We decided in the beginning of our marriage that we were going to have children one at a time (I want several and Jeremy always said two), never imagining how hard this road was going to be. Test after test after test and trips back and forth to Syracuse only gave us the news we did not want to hear. I had already conceived twice and we suffered two miscarriages at 7 weeks. We tried several procedures all to no avail. The nurse told us that I may not be able to carry a child to term; I may not be "equipped". She used those words and I couldn't help but think "God equips those that he has called into his service".
With that news and after 10 months of doctoring, we decided to stop. Our financial resources had been dwindled and frankly I was just tired of those people looking at me like I was a case in their books. I was so defeated. "Why did I have such a desire to be a mom and yet these doctors were telling me I could not carry a child, no reason why, seems they did even know why."
I kept telling myself all was going to be just fine, we were going to get through it together. Well, Jeremy shut himself off from me, all he did was work. I felt alone in the trailer we called home. I think this would be the time I really felt God take over my life, because I hit rock bottom, very hard. (Sometimes I think I hit so hard I knocked myself into some sense). I started reading my bible every day. (Something I have always struggled with) I started feeling better, there was still this hole, and there was hardly a day that went by that I wasn't praying for a miracle, but I wasn't curled up in a ball anymore. Words still stung and even people that loved me so much were still saying things that just hit me wrong, but I was coming out of my shell again.
Imagine my surprise when we found out we were expecting again. All I could think of was "How long this time?" But every time I went to the doctor he said I was fine, I had a great pregnancy and an even better labor. It's funny I heard all these horror stories about labor, and how hard, and terrible it was. I enjoyed my labor with Lily. I was looking forward to it, and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't have any pain killers, I'm not going to say it was easy by any means, but knowing that I was doing what God had created me to do, was truly my dream come true. After 15 hours I was holding MY child. Nothing made me frown, everything about her was perfect and instantly I wanted to do it all over again. I was badly torn and I had extensive stitching done. I worked to fast too soon and wound up having to get stitched up again a week later. These stitches were apparently not done correctly, causing more damage later on.
I never imagined myself being ok with waking up at 3 in the morning every day, but I was, I was just happy to have this wonderful gift.
I was unable to nurse her after 3 months and was devastated. I had started feeling poorly, tired and defeated. I decide to go to the doctor, she took blood and found out I was pregnant. Once again to my surprise. I was so excited, but wanted to wait to tell Jeremy until I knew how far along I was, he scheduled an ultrasound in office, for the next day. I went in, and to this day I regret not telling Jeremy about it. The tech looked at the screen and had no expression, she kept searching and searching, and then she left the room, saying she would be right back. It felt like hours, she came back with another tech who, again looked and looked, then she turned to me.
"Well Sarah, there is defiantly a baby, it looks to be about 17 weeks gestation, but we can't find a heartbeat.”
She left the room saying she had to go find out what the doctor was going to do next. I didn't have my phone with me, I did even know if my husband would come, after all it was a drive for him, and he was really busy at the shop. What could he do anyway? He didn't even know I was pregnant.
The next couple of hours were a blur. The doctor said he wanted to do a D&C right away, if I had known what I know now I would have waited. He was not very considerate or very kind, really at all. I just felt like another case. My baby was taken from me just over 24 hours of finding out I was carrying him. Doctor turned to me,
“Your little boy was about 17 weeks gestation, I can give you foot prints if you would like,”
I nodded not really sure if that is what I wanted, really, I've always known he was with Jesus. I just left not even really knowing what happened.
I went home and held Lily. I refrained from telling Jeremy till lily was in bed. In his defense, he's a guy. Not much emotion of course. He didn't know what to think, or to say. Neither one of us had any time to get attached to the baby that had been growing inside of me for those 17 weeks. Looking back all the signs were there, but I was blind at the time. In a way it was a blessing, I can't imagine how much harder it would have been if I had known all along I was pregnant. It wasn't anything that is talked about, so I just kept it inside. Here we were getting ready to celebrate our first thanksgiving in our new home, and I wasn't feeling very thankful. I loved my family of course, but my mind was not on the present.
I moved on somewhat, but still think about that awful experience. I never went back to that doctor, it was just too painful, the unfeeling he had for me. I did my follow up with another doctor that told me, there must have been a complication when he did the D&C. I was told a D&C should have not been done because of my stitching from my delivery with Lily. I had a scar that was possibly never going to go away, and prevent me from carrying another child. Once again those feelings of complete sorrow and devastation came pouring back. Of course the pain from the procedure didn’t help my emotional overload at the time.
I feel like I walked in a fog, for a while after that. I enjoyed my little girl very much, and thanked God everyday for answering my prayer, but why do I have to be broken? I didn't understand, and knew that I would never understand. God began a work in my heart after that. Up to that point I was dealing with the past, now I needed to look forward to what was ahead. After the New Year came I felt like I was a new person. My zest was back. I still had voids, but they were healing whenever I heard my baby girl laughing. Soon after I started bleeding very heavily, and this went on for a week straight before I saw someone. When I went to the doctor she have me medications that should help slow it down. They did just that, but made me sick and un able to hardly get out of bed. I continued to bleed for just over a month before it stopped. Through that experience I found out that I have a blood disorder called Von Willie brand Disease. I also found out that this is a genetic disorder and we should have lily tested, because, if she has it, it is more than likely worse than mine. I have a very mild case and don't need any treatment unless I was undergoing any surgeries. Anyway that story and Lily's battle is for another time. I struggled greatly as the time was drawing near for my due date. My baby would be due to be here soon and so many babies were being born. We had friends and relatives that had babies so close to my due date; I was in a state of depression for sure. I knew we would be watching these babies grow up, and I knew they would be a constant reminder of what I lost. I tried, truly I did, to look past that and just be happy for them, but I have to admit I still think about all that I've lost and those scars get broken loose way to many times to count.
Shortly after the baby boom was Lily's birthday, and we found out we were expecting again. Man was I ever scared. I guarded my heart, not want to be too attached. My doctor wanted to be sure so I was ordered to come back every two weeks for the whole pregnancy. They wanted to monitor me very closely, and I was on restriction, I had to be off my feet for a certain amount of time in the day. I spotted all through this pregnancy and cramped up. In a way that was a blessing because I didn't feel well enough to do my regular day to day things. Once again it came time for labor and I was so excited, but I couldn’t help think about the damage that was all ready done to me. Never the less I enjoyed the 7 hour labor, pain and all, I truly enjoyed bring Breia into this world. She was a miracle beyond my own understanding, and a blessing in more ways than one. She was perfect in every way. Now it was Jeremy's turn, he instantly wanted another baby.
Since Breia was born we have had a change, as a family. We really enjoyed being a family of four and I rarely thought of the next one. Every now and then I would get this urge to hold a new baby, but I was so busy it was hard to think about. Then I started getting sick again. Scared to take a test I wait to be sure. We found out we were expecting again when I was five weeks along. I can't tell you how excited we were. Together, we planned and loved this child. We prayed over this child and talked about how fun it was going to be. He was to have a baby cousin only two weeks older and we were sure it was a boy. I heard the heart beat at 8 weeks and just felt good all around. When I started to cramp, and bleed all these feelings came rushing back again. I knew I was losing the baby, but Jeremy insisted, he was holding on to our baby. I had an appointment the following day and Jeremy was so certain he didn't even come with me. He missed it once again, I miscarried at 11 weeks. Doctor wanted me to stay because he didn't think my body was up for a D&C, so they just monitored me. We stayed in the hospital for a couple hours, holding each other and wishing we knew why this kept happening to us. Our 6th anniversary was just a few days away, we had 6 pregnancies in six years, and only two live babies. I went to my follow up visit, she told me she wanted to take another ultrasound, she found something.
Well we were finally going to get our answer, but did I really want it? I knew I was broken, but did I really want to know how broken
We did the ultrasound and went back into the doctor. She said once again “It’s a miracle you were able to carry your kids to term. I was most likely born with a torn battered womb and the hard labor and the D&C only made it worse. My babies were just becoming numbers now, and that number was only going to get bigger. Just how big I don’t know, and that was the scary part.
Almost immediately after this miscarriage I got pregnant again, and miscarried at 8 weeks. Mother’s Day to be exact, is when I lost baby number seven. I feel almost a numbing, all foggy and not sure how to react anymore.
Jeremy and I had a discussion about what to do. We really weren’t sure if we should keep putting my body through this. According to the doctor the worst case scenario I will be tired and worn out from all the hormone changes. We decide to keep trying. When we had trouble getting pregnant in the beginning we decided to give my womb to God. Our family was going to be decided by God. God has done amazing things thus far and I know he has more in store for our beautiful family.
I don't want anyone to think that I take for granted the children I have, or the life that I have. I enjoy my kids, and I am thankful for them. The Loss that we have suffered, I fear, is not over. I'm afraid of getting too close to my pregnancies. But, I know God can do amazing things.
I think what's really hard is others. Either they don't know, or they've forgotten, at least it seems that way, no one can feel my pain and that frustrates me. I want to let it go but I know I have to feel to get past it. Sometimes we have to go through the pain, not around it.
God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and sometimes I am surprised by how much he gives me to handle. But the key in all of that is giving it to God. I can’t carry all this on my shoulders. I need to let God be the healer.
Another due date is coming upon us, and the reminders are all around us. Pray for us as we continue to shed our tears at Jesus’ feet.