350 days later

It’s been 350 days since the hardest day of my life. Since I spent most of a day in the emergency room. Since my birthday.

That day changed me forever. It rocked my world in ways I could never imagine. I thought about writing this up and posting it on my birthday, but I really want to get this out now, in hopes that I will be able to actually enjoy my birthday, instead of being enveloped in sadness.

I’ll never forget peeing on that stick Monday morning, 5 days before, and it came up pregnant. I was only 4.5 weeks pregnant and was shocked to see the obvious “PREGNANT” on the little screen. I had never tested positive before 6 weeks with my other two kids. We had been talking about having number 3 and we knew it was the right time. I was ecstatic! Another baby meant another round of feeling kicks, another round of tiny newborn feet, another round of breastfeeding. I looked forward to every moment. I also so this pregnancy as the chance to possibly heal a small part of my heart that was broken with the birth of my daughter. I couldn’t wait to tell our friends and family.

Thursday I started spotting. I knew it could be nothing. I had spotted with Will at 7 weeks and he was perfectly fine. It did worry be slightly, but I just brushed it off knowing that my body would tell me if I need to become more concerned. And then Friday morning came and the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I went to work praying it would lighten up, praying that it would stop, but it only got heavier. I *secretly* talked to one of my c0-workers whom I had told earlier in the week that we were expecting again about what I was dealing with. She told me I should go to the ER now. I hadn’t told our family we were expecting, much less called my OB, so the ER was my only option. I didn’t want to go. That meant that something could be seriously wrong and I didn’t want to face that possibility.

I called my boss to let her know what was going on (fyi: that’s not how you want to tell your boss you’re pregnant) and she volunteered to take me to the ER since she was almost to the office.

I called my husband to let him know what was going on – he offered to meet me at the hospital, but his job was very strict about absences and I knew his presence wouldn’t change anything. He check on me throughout the day and we texted a lot.

Then I had to call my mom. I had plans to have lunch with her and my brother that day for my birthday. I was going to tell them our news at lunch. I had been looking forward to that all week! And now I had to call and tell her I was on my way to the ER instead. She was finishing up at an eye doctor’s appointment and told me she would be there as soon as she could.

I wasn’t at the hospital yet and this wasn’t at all how I wanted things to go. I just kept thinking “everything has to be okay.” I didn’t even want to entertain the thought that there might be something going terribly wrong inside of me.

We arrived at the hospital, I was checked in and then triaged. Nothing too special or out of the ordinary for an ER visit.

And then my mom finally arrived. I was grateful my boss took me to the ER so I didn’t have to drive, but I just really wanted my mom there. She asked me how I was feeling. I told her what was going on and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was worried and concerned.

We were finally called back to a room. I changed into a gown, the doctor came in and the the dreaded pelvic exam was done. She told me she was very concerned with how much I was bleeding. All I could think about were the different stories I had read about where women had profuse bleeding in the first trimester and went on to have beautiful babies. In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be one of those women. We then had to wait for the blood results. I knew approximately where my HCG levels should be at 5 weeks pregnant. I knew the number I wanted her to say….and it was the 16 that she later told me.

My heart sank. At that moment I knew it was over. 16. That number dashed all of my hopes and dreams right there in that ER room the sliding glass door. I knew this was really bad. I knew that because I took a digital test my HCG was at least 50 earlier in the week. I just went numb. It seems to be how I cope in the face of a crisis. I had the same reaction during the chaos of my daughter’s birth.

I just wanted to go home, but I still had to endure an ultrasound consult that ended up taking 2 hours. That was difficult to endure. Two women probing at my abdomen, looking for something that wasn’t there. And then I had a vaginal ultrasound. That was a first for me. And not a first that I wanted to take at that moment. It was uncomfortable and felt like it went on forever. I just wanted it to be over. Due to the nature of the ultrasound, I could literally feel the life pouring out of me. I’ll never forget that.

I finally got back to my room. My mom had gotten me some lunch, which I was really grateful for since it was around 2pm. We waited and waited and waited for the doctor to come back in. Finally we were both fed up and my mom went to find someone to find out what the hold up was. A couple of hours later we were finally discharged.

I was just numb. I didn’t know what to feel or how I should feel. I was sad….but I also felt guilty. I felt guilty for feeling sad about this. I mean, I hadn’t even heard baby’s heartbeat yet. Did this even count? I had friends who had lost babies halfway through their pregnancy. I mean that certainly counted as a miscarriage…..but did mine?

I knew all of my feelings would work themselves out….I just needed some time….and I was about to get plenty of it.

It’s funny how God works sometimes. I spent that horrid day at the hospital on Friday and Sunday we were leaving for our family vacation in Florida. I absolutely hate that I miscarried our baby, but I thank God that it wasn’t while we were on vacation in a different state.

Saturday was hard. I had a million things to do to get ready for our trip….and I had to do them all while dealing with the aftermath of the day before.

God knew I would need the time away. He knew I wouldn’t be ready to face my co-workers and the looks of pity I would receive. The timing of all of the events surround the miscarriage was amazingly perfect.

Our vacation was just what I needed. The ocean is incredibly healing. We had a lot of down time, so I had time to think and pray. My husband made sure I had some time to myself too, which I really needed.

I came home still not really understanding why this happened. I don’t know that I’ll ever understand why. I just have to trust that God has a bigger plan for us.

We took a cruise with my dad, brother and his girlfriend in April. We sailed from New Orleans to Cozumel and back. The cruise was the week I would have been due with our baby. Like I said, God’s timing is impeccable. God knew that I would once again need time away to try to heal, to gather my thoughts, to let the ocean carry away some of my sadness.

I wondered in the weeks after what life would look like a year after the miscarriage. Would we have a baby by then? Be pregnant again (we’re not)? I believe life is exactly what it should be for us right now.

I don’t know why this had to happen ON my birthday. I really wish it could have happened some other day. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the significance behind that. I know every year for the rest of my life that my birthday will be a reminder of what I went through on that day in 2013.

My friends and family rallied around us in the aftermath and for that, I am so grateful. I know I am part of the 1 in 4 women who experience a miscarriage. In my head I’ve named our baby Gabriel. I know they’re in heaven and one day we’ll meet. For whatever reason, it wasn’t our time to welcome another life into this world.

Now I just pray for guidance. I pray that God’s timing and plan will be revealed to me. And if we’re supposed to be blessed with more kids, that we’ll know when the time is right.

If you’ve had a miscarriage and feel the need to talk about it, please don’t hold back! People will support you! If you feel you don’t have any support and need someone to talk to, you can e-mail me at chelsea.kaster@gmail.com.

 

Peace & love♥

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Little man’s birth

I originally posted this on my previous blog, but I wanted to share it here, in my blog home.

There is so much I could write about when it comes to being a mom. And there is a lot I want to share, but I think I’ll start here, with the day I became a mom. I wrote this 10 months after Will was born. I have learned and changed so much since then, but that day will always be the day that I became a mother.


Welcome to the world, William Thomas


It all started on a Tuesday night. DH and I had eaten at Red Lobster, knowing that might not happen again for a while, and then gone to the mall to walk. It was the day before my due date and I was ready to have this baby already! As we were walking I started having contractions. I decided that if I was still having them by the time we got home (20 min drive) I would time them just to see where they were. They were very irregular, but didn’t stop. I tried to get some sleep, but just couldn’t.


At 6am the next morning, we went to L&D. They checked me and I was only a 1-2. We went and walked for an hour and they checked me again. I was now a 2. They hooked me up to all the monitors and what not for a while, waited to see if I had progressed, checked me again and I was a 2-3. We went and walked for another hour; when I came back I was still only at a 3. Now my OB was on vacation when I went into labor so I got the pleasure of dealing with the on call OB who had sausages for fingers (the exam was NOT pleasant!). He was talking like he might send me home, but if I got pain meds and allowed him to break my water to try to speed things up, then I could stay. So I went for the epidural.


I finally got admitted to an actual L&D room (the triage rooms were TINY!) and things got underway. Now I forgot to mention that when I was only at a 3 and the OB was talking about sending me home, my contractions were then 3 min apart and I was having intense back labor that took me by surprise.


I got the epi…I only had 3 solid hours of relief. I started to feel the contractions on my right side. They told me to push the boost that was hooked up to my epi machine – that didn’t help at all. They actually had to get someone to come and give me more meds – this had to be done a total of 3 times before everything was done and over with.


The OB came in and broke my water while checking me after I had gotten my epi. And then I got my catheter – that’s something I never want to do again…I won’t go into graphic details, but the nurse had a hard time with it. I was numb from the epi, so it didn’t hurt, it was just umcomfortable.


Throughout the rest of the day I chewed on ice chips, sucked on popsicles and had to breathe through the contractions that I could feel from my epi wearing off. I never thought this baby was going to come out!


I FINALLY got to 10 cm and started pushing around 10:30. Things start to get a litttle foggy here for me. I know I was put flat on my back for some reason, I had an oxygen mask put at me a one point (which I kept trying to take off, but was told to put back on), and I threw up twice. I also remember the nurse yelling at me to push. I felt the need to scream while pushing – that was one of the things helping me, and I was told I had to stop pushing and HAD to hold my breath. The epi was somewhat still working so I couldn’t really tell how efficient my pushes were. I pushed for 2 hours and was exhausted by the time Will made his debut. While finally pushing his body out, I was yelled at by the OB to stop pushing after I got his head out, she didn’t tell me why, she just yelled at me to stop. (I should mention that this is a different OB than from earlier in the story – this was a woman who was only with me for about 5 min before I pushed Will out and I had never met her before!) It turns out the cord was wrapped around his neck. He finally arrived at 12:20am Thursday morning.


I remember the brief moment they showed Will to me before wisking him away to the warming table and thinking omg, our lives just changed forever.


I ripped pretty bad (don’t know to what degree) – all I know is that I ripped up both sides on the inside and one side on the outside. I felt like she was down there stitching me up forever! During that I was actually grateful that the epi was still somewhat working.


After getting stitched up, I finally got to hold my boy! He nursed for a few min before being taken to the nursery for his first bath (daddy went with him).


I have to say, my story is horrific or terrifying, but looking back on it now, it’s definitely not the experience I want to have the second time around. I now know that the interventions that took place are probably what cause my long labor and very long pushing stages. I don’t regret anything, but I am making an effort to be more educated for our second one (whenever that is) so that I can make the best decision for me and my child. I just kinda went with the flow b/c I thought “Doctor knows best!”, but I now know that’s not always the case!

 


Chelsea