Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Pregnancy Story

I am really at a loss of where to begin when it comes to this post. I haven't posted a thing about it because quite frankly, I have been scared sick from the beginning.

I am sure this post will get altered many times the next couple months. It will also be all over the place. Bear with me.

Brian has also made sure I feel okay about what is written here. That when our child reads this in 12 years, they will feel fine about it.

I am quite certain that judgments will be made against me but I have always been honest and share my feelings. Tell it how it is. I am real. Not only for me, but for others sake, if you haven't walked their journey, don't judge the path. As honest as I can be, I have been hesitant in decided whether or not I want people knowing my true feelings this time around. It's such a personal situation. I would rather not have people look at me, or my baby, and wonder what I am thinking or how I will react.

All this being said, we have reached a point where others need to know what Baby Lund #3 is. But first, lets start at the beginning.

After we lost Eden all I could think about was trying to get pregnant again. I was already in pregnancy mode and knew the wound would slightly be healed if I had a baby to take care of. I wasn't looking for a replacement because I knew that no baby would be exactly what I had. I realize abies are not like batteries. Nothing can explain the feeling of going half a pregnancy and not gaining anything from it. Nothing to show, nothing tangible to hold. I wanted that, I NEEDED that.

My Doctor was very sweet to give us the go ahead a cycle sooner than we should have. Even before, we were trying to not be so careful. I was really wanting to have a baby by December so instead of hurt, empty arms, and awful memories, I could have a baby, happiness, and make December one of good memories again. When that didn't happen, it was pretty devastating.

I then told myself if I could just be pregnant by the time Eden was due in May, I wouldn't have to let that awful day come and go without all the pain.

I think I gave myself too many "deadlines."

I thought the stress of it all was affecting the outcome. with Hayden, my two miscarriages, and Eden, I got pregnant on the first month. Teagan was the longest at 2 months. I am not here to boast about my fertility. In fact, my viable pregnancy rates are not good. I remember telling myself after the first miscarriage that I would rather not be able to get pregnant. At least until it would be a viable pregnancy. A woman on the other side of things, might rather be in my position. Sometimes other people's trials seem less tragic than ours but I know that isn't always true.

Well, I was not pregnant by May, the due date month. I had been told it's hard for your body to get pregnant for six months after a delivery because the pregnancy and milk hormone is still so high that your body doesn't realize you AREN'T pregnant. After talking to my nurse, she didn't think this necessarily held true. She didn't think what my body was doing was actually normal. I had given it the 6 months before I took any kind of action.

I spent from January till July having that constant disappointment. I really tried to enjoy my boys and not take over my life. Just as I have tried earnestly to not let this whole trial of losing our baby girl take over. I did have to tell myself it was okay for Hayden and Teagan live the experience as well because they are part of this family. Eden was their sister. I just didn't want to waste my precious time while my kids would only be 4 and 2 once.

During this time however, I struggled with my spirituality significantly. I wondered how such a loss and difficulty getting pregnant again was ever "in the plans, supposed to happen." For me, it is much easier to look at a trial that perhaps some of my choices led me there. I don't believe something I did or didn't do lead me to the loss of something I wanted SO BADLY and then having a hard time getting pregnant. It stings to bad to think that way.

We were about to start our road on fertility when I decided to give it one more month. That was the month. I will tell you why I think it was the magical month later on in this post.

I was nervous as expected. I knew any pregnancy following Eden was going to be a trial. I was warned by several people who had been through similar experiences. As I walked on eggshells, things seemed to be working out. We scheduled our first ultrasound around 6 weeks. That day certainly didn't offer me a bit of comfort. When we were there, the ultrasound tech saw a sac. That already, was better than one scenario of ours. The problem was that because I knew exact dates, they were a little concerned it wasn't further along. She also saw a pocket of blood that might eventually show itself. Might being the key word there. Well, it did. I went in for my lovely Rhogam shot and another ultrasound all within the next week of that ultrasound. It was a whirlwind of a week for us. The good news is that they were finally able to see a heartbeat.

As the pregnancy progressed, I was still nervous about EVERYTHING. I am a smart enough gal to know that I didn't have any control over the situation. Certainly a very small portion, if any. When we were about 16 weeks, I wanted to get another ultrasound. I hadn't been able to feel movement yet like I had around 15 weeks or so with Teagan. Hayden was later, but also my first. I also wanted some peace of mind that the baby was still living. 16 1/2 weeks was when Eden passed away even though we didn't find out till almost 19 weeks. We went in but had already determined at this point that finding out the gender would add too much extra emotional burden to my plate.

I felt like people were rooting for me, I had a team. Prayers everywhere were being said in my behalf for the health of this baby and my well being.

It hasn't been easy listening to people's comments and scenarios. People everywhere were pressuring me, but I still knew in my heart the time was just not right to know the gender. I was so in love with this baby and wanted the time to just bond with the baby, no gender attached.

I knew either way, this special spirit had to be noble to follow such an act.

I knew if I found out it was a girl, I would be a wreck not knowing if my body could carry a healthy girl full term. I knew if it was a boy, I would have to deal with several different emotions. I know part of me was trying to keep from being too attached as well.

We told them we weren't finding out the sex but we wanted the video and pictures to include it for future us. As we were there the tech kept using terms that sounded like "he" before she even got to the gender area. My mom and I both addressed it. She said, "people always think that when I say certain words." She found the gender pretty quickly and I was a little skeptical because Eden had been so modest with her dainty legs crossed.

It really didn't bother me not knowing. People kept saying how "exciting" it would be. It wasn't for the excitement factor.

My 20 week routine ultrasound was scheduled for the 19th of December. Again, we were set on not finding out. The tech was very careful to not let us have any clues. I knew with Eden's birthday being just days away, the gender thing would either make or break me. I wanted to enjoy the Holidays. Everything checked out great and I was on cloud 9. Such a relief and such a neat experience to see my baby moving about, healthy and alive. We also found that the placenta was in the front, limiting the sensation of movement.

When the feelings of regular movement existed, attachment to the baby was stronger. We talked to the baby, I rubbed my belly more. It became real again.

Everything went well until New Years Day. I woke up and had spotting yet again. Just like the time before, It was Sunday and obviously the office was closed. I have had bleeding be an "okay" thing and I have had it be the "worst" thing. We didn't waste any time. We went straight to the emergency room over at the Riverton Hospital close by. I, of course was nervous, but the feelings I had that day varied quite a bit from the day I went in for the bleeding with Eden. At this point of pregnancy I was pretty sure I was feeling movement, but wasn't confidant in anything. We spent a good 3 to 4 hours there and things looked okay. We listened to the heartbeat, monitored uterine activity, got another Rhogam shot, and had an exam. Then I was put on Pelvic rest until my next appointment with my own Doctor. I literally felt as if I shouldn't move until then. As I sat in that triage room, I couldn't believe I was there. I wondered why I didn't deserve an easy pregnancy. I told Brian as we drove home that day that if they had done an ultrasound, I would have not been concerned about "not finding out." It just didn't seem worth it anymore. Luckily that situation didn't arise.

On January 17th I had an appointment at my office. Since my doctor was out of town, we met with my nurse. When she opened up our folder she gave us a funny look and said, "you guys aren't finding out the gender?" When we told her "no" she said, "I won't tell you then because it is right here in the notes." Brian wanted a rise out of her so he said, "we are really hoping for a boy!" She made another face and said, "you are?"I quickly chimed in and said, "no, obviously we are hoping for a girl." She then preceded to tell us about how she has 4 boy and it has been extremely hard now that they are grown, out of the house, and married. She told us "he or she is very cute and I hope you get a girl one of these days."

We left a little confused. I felt like I was trying to read too much into it. Just as I did with my two ultrasounds. We looked at each other and asked ourselves if we should just find out. We kind of decided at that point that maybe we should and just keep it between ourselves. This was a Tuesday and by Friday, we still hadn't had the guts to do anything. I had spend the week in complete anxiety over it. I felt that I was a blank stare. My mind was so focused on this very thing that my mothering skills were less than superb. I started shopping online for both genders, obsessed with Chinese predictions, and old wives tales. Literally, I was consumed.

During the next few days I was so worn out and at my wits end. I swore up and down that I would just lose it if I had another male and more testosterone in the house. My boys have my whole heart, but boys will be boys. They are loud, they are crude, they are busy and rambunctious. They team up against me!

That Friday night we had a date night. We discussed why it was probably time to just bite the bullet. I told Brian what I "thought" the baby actually was, but what it "felt" like. They were both different. Many experiences had led me to my conclusion...

Everyday after the loss of Eden my prayers consisted of asking for a baby girl. I knew if I could conceive, carry, deliver, and hold a sweet baby girl it would take away some of the hurt. I would accomplish the one thing I had lost. I would be able to rest my body and enjoy my family. I thought it was a righteous desire. After six months or so, I became tired and angry. I stopped praying for anything altogether. Prayer didn't save my baby girl and it wasn't getting me anywhere this time. The next month I became pregnant. I kind of knew at that point that I had been asking for the wrong things. At the time, I didn't want to believe what I truly believed.

My weight gain had already matched perfectly with my weight gain with Hayden and Teagan. With both of them, I gained 10 or so pounds before a positive pregnancy test. With Eden, at almost 19 weeks, I had gained 10-15 pounds total.

I also felt that getting what I desired most was a too good to be true fairytale.

The hard part was "feeling" different. I was so much sicker, just like I had been with Eden. The nasty taste in my mouth, over-production of saliva, and other symptoms felt much more similar to Eden than my boys. In fact, Teagan (being the second boy) was an absolute breeze of a pregnancy.

Beside some of the physical stuff, when I pictured this baby, I pictures me, as a baby. Black hair, looks a little like Teagan. When I imagined a girl or heard people tell me they thought it was a girl, the feelings I got inside were indescribable. It felt "good". It felt "whole."

Back to our date night. We put the boys to bed and snuggled up in bed to watch the 16 week ultrasound video. My heart couldn't have been beating any faster...until it stopped altogether. There it was, no longer a mystery child. I told Brian to turn it off, I couldn't watch anymore. We were both just laying there in bed just numb as could be. I don't remember ever feeling that way in my life. I think the only words that came from my mouth that night were, "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to think."

Although my thoughts were correct, it was still hard to swallow.

I slept for maybe an hour or two that night. All the same feelings that were present at the time of Eden's passing, came flooding back to me. I relived the entire thing in it's entirety. The next few days felt the same as after the loss. It didn't help the days were dark, wet, and gloomy. I detached myself again. I couldn't talk to the baby, I couldn't touch my belly. It was all a dream. Or, nightmare really.

This led to more and more guilt. Why couldn't I just be happy. Why was I so selfish. Here I was with a perfectly healthy baby and all I could feel was complete sadness. I thought about all the women out there who would give it all for the very thing I had.

The next morning I told Hayden we found out what the baby was. He had been anxiously waiting. He quickly shouted, "IT'S A GIRL?!?" I told him, "no, it's a boy." I tried to keep my composure. He was sweet and sensitive as always and let out a weak, "yay!" My heart broke. I felt I had let him down. Just as I had my whole fan club.

I think we all envision a certain life and while it is truly unrealistic to actually believe you will achieve it the exact way you want it, this was very far from what I had in mind. Not only because I never saw my family looking like this, but I had spent several weeks of my past pregnancy with a different family dynamic planned for my future.

Would I ever use the "pink" I had bought several months previous?

I was utterly sick of the boy clothes, the boy bedding, boy colors, etc.

Besides all the material stuff, there was more. I wanted a shopping partner, someone who would stay behind during all the boys camp-outs, have girls night outs. Have that Daddy's little princess. Add some sass to this family. A girl I could buy dolls for and show her the things I used to love. A daughter we could support at dance recitals or cheer. Send her on dates. Worry about her like crazy. A girl who would help plan family outings and fun activities. Someone to plan a wedding with, someone to be there with and coach when she had her first baby. Be the "A" grandparent of her children to. Someone to hold the family together. One who would visit often. A daughter to make sure our needs are met when we are old.

Not to say that all these things would actually happen but even the thought that a few of them would, was enough.

Although I will have a daughter in the eternal aspect, there are things that I wanted to experience with her in this life.

Before finding out the gender of this little guy, I had the impression that this wasn't it for us. I felt we would have another one regardless of it being a boy or girl. The thought of that basically knocked me onto the floor. I cannot express how hard this pregnancy has been physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This is the sixth pregnancy in six years we have been married. I can barely move, I have had extreme up and downs, and my spirituality has struggled significantly. I cannot imagine putting myself through another stressful pregnancy. More than that, putting my sweet husband and boys through it again.

We have been very careful at first with who we let in on our little secret. I wasn't up for any "feel better scenarios" or anything for that matter. If I have learned anything from the loss it is that people aren't generally comfortable with it and don't know what to do or say. I therefore, have had no expectations. But when some try (or not) try, sometimes the things said are hurtful.

"You will just have to try again" or "How high are you willing to go to get a girl?"

"Oh, it will be fun to have all boys"

"You already know what you are doing."

"Girls are just drama anyways"

These are just a few.

Apparently it wasn't enough to face one pregnancy after holding a dead infant in arms.

Oh yes, the shouting, rough housing, and crude talk is so fun that I want to absolutely add some more on.

Having a girl, being a girl myself, would have been too much. I lack the knowledge in what girls want, wear, do, and like.

I could use some sass in the house. Girls are different, but I like a little variety.

I don't need people to feel awkward or feel like they are on eggshells. I just want people to try and understand. That is all I really ask for.

I find myself wanting so badly to relate to others when I am having a tough time. Therefore, a lot of people who found out were those in similar circumstances. Even then, I had to realize that what I had was a bit different. It wasn't just the fact I only made boys because I HAD a GIRL. I felt she had been dangled in front of my face.

Several people have had the "right" things to say. I love them for it. The lady I use to nanny for before I had Hayden has always had a way with words. Her own 14 year old son in undergoing chemo right now and for her to feel any concern for me, meant more than I can express. I had told her my feelings about how it felt I lost my baby girl all over again. I told her I knew it would eventually be just fine but right now, it was extremely hard. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing what she wrote back to me.

"Things will be fine when he smiles his first smile at you and wraps his chubby little arms around your neck. Even then, you'll miss her and remember what should have been."

I still can't even read that without choking up.

I remember talking to my mom about it too. She said Heavenly Father must have known how good you were growing up with all brothers. I told her that was the problem. I have spent my whole life being the only girl and now I get to do it all over again. I told her how hard it was for me and even now, I could use a sister like crazy to get me through all of this! Now, I am not sure what this means for me. I know we will have another child. I don't want to stress about getting the girl. In fact, I wonder if I would rather her not grow up the only girl in the family. Not that it didn't have benefits at times, it's just not always easy.

I have certainly had my good days and bad days. Everyone does but they seem a bit more extreme when suffering a little depression.

I have a friend who has helped me significantly in the past year. I met her after losing Eden. I had known a little about her story but didn't know her personally. My friend Chirin had tried for seven years to conceive a baby. After those seven years, invetro was the route they had to take. There was pure excitement upon learning they would have twin boys. At 22 weeks problems arose. She was admitted to the hospital due to one of the twins having an infection. She chose to not deliver just the one. In the days she was there, her water broke. She learned she had an incompetent cervix. Being so young, the Doctors would not try and save either twin. She held both her babies and watched them both pass from this earth. Now that, I can't even begin to imagine. She has since then had a little boy and is pregnant with another boy. We are due one day apart. It has been quite the venture together. She told me after her twins, she would only accept a boy. Even if it was one. Nothing else was acceptable.

Chirin is three years out now. She has two years of experience on me. I tell you this because after having a really tough week, I learned some things from her. I am always learning new things. You see, small things will trigger the anger and sadness. Some things are expected, others are not. After a recent experience of hers, she was feeling so much anger that she wanted to seek some help. She couldn't imagine why three years later, her feelings could still be triggered so deeply.

The woman she saw asked her a few questions. One being why she felt so angry about her current situation. To her it was the lack of understanding coming from others. The woman went on to explain that if she had lost her family in a car accident, people would give her the time and validation needed to work through her loss. For whatever reason, people don't give that same credibility to the loss of an infant.

She also mentioned how badly it hurt to hear of someone having healthy twins.

The woman asked her what it was she ultimately wanted. When Chirin said realistically the work of twins isn't exactly what she wanted but it was what she had and would have loved to have kept them, the lady had an interesting analogy. She related it to being in a competition. She said she feels like she is constantly in a race, a race you keep losing. No matter how many times you get up and try again, someone is always beating you to the finish line.

I couldn't agree more.

The woman told her that such a thing causes you to achieve the "next best thing." For Chirin, it was having two boys, but just not together. For me, it would have been having a girl, just not at the time I had first planned for.

The idea was that when such a loss occurs, it isn't just a simple "reboot." This kind of experience takes a whole re-mapping, or re-writing your life. It takes years to undergo this. You may never be the exact same person you were before but you can still be a happy, good person. Those who have had a loss must come to peace with what happened. Not so much an acceptance as peace.

I have had a hard time coming to a peace with it. I know there is nothing I can change, but perhaps that is one of my biggest problems. I am now in "that category." That group, you never sought after or wanted to be a part of. One never planned.

Another friend that has now lost three angel babies, pinned this quote just when I needed it most...

I printed it right away and am trying earnestly to make it my motto. I don't want to go down to my grave with regrets. I know there will be a few, but I don't want a number of those to be about my own children. How I reared them, spent time with them, viewed them, etc.

I remember feeling slight disappointment when I found out Teagan was a boy. I had felt so different I was sure it was a girl. I also thought I would follow my parents footsteps and have one of each, and not worry the third time around. It was okay, I knew I would have more than two kids. And when I saw his face, it really didn't matter. I was in love. It all felt right.

I guess that is what is the hardest thing for me right now. Nothing feels right and hasn't for well over a year now. I need to find peace. I need to be happy. I try to find the joy in all the little things. Watching Hayden and Teagan does do that for me. They are rewarding and truly satisfying. I know this baby will be the same. I also know there will always be that small void and the feelings of "what should have been." Parents who have suffered such a loss will tell you that several years down the road, they still look at kids that would have been the same age as theirs. It's not something you just "get over" completely. I know that's why I have a hard time being "in that category" now.

Chirin and I were discussing the fact that if we had known all the pain and hurt we would experience the first few years of marriage, would we still have chosen the exact road we did. I absolutely would. The joy and happiness that Hayden and Teagan have brought to me outweigh the suffering. As hard as it is to admit, it has strengthened my marriage to a degree I never thought possible. Some trials cut so deep, I hate to slap any kind of a benefit to it.

I do have a healthy baby boy growing like crazy inside of me. He needs a body, he needs a family. He needs a mom, a good mom. I will love him like I love Hayden and Teagan. I know I will because he will be mine. Something I made with my husband. I know there will be much difficulty also. The rest of this trying pregnancy will be hard to see the end result. I know the delivery will be hard. Especially knowing the last time I was there was for Eden. I will feel her around.

I wish sometimes I could see my life 5 years from now. Maybe I wouldn't worry about certain things. Surely there will be new worries and concerns by then.

Time does heal. It has already become significantly better. It does re-open the wounds when someone has a healthy baby girl or when someone finds out they are expecting a girl. Crazy how that works. I don't tell you this because I don't want to hear about these things. They should absolutely be celebrated. Everyone deserves to achieve their desires. I want people to be able to talk openly and express their feelings. I could sit back and feel sorry, but not really know the desires of these people, not know their full life stories. I've never walked in their shoes. I could make assumptions but I know that will not get me what I want. Besides, I can be happy. This is my life. Who is to say I may not be that person in a few years announcing the girl. It would all seem so silly then. Maybe by then, it won't be so important anyways. I wish I knew but, I don't.

I want others to know that how I felt about having a girl is not correlated with how I feel about my little baby boy. While it has taken time to separate the two, It is more a situational thing, not about him. Such a learning process this has been.

So here's to more blue, more bodily functions and talk of. Here's to much more noise and rambunctious behavior. Here's to getting down and dirty.

I am going to take this baby boy and embrace him with all I have. I know he will bring much happiness, personality, and love to our family. He has a purpose. I am to make him a man. I love him for being strong and brave enough to come at this time. I really am in love. Every kick, punch, and wave of my belly tells me what my body is capable of. That MY little boy is in there, anxious to see me as I am anxious to see him. To give him his first kiss.


Andrea Coles said...

Such a moving post Robyn. I love you more than words and know that this little boy is meant for you at this time. You're such a strong person and I admire you for your ability to verbalize all the things you've been going through. You will always have our prayers for you and also for Eden. It breaks my heart that she's not here, but it does give me comfort to know that Stella has an angel friend who watches over her. And if she's anything like her mom, she's probably been keeping your boys in line waiting until they've each had their turn to join your family.
You know I'm always there for you if you need me... LOVE!!

Somers said...

I believe that he's going to be an amazing, courageous kid. And if you ever need a break from the boys' club, give me a call, you know I can always use one too!

The Shavers said...

You are such a wonderful mom! I love you and your cute eternal family! I'm here if you need anything. And I do mean ANYTHING!

Tammy Faye said...

Robyn.......many times we are left in wonder as to why our lives take on a path that we don't understand....and we will never know in this life. Your little girl is lucky to be a part of your family and her short existence is known only by our Heavenly Father. You are a wonderful love children so much.....I know this because I have seen it!!! I have no answers for you just love and support. Thanks for sharing you most inner thoughts!

Josh and Cali said...

Robyn... I have to tell you that it took me all day long to read this post. I would start crying and couldn't see your text anymore! I am so grateful that you shared all of your feelings and it made me realize some of my feelings that I try to hide most of the time. You are so strong. And so amazing. This little boy will be such a blessing in your life, I sure hope I get to meet him. I think you and your family are some very amazing people. And all 4 of your kids are very lucky to have you as a Mom.

The Lunds said...

Thanks everyone. I should have warned all that it was a novel. Andrea, I love thinking about her watching over her little friends, and brothers.

Clara, it is nice to know I am not the only "boys" mom out there :)

Stacie, thanks for your kind words.

Tammy, I agree. I don't think I will fully understand most of my trials until after this life. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and follow up on me. I also appreciate your love and support.

Cali, I think about you almost daily. I admire you and your strength. I know how close to home this is for you and appreciate you reading it anyways. I tried reading a girl's blog who had almost the exact same circumstance as me and after a couple sentences, I couldn't read anymore. Same thing. The tears are just always right there it seems! You are a great mom too and I hope that you can meet this little guy! Maybe our Angel babies hang out and talk about their emotional mothers :)

korth fam said...

Robyn, I love you. I'm excited for your family and your upcoming little one, but also sorry for your loss. I think of you all the time and will forever think of you at Christmas time and the year that was so hard for you. Thanks for letting us all read your journal and inner most thoughts. You're amazing and I'm so happy to call you my friend!

Alesha said...

I dont know you and I also dont even know how I found your blog. I just wanted to let you know I think you are courageous to write all these things. I admire you for sharing your true feelings.

I lost my 3rd baby boy almost a year ago. I struggled for months when I found out he was a boy. I wanted a girl SO bad. I had no idea that I would lose him. I know I would have had VERY similar feelings to you had he been a girl and if I were in your situation.

I am sure when your baby comes you will be smitten with every little bit of HIM. :)

Good luck!