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I thought I posted this in both the stories section and in here, but I guess I didn't! I'm xposting this from the other page, so my whole loss history is in here too, but I consider that very much part of Grace's birth story.
I'll offer it up in the hopes that it can bring some hope to someone else.
DH and I were married July 10, 2004 after 5 years of dating. We decided to start fairly soon after the wedding, so I went off of my birth control in April '05. I got pregnant the first month and was ecstatic. About a week after I found out, I had my urine test at the doctors office and was told that it did show a pregnancy but that the test was really faint. I had started spotting that day and they thought maybe the blood was interfering with the test. The next day I started bleeding heavily and experienced the worst cramps I'd ever felt. I knew in my heart I was losing my first baby. A pregnancy test a few days later confirmed what my heart already knew. A few days after this, my DH left for Army Basic Training and I found myself both grieving for the loss of my baby and my husband, as he was gone for 5 months.
Once he returned, we decided to start trying again right away. After a few months of no pregnancy, I started temping and charting. I'd always had irregular periods and figured I could get a handle on my cycles at the very least. It took 5 months to conceive, what felt like a very long 5 months at the time, especially since I had conceived so quickly the first time. This was a very hard pregnancy on me. I was so, so, so sick, which was ok with me because it reassured me that there was indeed a baby in my belly and all would be fine. I bled quite a bit throughout this pregnancy and spent a lot of time in the ER. With every blood draw and U/S though, things were fine. I was told I'd probably just be one of those women who bled through pregnancy. My sickness eased up at about 13 weeks, but I was still throwing up occasionally. I started to feel movement at about 14 weeks and had finally started feeling safe in this pregnancy. At a routine 16 week check up the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat with the Doppler, so to check everything out I was taken back for a quick u/s. It was apparent right away that there was no heartbeat. For reasons completely unknown, we had lost our second baby. I was informed that I would have to come in the next day to be induced. At that stage of pregnancy they felt it would be better for my body to have the baby naturally as opposed to a D&C, especially with my prior loss.
I was admitted to the hospital at 11am on May 25, 2006 and started on Cervadil. (A pill that is inserted in the cervix to ripen and dialate.) After several hours my water unexpectedly broke (I was not expecting this at all) and my contractions kicked up to a quite uncomfortable level. After 5 hours of labor in all, I was finally 6cm dialated and was told that I could start to push. After 4 teensy tiny pushes my sweet Sophie Lucille was born sleeping. I was terrified to look at her, to hold her. I knew that she would be tiny and that she wouldn't look like what you would expect a baby to look like. I was afraid that she would be scary and that the image of her, like that, would be burned into my mind and that's all I'd think of when I thought of her. Finally, after much prodding from my husband, my sweet little girl was laid in my arms. She was beautiful and perfect in her tiny little way. She stayed with us for an hour and then we had to say goodbye. We chose to have her autopsied in the hope that we could get a better idea of what went wrong but no answers were ever forthcoming.
We grieved over her for a solid year. My heart will always grieve for her, of course, but the pain has lessened and I can think back on that time with the bittersweet feelings that always accompany loss. 3 months after we had her, we were given the ok to try again. We got pregnant as soon as I was off of my birth control and had a chemical pregnancy, my 3rd loss in a year and a half. After that, I decided that I was done. My DH deployed to Iraq in Jan '07 and was gone for 15 months. When he came home he was ready to try again, but my heart just wasn't in it. I convinced him to wait at least 3 months. I needed that time just to be with him and not be wrapped up in the trauma that was my pregnancies. In June '08 I went off of my BC yet again. I decided that I wasn't going to actively try and conceive, but that if it happened, I wouldn't try and stop it. I immediately (like within a week or 2) got pregnant for the 4th time.
I called my RE who put me on baby asprin and progesterone as a last ditch effort. I had my first U/S at about 3 weeks where we could see the tiny little sac. I was brought in again at 5 weeks. Still no heartbeat, though there had been growth. Went in again at 6 weeks and saw a tiny, perfect little heart beating happily away. I had many more ultrasounds throughout the next several weeks, just to check on the baby's growth and make sure we still had a happy beating heart. At 16 weeks I had yet another u/s, and it was then that we were told that we were pregnant with another little girl. In my heart it felt like I was getting one last chance to do it right.
I was terrified through most of my pregnancy. I had no spotting, no crazy symptoms other than morning sickness through my first trimester. At 20 weeks we confirmed yet again that we had a little girl and I felt a teensy amount of hope floating around amidst all of the terror. With every big step I took I found myself thinking how I'd feel now if I lost the baby. When I registered I thought how awful it would be to know I had a whole baby registry out there if I lost the baby. When I finally got brave enough to buy the furniture and set up the crib I thought "now if I lose the baby, I'll have a whole room to come home to and take apart." Every thought I had revolved around the ultimate loss of my baby girl. My head could not accept that I might, just might, have a healthy baby. I couldn't allow my heart to think it might be ok. I was fully prepared to lose her at anytime. But God how I loved that baby. I had never wanted anything more in my life, ever.
At 28 weeks my BP started going up just enough to worry me. The doctors weren't concerned so I took it easy and prayed. At my 32 week check up it had gone up even more. Still I wasn't taken seriously. At 34 weeks I felt like I was leaking fluid and that I was contracting more than I should be at that stage. I went into L&D where I was monitored and found that I was having pretty strong contractions every 5 minutes or so. They tested my fluid to see if it was indeed amniotic fluid and the tests were inconclusive. I was admitted, and the doctors performed a carmine indigo amnio on me. This is where they insert a needle into a pocket of fluid in the uterus and inject a blue dye. They then insert a tampon vaginally (obviously, lol.) The theory is that if you are leaking fluid, the fluid that is now blue will end up on the tampon. After 4 hours of monitoring the tampon was clear, so it was determined that my water hadn't broke. I was told, however, that if she did come anytime soon that she should be smurf blue, and that if my water broke it too would be bright blue so there'd be no way to miss it. Since this particular hospital doesn't stop labor after 34 weeks, I was sent home with a 24 hour urinalysis (my BP was starting to get dangerously high) and told to come back if my contractions were 3 minutes apart or closer for 30 minutes. This was a Monday. I went back in Tuesday and was still at 1cm and 75% effaced, the same as the day before. Thursday night as I was going to the bathroom I felt a huge gush. I looked, no blue. Can't be my water then, right? My contractions picked up big time and would be 2-3 minutes apart for 20 minutes, and then would back off to 5 minutes for a while, then back up to 2-3. Since I they weren't staying that close for 30 minutes, I decided to stay home and ride the night out here. The next day I drove myself to the hospital to deliver my urine culture, thinking as I was doing so "I should so not be driving." I met my husband for lunch and couldn't even sit on the chair as I was feeling so much pressure. I figured that being 34 weeks pregnant just sucked and everyone had lied to me. We went grocery shopping, and as we were checking out I felt fluid dripping down my leg. I wen to the bathroom and was SOAKED, but it was clear. Went home, had another huge gush of fluid and this time there was blood mixed into the still clear fluid, and by this time I was in serious pain. I told my husband that we needed to get to the hospital NOW. Again, I was fully convinced I was losing her, that something was terribly wrong. About 10 minutes from the hospital I started feeling the urge to push, and now I'm panicking. We make it to the hospital where I inform DH that I can not walk and he runs in to get my a wheelchair. After finally getting up to triage a nurse gets in my face and tells me I need to calm down, if I can't handle being 34 weeks pregnant how am I ever going to handle "real" labor. The doctor comes in, checks me, and says "I can feel a head full of hair! You're 8 1/2 cms and 100% effaced, we're about to have this baby." I cried. Nothing was wrong, she was just very determined to make her way into this world. At this point it was way too late to get an epi as I was dilating quickly. I was hooked up to monitors, asked a million questions, and 45 minutes later I was ready to push. After an intense (and awesome) 20 minutes of pushing, Miss Grace Lorraine made her appearance, weighing in at 5lbs 7oz and 18 3/4 inches long. All I could say was "finally." After almost 4 years of waiting, worrying, crying, fretting, etc my sweet angel had arrived. She spent a week in the NICU due to some dumb nurse sticking the repogle through her little throat.
She is my whole world and the true embodiment of the term "worth the wait." I never believed I'd have her, I was 100% sure I could never have a baby. So I'm here to tell you that you can be 100% sure and still be wrong. I was, indeed, saved by Grace.
*Thank you so much to Jaidynsmum for my beautiful siggy!*
Sophie Lucille: In my life for a moment, in my heart for a lifetime. May 25th, 2006 at 16 weeks.
Last edited by ambee; April 12th, 2011 at 07:08 PM.