Friday, January 9, 2015

And Then When You Actually Miscarry...

I know this is a little late in coming, but between not really knowing how long the miscarrying would actually take, a perfectly timed vacation in So Cal, and then getting back into the swing of life back here in WA.... Well, here you are now.

****I kept the entire blog clean with the exception of the section with THE PHYSICAL title. So make sure to skip that section if you don't want to know those details because I spared no detail.****

And it is so long, that I didn't proof it, so I am sorry if it is not perfect grammar wise.
The Perfect Timing
As we were in the waiting period of already seeing 2 ultrasounds of each one of the little ones hearts not beating, we approached the holidays. We decided that after our final ultrasound on Sunday Dec 21st, we were still going to go to So Cal for Christmas with my family.

So we flew out on Monday morning. Still no hint of any signs of anything happening physically.
On Tues Dec 23rd, everything started. It started off slowly at first, but then the evening of Christmas Eve, when we were at my sisters house for dinner, the majority of the miscarrying happened.

I say it was perfect timing because of these reasons:
 We were with my family in my sisters house where I felt extremely comfortable.
It was Christmas Eve, so there was some agenda that we didn't cancel, that kept Thomas very distracted. It also kept me distracted which was great.
It helped keep the freaking out and the physical pain at bay.
We were with family who all understood and didn't give us pity. It was perfectly normal and needed.

I know it was over Christmas, but we don't think of it that way. It was simply perfect timing for God to place us there smack dab in the middle of exactly what we needed, even though we didn't know it.

The Advise/Expectations
There has been so much advice the 2 weeks between the stopping of the first heart beat and the actual event of me miscarrying.

This was the best advice I got:
It will be more like labor, where you cramp over time.
Create a way to remember them.
Take pictures of the littles when you miscarry them
Talk ahead of time what you want to do with the little ones
Stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes up.

My advice in addition to this is:
Like real labor, be flexible. Thomas and I talked about burying them and we weren't able too. And we talked through it and it was ok.
Talk with your partner through all of it. It is hard, but Thomas and i learned quickly that we grieve VERY differently. Talk through it.
Bring lots of the biggest pads you can find where every you are always. You will need them spare of the moment. Trust me.
Also bring an extra pair of jeans. You may not need them, but better to be safe then sorry.
Go to that bathroom way more often then you think so you don't leak!
Know that it might be messy, so you will need lots of toilet paper, soap, and wet wipes. All things I never thought of.

The Physical
****For those of you who don't want to read the actual physical happenings, skip down to the next Emotions part. I am going to be completely honest and a little bit graphic here.****

The ultimate goal was to allowing my body to do what it needs to do and pray that infection did not set in. My prayer from the second that there was no heart beats was that my body would be able to do everything on it's own and that I would not have to go to the doctor for any reason. mainly because I wanted to know that these littles were in fact no longer living and that there would be no mistake of a doctor putting something in my body that would stop life. That was just me though.

So what actually happened, was exactly 1 week after the second little ones heart stopped beating, my body kicked it into gear.

Day 1: I started bleeding like a regular cycle. I had decided to use only pads and not tampons because I wanted everything to come out so that I would have less of a risk of infection.

Day 2 (Christmas Eve): The morning was fine. At the end of shopping with my mom, I started cramping and just wanted to be home and not running around just in case. We got to my sisters house at about 3 so that we could put the ham in the oven. I helped with a few things, but then at about 4, things got real. I went into the bathroom because I felt lots of cramping. I sat on the toilet and the pad was soaked with blood and covered with blood clots.

Can I just tell you that you will have no control over your body? When I sat on the toilet and relaxed my body, clots just fell out. So I waited a moment and then hobbled a few steps to the door to call for Thomas, because I knew this was the start of it all. I didn't have anything to change into and so I needed help. My first mistake of the night cost me my first pair of jeans. Pair #1 - down.

Now I had blood clots from my uterus, but I also had the entire placenta and the babies that I had to pass. With this comes a lot of blood and chunks. It sounds gross and it is, but I needed to get all of this out of my system because if any of it stays, it could cause an infection and endometriosis (a thickening of the uterus essentially). So I wanted to see everything come out.

So Thomas and my sister Alyssa we coming in and out of the bathroom as I bogarted the single bathroom in the house for most of the night. Thomas came in to morally support me, talk through what was going on, and help get me anything I needed. I feel like it is a lot like labor in that if you don't write it down right away, you will forget what happened when!

Alyssa was getting me new pants and undies as I just sat there allowing things to just fall out. Honestly it was just weird. I don't get grossed out easily although I can see how many people would during this process!

Thomas and I had talked about burying our little guys, and after sitting on the toilet for a while, I realized that tons of stuff fell out into the toilet and it was just a red swirling mess. We came to the decision that we were not going to dig through the toilet because we knew they were already in heaven and it would just be symbolic to bury them. So we prayed about it and knew that unless it was on the pad or on the toilet paper when I wiped, our little ones would not be buried. It is decisions like this that need to be talked through so that everyone is on the same page and people don't get upset later. Alyssa came in later and offered an extra ladle, but at that point we had already made the decision and lots of major chunks had already been flushed.

I hadn't thought of it, but I saw dark read blood clots, fresh red blood clots, fresh red placenta where you could actually see the design where it was attached to the uterine wall. It was seriously beautiful. I don't believe I ever saw our little babies.They were each just slightly smaller then an inch long and they looked like little humans at that point. I never saw anything like that, although I think it would have been incredible and way harder then I imagined all at once.

As I went through this whole process, yes I was uncomfortable. I don't ever think I was in labor type pain, but there was definitely some very intense cramps. Some so bad, I went into the bathroom simply so I could just sit on the toilet, relax my body, and cry. However that only happened for about 5 minutes. The rest of the time was totally fine. It could have been that I was also very distracted by eating dinner, opening presents, and trying not to laugh so I could keep all my core muscles tense and not leaking anything.

As we sat down for dinner, I was actually feeling really good. I had already gone through a few different sitting on the toilet for a while episodes and I was ready to go. I even sat down long enough to eat a plate and a half! This was awesome because I know my electrolytes/salt intake was doing good. I had been downing water all day, so I was feeling good about hydration as well. I was feeling so confident that I sat there a little longer. I started to get nervous and stood up to go check on everything. And then there was a trickle down my leg. And pair #2 of jeans - down.

Physically, the whole night was focusing on getting to the bathroom quick enough, not laughing so as not to leak, and sitting on the toilet a ton.

Day 3: Christmas Day there was cramping again that afternoon, with more blood clots, but nothing like the night before. I though I was done with the cramps though, so additional clots were a surprise. I went to the store with my sister Lindy and my mom. Mistake #3. pair #3 of jeans down. Really wish I had brought another pair with me in the car. Or just stayed closer to home. Well, you live and learn.

Day 4: The 26th, I was scared that I would get cramps again at night and I was teaching a class! God was nice and switched them to earlier that day for me though :)

The Emotions
The night as a whole was a perfect combination of being distracted and also being able to mourn and know that it was final. I know Thomas had the hardest time with actually letting go after they told us, but with me still not having miscarried. It was a night of final good byes, which we both needed.

I already wrote about the feelings of the in between of miscarrying. But there are also other emotions when you are thinking about leading up to it and then during it.

For instance we had the decision of what to do with the little ones when they came out. Well you can't flush them and you certainly can't trash them. Well we couldn't, so we decided to bury them. When we were actually in the middle of it all though, we had to make the decision to just let them go and that had it's own set of emotions. And we really are fine with it.

And then there is the trying  to hold hope. To me that was the hardest part to watch Thomas go through. He was holding on so much hope that maybe just maybe it wasn't true, where as I could feel it in my body that life had already ceased to exist.

So overall, I think the emotions took the back seat that night and it was something we processed and talked about randomly over the last few weeks. I keep checking in on Thomas to see how he is and talk through what we have each processed.

But the actual night, I did feel a complete peace of letting them go, knowing we would see both of them again in heaven. It is a glorious promise we have.

The Blessings
I seriously cannot count the number of blessing that Thomas and I have experiences during this time. But I will try with the ones that stuck out the most.

  • My mom brought me jeans for a project that ended 2 years ago. And I needed 3 of the 4 pairs of jeans. It was perfect.
  • This brought me closer to EVERY single one of my siblings and I had amazing talks with each one. Priceless.
  • We now know we CAN get pregnant!
  • There are thousands of you praying for us. I still can't believe it. Over 2600 people read our From A Family Of 4 Back To Just 2 post. And to know that so many of you are praying for us? Seriously an army of people cheering us on. Unbelievable.
  • We were with my family and distracted when we needed to be.
  • I was with my sister in the perfect house to physically go through that. God knew. (because they literally had moved in a week earlier)
  • We were with my family, who all knew, who all understood, whom I did not have to feel guilty for not being fully present.
  • Not one of you ever gave us pity. Huge.
  • We got to spend 2 weeks with people we love, which we wouldn't have been able to do had I been on bedrest.
  • That we quickly realized that we grieve differently and could encourage each other through it.
  • Being able to know that even if I never understand it, we serve a God who has a plan and who has been praised through all of this.
What's Next
So the big question is, what is next for us.

Well the DR cleared us to go round 3 for IVF.
He was very encouraging. He said we CAN get pregnant. That bleeding happens, but it had nothing to do with me being able or not able to carry children.

Thomas and I have already started our pre pregnancy oils and supplements. These future kiddos of ours only get the best.

So Round 3 will start at the end of Feb with extraction in March if all goes well.
Goodbye little 1 and little 2!
We love you and we can't wait to meet you someday in Heaven.

Thank YOU!
Seriously I cannot thank each and everyone of you for your words, your hugs, your tears, and just for just being exactly what we needed when we needed it. You all are an incredible community coming up right beside us when we need it the most.
We love you and you mean more to us then you could ever imagine.