Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My baby...

This blog is supposed to be about all aspects of my life, Christian, wife, homemaker, auntie, sister, daughter, and now mommy, to a heavenly baby. I really haven't talked about her on here, and I'm not sure why. I pretty much stopped writing when I found out I was pregnant, and then even stopped writing in my journals when I lost her. But she is a part of my life, and with her due date coming up, I wanted to share her with you. I will try to make this post as non-graphic as possible, but I want it to be a realistic picture of what happened, to help other women who might be going through the same thing.

May 11, 2012 was both one of the saddest days of the year, and one of the most joyous. Our beloved Max passed away on that day, and that was also the day we found out we were pregnant! This was our first, and we were over the moon. I wanted to go straight out and register that day, let alone telling everyone! We decided not to tell anyone until we got the official test, but that didn't last. We were 2 days away from Mother's Day, and I could think of no better Mother's Day present for my mom. So we called her, Dad, my husband's dad & step-mom, and a few other family members. We posted on facebook to let everyone else know on Saturday. I even got to celebrate my first Mother's Day as a Mommy by going out with a friend to a Mother's Day lunch with the Duggar family. It was wonderful.

We went to the local pregnancy center, as I didn't have a doctor, to get our official test and on May 18th we had official proof that we were parents. We went straight out and registered at Walmart, Target & Toys R Us.

May 26 there was a carnival in town for tornado relief. I went with a few friends, and was having a great day. After a while, we were getting ready to have lunch, and were walking over that way, when I tripped over a tent peg. We weren't sure exactly how I had fallen, or how hard I'd fallen. So we decided that it would be best to go to the hospital to get checked out. We headed over to St. John's. We got to have an ultrasound done, and when the doctor came in to talk to us, he told us that our baby wasn't there. That we had what was called a "blighted ovum" (for more information about blighted ovums, please visit: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/blightedovum.html).

We were devastated! We didn't know what was going on. I went home and immediately started researching the diagnosis, and finding that there is a huge rate of misdiagnosis in early pregnancies. Well, I had thought that I was almost 7 weeks pregnant, with a due date of January 14th. They told me I was measuring a bit earlier than that, but that the baby wasn't there. We prayed, we had lots of friends, family & churches praying. We left the whole thing up to God.

When we arrived at the doctor's office on June 1, they asked me if I was there for a follow up on a blighted ovum, and I told them no. That I knew there was a baby there. They just kinda looked at me like I was crazy, but took me on back. We went through the regular parts of the visit, the history, etc. Then they took me back for an ultrasound. The doctor first had the screen turned away from us, and after not much time at all, I heard a heartbeat! It was much different from the sound I'd heard a week before when it was supposed to have been my ovaries that they were checking. It was the best sound I've heard in my whole life. We got 4 pictures printed out, one that showed her heartbeat. That was Friday.

Wednesday night, I was sitting with my elderly friend, Mary, when I started spotting. I was concerned, but wasn't too worried about it, until the next morning. It started picking up by the time I left her house around noon. My husband was supposed to go to work at 3, so we had him call in so he could be home in case something happened. By supper time, I was laying on the couch, cramping pretty bad, with the heating pad. I took some tylenol but it wasn't cutting it at all. We decided to go to the hospital. By the time we got there I started passing large clots. It took a while to get back in the ER, and as it turns out, it was because they thought I was only having abdominal cramps. Somewhere between the nurses out front, who knew what was happening, the triage nurse, who knew what was happening, and the people in the back, there were crossed wires. Shortly after we got to the back, my mom's best friend, my sister, my dad's best friend & his wife arrived and stood around with us in the back. The doctors quickly took me to ultrasound. The tech came in to take my blood and as he was finishing up, he got a call, not to take my blood. The doctor came in and told me that I had lost the baby. We waited around for what seemed like hours (though I'm sure it was not), and were finally discharged and able to go home.

It has now been 8 months and 1 day since she went home to heaven. While we were too early to know the baby's sex, we chose to name her Tzeitel Dawn Old, because we had felt all along that we were having a girl. Tzeitel, being Yiddish for Sarah, meaning princess, and Dawn, being my name, and also meaning a new day. She is forever a princess who opened her eyes to a new day in the arms of her Savior.

We have spent a good amount of time in the last 8 months trying to find things that we could do to keep her memory alive, and to honor her, by helping other mommy's who have to wait until heaven to hold their baby. We are currently working on starting talks with the hospital where we lost her, to start programs to help these mommies and make sure that no one leaves the hospital empty handed, and no one feels alone.

I am also starting a memorial business, Earthly Creations by Dawn. For right now I will be making plaques and picture frames not only for the memory of heavenly babies, but for any occasion.

I have also started a facebook group for people who have lost babies in the Joplin area. Joplin Area Baby Loss Community can be found by clicking on the link. It is a closed group, so you can feel free to post anything, without worrying about someone else seeing it.

I hope by sharing my story, I help to bring awareness to the almost 2 million babies who go to heaven before they reach 20 weeks gestation. 1 in 4 pregnancies. And most go without any explanation. Mommies who have no answer as to why their baby is now in eternity instead of in their arms. Please don't feel sorry for me, I have had enough sympathy in the last 8 months. All I ask is that you do something in her memory. If you would like, when the time comes, to help with the programs at St. John's, we'd be delighted to have you! Please help me keep my daughter's memory alive.