It has been two weeks since we lost our sweet baby boy (yes, you read that right....we were having a boy! It IS possible for us McDonald women to conceive boys!). Right now, we are taking things one day at a time. It's still hard to believe he is gone. Some days, I still wake up thinking it was all just a horrible dream. Today I would be 15 weeks and getting ready for our big ultrasound.
13 weeks. It may not sound like very long to most people, but to me it felt like much longer. Apparently by your 6th pregnancy, you start to feel things much earlier. In 13 weeks I heard my baby's heartbeat, almost everyday. I felt little tiny kicks. I felt the misery of morning sickness, all day. I had food cravings, and food aversions. I saw our perfect little baby on an ultrasound, moving, kicking, and almost fully formed, just needing to grow. I had so many ups and downs during those 13 weeks. Every symptom giving me hope. And then something would make me take a step back and know we are never in the clear. In 13 weeks I had hope that I might actually get to hold this baby come July. But still, knowing all of the things that can go wrong, I knew the chances of probably not bringing this baby home with us someday. I will probably never know what God's plan was for him. But it's there and it's bigger than I can even imagine. God gives and God takes away. But even knowing all of that, does not make me miss our baby any less. It doesn't make the idea of trying for another baby scary as crap. I would give anything to have an innocent view on pregnancy. To fall pregnant and to instantly think everything is going to be okay and I WILL have this baby. I envy those who have that. That is long gone. That disappeared almost 10 years ago with our first loss.
I have not been very public about it, but for those wanting to know what happened, I will give a quick summary. My last blog post, I posted about the scare we had with a few bleeding issues that began on Friday the 4th. I was put on bed rest, and we thought things were going to get better. Over the weekend I was still bleeding but it wasn't severe. We checked for a heartbeat every few hours and every time it was amazingly strong. Early Monday morning, I woke up around 4am having mild contractions, no longer just cramping. Right away I knew something wasn't right. We checked for the baby's hearbeat, and there it was...beating strongly at 180bpm as usual. Little did we know that this would be the last time we would heart that precious heartbeat.
We called the hospital and the dr said contractions can be normal with my condition as the blood really irritates the uterus. At this point I still wasn't bleeding very much. But he said to call my regular OB and have him put in an ultrasound to do later that day. After hanging up the phone, 2 minutes later the contractions began coming stronger, harder, and faster. My bleeding increased to very heavy. I was in full blown labor by 5am. I was having severe active labor contractions from about 5am-6:30am. The contractions stopped around 6:30 and I knew it wasn't a good thing. We checked for the heartbeat, but we could not find it. Geoff had to go into work, so I was alone and continued to look for a heartbeat. Sometime between 5 and 6:30, our sweet baby passed away. I delivered the baby right around 7:30. Geoff came right home and I called my Dr to see what he wanted me to do. They set me up with an appointment for about an hour later. They said if we wanted to, we could bring the baby with us and they would do testing to see if there was any genetic issues with the baby.
Going to that appointment was hard. I did some major praying for strength before we even left for the appointment. There were new moms in the waiting room with their new babies. And of course, photos of babies everywhere. But I know I needed to go. I needed to know why this happened. I am thankful I have an OB doctor who cares and took all of the time we needed to answer our questions. Between my ultrasounds and a quick glance at the baby, he gave us a preliminary report. He said that the blood clot they found on Friday, was really small, but it quickly grew, and most likely, completely detached my placenta, and at that point, I went into labor because my body could no longer support the baby. I love that he was honest and told us he believes our baby was 100% healthy and it wasn't the baby that caused this. I have been reading a lot on the SCH during pregnancy. They are fairly common and It seems more often than not, they are harmless and most women go on to have full term babies. We are praying this was a one time thing.
For those who don't know much about miscarriages, most of them occur because the baby stops growing, or there is some sort of genetic defect and so your body sees that and stops it. This is usually sometime before 12 weeks. That was the case with my other 3 losses. My first loss was a "missed miscarriage" at around 11 weeks. The baby never developed properly, but my body just continued thinking I was still pregnant. We had no idea until we went in for light bleeding. I miscarried that night. My 2nd and 3rd miscarriages were both around 6-7 weeks, most likely due to "blighted ovums" which again, the babies never developed properly. But because this baby was alive with a strong heartbeat until I went into labor, my doctor believes it was because of the blood clot. Knowing that the baby was fine, and would have been fine if it were not for the clot has been the hardest part for me. I know nothing could have been done to stop this from happening, but at the same time, I can't stop reliving the whole thing over and over in my head. I just can't imagine those who do not have a relationship with Christ...how they can get through something like this? I know I could never do it without Him. Without the scripture to comfort me. Without prayer filling in the darkness and emptiness. Without his constant reminder of all of the blessings and love.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 This verse...it has brought me so much comfort....knowing everything is part of His plan for my life.
Telling the girls, that afternoon when they got home from school, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I prayed so hard for God to give me the right words. But how do you tell your children, who are so excited about a new baby, that their brother/sister died? How to you protect their little hearts and help them understand why? This was the first time they have ever really had to deal with death. Jordyn was completely devastated. She immediately burst into tears. I just held her and cried with her. She has always been one that is so outward with her emotions. She is still having a hard time grasping that the baby is gone and not coming back. Pretty much everyday, she tells me she is sad that the baby is gone. Abby on the other hand, is a little bit more like Geoff. Her emotions stay more inward when she isn't really sure how she feels about something. It didn't really hit her until later that night at bedtime when she realized she couldn't sleep because she was so sad.
We have not gotten back the full lab results from the baby yet (waiting for the genetic testing that takes a few weeks), and I will be getting some testing done as well. The tests we have gotten back said that the baby was perfect. He was measuring the exact correct size and had no health issues. My dr. believes that I might have some sort of blood/clotting disorder that is triggered by pregnancy. There is a chance I could have another subchorionic hematoma if I get pregnant again, so I would be on blood thinners.