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My (Holli's) Story - Gracie Renee, June 11, 2007


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June 20th, 2007, 02:20 PM
follesurtoi's Avatar Veteran
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Miscarriage. Such a taboo subject. A subject that very little do we ever see personal accounts of; too few books are published of first-hand accounts €“ only well-intended a-b-c type advice. I found myself needing such a book not too long ago, but none was to be found. The information all had to do with stillbirth, later losses, where the heartbeat was seen. For me, that was not the case. I never saw a heartbeat, never saw a baby on ultrasound. Yet I was very much pregnant €“ how do you deal with something like that? So I surfed the net and found some very helpful message boards to help me through, but inside I wondered €œif my pregnancy ends, what about women who €“ like me €“ search but do not find? What about the silent victims whose babies are never meant to be held?

As I begin to write this, I am still in active miscarriage. The third one I have had, actually. The end of it, I hope, so that I can grieve and mourn. And although it will be very painful for me to relive my pregnancy and the demise after, I want to get this down on paper while it is fresh, because if my story can help one soul out there, if it can comfort one woman or husband and wife or couple, then all is not lost. And maybe, there can be a light in my darkness, of giving you what I did not have. I am not a professional writer and I don€™t even have a college degree, and I€™m not going to try to spice this up with fancy language. Frankly, in my sorrow I am dealing with now, I couldn€™t even if I tried. But what I can give you, is real, raw emotion; from one woman to another.

I will warn you that some parts will be very graphic, and also tell you there is mention of the Lord in these pages, whether or not you believe. I will tell you my experience, and what you do with it from there, is up to you.

This is my story.


Background

I met James in May 2005. He had just been through a terrible relationship, and I myself was in the final stages of divorce. We both had been scarred. And we both needed each other. James was my prince I had dreamt of when I was a little girl €“ everything I needed in a man, he was and is. Caring, supportive, sensitive, funny, a man truly after my heart. And try as I might have to stop, I just could not help falling for him. We lived in two different cities, so not being able to see each every day was tough. So, we were forced to communicate mostly by phone, im (instant messenger), and email; but this wasn€™t necessarily a bad thing, because it helped us bond on much deeper levels sooner than most couples who have that day to day luxury. We didn€™t get all caught up in the physical; rather, we based our companionship on things of the heart, the things that last far beyond physical beauty, the things that make or break a relationship. The €œmeat and potatoes€, we called it. So as a result, we got much closer, much faster than others, and July 10th was to be the day we became an item, and we gave our hearts to each other. We were as close as couples who had been together for a year or longer, and we both were very happy.

Summer passed, and my divorce was final in August. I was so ready to begin a new life, after being in a loveless marriage for almost 6 years. I had two children €“ Corey and Hailey, who were my life. They really took to James from the start, although Hailey was a bit unsure about this new man in her mommy€™s life. She constantly looked to me for approval and how to react to James, so timid and cute. And what really touched my heart is, even though they weren€™t his children by blood, James really took them in as his own, and loved them just the same. When they came to visit, I might as well been a fly on the wall; Corey completely took over James, because after James was just a big kid himself. They have so much in common €“ they both like kidding around, playing video games, and are into racing and cars (aren€™t they all, right). Two peas in a pod, they were, and inseparable. Hailey was more reserved; she liked helping me with the house, cooking dinner, and typical girlie things, like Barbies, Bratz, and reading (takes after her momma). I never tried to guide their relationship with James, as I believed that the best way was just to let them go at their own pace. It is a very different thing to see your mom, or dad for that matter, with someone other than the other parent; I know, I€™ve been there. So James and I just let them take the reins, and went with it, and over time they built a very beautiful relationship with him.

I didn€™t live in that great of a part of town; I moved into the apartment complex upon my separation from Brad in October 2004, and didn€™t know much about that part of town. I had never lived on my own before, always lived with either my mom or Brad, so I was scared about being on my own, if I would make it. I didn€™t make a lot of money either, and the price at the complex was reasonable, and I needed a place to stay, so I took it. It was a two/two, about 900 square feet, and the right size for my kids to come and stay with me. But I worked in a call center, and only made $10 an hour, so it wasn€™t long before I found myself having to work 12-14 hour days, and 7 days a week, just to make ends meet. Sure I knew I could turn to family, but I€™m not the type to take handouts when I can work a little more and do it myself. Unfortunately, this cost me time with my kids, serious time. I never had a chance to see them or call them, and had to ask Brad to bring them to see at work, since I practically lived there from working so much. He brought them up there one time, in the 10 total months we were separated, and of course they suffered and had a really hard time. Looking back, maybe I should have accepted financial help so that I could have time with my kids, I missed them so much, but at the time I just didn€™t know what else to do.

When the divorce was final in August 2005, I moved to a smaller 1-1 apartment, because I could no longer afford the 2-2, having cut back my work hours to see my kids on a regular basis. It was cramped, total square footage was about 600 sq ft. My kids, bless their hearts, had to sleep on the floor on air mattresses or slumber bags, whatever they felt like for that night, and we hardly went anywhere; we just couldn€™t afford it. It wasn€™t that long after that James and I decided that living 300 miles apart was just too hard on us, so he decided to do a job transfer to Houston, and move in with me. I was so happy; finally, something good happening after all the bad things that had happened €“ the nasty divorce, a vengeful and unstable ex husband, having to downsize and live in a hole in the wall, my father disowning me and believing my ex€™s lies about me instead of talking to me, having to work all those hours just to make it, the list is endless. And now James and I could really be together.

I come from a tragic background. My whole life has been one thing after another. I won€™t bore you with all of the details, for that would be a whole other book by itself, but suffice it to say I can€™t ever relax, because once I do, something else major happens. A constant struggle. And I really hoped that this new beginning meant my life would balance out, you know, that finally the tables would tip in my favor, and I would have more good than bad going on, instead of more bad than good. And sometimes I did, but most of the time I didn€™t. And poor James, he never said anything, and he never complained, although I wouldn€™t doubt him one bit if he ever thought €œwhat kind of curse she have on her€. At first I would apologize to him, for being tangled up in my web, but over time, I realized that no matter how bad things got, he wasn€™t going anywhere. I was really scared he would just up and leave one day, saying €œit€™s not worth it, this isn€™t worth it, you€™re not worth it€ but he never did. It took me a long, long, long time to accept that James was in this for the long haul, and that he really did love me, despite all the arrows that flew at us every day. In the end, I think, it made us stronger, but I still wish God had different (and happier) plans for my life at the time. And I know that everything happens for a reason, but I just had a lot of things that happened that had no reason, they just happened. Be it mean people, ill intentions, bad situations, it all seemed to hover down on me, and be attracted to me. Many times, it was almost as if life saw I was getting happy for a change, and swooped down on me to take it all away. And I could go on and on about each little thing that made me fearful of all of this, but the number one fear €“ hands down €“ that I had, was losing James. I felt, and still feel, that with him I can face anything, and as long as I have him I will be okay.

Time passed, and our lease was up on our hole in the wall, and we couldn€™t afford to get out of the complex and find a nicer one, so instead we moved to a bigger apartment there €“ a 2/2 again. The inside was so nice; it had a €œbigger everything€ €“ bigger bedrooms, larger kitchen, double walk in closets, a wet bar, but was really affordable. And the one thing that we were even more happy about, was that finally Corey and Hailey would have their own room, their own space. Now, granted €“ Corey was 12 and Hailey was 6, so sharing a room would be difficult, but they both unanimously voted that sharing a room was okay, as long as they could have bunk beds. And they also decided who would go where €“ Corey on bottom and Hailey on top. That went a lot smoother than I thought, but made me happy that my babies were making their own decisions and working together. So we found these incredible bunk beds, and put them together, and bought the kids new bedding and pillows; it looked fantastic. We also found a bigger couch and a comfy recliner on craigslist.com as well as a wooden entertainment center, so now we all could enjoy our living room as a family, and not be cramped. And the new apartment was right in front of the swimming pool and playground, right outside our window, so it was perfect for the kids. Loud, but perfect. We loved spending time with the kids when they came, and our relationship started to beautifully blend into a new blended family, and for a moment we were happy. Not to mention, our two kittens, Mia and Chloe, loved all the extra space they had to run around, too.

Three weeks after we moved in, on my son€™s birthday actually, and we had barely gotten settled in our new home when James came home to find our front door wide open. He stepped inside, to find our new home torn to shreds. All of the computers were gone €“ James, mine, the kids, and my laptop, the speakers, the stereo, the kids€™ playstation and ours, the X-Box, and over 80 games €“ gone. Our personal belongings thrown every which way, it was just a mess. The camcorder was gone, the webcams were gone, even the cordless phone was gone. Total loss: over $10,500 worth. James called me at work and broke the news, barely able to speak himself. I asked him where the cats were, our other €œbabies€, and miraculously they were safe inside the apartment, but badly scared and terrified, and shaken. We learned later that a neighbor noticed our door being open as early at 2pm but they didn€™t think anything of it, and it was 5:15pm when James came home, so I know in my heart that our kitties could have easily gotten out or worse, but they didn€™t. It is notable, that Mia was also in heat, and what do cats in heat do? Prowl. And the door was wide open, but Mia was also safe and sound. James put them both in the bedroom and shut the door to let them relax and deal with the craziness they witnesses, and filed a report with the police. Meanwhile I was racing home from work, crying and on the phone with my mom, worried about James, worried about our home, furious that the robbers would go into my kids€™ room and take their stuff too, and unsure how we could possibly make it through. We each took the next day off of work, and started cleaning up and make a list over 4 pages long of everything that was missing, and about 3 weeks later our claim was approved, thank the Lord, and we were reimbursed $9500 for it. My first break-in, and I was amazed how violated, scared, and unsafe we felt in our own home after that day. It was not for weeks later that I began to feel somewhat safe, but even now, I admit that I rush to the front door everyday when I get home, scared I will see it standing wide open again. Sure we installed a security system, and took measures, but nothing is guaranteed. And the thieves were never caught. It€™s a good thing I believe in karma.

And Baby Makes Three
It was shortly after this, that James and I decided that we would take the promise rings we exchanged to a new level €“ engagement. We also wanted to share a child together, and have a baby. So, we began trying; we stopped all birth control and protection, and just enjoyed each other without fear, which I admit felt kinda weird. Having no worry at all, and ready to be pleasantly surprised with a positive HPT (home pregnancy test). To me, giving a James a child of his own is something my heart really wanted to do; and sharing one with him too. I thought he would be an awesome daddy, and still do. So I joined a few boards online to meet other ladies who were also trying to conceive, and started learning about ovulation, when the best time is to get pregnant, how to tell when you are ovulating so the extra effort can be made through taking your basal temperature (called €œcharting€), and trying to make sure we were taking good care of ourselves. I bought some pregnancy tests with the lowest possible sensitivity I could find (called Aimstick) as well as some over-the counter tests as well, and every morning we tested with anticipation and bated breath to see that second line appear. No telling how many tests later, we woke up April 30th, and took a test; and there the second line was! Faint, but definitely there. I rushed into the doctor, a new one I€™d never been to before, who didn€™t hesitate in telling me I was wrong, that I was not pregnant. When I told Dr Glenn I was indeed pregnant, and that I wanted a beta test done (which tells you the exact level of hcg in your blood), Dr Glenn said €œwell it€™s going to come back as zero€. Really positive, right. And I said €œI don€™t care, I want the beta€. So reluctantly he sent over the order and I had my beta done that afternoon.

So James and I were waiting to celebrate until after the beta results came in on the 1st, but very hopeful. And besides, I €œfelt€ pregnant. Some women just know. And I am one of them. I knew, in my heart, that God had given us a child. I just needed to hear it confirmed. The next day at work, Dr Glenn€™s office called, and told me my beta came back at 25 (anything 5 or over is positive, and this number will get higher the further along you are), and said Dr Glenn was shocked. I bet he was €“ he was so certain it would be zero, so I did a little jig in my chair, and anxiously waited for the day to be over. When 5:30 pm came, I raced out the door into the sun, and my newfound mommyhood. I went straight to Walgreens to put together a little treasure hunt for James, to tell him the good news. I found Rapid Release Tylenol (for the headaches parenting brings), ear plugs (for peaceful nights for the off-duty parent), and a pacifier, and bought little blue gift bags and constructed my plan. I drove home and planted the treasures and wrote up the clues for the hunt, and waited for James to get home. He tried to guess what I was up to, but I just smiled at him and gave him the first clue. And I watched him grow more and more bewildered over what in the world all these things had in common. Finally he got to the last clue, and when he looked at the pacifier, he looked at me and asked excitedly €œso you€™re pregnant?€ and I answered €œyes we are€. James leapt up from the couch and hurdled on top of me screaming €œwe€™re going to have a babyyyyy!!!!€ And for a moment we were happy.

Since my beta was considered low for what I should have been, Dr Glenn ordered me back for another beta the next day, May 2nd. While I waited to get the results in, I researched hcg levels, and found out that they should double approximately every two or three days. So when my results came in at 44 on May 3rd, I wasn€™t worried. I just thought, €œwell so I€™m not doubling exactly every 48 hours, but it€™s close, and everyone says some women take up to 3 days, so I think everything is okay:. Dr Glenn disagreed, his nurse telling me that I was going to miscarry. You read right: less than 72 hours of joy, then my doctor was ready to sign me off. So thus began the road I embarked on€ of self-diagnosing, learning about fertility, pregnancy, hormones in pregnancy, you name it €“ I read about it. And I was optimistic €“ I€™d never had to get betas before, and before now knew nothing about them. And for all I knew, this was normal for me during pregnancy. So we dismissed it. My symptoms came on fast and furiously. Morning sickness was terrible; I had good days and not so good days. Boobs sore and expanding, along with my belly, and before I knew it I was in maternity clothes. I was tired, ravenously hungry, had hot flashes, acne from my newfound hormones €“ I had all the symptoms. So I thought all was okay. We told our families, and they were happy for us, and gave us well wishes, and we told Corey and Hailey also, saying there would be a new little addition to our family.

Dr Glenn wanted me to go back and have a second set done, so I went back a couple of days later for another beta; the first one came back at 144, the second came back at 202. Not good. At this point I should have been quadruple that at least. But again, we waited, being prayerful and optimistic, but as each day passed, I became more and more concerned. I knew my levels needed to jump up there soon, or my baby was going to be in trouble. It was the night of May 13th that started it all, a Sunday night. I felt very achy all over, and hot €“ like I was ill or something, but I dismissed it and went to work Monday morning. I have a desk job working for a great company that sells computer products online, so it€™s not like it was a high stress job or demanding job. But even though I pretty much sit all day, I continued to get steadily worse, until I was literally on the verge of crawling through the office instead of walking. I came into work on Tuesday anyway, and towards the end of the day, in addition to everything else, I felt this sharp stabbing pain on my lower left side, so very painful. So I left work, and drove straight to NorthEast Memorial Hermann Hospital ER. It was no more than an hour for the compete admittance process, before I was in front of a nurse. I gave them all of my symptoms, and I was admitted into triage, where they took blood and started me on an iv. Meanwhile my mom and James got there shortly after that to stay with me, and looking back I know there is no way I could have faced what was to come without them.

Next, I was wheeled down to Imaging, where a tech did a transvaginal ultrasound; what drove me nuts was that he said he could not tell me any diagnosis or guesses on what he sees, so me being curious, I watched the screen instead. I noticed there was no sac in my uterus, and there was a growth of some kind on my left ovary, right where my pain was. Then I saw him type in the words €œfree fluid€ in all caps on the image, and instantly I was alarmed. We finished up, and I was taken back to triage to rejoin my mom and James, and also Chad, who is my mom€™s boyfriend, who had arrived shortly after that. The ER doctor came in and told me that he wanted to talk to my doctor first and let him decide on treatment, which I thought was odd. I mean, how often do ER doctors have to confer with your regular doctor before knowing what needs to be done? So again, we wait€ Then the nurse finally comes back in there, and says that Dr Bernell, Dr Glenn€™s partner, is on her way up to the hospital to talk to me (this was at around midnight). Dr Bernell arrived, and came in, a sweet slightly overweight lady with a tough attitude, but compassionate. I could tell she was trying to be doctor and friend at the same time, and surprisingly she pulled it off very well. She looked into my eyes, and said €œhere is what is going on Holli. You have a mass on your left ovary, and the free fluid on the ultrasound has been confirmed with your blood tests that show you have internal bleeding and you are losing blood, your beta came back at 968 which is very low for your stage of pregnancy, and I suspect an etopic pregnancy€. I sat there in shock. I didn€™t know what to say, my mind was racing, my heart felt so heavy. My mom had an etopic with her first child, and she had told me earlier she had always prayed I would not see that same demise. And yet there I was, facing that possibility. My lip started to quiver uncontrollably, and I put my hand on my mouth and hot tears spilled down my cheeks. I said, €œWell I don€™t think it is etopic, I just don€™t feel that it is.€ And Dr Bernell said €œDoctors make mistakes a lot Holli, we could be all wrong about this, and with any luck we are, but we need to go in and take a look at that mass to rule it out. We need to operate.€ She then continued to explain the procedure, a laparoscopy, but my mind left that room and I recoiled inside my own skin. To a place far far away from the events unfolding around me. And I blurted out €œNo, no I do not want to be operated on€ but after a moment I said €œno I changed my mind, let€™s do it now, why wait til tomorrow? Let€™s get it over with.€ Dr Bernell wasn€™t sure how to respond, so I followed €œwhat would you do, if you were in my shoes Dr Bernell, what would you do?€ She took a deep breath and put her head in her hands, she looked like she was in deep thought, and finally she looked up and said €œI would wait until morning, and take another beta, first.€ And I said €œwell okay then, we will do it that way.€ Admitting came and went, then I sent James home to grab my contact lens case and few other things for our overnight stay. While he was gone, my mom and Chad sat on opposite sides of my hospital bed, and turned down the lights in the room. She put her hand above my left ovary, and both of them began to pray together for me and our baby. She moved her hand off of it for a second, and I felt the pain come back with a fury, so I exclaimed €œMomma don€™t move your hand; the pain leaves when you put your hand on top of it€ and with that I moved her hand back and put my own hand on top of hers. And as the praying began again, I felt the pain on my left ovary travel across my abdomen to my right hip bone. I laughed and said that God had a sense of humor by moving it to the other side of my body, but seriously I knew my pain left cause God used my momma€™s hand to take it away.

So with the doctor€™s order to do another round of blood work at 7am sharp, the nurses came to take me up to the third floor for an overnight stay; no food and no drinks for me. They wheeled me in and we did our best to get settled, James on the recliner and my mom with her head down by my feet, and me in a lumpy hospital bed, starving, scared, and restless. I could not believe that losing our baby was a possibility; I just couldn€™t accept it. So as they slept, I stayed awake with my thoughts, praying that God would watch over us and take care of everything, but inside I had that same sinking feeling that something was wrong, and what bothered me the most was that it was getting stronger.

6am the next morning, a nurse comes in to take my blood, and I sat up and through a weak voice tried to protest, telling her no, that my blood work was not supposed to be until 7am. She said €œit won€™t make a difference, it€™s just one hour from now€. And I didn€™t know what to say, but inside I was screaming €œyes it does!!! My hcg is being tested too, and one hour could make all the difference in the world!€ My mom overheard was what happening and she prayed in her head for God to do something, and step in. Right at that second, my other nurse €“ who was nowhere near my room and could not have possibly known what was happening €“ came rushing around the corner baliing into my room and told the nurse €œwhat are you doing? She is not due for her blood work until 7am sharp! I am reporting you!€ And the girl nurse said she was sorry, she didn€™t know, but of course everybody else knew I had tried to tell her but she wouldn€™t listen. So I was left alone once again to lay there in the dark, and watch the clock tick tock to 7am. Then the other nurse came in with a supervisor, of whom apologized too for the girl€™s behavior, and they drew my blood from my IV. Dr Bernell had said it would take no more than half an hour to get the results, so I was thinking €œokay that would be 7:30am, I can wait that long.€ But 7:30 came and went, and then 8am, and 9am, and 10am, and finally Dr Glenn came in to say they were ready for me to operate, that my beta had dropped to 958, my progesterone was low at a level of 9, and the blood tests showed I was not losing blood anymore. He also said both he and Dr Bernell would be operating on me, doing a triple laparoscopy, with one incision in my belly button, and one above each ovary, to look at my tubes and rule out etopic. This also was with the warning that, should they see an etopic, they would go ahead and remove it right then. And with that, they wheeled me down to the OR, with my family following closely behind.

The OR staff was great; they gave me a €œmargarita cocktail€ to relax me, a trio of drugs that when combined make you feel like you€™ve had a few drinks. It did very little to me, though, and didn€™t help me at all. And even though I protested they still wheeled me into the OR wide awake and very aware of what was about to transpire. They gave me a mask and called it oxygen, and I€™m sure it was at first, but I told them €œjust start it up€ €“ I wanted to be out flat cold. And the smell changed so I just breathed in as deeply as I could, and went to sleep. The next thing I knew I was in severe pain but still very drugged, and I asked them what happened, what was the verdict. They told me there was no etopic, and it was a corpus luteum cyst on my left ovary that was the culprit of my pain, and that they would take me back to recovery. I cried with relief, and for a moment, forgot all about my dropping hcg levels; my baby was where she was supposed to be, they just couldn€™t see her yet cause she was so small. So to me, there was still a glimmer of hope, and I also had both tubes in tact. So back to square one. They released me a few hours later, and gave me prescriptions for vicodin, which was much needed. For the next two weeks I could not move by myself, I could not shower by myself, I could not even sit up or change my position by myself. I was completely helpless. James was such a lifesaver, so selfless in helping me, he took such good care of me. I thought to myself more than a thousand times, €œwhat in the world did I ever do to deserve such a wonderful guy to share my life with?€ I really did. And then another part of me wondered €œwhat is going on with our baby€ I want to see a sac, God, please let me see her when we go back to see Dr Glenn.€ That was to me, the utmost prayer; I wanted to know my baby would be okay. And at that point in time, I really wasn€™t sure.

James had to go back to work on the 22nd, so my mom came to take care of me. We watched girlie movies and played with the kitties and her little yorkie, and got some quality time together, even though I was in such misery. It just seemed like my whole world had gone cold, and dark€ and I began to frequent miscarriage sites, soaking up any information I could find on the subject, and of course mourn. Even though I was still pregnant, I think that was my heart telling me this would not end happily, and I just couldn€™t stop the tears from flowing. Constantly red-faced, still very much in pain, my mom took me on the 23rd to get a follow up beta done Dr Glenn had ordered. The results were in the next day: I had dropped again to 853, and my progesterone had dropped to 6. I went ahead and scheduled my follow up for the 25th, that Friday, and when James got home from work we sat down and decided between ourselves that we didn€™t want a doctor dictating how this would play out. We wanted to decide for ourselves what was right for us, and what we could accept. And we decided that we would ask to wait until the third week in June to see if we would get either a miracle or for €“ if there was no hope €“ my body to begin miscarrying naturally on its own. We also wanted to try some Crinone and also get the Rhogam shot since I am RH negative. Dr Glenn laughed at us, saying none of that would do any good, and he said he wanted to a D&C, which I promptly rejected. Then he did an ultrasound, and boy I really was keeping my eyes glued on that screen, I so needed to see my baby. And there she was €“ what was not there in the hospital was suddenly there on the screen clear as day €“ her gestational sac. I didn€™t say a word, just got dressed and agreed to weekly betas and to keep them updated, and left. After we got my release form to return to work after Memorial Day, and we got out of earshot, I told James what I saw on the ultrasound, and when I got home I told my friends and family to let the praying begin.


It was a bit of a struggle to get the Crinone, but my mom was such a lifesaver; dear heart found the Crinone at a Walgreens about 15 miles away from us, so Saturday morning James and the kids went to pick it up. From there, it really was a waiting game€. Counting down the days inbetween betas each Wednesday seemed to drag by, and my hope swayed between it was all going to work out, to the sinking feeling my heart felt €“ that she was gone. But I just couldn€™t let this all end without trying everything I knew to try. The next beta came, and my hcg had only fallen by 25 points, but my progesterone had risen from 6 to 9.5. I had read online that because Crinone is applied locally, not much at all gets into your bloodstream, so to me the rise was great news. So James and I were pleased with that, and it was enough to satisfy us and keep us going for another week til the next beta.

My Angel Gets Her Wings
Tuesday night I had a dream€ a vision, really. God came to me and told me that the next morning€™s beta would plummet, and be much lower than the last one, and that my baby was with him. He then showed me our daughter in Jesus€™ arms; she was a newborn, pink and healthy, and bright eyed. I swear she looked like my identical twin when I was a baby, precisely like me. I told James the next morning, and decided to go through with the beta since it was already scheduled. When it was done, I left the nurse a message telling her I knew the results would plummet, and to just let me know what they are when they come in. I didn€™t tell her about the dream; she probably would have thought I€™d lost my marbles! And on Thursday afternoon she called, and sure enough, my levels had plummeted €“ almost 300 points €“ to 583. We decided to stop the Crinone, and await the miscarriage to begin. Thursday came and went, Friday came and went, and then our monthly anniversary on Sunday June 10th, came and went. That evening I started to cramp a little worse than usual, and felt like I was €œopening up€ or dilating, but yet no sign of anything. Early the next morning, at 12:42am, I saw a very light peach colored discharge; it was so faint you€™d almost think you were imagining it there. I showed James, and told him €œI just know it €“ this is it babe, this is it.€ And I called my mom to tell her to let the praying begin. I had some Vicodin leftover from my surgery, so I went ahead and went in to work that day, but asked James to drive me and pick me up. I had read that anything can happen and it€™s best to not drive while you are miscarrying, so that was what we had planned. I packed up the heating pad, pain meds, and pads galore, and was off to work. My first thought was, thank God I have a desk job! Very low impact and stress, and I even have a footstool under my desk, so I thought I could last the day. I left a message for the nurse to tell her it had begun, and promised to update them every day, and whenever something changes discharge-wise (to avoid having to go in to the doctor office) At work, I didn€™t have any excruciating pain going on, just cramping and slowly increasing-in-color discharge€going from peach, to dark peach, to brown. Then that afternoon about 4pm, there was red, and I got scared. I couldn€™t help it; I had read so many stories online of other women, and some were terrible experiences, so I was freaked out. But I just told myself to stay calm, that God had been with us this far, and He wouldn€™t leave me now.

Toward the end of the workday, I started to pass a few clots, maybe two at a time, nothing heavy at all; so far, it was just like a heavy period, except what freaked me out is, when you€™re pregnant you have this mindset that bleeding is not good and it€™s not supposed to be happening, so you tend to have acceptance issues between your mind, your heart, and reality. And reality laughed at me every time I went to the bathroom, or cramped, or felt a small clot pass, but I just couldn€™t get my mind off it to relax. It€™s kinda hard to not think about something when you feel it happening to your body. You think your body has failed you. You€™re angry, you€™re scared, you€™re panicked, you don€™t know what to feel and you don€™t know how to react to all of this. And what€™s worse €“ you have no choice. You can€™t do anything about it, but just endure it. And wonder. Wonder when you will see your baby. James got there right at 5:30 to pick me up, and I went home, and set up shop with dual therapy. Yes, I had not one, but two heating pads going €“ one for my lower back, and one for my abdomen. We had dinner, my son, James and I, and we watched a little tv, but nothing kept this terrible thing from my mind. When we got ready for bed, I told James to get the strainer €“ why I chose that precise moment to do that, I had no idea. But soon I found out €“ because the first time I used it, James looked €“ and saw our little Gracie. We had decided to name her Gracie Renee, after all the grace God had shown us thusfar in this whole ordeal. Of course, I couldn€™t see anything because my contacts were already out for the night, but the next morning I looked and sure enough, there was the sac. It was a transparent light peach with red dots on it, about the size of a dime, with a gray thing about the size of a grain of rice floating in the middle of it €“ and that, we knew, was our baby. We didn€™t want to open it up, but chose to leave it intact, so we put her in the freezer in a bag for her burial later that week. And once that happens, I had a very hard time accepting the fact that I was still showing positive on an hpt, but my child was in my freezer €“ and not in my womb. Over the next few days, as the bleeding continued, I€™d place my hand on my stomach as I used to do, to €œcaress€ Gracie, then I€™d get a sickening feeling with the realization that she was not inside of me anymore, and I€™d remove my hand. I continued to go to work throughout all of this as much as possible, though I needed two days off total due to complications; on one I was contracting too badly to go anywhere, and the other happened at work €“ I just started bleeding constantly, it felt like it was pouring out of me, but wasn€™t more than maybe of a cup. It happened again not 2 minutes later, so I called James to pick me up immediately, and rested at home. The bleeding subsided, but my exhaustion from both the physical and the emotional pain I was in just took its toll. I went back to work the next day on Friday, and thankfully made it through the day. I knew my beta was scheduled for Monday, and was praying that the last bleeding episode was my body€™s way of making that happen. So the weekend slowed by, constant rain, and I just took it easy. By now the bleeding had stopped, and was nothing more than a light peach discharge again. By Monday morning I wasn€™t having any discharge at all, and off to Quest we went. The ladies there knew me, and had followed my story from the first positive beta until now, and it broke my heart to tell them Gracie was gone, and she got her angel wings. Dr Glenn wanted my beta to be zero, so that there was no need for further surgery, and that my miscarriage could be all natural, so that€™s what me, James and my family prayed in agreement for. And by Tuesday night, the discharge had completely ceased, and I got to enjoy my first bubble bath in over a month, since my triple laparoscopy in mid May. I loved being able to shave, and the warm water filled with bubbles, and to me it might have been silly, but it was a sign that life goes on, that life can return to normal. I guess I doubted that, and I still doubt that. It was just last night I had that bath. And the pain is still so fresh.

So it€™s today, Wednesday June 20th, and after over 12 hours of seeing nothing, I saw red again in the bathroom. And I thought €œI€™m at zero now, so why the blood?€ I guess I will just wait and see, then. We buried little Gracie at my mom€™s house under the magnolia bushes in her little trinket box I had bought for her. It was a white ceramic oval box with a statuette of an angel holding a baby on top, and I wrapped her in silk, and placed Psalm 23 on a card, an angel pin, and a lock of my hair along with a few other things, and sealed the lid shut. I remember sitting on the concrete with my mom holding the roses I had bought for her €“ two pink ones (one from each of us) and one white one (to represent her), and her in her box, and it all just seemed so surreal and unbelievable. We placed all of that inside of a plastic bag, and I watched as James took a deep breath and lowered her into the hole. And I remember the sickening sound of the dirt hitting the bag, and I just lost it. Much too painful for me to relive, I will tell you that. For Gracie was buried among the three of us, quietly, and in God€™s perfect peace we grieved, and cried, then cried some more. She was our baby. She was our hope. And now she was with Jesus.

So why am I posting this? Because rarely are stories ever detailed like mine, and when you are facing miscarriage you want to know exactly what to expect. According to the Bible a baby is a baby from the moment of conception, and also if you belong to the Lord you are not saying goodbye, but rather €œsee you later€. For there is a hope Christians have of seeing their baby one day. And while part of me is much more able to cope because I saw my Gracie with Jesus, and I know I will hold her one day, I also am truly sad and grievous because I want her here now; I don€™t want to wait. I think that€™s normal, right? I realize others out there don€™t believe what I do, and that€™s okay €“ I€™m not trying to convert anyone here. What I will say is through our experience, the Lord touched James in such a profound way that he went from being nonbelieving in God to a devout believer in one night (it was a physical condition that was relieved after he prayed like I had suggested). And I will also say that all throughout this terrible ordeal, the Lord gave me wisdom in knowing what to expect before it happens €“ foreknowledge, as some call it, where there is no possible way I could have known other than if God had told me Himself. And I will also say there are a LOT of details I have left out, because this is hard enough to sit here and type out, much less relive it, such as how wonderful my mom was and is, and how we could not have gone through this without her €“ no way in the world. How wonderful family and friends were, and even complete strangers, praying around the clock for us, and our baby. How many tears I shed over her, how depressed I am even now, and how anxious I am to for this renewed bleeding from today to really stop for good, so I can get my period and we can try again. Nor did I go into the fact that many opposed us and caused us more grief even though they knew what we were facing and we begged them to stop, instead bringing more problems in our lives and into that of my children. The beauty and the beast of the human race €“ we saw both faces. And you know what €“ we are still standing. Weak, yes. Sad, absolutely. Depressed €“ definitely. Heartbroken €“ no doubt. But standing on one solid fact €“ in our darkest hour, God never left us. He never did, not once. He may have been quiet at times, and others He was very active, but He was always there. The poem Footprints is such a great picture of what we went through €“ if you haven€™t read it lately, might be a good thing to do€ You know, I€™ve been complemented on my writing, but I didn€™t really try to write eloquently this time, I just couldn€™t€ I€™m in such a quiet state of mourning, it€™s a struggle just to open my eyes in the morning. So I hope that this modest, candid story is okay. Sadly, mine is just one of the millions of faces out there, the silent loss that visits so many of us and ruins our hope and steals our joy, the one no one wants to talk about, or acknowledge, or accept. But it€™s real. And I always thought €“ not me. Not me. Not me. And yet, it was.

Before all this happened, I used to wonder why women would continue to try to conceive after going through so much pain, and then after I myself went through it too, I realized: I can choose to go crawl in a hole somewhere and hide forever, or I can hold on to the blessed hope of trying again, and this time, I pray that I will get to hold my baby, and not bury her. For if one day I am so lucky, then all of the pain would be so worth it. So, so worth it.

Love you all, and thank you.

Holli
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Faint + 5/14/2008, BFP 5/13/2008, darker line on 5/17/2008, stalk my chart!http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/19c6f2

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  #2  
June 29th, 2007, 01:31 PM
Astrid's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 27,408
Holli ~ Thank you so much for taking the time to write out everything that you went through physically AND emotionally. There are actually a couple of really good books out there w/ 1st hand experiences. Here are a couple in case you are interested in reading them.

Miscarriage: Women Sharing from the Heart

A Silent Love: Personal Stories of Coming to Terms with Miscarriage

I Never Held You: A book about miscarriage, healing, and recovery

An Empty Cradle, a Full Heart: Reflections for Mothers and Fathers After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death

Hopefully you will connect w/ any one of the above books. Also feel free to join our forum & reach out to others.
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for some great handmade items.
All proceeds go to a family struggling w/ infertility!



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