Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Conclusion of Our Story of Grief and Joy

If you haven't been following along, you'd probably want to go back and start from the beginning.  Click here to start with Part 1.



When my last post ended I was over 39 weeks pregnant, and very excited to meet my little baby!  And to find out if I'd been growing a boy or a girl for the past 39 weeks!

On October 24, 2006 I went to my OB appointment while a friend watched my daycare kids and Sweet Pea.  My appointment was at 10:00, after doing all the typical checks, my nurse practitioner told me she'd try to strip my membranes so I could maybe go into labor... this time she was able to do it!

I had already been having strong contractions (like serious contractions... real labor contractions that just weren't becoming speeding up or growing progressively stronger, but strong enough to wake me up) about 20 minutes apart for a solid 33 hours, so I knew it would be soon.  I had told my NP that I hadn't been sleeping at night, so she gave me a couple pills and told me to go home, send my daycare kids home, find someone to watch Sweet Pea and take a long nap so I could be rested up for labor. 

No nap would be had though, because on my way home (about a 20 minute drive) my contractions started picking up, and when I got home I started timing them.  By the time I got home at 11:00 my contractions were 7 minutes apart and I called all the daycare parents to pick up the kiddos!  At 12:30 they were in the 5-7 minutes apart range and I called the hospital, and was told to come in!  Our hospital was a good 30 minutes away with no traffic, so we weren't going to wait around for the 5 minutes apart mark.  I called Spence and told him, "It's time!" and he hurried home.  All the kids were picked up very quickly since I had called them at 11:00, and everyone was out of the house by the time Spencer got home and grabbed some last minute things.

On the way to the hospital my contractions had gotten really strong and I was getting very impatient while we made our way to the hospital... all I could think of was one word... "Epidural" and the sooner we got there, the sooner I'd have an anesthesiologist in the room!  We were all set up in PETU to be evaluated at 2:15 in the afternoon.  My water broke in PETU, but it wasn't a gush and they weren't sure it had broke until much later.  But I had felt something pop down there, and when I told the nurse that, she said it was probably water breaking, and that we would get me to a room.

At 3:30 I was moved to a Labor/Delivery room.  After waiting entirely too long, I finally got my epidural at 4:15, felt one more contraction, and was then pain-free!  The next few hours of labor found me the most relaxed and comfortable I'd been in months thank to that wonderful medicine! 

About 3 hours later, and after a short nap (epidurals mean you have a good chance of actually taking a nap during labor... Thank you Mr. Anesthesiologist!!) I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push!

I started pushing at 7:33, and I told them to have the doctor ready because my first child had been born after only 11 minutes of pushing, so I was ready for this to go pretty quickly.  While I wasn't feeling any pain at all, I could feel the pressure, and when I heard the nurses and doctor telling me things like, "That's it!" I would just keep pushing like I was. 

I could barely even feel the baby crowning, and after having a worn off epidural with Sweet Pea believe me.. that's not a fun thing to feel!  I could feel that she was there, but no pain.  After pushing for 21 minutes, our baby came out and was handed right up to me on my chest, that's when I saw she was a GIRL!

I don't think there is anything as amazing and precious as holding your baby in your arms for the first time!  They wiped her off as best they could while she stayed on my chest, and without even thinking about all the stuff that covers a newborn baby, I was kissing her little forehead... I had waited long enough for that!

It was a very emotional moment, and while I was completely exhausted I was blown away by how long we had waited for this very moment.  By how much we had gone through to get to this very moment, holding our child in our arms after waiting 2 1/2 years, after losing three babies, after all those tests and ultrasounds, and constant worry, and sleepless nights, we were finally holding her, memorizing every thing about her, and thanking God for this miracle!

My birth experience with Babydoll was absolutely wonderful.  My nurse was always there when I needed her, the lights were dim, the room was quiet and calm, my epidural worked like a charm.  It was so serene and beautiful. 

I was really nervous about nursing Babydoll, because that had been difficult with Sweet Pea, but she was nursing like a champ immediately!

I was completely in love.  I didn't mind waking up with her in the middle of the night to feed her, it was nice to hold her and cuddle her in the quiet hour of 3AM.  One night when she was about 1 month old, it was just me and her cuddling on the couch, I was smiling at her, she was smiling at me, and I was thinking about how much I love her and how glad I was to have her.  Then I started to cry.

I hadn't really cried yet since she was born, and at that moment it all came flooding out.  I was expecting tears of joy, but what I wasn't expecting was this.  Tears of guilt

This emotion was unexpected and I just lost it.  I started crying because I felt guilty for loving her so much, it was only because my last 3 babies had miscarried that she was even here.  I felt like I was letting them down, like I was a traitor to their memory for being so completely overjoyed to have her in my life.  And then of course I felt guilty for feeling guilty for loving her!  I just held her and cried.  It was a relatively short period of guilt, and I'm not sure how I got over it except that I knew God wanted her in my life.  I knew after 2.5 years of heartache and struggle, she was meant to be.  She was our little miracle.  I've wondered ever since then if other women have had similar emotions after they've gone through something similar to what we've gone through.  If you have, please speak up so I know I'm not alone!

All of my children are miracles to me, I am amazed when I really look at them how God has blessed me more than I could ever deserve.  How could I possibly be so lucky as to have these three children to call my own?  Except that they are not my own, they are children of God and have been entrusted to us to take care of them.  To raise them to be compassionate, gracious, polite, hardworking, serving of the Lord, adults who will go out and make positive changes in the world.  They are all blessings, but my second baby is the one who most reminds me that we were all created for a purpose.  A purpose we may never understand in our lifetime, but a clear purpose in Gods eyes.  She was meant to be here, in our family, in our little speck of the world, and I pray that one day she will understand just what a miracle she is.


Anonymous said...

What a beauty. You guys did a good job of making another beautiful baby. I don't know the reason for the three miscarriages but there must have been one. Maybe god gave them to another family for reasons unknown. Babydoll is very lucky to have made it to this world and this family and we will have to see what her mark is going to be.

Makenzie said...

Great story abby! It was very touching and emotional! Im sure it was hard to tell everyone, but you did end up with 3 amazing kids! Thanks for sharing your story and Im sure it will help someone out there who felt the same way you did and also felt alone in the feelings they were having! love ya!

Prairie Mother said...

This was a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

(I've an award for you..

Ellen said...

I experienced miscarriage at ten weeks with our first pregnancy. It was heartbreaking and left me to wonder if I ever would hold a baby in my arms. When I got pregnant just a few months later, I kept it hidden and didn't wear maternity clothes until I was about 7 months along. When strangers began to comment on my belly, the first thing they would ask was, "Is this your first?" I always would say, "No". I wanted everyone to know that we had another baby in heaven. It was so important to me to keep that baby's memory alive and part of our lives. I sometimes felt guilty for taking that attention away from the baby I was carrying.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so important that we reach out and share these feelings. You are not alone. You are a beautiful mother -- God's gift to your children.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful comments, you should be proud for having the courage to share. Love ya

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story Abby! I should share mine someday... I also am very grateful for the wonderful Dr's at Center For Reproductive Medicine!! We lost our first baby at abut the 7 1/2 week point too... We now have 2 wonderful kids (but you already know that) thanks to CFRM.

Carrie Petersen said...

I just read this whole story and I had no idea that all happened to you and Spencer. No words can express the feelings or emotions that go with losing a child. I can not even begin to imagine how you feel losing 3. However you are a wonderful mother (and I guess Spencer is a good father too lol)and I know that God had a plan and because of that plan you have 3 beautiful kids. In looking at Izzy's baby pictures I can't believe it she hasn't changed at all!!!! Love ya Abby, and I hope to see you soon!

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