Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Teenagers make it look like having babies is easy...

Today I found out that another one of my girlfriends has had a miscarriage.  Every time I hear of someone having a miscarriage it brings back all the emotions I felt with mine.

It all seems so unfair.  I mean look at all of the unwanted babies out there.  Sixteen year olds have unwanted pregnancies everyday!  And then you get couples - good, Godly, have done everything right couples - who either have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant.  As a kid you are told, "Don't have sex, you'll get pregnant and you're not ready to have a baby!" Then you get married and sex is good and right and you are ready to have a baby, but then things don't seem that easy.  How ironic?!

Truth is one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.  Unfortunately, I am one of the 25%.  Here is my story...

In late summer of 2008, Bryan and I decided to start trying to start a family.  We weren't sure if we'd get pregnant right away so we were surprised when it worked with the first try!  We had planned it out just right.  The baby would be due in May, and since I was a teacher, I would take maternity leave for the rest of the year and then would have all summer to spend with the baby.  We were so excited and told everyone immediately.  I didn't think miscarriage could even be a possibility.

Everything was going great for about 6 1/2 weeks.  I wasn't sick or tired at all.  Then I noticed that my breasts weren't tender and sore anymore.  In retrospect, it should have sent up a red flag, but I was just glad that symptom had gone away and I was ready to see what symptom I'd have next.  For two weeks, nothing new happened.  Then in my eighth week, I started bleeding.  I asked around and was reassured by many that a little bleeding is normal and not to worry.

The next weekend we traveled to Charlotte to celebrate the many birthdays in our family in October.  Bryan, his mom, my mom, and myself were all looking at baby stuff in Babies R Us when I started to feel crampy.  I went to the bathroom and saw that my bleeding had picked up.  I knew something was wrong but decided to keep it to myself just to be sure.  I couldn't stay in that store anymore though or I would lose it.  I came out and told everyone I didn't see anything I liked and wanted to leave.  As much as I was trying to hide it, both Bryan and my mom knew something was wrong with me.  After leaving, I told them and we decided to wait it out to see what would happen over the weekend.  If it continued, I would go to the doctor on Monday.  Well that plan was short lived.  When we got home, my bleeding was even worse than before.  I called Bryan and my mom in and as soon as my mom saw it she said, "We need to take you to the hospital now!"  At the hospital, they did an ultrasound and everything looked great. Plus, my bleeding had virtually stopped.  There wasn't a heartbeat, which they said was normal since I was only measuring six weeks pregnant.  I kept trying to tell them that couldn't be right because I knew I was 9 weeks.  I knew the exact day we conceived.  This should have sent up another red flag, but the doctor assured me I must've been wrong and we left the hospital with a lot of hope.

The next day Bryan and I left to go home and the entire way I had horrible cramps.  We got home and my bleeding was horrible again.  I fell apart in the middle of the bathroom.  This time, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I knew that I was losing the baby.  We went to the doctor first thing the next morning and they confirmed it...I was having a miscarriage.  Because I had been bleeding for a week, we decided the best option was a D&C.  Plus, this would ensure that I would not have to go through the emotional pain of actually having to see the full miscarriage.  The rest of the day is a blur to me.  It was filled with more crying than you can imagine and the dread of knowing that in 24 hours there would no longer be a little baby inside of me.

At the hospital, the next day is when I started to see God's hand in everything again.  The doctor that was doing the D&C came in and shut the curtain with a long look on his face.  I immediately thought, "Uh oh, what's wrong now?"  Instead of bringing me bad news, he asked if we (myself, Bryan, my mom, and my stepdad) could all join hands and pray before he did the procedure.  Right there, in the middle of that small prayer, God showed up.  I knew He had sent Dr. Stallard to me.  I couldn't believe that of all the doctors, I got one who loved the Lord and who knew how devastating this was to all of us.  The D&C went smoothly and in a couple of hours I was home, resting, and no longer pregnant.

The next several weeks were absolute torture.  Bryan and I were a wreck.  We were angry at God, mourning our loss, and were unsure we even wanted to get pregnant again out of fear that it would happen all over again.  I knew neither one of us would be able to take that.  Then God sent many amazing women my way who helped Bryan and I realize that this was not His will, that He was mad with us, and that we would one day see that baby again.

We slowly started to heal and then Bryan had a very vivid dream.  He dreamt that we had a little girl with blonde hair and freckles and we kept calling her Emma.  This was strange because that was not even a name we had considered.  The next morning he looked up the meaning of the name and was blown away by it.  Emma means, "To be made whole and complete."  We both know that God was telling Bryan that the baby we lost was a little girl and that her name is Emma.  She is up in heaven waiting to meet us, and has been made whole and complete.

Following doctors orders, we waited three months before trying to get pregnant again.  We were super excited and it happened, again, on the first try.  This time everything went just as expected.  I had all of the horrible symptoms of pregnancy, which were miserable, but I was thankful for.  It helped me know that everything was just fine with the baby.  On October 1, 2009, we welcomed Jackson Cole into the world.  It is amazing to me, the timing of it all.  God gave me a baby exactly a year after I was miscarrying my first.  Jackson is the love of our lives.  I know that every parent is thankful for their children, but considering that we lost one, I feel Bryan and I are so much more appreciative for Jackson! He is our little miracle baby!

Thanks for reading...XOXO

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We made it back!

Jackson and I made it to Maryland, had a fabulous time, and have made it back safely!

All of the fears and trepidation were for almost no reason.  He traveled wonderfully and we had a great time with all of the family in Maryland.

Let me use this post to share how much God answers prayers.  I told you in the last post that I was praying for two things specifically:  1.  That God would surround us with people who would want to help with Jackson in the airport and on the plane, and 2. That Jackson would fall asleep in my arms easily.  Both were overwhelmingly answered!  Everyone at both the Memphis and Baltimore airports were super helpful.  The attendant at both gates even found me a seat with no one next to me so I'd have more room with Jackson.  On the way home during landing, Jackson's ears started hurting and he started to fuss.  The lady in front of us (who was in 1st class) turned around and started talking and singing to Jackson, which completely distracted him from his ears.  She was such a blessing!  Jackson fell asleep in my arms on both flights, and other than him spilling my Diet Coke all over the floor on the return flight, everything was smooth!

The time I spent with family was so special.  I loved every minute of staying with my Uncle Jamie, Aunt Megan, and sweet little Brody Man.  They were so good to me!  I had a lot of time to catch up and have some great conversations with all of my cousins.  It was incredible to hear that we all felt the same way about the rift in the family and hopefully our attitude about it will help put it to an end.  It will take time and prayer but I believe that God wants to bring our family together and heal the hurt that has been there for a long time now.  It was also super fun to get Jackson together with his little cousins Ava and Ivey.  I'm looking forward to many more years of them playing together!

Now, we are getting prepared for Bryan's mom to come Saturday to visit for a week.  She hasn't seen Jackson since we moved to we are really looking forward to it!