Monday, December 2, 2013

2 week check-up

Today we went to my two week checkup with Dr. Ward.  I'll just say, thank you God for putting these people into my life.  You know who I need and when I'll need them and you set each meeting up before this all even happened.  I know how you worked out each detail of our lives to make sure our paths crossed.  Dr. Ward is one of these blessings.  So is Amy.  Conversations on facebook with her (a bereaved mother herself) and reading her blog has been great "counseling." And then there is Mallie.  Mallie is our Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer. She is nothing short of an angel on Earth who knows what God wants her to do and she does it.  It has to be one of the hardest jobs there is.  To know this woman is a blessing.  NILMDTS is a precious organization that provides priceless photos to parents who have to say hello and goodbye to their precious babies in the same moments. Thank you Lord, you are so faithful to me.  You also recently showed me the story of King David in 2 Solomon.  Yes, he lost his son, but he had another! I feel like God has put these stories in front of me to reassure me that we will have another.

We got our preliminary autopsy results at the appt.  Turns out that the only thing they really found was that Jaxon may have been older than we thought.  My placenta looked to be the age of 40+ weeks and Jaxon looked to be about 42 weeks gestation age.  But that doesn't mean that is what caused his death.  We told our story and sequence of events to Dr. Ward and she said that what made the most sense is Jaxon's cord was pinched off.  She said he experienced no pain, because when this happens, the baby gets groggy and falls asleep.  No pain.  Thank you Lord for that reassurance.  I have been feeling terrible at the thought of causing my son's death.  I was afraid that my body had crushed him, that my uterus was having so many contractions one on top of the other that he was hurting.  Thank you God for the reassurance that my Jaxon didn't feel pain.

These past couple of days have been better.  I have cried both days, yes, but for the right things.  I've cried because I miss my baby so much.  I've cried because I had a thought of what I'd be doing with him that moment, or what I'd be doing with him this month.  It's december now… I had so many plans for Jaxon and I this month.  For John-Michael, Jaxon, and I as a family getting ready for Christmas.  For my mom and Jaxon and I getting the apartment decorated for Christmas and taking him to see some lights.  Babies love lights.  I'm mourning that loss.  But I'm not dwelling on the "what if we'd done this or that differently." What happened happened and we can't change that.

I'm looking forward to what this next year brings.  I do believe that a year from now I'll be pregnant again.  I feel God is somehow reassuring me that we will have more kids.  It helps me look forward when I hear stories of other families that lost a child and went on to have another.  They call them "rainbow babies."  Often, rainbows come after a hard storm.  They are not promised after every storm, but when they do come, the focus changes.  I like rainbows, they are beautiful and they bring happiness after a long, hard storm.  A baby can definitely do that.  These people are ok.  And we will be ok too.  It will just take time.

I go back to work tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to the looks of sympathy and possible weird comments of those trying to offer comfort.  We will see!  Amy said, it's ok just try to remember they are just trying to make you feel better and they care for you.  And that is so true… people don't know what to say and that's ok.  Just like there is no "right way" to grieve, i guess there is no "right way" to offer sympathy.  But maybe there is a wrong way… I hope I don't get any of those wrong ways lol.

Amy has been such a blessing.  I've never even met her, but I just know God has placed her in my life to help.  She went through a stillbirth with her baby girl Kaitlyn just two months before I lost my Jaxon.  She is handling it so well.  And her blog is so real.  And that is the inspiration for my blog.  Emotion sorting.  It makes more sense when I write.  And maybe it will help someone else along with their grief.  I know I have felt every emotion possible.  Resentment is big right now.  We drove past Swiss avenue, the street where the birthing center is located.  I wanted to throw up passing that street.  I resent the birthing center.  I resent the sonographer and my midwife.  It might not be a healthy move right now, but I do.  I resent them.  They should have known that low amniotic fluid would pose a risk to my Jaxon.  I should have been sent to the hospital and monitored during my induction.  But then again, my rational self kicks back in control and says… we couldn't have known.  My fluid was not critically low.  How could they have known Jaxon wouldn't handle my contractions well?  How could JM and I have known that we would be the one in a million that would have their precious baby's cord pinched during labor?  We just couldn't have known.

It is a shame that this happened to us.  Why did it happen to us?  Why not?  We aren't exempt from anything bad happening to us.  Everyone has something happen that changes their life forever.  Our story is devastating, but it is our story.  And many others have the same story.  My old classmate from high school reached out and told me her story.  She had a placenta abruption and lost her baby.  Her baby was on life support, but turned out she was brain dead and they lost her.  How traumatic! My mom's cousin lost her 3 month old to SIDS.  I can't imagine getting to know my child and rock my child and feed my child for 3 whole months and getting that ripped out of my arms.  Others have been through this too and they have survived.  I will survive.  But I hope I do better than just survive.  I hope to carry another baby to full term, and to give birth to this baby and love on him/her forever.  I hope to physically feel my live healthy baby in my arms.  And I will one day. :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 13, 2013

I have felt every feeling there is to feel now.  Before November 13th, I never truly knew what it meant to grieve or had any clue of the emotions that could so easily drown my soul.  In these past two weeks and four days, my faith has never been tested more, my spirit has never been crushed so hard, and my mind has never been so completely unsure of what it was supposed to be thinking.  In fact, that first 5 or 6 hours, it was impossible to think.  My mind was void and empty.  But at the same time there were so many thoughts, questions, emotions, and scenarios flooding my mind- I literally couldn't process a single thing.  I believe those first few hours I was just in shock.  My brain somehow protecting itself from the pain.  But all of that is a bit different now.  My world had come crashing down in one stupid freaking second, and I feel everything now.

I think it will serve me well to write, so I'll start with what happened November 12th and 13th.  Tuesday, the 12th, I was scheduled to go see my midwife for an exam and get a sonogram done.  (The week before, I had developed high blood pressure and my amniotic fluid was dropping.)  Turns out my fluid had dropped from a 10 to a 7, so that afternoon at about 12:30, I was induced with a balloon catheter.  No drugs.  I went home to have cramps- the balloon was expected to thin out my cervix and dilate it to about a 4 or 5.  So I went home expecting to labor there until the famous "5-1-1 rule" had me calling the midwife to come to the birthing center and have my baby boy.  It all went downhill at about 11:30 that night.

My husband, John-Michael, called my midwife at about 11:30… my contractions were ridiculously on top of each other and I couldn't talk through them.  It was time to go!  I wish I could tell you I was excited at this point, but I was in so much pain, it was unreal.  I wanted so badly to get into the tub.  We get to the birthing center, she checks me and I am only 3 cm dilated!!! This was not good for the amount of pain I was in.  Then my world began to crash.  She couldn't find the heartbeat.  She could only find mine.  The next hour or so seemed like an eternity and the blink of an eye all at the same time.   We immediately rushed to Baylor hospital, 3 mins down the street.  But my baby was gone.  I believe my baby Jaxon passed away sometime between 10pm tuesday night (the last time I remember feeling my Jaxon kick me in the ribs) and midnight wednesday morning (when we arrived at the birthing center.)  I would give anything to redo that day.  Anything except my husband.

The staff at Baylor was amazing.  Their compassion for John-Michael and I was unexpected and so comforting.  I immediately got an epidural- what's the point of a natural labor now?!? I didn't care about anything anymore.  My mind has never been so inactive… just a white noise.  My sweet baby boy was gone… I didn't have any thoughts.  My mind was void.   I couldn't cry.  I felt sorry that this happened to my husband.  I was worried about my husband.  I've never seen a grown man fall to his knees and sob the way he did.  I've never seen so much agony in someone's eyes and I pray that I will never see that face on my husband again.  All I could do was tell my John-Michael that our sweet Jaxon was in heaven now.  What did that even mean?!?  Did I even really believe that?!?  Like I said, my faith had never been tested more.  It is easy to say that when you don't so desperately need it to be true.  "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  I repeated these words over and over in my head, but I still had not shed one tear.

It wasn't until about 7 in the morning that I was alone in the hospital room.  I looked at the baby station directly in front of me.  You know, the station where they take your newborn baby and weigh him and measure how long he is, they check on his breathing and his coloring.  It hit me like a sledge hammer right between the eyes.  I wouldn't get to hear my Jaxon cry.  I would never hear my baby cry.  The pain and agony of losing my sweet Jaxon finally hit me.  Regret, guilt, anger, emptiness, sadness, more anger, more pain, more regret.  What if we had chose to birth in the hospital?  Why in the world didn't we induce labor in the hospital?!?!?!  There would have been a monitor on me and my Jaxon.  We would have known that my baby boy was struggling and he would have had a chance at surviving.  My uterus crushed my baby.  I killed my baby.  My body betrayed me and most unforgivably it betrayed the baby it was supposed to nourish and protect.  These thoughts are so dangerous, but they are so undeniably real.

My Jaxon was born 9 days early on Wednesday, November 13 at 4:37 pm.  He weighed 6lbs 12oz and he was at least 21inches long. I knew he would be long.  (He definitely was NOT the 5 1/2 lb skinny and frail looking baby my midwife and sonographer thought he would be.)  My sweet boy looked exactly like his daddy.  The only thing I could claim was his chin.  My baby had my chin.  He had beautiful hair that had blondes and reds and browns, all which could have come from either side.  He had chubby cheeks.  He was perfect.  I miss his baby legs and feet under my right ribs.  I miss my Jaxon desperately.