Thursday, May 26, 2016

Two weeks later

I'm still sad.  I still don't get to bring a live baby home, but life has returned to its normal amount of chaos at least for the children. Driving is hard if I'm by myself, because by myself, I think and I sob.

This week we got the pathology report and learned it was a placenta separation issue, and that sent me spiraling for a bit.  I want to say that I won't have this fear of a repeat next time around if there is a next time but I know somewhere it will be there.

Some things that are different now, heat doesn't bother me like it would if I was pregnant. I get to teach a full class of chemistry next fall. I may consider starting Ephraim with kindergarten this year since he's a borderline birthday and he's interested anyway.  I don't feel pressured by myself to give up nursing the toddler.  She nurses minimally, but somehow that is comforting.  Someone is still growing by me.

I think that this tragedy is helping me to figure out boundaries a bit more.  I realize I'm vulnerable and I need to turn off the people who could hurt me right now.  The people that think I need to be all better now or not be sad, the people that need to explain instead of just sitting and listening or just being there.

I'm thankful for this greater sense of church that has come about in this whole experience.  As a convert who came with a lot of baggage, this sense that people can actually be there for you is amazing.  The fact that people actually care about you and pray for you and send you cards and meals and will take your kids for the day because you can't figure out life, its just really good. It makes the hurt and loss just a little more bearable. Thank-you all.

And lastly, I think because this whole experience brings up all the feelings from 7 years ago when I lost my first baby who we named Edmund where I miscarried in a stadium bathroom. I'm thankful that I have a place to go visit Noel and be still. I need that. There's a lot of chaos in my mind still but going there helps me to know that God is watching out for me and for my little family.

So I sift and I wait and I pray to trust in the slow work of God, because that is what is going to get me through.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bury the dead

I definitely didn't think I would be doing this particular act of mercy in this year of mercy, to bury the dead.  And yet somehow I am.  And maybe, maybe this feels like a bit, because well it was just a little baby, not more than 3-4 inches long. Just a little over 13 weeks along when he was delivered. I delivered him and saw him, this little tiny person, so beautiful so st peace, so unaware of the turmoil constantly inside his mama's head. So, this what I need to do, what our family needs to do.  Because this little one, even though so little was already so loved.  And I can't imagine it any other way. Tomorrow, we bury him.  We named him Noel. Our little Noel Kurak, we love you so much.

St. Noel Chabanel was man that struggled with so many things as an early settler to North America. He couldn't handle the new environment very well, and yet he knew he was there, and he didn't know if his circumstances would change any time soon, so he decided to follow the will of God anyway, even though it was tough.  Oddly he said this and then was martyred the next day, but he didn't know that was going to happen.

Somehow this reminds me of our little saint now in heaven. Because for a long time on the inside I was grappling with this pregnancy, some things were said to me that were like a knife in my heart, and so I wasn't wanting to shout with joy that I was carrying new life, and so I kept coming back to this Saint, because he was in tough times but saw God's greater hand at work. I'm not sure I ever really came to grips with everything 100% before tragedy struck, but I think that's gotta be okay. It's where I was at, God was there with me in my struggle. And maybe that's what I need to see in this overall,  in this loss of a life that I never get to see grow up.  God is here, even if I don't understand it.  Even if its painful and sad and is long and is going to take a lot of time to heal, he is here. And because he is here, I can do his will.

And so tomorrow we bury our son, so little, so loved, so precious to us. I don't want to be doing this, I want to still be growing a baby, but this is God's will for me, for our family, and I am going to find him in the sadness of it all.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sadness part 1

I think to say I'm sad feels just not enough. There's this whole sense of vulnerability and rawness and its just so very hard. I don't think I even want to put a name with it, but just to know its there.

This year was already hard enough, Helena was diagnosed with an extra membrane near one of her aorta heart valves and just coming to terms with that was enough.  You see the week I found out I was pregnant was the same week I also had to bear the heaviness of my kid maybe not being okay.  There was a lot of emotion, happy and sad.

And then this week happened. I was not warned by anything. I was nearing 13 weeks and I was just beginning to tell people about a baby coming. I was thinking it was okay to do that and not have to untell everyone just a few days later.  I thought I was going to meet my fourth live baby healthy and happy come this November.

 I woke up on Tuesday night with blood soaked underwear, but felt nothing, there was no warning sign of anything being wrong.  Yes Monday had been a rough day, but we all have those. Last time I miscarried it started with a little trickle and then got worse.  This time wasn't like that.  I felt fine and pregnant going to bed but that changed. I don't even know how to write the next part, except to say that there was sadness and flashbacks and me calling a friend, and Keith calling the midwife.  She was so calm and said if I wasn't in any pain I could wait till morning to get checked out.

I cried a lot that night, I texted friends who I thought would listen. One happened to be up in the middle of the night and was kind and listened. I couldn't talk, but I wrote.  I cancelled appointments and called off work because at least one thing had changed, and unlike last time where I tried to go on and ignore everything, I knew that I couldn't this time. So I didn't.

I called the midwife, and for a bit because of how the bleeding was she wasn't convinced it was a miscarriage, but she thought at the very least I needed to go in and see an OB to get Rhogam due to my Rh negative blood and having a significant blood loss and hopefully he would give us good news with a ultrasound.  So as soon as his office opened I called and I got a standing appointment for that afternoon with knowing that we would be waiting since we were last minute.

There was a lot of not knowing what to do with myself.  A friend came over and brought food with her knowing I probably didn't eat and she was right, I didn't.  Food never appeals to me when life is rough. She sat with my while her kids played with my kids, it was nice.  And then another friend just happened to be in the area that day and said she would come over to babysit the kids when we needed to go to our appointment, she didn't have anything pressing and just wanted to help.

And you guys, that's the one thing that I feel that God was there.  Because lately, when I'm struggling, I remind myself that God is there in that moment. That I'm not alone, and at this moment I could feel God's presence in the way that people were willing to come and help and be there for us.

So we went to the appointment, and it was a bit of a drive to this particular doctor, and the one thing that kept coming to my mind was that I couldn't will this away.  That no matter what, the outcome would be the outcome and while I was hoping that it was just a bleed from the placenta lifting, I had no idea what we would find out.

The OB came in and he was really kind and funny, and oddly he brought in two med students with him that day too, and at this point I've come to not care about those things, but I'm sure it was awkward for them, since I would think for the most part they haven't experienced the ups and downs of being in the field yet. But the doctor, he was really nice and just had a comforting presence.

As soon as he did the ultrasound, he was sad to say that he didn't have good news. He instead had to tell us our baby died and it looked like it died a few days before.  There was no heartbeat and it had stopped growing. Even though at this point my heart already had some sadness, at this point my heart offiically broke.