Perspective: Life after loss
Not our plan.
How are you?
It was 4-21-2017.
It was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I was about to meet my little girl. But really we should rewind and start from the beginning.
Daniel and I struggled to get pregnant. It was an endless cycle of disappointment. I suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. We had been told that it may not happen, but we kept trying. Until last July, when I couldn’t take it anymore, the tests, the anticipation, the two week wait, over and over again. You see, when you have PCOS, you’re cycles already aren’t regular. Hell, sometimes you don’t even ovulate. So tracking is a nightmare to begin with. And then, you’re late, and you take a test, and you fail. AGAIN. You should buy stock in pregnancy tests, because your cabinet has at least 5 of them all the time. So one day last July, sitting in our driveway with tears streaming down my face, I told him, “I can’t do it anymore! It’s breaking me.” I couldn’t handle the disappointment anymore. And we decided right there, to adopt. We would meet with an adoption counselor in the fall. It wasn’t the first time we had talked about adoption, but at this point it was decided. Done.
And then – end of August, faint line. I was late, so I took a test (really just because I had so many lying around). It was positive! You could barely see it, but it was there. I didn’t believe my own eyes, so I took it to Daniel. He saw it too. Barely. I took another one the next day, it was a little bit more clear. And then I got a digital test, and there it was, clearly, “Pregnant 2-3 weeks”. I took it outside to show Daniel and we cried, right there in the driveway.
I had a relatively textbook pregnancy. Everything was good. Don’t get me wrong, I was sick and I ached, and I swelled from being on my feet, and the heartburn, oh the heartburn. But I was PREGNANT, I didn’t care about any of that. It had finally happened for us. Actually, my body functioned better in some ways pregnant. My PCOS makes my body not process sugar correctly (or sometimes at all), and with PCOS being hormonal, the hormones of pregnancy actually helped that. Meaning I only gained 14 lbs, but before you get too jealous of that, PCOS is the main reason I’m nearly 100 lbs overweight to begin with, so there’s that.
On December 23rd, we finally get to find out that we’re having a girl. Our sweet perfect little girl. We tell our families over Christmas and everyone is over the moon. She was the first grandchild on both sides. The first great-grandchild on all sides. She was so loved and so spoiled.
So, back to the day our world stopped along with her heart. I’m up at 7 am, and if you know me well, you know that doesn’t happen often. My contractions are steady, uncomfortable, but not painful. Daniel is getting in the shower, waiting on the word from me on whether to call in to work. He gets out and I tell him to make the call. We take our time, getting things together, I take a shower and get ready. We don’t believe it’s really happening, I’m still not in pain, so we’re half convinced that they’re going to check me at the hospital and then send me home. We get to the hospital, and they start checking me. The nurse checks me with a heart rate monitor and does an ultrasound. She can’t find a heartbeat. I had a doctors appointment 2 days before. Heart rate was 158. Everything was perfect. Until it wasn’t. The hospitalist came in and confirmed that our precious Nola Gail, was gone. And then, the kicker, the thing no one thinks about, I had to deliver. You’re supposed to get a prize for delivering, a crying baby. That’s what is supposed to happen. But not for us, not this time. My doctor arrived before they even got us into a room. She sat down beside me and held me. And we cried.
They did everything they could to make it not the worst day of our lives. I had wonderful nurses who were only assigned to me. They were by our side constantly. I was induced and given an epidural. The plan was to deliver naturally, but in this situation, that plan was out the window. Because the plan, is to get to take your baby home, and that’s not what we were getting. I labored for over 12 hours. I threw up 5 times. I pushed for 45 minutes. I delivered a perfect 7 lb 11 oz baby girl. My baby girl. My nurse was a super hero. My doctor was a super hero. My husband was a super hero. I am a super hero. It was terrifying. It was breathtaking. And somehow it was still magical. She was magical. Full head of dark hair, button nose that was a combination of mine and her daddy’s, full lips, and my blue eyes. Perfect from head to toe.
She was wrapped in her cord. There was nothing anyone could have done. She wasn’t ours to keep, but she was (and is) ours to love. That sweet little girl gave us so much. She made our hearts soar and grow. She made her daddy and I parents, and she made us love each other even more. But above all of that. She gave us hope. Hope for the future, hope for her future little brothers and sisters. Hope in knowing that it is possible. She is our hope. And we will carry that hope and her with us everyday.