"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Saturday, October 15, 2011

pregnancy and infant loss rememberance day

if i could write any one thought about pregnancy loss/miscarriages/stillbirths, it would be pretty much word for word THIS POST (what if we talked @ beautifully chaotic)... but i already found someone else did for me.  please take the time to click over there and read it.  whether or not you are a 1 in 4, it's applicable and appropriate. 
so my second thought is to tell my story.  so following, if you wish to read, is my first birth story, to my first born, my first son: Theron Tyler.
i got married on august 8 of 2003.  we didn't have a honeymoon, but at the end of august our employers took us (and the rest of the employees) on an employee ride.  -otter pop and i were both employed at a harley-davidson dealership under the best bosses in the whole world, you see.  they supplied the bikes, the gas, the food, the lodging... we just had to show up!  (and we did).  it was awesome!  it was a great honeymoon plan b.  that's where and when our first baby was made. 
i missed my next period.  and my next one.  but i was just married and i was too naive to think that i could actually BE pregnant.  but after missing the third one (almost around this same time of year 8 years ago), i decided that maybe i should take a pregnancy test because i guess it COULD be...  and it declared that i was, in fact pregnant.  i almost wanted to take another one, because it just was almost unreal to me that i could be carrying a baby inside me.  a real, live, baby!  INSIDE me! 
well, we announced to everyone we saw that i was pregnant.  we went in to see the OB/GYN and saw our little jumping bean with sprouts for arms and legs... his little heart was pumping and sure enough, he was measuring out just perfect for my 3 missed periods = 12 weeks. 
i had had NO symptoms (as in, no morning sickness) and had NO idea... but once i started reading through the "what to expect when you're expecting" book... i had all the others!  my husband and i were overjoyed with the news and seriously (SERIOUSLY) didn't not tell anyone.  everyone knew!  everyone was so excited with us.  it was SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
adejay's birthday is nov. 13, and it was on a wednesday.  she turned 5.  i planned a great big rollerskating birthday party and invited her whole class for that saturday.  it was a big and stressful day.  lots of running around and forgetting important details and such things that go with a big birthday party.  it was a success, but i didn't feel awesome that day.  i wasn't hungry, i was rather grumpy, and at the end of the day when i saw a few spots of blood in my underwear i wasn't really that surprised.  i thought it was from the stress of the day, so i wasn't alarmed at all.  i hadn't ever been pregnant before, so i didn't know or expect anything... except that i would have a baby born to me on or around april 21, 2004. 
the next day there were a few more spots.  i still just ignored them, but i told my hubs and he said that i should call the doctor.  since it was sunday, i put it off until the later part of the day (knowing i wouldn't be able to get ahold of anyone over the weekend), but then decided to just leave a message that afternoon.  when i heard the answering service i realized that since people have babies every day of the week that i could actually talk to someone... so that was nice.  i pushed the right extensions and reached a message tone.  i left my message and still assumed that i wouldn't get to talk to anyone until tomorrow, monday.  they probably screened the messages and only called back the "real emergencies".  i was pleasantly surprised when shortly thereafter a nurse called me back.  i told her about the spots and she asked my due date and a few more questions.  she then reassured me that light bleeding or spotting was completely normal for some women and not to be alarmed unless there was heavy bleeding. 
phew.  so that eased my mind... or my husbands, rather, since i'd never been pregnant before and she had said herself not to worry and "not to be alarmed". 
the next morning i woke up to a panty-full of blood.  i screamed out for otter to come quick.  my mother-in-law was up from reno, nv, staying with us for the weekend -for adejay's birthday celebration.  she was supposed to leave that day.  he asked what the dr. had said yesterday, but i ensured him that his was no "spotting" nor was it "light bleeding".  he said i should go in to the dr's office.  i was naive enough to argue with him that they weren't even open yet, but he sent me there anyway.  sure enough, they weren't open until 9 (i think), so i moseyed on over to the hospital where my mom worked next to the dr's office and went to hang out with my mom until 9.  she asked a few questions about my condition, but kept her nurse's face on.  it wasn't until a co-worker of hers came in and cracked her nurse's face and gave me her condolences that i realized that maybe something might be more than wrong.  i asked my mom, why she gave condolences and then my mom told me her suspicions.  she said that since i was 14 weeks along, it was hard to assume the worst... but "bleeding is never good." 
i rushed over to the dr's office while calling my mr. love-of-my-life to tell him my mom's suspicions and ask him to be with me.  (he was on his way).  when we (my mom came with me) to the office they were not only expecting me, we were rushed into a ultrasound room and the dr. was promptly in rubbing cold goo over my stomach trying to find that little heartbeat we had heard just 2 weeks ago.  she couldn't find it.  so she got out the ultrasound thingy and started looking that way.  she goo'd me up and down and side to side, but by that time, i could see the little jumping bean... not nearly as little, but also not jumping.  i knew.  she kept trying a different angle to see his heart beating, but he wasn't even moving.  i knew.  she tried to get a "clearer ultrasound reading" by doing it vaginally... but it didn't show anything different.  she looked into my eyes and said, "i'll go see if someone can help me." and quickly exited the room. 
i started sobbing.  i couldn't believe it.  why would that cute little jumping bean stop jumping?!  why would something so precious and sweet and joyous just stop being??? 
my mom started wiping tears away.  she's not a cryer.  she knew too.  then my knight in shining armor came to my side.  my mom told him, "i'm really sorry."  gave him a hug, and asked if she could leave us alone.  mr. sweets had a wild look of confusion in his eyes and asked why and looked at me sobbing and just didn't understand.  i was trying to tell him, but all i could muster out was, "waaaa (breath) waaaaa (breath) waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..."  then the dr. came in with another dr. and my mom slipped out. 
the second dr. did much the same that the first one did... and i finally said, "i think it's not beating.  it's not even moving."  they both stopped and looked at me and the first doctor said, "i'm really sorry.  i tried really hard.  i was sure it was there.  we'll leave you two alone for a little bit to be with each other.  if you need me, i'll be right out here.  i'll be back in a little bit to answer questions you might have... but just so you know, there might not be an answer to the question you'll want to ask most."

otter pop and i melted into a puddle of tears.  we cried and cried and cried and cried.  we took turns holding each other, but mostly he was holding me.  i just couldn't even think i was so heartbroken. 

the dr. returned and gave us the run down.  she gave us a bunch of literature and pamphlets.  she told us that most likely we wouldn't know why, but after the d&c they could run tests and maybe find out a little more. 
i asked if there was another way, other than d&c to end this trauma.  she explained that some people deliver them at home, but since i was 14 weeks along, she didn't recommend it.  i asked what would happen and she explained some more of the d&c... she didn't understand that i didn't want a d&c and i didn't want to push the issue... (better to ask for forgiveness than permission sometimes!)  she said she could insert some "sea weed" of some sort to help my cervix ripen up and take the d&c easier, but from what she could tell my body was preparing itself naturally very well. 
i had to get my rh- shot and then we left.  we both drove home separately because we had two vehicles.  hubs swung by the harley shop to tell them the news and get the rest of the day off.  i went home and cried some more.  when he arrived home he told me that we were going for a drive. 
nana had taken adejay for the day and would take care of things regarding adejay while we mourned.  otter pop took me for a drive.  we drove all day long.  we drove to the eastern part of the state, with no particular goal other than to drive.  my husband and i do that well.  we like to drive and think and talk...  so we did. 
on our way home i started having cramps.  really bad cramps.  i called my mom and she asked if we were going to go to the hospital for the d&c.  i told her no way, started crying again, and gave the phone to otter pop to get my answers out of her.  he asked her what i could take for the pain... and so i started heavily medicating myself with ibuprofen and tylenol.  nothing was helping... until i cried myself to sleep in the passenger seat... 
but the cramps kept returning and waking me up.  we got home and went to bed, but i kept having cramps all night long.  the next morning i called in sick for work.  otter pop went but said he'd be back at lunch to check on me. 
all morning long it felt like i had the worst case of diarrhea imaginable.  2 minutes wouldn't pass before i was running to the toilet, only to cramp and scream in pain there.  oh it hurt.  and nothing was helping.  the tylenol and ibuprofen did NOTHING.  i felt like dying along with my baby. 
during the night as i was rushing to the bathroom to relieve my cramps i thought about my baby.  i thought about how sad i was that i never got to see it.  i didn't get to know if it were a girl or boy.  i didn't even get to HOLD it.  my convictions to not have a d&c were further dug into me that if i delivered this baby at home, at least i would be able to SEE and HOLD and decipher its gender!  with every contraction i had, i kept those thoughts in the back of my head...  this pain was a good thing...  i could do this...
at about 10am there was a knock at the door.  i wanted to ignore it.  well, i did several times, but it wouldn't stop knocking.  so, grudgingly, i decided i'd get up and see who it was that was being so persistent.  it was my best friend, rachelle.  she had some cookies with her.  (i love that girl!)  the cookies didn't look good and i really didn't want to see her, but i let her in.  we sat down on the couch to talk.  i wiped away all my emotion and tried to act strong... because that's what i do. 
we sat and chatted for an hour (i kept having to leave for the bathroom and secretly i thought she might get the idea that i wasn't feeling like having a guest over, but she never did.)  at about 11:15 the cramps started getting severe.  yeah, i guess that they weren't so bad before.  i took a bathroom break from rachelle that lasted about 15-20 minutes and she decided to check on me.  i was sitting on the toilet pretty much dying.  it hurt so bad.  nothing was helping.  not that i knew anything to do to help them... i was just sitting there... swaying... crying... cramping... dying. 
she got me a hot rag for my face and neck.  she said i should get in the shower.  i said i couldn't move.  she asked what she should do and i asked what i should do.  we both were ... like, 21 ... never done this before... never known anyone that had done this... we might as well have been boys! 
just at that point, my husband walked in the bathroom with us.  i started crying again.  i mean really crying.  i told him how bad it hurt and that i didn't know what to do.  he told me that i should go to the hospital.  i told him that i couldn't MOVE.  he and rachelle left me alone for a little bit. 
i started to "poop" out some big clots of blood.  i yelled to them.  i guess my love had called my mom to see what should be done.  i guess rachelle had called her mom to see what should be done.  rachelle came in and told me that i was having the baby.  otter pop came in with a bottle of prescription pain pills that a friend had given him for me.  i took one (or two, or three, i don't remember).  then i felt the biggest cramp yet... and the urge to push like never before.  i can't describe in any language how painful that was!  it hurt beyond human pain.  it hurt in every part of my body (but mostly my privates).  my hair even started to curl in pain!!!  and then shortly after noon the baby passed through me.  i heard him plop into the already bloody toilet water.  ahhhhh.  sigh.  "i'm better." i said.  it's all done. 
rachelle rushed me into the shower and closed the curtain.  i told her i couldn't stand up and she told me to just sit there and turn around.  "haven't you ever sat down in the shower before?!" she asked.  "no," i replied... "but i think i'm going to start!"  i sat there and relaxed as i heard them quietly discussing things in the outer room. 
"they said to keep the baby and all the large clots of blood to be tested."  i shouted out.  "but i want to see the baby.  i want to at least see it." 
"no," my sweet husband said, "what am i supposed to put it in?!" 
"that tupperware with a lid i had sitting in the sink."  i replied.  "can i please see?!"
and he left. 
rachelle helped to get me dressed and ready and then we went to the dr's office to meet otter pop and the baby.  i was rushed into a room to wait patiently for the dr.  otter pop hadn't shown up yet.  i wondered what was going on, but kept waiting patiently for the dr. 
FINALLY he came in and checked me out.  he told me he was anxious to see the results of the tests on the baby and to make sure i had passed it all, but from what he could tell, i looked amazing.  he said he couldn't believe i would want to go through that.  he said that what i had done was crazy painful that technically it was a complete delivery with a cervix and uterus that had pretty much no time to ripen and ready itself.  i felt fierce. 
so where was otter pop and that little precious baby we'd lost?  well, i didn't find this out until later, but he took his first son out to the edge of the canyon where we rode dirt bikes and was sitting there with him... examining him (yes, it was a boy)... crying over him... spending the only time he'd get with his first son. 
i was kinda mad at him for robbing me of the only opportunity i had to see, hold, and love on my son... but after i talked to him and got every detail out that i wanted to know... i was happy that at least one of us got some time with him. 
we named him.  i kept some sentimental details and have saved them.  we have a picture from the first ultrasound.  i saved the newspaper from that day.  i went back to the hospital and saved the container that we brought him in (against their wishes).  i had received a "you're pregnant" gift that i saved.  that's all i had... so i saved as much as i could. 

this is the story of Theron Tyler 11-19-03. 

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 


Nicnic said...

A heartbreaking story. Love you sister.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, a heartbreaking story. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, but someday we'll get to meet little Theron and a joyous reunion it will be! I love you, Tawna.

Anissa said...

Your story broke my heart. Yes, there will be a joyous reunion one day. I am also 1 in 4. Blessings to you. :)

Debbie said...

OH Tawna, I had NO IDEA!!! I’m so, so, so sorry! Reading what you went through, what Otterpop did to spend time with his son…it makes me weep for the both of you but it makes me love and adore you even more! What you both did to love your son, to celebrate his life, to bring him into this world regardless of how painful it was, and how you remember him - you both are such a picture of God’s grace!