Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here Goes Everything......

I keep staring at this blank page wondering how I will start this. It's not easy talking about the things that have happened in my life this lovely (that was sarcastic) October 2015. All I keep thinking is that it could be worse.

On September 30th I was going on 18 weeks of my 3rd pregnancy, almost 5 months. A handful of people knew, but we never really announced it, I think I always had a feeling with this one that something wasn't right. With that said, I was ready at that point to announce it to everyone. In fact, I had a picture ready to post of Grace and I at the beach in August when we were pregnant together. Sarah took it and wanted to post it right away, but I begged her not to, I regret that now. For me personally, I just wish everyone would have known because then it would have been easier to share in this loss.

My sweet little girl, we've named her Sunny Grace, was not well. A blood test showed that there was a 95% chance she had Turner's Syndrome. You can read about it here. I read somewhere that 99% of Turner Syndrome pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. We found out she may have this when I was 18 weeks, so I truly believed she was that 1% and Daron and I were ready to take on the challenge. After a second blood test to prepare me for an amniocentesis, we had a hard time finding the heart beat, so the next day I dropped in to my doctors office for a quick scan. I thought nothing of it. Big Mar came with me and at the last second Daron felt the urge to come as well. I was telling him not to worry about coming, it was month-end and I just knew everything would be fine, but something in him said he needed to be there.

This was my 2nd ultrasound, the last time we saw her she was just a little circle with a heartbeat. This was the first time we saw her entire little body, fingers, toes, arms, legs, spine, everything, except the flicker. There was no flicker.

If you have seen an ultrasound before then you know their heartbeat is a flicker on the screen. When that Doppler is placed on your belly or your partners belly the first thing you look for is the flicker, so naturally my eyes were scanning the screen for her flicker. I kept looking and looking, but it just wasn't there. She was gone, resting peacefully in my womb. I wanted to keep her there forever, and in some way I know she always will be.

The process after that happens so quickly and it sucks. 'Evacuating' your womb is an awful feeling. There is basically a 'confirmation' scan so you have to see her lifeless fetus again, which I really didn't mind because I just liked seeing her, but I know how painful it was for my mom and sister to see. I remember Sarah turning her head away. I know she was probably worried about me, but I realized as well that it must be so hard for her to see her niece that way.

A day and a half later she was 'evacuated'. The pain medicine and the sedatives did not work on me; I was wide awake and felt it all and it hurt, both physically and mentally. The uterine contractions you feel after giving birth are tolerable because there is typically a newborn baby swaddled nicely in your arms. The uterine contractions after this procedure are painful. Painful reminders of your empty womb and empty arms.

I want to be honest about this process because until it happened to us we really had no clue, which is crazy since it happens to 1 in 4 women.

Being more knowledgeable about this is a good thing. Sure it can be uncomfortable to talk about, but if it helps us have more compassion, more understanding, more patience and love for a woman that might be dealing with this, or for her partner that is trying to be strong for the both of them, then it's totally worth it.

In my particular situation Daron and I truly believe Sunny Grace was probably too sick to be here on Earth with us, she needed to go straight back to Heaven, and I find comfort in that. Still, I'll probably continue counting until my due date March 8th rolls around, and I think that's normal. I like to think I'll never forget her due date. I like to think I'll always be sad about her because I fear forgetting a child I never met. I read something the other day that said God would never fill that void in me, He just gives me the Grace to see it as a gift rather than a painful memory. I like that.

During all of this, more than anything, I'm so thankful for my faith. Without my faith I don't know how I would be because one week after I lost Sunny Grace, my Grandma Grace passed away. Words cannot express how important this woman is to me and quite frankly I think I'm in denial about the fact that she is actually gone. In my mind God had the perfect reason for Grandma to finally go home and it was my baby. Nobody loved babies more than my Grandma Grace, nobody. The truth is I talk to her more now than I ever did and that makes me feel like she is still right here with me, nudging me along, sending me her strength.

The same day my Grandma Grace went to Heaven to take care of my Sunny Grace, my best friend since college unexpectedly lost her 14 month old son Jaxon Ray. He and Donovan are just two weeks apart. This ripped my soul to the core. The thought of losing my Donovan physically hurts me, and the fact that my friend is facing, in my mind, the highest level of grief, rips my heart in a million little pieces.

I chose to go to Dallas to be with my friend Meredith for her son's funeral instead of Utah for my Grandma's funeral. I know with all of my heart it is not only what my Grandma would have wanted me to do, but it 's also what she would have done too.

The losses I've experienced this month have already changed me for the better. The ability to see the silver lining in all of this is God's Grace, something I pray for all the time. God has given me the opportunity to see how loving and supportive my friends and family are, even my co-workers, and for that I'm forever grateful. I've seen how Daron and I can come together and support each other, and I believe our relationship is stronger than it's ever been. I've learned every second I get with my children is a blessing from God. And the shining light through all of this is my rekindled friendship with Meredith as we help support each other through this difficult time together. Is it our faith God wants us to share with each other? I don't know, all I know is I have learned so much from her already. 

The way I think about it is, this journey has only just begun and it can only be taken one day at a time, sometimes one second at a time. Faith, family, and friendships are everything. Kiss your babies, visit your Grandparents, and be compassionate; you never know what someone might be going through.

love, bohoBoolie

Don't be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.  -Philippians 4:6-7

Sweet 'Sunray'

Click here for a beautiful prayer Meredith shared with me, if you are struggling I believe this will give you hope.