Sunday, May 27, 2012


It has taken me a couple of days to write this story--to make sure I get it right. If you are easily upset, I don't recommend reading it. I needed to write the details. Through exploring those details, I explore my own emotions. It helps me to figure out how to heal.

On Monday morning, we woke up and started getting all of us ready to be gone for most, if not all, of the day. It was gut wrenching to get my girls ready to drop off with friends and to pack a hospital bag to go deliver a baby I would not be bringing back home. I tried to eat something but only got half of a granola bar down before feeling like I would be sick. We dropped the girls off at 8 a.m. and headed to the hospital.

While we were in the car, I reflected on the last time we made the drive to the hospital. Both drives were excruciating--one physically, one emotionally. A small part of me kept hoping we would get to the hospital to find out it had all been a big mistake--that they had made some terrible error in judgment and that everything was fine. It's funny what your mind can do with the smallest shred of hope, even in a hopeless situation.

We arrived just before 9 a.m. and they took us to the back corner of labor and delivery. I changed into a gown, gave a urine sample and got into bed. The nurse attempted to put an IV into my right hand but it didn't work. She called in another nurse who attempted to put the IV into my right arm. That attempt was worse than the first and I have a lovely bruise to show for it. They finally got an IV into my left hand. They used the site to draw blood--about 11 or 12 tubes of it. They were going to run a lot of tests to try to figure out what went wrong. After the blood was drawn, they started me on IV fluids, which I remained on for nearly 24 hours.

My doctor came in and reviewed all of the possible scenarios we could face during the course of the day. We signed consent forms about all kinds of things, including, if necessary, a trip to the OR. Finally, she inserted two tablets next to my cervix in order to induce labor. Pitocin doesn't work as well in earlier stages of pregnancy. At this point it was 10:30 a.m. and the waiting game began.

It didn't take long before I started to feel mild contractions. They weren't particularly painful but I figured if I was going to get an epidural (which my doctor strongly recommended based on the unpredictability of the day), I might as well get it early and be as comfortable as possible. The anesthesiologist (who I happen to share a birthday with) came in close to noon to start my epidural. Getting the epidural was a much more pleasant experience than Abby's birth as I wasn't in very much pain.

As the morning progressed, I was spiking a fever that eventually reached 102. They said this was a common response to the medication but they started me on antibiotics just to be safe. Between IV fluids, antibiotics and eventually, Pitocin, my IV was very busy.

Throughout the day, nurses were in and out, checking my temperature, blood pressure and pain level. Sam and I spent most of our time sitting quietly. We read for a little while and tried to rest. I'm not sure I ever fell asleep but I was able to relax. Our minds were clear and our hearts were at peace and the day went by quicker than I expected. It didn't even phase me when I heard a baby being born in another room.

The doctor inserted new tablets every 3 hours to keep my contractions going. She didn't want to break my water because she thought the delivery would go more smoothly if the water remained intact. At around 5:30 p.m., I felt a gush of fluid. I had felt a few tiny leaky sensations before that, but this was more substantial. It was the only time in my life that I wished I peed my pants gown. The nurse came in and confirmed that my water had broken and maybe that would help move things along. She was right.

At 6 p.m. I felt a much larger gush and was pretty sure the baby had come out. Sam got the nurse, she checked under my sheet and went to get the doctor. I can't begin to describe what it feels like to have your tiny baby just laying under your sheet while you wait for the doctor to come in.  When Dr. Cadieux arrived, she cut the umbilical cord, put the baby on the warming table (the same place they put healthy babies) and started to check me out. She really wanted my placenta to come out, fully intact, in order to send it to the lab for testing. She had me sit up, as much as one can sit with an epidural, to see if gravity would help.

After about 30 minutes or so, I felt another sensation of something coming out and called the doctor. She thanked God when she came in to check me. Everything had happened in just about the best way possible. She got me cleaned up as best she could. She wanted everything to be perfect. In her words, "We need to use this uterus again."

They started me on Pitocin to help my uterus tighten and to help with bleeding. At this point, there were other things that needed to be done and decisions that needed to be made but as I've thought about those things, I've decided they are too personal to write about. We were left to talk, to cry and to get some food in our bellies.

When all was said and done, everyone decided it would be best for us to stay the night. They kept my antibiotics going and it took a while for the epidural to wear off. We rested as much as we could.

After we were discharged in the morning, we went to pick up our sweethearts. It felt so good to hug them, especially after our painful departure from the hospital. We went to get on the elevator at the same time as a girl with her new baby--the way one is supposed to leave labor and delivery.

The last week has had it's ups and downs. I have been healing well physically. There is definitely something to be said for no pushing and no stitches. Our hearts are healing slowly, though I don't think I'll ever quite recover emotionally from this experience. It helps to have an unbelievably wonderful husband and two little ladies willing to give lots of hugs and kisses.

I am so grateful for the amazing people we have in our lives. We have received an outpouring of love. Your thoughts and prayers have been felt and have brought us so much strength.

I don't know why this happened and I probably never will but I have learned a lot about myself, a lot about suffering, a lot about love and, most importantly, a lot about my Savior.

The words from John 14:27 have come into my mind a lot during the past few days:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

I welcome any questions you might have. I can't promise I'll answer them but there are more details I'd be willing to share, especially if it could help someone in a similiar situation.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bring On the Rain

I was in bed this morning, deciding if I was ready to get up and face the day, when I heard the rain start to fall. The lyrics of this song came into my mind:

Another day has almost come and gone,
Can't imagine what else could go wrong.
Sometimes I'd like to hide away somewhere and lock the door.
A single battle lost but not the war.

'Cause tomorrow's another day
and I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain.

It's almost like the hard times circle 'round.
A couple of drops and they all start comin' down.
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head,
I might be barely breathing, but I'm not dead.

No, cause tomorrow's another day,
and I'm thirsty anyway,
So bring on the rain.

No I'm not gonna let it get me down.
I'm not gonna cry,
and I'm not gonna lose any sleep tonight.

'Cause tomorrow's another day,
and I am not afraid,
so bring on the rain.

Tomorrow's another day,
and I'm thirsty anyway,
so bring on the rain.

No I'm not gonna let get me down,
I'm not gonna cry.
so bring on the rain.

Bring on the rain.
Bring on the rain.
I felt empowered and decided to get up. As soon as I got into the bathroom, Abby came in to report that Clara just puked, a lot. Bring on the rain...

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This week, our family experienced a devastating tragedy. I've debated writing about it, but as I've looked online for insight into situations like mine, I haven't been able to find a lot of information. So, I hope that in sharing my story, I might help someone feel a little more at ease.

On May 17, we were scheduled to go in for our 20-week ultrasound. We were beyond excited to find out the gender of our baby and to start preparing for his or her arrival. Before the ultrasound appointment, we had scheduled my regular OB visit. Both offices are a bit of a drive in the same direction so we figured we'd check them both off our list on Sam's day off from school. We dropped the girls off with a friend and went to our appointment.

I didn't know who the appointment was with and I was excited to find out it was Dr. Cadieux. She is our favorite doctor--the one who delivered Clara. We started chatting about our exciting appointment that day as she began the routine examinations. As she was using the Doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat, she kept hearing my heartbeat loud and clear. I was a bit concerned when she decided to turn on the ultrasound machine to check things out. As soon as she started looking around, Sam and I both could tell that something was wrong. We couldn't see the little pulsing heart and the baby wasn't moving. She confirmed our fears but told us to head over to the other office with the nicer ultrasound equipment to make sure.

Sam and I sat and cried together for a few minutes before heading to the car. We sat quietly during the ten minute drive. When we arrived at the other office, they were ready for us and took us back immediately. The ultrasound tech took some measurements and scanned around a bit. She told us that she couldn't find a heartbeat and that she would send the doctor in. He came in to tell us that the baby measured at about 18 weeks. He said that second trimester pregnancy loss is very uncommon and is usually associated with a chromosomal abnormality. This final confirmation was devastating.

We went to pick up our girls. Our wonderful friend who was watching them rallied our other friends together as soon as she heard the news. There has been a lot of sad things going on among our group of friends and it's amazing to have the support of wonderful people--even those facing tragedies worse than yours.

When Abby got into the car, she asked, "How did it go?" I told her it didn't go good and that our baby had died. She started to cry and it broke my heart. I didn't expect my three-and-a-half year old to understand as well as she did. Later she asked if it was a girl and I told her I didn't know. When we got home we snuggled up together on the couch to watch a movie.

We have received an outpouring of love for which I am very grateful. We have a garden of flowers in our house and have had meals delivered each night since the news came. We have had phone calls, e-mails, texts and visitors. It is in these moments that my emotions are strongest. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so much love in my life.

We have been doing as well as can be expected--better maybe. I have actually been surprised by my own strength. We have been faced with a lot of facts and decisions we weren't prepared to make and we are dealing with each of these things the best way we know how.

Tomorrow, I will go to the hospital to deliver the baby. I will receive pitocin and pain medication, just like a traditional induction. This is the part that is scary and unknown. 18 weeks is kind of on the border of miscarriage and stillbirth. The definition of stillbirth is a baby who is born deceased at a time when life would normally have been sustainable. With advances in science and technology, this time frame is earlier and earlier. That being said, most of the information I can find on delivery is about women further in gestation.

Depending on how things go, I plan to write about it, if only to help someone else facing a similar situation.

During this challenging time, I feel so much love for my family, especially for Sam. He has been so amazing, taking time off from school and taking the girls on little outings to give me time to be alone. Above all, I am thankful for my Savior. I know His love is giving me the strength to push forward when I'm not sure if I can.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Carnival Fun

The annual carnival came to town last week. We watched the fluctuating weather reports and decided we'd better go Wednesday night as it was the least likely day to rain. It turned out to be family night, which made the wrist band for Abby a super good deal. Abby had a blast going on all the rides. It was so nice to have Garrett there so they could go together.

The only thing Abby didn't like was the bumper cars. I don't think she knew what to expect and didn't particularly like getting crashed into repeatedly. I finally stopped in a corner so we would be mostly out of the way.

Clara didn't love being at the carnival. She wanted to walk all over but the grass wasn't super stable so she kept falling down. She did have a fun time doing the slide with daddy. Next year she should be ready to do some rides.

I stole most of these pictures from Becky. She gets better shots with her much nicer camera.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

20 Weeks

I hit the half-way mark in my pregnancy yesterday. Woo hoo! We have our ultrasound on Thursday and I'm very antsy to find out the gender of our baby.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day today. Sam made me a delicious breakfast and dinner. The girls gave me lots of hugs and kisses. Abby helped daddy decorate a cake for me at the grocery store. I feel blessed to be the mother of two and a half sweethearts.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I thought I'd post a few random pictures of some of the goings on in our neck of the woods...

This is when Clara was first learning to walk. She is totally pro now and is ALL OVER the place.

These two love playing together more and more. It's so fun to watch them and hear their giggles.

Munching on some cereal.

One day, I took all of the cushions off the couches to vacuum and it was a whole lot of fun for the girlies. Abby asked to play on them another day. Clara is a bit of a dare devil and totally stresses me out.

Sam gave blood and handcuffed Abby with his bandage when he got home. He also gave her his blood donor sticker.

Oh, this girl is a handful but we sure love her.

Reading books in the tent with daddy.

My friend took this picture of Abby playing at the park. I love it!

After watching Curious George one day, Abby NEEDED to make a squirrel house. Luckily daddy was home to help in the construction. Abby painted and stickered and made a bed out of paper leaves. She wants to do projects whenever possible.

This little lady is always very busy. She is much more mischievous than Abby ever was. I need to get some pictures of her facial expressions--oh man, she cracks me up.
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