7/07/2006

The soul remembers what I can no longer hold

The twins are turning two on July 15th! This is bittersweet for many reasons.
The first thing that comes to mind is that they are getting older. This is both happy and sad. I miss the really baby-stage altho Laura will tell you otherwise – she almost didn’t survive the “4th Trimester” AKA the first 3 mos. following their birth. It was hard, hard, hard – on so many levels but the sleep-deprivation thing was the worst! I miss the nursing and cuddling. But now I really am enjoying this rapid learning stage. They are a joy and it’s hard to think about life without them. But I do…


…On August 27th, 2003 I went in for a routine ultrasound when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. This was my 2nd pregnancy after Foster. There was no heartbeat. The baby measured two weeks behind so he/she probably died a couple of weeks earlier and I didn’t know it as I was on progesterone support during the pregnancy. This would have kept any bleeding or signs of miscarriage away. I was in total shock. Total shock. I had no idea. I was heart-broken, as any mother would be to find out she is having a miscarriage, but you have to remember that pregnancies for us just don’t happen after a fun night in bed. We had to very carefully calculate fertile times, do inseminations in a dr’s office, etc. That’s how we have to make babies. Not that that diminishes the pain a heterosexual woman would feel but I felt that second blow of all that “hard work” gone. Because I had retained the fetus past probably two weeks (based on the size of the baby) I had a D&C two days later. Those few days in between were a blur of sadness. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me.


Sometimes I feel that pregnancy was just not meant to be. See, I was unknowingly pregnant (hadn’t yet taken a pregnancy test) when we went camping July 4th weekend of that year. I had unfortunately been the target of gazillions of mosquito bites which a few days later became terribly infected. Since I knew there was a chance of pregnancy, the dr. did a pregnancy test and lo and behold I was!!! Yay!! But I needed a safe anti-biotic to take – I was Rx’d an anti-biotic that was supposedly “safe” to take during pregnancy. But again, - how safe? I was at the most vulnerable time in my pregnancy, those first few weeks and here comes some powerful anti-biotics invading fragile, growing, developing tissue and of course, baby. That hurdle was over and then at about 5 weeks into my pregnancy Foster suddenly couldn’t walk. He wouldn’t put his leg down on the ground. I had a very unusual Saturday meeting at work and Laura wound up taking him to Urgent Care. The dr. there was extremely concerned and immediately decided to hospitalize him as they were thinking it was possible he had a septic hip which would have been a surgical emergency. I was called out of my work meeting to meet them at the hospital. We were total nervous wrecks. At the hospital he had to have a radio-active scan. Due to that scan he was then considered radio-active for days following. I was instructed not to touch him, not to change his diaper, not to be within 4 feet of him. Oh my f*ucking G-d. My baby was in the hospital and I couldn’t even hold him or touch him. How horrible was that. I was newly pregnant and they were fearing the effects of him being radio-active and transferring that to me – that would be very bad to a newly pregnant woman to be exposed to radio-activity – I understand but oh how hard that was. Laura was voted the most eligible to stay at the hospital overnite with Foster but she had to go home for a change of clothes and for some of Foster’s clothes and special toys. I stayed in the hospital room. My baby was not even two yet and didn’t quite understand why mommy couldn’t hold him when he was hurting and so confused. His cries for me to hold him haunt me to this day. I could barely hold it together. For a few minutes I wished I was not pregnant so that I could comfort my baby. I felt useless. I was able to get on the floor and play with his cars with him and feed him some soup (from a distance) until Laura came back. As it turned out, Foster did NOT have a septic hip, he had toxic synovitis which sounds horrible but really is just an inflammation of the synovial fluid in his hip – a few I.V. doses of Motrin and he was 100% cured by the next morning. Whew. But that lingering question of what horrible thing did I just do to my body by being near my boy who was radio-active.


I also had weird pains a week later in my back. This worried my R.E. who recommended me to come in for another u/s to rule out a tubal pregnancy. It wasn’t. We saw the heartbeat right smack in the middle of my uterus where it was supposed to be.
But then that day came 5 weeks later. “I’m sorry, but I can’t locate a heartbeat” the nurse said. Those words echoed in my head – like a bad dream I so desperately wanted to wake up from. It was reconfirmed by a dr. and the re-reconfirmed before the scheduled D&C. I cried rivers for that baby I’ll never know – not in this lifetime. I wondered if it was a boy or a girl. I had a feeling it was a girl for some reason. But, we never found out, it was too early in the pregnancy. People said all the things they thought they should say – you know “You can try again”, or “Good thing it was so early on” or even “Guess that baby wasn’t meant to be”. But for me, it was my baby I lost. I didn’t want to try again. I don’t care that I was “only” 10 weeks pregnant. To me, my baby was meant to be. But for that little soul, he/she was ready to move on. I felt like I gave him/her whatever he/she needed for those short 10 weeks but that baby had other plans. So I said my good-bye’s and had the D&C.


That brings me to the twins. They are here because that little soul isn’t. I like to think that the baby I lost just wasn’t ready to be born yet and since I then got pregnant with twins, that one of them (I have a feeling who it is but I ain’t telling!) is that little soul joining us at the right time. I recently ordered a necklace to replace a charm I currently wear. The one I have now is a forget-me-not flower, really tiny, encased in clear crystal. I wear it around my neck along with Foster’s fingerprint immortalized in silver. But that little forget-me-not flower is kind of falling apart. The bottom of the charm broke off and you can barely see the flower anymore. I wanted something else to physically touch to remind me (not that I really need any reminders) of that wee one that I didn’t get the chance to meet. My new necklace which is on it’s way has a butterfly charm (to symbol transformation) and a blue and a pink crystal – since I didn’t know for sure if it was a boy or girl. It also has a birth charm of the month of that due date – March. I can’t wait to receive it.


Well, I didn’t mean for this to get so long but part of the purpose of this blog is to get out what I have in my brain. And the twins’ birthday in just another week has made me want to get my thoughts out.


I plan to post lots of pictures of the twins birthday party – it will be quite a small get-together with close family and friends.


And it will be bittersweet.

7 comments:

Amy said...

I have tears welling up in my eyes as I read this post. Your recollection of your experience is so very moving. Thank you for sharing it with us! Your boys are so incredibly blessed. I hope you all have a very memorable birthday celebration.

And your new necklace charm sounds like it is just the right one!
:)
Amy

littlefeet said...

the necklace sounds beautiful...cant wait to see it...

and the 15th is my birthday too... :)

peace...

Sonya said...

As I read your story I very much remember all that you went through. Very beautiful post!

Your new necklace sounds quite special. I hope it arrives soon!

Gandksmom said...

I remember when all of that was going on. I don't know if you remember, but I had an ectopic pregnancy before I got pregnant with Katie. It was devistating. I was able to find out that it was a boy through fetal tissue sampling. We had a Christmas Tree Ornament made for him (We would have named him Jared) and every year at Christmas when I hang his angel ornament up on the tree (we had it inscribed with his name)we talk about him and what it would have been like had he lived.

Gandksmom said...

I remember when all of that was going on. I don't know if you remember, but I had an ectopic pregnancy before I got pregnant with Katie. It was devistating. I was able to find out that it was a boy through fetal tissue sampling. We had a Christmas Tree Ornament made for him (We would have named him Jared) and every year at Christmas when I hang his angel ornament up on the tree (we had it inscribed with his name)we talk about him and what it would have been like had he lived.

Casey said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read your post. I remember so well when you posted to the group - my heart broke for you....and it does again now. It's hard lose our little ones before we ever get to hold them.

I love the idea of the necklace - what a beautiful keepsake and memorial to your child.

Hugs.

gabrielle said...

was great to read your post ivy and the necklace sounds beautiful. Happy birthday to seth and logan for the 15th. I keep meaning to answer your question about Billy's necklace so here goes. It is called a Taonga which means treasure and was given to him by his greatgrandmother after it had been washed in the sea, hung in her garden overnight with the native birds and worn by her and other members of his family to energise it. It is pounamu or greenstone on one side and paua on the other. The pounamu represents papatuanuku the earth mother and the paua Tangaroa god of the sea...needless to say he wears it all the time and has now discovered it is a great thing to chew on as are the pounamu most of his family wear.