I hope that you have a cup a coffee in hand and a few minutes to spare because this is going to be quite an entry. First, let me start at the beginning. July. In the first weeks of July we found out that we were pregnant with our fourth child. Thrilled, but apprehensive we decided not to share our news with anyone until we were through our first trimester September 1, 2010. Below is the first entry of Hall baby # 4's journal.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Hello Sweet Little One,
What a WONDERFUL surprise!! We are so excited that you are here. We found out about you on July 7, but we had a feeling the weekend before that you had shown up! ;). I am almost 5 weeks pregnant, and so far I feel great. I have been really tired, which is completely normal. Thankfully, my tummy has felt better than I expected, which is such a blessing! You are due to arrive March 16, 2011. We have not told anyone about you just yet, because we do not want them to worry! We lost your brother March 4, 2010 and I think the Lord’s timing is amazing! What a blessing to have you around the same time, Joy meets Sorrow ;). I promise to take very good care of you. I am being very tender with my body. Eating well, walking some and napping and sleeping as much as I can so that you have the best opportunity to grow and thrive. You hang in there sweet baby. We want you more than you will ever know!! We love you bigger than the whole sky!! Mama and Daddy.
I spent the first weeks excited and scared to death. But once we were about 7 weeks in with no problems, the anxiety started to fade and I spent the next weeks smiling and rubbing my tummy. God is amazing, here he has given us another baby right at a very difficult time in our lives that is due in March, right at our sweet Bennett's birthday. He knows just what we need!!
July 20, 2010
Hello little one. We are almost 6 weeks along and so far you are doing just fine! We are very excited that you are here. We have not told many people about you, because we want you to be our little miracle and we are waiting to give them all a BIG surprise. Jeff Buffo and Sean Totten and Uncle Mike are the only ones that know right now. Oh and our midwives Stacie and Debbie. Scooter knows too even though she is not quite big enough to understand. We have our first appt with Stacie on August 11, we will be through 9 weeks by then. I am taking good care of you, feeding you well and resting when I can. I have been really tired, but my tummy has felt pretty good so I am grateful for that. Daddy is very excited that you are here and we pray for your health every night. We love you sweet one. Mommy and Daddy.
As August approached my anxiety faded and was replaced by guilt and sadness for me sweet little boy that was due to arrive on August 13. We told a few more people and still had no problems with the pregnancy. I had some nausea and some other pregnancy symptoms which we welcomed but other than that we were cruising right along!!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Hi Sweet Baby, It’s your mama again. We are just over 8 weeks along and everything is going really well. We have told just a few more people including Aunt Sissy. She is SO EXCITED!! I feel good. I have a lot of nausea and I am pretty tired, but overall I am feeling great. I have gained quite a bit of weight already, which is unusual for me in the first trimester. I think I have gained at least 5 lbs! But, I’ll take it, its better than gaining no weight! We are all trying to stay cool in the hot summer here in Franklin TN. Daddy is really busy and the business is going well. The girls are having fun playing inside and out together. So far, I think you are a boy, but truthfully boy or girl I am going to be so excited when you are here and healthy!! I love you little one and so does daddy. He rubs on my belly every night. So if you are wondering where the massage is coming from, it’s him. MMWA!
At my ninth week of pregnancy, we had our first midwife appointment scheduled. It happened to be the same day that my mother in law was coming into town. We still intended to wait to tell everyone, but in the middle of a crazy day sweet Doc let the cat out of the bag and told his mama that we were going to the midwife. So, that evening after our appointment I called and shared the news with Janet and Big. Everyone was SO excited and even more excited that we were having such an uneventful pregnancy.
When you have lost a baby later in the pregnancy, the fear of losing one early is not near as strong as the fear that grows inside of you the further along you get. I had accepted that we had a great chance of an early miscarriage and was ready for it if it came. It was the later weeks that I was worried about. The further along I got the more I pleaded with God to keep me healthy and protect my baby. At ten weeks we were doing just fine. My mother in law had come for a visit, my brother had visited and my mom and dad were here for a weekend, last weekend as a matter of fact.
On Monday mom and dad left and that my friends is where the nightmare begins. Monday August 23, 2010 I started spotting. Ten weeks and five days with no problems and then here it came. So, as always Doc and I took it in stride. We went to bed praying hard and got up optimistic. As the day progressed the spotting got a little worse but not too bad, so we scheduled an ultrasound. Now if you know us at all, you know what it took for us to schedule an ultrasound. But we had decided that if we had a shot to keep this baby we were going to do whatever it took! So Doc cleared his schedule, Aunt Kasey once again came to our rescue to keep the girls last minute, and off we went to Waynesboro, TN for and 11 week ultrasound of our fourth child.
I realize that you are probably wondering why we drove an hour and a half for an ultrasound when we are twenty minutes from Nashville. Well we knew that if we went to just any MD at 11 weeks pregnant they would insist on a vaginal ultrasound. What sense does it make to do a vaginal ultrasound on a woman who is already threatening miscarriage?? Obviously it makes a lot of sense to most practicing OBs, but to us it is just plain stupid to put a foreign object inside of a woman who is trying desperately to keep her baby from coming out!! It was a long drive and we talked a lot about what we would do if the results were good and what we would do if the results were bad. We had decided that if the baby was alive, it was on! Bed rest, cramp bark, wild yam cream (hormones), whatever it took! If the baby was not alive and it was a ten or eleven week baby we were going to go in for another D&C. We knew the risk was too high for me to hemorrhage and to do that all over again was not an option!!
We got there at 2:30 PM and at 4:30 PM we got in the car with inconclusive results that they "were not able to find a baby" on the ultrasound. The MD was kind, she left us with a little glimmer of hope with a story about her daughter who had an eleven week ultrasound where the baby was "hiding" and two weeks later they were able to see a perfectly healthy 13 week baby. But deep down I think we knew. We still prayed for a miracle and agreed to do the hormone testing the next day. We headed home to our girls with a box of Krispy Kreme that we had both earned talking about how "lucky" we were that the baby had died early because the miscarriage would be easier on my body and we would be able to do it at home with little risk. Now that I think about it, what you must have had to go through to be tickled about an early miscarriage...unreal. I digress, we were home about an hour and a half later and our sweet girls sure were happy to see us!
Presley is too young to really grasp anything that is going on, but Scooter is old enough to know when something is wrong, and she knew. That morning before we left she overheard me on the phone with our midwife and she brought me a tampon. Later we were sitting on the couch and she said "mommy, you need to go see daddy and let him fix your tummy". Sweet girl, she has been worried about my tummy for 10 months. So we came in the house as if everything was fine. The miscarriage started not long after we were home. Truthfully, it was not fun but it was not awful. I hung in there pretty well, texting my sister and talking to the girls in between painful cramps. At the peak of it Doc and Kasey took the girls outside so that they would be distracted. I called one of the midwives once I passed the part that was actually the baby. It was not very big and really it was only a little sack with a small placenta attached. A small incomplete placenta. And the nightmare continues.
I called Stacie and told her what had passed and explained that the bleeding had not stopped. She told me I had about ten more minutes before I needed to go to the hospital. The hospital!? Seriously!? This was a 7 or 8 week miscarriage for crying out loud! This should be over and done with already!! We aren't going back to the hospital!! Ten minutes later I called Doc who was outside with the girls and told him the news. He came in and got things ready. I called Janet, again, to come and stay with us because we had no idea what to expect. Little did we know at that time we really had no idea. Kasey stayed with the girls and off we went back to Maury Regional Hospital with a bag containing a change of clothes, anti bleed, shepherds purse, and the remains of our fourth child with the same prayer we had 6 months before, "God please don't let anything bad happen to me, I have two babies at home".
We arrived at Maury Regional at about 8 PM with a sense of urgency that was not met by the staff. I was wheeled in, asked to sign papers and given a bracelet all while I sat in the wheel chair losing more blood. They took me back to another ER room, the nurse introduced herself and asked me if she could get me something for pain or nausea. I explained that I had been bleeding for a while and only wanted something to stop the bleeding. COME ON PEOPLE you have seen my history and the clothes I wore in, do something!!! Doc tried his best to be patient but started getting antsy as I told him I was starting to feel light headed. I laid on the bed and bled over and over again, every time the staff changed the bed and explained that the doctor would be in to assess shortly. A few minutes later the doctor came in, I told him quickly my story and history with Bennett and the reiterated that I had been bleeding too much for too long. He was less than reactionary and said he would be back shortly to assess the bleeding.
Okay I get it, I do, I get that people go into the ER all of the time thinking that they are having a heart attack when they have gas, or that their kid is going to bleed to death when they really only need 10 stitches. I get that they are used to people over reacting. But friends, we all know my history and the hospital not only has it but we told them again when we got there!! Doc must have said six times if he said it once, " I don't understand what we are waiting on, she needs to go upstairs to Labor and Delivery for a D&C!" They ignored him every time. I have no idea how long the doctor was gone, all I know is that I looked at my husband and I said, "something is wrong, I don't feel good". I heard one nurse say to the other, "she doesn't feel good, go get the doctor I'll stay with her". That is about all I remember for the next ten minutes or so. I heard machines going off and I know we went from two nurses to about 6 people in the room working on me at once. I heard voices talking about low blood pressure readings, I had two different people starting IVs at once and everything was blurry. Doc was standing next to me and I told him he needed to pray for me, he did and then they had him move to the end of the bed. A few minutes later I broke out into a cold sweat. My vision came back and at the end of the bed I saw my sweet Doc watching as they worked like crazy to get my blood pressure back up. I smiled at him and nodded as if to say, "I'm back!". He smiled back and took a breath, probably the first one he had taken in the last ten minutes. I laid there looking at him and thinking of how grateful I was to be the one that almost bled to death rather than the one watching the most important person in my life lay in a hospital bed and unable to do a thing to help them. Poor sweet Doc.
Once they got my blood pressure out of the 60's and 40's and into the 80's and 50's the OB finally came in. He mentioned a D&C and a hysterectomy. Doc almost knocked him across the room as he made it clear that we were leaving with all of the parts that we came in with. He asked about our history, we told him about the girls and our sweet boy we had lost just 6 months ago. He made sure to tell us to "count our blessings" which is probably our least favorite of all of the stock replies that we get when we talk about losing one of our babies. Without going into the gory details I will tell you that we were able to leave the ER without another D&C and with my uterus ;). That and the fact that we were able to opt of the blood transfusion that the ER doc desperately wanted us to have, is the best news I have to share.
They kept us longer than we would have liked but we did not stay overnight. After explaining that we gave them quite a scare they let us go home at about 3 AM. We left with a lot of band aids, a bag of bloody towels, some paperwork on how to recover from a miscarriage (like we needed those), a prescription and without a baby, again. On the way home Doc offered to stop at the same Waffle House we stopped at on March 14th, I declined the offer unable to stomach a meal and ready to get into my bed. I rode home thinking about how grateful we should be that I actually got to go home to my girls. All the way thanking God for that.
The rest of the week is a blur. Physically, I felt decent considering what I had been through. I came home very anemic and exhausted. I brought with me a headache that I still have not seemed to shake which is probably due to the anemia or all of the meds they pushed into me, I am not sure which. Emotionally, I am pretty sure we are both still in shock. We have not even had time to deal with the fact that we lost another baby. Truthfully, a lot of what happened just reminded us of our boy and that made it all even harder. I remember in the thick of things they brought in a little blue box for Doc to put the little baby sack into and as he dumped it into that box I heard him say, " I hate these boxes". Our little boy is buried in one of those boxes. That's two babies in two blue boxes in six months. No wonder he hates them.
That's it my friends. That's the latest on the Hall family. We have been in TN for just over a year. We have moved twice, started a business, buried a little boy and now we can add a miscarriage to the list. How am I feeling? Defeated is probably the best word to describe me at this point. Doc is the cheerleader and I am the team that is down two touchdowns in the 4th with 4 minutes left. Just last night I all but begged him to take me home, and I don't mean for the weekend. Actually I begged him to take me anywhere but just to get me out of TN!! I know, I get it, "wherever you go there you are". Do I really blame TN for the loss of my two babies? Nope. Do I really think moving would change whatever else God has planned for us this year? Nope. Was it a completely irrational and emotional request? Yep. Did I mean it? Yep. Do I think it will happen? Absolutely not. We are here to stay, period. I will tell you that I am beyond happy that we do not own this house because I HATE that damn red bathroom.
I don't know what God has planned for us. I am not sure that we will have any more babies, right now it does not seem to make much sense to take that risk. I have no idea how we will feel about it in a year or two but we'll see. Today I am just happy to be home with my babies and have a husband that loves me enough to let me have a complete irrational breakdown right in the middle of the chaos that is his life. My plan yesterday was to pack this house and move anywhere he would take me. My plan today is to enjoy the friends we have coming to bring us lunch and to do laundry ;).
Children are a gift. We don't earn them, they are not something God owes us and we do not get them just because we want them. I know that. Just like any other gift they are to be cherished and handled with care knowing that at anytime we could lose them. Today I am thankful for the two most precious gifts that are sitting in my living room playing tea party while I type. I promise you that I did not deserve them, nor did I earn them. I just have a Father that loved me regardless of all of my mistakes and wanted to spoil me rotten! That's why I have these girls and that is why I have my sweet Doc.
Though a part of me thinks that Jesus is getting a little greedy with my babies, the truth is that I was not worthy of any of them. Honestly, I am blown away by the fact that He loved me enough to not only give me two beautiful healthy girls but to also give me their father that is by far the best man I have ever met. So today I will praise Him and thank Him and know that even in the middle of what seems like hell on earth, He loves me very much and has blessed me beyond measure. Tomorrow, we'll see, tomorrow I may be packing the kitchen ;).
Love and Blessings,