I have been thinking of this post for about a year now. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put my story out there (I mean, there are so many stories already, many more painful than my own) and for a while I was in flight mode. Which worried me in its own way.
You see, right before Mother’s Day 2018, my husband Dan and I found out we were expecting again. To say we were excited is an understatement. We had been trying for Child #3 for 8 months, and I was coming around to the idea that we were meant for just our two girls. But when two pink lines showed up on the test, I couldn’t believe it! I thought I was about 10 weeks along, but I wasn’t quite sure, so I had a dating ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a tiny little baby with a strong, whooshing heartbeat, about six weeks.
Determined to have a home birth this time I’d started my search for a midwife and doula. Being able to sleep in my own bed after delivery was very appealing. As the weeks progressed, new and different symptoms I never experienced with my girls made themselves present. All smells were disgusting. I’m talking constant gagging, and instant throwing up gross. I had to hold my breath when I walked by our fireplace; and the smell of someone smoking or vaping would instantly send me running.
Dan had to work on the day of our first midwife appointment at about 12 weeks; but the girls and I made a morning out of it. We went to breakfast at my favorite little spot and the girls behaved like angels.
At least, I think they behaved like angels. It’s amazing what the brain forgets. Like 1am, 2am, 2:45am, and 3:30am feedings. Anyway, at the midwife’s they took some blood samples which freaked out my youngest Annabelle. (Mind you this kid willingly picks up lizards and pokes at bugs in her leisure time; but whatever; I guess she won’t grow up and be a phlebotomist). We all heard the sweet little heartbeat again, strong and whooshing, and made an appointment for four weeks later.
At 14 weeks, I couldn’t take it anymore, I HAD to know if we were having a boy or girl. I just could NOT wait another six weeks to find out at the 20 week scan. I made an appointment at an ‘Early View’ ultrasound place. When we got there, the technician called us into the room, which was set up so sweetly. She put the jelly on my abdomen and placed the wand on top, my heart leapt! There was our baby, moving all around, arms and legs stretching and kicking! The little face so perfectly defined. A little button nose – right there, I could see it! See myself kissing that cute little nose.
The technician thought she knew the gender but wanted a second opinion, so she called in another tech. They said the baby seemed to be about a week behind what I thought, which made it a little difficult to determine. In the end, they were both sure our baby was….
WHAAT?! I was absolutely floored.
They told us to come back in a week; in a week she would be big enough that they would be 100% sure. The rest of the day, I just kept looking at Dan saying “Three girls! I can’t believe it”. I think he was letting me be the shocked one, while totally freaking out on the inside. The entire rest of the week was spent in a Pinterest daze of girl nursery’s and baby names.
Our excitement hadn’t diminished when we went back the following week. The tech put the goop on my stomach again, and moved the wand around, looking for her heartbeat. She kept moving the wand around and around and around.
At that point, I knew. I saw no little hand movements or feet kicking. I saw no heartbeat. No life.
The technician pulled the wand off, and took a big sigh, “I’m not finding a heartbeat” she said. I just nodded. I think I said something like “I thought so”. She proceeded to explain that the week before, our baby appeared to have Omphalocele. A birth defect where some of the organs grow outside of the baby’s body. This is usually accompanied with other defects, such as heart defects and chromosomal abnormalities.
She left the room to give Dan and I some time alone with the kids. I just cried. We had lost our very first, (before Charlotte) early though, at 8 weeks. As difficult as that was, losing her was on its own level. Even though it helped knowing that something was wrong with our baby, seeing so much life in my womb gave her a permanent place in my heart; and left a gaping hole.
Because I was 15 weeks along, my care was transferred to an Obstetrician office. There, they gave me the option to give birth or have a DNC. I chose to have a DNC, and they scheduled me for the end of the week at the Hospital.
Once we got to the there, they put us in the labor and delivery wing. Which really sucked hearing all the newborns crying knowing I’d lost mine, but also made me feel joy for those mothers with an infant to soothe.
The wait felt like forever; sitting there in the amazingly comfortable hospital bed. Eventually it was my turn in the O.R. Dan came over and put his hand on my head, stroked my hair and said I love you, then they wheeled me out. I remember going through the double doors of the O.R. getting on the tiny table, and that was it.
When I woke up; I was being wheeled back into the L&D room. I remember thanking them profusely and asking the Doctor if I farted on the OR Table, (she told me I didn’t, buuut I’m fairly certain I did). And I remember telling Dan we should call our baby Faith; but I don’t remember much after that. I can’t remember changing, leaving the hospital, what we did afterwards or the hour drive home.
Up until that day, I was doing okay emotionally. After the hospital day, I was definitely not ok. I pulled off social media; tired of the hustle, the drama, the constant comparing of my life to others… and also to focus on our little family of four. Being home was sucking me into a really bad funk. I needed to get out. Leave the stupid state, our house and go adventure; take my mind off of this whole thing and her.
Dan and I decided to road trip it. We headed for the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas. Our first stop was Mount Magazine, then East to Petit Jean State Park, then north and west ending up at Table Rock Lake near Branson Missouri. A few weeks later; we drug our boat to Broken Bow in Oklahoma, which quickly became our new favorite spot. And after that, we spent a long weekend in Dallas, taking the kids to Perot Museum and Medieval Times and doing other Dallas-y things. It was an amazing time with the girls, a summer I will never forget and one that I will hold dear in my heart forever. Especially now…
Mount Magazine, Arkansas
Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas
Table Rock Lake Hollister Mo. & Talking Rocks Cavern
Broken Bow Oklahoma / Beavers Bend
Mandalay Canal Walk at Los Colinas, Irving Tx
Fort Worth Stock Yards
Stock Yards Cattle Drive
Klyde Warren Park, Downtown Dallas
Through the rest of summer and into fall; I finished up what I had on my books but really stopped taking on new clients. Mostly, I worked with my past clients and their babies. Which was such a joy seeing all the Spring newborns, now bouncing Fall babies.
In November, just before Thanksgiving; Dan and I learned we were expecting again! Cautious and excited my search for a Midwife and Doula began again, which took me north this time, to Seedling Births in Sulphur Springs. At 15 weeks we had another gender check ultrasound. Which IMMEDIATELY revealed something I had personally never seen on an ultrasound before…
There was no denying; a BOY this time!!!
(sorry kid for throwing your ultrasound ‘bits’ up on the inter-webs).
So here we are, a year after losing our little Faith and due with our third at the end of this month 🙂 It has been a heckuva year. Loss pain loneliness and joy. I am trying to soak up what I have left while it is just Charlotte and Annabelle, before baby arrives. Extra snuggles, hugs and long talks have been our jam this Summer.
Oh and nesting… A LOT of nesting.
Sarah, you have been on my mind for the past few weeks so I was especially glad when your post popped up. You, Dan and the girls are in my prayers as you wait for that precious boy. I cannot wait to see him! ❤️
Sarah I just finished reading your blogg, and I am rejoicing with you on your baby boy! I have been thinking about you and praying for you many times this last year, as I remember the day you shared you lost your baby girl. Praying for your labor and delivery of this sweet Rainbow Boy! Love you friend.
2 Comments on Where Ive been for a year…