Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Baby Adams #4

Get it all out.

That was the advice given to me on grieving. Scream if you need to. Cry if you need to. Talk if you need to.

Or write. Writing has always been my way to get it all out, so here goes...

I'm sorry that this is the first time I've written on the blog in almost a year. Life has been crazy, and I promise, once my heart has healed a little I will do a big catch up post. But for now, I just need to get it all out.

As you can imagine, life with the addition of the twins has gotten crazy. The best kind of crazy but crazy none-the-less. So 4 months ago when Mike and I found out we were pregnant we were both.... stunned.

For one, we don't just get pregnant. If you've visited this blog before, you know that. Years, dollars, tears, needles, all of it tells the story of how we don't just get pregnant. Two, we have 3 kids. The twins are still babies. What in the world, how in the world would we be expecting again?! When we first found out neither one of us knew what to do or say. I cried. A good bit actually. I was terrified and overwhelmed and scared. It didn't seem real, but reality was setting in. Soon we would be a family of 6. 4 kids. 3 under the age of 2. If that last sentence doesn't scare you then you're stronger than me.

On the flip side, we knew what it takes to get pregnant. We know that EVERY baby is the sweetest gift that God can give. We know that accidents don't happen when it comes to the life of a child. Babies are blessings, not accidents, not ever. Every baby was intentionally placed by our maker. We know that first hand. So, we agreed that this baby was an incredible gift from God and that we would embrace it and celebrate it and figure it all out.

By month 3 we were ready. Everything had settled down, we had our game plan and I was excited to start feeling this blessing move in my belly while I figured out how we would make it all work. We had been to an ultrasound together (12 weeks) where baby was no longer a gummy bear and instead a bouncing, finger sucking little baby. Mike studied that ultrasound for so long trying to determine the baby's gender. He swore boy, but our ultrasound girl (who has become a wonderful friend) said it was still just to early. We left that ultrasound with pictures and excitement and the feeling of  "we are really doing this!". Appointments were made, plans were set, life was carrying on. We were bracing for baby number 4.

The first trimester was m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. I couldn't eat, I couldn't drink, I got dehydrated. It was bad. I woke up the morning of week 13 and felt like a different human. I was hungry, I had energy, it was a miracle. With my new found health I was ready to rock this pregnancy! Fast forward to week 16. My mom was in town visiting and we decided to head to Disney for the day. Long story short, while at the parks, I started to bleed. Not a lot, no cramping. I had this with the twins and it ended up being just a scare, no big deal. So I called my doctor and headed in for a check up. In my head I just kept saying, everything is fine, just like last time.

From the minute I saw my baby on that ultrasound screen I knew the baby was gone. Unlike the last time, baby wasn't wiggling and finger sucking and dancing. Baby was curled up and not moving. That little flicker or life that had been there on that very first ultrasound was gone. My baby was gone. I didn't need her to say it, those words that are forever branded onto my heart. "Jordan, I'm so sorry to tell you this, your baby has no heartbeat."

Those words rocked my world. I wept. Not just a cry, not just sadness. I wept. For the first time in my life I wept. I cried out several times to God. My mom held me, my wonderful u/s tech held me, and I just wept.

From there everything moved really quickly. My mom called Mike, he rushed to get to me, we saw the doctor. I was expecting to be told they would have to do a D&C and was mentally preparing for that. So when the doctor told me I would be delivering the baby I think shock set in. In less then a few hours I went from blissfully pregnant to grieving the loss of our baby, to being faced with labor and delivery for a child we would never get to know. Never get to hear the first cry, or giggle, or see the first steps. We would never get to hug our child and comfort them. It hit me like a ton of bricks.

The hospital where I delivered the twins is literally right across the street from my doctor's office, so we were instructed to head there. Straight to Labor & Delivery. We walked the same hallways we walked with our twins birth. Last time we were there we were almost electric with excitement. This time, silent with grief. What a difference.

Check in went just like it did when you go to have any labor, bands, questions, IVs, only this time there was no excitement. Even the nurses were quiet and sad. The hospital we go to is a Christian hospital and I cant tell you what a difference that made in our journey. They prayed over us, the cried with us, they held my hand. They never once treated us like anything less than family. Every step we took, they took it with us. The care was incredible.

From a medical standpoint the care went similar to any induction. Given that I had a c section with twin B (Anderson) just about a year ago, I wasn't allowed full strength induction drugs. Instead I was just given a suppository to open my cervix some. It took several hours and a few rounds of the drug. There was a lot of blood loss. A lot.

Finally, around 2:30am he was born.  At just under 6 inches long and 9 ounces our baby boy's little body entered this world. His soul was already with our maker. He was perfect. Not at all the science experiment I was expecting to see. He was beautiful, just a tiny sleeping baby. Fully formed, little hands and feet. The same ones I saw kicking around in my belly just a few weeks ago. His little lips and nose. Just perfection. They told us that when he was born the cord was wrapped around his neck and then again around his lower left leg. They couldn't tell us for sure, at that time, but they believed his cord either strangled him or blood flow via the cord was lost.

My heart ached a different ache this time. I couldn't help but feel like my body failed him. Here he was perfect, and lost to the one thing that is supposed to give him life. It felt so cruel. I could feel anger and sadness, and desperation. All you want to do is scream as hard as you can. It isn't fair. That's an understatement.

After some time with him, he was taken away for examination. We still don't know the exact cause of his death and won't until the results from his autopsy come back. I guess, at this point, it doesn't matter. He's gone. That's it.

Once he was delivered we had to face the next crucial obstacle. Delivering the placenta, fully. This can be risky because your body doesn't want to release the pregnancy at this stage. So more drugs, more blood, more painful examinations. At one point I became really shaky. My heart was racing, and my blood pressure dropped to 53/32. I was in shock and loosing to much blood. My doctor made the decision that it was time to head to the OR. They needed to put me under and try to assist in delivering the afterbirth. If that didn't work, I would have to have a D&C for the placenta and blood transfusions. We discussed the risks, which weren't distant. I was really scared. There was talk of removing my uterus if necessary. All of it was happening so fast. I remember looking up at Mike and telling him I didn't want to die. I just wanted to be home with my kids and my husband. I made him promise me a few things before we left for the OR. The nurses prayed over me. I can't tell you how terrifying those moments were. Once we got into the OR the mood lightened. The nurses did their best to make me comfortable and get me smiling. Soon the anesthesia started and I was fast asleep.

I remember waking up to my nurse in the recovery room. Good news! No D&C, no blood transfusions, no surgery. They were able to deliver the afterbirth once I was under and my body relaxed. Praise GOD! This also meant I got to go home  a lot sooner! It was just a matter of stabilizing at this point.

It was over. The procedures, the pregnancy. All of it was done. Our sweet baby boy had been gone from this world, but now he was no longer in me. I wasn't pregnant anymore. I wanted nothing more than to get home.

After a few hours of watching my vitals and rest we were told we could go home. My nurse brought me a memory box with his blanket and a teddy bear that they put with him, pictures, a care kit for me, a journal, and a letter with a prayer from a mom who had been through what we just went through. I loaded into a wheel chair and held my box, not my baby, as they wheeled me out and to the car. What was one of the most wonderful wheel chair trips in my past, getting to stroll through the hospital with your beautiful baby or babies in your arms as people ooh and aww and smile and congratulate. This time we just got a silent nod or sympathetic face from the nurses as we rolled away. It was awful. No woman should ever have to go through that. In that moment I just focused on getting home to my kids. This ride is temporary, soon you will be home with your family. Your healthy, beautiful, growing family.

The ride home with Mike and I was basically silent. Neither of us knew what to say, both still in shock. I couldn't help but think about how different this ride was just 13 months ago. How we kept checking on the two infants in the back seat, how we drove 10 miles per hour under the speed limit. How every little sigh would put a smile on our face. This time it was silence. Just the noise of the car.

Arriving home was the first ray of sunshine. The first step in the right direction. Hugging Jake, my mom, the babies made me feel like I was slowly coming back to life. I showered and put on comfy clothes and just felt like the worst was behind me.

It's been one week since we found out our baby boy was gone. Each day gets a little lighter. I will go for a few hours (thanks to 2 one year olds and a 9yo on summer break) without it hitting me again. Usually the pain comes back in the quiet, alone times. I miss him. I miss knowing he's in my belly. I miss feeling him move. I miss planning our crazy life. I miss scrambling to figure out how we will make it all work. I feel robbed. I feel hurt. I feel confused. I am reminded through prayer, and scripture, and wonderful friends and my beautiful children that God is good all of the time. Life may not be, but God is. I don't know why. I don't understand and I probably never will. It doesn't matter. God has my sweet boy in his arms. He has promised wonderful things for my life and He has delivered on those promises. I know He will continue to do so. I know there is more in store for us. I know this is a part of our story. I will heal. I will be happy and joyful and thankful. I will never forget that sweet boy. I will never forget his little perfect body laying there. I will never not ache for him or wish I knew who he would have become. I will always wonder how he would have fit into our family, what he would have looked like as he grew. I know there will always be a piece of my heart that is his, a piece that went to heaven with him.

We haven't named him yet, but we will. We are taking some time to process everything and return our hearts to joy. Once I can speak about him without tears, once I feel peace again, that's when I want to name him. Not out of sadness of his loss, but out of joy for his time with our family. He deserves that. He deserves a name chosen in joy.

From here we move forward as a family. We push on. We heal. We pray. We are so thankful for all the love we have received. The prayers, the notes, the calls, the texts. Thank you. So many of you have asked what you can do to help. If you would like, please make a donation to the non-profit group that provides the memory boxes to families suffering the loss of a baby. They pay for these boxes with donations from the public to provide families with some comfort and a way to remember the sweet baby they lost. You can donate here in honor of  Baby Boy Adams : Donate <3