as I wanted.  It was so nice to have something besides ice…I honestly wasn’t hungry and had no interest in food, but I was thirsty and could have taken a nice glass of apple juice, so the diversion of the popsicle was a good one.

Throughout the labor, they didn’t check me often, so I never really knew how much progress we were making.  Mostly this was because we had broken my water and I was strep B positive.

Around 2am I was 5 cm.  Baby was still trying to move into the full head down position, she was still stuck around my hip bone and her crown was not down, but felt more like her forehead.

At 3:30am I told them things had changed and I wanted them to check me again….also, my epidural wasn’t working and I was in a TON of pain.  Back pain and lower abdominal, like period pains.  At this point I was 8cm…finally some progress!!!  I was also cussing and not overly happy about anything that was going on.  Finally, my nurse called the  anethesiologist in to give me something else to take the edge off.  The doc and nurse hung out with me for quite a while and then they left.  As soon as they walked out the door I felt an extreme urge to push….so I made Zach go get them again.

Around this time, Isaac stirred.  We reminded him what was going on and turned him to the wall.  He wasn’t really awake and quickly settled back to sleep.  When I was checked this time, I was 10cm and ready to go.

Earlier in the evening, my doctor, the one I’d seen most of the pregnancy and who had delivered both Isaac and Lynzie, left for the day and I was left with the only doctor in the practice I hadn’t seen this pregnancy, but the one I spent my entire third trimester with when I had Lynzie.  I love her and in the end, she was the best doctor to deliver this baby.

She came into the room so calm and soft spoken each time.  She understood my desire to see the baby in the mirror and talked to me through the whole thing in a calm, excitement for me and the baby.  She told me the baby was sunny side up (face up), which was why I’d been feeling it so much in my back.  And showed me the baby turning her head to go the correct way.  She kept checking in to make sure I could see.  She was seriously the best presence to have.

I’m pretty sure I pushed through four contractions over the course of about 15 minutes….but the first one was horrible….I wasn’t listening well and focused more on exhaling (which I wasn’t supposed to do) than pushing.  Then at the end, even after the contraction had passed, I felt I still needed to push, so I pushed after it ended and out she came at 4:36am…..

We named her Morgan Grace.  Both names from our very first name list from 11 years ago!

As soon as I was stitched up and covered, we woke the kids so they could meet their sister.  I think they were thinking….why the heck did we want to be woken up to be the first to meet her.  LOL.

I was so exhausted after being awake for 24 hours and all the scares along the way.  My body shut down and I had a really hard time staying alert.  It really made my nurse mad and the next few hours are quite the blur.

I do know that Susie took the kids out to breakfast and we moved rooms about the time they came back.  We were actually moved to the room I was put in when I had my blood transfusion two years ago when I had the first miscarriage.  What a great way to create good memories in a place that previously only held sadness.

How much can we fit in a month?

April was a busy month.  It gave me anxiety just going into it because of all the trips and stuff to manage and then we added even more!

Originally, this is what we had on the schedule:

  • Week long trip to Philly for Jenn
  • Our 15th Anniversary
  • Liz visiting for a concert at Red Rocks
  • Sleepover at the zoo
  • Week long trip to Chicago for Jenn

Then home for two weeks before we went on a 10 day family trip to the east coast!

To me this was a lot!!

And then Zach said….”hey Jenn….Victoria needs some help getting her stuff down to Arizona and asked if I could help.”

And then my Aunt said…”hey Jenn….we are cleaning out Grandpa’s house Easter weekend….do you think you guys can help out?”

And then the HOA said…”hey McCartys….your fencing solution is against the by-laws, get it fixed.”

And then my cousin said….”hey Jenn….We are coming down to help with Grandpa’s house.”

This is how April really looked:

  • Road trip to AZ (3 days) with the family and visiting friends.
  • Week long trip to Philly for Jenn
  • Our 15th Anniversary
  • Liz visiting for a concert at Red Rocks
  • Sleepover at the zoo with Girl Scouts.
  • Cousins staying the weekend at our house.
  • Cleaning out Grandpa’s house and making Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Week long trip to Chicago for Jenn
  • Finishing the fence and gate we started 3 years ago.

 

Most of these deserve their own posts, but this post is about HOW much we could squeeze into April.  I’ll finish with this little story….

After a marathon trip to AZ and a day in Philly.  I took an Uber to the hotel my friends were staying at. Lois orders the best maragaritas, so she’s my absolute favorite to drink margarita’s with and this night was no different….they were the BEST!!!  We sat at the bar laughing, eating, drinking and playing music bingo.  It was a beautiful evening and we had so much fun.

As the night wore down, I started to think about how my period was supposed to have started the day before….and when we were driving home two days earlier from AZ, I thought it had…..but I hadn’t seen any additional signs since them.

So my drunk self, decided that I needed to go to Target to get a pregnancy test on my way back to my hotel.  This Target was strange….two stories….one entrance on the top front and one entrance on the bottom back of the building.  In any case, I wandered around lost for a long while.  Then I tried to get a new Uber, but they went to FedEx and when he called me and I told him I was at Target, he wanted me to tell him how to get there, but I had no clue where FedEx was.  So I asked him to cancel it (and was charged for it and probably got a bad rating) and requested a new Uber, who showed up a few minutes later.

Now, as we drive back to my hotel, let me tell you a few things….

  1. We had two miscarriages over the last two years.
  2. We only had sex once in the last six weeks.
  3. We were trying not to get pregnant this month so we could go on the cruise to Cuba we had booked.
  4. Zach and I made a deal before we got pregnant with Isaac, that I’d never take a pregnancy test without discussing with him first and with him being there.

 

I picked up my phone to call Zach and the kids as they were going to bed.  I chatted through the car ride, up to my room, where I immediately opened the box and peed on the stick.  Within a minute it had a very faint positive line.

The kids were getting restless and it was past bedtime, so I told them to go to bed and asked Zach to Facetime me real quick.  And then I showed him the stick.

Now you have to remember….I’m drunk….Zach’s exhausted, but damn…the smile on my face….it wouldn’t go away! LOL.

Turns out I accidentally bought a 3 pack of tests.  Which worked out perfectly to do a test each morning for the rest of my trip, all of which came back positive.  I spent the next day trying to get a hold of my doctor and get them to call in the progesterone prescription I needed to start on “as soon as I got a positive pregnancy test.”

Funny thing….when I flew to Philly somehow I got to skip the x-ray machine.  So rather than take any chances, on the way home (and all the rest of my flying trips this pregnancy, I’ve opted out, which means a really nice pat down).  I’ve also skipped the alcoholic beverages, so I’m really glad my last were such amazing margarita’s.

In addition to the list above, we also squeezed in a first ultra sound before our trip our East.  My previous two miscarriages had put me on edge.  We didn’t tell the kids until we saw that heartbeat on the first ultrasound.  What a relief!

Here we are at 25 weeks…15 more to go!!!

A Place

I’ve started this post so many times. I want it to be witty. I want it to be wise. I want it to be well-written. But I don’t know how many of these things can come to be.

I used to write daily. I used to read a variety of things. These allowed my writing to grow and evolve. Then I had a kid and I still wrote. Then that kid got older and I had another and that’s where things kind of slid of course.

Ah..right…back to the story. At the end of 2017 I had a miscarriage. Six months later, I had another, in the middle of a family vacation and amidst one of the most stressful times at my husbands job. This challenges in the middle of 2018 I kept close to me, only one or two people know about the second miscarriage. Not the kids. Not my family. Not Zach’s family. Just a very few select friends…like two.

I withdrew. I ate a lot. I lost a close, close friend due to my inability to put forth effort. I cried…a lot. I decided milkshakes every day are how you cope with depression. We traveled a lot. Because, that is also what you do when you are depressed–run away.

I realized we were just losing time. My kids were bored. I was depressed and becoming lazier by the day. I decided things needed to change. I offered the kids “after school” activities. Determined that if I was committed to something, at least the kids would do more than nothing. We made a list and they were able to prioritize two things.

Isaac:

  1. Parkour
  2. Swimming

Lynzie:

  1. Swimming
  2. Gymnastics

I told Isaac, “The city no longer teaches parkour, so that isn’t going to happen.” A few days later, Facebook told me about an American Ninja Warrior gym that was offering free lessons. Okay. I’ll bite. And somehow, two weeks later, we had a six month family membership!

We live at the gym. Partially because the kids love it, but in large part because it’s my happy place. It has brought me light in my darkness. A place to be encouraged. I place to watch my kids grow. A place to get away from work. A place to be loved on. A place to just be me. And really, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all what?

Someday, maybe, I’ll be a ninja with my kids. Is that my focus? No. My focus is to be happy. I walk. I watch. Sometimes I hang. I talk. I smile. I cheer. I laugh. Sometimes I cry…but not sad tears. Not tears of pain and sorrow, but of joy, life and belonging.

A look back at 2018

2018 has passed in a relative blur and before 2019 begins, I was to document some of the year.

TRAVEL

Cruise – January (Whole Family)

  • Houston: Houston Space Center, Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum, and Downtown Aquarium
  • Galveston: Beach and drive through the town
  • Cozumel: Mayan ruin recreation, (cold) beach day, kissed by a sea lion
  • Belize: River tour and Mayan ruin hike
  • Honduras: (cold) beach day.
  • Chicago – January (Only Me, work)

  • Toronto, Canada – April (Only Me, work)

  • Sand Dunes – May (Whole Family)

  • Philadelphia – June (Only Me, work)

  • San Diego Roadtrip – June/July (Whole Family)

    • Rough trip due to having another miscarriage and some crazy work stuff for Zach, but we made great memories with the kids
      SeaWorld
      San Diego Zoo
      Switchfoot BroAm at Moonlight Beach
      Dinner with Liz
      Stop in Vegas to go to CocaCola World for a flight of soda
  • Pueblo Boating Weekend – July (Whole Family)

  • Wisconsin Trip – September (Whole Family, work)

    • Hanneman Visit
      Milwaukee Hotel stay
  • Chicago – September (Only Me, work)

    • Hanneman Visit
  • Wyoming Roadtrip – October (Kids and Me)

    • Eagle Week
      Hunting with hawks and eagles
  • Philadelphia – December (Zach and Me, work)

    • Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
      Christmas Party
      Cheesesteaks
      Reading Terminal
  • Alabama – December (Kids and Me)

    • Zoo Lights
      Bamboo Forest
      Hanging with the Emburys
      Isaac tried alligator

    PEOPLE WHO VISITED

    Stacy, Tesni and Taliesin (May)

    Liz, Kaden and Logan (July)

    • Hanging Lake & Glenwood Springs
    • Castlewood Canyon
    • Red Rocks and Mount Falcon

    Hanneman Clan (November)

    • First of three thanksgivings hosted

    Liz surprised me for my birthday

    FUN

    Ice Castles, Dillon (January)

    Escape Room (February)

    CREATE Expo (March) – STEM activities with the kids. Lynzie one 1st place for her straw rocket.

    Denver Zoo (March)

    St. Patty Day Party (March)

    Muffins with Mom at Lynzie’s School

    Anniversary Hike at Castlewood Canyon (April)

    Rockies Games:

    • Spring against the Cubs
    • Summer for the Fourth of July
    • Fall for Isaac’s choir performance

    Isaac won Aurora Scholar’s Award (April)

    Zach got a new car — blue Jeep (April)

    Babysat a snake named Sam for the summer

    Rocket building and launching with the Dykstra clan

    Lynzie started Kindergarten (August)

    Elitch’s and Switchfoot (August)

    New dog – DIEGO (August)

    Painted my closet, bathroom and bedroom.

    Hiking Staunton State Park (August)

    Joined Ninja Nation (October)

    Kidz Bop Concert in the snow at Red Rocks (October)

    Anderson Farms for Pumpkins with the old crew (October)

    Lynzie turned 6! (October)

    • American Girl
    • Chuckie Cheese
    • Ninja Nation
    • Horseback Riding
    • YoCraze

    I turned 38! (November)

    • Nuggets game for Isaac’s choir
    • Axe Throwing
    • Liz’ surprise visit

    Paige got married! (December)

    Zoo Lights (December)

    Isaac turned 10!

    • Gaylord of the Rockies stay to swim
    • Minigolf
    • Red Robin
    • Surprise mini-party with his closest friends

    I’ve recently found myself in a situation where I feel I’m part of a group that is bullying another person.  I don’t think I have said anything that has made this person feel bad, but I have been a party to it.  I’ve been the one that hasn’t spoken up and said, “this is wrong.”  I have been the person that laughs with the rest.  I do not want to be that person.

    I’ve been debating on how to deal with the situation.  Do I walk away?  Do I say something?  Do I do both?  By not doing or saying anything I’m complacent in the bullying and therefore I’m just as guilty.

    I watched the movie Wonder on my way home from Toronto on Tuesday.  It really hit home.  

    Respect.  

    Bullying is not respectful and all people, whether they are your friend or just a person walking down the street, deserves to be respected.

    The past

    This weekend we were cleaning the basement. I got lost for quite a while in a box that had old writings…mainly old journals and IMs from my late high school and early college years.

    A few items of note, as I’m very much the same person I’ve always been:

    • I have always been s networker/connector of people, yet I’ve never had a home.
    • Feelings of not feeling in and accidental pushing people away are identical to today.
    • I wrote about my first dates with Zach just days after and I’d forgotten about it and the tangled weave that was my love life back then.
    • After reading my writings, I think my morals pertaining to any physicalness were more because of my ideas of being judged by others (the person I might kiss, or be physical with) rather than a strong moral conviction.

    In 15-20 years, I wonder what my blogs will show me about who I am now. Will I still be struggling to make human connections, or will I have grown to be confident in who I am and not care?

    Projects

    A sloth.  That’s what Isaac and Lynzie have decided my spirit animal is.  This was based off of three questions and Isaac’s ideas about animals because I’m lazy.  Yep…pretty much the only thing I’m consistiently good about doing is my job…lol…everything else is a nice idea.

    I recently deleted all (okay, almost all) the games off my phone.  I realized that years ago I accomplished so much!!!  I had projects, we had projects and we got stuff done.  Then we had kids and we STILL got stuff done, but slowly over the years, less and less gets done.  I determined I spent a lot of time playing games on my phone.

    So the last week I did a lot of reading (still on my phone!), but this weekend, I’ve been largely away from my phone, but I can’t say that I’ve been more productive.

    I took a class at work this week on procrastination…one of the causes of procrastination is being overwhelmed.  Today I tried to help Zach organize the basement, but I kept getting distracted with other things and then I had so many things in my face that I didn’t even know what to do.

    So…

    • when a load of laundry is done, put it away…don’t wait for five loads to be done because then it is a daunting task!!!
    • Don’t let the kids keep ALL THE TOYS…have them get rid of some to get new ones.
    • Don’t start a new project when you are still working on the last one.

    I need to work on these things….but first always eat, otherwise you’ll become stuck in a chair with no energy and no motivation to do anything!

    One Gallon

    “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    On Sunday we bought one gallon of really delightful ice cream.

    On Monday night, Lynzie stayed up until nearly midnight and waking her up for school was going so well.  We were running short on time, so I quietly whispered in her ear…do you want that yummy ice breakfast?

    Her face lit up with a giant smile and suddenly those sleepy eyes were no more.  She quickly dressed, packed her snack and headed to the car, where I let her eat her bowl of ice cream (and I ate one too!).

    The rest of the week, the kids and I had ice cream for breakfast.  Here’s the thing…they were better behaved, and I didn’t have the sugar crush I normal get mid-day, so I’m guessing they were the same.

    Which got me to thinking…why do we allow cereal for breakfast, but not ice cream?  Cereal doesn’t leave you full and drops you dead in about and hour later, but if you are a kid, you behave like a crazy person during that time, which is why cereal isn’t allowed in our house….but with this weeks success with ice cream, it might make the breakfast cut!

    P.S…this morning that gallon was emptied–it was seriously good!

    Moving Forward

    Our family seems to be recovering from the miscarriage fine…most day everything is 100% normal, the same as it was before.

    Some days Lynzie talks about babies and how sad she is that Baby Seashell died.

    Some days I see friends who have a baby or are pregnant and I’m so happy for them.

    Some days that same scene makes me deeply sad.

    Some days I want to be pregnant again.

    Some days I’m fine with what God has given us and just want to enjoy every little moment.

    My emotions are all over the place, but I’m logical enough through all of it to know, I did nothing to cause this, it is okay to be vulnerable, and we were blessed, if even for a moment, with another blessing…a miracle…and for that we celebrate.

    I’m alive

    ***Details regarding miscarriage…do not read if you don’t want all the gross details.***

    It’s a funny thing…death.  We live just on the line.  It’s common for people to say, you never know if today will be your last…

    On December 19th it was the 14 year anniversary of the day Zach proposed.  In 2017, it also was the day we’d schedule our first appointment to check on the baby and then Zach was called in for jury duty.  We wavered a bit…have Zach reschedule jury duty so he was guaranteed to make it to the appointment or take a chance of him getting sent home before the appointment.  In the end we decided to push his jury duty out.  It just felt right.

    Isaac had to go to school, so we told him we’d record the ultrasound so he could see and hear the baby too.  Unfortunately, we were told we couldn’t record. 😦  We were so excited to see the baby, hear the heartbeat.  And then….nothing…baby was measuring 2 weeks behind where we expected…and was just too small for a heartbeat yet.

    Disbelief.  Heartache. Empty.

    The rest of the appointment was saddening.  We were told maybe we had the timing off, but their was a high probability that I would have a miscarriage and to prepare for that.

    The next day (Wednesday), I had jury duty (side note…we had jury duty back to back for different courts, city and county…just days before Christmas…how does that happen?).  I sat in the jury room…I went through the motions…but I kept tearing up, crying off and on…I was so relieved when I was dismissed.  I wasn’t in the right emotional state to be a productive member of society.

    Zach had taken the morning off to get the kids to school and we decided to spend the rest of the morning together.  We did some Christmas shopping, but we mainly cried.

    One of the hardest things was having just a little bit of hope…maybe our dates were off and the baby was still alive.  By Friday I had fully convinced myself of this fact.  I was having a great day and then I got off work and went pee…

    Spotting.  I called Zach crying, “I’m miscarrying.”

    Saturday I continued to bleed, nothing too bad, similar to a normal period.  We’d explained to the kids that the baby hadn’t made it, but otherwise we tried to continue with our lives.

    Sunday was Christmas Eve and we had plans to go to dinner with Zach’s mom and stepdad.  As we were getting to the car to head that way I felt a gush.  I rushed to the bathroom and I was definitely bleeding more, but I just added in an extra pad and brought some stuff with us.

    When we arrived at the restaurant I immediately went to the bathroom.  I pulled my pants down and a clot got on my pants, soaking them, there was blood everywhere.  I started crying and called Zach.  He asked what he could do and I said I needed him.  So into the woman’s restroom he came.  We got me cleaned up, thankfully, at the last minute I had decided not to wear a dress and instead opted for jeans and a really long sweater.  The toilet and the floor were a different matter.  As I was washing my hands, a waitress walked in.  At first she was just chatty and then she realized that Zach was just walking out the door and holding it for me.  So she asked…

    “Oh, I’m just in the middle of a miscarriage.  He came to help me clean up, but you still might want to get someone in to clean the toilet.”

    “Oh my gosh.  Do you need me to call anyone?”

    “No, I’m fine, thanks.” As I rushed out the door.

    We had dinner.  I went back to the bathroom on our way out.  Soaked another pad.

    In the car, I told Zach I felt dirty and really would love to go back to the house for a shower before going over to his Mom’s.  This required an extra hour of driving, but everyone agreed and we headed home.

    I took a quick shower and dressed in comfy clothes.  I was learning how to pull my pants down and get the clots in the toilet verse my pants.  Still no pain.  We’d get through this.

    Before heading back to my in-laws, we let the kids open their Christmas Eve gift (jammies), and headed back across town.  The evening had a sad undercurrent.  We all were trying to continue, but we were all sad.

    Zach got Christmas ready and we all went to bed.

    The next morning, I was still bleeding a lot.  I was feeling dizzy and just not right.  After calling the doctor (again, we’d called her the night before), we were told we should go to the ER.  After letting the kids open their stockings and one gift we took them over to my parents house and headed to the ER.

    Spending Christmas in the ER is not on anyones bucket list.  Having and miscarriage AND spending it in the ER on Christmas is really not on the list.  We didn’t want to be there.  They checked me out, but ask stupid questions: How many pads are you going through an hour?  None…like 1 every 1.5 hours.  Oh, your fine.

    They did an ultrasound and determined the miscarriage was complete, but determined that I had a clot in my cervix that needed to be removed.  We the MALE doctor was going to do it.  I started to panic…I’d never had a man besides Zach see my Vaginal area.  Thankfully, I had Zach to calm me down and tell me it was okay…but it was awkward.  He didn’t know what he was doing and in the end I don’t think he removed the clot completely (more on that later).

    We were told I was slightly anemic, and to get some iron at the pharmacy and I should be fine.  Zach stopped at a pharmacy that was open on the way home and we picked up the kids.

    We attempted to have a good rest of our Christmas.  I sat on the couch and the kids opened their presents.  I was still feeling dizzy, but I was anemic, that was to be expected.  I remember going to the bathroom at one point and running into the wall on my way.  I decided it was time to head upstairs for the night.

    Zach walked with me up the stairs.  I was winded and dizzy….it was getting worse the longer I stood up.  Somehow we got me upstairs and I sat on the toilet.

    I wanted to take a shower, so we devised a plan for Zach to stand in the shower with me and for me to sit on a stool.  It felt so good to get clean and thankfully we have a huge shower that allowed this to easily happen.  We turned off the water and I dried and put my undies and a shirt on before standing up.  I started to step out of the shower and the next thing I knew Zach was asking me if I could hear him and I was laying in a pile of dirty blankets next to the shower.

    After some negotiations, that included me proving I could move and knew my name and birthdate, I was allowed to stay on the floor.  I’d asked Zach to setup the air matress in the bathroom so I didn’t have to go but two steps to the toilet.

    Lyznie brought her new lego set to me.  I laid on the floor with her and we put together the lego set.  It was oddly perfect.  I can’t remember what Isaac was doing.

    After a while, I told Zach it was silly to have the bed in the bathroom, but if we put it in our room the kids could sleep with us without bothering me.  And so, that’s what we did.

    The next few days are a bit of a blur, but I can tell you some facts.  I never left the bedroom for the next two days.  But I ate and drank and did everything I’d been told do do.  I told my boss I couldn’t work on the 26th and Zach already had the day off.  On Wednesday (27th), I attempted to work from bed and Zach went back to work, but Zach’s parents and my dad came over throughout the day to ensure everything was okay.  We had multiple conversations with the kids on what do to if Mommy passed out…and we still had Christmas presents left to be open.

    By Wednesday evening I had a pretty bad headache.  I told Zach if I still had it in the morning we needed to go to the doctor.

    By morning it was worse.  I didn’t want to eat.  I didn’t want to drink.  And when I stood up the headache got so bad….I honestly don’t remember ever feeling pain that bad.

    We called my OBGYN and they scheduled an appointment, but then called us back because they didn’t think it had anything to do with the miscarriage and they didn’t handle migraine.  I was pissed, but had Zach call my primary care doctor, who agreed to see us, so we cancelled the OBGYN appointment.

    When we got to the doctor, everyone was compassionate and kind.  I wasn’t just a person making things up….I looked like death and they could see it.  They took a simple finger hemoglobin test and immediate determined that I needed a blood transfusion.  She tried to get me to eat something and called the OB to see if she could get me admitted to the hospital.

    It was determined that the fastest way to get blood into me would be to go back to the ER.  The doctor told us if we promised to go straight to the ER Zach could drive me instead of calling an ambulance.

    We’d left the kids at the neighbor’s and they agreed to keep them overnight.  Zach doesn’t like to leave me at the hospital alone and honestly, I don’t like to be left alone.

    Back at the ER, I was in such pain.  It’s a slight blur, but I do remember this….the OB found another (or maybe the same) clot and needed to remove it.  She was working on that at the same time they were starting to give me blood and my head was killing me and it was painful having the clot removed.  There were like 100 people in the room and I wasn’t being the most cooperative.  The doctor suggested Fentenol and OMG…my whole world changed the second that hit my system.

    The pain was gone.

    The clot was removed.

    The bleeding slowed.

    I was given blood.

    My color started to come back.

    I started to be able to think….did I forget to mention I couldn’t think to work earlier in the day and it took me about half the day before I notified my boss.  I definitely was not all there.

    As I began my second unit of blood I was transferred into the hospital for an overnight stay.  It took them a while (no beds) and they finally asked me if I was okay being on the maternity floor.  I said I was fine.

    As strange as it is, we’d dealt with the loss of the baby.  Going back to the floor where the kids were born was healing.

    Because I was there only for monitoring, they didn’t bug us throughout the night, but I wasn’t able to eat or drink after midnight.  If my numbers weren’t good, they were going to perform a DNC to get the bleeding to stop.

    By morning, my numbers weren’t exactly where they wanted them so I got another unit of blood, but a DNC wasn’t in the plans.  We were discharged in the afternoon of the 29th….exactly 9 years to the day after we went to the same hospital to have Isaac.

    When we got home, Isaac sat with me while Zach and Lynzie went and got Rogue at my parent’s house.  I was pretty tired so we all headed to bed once they were home…only Isaac didn’t sleep.

    At 3AM, Zach woke me up.  He told me that Isaac had been up all night crying about his ears and he didn’t know what to do.  I texted my friend who is a pediatric ER doctor and she must have been on call because she responded within a few minutes, calming me down and providing direction to get us to the morning.

    In the morning, on Isaac’s 9th birthday, we headed to the doctor where he was diagnosed with a double ear infection….so bad that the doctor wanted him back in 10 days to ensure it had gone away….which happened to be the day before we would be leaving on our first cruise.

    We spent Isaac’s birthday recovering…watching movies and playing video games.

    All along we were thankful for the small things…that Isaac slept fine at the neighbors, not showing any signs of an ear infection, that we had neighbors that we trusted and were able to watch our children for almost 48 hours no problem, for our parents that could take the dog and watch over me, the fact that I had no pain through the miscarriage and experienced such peace, for the fact that I changed my clothes last minutes, for our jobs that had the flexibility for this to not be a big deal in our job security, but most of all, at the end of it all, we are thankful I’m alive and thankful that we had a cruise to look forward to and to separate the bad, crazy end of year with a fresh beginning.