Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mom to Liam Patrick
Stillborn on April 20th, 2010
Reading, PA

I feel very blessed that I am able to get pregnant so has never been an issue. I have been pregnant five times and have been blessed with two healthy active boys. I feel very grateful for the children that God has given me, but I still grieve for the losses that I have had.

From the time of conception, the life inside of me is precious and I feel responsible to nourish and take care of that little life. It is an awesome responsibility and a privilege to carry a child. I had my first son Ryan at age 24 with no issues at all. I was able to get pregnant the first time trying....I don't even for a second take that blessing for granted. He is now a healthy 7 year old baseball lover like his father.

The first baby I lost on November 16, sadly happened on Dave's birthday. I was around 4 weeks pregnant and I had no idea that I was pregnant at that time. I had just finished nursing Ryan and I thought that I had my period...but it was the start of a miscarriage. It was a hard time because I blamed myself.

I became pregnant with Aaron two months later...praise the Lord...and I had another healthy baby boy! I had many complications with him while I was pregnant...a low lying placenta and bleeding. My midwife told me my chances of miscarrying him were higher because of the placenta issue. Praise God, he is in my life. He is a five year old with a very contagious smile and he has such a sweet personality. He is also mommy's little helper. Both of my children are miracles.

The second loss was October, 2010. Dave and I were trying and it took one time for me to get pregnant....again blessed. I was so excited because the baby would be due in June...a summer baby. We were planning on telling our family over Thanksgiving. I made it to 8 weeks, but had bleeding issues. The ultrasound and blood work confirmed that the baby was not was heartbreaking. All the hopes and dreams that I had for this baby would not be. It was a very hard Thanksgiving for me because this was the time when I was supposed to be telling everyone our wonderful heart was broken.

Even through my grief, I felt the urgency to get pregnant as soon as possible. We waited about a month before trying and then we were again on another pregnancy journey. I became pregnant with Liam sometime in December...oh I was feeling so blessed. God has blessed me with fertility and I will never take that for granted. I was cautiously expecting this baby and just taking it day by day because I knew my heart could get broken again. Dave and I were excited, but this time kept the excitement to ourselves for a very long time. I had bleeding with him for about two weeks and it finally stopped. All of my blood work came back normal and I was feeling more at ease. I made it past 8 weeks and started to relax a little more. Each week I relaxed a little more....We told Ryan and Aaron around 13 weeks because we thought it was a "safe" time to tell them. The boys were so cute and excited that they would be having a brother or a sister. I remember Aaron saying, "Well, where is the baby?...i want the baby to come right now!" I just smiled and said" Well, your going to have to wait until September." The weeks ahead were going to be exciting..the planning, dreaming, setting up baby's room, and teaching the kids about how baby brother or sister got into mommy's tummy.

I made it past 13 weeks!. Now I was really starting to get excited. Dave and I went shopping for some much needed baby equipment around week 16. I found a really cute gender neutral safari themed crib bedding set at a mom's club sale...along with a new highchair, bouncy seat, car seat, diaper bag, and a baby bath tub. Around this time I also felt Liam's first amazing and reassuring feeling. Everything was starting to get in order and I was more at ease than I had been through the whole pregnancy. Remarkably, we already had a boy name picked out that we both agreed on. The middle names were even decided on! We talked about if we would find out the gender when the time came, and we came to the conclusion that we would wait and be surprised on the birth day.

At 17 weeks I went in for my routine checkup where the doctor was able to hear a healthy heartbeat. I felt so reassured at that doctor appointment. My Doctor told me that I didn't need to worry and that "I am out of the woods" when it came to another miscarriage. I feel like I have the best qualified doctors, but what I realize is that doctors they don't always have all of the right answers. How was she to know that my baby was going to die shortly after that visit? How was I to know that he died between week 17 and 19? I felt him moving and I thought I felt movements all the way to the 20th week. I had no cramping, no bleeding, no changes in my pregnancy at all.

The weekend before our 20 week ultrasound, my mom came to visit us. We all worked very hard to get the baby's room set up. I put the curtains up by myself and let Dave and Mom move the baby equipment. They brought up the changing table and crib, which needed a good cleaning. I was so thankful to finally have the baby's room in order. I had more energy and was excited for our ultrasound on April 19th.

The ultrasound day was finally here. Praise the Lord that Dave came with me on that day. I was 20 weeks and 5 days along in the pregnancy. We went in the doctor's office filled with excitement and anticipation. The ultrasound technician called us in and I hopped out of my chair with a big smile on my face. She turned on the machine and I saw our well formed baby as the technician was doing her thing. I thought for a second to myself, "shouldn't I be hearing a heartbeat right now" Then I thought that she must have the machine turned down and that's why we didn't hear a heartbeat. I didn't see any movement either, but I just trusted that everything was okay. She looked around for about three minutes in dead silence and said," I am going to get the doctor to take a look"....When she left I said to Dave, "Well, I hope there's no problem" We were both a little concerned at that time. The doctor came in and looked for about 15 seconds and said " I am so sorry Michelle, but your baby has no heartbeat. " She said that our baby was only measuring about 17 weeks. I didn't say a word and looked to the floor with tears in my eyes. I was in complete shock and thought, this has to be a cruel joke of some kind. The doctor told us that we should go to the hospital so I could deliver the baby and I should do it as soon as possible. I left the doctor appointment feeling numb and in shock. I didn't want to believe what the doctor told me....on the car ride home I said to Dave that maybe the machine was broken. I thought I had felt the baby move just a couple of days the machine had to be broken.

When Dave and I came back to our house after hearing our baby was dead, we had to decide when to go into the hospital so I could deliver our baby. My doctor wanted me to go in as soon as possible. While Dave was picking the boys up from school, I was busy trying to pack my bag for the hospital. I packed a change of clothes, my slippers, contact solution and other essentials in my suitcase. I also felt the need to take my ipod because music has a way of comforting me, especially my worship songs. I don't think I got any sleep during the 8 hours of labor, but I listened to my ipod almost the whole time.

It took about 8 hours of labor to deliver Liam. I can tell you it isn't fair to have to go through 8 hours of labor, to hold your dead baby and leave him at the hospital. How in the world did I make it through that without going crazy or freaking out? I know it had to be the Lord giving me my strength and interceding for me in those moments. Dave was so supportive and loving to me during those moments.

My doctor induced labor and it took about an hour for me to feel a contraction. The second contraction came on very strong and I was grabbing onto the hospital bed. The nurse called for the anesthesiologist to come give me an epidural. Those moments were very tense as he gave me the epidural. The first time he put it in the wrong spot and I felt tingles up my leg. Thank goodness the second time he got it on the right spot and I wasn't feeling the contractions anymore. A couple hours later, at 2:45 in the morning, I pushed him out easily with no physical pain. The room was dark, quiet, and somber. My work of laboring was over, but instead of nursing my baby, he lay quietly in a bed next to me. That is one of the things I missed the most...nurturing and caring for my baby. I even had milk come in later that week with no baby to feed.

It has been three months since we lost our son Liam. I miss him everyday, but the pain seems to get a little easier each day. My husband and I talk about trying again for a baby and I pray that if it is the Lord's will he will bless us with a healthy child. However, I will always love Liam as my special baby..he can never be replaced.....ever..and I look forward to the day when I can hold him in heaven.


Sue J said...

This blog can really touch others who have/are suffering as you do. God bless you for caring, and for sharing your pain, in order to help heal others.

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